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ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
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Greenhouse gas emissions jump at record rate; Australia's emissions soar after carbon tax axed; Oceans acidifying at historic rate; PLUS: Some good news: Ozone Hole begone!...
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Accountability for Judge Fuller?; O, Mighty ISIS!:
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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Using the fear of terror for political goals...
By David Edwards on 10/12/2005 6:39pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

As we noted earlier, on tonight's broadcast MSNBC's Countdown presented a report called "The Nexus of Politics and Terror".

In a piece which mildly reminds us of the BBC series The Power of Nightmares (video here), Countdown host, Keith Olbermann, provides evidence that politicians may use the fear of terror attacks to accomplish political goals.

Video in Windows Media format...
Streaming Video in Real Media format...
Audio in MP3 format...

Read more at MSNBC's Bloggerman...

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This could get interesting...
By David Edwards on 10/11/2005 8:01pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

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Informant admits to misleading investigators
MSNBC Special Report On Wednesday: Are terror alerts used as political tools?
By David Edwards on 10/11/2005 9:47am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Newsday and CNN are reporting that the highly publicized recent subway terror threats in New York were, in fact, a hoax:

The sources said an informant in Iraq who provided the tip had told investigators there was a terrorist plot involving New York's subway system. That informant admitted he gave false information, the sources said.

...
Government sources said the three men arrested in Iraq with suspected links to the possible plot had been interviewed and underwent lie detector tests showing they knew nothing about such a plan.

CNN Video in Windows Media format...
CNN Video in QuickTime format...

The additional security measures in New York came Friday only hours after President Bush gave a speech which promoted increased terror fears. Police even shut down parts of the subway due to a suspicious unattended Pepsi bottle.

Across the country, other terror threats alarmed citizens. On Friday, the Washington Monument was evacuated due to a bomb threat. A Rolling Stones concert in Virginia was also temporarily interrupted due to another bomb threat the same day.

MSNBC's Countdown plans to investigate the correlation between politics and terror threats on Wednesday night's show. Last night, Countdown's host, Keith Olbermann noted:

OLBERMANN: And then there is the intersection, or at least the juxtaposition, between politics and terror. We noted it here last week when, after a speech by the president about the war on terror and after the word that the special prosecutor would not guarantee to Karl Rove that he would not indict him, New York City suddenly announced there was credible, specific intelligence about a terror threat to its subway system.

...
OLBERMANN: Last Thursday, we spoke of at least 13 coincidences of timing between bad political news for the government and a terror or terror-related event. We will be presenting a special report detailing those and other coincidences on Wednesday night's edition of this news hour, "The Nexus of Politics and Terror" on COUNTDOWN this Wednesday at 8:00 and midnight Eastern here on MSNBC.

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By David Edwards on 10/11/2005 6:46am PT  
Special BRAD BLOG / Velvet Revolution coverage
of the Sep 24-26 Rally in D.C.
Guest blogged by Katrina Wilcox

So long fellow warriors these last few photos conclude our coverage of the DC rally. It was a privilege and pleasure to share our first protest experience with each of you. It is our sincerest hope that next time we march on Washington each of you will be there to add your voice to ours and the rest of the millions that show up to demand our country back. Our special thanks goes out to Brad for his suggestion that we guest blog our trip, to Winter Patriot and David for their expert help, and to Chris, Charles, Mark, Larisa, Brad, and Stan for adding their voices to our coverage.

As difficult as a leaderless revolution is to get started, once begun it is impossible to stop. There is no leader to destroy through lies, propaganda, or bullets. We are a Rainbow River made up of millions of droplets all flowing towards a common goal. A river that will always flow over or around whatever is put in the way to stop it.

Always remember that en masse we are invincible. Once we all realize that swirl the sound of that around in our brains and cling to it with all of our collective stubbornness and strength - we will have won. In that one frozen instant of shared realization we will have won

(more photos in the "entire story"... )

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

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Miers nomination is 'a disaster on every level'
By David Edwards on 10/10/2005 2:48pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

I found myself agreeing with Robert Bork on several of his arguments (ie spending, deficit) against bush. I feel so dirty.

Bork says that conservatives consider the nomination of Miers to be "the final straw" for the support of Bush.

Here's the video:

Streaming video in Real Media format...
Video in Windows Media format...

