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By Katrina Wilcox on 10/5/2005 10:50am PT  
Special BRAD BLOG / Velvet Revolution coverage
of the Sep 24-26 Rally in D.C.
Guest blogged by Katrina Wilcox

What struck me the most were the buildings which house our seat of government. Old buildings. Massive buildings. Awe-inspiring columns in front. Quotes carved in stone. All representing huge monuments to our history as a nation. Made my heart swell with pride to know that generations ago the citizens who came before us believed that America was worth the anguish and danger and, yes, disruption to their normal lives to struggle against all odds to shape a nation in the best way they knew possible.

And what pissed me off the most, after my great sadness at the number of Iraqi and American lives lost because of this administration, was the fact that the corrupt criminals in power are dragging our wonderful, beautiful, capable-of-so-much-more-goodness country through the sewer. We can't blame our founding fathers. They did their best to protect us from what the future might hold. They couldn't know that all the checks and balances they carefully placed for our protection wouldn't be enough against the greedy corporations and politicians that were to come. It is us - who are to blame. For not keeping a closer watch on our inheritance, for assuming that it was already the best it could be, for not struggling always to make it better.

Which leaves us where we are now. With a broken, corrupt, unfixable system of governance which has enabled fascists to take power and pillage and pocket the spoils of our hard-earned pride, security, and money. We - just a leaderless revolution made up of patriots who will not give up our country - are all that stand in the way of the bastards dragging our noble nation down into the depths of hell.

Yes, we have been waging a revolution since 2000 when depraved evildoers staged a coup d'etat. A revolution in which each participant decided on their own to dig in their heels, frantically grab onto whatever they could find to do, and scream NO at the top of their lungs while watching in horror as the usurpers continued to drag us kicking and screaming ever closer to the precipice of annihilation.

But we have been fighting to rectify the symptoms of the problem (corruption, torture, lies, war crimes, election fraud, media deafness, environmental problems, campaign finance abuses, etc.) instead of fighting to change the system of governance that is the root of the problem. Once we institute a new system of governance, all the different symptoms will disappear along with the old system. We must declare that the American experiment of a Constitutional Republic has failed, take back our country, and bring forth a New America.

We can march on Washington again and stay until our demand to get our country back is met. Or we can wait around while the villains in power continue until there is nothing left of value to pillage and destroy (whether at that time there will be any of us alive and free enough to pick up the pieces is open to debate).

Those are our choices. Facts we have to face. There is no one to rescue us. We are on our own. We must right this wrong and put in place a new system of governance that protects us and future generations from this EVER happening again.

Just as our founding fathers did their best to protect us - now it is up to us to be the founding fathers for the coming generations of Americans. If we don't get it quite right, future generations may also have their day in history when they have to become the founding fathers to correct against dangers that are unforeseeable to us now.

But history has placed you and me ... here ... now ... and it is up to us to take our great nation to the next level of democracy, equality, and freedom for its citizens.

We are the founding fathers of New America.




Conservatives label him as 'anti-patriotic'
By David Edwards on 10/5/2005 9:20am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Marine Captain Josh Rushing has taken a job reporting for an Arab news network which is drawing criticism from some conservatives. He was recently interviewed by NBC's Today Show.

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

The Arab language news network Al-Jazeera has plans to begin broadcasting an English-language channel by Spring of 2006. The network already had 30 to 50 million viewers in the Arab-speaking world. The network has been called propagandists, liars and terrorists by many neocons like Donald Rumsfeld and Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly. Even so, Al-Jazeera is almost certain to be a popular news alternative for many English-speaking viewers when it launches.

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




'Election Fraud Enforcement a Top Priority', the AG Lied...
By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2005 2:20pm PT  

{Blogged by Brad from the road...}

In a speech today to a "Ballot Access and Voting Integrity Symposium", Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, lauded himself, John Ashcroft and the Department of Justice for having made "enforcement of election fraud and corruption offenses a top priority."

Gonzales claimed, without any apparent irony, that "We will not tolerate the infringement of voting rights."

