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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Wife-Beating Federal Judge Finally Mentioned on MSNBC
MSNBC contributor asks about lack of outrage, impeachment for federal judge Mark Fuller who beat his wife bloody in August...
Outrage Slowly Grows After Wife-Beating Federal Judge Avoids Prosecution
Fellow GOP District Court judge calls for accountability, says 'no one should trust Mark Fuller's judgment in a federal trial courtroom'...
GOP PHOTO ID RESTRICTION LAW RESTORED IN WI
Republican voter suppression laws getting huge boosts from GOP-appointed federal judges in NC, where 100s recently disenfranchised, and now in WI, in advance of critical mid-terms...
Not Taking the ISIS Bait
The media and the U.S. Government have decided to give the latest barbaric idiots to rise up in the Middle East all the publicity they crave, despite the 'exaggerated' threat posed to the U.S., or even in the region. We're not interested in playing along...
'Green News Report' 9/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Greenhouse gas emissions jump at record rate; Australia's emissions soar after carbon tax axed; Oceans acidifying at historic rate; PLUS: Some good news: Ozone Hole begone!...
Previous GNRs: 9/9/14 - 9/4/14 - Archives...
Accountability for Judge Fuller?; O, Mighty ISIS!:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Will Alabama's wife-beating U.S. District Court Judge face impeachment? Plus: Callers, lots of 'em, on what to do about ISIS...
Wife-Beaters: Rice Loses Job; Judge Fuller Continues Lifetime Appointment
America was outraged by the NFL superstar. So, what about Alabama's federal judge who beat his wife bloody and is now off scot-free?...
'Green News Report' 9/9/14
Floods: Catastrophic in Pakistan, Historic in Phoenix; Hillary on Global Warming; Rand Paul dismisses; PLUS: Lobster Boat Blockade wins!...
GA GOP State Senator: Too Many Black People Will Vote in DeKalb County!
Vows to close 'election loophole' allowing convenient Early Voting in area 'dominated by African Americans'; UPDATE: Says just wants 'more educated voters'...
GOP Allows 'Citizens United' Amendment to Move Forward, Will Vote Against
Koch Brothers' beneficiary Sen. Rand Paul wouldn't even allow that much...
NYT Public Editor Calls Out Paper for Phony 'Balance' on 'Voter Fraud', Global Warming
Margaret Sullivan's no weasel (unlike a predecessor). She's calling out the 'paper of record' again for misreporting on GOP myths...
Siegelman's Judge Strikes Deal to Avoid Trial After Beating Wife Bloody
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller to have record expunged following drug/alcohol evaluation, domestic abuse counseling...
ObamaCare 'Nightmare': 2015 Premiums Rates to DECLINE in Many Major Cities
This whole 'tyrannical government takeover of health care' thing is really a disaster...for Republicans...
Federal Judge Orders Restoration of Early Voting Hours in OH -- Again
'Ohio GOP keeps trying to cut early voting and federal courts keep striking the cuts down'...
'Green News Report' 9/4/14
Accountability for BP in Gulf Oil Spill Disaster and for PG&E in deadly pipeline explosion; CA bans plastic bags, regulates groundwater for first time in history...
The Corruption of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman: KPFK 'BradCast'
GUEST: Attorney and BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

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

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

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

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

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

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

And Don't Forget, Wingnuts...A Sitting PRESIDENT Can Also Face a Civil Suit...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 8:55pm PT  

I was asked today on my weekly appearance on Don Grady's Louisiana Live whether or not a sitting Vice President could be indicted. As far as I knew, the answer was yes.

Dan Froomkin of WaPo's excellent White House Briefing has a few nuggets on precisely that...and a reminder for those old "Rule of Law" Republicans...

Technically and legally, a sitting vice president can be indicted. In fact, there's a precedent.

Not long after he killed Alexander Hamilton in their famous 1804 duel, Vice President Aaron Burr was indicted for murder in both New York and New Jersey. No constitutional crisis ensued.