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Conservative media aligns to appoint right-wing radicals to court
By David Edwards on 10/10/2005 12:10pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

It has long been the goal of the Republican Party to push the courts to the right by stacking them with radical conservatives. As the right-wing has become fractured over Bush's Miers nomination to the Supreme Court, conservative media sources have been a force in speaking out against the nomination.

The conservative outrage against Bush's nomination has further exposed the right-wing agenda of media sources. As Arianna Huffington points out, Meet the Press featured a debate between two conservatives on this Sunday's show as if right-wing opinions were all that matters with regard to the Miers nomination. Arianna explains:

First up, a "debate" about Harriet Miers. And who did Meet the Press select to frame the debate about our possible next Supreme Court Justice?

We were treated to viewpoints from, on one side, the Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land, and on the other, Pat Buchanan.

Yes, the two disagree, thereby, I suppose, fulfilling Meet the Press's obligation to journalism by presenting an antiphonal debate. The problem is, Harriet Miers, if confirmed, will be a Supreme Court justice for everyone, not just for the far end of the right-wing spectrum. This is not some intramural squabble about a staff vacancy on the right; we all have to live under the law as Miers will, potentially, decide it.

During this weeks edition of Fox's Fox News Watch, conservative pundit Cal Thomas notes how conservative media were part of the "conservative team" working on a Supreme Court agenda. Fox employee, Jim Pinkerton, added that Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are aligned as part of that "conservative team".

News Hounds sums it up like this:

...now that two Fox News employees have publicly confirmed that Fox News is aligned with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, that it's part of a "conservative team" that has been "fighting for years" to see an ultra-conservative nominated to the Supreme Court, let's dispense, once and for all, with the "fair and balanced," "we report, you decide" Fox News charade.

Watch the video of Fox News pundits admitting their network's bias towards the conservative agenda... Windows Media format or Quicktime format.

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Vote Held Open Until Republicans Received Margin of Victory, Then Promptly Shut Down!
Congresswoman: 'An unethical subversion of our democracy'
By David Edwards on 10/7/2005 2:16pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Republican House members DeLay, Barton, Hastert and Blunt held the vote open on a controversial energy bill until they were able twist enough arms for the bill to pass.

Although only 5 minutes are allotted for voting, Republicans refused to close the voting for 40 minutes until enough votes had switched to pass the energy bill which will gut environmental standards in favor of building more oil refineries.

Video in Windows Media format...
Video in QuickTime format...

As reported by Reuters:

When over two dozen Republicans initially voted no, DeLay, Barton, House Speaker Dennis Hastert and new Majority Leader Roy Blunt circled the chamber to cajole holdouts.

Republican Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland was the last to switch. With the tally stuck at 211-211, Gilchrest changed his vote, making it 212-210. Barton promptly shook his hand and Republican Mike Simpson, who presided over the vote, gaveled it to an end.
...
Several Democrats protested that the vote was held open. "I am informed that every member of Congress who is in town has voted," Democratic whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said at one point, when the tally was 210 yes, 214 no.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi also complained, saying the proceedings brought "dishonor to the House."

UPDATE: Jesse from Stakeholder has more, including this quote from Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY):

"Once again, on an issue of critical importance to the American people, the Republican Majority has chosen to trample the democratic process and manipulate the outcome of a vote on the Floor of the House of Representatives, after the vote was completed."

"This is an unethical subversion of our democracy. The Republican Leadership has brought shame on themselves and the House of Representatives."

FURTHER UPDATE: ThinkProgress has more, including the C-SPAN version of the video...

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By David Edwards on 10/6/2005 9:44am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

According to a BBC press release, George W. Bush told Palestinian ministers that God instructed him to go to war with Afghanistan and Iraq:

President George W. Bush told Palestinian ministers that God had told him to invade Afghanistan and Iraq - and create a Palestinian State, a new BBC series reveals.
...
Nabil Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq " And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"

Abu Mazen was at the same meeting and recounts how President Bush told him: "I have a moral and religious obligation. So I will get you a Palestinian state."

UPDATE FROM BRAD: UniRealist's comment in this thread poses an eye-opening question:

UPDATE: The White House and Scottie McLellan are categorically denying Bush ever claimed such a thing. Meanwhile the Palestinian ministers insist they heard him say it.

Who do you believe?

The answer, sadly, speaks for itself. And volumes about the United States of America on October 6, 2005.

