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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, May 29, 2015
HASTERT INDICTED ON CRIMINAL CHARGES
Flashback to BRAD BLOG coverage of blackmail, bribery allegations from years past, as former GOP House Speaker charged with paying $3.5m to cover up 'prior misconduct'...
Montana's Fight to Save U.S. Elections: 'BradCast' 5/28/15
MT's Commissioner of Political Practices discusses his disturbing court battle that may rock elections across the country; Nebraska does the right thing again; MORE...
'Green News Report' 5/28/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deadly deluges in TX, OK; Deadly heat in India; Heat-driven fires shut down tar sands oil in Canada; Farmers concede in CA drought; PLUS: Obama protects drinking water...
Previous GNRs: 5/21/15 - 5/19/15 - Archives...
On 'White Fragility' and On Smearing Bernie Sanders: 'BradCast' 5/27/15
Journalist Austin Squire on privileged white males' tenous grip on power. Plus: The MSM continues to marginalize Sanders, even after his huge kickoff rally this week...
Roads to Nowhere: Do Voters Really Want New Ones?
Voters keep rejecting increased taxes for new and improved roads. Environmental reporter Miles Grant wonders if there's a reason above and beyond aversion to increased gas taxes...
Oil, Toil, Flooding & Trouble: 'BradCast' 5/26/15
Science Editor Andrew Freedman on deadly TX, OK flooding; Good news out of Ireland; A 'GyroCopter Guy' update; PLUS: Our report from the Santa Barbara oil spill...
Memorial Day Weekend Toons We'd Love to Forget
Arctic drilling; Texas 'justice'; Hillary Inc.; Iraq 'whoppers' continued and more in PDiddie's latest collection...
Gov. Don Siegelman's Son on Father's Case; 'Bin Laden's Bookshelf': 'BradCast' 5/22/15
GUEST: Joseph Siegelman; Plus: Was al-Qaeda hoping to hack a US election?...
'Bin Laden's Bookshelf' Contained Classic Book on Hacking Computer Elections
Reading material said to have been on the al-Qaeda leader's shelf when he was killed may not be a surprise to BRAD BLOG readers...
GOP State Sen. on Nebraska's 'Veto Proof' Death Penalty Ban: 'BradCast' 5/21/15
Guest: State Sen. Al Davis (R); Plus: Siegelman appeal denied; Jeb still rewriting Iraq history; Goodbye, Dave; MORE...
'Green News Report' 5/21/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Major oil spill off CA coast; New settlement in 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill; Fossil fuels subsidized $5 TRILLION/year; PLUS: Obama to Coast Guard cadets: climate threatens NatSec...
Previous GNRs: 5/19/15 - 5/14/15 - Archives...
BREAKING: Appeals Court Denies Siegelman Retrial
AL's former Dem Governor's request denied. He remains in federal prison as Repubs who orchestrated 'political prosecution' (including 'wife-beating' Judge Mark Fuller) remain free...
Walker, Christie, GOP, FCC, Untethered From Reality: 'BradCast' 5/20/15
Facts and reality matter; Journalist turned media-activist Sue Wilson helps explain...
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) on Obama's Executive Order to Demilitarize the Police: 'BradCast' 5/19/15
Plus: A spate of new voting laws, good and bad, around the country...
'Green News Report' 5/19/15
'Paddle in Seattle' to stop Shell's Arctic drilling; Study finds new emmissions rules will save lives...so GOP blocking them; PLUS: Indigenous tribe nixes natgas billions...
Walker and GOP Turn 1st Amndmnt On Head
The FCC's blow to free speech rights you probably never heard about, and how, if Walker and Republicans have their way, it may soon get even worse...
People v. Shell in Seattle; Truth v. Iraq Lies on Fox: 'BradCast' 5/18/15
Guest: Seattle Councilman Mike O'Brien; Now Rubio trips over Iraq; TX shootout; Antarctica ice shelf disappearing...
The 'Br'er Rabbit Strategy' To Fend Off A Sanders-Led Democratic Revolution
Wall Street and MSM say they fear Sanders could 'pull Hillary to left'. But is there more to their strategy?...
Sunday Toons: Off the Rails
From the TPP to tragedy in Philly to GOP 2016ers on Iraq to drilling in the Arctic and marriage equality in TX, common sense continues to be derailed...
Learning From History & GOP Rewriting Iraq's: 'BradCast' 5/15/15
Guest: Journalist Peter Dykstra, formerly of CNN, on how enviros should learn from the past; GOP 2016ers trying to rewrite Iraq...
Texas Republicans Hoping to Block Even More Legit Voters With New ID Scheme
New law, if adopted by state, would take already unconstitional Photo ID voting restrictions to new level...
NSA Spying & 'USA Freedom Act'; Jeb Between Iraq, Hard Place: 'BradCast' 5/14/15
Guest: Marcy Wheeler; Plus: Feingold's back! OH GOP still suppressing voters; 600th GNR...
'Green News Report' 5/14/15
OUR 600th EPISODE! - Hours after Amtrak crash, GOP votes to cut Amtrak budget; FBI spied on KXL protesters; PLUS: Hawaii to be 1st in nation to go 100% renewable...
CIA Drugging of 9/11 Detainees? & Jeb Too Dumb to Run: 'BradCast' 5/13/15
VICE News' investigative reporter Jason Leopold on his new exclusive CIA documents; MORE...
Dems: 'No' to Obama on TPP
'BradCast' 5/12/15
Salon's David Dayen joins us to discuss Dems' refusal to go along with Obama (for now); Plus: 1st election lawsuit of 2016; Jeb on Iraq, Allen West on 'Sharia Law'...
NY Nuke Plant Fire, Oil Spill; Vanishing NC Voter Registrations: 'BradCast' 5/11/15
Guests: Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen; 'DocDawg' of Daily Kos...
Bernie Who? 'Meet the Press' Ignores Sanders
Media watchdog documents NBC's Chuck Todd snubbing Sanders' entry into 2016 Presidential primary, while covering GOP also-rans dozens of times...
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...

