w/ Brad & Desi
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...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
What will it take for Congress to realize that George W. Bush believes them to be utterly irrelevant? In the latest laugh in the face of Congress, RAW STORY is reporting that un-resigned Attorney General Alberto Gonzales used his stealthily-gained power to appoint interim U.S. Attorneys for one last time before Bush would sign the bill recently passed by Congress revoking that authority.
Congress recently revoked the little-noticed provision of the so-called "PATRIOT Act" which allowed such appointments to be made without Congressional confirmation. The bill had been sitting on Bush's desk for signing until late yesterday, when he finally signed it. But only after Gonzales reportedly named a new interim attorney to replace the fired US Attorney from California's Central District (Los Angeles), Debra Wong Yang.
Note: RAW STORY followed up it's report from yesterday, with another today suggesting that an interim appointment may not have been made after all. The issue is still murky, it seems. Just more fallout from a runaway Bush Administration that believes they are accountable to no one.
The change to the PATRIOT Act, revoking the Bush Administration's ability to appoint interim attorneys at will, was sent to Bush for signing on June 4th. The bill passed the Senate by a 94 to 2 vote, and in the House by 306 to 114. Bush waited until last night, June 14th, to quietly sign the bill.
At the same time, Washington Post is reporting that the Dept. of Justice itself is investigating its own Attorney General's testimony to Congress, in which Gonzales claimed he had not spoken to any "fact witnesses" at the DoJ concerning his involvement in the US Attorney Purge scandal due to Congress's ongoing investigation into the matter. The DoJ's liaison with the White House, Monica Goodling, would later testify under immunity to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee that Gonzales did speak of the matter, to her, in a conversation that she characterized as making her feel "a little uncomfortable." It seems Gonzo may have been hoping to get his/her story straight before testifying about it to Congress.
"It's remarkable that he's under investigation and that he's still attorney general," NYU School of Law professor, Stephen Gillers, told WaPo, underscoring both the obvious, and the Congress's continuing penchant for letting the White House play them for chumps. Why impeachment proceedings for Gonzales (much less Bush) have not already begun is beyond us. But as abused spouses also tend to wait until they're nearly dead before taking action to truly change their predicament, so, it seems will the Congress.
Gillers continued to note the absurdity of DoJ's investigation of itself. "At some point, it can no longer be done internally. This cannot be done by Gonzales's subordinates," he stated, pointing out the need for a Special Prosecutor at the very least.
But Bush doesn't care, of course, and continues to laugh in the face of Congress, which continues to behave politely, hoping everything will run its course in due time, as if they are not dealing with a near-sociopathic entity in the Bush Administration.
Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported that the White House now admits they have "found" some of the four years of "lost" emails sent by White House staffers on RNC email servers which are thought to contain details about the US Attorney purge. The "found" email has previously been politely requested by Congress. The White House, of course, has yet to turn them over to Senate investigators.
Bush's one, clear, continuing message to Congress...
From Prettyman Courthouse, DC, for the bail hearing today of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, where I sat in on the hearing on motions for his pending appeal. Those motions, to keep him free on bail, were unsuccessful as the judge ruled against the defendant.
Approximately 11:30 this morning, U.S. District Court in DC, Judge Reggie B. Walton: “In the interest of full disclosure,” Walton says quietly, “and this may be a sign of the times we live in,” in the wake of his ruling which sentenced Libby to prison, “I have received a number of angry, mean-spirited phone calls and letters regarding the sentence” – “including wishing bad things on me or my family.” – “At first I threw them away, but then I got more letters, even more hateful than the others.” So now, “I’m preserving them – in the event that something does happen [some harm to the judge, presumably]” – the perps can be caught.
The times we live in, indeed. Chalk another smarmy mark up for the noise machine.
On to the bail hearing today: the judge refers to a lengthy footnote in the most recent defense motion which lists a number of convicted criminals who are out on bail – “that list of people out on bail, in white-collar crime cases” [everybody from Martha Stewart on down, out on bail while pursuing appeal] – “I hope that footnote is in there not just because of some assumption that people released pending appeal will include all white-collar defendants.” – “I can’t buy in on that,” Walton says, taking the position that white-collar defendants should be treated the same way as blue-collar defendants, and neither kind of defendant should count automatically on being released on bail pending appeal...
