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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Sunday Toons of the $h!thole Moment
And so now it's come to this. And on Martin Luther King Day weekend of all times. See PDiddie's latest toon collection...
Trump is a Symptom, Not the Disease: 'BradCast' 1/12/18
In the wake of the President of the United States' reported 'shithole countries' comment, the GOP's toxic, racist policies are laid bare in the U.S. and across the globe...
More White Supremacist Neo-Nazi Domestic Terror Ignored by Trump, Congress, Media: 'BradCast' 1/11/18
Guest: HuffPo's Ryan Reilly; House re-ups 702, Trump clueless, calls Haiti, Africa 'shitholes'
'Green News Report' 1/11/18
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record rain, deadly mudslides slam CA after record fires; Trump Admin reverses on offshore drilling -- but only for FL; PLUS: NYC sues oil industry, divests over climate change damage...
Previous GNRs: 1/19/18 - 1/4/18 - Archives...
Chaos Reigns: 'BradCast' 1/10/18
DACA scheme blocked; Off-shore drilling reversed; CA's latest disaster; VA's gamed elections; NC's gamed Congressional maps; much more...
Battling 'Big Lies' in 'Trump Country' with Facts and Sustainable Farming in IA: 'BradCast' 1/9/18
Guest: Farmer John Gilbert; Also: Detente in Korea; Arpaio returns; Landmark NC ruling...
'Green News Report' 1/9/18
2017 shatters US record for costliest weather disasters; Oil tanker on fire off China; Opposition to Trump expansion of offshore drilling; PLUS: Norway all in on e-cars...
Never Mind 'Fire & Fury', What About Record Fire & Hurricanes?: 'BradCast' 1/8/18
Also: More under-covered news, listeners ring in from around the world, including one REALLY angry Trumper...
Sunday Toons of the 'Mine's Bigger' Moment
Not that it's a contest. 'PDiddie' picks up his first round of 2018 toons where 2017 left off, but bigger...way bigger...
Will Trump's Ringer at IRS Game 2018 Paychecks to Boost GOP Tax Scheme?: 'BradCast' 1/5/18
Guest: David Dayen; Also: News missed during 'Fire & Fury', Mueller obsession...
'Green News Report' 1/4/18
Record cold in East; Drought grips CA - again; What happens in Arctic doesn't stay in Arctic; PLUS: Over holidays, Trump guts more environment, safety regs...
Sunday 'Auld Lang Syne' Toons
It's PDiddie's last weekly toon collection round-up of 2017! Thank God! Now, about what lies ahead for 2018...
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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

Yes, you read that right!...
By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2005 3:42am PT  

Details Coming Thursday...DEVELOPING...




Two Tremendous Articles!
By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2005 3:33am PT  

As you can tell by the time stamp on this item, I'm up way too late, so please don't let the lack of description and analysis of the following two articles dissuade you from reading both of them.

Both are top-notch examples of quality journalism in America highlighting the fact that the fight for Election Reform in this country isn't over. Not by a long shot.

Miriam Raftery's extensive article, "MONKEY BUSINESS - A look at vote-counting mischief and the potential for more" in San Diego CityBEAT this week covers just about every base. From the recent disasters in that town's mayoral election, to Diebold's chicanery and their crappy, insecure, secret voting machines and software, to the Exit Polls, to the Warren County lockdown, to phony Ohio recount, to John Conyers, and yes, even Clint Curtis, about whom she says:

Among the most startling revelations was testimony by Clint Curtis, a computer programmer who testified under oath that he was hired by Florida Congressman Tom Feeney (then speaker of the Florida House of Representatives) to create vote-rigging software that could "flip" votes from one candidate to another.

The article is a must read for the next jerk you come across who tells you that our election is just fine, both sides have been stealing elections forever, and that Democrats are just pissed because Kerry didn't win.

UPDATE: I'm told that CityBEAT editor David Rollin took some heat for running the article! Please send supportive email as you see fit to: davidr@sdcitybeat.com

Keep the article in your favorites file, along with James Renner's "Knocking the Vote - Diebold says its voting machines are bulletproof. Hackers say otherwise." just out from Cleveland's weekly SCENE.

