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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, October 20, 2014
SCOTUS ALLOWS TEXAS' DISCRIMINATORY GOP PHOTO ID LAW TO USED IN MIDTERMS
Despite uncontested findings striking down the law as a racially-motivated, 'unconstitutional poll tax', it will be implemented this year...
'Dead Heat' and 'Dirty Tricks': The Nightmare Scenario
Maddow warns: 'With this many top of ticket races tied, turnout will be everything...Now we watch for the ways that people will try to stop voters from turning out or from having their votes counted, by hook or by crook'...
Judge Fuller's Attorney Says Wife Beating Thing No Big Deal; 911 AUDIO and Gov. Don Siegelman Disagree
Standalone video of 911 call; First comment on case by imprisoned former AL Gov.; MORE...
Emergency Appeals Filed at SCOTUS to Restore Voting Rights to 600,000 in TX
GOP Photo ID law, which lower court found intentionally discriminatory, is different from recent cases before High Court, say plaintiffs...
'Green News Report' 10/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Ryan backs away (sort of) from climate change denial; NatGas isn't a bridge to lower-emissions; PLUS: Did Lockheed-Martin really invent a compact nuclear fusion reactor?...
Previous GNRs: 10/14/14 - 10/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg on BRAD BLOG on Judge Richard Posner on Photo ID Voting Laws...
'By the sounds of it, the floor that supported voter-ID laws has just given way'...
'BradCast': Special Coverage of WI, TX, AR Photo ID Rulings
Trouble keeping up with the on-again/off-again court rulings on GOP voter suppression laws? Brad tries to make sense of it all for ya...
WTF?!: FL Gov. Rick Scott Refuses To Appear at Debate With Gov. Charlie Crist
Watch the video. They're calling it 'FanGate'. We're just calling it Florida...
Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down State GOP's Photo ID Voting Law
Court determines law, passed over Dem Governor's veto, violates explicit right to vote in state Constitution...
5th Circuit Appeals Panel Restores Texas GOP's 'Discriminatory' Photo ID Law
While not contesting lower court's finding of law's unconstitutionality, judges cite SCOTUS precedent on last minute voting changes...
'Green News Report' 10/14/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Coal wins U.S. Senate debate in KY!; Pentagon: climate change threat to NatSec; Wind power cheapest source of energy; PLUS: September 2014 was hottest ever...
Previous GNRs: 10/9/14 - 10/7/14 - Archives...
Strange But True: Minority Ruled in WI Photo ID Case
A bizarre sidebar to the federal court's ruling in WI, thanks to a quirk in the law and Dems' inability to fill a vacant seat on the 7th Circuit...
Repub Judge Who Approved Nation's 1st Photo ID Law in 2008 Writes Devastating Dissent Against Them
Reagan-appointed Richard Posner pens best case ever against Photo ID voting restrictions...
Liar, Liar: Father and Son Reps Duncan Hunter Just Make Shit Up
Son claims ISIS agents nabbed at Mexican border! Father, as BRAD BLOG reported in 2007, said non-citizens 'rounded up' and 'herded' to vote in CA!...
SCOTUS BLOCKS WI PHOTO ID VOTING LAW
Bad news for GOP and Gov. Scott Walker, good news for voters, as U.S. Supreme Court restores demoracy at last minute to the Badger State...
FEDERAL JUDGE STRIKES DOWN TX GOP'S 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL, DISCRIMINATORY' PHOTO ID VOTING LAW
U.S. District Court judge permanently enjoins GOP law, finds it discriminates, amounts to a poll tax...
ACLU on 'Photo ID Needed to Fly' Canard
They nailed federal Judge Easterbrook's lies about WI's Photo ID voting restriction much more succinctly than we did: 'Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again'...
'Green News Report' 10/9/14
McConnell & other GOP candidates dodge and retreat from climate denial; U.S. auto fleet achieves record fuel efficiency; PLUS: 'Clean Coal' in Canada?...
Non-KPFK 'BradCast': Special Election Coverage/Primal Scream Edition
This year's elections may be decided by the courts even before Election Day: A BradCast special...
SCOTUS Overturns 4th Circ, Allows NC to End Same-Day Registration, Counting of 'Wrong Precinct' Ballots
100s already disenfranchised; Nation's worst suppression law to have full trial next year...
GAO: Republican Photo ID Voting Restriction Laws Lowered Turnout in KS, TN
Dems tout non-partisan government report to underscore need to fix Voting Rights Act, but there's more to story they aren't mentioning...
Federal Court Tosses VA's Ridiculously Gerrymandered Congressional Map
Ruling by GW Bush appointee is too late for 2014 election, but redrawn map could result in 2 to 3 new Dem U.S. House seats in 2016...
'Green News Report' 10/7/14
LED inventors win Nobel Prize; EPA regs slashed cancer risk 65% in CA; L.A. builds all-electric highway; PLUS: SCOTUS upholds (GW Bush's) EPA ozone regulations...
7th Circuit Offers Blatant FALSEHOODS in Ruling on WI Photo ID Voting Law
No, Photo ID is NOT required for boarding an airplane, no matter how many times wingnuts make the claim to influence a SCOTUS ruling...
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
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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
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FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
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COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
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CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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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
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CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
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RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
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VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
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RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
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EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Judge Richard Posner: 'If the WI legislature says witches are a problem, shall WI courts be permitted to conduct witch trials?'...
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2014 3:04pm PT  

