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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Worry, Don't Worry and/or be Thankful: 'BradCast' 11/29/21
We're back! Setting the record straight with REAL news on the economy, COVID, Ukraine and more. Plus: Callers on all of the above...
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There'd Be No Trucker Short-age If Industry Took Care of Drivers: 'BradCast' 11/19/21
Guest: Nicolas Rivero of Quartz; Also: House passes BBB; VA school board unbans books; Recounts will determine control of VA House...
Digging Deeper Into the Case for Homicide Charges Against Both Trump AND Pence: 'BradCast' 11/18/21
Also: COVID rising again before holidays; OK clemency for Julius Jones...
'Green News Report' 11/18/21
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deadly extreme flooding in Pacific Northwest; Admin's controversial oil and gas lease sale; F.T.C. to probe Big Oil corruption; PLUS: Biden promotes American-made EVs in Detroit...
Previous GNRs: 11/16/21 - 11/11/21 - Archives...
Deflating Inflation Panic: 'BradCast' 11/17
Guest: The Intercept's Jon Schwarz on how it's misreported, good for many workers, bad for big banks; Also: 3+ years for 'QAnon Shaman'; Gosar censured; Biden' Big Oil probe; Sanders on 'Defense'...
The Unmistakable Drumbeat of Authoritarianism: 'BradCast' 11/16/21
Ominous warnings: Gerrymanders continue; GOPers v. GOPers; More on the attempt to steal 2020; Book 'burning'; Trump's COVID cover-up...
'Green News Report' 11/16/21
U.N. climate summit ends with progress, compromise; Coal 'down' but not 'out' at Glasgow; PLUS: Biden signs landmark bipartisan infrastructure deal into law...
Long Roads to Accountability, Climate Action, Infrastructure: 'BradCast' 11/15
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Sports, Politics, Race and Florida:
'BradCast' 11/12/21
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'Green News Report' 11/11/21
COP26 crunch time; Surprise US/China climate deal; Big EV agreement; Renewables rise in U.S.; PLUS: Nations under-reporting emissions, new analysis finds...
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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...

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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...

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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
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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...

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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...


BONUS VIDEO - Bush Prefers to Promote Inner-Circle of Criminals
By David Edwards on 5/12/2006 7:43am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Jonathan Turley is a Law Professor at George Washington University. He is an expert on Constitutional Law and legal ethics. He also specializes in legal services for defendants in cases involving classified material. Turley appeared as guest on MSNBC's Countdown to help explain the legal issues with the NSA's ongoing collection of "billions of phone calls" of "tens of millions of Americans."

The Communications Act of 1934 states that phone companies can not give out information on its' customers calling habits. Examining the possible legality of the NSA program, Jonathan Turley says, "If what was reported in USA TODAY is true... it seems to me, once again to violate Federal Law." Turley concludes, "I've spent a day now looking for the possible authority that they would use for this operation and I've come up with nothing."

BONUS VIDEO - Turley: Bush Prefers to Promote Inner-Circle of Criminals


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The night before USA TODAY broke the NSA Call Database story, Jonathan Turley made another appearance on MSNBC's Countdown. In this interview, Turley uses the nomination of General Hayden as CIA Director to point out a pattern in the types of activities and people that President Bush prefers to promote.

Turley notes the large number of people in Bush's inner-circle that have been accused of criminals activities, a lack of legal ethics and even indicted/convicted crimnals. General Hayden's creation and subsequent defense of NSA programs that violate civil rights and FISA laws is the latest visible example in this pattern.

Jonathan Turley makes a serious comparison between the HBO's fictional crime family and the Bush's inner-circle. There is an obvious comparison between the loyalty and obedience required to be "made" in the Soprano family and the people allowed in Bush's bubble. Turley also wonders if criminal activity benefiting the Bush's goals is an attribute that accelerates a person's initiation into the "Bush Crime Family".




