During my recent interview with FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds on the Mike Malloy Show, a caller had asked her opinion on whether she believed 9/11 to have been "an inside job."
Edmonds replied by first specifying "As I have done for the past 7 or 8 years, I have basically stuck with what I know, first-hand, directly, my own knowledge, based on my own experience, based on what I obtained, which is not a lot, but it is extremely important."
After explaining the difference between what she does and doesn't know first hand, she went on to explain: "I have information about things that our government has lied to us about. I know. For example, to say that since the fall of the Soviet Union we ceased all of our intimate relationship with Bin Laden and the Taliban - those things can be proven as lies, very easily, based on the information they classified in my case, because we did carry very intimate relationship with these people, and it involves Central Asia, all the way up to September 11." ...
As we related in yesterday's 'Green News Report,' the federal auto-stimulus program Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) --- popularly nicknamed 'Cash for Clunkers' --- launched this week in earnest. The program is intended to help spur consumers to trade in old gas guzzlers with a virtual cash rebate of up to $4500, in exchange for purchasing a car, truck, or SUV with better (even just slightly better) mileage. After compromising on an initially proposed $4 billion program, Congress approved $1 billion in funding for the program, to be paid directly to car dealers, with a deadline of November 1st to file the paperwork.
Well, not long after airtime yesterday, and just four days after the program began in full, 'Cash for Clunkers' appears to have been so wildly popular that it had already run out of money.
According to the New York Times, the Transportation Department had asked car dealers around the country to stop offering the rebate program while officials determine the next course of action. By late this morning, however, they report, the White House has issued a statement that the program will continue at least through this weekend. "There's apparently too many clunkers and not enough cash," the Times' Richard Change notes.
As of yesterday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had said the program was not suspended, as had initially been reported, and that the administration was "assessing the situation." He added, "all valid CARS transactions that have taken place to date will be honored." Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is said to be working with Congress to discuss ways to increase funding to extend the wildly popular program.
With the rebates ranging from $3,500 to $4,500 --- dependent on the miles per gallon of the trade-in compared to the new car purchased --- the $1 billion in funding was intended to cover about 250,000 new cars. Dealers have been collecting applications for the rebates since July 1st, in advance of the publication of the final rules and qualifying vehicles on Monday. Although the Department of Transportation reports a backlog of applications waiting to be processed, they reported they had already received approximately a quarter million applications as of Thursday night.
UPDATE: The U.S. House passed a bill late Friday to provide an additional $2 billion in funding for the CARS program, by diverting funds from a Department of Energy loan guarantee program. The Senate is expected to act next week, although CNN.com reports the "bill will face tough opposition in the Senate."
[Updated 8/3/09: Republican attorney and whistleblower Jill Simpson says Rove broke the law in given his interviews to to WaPo and NYTimes. See update at bottom of article for details.]
Well, this is interesting...Seems Rove has now met a second time behind closed doors with the U.S. House Judiciary Committee today, according to this breaking report from Washington Post which also includes a review of newly disclosed email showing he "and other high-ranking figures in the Bush White House played a greater role than previously understood" in the U.S. Attorney Purge.
WaPo reports "The e-mails emerged as Rove finished his second day of closed-door-testimony Thursday about the firings to the House Judiciary Committee." He had previously met with Judiciary Committee members in early July.
Keep in mind, as you read the article, that their piece feeds off of an "hour-long interview with The Post and the New York Times this month", so the piece is likely to offer a Rove-friendly framing to be taken with a grain of salt or three. Eg. "Rove described himself as merely passing along complaints by senators and state party officials to White House lawyers."
Marcy Wheeler at emptywheel concurs there is much "Rove spin" throughout the piece. She also asserts the newly revealed email may well have come from Rove and/or his attorney Robert Luskin who have a habit of leaking friendly documents to media whenever convenient, and in hopes of controlling the public reportage. Papers like WaPo and NYTimes have been historically all too happy to serve them to that end over the years.
The paper also reports the WaPo/NYTimes interview was "conducted on the condition that it not be released until Rove's House testimony concluded." So the release of the piece would seem to signal that the behind-closed-doors testimony --- about which our Judiciary sources have been incredibly tight-lipped --- has now ended. Rove, and Harriet Miers, however, could still be called for public testimony before the committee according to the agreement between Bush Administration attorneys and the Judiciary Committee, as (questionably) brokered by the Obama White House. It also means that Judiciary sources may well begin revealing details and/or transcripts of the interviews soon, now that they've concluded (as per the agreement). So, of course, Rove is trying to get out in front of that with his own spin.
