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'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A Rightwing caller's admission in response to Brad on a radio show in NC underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
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Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama takes action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: California gets tough on water wasters...
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GOP Voter Fraud Queen Ann Coulter Urges MS Senate Candidate McDaniel to NOT Pursue Fraud Concerns
Given her well-documented personal history, perhaps she shoulda stayed out of this one?...
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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...

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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 3/13/2007 12:04am PT  

Hysterical...


(Thanks Paul B. for the link!)

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By Brad Friedman on 3/12/2007 1:17pm PT  

As we alluded late last week, we'd say this new report further underscores our recommendation to keep an eye on Waxman's Congressional Oversight Committee and his investigation into the Iraq uranium/yellowcake scam by the White House...

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Says Country Recovering From Constitutional Crisis, Thanks God the Democrats Now in Congressional Majority
Bush, Rumsfeld & Republicans Hit Hard...
By Alan Breslauer on 3/9/2007 9:35pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Retired Major General Paul D. Eaton took no prisoners tonight on Real Time with Bill Maher. Sadly, the General states that the problems at Walter Reed, which he blames on poor planning by the administration from the start, are the tip of the iceberg. An excellent companion piece is the General's NY Times Op-Ed, "Casualties of the Budget Wars" published Tuesday.

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The Heartwrenching Story Of How Iraq Destroyed A Marriage
60,000 Military Marriages Broken By War
By Alan Breslauer on 3/8/2007 1:21pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

I was folding fliers for a high school workshop on nonviolence when my husband, a mortar platoon sergeant with the Army National Guard 81st Brigade, walked into my office and said, “I got the call.”

We hadn’t talked about the possibility of him being deployed for months, not since President Bush had declared, “Mission accomplished.” But I knew exactly what he meant; I didn’t know then what it would mean for us.

We weren’t prepared, and neither was the Guard. The Guard sent him into harm’s way without providing some of the basic equipment and materials, such as global positioning systems, night vision gear, and insect repellant, that he would rely on during his year-long tour of duty at LSA Anaconda, the most-attacked base in Iraq, as determined by the sheer number of incoming rockets and mortars, which averaged at least five per day.

Unlike active duty military, the National Guard had no functional family support system or services in place. While the Guard was scrambling to get it together, my husband was already gone, and I was alone, just months after we had moved to Seattle...

Continue reading "Broken by This War" at The Progressive...

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The Republican Senator, Decorated Vietnam War Vet, Puts the I-Word 'Back on the Table' in Esquire Interview...
By Brad Friedman on 3/6/2007 2:20pm PT  

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R-NE) IN ESQUIRE TODAY...

"The president says, 'I don't care.' He's not accountable anymore," Hagel says, measuring his words by the syllable and his syllables almost by the letter. "He's not accountable anymore, which isn't totally true. You can impeach him, and before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment."
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Tavis Smiley Asks Rep. Waxman Who Is To Blame For Missing Billions In Iraq
By Alan Breslauer on 3/1/2007 12:23pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

California Representative (and mine) Henry Waxman, the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, answers questions about Iraq last night with Tavis Smiley on PBS. After Waxman explains how at least $12 billion allocated for Iraqi reconstruction went missing, an incredulous Smiley states:

Can I ask a real simple question? Who would be in our government, so stuck on stupid, such an idiot, as to fly $12 billion in cash into a war zone.

Waxman lays most of the blame on the Republican-led Congress which failed in its oversight responsibilities. Similarly deplorable is what the reconstruction effort accomplished, considering Iraq's billions and our own additional $20 billion. According to Waxman:

The oil production is behind prewar levels. The electricity doesn't even last eight hours in Baghdad. In some places they have no electricity at all. And electricity is below prewar levels. Even drinking water is not available, and if you are going to measure it, it is not as good as it was before the war.

But while "Iraqis and the American people are not better off" for the war, Waxman does identify one group that has made out extraordinarily well:

But the ones who are really better off are all these contractors. Haliburton, Bechtel, all these different big contractors. They got mega mega monopoly contracts. They subcontracted and the subcontractors subcontracted and there are layers of costs on top of layers of costs. A lot of people made money out this who were the contractors.
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The vengefully insignificant are hoping to rampage
Two and a half days of jury deliberations, and they're already coming out of the woodwork
By Margie Burns on 2/23/2007 5:34pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

Conventional wisdom is that when a jury spends much time deliberating, it will find a defendant not guilty. After two and a half days deliberating, the jury in the Libby trial went home today for the weekend.

