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More Good 'Obamacare' News for Terrified Dems
Will Democrats continue to run scared, or will they embrace the unrelenting string of encouraging Affordable Care Act successes as we head into the 2014 mid-terms?...
'Green News Report' 4/17/14
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One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
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The Climate Is Invading the Earth! To Battle Stations!
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'Green News Report' 4/15/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
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RW Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)...
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Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
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Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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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
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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
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


52% Believe Cheney Is Impeachable
By Jon Ponder on 11/13/2007 11:51am PT  

New from the American Research Group:
Bush:

A total of 64 percent of American voters say that George W. Bush has abused his powers as president. Of the 64 percent, 14 percent (9 percent of all voters) say the abuses are not serious enough to warrant impeachment, 33 percent (21 percent of all voters) say the abuses rise to the level of impeachable offenses, but he should not be impeached, and 53 percent (34 percent of all voters) say the abuses rise to the level of impeachable offenses and Mr. Bush should be impeached and removed from office.

Of all voters, 34 percent believe Bush should be impeached and removed from office, while another 21 percent believe Bush is guilty of impeachment-worthy offenses but nonetheless prefer to give him a pass. Thus 55 percent of all voters in the poll believe Bush is impeachable and yet, bizarre as it seems, a sizable minority (21 percent) of the folks who think Bush has committed high crimes and misdemeanors do not want the Congress to pursue impeachment.

Cheney:

A total of 70 percent of American voters say that Dick Cheney has abused his powers as vice president. Of the 70 percent, 26 percent (18 percent of all voters) say the abuses are not serious enough to warrant impeachment, 13 percent (9 percent of all voters) say the abuses rise to the level of impeachable offenses, but he should not be impeached, and 61 percent (43 percent of all voters) say the abuses rise to the level of impeachable offenses and Mr. Cheney should be impeached and removed from office.

Among all voters, 52 percent believe Cheney has committed impeachable offenses, and 43 percent believe he should be impeached and removed from office while only 9 percent believe he's guilty but should be allowed to complete his term.

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Anti-War Veterans Barred from Long Beach Veterans Day Parade
18 Veterans Arrested for Protesting War at Boston Parade
By Jon Ponder on 11/13/2007 10:12am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Just when you think you have inured yourself to Bush-era outrage fatigue comes news that U.S. veterans were denied their free-speech rights to protest the U.S. occupation of Iraq on Veterans Day.

First, the organizers of the 11th Veterans Day Parade in Long Beach, CA, prohibited anti-war veterans groups from participating in the event on Saturday:

A participation application filed by Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and Military Families Speak Out was turned down because organizers want Saturday's parade free from politics.

"They do not fit the spirit of the parade, the spirit being one of gratitude for what the veterans have done," said Martha Thuente, coordinator for the nonprofit Veterans Day Parade Committee.

"We do not want groups of a political nature, advocating the troops' withdrawal from Iraq," she added.

And in Boston on Sunday, 18 veterans were arrested after they peacefully protested the war at the Veterans Day parade:

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

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Order Is Intended to Provide 'Consequences' If Back-Ups Have Been Destroyed
By Jon Ponder on 11/12/2007 3:11pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

In a ruling pursuant to lawsuits from two public interest groups in Washington, U.S. District Court Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. issued a temporary restraining order against the Bush White House today, ordering it to preserve backups of millions of emails the administration claims to have deleted:

"Defendants shall preserve media, no matter how described, presently in their possession or under their custody or control, that were created with the intention of preserving data in the event of its inadvertent destruction," wrote Kennedy in a Nov. 12 opinion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The lawsuits were brought separately by the National Security Archive, which is affiliated with George Washington University, and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and have since been combined. The groups sued the White House after it claimed in April that 5 million emails that were generated between March 2003 and October 2005 were "missing." Topics of intra-office communication during that period would likely have included Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 presidential campaign.

In reality, email can require quite a bit of effort to destroy. Copies of individual emails --- even emails that users believe they have deleted --- are saved on the hard drives of the sender, the recipient and often on the various servers in the relay. On the other hand, in the ensuing seven months since it announced that the emails were missing, Bush operatives have had time to wipe clean hundreds of back-up drives and servers.

This fact was apparently contemplated in Judge Kennedy's ruling, in which he agreed with the recommendation of U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola last month that a restraining order should be issued. "Without such an order," Facciola wrote, "destruction of the backup media would be without consequence."

