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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, July 28, 2014
Bi-Partisan House to Obama: Get Out of Iraq
Overwhelming, if largely symbolic vote in the U.S. House, directs the President to pull U.S. troops back out of Iraq. Directive seen as stinging rebuke to GOP war haws in Senate..
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
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The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
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Record wildfires burn the Pacific Northwest; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
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Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal 1960 From Nixon
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CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
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Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: CA gets tough on water wasters...
Kochs Radical 'Libertarianism' Broke KA
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Divesting from fossil fuels; Germany gives $1b to climate fund; Australia carbon tax repeal; All-electric Formula E racing revs up; PLUS: Climate denier Murdoch...
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'
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'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
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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...

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...

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FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
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CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Alan Breslauer on 3/22/2007 1:52pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Richard Engel's War Zone Diary is an amazing special that aired last night on MSNBC. This video (9:53) is roughly edited from the original hour and is not intended as a substitute. Each scene was picked for its own content and without respect to the ongoing narrative. Also, while most of the hardcore scenes - mutilated bodies and the like - have been edited out, there is still much that is difficult to stomach and could be offensive. You can find out more about Richard Engel and the special here.

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By Brad Friedman on 3/22/2007 5:35am PT  

Courtesy of The Onion...

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The Vermont Senator Says We Are Otherwise On Track to Send a Full Trillion with No Oversight Adequate to Control Waste, Fraud and Abuse...
By Margie Burns on 3/20/2007 1:07pm PT  

Guest Blogged by BRAD BLOG's D.C. correspondent Margie Burns

"We don't have a law that would make war profiteering specifically a federal crime," Sen. Leahy (D-VT) said in this morning's efficient hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, so he is introducing one.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is busy these days --- what with the scandal over White House manipulations of the prosecutorial function of the Department of Justice, the continuing scandals of war profiteering in the "war on terror," and other oversight matters, the Committee is in jeopardy of being overstretched. In fact, it already is overstretched.

The room was full for this morning's hearing, which I attended, on "Combating War Profiteering," but, as with last week's House Oversight Comittee hearings with Valerie Plame et al, this one was also scantly attended by GOP'ers. Of Republicans, only the co-chair of the committee Arlen Specter (R-PA) and --- to do him justice --- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) graced the hearing with their presence. The co-chair could do no less, and indeed did little, though I noticed that both he and Leahy alluded to their past jobs as prosecutors, from which it can safely be inferred that they too think the current manipulations of US Attorneys --- prosecutors --- by the DOJ look very bad...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/17/2007 1:50pm PT  

Don Rumsfeld 2/7/2003: "It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months"

George W. Bush 5/1/03: "My fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."

Dick Cheney 6/20/05: "The level of activity that we see today from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

AP 3/17/07:

WASHINGTON - Denouncing a conflict entering its fifth year, protesters across the country raised their voices Saturday against U.S. policy in Iraq and marched by the thousands to the Pentagon in the footsteps of an epic demonstration four decades ago against another divisive war.

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Letter to Josh Bolten Follows Earlier Congressional Testimony from WH Security Director That No Investigation Was Ever Conducted Into Disclosure of the Identity of Covert Operative Valerie Plame-Wilson...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2007 2:18pm PT  

Just in from Waxman's office after this morning's stunning revelation that the White House never conducted an investigation into the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson, despite a number of promises from Bush to do exactly that and an executive order signed in early 2003 which requires such an investigation in the wake of such a disclosure.

In a statement sent to The BRAD BLOG, Waxman's office explains that a letter just sent to White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten asks for an explanation as to why the White House "did not follow the investigative steps prescribed by Executive Order 12958," as signed in March 2003. The order requires the White House to "'take appropriate and prompt corrective action' whenever there is a release of classified information," according to the statement. (Waxman's letter is posted in full at the end of the article.)

During this morning's testimony of James Knodell, Director of the Office of Security at the White House, it was revealed --- to the amazement of the assembled Congress members on the House Oversight Committee panel --- that no such investigation was ever conducted.