'Military, Administration let Tillman down'!
Father calls episode and use of son's memory 'Disgusting'!
By Brad Friedman on 5/23/2005 1:18pm PT  

In a Page 1 Washington Post article this morning (one that seems to be staying on Page 1 versus another story from over the weekend which we will be reporting on shortly!), the parents of Pro Footbal Player turned U.S. Army Soldier, Pat Tillman, have blasted both the Army and George W. Bush for their "lies" concerning the death of their son via "friendly fire" in Afghanistan in 2004.

Some of the extraordinary details from the WaPo story which likely won't make it onto the Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly programs, unless the plan to call Tillman's parents America Haters as well (wouldn't be a surprise at this point)...

Former NFL player Pat Tillman's family is lashing out against the Army, saying that the military's investigations into Tillman's friendly-fire death in Afghanistan last year were a sham and that Army efforts to cover up the truth have made it harder for them to deal with their loss.

More than a year after their son was shot several times by his fellow Army Rangers on a craggy hillside near the Pakistani border, Tillman's mother and father said in interviews that they believe the military and the government created a heroic tale about how their son died to foster a patriotic response across the country. They say the Army's "lies" about what happened have made them suspicious, and that they are certain they will never get the full story.

"Pat had high ideals about the country; that's why he did what he did," Mary Tillman said in her first lengthy interview since her son's death. "The military let him down. The administration let him down. It was a sign of disrespect. The fact that he was the ultimate team player and he watched his own men kill him is absolutely heartbreaking and tragic. The fact that they lied about it afterward is disgusting."
...
Patrick Tillman Sr., a San Jose lawyer, said he is furious about what he found in the volumes of witness statements and investigative documents the Army has given to the family. He decried what he calls a "botched homicide investigation" and blames high-ranking Army officers for presenting "outright lies" to the family and to the public.