By David Edwards on 5/11/2006 9:15am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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This morning, USA TODAY is reporting that their sources confirm that the National Security Agency is secretly building a massive database of American's phone calls. The database has been called the "largest database ever assembled in the world."

The source said that the NSA's goal is "to create a database of every call ever made" within the borders of the United States. This particular program does not actually monitor conversations but is used for data mining along with data collected by other secret NSA program such as the warrantless domestic spying program and numerous other sources. Data collected by U.S. companies such as credit history, buying patterns and mailing lists are used along with data collected by the intelligence community. NSA whistleblower Russell Tice has said (60 Minutes video clip here) that there may be many other secret programs which spy on "millions of Americans". The phone call database alone is said to collect information on "tens of millions of Americans." Combining and analyzing all of these sources of data amount to an appalling and possibly illegal invasion into the private lives of Americans.

If you use AT&T, Verizon, BellSouth --- the three largest phone companies --- then your phone calls are being collected by the NSA. These three companies alone provide service to over over 200 million customers. Like the warrantless domestic spying program, the NSA has not obtained warrants or notified the FISA court about collecting phone calls. Qwest was the only phone company that refused to hand over phone call records until the NSA obtained a FISA warrant. (You can thank Qwest right here.) The NSA refused to go the FISA court. But customers with Qwest accounts are not immune to the NSA's violation of privacy. Many customers who have Qwest also use AT&T or Verizon for long distance service. The NSA can also cross-reference other databases to build a nearly complete profile for an individual.

George W. Bush has said that the program is lawful and necessary for fighting terrorism. He also says that the private lives of Americans are not being violated.

In this video clip, NBC's Today Show reports on the NSA's ongoing collection of domestic phone calls.




By David Edwards on 5/5/2006 7:50am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Ex-CIA Analyst Ray McGovern smackdowned of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld during an event in Atlanta yesterday. During a Q&A period, McGovern demanded answers for a few of Rumsfeld's more specious claims.

Almost certainly, you have already seen or heard highlights of this clip. This version from MSNBC's Countdown contains the full 4 minute exchange between Rumsfeld and McGovern as well various other protesters being roughly handled and removed from the venue. Richard Wolffe of Newsweek provides analysis of the political fallout for Rumsfeld and the Bush Administration.

UPDATE: Text transcript here...

FURTHER UPDATE: Brad conducted an hourlong interview McGovern on The BRAD SHOW in June of 2005 just prior to his congressional testimony on the Downing Street Memos. It was a fascinating interview, if we may say so ourselves. Audio archive [MP3] or text transcript of the interview.




By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2006 11:58pm PT  

From Charlie Savage in today's Boston Globe...

Bush challenges hundreds of laws
President cites powers of his office

WASHINGTON --- President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

I began to try and pick and choose a few grafs to highlight from this extensive article. Upon reading it in full, however, I was generally so sickened I had no idea where to start.

Suffice to say, that --- unless someone can offer some alternative view to the situation about which Savage adeptly reports --- those so-called "Bush Haters" who've been saying for years that we are on a clear trajectory, hurling towards full-blown tyranny and/or fascism and/or dictatorship, were far more correct than I'd ever given them credit for.

Without some mitigating information in reply to Savage's work, the article suggests we are in a gravely serious Constitutional Crisis in this country. Far above and beyond what I believe has generally been understood. At least by me.

Please read the full article...

(A non-registration-required version here.)




By David Edwards on 4/15/2006 10:37am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Tavis Smiley interviews former White House Council for the Nixon Administration John Dean. Dean focuses on the moral and legal failings of the current Administration.

Dean recalls his experiences as an insider during a Watergate and is amazed that Bush Administration has ignored those lessons. Dean expands on his March 31, 2006 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee censure hearing where he said,

No president that I can find in the history of our country has really ever adopted a policy of expanding presidential powers for the sake of expanding presidential powers. And I think that's what we have going on here in this presidency.

