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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Erick Erickson's Global Warming Denialist Tantrum
Latest barometer of denialist desperation: The rightwing 'thought leader', as usual, is wrong on the facts and science, so he's just taking his ball and going home...
Video Captures GA Family Disowning, Assaulting 20-Year Old Gay Son
But there is a "happy" ending, of sorts, to this heartbreaking and disturbing story...
'Green News Report' 8/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
BP refinery explodes. Again.; UN report warns of 'irreversible' warming; Fines for oil, chem spills; 22% of world elec. is now green; PLUS: People's Climate March coming to NYC...
Previous GNRs: 8/26/14 - 8/21/14 - Archives...
Faking the Ferguson Docs:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad interviews open records advocate Charlie Grapski on his evidence that Ferguson and St. Louis County police are illegally withholding evidence in the killing of Michael Brown; Plus MUCH more...
Records Requests Suggest Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Involved in Cover-Up
How else to explain the missing details and required documentation of Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown?...
'Green News Report' 8/26/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Napa earthquake is a warning for CA's nuke plants; Another coal plant bites the dust; Cutting emissions will save $$$; PLUS: Fighting drought with a 'salmon cannon'...Yep...
Previous GNRs: 8/21/14 - 8/19/14 - Archives...
Siegelman Judge, Arrested For Beating His Wife, May Avoid Prosecution Altogether
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller checks in for 'treatment', may be able to duck prosecution...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring GOP Photo ID voting restrictions in WI? We'll catch you up quickly...
Obama Orders Review of Police Militarization Program
In response to bi-partisan calls for reform and disturbing display by militarized local police in Ferguson, MO, the President takes aim at controversial Pentagon program...
Ryan Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 hopeful 'charms' elderly voters in FL, by ignoring them...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Is this another 'oops' moment from the Repub TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; Solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and Demilitarizing the Police: KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Bradto discuss his new bill...
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
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
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
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
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...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
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...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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...


Prosecutor Suggests Strong Evidence that VP Oversaw Libby's Cover Up of Outing of CIA Operative Plame-Wilson
Covert Status Confirmed (Yet Again)...
By Brad Friedman on 5/29/2007 5:28pm PT  

Dan Froomkin in Washington Post [emphasis ours]:

Special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald has made it clearer than ever that he was hot on the trail of a coordinated campaign to out CIA agent Valerie Plame until that line of investigation was cut off by the repeated lies from Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
...
[W]hen his motives have been attacked during court proceedings, Fitzgerald has occasionally shown flashes of anger --- and has hinted that he and his investigative team suspected more malfeasance at higher levels of government than they were able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

In Friday's eminently readable court filing, Fitzgerald quotes the Libby defense calling his prosecution "unwarranted, unjust, and motivated by politics." In responding to that charge, the special counsel evidently felt obliged to put Libby's crime in context. And that context is Dick Cheney.

Froomkin's eminently readable report goes on to cover admissions (yet again) from Fitzgerald which demonstrate that Plame was indeed covert when she was outed --- for the first time in the history of the country --- by our own Government, much less members of the Executive Branch possibly as high as the Vice-President or even higher.

MSNBC reports on the new covert status confirmation (yet again) for Plame, describing a newly declassified employment record released by the CIA, which (yet again) underscores the point:

The employment history indicates that while she was assigned to CPD [Counterproliferation Division], Plame, "engaged in temporary duty travel overseas on official business." The report says, "she traveled at least seven times to more than ten times." When overseas Plame traveled undercover, "sometimes in true name and sometimes in alias --- but always using cover --- whether official or non-official (NOC) --- with no ostensible relationship to the CIA."

We look forward to the outpouring of corrections and retractions from disgraced GOP attorney/disinfo expert, Victoria Toensing, and her many ass clown supporters in the rightwing blogosphere who reported otherwise --- in no uncertain terms --- for years on end. Those apologies will be coming in any second, no doubt, since the wingnuts are always so very good when it comes to their appreciation of journalistic ethics and the like.

Froomkin's WaPo report focuses on Cheney's involvement in leaking the name of the covert CIA asset, quoting from Fitzgerald's recent court filing: "The evidence at trial further established that when the investigation began, Mr. Libby kept the Vice President apprised of his shifting accounts of how he claimed to have learned about Ms. Wilson's CIA employment."

