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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, July 29, 2014
'A Kind of Propaganda War'
After U.N. denial, NBC's David Gregory apologized for use of unverified Israeli video claiming to show rockets fired from U.N. refugee shelter in Gaza where at least 15 were killed by Israel last week...
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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Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
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...
Previous GNRs: 7/17/14 - 7/15/14 - Archives...
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
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
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'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
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
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Brownback's Dem opponent after tax cuts for wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
Death to Zombie Myths!: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad takes on a bunch of lies that just won't die -- from e-cigs to Ann Coulter's voter fraud to 'global cooling' to the death penalty to marriage equality in MS and more...
FEDERAL JUDGE FINDS CA DEATH PENALTY VIOLATES U.S. CONSTITUTION
George W. Bush appointee rules state system violates Constitution's ban of 'cruel and unusual punishments'...
'Green News Report' 7/15/14
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'
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
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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...

Chief Economist in Labor Dept calls official explanation 'Bogus', possibly 'Inside Job'
By Brad Friedman on 6/15/2005 12:24pm PT  

Not sure how we missed this. Okay, yes we are. Things have been a bit crazy lately.

Anyway...a former member of the Bush Administration (yes, the Bush Administration) is now voicing doubt about what brought down the Twin Towers and Building No. 7.

We haven't dealt much here with this particular matter, as we haven't had much to add to the various emerging skeptical voices out it. We'll keep our thoughts to ourselves for the moment, but the opinions of someone from within the Bush team speaking out about the matter seems notable enough to mention it here.

From UPI on Monday, as it ran in the Washington Times (yes, the Washington Times):

A former Bush team member during his first administration is now voicing serious doubts about the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9-11. Former chief economist for the Department of Labor during President George W. Bush's first term Morgan Reynolds comments that the official story about the collapse of the WTC is "bogus" and that it is more likely that a controlled demolition destroyed the Twin Towers and adjacent Building No. 7. Reynolds, who also served as director of the Criminal Justice Center at the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas and is now professor emeritus at Texas A&M University said, "If demolition destroyed three steel skyscrapers at the World Trade Center on 9/11, then the case for an 'inside job' and a government attack on America would be compelling." Reynolds commented from his Texas A&M office, "It is hard to exaggerate the importance of a scientific debate over the cause of the collapse of the twin towers and building 7. If the official wisdom on the collapses is wrong, as I believe it is, then policy based on such erroneous engineering analysis is not likely to be correct either. The government's collapse theory is highly vulnerable on its own terms. Only professional demolition appears to account for the full range of facts associated with the collapse of the three buildings."

A more detailed article on Reynolds comments, and a nice summary of the alleged flaws in the official report are available in this Arctic Beacon article from over the weekend.

As mentioned, we don't have much of an opinion on this matter at this time, other than to note that once credibility is lost (see the Downing Street Minutes) it's difficult to get it back.

(Hat-tip to Katrina W. for the heads up!)

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By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2005 7:31pm PT  

From a note we just received from our friend, the Freeway Blogger...

"the enclosed, by the way, is what happens when you take down my signs and replace them with a lame "Support our troops" sign done w/ paper and printer..."

He went on to add...

"never fuck with the freewayblogger..."

We won't.

Freeway (or Mr. Blogger, if you're nasty) was our guest in the final hour of last weekend's BRAD SHOW. If you missed the interview, it was a hoot! Go to the BRAD SHOW Archives and scroll on down to HOUR 4 of the 6/11/05 show to give it a listen!

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Penn & Teller Take On The Patriot Act.
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2005 3:39pm PT  

Penn & Teller give some airtime to the Bullshit that is the Patriot Act, including some telling thoughts from ex-Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA), once an advocate, now a strong detractor. At least someone's paying attention while Sensenbrenner and the GOP Gone Wild are attempting to bury their dangerous abuses of power.

Large video, about 17 minutes, and probably not safe for work! Unless you work at the Homeland Security Department or any other Government office. In which case, safe or not, those folks need to see and hear what they have wrought.

Video courtesy of our friends at Crooks & Liars with an assist from BRAD SHOW operative, David Edwards.