Dean says that the Bush inner-circle has had a policy of expanding presidential powers from "the day they took office." Secrecy was one of the symptoms of a now obvious campaign to create a presidency unchecked by government or the people. Dean says the actions of the Bush Administration have gone far beyond Nixon's "Imperial Presidency".

Dean goes on to give an ominous warning about slipping into a dictatorship:

The Congress... has lost its' institutional pride. For some reason it doesn't try to check this president.

I've seen the system how it's supposed to work and it's not working that way. When you get it lopsided and one branch is so dominating, it's something other than our founders really designed.

And, of course, the worse case is that if you go on to something that we really don't want to get to and that's a dictatorship. That can happen much more easily than one thinks.

This clip plays for about 10 minutes and was originally broadcast on Wednesday, April 10, 2006.




By David Edwards on 2/27/2006 7:51am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Thanks to a heads-up from Larisa at The Raw Story, we were able to captured this broadcast of CNBC's Tim Russert show. Russert interviewed James Risen and Robert O'Harrow, Jr. The video contains about 24 minutes of clips from CNBC's Saturday broadcast.

James Risen broke the NSA warrantless domestic spying story for the New York Times. He also has a new book out, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA And The Bush Administration. Risen is known to have sources within various intelligence agencies and has recieved information from several NSA whistleblowers. One of those whistleblowers, Russell Tice, recently testified before congress that NSA domestic surveillance programs may be much more widespread than the "limited" program that the Bush Administration has admitted. Tice has said that some programs could be monitoring "millions of Americans".

Robert O'Harrow, Jr. is an award-winning reporter for the Washingon Post with an expertise data mining and privacy issues. His recent book, No Place to Hide: Behind the Scenes of Our Emerging Surveillance Society, describes "a surveillance society that's less centralized and more a joint public/private venture".

Together, Risen and O'Harrow paint a picture of an enormous partnership between U.S. intelligence agencies and private data collection firms. Spying agencies like the NSA can leverage its' massive computing power to mine data collected by these private firms. The result is a mind-boggling domestic surveillance capability with access to nearly any information imaginable. Phone calls, email, video as well as financial, criminal and other personal records can all be searched at the same time. The NSA's powerful computers can mine the data to find otherwise imperceptible links for profiling groups and individuals.

Russert calls it a "sobering" discussion. The interview only scratches the surface of how extensive the scope of Big Brother's monitoring of Americans may be. The surveillance programs are a dramatic departure from what the public has come to believe. It's easy to see why the Bush Administration has avoided legislation and oversight.

It's quite possible that the American people would not stand for Bush's spying policies if they had a sense of the true nature of the government's surveillance.

UPDATE 5/8/06: Luke has now posted a text transcript of this Russert/Risen/O'Harrow interview.




Eavesdropping Programs Monitoring 'Millions of Americans'
By David Edwards on 2/16/2006 10:49am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards


Video in Streaming Flash format...

On Tuesday, a former NSA employee, Russell Tice, testified before the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations. Tice told the committee that he was concerned that undisclosed domestic spying programs were far more widespread than the recently exposed Bush/NSA warrantless wiretap program.

One or more still classified "Special Access" surveillance program may be monitoring the communications of "millions of Americans". While Tice could not share classified details of the program(s), he believes that the Constitution and FISA laws are being violated.

An article published by UPI has more information about the widespread domestic surveillance programs.

The hearings focused on protection for whistleblowers and a pattern of retaliations by the Bush Administration. This article from the Christian Science Monitor provides an excellent summary of testimony from whistleblowers appearing before the committee.




By David Edwards on 1/16/2006 9:42am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Washington, D.C.
August 28, 1963






DoJ Attempts to 'Gag Order' Him as They Have Sibel Edmonds
By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2006 6:41pm PT  

As you may know by now, on last night's Nightline, whistleblower Russel Tice admitted to being one of the sources for the New York Times story on the NSA's warrantless wire-tapping of U.S. citizens, as admittedly approved time and again by George W. Bush. He was one of a dozen, apparently.

