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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, November 21, 2014
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record-breaking storm breaks Buffalo; October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Repubs: China to cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy...
Previous GNRs: 11/18/14 - 11/13/14 - Archives...
Extreme Weather? What Extreme Weather?
Yes, scientists have been warning us about this for years. And, yes, the record breaking storm in Buffalo is tied to global warming...
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
Gag Order Won't Ensure Impartial Jury in Trial of 'Dark Lord of Coal Country'
WV's criminally indicted coal boss and U.S. Chamber of Comm. director Don Blankeship presents challenge for federal prosecutors...
Oxford English Dictionary's 2014 Word of the Year: 'Vape'
That small point likely underscores some very encouraging news for the health of the world...
'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL; Can Congress override the Prez next year?; Native Americans: KXL is 'an act of war'; PLUS: Accountability for 'The Dark Lord of Coal'...
Previous GNRs: 11/13/14 - 11/11/14 - Archives...
Sanders on Colbert: Midterms a Vote Against Both Parties
For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
Exclusive: St. Louis County Was Warned Before Election Paper Ballots Would Run Out
Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
Not Voting IS a Vote
Stop blaming those who didn't turn out. Americans did vote. By not turning out, they voted against the two major parties and against the system as a whole. It may have been a dumb vote, but it was a landslide...
Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
That's not a news flash, but, as this segment makes clear once again, it's very very sad that The Colbert Report is soon going away...
'Green News Report' 11/13/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Historic US-China climate agreement: The deal Repubs said couldn't be done; New hope for int'l climate treaty; Repubs freak out; Scientists say deal not enough, but a very good start...
Previous GNRs: 11/11/14 - 11/6/14 - Archives...
Crucial Moment for the FCC and 'Net Neutrality'
Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
Brad on Thom Hartmann TV: More Election 2014 Mess
On thousands of 'missing' votes in Wisconsin, on Nate Silver and polls vs. 'results', on Rightwing 'True the Vote' voter fraud fraudsters, and on much more...
'Green News Report' 11/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
Previous GNRs: 11/6/14 - 10/30/14 - Archives...
IN MEMORIAM:
Tomas Young, 1979-2014
On Veterans Day, we're sad to report that America has lost another casualty of the War on Iraq -- one who, after first meeting and interviewing him in 2005, we will never forget...
Early Data Suggests TX GOP Photo ID Restrictions 'Worked'
Provisional ballots doubled and turnout was down by more than a quarter-million voters, despite larger population, contested governor's race and increased voter registration...
WI Scanner Fails To Tally Thousands of Votes in 'Citizens United' Referendum
'Programming error' blamed for popular paper ballot computer tabulator recording just 16 of 5,350 votes cast in city of Stoughton, WI...
The Results Were Skewed Toward Republicans: A Response to Nate Silver
The statistics guru unhelpfully explains away mid-term's surprising outcome by presuming pre-election polling was wrong and unverified election results were all correct...
'True the Vote' Group Fails to Find 'Voter Fraud' (Again)
Laughingstock RW org's 'army' of monitors and smart phone app uncover just 18 benign 'irregularities', 0 cases of polling place impersonation...
'Green News Report' 11/6/14
Election 2014-pocalypse: Republican hegemonic hellscape!; Climate deniers now in charge; PLUS: At least one note of very good environmental election news...
About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
Guest Matthew Segal of OurTime.org joins Brad to discuss whether young voters are to blame for Tuesday's election results and, if not them, then who...or what...
Day After...
Important re-re-re-reminder about when it is that probs in elections usually come to light, and a few more Election Day prob reports out of VA, NC, MI, IN & CT...
Reuters: Voting Probs Around Nation, 2,000 Missing Election Judges in Chicago
Wire service summarizes machine probs, Photo ID vote suppression and a really strange story out of Chicago...
Paper Ballots Ran Out in Ferguson, MO
Long lines at e-voting systems as St. Louis County offers both touch-screens and paper ballots. County said printing more ballots throughout day, night...
Electronic Voter ID System Fails in FL
Failure results in emergency court filing by state Democrats as Gubernatorial race between Charlie Crist and Rick Scott is deadlocked in Sunshine State...
AR Voters Illegally Asked for Photo ID
Arkansas Times reports some poll workers attempting to enforce GOP Photo ID restriction found by state Supreme Court to violate constitutional 'right to vote'...
Round-up of Reported Election Failures (So Far) in CT, NC, GA, TX, AL
'Serious problems' reported at the polls in a number of states. Here is a quick summary of just a few of them...
Touch-Screen Votes Flip in VA [VIDEO]
RWers finally become 'believers' in those 'liberal conspiracy theories' about votes flipping on 100% unverifiable voting systems...now that it affects them...
AL Bars Use of Public Housing IDs for Voting
Last minute change of rules may further disenfranchise (certain) voters in state where bloody civil rights march gave rise to the Voting Rights Act in 1965...
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...


