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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Disinformation Campaign Continues Five Years After the Invasion
By Jon Ponder on 8/1/2008 3:05pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

George Bush went out of his way not to use the term "mission accomplished" yesterday when he quietly declared the surge in Iraq to be a success. Bush's declaration has been ignored by just about everyone, except for Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who used it as an opportunity to trot out one of the tired-est of the GOP Big Lies: that Saddam Hussein's government was behind the 9/11 attacks.

First, here's a bit of Bush's non-declaration of success mumbo-jumbo:

BUSH: This has been a month of encouraging news from Iraq. Violence is down to its lowest level since the spring of 2004, and we're now in our third consecutive month with reduced violence levels holding steady. General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker caution that the progress is still reversible, but they report that there now appears to be a "degree of durability" to the gains we have made.

A significant reason for this sustained progress is the success of the surge. Another is the increasing capability of the Iraqi forces. Iraqi forces now have 192 combat battalions in the fight --- and more than 110 of these battalions are taking the lead in combat operations against terrorists and extremists.

A little later, during a press conference held by Lieberman and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to congratulate Dear Leader on his latest triumph, Lieberman said this:

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

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McCain 2004: 'It's Obvious We Would Have To Leave'
By Jon Ponder on 7/22/2008 2:39pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Does anything that George W. Bush and John McCain say matter? Based on this colloquy between Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow on "Countdown" last night, apparently not:

OLBERMANN: ...The Iraqi government is saying, “Get out,” and President Bush swore, you know, “Some day if they say ‘get out,‘ we‘ll get out.”

MADDOW: That‘s right. May 2007 in the Rose Garden, Bush said—and I went back and checked the quote directly so I could be sure to directly quote him — “If they were to say leave, we would leave.” Also, for what it‘s worth, in April of 2004, John McCain at the Council on Foreign Relations said, “It is obvious we would have to leave if they asked to us leave.”

I mean, they told us that the point of invading Iraq was to topple Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein was toppled; they told us that the point of staying there after, was to set up a sovereign Iraqi government. Well now, the sovereign Iraqi government is standing up on its hind legs enough to tell us to leave, and we‘re left with this situation where they need another explanation of why we can‘t leave. That‘s the real headline here.

Here's the question Bush was asked in May 2007, as well as a bit of preamble to the money quote:

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

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10 Republicans Abstain, Measure Passes 238-180...
By Jon Ponder on 7/17/2008 8:34am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

There will be a hearing related to Rep. Dennis Kucinich's Article of Impeachment against George Bush in the House Judiciary Committee. That was assured by a vote of 238 to 180 on Tuesday. (Details on that hearing, now posted here.)

But, according to Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's "Countdown" last night, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has mandated that questioning in the hearing be relegated to Bush's abuses of power, not his criminal wrongdoing.

“There’s never been one [hearing] that accumulated all the things that constitute an imperial presidency,” said Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, according to CQ Politics. He indicated topics covered in the hearing would include the firing of U.S. attorneys for political reasons, the betrayal of CIA agent Valerie Plame and Bush's alleged lying to Congress about the reasons for invading Iraq.

Kucinich's single Article of Impeachment only deals with Bush's lies to Congress.

There were no Democratic votes against holding the hearing. While 180 Republicans voted to follow their Dear Leader lock-step over the cliff, 10 Republicans abstained and nine Republican members of Congress voted with the Democrats. Here are their names...

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

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Kucinich's Article of Impeachment Charges Bush with High Crime of Lying to Congress about Rationale for War
By Jon Ponder on 7/11/2008 10:16am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

When the Democrats regained control of the House in 2006, the new Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, famously took the impeachment of George Bush "off the table." This puzzled and disappointed millions of people who rightly wondered why a president could be impeached over a sex lie in 1999 but not over a lie just four years later that sent hundreds of thousands of innocent people to their deaths in Iraq while draining the U.S. Treasury of billions upon billions of dollars.

In parliamentary proceedings, however, any item that can be taken off the table can be put back on it, if conditions change and the leadership wills it so. As we reported yesterday, Speaker Pelosi has signaled that an Article of Impeachment charging Bush with lying to Congress about his pretexts for invading Iraq might at least get a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.