And this: "[T]here was an indication from Mr. Libby himself that his disclosures to the press may have been personally sanctioned by the Vice President."

He quotes much more on what Fitz had to say in his filing which drew a bead most directly, for the first time, onto the man who still calls himself Vice President of the United States and concludes the point with this:

I suspect that people looking back on this story will see it with greater clarity: As a blatant --- and thus far successful --- cover-up for the vice president.

Give it a read for all of that, as well as the amusing argument the defense is now making about why the letters of support for Libby that they've had sent to the Judge, requesting leniency, should not be released to the public (Hint: It's those nasty bloggers again!)

UPDATE: Plame's former CIA classmate Larry Johnson, an ex-spook himself, takes a well-deserved victory lap which begins: "Victoria Toensing, Cliff May, Byron York and the other rightwing apologists who have long insisted that Valerie Plame Wilson was not undercover have some 'splaining' to do." Uh, yeah. But don't hold your breath, Larry.

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Gosh, That Sounds Familiar...
By Alan Breslauer on 5/29/2007 12:16pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

The opening teaser (1:12) to today's Democracy Now juxtaposes quotes resisting withdrawal from LBJ and Nixon during Vietnam to that of George W. Bush today. The bulk of today's program (which can be streamed here) was dedicated to screening the new Sean Penn narrated documentary "War Made Easy: How Presidents And Pundits Keep Spinning Us To Death" which is based on the Norman Solomon book by the same name.

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Even on Memorial Day...
By Brad Friedman on 5/29/2007 11:05am PT  

As 10 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq on Memorial Day alone, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, is oblivious to how many actually been killed in this absurd farce total so far...

"When you take a look at the life of a nation and all that's required to keep us free, we had more than 3,000 Americans murdered on 11 September, 2001. The number who have died, sacrificed themselves since that time is approaching that number," General Pace told CBS Early Show's Harry Smith. "And we should pay great respect and thanks to them for allowing us to live free."

As RAW STORY, who pointed out Pace's grotesque and embarrassing error reported, 3,455 troops had been killed in Iraq at the time of Pace's statement. That number long ago eclipsed the 2,996 (as opposed to the "more than 3,000 Americans") killed on 9/11.

As of this morning, the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq is up to 3,466. But hey, it's just a few more dead people, so why quibble?

As well, 209 of those killed on 9/11 were not Americans, but rather foreign nationals. Which doesn't make a difference, other than Pace failed to include the hundreds of thousands of non-Americans which have been killed in his war.

Pace's numbers also fail to account for the more than 900 contractors reported to have been killed in Iraq, though that number is rarely reported by anyone.

"At least 146 contract workers were killed in Iraq in the first three months of the year," the NY Times recently reported, "That brings the total number of contractors killed in Iraq to at least 917, along with more than 12,000 wounded in battle or injured on the job, according to government figures and dozens of interviews."

And yes, Pace also failed to account for the 309 dead U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

All of which brings the most conservative grand total of dead U.S. citizens up to 4,675. All in brilliant retaliation for the 2,787 killed on 9/11. Heckuva job, Bushies.

One might think a 4-star Marine General serving as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would feel a responsibility to have an accurate understanding of such statistics and be able to report them a bit more accurately --- on Memorial Day of all days --- even as they change by the hour. One, apparently, would be wrong to make such an assumption.

CORRECTION: We originally reported that Pace was an Army General. He is actually a Marine. We regret the error, are happy to clarify it, and look forward to Pace's correcting his own error.

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By Greg Palast on 5/28/2007 12:53pm PT  

*** Investigative Journalist Greg Palast replies to Internet commentary following his Exclusive Report filed here at The BRAD BLOG on Monica Goodling's testimony to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee last week, including her admissions concerning "Vote Caging" by former Karl Rove aide, now Arkansas U.S. Attorney, Tim Griffin.

Saturday morning, when most sensible folks were unfurling flags or taking their setters and children for a Memorial Day frisbee toss on the beach, someone using the nom d’puter of “DRATIONAL” was in his big sister’s bedroom furiously typing, “Greg Palast is Dangerous!” on her iMac.

Drat is quite right: I am dangerous, though not for the reasons in Drat’s screed.

