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'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP anti-enviro wish list in "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate talks; Calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into action; PLUS: CEO indicted for WV chemical spill...
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The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
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Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
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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
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Happy Springtime (Bush is Over)
By Brad Friedman on 4/29/2007 6:35am PT  

Bush is over. If we want it. Give this one a listen/viewing. Not just for John Lennon fans, either. Be inspired...


A job very well done by my fellow VelvetRevolution.us co-founders, Justice Through Music. More details on the video at RAW STORY.

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Action on Policy, In Which Congress Had No Say, First Signs of Possible 'Quid Pro Quo' by Corrupt Florida Congressman
ALSO: Feeney's Golf Trip to Scotland Paid for Out of Lobbyist's 'Slush Fund,' Senate Documents Find...
By Brad Friedman on 4/29/2007 2:38am PT  

"Tom has never written a letter for Abramoff," Tom Feeney's former Chief of Staff, Jason Roe insisted in an email to the St. Petersburg Times last year. "There is no accusation of a quid pro quo. No quid pro quo exists," he claimed.

Looks like Anita Kumar --- who's been doing a bang up job on the latest Feeney news at the Times --- may have just found one...

WASHINGTON - Rep. Tom Feeney insists he never helped convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, but in 2003 Feeney was among several lawmakers who wrote to the Energy Department opposing changes to a federal program that also were being fought by an Abramoff client.
...
Five months later, Abramoff treated a small group of people, including Feeney, to a luxury golf trip to Scotland that began with a trans-Atlantic flight on a private jet and featured twice-daily golf at world-famous locales.
...
It's unclear why Feeney, an Orlando area Republican, took a position on the rule change in the Energy Star program [that rates consumer products for energy efficiency].
...
Congress had no say in the decision but a letter obtained by the Times shows that 10 Republican members, including Feeney, urged the department not to change certain criteria.

Among the other members who signed the letter was California Rep. John Doolittle, whose Virginia home was raided recently by FBI agents investigating fundraising by his wife as part of the Abramoff case.

In a related item, which we didn't get to pick up late last week, Feeney's golf junket to Scotland with Abramoff --- or as he called it, a "fact-finding trip" --- was paid for out of an Abramoff slush fund, according to documents obtained by Senate investigators as reported by the Sun-Sentinel...

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

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Call on Former CIA Director to Return Medal of Freedom, Refer to Him as 'the Alberto Gonzales of the Intelligence Community'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/29/2007 1:50am PT  

In an open letter calling on former CIA Director, George Tenet to return his Medal of Freedom and donate royalties from his new book, six former intelligence officers excoriate the former Director of Central Intelligence for his complicity in overseeing the Bush Administration's misuse of intelligence to send America into an unnecessary war where more than 3,300 troops have so far been killed.

The complete letter, which pulls no punches is posted at Larry Johnson's website. Johnson is a former CIA agent and one of the letter's signatories. A PDF version of the 4-page letter is here.

Just a very few excerpts follow...

28 April 2007
Mr. George Tenet
c/o Harper Collins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street
8th Floor
New York City, New York 10022
ATTN: Ms. Tina Andredis

Dear Mr. Tenet:

We write to you on the occasion of the release of your book, At the Center of the Storm. You are on the record complaining about the “damage to your reputation”. In our view the damage to your reputation is inconsequential compared to the harm your actions have caused for the U.S. soldiers engaged in combat in Iraq and the national security of the United States. We believe you have a moral obligation to return the Medal of Freedom you received from President George Bush. We also call for you to dedicate a significant percentage of the royalties from your book to the U.S. soldiers and their families who have been killed and wounded in Iraq.
...
[Y]our lament that you are a victim in a process you helped direct is self-serving, misleading and, as head of the intelligence community, an admission of failed leadership. You were not a victim. You were a willing participant in a poorly considered policy to start an unnecessary war and you share culpability with Dick Cheney and George Bush for the debacle in Iraq.
...
It now turns out that you were the Alberto Gonzales of the intelligence community--a grotesque mixture of incompetence and sycophancy shielded by a genial personality. Decisions were made, you were in charge, but you have no idea how decisions were made even though you were in charge.
...
Most importantly and tragically, you failed to meet your obligations to the people of the United States. Instead of resigning in protest, when it could have made a difference in the public debate, you remained silent and allowed the Bush Administration to cite your participation in these deliberations to justify their decision to go to war. Your silence contributed to the willingness of the public to support the disastrous war in Iraq, which has killed more than 3300 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
...
Mr. Tenet, you cannot undo what has been done. It is doubly sad that you seem still to lack an adequate appreciation of the enormous amount of death and carnage you have facilitated. If reflection on these matters serves to prick your conscience we encourage you to donate at least half of the royalties from your book sales to the veterans and their families, who have paid and are paying the price for your failure to speak up when you could have made a difference. That would be the decent and honorable thing to do.