"After it happened, all the people in positions of authority went out of their way to script this," Patrick Tillman said. "They purposely interfered with the investigation, they covered it up. I think they thought they could control it, and they realized that their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a handbasket if the truth about his death got out. They blew up their poster boy."
...
"It makes you feel like you're losing your mind in a way," she said. "You imagine things. When you don't know the truth, certain details can be blown out of proportion. The truth may be painful, but it's the truth. You start to contrive all these scenarios that could have taken place because they just kept lying. If you feel you're being lied to, you can never put it to rest."

Patrick Tillman Sr. believes he will never get the truth, and he says he is resigned to that now. But he wants everyone in the chain of command, from Tillman's direct supervisors to the one-star general who conducted the latest investigation, to face discipline for "dishonorable acts." He also said the soldiers who killed his son have not been adequately punished.

"Maybe lying's not a big deal anymore," he said. "Pat's dead, and this isn't going to bring him back. But these guys should have been held up to scrutiny, right up the chain of command, and no one has."

That their son was famous opened up the situation to problems, the Tillmans say, in part because of the devastating public relations loss his death represented for the military. Mary Tillman says the government used her son for weeks after his death, perpetuating an untrue story to capitalize on his altruism --- just as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal was erupting publicly. She said she was particularly offended when President Bush offered a taped memorial message to Tillman at a Cardinals football game shortly before the presidential election last fall. She again felt as though her son was being used, something he never would have wanted.
...
"This lie was to cover their image. I think there's a lot more yet that we don't even know, or they wouldn't still be covering their tails."

"If this is what happens when someone high profile dies, I can only imagine what happens with everyone else."

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Being the Media...Cuz Someone's Got to!
Open Show Thread...
By Winter Patriot on 5/21/2005 3:47pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

The Brad Show returns this week with an excellent guest list --- and it promises to be a great show, if the mysterious Radio Gods will permit it.

Brad's guests will include:
Larisa Alexandrovna of The Raw Story on the judges at the heart of the so-called "nuclear option"
Dave Astor, Senior Editor of Editor & Publisher, on the state of the mainstream media
Andrew Borene of Operation Truth speaking about Friday's stand-down of military recruitment
John Byrne of The Raw Story to share and discuss his recent interview with Senator Dick Durbin
Jim Lampley, HBO/NBC sportscaster and Huffington Post blogger

Listen LIVE via the Web! Saturday from 7p-11p ET (4p-8p PT)!
Repeating Sunday 12noon-4p ET (9a-1p PT)
Quick and easy access to LIVE listening links, archives, upcoming guests,
donation links and ad info (it's not to late to advertise!)
and more via www.BradShow.com!

More links...

Direct streaming links via RAW STORY!
Donate here to help defray costs!

URGENT REMINDER: The BRAD SHOW is supported (for now) by listener donations! So get on the phone, or send some e-mail, and tell a few friends about The BRAD SHOW. You (and they) will be glad you did.

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

LIVE OPEN PHONES: Call Brad at 818 222 1024 that's 1-818-222-1024

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

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LIVE! Saturday Night 7p - 11p ET (4p - 8p PT)
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2005 4:15pm PT  

This week's BRAD SHOW via RAW RADIO is scheduled to feature...

  • Part 2 of our exclusive interview with HBO/NBC's JIM LAMPLEY on his statement that Election 2004 was "the biggest crime in the history of the nation"
  • Sr. Editor of Editor & Publisher, DAVE ASTOR on the state of the Mainstream Media.
  • Raw Story's LARISA ALEXANDROVNA on the judges at the center of the "nuclear option"
  • USMC 1st Lt. ANDREW BORENE on Friday's U.S. Army Recruitment "stand down".
  • Raw Story Mng. Editor, John Byrne's exclusive interview with SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL)!
  • And much more to come soon!...As always, subject to change as events warrant!

