Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
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...
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Blogged by Brad Friedman from St. Louis...
Po', po' Diebold. Being unAmerican pays well only up to a point, we guess, as the company's stock once again begins to tumble today after a key analyst cuts his rating for the once-great "security" company, citing "possible legislative concerns in the company's voting machines business."
And even as the company continues to misrepresent its products, on its own website, via knowing lies (otherwise known as fraud).
After the voting machine company's spectacular failure over the weekend at the GOP Straw Poll in Iowa --- where anywhere from 10.5% to 32% of the ballots had to be counted by hand after Diebold's machines failed --- it's little surprise that things are coming apart for the company again. The question, however, is how much farther it still has to go and what the hell the company can possibly do about it at this point.
"Investors could increasingly sour on the stock if Diebold does not try to sell the unit," reports Forbes this afternoon as the stock fell some 4.5% to $47.60 today on heavy trading, after falling at least that much since a high near $54 last Thursday.
Good luck selling that clunker of a division, boys. Liabilities much?
The company, which is already under investigation by the SEC, as we reported exactly one year ago today, reportedly for misstatements of revenue concerning its voting machine business, might face even more difficulties once its investors come to fully understand the depth of the fraud which the company seems to still be perpetuating.
Here's just one fresh example of the company's continuing lies, as found on the Diebold Election Systems, Inc., FAQ page on its own website today.
The company claims, incorrectly, that its touch-screen voting systems "insure ballot anonymity" by scrambling "the order of cast ballots"...
That is, of course, a complete and utter lie. At least according to the computer scientists at University of California who studied the matter in CA SoS Debra Bowen's recent "Top-to-Bottom Review" and found precisely the opposite to be true...
Guest blogged by Jon Ponder of Pensito Review
Buried in a newly published profile in the Wall St. Journal comes word that Karl Rove is resigning as head of the White House political office effective August 31.
Rove says he is giving up his powerful position in order to spend more time with his family:
Rove insists his exit has nothing to do with the multitude of investigations into suspicious Bush administration activities that all seem to lead to his doorstep:
As to the timing of his departure, Rove offers a bit of his signature plausible implausibility. He says his decision now was prompted by a demand from White House chief of staff Josh Bolten that staffers who stay on past the summer break must commit to serving Bush through the end of his term. That may sound reasonable on the surface but in fact the idea that Bolten could tell Rove when to come and go is not credible.
Whatever his excuse, Rove's departure will increase speculation that investigators are closing in him over his role in the illegal firing of U.S. attorneys for political purposes, vote caging schemes by the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign, which he directed, or other as-yet unrevealed activities.
That was then, this is now, we suppose.
Dick Cheney, in 1994 (see short video at right), said "we got it right" by deciding not to invade Iraq after the liberation of Kuwait in '91, since "for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families --- it wasn't a cheap war."
"[I]n an effort to get Saddam Hussein, [the question for the President] was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth?" Cheney is seen answering the question at the time: "Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right."
Apparently, the worth of Saddam has increased since '94, to at least 4,000 dead Americans and still counting.
But, as we said, that was then, and this is now. So flip-floppery doesn't matter, even though he predicted back then that "if we'd gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us...It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq."
Smart guy. He should have listened to him.
Marcy Winograd, former Democratic candidate for the U.S. House and President of the Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles (PDLA), sent the following e-mail missive to PDLA members earlier today describing a meeting on Tuesday with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
The conversation regarding Impeachment, the Congressman's views on same, and the arguments made by the activists in favor of it are interesting and offer some insight into both Waxman's thinking at this moment and, undoubtedly, that of many other House Democrats who clearly are seeing things differently from inside the Beltway than those of us outside of it.
We can only hope that all U.S. House and Senate members are getting such an earful now that they're on recess and back in their home districts. Here's Winograd's instructive report in full...
Waxman Says He Will Keep an Open Mind on Impeachment
Congressman Waxman, Chair of the House Oversight Committee, told an impeachment
delegation meeting with him in his Los Angeles office, Tues., Aug. 7, 2007, that he would mull over his constituents' articulate arguments, watch the Bill Moyers' interview on impeachment, and weigh whether there was sufficient evidence to, not just impeach, but convict Bush and Cheney. Waxman told the delegation it was not enough to believe Bush and Cheney were responsible for high crimes; his decision to support or co-sponsor an impeachment resolution must be predicated on the knowledge that there is overwhelming evidence for a conviction.
Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, California's 41st Assembly District Delegates, the Los Angeles National Impeachment Center, and the LA Green Party participated in the office delegation, while a group of impeachment supporters rallied outside, holding Impeachment is Patriotic signs and a huge banner that read Impeachment is on Our Table.