American Media Stays Fixated on VTech Killings; George W. Bush Still Not in Jail...
By Brad Friedman on 4/18/2007 2:38pm PT  

Killed or Found Dead (So Far) This Week in Iraq...
Sunday: 65
Monday: 51
Tuesday: 85
Wednesday: 233

Look, I hate to keep banging this same drum, but someone needs to.

While the American media continue their infatuation with the horrible shootings at VTech on Monday where 33 students were killed, the carnage continues, several times over, every single day in Iraq. Never mind all that "signs say that the surge is working" bullshit you've been hearing from wingnuts and repeated in the Mainstream Media. It doesn't seem to be doing anything of the kind.

233 were killed or found dead across Iraq today (Wednesday) in a country of 27.5 million.

183 of them were killed in a single car combing incident in the exact same marketplace where 137 were killed at once in a February bombing the month before last.

That follows 85 killed or found dead on Tuesday, 51 killed on Monday, and 65 killed on Sunday (when 20 police officers were also taken captive).

None of that takes away from the tragedy of the 33 killed on Monday at Virginia Tech. But in the United States, a country of more than 300 million, where such mass killings are exceedingly rare --- versus horrifically daily occurrences, year after year after bloody year on end in a country less than one-tenth the size of the U.S. --- one might think the American Mainstream Media would finally pause to take a serious review of the way in which they cover news events.

In case you feel, as one emailer suggested to me, that Americans seem to view the lives of non-American citizens as somewhat less valuable than those of American citizens, I'll also remind you that the killings in Iraq --- though you wouldn't necessarily know it based on American news coverage --- also result in dead Americans.

Some 3,312 American troops have now been killed in Iraq.

3,312.

To date, George W. Bush has failed to attend even one funeral, or ordered flags lowered to half-staff for a single one of them.

Leading me to ask again...At what point does the entire debacle become a criminal action? I suspect that point occurs just as soon as the Mainstream Media realizes that it is, and begins to regard the murders of U.S. Troops and Iraqi Civilians in the same light they view the VTech murders.

Perhaps Nancy Grace can make an honorable woman of herself yet. But I seriously doubt she will.

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Whereabouts of Vice President Unknown...
By Brad Friedman on 4/17/2007 8:45pm PT  

Uh, oh...Anybody seen Dick Cheney lately?

Two Secret Service officers were injured in an accidental shooting Tuesday at the White House.

The incident occurred in a security booth at the southwest gate.

Secret Service spokeswoman Kim Bruce said one officer was injured in the leg and the other received a shrapnel wound in his face. She said the injuries appeared to be non-life threatening and that both officers were taken to nearby George Washington University Hospital.

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By Brad Friedman on 4/17/2007 8:41pm PT  

Apropos of our earlier post today...

Not sure why everyone is so upset about the VTech shootings. After all, many parts of America are stable now. But, of course, what we see on television is this one shooting and everybody gets discouraged.

We're not alone in this school of thought, of course...

Laura Bush, Feb. 26, 2007:

"[M]any parts of Iraq are stable now. But, of course, what we see on television is the one bombing a day - this discourages everybody."