    Call-in # to be posted during tomorrow's show!
    Join us for the LIVE OPEN THREAD right here at The BRAD BLOG during the show!

    Thanks for helping us out here in the early days to get up and on the air!

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    Chairman Coleman's Office Passes Buck for Explanation!
    By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2005 2:02pm PT  

    The stunning testimony given by British MP George Galloway before the U.S. Senate subcommittee on Investigations is apparently so hot that it seems to have "gone AWOL" from the subcommittee's website according to the British newsite VNU Network.

    The BRAD BLOG can confirm that all witness testimony --- except that of Galloway's --- from last Tuesday's extraordinary hearings is available in PDF format on the subcommittee's webpage on the hearings.

    At those hearings, Galloway blasted subcommittee Chairman Sen Norm Coleman's (R-MN) investigation into the U.N. Oil-for-Food "scandal" which Galloway referred to as "the mother of all smokescreens".

    That testimony can be read and/or viewed here.

    We have been unable to receive a statement from Senate spokesmen as yet as to why Galloway's testimony is now unavailable on the website.

    A staffer in Coleman's office referred us to the subcommittee staff when we asked for the reasons for "the removal of the testimony". Her reply: "That's a question for the subcommittee. Senator Coleman is the chairman, but the committee makes their own decisions about what goes on the website."

    We were forwarded to the subcommittee's voice mail where we left a message. If we receive a call back, we will let you know.

    A screenshot just taken from the subcommittee's website showing the missing Galloway testimony is below.

    UPDATE: As of 2:30pm PT, the subcommittee's webpage has now been updated to include, "Mr Galloway did not submit a statement" underneath his missing testimony.

    As a Capitol Hill source familiar with such testimony emailed us moments ago: "I'd find it strange if they simply published the prepared remarks of these other people as submitted instead of transcribing them especially since nowehere does it say 'as prepared.' That might be a good question to ask them if you call back."

    We have still been unable to reach anybody at the subcommittee willing to give comment on the matter as of this time.

    UPDATE 5/23/05 4:40pm PT: The subcommittee has again edited their website, this time to say "Mr Galloway did not submit a written statement". We suppose they were unable to copy and paste from the widely circulated written statement posted by London Times nearly a week ago!

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    Encourage C-SPAN to Cover it NOW!
    By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2005 1:07pm PT  

    It's official. Just in from the folks at Conyer's office...Fighting on every front...God bless him...In the DC area next week? Go help 'em make some noise!

    Better yet, write to C-SPAN today and ask them to cover this event!!! We spoke with Conyers' office earlier this morning, and they made it clear they would appreciate any help that "6 or 7" of you might be able to provide in encouraging C-SPAN to be there!

    ...CONTACT...
    Suggest Events: Submit a public event that you think C-SPAN should cover
    events@c-span.org
    Main Number: (202) 737-3220
    FROM THE NEWSWEEK CONTROVERSY TO THE DOWNING STREET MEMO, CONYERS HOSTS FORUM: "MEDIA BIAS AND THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM OF THE PRESS"

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m., Rep. John Conyers, Jr. and other Members will host a forum concerning the state of the freedom of the press in this country.

    There are few liberties which are more precious to our citizenry or important to our democracy than a free and independent press. Unfortunately, in the present environment, the fourth estate appears reticent to cover numerous issues of genuine public import, and has frequently retreated in the face of criticism and threats from government officials.

    For example, the mainstream media has largely ignored the implications of the "Downing Street Memo," which points to a secret agreement between the Bush and Blair Administration to not only go to war, but create the conditions necessary for the war. Similarly, in the wake of the Newsweek "retraction" of the Koran story, the Administration has sought to mandate that the magazine alter its coverage of our involvement in the Middle East.

    Tuesday's Forum will provide a timely opportunity to assess the nature of media bias and the extent that press freedoms are at risk in the post-9/11 world.