This is exactly why Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and his "voter fraud" scamming buddies need to be called in, under oath --- with subpoenas if necessary --- before a Congressional committee. And pronto. The garbage they've been circulating for years is still taken "as gospel" by the Bush Dead Enders.
Here's one of them. Peter Kirsanow, appointed by Bush in 2001 to the US Commission on Civil Rights. Laura McGann has more details on this clown. But at left is the video of this clown's Senate testimony from last Thursday --- even after all of this stuff has been completely discredited --- repeating the same garbage, known well enough for him to repeat it a mile-a-minute, in a hearing concerning intimidation at the polls.
And yes, you read that right. This guy is on the US Commission on Civil Rights. The entire system has been compromised. It's time to haul in the ACVR bunch and get them on the record, to find out exactly "whodunnit." For example, the ACVR had nearly a million dollars to operate their "non-partisan" tax-exempt outfit in order to generate propaganda for chumps like Kirsanow to puke up in official hearings. That was the plan --- even while they lied about it on their tax forms --- and it's still working like a charm.
Before he became a "non-partisan" "voting rights" advocate, Hearne was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, Inc. He was recognized --- by name --- by Karl Rove when he spoke at a Republic National Lawyers Association event in April of 2006, thanking them for their "work on clean elections" in 2000, 2002, and 2004.
So where did Thor get his million dollars for his now shut down and discredited organization? We still don't know, because nobody has ever asked them under oath.
Anybody in the House or Senate Judiciary Committees paying attention here and feel like finding out?
Guest Blogged by Jim Lampley
when cindy sheehan's son casey, a loyal enlisted member of the united states army, was killed in combat in iraq, his mother sought an audience with the commander in chief. disturbed that she was rejected in that quest, cindy eventually acquired a five-acre plot of ground five miles from the president's ranch in crawford, texas and named it CAMP CASEY in honor of her son. she used the camp as an outpost for her continued quest to meet with george w. bush, and invited those who supported her cause to join her in texas. over the years the camp has become a haven for iraq and afghanistan veterans opposed to the war and/or its conduct, for peace activists who believe there has to be a better way, for others who simply cannot fathom why the president will meet with oil profiteers, with right-wing religious fanatics, with well-heeled contributors, but NOT with the mother of a son who died serving his country. today CAMP CASEY is as alive as ever.
but when congressional democrats recently backed off of their challenge to the president over funding of the iraq occupation, cindy sheehan reached her point of exhaustion and decided she needed to go home. she put the camp up for sale, and very shortly it became the target of groups supportive of the administration's policies, people who see no problem with the continued needless loss of life in the middle east in support of what amounts to a corrupt oil grab. that's when bree walker stepped in.
this past weekend on her radio program on los angeles' KTLK progressive talk, bree presented cindy with a cashier's check and acquired CAMP CASEY for its original price. her plan is to continue to invigorate the location as a memorial to those who have needlessly and bravely died, and as a monument to all who favor peace, rationality and true free democracy in the United States-- in short, all the causes which have been so flagrantly trampled by the fascist criminals who support and work for george bush.
within the next few weeks a new non-profit organization will be established under which we can all make financial contributions to bree's valuable new outreach and continue the pressure against this administration which has so violently defiled our country and its values. on the weekend of july 7 bree will lead a caravan from southern california to CAMP CASEY for a celebration of cindy sheehan's birthday and of all that cindy has contributed to the cause of truth, peace and justice. until then i invite all of you to express your support to bree for her exemplary patriotism and bravery. you can reach her at email@example.com. thank you for supporting this great patriot who has now placed herself squarely in the line of succession which began with nathan hale, patrick henry, paul revere, george washington and their ilk.
please pass this along to all who share our cause.
Jim Lampley is an HBO/NBC sportscaster and occasional guest host for Ed Schultz and other progressive radio talk shows. He was a formerly married to Bree Walker and served as her broadcast television news co-anchor in Los Angeles for many years.
On November 29, 2005, the Boston Globe ran a nice Letter to the Editor by Mr. Ralph West of Philly, under the headline “REMOVE CANCER IN ADMINISTRATION”:
Mr. West's concerns may now have come to fruition, The BRAD BLOG has learned, as "a Robert Bork" has emerged --- in fact, Robert Bork himself --- along with eleven other law professors from some of the nation's most highly regarded law schools, and Pepperdine, to file an amici brief in the Scooter Libby perjury and obstruction of justice case in order to argue that the Special Prosecutor's assignment to the case was unconstitutional...
