w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
Thank you for setting the standards for how elections should be counted (by hand), wars should be fought (only when necessary) and how human beings who wish to wed should be treated by the state.
As reported by AP, the bill which became law today "gives homosexual couples the same rights as those in traditional unions between a man and a woman."
Just back in town after a day off, and man do I have a lot to catch up with...While I'm doing that, if you haven't noticed already, the Franklin County, Ohio Elections Director, Matt Damschroder, who last week acknowledged accepting a $10,000 check from a lobbyist for Diebold, was given a slap on the wrist yesterday and docked 30 days pay from his yearly $97,240 salary.
He has also claimed that the Diebold lobbyist, Pasquale "Pat" Gallina, told him that he'd made $50,000 in donations to groups that support Ohio's Secretary of State (and, coincidentally, the Co-Chair of the Bush/Cheney Re-Elect Committee) J. Kenneth Blackwell.
All of this has come about amidst a lawsuit filed by voting machine company, ES&S in Ohio against Blackwell for giving the entire state to Diebold. This should be very interesting to watch. Depositions are upcoming.
In the meantime, while Franklin County's head of election, who seems to have accepted a $10,000 bribe gets off virtually scot-free, Sherole Eaton --- the courageous whistleblower from Hocking County, OH, who gave testimony in an affidavit of employees from voting machine company, Triad gaming the Ohio recount --- has been accused of absolutely nothing. Nonetheless, she is still fired from the Hocking County Board of Elections.
Ohio. Retaining its slim edge over Florida for now...as the filthiest fucking state in the union.
Never one to put all of our democracy lovin' eggs into a single basket, no matter how much treason is in that basket's "gate", the breadth of scandals finally coming home to roost right now on this administration (has there ever been a dirtier one?) is simply remarkable.
While any one of the scandals and investigations listed below would have likely taken down "lesser" administrations long ago --- though those administrations, unlike this one, would likely have had some help in that direction from an actual fourth estate --- it's remarkable to see how many of these scandals are currently rolling.
To date, we don't believe anyone has actually been held accountable yet for any of the following (with the exception of a few poor sap soldier/scapegoats from Abu Ghraib --- of course, when the rubber meets the road, the Bush Administration blames the troops rather than supports them!).
This list is rather extraordinary when taken in total. So... We leave it to you... Tell us which scandal and/or investigation will be the straw that finally breaks this Administration's back and why? (The various options presented here are in no particular order)
1) Plame/Rove "TreasonGate" investigation
2) Jack Abramoff/Tom Delay investigation
3) Thomas Noe/Ohio "Coingate"/RNC investigation
4) "Duke" Cunningham/MZM investigation
5) Sproul & Assoc./RNC investigation
6) Halliburton/Dick Cheney investigation
7) Downing Street Documents/Iraq War investigation
8) Abu Ghraib/Gitmo/Torture accusations/investigation
9) Election Fraud allegations/investigation
10) Jeff Gannon investigation
11) 9/11 investigation
12) Combination of all of the above
13) Scandal/investigation we failed to list above
14) An as of yet unknown/unpublicized scandal/investigation
15) None of the above and none in the future
Place your bets in comments and consider it an open thread as I attempt to get the hell outta Dodge for 24 hours or so to celebrate (my birthday, not Bush's woes). We'll see if I make it out of town or not. Trying to...If I do, hopefully Winter Patriot will feel free to cover the slack here --- as needed --- while I'm gone. Peace.
As if Dubya didn't have enough (self-inflicted) problems...OpTruth.org, a coalition of U.S. veterans of the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars whose slogan is "Really Support the Troops - Listen to Them!", is taking out an ad in tomorrow's Washington Post critical of the Bush Administration and calling on Bush to "provide leadership" by meeting the needs of healthcare for returning vets.
In their ad, the group generously attributes the $1 Billion shortfall in Bush's 2005 budget for "Veterans of the War on Terror" to a "miscalculation".
In 2006, the ad claims, the budget shortfall will be a full $3 billion short of what our returning veterans need to cover health care costs at Veterans Administration hospitals. OpTruth covers this issue in more detail on their website.
OpTruth.org founder Paul Reickhoff --- who we've previously covered here and more recently here, quit his Wall Street job after 9/11 to fight in Afghanistan and has been critical of Bush's level of support for troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Reickhoff tells The BRAD BLOG that this ad represents the "first time an Iraq vets group has taken out a major print ad."
The text from the OpTruth ad is as follows...
WITHOUT IMMEDIATE CHANGES, four out of five returning Veterans could be turned away from care at VA hospitals. That's a raw deal the American people will not tolerate.