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Calls for Condemnation and an Additional Day of Hearings
ALSO: Dems Scramble to Find Room for 'Downing Street' Hearings After Being Denied Space by Republicans!
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2005 12:20pm PT  

Updating our coverage of last Friday's shameful performance by the U.S. House Judiciary Chairman, Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), when he cut witness testimony short in the additional day of hearings on the Patriot Act as requested, under House Rule 11, by the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is introducing a resolution to rebuke the Chariman for his outrageous behavior.

Included in Nadler's resolution, is condemnation of Sensenbrenner's gaveling of the hearings to an early close without hearing unanimous consent, debate or even a second; his refusal to allow witnesses to respond to questions; cutting questioning by minority Congressmen short; unprecedented convening of the hearings when Congress was not in session and other actions less-than-honorable for a United States Congressman.

RAW STORY has the text of the full resolution. Here's the first few grafs of their story...

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has introduced a privileged resolution in the House which seeks to rebuke House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) for abusing his power at a Patriot Act hearing last week, RAW STORY has learned.

The resolution declares Sensenbrenner "willfully trampled the right of the minority to hold an additional day of hearings," and "willfully and intentionally violated the Rules of the House by abusing and exceeding his powers as chairman."

It moves to have the House condemn the Wisconsin's [sic] actions and enjoins the chairman to schedule an additional day of hearings on the Patriot Act.

Sensenbrenner's performance was covered in detail by BRAD BLOG last Friday as it unfolded, with exclusive commentary from Democratic staffers who witnessed it.

DemBlogger has the video of the last few minutes of the hearings as Sensenbrenner gaveled it to a close.

In other news of Republican Majorities Gone Wild, a new policy of denying hearing rooms to Democrats has been instituted by the Judiciary Committee Majority.

According to today's The Hill, "majority staff recently announced a new policy to deny any request from a committee Democrat for the use of a committee hearing room."

That new edict, instituted in time to attempt to shut down the minority's planned Thursday hearing on the Downing Street Minutes/Memo has forced the Democrats to scramble to find a location for the event.

The Hill also confirms the text of the email we reported last Friday from Sensenbrenner's deputy chief of staff, Sean McClaughlin, to a minority staffer while viewing Ranking Minority Member, Rep. John Conyers' (D-MI) "Media Bias" forum held several weeks ago.

I'm sitting here watching your forum' on C-SPAN, McLaughlin wrote. Just to let you know, it was your last. Don't bother asking [for a room] again.

The BRAD BLOG has learned that the Dems will hold the hearings, despite the attempt by the majority to shut them down, at the DNC offices on 1:00 p.m. in the Wasserman Room at 430 S Capitol St. SE, Washington, D.C.

The hearings were announced after Conyers received more than 500,000 citizen signatures on a letter signed by at least 94 U.S. House of Representative members. Additionally, The BRAD BLOG has learned that still more House members are said to be signing on to that letter this week.

Later on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. ET in Lafayette Square Park, in front of the White House, a large rally has been called by supporters of Conyers who plans to deliver hist letter to George W. Bush, asking him to respond to the questions raised by the original Downing Street Minutes document.

Additionally, as reported by AfterDowningStreet.org, a coalition of grassroots citizen organizations (both BRAD BLOG and Velvet Revolution, an organization we helped to co-foun, are members of that coalition) local rallies are being planned around the country in support on that same day.

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Phony News Organization 'GOPUSA' Shuffles Out Same Tired Smokescreen
Tactic Signals Desperation in Bushville...
By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2005 10:37pm PT  

The facts of the Downing Street Minutes are clearly gaining traction and apparently have the hard-right apologists up against the ropes in seeking an exit strategy from their current pickle.

Today they trotted out Bobby Eberle of GOPUSA --- the phony "news" organization, that hired "Jeff Gannon", the phony "journalist" with the phony name --- in a failed attempt to throw cold water on the exploding Downing Street Minutes issues.

As with the debacle that was Election 2004, featuring hundreds (if not thousands) of "irregularities" that occurred in order to ensure a Bush win last November, the Neo-Cons have dusted off the old "Conspiracy Theory" defense again, this time in lieu of being able to slither out of the apparent "High Crimes" demonstrated by the DSM and the myriad of corroborating evidence that has appeared since the initial minutes were leaked (by a Rupert Murdoch paper, no less!)