    WHAT: Forum: "Media Bias and the Future of Freedom of the Press"

    PANEL:

  • Al Franken, the Al Franken Show on Air America Radio, author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right
  • David Brock, founder of Media Matters
  • Randi Rhodes, the Randi Rhodes Show on Air America Radio
  • Joe Madison, The Black Eagle Radio Show
  • Justin Webb, Senior Washington Correspondent of BBC News
  • Eric Alterman, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
  • Steve Rendall, media watchdog group FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
  • John Aravosis, America Blog
  • Mark Lloyd, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
  • WHEN: Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m.

    WHERE: 2226 Rayburn House Office Building

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    (Okay, so the moment was two weeks ago. We're busy. Get over it.)
    By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2005 11:43am PT  

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    By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2005 3:52pm PT  

    In regards to our earlier article today covering IntellectualConservative.com's Aaron Goldstein in his humiliating attempt to bring a dull knife to Jim Lampley's Election Reform gunfight...This just in via Email from Lampley:

    Aaron Goldstein is a punk. There is no such thing as "conservative intellectualism". There is no intellect in conservatism. You can quote me. lamps

    Consider it done, Lamps.

    Lamps also promises more on Election 2004 in the coming week via Huffington Post. We'll let you know when that happens.

    And BRAD SHOW promises (presuming we can get over the technical problems that plagued us last week!) to air the entire Jim Lampley interview on this week's Saturday show! Hope you'll join us! (And feel free to help us defray the cost!)

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    By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2005 3:31pm PT  


    "The audacity of some members to stand up and say, how dare you break this rule. It's the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying 'I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me. How dare you bomb my city? It's mine.'" --- Future Ex-Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) on the floor of the U.S. Senate today, comparing Democrats to Adolf Hitler in regards to their interest of retaining the 214 year old Senate Fillibuster rules.

    RAW STORY has the full quote.

    Shadow TV has the video.

    Atrios has the context (MoveOn.org has been under fire by the wingnuts for hosting an ad submitted by someone else to their "Bush In 60 Seconds" which compared Bush to Hitler, and which MoveOn.org immediately removed. The RNC has been hosting it and using it for months since then).

    Atrios also points out this recent quote from Santorum:

    "Senator Byrd's inappropriate remarks comparing his Republican colleagues with Nazis are inexcusable," Santorum said in a statement yesterday. "These comments lessen the credibility of the senator and the decorum of the Senate. He should retract his statement and ask for pardon."

    Would you like some crow with that hubris, Senator?

    Finally (though we suspect we'll be hearing more about all of this soon!), Blogenlust has still more on Republicans and their phony Hitler Outrage.

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    Freedom Fighting, Election Fraud Busting, Fearless Champion of Democracy Still Undefeated!
    (Goldstein Rumored to Have Sex With Goats)
    By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2005 11:33am PT  

    Before we point out what a classic phony "conservative" Aaron Goldstein --- of the site which (apparently without irony) calls itself IntellectualConservative.com --- actually is, we must point out still more apparent lack of irony from the site which gives Goldstein a reason to feel as if he is part of the human race.

    Proudly tagged on each article page on the site, in the top-left hottest piece of real estate, is this humble self-description:

    We are the only site on the web devoted exclusively to intellectual conservatism. We find the most intriguing information and bring it together on one page for you.

    An example of that "intellectual conservatism" on one page, we suppose, would be this item and graphic currently on their front page:

    Okay. So now you know what kind of site we're dealing with here, and have a small idea of the "intellectually conservative" geniuses who publish there.

    With that in mind, one of those geniuses is Aaron Goldstein, who seems to have drawn the short neo-con straw this week and so must put in his sad, all-too-tired duty into the Defending the Indefensible on Behalf of The Powers-That-Be beat.

    Goldstein has apparently been assigned (why else would he show up with such a small dull knife to such a big boy's gunfight?) to try and knock HBO/NBC's Jim Lampley down a few pegs. He fails. Miserably. But he doesn't fail to retread every lame, fake conservative line, apology, distraction, distortion, misdirection, justification and deflection in the Karl Rove playbook! Attaboy, Aaron! Fox News should be calling any day now!