And as this 2000 Department of Justice memo lays out, the department researched the issue thoroughly in 1973.

Back then, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew was trying to stave off a grand jury investigation into kickback, bribery and tax evasion charges by insisting that he was only answerable to Congress.

After all, only Congress holds the power to remove the president or vice president from office --- and presumably it would be impossible to function as vice president from a jail cell.

But none other that [sic] then-solicitor general Robert Bork concluded that, while "the indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would impermissibly undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions," the vice president was fair game.

The "brief from the solicitor general argued that, while the president was immune from indictment, the vice president was not, since his conviction would not disrupt the workings of the executive branch."

Agnew ended up resigning his office as part of a plea bargain.

Civil suits of course are another story.

Richard Keil wrote in a Bloomberg story yesterday that he had recently spoken to Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Valerie Plame's husband, and Wilson "said that once the criminal questions are settled, he and his wife may file a civil lawsuit against Bush, Cheney and others seeking damages for the alleged harm done to Plame's career.

"If they do so, the current state of the law makes it likely that the suit will be allowed to proceed --- and Bush and Cheney will face questioning under oath --- while they are in office. The reason for that is a unanimous 1997 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling that Paula Jones' sexual harassment suit against then- President Clinton could go forward immediately, a decision that was hailed by conservatives at the time."

What goes around comes around, wingnuts...

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Conyers: GA Legislature Should Have Never Passed 'Modern Day Poll Tax'
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 3:11pm PT  

A federal judge has just issued an injunction to keep the new Photo ID requirements at polling places in the state of Georgia from moving forward. As reported many times on The BRAD BLOG, the requirement for photo ID at the polls would disenfranchise anywhere from 10 to 20 million Americans who do not have driver licenses --- mainly the elderly, minorities, the poor and other urban dwellers.

The call for Photo ID at the polling place is the latest attempt by Republicans who hope to further disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters across the country. The effort has been pushed hard by the self-declared "non-partisan" phony GOP "voting rights" group calling themselves the American Center for Voting Rights and was called for by the shameful Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission, which was led by disenfranchisement expert and Bush family crony James A. Baker along with high-level GOP operatives from the ACVR.

This just in from AP...

ATLANTA (AP) --- A federal court has barred Georgia from enforcing a new state law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

In the ruling issued today, the U.S. District Court in Rome agreed with critics who claimed the law amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax.

The U.S. Justice Department approved the law in August. The department said that while Attorney General Alberto Gonzales did NOT object to the state's voter I-D requirement, the federal agency's approval did NOT preclude lawsuits against it.

The Republican-backed measure sparked racial tension during the state's legislative session last spring. Most of Georgia's black lawmakers walked out at the state Capitol when it was approved.

In a news release just issued to The BRAD BLOG, Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, lauded the decision to stop what he referred to as "a modern day poll tax."

Says Conyers in the release: "Truth be told, the issue should have never reached this point - the Georgia Legislature should never have passed this modern day poll tax, the Governor should not have signed it, and the Justice Department should have intervened to stop it. That is why 21 Members and I asked the Department to prevent this law from taking effect."

The full press release from Conyers office follows...

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

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Little-Known, but Powerful U.S. Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) up to Eyeballs in DeLay, Abramoff, Corruption Probe
Tied to Gambling, Illegal Favors and TeleCom 'Election' Fixing Investigations...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 12:57pm PT  

In an extremely detailed 2891-word page one Washington Post report today by James V. Grimaldi and Susan Schmidt, Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) is tied to at least four different aspects of ongoing probes being carried out by criminal investigators looking into the corruption of GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay --- both of whom have been indicted recently on charges relating to the various investigations.

Ney has not yet been indicted, but the WaPo exposé ties him to several different scandals including the SunCruz casino boat fraud/murder investigation (for which Abramoff has recently been indicted), several illegally funded overseas vacations, support of Indian gaming in apparent trade for favors received in the form of cash contributions and other gifts from Abramoff and --- yes --- the apparent "fixing" of an election administered by Ney of telecommunications companies to determine who would receive a large contract at the U.S. Capital building.

