Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke, horrifying U.S. gun death toll; PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism; Good news for Dems; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
In one of the smartest pieces we've ever seen on his show, tying so many of the Bush Administration's unprecedented crimes together in a single bound, Stephen Colbert offers an out for all them, in one fell swoop. His comments come on the heels of the remarkable statement, made by U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey to the American Bar Association in a speech this week, that "not...every violation of the law, is a crime."
Yes, that's what he actually said. Here's what Colbert said in reply last night...
UPDATE: If you have any problem viewing the above video, RAW STORY now has it up in a different video format, along with a few additional details, as well.
Voter registrations and voter registration data bases have been a huge problem during the primary elections. There is no reason to believe that they will not be a huge problem in November. One of the only ways to ensure a voter is registered is for that voter to check his or her registration. We recommend every voter check now and then check again just before the voter’s state registration closes before November. We urge voters who find themselves purged from the registration roles to write letters of complaint to their local Boards of Supervisors, especially their own representatives, with copies to their SoSs, their local newspaper Editors, and their congressional members. If those responsible for representing the citizenry start receiving such letters they might act to eliminate the cause. You can find out the date that your state is closing registration and whom to check with to ensure your registration is still HERE. You should also give 1-866-OUR-VOTE a call and report the incident to them They may be able to assist you on the legal side [See our Featured article]...
While cable news dutifully devotes nonstop coverage to the latest random criminal cases --- kidnappings, shootouts, murderous love triangles, car chases --- it's telling when a supposed break in one of the biggest manhunts in FBI history, for a terrorist who murdered and poisoned multiple American citizens with anthrax, takes a back seat to nearly every other story. That is, if it's mentioned at all.
Even as details, leaks, and a burgeoning list of questions bubbled to the surface last week, demanding serious scrutiny, the big three broadcast networks were equally blasé. Some nights skipping mention of the unfolding story altogether, as did last Tuesday's editions of CBS Evening News and ABC World News (though both that evening reported the eminently newsworthy story of a thrill-seeking English couple who married while being strapped outside separate airplanes). On the same night, Brian Williams afforded 39 precious seconds to the anthrax investigation on NBC Nightly News.
In covering one of the most historic criminal investigations in our nation's history, the worst bioterrorism attack on U.S. soil, the overall tenor and quality of network reporting (as well as much of the work in mainstream print media) has been nothing short of disgraceful. What America saw, instead, was a dearth of circumspection and a paucity of competent investigative work that mirrors the most feckless moments of the last eight years...
KPFK is heard at 90.7FM in Los Angeles and 98.7FM in Santa Barbara and streams live on the net at KPFK.org. Please tune in, stream in, and call-in at 818-985-5735, if you like.
Post-Show Update: Thanks to both Phil Lindsey and Dean Logan for joining me today. It was a very good and informative hour, if I say so myself. So informative, in fact, that someone called in to complain after the show that I wasn't tough enough on Logan. Okay. You can decide for yourself if I was, or wasn't, or if he even deserved it this time out. The archive follows. I appreciate that he showed up and took questions. We've got to work with election officials, folks. Period. Even as we hold feet to the fire.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's appearance Monday at a West Los Angeles college to discuss her recently published book was marred by dozens of protesters and several angry outbursts by audience members who demanded Pelosi immediately authorize a House committee to hold impeachment hearings against George W. Bush.
The Speaker made it clear she would not support any effort to hold impeachment hearings against George W. Bush Bush saying that he "will be gone in a hundred days."
Halfway through her discussion at The American University of Judaism, where more than 300 people paid $30 each to hear Pelosi speak about her upbringing and her family's impact on her political career as detailed in her book Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters, the topic shifted to Congress's historically low approval rating and how it reflected on Pelosi’s tenure as Speaker.
An outbreak of protest ensued leading to one protester being escorted out of the event by the Secret Service. Later, blogger Alan Breslauer was also yanked away from the Speaker by Secret Service agents, after attempting to ask a question of her during her book signing session. Some of those protests can be seen in the video at right.
American University of Judaism's Rabbi Robert Wexler, who led the 75-minute interview, asked Pelosi to analyze a recent Rasmussen poll that found nine percent of individuals polled believed Congress was doing a good job, far lower than Bush's overall approval rating.
Pelosi responded by defending her performance and the performance of her Democratic colleagues in Congress.
"I preside over the greatest collection of integrity and idealism," Pelosi said. Prior to her appearance in West Los Angeles Monday evening, CNN’s Larry King interviewed Pelosi. She told King she was willing to drop her staunch opposition to offshore drilling and would likely allow the House to vote on the issue.
She said, in her opinion, the reason behind Congress’s low approval rating was largely due to the fact that Democrats could not muster up the votes to end the Iraq war, which the Democratic Speaker from San Francisco said she could not do much about because of the Democrats’ razor-thin majority in both Houses.
Wexler, however, continued to press Pelosi to elaborate on her response given that the Rasmussen poll suggested that a wide-range of issues beyond the Iraq war was responsible for Congress’s single-digit approval. Pelosi, visibly flustered, said she was well aware that “much more work needs to be done.”...
