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'Green News Report' 11/24/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Carbon tax coming to Alberta tar sands; Obama: Paris conf must proceed; Senate Repubs to monkeywrench int'l agreement; PLUS: FDA okays GMO salmon for humans...
Previous GNRs: 11/19/15 - 11/17/15 - Archives...
Sunday 'This Means War' Toons
PDiddie's must-see collection of the past shameful week's best -- and most dead-on and occassionally horrifying -- toons...
ISIS Wins in US House; Plus: TPP, NAFTA and the Return of KXL?: 'BradCast' 11/19/15
With guest David Dayen of Salon, Fiscal Times, The Intercept, et al...
'Green News Report' 11/19/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
House GOP's war against climate scientists; October 2015 was hottest on record; Fossil fuel subsidies at $500B/year; UK phases out coal; PLUS: Canada kills another tar sands pipeline...
Previous GNRs: 11/17/15 - 11/12/15 - Archives...
Home of the Brave:
'BradCast' 11/18/15
GOP Governors and Presidential candidates help ISIS dreams come true by turning against refugees from war-torn Syria, as some Americans follow their lead by turning against fellow citizens after the Paris attacks...
How NOT to Respond to the Paris Terror Attacks: 'BradCast' 11/17/15
Anti-war author David Swanson on how we got here, how the media and politicians continue to make it worse, and what we must do instead...
'Green News Report' 11/17/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate gets short shrift in 2nd Dem Debate; Yes, climate change is a NatSec threat; Intn'l climate talks in Paris after attacks; PLUS: NY's Cuomo vetoes major NatGas project...
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A Word About Paris; Coverage of CBS' Dem Debate in Iowa: 'BradCast' 11/16/15
Salon's Heather Digby Parton and longtime GOPer Fred Karger on the debate the DNC didn't want you to watch...
Sunday Somewhat Horrible Toons
PDiddie's round-up of a number of smart toons in the wake of the horrific terror attacks in Paris...
'Very Similar, If Not Identical': DoJ's Big Tobacco Prosecutor on Case Against ExxonMobil: 'BradCast' 11/12/15
Attorney Sharon Eubanks on RICO, conspiracy and the big lies of Big Tobacco and Big Oil...
'Green News Report' 11/12/15
2016 Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates talk climate, energy, and the path forward in GOP Debate and Dem Forum...
Decoding and Debunking Fox Biz Channel's GOP Debate: 'BradCast' 11/11/15
Smartest post-debate analysis anywhere! With journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
Impossible Results for OH Pot Measure?: 'BradCast' 11/10/15
Screenshots suggest disappearing 'Yes' votes; OH SoS offers us explanation. PLUS: Calls for KY hand-count...
'Green News Report' 11/10/15
Obama rejects KXL; Big Coal caught lying about climate change; ExxonMobil facing probe; PLUS: 2nd cyclone for Yemen & Sea World responds to critics...
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...
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'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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...

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...

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...

The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

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...

The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

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...

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...

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...

Democratic Presidential Candidate from Ohio Receives Standing Ovation on Announcement of Intentions
Florida Democrat Says Impeachment Will Further Democratic Legislative Agenda, 'Make America More Popular' in Eyes of World...
By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2007 2:49pm PT  

The Reno Gazette Journal reports on Rep. Dennis Kucinich's (D-OH) announcement that he intends to file Articles of Impeachment very shortly against George W. Bush...

"On the way over here, I was reading a 50-page document that relates to Articles of Impeachment for the President of the United States," Kucinich said to a standing ovation. "And I want you to know that I'm actually preparing this document for submission to the House."

The BRAD BLOG can confirm recent efforts by Kucinich's office to prepare such a document. We cannot yet confirm when it will be filed in the U.S. House, but we're told it may be quite soon.