Ney is chairman of the powerful U.S. House Administration Committee. BRAD BLOG readers will remember Ney's committee as holding a "show hearing" earlier this year on "Election Irregularities in Ohio" during the 2004 Presidential Election. That hearing, which attempted to whitewash the thousands of troubling reports calling the Ohio election into question, called just one witness from a "voting rights" group. That witness turned out to be Mark F. "Thor" Hearne of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), self-described "non-partisan" organization which had appeared out of the blue just days prior to the hearing. Hearne, identified himself in the hearings as a "long time voting rights advocate", but failed to mention that he was actually the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. The other "non-partisan" founder of ACVR was Jim Dyke, former RNC Communcations Director, and recently installed White House spokesman for Dick Cheney.

(BRAD BLOG's full special coverage of ACVR, the so-called "non-partisan" GOP front group masquerading as a "voting rights" organization, can be found here.)

The WaPo story reports that Ney is currently "under investigation by Florida federal prosecutors looking into Abramoff's acquisition of SunCruz, according to sources familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

Excerpts from the full WaPo report follow...

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

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His Machines Are Allowed to Count Millions of American Votes, But He's Not Allowed to Visit
By John Gideon on 10/17/2005 9:36pm PT  

{Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org}

The CEO of Smartmatic Inc., Antonio Mujica, has been denied a tourist visa by the US embassy and will not be allowed to return to the United States according to a recent report in VCRISIS, a Venezuelan news source.

Smartmatic Inc. is the Florida-registered, Venezuelan-owned parent corporation of Sequoia Voting Systems, one of the leading voting machine companies in the US. Its ownership has also been tied to Hugo Chavez and other shadowy multi-national organizations.

No reason is given for denying renewal of Mujica's visa in the VCRISIS article which describes an agitated confrontation with US Embassy officials. According to the story, Mujica "argued that he was legal, that he had an important company in the USA and that he had to travel with urgency to that country."

Sequoia Voting Systems was recently purchased by Smartmatic from a UK firm for $16 million. The surprisingly small sale price has brought into question the stability of Sequoia Voting Systems, which would seemingly stand ready to make millions of dollars in sales of voting systems around the United States as money from the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) continues to pour out to counties and states. However, the company's ability to provide technical support to their customers has now come into question as this blogger was recently told by a high level official at a competing American-owned voting machine company.

Sequoia is also involved in a lawsuit filed by attorney Paul Lehto in Snohomish County, Washington. The suit calls for the county's contract to be voided with the company due to the proprietary "trade secret" software used by the company. Lehto has published a report detailing a number of disturbing irregularities found in Snohomish's general election last November.

The Smartmatic company slogan is "All Things Connected". Setting aside whether all things being connected in an election system is a good thing (it isn't), their website has the following text on the front page:

�Smartmatic is the device networking company.
We envision a world where everything will be connected.
And we're making it happen... here and now.

The irony here...and now...of course, is that the entire situation demonstrates how utterly dysfunctional the election administration in America has become. While US law allows a Venezuelan man to control the secret counting of America's votes, the US State Department doesn't consider him fit to enter the country, even temporarily.

Further pointing out the absurdity of it all, in a media release published earlier today at VoteTrustUSA, Ellen Theisen, Executive Director of VotersUnite.Org says, "It's ironic that when we take vote-counting to Iraq, we take it in the form of paper ballots deposited into clear plastic ballot boxes, but in our own country, vote-counting is in the form of electronic ballots and secret software controlled by a man our government has declared ineligible to set foot in the country."

Just another day in the decline of American democracy...

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By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2005 1:31pm PT  

(Ed note: Is it us, or does that woman in the red sweater there look suspiciously like someone we know? Just asking.)