Here's WaPo's lede...
Political adviser Karl Rove and other high-ranking figures in the Bush White House played a greater role than previously understood in the firing of federal prosecutors almost three years ago, according to e-mails obtained by The Washington Post, in a scandal that led to mass Justice Department resignations and an ongoing criminal probe.
The e-mails and new interviews with key participants reflect contacts among Rove, aides in the Bush political affairs office and White House lawyers about the dismissal of three of the nine U.S. attorneys fired in 2006: New Mexico's David C. Iglesias, the focus of ire from GOP lawmakers; Missouri's Todd Graves, who had clashed with one of Rove's former clients; and Arkansas's Bud Cummins, who was pushed out to make way for a Rove protege.
UPDATE: NYTimes' article confirms the emails came from Rove himself. Their lede is even more favorable to him, in his attempt to downplay his role in the firings of 9 Republican U.S. Attorneys who, among other things, were not pursuing phony "voter fraud" investigations enough for the GOP, or otherwise pursuing corruption charges against Republican officials.
As in WaPo's coverage, NYTimes offers Rove's spin that he "did not involve himself in the details of the dismissals" and merely "went along" with the firings (rather than helped orchestrate them).
Here's a particularly fresh spin on the entire affair from Rove, that I don't recall seeing before...
IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: China & the U.S., together again; Canada's Tar Sands - still dirty!; the Gulf of Mexico's Dead Zone - still dead! ... PLUS: Cash for Clunkers ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
UPDATE:Shortly after airtime of the report above, which discusses the new "Cash for Clunkers" program, it was announced that the wildly popular program had already run out of the money Congress had allotted to it --- after just four days! Details now here...
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (links below): Rooftop solar power model pays back fast; "Deadliest Catch" fishermen not greedy; Details released on Nissan's 2010 All-Electric Vehicle; Oil speculators to blame for price spike after all; Composting in the Office... PLUS: Cool-colored roofs save substantially on home energy costs ...
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
Since I signed off the syndicated Peter B. Collins radio show in March, I've been able to zoom out from the close-up view of day-to-day political combat.
On a daily basis, I reflect on the "change we can believe in" that candidate Obama promised us just a year ago. Certainly, the new administration is better than the Bush/Cheney gang on many fronts; and Bush left Obama an economic meltdown and other serious problems that need attention.
we still have 135,000 troops and even more contractors in Iraq, with no clear plan or timeline for our exit, just vague promises and the hope that the Iraqis will kick us out next year. Most of the US troops that have left Iraq went to Afghanistan;
the escalation of our presence in Afghanistan is very dangerous, and contradicts some of Obama's own statements about the prospects for "success" there. He had the chance to reverse direction after the election, but chose to double down on the "good war";
the massive interception of domestic electronic communications continues, and the Obama Justice Department has reinforced and expanded on the bad legal precedents set under Bush/Cheney. Most Democrats are silent on this issue, and I see no effort to restore our privacy rights.
Remember how they dubbed Ronnie Reagan the "Teflon president"? Obama seems to have a new and improved coating, I call it "Leftlon," protecting him from challenges from the progressives who helped him beat Hillary for the nomination.
He keeps reaching out to GOP nuts who want to scuttle his tepid health care "reform," refuses to allow investigations while Cheney spits at him regularly, and expects us to trust the Goldman Sachs Alumni Association to fix the economy that they continue to plunder.
When will Obama deliver for the progressives who got him elected?
Here are two fresh programs I'd like you to check out. You can download each and/or listen online below. One is co-hosted with me by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, featuring NSA expert James Bamford as guest. The other is my exclusive interview with Mark Klein, former AT&T technician turned NSA surveillance program whistleblower...
In case you missed this, it's an amazing admission, and should be a part of every debate about government-run healthcare --- tossed in the face of every wingnut who says government can't run anything, much less healthcare. And yet, we allow the government to run the healthcare system for our troops, who, Bill Kristol admits in this interview, deserve "first class health care," while "the rest of us can go out and buy insurance."