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By David Edwards on 10/5/2005 4:24pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Radar Magazine is reporting a buzz of unconfirmed rumors in D.C. that indictments may be imminent from Fitzgerald's grand jury:

The D.C. Rumor mill is thrumming with whispers that 22 indictments are about to be handed down on the outed-CIA agent Valerie Plame case. The last time the wires buzzed this loud that Tom DeLay would be indicted and would step down from his leadership post in the House the scuttlebutters got it right.

Can it be a coincidence that the White House appears to be distancing President Bush from embattled aide Karl Rove? He's been missing in action at more than one major presidential event, a member of the White House press corps tells us.

If there is any truth to this rumor, we wonder how the indictments match up with Think Progress' list of 21 Administration Officials Involved In Plame Leak.

Meanwhile, The Raw Story has confirmed that Rove has been missing from White House events and that he may be a target of the probe:

President Bush's most trusted adviser, Karl Rove, has been absent from recent White House events, leading those close to a CIA outing case to speculate that he has been told he is the target of an investigation, RAW STORY can confirm.

Rove disappeared from the scene around the time he was diagnosed with kidney stones in mid-September, sources close to the White House tell RAW STORY. At first, the belief was that he was off the beat to recover from his illness.

But his absence at President Bush's press conference where he announced that Harriet Miers would be his choice to succeed Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court raised eyebrows. Rove is usually present at such events.

Word on Capitol Hill is that Rove has received a "target letter," or a letter from the prosecutor investigating the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson telling him that he is now a target in the investigation. To date, no reporters have been able to confirm this account.

Some are wondering if these rumors could simply be a Rovian stunt to distract from other very real and very damaging news?

...developing...

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Conservatives label him as 'anti-patriotic'
By David Edwards on 10/5/2005 9:20am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Marine Captain Josh Rushing has taken a job reporting for an Arab news network which is drawing criticism from some conservatives. He was recently interviewed by NBC's Today Show.

Video in Windows Media format...
Video in QuickTime format...

The Arab language news network Al-Jazeera has plans to begin broadcasting an English-language channel by Spring of 2006. The network already had 30 to 50 million viewers in the Arab-speaking world. The network has been called propagandists, liars and terrorists by many neocons like Donald Rumsfeld and Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly. Even so, Al-Jazeera is almost certain to be a popular news alternative for many English-speaking viewers when it launches.

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

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By David Edwards on 10/2/2005 5:23pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

In a moment of true clarity on CBS's 60 Minutes, Andy Rooney says what many Americans are thinking about the Iraq war and the threat of the military-industrial complex.

Andy begins his rant asking:

I'm not really clear how much a billion dollars is but the United States our United States is spending $5.6 billion a month fighting this war in Iraq that we never should have gotten into.

We still have 139,000 soldiers in Iraq today.

Almost 2,000 Americans have died there. For what?

Reading the transcript may help if you find yourself in a state of shock or disbelief after watching this clip.

CBS Streaming Video in Windows Media format...

Video in Windows Media format...
Video in QuickTime format...
Audio in MP3 format...

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By David Edwards on 9/30/2005 2:04pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

In a recent interview on MSNBC's Hardball, Tom DeLay explained how District Attorney Ronnie Earle had duped the grand jury into returning an indictment by saying "Oh sure. You can indict a ham sandwich. This is a ham sandwich without the ham."

DeLay has spun this indictment as a partisan attack by Ronnie Earle. At the same time, he downplays the role of the grand jurors as mere puppets of the prosecutor.

Now, in an interview with News 8 of Austin,the foreman of the grand jury, William Gibson, has stepped forward to defend the indictment:

"It was not a rubber stamp deal. It was not an overnight deal. If we needed extra information, it was provided to us," Gibson said.

...
Gibson thinks there is enough evidence to convict Delay.

"We would not have handed down an indictment. We would have no-billed the man, if we didn't feel there was sufficient evidence," said Gibson.

...
The evidence is there to prove Delay was involved in wrongdoing and also prove that he and his fellow grand jurors acted independent of political influence, Gibson said.

"It wasn't Mr. Earle that indicted the man. It was the 12 members of the grand jury," Gibson said.

Windows Media Video...
QuickTime...

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By David Edwards on 9/30/2005 8:11am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

For some reason the right-wingers seem frustrated and angry lately.

Yesterday, Brad was in studio with The Lars Larson Show for two full hours. The first hour was broadcast regionally. The second hour was a national broadcast with a much larger audience.

During the course of the show, Lars' tone seems to change from mature discussion to outright brawling anger. At one point during the second hour, Lars may have been briefly channeling the venomous Bill O'Reilly.