Tice clarified that the program in question was not simply one of the government "listening in on a few calls made to al-Qaeda," as many have tried to minimize it, but an enormous effort that resulted in "millions" of Americans having their conversations listened to in violation of the law and the Constitution. At least in Tice's opinion.

He added that "millions" of Americans have most likely been spied upon, as anyone that placed a call from the U.S. to another country has a good chance of having had the call monitored. This is not a "limited" program as Bush has been attempting to color it.

Tice has written a letter asking Congress to allow him to testify on the laws that he feels have been broken by the NSA, where, until recently, the rules were always made very clear at the agency that you don't spy on American citizens inside the country without a court order to do so first.

And now, the Justice Department is attempting to "gag order" Tice under the same "state secrets" act that they've used to gag FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. Edmonds, in turn, has helped found the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition to support patriotic Americans like Tice, herself, and about 50 others in similar situations --- from both political parties.

ABC covered the Tice story at their website (with a link to Tice's letter) here.

The video of Nightline's complete report and interview with Tice is available in full here:


-- Video in Streaming Flash format...
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NOTE: Folks like Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and the other Administration apologists have been hard at work trying to conflate the cases of disclosure of classified information (Tice said he hasn't done any such thing, by the way) with that in the Valerie Plame case. Regular BRAD BLOG readers likely don't need this explained to them, but apparently O'Reilly and Rush and their trolling millions don't understand the difference in the two cases.

So to be clear --- Tice is reporting a crime being committed by a national security agency. Scooter Libby and Karl Rove, on the other hand, revealed classified material not to uncover a crime, but as a political weapon against someone they perceived as an opponent. Their crime was their revelation of the material itself. Period.

As James Risen, the author of the original Times piece pointed out recently to Jon Stewart (video available here from Crooks & Liars), the NSA matter is as "pure a case of whistleblowing" as one is likely to find, and the two different cases couldn't be more polar opposite to each other. No matter how much the wingnuts are trying to conflate the two.

Got it? Good! We'd rather not have to explain it again in the future. Though we have a feeling we'll have to anyway.




By David Edwards on 11/5/2005 12:34pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

A year after the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts, Ed Helms investigates to find out if the critics' worst fears have come true. Has gay marriage ruined Massachusetts?

Streaming Video in Real Media format...
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4th Country to Legalize Gay Unions...
By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2005 9:05pm PT  

Oh, Canada! Way to go!

Thank you for setting the standards for how elections should be counted (by hand), wars should be fought (only when necessary) and how human beings who wish to wed should be treated by the state.

As reported by AP, the bill which became law today "gives homosexual couples the same rights as those in traditional unions between a man and a woman."

Imagine that.




By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2004 11:40am PT  


STEPHEN COLBERT: Eleven states approved anti-Gay Marriage ballot initiatives yesterday. Clearly our deep national fear of hot man on man monogamy...drove turnout among the nation's so called "value voters". And here's what's interesting...these voters see the connection between terrorism and what I'll call...homo-ism.
...
JON STEWART: If those are the two major issues concerning voters --- and again, uh --- why would New York City --- which really has the most significant gay population in the country...and has already had the most significant terror attack in the country...vote overwhelmingly for Kerry?

STEPHEN COLBERT: Well, here's the thing, John. We in New York are too close to the terrorism and the gay people. Only the red states, with the advantage of a safe distance, can take in the whole picture...and clearly see what we should do about those issues...And so, on behalf of everyone living in the blue states, I'd like to thank the red states...for saving us...from ourselves. John?