The uncomfortable inference, for Kristol, is that government-run healthcare is as good, if not better than, that available to private citizens. To make it worse, Kristol is booed when he argues that's the way it should be. Whoops...
The video above, featuring just a part of their healthcare discussion, is courtesy of RAW STORY. Stewart's complete interview with Kristol, which was trimmed down for length before airing last night, follows in full below...
IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: U.S.-China summit begins today in D.C.; Arctic ice photos finally declassified... PLUS: Chicken feathers! For both biodiesel and Republican Senators... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (links below): Krugman: Is the threat of speculation a reason to shun cap and trade?; Tropical deforestation and its impact on global warming; Colorado Solar Customers Fuming Over Proposed Fee... PLUS: Could algae be the solution for biodiesel?...
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
AllSpinZone's Richard Blair comes out of self-imposed blogging hiatus --- writing via email that he's "not sure what it means that my internal levy finally broke this evening" --- to notice:
Healthcare. Afghanistan. Iraq. Unemployment. TARP. State-level governments going tits up. Homelessness. Hunger. Veteran’s affairs. Torture. Gitmo. Not one piece of the progressive agenda is being meaningfully addressed, and congress is about to go on a month’s vacation.
Is there a reset button for the reset button? If so, the coming Congressional recess would be a good time to hit it, boys and girls on Capitol Hill.
Kudos --- for the actual reporting and literal legwork --- to Mike Stark of Firedoglake ("Scum of the earth," according to Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)) for nailing this in between FDL reader-funder Capitol Hill reportage on health care (ya know, stuff that actually matters).
Kudos too to Rep. Tommy Franks (R-AZ), for his willingness to admit, for the camera --- unlike all of the other Republicans that Stark tried to get comment from on the Hill --- that Obama is a natural born "citizen of the United States of America."
We were prepared to offer Franks a much-sought, but too-rarely bestowed BRAD BLOG Intellectually Honest Conservative Award, but then he blew it at the very end by noting his condemnation of Obama "for promoting abortion on demand, for standing by and letting Jihad gain traction in the word, and for doing things to undermine our constitution and for turning us into a Socialist nation." Too bad. And you were so close, Mr. Franks!
BTW, in a very related late update, FDL's Jane Hamsher notes...
I was taking a few (merciful) hours off yesterday, so missed Ms. Palin's farewell, as she completed her first term gubernatorial abortion to become America's premiere celebrity community organizer. But if you, as I, missed her speech, AKMuckraker kindly provides the transcript (Immoral Minority offers the video, if you prefer it) reinforcing the old saw about the 'difference between George W. Bush and Sarah Palin: Lipstick'. Oh, and speech writers.
Much of her theme throughout the weekend's "word salad" speeches, was the old "support our troops" strawman. She repeated over and over, that our military protects our freedoms. It is, perhaps, futile to point out, yet again, that our Military does not protect our freedoms. Our Constitution does. Our Military is supposed to defend it. So are folks like Palin, Bush, Cheney, Obama etc. who swear an oath to do so, but too often end up doing just the opposite.
Suffice to say, Washington's Farewell Address --- which, as EarlyAmerica.com describes, extolled the benefits of the federal government; noted the necessity of taxation; warned against the party system, permanent foreign alliances and "overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty" --- Palin's long "goodbye" was not.
Of the passages which jumped out at me for various, sometimes inexplicable, reasons:
"Together we stand."
"It is as throughout all Alaska that big wild good life teeming along the road that is north to the future."
"I remember on that December day, we took the oath to uphold our state constitution, and it was written right here in Fairbanks by very wise pioneers. We shared the vision for government that they ground in that document."
"[W]e have done our best to fulfill promises that I made on Alaska Day, 2005, when I first asked for the honor of serving you."
"Don’t forget Alaskans you are the resource owners per our constitution and that’s why for instance last year when oil prices soared and state coffers swelled, but you were smacked with high energy prices, we sent you the energy rebate. See, it’s your money and I’ve always believed that you know how to better spend it than government can spend it." (Ed Note: Why do Sarah Palin and the wingnuts applaud such socialism in Alaska, but nowhere else? Why does nobody in the media seem to point that out?)