He also seems to have contained the instinct to laugh out loud at his very own words when he said, "The results speak for themselves; you're getting the job done and we are making progress."

Progress, indeed. Here are some of the not-ironic-at-all highlights (or lowlights) from his speech today... (Complete text here)

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




NEW CHARGE COULD BRING LIFE IN PRISON!
Also: Bush's Dept. of Justice Confirms Own DeLay/Abramoff Investigation!
By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2005 12:32pm PT  

Former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was re-indicted today on a second charge related to the $190,000 in corporate money that DeLay is said to have illegally participated in laundering for use in a number of Texas state races from 2002.

Using corporate money to finance campaigns has been illegal in the state of Texas for nearly 100 years. Yet DeLay, who had previously been indicted on criminal conspiracy charges in the scheme, is now being charged with directly laundering the money. All of which, incidentally, Republican apologist Ann Coulter has no problem with.

From this morning's NY Times:

The indictment was announced without warning on Monday in Austin, the state capital, after lawyers for Mr. DeLay went to court earlier in the day to ask that the original conspiracy indictment be dismissed on technical grounds.
...
Within hours, Mr. DeLay and his aides had been indicted on the new money-laundering charges, which can carry a prison sentence of up to life in prison.
...
The new indictment was issued as Bush administration officials confirmed news reports in London that the Justice Department had asked the British police to question former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher about the circumstances of her meeting in 2000 with Mr. DeLay during a trip to Britain organized by the Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The interview request was the first publicly disclosed evidence from the Justice Department that Mr. DeLay was under scrutiny in the department's wide-ranging corruption investigation of Mr. Abramoff.




Decries Lack of Troops, Armor and Air Support...
'We Need 3 Times as Many Toops Here'
By Brad Friedman on 10/3/2005 11:12am PT  

{Blogged by Brad in Portland, OR}

Last week, Iraq War vet Paul Rieckhoff of OpTruth.org wrote a troubling blog item in which he discussed the DoD's lip-service given to supporting the troops, while sending at least 40,000 of them into harms way in Iraq with inadequate body armor. His item includes a link to a shocking video showing a sniper taking a clear shot at one U.S. troop who was lucky enough to have the appropriate armor!

Today, Rieckhoff follows that item up with another which includes an email from another troop currently serving in Ramadi, where 11 have been killed in the batallion within the last 10 days.

Rieckhoff notes:

The conversation in America is dominated by the "stay or go" dialogue right now. Few people outside of Iraq are talking about the fact that what we are doing there is being done half-assed.

The email from his friend in Ramadi complains about the lack of side armor on vehicles where troops are now being targeted every day by snipers and IED's, and goes on to say:

Side armor is one thing. But Paul, we have no reserve here. Every avilable troop is on the line every day. We have no offensive capability because to launch an operation in one sector would mean pulling the troops out of another sector. While they are bullshitting with the numbers, we need 3 times as many troops as we have here just to be able to protect ourselves. We don't have the people to clear out the bad neighborhoods, so we just keep going over there and getting killed, 1, 3 or 5 guys at a time.

He goes on to add that, though they should have appropriate air support for their daily missions, they are not getting getting the air cover they need. And then he closes with this troubling phrase...

We're not even trying. It's pathetic.

We continue to follow OpTruth's advice to "Really support the troops...Listen to them." We wish the DoD, and the American people, would do the same.




By David Edwards on 10/2/2005 5:23pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

In a moment of true clarity on CBS's 60 Minutes, Andy Rooney says what many Americans are thinking about the Iraq war and the threat of the military-industrial complex.

Andy begins his rant asking:

I'm not really clear how much a billion dollars is but the United States our United States is spending $5.6 billion a month fighting this war in Iraq that we never should have gotten into.

We still have 139,000 soldiers in Iraq today.

Almost 2,000 Americans have died there. For what?

Reading the transcript may help if you find yourself in a state of shock or disbelief after watching this clip.

CBS Streaming Video in Windows Media format...

Video in Windows Media format...
Video in QuickTime format...
Audio in MP3 format...




