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...|
The Senate confirmation hearings for the nomination of Robert Gates to be the next Secretary of Defense were not carried live on any broadcast or cable news networks. Neither C-SPAN 1 or 2 carried it live either, although they have an excuse (by charter, as we understand it, they must carry live coverage from the House and Senate floor when in session.)
It's a good thing we're not at war, that we have a broad national consensus about the direction of the nation and its military, and that the matter of who will lead the Pentagon as the next Sec. of Defense isn't all that important to the country at this time.
Otherwise, we might have suggested the cable news outlets' decision to carry live coverage of a press conference on a missing man in Oregon (he's still missing), the auction of Princess Diana's death car (she's still dead), and Gwyneth Paltrow's comments about America (she didn't say them), was somewhat less than responsible or in the best interests of the nation they like to suggest they are serving.
Just one of the benefits of being at peace around the globe. Thank you, media.
(P.S. We were able to listen to the hearings live on the radio via NPR. Gates says we're not winning the War in Iraq, blah, blah, blah, who cares...)
UPDATE: Who needs cable? David Swanson of AfterDowningStreet.org decides to be the media, he's live blogging the event from within the hearing room.
Some BRAD BLOG readers may recall the story of Army Specialist Douglas Barber, who committed suicide last January after suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) upon returning from Iraq. We followed up with a letter that Barber himself had written in 2005 describing what some of the troops coming home from Iraq were dealing with. One graf:
In his letter, Barber wrote about the struggle that soldiers face in dealing with PTSD when they return stateside: "PTSD comes in many forms not understood by many: but yet if a soldier has it, America thinks the soldiers are crazy." He then goes on to excoriate those in the media who claim to "support the troops" even while they ignore this enormous problem and the administration's lack of funding for VA programs:
Well, were it up to Sean and O'Reilly and Limbaugh, there would be no more NPR either. But thank god, they are still there.
Love 'em or hate 'em, they seem to be the only media outlet to have followed up on a GAO report [PDF] from back in May which they report says "that about 80 percent of the soldiers who showed potential signs of PTSD were not referred for mental health follow-ups" by the military.
While the Pentagon apparently disputes those numbers, according to the report from NPR's Morning Edition today, "Army studies show that at least 20 percent to 25 percent of the soldiers who have served in Iraq display symptoms of" PTSD.
And yet, with all of that, NPR's investigation of the treatment soldiers are (or aren't) receiving in at least one location, Colorado's Fort Carson, reveals a shameful reality. These troops who have been putting themselves in harm's way to serve their country are simply not getting the mental health support they deserve upon returning home. That, even while many of them are run out of the Army with less-than-honorable discharges --- which makes re-adjusting to civilian life even more difficult for them --- in order to mask the problem and avoid having to pay them benefits.
Shameful. The gauntlet such troops are reportedly forced to run in order to receive appropriate treatment is to all of our eternal shame.
I recall while broadcasting from Crawford, Texas, during the summer of 2005 --- even with Iraq and Afghanistan vets inside the tent at Camp Casey supporting Cindy Sheehan's stand --- the creeps who would drive by, honking horns, giving us the finger and yelling epithets as they waved their "Support the Troops!" signs in ignorance.
While I'd like to believe those days are coming to an end --- where the insidious chicken-hawk cowards and opportunists like Rush, O'Reilly, Hannity, and George W. Bush were able to use their microphones to manipulate American citizens into believing those who were against the war were somehow against the troops --- I fear it'll be a long and hard battle to ensure the men and women of our armed forces actually receive the support they are due from this Administration, this military, and those in the future.
The NPR report does not bode well. I can't do it justice here and urge you to read their written report and/or listen to their audio report (linked from the same page) in full. But here are just a few examples of the shameful treatment some of the troops at Fort Carson have had to deal with...
"They said I had to wait a month and a half before I'd be seen," Davis said. "I almost started crying right there."