It's also exhaustive, and oh, man...Diebold ain't gonna like that one at all.

And not just because it ends with a quote from Black Box Voting's Jim March, a Republican who was recently arrested while trying to view the tabulator screen in the recent Mayoral Election in San Diego. March is also the recipient of a multi-million dollar settlement after a suit he filed against Diebold in California. In reply to the reasons Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell gave to shareholders for the recent 15.6% plummet in Diebold stock prices, March makes no bones at all about his opinion of both O'Dell and Diebold: "These guys are liars, from top to bottom."

Enjoy the ride. I've gotta get some sleep...




What the 'President' Knew and When He Knew It...
TreasonGate Moves Up the Food Chain to Bush...
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2005 2:35pm PT  

As reports on the TreasonGate matter expectedly climb up the food chain from Rove and Libby to Dick Cheney, NY Daily News is reporting today that George W. Bush knew of Rove's involvement a full two years ago concerning the unprecedented outing by a White House of a covert CIA agent.

The Daily News story comes from their D.C. Bureau Chief, Thomas DeFrank, who --- as Josh Marshall points out --- has a unique relationship to senior Bushies as co-writer of James Baker's autobiography. Marshall suggests that because of that insider relationship "this article carries more weight than it would with another byline."

We're told that CNN is reporting --- to the surprise of absolutely nobody --- a denial by the White House of the entire story. We've yet to see the specifics of that denial, but we can well imagine it, and we've all learned that White House denials at this point are completely meaningless.

More newsworthy, however, is that David Corn points out that the Daily News report now seems to place Bush smack-dab in the middle of a classic "It's not the crime, it's the cover-up" scandal. You know, of the type that brought down Nixon and damn-near brought down Clinton:

Waitaminute! Two years ago, the White House--via McClellan--definitively declared that Rove was not "involved" in the CIA leak. But if Bush at some point upbraided his guru about the leak that means (a) Bush knew that Rove was involved and (b) Bush countenanced McClellan's dissemination of a false cover story. This is evidence that Bush was a party to the attempted White House cover-up and that Bush might have directly lied about the issue. On September 30, 2003, he was questioned by reporters about the leak investigation. Here's an excerpt:

See Corn's full story for the exchange.

For BRAD BLOG readers and those who have been able to see through the desperate smokescreens from the right none of this now comes as a surprise.

Back in July the question of "What did the President Know and When Did He Know it?" had already surfaced in such places as Washington Post and even from David Gergen, advisor to three different Republican Presidents. This was the exchange we quoted from Gergen on July 24 (Windows Media Video version here):

GERGEN: I think this is a big, serious story and the interesting thing about this week...I think the story also started to move toward the President. What did Karl Rove know, what did Scooter Libby know, in the President's and Vice-Presidents office? But...in turn what did the President know and when did he know it?

[Stephanopoulos uses the opportunity to show the Scott McClellalan Oct 7, 2003 press briefing where he says that he spoke to Rove and Libby and can assure the media that "they were not involved." After discussion on things, it then come back to Gergen...]

GERGEN: There are two things about this. One about the President...If Scott McClellan was misled by Scooter Libby and by Karl Rove, was the President misled?...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Exactly...

GERGEN: ...Or if he was not misled and he was told the truth, how do they let Scott McClellan go out there with that statement?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Or does he think this is okay?

GERGEN: Yeah...Or does he think it's okay?...So I think...that's why I think this is increasingly gonna be about the President over time.

And now it's beginning to look like Gergen may have been exactly right...

Um...DEVELOPING...We'd say...

UPDATE: Arianna tracks the food chain as it moves out sideways to John Bolton. Perhaps the real question should be: Who wasn't involved in either the crime or the cover-up in this White House?!

FURTHER SOMEWHAT RELATED UPDATE: The Dems make an interesting point concerning a story from AP today reporting that:

Security clearances were taken away from two federal anti-terrorism employees as investigators look into allegations they warned family and friends about the threat against the New York City subway system three days ahead of the official announcement.

The perfectly appropriate question the DNC is asking:

If two lower-level federal officials can have their security clearance stripped two weeks after it was revealed that they shared confidential information, why do Libby and Rove still have their security clearance 96 days after it was clear they leaked Plame's identity? And, two years after Plame's identity was leaked, when will Bush hold his team accountable and follow up on his pledge to fire anyone involved in the matter?