By Brad Friedman on 10/2/2005 11:06am PT  

{Blogged by Brad from Portland, OR}

Day 1 of the "National Summit to Save Our Elections" in Portland, Oregon, USA, gets some media coverage...In New Zealand's SCOOP...




LIVE from Portland Oregon's 'Summit to Save Our Elections'
Saturday 7p-11p ET (4p-8p PT), ReBRADCast Noon ET on Sunday - www.BradShow.com
By Winter Patriot on 10/1/2005 3:46pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

This weekend's Special Edition of The BRAD SHOW is about to hit the airwaves [and the internet]. This week's show will be broadcast LIVE from Portland, Oregon, scene of the National Summit to Save Our Elections.

Brad's scheduled guests include Air America Radio's Thom Hartmann, 2004 Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb, Tribune Media Services journalist Robert Koehler, and vote-rigging software whistle-blower Clint Curtis.

Listen LIVE via the Web! Saturday from 7p-11p ET (4p-8p PT)!
Enjoy the repeat reBRADcast on Sunday 12noon-4p ET (9a-1p PT)

You can listen via the IBC Radio Network or KPFTX.org, or see The BRAD SHOW home page for more information.

It's free speech at its best, but it's not free!
Brad pays for the studio rental --- out of his own pocket --- at $500 per week!
So please donate here to help defray costs!
Every little bit helps, friends.

LIVE OPEN THREAD BLOGGING below: click on the "comments" link at the bottom-right corner of this item to join in!




AUDIO FILE NOW AVAILABLE FOR LISTENING!
By Brad Friedman on 10/1/2005 10:44am PT  

{Blogged by Brad in Portland, OR}

Just finished my hour on the Ron Insana Radio Show with Ann Coulter...Well, half hour with Coulter. She left at the bottom of the hour for some reason.

Prior to the show, when Ron asked her off air if she would be able to stay for the full hour, she said "Well, I had it down for 30 minutes, so I'll have to let you know at the bottom of the hour if I can stay."

For some reason or another, she was then gone after the bottom of the hour. Hopefully, you can listen and decide for yourself why that may have happened. :-)

UPDATE FROM DAVID: Audio of Brad's debate with Ann Coulter is now available to download [MP3]. The breaks have been cut from this version. Total playing time is about 35 minutes. Or you can listen below, right here...

UPDATE 10/4/05: SpoofNews has some amusing coverage of the Brad/Coulter debate.

UPDATE 10/25/05: Thanks to a BRAD BLOG reader, the entire hour is now available via text transcript!




By David Edwards on 9/30/2005 2:04pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

In a recent interview on MSNBC's Hardball, Tom DeLay explained how District Attorney Ronnie Earle had duped the grand jury into returning an indictment by saying "Oh sure. You can indict a ham sandwich. This is a ham sandwich without the ham."

DeLay has spun this indictment as a partisan attack by Ronnie Earle. At the same time, he downplays the role of the grand jurors as mere puppets of the prosecutor.

Now, in an interview with News 8 of Austin,the foreman of the grand jury, William Gibson, has stepped forward to defend the indictment:

"It was not a rubber stamp deal. It was not an overnight deal. If we needed extra information, it was provided to us," Gibson said.

...
Gibson thinks there is enough evidence to convict Delay.

"We would not have handed down an indictment. We would have no-billed the man, if we didn't feel there was sufficient evidence," said Gibson.

...
The evidence is there to prove Delay was involved in wrongdoing and also prove that he and his fellow grand jurors acted independent of political influence, Gibson said.

"It wasn't Mr. Earle that indicted the man. It was the 12 members of the grand jury," Gibson said.

Windows Media Video...
QuickTime...




Lots of Stuff! Way Too Little Time!
By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2005 1:12pm PT  

{Blogged by Brad from Portland, OR}

Cramming all of this into a single item, since I'm way up against it here in Portland where I'm speaking tonight (and all weekend) at the National Summit to Save Our Elections. If you're in the 'hood! Please come on by and say hello!

UPDATE: Our erstwhile engineer from our BRAD SHOWS in Crawford, Otie Mclay is here, and informs me he's currently streaming as much of the conference as possible LIVE right now at KPFTX.org! Go listen in!