Sincerely yours,

Phil Giraldi

Ray McGovern

Larry Johnson

Jim Marcinkowski

Vince Cannistraro

David MacMichael

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From the 'Heads I Win, Tails You Lose' School of Journalism...
By Brad Friedman on 4/29/2007 12:28am PT  

One of the newspapers often attacked by Bill O'Reilly as an example of the "liberal" media is the Los Angeles Times, currently owned by the Rightwing Chicago Tribune.

On Saturday, LA Times ran a story by Chris Kraul on the reaction of Iraqi citizens to the Iraq War spending bill battle. But no need to click on the link. Here's the summary of the "fair and balanced" story as kindly provided on the inside page of the paper edition:

Iraqis uneasy over funding battle

With Congress passing spending bills with timelines for U.S. troop withdrawal, some Iraqis fear further chaos if American soldiers leave Iraq. Others hope President Bush, who has threatened a veto, will prevail and the U.S. will stay, if only for its own strategic interests. Page A5

So...if the bill is signed into law, some Iraqis fear it will make things worse. While on the other hand, some of them hope Bush vetoes it so US troops will stay.

That would be the "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose" school of journalism, I guess.

Those quoted in the story were among the "20 Iraqis interviewed Friday in several cities after both houses of Congress passed measures that set timelines for a withdrawal of U.S. troops as a condition of funding for the war effort."

Kraul failed to quote any Iraqis who are in favor of withdrawal of U.S. troops, despite polls of Iraqis in 2004, 2005 and 2006 all showing a majority of Iraqis want the U.S. to leave. That last one found "70% of Iraqis favor setting a timeline for the withdrawal of US forces."

On the other hand, a story on George Tenet's new criticism of the Administration for ignoring pre-9/11 terrorism warnings and failing to plan for postwar Iraq is featured...on Page 18.

Darn those America/Bush hating "liberals" at the Los Angeles Times!

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Got That?
By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2007 5:39pm PT  

Good lord. The Abramoff scandal now seems to be rotting from inside of the DoJ itself. As if it needed any help.

This from McClatchy late this afternoon (via TPM):

WASHINGTON - A senior Justice Department official has resigned after coming under scrutiny in the Department’s expanding investigation of convicted super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to a Justice Department official with knowledge of the case.

Making the situation more awkward for the embattled Department, the official, Robert E. Coughlin II, was deputy chief of staff for the criminal division, which is overseeing the Department’s probe of Abramoff.

He stepped down effective April 6 as investigators in Coughlin’s own division ratcheted up their investigation of lobbyist Kevin Ring, Coughlin’s long-time friend and a key associate of Abramoff.

When contacted at his home in Washington, Coughlin said he resigned voluntarily because he was relocating to Texas. “I was not asked to resign,” he said in an interview with McClatchy Newspapers. “It’s important to me that it's made clear that I left voluntarily.”

He said he couldn’t comment on the Abramoff investigation, nor on whether he has a job lined up in Texas. He referred all other questions to friend Michael Horowitz.

Horowitz, a criminal defense attorney and former Justice Department official and public corruption prosecutor, did not respond to questions, including about whether he is representing Coughlin.

Get your brain around all of that if ya can, as we head into the weekend with the wheels continuing to come off this thing, with a new shoe dropping, it seems, every hour or so of late.

And if you're having trouble keeping score --- at least in the Abramoff game --- McClatchy summarizes our story so far this way:

Coughlin appears to be the first Justice Department official to come under scrutiny in the wide-ranging probe that has implicated a veteran congressman, a deputy Cabinet secretary, a White House aide and eight others.

