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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Alan Breslauer on 7/3/2007 8:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

MSNBC's Dan Abrams looks up the definition of "Excessive" in the dictionary, reviews Justice Department guidelines for commuting prison sentences and evidences how Bush ignored all proper procedure in the Libby case, before concluding: "I fear this is another example of the disdain for the courts and for rules that attempt to ensure equal justice for all."




By John Gideon on 7/3/2007 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Bergen Co. NJ has reported that their Sequoia DRE voting machines required $44,000 worth of electricity for their monthly battery charge last year. The county is now spending $42,000 to install air conditioning in the warehouse where their 1,200 machines are stored. “Red-Team” security checks are underway in California where teams of “hackers” are testing the security of all voting systems used in the state....

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




Says 'Both Crossed the Rubicon Last Night', 'Even Nixon Knew When It Was Time to Go'...
By Margie Burns on 7/3/2007 6:25pm PT  

Blogged from D.C. by Margie Burns

In a pretty spectacular peroration tonight, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann delivered a ten-minute indictment of the president and vice president and asked Bush to perform one last act of patriotism: resign.

Complete transcript here, video at left.

Saying “Even Richard Nixon knew it was time to resign” and adding that Nixon’s resignation, belated though it was, ranked as one final action of nonpartisanship, Olbermann urged George W. Bush to emulate Nixon, “not for self, not for party,” but for the country.

Olbermann also prefaced his speech, in one of several promotional moments, with the comment that “No one is holding their breath on this, but frankly, were Mr. Cheney and Mr. Bush true patriots, they would resign.”

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




'I Want to Know Who It Is' Said Commutator-In-Chief Before Failing to Launch an Investigation to Find Out
UPDATE: Refuses to Rule Out Pardon...
By Brad Friedman on 7/3/2007 9:50am PT  

Blogged by Brad on our way out of Nashville...

Looking back at the original CNN report from February 11, 2004, announcing that a Special Prosecutor had been assigned to the CIA Leak matter, it's clear that what Bush had said at the time is exactly what he meant...

WASHINGTON (CNN) --- President Bush said Tuesday he welcomes a Justice Department investigation into who revealed the classified identity of a CIA operative.

"If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is," Bush told reporters at an impromptu news conference during a fund-raising stop in Chicago, Illinois. "If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of."

Scooter has now been well "taken care of", so once again, George W. Bush has proven to be a man of his word.

Though his interest in "want[ing] to know who" may have leaked the classified identify of a covert CIA operative overseeing worldwide WMD networks may have been somewhat overstated. As we recently learned during sworn Congressional testimony, White House Security Chief, Joe Knodell admitted that they never bothered to launch an investigation into the matter.

"Leaks of classified information are bad things," the Commutator-in-Chief said, apparently just kidding, back in early 2004.

UPDATE: Not yet "taken care of" enough, Bush refuses to rule out a full pardon...




Fitzgerald Unhappy, But Thompson and Guilliani Thrilled
As Bush Senior Prepares to Roll Over in His Grave...
By Brad Friedman on 7/2/2007 11:46pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from Nashville...

Via TPM, the DoJ manual on Commutations:

Section 1-2.113 Standards for Considering Commutation Petitions
...
Requests for commutation generally are not accepted unless and until a person has begun serving that sentence. Nor are commutation requests generally accepted from persons who are presently challenging their convictions or sentences through appeal or other court proceeding.

And from Patrick Fitzgerald's reaction:

We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as “excessive.” The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

Meanwhile, former Sen. Fred Thompson couldn't be happier:

I am very happy for Scooter Libby. I know that this is a great relief to him, his wife and children. While for a long time I have urged a pardon for Scooter, I respect the President’s decision. This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life.

...And Guilliani joins him in standing firmly against National Security for America, and in favor of outing covert CIA assets:

After evaluating the facts, the President came to a reasonable decision and I believe the decision was correct.