In a letter to the editor of the New York Times, Sen. Diane Feinstein tries to defend her “Bipartisan Electronic Voting Reform Act” against the editorial accusation that her bill is just “A Bad Electronic Voting Bill”. The Senator tries to make the point that no other voting systems legislation will pass in this Congress. She forgets, “First, do no harm”. Her bill allows software verification schemes which will allow the proliferation of DRE voting systems. This bill is a huge step back and she knows it. As a friend pointed out, Feinstein essentially is saying that the best they could do was to make matters worse, and they are still demanding praise for taking action. Before going on summer break the Senator’s Committee on Administration and Rules held a hearing on the bill. No one from the Election Integrity Community was invited to give testimony; only supporters of the vendors and a few chosen for their known pro-DRE positions. No matter how the Senator colors this bill it is still BAD LEGISLATION....
Curtis called Kosmas a "conservative blue-dog Democrat." He said "She could change her name to Republican and never have to change a vote."
Kosmas, in return, might ask, "Curtis who?"
She said she doesn't know Curtis.
"I am running as a Democrat," Kosmas said.
"Running as a Democrat." A telling phrase, that.
While Kosmas claims to be against the war, it turns out she co-sponsored a resolution, adopted on March 21, 2003, while in the Florida legislature that pledged "support of President Bush in his stand against Saddam Hussein".
Unfortunately, Kosmas isn't the only hand-picked Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) candidate being put up this year almost solely on the basis of the DCCC's short-sighted conjecture that they can win in a previously "red" district because the candidate either has lots of their own money, or is damned-near a Republican.
Yesterday, our buddy Howie Klein - who knows more about on-the-ground politics and the real positions of Congressional candidates than anyone we know --- decimated the DCCC for their drive to put "Democrats" in office, at any cost. The "Stalinist" effort, as he describes it, to put such candidates as Kosmas in office (whether or not they end up voting with Republicans more often than Democrats!) has been the basis of the DCCC's "Red to Blue" program launched under the previous DCCC chair Rep. Rahm Emanuel and still in play under its new chair, Chris Van Hollen....
Congratulations to filmmaker David Earnhardt and crew! See below for the press release, just out today from Starz, announcing that his seminal election integrity documentary, Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections, will be premiering on several of the pay cable net's outlets beginning on August 28th.
"Think your vote counts? Think again," the announcement trumpets, before describing the film as "A searing indictment of the election process as it affected both the 2004 and 2006 Elections...And could affect the outcome of the 2008 Election."
We, of course, have been singing Uncounted's praises for quite some time here at The BRAD BLOG --- even though we're prominently featured in it, we highly recommend it nonetheless --- and we'll take this opportunity to again remind readers that Earnhardt has been kind enough to offer hand-signed DVD versions of the film available as a premium here only for our readers.
(Snail mail donations are also welcome; see the blue box on the right of every page here for our address. For other related premium offers, helpful in keeping our work going, please see this page. As always, your support is greatly appreciated and much needed! It will also help us with gas money to get out to the Democratic Convention next, where we're sure the Dems will just be delighted to see us, after having refused us press credentials. But, of course, we've got a Plan B. Wish us luck! And thanks in advance for any help you can offer!)
The complete news release, announcing Uncounted's premiere on the Starz network, follows below...
As Steven Rosenfeld says in his Alternet article, and this evenings “Featured” article, “The first large block of voters to be disenfranchised in 2008 are the wounded warriors from recent wars and homeless veterans living at hundreds of Department of Veterans Affairs facilities across the country, according to veterans and voting rights activists.”
While the state Department of Veterans Affairs in Connecticut has allowed the Secretary of State to register voters in one facility, the national office has not budged off of their insistence that no voter registration drives can happen on their property. The House and Senate must pass their legislation to instruct the DVA to allow voter registration drives when they return from their August vacation. ...
Conyers Announces Review of Allegations of Bush Administration's Forged Iraq Intelligence
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) today announced plans to review allegations that senior Bush Administration officials ordered the forgery and dissemination of false intelligence documents as reported by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Ron Suskind, in his new book, "The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism."
"Mr. Suskind reports that the Bush Administration, in its pursuit of war, created and promoted forged documents about Iraq," said Conyers. "I am particularly troubled that the decision to disseminate this fabricated intelligence is alleged to have come from the highest reaches of the administration. The administration's attempt to challenge Mr. Suskind's reporting appears to have been effectively dismissed by the publication of the author's interview recordings and transcripts. I have instructed my staff to conduct a careful review of Mr. Suskind's allegations and the role played by senior administration officials in this matter."