So the rightwing noise machine thinks it smells blood and is starting some early gloating. Here, for example, is Rush Limbaugh --- premature but already tasteless: “So Fitzpatrick is sweating it out. Fitzrussert sweating it out. Fitzmatthews is sweating it out. Nobody knows what it means that the jury has yet to come back. Fitzsulzberger at the New York Times is probably sweating this out just a little bit.”

I don’t have time to rebut the kind of dishonesty that would connect the excellent and dedicated Special Prosecutor in the Libby trial, Patrick Fitzgerald, with NBC and the New York Times. I heard closing arguments in the trial last Tuesday and have not changed my own opinion that the prosecution rebuttal by Fitzgerald was awesome. Phenomenal. ...

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

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By Alan Breslauer on 2/18/2007 3:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Stereograms are 3D, optical illusions contained within two-dimensional images that were popularized in the '90s by the Magic Eye book and poster phenomenon. Here and here are two examples. Stereograms are very frustrating not only because of the difficulty involved in finding hidden 3D images, but also for how simple and obvious images appear once discovered.

"The Long War (PDF)" by Kenneth Anderson in the just released March/April The Humanist is similar to a stereogram in that after reading it, the seemingly complicated reasons for invading Iraq appear simple and obvious. For instance, once you suppose that the real reason for the Iraq invasion was OIL as Anderson does, you are free to view the White House justifications for war in their totality, which is revealing:

The Bush administration offered myriad reasons for attacking Iraq before the invasion. All have proved illusory. These pre-invasion justifications had one thing in common, however: they all encouraged immediate military action. Weapons of mass destruction, ties to 9/11, ties to al-Qaida, yellow cake. (Oh, the terrible yellow cake!) Mushroom clouds loomed on our horizon.

So why was the administration hell bent on immediate military action? "The oil law," which most media outlets have avoided much as they have avoided the 14 permanent American military bases built near Iraqi oil fields, might have something to do with it:

To underscore the magnitude of potential profits under such agreements, only seventeen of eighty potential oil fields in Iraq have ever been touched and it is estimated that pumping light sweet crude out of Iraq’s oil fields could cost as little as one dollar per barrel. Up to three million barrels per day is the expected output and, at $50/bbl, this amounts to a profit potential of $100 million per day for participating oil companies.

PER DAY! Why that's almost enough money to justify "the surge":

Of course no foreign oil investment can be realized given the current state of violence in Iraq. It is from this perspective that we must consider why there are no plans, nor have there ever been, for a withdrawal of U.S. troops any time soon.

Are you starting to get the picture? To get the complete picture you'll have to stare at the stereogram for a few minutes by reading "The Long War (PDF)" .

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WH wanted intelligence agencies to push story of Iraq WMD
The same bogus Niger uranium story had to be corrected again and again
By Margie Burns on 2/11/2007 3:16pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

As the congressional report released in 2004 (referenced in previous blog) makes clear, if U.S. intelligence agencies were unable to connect Iraq to weapons of mass destruction before the war, it was not for lack of trying.

From May 2002 to September 2002, five documents were produced by the intelligence community pertaining to Iraq WMDs. A CIA briefing book prepared on May 10, a Department of Energy (DOE) intelligence report on July 22, and a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) intelligence assessment in September all mentioned the Niger uranium issue, although the DOE report included caveats. The US embassy in Niger cabled on June 24, 2002, about an IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) agreement safeguarding Niger uranium. A CIA paper was published on August 1, 2002, titled ‘Iraq’s Reemerging Nuclear Program,’ but did not mention Niger uranium. (48)

As noted in the previous blog on this topic, investigation had ruled out any threat from Niger uranium in regard to Iraq. Evidently these efforts were not good enough. In September and October 2002, according to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee report, the White House contacted the intelligence community at least five times to clear language regarding alleged Iraqi efforts to purchase uranium. On September 11, 2002 – the first anniversary of 9/11 --- the NSC asked the CIA to clear uranium language for inclusion in a possible statement by Bush...

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

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Bureau of Intelligence and Research, at the State Department, Warned the Niger Uranium 'Yellow Cake' Story Was Bogus...
By Margie Burns on 2/10/2007 3:08pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by Libby/CIA Leak Trial Correspondent Margie Burns

When the full history of bogus WMD propaganda is written, a few individuals and agencies in our government will stand out for having tried to be rational voices during the administration’s juggernaut PR campaign to invade Iraq. Among these is the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) in the State Department.