"Taken as a whole, the testimony at today's hearing described breach after breach of national security requirements at the White House," the letter reads. "The first breach was the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's identity. Other breaches included the failure of Mr. Rove and other officials to report their disclosures as required by law, the failure of the White House to initiate the prompt investigation required by the executive order, and the failure of the White House to suspend the security clearances of the implicated officials."

Waxman asked for the following from Bolten: "I request that you provide the Committee with a complete account of the steps that the White House took following the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's identity (1) to investigate how the leak occurred; (2) to review the security clearances of the White House officials implicated in the leak; (3) to impose administrative or disciplinary sanctions on the officials involved in the leak; and (4) to review and revise existing White House security procedures to prevent future breaches of national security."

Waxman's letter to Bolten follows in full...

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

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Chart as Displayed During Today's Congressional Oversight Hearing During the Testimony of the Outed CIA Agent...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2007 12:36pm PT  

As requested by a number of readers, the following chart was displayed at today's House Oversight Committee hearings (live blogged here) as chaired by Henry Waxman (D-CA). The BRAD BLOG obtained the chart from his office.

It was presented by Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) during the hearing and shows the known number of disclosures of Valerie Plame-Wilson's identity by the White House and the State Department. Plame-Wilson testified under oath today that she was a covert CIA operative working to monitor WMD in Iraq when her cover, and that of her entire network, was blown after the disclosure of her identity by White House officials.

She also testified it was the first time such a CIA agent's cover was purposely blown by our own government.

The chart is followed by the section from the text transcript when the chart was initially displayed this morning...

REP. PAUL HODES (D-N.H.): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mrs. Wilson, thank you for coming today.

What happened to you is deadly serious. You were the victim of a national security breach. If this was a law enforcement context, something I'm familiar with, it would be equivalent to disclosing the identity of an undercover police officer who has put his life on the line, and the lives of all those who help that officer.

Our job on this committee is to find out how the breach happened. Now, I'd like to show you a chart that we prepared on the committee --- you'll see it up on the screens, and we're putting it up here on paper. That chart is a graphic depiction of all the ways that your classified CIA employment was disclosed to White House officials and then to the press.

Every colored block on that chart is an individual, and every arrow shows a disclosure of classified information. That classified information was your CIA employment status. And the arrows are based on the testimony in Mr. Libby's criminal case and press reports. This chart shows over 20 different disclosures about your employment. Let me ask you, looking at this chart, are you surprised that so many people had access to the classified information about your CIA employment?

MS. PLAME WILSON: Yes, I am, Congressman. And I'm also surprised at how carelessly they used it.

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Director James Knodell, Under Intense Questioning, Can't Explain Why There Was Never an Investigation by White House
Victoria Toensing, in Third Panel, Also Subjected to Intense Scrutiny on Previous 'Plame Wasn't Covert' Statements, Seems Shaken, Offers Much Conflicting Info, Explanations...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2007 9:22am PT  

In the second panel in the House Oversight Committee hearings this morning, following the testimony of Valerie Plame-Wilson, the Director of the White House Security Office, James Knodell, has stunned the Congress members by disclosing that no investigation into the leaking of Plame-Wilson's covert identity as a CIA operative was ever conducted by his office!

The members are flabbergasted. The questioning is intense. My live-blogging notes are posted, and updated live, below...

Also, the third panel, featuring Victoria Toensing, apologist for White House leaks, was fascinating, as her previous claims that "Plame was not covert" and that "she didn't serve overseas within five years prior to the leak" had been demolished by Plame-Wilson's earlier testimony. She attempted to mitigate the situation throughout her testimony by claiming that Plame-Wilson was not covert "under the provisions of the statute." Many more details below...

(Live blogging of Valerie Plame-Wilson's testimony is back here...)

UPDATE: Video of complete hearing and related documents now online at House Oversight Committee website right here...