So while the twins are off with the dog, let me respond between bites of this bagel, beginning with this immutable distinction:

There’s two kinds of illiterates in this world: those who can’t read, for whom I’m entirely sympathetic — and those who CAN read but WON’T, for whom I have no sympathy whatsoever.

Drat is of the latter. He (she/them/it?) has mounted a full-scale assault on the seven-year-long effort of my BBC and Guardian team investigating systematic suppression of the minority vote by the Republican Party and our latest revelation: ‘caging voters.’ His “evidence” is 100% limited to snippets of my conversations on talk radio or phone interviews, second-hand reports on websites and some musings of one of my good researchers, Zach Roberts, posted to this site.

Nowhere does he suggest he’s bothered reading the one hundred-page description of the attack on voters, including caging, in the new edition of Armed Madhouse. Shame that. Law professor Robert F. Kennedy Jr., using the book as a source, verified by his own corroborative work, found the matter therein convincing enough to call for putting Rove’s right hand man, Tim Griffin, “in prison, not in office.”

Picking up a book won’t hurt you, Mr. Drat, at least until Patriot Act IV goes into effect...

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

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'Combines the Corruption of Warren G. Harding, the War Mongering of James Polk and the Abuse of Power of Richard Nixon'...
'But You Don't Get to Become the Worst President Ever Without a Little Help from the Other Side'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2007 3:23pm PT  

As we mentioned yesterday, when we posted the Maher interview with Ron Paul, the final Real Time of the season kicked ass, and Maher killed (sorry, Dredd) from top to bottom. Here's his closing "New Rules" of the season so you can decide for yourselves. Enjoy...


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By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2007 1:10pm PT  

In Maher's final show of the season (he'll return Aug. 24), he absolutely killed. This interview with Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul is one example, as were the final "New Rules" of the season which I'll also try post here soon (UPDATE: "New Rules" video now posted here)...


Post-script: Democrats may wish to pay very close attention to the reception Paul received from Maher's quite liberal studio audience.

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And The No Longer 'Missing' Rove Emails Revealing the Cagey Scheme to Steal 2008...
By Greg Palast on 5/24/2007 12:20am PT  

UPDATE 5/31/07: Late breaking news on Griffin resignation from Palast interview with Conyers, now posted here...

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG by Greg Palast

This Monica revealed something hotter --- much hotter --- than a stained blue dress. In her opening testimony yesterday before the House Judiciary Committee, Monica Goodling, the blonde-ling underling to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Department of Justice Liaison to the White House, dropped The Big One....And the Committee members didn't even know it.

Goodling testified that Gonzales' Deputy AG, Paul McNulty, perjured himself, lying to the committee in earlier testimony. The lie: McNulty denied Monica had told him about Tim Griffin's "involvement in 'caging' voters" in 2004.

Huh?? Tim Griffin? "Caging"???

The perplexed committee members hadn't a clue --- and asked no substantive questions about it thereafter. Karl Rove is still smiling. If the members had gotten the clue, and asked the right questions, they would have found "the keys to the kingdom," they thought they were looking for. They dangled right in front of their perplexed faces.

The keys: the missing emails --- and missing link --- that could send Griffin and his boss, Rove, to the slammer for a long, long time.

Kingdom enough for ya?

But what's 'caging' and why is it such a dreadful secret that lawyer McNulty put his license to practice and his freedom on the line to cover Tim Griffin's involvement in it? Because it's a felony. And a big one.

Here's how caging worked, and along with Griffin's thoughtful emails themselves you'll understand it all in no time.

The Bush-Cheney operatives sent hundreds of thousands of letters marked "Do not forward" to voters' homes. Letters returned ("caged") were used as evidence to block these voters' right to cast a ballot on grounds they were registered at phony addresses. Who were the evil fakers? Homeless men, students on vacation and --- you got to love this --- American soldiers. Oh yeah: most of them are Black voters.

Why weren't these African-American voters home when the Republican letters arrived? The homeless men were on park benches, the students were on vacation --- and the soldiers were overseas. Go to Baghdad, lose your vote. Mission Accomplished.

How do I know? I have the caging lists...