Inside, the 14 impeachment lobbyists meeting with Waxman offered multiple arguments...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
A Transcript of the segment of Lou Dobbs is below
Blogged by Brad from the road...in Texas...
Now UPDATED with a response from Hinchey's office. See update at end of article.
Democratic members of the U.S. House and Senate have announced they are prepared to issue a very, very stern slap on the wrist to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Alberto Gonzales.
Moments ago, in a joint news release (posted in full below) issued by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), it was announced that Censure resolutions, which have absolutely no force of law or actual consequences if passed, would be brought against the three men in both chambers.
"From misleading this country into invading Iraq to establishing a warrantless domestic spy program, this White House has continuously misled and deceived the American people while disregarding the rule of law that guides our democracy," says Hinchey in the statement.
Of course, it could be argued that a resolution of Censure, in lieu of a trial on Articles of Impeachment, is one of the only ways the U.S. Senate can bring some form of historic accountability to the three accused men until such Articles of Impeachment are sent to them by the U.S. House. But where the Senate may be limited in that they cannot bring their own Articles of Impeachment, the U.S. House has no such excuse.
The Censure resolution brought by Hinchey seems to fly in the face of his own comments on the Peter B. Collins Show just weeks ago when he said that this administration was "the most impeachable in the history of our country." From the transcript/audio of the interview:
And yet, Hinchey is now supporting only Censure, apparently.
If Hinchey and his 19 co-sponsors in the House believe the White House needs condemnation for the points they describe in their resolutions of Censure --- which read like a swell description of Impeachable High Crimes and Misdemeanors --- then they have little excuse not to perform their Constitutional Duty and bring forward Articles of Impeachment in the House for this precise set of serious crimes which, as Hinchey said, "disregard the rule of law that guides our democracy."
Then again, courage of conviction is not something Democrats are too often accused of.
While we were unable to reach the White House for comment, we are fairly well able to anticipate their expected reaction to the Democrats latest attempt at "accountability":
The press release from Feingold and Hinchey, announcing Censure Resolutions in both the House and Senate, follows in full below. Following that is an update with a response from Hinchey's office to the comments above...
Special to The BRAD BLOG by Emily Levy
"The part what really makes me mad is the part that I don't know who hit me. You know, it might sound weird, but that'd be a little bit of closure for me to know who done it. You know, because when I got hit, and I hearin' somebody clicking a gun by my head about three, four times, and that gun not going off. You know, for a lot of years I've been hearing that click and I've been hearing that gun going off. Jumping up out of my sleep."
--Larry Young, July 2007, 18 years after he was attacked in the parking lot of a Savannah, Georgia Burger King.
You might think Larry Young would know who hit him, because two weeks ago the man who was convicted in the case came within 24 hours of being executed by the State of Georgia. But Larry Young doesn't know because he, like nearly all the witnesses whose testimony originally convicted Troy Anthony Davis of the assault on Young and the murder of a white police officer that night, doesn't believe Davis is guilty. Next week, the testimony these witnesses want to give, testimony that will show their original "witness statements" were coerced by police, will finally be heard.
On August 19, 1989, Larry Young, an African American man who was then homeless, was assaulted in a Burger King parking lot by two or three men. He was hit in the head by what is believed to be a gun. As Young described to The BRAD BLOG in a phone interview, he fell to the ground, bleeding. Someone held a gun to his head and tried to shoot him, but the gun didn't fire. Young's friend dragged him away from the assailants. Before they got far, they heard two gunshots. Police officer Mark Allen McPhail had been killed.
Young himself was detained that night, he told The BRAD BLOG. "The blood was just steady fallin', sort of fallin' … The police grabbed me, threw me on the car, handcuffed me and threw me in the police car. And I was back there for about a hour and a half, maybe about a hour and a half. And I kept telling 'em, you know, I needed some medical attention."
The police took him in for questioning, refusing him medical care until he signed a statement implicating Troy Davis, a man he says he never saw that night, in his attack and the killing of Officer McPhail.
Young told The BRAD BLOG, "So whatever statements that they made me take, I mean, it was just a lot of statements made like, 'Well, you give me a statement of what you need, what we need, and then you'll go to the hospital.' So therefore whatever the statements were that was given was not accurate statements. ... I'm concerned ... about my health, you know. And I'm hearing these clicks in my head still, you know what I'm saying, sitting up there, I'm pretty much kinda scared. So I just pretty much signed what they wanted me to sign and whatever went on the courtroom, you know, I mean it was all pretty much like coerced."
On evidence like this, the State of Georgia may send Troy Davis to his death?...
The Washington Post reports that the United States and the European Union signed an agreement this week detailing the amount of private information the U.S. can obtain on EU citizens traveling to and from the United States, what kinds of information can be gathered, and for how long the data may be stored.