A number of issues raised in Mr. Suskind's book to be reviewed include:
The origin of the allegedly forged document that formed the basis for Bush's 2003 State of the Union assertion that Iraq sought yellowcake uranium from Niger;
The role of this document in creating the false impression that 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta had a working relationship with Iraq;
The relationship between this document and other reported examples of the Bush Administration considering other deceptive schemes to justify or provoke war with Iraq, such as the reported consideration of painting a U.S. aircraft with UN colors in order to provoke Iraq into military confrontation;
Allegations that the Bush Administration deliberately ignored information from Iraq's chief intelligence officer that Iraq possessed no WMDs;
The payment of $5 million to Iraq's chief intelligence officer and his secret settlement in Jordan, beyond the reach of investigators;
The September 2007 detainment and interrogation of Mr. Suskind's research assistant, Greg Jackson, by federal agents in Manhattan. Jackson's notes were also confiscated.
Having made all too precious-little headway in overcoming the failures of the U.S. corporate mainstream media --- see these comments from over the weekend on that point --- I guess I need to "go overseas" to see if we can make any headway from over there instead.
I'm now honored to be contributing to the UK's Guardian from time to time. My first column, posted today, picks up on the anthrax case, and the dismal, one-sided case made for the guilt of the now-deceased Bruce Ivins, by both the FBI and the mainstream corporate media outlets in this country, which were all too happy to pass on misleading report after misleading report from those prolific "unnamed government sources."
As with Iraq WMD, Valerie Plame, Torture, Secret Prisons, Spying on Citizens, the U.S. Attorney Purge, Election Integrity, and so many other almost-all-but-lost landmark issues from over the past seven years or so, it has been the remarkable efforts of the citizen media that managed, at least a bit, to mitigate the corporate media-propelled "conventional wisdom" in this entire sorry matter.
Please feel free to put in a good word over there for me.
For over two years Election Integrity attorneys have been urging the state of Ohio to file suit against Diebold/Premier, ES&S, and Hart for failure to meet their contractual obligations with the state. The Secretary of State ignored that urging. It was only after Diebold/Premier filed suit against the state that the state took action in a countersuit. Rather than being courageous plaintiffs in this case, the state is a defendant and Diebold/Premier chose the most favorable court to hear the case. If the state had done the right thing two years ago they very well may have had the funds to have gotten rid of all Diebold DREs in the state for this November. Instead counties are still at the mercy of Diebold and their flawed voting systems. And remember, it may be Diebold/Premier in this case but the other vendors play the same game in different ball parks. They are all complicit. For more on this issue see HERE....
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The corporate media still just don't get it. The topic came up at the end of an interesting discussion on Salon Radio Friday between Salon's Glenn Greenwald and NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen.
At the end of their conversation about ABC News' appalling inability to either retract their false 2001 stories tying the anthrax attacks to Iraq (at a very crucial moment, during this country's build-up to war there), Rosen, who picked up on Greenwald's call for accountability there, notes the media's reluctance, particularly the networks', but all of them, to examine their horrible performance prior to the war, and in the subsequent seven years since.
Those failures, the corporate media seem to argue, are all "ancient history" now.
"Because in the minds of most of the people who work in big league journalism in New York and Washington," Rosen explains, "they have done this to death. And they're way past the point of examining their own performance in the run-up to the war."
"From my point of view," he adds, "they haven't even started."
"The watchdog press died under Bush," Rosen charges. "We may have a watchdog press again some day, it could be reborn. But it died."
As you may expect, we concur with that assessment. Yet, as bad as things are right now, had it not been for the citizen media of the blogosphere, including folks like Greenwald, we shudder to think how much worse it all might have been. And that's saying quite a bit.
"It's like we're on the other side of the Moon from them on this particular issue," Rosen concludes in regard to his big media colleagues, in a phrase reminiscent of thoughts we've had so often over the last many years. Which of us is/was living on the dark side of that Moon?
The answer seems pretty clear these days, and that's the point at which we pick up their discussion below. It's just the last couple of grafs, but they are well-worth the quick read...
WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Friday that it had improperly obtained the phone records of reporters for The New York Times and The Washington Post in the newspapers’ Indonesia bureaus in 2004.
Robert S. Mueller III, director of the F.B.I., disclosed the episode in a phone call to Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times, and apologized for it. He also spoke with Leonard Downie Jr., the executive editor of The Washington Post, to apologize.
The records were apparently sought as part of a terrorism investigation, but the F.B.I. did not explain what was being investigated or why the reporters’ phone records were considered relevant.
Remember two weeks ago when Nancy Pelosi said, on ABC's The View: "I thought that Impeachment would be divisive...If someone had a crime that the President had committed, that would be a different story"?
I do. Hey Nancy, ITMFA!
UPDATE 8/10/08, 12:30pm PT:Pelosi admits not even having read the Articles of Impeachment filed against George W. Bush
What a disgrace. And once again, it's a citizen who tries to do the media's job for them, by asking her about those Articles, as filed by Kucinich, against Bush.
"I didn't read it yet!," the Democratic House Speaker tells the citizen when he hands her a copy of the Articles, as submitted into the Congressional record, and voted by the full House to be deferred to the Judiciary Committee.
She didn't even read them?! And yet she has the temerity to go on national television, on ABC, to say that she's unaware of any crimes he's committed and that Impeachment shouldn't be done "unless you have the goods that this President committed a crime"?! Amazing. Here's the video...