[This article now cross-published by Salon...]

If you read just one top-to-bottom dismantling of every supposed premise in support of disenfranchising Photo ID voting restrictions laws in your lifetime, let it be this one [PDF]!

It is a dissent, released on Friday, written by Judge Richard Posner, the Reagan-appointed 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge who was the one who approved the first such Photo ID law in the country (Indiana's) back in 2008, in the landmark Crawford v. Marion County case which went all the way to the Supreme Court, where Posner's ruling was affirmed.

If there was ever evidence that a jurist could change their mind upon review of additional subsequent evidence, this is it. If there was ever a concise and airtight case made against Photo ID laws and the threat they pose to our most basic right to vote, this is it. If there was ever a treatise revealing such laws for the blatantly partisan shell games that they are, this is it.

His dissent includes a devastating response to virtually every false and/or disingenuous rightwing argument/talking point ever put forth in support of Photo ID voting restrictions, describing them as "a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government."

Posner is, by far, the most widely cited legal scholar of the 20th century, according to The Journal of Legal Studies. His opinions are closely read by the Supreme Court, where the battle over the legality and Constitutionality of Photo ID voting laws will almost certainly wind up at some point in the not too distant future. That's just one of the reasons why this opinion is so important.

This opinion, written on behalf of five judges on the 7th Circuit, thoroughly disabuses such notions such as: these laws are meant to deal with a phantom voter fraud concern ("Out of 146 million registered voters, this is a ratio of one case of voter fraud for every 14.6 million eligible voters"); that evidence shows them to be little more than baldly partisan attempts to keep Democratic voters from voting ("conservative states try to make it difficult for people who are outside the mainstream...to vote"); that rightwing partisan outfits like True the Vote, which support such laws, present "evidence" of impersonation fraud that is "downright goofy, if not paranoid"; and the notion that even though there is virtually zero fraud that could even possibly be deterred by Photo ID restrictions, the fact that the public thinks there is, is a lousy reason to disenfranchise voters since there is no evidence that such laws actually increase public confidence in elections and, as new studies now reveal, such laws have indeed served to suppress turnout in states where they have been enacted.

There is far too much in it to appropriately encapsulate here for now. Ya just really need to take some time to read it in full. But it was written, largely, in response to the Appellate Court ruling last week by rightwing Judge Frank Easterbrook which contained one embarrassing falsehood and error after another, including the canards about Photo ID being required to board airplanes, open bank accounts, buy beer and guns, etc. We took apart just that one paragraph of Easterbrook's ruling last week here, but Posner takes apart his colleague's entire, error-riddled mess of a ruling in this response.

Amongst my favorite passages (and there are so many), this one [emphasis added]...