In the meantime, Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) demonstrated that he understands both the U.S. Constitution and American politics, by offering this lesson to his fellow Democrats at a speech last week in Florida. (RAW STORY has the short video):

"The way we pass stem-cell research, the way we get implemented a children's health care plan, the way we get higher CAFE [corporate average fuel economy] standards to bring our energy debacle into a better condition for generations to come is to have impeachment hearings," Wexler said, appearing to nearly run out breath at one point during his speech. "Because that'll get the president's eye. That'll get the vice president's eye. That for the first time will show that the Democratic majority is here, and that in fact we have the courage of our convictions, and that we're not bound to be tied by conventional wisdom."

Wexler said that impeachment hearings weren't just an option available to Congress, but a requirement.

"This administration has abused its power in office...and it is the obligation --- not discretionary --- but it is the obligation of this Congress to investigate," he said. "And that's what I and some of my colleagues are beginning to call for."
"If we want to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, we need to become more popular. If we want to avoid a traumatic split between Sunnis and Shiites that endangers further our national security, we need to become more popular...If we want to engage with the Chinese in a more beneficial way, we need to become more popular."

"Let me tell you one more thing those impeachment hearings will do," he concluded. "It'll make America more popular."
"I urge the Judiciary Committee to schedule impeachment hearings immediately and not let this issue languish as it has over the last six months," Wexler stated at the time. "Only through hearings can we begin to correct the abuses of Dick Cheney and the Bush Administration; and, if it is determined in these hearings that Vice President Cheney has committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors, he should be impeached and removed from office."

Wexler is, of course, correct on all points.

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Grassley and Specter vote Yay; Now It's Up to Reid and Pelosi to Schedule Full Floor Votes as White House Continues to Scoff at Both Congress and the Rule of Law...
By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2007 1:10pm PT  

Two high-ranking Republicans, Arlen Specter (PA) and Chuck Grassley (IA), joined the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee today by voting in favor of holding both Karl Rove and former White House Chief of Staff, Joshua Bolten in Contempt of Congress.

The committee recommendation, which was passed by a 12-7 vote, now goes to Majority Leader Harry Reid who may, or may not, join House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in failing to hold a full floor vote on the recommendation. Pelosi has held a recommendation from the House Judiciary Committee, finding both Bolten and former White House attorney Harriet Miers in contempt, since July.

The White House, which we all know is well above the law, continued their bullying of the Democrats who are likely to shrink in fear at the intimidation.

"They should be fully aware of the futility of pressing ahead on this," AP reports White House spokesman Tony Fratto as saying. "It has long been understood that, in circumstances like these, that the constitutional prerogatives of the president would make it a futile and purely political act for Congress to refer contempt citations to U.S. attorneys."

"I vote for the contempt citations knowing that it's highly likely to be a meaningless act," Specter said. "In this context we have no alternative."

Paul Kiel at TPM Muck speculates: "Perhaps the Senate and House will team up and schedule both votes before the New Year, sending the White House contempt citations against Rove, Miers, and Bolten as a Christmas gift. Or maybe nothing will happen."

Take your time, kids. Those in contempt have said they won't allow you to carry out your duty in holding them in contempt anyway, so why make so much unpleasantness just before the holidays?

What's your guess on when/if Reid/Pelosi will schedule such votes?

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New Media 'Progressives' Holding Hands With the Corporate Establishment, in a Search for the 'Most Electable'...
By Kenneth Anderson on 12/12/2007 10:47am PT  

Guest Editorial by Kenneth Anderson

Endlessly mundane and always uninformative, the moribund struggle for party nominations in what we so disrespectfully still call the "presidential campaign" inhabit a realm of such vacuous inanity one can palpably sense malignant tumors of ennui forming within.

While would-be Republican candidates spar for the GOP nomination by appealing to brain stem functions (that is, when they're not extolling us with tales of their heavenly devotion), Democrats carry themselves at only a marginally elevated level. This is not to say that there are not candidates --- on both sides --- who would like to raise the bar and address actual issues and policy, but those are shunned by our craven and cack-handed media mavens, who never seem to tire of their perceived role as king-maker in what has become --- for the world's "greatest democracy" --- an embarrassing spectacle of the most base and primitive dimensions. I suspect if media moguls could get Romney and Huckabee to square off in a cage fight, well, that would be next on the tour of the candidates. Who needs all this talk? Though the American public demand campaigns of substance, there appears too little of that on the political horizon, while furry idiots like Wolf Blitzer express puzzlement at the term "triangulating" as it pertains to Hillary Clinton.