A UNANIMOUS, BIPARTISAN SENATE has moved quickly to cover this year's outrageous budget gap with a $1.5 billion emergency supplemental. Congress should adopt the Senate's plan, and should make up the 2006 budget gap as well.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, President Bush needs to act immediately and provide the leadership that will prevent Veterans from being shortchanged now and in the future.
A graphic version is below (click to see full PDF version):
"I am saying that if anyone was involved in that type of activity which I referred to, they would not be working here."
- Ron Ziegler, press secretary to Richard Nixon, defending the presidential aide Dwight Chapin on Oct. 18, 1972. Chapin was convicted in April 1974 of perjury in connection with his relationship to the political saboteur Donald Segretti.
"Any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the president. They wouldn't be working here at the White House if they didn't have the president's confidence."
- Scott McClellan, press secretary to George W. Bush, defending Karl Rove on Tuesday.
Thus begins Frank Rich's NY Times editorial today, "Follow the Uranium" (we might have suggested, "Follow the Yellowcake Road", but they didn't ask us first).
It's been said that the political landscape is littered with the corpses of those who've "misunderestimated" George W. Bush. But it's not Bush who should take the credit for his political mastery. It is, of course, his brain, Karl Rove.
Misunderestimating him and what he's able to pull off, slither out of and otherwise apply his ample slime to is a game that one plays at his own peril. As Rich summarizes points of Rove's illustrious career (but barely scratches the surface):
Yet even with those "successful" campaigns under his belt, this time, it seems Rove is quickly finding himself at a dead-end. At least as Rich sees it. And we tend to agree with him.
Aside from his observation that "there's only one certainty ahead: the timing of a Karl Rove resignation," Rich aptly moves the ball forward by pointing out that Rove, Joe Wilson, Matt Cooper, Judith Miller et al. are small potatoes in this matter.
As the Plame Game moves up the food chain, through All The President's Men, the real question is rapidly --- and we mean rapidly --- becoming a matter of What Did the President Know and When Did He Know It?
Rich is precisely correct here, and makes a damning case for it. On the pages of the Pro-War, Pro-Bush New York Times nonetheless. Read it. If only so that you'll know what happened when the house of cards quickly tumbles any moment...or when it doesn't because the evil genius Karl Rove is once again able to amass his dark, hateful, whispering armies to overcome the voices of truth.
When you play clean against those who play dirty --- and who have gained an alarming body of professional experience in doing so as they've slimed their way to the very pinnacle of world power in the process --- one should never "misunderestimate" the ability of these sorts of charlatans to retain that power. No matter how many decent human beings, public servants, innocent civilians and patriots need to be destroyed along the way.
From Cleveland Plain Dealer this morning...
The director, Matthew Damschroder, has told prosecutors that the consultant, Pat Gallina, came to his office in early 2004, offering him $10,000.
"Pat Gallina came into my office at the Board of Elections and said, 'I'm here to give you $10,000. Who should I direct it to?' " Damschroder recalled. "I said, 'Certainly not to me. But I'm sure the Franklin County Republican Party would appreciate a voluntary donation. That was my first mistake."
The law prohibits Damschroder from accepting political contributions on county property. He said he took the check home and mailed it to the party, where he had just completed a stint as executive director.
Damschroder told prosecutor O'Brien of Gallina's visit after his testimony was sought in a civil suit filed by one of Diebold's competitors, Election Systems and Software.
ES&S charges in that suit that Secretary of State Ken Blackwell improperly favored Diebold in selecting electronic voting machines for use statewide.
Gallina told him that he and Cummings agreed on the cut-rate price Diebold would charge the state for its machines, and that Gallina promised in return to give $50,000 to "Blackwell interests."
Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Blackwell, called the claim "absolutely ridiculous," and that Cummings has not negotiated any part of the state's voting machine contracts.
Diebold executives had ceased contributing directly to political campaigns in October 2003, after the company president sparked an uproar by saying he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes" to secure President Bush's re-election.
Spokesman Mike Jacobsen said the firm pays Gallina - through Celebrezze & Associates - to work as a liaison on state and county government contracts.
"It's a separate company," he said. "Just because we contract with a lobbyist and they make a contribution doesn't mean, in any way, that we use them as some sort of political back door to curry political favor."
If the Democracy and Radio (and IBC Network) Gods are with us...we're back Saturday Night with an all-new LIVE BRAD SHOW via RAW RADIO!
Guests to include...
[Ed Note: Good news! Not long after this item was originally published, the issue was finally attended to and corrected by both Comcast and Symantec! See the bottom of this article for details on what happened! Thank you for making noise!]
The BRAD BLOG has learned that cable company and Internet service provider, Comcast Corporation has been automatically deleting email sent to Comcast customers with the text "www.afterdowningstreet.org" in the body of the email.