The whole Niger story, that Iraq tried to buy tons of unenriched uranium, called yellowcake, from the African nation of Niger, displays the chasm between genuine analysts on one side and weird administration war boosters on the other. This story, which birthed the famous 16 words in a State of the Union speech, led to former ambassador Joseph Wilson’s trip to Niger, his subsequent criticisms of the administration, pundit Robert Novak’s outing Wilson’s wife as a CIA operative, at least two investigations into the leak --- with Novak and George W. Bush among those hiring attorneys – and the current trial of Lewis Libby, Vice President’s former Chief of Staff.

The Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq is 521 pages online (http://intelligence.senate.gov/iraqreport2.pdf; link down). Part II, on Niger, is pages 36-83. Numbers in parentheses, below, are the pages cited.

“Reporting on a possible yellowcake sales agreement between Niger and Iraq first came to the attention of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) on October 15, 2001,” when the CIA Directorate of Operations (DO) passed along a report from a “foreign government service indicating that Niger planned to ship several tons of uranium to Iraq.” At the time, all IC analysts regarded this forwarded cable to be limited and lacking in detail. The CIA, DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), and Department of Energy (DOE) called it “possible.” The State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) regarded it as “highly suspect.” (36) The INR turned out to be right...

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

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During Conference Call with Bloggers, the Wisconsin Senator Highly Critical of Colleagues, 'Washington Insiders' and Even John Edwards for 'Playing it Safe on This One'
Says 'Dems Trying to Have it Both Ways' While 'Americans are Dying Unnecessarily'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/5/2007 5:16pm PT  

Blogged by Brad Friedman from Phoenix, AZ...

In a conference call with several bloggers concluded moments ago, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) had a number of harsh words concerning today's procedural bickering and fillibustering by Republicans in the Senate, which stifled both votes on his own legislation to end the Iraq War as well as amendments offered by other lawmakers to several non-binding resolutions that also failed to come to the floor for a full vote.

Feingold's remarks were highly critical not just of the Republicans, but even moreso of his own Democratic caucus colleagues, "Washington insider consultants," and even former Senatorial colleague-turned-presidential candidate John Edwards, for failing to take a tough stand to end the war in Iraq.

In a passionate, thirty-minute call, Feingold stressed, "This is an important moment to see if we're gonna try and end this war. Frankly, I'm disappointed that Democrats are playing it safe on this one."

"We need to play hardball on this. We're gonna have to take the lead on this issue and we're gonna need to tie this place up as long as it takes," he said in describing what he sees as a fear and timidity in his colleagues who now hold a slight majority in the Senate...

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

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Fact-Sheet Released Covering General Details, Points to Republican Passed Legislation to Defund U.S. Troops in Bosnia Under Clinton in 1998...
By Brad Friedman on 1/27/2007 11:36am PT  

On Thursday we covered the announcement of hearings to be held by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) in the House Judiciary Committee and by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Conyers' hearing will look at the questions of legality surrounding Bush's "Signing Statements" and Feingold will look at issues surround de-funding the War in Iraq in advance of a legislative proposal to do just that. More details, and the expected witnesses for both of those hearings are in our previous article.

The BRAD BLOG has now obtained details from Feingold's office concerning what his proposal to exercise Congressional control of the purse strings over military deployment in Iraq will and won't do. A fact sheet concerning his upcoming legislation and how the defunding and re-deployment of U.S. troops would be conducted is below.

As well, the statement lists several other historical instances in which Congress voted to hold back funding while American troops were deployed, including in 1998 when the Republican-controlled legislature included a provision in a Defense Authorization bill prohibiting additional funding for U.S. troops in Bosnia after a date-certain, unless certain assurances were given to Congress by then-President Bill Clinton.

Feingold's fact-sheet follows in full...

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

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Conyers and Feingold Announce Judiciary Hearings on Bush Admistration Policy in Both Senate and House...
By Brad Friedman on 1/25/2007 2:16pm PT  

At the turn of the new year, we dubbed 2007 "The Year of Accountability." So, let it begin.

Two announcements were released today concerning upcoming oversight and investigative hearings in Congress on Bush Administration policy. If you can imagine such a thing.

In the House, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee --- the one which would lead the way concerning any Articles of Impeachment for a sitting U.S. President or Vice-President --- announced today that hearings would be held next Wednesday in the committee on "Presidential Signing Statements under the Bush Administration: A Threat to Checks and Balances and the Rule of Law?" (Complete media release, with details, scheduled witnesses, etc. at end of this article.)