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REPORT: AFR Flip-Flops on Previous Decision to Carry Progressive Talker Ed Schultz...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2005 12:16pm PT  

According to our friends at RAW STORY, the plans that Armed Forces Radio had to add the progressive Ed Schultz Show to its current "Conservative"-only line up of talk shows has been changed as of this morning...

The United States' military's Armed Forces Radio has reversed a decision to add The Ed Schultz show to their lineup abroad, RAW STORY has learned.

Schultz was told Sept. 29 he would be added to the military's programming today. That decision was reversed this morning. His producers are currently seeking answers from the military.
...
Armed Forces Radio provides programming to American troops wherever they are stationed abroad. The network carries newscasts from a variety of outlets, including NPR and the Associated Press, along with commentary from Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, among others.

Read RAW's whole story to find out the possible reason for the military's flip-flop and last minute decision to NOT stay the course...

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Extremist Syndicated Radio Host Takes a Crap on the American 'Culture and Values' She Claims are under 'Assault' from 'The Left'
Absuses the Very 'Free Speech' She Writes About in Her 'Best-Sellers'
By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2005 12:47pm PT  

So I'm driving to an important appointment yesterday, to which I'm late, when I hear Tammy Bruce on TalkRadio 790 KABC, the powerful ABC station out here in Los Angeles, out and out lying to her listeners.

She's telling them that Valerie Plame/Wilson was not a covert CIA agent. That she couldn't have been because "she drove to work every day at the CIA building." That she was nothing more than a bureaucrat with a desk job at the CIA and so she was never outed.

Never mind that the CIA themselves requested the current Dept. of Justice investigation into the outing of one of their agents, or the myriad CIA officials who have testified that indeed she was very much a covert agent.

Furthermore, the former "liberal" turned...whatever she's turned...also instructs her listeners that Plame/Wilson could not have been covert because she posed in photographs with her husband Joe Wilson months before she was ever mentioned in the press by Bob Novak.

Needless to say by now, for anyone with a nickel's worth of information on the matter, Bruce was horrifically wrong on both accounts. (For just a partial refutation, since my time is short today, from a CIA classmate of Plame/Wilson's, you can read this.) And since Bruce was asking for folks to call in with their opinion on the matter, I did.

While driving, I got through right away to the show via my cell phone. Her producer asked what I was calling about. I identified myself as "Brad Friedman from The BRAD BLOG," and mentioned that "Tammy is completely misinforming her listeners about the Plame affair. That I'd be happy to correct the record having spoken to both Joe Wilson and others at the CIA on these matters, and I'd be happy to give her the real information about what's going on."

Her producer puts me on hold for a minute, and comes back to say, "Please send Tammy some email at TammyBruce@KABC.com and you can give her your thoughts."

I say: "Well, I'm in the car driving right now, so I can't email her."

She says: "You can send her email anytime..."

I say: "Wait, are you not going to put me on the air to talk to her to correct the record?"

She says: "Right."

I say: "Why not?"

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

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Did Scooter Libby Attempt to Coach Miller's Testimony?
Bloggers Still Critical of Miller and New York Times Reporting
By David Edwards on 10/16/2005 10:16am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Arianna Huffington supplements her Huffington Post analysis of Judy Miller's and The New York Times' latest account of Miller's role in Traitorgate by appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources this morning.

In her article and later on CNN, Huffington identifies the biggest fault in Miller's account:

Now that I have spent a few hours absorbing this latest installment in the ongoing soap opera "Desperate Editors," I can safely say that not since Geraldo cracked open Al Capone's vault has there been a bigger anticlimax or a bigger sham. After all, the question everybody has been asking is: who was the source who leaked Valerie Plame's identity to Judy Miller?

And the answer? She can't remember.

Given the "gee-whiz, it all just sort of, like, happened, and I don't know when or why or where or who..." tone of her mea no culpa , maybe Judy is vying for a role on MTV's "Laguna Beach."

Which is just as well, because if these two articles have revealed anything at all, it's that Judy Miller is no journalist.