What we constantly hear from the corporate media, though it is never stated quite so bluntly, is that those with the money become the kings. The American political campaign system is now a big-money bonanza for media corporations. These corporations prop up candidates with the most money knowing full well that that money will come straight back to them in the form of campaign advertising. The media are now simply advertisers for the biggest political spenders, which is perhaps the reason why the campaign cycle is now virtually continuous. It is a positive feedback loop, reinforcing in the minds of the public that the only viable candidates are the ones with the money, the polls reflect this, more money pours in for those "viable candidates," which in turn cycles right back to the media money machine.

Which is why I am constantly amazed that the so-called "progressive" blogs have chosen to endorse corporate-backed candidates like Hillary Clinton.

Though Dennis Kucinich espouses ideals resonant with most liberal voters, he is as marginalized by progressives as much as the mainstream media as "unelectable," though no one ever seems to understand or explain exactly what that means. Is it his ears?

By all appearances, blogs such as dKos, MyDD, etc, have now simply become another arm of the Democratic party and their backing of the major, big-money candidates simply because they are deemed "electable" entirely betrays the original purpose of their fora.

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

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Paul Supporters, Who Pledged to Vote Only Once Each, Cry Foul, Document Evidence on YouTube, Make Music Videos of 'Mitt Robbery'...
Straw Poll Organizer Reportedly Tells Woman: 'If you make a big deal out of this, you will get hurt'
By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2007 10:47pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

Okay, we retract our hundreds of articles with evidence that Voter Fraud (as opposed to Election Fraud) is exceedingly rare. At least when it comes to Republicans and Florida.

The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Mitt Romney supporters stuffed the "ballot box" (actually touch-screen DRE voting machines) by voting multiple times at last week's GOP straw poll in Tampa, FL, just prior to the Republican CNN/YouTube debate. Ironically enough, the video evidence, some of it posted at the end of this article, has been posted all over YouTube.

According to the Times...

Lined up at the voting machines, Paul supporters flaunted their single tickets and pledged to vote only once.

Meanwhile, some Romney supporters openly admitted to using rolls of tickets to vote multiple times. Romney won the poll with 893 votes, while Paul finished with 534.
It was all caught on tape, and the local Paul supporters rushed to share their complaints with the rest of the world.

By week's end, at least three videos hit YouTube, documenting Romney supporters - including prominent lawyer and lobbyist Fred Leonhardt - openly casting multiple votes.

In one video, a Clearwater woman and Paul supporter sat on a couch and accused Pinellas County GOP chairman and straw poll organizer Tony DiMatteo of threatening bodily harm if she didn't stop complaining.

"Tony's exact words on the phone to me was, 'If you make a big deal out of this, you will get hurt,'" Sofie Lefebvre said in the video. "And I was shocked. At that point, I realized that there was a lot more corruption going on than we even realized before."
DiMatteo dismissed the incident, calling it a non-issue that he refused to discuss any further.

"I've read some of those comments [angry ones, from Paul supporters accompanying several Youtube videos]," he said. "These are a bunch of people that need to get lives and don't understand what really happened here."

Granted, these GOP straw polls are phony from the get-go. The candidates buy tickets and give them out to supporters to show up and vote for them. They're fund raisers for the local Republican parties. But, theoretically, it's supposed to be one vote per ticket per person.

But these are Republicans. And this is Florida. So such rules concerning voting don't much matter. (Isn't that right, Ann Coulter?)

Besides, what better way to fire up the troops than by encouraging them to vote multiple times just before the upcoming primaries?!

The Ron Paul supporters have put tons of videos up at YouTube on this. Here are a few of the best we came across after going through a bunch of them. You're welcome...