AfterDowningStreet.org ("ADS") is the citizen's coalition advocacy group organized to raise awareness of the leaked British memos and minutes referred to as the "Downing Street Documents". Those documents, first reported by Michael Smith of the Sunday Times suggest that the Bush Administration had determined to topple Saddam Hussein by military means and planned to "fix" the facts and intelligence around the policy" at least eight months prior to receiving authorization of the U.S. Congress to wage war in Iraq. At the same time, George W. Bush and administration officials were routinely telling both Congress and the American people that no tactical decisions had yet been made regarding regime change in Iraq.
The discovery that email was being secretly filtered was made after an investigation conducted by ADS co-founder, David Swanson who reported that many coalition members did not seem to be receiving email alerts and others messages being sent by the group.
"Over the past week we have been having problems reaching our members," Swanson said. "Yesterday we had a conference call scheduled that we'd announced by email and two thirds of the people didn't even know about it."
Eventually Swanson was able to determine that it was only those members of the group who receive email via the cable monolith's Comcast.net domain who were not receiving such notices.
According to a study released in January of this year by TNS Telecoms, Comcast Corporation is the nation's largest single provider of both Cable/Satellite and Internet related services in the country.
The BRAD BLOG has been able to independently confirm that email sent to two different Comcast customers with the text "www.afterdowningstreet.org" in the body of the mail, is not currently reaching those customers as expected. Though messages with only "afterdowningstreet.org" are, in fact, able to get through to those same customers without a problem.
In a statement released by People-Link.org, the Internet host for the AfterDowningStreet.org domain, the directors of the "progressive" firm charge that the filtering is politically motivated and both they and Swanson have requested people contact Comcast to complain. (Contact information at the bottom of this article.)...
The BRAD BLOG has learned that Congressmen John Conyers (D-MI) and Barney Frank (D-MA) have inquired with officials at the Library of Congress' Congressional Research Service this afternoon into whether impeachment proceedings would be appropriate for Senior White House Officials.
The release of a letter by the two congressmen was accompanied by a press release from the office of the ranking minority House Judiciary Committee member, John Conyers. In the letter, the two seek clarification from "a neutral authority" of whether the U.S. Constitution's Article II, regarding impeachment of a sitting President and Vice-President and "all civil officers", would apply to Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove who is currently embroiled in the on-going criminal investigation into who leaked classified information concerning the outting of covert CIA agent, Valerie Plame.
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution speaks to impeachment, but is not completely clear about which "civil officers" would fall under its jurisdiction.
The letter from Frank and Conyers attempts to seek clarification of the term "civil officers of the United States" and whether the clause would be applicable to Rove as a "high-ranking official in the White House and Executive Branch," according to their news release.
Here is the letter sent today, followed by the Press Release issued by both Conyers and Frank.
Ms. Elizabeth Bazan
Mr. Charles Doyle
American Law Division
Congressional Research Service
The Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue, SE
Washington, D.C. 20540
Dear Ms. Bazan and Mr. Doyle,
We write to request your opinion as to whether or not very high- ranking members of the President's staff are subject to the Congressional impeachment process. The Constitution in its discussion of impeachment does not spell out with any specificity which federal officials are impeachable. We believe that the rationale for impeachment clearly applies to high-ranking officials who wield presidential authority in many cases with even more impact than some cabinet officers. And we do not see any Constitutional language that would exclude such officials from the impeachment process. But because this appears to be a question of first impression, and because of the grave importance of this matter, we write to ask your opinion as to whether or not it is Constitutionally permissible to initiate impeachment proceedings against the President's Deputy Chief of Staff, or other similarly highly placed officials.
Rep. Barney Frank
Rep. John Conyers
The following news release from Conyres and Frank was released at the same time as the above letter to officials at the Library of Congress.
For Immediate Release
Friday, July 15, 2005
REPS. CONYERS AND FRANK ASK WHETHER SENIOR WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS CAN BE IMPEACHED BY THE HOUSE
Letter to Library of Congress seeks clarification of who in the government can be impeached by Congress
Washington, DC-House Judiciary Committee Ranking Democrat John Conyers (D-MI) and House Financial Services Ranking Democratic Member Barney Frank (D-MA) today asked the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress whether it is Constitutionally permissible to begin impeachment proceedings against high-ranking federal officials. This would include members of the President's staff such as White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove.
"We write to request your opinion as to whether high-ranking members of the President's staff are subject to the Congressional impeachment process. The Constitution in its discussion of impeachment does not spell out with any specificity which federal officials are impeachable. We believe that the rationale for impeachment clearly applies to high-ranking officials who wield presidential authority in many cases with even more impact than some cabinet officers," Frank and Conyers write in their letter.
"We share the grave concern felt by many Americans about the revelation that the President's Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Political Advisor, Karl Rove, improperly identified a CIA undercover operative to journalists as part of a campaign to discredit her husband, who is a critic of some aspects of administration policy," said Mr. Frank.