The panel is not troubled by the absence of evidence. It deems the supposed beneficial effect of photo ID requirements on public confidence in the electoral system "'a legislative fact'-a proposition about the state of the world," and asserts that "on matters of legislative fact, courts accept the findings of legislatures and judges of the lower courts must accept findings by the Supreme Court." In so saying, the panel conjures up a fact-free cocoon in which to lodge the federal judiciary. As there is no evidence that voter impersonation fraud is a problem, how can the fact that a legislature says it's a problem turn it into one? If the Wisconsin legislature says witches are a problem, shall Wisconsin courts be permitted to conduct witch trials? If the Supreme Court once thought that requiring photo identification increases public confidence in elections, and experience and academic study since shows that the Court was mistaken, do we do a favor to the Court-do we increase public confidence in elections-by making the mistake a premise of our decision? Pressed to its logical extreme the panel's interpretation of and deference to legislative facts would require upholding a photo ID voter law even if it were uncontested that the law eliminated no fraud but did depress turnout significantly.

And this one...

There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, if there is no actual danger of such fraud, and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens.

And remember, once again, this is written by Richard Posner, the conservative Republican icon of a federal appellate court judge --- the judge who wrote the opinion on behalf of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals approving of the first such Photo ID law in the country in 2008, the very case that rightwingers from Texas to Wisconsin now cite over and over (almost always incorrectly) in support of similar such laws --- now, clearly admitting that he got the entire thing wrong.

One last point (for now): Our legal analyst Ernie Canning, who (along with me) will undoubtedly have much more to say on this dissent in upcoming days, suggests we award The BRAD BLOG's almost-never-anymore-bestowed Intellectually Honest Conservative Award to Judge Posner. And so it shall be.

Now go read Posner's dissent...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/29/2012 11:05am PT  

Earlier this week, we named former Reagan/Bush Sr. official Bruce Bartlett as the newest recipient of The BRAD BLOG's far-too-rarely-bestowed "Intellectually Honest Conservative" award for his blistering, must-read essay, "Revenge of the Reality-Based Community: My life on the Republican right-and how I saw it all go wrong", as published this month by American Conservative magazine.

Among the points noted by the long-time real (versus pretend) conservative was that he was "banned from Fox News" after the publication of his 2006 book, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.

Yesterday, Greg Sargent at Washington Post quoted Nicole Dewey, Bartlett's publicist at Doubleday at the time, confirming Bartlett's assertion that while he had previously been a regular on Fox, upon publication of his book that was critical of Dubya, "no one would book him" at the pretend "news" channel.

Today, David Frum, former George W. Bush speechwriter (the one who coined the phrase "Axis of Evil") --- also a past awardee of The BRAD BLOG's "Intellectually Honest Conservative" award and one who has been similarly rejected by the rabid Right for his interest in the Reality-based world --- confirmed the credibility of Dewey, describing her as "one of the best of the best in the business".

But it was this remark from Frum, specifically his wicked parting shot, which cuts the deepest, and likely ensures (as if there was any question about it), that he will not be appearing on Fox "News" at any time in the foreseeable future either:

[M]aybe Bruce should consider himself fortunate. Totally ignoring untoward events is only Step 1 of the Fox method. Step 2 would have been to invite people to revile Bruce on air, without any opportunity for him to respond or defend himself.

Oh well. At least they didn't hack his phone.

Ouch.

Perhaps he should have added: "...as far as we know."

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By Brad Friedman on 11/27/2012 3:33pm PT  

We've been quite remiss by failing to offer the The BRAD BLOG's much-sought yet rarely-bestowed "Intellectually Honest Conservative" Award to Bruce Bartlett, Ronald Reagan's domestic policy adviser and George H.W. Bush's Deputy Asst. Secretary for Economic Policy.

We were reminded of our delinquency again today upon reviewing his candid assessment of the downfall of modern Republicanism and its central core of pretend conservatism as published in a must-read article for the December 2012 issue of American Conservative. The confessional includes, among many on-target money quotes, this one: "Living in the Fox News cocoon, most Republicans had no clue that they were losing [in 2012] or that their ideas were both stupid and politically unpopular."

Bartlett begins by detailing his decades-long list of unquestionably rock-solid conservative credentials, all of which have earned him exactly nothing from today's clueless, brain-addled, incurably propagandized Fox "News" "conservative" crowd. In fact, he has garnered their utter contempt by attempting to tell them the truth over the past decade or so, finding himself tossed "under a bus" along with The BRAD BLOG's very few other past "Intellectually Honest Conservative" awardees and dissident, reality-based Republicans such as David Frum and Andrew Sullivan.