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

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By Jon Ponder on 12/3/2007 10:57am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

The White House is blocking efforts by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to present evidence he collected in the CIA Leak investigation to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, according to the committee's chairman, Henry Waxman (D-CA).

Prompted by Scott McClellan's statement last month asserting that top White House officials, including George Bush and Dick Cheney, were complicit in an effort to deceive the public about the leak, Rep. Waxman has written to Attorney General Michael Mukasey urging him to convince Bush to release the evidence.

In his letter, Rep. Waxman points to a precedent from the Clinton administration:

"[There] is direct precedent for the production of these records to the Committee. During the Clinton Administration, the Justice Department provided the Committee with dozens of FBI 302 reports of interviews with White House officials. No White House official — including the President and the Vice President — was exempted from the production. Among the White House officials whose FBI 302 reports were provided to the Committee were President Clinton, Vice President Gore [and 10 other top White House officials, including current and former chiefs of staff].

Of particular interest are Fitzgerald's notes from his interviews at the White House. If either Bush or Cheney gave statements that contradict McClellan's, a new investigation would likely be triggered. Lying to federal prosecutors is a felony.

Complete text of letter follows, via

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2007 8:55am PT  

I did quick 10 minutes this morning on the nationally syndicated Stephanie Miller Show, as Guest Hosted by our friend Bree Walker. The topic: the latest in the Sibel Edmonds case. And if you're not yet familiar with the case, here's a quickie on what it is, why it matters and what you can do about it.

Here's the audio from my appearance this morning on Stephanie's show...

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By Jon Ponder on 11/19/2007 3:38pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

A.B. "Buzzy" Krongrad, the brother of State Dept. Inspector General Howard Krongrad who is under investigation for lying to Congress, resigned from his seat on an advisory board for Blackwater on Friday:

[Krongard's resignation comes] two days after the relationship with the security contractor was sharply criticized by a congressional oversight committee.

Erik Prince, Blackwater's top executive, said the conflict of interest questions raised by the connection prompted ... Krongard to submit his resignation.

"I have reluctantly accepted it," Prince said in a statement.

On Friday, Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, announced that is committee will look into Howard Krongard's testimony last week in which denied that Buzzy had a relationship with Blackwater, only to recant that testimony when confronted with the facts. After the hearings, Buzzy Krongrad told reporters and then committee staff that, contrary to Howard's testimony, Buzzy had recently informed him that he was joining the Blackwater advisory board.

Both Krongard brothers --- who are said not to get along --- are expected to be called to testify in hearings that will examine the perjury claim against Howard Krongard.

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'Gagged' FBI Whistleblower, Risking Jail, Says American Media Have Refused Her Offer to Disclose Classified Information, Including Criminal Allegations, Information Concerning 'Security of Americans'
Charges Several Mainstream Publications Have Been Informed of 'Full Story' by Other FBI Leakers Nearly a Year Ago, Have Remained Mum...
By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2007 4:46am PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

"I'd say what she has is far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers," Daniel Ellsberg told us in regard to former FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds.

"From what I understand, from what she has to tell, it has a major difference from the Pentagon Papers in that it deals directly with criminal activity and may involve impeachable offenses," Ellsberg explained. "And I don't necessarily mean the President or the Vice-President, though I wouldn't be surprised if the information reached up that high. But other members of the Executive Branch may be impeached as well. And she says similar about Congress."

The BRAD BLOG spoke recently with the legendary 1970's-era whistleblower in the wake of our recent exclusive, detailing Edmonds' announcement that she was prepared to risk prosecution to expose the entirety of the still-classified information that the Bush Administration has "gagged" her from revealing for the past five years under claims of the arcane "State Secrets Privilege."

Ellsberg, the former defense analyst and one-time State Department official, knows well the plight of whistleblowers. He himself was prepared to spend his life in prison for the exposure of some 7,000 pages of classified Department of Defense documents concerning Executive Branch manipulation of facts and outright lies leading the country into an extended war in Vietnam.

Ellsberg seemed hardly surprised that today's American mainstream broadcast media has so far failed to take Edmonds up on her offer, despite the blockbuster nature of her allegations.