STILL FURTHER UPDATE: Reuters reports on inquiry by Democrats into what Bush knew and when he knew it.

P.S. Additional red meat to be completely ignored by wingnuts: Warrant Issued for DeLay's Arrest




And Don't Forget, Wingnuts...A Sitting PRESIDENT Can Also Face a Civil Suit...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 8:55pm PT  

I was asked today on my weekly appearance on Don Grady's Louisiana Live whether or not a sitting Vice President could be indicted. As far as I knew, the answer was yes.

Dan Froomkin of WaPo's excellent White House Briefing has a few nuggets on precisely that...and a reminder for those old "Rule of Law" Republicans...

Technically and legally, a sitting vice president can be indicted. In fact, there's a precedent.

Not long after he killed Alexander Hamilton in their famous 1804 duel, Vice President Aaron Burr was indicted for murder in both New York and New Jersey. No constitutional crisis ensued.

And as this 2000 Department of Justice memo lays out, the department researched the issue thoroughly in 1973.

Back then, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew was trying to stave off a grand jury investigation into kickback, bribery and tax evasion charges by insisting that he was only answerable to Congress.

After all, only Congress holds the power to remove the president or vice president from office --- and presumably it would be impossible to function as vice president from a jail cell.

But none other that [sic] then-solicitor general Robert Bork concluded that, while "the indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions," the vice president was fair game.

The "brief from the solicitor general argued that, while the president was immune from indictment, the vice president was not, since his conviction would not disrupt the workings of the executive branch."

Agnew ended up resigning his office as part of a plea bargain.

Civil suits of course are another story.

Richard Keil wrote in a Bloomberg story yesterday that he had recently spoken to Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Valerie Plame's husband, and Wilson "said that once the criminal questions are settled, he and his wife may file a civil lawsuit against Bush, Cheney and others seeking damages for the alleged harm done to Plame's career.

"If they do so, the current state of the law makes it likely that the suit will be allowed to proceed --- and Bush and Cheney will face questioning under oath --- while they are in office. The reason for that is a unanimous 1997 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling that Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit against then- President Clinton could go forward immediately, a decision that was hailed by conservatives at the time."

What goes around comes around, wingnuts...




Conyers: GA Legislature Should Have Never Passed 'Modern Day Poll Tax'
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 3:11pm PT  

A federal judge has just issued an injunction to keep the new Photo ID requirements at polling places in the state of Georgia from moving forward. As reported many times on The BRAD BLOG, the requirement for photo ID at the polls would disenfranchise anywhere from 10 to 20 million Americans who do not have driver licenses --- mainly the elderly, minorities, the poor and other urban dwellers.

The call for Photo ID at the polling place is the latest attempt by Republicans who hope to further disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters across the country. The effort has been pushed hard by the self-declared "non-partisan" phony GOP "voting rights" group calling themselves the American Center for Voting Rights and was called for by the shameful Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission, which was led by disenfranchisement expert and Bush family crony James A. Baker along with high-level GOP operatives from the ACVR.

This just in from AP...

ATLANTA (AP) --- A federal court has barred Georgia from enforcing a new state law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

In the ruling issued today, the U.S. District Court in Rome agreed with critics who claimed the law amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax.

The U.S. Justice Department approved the law in August. The department said that while Attorney General Alberto Gonzales did NOT object to the state's voter I-D requirement, the federal agency's approval did NOT preclude lawsuits against it.

The Republican-backed measure sparked racial tension during the state's legislative session last spring. Most of Georgia's black lawmakers walked out at the state Capitol when it was approved.

In a news release just issued to The BRAD BLOG, Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, lauded the decision to stop what he referred to as "a modern day poll tax."

Says Conyers in the release: "Truth be told, the issue should have never reached this point - the Georgia Legislature should never have passed this modern day poll tax, the Governor should not have signed it, and the Justice Department should have intervened to stop it. That is why 21 Members and I asked the Department to prevent this law from taking effect."