Perhaps most disturbingly, there are the ones who are treated like pariahs by friends, employers, and yes...the Army itself:
Jennings called a supervisor at Ft. Carson to say that he had almost killed himself, so he was going to skip formation to check into a psychiatric ward. The Defense Department's clinical guidelines say that when a soldier has been planning suicide, one of the main ways to help is to put him in the hospital. Instead, officers sent a team of soldiers to his house to put him in jail, saying that Jennings was AWOL for missing work.
And the purges of these troops from the ranks seem to be more than simply isolated incidents...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan have at each other debating President Bush's stay the course policy in Iraq in this entertaining clip (10:00) from yesterday's Scarborough Country. Buchanan actually defends Bush despite calling the war a "horrible mistake" and suggesting that the President may be acting with his legacy in mind.
Scarborough finds Buchanan's stance perplexing since he knows that "there are not ten Republicans on Capitol Hill that agree with this President" and that the "President stands alone in the world in his view on Iraq".
The clip begins about 3 minutes into the segment while the real fireworks start at approximately the 7 minute mark. Finally, despite all appearances, the clip is not cut off at the end as Scarborough only goes on to thank his guests.
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Gore Vidal was typically funny and outspoken during an appearance yesterday on Late Night on PBS with Tavis Smiley. This clip (5:08) includes Vidal's views on Bush and Iraq as well as the following descriptive quote:
As we all know, nothing actually exists or is true or has happened until the corporate mainstream media says it exists or is true or has happened. So it's nice to know that what American citizens have by-and-large known all by themselves for some time actually exists and is true and has happened: "MSNBC Now Characterizing Situation in Iraq as Civil War".
To cover their asses, MSNBC is running a poll (results as of now seen below)...
Geez, other than 86% of us, we would have never known. Thank god for the CMSM.
What next? "MSNBC Characterizes Oxygen as Good for Americans"? "Daytime Seen as Brighter than Nighttime"? "American Electoral System Broken"?
(Cynical much today, Brad?)
Was it Fox? Was it Bush? Or someone else who seems to have paid $2 million to Palestinian terrorist organizations for the release of Fox "News" correspondents held hostage in Gaza last Summer?
The terror leader, from the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, said his organization's share of the money was used to purchase weapons, which he said would be utilized "to hit the Zionists."
He said he expects the payments for Centanni and Wiig's freedom will encourage Palestinian groups to carry out further kidnappings.
"We used 100 percent of the money for one precise goal – our war against the Zionists," the Committees leader said.
Unbelievable. WorldNetDaily has the extraordinary story.
(Big hat-tip to John Aravosis for the find!)
AP and Fox "News" (and thus, the White House) is reporting that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will be "stepping down." The man responsible for choosing him for the roll and keeping him in that post has not yet announced that he will have the decency to do the same. He should.
Last month we reported on the Defense Department's newly announced scheme to allow military and overseas ballots to be cast via the Internet. It was pointed out, among other concerns, that in many cases troop and overseas citizen votes would be subject to conversion from unsecured email voting into faxed documents by a private company who, in turn, would then forward the vote to the appropriate county jurisdiction.
The San Jose Mercury News quoted experts at the time who charged the system was "ripe for fraud" as military voters would apparently not be warned that their ballots might be seen by others and transferred into faxes, etc. by "a private contractor whose top executives have made political contributions to Republican Party organizations."
Underscoring those initial reports today, a group of independent computer scientists and E-Voting experts including David Jefferson of Livermore National Laboratories, Avi Rubin of Johns Hopkins, David Wagner of UC Berkeley, and Barbara Simons, a former researcher for IBM, have released an alarming short paper warning of "significant risks" found in the newly announced plan from the DoD's "Federal Voting Assistance Program" (FVAP).
The group had been members of a scientific peer review panel for a previous DoD Military and Overseas Internet voting scheme in 2004. At the time, they found the plan featured "a large number of security risks and vulnerabilities, including denial of service attacks, insider attacks, viral attacks on voters' PCs." That experimental program was subsequently cancelled after the findings.
But now, in September of this year --- just over one month ago --- the DoD announced and implemented their new scheme for military and overseas citizen voting via the Internet, to be used this November 7th without any public testing or peer review whatsoever.