In the Senate, Russ Feingold (D-WI) will chair Judiciary Committee hearings on "Congress's Power to End a War." In a media advisory just released, (posted in full below) Feingold refers to Congress's "power of the purse to redeploy our troops safely from Iraq so that we can refocus on the global terrorist networks that threaten our national security."

"This hearing will help inform my colleagues and the public about Congress’s power to end a war and how that power has been used in the past," Feingold is quoted in the release. As well, he promises to to introduce new legislation to do exactly that in the Senate. "I will soon be introducing legislation to use the power of the purse to end what is clearly one of the greatest mistakes in the history of our nation’s foreign policy," the senator said.

Neither of the Constitutionally mandated oversight hearings will be held in a basement broom closet, but rather in proper Congressional Hearing Rooms.

UPDATE 8:22pm PT White House says they "will cooperate." Of course they will.

The complete media releases from Conyers and Feingold, with dates, times, locations, and expected witnesses, follow below...

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

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Why Does George W. Bush Hate Our Troops?
By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2007 10:56am PT  

With more than 5600 words in his State of the Union speech, Bush couldn't cobble together five or six of them to thank our 1.6 million new American Veterans? Let alone recognize the continuing horrors they face and what our country plans to do to help them?

A press release from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America find that pretty crappy. So do we.

"Tonight President Bush once again failed to demonstrate a real commitment to the 1.6 million new American veterans who have been created under his watch," said Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq War Veteran and the executive director of IAVA (www.iava.org). "For the second year in a row, the President in his State of the Union address chose to mention the troops only as a prop for his failing policies and ignored the nation's new veterans entirely."

Why does George W. Bush hate our troops?

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Shame on Huffington Post for Giving Him a Platform to Do So...
By Brad Friedman on 1/22/2007 11:21pm PT  

Treacherous Republican wordsmith/pollster/spinman Frank Luntz sinks to new depths in pretending to offer "advice" for the Democratic Party in a condescending little screed posted at Huff Po on Sunday.

I'll let you make what you will of the bulk of his self-serving nonsense. But setting aside Luntz's apparent inability --- rather transparently, I'll add, for someone whose business is supposedly language --- to keep himself from using the pejoratively intended "Democrat" when he means "Democratic," I'll focus on only one major point.

For a man who damned well understands the importance of words he sure did manage to drop one huge rhetorical and literal LIE smack-dab into the middle of his editorial. He writes:

Senator Barbara Boxer can't really believe that a single woman without children is totally incapable of feeling emotional loss just because she hasn't had any children in combat, can she? Yet that's exactly what she said to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Of course, that's not "exactly" what Boxer said to Rice at all. Nor is it even close to what she said. What she said was EXACTLY:

BOXER: Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families. And I just want to bring us back to that fact.

Further, Luntz twists his disingenuous knife by adding:

Boxer could have been a constructive opponent. Instead, she chose to poke Rice straight in the eye with a stick sharpened by a crude personal attack. It was a cheap shot that made even the most hardened Washington insiders cringe.

Speaking of "cheap shots", if Luntz doesn't know by now that the phony non-incident he describes as having "made even the most hardened Washington insiders cringe" is little more than the Luntzian creation of White House spokeshole Tony Snow as aided and abetted by both the wingnut media and the NYTimes then he shouldn't be allowed in public, much less on Huff Po.

For the record, we covered the disingenuous brouhaha from the get-go as it sprang from a call we made for a Congress member to ask the White House about the casualty estimates for their Iraq "surge plan" (a Luntzian turn of phrase if we've ever seen one). As it turns out, they didn't bother to make any. Or so Condi claimed during the Senate hearings. (More relevant links to the notable points in our coverage are below.)

Shame on Luntz for purposely misleading readers. Shame on Huffington Post for giving a platform to an out-and-out liar. I don't care how much undeserved "celebrity" the man can claim, nor how much "the other side" should be heard from. If "the other side" is going to simply lie, then there is no reason that anyone, much less Huffington Post, should give them a platform to do so.

UPDATES:

  • To HuffPo's credit, they have cross-posted this blog item.
  • BRAD BLOG Guest Blogger Alan Breslauer calls to our attention one of his blog items from last summer highlighting a video clip of Luntz demonstrating yet more disingenuousness, along with Alan's personal observations of Luntz who was both a professor of his and, apparently, a frat house drinking buddy...

PREVIOUS RELATED BRAD BLOG ARTICLES:

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