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Bush Plays Video Games with Wounded Vets
By Jon Ponder on 11/10/2007 9:21am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Today in war news:

  • AP: 2007 Bloodiest Year for U.S. Troops in Iraq:
    The U.S. command announced six new deaths Tuesday, making 2007 the bloodiest year for American troops in Iraq despite a recent decline in casualties and a sharp drop in roadside bombings. With nearly two months left in the year, the annual toll is now 853 --- three more than the previous worst of 850 in 2004.
  • AP: 2007 Deadliest for US in Afghanistan:
    Six U.S. troops were killed when insurgents ambushed their foot patrol in the high mountains of eastern Afghanistan, officials said Saturday. The attack, the most lethal against American forces this year, made 2007 the deadliest for U.S. troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion.
  • AFP: Bush Plays Video Games with Recovering War Veterans:
    US President George W. Bush had a shoot-out with the "bad guys" in Iraq on Thursday, playing a computer game with war veterans that simulates a firefight in Baghdad, the White House said. Bush tried his hand at the game with two soldiers during a visit to a rehabilitation center in Texas that treats veterans wounded in Iraq... Apart from the computer game session, Bush's visit with badly wounded soldiers was often emotional as he spoke with patients who had lost limbs or suffered severe burns in the Iraq war.
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Education Dept. IG Says He'll Have His Assistant Look Into Allegations against Boss's Brother
By Jon Ponder on 11/8/2007 6:07am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

We'll believe it when we see it:

The Education Department's inspector general [IG] says he will review whether federal money is inappropriately being spent on programs by a company founded by Neil Bush, the president's brother.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington [CREW], a Washington-based watchdog group, called for the inquiry and released a letter this week from the department's inspector general, John Higgins Jr.

In it, Higgins said he would ask an assistant to examine the group's complaint.

CREW contends that the educational programs distributed by Ignite!, Neil Bush's company, are worthless, and that school districts who spend federal dollars on the programs are wasting taxpayers' money.

Ignite! president Ken Leonard said that that his company had not been contacted by anyone from the Education Dept. about the matter:

"Ignite! Learning has no knowledge of any customer that has procured our curriculum solutions through means which are other than completely ethical and in compliance with the typical guidelines of their various funding sources," Leonard said.

The program in question is "Curriculum on Wheels," which includes software for teaching math, social studies and science. Each program costs $3,800 each, not including subscription fees, according to the Associated Press.

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Letter Calling for Action Sent to Constituents After Kucinich Resolution to Impeach Cheney is Referred to Committee
Says 'Vice President Cheney must answer for his deceptive actions in office'
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2007 1:43pm PT  

As reported in full by David Swanson, in the wake of yesterday's wild ride (and game of chicken) on the House floor concerning the privileged resolution filed by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), calling for the Impeachment of Dick Cheney.

The following is from a letter sent to constituents today by Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, where the matter has been sent again. Wexler is calling for the committee "to schedule impeachment hearings immediately and not let this issue languish as it has over the last six months."...

I share your belief that Vice President Cheney must answer for his deceptive actions in office, particularly with regard to the preparations for the Iraq war and the revelation of the identity of covert agent Valerie Plame Wilson as part of political retribution against her husband. That is why I voted against the motion to table debate on H.Res. 333. Along with only 85 other Democrats, I opposed tabling the measure and supported beginning immediate debate and a vote on the Cheney impeachment resolution. The vote on tabling the Kucinich resolution was rejected, and the House subsequently voted to refer the matter to the Judiciary Committee.
...
The American people are served well with a legitimate and thorough impeachment inquiry. I will urge the Judiciary Committee to schedule impeachment hearings immediately and not let this issue languish as it has over the last six months. Only through hearings can we bring begin to correct the abuses of Dick Cheney and the Bush Administration; and, if it is determined in these hearings that Vice President Cheney has committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors, he should be impeached and removed from office.
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Kucinich Proposal Eventually Referred to House Judiciary Committee for Further Action, Study...
UPDATE: Judiciary Committee 'Suprised' by Minority Move, Plans to 'Continue to Consider' Matter...
By Brad Friedman on 11/6/2007 3:25pm PT  

Wasn't able to follow things live, as David Swanson did, so still trying to unravel what specifically happened today on the floor of the U.S. House, where Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) used a "privileged resolution" to try and force a vote on his measure to begin Impeachment proceedings of Dick Cheney.