As Edmonds has also noted, Ellsberg pointed to the New York Times, who "sat on the NSA spying story for over a year" when they "could have put it out before the 2004 election, which might have changed the outcome."

"There will be phone calls going out to the media saying 'don't even think of touching it, you will be prosecuted for violating national security,'" he told us.

"I have been receiving calls from the mainstream media all day," Edmonds recounted the day after we ran the story announcing that she was prepared to violate her gag-order to disclose all of the national security-related criminal allegations she has been kept from disclosing for the past five years.

"The media called from Japan and France and Belgium and Germany and Canada and from all over the world," she told The BRAD BLOG.

"But not from here?" we asked incredulously.

"I'm getting contact from all over the world, but not from here. Isn't that disgusting?" she shot back.

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

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Howard Krongard's Testimony Is Refuted to Committee By His Brother
By Jon Ponder on 11/16/2007 4:04pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

In a memo released late today Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, says he and the committee will look into allegations of perjury against State Dept. Inspector General Howard Krongard:

On Wednesday, November 14, 2007, the full Committee held a hearing entitled, "Assessing the State Department Inspector General." At this hearing, Inspector General Howard J. Krongard testified that his brother, Alvin "Buzzy" Krongard, told him that he was not on the board of Blackwater USA and had no connections to Blackwater. Yesterday, in response to a letter from the Committee, Buzzy Krongard called the Committee staff and said that contrary to Howard Krongard's testimony, he did tell his brother about his relationship with Blackwater.

The information from Buzzy Krongard raises serious questions about the veracity of Howard Krongard's testimony before the Committee. To help answer these questions, I expect the Committee to hold a hearing immediately after the Thanksgiving recess at which Howard Krongard and Buzzy Krongard will be invited to testify.

Read the rest of Waxman's memo:

Our coverage:

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Howard Krongard Forced to Recuse Himself from a Second Probe After Improperly Meeting with Subjects of Criminal Investigation into Iraq Embassy Contracts
Why Is this Man Still Serving as State Dept. Inspector General?
By Jon Ponder on 11/16/2007 6:56am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Howard Krongard, the inspector general (IG) for the Bush State Dept., has recused himself from a second major probe under his purview. The new recusal was announced yesterday and came at the "request" of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA).

This new development follows a dramatic moment during a hearing before Waxman's committee on Wednesday when Kronberg was forced to recuse himself from an investigation into Blackwater after it was revealed that, despite his earlier denials, his brother sits on an advisory board for the controversial paramilitary government security contractor. Making matters potentially worse for Krongard, his brother, Buzzy Krongard, issued a statement after the hearing contradicting Howard's testimony regarding the timing of when Howard learned that Buzzy had accepted a seat on the Blackwater board.

It is unclear at the moment whether Democrats on the committee will pursue perjury charges against the State Dept. IG.

Krongard's latest recusal stems from what appears to be obstruction of justice and witness tampering in a criminal probe by the Dept. of Justice into the way billions of dollars in contracts for the construction of the U.S. embassy complex in Baghdad were let by the State Dept.:

A report by the committee's majority staff referred to the Justice Department probe and also said that Krongard, against his staff's advice, met in August with someone implicated in "potential criminal activity" uncovered during a State Department audit of the embassy contract.

Then, the report said, Krongard met in September with someone else under investigation by the Justice Department. A source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, identified that person as [Mary French is the embassy project coordinator based in Baghdad]. When Krongard arrived in Baghdad, he was warned by his deputy that French had become a "subject of investigation" and that he should not meet with her, for fear of tainting the investigation. But, the report said, "Krongard went through with the meeting and spent several hours with this individual."

James L. Golden, an embassy project overseer who works on a contract basis for the State Dept. in Washington, and who is also said to be a subject of the DoJ probe, may be the other person of interest Krongard met with.

Sean McCormack, a State Dept. spokesman, said Krongard recused himself from the embassy contracts investigation at Chairman Waxman's request:

"That was at the request of Congressman Waxman's committee because they are doing their own inquiries into the new embassy compound," McCormack said. "Because of the reporting relationship between the IG and the Congress, of course, Howard honored that request."