There's no way to know what, if any, changes in conditions may have prompted her to rethink impeachment, but it may have something to do with a new Rasmussen poll released on Tuesday that found approval of Congress at 9 percent, which is essentially a statistical zero.

Pundits have long speculated that Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and the other leaders have been averse to impeaching Bush because the impeachment of Pres. Bill Clinton put the Republican-controlled Congress in such bad odor with the public.

Let's assume that Pelosi and company are not so blind that they can't see the difference in severity of Clinton's misdemeanor and Bush's high crimes --- or that they're such bad politicians that they can't judge the difference in the voters' view of Clinton, whose approval rating remained in the mid-60s throughout the ordeal, and its disregard for Bush, whose approval is in the low 30s. Nor can they be unaware of the corollary fact that disapproval of Bush's misadventure in Iraq is in the upper 60s.

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

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Demands a Timetable for Withdrawal of Troops...
By Jon Ponder on 7/8/2008 3:07pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki dropped a bombshell into the American presidential campaign yesterday when he stated publicly that it was time for U.S. troops to leave his country.

“The current trend is to reach an agreement on a memorandum of understanding either for the departure of the forces or to put a timetable on their withdrawal,” al Maliki said, while on an official visit to the United Arab Emirates.

The U.S. government is currently negotiating with the Iraqis on an agreement that would keep U.S. forces in the country on a long-term basis. But members of the parliament and the al Maliki government are said to be unhappy with the proposal because it would undermine Iraq's sovereignty.

Al Maliki's announcement can be seen as a direct challenge to the Iraq policy of George Bush and his presumptive heir, John McCain, both of whom insist that the U.S. cannot withdraw until Iraq is secure. McCain is on the record saying U.S. troops could remain in Iraq for a century or more, if conditions warrant.

Reacting to al Maliki's announcement, Barack Obama said the Iraqi government is more in sync with his view of future U.S.-Iraq relations.

"I think that his statement is consistent with my view about how withdrawals should proceed," Obama said to reporters on Monday. "I think it's encouraging ... that the prime minister himself now acknowledges that in cooperation with Iraq, it's time for American forces to start sending out a timeframe for the withdrawal.

"I hope that this administration as well as John McCain is listening to what Prime Minister al Maliki has to say."

If the Iraqis take the next step and officially request a withdrawal, and Bush declines the request, it will the myth that U.S. troops are not forces of occupation in Iraq.

It's unclear whether the Iraqis will take that step, but no matter what happens, the Iraqi government's position on withdrawal will make it harder as the fall campaign plays out for McCain and Bush to smear Obama and the Democrats as advocates of "surrendering" and "cutting and running" from the Iraq civil war.

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So Why Is Bush Sending in 30,000 Replacement Troops?
By Jon Ponder on 7/7/2008 2:06pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Last week, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared that his government has defeated terrorism in Iraq.

"They were intending to besiege Baghdad and control it. But, thanks to the will of the tribes, security forces, army and all Iraqis, we defeated them," al-Maliki declared, referring to recent government operations against Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.

Violence in Iraq is said to be at its lowest level in four years, a factor that is attributed to the surge of U.S. forces into the country.

So if the surge has been so successful, can we bring U.S. troops out of Iraq and leave internal security to al-Maliki and the Iraqi military?

Of course not. We're sending more troops to Iraq.

Late in June, the Pentagon was reported to be preparing to send 30,000 replacement troops into Iraq in about six months in order to maintain 15 brigades in country.

What this means is that the surge is a success only in the sense that flooding the zone with security has tamped down violence and --- here is the real point --- neutralized Iraq as a domestic political issue in the presidential campaign.

Underlying the "success," however, the morass of internecine religious conflicts, intrigue and power struggles is far from resolved and will undoubtedly raise its ugly head again when U.S. troops come out, if they ever do.

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Congressman Kucinich Takes Hours to Read ALL Articles in Full on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives
UPDATED With Video of Articles 28 & 29 on 'Tampering with Elections' and 'Violations of Voting Rights Act'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/9/2008 6:06pm PT  

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is currently reading all 35 Articles of Impeachment, against George W. Bush, on the floor of the House of Representatives.