But as best as we can tell, and if we're reading this correctly, it seems the Republicans are playing a very interesting game of chicken here. From RAW:

Although the roll call vote had initially appeared to favor Hoyer's motion to table, Congressional Quarterly's Ed Epstein told CSPAN that Republicans had switched their votes at the last minute in an attempt to embarrass the Democratic leadership, who is not keen on seeing further action on the impeachment resolution.

"Midway through the vote, with instructions from the GOP leadership, Republicans one by one changed their votes from yes --- to kill the resolution --- to no, trying to force the chamber into a debate and an up-or-down vote on the proposal," reports the Washington Post.

And then from WaPo...

At one point there were 290 votes to table. After the turnaround, the final vote was 251-162 against tabling, with 165 Republicans voting against it.
...
Democrats countered by offering a motion to refer the proposal to the House Judiciary Committee for further study, effectively preventing a debate on the House floor. That motion passed by a largely party-line vote of 218-194.

So, in trying to summarize: While the Democratic House Leadership had initially tried to table Kucinich's resolution to Impeach Dick Cheney, the Republicans voted against that, presumably after making some sort of calculation (an incorrect one, in our opinion, but it's just our opinion) that a debate on whether he should be Impeached would somehow benefit Republicans. They would seem to share that calculation with the Democratic House leadership.

The effort to table discussion of the matter thus failed. But Hoyer's next attempt to dispatch with the measure (for the moment) was his call for a vote to send the matter to Committee for further consideration, instead of debating it on the floor of the House.

Which, if we've got our analytics correct here, means the ball gets tossed over to HJC Chairman, John Conyers for now...

UPDATE: Statement just in from a U.S. House Judiciary Committee spokeswoman, in response to the referal of the Impeachment resolution to the committee...

"The Committee has a very busy agenda - over the next two weeks, we hope to pass a FISA bill, to vote on contempt of Congress citations, pass legislation on prisoner re-entry, court security and a variety of other very important items. We were surprised that the minority was so ready to move forward with consideration of a matter of such complexity as impeaching the Vice President. The Chairman will discuss today's vote with the Committee members but it would seem evident that the committee staff should continue to consider, as a preliminary matter, the many abuses of this Administration, including the Vice President."
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'For Refusal of WH Attorney Miers and Chief of Staff Bolten to Comply With Duly Issued Subpeonas'
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2007 1:20pm PT  


Just in from the House Judiciary Committee...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 5, 2007

***Update: House Judiciary Committee Files Contempt of Congress Report with House Clerk***

(Washington, DC)- Today, at approximately 2:45 p.m., the House Judiciary Committee filed its contempt of Congress report with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. The full text is available online here.

The report filed (as linked above) is an 842-page PDF file.

Earlier today RAW STORY reported the "one last chance" being offered to the White House by House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI), that would lead to his committee dropping the contempt recommendation.

UPDATE: The report filed is for criminal contempt, versus inherent contempt. The former relies on any contempt citation being picked up by the U.S. Attorney from D.C. The latter is an option, rarely used, available to either house of Congress to hold their own hearings in the Capitol, in which the Sergeant-at-Arms could be instructed to jail those found guilty of such contempt. Unlike criminal contempt, inherent contempt would not rely on the DoJ's agreement to pursue the charges. Bush attorneys have already made clear that they would not allow attorneys in the Justice Dept. to do so.

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Also, Vast Majority of Dem Voters Would Consider a New Candidate Based on Iraq/Global Warming Positions of Current Crop...
By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2007 2:59pm PT  

Last week we reported that a CBS poll finds Al Gore trailing Hilary Clinton by just 5% in the Presidential Primary race and is ahead of all of the others, even though he's not officially on the ballot.

Last month we reported that a Zogby "blind bio" poll of Republicans found that some unknown guy --- Ward Casscells --- who's not even running, led the Republican candidate field among GOP voters when no names, just summarized resumes, were given for each candidate polled.

Yesterday, Zogby released the results of their Democratic "blind bio" poll, showing that Al Gore is, hands down, in front of the pack with 35% support. His closest rival was Hillary Clinton at 24%.

Also in the poll, 60% of Dem voters would consider voting for someone other than the current slate of candidates, based on dissatisfaction with the positions on the Iraq War by the current official crop. 65% said they'd be open to supporting a new candidate based on the current candidates' global climate change positions...

Zogby Poll: Al Gore Leads Top Tier Dems in 'Blind Bio' Poll

Survey finds most Democratic likely voters would consider a new candidate given the current field’s views on Iraq and global climate change

A Zogby International “blind bio” telephone poll shows that former Vice President Al Gore is favored over the current Democratic frontrunners by likely Democratic Party voters nationwide – particularly among liberal Democrats.