Having (so far) gotten away with their Election 2004 chicanery with liberal uses of the "Conspiracy Theory" buzzphrase, the assumption is likely to be "Well, it worked so well to deflect from our gaming of the election, let's use it again to smokescreen our lying the country into war!"

Nonetheless, the transparency of the tactic to attempt to belittle those who would like an explanation and/or investigation to examine the behavior of the Bush Administration as described in the DSM --- the facts and intelligence having been "fixed" around the pre-determined policy of toppling Saddam through military means --- clearly signals that the Right is quickly becoming desperate as they find themselves bereft of a way out of this mess. As of now anyway.

And all of that even while their only other current defense ("But we went to the U.N. afterwards, so that must prove...something!") seems to be falling flat on its face.

From Eberle's sad little attempt at propaganda (emphasis added)...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2005 8:26am PT  

RAW STORY has the raw docs, and now a "Path to War" timeline to go with them. AfterDowningStreet.org has the executive skinny, with the significance of some of the most troubling passages in each of the newly authenticated British documents.

These documents were leaked late last week, but hadn't yet been confirmed as authentic. RAW STORY is now confirming their authenticity.

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"Catastrophic success" continues...
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2005 8:59pm PT  

...As the body count continues to mount.

There are now a total of 1,702 American Troops whom supporters (Republican and Democrat alike) of this unnecessary, pointless, stupid and likely criminal war will no longer be able to "support".

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And other newsworthy items.
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2005 8:03pm PT  

If you missed last night's BRAD SHOW, well, what were you thinking?! :-)

Frankly, I could have turned around and done four mour hours with each of our amazing guests last night! If you didn't catch it, or any portion of the show, I'd strongly recommend that you tune into the BRAD SHOW ARCHIVES and listen to 'em all if you find the time! We do believe it was some top-notch radio with some extraordinary guests and a few newsworthy items amongst the interviews!

A couple of quick post-show thoughts, stuff that didn't get on air, and a few other reminders of note...

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

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A BradBlog Exclusive From Our Friend STEVE
By Winter Patriot on 6/12/2005 6:56pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

The following very important message is for YOU, and it's from our friend Steve...

All right Bradbloggers, you asked for it (I think), so here it is: THE FIRST ANNUAL BRAD BLOG BLOGATHON & FUNDRAISER! This will be an event entirely conceived, planned and produced by at least 6 or 7 of us Bradbloggers. We're sending the ubiquitous Mr. Friedman on vacation during the event to keep him out of our hair.

WHY: To hear from and interact with some of the important people in the Progressive movement AND to raise as much hard cash as humanly possible for the dedicated and deserving proprietor of this blogsite (while embarrassing him just a little in the process)!

WHEN: Friday, July 8th through Monday, July 11th, as follows:

  • Friday, 7/8/05, starting at 3pm PDT (6pm EDT) with featured activities lasting until 9pm PDT (12midnight EDT);
  • Saturday, 7/9/05, with featured activities lasting from 8am PDT to 4pm PDT (11am EDT to 7pm EDT) (plan is to interrupt activities for The Brad Show);
  • Sunday, 7/10/05, with featured activities lasting from 8am PDT to 8pmPDT (11am EDT to 11pm EDT);
  • Monday, 7/11/05, with featured activities starting at 8am PDT (11am EDT) and Blogathon ending at 6pmPDT (9pm EDT).

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

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TIME Magazine Decides to Get Back in the Business of Reporting
And yet another '20th Hijacker' gets the old what-for...
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2005 4:21pm PT  

Attention Parents of the Men and Women of America's Armed Forces!

You have nothing to worry about! Should your sons and daughters be captured and held captive by enemies forces, the example that has been set for their treatment by our government will serve as a model for the humane treatment they can expect to receive!

As Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) repeated over and over again on today's Fox "News" Sunday, the "honey-glazed chicken" they may receive on Sundays (UPDATE: David Edwards caught that too, here's video, RealPlayer or Windows) will more than make up for the rest of the humane treatment we have shown prisoners that America holds captive in Gitmo and elsewhere around the world. All of which is condoned by the U.S. Military, and, specifically, by Sec. of Defense, Donald Rumseld.

