Guest blogged by David Edwards
August 28, 1963
w/ Brad & Desi
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
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:
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.
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?
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."
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?
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)
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.
Would Republicans actually do this?
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!)
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!
The Republican Party had the entire United States of America from whom to chose their nominee for the US Senate seat in Illinois. Demonstrating quite clearly the kind of party they are, they chose Alan Keyes. From Maryland.
On Tuesday, Keyes called the "Vice-President's" lesbian daughter Mary Cheney, a "selfish hedonist" apparently solely because of her sexual identity.
He did both that, and took a swipe at married couples who either can't, or choose not to have children all in one fell Republican swoop.
Said Mr. Keyes in a satellite radio interview this week:
Asked whether that meant Mary Cheney was "a selfish hedonist," Keyes said: "That goes by definition. Of course she is."
So there ya go. You folks in the "married state" out there who have no children, are apparently "selfish hedonists" along with lesbian Mary Cheney. You, like those homosexuals who'd like to simply be recognized as a legitimate American family seem to have an "improper basis" for your marriage according to your party's national pick for the U.S. Senate.
Bush/Cheney '04: What's not to be proud of?
Arnold Schwarzenegger is asking for input on the issue of "Same-Sex Marriage".
Call the Governator's Hotline at (916) 445-2841, then hit -5- for "Hot Issues", -1- to choose "Same-Sex Marriage", and then --- hopefully --- -1- to express SUPPORT for equal civil rights in America!
I don't have much to add here, but with everything else going on, somehow this AP story seems to have gotten overlooked today. And yet it's quite notable, so here it is...
The justices declined without comment to intervene and block clerks from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in Massachusetts. The state's highest court had ruled in November that the state constitution allows gay couples to marry and declared that the process would begin Monday.
At least something is still going right in this country and even the Supremes didn't screw this one up! Yet.
"I believe privacy is a fundamental right, and that every American should have absolute control over his or her personal information." - George W. Bush, October 2000
Okay. That's nice...But, as Arch Conservative Bill Saffire points out in today's NY Times, last month, John Ashcroft's Justice Department said - as they were subpoenaing the medical records of about 500 women who had had abortions - that medical patients can "no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential."
Okay. That's not so nice. Not a surprise - from the Ashcroft clan - but not so nice.
Now, I don't have anything in particular that I feel I need to hide, so I've never been one of those folks to get their panties overly bunched about perceived threats of invasions of privacy by the government. But even I can spot hypocrisy a mile away, and I hate it. Even more than foolish government policy.
The hypocrisy I'm talking about here is not Dubya saying one thing before getting elected, and then doing another. We're all well used to that old trick by now (aren't we? See his statements against "Nation Building", standing up to OPEC to keep spiggots open and gas prices down, not using 9/11 for political purposes etc. etc. etc.) - but it's once again, the Right Wing Echo Chamber of "conservative" talk radio and "news" that's really irritating.
How often do we have to listen to Rush and friends and read Drudge and listen to Fox about how poor poor Oxycontin Junkie Rush Limbaugh is being abused by Prosecutors who are seeking his medical records in a criminal investigation?
Oh, the Right is beside themselves with outrage about the treatment of poor Rush. But - to paraphrase our good friend - not hypocritical at all - William "Lucky 7's" Bennet - where's the outrage when it comes to the 500 anonymous women who are not even suspected of breaking any law at all having their medical records seized?
Has anybody heard Hannity going on about that one?
And today then, we learn that Dubya has had some 270 overnight guests in the Whitehouse and at least that many at Camp David. The bulk of them - you guessed it - Fundraisers.
Now, once again, I don't give much of a damn about it. But I do suspect you won't hear a lot about it in the Media. After all, how many years later were they still on about Clinton's fundraising pals despoiling the Lincoln Bedroom with their very presence?
Apparently it was Dubya himself that said, again, during the 2000 Election Campaign: "I believe they've moved that sign, `The buck stops here,' from the Oval Office desk to `The buck stops here' on the Lincoln Bedroom. And that's not good for the country."