To which we'll add: So far.

It's gonna get much worse before it gets anything close to better.

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Newest Lie in Effort to Tout 'Success' of 'Surge'
RELATED: 100 Civilians Hanged by Iraqi Government Since Re-Instating Death Penalty as American Values are on the March!
By Brad Friedman on 4/26/2007 4:03pm PT  

RAW STORY reports that for the first time, the Iraqi government has withheld data on civilian deaths from a UN Human Rights program which has been tracking such information. The UN is suggesting that it's been done at the behest of the Bush Administration hoping to sell the idea that the "surge" is working.

But what caught my eye was this part of RAW's report, referring to a McClatchy news service article out yesterday revealing that the Bush Administration is now excluding deaths from car bombs in their figures to tout a drop of violence in Iraq since the surge.

Yes, you read that correctly. More mind-blowing, however, was this response from Bush when asked about the issue yesterday on PBS' Charlie Rose:

"Car bombs and other explosive devices have killed thousands of Iraqis in the past three years, but the administration doesn't include them in the casualty counts it has been citing as evidence that the surge of additional U.S. forces is beginning to defuse tensions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims," wrote the news service's Nancy Youssef. "President Bush explained why in a television interview on Tuesday. 'If the standard of success is no car bombings or suicide bombings, we have just handed those who commit suicide bombings a huge victory,' he told TV interviewer Charlie Rose."

I've read those quotes now about six times, and still can't figure out what the hell he is saying. So I'll just say, I don't even know what to say.

In related news... The LA Times reported on Saturday that nearly 100 Iraqis have been hanged since the government re-instituted their death penalty. In one reported case, a trial for an Iraqi-born U.S. citizen accused of kidnapping three journalists lasted "about an hour," with no witnesses testifying, before the man was sentenced to hang.

Great news! George W. Bush's American Values are on the march around the world!

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New Revelation Appears to Counter Corrupt Congressman's Denial That He Was Aware of the Lobbyist's Funding of Overseas Junket...
By Brad Friedman on 4/26/2007 12:48pm PT  

Rep. Tom Feeney's (R-FL) office followed the specific instructions of Jack Abramoff's office in reporting the precise cost of his golf junket to Scotland with the disgraced lobbyist as $5,643, instead of the $20,000 the trip actually cost, according to an email obtained by the St. Petersberg Times.

The brief email is posted at the bottom of this article.

Feeney, the corrupt, once-powerful GOP congressman and very close friend of the Bush Family, has denied for years that he knew the lobbyist had paid for the trip, but the email from Abramoff's assistant seems to suggest otherwise, according to the Times Anita Kumar:

The e-mail from Holly Bowers, Abramoff's then-assistant, instructs recipients to say a conservative think tank, the National Center for Public Policy Research, paid for the trip at a cost of $5,643 per person.

In reality, the extravagant trip that began with a trans-Atlantic flight on a private jet and featured twice-daily golf at world-famous locales cost about $160,000, or $20,000 per person for each of the eight attendees.

Feeney, 48, an Orlando-area Republican who has been contacted by the FBI as part of the Abramoff investigation, reported precisely the details supplied by Abramoff's office in his congressional travel report on the Scotland trip.

The email fails to list thousands of dollars in greens fees incurred by the Scotland contingent's twice-a-day rounds of golf at the legendary Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, one of the world's oldest and most exclusive courses. Feeney now claims he paid those greens fees himself...

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

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UPI/Washington Times Headline Blames Abramoff for Misreported Cost of Feeney's Trip...
By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2007 8:11pm PT  

Given this morning's Fox "News"/AP switcheroo, here's a bit of headline bait-and-switch that's at least as nifty from UPI and Washington Times tonight (both owned by Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church):

The same headline/article is currently on UPI's website as well.

What next, Mark Foley as a "Democrat"? Oh, wait, never mind...Been there, done that.