We are certain that this excerpt from this week's TIME magazine, as reported by RAW STORY will put you at ease...

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

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New Downing Street Revelations Make it to PAGE 1 in Washington Post!
First front page coverage of UK Memos in WaPo!
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2005 1:38pm PT  

It's notable that Washington Post today is finally giving the matter of the Downing Street Minutes coverage at all, much less that they have advanced the story with new information, from new memos on today's Sunday front page! And, unlike previous Page 1 articles by WaPo's Walter Pincus, it looks like this one will stay there!

Today's front-page report covers new revelations from a briefing paper prepared for Tony Blair eight months before the War on Iraq, and states the Bush Administration were not preparing for what would be a "protracted and costly" postwar occuption of Iraq...

[T]he memo "Iraq: Conditions for Military Action" notes that U.S. "military planning for action against Iraq is proceeding apace," but adds that "little thought" has been given to, among other things, "the aftermath and how to shape it."
...
Saying that "we need to be sure that the outcome of the military action would match our objective," the memo's authors point out, "A post-war occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise." The authors add, "As already made clear, the U.S. military plans are virtually silent on this point. Washington could look to us to share a disproportionate share of the burden."

For our money, the delinquency of the Bush Administration in preparing for a Post-War Iraq, which has already cost the lives and limbs of thousands of U.S. Troops, is perhaps more reprehensible even than the revelations from the original "Downing Street Minutes" that the Administration would be "fixing" the intelligence around the policy of toppling Saddam through military means and lying both Congress and the American People about it.

And these jerks have the gall to speak to us about "supporting the troops"?!

The hell with impeachment, these folks deserve jail time for the death and destruction they have so carelessly and callously wrought!

All of that, in addition to more breaking news out from today's Sunday Times of London (as mentioned as it broke on last night's BRAD SHOW via RAW RADIO!) revealing that the Blair Administration knew that the war would be illegal, but that they had committed to going into it with the Bushies months before acknowledging it publicly. They endeavored to find a way to make the action "legal" in those pre-war months when it was assessed by the Brits as being an illegal incursion.

Amazing.

John Conyers' Hearings on all of the above, with members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, will occur this Thursday at 2pm ET. Please contact C-SPAN and ask them to carry the hearings live. For that matter, so should CNN, MSNBC, FNC as well as all three of the broadcast networks at this point!

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LIVE Saturday 7p-11p ET (4p-8p PT); Rebroadcast Sunday 12noon-4p ET (9a-1p PT)
Jump in, Shoot your Mouth off! Like me!
By Brad Friedman on 6/11/2005 3:54pm PT  

Listen up via www.BradShow.com and chat here in tonight's Open Thread hosted by the delightful KIRA who is once again holding the water for that layabout, slacker Winter Patriot this week.

Talk to us LIVE! CALL-IN#: 323-650-1286

Tonight's guests...

  • Retired 27-year CIA Analyst, RAY MCGOVERN
  • Columbus Free Press' investigative reporter, BOB FITRAKIS
  • ANDREA LINDSAY of SHAC7
  • The legendary FREEWAY BLOGGER!
  • Feel free to DONATE to help keep us up and on the air! We can (for now) use all the help we can get!

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    (So much so, that it deserves it's own item)
    By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2005 5:37pm PT  

    "These attacks are contrary to the passionate - but respectful - political debate the public deserves."
    -- House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), in a letter sent just two days ago to Howard Dean. That would be two days prior to Sensenbrenner's Judiciary meltdown this morning.

    (Hat tip to Liz from Rapid Response Network for the find.)

    ReddIt this story!



    Republican Chairman Stuns Room by Shutting Down Hearings!
    Turns Off Hearing Room Microphones in Middle of Testimony! FURTHER UPDATES...PELOSI DEMANDS APOLOGY!
    By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2005 11:19am PT  

    As originally reported here yesterday, Democrats on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee invoked a rarely used rule to extend Committee hearings on the renewal of the Patriot Act.