    In truth, Goldstein's sad little shot at Lampley --- he of the mighty Election 2004 as "the biggest crime in the history of the nation" statement last week --- likely deserves to be ignored. But it's so much fun laughing at these Democracy Hating Conspiracy Theorists like Goldstein that sometimes we just can't help ourselves...Even if we must stoop to their lowered level of discourse in order to do it...

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

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    Pro-Bush Prof Argues Address Arranged by Political Director Rove 'Not a Political Event'...
    By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2005 5:50pm PT  

    According to the Grand Rapids Press, nearly 1000 students and professors from the conservative Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI are taking out a full-page ad to protest George W. Bush's commencement address appearance this Saturday.

    The speaking engagement was requested and arranged by Bush's top political advisor Karl Rove who, according to NEWSWEEK, informed a College employee at a "Presidential" event back in March that "Bush was hoping to deliver a graduation speech in Michigan this year and asked if Calvin College, a small Christian school in Grand Rapids, might be a willing venue."

    Ironically enough, The Press quotes the chair of the college's communcation arts and science department who gave his approval for the event as accusing the objecting students and professors of turning the appearance into a "political event."

    The fact that the appearance was arranged by Bush's top political advisor, who was specifically looking for a venue in swing-state Michigan for Bush to speak at is apparently to be ignored.

    Yesterday's Press described tomorrow's stinging full-page ad:

    In a full-page advertisement that will run in The Press on Friday and a half-page ad to appear Saturday, Calvin students, staff and alumni voice their disappointment with Bush's graduation stop.

    "By their deeds ye shall know them," reads the paid advertisement, quoting the Bible. "Your deeds, Mr. President --- neglecting the needy to coddle the rich, desecrating the environment, and misleading the country into war --- do not exemplify the faith we live by.

    "Moreover, many of your supporters are using religion as a weapon to divide our nation and advance a narrow partisan agenda. ...We urge you not to use Calvin College as a platform to advance policies that violate the school's religious principles."

    More than 750 alumni, students and staff have signed Friday's advertisement, while about 100 of Calvin's 300 faculty members put their names on the Saturday ad.

    And in reply, The Press quotes the professor who defends the Bush appearance...

    Calvin communication arts and sciences department chair Randall Bytwerk says Bush and his speechwriters know better than to turn a ceremony of occasion into a partisan political event. Bytwerk reviewed Bush's prior commencement talks and said none took a political tone.

    He finds it unfortunate some staff have chosen to bring political tensions into play.

    "They say they welcome his visit and promoting dialogue, but the way to do that is not to announce everything a person is doing wrong," Bytwerk said. "This brouhaha makes a political event out of what was not a political event.

    While Bytwerk may like to believe that this weekend's political event "was not a political event", a report in this week's NEWSWEEK on Rove's political "thank you" tour would seem to suggest otherwise...

    At a GOP fund-raiser last March, Michigan Rep. Vernon Ehlers was waiting for his turn to take a photo with President Bush when he felt a tap on his shoulder. It was Karl Rove, White House deputy chief of staff and Bush's top political adviser. According to Ehlers, Rove told him Bush was hoping to deliver a graduation speech in Michigan this year and asked if Calvin College, a small Christian school in Grand Rapids, might be a willing venue.
    ...
    Why Michigan? White House officials insist politics didn't play a role in sending Bush back to a state he narrowly lost in 2004. Yet Saturday will mark Bush's third visit to the Wolverine State this year. Less than six months into his second term, Bush has paid multiple visits to the hard-fought states of 2004and he's not the only one. Since March, Rove has been out headlining fund-raisers and county GOP dinners in battleground states like Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin. Administration officials describe Rove's travels as a post-election "thank you" tour to reward Bush's supporters. But others say it's an attempt to shore up the GOP base and stoke enthusiasm for Bush's agenda as the 2006 midterm elections approach.