The full press release from Conyers office follows...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Little-Known, but Powerful U.S. Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) up to Eyeballs in DeLay, Abramoff, Corruption Probe
Tied to Gambling, Illegal Favors and TeleCom 'Election' Fixing Investigations...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 12:57pm PT  

In an extremely detailed 2891-word page one Washington Post report today by James V. Grimaldi and Susan Schmidt, Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) is tied to at least four different aspects of ongoing probes being carried out by criminal investigators looking into the corruption of GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay --- both of whom have been indicted recently on charges relating to the various investigations.

Ney has not yet been indicted, but the WaPo exposé ties him to several different scandals including the SunCruz casino boat fraud/murder investigation (for which Abramoff has recently been indicted), several illegally funded overseas vacations, support of Indian gaming in apparent trade for favors received in the form of cash contributions and other gifts from Abramoff and --- yes --- the apparent "fixing" of an election administered by Ney of telecommunications companies to determine who would receive a large contract at the U.S. Capital building.

Ney is chairman of the powerful U.S. House Administration Committee. BRAD BLOG readers will remember Ney's committee as holding a "show hearing" earlier this year on "Election Irregularities in Ohio" during the 2004 Presidential Election. That hearing, which attempted to whitewash the thousands of troubling reports calling the Ohio election into question, called just one witness from a "voting rights" group. That witness turned out to be Mark F. "Thor" Hearne of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), self-described "non-partisan" organization which had appeared out of the blue just days prior to the hearing. Hearne, identified himself in the hearings as a "long time voting rights advocate", but failed to mention that he was actually the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. The other "non-partisan" founder of ACVR was Jim Dyke, former RNC Communcations Director, and recently installed White House spokesman for Dick Cheney.

(BRAD BLOG's full special coverage of ACVR, the so-called "non-partisan" GOP front group masquerading as a "voting rights" organization, can be found here.)

The WaPo story reports that Ney is currently "under investigation by Florida federal prosecutors looking into Abramoff's acquisition of SunCruz, according to sources familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

Excerpts from the full WaPo report follow...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2005 1:31pm PT  

(Ed note: Is it us, or does that woman in the red sweater there look suspiciously like someone we know? Just asking.)




REPORT: AFR Flip-Flops on Previous Decision to Carry Progressive Talker Ed Schultz...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2005 12:16pm PT  

According to our friends at RAW STORY, the plans that Armed Forces Radio had to add the progressive Ed Schultz Show to its current "Conservative"-only line up of talk shows has been changed as of this morning...

The United States' military's Armed Forces Radio has reversed a decision to add The Ed Schultz show to their lineup abroad, RAW STORY has learned.

Schultz was told Sept. 29 he would be added to the military's programming today. That decision was reversed this morning. His producers are currently seeking answers from the military.
...
Armed Forces Radio provides programming to American troops wherever they are stationed abroad. The network carries newscasts from a variety of outlets, including NPR and the Associated Press, along with commentary from Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, among others.

Read RAW's whole story to find out the possible reason for the military's flip-flop and last minute decision to NOT stay the course...




Extremist Syndicated Radio Host Takes a Crap on the American 'Culture and Values' She Claims are under 'Assault' from 'The Left'
Absuses the Very 'Free Speech' She Writes About in Her 'Best-Sellers'
By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2005 12:47pm PT  

So I'm driving to an important appointment yesterday, to which I'm late, when I hear Tammy Bruce on TalkRadio 790 KABC, the powerful ABC station out here in Los Angeles, out and out lying to her listeners.

She's telling them that Valerie Plame/Wilson was not a covert CIA agent. That she couldn't have been because "she drove to work every day at the CIA building." That she was nothing more than a bureaucrat with a desk job at the CIA and so she was never outed.

Never mind that the CIA themselves requested the current Dept. of Justice investigation into the outing of one of their agents, or the myriad CIA officials who have testified that indeed she was very much a covert agent.

Furthermore, the former "liberal" turned...whatever she's turned...also instructs her listeners that Plame/Wilson could not have been covert because she posed in photographs with her husband Joe Wilson months before she was ever mentioned in the press by Bob Novak.