I'm on the radio for the moment, so see RAW STORY for details. I may have more soon.

UPDATE: Now back home, and watching Kucinich myself on C-SPAN. He's been reading for hours, and may have hours ahead still. As mentioned on the air, I was consulted for these Articles of Impeachment and submitted a number of suggestions and material concerning impeachable offenses related to election tampering by George W. Bush and his agents. Don't know whether those articles are still in the final version. We shall see. But I wanted to be sure to disclose that.

No doubt we'll be talking about this tomorrow on the PBC Show (which I'm Guest Hosting all week). We're trying to get Kucinich for tomorrow's show...if he still has any voice left.

FURTHER UPDATE: Looks like the election-related Articles of Impeachment made it into the final version, including a mention of GOP "voter fraud" sheister Mark F. "Thor" Hearne of front-group American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). Nice to see Hearne get the recognition on the floor of the U.S. Congress that he so richly deserves.

STILL MORE: Reuters coverage notes Kucinich "defied his party leadership" in filing. AP incorrectly writes:

Kucinich introduced a resolution last year to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. That resolution was killed, but only after Republicans initially voted in favor of taking up the measure to force a debate.

In fact, his Articles of Impeachment against Dick Cheney were not "killed," they were sent to the House Judiciary Committee, where they remain without action having been taken on them by the Dem leadership, despite best efforts by folks like Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL), and others.

AND STILL MORE (from Alan):

Article 28 - Tampering with Free and Fair Elections (7:20)


Article 29 - Violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Part 1 (8:54), Part 2 (9:39)



POST-ADJOURNMENT UPDATE: Just prior to midnight ET, Kucinich finally finished reading the list of High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Equal Justice Society writes:

"We've waited seven years to find one Member of Congress brave enough to stand up for our Constitution, for which generations of Americans have fought and died," said Bob Fertik, President of Democrats.com. "We are thrilled and honored that Dennis Kucinich has chosen to be that one genuine patriot. We congratulate him on his historic leadership, and pledge to do everything in our power to persuade Congress to adopt all 35 Articles and put George W. Bush on trial before the Senate of the United States, exactly as the Founding Fathers wanted."

"Some might question why Congressman Kucinich has done this now," continued Fertik. "My question is why 434 other Congress Members have not done it before. Despite the uncountable and unspeakable crimes this administration has committed, George Bush and Dick Cheney remain in power and immune from prosecution. Congress must impeach Bush and Cheney now - before they further abuse their power by pardoning for all of their crimes."
...
Email or call (202-224-3121) your Member of Congress to support Rep. Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment. And sign the petition at Democrats.com.

FINAL UPDATE: The entire resolution has been posted here, in both HTML and PDF format.

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By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2008 9:00pm PT  

O'Reilly uses every bully-boy, tough-guy, strong-arm tactic in his thuggish satchel. McClellan didn't blink. To his credit, he's standing by his book. All. of. it. In fact, the deer-in-the-headlights glaze he had for years at the WH press podium seems now to be entirely gone. We're impressed.

Here's O'Reilly's complete, three-segment, testosterone-amped, failed attempt to take down McClellan on tonight's O'Reilly Factor...




BTW, some on the supposedly-Progressive side --- such as the folks at MoveOn and other friends of ours --- have condemned McClellan for not speaking up sooner and for "profiting from lying to the public" during his time at the White House. While we understand that general impulse, we think the knee-jerk reaction may be a mistake. McClellan himself said last Sunday on Meet The Press that he hopes others will step forward to do as he did. So do we.

He's taken a huge hit from "his own" side by coming out as he has in a rather extraordinary and unprecedented way. His realizations, late in coming or otherwise, seem to be quite legit, heartfelt and rather courageous. It seems to us we should be more interested in making those who might do the same feel safe to do so, rather than kick them from all sides. Just our .02.