CNN Reliable Sources:
Video in Windows Media format...
Streaming Video in Real Media format...

Did Libby Attempt to Coach Miller?

Talk Left focuses on a statement by Miller's lawyer, Bob Bennett, made this morning on ABC's this week that further implicates Libby in attempting to influence Miller's testimony. Hunter at Daily Kos concludes that "Libby is in deep, deep trouble here."

AP quotes Bennett from his appearance on ABC:

One of Miller's lawyers, Robert Bennett, was asked Sunday whether he thought Libby's letter was an attempt to steer her prospective testimony.

"I wouldn't say the answer to that is yes, but it was very troubling," Bennett said on ABC's "This Week."

"Our reaction when we got that letter, both Judy's and mine, is that was a very stupid thing to put in a letter because it just complicated the situation," Bennett said.

"It was a very foolish thing to put in a letter, as evidenced by the fact that you're highlighting it here," Bennett said. "It was a close call and she was troubled by it; no question about it."

ABC This Week:
Video in Windows Media format...
Streaming Video in Real Media format...

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

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... in which a friendly Raw Story journalist enjoys the the liberating exercise of free speech
Use it or lose it, I guess!
By Winter Patriot on 10/15/2005 9:25pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Larisa's newest blog entry at Huffington Post is called On Liberating Something, and it all sounds extremely liberated, if you ask me.

It starts like this:

It seems that our dear President needs smoke blown up his ass regularly in order to maintain his fine swagger and shit-eating grin.

and I think you'll enjoy reading the whole thing (in other words, click here!).

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By David Edwards on 10/15/2005 12:47pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Enjoy these video clips from Bill Maher's latest episode...



Opening: Bush/Cheney Ad
Streaming Video in Real Format
Windows Media Format

Maher's Monologue
Streaming Video in Real Format
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Panel on Iraq and Terror
Streaming Video in Real Format
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New Rules and Rant on Miers
Streaming Video in Real Format
Windows Media Format

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As DeLay Gets Desperate...
By Brad Friedman on 10/14/2005 6:54pm PT  

In a wistful mood this evening...as apparently is Jane Hamsher who does a fine job of looking both back and forward at Rove's big day today --- four and half hours with the Grand Jury --- as an eery calm seems to set in before the TreasonGate Storm that is most assuredly headed this way.

Thanks also to Jane for pointing us towards DeLay's latest desperate gasp. Something tells us that this (hopefully) soon-to-be "old school" video may end up in a museum some day in the "America's Decade of Shame" section. At least we hope so anyway.

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Columnist's Far-Too-Late But Dead-On Essay Merits a Too-Rarely Bestowed 'Intellectually Honest Conservative Award' from The BRAD BLOG!
By Brad Friedman on 10/14/2005 12:50pm PT  

Actual Conservative George Will unleashes on Republican "Faux Conservatives" in his NEWSWEEK column this week.

While his column raises the question of why it has taken so long for Will to finally get firmly on board the bandwagon of honest-to-God Conservatism in calling out the Republican Party and their leaders for their phony use of the "Conservative" label for little more than cynical partisan expediency, The BRAD BLOG is impressed enough with his no-holds-barred column to award him our "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award".

We hope this award --- very rarely bestowed these days due to the overwhelming dearth of actual Conservatives willing to call out their fake "Conservative" brethren for what they are --- may soon find still more recipients as the Conservative Momement finally begins to distance themselves from the disaster that is the Bush Presidency and the failed Republican Leadership in Congress.

By way of making the case for Bush and the Republican-led Congress' complete avoidance of true Conservative values, consider this point amongst many from Will's latest piece:

In 1987 Reagan vetoed a transportation bill because it contained 152 earmarks --- pork --- costing $1.4 billion. The bill President Bush signed contained 6,371, costing $24 billion. The total cost of the bill --- $286 billion --- is more, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than the combined costs of the Marshall Plan and the interstate highway system.