Needless to say by now, for anyone with a nickel's worth of information on the matter, Bruce was horrifically wrong on both accounts. (For just a partial refutation, since my time is short today, from a CIA classmate of Plame/Wilson's, you can read this.) And since Bruce was asking for folks to call in with their opinion on the matter, I did.

While driving, I got through right away to the show via my cell phone. Her producer asked what I was calling about. I identified myself as "Brad Friedman from The BRAD BLOG," and mentioned that "Tammy is completely misinforming her listeners about the Plame affair. That I'd be happy to correct the record having spoken to both Joe Wilson and others at the CIA on these matters, and I'd be happy to give her the real information about what's going on."

Her producer puts me on hold for a minute, and comes back to say, "Please send Tammy some email at TammyBruce@KABC.com and you can give her your thoughts."

I say: "Well, I'm in the car driving right now, so I can't email her."

She says: "You can send her email anytime..."

I say: "Wait, are you not going to put me on the air to talk to her to correct the record?"

She says: "Right."

I say: "Why not?"

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




As DeLay Gets Desperate...
By Brad Friedman on 10/14/2005 6:54pm PT  

In a wistful mood this evening...as apparently is Jane Hamsher who does a fine job of looking both back and forward at Rove's big day today --- four and half hours with the Grand Jury --- as an eery calm seems to set in before the TreasonGate Storm that is most assuredly headed this way.

Thanks also to Jane for pointing us towards DeLay's latest desperate gasp. Something tells us that this (hopefully) soon-to-be "old school" video may end up in a museum some day in the "America's Decade of Shame" section. At least we hope so anyway.




Columnist's Far-Too-Late But Dead-On Essay Merits a Too-Rarely Bestowed 'Intellectually Honest Conservative Award' from The BRAD BLOG!
By Brad Friedman on 10/14/2005 12:50pm PT  

Actual Conservative George Will unleashes on Republican "Faux Conservatives" in his NEWSWEEK column this week.

While his column raises the question of why it has taken so long for Will to finally get firmly on board the bandwagon of honest-to-God Conservatism in calling out the Republican Party and their leaders for their phony use of the "Conservative" label for little more than cynical partisan expediency, The BRAD BLOG is impressed enough with his no-holds-barred column to award him our "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award".

We hope this award --- very rarely bestowed these days due to the overwhelming dearth of actual Conservatives willing to call out their fake "Conservative" brethren for what they are --- may soon find still more recipients as the Conservative Momement finally begins to distance themselves from the disaster that is the Bush Presidency and the failed Republican Leadership in Congress.

By way of making the case for Bush and the Republican-led Congress' complete avoidance of true Conservative values, consider this point amongst many from Will's latest piece:

In 1987 Reagan vetoed a transportation bill because it contained 152 earmarks --- pork --- costing $1.4 billion. The bill President Bush signed contained 6,371, costing $24 billion. The total cost of the bill --- $286 billion --- is more, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than the combined costs of the Marshall Plan and the interstate highway system.

While we have many and various policy disagreements with true Conservative philosophy, we welcome the general tenets of Conservativism as applied towards American discourse and policy-making. What we are appalled by however, and have been for some time, is the continuing phony use of the "Conservative" label for pure partisan gamesmanship and political opportunism. That, even while the supposed "Conservatives" in control of every branch of the Federal Government have grown its size --- including so-called non-military discretionary spending --- beyond anything that any of the most "Liberal" Presidents or Congresses have been able to do in the history of the country!

And yet, a majority of Republican voters, according to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, continue to blindly support the anything-but-Conservative borrow-and-spend Republican "President" and Congress.

In that regard, Will is particularly on-target in his attack on the beseiged, disgraced and ethically-challenged Rep. Tom DeLay. In a blistering attack, Will describes the fallen U.S. House Majority Leader as one "who neither knows nor cares any more about limited government than a camel knows or cares about calculus."

He then continues to take on what he describes as the "faux conservatism" of today's Republican Party as sold out to the D.C. lobbyist's brand of what Will describes as "K Street conservatism."