Doing tons of media up here, trying to get the word out about the Summit and the grave need for Election Reform in America. (You can listen to two hours with me battling it out with "Conservative" Lars Larson yesterday, in studio, by way of example. Thanks for posting it, David!)

Got a call from the Ron Isana radio show folks inviting me to debate with ANN COULTER tomorrow morning at 9am PT (12noon ET). That should be fun. On Delay and Frist, etc. Will try to find a minute or two to bone up on it all late night tonight I guess! :-) --- Insana is nationally syndicated all over the place.

UPDATE:See this item for listening links to hear the tape-delay version as it streams live again Saturday @ 3pm ET (Noon PT), and then for the archive posted thereafter.

It was nice to be in-studio, as well, this morning with Thom Hartmann up here. He's agreed to appear on The BRAD SHOW tomorrow (LIVE Saturday, 7p-11p ET or 4p-8p PT, with reBRADCast on Sunday at Noon ET). We'll have tons of stuff from the conference, loads of guests, including, but not limited to David Cobb, Clint Curtis, Robert Koehler, Ellen Theisen, and many more Election Reform All-Stars! We won't have phone lines, however, so you'll need to play along here at The BRAD BLOG in our Open Thread during the show.

Finally, and speaking of Election Reform All-Stars, Debra LaGuercio of the Daily Republic --- who picked up last week on our initial DIEB-THROAT story --- follows up with more on it this week!

It's a great column, that deserves to be read in its entirety, headlined, "Sadly, Dieb-Throat doesn't disappoint". It starts this way...

When I wrote last week's Dieb-Throat column about a whistleblower revealing security risks in Diebold touch-screen voting machines, I was deliberately setting myself up for a sucker punch. Go ahead, clean my clock. Make me see stars.

I awaited a deluge of feedback, ridiculing me for believing anything posted on a blog (www.bradblog.com), along with mountains of evidence showing that Diebold's machines are perfectly reliable and completely tamper-free, and that our election results were never and could never be secretly altered.

LaGuercio did receive "a deluge of feedback," but it wasn't what she had expected. Read the entire thing to find out how it came out. Wish I had more time to cover it today! But suffice to say, a new Election Reform All-Star is born in the media and her article ends simply "America - 1776-2004. R.I.P."

I'm reminded of the old Native American (I think) saying, "A path is laid one stone at a time."

Laying stones from Portland, OR...one at a time...and with your help...Talk to ya on the air tomorrow night! Brad




By David Edwards on 9/30/2005 8:11am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

For some reason the right-wingers seem frustrated and angry lately.

Yesterday, Brad was in studio with The Lars Larson Show for two full hours. The first hour was broadcast regionally. The second hour was a national broadcast with a much larger audience.

During the course of the show, Lars' tone seems to change from mature discussion to outright brawling anger. At one point during the second hour, Lars may have been briefly channeling the venomous Bill O'Reilly.

How did Brad handle the assault? Listen to the interviews and let us know what you think.

Lars Larson and Brad Friedman - Hour 1 (MP3)
Lars Larson and Brad Friedman - Hour 2 (MP3)

UPDATE FROM BRAD: Thanks for getting this posted, David! I wanted to toss out a kudos to Lars for being willing to have me on in the first place! Unlike so many of his wingnut brethren whose arguments are so weak, they won't even tolerate hearing an alternate point of view. For what it's worth, Lars is at least willing to do so. And that is to his credit! As well, he and his staff have been exceedingly generous and gracious in welcoming here in Portland. And now, I'll be debating with Ann Coulter in the morning (Ron Insana's National Radio show, 9am PT --- details on the top of the Blog as soon as I can get 'em!)




By Katrina Wilcox on 9/28/2005 11:45am PT  
Special BRAD BLOG / Velvet Revolution coverage
of the Sep 24-26 Rally in D.C.
Guest blogged by Katrina Wilcox

Well ... we are back home - working on the last few articles about our trip to DC. While I try to make coherent sense out of the notes I took, here's the last interview. Stan Goff's essay The Butterfly Effect --- Katrina and Occupation helped me to see that we are all living under occupation.