    Nope. It's not a political event at all. And the "Clear Skies Initiative" will clear the air. And "No Child Left Behind" won't leave any children behind. And when the "Mission Accomplished" banner goes up, the mission will have been completely accomplished.

    George W. Bush's Bizzarro World continues. We just have to live in it.

    Yet even the good conservative Calvinist Christians of Grand Rapids are beginning to understand what an embarrassing figure this country currently has occupying the White House and misrepresenting our country to the world.

    UPDATE: A number of Calvin students have set up a Google discussion forum called "Our Commencement Is Not Your Platform", described as "A place to dialogue and organize for those opposed to George W. Bush commandeering Calvin's 2005 Commencement."

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    By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2005 2:49pm PT  

    (In case you missed it, the U.S. Army missed its recruitment goal in April by 42%. Third straight month of missed recruitment goals. Have a feeling they may be lowering those goals soon.)

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    By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2005 12:27pm PT  

    According to the LA Times...

    City Clerk Frank Martinez used a different voting system, which meant few problems Tuesday with collecting ballots and counting votes.
    ...
    In place of the InkaVote system, voters Tuesday were handed a simple paper ballot that listed each race or issue and required them to use a marker to fill in an oval next to their choices.

    Imagine that.

    ReddIt this story!



    Calls Oil-for-Food 'Scandal' the 'Mother of All Smokescreens'!
    Stunning Testimony Reminscent of McCarthy Hearings!
    By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2005 4:51pm PT  

    Not since attorney Joseph Welch confronted the soon-to-fall Anti-Communist Crusader/Idealogue, Joseph McCarthy in 1954 with his now famous "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" testimony can we recall such a direct shaming of a Congressional Committee as that which took place earlier today in a Senate Subcommittee Hearing on the trumped-up U.N. Oil-for-Food "scandal". It's the scandal which Bush Lackeys and Fox & Friends have been flogging ever since it became apparent that there were no WMD in Iraq, and thus, no justification for this trumped-up war.

    Also mirroring McCarthy's shameless use of the Senate for his Anti-Communist Witchhunts is the cavalier way by which the NeoCons and their sycophantic supporters are all-too-willing to destroy innocent lives with the stroke of an irresponsible pen or an out-and-out fallacious public statement in complete disregard for those whose lives and reputations they are smearing and defaming under false pretenses.

    The hearings today, by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs investigation subcommittee, shamefully led by Democrat-turned-Republican Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota, turned into a stunning embarrassment when British MP George Galloway gave his remarkable rebuttal to the unsubstantiated charges made against him by the Committee "investigating" the Oil-for-Food "scandal" which Galloway appropriately described as "the mother of all smoke-screens".

    A video of a portion of the testimony is here (Streaming RealPlayer Broadband, Dial-up or Audio Only MP3). The full transcript (and we strongly recommend you read the entire thing to get the full impact of Galloway's statement!) is available via The Times of London.... Let me repeat the full transcript of George Galloway's statement to the U.S. Senate is here! Please read it!

    For the attention-span impaired, however, here is Galloway's extraordinary closing statements:

    "Now, Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political life's blood to try to stop the mass killing of Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq which killed one million Iraqis, most of them children, most of them died before they even knew that they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Iraqis with the misfortune to born at that time. I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies.

    I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

    "Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.

    If the world had listened to Kofi Annan, whose dismissal you demanded, if the world had listened to President Chirac who you want to paint as some kind of corrupt traitor, if the world had listened to me and the anti-war movement in Britain, we would not be in the disaster that we are in today. Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth.

    "Have a look at the real Oil-for-Food scandal. Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months when $8.8 billion of Iraq's wealth went missing on your watch. Have a look at Haliburton and other American corporations that stole not only Iraq's money, but the money of the American taxpayer.