George W. Bush's father, however, feels differently. Or, at least he did back in 1999 when addressing his former colleagues at the CIA...





Two 'Democratic' Fox 'News' Strategists Agree Commuting Libby Sentence Was 'Right Thing to To Do'
By Alan Breslauer on 7/2/2007 10:25pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Filling in for Bill O'Reilly on tonight's Factor, Michelle Malkin ripped Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff for destroying the faith of the American people in our government's ability to enforce immigration laws. Later, she went after an immigrant advocate attorney who called for an end to the deportation of illegals, stating, "it is not a bumper sticker to say that we should enforce the laws that are on the books." Between the two, Malkin finds time to joke with "Democratic" Strategists, Kirsten Powers and Laura Schwartz, about Bush letting Scooter Libby "Off The Hook." Surprisingly, she appeared much less concerned with the law and order aspects of the Libby case.

UPDATE FROM BRAD 7/3/07: I believe it's worth underscoring Alan's point above. The two Fox 'News' analysts interviewed by Malkin, claiming that commuting Libby's sentence was "the right thing to do" are both identified as "Democratic" strategists. Incredible. Only on Fox...




From Throwing Sand in the Umpire's Eyes to Throwing Out the Umps
By Margie Burns on 7/2/2007 8:05pm PT  

Guest blogged from D.C. by Margie Burns

The total commutation of Libby’s sentence should put an end to any questions, if any remain, about whether the Bush-Cheney cabal is completely crooked.

Briefly: the published statement for public consumption that the president found Libby’s sentence “excessive” is transparently false. If he had merely found the sentence excessive, he could have commuted it PARTLY. Two and a half years could have been reduced to two, or to one and a half, or to one year. It could have been drastically commuted to six months, or to three months.

That did not happen. Instead, George Walker Bush elevated smarmy propagandists like Byron York over federal judges. He elevated Charles Krauthammer over three U.S. Circuit Court Judges appointed by three former presidents. (Not that Krauthammer’s first reaction after Libby was indicted was to defend Libby. Au contraire: Krauthammer took the line, on ABC’s Inside Washington, that Libby’s actions were the work of one man, namely Libby. Neocon loyalty at work – until the echo chamber pulled Krauthammer back in line.) Bush elevated rightwing talk show hosts, the creepy National Review, Fox television and Rupert Murdoch's media empire and the now-moribund PNAC over the U.S. justice system.

Typical for him, that.

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




By John Gideon on 7/2/2007 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

This will probably be a very slow week. Depending on the amount of news I may only send out the DVN every two days rather than every day. For those who will be traveling over the holiday, please drive careful. Enjoy the holiday. We need you all if we are going to ensure we have a democracy into the future and that our voices are heard and not just the voices of vendors and partisan appointees....

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




By Alan Breslauer on 7/2/2007 3:27pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer




Bloomberg reports that, "George W. Bush commuted Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's 2 1/2-year prison sentence in the CIA leak case, sparing him from punishment the president called 'excessive.'" It seems W. changed his mind in the last four months about respecting jury verdicts involving serious matters as seen in the video above. Or, maybe the White House had given up all hope of restoring "honor and dignity," and thus felt it had nothing to lose.

UPDATE: RAW STORY has more details, reaction. This is amazing. But what else is new? Revealing the identities of covert CIA assets is now just fine, apparently.

UPDATE FROM BRAD 10:54pm PT: A short message from Bush's dad. Sent to him from 1999 when he was speaking to his former colleagues at the CIA. Li'l Bush, apparently, disagrees...


(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG commenter "PatriotNW")




Peter B. Collins Show Hosts Extremely Lively Discussion on Pros and Cons of Controversial House Bill's Allowance for Use of Dangerous DRE Touch-Screen Voting Systems
ALSO: CA SoS Debra Bowen Refuses to Support HR 811, Concerned About Putting 'Paper Trails Into Statute'...
By Brad Friedman on 7/2/2007 6:35am PT  

Blogged by Brad from Nashville after Escaping Atlanta...