Despite Krongard's removal from the two highest profile investigations by his office, McCormack says he still has the confidence of Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice.

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Congressman: Bush Wants Billions for Iraq War and Tax Cuts to Those Make Over a Million a Year...
By Jon Ponder on 11/13/2007 8:49am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Shorter George Bush: All Guns. No Butter:

President Bush on Tuesday signed a big increase in the Pentagon's non-war budget, and vetoed a spending measure for health and education programs prized by congressional Democrats.

The president's action was announced on Air Force One as Bush flew to Indiana for a speech expected to criticize the Democratic-led Congress on its budget priorities.

The $471 billion defense budget gives the Pentagon a 9 percent increase, roughly $40 billion.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey (D-WI) responded:

"The same president who is asking us to spend another $200 billion on the misguided war in Iraq and is insisting on providing $60 billion in tax cuts next year to folks who make over a million bucks a year, is now pretending to protect the deficit by refusing to provide a $6 billion increase to crucial domestic investments in education, healthcare, medical research and worker protections that will make this country stronger,’’ said [Obey].

"That is not responsible and it is not credible,’’ Obey said of the vetoed bill. "There has been virtually no criticism of its contents. It is clear the only reason the president vetoed this bill is pure politics."

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By Jon Ponder on 11/8/2007 11:06am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Turns out there really is a first time for everything:

The Senate today voted overwhelmingly to override President Bush's veto of a popular $23-billion water bill, marking the first override of a Bush veto.

The bipartisan, 79-14 vote, following a House vote earlier in the week to override the veto, means the bill authorizing water projects becomes law over the president's objections.

Thirty-four Republicans joined 43 Democrats and two independents in rejecting Bush's assertion that the bill was fiscally irresponsible and voting for the override --- a reflection of their determination to preserve politically important projects for their states. Twelve Republicans and two Democrats voted no.

My colleague Trish at Pensito Review suggested earlier this week that this veto override could signal a change in the wind for Bush's political fortunes:

I’m betting that once it gets started, Congress will keep right on ripping... I think Bush miscalculated. He’s teasing the dog that’s always been tied to the tree one too many times. When the rope breaks and Congress gets a taste of blood --- remembering what it feels like to be an equal participant in the governing process --- who knows where it will stop?

We can only hope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then from WaPo...

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

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

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

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

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

"The Committee has a very busy agenda - over the next two weeks, we hope to pass a FISA bill, to vote on contempt of Congress citations, pass legislation on prisoner re-entry, court security and a variety of other very important items. We were surprised that the minority was so ready to move forward with consideration of a matter of such complexity as impeaching the Vice President. The Chairman will discuss today's vote with the Committee members but it would seem evident that the committee staff should continue to consider, as a preliminary matter, the many abuses of this Administration, including the Vice President."
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'I think you've gotta have 'em...Having a real ballot, I think is important' The Republican Presidential Candidate Says
Go Figure...
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2007 6:12pm PT  

Several weeks ago we excoriated Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) for his unsubstantiated claim, made during a recent Republican Presidential Debate, that "We have right now a real danger of people that are illegally in the country being rounded up, herded into the polls, we've seen that in California, voting illegally."

Multiple attempts to contact both his presidential campaign and congressional office for specifics on the allegations he was making went unanswered. So we best-guessed, and detailed, what we believed he was likely referring to, along with our final conclusion that, barring any information to the contrary from him, he and his claims were "entirely full of shit."

But fair's fair, and we're happy to recognize the odd moments when Hunter says or does something that isn't "entirely full of shit," especially when it has to do with paper ballots.

In this case, his response to our pal Jake Soboroff, who caught up with him in Iowa to interview him for the Why Tuesday? "Candidate Challenge" concerning election reform issues, is --- of the candidates Soboroff has gotten on tape so far (more on that below) --- the only one to directly point out the need for paper ballots in American elections...

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

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