Mr. Conyers continued: "Mr. Rove continues to occupy this high position, which means that he continues to have access to the full range of the most secret information available to the federal government, with apparently no compunctions about misusing that information for political purposes. We believe that the impeachment power of Congress is in fact intended to cover precisely this sort of situation - that is, a high-ranking official who has not only abused his power, but appears ready to continue such abuse in the future, and subject to no apparent effective check within the executive branch itself."
Historically, impeachments have been launched against presidents and other officials who have been confirmed by the Senate. However, Conyers and Frank noted the language of the constitution--Art. II, Sec. 4: The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors-does not explicitly impost such a requirement. The question Frank and Conyers are asking is what constitutes "civil officers" and does it include high-ranking officials in the White House and Executive Branch.
Given the importance of this issue, the grave abuse of power and unethical manner in which Mr. Rove has been engaged, impeachment may well be an appropriate response. This issue could be relevant in cases where there may be some uncertainty about the willingness of the Executive Branch, in which the criminal prosecution power lies, fully to use that power against someone so close to the President.
"We have asked a neutral legal authority whose function it is to advise Congress to give us the best judgment of its experts on this question, and we will speak with our colleagues about proceeding accordingly after we have received this advice," concluded Frank.
John Aravosis at AMERICAblog has the skinny based on ABC's report last night of how the inept and irresponsible Bush clan seems to have helped to blow our only mole inside of al-Qaeda. An act, which Aravosis contends, helped lead directly to the London Bombings last week.
No, he's not suggesting that Bush was behind the bombings. Just that his arrogance, and desperate need to do and say anything to retain power in this country prior to the election last year, seems to have helped lose an asset by British law enforcement officials which might have avoided the deaths of 53 Brits and the injuries of hundreds more in those attacks.
Given how many deaths Bush's arrogance has led directly to in Iraq, we suspect England should consider themselves lucky. So far.
Aravosis has done a superb job of connecting the dots.
Yesterday, Sen. Harry Reid and the Dems attempted to add a fairly reasonable (one would think) amendment to a Homeland Security appropriations bill. David Corn of The Nation commented in a late-night blog article, that the amendment could well have been called "the Karl Rove Memorial Act". Here's what it said:
Fair enough. But since Republicans don't care for National Security, nor about outting covert CIA assetts apparently, the amendment failed. Corn explained...
That's the sad part. The funny part, however, --- wherein Majority Leader Bill Frist made yet another "doofus" of himself --- we'll leave to Corn's piece from last night, "Rove Scandal Drives Frist Bonkers". Enjoy.
If you missed The Daily Show last night, you missed a lot. This time, not because it was funny, but because Jon Stewart nailed the hard truth again as he did so brilliantly with the phonies at Crossfire last year.
This time, it was former CBS anchor cum raving wingnut opportunist Bernie Goldberg who fell dumber than a donut once confronted with an intelligent (non-Hannity-approved) challenge to the hateful premise of his hate-mongering book, "100 Americans Who are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken is #37)".
As you may have guessed by now, 97 of the 100 just happened to be identified with the left. No word from Goldberg on whether outing covert CIA agents or creating endless world wars for trumped up reasons screws up America in any way. We'll just suppose those things are great for America!
On the other hand, apparently Barbra Streisand and Michael Jackson are really a great concern of Goldberg's, and apparently America's.
As usual, Stewart --- who simply "gets it" --- cut straight to the heart of the matter after giving Goldberg ample time to make his completely hollow, morally bankrupt, intellectually dishonest, ethically challenged and apparently unsupported case...
[then after the break, Goldberg got two segments to make his case]
STEWART: I guess my point is that so much focus is on culture and so little is on government and the real seats of power...
BERNARD GOLDBERG: And you don't think culture is an important force out there?
STEWART: Not nearly as much as government. I think that yes, "Friends" was a powerful program for many years --- but my guess is, what's going on in the Pentagon is slightly...But in Washington they actually do have power --- I think in washington, transparency is the real issue, and I wish more smart guys like you spent more time --- not worrying about Barbra Streisand --- but worrying about, you know, Richard Perle, Karl Rove, or whoever the Democrats would have had in that position in the Clinton years.
If only Stewart would spend less time telling the truth and more time lying this country into wars, he might just be eligible for the Medal of Freedom.
If you didn't catch this segment, it's a must-see. And Crooks and Liars has it, natch.
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
· Huffington Post
· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
Project Censored Sites:
· Daily Censored
· Media Freedom
· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
· TV Newser
· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
· Not Banned Yet
· Pat Oliphant
· Paul Conrad
· Ted Rall
· This Modern World
· Thomas Burns
· Tom Toles
· Tony Auth
· Stuart Carlson
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