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Former Chief of Staff Jason Roe 'Abruptly Resigns' From Romney Campaign as Abramoff Said to be 'Talking so Much He Doesn't Have Time to Eat'
Heat Continues to Build as Everyone Starts Singing in the FBI Investigation of Corrupt Florida Congressman...
By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2007 12:36pm PT  

Signs indicate things are getting worse, and quickly, for one of Congress' most corrupt members, Rep. Tom Feeney, a once-powerful Florida Republican whose extensive career of documented lies, political favors, and routine partisan smear-mongering The BRAD BLOG has covered in great detail over the last two and a half years.

Yesterday, Feeney was fingered as "Representative #3" in recent court filings related to the guilty plea of Republican Congressional Aide Mark Zachares, who admitted receiving some $40,000 in cash and gifts from Jack Abramoff. A day earlier, it was revealed that the FBI had recently interviewed Feeney and requested documents related to his 2003 golf junket to St. Andrews, Scotland with Zachares and the disgraced GOP lobbyist.

Today, court documents reveal that the cost of the 2003 trip was closer to $20,000 per person instead of the $5,643 Feeney claimed when he "paid back" that amount in January of this year, after the House Ethics Committee found him to be in violation of House Rules prohibiting lobbyist-paid travel.

Further news reports indicate much more trouble may be ahead for the beleaguered Congressman, as Abramoff is said to be chattering away to federal investigators --- "so much he doesn't have time to eat," according to one news report --- in hopes of reducing a prison sentence he's currently facing in relation to conspiracy fraud charges to which he's already plead guilty in Florida.

But if that weren't indication enough that Feeney may be in big trouble, it's also now being reported this morning that his former Chief of Staff, Jason Roe --- who, along with his wife, Patricia, has also been the target of corruption allegations --- abruptly resigned from his new position as Deputy Campaign Manager for Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Amusingly, the reason he cited for the resignation was "familial obligations."

Those "familial obligations" might include the fact that Patricia reportedly received some $50,000 from the Feeney campaign for fundraising duties, before becoming Chief of Staff for Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) --- whose wife's office was raided last week by Federal investigators leading to his resignation this week from all Congressional Committees.

Further, in what TMP's Josh Marshall aptly described last night as "a classic scandal harmonic convergence," the case against Renzi, which included federal wiretaps prior to last year's November election, also has direct implications in the the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal.

And all of the "familial" wives are involved as well.

Following all of this? You may need to take notes. We'll try to make it easy for you...

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

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Noose May Finally be Tightening for the Corrupt Florida Congressman
BRAD BLOG HELPS FBI: Lists a Few More Feeney Matters They May Wish to Inquire About...
By Brad Friedman on 4/24/2007 1:11pm PT  

Orlando Sentinel has some fresh details and Politico has some observations on the papers filed yesterday by the FBI concerning the guilty plea by Mark Zachares in the Abramoff affair, as we discussed yesterday in our item covering the FBI interview of the corrupt Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL).

In addition to what looks like trouble in the case for at least two other GOP Congressmen, it looks like Feeney is being fingered as "Representative #3" in yesterday's filing...

1) Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.), who went to St. Andrews in Scotland with Abramoff in August 2003, finally made the case as "Representative #3." This is not good news for Feeney, and the FBI is reportedly looking into his dealings with Abramoff, according to the St. Petesburg Times. At the direction of the House ethics committee, Feeney has already agreed to pay a fine of $5,643 for improperly reporting the trip.

That can't be seen as good news for Feeney who, we'll remind readers, is a very close friend of the Bush family, having run (unsuccessfully) as Jeb's Lieutenant Governor during his first run in Florida in '98, serving as point man in the FL House during the 2000 Election Debacle (when he promised to give the state's Electors to GWB no matter what the Supreme Court ended up deciding), and much, much more.

We'll also remind readers that the imprisoned Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) was once designated as "Representative #1" before being indicted in the Abramoff affair himself....

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

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Congressional Aide On 2003 Scotland Golf Junket with Both Men, Pleads Guilty, Is Cooperating With Feds
Corrupt Congressman Has Reportedly Spent $23k on Legal Fees So Far This Year...
By Brad Friedman on 4/23/2007 6:29pm PT  

Holy cow. When it rains it pours. Someone get us an umbrella. Quick.

Two related stories collide to suggest some possibly very bad news for our friend, the notoriously corrupt Tom Feeney (R-FL).