Privacy advocates in the U.S. and the E.U. immediately questioned the agreement's sweeping expansion of data mining of travelers’ private information, including such data fields as medical history, religious affiliation, trade union membership, sexual orientation, and sexual partners.
According to WaPo:
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff praised the pact as an "essential screening tool for detecting potentially dangerous transatlantic travelers." If available at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Chertoff said, such information would have, "within a matter of moments, helped to identify many of the 19 hijackers by linking their methods of payment, phone numbers and seat assignments."
Paul Rosenzweig, Homeland Security’s deputy assistant secretary for policy, explained that the broad categories of information gathered are due to U.S. authorities' fears of risks they haven't yet imagined. Rosenzweig justified the unusual data fields if, for example, U.S. officials learned of an alert about passengers who request wheelchairs hiding bombs in leg casts.
And as if that's not bad enough, there's this:
Gotten bad enough for ya yet, you pathetic 28-percenters?
Guest blogged by DES...
The Hill reports that Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has issued a subpoena to White House adviser Karl Rove, the next step in the escalation of the standoff between the White House and Democrats over their attempts to assert congressional oversight and investigation over the executive branch. Scott Jennings, a White House aide, was also subpoenaed.
The latest subpoenas come on the heels of the contentious Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, in which Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was openly derided by both Democrats and Republicans on the committee for his perceived misleading testimony; several members of the committee alleged the testimony borders on perjury and today asked the U.S. Solicitor General to appoint a Special Prosecutor.
Comparing current Bush White House tactics to the embattled Nixon Administration, Leahy said:
Not since the darkest days of the Nixon administration have we seen efforts to corrupt federal law enforcement for partisan political gain and such efforts to avoid accountability...
I am left to ask what the White House is so intent on hiding that it cannot even identify the documents, the dates, the authors and recipients that they claim are privileged.
Rove and Jennings have one week to appear before the committee to testify under oath.
Hold your breath.
Guest blogged from DC by Margie Burns
Listening to Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) for fifteen minutes is worth a week of the para-discourse from elsewhere on national television. Feingold said on Meet the Press this morning that he will introduce a resolution to censure George W. Bush “in a few days.”
The censure resolutions will focus on two huge issues:
• Bush's process for getting us into the war in Iraq, including misleading statements and misuse of intelligence before the war; and
• “the outrageous attack on the rule of law,” including illicit electronic surveillance and other surveillance, and administration approval of torture. “This administration has assaulted the constitution,” Feingold said briskly.
Feingold said that he has talked with the Democratic leadership about the resolution, adding that it might provide an opportunity as well for Republicans uncomfortable with the administration but unwilling to use impeachment.
Questioned by Tim Russert about whether the resolution would pass, Feingold said basically we’ll see how it goes. He commented, “There’s a lot of support in the country for actually impeaching the president and the vice president.”...
Blogged by Brad Friedman from the road in Houston...
Heat for Impeachment continues to build as a former U.S. Prosecutor told me yesterday that she feels "it's almost as if the Bush administration is asking to be impeached," and as Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) reportedly opened an appearance with a crowd of supporters on Friday by proclaiming, "What are we waiting for? Let's take these two guys out!"
While discussing the extraordinary claim reported Friday from an anonymous senior administration official in the Washington Post, charging that George W. Bush has the power to order his Dept. of Justice to not pursue criminal contempt charges as brought by the House against his own administration, former Asst. U.S. Attorney Elizabeth de la Vega made a rather notable point of her own.
Calling it "shocking" and noting that the claim was made only by an anonymous source --- not actually announced as official policy by Bush --- de la Vega, the author of United States V. George W. Bush et al., told me that, should such an extraordinary legal argument be made as official policy, that action in and of itself would be an impeachable offense as she sees it.
She made the point during our on-air discussion about Impeachment during Friday's Peter B. Collins radio show which I am Guest Hosting weekdays through July 27. (An audio clip of the exchange is posted at the end of this article)
"Congress really needs to get serious, at this point, because [the administration is] just being completely defiant and have absolutely no grounds for taking this position," she told me.
"I really think, it's almost as if the Bush administration is asking to be impeached," she said. "It is not true that the President can instruct the Department of Justice not to charge his own people. Especially when he's implicated in this as well."
In reference to the administration's claims of Executive Privilege to block the Congressional subpoenas for testimony and documents from former Bush attorney Harriet Miers and current Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, de la Vega advised Congress to ignore the claims made by the unnamed official and proceed with contempt charges.
If Bush should make that legal argument officially, that in itself would be grounds for impeachment, according to the former federal prosecutor...
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