Bush Camp Continues to Arrest Those Who Support Kerry
By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2004 12:05pm PT  

ABC producers tested the T-shirt experiment of wearing Kerry shirts to a Bush event, and Bush shirts to a Kerry event. At the Bush events they were either not allowed in or tossed out. The worst treatment received at the Kerry event was folks who danced around them with big signs in order to obstruct the view of the Bush shirts by TV cameras. (emphasis mine)

A second team of ABC News producers waited until entering Space Coast stadium before showing its Kerry-Edwards T-shirts, but was still quickly spotted and ordered out by Borman, who identified himself as working for the Republican National Committee.

He said the rally of some 18,000 people was a "private event," and it made no difference that producers Christine Romo and Jessica Wang had tickets and remained silent and respectful.

"But you wore the shirts; you wore the shirts," Borman said. "And honestly, if you would have come without the shirts and sat quietly, you would have had a fun time and enjoyed it, but I mean it's not that kind of event." He then instructed the sheriff's deputies to escort the ABC News team out to the parking lot.

This was hardly the first time those wearing dissenting T-shirts have been forced to leave a Bush campaign event.

Jeff Rank and his wife, Nicole, were arrested July 4 at a Bush rally in Charleston, W.Va., for wearing shirts that read "Love America, Hate Bush" and refusing to relocate to an area for protesters. Earlier this month, at a Bush event in Cedar Point, Ore., Janet Voorhies and two friends were ejected for wearing T-shirts with "Protect Our Civil Liberties" printed on them.

"I think this represents a low point in public discourse in this country, where the mere sign of disagreement is intolerable to candidates," Post said. "That can't be right. That can't be American."

A Kerry staffer at an Oct. 24 Kerry rally in Boca Raton, Fla., told Bush-Cheney T-shirt wearers that the campaign held a permit to rent the site and could remove anyone who made a disturbance.

"We hold the right to remove you, but other than that, enjoy and hopefully at the end of the event you'll want to wear a Kerry T-shirt," he said.




West Virginia voters put on notice!
Apparently, just another page from the RNC's 'Anything to Win' file...
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2004 12:52pm PT  

Would Republicans actually do this?

Campaign mail with a return address of the Republican National Committee warns West Virginia voters that the Bible will be prohibited and men will marry men if liberals win in November.

The literature shows a Bible with the word "BANNED" across it and a photo of a man, on his knees, placing a ring on the hand of another man with the word "ALLOWED." The mailing tells West Virginians to "vote Republican to protect our families" and defeat the "liberal agenda."

Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie said Friday that he wasn't aware of the mailing, but said it could be the work of the RNC. "It wouldn't surprise me if we were mailing voters on the issue of same-sex marriage," Gillespie said.

So does that sound like the Republicans? The same group who called South Carolina voters during the 2000 primary to ask what they thought of John McCain fathering a black out-of-wedlock baby? Oh, yes. It sounds a lot like them. Gillespie's inability to deny it, of course, seals the deal. Your Republican Party: Anything to Win.

(If anyone finds a scanned graphic of that mail, please let me know!)




I mean, More on Keyes...
By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2004 9:32pm PT  

Wow...that Alan Keyes interview where he called lesbian Veep daughter Mary Cheney a "selfish hedonist" for her lifestyle, along, presumably with any other heterosexual couple who can't, or chose not to mate, is even more astounding than just the quotes I gave you earlier.

He had more to say about loving couples that God has made incapable of having children together: "They cannot mate. They are not made to do so. Therefore the idea of marriage for two such individuals is an absurdity."

He then objected "to the notion" that we refer to two partners who cannot mate as having "sexual relations because it is nothing of the kind". Rather, he said, "It is the mutual pursuit of pleasure through the stimulation of the organs intended for procreation, but it has nothing to do with sexuality."

Here's the full transcript, and a copy of the audio, courtesy of AMERICABlog.

Wow. Finally, someone who's willing to stand up and publicly support the GOP Platform!

With that, I might have finally voted Republican, except for my fear that they might "mutually pursue pleasure through the stimulation of the organs intended for procreation" me!




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