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

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Says DAG Paul McNulty Withheld Knowledge of Tim Griffin's Involvement in Challenging Minority Voter Registration in 2004
Former Rove Aide Griffin Posted to U.S. Attorney Position in Arkansas...
By Brad Friedman on 5/23/2007 11:46am PT  

From Monica Goodling's opening statement to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee this morning [emphasis added]:

Despite my and others' best efforts, [Deputy Attorney General, Paul McNulty]'s public testimony was incomplete or inaccurate in a number of respects. As explained in more detail in my written remarks, I believe that the Deputy was not fully candid about his knowledge of White House involvement in the replacement decision, failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of the White House's interest in selecting Tim Griffin as Interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, inaccurately described the Department's internal assessment of the Parsky Commission, and failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote "caging" during his work on the President's 2004 campaign.

For the record, it's the practice of sending registered mail to minority voters, asking for a reply, and if one doesn't come back, the voter's right to vote is challenged either at the polls, or attempts are made to remove them from the voter rolls --- usually without their knowledge. Allegations have been made that this was done, based on race, in 2004, when registered letters were sent to the home addresses of African-Americans in Ohio, Florida and elsewhere. Most insidiously, letters were said to have been sent to U.S. troops who were away, serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, and thus did not (and could not) answer the registered mail. Their registrations were then reportedly challenged.

The RNC agreed to cease the practice in a 1986 consent decree in a court case brought after they had "tried to have 31,000 voters, most of them black, removed from the rolls in Louisiana when a party mailer was returned, " according to the Washington Post.

"The consent decrees that resulted prohibited the party from engaging in anti-fraud initiatives that target minorities or conduct mail campaigns to 'compile voter challenge lists.'"

Hopefully one of the Judiciary Committee Members will follow up on this, with either Goodling or in further interviews with McNulty or Griffin, who was Karl Rove's aide at the time, before he was later shoved into Bud Cummins' position as Arkansas U.S. Attorney.

UPDATE 2:45pm PT: The DoJ released a statement this afternoon from McNulty, in response to Goodling's testimony and her claims that his "public testimony was incomplete or inaccurate in a number of respects":

"I testified truthfully at the Feb. 6, 2007, hearing based on what I knew at that time. Ms. Goodling's characterization of my testimony is wrong and not supported by the extensive record of documents and testimony already provided to Congress."

More on Vote Caging Lists at Wikipedia. The key details follow below...

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

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Plan Would Deny Legally Mandated Pay Increase, Stiff Military Servicemen and Women Serving in Combat in Most Dangerous Part of the World...
By Arlen Parsa on 5/21/2007 1:20pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Arlen Parsa

{Ed Note: An error in this report was later discovered while working on a follow-up to it. The illegality of the Bush military pay raise proposal as described in the report below, is based on a 1999 law which phased out the pay formula that Bush failed to meet, by fiscal year 2008. Lawmakers are in the process of restoring that provision, even while another law also keeps the legality of Bush's proposal in doubt. The full details and explanation for the error, after combing through a soup of defense authorization provisions, are explained in our follow up report. The BRAD BLOG regrets the error.}

Recently the Bush Administration and Democratically-controlled Congress were at odds over how much to pay US soldiers serving in the most dangerous places in the world: Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress said that the troops should get a raise of 3.5%, while the Administration said any raise higher than 3% was not deserved. Administration officials even bluntly said the White House "strongly opposes" giving the troops that extra 0.5%.

Although Democrats have been arguing for the 3.5% raise, what neither they, nor any news organization seems to have thus far noticed, is that the Administration's meager compensation plan would be, in fact, illegal.

Increases in military salary are traditionally determined by increases in average civilian salary, according to a method of measurement called the Employment Cost Index. Regardless of the actual dollar increase in salary, the base pay for service-members must be at least 0.5% above the corresponding civilian pay because of a Defense Authorization Act which Congress passed in 1999.

But according to Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, the Bush Administration's proposed raise of only 3% for active-duty troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is actually less than the average increase in civilian wages from 2006 to 2007 (3.3%), instead of the required 0.5% more than the average civilian wage (which would be equal to 3.8%).

If Congress passes the funding plan that the Administration has proposed, they will, in effect, be illegally depriving the troops of the minimum pay raise guaranteed to them by the earlier law. The move would save the Bush Administration millions and could cost new US Army recruits (who are the least effected by the proposed pay raise) a few hundred dollars annually.