Quoting Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), leader of the conservative Republican Study Committee who charges that some Republicans think "big government is good government if it's our government," Will unleashes on the entire "faux conservative" cabal in Washington:

DeLay's troubles, and his party's, may multiply with coming revelations about the seamy career of uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. He is emblematic of DeLay's faux conservatism --- K Street conservatism. That is Republican power in the service of lobbyists who, in their K Street habitat, are in the service of rent seekers --- interests eager to bend public power for their private advantage.

Since 2000 the number of registered lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled, from 16,342 to 34,785. They have not been attracted to the seat of government, like flies to honey, for the purpose of limiting government.

He closes with a remarkably lucid assault on the abandonment of virtually all true Conservative values --- including a complete abdication of the bedrock Conservative notion of personal accountability --- by those now (for the moment) in power in Washington in general and in the White House's War on Iraq in specific:

Conservatives are not supposed to be cuddly, or even particularly nice. They are, however, supposed to be competent. And to know that scarcity --- of money, virtue, wisdom, competence, everything --- forces choices. Furthermore, they are supposed to have an unsentimental commitment to meritocracy and excellence. The fact that none of those responsible for the postwar planning, or lack thereof, in Iraq have been sacked suggests --- no, shouts --- that in Washington today there is no serious penalty for serious failure. Hence the multiplication of failures.

All of which leaves us scratching our head in continued wonderment and asking, along with Eric Alterman, who commented on a new Pew Research poll released today by asking "You couldn't have figured this out, say, last November?"

Alterman's question was directed to the American people, a majority of whom for the first time, the Pew poll finds, now say "George W. Bush's presidency will be judged as unsuccessful" and that "By a 2-1 margin, people said the Bush administration has had a negative impact on politics and the way government works."

Setting aside what the people actually said last November --- since we have no real way of knowing due to the disastrous gutting of a once fairly-reliable and once fairly-transparent Electoral System in this country --- it's perfectly appropriate to direct Alterman's question towards Will. Where the hell was he last November?!

Nonetheless, given the dearth of Republicans who still maintain an actual set of Conservative Values --- better late than never, we guess --- we'll go ahead and award Will the coveted BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award" today. We offer it in the hopes of "shaking the bushes" to encourage other true Conservatives to step out from the shameful, murky, self-deceiving and destructive cynicism of Power-before-Policy and Politics-before-Country brand of "Faux Conservatism" that has hijacked and perhaps irreconcilably destroyed both the Conservative Movement in America and the Republican Party along with it.

{Thanks to Des for tips to both Will's and Alterman's pieces.}




Claims 'Planned Parenthood Encourages Teen Abortion to Get Paid For Each One'
Media Matters Covers Tip from Astute (and Handsome) Listener, Brad Friedman
By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2005 4:47pm PT  

During a discussion about "parental notification" for teen abortions on this morning's Bill O'Reilly radio show, the "no spin" host vibrated with a charge that Planned Parenthood encourages teen abortions so that they can "get paid for every abortion they're involved with."

I heard the smear merchant, O'Reilly mention it this morning, but as I'm in the middle of a mountain of stuff, I knew I wouldn't have time to look into it and blog it myself. I shouted out to the good folks over at Media Matters, who record such things all day anyway, and they just now blogged the item (with a courtesy tip of the hat, to yours truly): [emphasis theirs]

O'REILLY: Look, again, it's notification, not approval. So you --- if you're a girl, you can still go ahead and have the abortion, and I'm sure Planned Parenthood would be encouraging you because Planned Parenthood gets paid for every abortion that they're involved with. I don't like Planned Parenthood.

The full Media Matters item offers information on how Planned Parenthood is actually paid, along with the audio clip from the segment.

And, by the way, MM, who's always looking out for Bill O'Reilly, encourages folks to send in such tips to mm-tips@mediamatters.org.




Post-War Iraq Mess Predicted, Given Little Interest by Pro-War Bushies...
By Brad Friedman on 10/12/2005 11:26am PT  

I've been watching FOX "News" all morning, and for some reason they've failed to mention the following report that the CIA has criticized the Bush Administration in its latest report on Intel failures vis a vis Iraq. So I guess it's up to me to make sure that you know about it!

From this morning's USA Today:

WASHINGTON A newly released report published by the CIA rebukes the Bush administration for not paying enough attention to prewar intelligence that predicted the factional rivalries now threatening to split Iraq.