According to today's report, the new DoD voting scheme --- known as the "Interim Voting Assistance System" (IVAS) --- has been put in place without any "publicly available external security examination" and has "never been used in a public election before (not even in a primary)."
The scientists say that security concerns about the new, untested system include loss of privacy and identify theft for the military and overseas voters and, even more troubling, they found the system to be vulnerable to hackers and tampering by governments both foreign and domestic.
From the report's troubling introduction:
IVAS was announced to the public only last month (September), and has been designed and built only over the last several months, an extremely short time for a system of this complexity and importance. The current system has never been used in a public election before (not even in a primary), and has not been subject to any publicly available external security examination. The technical specifications have not been made publicly available.
In an email received by The BRAD BLOG this morning, Simons summarizes the report's three main findings, characterized as "serious concerns about the security issues posed by this new system."
Her succint, yet alarming, email is posted in full below....
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Through the eyes of Dr. Jamal Taha-Enad, an Iraqi trauma surgeon that Nightline has been following around Iraq for two years, this video provides a remarkable glimpse into life in Baghdad. Powerful and heart-wrenching, the video is also notable for evidencing the graphic violence of war --- something almost unheard of in today's mainstream press.
After the segment is a partial interview of President Bush by George Stephanopoulos that also aired on last night's program.
UPDATE: Video pulled from Blip.tv and my account was shut down. I could not find video on Nightline site either. Please post a link if anyone comes by the video elsewhere. Thanks. (Alan Breslauer)
Late last year we wrote about the email exchanges between GOP uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff and associates describing their strategies for using Christian "wackos" at the polls. They were playing them for chumps.
Now, a former Bush Administration official from the White House's "Faith-Based Initiatives" office reveals further how Bush and the Republicans in power did little more than play their Christian Evangelical supporters as suckers who they could trick into turning out to the polls.
In the book, Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction, author and former Bush official David Kuo, a real Christian and conservative, explains how Karl Rove referred to their so-called Christian "Values Voters" as "the nuts," "out of control," and "just plain goofy."
Tucker Carlson spoke about the "pure contempt" that the Republicans actually have for the Christian base recently on The Chris Matthews Show (short video here). MSNBC ran a longer segment detailing the explosive revelations found during their exclusive look at the new book (video at RAW STORY).
We realize this item came out a day or two ago, but we think it's worth pointing more attention towards.
So will you dyed-in-the-wool far right Christian voters fall for the same trick again this November by supporting candidates who loathe you and are using you for everything you're worth (money and a vote)? We'll see...
UPDATE 6:08pm PT: The video from Part II of MSNBC's report is now here, courtesy of Crooks & Liars...
Last week's report by the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform Committee said Rove aide Susan Ralston had passed inside White House information to Abramoff while she was also accepting his tickets to as many as nine sports and entertainment events.
UPDATE 3:39pm PT: Back in early January of this year, VelvetRevolution.us ran an article on Ralston calling on her to fess up to authorities concerning information she has on the 2004 Presidential Election "Miracle"...
If someone were to ask who the key to the Republican corruption vault is, Susan Ralston's name would be at the top of many lists. She has been the personal assistant to serial briber Jack Abramoff and serial leaker Karl Rove. She is also a special assistant to George Bush. According to RAW STORY, Mrs. Ralston has been repeatedly called to testify before the grand jury investigating Mr. Rove. It appears that she also been called to testify before the Abramoff grand jury because she was in charge of his skybox giveaways.
However, there is one event on which she has not yet testified --- the 2004 presidential election. In the accompanying photo, on November 2, 2004, Mrs. Ralston sits next to Karl Rove keeping track of the election results as they came in. We would like to know if there is any truth to the reports that Rove was told that GW was losing the election and so he went to the WH war room to maniulate the votes in a half dozen swing states. Our curiosity is strong because of Mrs. Ralston's duties at the time as White House Liaison to the Bush-Cheney ’04 (BC’04) campaign. "I work on the coordination of all activities between the campaign and the White House, including the Republican National Convention," she told Asian Fortune.
Holy shit...They may even be losing Fox "News"!...
Welcome back to Planet Earth, Shep!
(Hat-tip Joy Williams!)
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