First this just in today from the St. Petersberg Times...:

FBI asks Tom Feeney about trip with Abramoff

Feeney's office said the congressman is cooperating voluntarily.

WASHINGTON - The FBI has asked U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney for information about his dealings with Jack Abramoff as part of its ongoing investigation into the lobbyist convicted of defrauding clients.

FBI agent Kevin Luebke refused to say whether Feeney, a Republican from the Orlando area, is under federal investigation.

Federal agents also have asked the St. Petersburg Times for an email sent to the newspaper by Feeney's office describing a golfing trip the congressman took with Abramoff to Scotland in 2003.
...
"Rep. Feeney considers this an embarrassing episode in his 17-year career as an elected official and an expensive lesson for him as a public servant," according to [a statement released by Feeney's office].
...
The FBI contacted the Times last week to ask for the February 2006 email that Feeney's then chief of staff Jason Roe wrote to the newspaper in response to a series of questions about interactions between Feeney and Abramoff. The Times has referred the FBI's request to its attorney.
...
Feeney, 48, who spent a decade in the Florida Legislature where he was speaker of the House, has paid $23,000 in legal fees this year - more than any other expense - according to his latest campaign finance reports.

"Rep. Feeney anticipates voluntarily cooperating with the Justice Department in any further investigation of this trip and looks forward to promptly resolving this matter," according to Feeney's statement.
...
"Any assertion that this office knew Abramoff paid for the Scotland trip is a g--d----- lie," Roe wrote in the email being sought by the FBI. The email was quoted in a newspaper article last year.
...
"Tom has never written a letter for Abramoff. Abramoff has never been in our office. Abramoff has never asked anything of us," Roe wrote in the email. "There is no accusation of a quid pro quo. No quid pro quo exists."

More details in the full story on what we've been reporting for years --- in what seemed like a vaccuum until now --- on Feeney's golf junkets with Abramoff to St. Andrews, Scotland. (See this May 2006 story for example: "Feeney/St. Andrews/Abramoff and Ney/HAVA/Abramoff Connections Still Flying Beneath the Radar")

There were three Congressmen who went on those trips. The first two, Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Bob Ney (R-OH), have both been forced out of Congress in the bargain and are respectively under indictment or in jail. Only Feeney, so far, has escaped both notice and legal accountability.

That may be about to change, however, with today's news that Mark Zachares, an aide to Rep. Don Young (R-AK), will plead guilty tomorrow to accepting some $30,000 worth of goods from Abramoff, with a promise of a job down the line in an interesting scheme that could also reveal something about what Feeney might have been discussing in some fashion with Abramoff.

As AP is reporting tonight:

From June 2002 through November 2004, Zachares worked for the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, providing Abramoff contact information for prospective businesses that would be affected by the creation of the Homeland Security Department, the court papers stated.

The two men worked out a "two-year plan" in which Abramoff would build a homeland security lobbying practice that Zachares ultimately would join.

Feeney has insisted that there was never a deal for anything between him and Abramoff, unlike with DeLay and Ney. However, the notion of long term plans, such as the deal Abramoff was working on with Zachares, has never been discussed in relation to Feeney.

And as luck would have it, Zachares was on that trip with Feeney and Abramoff in 2003 and is cooperating with the feds --- all of which could spell out very bad news indeed for Feeney.

We've been covering the corrupt Congressman in great detail for years in relation to allegations by Florida computer programmer Clint Curtis that Feeney asked him to create a vote-rigging software prototype when they worked together at a software firm in 2000, while Feeney was serving as a registered lobbyist for the company even while he was Speaker of the Florida House. We originally broke that story in December 2004. A summary version is here.

Let's hope Curtis saved those "Clint Curtis for Congress" signs. He may need them again sooner than he might have thought.

As you can imagine, we'll be watching this one closely. And likely with no small amount of elan...

UPDATE 4/24/07: Feeney fingered as "Representative #3" in FBI filings. Details...

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
- Curtis eventually ended up running for U.S. Congress against Feeney in 2006.
For more info, see: www.ClintCurtis.com
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By Brad Friedman on 4/21/2007 1:48pm PT  

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Has the Former DoD War Architect Ever Met Condi Rice or Colin Powell?
Just Asking...
By Brad Friedman on 4/19/2007 11:42pm PT  

NPR's Morning Edition reported yesterday that Douglas Feith, the Bush Administration's former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, has a new job since leaving the Pentagon. Apparently he's busy rewriting history as a professor at Georgetown University.