"To this day," Bartlett writes, "I don't think they understand that my motives were to help them avoid the permanent decline that now seems inevitable"...

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

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A 'BRAD BLOG Intellectually Honest Conservative Award' winner!
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2012 4:52pm PT  

Wow! We've got a new winner of the much sought, if incredibly rarely bestowed "BRAD BLOG Intellectually Honest Conservative Award!" It's so rarely bestowed, in fact, that it seems like several years since we've found anyone to bestow one upon for some odd reason...

Via Tal Kopan at Politico...

Former John McCain 2008 presidential campaign adviser Steve Schmidt said in an interview Monday that voter fraud is not a serious problem in U.S. elections, despite conservatives' extensive talk of such a threat.

"It's part of the mythology now in the Republican Party that there's widespread voter fraud all across the country. In fact, there's not," Schmidt said on MSNBC
...
"And, so, I think that all of this stuff that has transpired over the last two years is in search of a solution to a problem --- voting fraud --- that doesn't really exist, when you look deeply at that question," Schmidt said.

Here's the short clip. Try to ignore the remarkably daft Chuck Todd when you watch it...


Might have been nice if Schmidt had said something about this earlier, for example when his old boss, during a 2008 Presidential Debate falsely claimed that ACORN was "perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy." Or when his party was on a tear passing purposely disenfranchising polling place Photo ID restriction laws in advance of this year's Presidential election.

Nonetheless, so desperate are we to find an Intellectually Honest Conservative out there somewhere, anywhere, that we'll even generously overlook all of that today and simply say: Congratulations, Mr. Schmidt! And thank you!

P.S. For those new to The BRAD BLOG, please note that "voter fraud", which is exceedingly rare, especially by voters at the polling place, is not the same as "election fraud" by insiders who are able to game the system via manipulation of things like voter rolls and electronic vote tabulation systems which can be manipulated in a matter of seconds to flip the results of an entire election with little possibility of ever being detected. You're welcome.

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By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2010 7:30am PT  

We played a few clips from this during Thursday's Green News Report, but if you didn't hear it, or even if you did, the full remarks from Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) are worth watching and worth the awarding of The BRAD BLOG's very rarely bestowed "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award."

Inglis, was ousted by a "Tea Party" candidate during the GOP primary this year --- despite his 93% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union --- so he is now the outgoing Republican U.S. Congressman representing South Carolina's 4th Congressional District. He is, for the moment, the ranking minority member of the U.S. House Energy and Environment Subcommittee and will likely be replaced in the new Congress with either Texas' Rep. Joe Barton (who apologized to BP) or Illinois' Rep. John Shimkus (who believes global warming doesn't exist, because God doesn't mention it specifically in the bible --- seriously.) In short, Inglis is one of the last sane Republican elected officials in the U.S. Congress.

So here he is Wednesday morning, taking a remarkable parting shot at his fellow Republicans on the committee, all climate change denialists, along with the industry that fuels their cynical anti-science disinformation, the technological ground (and money) being lost to China in the bargain, all while celebrating, at least, that these hearings are "on the record...because I want our grandchildren to read what you said and what I said."

His fist-in-a-velvet-glove comments are not to be missed, such as these near the ends of his remarks:

Meanwhile we got people that make a living, and a lot of money, on talk radio and talk TV pronouncing all kinds of things. They slept at Holiday Inn Express last night, and they are now experts on climate. And those folks substitute their judgment for the people who have Ph.D.s and who are working tirelessly to discover the data.

So, we have some real choices ahead of us. But I hope in the future, as we have these hearings, that we realize it's all on the record. And our grandchildren and great-grandchildren are gonna get to see.


Think Progress offers more context for Inglis' remarks and his career. The text transcript of his comments follow below...

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

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UPDATE: Rightwing thinktank fires Frum following column...
By Brad Friedman on 3/22/2010 12:31pm PT  

And the far-too-rarely bestowed BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award" goes today to David Frum, former speech writer for George W. Bush, for his article last night on "Waterloo". Here are a few money quotes:

Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.
...
This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.
...
We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.
...
So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

UPDATE 3/26/10: Frum is fired by rightwing American Enterprise Institute, where he's been employed since 2003, after having the temerity to pen the above. Guess the Right isn't into that whole "liberty" and "free speech" thing as much as they pretend to be. Who knew? Details...