    Apparently, they inappropriately called witnesses to testify today from whom the Republicans did not wish to hear. And thus, in what can only be seen as an unprecedented tyrannical abuse of Majority power in the U.S. House of Representatives, Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), suddenly and without warning, gavelled the hearings to a close! Unilaterally, without debate, and in the middle of ongoing testimony!

    The extraordinary video clip of Sensenbrenner's appalling display, was captured by C-SPAN. Take a look at the meltdown...

    BuzzFlash describes the remarkable incident in some detail as follows...

    GOP House Judiciary Chair Uses Pinochet Tactics to Abruptly and Unilaterally Shut Down Hearing Into Abuses of the (Un)Patriot Act, Because He Was Afraid the Truth Would Come Out. America: "IT" is Happening Here. Democracy is Being Dismantled by GOP Thugs.

    A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
    June 10, 2005
    BuzzFlash News Analysis

    This morning, House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI) unilaterally and arbitrarily shut down committee hearings on the reauthorization of the Patriot Act without comment or issuing a statement. Sensenbrenner gaveled the committee hearings in the middle of witnesses testifying about human and civil rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay, racial profiling of individuals of Middle Eastern descent, prolonged detentions of Americans after September 11th and other abuses.

    The suppression of free speech and testimony in the congressional committee in charge of protecting our civil liberties shows the Republican's power grab has no limits and no decency. The irony was not lost on anyone.

    UPDATE: We must go on the air on Tony Trupiano's show in a just a few minutes, so this must be quick for now. (Link to that interview, with a lot more information on my conversation with a Democratic staffer who was in the room, is now below.)

    To clarify some confusion on this matter, what had been referred to as "Democratic Hearings" today in some places, actually were not Democratic-only hearings (unlike the hearings that took place in January on Ohio Election Irregularities, and the recent Media Bias forum held by Conyers and other Dems).

    Today's hearings were called under the archane provision of House Rule 11, which, we are told, allows the Minority to call for an additional day of hearings and to choose their own witnesses if they are unsatisfied with the hearings as held by the Majority.

    The U.S. House Judiciary Democrats have been unable to do that previously on issues like Election 2004 and Media Bias because the Majority hadn't called a hearing at all on those matters, and thus, they were forced to call their own hearings.

    We are told by a Democratic Staffer who The BRAD BLOG has just spoken to, and who was present at today's debacle, that the Majority has been quite disturbed by those previous hearings for some time, and, in fact, during the airing of Conyers' Media Bias forum (it ran as taped on C-SPAN at 8:30pm ET a few Saturdays ago), an email was sent to a Judiciary Committee staffer which said, in effect, "I'm watching your forum right now, hope you enjoyed it, it will be your last."

    We'll have more detail after we're off the air, but the staffer just explained to us that the Minority was displeased with the witnesses called previously in the Commission hearings on renewal of the Patriot Act, and attempted to work with the Majority to call additional witnesses.

    According to the staffer, they were told, "'You're gonna get your hearing, but it's gonna be 8:30am on Friday morning'...Never in the history of the Judiciary Committee have we been able to find a time when a hearing has been scheduled like that. The Congress was not in session today. We've never been able to find an instance when a hearing was called when Congress wasn't in session."

    "The irony, when we're debating the Patriot Act," we were told, "of cutting off the debate and acting so anti-democratic when that's going on, is unbelievable!

    "In the committee with sole jurisdiction over civil rights and civil liberties, for the chairman to say, I don't want to hear about guys who are getting their testicles shocked, it's breathtaking arrogance, it's testimony to abuse of power and how this place is now run. They've become everything they said they deplored when they took over the house in 1994."

    Conversations with the House Democratic leadership on currently ongoing. The BRAD BLOG has learned that they are "very very concerned" about this matter, and that "the issue will be elevated."

    "Ms. Pelosi is very concerned about this," said the staffer.

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

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    By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2005 3:04am PT  

    The signature drive for John Conyers Downing Street Minutes letter to George W. Bush is at just over 411,000 signatures gathered in somewhat fewer than 24 hours as of 3:02am PT.

    Be number 500,000.

    And thank you for caring.

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