While we have many and various policy disagreements with true Conservative philosophy, we welcome the general tenets of Conservativism as applied towards American discourse and policy-making. What we are appalled by however, and have been for some time, is the continuing phony use of the "Conservative" label for pure partisan gamesmanship and political opportunism. That, even while the supposed "Conservatives" in control of every branch of the Federal Government have grown its size --- including so-called non-military discretionary spending --- beyond anything that any of the most "Liberal" Presidents or Congresses have been able to do in the history of the country!

And yet, a majority of Republican voters, according to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, continue to blindly support the anything-but-Conservative borrow-and-spend Republican "President" and Congress.

In that regard, Will is particularly on-target in his attack on the beseiged, disgraced and ethically-challenged Rep. Tom DeLay. In a blistering attack, Will describes the fallen U.S. House Majority Leader as one "who neither knows nor cares any more about limited government than a camel knows or cares about calculus."

He then continues to take on what he describes as the "faux conservatism" of today's Republican Party as sold out to the D.C. lobbyist's brand of what Will describes as "K Street conservatism."

Quoting Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), leader of the conservative Republican Study Committee who charges that some Republicans think "big government is good government if it's our government," Will unleashes on the entire "faux conservative" cabal in Washington:

DeLay's troubles, and his party's, may multiply with coming revelations about the seamy career of uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. He is emblematic of DeLay's faux conservatism --- K Street conservatism. That is Republican power in the service of lobbyists who, in their K Street habitat, are in the service of rent seekers --- interests eager to bend public power for their private advantage.

Since 2000 the number of registered lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled, from 16,342 to 34,785. They have not been attracted to the seat of government, like flies to honey, for the purpose of limiting government.

He closes with a remarkably lucid assault on the abandonment of virtually all true Conservative values --- including a complete abdication of the bedrock Conservative notion of personal accountability --- by those now (for the moment) in power in Washington in general and in the White House's War on Iraq in specific:

Conservatives are not supposed to be cuddly, or even particularly nice. They are, however, supposed to be competent. And to know that scarcity --- of money, virtue, wisdom, competence, everything --- forces choices. Furthermore, they are supposed to have an unsentimental commitment to meritocracy and excellence. The fact that none of those responsible for the postwar planning, or lack thereof, in Iraq have been sacked suggests --- no, shouts --- that in Washington today there is no serious penalty for serious failure. Hence the multiplication of failures.

All of which leaves us scratching our head in continued wonderment and asking, along with Eric Alterman, who commented on a new Pew Research poll released today by asking "You couldn't have figured this out, say, last November?"

Alterman's question was directed to the American people, a majority of whom for the first time, the Pew poll finds, now say "George W. Bush's presidency will be judged as unsuccessful" and that "By a 2-1 margin, people said the Bush administration has had a negative impact on politics and the way government works."

Setting aside what the people actually said last November --- since we have no real way of knowing due to the disastrous gutting of a once fairly-reliable and once fairly-transparent Electoral System in this country --- it's perfectly appropriate to direct Alterman's question towards Will. Where the hell was he last November?!

Nonetheless, given the dearth of Republicans who still maintain an actual set of Conservative Values --- better late than never, we guess --- we'll go ahead and award Will the coveted BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award" today. We offer it in the hopes of "shaking the bushes" to encourage other true Conservatives to step out from the shameful, murky, self-deceiving and destructive cynicism of Power-before-Policy and Politics-before-Country brand of "Faux Conservatism" that has hijacked and perhaps irreconcilably destroyed both the Conservative Movement in America and the Republican Party along with it.

{Thanks to Des for tips to both Will's and Alterman's pieces.}

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Claims 'Planned Parenthood Encourages Teen Abortion to Get Paid For Each One'
Media Matters Covers Tip from Astute (and Handsome) Listener, Brad Friedman
By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2005 4:47pm PT  

During a discussion about "parental notification" for teen abortions on this morning's Bill O'Reilly radio show, the "no spin" host vibrated with a charge that Planned Parenthood encourages teen abortions so that they can "get paid for every abortion they're involved with."