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Or, Why blogs will survive, even if corporate mainstream media may not...
By Brad Friedman on 7/27/2009 6:05pm PT  


Kudos --- for the actual reporting and literal legwork --- to Mike Stark of Firedoglake ("Scum of the earth," according to Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)) for nailing this in between FDL reader-funder Capitol Hill reportage on health care (ya know, stuff that actually matters).

Kudos too to Rep. Tommy Franks (R-AZ), for his willingness to admit, for the camera --- unlike all of the other Republicans that Stark tried to get comment from on the Hill --- that Obama is a natural born "citizen of the United States of America."

We were prepared to offer Franks a much-sought, but too-rarely bestowed BRAD BLOG Intellectually Honest Conservative Award, but then he blew it at the very end by noting his condemnation of Obama "for promoting abortion on demand, for standing by and letting Jihad gain traction in the word, and for doing things to undermine our constitution and for turning us into a Socialist nation." Too bad. And you were so close, Mr. Franks!

BTW, in a very related late update, FDL's Jane Hamsher notes...

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

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National Review's Kathleen Parker Wins Rare BRAD BLOG 'Intellectually Honest Conservative Award'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2008 5:48pm PT  

National Review's Kathleen Parker wins the rarely-bestowed BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award" for her devastating column today calling for Sarah Palin, who, Parker says is "clearly out of her league," to put country first and leave the ticket.

"Do it for your country," she urges, after noting that "If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself."

(Hat-tip RAW STORY.)

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In the Bargain, Richard Viguerie Wins a Rare, But Much Coveted BRAD BLOG 'Intellectually Honest Conservative Award'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/15/2008 9:35am PT  

[UPDATE: Viguerie joined me as my guest on Friday, 5/16 at 5pm PT when I filled in as Guest Host on the syndicated Peter B. Collins Show during my normal weekly guest slot. You can now listen to that interview online here. - BF]

Another winner for The BRAD BLOG's rarely bestowed, but much sought after "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award."

Today's winner (in actuality, this year's winner, seeing as it's been a pretty dim year so far), conservative icon and author Richard Viguerie, who yesterday called at the "Ultimate John McCain" website for the entire Republican Leadership, from George W. Bush on down, to "resign immediately."

He charges "disaster is looming" following the Republican loss of the third previously "safe" U.S. House seat in a row on Tuesday, in Mississippi's special election where Bush reportedly defeated Kerry 62% to 37% in 2004. AP announced the Democratic candidate Travis Childers the winner of the MS-01 race, in the heart of the "solid South" by a remarkable 54% to 46% thumpin'.

In its wake, Viguerie names names, and declares the entirety of the GOP leadership has "failed --- or outright betrayed --- the conservative voters who put them in their positions...The hard work of the last 50 years by millions of conservative campaign workers, donors, candidates, writers, intellectuals, and activists has been trashed."

"The conservative movement has been set back 10-20 years – possibly even permanently," pens the man once referred to as the conservative "funding father" and creator of political direct mail fundraising. The "party Establishment...has brought the party down," he writes, adding "the party must clean house. The party leadership should resign immediately."

He goes on to say Republican leaders have "nothing" to offer Republican voters and are motivated by "nothing except a craving for power," before concluding with a direct command to the GOP Leadership: "You turned against the principles you once espoused – conservative principles – and, in turn, conservatives and the American people have turned against you. Things will not get better until you accept responsibility, and resign...You have stayed too long. For the future of the Republican Party, for America and the cause of freedom: Go!"

Ouch. Extended, must-read excerpts from his blistering --- and we mean blistering --- rebuke of those who have hijacked his party, follow below...

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

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Chuck Hagel Says 'They Have Failed the Country'
Outgoing Republican Earns BRAD BLOG 'Intellectually Honest Conservative Award' Despite One-Time Ownership of Voting Machine Company...
By Brad Friedman on 11/29/2007 12:35pm PT  

Washington Post reports on outgoing Republican Senator Chuck Hagel's comments last night during an address at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. It seems he doesn't care much for the Bush Administration...

