(Hat-tip David Swanson who has more thoughts at AfterDowningStreet.org)
w/ Brad & Desi
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
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?
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:
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:
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...
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...
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.
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...
After more than two years of banging the drum here at The BRAD BLOG, it looks as if the national MSM have finally picked up on the fraud perpetrated by Missouri's White House operative Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and his high-level, democracy-hating GOP scammer pals in Missouri, at the Department of Justice, and in the White House.
In a McClatchy article just out today, reporter Greg Gordon correctly identifies Missouri as "Ground Zero" in the Republican attempt to establish phony claims of Democratic "voter fraud" in order to institute new restrictions at the polls as part of an insidious ploy to Democratic-leaning voters from being able to cast their vote.
Gordon reports on a number of issues out of Missouri that we've covered here over the years, including; the unsubstantiated claims of "voter registration fraud" against ACORN filed just prior to the '06 election in the Show-Me state; the unsuccessful lawsuit brought by the DoJ against MO SoS Robyn Carnahan alleging more voters on the rolls than actual eligible voters; and the unconstitutional Voter ID law as pushed through the MO legislature as drafted by the slime-ball Hearne.
As well, McClatchy finally outs the supposedly "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), as created by Hearne and RNC Communications director, Jim Dyke. We began reporting on ACVR just three days after they went public on March 22, 2005 to testify before then-Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) House Administration Committee on Democratic attempts at "vote supression" during Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election.
Gordon finally exposes the ACVR in the mainstream media for what it actually was: Little more than a well-coordinated, (and still-mysteriously-funded) scam to produce public propaganda to support the GOP's insider push in swing states for voter suppression legislation and tactics by Republican officials.
Though the ACVR claimed tax-exempt 501(c)3 status from the beginning (despite their inability to show evidence of same), their "non-partisan" status was neatly embellished several months after they formed when they added "Democrat" Brian Lunde as their Executive Director. As Gordon writes...
Sen. Russ Feingold's office sent the following statement to The BRAD BLOG a few hours ago...
On the 4th Anniversary of the President Declaring “Mission Accomplished”
“The four-year anniversary of “mission accomplished” comes on the heels of one of the deadliest months since our invasion of Iraq. The anniversary reminds us that we shouldn’t give credence to an Administration that has made such disastrous mistakes in Iraq. Congress should listen to the American people and not an Administration that has been so wrong, and so dishonest, so many times. The President should acknowledge the will of the American people and sign the Iraq spending bill Congress is sending him today.”
Of course, Bush didn't. He vetoed the spending bill late this afternoon, saying "Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure, and that would be irresponsible."
Of course, nobody knows from failure and irresponsibility more than George W. Bush.
When he gave his infamous "Mission Accomplished" cod-piece speech on board the USS Lincoln on May 1 of 2003, just 139 US troops had been killed.
Happy Anniversary, asshole.
In today's Orlando Sentinel, Florida still-unindicted Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff) pens an op/ed --- titled "Let me clarify facts about trip" --- in which he speaks about some mysterious trip to Scotland with some unnamed lobbyist.
Since the omissions in the op/ed may not help to fully clarify the facts about his trip as Feeney has intended --- and as a public service to America and those Googling for more information on one of the House's most corrupt GOP congressmen concerning his business relationship with one of the GOP's most corrupt lobbyists --- The BRAD BLOG is happy to reprint Mr. Feeney's op/ed in full below, along with a few words he must have accidentally left out from his attempted clarification; Words such as "Jack Abramoff" and "golf".
So here is Mr. Feeney's complete Sentinel op/ed, as supplemented by our hopefully clarifying additions (in bold)...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Long time CIA analyst Ray McGovern slams George Tenet for his differing account of his now infamous "slam dunk" remark in the run-up to the war in Iraq. McGovern finds Tenet's explanation the "most bizarre thing" he has "witnessed in many years of watching intelligence leaders" because the former director of the CIA is unwittingly admitting to a "more heinous offense". Catch the entire McGovern interview at Democracy Now!
If the congressman believes his constituents and a public fed up with scandal can wait until "the time is appropriate, " he is mistaken. Eleven people now have been convicted in the Abramoff investigation, and Feeney is being labeled in court records as "Representative #3." He has said he was "duped and lied to, " but these records make his office look complicit.
Feeney's attorney may be urging him to keep quiet, but his legal tactic is at odds with his official responsibilities. He is a congressman with a cloud over his head, and the public is owed some answers.
While over at the Orlando Sentinel, Scott Maxwell --- who has historically been far too kind to Feeney in light of his storied transgressions --- is still being very kind. Even if he's finally beginning to show some doubts as of yesterday:
Smart, thorough and careful people don't usually get duped --- which is essentially Feeney's defense in this whole mess.
The emailer who forwarded us the following toon, marking the 4th Anniversary of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech, aptly commented: "The amazing thing about this is that all of these people still have their jobs and appear as expert pundits in the media, while the people who were right all along are often portrayed as left-wing out-of-touch-with-reality naive nutty fools, and they don't get on the talk shows very much."
No kidding. The failure of our current corporate mainstream media in a nutshell.
But be sure to read through to the bottom of this post, for an additional stunning quote from Cal Thomas' April 15, 2003 column which Tom Tomorrow, the creator of this toon, mentioned he wasn't able to fit into this strip...
Bush is over. If we want it. Give this one a listen/viewing. Not just for John Lennon fans, either. Be inspired...
"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...
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...
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.
Just a very few excerpts follow...
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.
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:
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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