Voter Fraud zealot Bradley Schlozman takes his do-over concerning testimony he gave last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning his assertion (made 10 times in all), that it was Craig Donsanto of the Election Crimes division at the DoJ's Public Integrity unit who gave him the go ahead to bring voter fraud charges in Missouri days before last November's election. The indictments were in strict violation of the DoJ's written policies --- written by Donsanto, in fact --- that bar such indictments at times that they may have an impact on an election.
Says Schlozzie, in his freshly-filed and obviously-forced about face: "I want to be clear that, while I relied on the consultation with, and suggestions of, the Election Crimes Branch in bringing the indictments when I did, I take full responsibility for the decision to move forward with the prosecutions related to ACORN while I was the interim U.S. Attorney."
To which Sen. Leahy --- who pressed Schlozman hard on this precise point in a memorably heated exchange during the hearing (see angry video at left)-- says: "It is deeply troubling that after weeks of preparation Mr. Schlozman appears to have misled the Committee and the public about his decision to file an election eve lawsuit in direct conflict with longstanding Justice Department policy."
Also related...Hans von Spakovsky, Schlozman's GOP "voter fraud" partner at DoJ, comes before the Senate tomorrow for a hearing concerning his appointment as chair of the FEC. He had been previously recess-appointed to the position by Bush, but his Get Out of Jail Free Card is now up, and tomorrow he'll finally face questions on his role in gutting the Voting Rights Act at the DoJ against the advice of the decades-long experience of civil rights attorneys in the Voting Unit there. Five of those former DoJ staffers have written a letter to Congress urging them to reject von Spakovsky's nomination.
Following up on last night's exclusive in which we reported that progressive Los Angeles talk radio host and former TV news anchor Bree Walker had purchased Cindy Sheehan's "Camp Casey" property in Crawford, TX.
As expected, AP, CNN, et al. picked up the story today after we reported it here. Also as expected, though we were the only outlet to have the story and neither Walker nor Sheehan issued press releases, none of the MSM outlets bothered to give us credit for having reported it here on The BRAD BLOG. So we won't bother to link to their reports either, but at least we told you they exist.
We reported last night that Sheehan was to appear live in studio this afternoon on Walker's radio show to hand her the deed to the property, and that we were also scheduled as a guest on the program as well.
The audio from our guest appearance today along with the two women follows below. The clip includes Sheehan's transfer of the deed for her land near George W. Bush's "ranch" to Walker, along with some thoughts on her plans for Camp Casey's future.
Walker told us yesterday that by purchasing the land, she was "cashing out [her] capitalist corporate stocks and buying into a legacy of peace." Today she expanded on her hopes to move forward within the anti-war movement. "I will be learning what my role is to be, in being the new caretaker and landowner of Camp Casey," she explained to listeners during her weekend broadcast on KTLK AM1150.
"Like Cindy says, this is not a movement of Right or Left, it's a movement of right or wrong. So my goal will try to be a unifying person there in Crawford, Texas. And if I'm not welcome in my anti-war activities? Well, too bad. Look out. You think Cindy Sheehan was tough? You just wait," Walker vowed.
She reiterated, during her comments about Camp Casey, that she hoped to continue its historic legacy. "That hallowed ground," Walker promised, "will remain a place for protest against war, and a place for peace and freedom."
-- Click below for selected clips from Walker's show this afternoon, with Brad Friedman on the phone and Sheehan in studio to present the deed to her land in Crawford, TX. [Appx 18 minutes]
Walker, currently a resident of San Diego, was previously a television news anchor in Los Angles and New York. She confirmed the news to us moments ago, in an exclusive interview, that she intends to keep the property "as a ground for freedom and peace" and is considering erecting a memorial there for troops killed in Iraq. She hopes to create a meditation garden on the grounds and to keep it open to the public.
"I'm cashing out my capitalist corporate stocks and buying into a legacy of peace," she told The BRAD BLOG moments ago. Sheehan will be selling the property for the same price she purchased it for so as not to be seen as profiting from the sale, Walker explained.