I heard the smear merchant, O'Reilly mention it this morning, but as I'm in the middle of a mountain of stuff, I knew I wouldn't have time to look into it and blog it myself. I shouted out to the good folks over at Media Matters, who record such things all day anyway, and they just now blogged the item (with a courtesy tip of the hat, to yours truly): [emphasis theirs]

O'REILLY: Look, again, it's notification, not approval. So you --- if you're a girl, you can still go ahead and have the abortion, and I'm sure Planned Parenthood would be encouraging you because Planned Parenthood gets paid for every abortion that they're involved with. I don't like Planned Parenthood.

The full Media Matters item offers information on how Planned Parenthood is actually paid, along with the audio clip from the segment.

And, by the way, MM, who's always looking out for Bill O'Reilly, encourages folks to send in such tips to mm-tips@mediamatters.org.

ReddIt this story!



Bush gets 2% approval from Black Americans --- Lowest in History
Americans favor Democrats for control of Congress
By David Edwards on 10/13/2005 9:54am PT  
Guest blogged by David Edwards

A newly released poll by NBC and The Wall Street Journal reflects growing problems for the president and the Republican party.

Bush's approval rating dropped to 39%, an all time low for his presidency. The most striking polling showed that only 2% of Black Americans approve of George Bush. Tim Russert, of Meet the Press, said that this represents the lowest approval in the history of polling among African-Americans.

Other poll numbers spell out trouble for the GOP. 48% prefer that Democrats control Congress while only 39% prefer that Republicans maintain control of Congress.

65% of those polled believed that Tom DeLay was involved in illegal activity. 57% believed that the investigation into insider trading by Bill Frist indicates the possibility of wrongdoing.

Watch the video of Tim Russert's analysis of these new poll numbers:

Video in Windows Media format...
Video in QuickTime format...

Should we be prepared for more fake terror alerts such as the NYC Subway hoax? Watch this MSNBC report for other terror alert 'coincidences'...

ReddIt this story!



and the Special Prosecutor's Examination Centers on a Group which Operated out of the Vice Presidents Office!
our friends at The Raw Story have the details
By Winter Patriot on 10/12/2005 10:11pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

According to a late-night e-mail from Larisa Alexandrovna, Raw Story is currently featuring an article by Jason Leopold which starts like this:

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is trying to determine whether Vice President Dick Cheney had a role in the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson, individuals close to Fitzgerald have confirmed. Plame's husband was a vocal critic of prewar intelligence used by President George W. Bush to build support for the Iraq war.

The investigation into who leaked the officer's name to reporters has now turned toward a little known cabal of administration hawks known as the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), which came together in August 2002 to publicize the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. WHIG was founded by Bush chief of staff Andrew Card and operated out of the Vice President's office.

Fitzgerald's examination centers on a group of players charged with not only selling the war, but according to sources familiar with the case, to discredit anyone who openly disagreed with the official Iraq war story.

The group's members included Deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove, Bush advisor Karen Hughes, Senior Advisor to the Vice President Mary Matalin, Deputy Director of Communications James Wilkinson, Assistant to the President and Legislative Liaison Nicholas Calio, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and I. Lewis Scooter Libby - Chief of Staff to the Vice President and co-author of the Administration's pre-emptive strike policy.

Rice was later appointed Secretary of State; her deputy Hadley was made National Security Advisor. Wilkinson departed to become a spokesman for the military's central command, and later for the Republican National Convention. Hughes was recently appointed Undersecretary of State.

Several members of the group have testified before Fitzgerald's grand jury.

Read more here.

No kidding. There's a lot more to the story and you can read it here.

You gotta love her, don't you? Larisa Alexandrovna not only gave us a heads-up when Jason Leopold's article hit the net; she also contributed research to the article! So: three cheers for Larisa Alexandrovna! Hip Hip ... no, seriously: Read more here.

ReddIt this story!



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