I'm sure Fair & Balanced will be all over it first thing in the morning.
In happier news though, am I the only one who had a flashback while watching Mary Matalin on last Sunday's Meet the Press, trying desperately to describe how good Bush has been for our country and how bad this Liberal Democrat will be if he's elected?
It was like 1992 all over again, and we all know how well it turned out the last time Mary Matalin was forced to desperately defend her Bush.
Good news! As a followup to my recent article on the Done Deal that is Gay Marriage, and in light of the many impassioned comments that article has engendered, I've learned a couple of things.
I've come to realize, of late, that I've been too hasty in overlooking the self-proclaimed accomplishments of our "President". As you know, he and his minions have been highlighting his undeniable successes in the "War on Terror".
The facts, they suggest, speak for themselves: There's not been a single terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. Not one!
Putting aside the Anthrax Attacks for the moment - as they do - I believe it's only fair of me to acknowledge what a success Dubya has been on this count! There's not been a single attack! His strategy is clearly working!
In light of that success, and logic, I've also now come to realize another thing. Gay Marriage in America is an equally undeniable success! In fact, Gay Marriage may have single-handedly brought the Sanctity back to the Institution of Marriage in this country!
The facts speak for themselves: There has not been one single Gay Married Couple in this country, since Gay Marriage began, to file for a Divorce! Not one! Ever!
Gay Marriage has a 100% success rate! Clearly, by Dubya's own logic, this accomplishment is undebatable! It does, however, disturbingly highlight the Crisis we're now facing in regards to Heterosexual Marriage in America, which has a Divorce Rate of more than 50%.
I'm seriously concerned that Heterosexuals are making a mockery of the Sacred Institution of Marriage, and in light of this crisis, I and am calling for an immediate Constitutional Amendment banning Heterosexual Marriage in America. This step is a necessary one if we are to preserve the Sanctity of Marriage in this country. I'm sorry to say, it's the only thing we can do, at this time, in light of the disturbing statistics that are now ravaging many of the great cities in our land.
Please join me in this effort. May God bless you, and may God bless America.
"The fact of the matter is, we live in a free society, and freedom means freedom for everybody...And I think that means that people should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into. It's really no one else's business in terms of trying to regulate or prohibit behavior in that regard...The next step, then...is the question you ask of whether or not there ought to be some kind of official sanction, if you will, of the relationship. That matter is regulated by the states. I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that's appropriate. I don't think there should necessarily be a federal policy." - Dick Cheney on 'Gay Marriage' during the 2000 Vice-Presidential Debate
That was then. This is 2004. And now Vice President Cheney whistles a different tune. He now supports a ban on gay marriage.
Well, you could knock me over with a feather! A Republican as cynical hypocrite?! What were the odds?! Usually such occurences are happily overlooked by the Marching Band of Right Wing Footsoldiers in flyover country. But in this case, it makes the new GOP line against Kerry ("He's on both sides of every issue" - which he is, by the way!) a particularly hard sell. Even the Ditto Heads ought to be able to notice the transparency of that particular game as it relates to Election '04's number one social issue.
That said, by the time November rolls around, I don't believe it'll all make much of a difference either way what anybody has to say about it. The wall seems to be finally coming down, and the GOP and DNC are as powerless to stop it as East German Chancellor Erich Honecker was to stop the Berlin Wall from toppling in '89.
All eyes now on Chicago where Mayor Richard Daley has said that he'd have "no problem" with city commissioners offering marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
And so it goes. Another barrier falls. The greatest singular moment in History for the Gay Community since Stonewall. And it's about frickin' time.
UPDATE 2:21pm: And here goes New Mexico!
Irony Drippin' Quote of the Day:
"I have ultimate confidence in the American People's ability to separate B.S. from the truth." - Rush Limbaugh during the first broacast hour, 2/20/04
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