1. What caused you to become an activist and when was this?

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




Rightwing Swiftboat Attack on Prosecutor --- who Indicted far more Dems than Reps --- Begins!
Haster Taps Gay Republican to Take DeLay's Place...
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2005 9:42am PT  



U.S. House ethics rules require Delay to step down as Majority Leader...

MSNBC has details...

WASHINGTON - A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, an indictment that could force him to step down as House majority leader.

AP reports Hastert as pointing to Rep. David Drier (R-CA), reportedly gay congressman, to take his place. CNN is now reporting that Roy Blunt will be the temporary majority leader. David Dreier and Eric Cantor will also assist in DeLay's responsibilities.

AP has more...

DeLay Statement: "I will step aside."

The sliming/swiftboating of Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle has already begun...

Media Matters cuts the slime off at the pass:

While Earle is an elected Democrat, as Media Matters for America has previously noted, a June 17 editorial in the Houston Chronicle commended his work: "During his long tenure, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle has prosecuted many more Democratic officials than Republicans. The record does not support allegations that Earle is prone to partisan witch hunts." This assertion supports Earle's own claim about his record; a March 6 article in the El Paso Times reported: "Earle says local prosecution is fundamental and points out that 11 of the 15 politicians he has prosecuted over the years were Democrats."

McClellan: Bush considers Tom Delay "a good ally".

Pelosi: "Republicans plagues by culture of corruption at the expense of people of the USA."

Smoking Gun has the full indictment...

Videos in Windows Media format
White House defends DeLay...
DeLay denies charges, attacks District Attorney...
DA Ronnie Earle answers questions...
Behind the DeLay indictment...

...DEVELOPING...




John Conyers asks if 'Wheels Falling Off GOP?'
By David Edwards on 9/28/2005 6:47am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

The Washington Post is reporting that a no-bid contract awarded to Carnival Cruise lines is the first FEMA contract to garner wide scrutiny. The contract was negotiated to provide housing for displaced Katrina victims. Understandably, many hurricane victims are hesitant to accept housing on the water.

It's unclear how exactly how many displaced hurricane victims have accepted housing on the Carnival ships. Assuming that ships have 100% occupancy, FEMA would be paying more than twice the price of individually booked cruises.

To critics, the price is exorbitant. If the ships were at capacity, with 7,116 evacuees, for six months, the price per evacuee would total $1,275 a week, according to calculations by aides to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). A seven-day western Caribbean cruise out of Galveston can be had for $599 a person --- and that would include entertainment and the cost of actually making the ship move.

"When the federal government would actually save millions of dollars by forgoing the status quo and actually sending evacuees on a luxurious six-month cruise it is time to rethink how we are conducting oversight. A short-term temporary solution has turned into a long-term, grossly overpriced sweetheart deal for a cruise line," said Coburn and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in a joint statement yesterday calling for a chief financial officer to oversee Katrina spending.

CNN reported on the Carnival Cruise contract this morning. View the report in Streaming Real Media or Windows Media.

If you missed Michael Brown's "testimony of shame" yesterday, Crooks and Liars has a clip. Think Progress has determined that Brown lied under oath while smearing Governor Blanco.

The FEMA/Brownie scandals seem to be business-as-usual for the beleaguered president and Republican leadership. John Conyers wonders if the Wheels are Falling Off the GOP. Reports that DeLay may be indicted soon (AP, Americablog, Austin paper) along with recent revelations that Jack Abramoff may be involved in a gangland style murder must be troubling for the White House.

In addition, Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation is winding down and Administration insiders claim that the White House is sweating. Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post reports:

And it turns out that the Valerie Plame case is indeed hanging over the White House like a pall.

VandeHei and Baker write: "The federal CIA leak investigation, which has forced Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove and others to testify before a grand jury, seemed to distract officials and left a general feeling of unease, two aides said. Aides were calling reporters to find out what was happening with Rove and the investigation. 'Nobody knows what's going to happen with the probe,' one senior aide said."




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