Policymakers worried more about making the case for the war, particularly the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, than planning for the aftermath, the report says. The report was written by a team of four former CIA analysts led by former deputy CIA director Richard Kerr.
...
Then-CIA director George Tenet commissioned the report after the invasion of Iraq. The authors had access to highly classified intelligence data and produced three reports concerning Iraq intelligence.

Only the third has been released in declassified form.

Full story here. Sssh...Don't tell Fox! We'd hate to rock their rose-colored world.

(Hat tip to emailer Tom O. for the tip)




By Brad Friedman on 10/12/2005 11:15am PT  

{Blogged by Brad, yes, still on the road...}

It was a joy to be in-studio yesterday evening with Peter B. Collins up here in Monterey on KRXA 540am. An honest-to-goodness Progressive radio station not owned by a corporate monolith! In fact, I was honored to have been greeted, upon my arrival, by Station Manager and co-owner Hal Ginsberg before spending an hour on-air with Peter, the other co-owner and Program Director and host of their afternoon show drive-time show.

They're new on the airwaves out here, and a very welcome addition. Hopefully more folks will buy up more stations and program them similarly to help give the truth a chance of getting out where the Corporate-run Media are simply failing America.

And I don't say all of that merely because they're interested in carrying The BRAD SHOW on KRXA. (Though such things never hurt! ;-)

If you're interested, here's the hour [MP3] I spent yesterday with Peter on air. Includes at least one wingnut caller! Enjoy!




Tax-Exempt 'American Center for Voting Rights' Continues Their Scam on America!
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2005 12:41pm PT  

{Blogged by Brad on the road...}

Last week, The BRAD BLOG reported that one of the co-founders of the self-described "non-partisan" group calling themselves the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), was "boning up on his non-partisan creds" by being employed by the White House to sell George W. Bush's Harriet Miers nomination to the American press and public.

This week, the great "non-partisan" voting rights champion, Jim Dyke, has been promoted according to a report from TIME magazine filed last week. His new job will be to "take up the slack" for Steve Schmidt, "counselor to Vice President Cheney and one of the White House's most aggressive strategists."

Schmidt is suddenly heading to Iraq for the next month, where he will, according to a report today by RAW STORY, be unavailable to take any questions regarding the mounting charges that sources within Cheney's office may have been at the heart of the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Dyke will undoubtedly remain as "non-partisan" in his new job with Dick Cheney, as he was in his previous position as press spokesperson for ACVR.

Dyke was RNC Communications Director for years, before becoming "non-partisan" enough to join with the "non-partisan" Mark F. "Thor" Hearne (National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.) to found the new tax-exempt, "non-partisan" "Voting Rights" organization.

As BRAD BLOG reported some months ago, the Internet domain registration for ACVR claims to be located somewhere in Dallas, TX, despite Hearne's residence in St. Louis, Missouri, and Dyke's in South Carolina (when he's not working out of the White House). At the time of initial investigation, Dyke reported to us that the Dallas TX address given for ACVR was that of the company who created their website. He had forgotten the name of the company, despite the website having been created just days before our interview with him.

Why precisely, Dallas, TX, is given as the location of ACVR remains somewhat of a mystery. Along with who funds this shadowy organization of cynical democracy-haters. Our earlier report on their location, at least, was able to unearth a photograph of ACVR's main office, which is undoubtedly populated by very very tiny "non-partisan" Republicans:

Amongst ACVR's "non-partisan" work has been testifying before a U.S. House Administrative hearing, led by Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) on Election Irregularities in Ohio during the November '04 Presidential Election. At that hearing, held three business days after ACVR appeared for the first time on the Internet, Hearne testified to being a "long time voting rights advocate." He apparently forgot to mention his ties to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.

ACVR was the only "voting rights" group called to testify at those hearings. As well, they sat on the Advisory Panel, and helped form the ill-fated Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission. Recently, the ACVR released a "non-partisan" report entitled: "Democrat operatives far more involved in voter intimidation and suppression in 2004 than Republicans."

You can read that report, along with their other "non-partisan", tax-payer subsidized news and activities at their website. It's the one with Fox News' Tony Snow currently smiling on the front page.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.



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