Hagel, who considered running for the GOP presidential nomination as an antiwar candidate, told the foreign policy experts that he would give the Bush administration "the lowest grade of any I've known."

"I have to say this is one of the most arrogant, incompetent administrations I've ever seen or ever read about," Hagel said, according to our colleague Robert Kaiser, who attended the speech. In case his audience didn't get the point, Hagel also said: "They have failed the country."

We have been remiss in honoring the good Senator with The BRAD BLOG's coveted and too-rarely bestowed "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award". So before he leaves the Senate entirely, we're happy to announce our awarding of this prize today to Hagel.

(NOTE: We're well aware of Hagel's troubling one-time ownership of voting machine company ES&S, before becoming the first Republican Senator to be elected in Nebraska in a dog's age... on ES&S voting machines. It is in spite that ignominy that we offer this most coveted award.)

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By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2006 11:50pm PT  

BRAD BLOG readers know that we take no particular joy in even appearing to defend the corporate mainstream media. Nonetheless, the hateful rightwing loons that have taken over the majority of the discourse in this country have been so intolerably wrong on so many issues for so very long, it's nice to see one of them admit --- even tacitly --- that "conservatives" (as they call themselves) have been wrong in their idiotic attacks on MSM reporting. Particularly in regard to the War in Iraq.

So now, the Bush Administration, and the last of its dead-enders, have even lost National Review's Richard Lowry...

Most of the pessimistic warnings from the mainstream media have turned out to be right — that the initial invasion would be the easy part, that seeming turning points (the capture of Saddam, the elections, the killing of Zarqawi) were illusory, that the country was dissolving into a civil war.
...
The “good news” that conservatives have accused the media of not reporting has generally been pretty weak. The Iraqi elections were indeed major accomplishments. But the opening of schools and hospitals is not particularly newsworthy, at least not compared with American casualties and with sectarian attacks meant to bring Iraq down around everyone’s heads in a full-scale civil war.
...
In their distrust of the mainstream media, their defensiveness over President Bush and the war, and their understandable urge to buck up the nation’s will, many conservatives lost touch with reality on Iraq. They thought that they were contributing to our success, but they were only helping to forestall a cold look at conditions there and the change in strategy and tactics that would be dictated by it.

There's more, but you get the drift. A moment of intellectual honesty from Lowry. Though not nearly enough. Note his use of "they," not "we" or "I." And he can't help but take several idiotic, unsupported shots in the piece, lest he completely lose his readership base all together.

So it's not enough to earn himself a coveted, yet rarely bestowed, BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award." Either way, we hope for his sake that the waters are warm these days for the rats as they dive off the sinking ship.

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Cites Republican Big Government, Unconstitutional Invasion of Privacy, Civil Rights
Wins BRAD BLOG 'Intellectually Honest Conservative Award' in the Bargain...
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2006 1:25pm PT  

Former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr was wrong on impeachment (of Clinton), but has been right on a number of things ever since, including joining Al Gore to condemn Bush's assault on privacy and civil rights vis a vis his unconstitutional domestic spying and other such programs.

Barr has now announced he has quit the Republican Party and is joining the Libertarians citing out of control GOP big government spending, and the aforementioned disregard for privacy and civil rights of U.S. citizens.

For that, he earns the too-rarely-bestowed BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award" today.

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Rightwing Roger Hedgecock (occasional fill-in for Rush Limbaugh!) in 'Complete Agreement' About Concerns over Diebold Voting Machines Used in the Special Election!
By Brad Friedman on 6/21/2006 5:02pm PT  

Wow...Given what I know about San Diego's KOGO radio host, Roger Hedgecock --- a frequent fill-in for Rush Limbaugh, by the way --- I would have predicted a firefight between us concerning my arguments questioning the validity of the Busby/Bilbray U.S. House special election in California's 50th congressional district on June 6th.

You know, the one were the highly-hackable Diebold voting machines were sent home with poll workers for days prior to the election in defiance of both state and federal rules and laws, rendering them illegal and uncertified for use in the election.

Well, slap my bottom and call me Spanky!...Guess what? I just got off the air with him, and Hedgecock and I were in complete agreement! He may even turn up at next week's "Emergency Townhall" meeting on this which is currently being organized (details soon).

The full afternoon drive-time appearance, about 15 minutes, is linked below if you'd like to listen. But to give you a flavor, here's how it ended...