So with another thanks to Mudflats (and sincerest apologies to our own Jeannie Dean), here are a few priceless photos for the scrapbook from Saturday's Governor's Picnic in Anchorage, one of the last stops on her Farewell-for-Now Tour...
House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers has called on Attorney General Eric Holder to open a criminal investigation into the misdeeds of former president George W. Bush and former vice president Richard B. Cheney.
Holder, in turn, has now called on Conyers to open impeachment proceedings against former head of the Office of Legal Council Jay Bybee, now a judge in the Ninth Circuit.
Conyers, in response, has demanded that Holder open a complete investigation of 14 different areas of criminal enterprise and appoint an independent counsel, offering a list of eight possible candidates.
Holder, in reply, has insisted that Conyers reissue all of the subpoenas his committee has failed to enforce over the past two and a half years and use the Capitol Police to enforce them at once.
In response, Conyers' office has issued a new report on the need to weed out corruption and undo politically motivated prosecutions by the U.S. Department of Justice.
This morning, the attorney general remarked at a televised press conference, "Chairman Conyers proposed five months ago to extend to 10 years the statutes of limitations on crimes allegedly committed under the previous administration. Introducing a bill might be a way to begin making that happen. Just an idea. I'm no expert."
Surprisingly, John Conyers removed a large Easter bonnet that had been disguising him, stood up in the back of the room and shouted...
Salon's Glenn Greenwald (whom I interviewed last night on the Malloy Show on somewhat related topics, audio archive now here), covers this morning's latest "entirely unsurprising" news that Cheney tried to deploy the U.S. military on U.S. soil against U.S. citizens following 9/11. And unaccountable-DoJ-attorney-for-all-illegal-unConstitutional-seasons John Yoo was happy to supply a "legal" memo for him, describing how the U.S. Constitution could be entirely ignored by any President at any whim.
Greenwald begins this way [emphasis in original]...
Malloy is still down with a virus, so I'm in again tonight as Guest Host on the The Mike Malloy Show. I'll be 'Bradcasting' LIVE from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 from 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT). Hope you'll listen in, since I've decided it's "Accountability Friday"!
Since it's "Accountability Friday," whom do you hold most accountable for the unending mess we're in right now? Repubs, Dems, Media, Corporate America, American people who aren't doing enough about it, Teabagging Birthers, anyone else, all of the above? Give us a call tonight to name names at 877-520-1150, and/or speak up in comments on this Open Thread item!
DESI DOYEN, Co-host and managing editor of The BRAD BLOG's Green News Report, running on radio stations and websites around the country (and if it's not running on your station, call and write and ask them to add it! It's free!)
Use this item for tonight's Open Show Thread, hosted, as always, by the ever-affable "Agent 99." See ya tonight!
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POST-SHOW UPDATE, AUDIO ARCHIVES: Sorry for the delay...Our good man Ben Burch at WhiteRoseSociety.org is working overtime, and was forced to wrestle with some technical demons today to boot! But we've now got the audio archives, all three "hours" (about :36 mins each with commercials removed, thanks to Ben) available below. Great guests, great calls on "Accountability Friday". Enjoy!...
Malloy caught a bug, so he's asked me to fill in as Guest Host tonight and tomorrow on the The Mike Malloy Show. I'll be 'Bradcasting' LIVE tonight from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 from 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT). Hope you'll listen in!
Among our scheduled guests so far tonight...
GOV. DON SIEGELMAN, former AL governor, free on appeal, and fighting outrageous political prosecution by Karl Rove and gang, as covered recently here...
This item will be tonight's Open Show Thread, hosted, as always, by the never-cranky Agent 99. See ya tonight!
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POST-SHOW UPDATE, AUDIO ARCHIVES: Well that was a lively show!
Audio archives of all three "hours" (about :36 mins each with commercials removed, courtesy of Ben Burch at WhiteRoseSociety.org) follow below...and are worth listening to, again, and again, and again, sez me. Enjoy!...
IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Honey, I shrunk the fish!; Off-shore drilling vs. California's budget; "Clean coal" vs. reality; Tourism vs. Safety in Missouri.... PLUS: Onion Power! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (links below): Greening the U.S. Army; AT&T to save millions by switching to LEDs; Battery technology for cars juiced to take off... PLUS: Clinton, Indian Minister Clash Over Emissions Reduction Pact...
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...