Still, some service-members might take comfort from the fact that the issue at hand is a raise in salary, not a decrease, as the Bush Administration and the Department of Defense had previously tried to pull off in 2003, until they got caught red-handed attempting to stiff U.S. troops back then as well...

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

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26 Vote in Favor, Including First Time Supporters Clinton, Obama
Feingold on the Floor: Points Out 76 Senators Who Voted to Cut Off Funding for Somalia Conflict in 1993...
By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2007 1:56pm PT  

As we broke early last week, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) brought his Reid-Feingold amendment, calling for defunding and an effective end to the Iraq War by a date certain (March of 2008), to the floor today. The measure failed to pass, but received 26 votes in favor, including all of those we named last week plus 16 or so more, all Democrats, including Presidential hopefuls Clinton and Obama, who supported such a measure for the first first time.

Greg Sargent has the list of Dems who voted for and against. David Swanson has more thoughts on the vote.

And we have Feingold's complete floor statement today posted below, in which he noted that in October of 1993, 76 Senators voted in favor of cutting off funding for the conflict in Somalia by March of 1994. "Many of them are still in this body," Feingold pointed out, "including Senators Levin, Cochran, Domenici, Hutchison, Lugar, McConnell, Specter, Stevens and Warner."

"Did those Senators jeopardize the safety and security of U.S. troops in Somalia?" he asked. "By cutting off funds for a military mission, were they indifferent to the well-being of our brave men and women in uniform?"

Not a single Republican, even those who voted to cut off funding for U.S. troops in Somalia, voted in favor of Feingold's amendment today.

Feingold's full prepared statement for today's Senate debate on the Feingold-Reid Amendment follows below...

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

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Jim Hightower Explains 'Why We're In Iraq'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/13/2007 2:05pm PT  

(Hat-tip David Swanson who has more thoughts at AfterDowningStreet.org)

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By Alan Breslauer on 5/9/2007 10:50am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

The PBS Frontline special,When Teens Get Life, investigates the archaic and cruel dimmension of the American justice system that allows children to be sent to prison for life. Additionally, the documentary provides some insight into how we house the nation's "worst" criminal offenders.

Unfortunately, the limited information provided about the Super Max Colorado State Prison featured in this edited video (8:21) is not reassuring. In fact, there appears to be some startling similarities between the treatment of inmates in the Colorado Super Max and the US prison at Guantánamo Bay. For example, Frontline was not permitted to film inside or outside of the prison or interview any inmates. Video footage of the teen inmate featured in the segment was obtained in 2004 by Human Rights Watch. Inmates are also denied counsel and the right to review testimony used against them in prison proceedings. Evidentiary testimony is considered confidential and is never made available to prisoners. Without counsel, the ability to cross examine witnesses or even see the evidence used against them, it can hardly be said that prisoners have any due process rights. Finally, prisoners at the Colorado Super Max are not assigned release dates.

Why do we have a Constitution?

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Bill Supported by Majority Leader Reid, 8 Other Senate Co-Sponsors, to be Offered as Amendment to New Iraq War Supplemental
Exceptions for Funds Cutoff to Be Made for Fighting Terrorists, Security for U.S. Troops and Infrastructure, Training of Iraqi Security Services...
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2007 3:08pm PT  

In a statement just sent to The BRAD BLOG, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) says he is prepared to up the ante in the fight with the White House in light of Bush's spending bill veto, and will be proposing that war funding be cut off by a date certain as part of the next spending bill sent to the White House.

Feingold adds that his previously proposed legislation, known as the Feingold-Reid Bill (S. 1077), had a number of co-sponsors already on board in the Senate, and that the same language would be used for his proposed amendment to the Senate's new supplemental spending bill.

His statement just in to The BRAD BLOG:

“With brave Americans fighting and dying for a failed policy in Iraq, members of Congress shouldn’t delay action to end this misguided war for weeks or even months just for the sake of political comfort. That is why, when the Senate takes up the Iraq supplemental, I plan to offer the Feingold-Reid bill as an amendment to force the President to safely redeploy our troops by March 31, 2008 at which point funding for the war would be cut off.”

In addition to Reid's support of the original bill, the co-sponsors already on board as listed at Feingold's website include Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), John Kerry (D-MA), Pat Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

It's not yet known if the same Senators will support the bill as an amendment to the next supplemental spending bill or not, according to a Feingold spokesman tonight.