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By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2008 12:04am PT  

[Ed Note: Had to break the list up over four different postings, since the blog software would not allow an item even half the size of the entire list. --- BF]

U.S. troops killed in Iraq & Afghanistan, since the beginning of both wars, confirmed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense as of 5/22/08 [from A to D]...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2008 12:03am PT  

U.S. troops killed in Iraq & Afghanistan, since the beginning of both wars, confirmed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense as of 5/22/08 [from E to K]...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2008 12:02am PT  

U.S. troops killed in Iraq & Afghanistan, since the beginning of both wars, confirmed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense as of 5/22/08 [from L to R]...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2008 12:01am PT  

U.S. troops killed in Iraq & Afghanistan, since the beginning of both wars, confirmed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense as of 5/22/08 [from S to Z]...

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

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Including 6 1/2 Minutes Previously Edited Out for Time...
By Brad Friedman on 5/14/2008 8:35am PT  

It's the first actually intelligent, respectful discussion/debate on the Iraq War I ever recall seeing on television, certainly with an administration official. And it had to happen on a fake news show. About 6 years later than it should have.

Here's the complete uncut version of Jon Stewart's Monday night Daily Show interview with Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. Part 1 is 8 mins, Part 2 (uncut) is just over 11 mins. If you saw it on air, you missed a good 6 1/2 minutes or so which were edited out for time from Part 2...


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Huge Crowds March In Support Of Immigrants, Workers Rights And Against The Iraq Occupation...
By Alan Breslauer on 5/2/2008 8:09am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


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By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2008 9:17pm PT  

Let the history books show that the Democrats, and the tiny number of Republicans, who voted NO on giving authority to George W. Bush to wage war in Iraq (and virtually everywhere else) anytime he wished, in October of 2002, were right on every score.

Those who spoke out, and were publicly tarred and feathered, labeled as unpatriotic, left-wing fringe, out of step with the country, and generally loons for having done so --- folks like Feingold, Kennedy, Durbin, Waters, Lee, Kaptur, Kucinich, Wellstone, Woolsey, Waters, Conyers, Hinchey, and perhaps, most prophetically, according to Ellen Spiro and Phil Donahue's the new documentary film, Body of War, Robert Byrd of West Virginia --- are all owed a great debt of thanks by every American, particularly those who had maligned them for having the temerity to be right back then.

Last night I went to see Body of War, which opens this weekend in Los Angeles, and was struck by the simple message that an entire swath of courageous Congressional members, who had stood up, to little notice, to say the right thing, were almost entirely - to a man and a woman - branded as moonbats and traitors back in the dark days of 2002. To this day, they have never received the appropriate recognition for having resisted the systematically orchestrated lies and fear tactics of the pro-Bush crowd (which includes both Ds and Rs), nor have they received the appropriate thanks and apologies from those who were absolutely, undebatably, undeniably, 100% wrong in their horrific assessment of what will go down as perhaps the greatest policy mistake in American history.

To that same end, I would suggest that history will eventually regard the much-maligned Gold Star mother, Cindy Sheehan, as belonging side-by-side with courageous Americans before her like civil rights hero Rosa Parks. I predict that Sheehan will, one day, receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. I only hope she'll be alive to receive that honor, from that body, in person, when that day comes. And it will.

Donahue was on hand last night for a Q&A following the film, which I attended along with PDA's national chair, actress Mimi Kennedy. As I, personally, played a small part (and am seen briefly in the film) in originally helping to tell the story of disabled Iraqi vet Tomas Young, whose remarkable story is told in stark parallel to the fateful --- and often shameful --- words heard during the "so-called" Congressional debate on the resolution to allow the use of force in Iraq back in 2002, just three weeks prior to that year's election, I was delighted to be able to thank Donahue personally, for placing the entire story, finally, in correct, often maddening, often gut-wrenching, historical context.

(See bottom of this article for my audio interview with Young in August of 2005, his first for a national audience, from on the ground at "Camp Casey" in Crawford, TX.)

Body of War should be seen by every American, left, right, center, and other. It should be mandatory viewing for every current and future Congressional representative. It should be shown over and over again, in an endless, Clockwork Orange-like loop, in the jail cells of those who will likely never be convicted for the unspeakable crimes they have knowingly and callously committed, at the expense of thousands of courageous dead American troops, and more than 100 thousand dead world citizens, who have all fallen victim to the cowardly and shameful actions of those entrusted to know better...

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

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