    "Have a look at the oil that you didn't even meter, that you were shipping out of the country and selling, the proceeds of which went who knows where? Have a look at the $800 million you gave to American military commanders to hand out around the country without even counting it or weighing it.

    "Have a look at the real scandal breaking in the newspapers today, revealed in the earlier testimony in this committee. That the biggest sanctions busters were not me or Russian politicians or French politicians. The real sanctions busters were your own companies with the connivance of your own Government.

    Galloway didn't say the precise words, so we will...

    To Senator Norm Coleman, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Rupert Murdoch, George W. Bush and All the Rest of you evil-doers:

    You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2005 2:07pm PT  

    Almost a full three weeks after the Chicago Tribune allowed their Public Editor, Don Wycliff, to write a foolish rebuttal to Robert Koehler's watershed column --- in which he said "the 2004 election was stolen, will someone please tell the media?" --- they have finally allowed Koehler a response by way of a letter in their hallowed pages.

    It should be noted that the Trib never ran Koehler's original column, nor its followup, nor the original direct reply which Koehler wrote in response to Wycliff. In fact, the Tribune Media Services, in an unprecedented example of censorship at the organization, refused to allow Koehler's response to be published at all via the syndication service where Koehler has worked and published as editor and columnist for nearly a decade. A hastily compiled column crafted of letters that Koehler's received since the brouhaha began took its last minute place.

    (We interviewed Koehler on our radio show a couple of weeks back discussing the spiking of that column. Here's the .MP3 archive of the interview, the Koehler interview begins at the :22 minute mark or so.)

    In regards to the Trib finally allowing a response to Wycliff's article by anyone (they received hundreds of letters, only a single one of them was published, and that one didn't even speak to the 2004 election mess), Koehler wrote to us yesterday...

    Amazing! After getting maybe 200 letters in response to Don Wycliff's column debunking the idea that there were any irregularities in the 2004 election, the Trib has actually printed a response to it. This is a far cry from actually covering the issue, but maybe it's a start. They felt enough pressure to realize they couldn't just make the issue go away by ignoring it.

    You can read Koehler's letter in the Trib here.

    We should also note that Don Wycliff finally answered our calls inviting him to give his side of the story on our radio show with a call from his secretary who informed us that "Don does not do radio."

    We have no reason to doubt that's the truth. Nonetheless, if any of you good folks out there in Chicagoland happen to hear Mr. Wycliff on the radio, please do let us know won't you?

    ...CONTACTS...
    Tribune Media Services Contact Page
    Robert Koehler, Editor/Columnist/American Hero

    Chicago Tribune Contact Page
    Ann Marie Lipinski, Editor
    R. Bruce Dold, Editorial Page Editor
    James O'Shea, Managing Editor
    N. Don Wycliff, Public Editor

    UPDATE 5/18/05: Editor & Publisher, who has been doing a fine job of following the Koehler story, picks up on the latest story as well.

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2005 12:59pm PT  

    Josh Marshall gets the goods on the Republican plan to attempt to morph "Nuclear Option" into "Constitutional Option" via a Republican Senate Committee Talking Points Memo [PDF].

    The GOP strategy for bamboozling the American People with linguistic tricks has been working quietly --- and working very effectively! --- for years. Now, however, that there is an actual opposition media (yes, that "Liberal Media" you've heard so much about is actually beginning to come into existance...even if it's out here, built from the ragtag blogosphere) one wonders how much longer they'll be able to get away with such tricks.

    They were busted in the Schiavo case, and it looks like they're busted in the "Nuclear Option" case. For that, and many other reasons, it looks like the GOP Hucksters may be in more long and short term trouble than they realize yet.

    That's just speculation on our part, of course. And yes, we're of the eternally optimistic sort still. But we believe we're seeing some signs written on the wall that The Force is not with the GOP these days. We believe we're seeing an Empire, if not yet crumbling, then beginning to show its potentially fatal cracks. Stay tuned...

    ReddIt this story!



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