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

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Testifies She Had Nothing to do With Sending Husband to Niger, Blows Out Every Claim by Republicans, Novak, Toensing, etc. That She Wasn't Covert
LIVE-BLOGGING HOUSE OVERSIGHT HEARINGS...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2007 7:42am PT  

Absolutely riveting, historic, under-oath testimony by Valerie Plame-Wilson in the House Oversight Committee on-going right now. Recurring theme over and over again: She was covert, covert, covert when her identity was outed and her cover was blown --- for the first time in history by her own government.

Every wingnut argument to the contrary, and concerning her case has been utterly destroyed. The Republican questioning of Plame-Wilson has come up with absolutely nothing to counter and it's been confirmed that CIA Director Gen. Hayden has also confirmed her covert status and that she we worked overseas (as per the Intelligence Identity Protections Act) in the last five years.

Hearings were covered for first 15 minutes or so on all three cable news nets. Now only LIVE currently on C-SPAN.

AP just filed this short initial item:

WASHINGTON - Valerie Plame, the CIA operative at the heart of a political scandal, told Congress Friday that senior officials at the White House and State Department "carelessly and recklessly" blew her cover to discredit her diplomat-husband.

Plame, whose 2003 outing triggered a federal investigation, said she always knew her identity could be discovered by foreign governments.

"It was a terrible irony that administration officials were the ones who destroyed my cover," she told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

RAW STORY currently has details on her opening testimony.

Live blogging notes on the testimony below follow below...

(NOTE: Second and Third panels now live blogged here. Includes details on stunning admission from White House Security Director that no investigation was ever made into the leak by his office!)

UPDATE: Video of complete hearing and related documents now online at House Oversight Committee website right here...

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

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By Alan Breslauer on 3/13/2007 10:21am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

That Iran and al-Qaeda have been the prime beneficiaries of George W's foreign policy is incontrovertible. Another beneficiary is China which has exploited anti-American sentiment in Latin America to sign major trade and arms deals with our neighbors. To add insult to injury, not only has Bush opened the door to stronger China - Latin American ties, but his economic policies are financing China's efforts.

McLaughlin Group clip runs 5:39 with Pat Buchanan and Eleanor Clift comments (03/10/07).

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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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Republican Commentators Misstate Chronology, Facts
Corporate Mainstream Media All Too Happy to Offer the Platform for Demonstrable Untruths...
By Margie Burns on 3/12/2007 10:55am PT  

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

After sitting in on the Libby trial every other day and posting about it on BRAD BLOG, I had intended not to write further about the matter barring new developments. Unfortunately, the rightwing spin machine has launched a new campaign of misstatements that sound intentional.

So much for respecting authority, upholding the law, and appreciating honest hard work: now that a conscientious jury has rendered a verdict of guilty on four of five counts of perjury and obstructing justice for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the GOP noise machine is vilifying the prosecution and smarmily denying any wrongdoing, any at all, in the CIA leak.

So much for conservatism.

Well, bad sports are bad sports, anywhere on the political spectrum. Still, the brazen willingness of commentators subsidized by Rupert Murdoch or the Bradley Foundation to falsify every significant fact in the Libby matter, usually without having sat even one day in court for the trial, is pretty much typical of their work ethic and intellectual rigor.

Sunday morning’s talk shows were representative. George F. Will and Torie Clarke on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos downplayed the CIA leak matter by saying the whole thing “all arose from one column” (Will), a column not very important at that (Clarke).

The right wing is trying hard to keep this one alive. But trial evidence and testimony have revealed that the attempt to “leak” – actually, plant – Mrs. Wilson's name with the media began BEFORE Wilson’s column was published.

Wonder why GOP supporters of George W. Bush find that so uninteresting....

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

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State Party Chair Admits Bush's Right-Hand Man Claimed 'He's Gone' After Demands to Fire David Iglesias
New York Times Calls for Gonzalez's Head, but The BRAD BLOG Calls for Bush's...
By Brad Friedman on 3/11/2007 12:45pm PT  

A report from McLatchy Newspapers Saturday night has busted the thing wide open, placing Rove and the White House smack dab in the center of the scandal in which 8 U.S. Attorneys from the Dept. of Justice were canned. As if they weren't already.