"It's been a thriller," said the eponymous host of the Peter B. Collins Show as Friday's live radio debate wrapped up between myself and attorney Lawrence D. Norden, Chair of the NYU Brennan Center for Justice's Task Force on Voting System Security.

Norden made, in our spirited debate, what I believe to be some stunning admissions.

Complete "must listen" audio of the debate is available at the end of this article...

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




Founder, Front Man, Thor Hearne, Crawls Out from Under His Rock to Provide a Few Laughs
Even as His Vote Suppression Efforts Continue to Haunt the DoJ, America's Electoral System...
By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2007 11:43pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from Nashville...

While it's tough keeping up from the road --- where we will be for a long while still --- we rest much easier knowing that Greg Gordon of McClatchy Newspapers continues to lift the rocks and scrape off the slime that's found under them in the name of the disgraced "non-partisan" GOP front group calling themselves the "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) and their vote-suppressor in chief, the Bush/Cheney '04 General Counsel, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne.

Today, Gordon advances the ACVR story --- which we broke more than two years ago and have been drilling down into ever since --- with the latest in his string of doozies that he's been rolling out since jumping on the beat.

His latest must-read begins by detailing the ACVR Menace as it reached its tentacles into New Mexico and the case behind the political firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.

He also details some fresh gut-busters from our friend Thor, whose turds just don't seem to have the same luster they once did, when previously offered to a far less dubious media...

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




By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2007 9:32pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from Nashville...It's not easy keeping up from the road. But we're doing our best....

Leahy on Meet the Press today (via TPM, who has more, video available at C&L)...

RUSSERT: Are you prepared to hold the Bush White House, the vice president, the attorney general and his office under contempt of Congress?

LEAHY: That is something that the whole Congress has to vote on. In our case, in the Senate, we'd have to vote on it; in the House, they would have to vote on it. I can't...

RUSSERT: Would you go that far?

LEAHY: If they don't cooperate, yes, I'd go that far. I mean, this is very important to the American people.

Leahy's comments synch up with what Conyer's telegraphed a week during a House Judiciary hearing when he asked outgoing Dep. AG Paul McNulty if the DoJ would work with Congress should the White House ignore their subpoenas and it became necessary to issue criminal contempt charges. (For the record, McNulty punted in response, stating he's recused himself from the issue, will likely be gone by then, since he's already resigned, and otherwise, couldn't speak for the DoJ on the matter.)

Washington Post noticed Leahy's comments as well, and offers this road map to what comes next in their Monday edition...

The next step is for the congressional committee chairman to rule on the validity of the privilege claims. If the claims are deemed invalid, the committee can repeat the directive to comply. If the president continues to refuse, the committee can find the president in criminal contempt, and the issue would go to the full Senate or House. If a majority in either chamber approves the criminal citation, the matter is referred to a U.S. attorney with a recommendation to issue an indictment.

"Referred to a U.S. attorney." See what a frickin' mess we're looking at here? The USA in question would be Jeffrey A. Taylor of the District of Columbia. Unless he gets fired any time soon. Don't know much about Taylor, with no time to dig for now. So feel free to fill us in with any thoughts on him in comments.

As the Summer of Accountability continues...




By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2007 4:26pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from Atlanta...

Next time you hear Nova M Radio's Mike Malloy unleashing one of his trademark tirades, just remember, he may well be wearing the "geezer slippers," as he described them, received for his 65th birthday, and as seen in the photo below.

Now, how scary could that be?

As luck would have it, I was able to hang with Mike --- perhaps the most fearless man on American radio --- and his lovely wife Kathy in Atlanta this weekend, as he celebrated. Today (July 1) is his official, birthday. So happy Birthday, geezer! Here's to many more!

And thanks to you both for the great old fashioned southern hospitality while in town!




By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2007 7:35am PT  

A timely point, from the folks at Give 2 Shitz...




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