BTW, Laura's numbers may be somewhat off. Brookings Institute's latest data, as of Nov. 2006, puts the number of insurgent and militia attacks at 185 a day, instead of just one...

...Still, turn that frown upside-down, Negative Nellies!

(Hat-tip Think Progress.)

UPDATE: 85 killed or found dead in Iraq on Tuesday...
UPDATE 4/18/07: 233 killed of found dead in Iraq on Wednesday...

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UPDATE: Articles to be Filed Next Wednesday, According to BRAD BLOG Source...
By Brad Friedman on 4/17/2007 3:10pm PT  

From a blogger at Washington Post:

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), the most liberal of the Democratic presidential candidates in the primary field, declared in a letter sent to his Democratic House colleagues this morning that he plans to file articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney.
...

[text of his letter]

April 17, 2007

Dear Colleague:

This week I intend to introduce Articles of Impeachment with respect to the conduct of Vice President Cheney. Please have your staff contact my office . . . if you would like to receive a confidential copy of the document prior to its introduction in the House.

Sincerely,

/s/

Dennis J. Kucinich

Member of Congress

UPDATE 4/18/07: Kucinich's planned filing was postponed due to the VTech shootings, a reliable source tells us the Articles of Impeachment against Cheney will be filed in Congress next Wednesday.

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'Now Do You Understand?' Asks Larry Johnson...
By Brad Friedman on 4/17/2007 1:21pm PT  

Larry Johnson put the whole thing in perspective rather quickly and to the point yesterday when the body count in the VTech shooting was still at 22.

Even with the latest numbers of those murdered in Monday's shooting now at 33, it's dwarfed by Sunday's numbers in Iraq, where 65 lives were lost and 20 policemen were taken hostage.

And yet, that has been happening virtually every day for years now in Iraq, where jerks like Cheney and McCain and Bush continue to tell us that "things are getting better" and it's the media who are failing to report the "good news."

Take a look at the wall-to-wall media coverage ever since the 33 tragic fatalities on Monday in America, and imagine what would be going on here if a VTech-sized tragedy or two or three happened every single day in this country for years on end. Imagine if it happened just two or three days in a row! (Not to mention the population of Iraq is less than 10% the size of the United States.)

Would we blame the media for not reporting the "good news" each day? Or would we demand that something be done --- now --- to stop the carnage?

As usual, Johnson's take, documented with AP's reports on killings in Iraq on Sunday, is worth reading and noting.

In a follow-up today, Johnson notes the failures of the cable news channels, in their continuous, wall-to-wall coverage, to point out the following:

  • "Bush is going to attend services for the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting today. When was the last time Bush did that for the troops? Oh, right, never!," writes Leslie below.
  • Bush has ordered the nation's flags flown at half-staff until Sunday. Did Bush order flags lowered after Katrina's devastation and the deaths of hundreds of people?
  • It was astonishing to watch news reporters rabidly attack Virginia Tech's president and chief of police. Why don't news reporters regularly attack Bush and Cheney like that?

Lest we be criticized for not taking the VTech shootings seriously, make no mistake, they are an indescribable tragedy. But so are the number of human beings killed every single day in Iraq, day after day after nightmarish day, since the United States needlessly invaded their country.

And yet, the number one story reported by the media last week was Don Imus, followed by Anna Nicole, followed by the number one under-reported story: the death of our national conscience...

UPDATE 9:21pm PT: 85 killed or found dead in Iraq on Tuesday...
UPDATE 4/18/07: 233 killed of found dead in Iraq on Wednesday...

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Equates GOP 'Voter Fraud' Scam with Watergate...
By Brad Friedman on 4/17/2007 9:05am PT  

Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild and a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, equates the GOP/Bush "Voter Fraud" scam/coverup at the heart of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal with Watergate. Writing at AlterNet she concludes...