When Democratic likely voters were given brief biographical descriptions of the top three Democratic candidates – New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards – along with the biography of Gore, the former Vice President won 35% support, while Clinton won 24%, Obama won 22%, and Edwards trailed with 10% support. Gore’s bio was the top choice of both men (39%) and women (31%), and also most favored by younger voters. Self-described liberal Democrats strongly favored Gore’s bio (43%) over Clinton (21%), Edwards (17%) and Obama (12%). The bio selections of moderate Democrats closely mirror the choices of likely Democratic voters overall, with 36% giving the greatest preference to Gore’s bio.

More details...

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PLUS: Follow-Up Article to Come Detailing Response to Our Monday Exclusive and the 'Gagged' FBI Whistleblower's Challenge to the American Mainstream Media...
By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2007 3:00pm PT  

Well, this is interesting. It seems our Monday Exclusive on "gagged" FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has disappeared from Google News. Sort of.

A simple news search for "Sibel Edmonds" at Google no longer offers the rather blockbuster story, in which it's announced that she is now challenging American mainstream media television outlets to allow her to tell her story, uncensored and in violation of the ridiculous years-long "State Secrets Privilege" that the DoJ has been using to keep her quiet.

The story can be found via Google News, but it requires a search for both "Sibel Edmonds" and "Brad Blog," or drilling by date, etc. We've got no idea why the story fails to show up otherwise.

That's particularly odd since it's been incredibly popular since we first blogged it, having made it's way to #3 at Digg.com and #4 at Reddit.com, as well as becoming the #1 "recommended" diary at DailyKos.com for most of the day it first ran. (Those rankings alone translate to big traffic on the Internets, for those not familiar with how these things work.) We also ran a version of the report over at Huffington Post. That one doesn't show up either.

Oddly, our much older story from two weeks ago, in which we referred to and quoted Edmonds --- in relation to the recent House resolution declaring "genocide" in Turkey, and her damning allegations concerning former Speaker Dennis Hastert's corrupt bargain while pushing the same legislation in 2000 --- does show up via the Google News search for "Sibel Edmonds." Even though that one, unlike this week's, doesn't even have her name in the headline and was far less popular and infrequently linked to.

No idea what all of that is about, of course, but it seems noteworthy.

In related news, we'll have an exclusive follow-up soon on Edmonds, and the interesting response (or lack thereof), she's so-far received from the American mainstream media in the wake of the blockbuster Monday report. Here's a hint, she's called it "disgusting."

In the meantime, the blogger who pointed out the above anomaly suggests the "Stephen Colbert Effect" might be useful in Edmonds' matter as well.

UPDATE 11/1/07 12:02pm PT: The original story that wouldn't appear via simple Google News search for "Sibel Edmonds" now does show up as a result of that search. We have no idea what, if anything, has changed, but since we ran this report (which also shows up on the same search) 24 hours ago or so, the story now shows up as expected, when it did not previously. No clue what to make of it all still, of course, but noting it nonetheless.

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Dana Milbank Takes Down the DoJ's Voting Chief With His Own Testimony from Yesterday's House Judiciary Hearing
ADDITIONAL VIDEO SPANKINGS: Reps. Davis and Ellison's Q&As in Full...
By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2007 1:02pm PT  

Wow. Snap. Washington Post covered yesterday's House Judiciary subcommittee hearings in two separate articles today and via one hell of an online video to boot.

Dana Milbank covered on page 2, opening with "John Tanner is one sorry man." Dan Eggen covered the "political uproar" that we kicked off here at The BRAD BLOG several weeks ago, on page 4.

But it's Milbank's online "video sketch" that cuts to the bone, offering the best first-hand encapsulated coverage of the hearings we've seen to date (far better, even, than the PBS News Hour's version last night).

Consider the following montage a "Must See!" And one that almost makes one begin to feel sorry for John "Minorities Die First" Tanner...

...We said "almost." But not by much. A reply to Tanner's testimony yesterday --- from an insider still forced to work under him at the DoJ's Civil Rights Division Voting Section --- to come shortly.

In the meantime, if you've yet to see the full smack-downs that Tanner received yesterday at the hands of Reps. Artur Davis (D-AL) and then Keith Ellison (D-MN), the videos of both of those brutal Q&As are posted in full below, and are similarly "Must Sees!"...