The legislation includes a few caveats sure to be ignored by the wingnuts when they begin to attack it, so we'll point them out here. Namely, that Feingold's bill will not cut off funding for the purpose of:

  • "conduct[ing] targeted operations...against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations";
  • "security for United States infrastructure and personnel"; or
  • "to train and equip Iraqi security services"

CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story was unclear about the differences between the two versions of Feingold's legislation. Feingold's original legislation, supported by 10 Senators in all, and quoted in full below, will be used as the basis --- "likely with identical language," according to a Feingold spokesperson --- as an amendment to the new supplemental spending bill in the Senate. At the moment, it's unclear what that new supplemental will look like. We thank the Feingold staffer who contacted us late tonight with the clarification.

The full text of Feingold's straight forward proposed legislation follows below...

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

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And What His Press Spokesperson May Do in Her Free Time...
By Brad Friedman on 5/7/2007 8:56pm PT  

If anyone knows how to hit just the wrong note, time and again, it's our favorite corrupt Congressman from Florida's 24th district, who's still on the run from charges of Abramoff-related improprieties.

We're running the following item mostly for the Orlando Sentinel's hysterical comment on Tom Feeney's press spokeperson's name. But Feeney's choice of showing off multiple photos of his hot, sweaty bod on a press release concerning U.S. troops being killed in Iraq certainly caught our notice as well...

Feeney's on the run

If it smells fishy, it either has something to do with politics, or fish.

Or in this case, both.

Sporting shirts from a New Smyrna Beach favorite, J.B.'s Fish Camp, U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney last week led "The Anglers" in the annual ACLI Capital Challenge. The three-mile race in Washington features members of the media and leaders of our government hitting the pavement in the kind of race that takes physical, not fiscal, fitness.

Press secretary Pepper Pennington --- no, we don't know whether she picks pickled peppers -- tells us Team Feeney came in at just more than 21 minutes.

No word on what he smelled like. But we can show you what he looked like. See Team Feeney at www.house.gov/list/press...4-feeney/iraqveto.shtml.

NOTE: The URL in the Sentinel article was wrong. So for more hot, sweaty photos of Feeney --- who sure knows how to, gosh darn it, have a little fun with war --- you can check out his very tasteful Iraq Veto/Fish Restaurant Sponsored press release/photo spread right here.

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It's Time for America to Institute One...
By Steve Heller on 5/4/2007 10:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Stephen Heller...

"A very small segment of the American population are fighting this war! If the president thinks we should continue the war he ought to call for a draft and spread it out and let everybody serve in this war, not this small segment who are making such a sacrifice!"
-- Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), 4/19/07

America needs a military draft. Admittedly, this idea is anathema to many progressives. Nevertheless, it would be good for this nation. It would boost our national security, but it would also be an invaluable part of preventing our so-called "leaders" from taking us into another unnecessary war.

There's no doubt we need more troops. As recently reported in the Los Angeles Times, Air Force personnel are now being used to fill out the Army ranks in Iraq. Military.com reports that in 2005 recruiters missed their target numbers by the widest margin since 1979. While the Department of Defense has said that it met or exceeded its recruitment goals for 2006, they are still having so much trouble getting warm bodies that recruitment of foreigners is being considered, including a proposal to expedite the citizenship process as an added incentive.

According to The Boston Globe, Bush and Defense Secretary Gates "have acknowledged that the total size of the military must be expanded to help alleviate the strain on ground troops, many of whom have been deployed repeatedly in combat theaters." And the Democratic congress has "promise[d] to make increasing the size of the military one of their top legislative priorities in 2007."

In December of 2006, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson "told a news conference that society would benefit from a return to the draft." Of course, a few hours later he backpedaled faster than Rush Limbaugh can say "OxyContin" when the White House disavowed the remark. But he was right when he said our society would benefit from the draft, even if, like a good little soldier, he quickly changed his tune to please his boss.

More recently, in an April 18th article from the Marine Corp Times, Lawrence Korb --- a former senior Pentagon official and now a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a Senior Advisor to the Center for Defense Information --- said, "The current use of ground forces in Iraq represents a complete misuse of the all-volunteer military." He went on to add that in his view the all-volunteer force is not meant to be used for a protracted ground war, yet that is what they are facing.

Korb then went a step further...

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