Firing Gonzales may temporarily stanch the flood of accusations about the U.S. attorney matter. But the corruption, the lawbreaking, and the cover-up go deeper --- all the way up to the Oval Office. Hopefully, Nancy Pelosi and John Conyers will put impeachment back on the table.
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By Brad Friedman on 4/16/2007 12:15pm PT  

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

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Bush Appointee Admits 'Mistake', White House Has 'Full Confidence', Despite First Ever Call for Resignation of a World Bank President
Staffer Received Pay Increase Double Amount Allowable by Rules...
By Brad Friedman on 4/12/2007 7:16pm PT  

Blogged by Brad on the road...

Jesus...does this nightmare ever end?!...

April 12 (Bloomberg) --- World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz apologized for his role in the promotion of a woman with whom he was romantically involved as the international finance agency's employees demanded he quit.

Wolfowitz told a press conference in Washington today that he's prepared to accept whatever "remedies" the bank's board proposes. He later addressed the group's Staff Association in the atrium of the bank's headquarters, where colleagues shouted "resign, resign."
...
"I made a mistake, for which I am sorry," he said at the press conference. He also acknowledged the need to reorganize his personal office, where aides have been criticized for a lack of expertise in development aid and for ties to the Republican Party.

The Staff Association, which represents about 13,000 World Bank employees, hasn't called for the resignation of a president before, according to Alison Cave, who heads the group.
...
The Bush administration, which nominated Wolfowitz for the job, has "full confidence" in the World Bank president, said Deputy White House Press Secretary Tony Fratto.
...
Riza's promotion came with a pay increase that was more than double the amount allowed by staff rules, according to Cave. She later received an annual increase of 7.5 percent, also larger than rules allow.

(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter "Ancient")

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By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2007 4:49pm PT  

Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is doing some good digging into the Milwaukee connection to the phony "voter fraud" claims used to help push U.S. Attorneys out of their job in the Bush Administration's political purge/disassembly of the now-ironically named Department of Justice.

As well, a recent, and unusual, overturned case in Wisconsin's Seventh Court of Appeals is similarly adding fresh fuel to the insidious GOP "voter fraud" scam at the heart of the outrageous abuse of power by the current Executive Branch. And today, Senators on the hill are asking new questions about it to Alberto Gonzales.

We've covered various elements of the invidious and baseless GOP "voter fraud" scheme in New Mexico (see here, here, here and here, for just a few examples) and touched on Washington State as well. But Bice jumps in with new details on the same scam in Milwaukee, which has now led to an official Congressional letter of inquiry on the matter sent today to Gonzales from Senators Leahy, Schumer, Kohl, Feingold, Feinstein, and Whitehouse.

As Bice reported yesterday...

The mystery is solved.

For weeks, it was unclear who whined to the White House last year that not enough voter fraud cases were being prosecuted in Milwaukee.

Now we know.

The state Republican Party went straight to the top in its efforts to make voter fraud an issue in Wisconsin.

Sources tell No Quarter that Rick Wiley, then the executive director of the state GOP, directed a staffer in 2005 to prepare a 30-page report on election abuses in Wisconsin so Wiley could pass it along to a top White House official.

That document, entitled "Fraud in Wisconsin 2004: A Timeline/Summary," turned up last week in the horde of White House and U.S. Justice Department records released by the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the firing of eight U.S. attorneys
...
In late 2005, U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic, a Bush appointee, announced that his probe found no evidence of a conspiracy to steal the 2004 election here.

Was Wiley - or his boss at the time, then-Chairman Rick Graber - hoping the Bush team would ax Biskupic, as it did the other top federal prosecutors last year? .

Read on for more and see the letter from Leahy for more details on the heels of a surprise Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that issued an order immediately overturning a case brought by Biskupic against Georgia Thompson, an aide to Wisconsin's Democratic governor, Jim Doyle. Just in time for the '06 election we might add. (It didn't help; Doyle won anyway.)

The basis for the unusual appellate court decision was that the evidence used to convict Thompson on charges related to voting irregularities was virtually non-existent --- leading the senators to question what sort of pressure was brought on Biskupic to bring the charges in the first place.

This is your government. On steroids. In the form of the Bush Administration Gone Wild. And it's got to not only be stopped, it needs to be: Pushed. Back. Down.