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By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2007 11:54am PT  

Oops. Bill O'Reilly is "furious". So you know what that means, of course. Fox "News" gets it wrong again...


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Faces Extremely Pointed Questions from Committee Members, Furious About Recent Comments Reported by The BRAD BLOG...
UPDATED NOW WITH VIDEO OF THE MOST CONTENTIOUS Q&A's...
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2007 7:25am PT  

We're up before the West Coast dawn this morning to monitor the hearings in the U.S. House Judiciary's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties featuring John "Minorities Die First" Tanner. His recent objectionable comments were originally video-taped and reported by The BRAD BLOG several weeks ago.

The most objectionable of those comments including his contention that it was a "shame" that elderly voters might be disenfranchised by a 2005 Georgia Photo ID poll restriction that he approved on behalf of DoJ and against the advice of four out of five of his career staffers, minorities would somehow benefit from it. His twisted reasoning was that "because our society is such that minorities don't become elderly. The way white people do. They die first."

Tanner, incredibly, is still the Chief of the Voting Section in the DoJ's Civil Rights Division.

It's being carried live and webcast on C-Span 3, as well as via the Judiciary Committee's own webcast.

Major points in our story so far...

Beyond that, Progress Report has an excellent round up of Tanner's "Erosion of Voter Rights" during his tenure.

The hearings have now ended, but our notes from our Live-Blogging of today's hearings are below, along with video clips of the key, and most pointed exchanges...

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

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She's Prepared to Name Names, Including Those of Two 'Well-Known' Congress Members Involved in Criminal Corruption
The 'Most Gagged Person in U.S. History' Tells The BRAD BLOG She's Now Exhausted All Other Channels...
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2007 5:30am PT  

-- By Brad Friedman

Attention CBS 60 Minutes: we've got a huge scoop for you. If you want it.

Remember the exclusive story you aired on Sibel Edmonds, originally on October 27th, 2002, when she was not allowed to tell you everything that she heard while serving as an FBI translator after 9/11 because she was gagged by the rarely-invoked "States Secret Privilege"? Well, she's still gagged. In fact, as the ACLU first described her, she's "the most gagged person in the history of the United States of America."

But if you'll sit down and talk with her for an unedited interview, she has now told The BRAD BLOG during an exclusive interview, she will now tell you everything she knows.

Everything she hasn't been allowed to tell since 2002, about the criminal penetration of the FBI where she worked, and at the Departments of State and Defense; everything she heard concerning the corruption and illegal activities of several well-known members of Congress; everything she's aware of concerning information omitted and/or covered up in relation to 9/11. All of the information gleaned from her time listening to and translating wire-taps made prior to 9/11 at the FBI.

Here's a handy bullet-point list, as we ran it in March of 2006, for reference, of what she's now willing to tell you about.

"People say, 'why doesn't she just come forward and spill the beans?' I have gone all the way to the Supreme Court and was shut down, I went to Congress and now consider that shut down," she told The BRAD BLOG last week when we spoke with her for comments in relation to our story on former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's original attempt to move a resolution through the U.S. House in 2000 declaring the 1915 massacre of 1.5 million ethnic Armenians in Turkey as "genocide."

"Here's my promise to the American Public: If anyone of the major networks --- ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, FOX --- promise to air the entire segment, without editing, I promise to tell them everything that I know," about everything mentioned above, she told us.

"I can tell the American public exactly what it is, and what it is that they are covering up," she continued. "I'm not compromising ongoing investigations," Edmonds explained, because "they've all been shut down since."

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

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'Stick a Ribbon on Your SUV!'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/25/2007 12:36pm PT  

Given our previous vid, smashing up Dems, it seems only fair to offer another smashing up the Republicanists. We're nothing if not fair and balanced, after all. This one's pretty brilliant and hysterical...And you can even sing along!...

(Safe for work? We report, you decide...)


P.S. On the rare occassions these days when we see those magnetic "Support the Troops" ribbons on cars and/or SUVs in parking lots, we've frequently pondered (not saying we've actually done it or not) removing them and re-applying them on the same cars' gas tank covers. Might get the owners thinking. You might wish to ponder same. Just sayin'.

(Via The Daily Background...via Open Left.)

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About Brad Friedman...
Brad is an independent investigative
journalist, blogger, broadcaster,
VelvetRevolution.us co-founder,
expert on issues of election integrity,
and a Commonweal Institute Fellow.

Brad has contributed chapters to these books...


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