While both the now-disgraced Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) have already admitted their own inappropriate intervention in the matter, the state's Republican Party Chair, Allen Weh, has now gone on record directly implicating Karl Rove.

Further, we learn that one of the points the NM Republicans were upset about was Iglesias's failure to move fast enough on a "voter fraud" investigation. However, the McClatchy report indicates (as usual) that it wasn't actually a "voter fraud" investigation, but rather a "voter registration fraud" investigation in question.

We'll add here, for those who hadn't noticed, Wilson was named the winner over her Democratic opponent Patricia Madrid last November by fewer than 800 votes. Since New Mexico's new automatic recount law didn't kick in until the first of this year, there was no recount. That, despite our own discussions with Madrid after the election and our encouragement that she ask for a recount on her own.

(We'll hope, at least, that she kept her "Madrid for Congress" signs around, since depending on how things shake out down here there could be a Special Election in the not-too-distant future as more details of both Wilson and Domenici's inappropriate pressure as applied to Iglesias continue to come out.)

Between last night's report placing Rove at the center of the controversy, and a follow-up later in the evening from AP, it appears, according to Talking Points Memo (who has been all over this story), that someone --- oh, let's say Rove, just for the fun of it --- "may have gotten to Weh." In AP's later coverage, Weh appears to be attempting to mitigate his original account of the Rove incident, suggesting it happened after the attorneys had already been canned.

At the same time, New York Times has now gone on record calling for the termination of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in the wake of this particular mess, and several other failures including his gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The key details from each of the various relevant stories follow, as well as our recommendation about who really needs to be fired at this point...

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

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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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Role of Cheney and Bush in CIA Leak Scandal to be Probed in Hearings...
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2007 9:15pm PT  

Impeachment, it seems to us, gets closer to "the table" every day now. From Truthout:

Congressman Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Thursday he wants Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to testify before his committee about his investigation into the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson's identity. Plame-Wilson, Waxman's office said, has agreed to testify before Congress on March 16.

The announcement comes on the heels of a story first reported by Truthout on Wednesday, which stated that some members of Congress were engaged in discussions Tuesday about the possibility of holding immediate hearings and asking Fitzgerald to provide evidence he obtained during the course of his three-year investigation about the roles Vice President Dick Cheney and other White House officials played in the Plame leak.
...
Waxman's letter [to Fitzgerald] states..."As a result of your investigation, you have a singular understanding of the facts and their implications that bear directly on the issues before Congress.... Your investigation had a narrow legal focus: Were any federal criminal statutes violated by White House officials?"
...
Waxman said the Libby trial raised important questions about whether "senior White House officials, including the vice president and senior adviser to the president Karl Rove, complied with the requirements governing the handling of classified information" related to Plame's classified status within the CIA.

Lest anyone think the buck stops in the Office of the Vice-President, however, it looks as if the not-insignificant evidentiary revelation concerning Cheney's hand-written note referring to "this Pres." may also be revisited by Congress.

Those two words were scratched out on Cheney's note, but were still clearly visible and discussed during trial testimony. Had they not been scratched out, Cheney's note would have read: "not going to protect one staffer & sacrifice the guy this Pres. asked to stick his head in the meat grinder because of the incompetence of others."

To be honest, we're amazed that detail was overlooked as much as it was when it originally appeared. According to Truthout:

The revelation that Bush may have known all along that there was an effort by members of his office to discredit the former ambassador raises the question: Was the president also aware that senior members of his administration compromised Valerie Plame's undercover role with the CIA? That is a question that very well may be answered if and when Fitzgerald testifies before Congress.
...
If Bush did indeed play an active role in encouraging Libby to take the fall to protect Karl Rove, as Libby's lawyers articulated in their opening statements, then that could be viewed as criminal involvement by Bush.

See the complete Truthout report for much more detail...

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