If serious accountability is not brought (and we mean more than simply pushing out a pawn like Gonzales) the bar will have been forever lowered as far as what sort of outrageous, un-American Executive Branch overreach is tolerable in this country.

I hope to hell that somewhere in the bowels of Congress someone is preparing Articles of Impeachment.

(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG Commenter "Dredd" for the Leahy letter.)

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Letter from Armed Services Committee Chair Skelton Sent Today to DefSec Gates...
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2007 2:40pm PT  

Following up Arlen Parsa's BRAD BLOG article from yesterday detailing how the size of Bush's troop surge continues to balloon --- in both troop and budget size --- above and beyond what American's were told originally, today Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), the House Armed Service Committee chairman, sends a letter to DefSec Gates asking "Where does this end?" on the heels of yesterday's news that yet another 17,000 troops will be added to the "surged" forces.

RAW STORY has the full letter...

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Who Could Have Possibly Foreseen It?...
[LATE UPDATE] Pentagon Announces Today Another 15,000 Deployed Troops to be Extended to Maintain 'Surge'
By Arlen Parsa on 4/9/2007 5:34am PT  

Guest Blogged by Arlen Parsa

When George W. Bush announced he would execute a "troop surge" to send more American soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan in January 2007, it was billed as an increase of slightly over 20,000 soldiers that would cost less than six billion dollars.

"America will change our strategy to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian violence and bring security to the people of Baghdad," Bush announced in a prime-time televised address. "This will require increasing American force levels. So I've committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq."

The "surge," recognized as an escalation by many, was immediately controversial for several reasons --- not the least of which was a concern that the increase of 20,000 American soldiers might turn into a much larger US presence in Iraq, and a much more expensive one, than promised.

Three months after Bush's announcement, those fears have come to fruition.

Let's take a look at the numbers, in both troops and dollars...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2007 12:46pm PT  


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Three Years Late, Long After the Flawed Senate Intelligence Committee Report, WaPo Finally Fills in a Very Few Blanks on Bush's Infamous '16 Words' Which Led to War
PLUS: A Quick Follow-up on Last Week's 'Bush Admin/WaPo Swift-Boating of Fitzgerald' Story...
By Margie Burns on 4/5/2007 1:32pm PT  

*** Blogged by BRAD BLOG D.C. Correspondent Margie Burns

On Tuesday, April 3, 2007 the Washington Post finally got around to publishing a front-page article, “How Bogus Letter Became a Case for War,” on the bogus Niger/uranium/Iraq story underlying those infamous “16 words” in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union speech.

The Post subtitle is “Intelligence Failures Surrounded Inquiry on Iraq-Niger Uranium Claim.” A more accurate subtitle would have read, “Intelligence Community Caved to Bush-Cheney Pressure.”

{Ed Note: We might suggest "Mainstream Media Failure to do Job, Scrutinize Admin's Iraq-Niger Claim, Led to Endless War" - BF}

I, among others, am familiar with the chronology because I wrote about it almost a full three years ago...

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

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New Charges Announced Against Chair of BoE Who Refused to Resign: He Allegedly Ordered $15k PR Contract Awarded to 'GOP Spokesperson'
By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2007 9:36pm PT  

Ohio's Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner cleaned out the last dead-ender from the Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) Board of Elections today. That would be the chairperson of the BoE and the head of Ohio's Republican Party, Bob Bennett (see previous coverage here.)

Bennett was the last of the four directors of the Board of Elections (supposedly two Democrats and two Republicans) to leave the board of the state's most Democratic-leaning county. The other three resigned after requested by Brunner in the wake of the convictions of two Cuyahoga Elections Officials for rigging the 2004 Presidential Election recount, a raft of disastrously run elections and a new criminal investigation into malfeasance at the county election board. The new investigation includes the early printing of absentee ballot results and an unexplained network cable left attached to the central tabulator overnight.