Sheehan will appear in studio with Walker for the entirety of tomorrow's broadcast where, Walker says, she'll "give Cindy the check, and Cindy will give me the deed to the property."
She tells us that she'll be taking calls from listeners during tomorrow's show as she wants "listener input on what should be done with the land."
The BRAD BLOG's creator and publisher, Brad Friedman, is scheduled to appear on Walker's show Saturday as well, at 3:00pm PT, by phone.
(On the imaginary premise that Paris doesn't matter...)
Schlozman may be revising his Senate testimony in which he blamed Craig Donsanto, of DoJ's Public Integrity Unit (responsible for Election Crimes), for giving him the "all clear" to bring indictments for "voter fraud" in Missouri just days before the '06 election. The move was in violation of written DoJ policy which specifies that such cases that may have a political effect on elections are not to be filed until after such elections. In his testimony, Schlozman admitted (great video here) that he could have waited, but didn't.
In not necessarily unrelated news, Bush lawyers up with nine additional attorneys today. Must be gettin' hot in there.
(Hat-tip to TPM for both items!)
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace --- who recently revealed he hadn't a clue about how many of his own U.S. troops were killed in Iraq or how many had died on 9/11 --- is being replaced by order of Sec. of Defense Robert Gates, according to news reports this morning.
Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson speculates the final straw was Pace's letter of support sent to the Judge in the Scooter Libby case:
Pace's letter, sent to Judge Reggie Walton on Libby's behalf, notes that "He impressed me as a team player." The letter is posted in full here by The Smoking Gun.
Jon Soltz, an Iraq war vet and Chairman of VoteVets.org, the largest political group of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, concurs with Johnson's assessment. "General Pace grossly overstepped his bounds and poorly represented the military with his political actions and misguided statements," according to a Soltz in a statement sent to The BRAD BLOG. "The straw that broke the camel's back, for us, was his defense of a convicted felon, Scooter Libby, when it was entirely improper for him to do so, as a top leader in the military, who must remain non-partisan."
Johnson concludes: "I believe that Perfect Peter has dishonored himself and dishonored the Marine Corps by his conduct--his weak, vacillating leadership and his craven pandering to political masters....Peter has been more willing than others to sell his soul for political expediency. He leaves in September. Good riddance."
And speaking of credit where it's due, the New York Times and several other outlets today confirm the story of secret US prisons in Poland and Romania which our friend and courageous investigative journalist, Larisa Alexandrovna, reported exclusively long ago with former Polish intelligence officer David Dastych over at the news site RAW STORY.
As usual, the Times, Washington Post, AP, and the Guardian all failed to acknowledge or recognize RAW in any way, despite that the fact that RAW "provided each of the four news organizations with the" report that they are today reporting on.
It's a continuing pattern, for which those outlets always have some form of excuse ("we verified it independently, we didn't know about the 'Internet reporting' on it previously, we don't credit 'blogs'," etc.) Meanwhile, RAW, ourselves, and virtually every other Internet reporting outlet routinely credit such MSM sources when we follow up on their reporting.
Anyway, none of them credited RAW, so we won't bother linking to any of them. Here's RAW STORY's coverage --- the ones who had the story and had it right in the first place --- instead.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter/columnist Jo Mannies follows up on her report from yesterday on the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) "voter fraud" scamster Thor Hearne, the high-level GOP muckety-muck, below-the-radar "grass roots" propagandist, Bush/Cheney '04 national general counsel, and top-order Democratic vote suppressor.
You'll recall that yesterday's report from Mannies had paraphrased Hearne's comment to the effect of his "most vocal critics also are Web-based liberal blog sites." As it turns out, Hearne had actually mentioned The BRAD BLOG by name in her interview with him, according to what Mannies told us yesterday when she called seeking comment. As she hadn't been able to reach me the day before, she didn't want to mention us in that piece specifically until she was able to get comment in response.
For whatever reason, Mannies is the only member of the media right now to whom Hearne seems willing to talk since his operation was forced underground in the glare of the U.S. Attorney Purge spotlight. Hearne has refused comment to all manner of MSM-types seeking interviews --- even begging off, along with his other ACVR partners in crime, from an NPR piece yesterday which covered Hearne and his scam. (Their report kindly included a brief clip from an interview with us, pointing out that we broke the story on these cretins two years ago and have been keeping up the drumbeat ever since.)