In apparent and extreme denial, one of the main Neocon architects for Bush's failed war had the following extraordinary exchange with host Steve Inskeep (who, unfortunately, didn't correct the record, so we guess we'll have to) concerning the rationale for going to War in Iraq. Feith turned downright indignant when Inskeep suggested that there were analysts who didn't see Saddam Hussein as a threat before the war...

NPR: Feith insists that many accounts misstate the reasons the U.S. chose war against Saddam Hussein.

DOUGLAS FEITH: He had demonstrated that he was interested in WMD and the danger was that he could take action in the future that would get him in a major fight with us. At which point he might use the WMD capabilities and connections to terrorists to hurt us.

NPR: Is there any point in that that you ended up assuming too much?

FEITH: I think that...I think that was a reasonable assumption under the circumstances...

NPR: Still...

FEITH: ...Do you not?

NPR: It sounds reasonable the way that you put it.

FEITH: Well that's what we were worried about (laughs)...I don't think that there's anything unreasonable in in...

NPR: ...But of course there were analysts making an entirely different...

FEITH: No, there weren't. No, there weren't....I mean that's just false. I, I, I hope you can do something to clarify this point. I mean, this notion that there were analysts who were saying that Saddam Hussein was not a threat?! There was nobody saying that.

"Nobody saying that"?! Really? Here's just two of them for a start. Names that Mr. Feith might be familiar with:

"[F]rankly, [the sanctions on Iraq] have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."
- Colin Powell, February 24, 2001

"But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."
- Condoleeza Rice, July 29, 2001

What planet do these Bush dead-enders live on, anyway?! Amazing.

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'Don't tell me WE are fighting in this air-conditioned office! WE are not fighting this war! Our TROOPS are fighting this war!' Shouts Engraged Congressman...
By Alan Breslauer on 4/19/2007 5:11pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


Note from Brad: Holy cow...

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American Media Stays Fixated on VTech Killings; George W. Bush Still Not in Jail...
By Brad Friedman on 4/18/2007 2:38pm PT  

Killed or Found Dead (So Far) This Week in Iraq...
Sunday: 65
Monday: 51
Tuesday: 85
Wednesday: 233

Look, I hate to keep banging this same drum, but someone needs to.

While the American media continue their infatuation with the horrible shootings at VTech on Monday where 33 students were killed, the carnage continues, several times over, every single day in Iraq. Never mind all that "signs say that the surge is working" bullshit you've been hearing from wingnuts and repeated in the Mainstream Media. It doesn't seem to be doing anything of the kind.

233 were killed or found dead across Iraq today (Wednesday) in a country of 27.5 million.

183 of them were killed in a single car combing incident in the exact same marketplace where 137 were killed at once in a February bombing the month before last.

That follows 85 killed or found dead on Tuesday, 51 killed on Monday, and 65 killed on Sunday (when 20 police officers were also taken captive).

None of that takes away from the tragedy of the 33 killed on Monday at Virginia Tech. But in the United States, a country of more than 300 million, where such mass killings are exceedingly rare --- versus horrifically daily occurrences, year after year after bloody year on end in a country less than one-tenth the size of the U.S. --- one might think the American Mainstream Media would finally pause to take a serious review of the way in which they cover news events.

In case you feel, as one emailer suggested to me, that Americans seem to view the lives of non-American citizens as somewhat less valuable than those of American citizens, I'll also remind you that the killings in Iraq --- though you wouldn't necessarily know it based on American news coverage --- also result in dead Americans.

Some 3,312 American troops have now been killed in Iraq.

3,312.

To date, George W. Bush has failed to attend even one funeral, or ordered flags lowered to half-staff for a single one of them.

Leading me to ask again...At what point does the entire debacle become a criminal action? I suspect that point occurs just as soon as the Mainstream Media realizes that it is, and begins to regard the murders of U.S. Troops and Iraqi Civilians in the same light they view the VTech murders.

Perhaps Nancy Grace can make an honorable woman of herself yet. But I seriously doubt she will.

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