How did Brad handle the assault? Listen to the interviews and let us know what you think.

Lars Larson and Brad Friedman - Hour 1 (MP3)
Lars Larson and Brad Friedman - Hour 2 (MP3)

UPDATE FROM BRAD: Thanks for getting this posted, David! I wanted to toss out a kudos to Lars for being willing to have me on in the first place! Unlike so many of his wingnut brethren whose arguments are so weak, they won't even tolerate hearing an alternate point of view. For what it's worth, Lars is at least willing to do so. And that is to his credit! As well, he and his staff have been exceedingly generous and gracious in welcoming here in Portland. And now, I'll be debating with Ann Coulter in the morning (Ron Insana's National Radio show, 9am PT --- details on the top of the Blog as soon as I can get 'em!)

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John Conyers asks if 'Wheels Falling Off GOP?'
By David Edwards on 9/28/2005 6:47am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

The Washington Post is reporting that a no-bid contract awarded to Carnival Cruise lines is the first FEMA contract to garner wide scrutiny. The contract was negotiated to provide housing for displaced Katrina victims. Understandably, many hurricane victims are hesitant to accept housing on the water.

It's unclear how exactly how many displaced hurricane victims have accepted housing on the Carnival ships. Assuming that ships have 100% occupancy, FEMA would be paying more than twice the price of individually booked cruises.

To critics, the price is exorbitant. If the ships were at capacity, with 7,116 evacuees, for six months, the price per evacuee would total $1,275 a week, according to calculations by aides to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). A seven-day western Caribbean cruise out of Galveston can be had for $599 a person --- and that would include entertainment and the cost of actually making the ship move.

"When the federal government would actually save millions of dollars by forgoing the status quo and actually sending evacuees on a luxurious six-month cruise it is time to rethink how we are conducting oversight. A short-term temporary solution has turned into a long-term, grossly overpriced sweetheart deal for a cruise line," said Coburn and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in a joint statement yesterday calling for a chief financial officer to oversee Katrina spending.

CNN reported on the Carnival Cruise contract this morning. View the report in Streaming Real Media or Windows Media.

If you missed Michael Brown's "testimony of shame" yesterday, Crooks and Liars has a clip. Think Progress has determined that Brown lied under oath while smearing Governor Blanco.

The FEMA/Brownie scandals seem to be business-as-usual for the beleaguered president and Republican leadership. John Conyers wonders if the Wheels are Falling Off the GOP. Reports that DeLay may be indicted soon (AP, Americablog, Austin paper) along with recent revelations that Jack Abramoff may be involved in a gangland style murder must be troubling for the White House.

In addition, Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation is winding down and Administration insiders claim that the White House is sweating. Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post reports:

And it turns out that the Valerie Plame case is indeed hanging over the White House like a pall.

VandeHei and Baker write: "The federal CIA leak investigation, which has forced Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove and others to testify before a grand jury, seemed to distract officials and left a general feeling of unease, two aides said. Aides were calling reporters to find out what was happening with Rove and the investigation. 'Nobody knows what's going to happen with the probe,' one senior aide said."

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Speakers from Sep. 24 Anti-war Rally in DC
PLUS: TruthOut.org Blow-by-Blow From the March...
By David Edwards on 9/24/2005 11:29am PT  
Special BRAD BLOG / Velvet Revolution coverage
of the Sep 24-26 Rally in D.C.
Guest blogged by David Edwards

Here are just a few of the speakers from this morning's rally protesting the Iraq war in Washington D.C.



Rep. Cynthia McKinney
Streaming Real Media
Windows Media

  
Reverend Jesse Jackson
Streaming Real Media
Windows Media

Cindy Sheehan
Streaming Real Media
Windows Media
 
George Galloway
Streaming Real Media
Windows Media

UPDATE FROM BRAD: From all reports I'm getting, the turnout is absolutely huge! Wall-to-wall people! Nonetheless, the cable channels are ignoring, and C-SPAN was covering the speeches at the elipse, while hundreds of thousands were actually marching on the White House! C-SPAN helped make it look like there were only a couple of hundred there! I'm told cameras are everywhere, but nobody is carrying it live! TruthOut, however, is blogging, apparently via Blackberry, from within the "absolutely massive" march...All of the latest updates on hundreds of thousands gathered in D.C. (which you will not get on any of the cable channels, including C-SPAN) is here...

FURTHER UPDATE: Photos of crowds now here...

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