Mannies told us yesterday that "Thor says he's in the spotlight because some of the blogs, particularly yours, which he mentioned by name, have put him there." So much for the old Republican saw about taking personal responsibility for oneself. But whatever. While she was unable to find the direct quote from her interview with him for her follow-up piece today, she did manage to name a few names in it --- ours.
Here's that entire follow-up from today's Post-Dispatch...
Much more rolling still as the story continues to build on Thor Hearne and the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) scam that we've been covering since March of 2005 here at The BRAD BLOG.
Today NPR finally jumped into the game on the heels of last week's superb and detailed exposé of Hearne by Murray Waas at National Journal. (We've yet to cover that report, and some other ACVR items of late in detail, but we hope to soon).
I was contacted last week by NPR's Peter Overby and spoke to him on the record for about 30 minutes. Part of that interview was used in a report today on NPR's Morning Edition.
"One of the administration's staunchest advocates in the voter-fraud debate has simply disappeared," begins the report that details the ACVR's "short but busy life" and includes an interview with "Liberal blogger Brad Friedman [who] has been following the center since March 2005."
Overby was unable to get any of ACVR's formerly media-friendly spokesmen to speak to them on the record, and they report how the group seems to have scurried back underground since the U.S. Attorney purge scandal began to shine a spotlight on their vote-suppression activities and direct connections to the White House. NPR also notes purged NM US Attotrney David Iglesias's claims that ACVR "worked with the White House to forward allegations of voter fraud" and quotes Loyola election law professor Rick Hasen, who picked up on much of our reporting for his own widely-noted recent article on "The incredible, disappearing American Center for Voting Rights" as published last month by Slate.
Click below to listen to the NPR report in full, which is just over 4 minutes...
And again, we'll have much more on ACVR and Thor soon, as I was contacted today by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which ran a story on them today with references to "Some of Hearne's most vocal critics also are Web-based liberal blog sites, which several months ago began pointing to his ties to Blunt and a link to one of the fired U.S. attorneys — Bud Cummins of Arkansas."
Can't imagine which "Web-based liberal blog sites" they may be referring to, but, oh, wait...yes, we can. Post reporter Jo Mannies says Hearne complained about us by name, and though she wasn't able to contact me for comment before today's report, she hopes to have more on all of this tomorrow. And, most likely, so will we.
Until then, here's one of our initial reports connecting Thor to the Bud Cummins slice of the U.S. Attorney purge. It hardly takes a "Web-based liberal blog site" to connect the dots. But whatever they need to say is fine by us, as long as they bother to report it. At least it hasn't taken two and a half years this time.
As the headlines report, yesterday Judge Reggie Walton, U.S. District Court of D.C., sentenced I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby to 30 months in prison and fined him $250,000 following Libby’s conviction on four counts of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to a grand jury in the Valerie Plame CIA leak case. In the crowded courtroom where I sat were the defense and prosecution teams; a front row of prominent Libby supporters including lobbyist and former DOJ spokesperson Barbara Comstock, Republican commentator/advisor Mary Matalin, Republican polemicist/attorney Victoria Toensing; Libby’s wife and friends; and full pews of press and spectators.
Defense attorney William Jeffress brought out some new items at the sentencing hearing: 1) CIA public affairs officer Bill Harlow had a “conversation” with Bob Novak that “didn’t come in” at the trial; 2) back in 1998 Valerie Plame was brought back to the United States, Jeffress asserted, because it was “feared her cover had been blown”; and 3) Mr. Wilson had conversations with “almost total strangers” in which he revealed his wife’s employment. Actually, that last item has been suggested before by the ‘noise machine’ (David Brock’s phrase).
If the past is any guide, we shall see these items again in coming weeks/months; the question is whether they will be recycled by the echo chamber or outsourced to the MSM. (Former WH staffer David Gergen said on NBC News last night that the president will be under HUGE pressure to pardon Libby, thus applying pressure). Will Bob Woodward divulge behind-the-scenes discussions about these items, like sinus medicine in a time-release capsule, over the next six or eight months or in a book published around the time Libby’s appeal is argued?
The appeal will follow next week’s hearing on bail. For now, the question immediately before the court is how soon Libby should go to prison....
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