Visit Brad Friedman at BradBlog.com...and, again, a very liberal leftwing guy, but I think he's on to something in this case. In fact I know he is. And that is, that we now have allowed a system of counting our votes to be presented to us as a system that does it accurately, when it has manifestly been proven that it can be monkeyed with...and the results tampered!

It seems to me if we have any bedrock notion in this country it ought to be that the votes ought to be fully and fairly counted.

I just think that's...wow...if we can't agree on that one, this country's farther down the division road then I think we are.

Were it not for other fairly unforgivable transgressions in the past in other areas politically, I might have otherwise given Roger the too-rarely bestowed BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award." If he decides, however, to show up and bring along a few thousand folks with him for next week's "Emergency Townhall" event in San Diego (details soon) --- as I've invited him to do --- I might even consider a "provisional" awarding of the highly coveted prize!

Listen up...
-- Brad on the Roger Hedgecock Show on Busby/Bilbray & Electronic Voting [MP3]

(AFTERTHOUGHT: For those interested in on-air firefights between myself and "conservatives," see my shoot-out with St. Louis' wingnut-in-training, Crane Durham here, or the time I helped run Ann Coulter off the air halfway through our debate on Ron Insana's show here.)

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Detailed Essay Excoriates Administration and the Republicans on Every Point
Doug McIntyre's Brutally Honest Essay Makes Him the Latest BRAD BLOG 'Intellectually Honest Conservative' Award Winner!
By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2006 5:09pm PT  

Wow.

Doug McIntyre, the very conservative morning drive talk-show host out here in Los Angeles, last Friday issued a stunning "apology" for voting and supporting George W. Bush. It's a must read, hits on every point --- and I mean every point --- and should serve as a template for all intellectually honest conservatives. It also garners McIntyre the latest, and rarely bestowed, BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award!"

Here's just one graf:

I'm saying today, I was wrong to have voted for George W. Bush. In historic terms, I believe George W. Bush is the worst two-term President in the history of the country. Worse than Grant. I also believe a case can be made that he's the worst President, period.

Read the whole thing there are far too many money quotes to pull out and post here. Incredible.

(Thanks Bring 'Da Noise for the tip!)

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And the NY Times Can't Seem to Stop Reporting White House Spin as Fact...
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2006 11:16am PT  

THE GOOD NEWS... We have a new winner of the too-rarely-bestowed BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award"! According to Wednesday's NY Times:

A House Republican whose subcommittee oversees the National Security Agency broke ranks with the White House on Tuesday and called for a full Congressional inquiry into the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program.

The lawmaker, Representative Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico, chairwoman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, said in an interview that she had "serious concerns" about the surveillance program. By withholding information about its operations from many lawmakers, she said, the administration has deepened her apprehension about whom the agency is monitoring and why.
...
She said she realized that publicizing her concerns over the surveillance program could harm her relations with the administration. "The president has his duty to do, but I have mine too, and I feel strongly about that," she said.

Congratulations Rep. Wilson on being the latest recipient of our prestigious award! You are in shamefully rare company these days!

THE BAD NEWS... The once great NY Times is still hopelessly in the tank, reporting the Administration "company line" as fact in the "paper of record" [emphasis added]:

Ms. Wilson, who was a National Security Council aide in the administration of President Bush's father, is the first Republican on either the House's Intelligence Committee or the Senate's to call for a full Congressional investigation into the program, in which the N.S.A. has been eavesdropping without warrants on the international communications of people inside the United States believed to have links with terrorists.

FRESH IDEA FOR NY TIMES 'REPORTERS'/EDITORS... Try reporting facts instead of White House spin. The fact of this matter is that unless you all know something that neither the Congress nor the Country seems to know, you have no idea whether the illegal warrantless NSA domestic spying program is eavesdropping on people "believed to have links with terrorists."

We realize the White House would like you to report it that way --- and though you scored many points with them doing exactly that prior to the War in Iraq, we'd have hoped you'd have learned a lesson by now. Apparently you haven't.

The fact that nobody outside of the Administration has any idea who is being tapped is just one of the reasons Ms. Wilson is calling for a full investigation. Had you read your own article, you might have understood that.

Keep up the bad work!

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