According to a statement posted to the SoS website, Brunner notified Bennett today about his suspension in writing, and has also announced yet another new charge against him:

"The Secretary of State's office will be working with the current and emerging leadership of the board to develop a plan improving, with the assistance of the Secretary of State's office, the board's operations and service to the citizens of Cuyahoga County. To further these efforts, I believe it to be in the best interests of all involved to suspend your participation as a member of the board," said Brunner. The notice of suspension pointed to the reasons addressed in the complaint filed against the Cuyahoga Board of Elections members by Brunner on March 23, 2007.

Brunner cites an additional reason for the suspension involving instructions to former Executive Director Michael Vu to award a contract to a consultant without Board approval.

Bennett instructed Vu to award a second contract to David Hopcraft in the amount of $14,750 on or about February 26, 2007, for public relations services to be paid for by public dollars by the board of elections. The Dayton Daily News on March 26, 2007 reported Mr. Hopcraft to be a "GOP spokesperson."

Accountability to continue in Ohio...

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Yours Truly Quoted by Name for First Time by Former Newsman Hume...for Comments Against Democratic Presidential Hopeful, Of Course...
By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2007 5:35am PT  

Since Brit Hume of Fox "News" has never quoted us (rather, me, Brad Friedman) by name as far as I know, I thought it would be worth elevating the following update from our piece over the weekend which was critical of Obama, to note the once-credible Hume having done so today, in order to smash up a Democrat, of course. Oh, the irony never stops.

The original BRAD BLOG article from which Hume quotes us (me) was critical of Obama for reportedly telling AP over the weekend that Senate Dems would cave by sending an Iraq spending bill to the White House without troop withdrawal timelines, if Bush vetoes the current one as promised.

Hume failed to mention, of course, that we also noted the dubious provenance of the report: The Associated Press. Neither did he mention the ensuing updates and discussions about whether AP had the story right or not. Though, in fact, Obama has not gone out of his way to correct the record, or call out AP for being inaccurate, save for this middling response in the Union Leader today. Markos at DailyKos --- who is infamously singled out along with us (happy to tarnish his reputation) in Hume's piece --- has thoughts on Obama's response with which we will also associate ourselves in a rare meeting of minds.


So for infamy's sake, the video of former newsman Hume using us to slime Obama ("Liberal Bloggers Turn on Barack Obama") is at left. We'll presume he means "turns back on" versus the sexual connotation. Either way, we're happy to serve. Video courtesy of the indispensable NewsHounds.us and the indefatigable Alan Breslauer.

Please note: Unlike the Fox "News" website print version of Hume's "Political Grapevine" (see the update from the original article below), Hume referred to us as "popular" in the video version. We shall add it to our CV right away...

UPDATE 3/2/07 7:25pm PT: Looks like Republican propagandist Brit Hume of the Republican propaganda outlet Fox "News" quoted our report here tonight for the "Political Grapevine" section of their anti-Democratic propaganda "news" show Special Report with Brit Hume. Needless to say, he didn't bother to include the questions we've raised about the AP report. Here's their propagandistic website's version of the report (which doesn't bother to link to us, natch) and is naturally headlined: "Liberal Bloggers Turn on Barack Obama":

Liberal Bloggers Turn on Barack Obama

Monday, April 02, 2007
By Brit Hume
FOX NEWS

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Bloggers Furious

Left-wing bloggers, who are a potent force in the Democratic party, are furious with Barack Obama for saying over the weekend that Congress will vote to fund the troops without a timeline for withdrawal if President Bush vetoes the current version of the bill. Obama said that no lawmaker, "wants to play chicken with our troops."

Markos Moulitsas of the influential Daily Kos Web log writes: "What a ridiculous thing to say. Not only is it bad policy, not only is it bad politics, it's also a terrible negotiating approach. Instead of threatening Bush with even more restrictions and daring him to veto funding for the troops out of pique, Barack just surrendered to him."

And Brad Friedman of The Brad Blog says: "If we ever need to negotiate for anything, remind us to not call on Obama to represent us."

Setting aside whether we're "Liberal" or "Left-wing" as Fox "News" would like to have it, can one "turn their back" on someone that they never actually turned their front to in the first place? Just curious.

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