w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
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...
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On late Friday afternoon --- the best time to hide embarrasing information from the news media and the public - Colin Powell finally admitted in regards to his United Nations testimony that would eventually send this country to war and 600 Americans (so far) to die, that the information he presented now "appears not to be the case that it was that solid."
Um, duh? Anyway, will anybody ever take any responsibility for this debacle? Powell seems to continue the idea of blaming it all on the Intelligence Agencies. So, who is it who takes responsibility for those agencies anyway? Apparently nobody.
...That the proposed changes in FCC fines for "indecent speech" currently moving through Congress and chilling broadcasters will change the penalty for individual performers (not the stations owners!) from the current $11,000 after a first-warning to a whopping $500,000 per incident with no warning whatsoever? Read about it here, since MSNBC hasn't gone out of their way to tell you about it.
...That, according to an audit by the US Governmental Accounting Office (GAO), the vast majority of companies in America didn't pay any federal income taxes at all from 1996 to 2000? Read about it here, since Dubya keeps forgetting to mention it.
...That despite what you may have heard from the majority of the Media (controlled almost exclusively by Conservatives) about George W. Bush still being ahead of John Kerry, that Kerry actually leads Bush in the two most recently released polls? Read about it here, since Sean Hannity forgot to announce it.
...That Great Britain's conservative newspaper, The Independent, reports that a former translator for the FBI with top-secret security clearance testified to the 9/11 Commission that she "saw papers that show US knew al-Qa'ida would attack cities with aeroplanes" and that she gave the Commission "details of specific investigation files, the specific dates, specific target information, specific managers in charge of the investigation....everything so that they could go back and follow up. This is not hearsay. These are things that are documented. These things can be established very easily." Which, of course, makes Condi Rice's claims that "we could never have foreseen planes being used as missiles" even more incredible than they already were? Read about it here, since Scott McClellan keeps leaving these things out of his morning briefings.
...That if Donald Trump is as good a businessman as he would like us to believe, he will see to it that hot couple Amy and Nick will be the final two contestants left on The Apprentice? No need to read about it anywhere else, cuz I just told you, and you've got other reading to do!
Yesterday, there was a horrible Mogadishu-style attack against Americans in Fallujah. Nine Americans were killed, and four of them were burnt, dragged through the streets, dismembered and hung from lightposts and bridges.
The American Media, perhaps taking their cue from the Whitehouse who will not allow pictures of coffins returning from Iraq, decided that Americans are simply too fragile to be shown the horrible images that came out of Fallujah yesterday. The rest of the world saw them, but not Americans.
All of which brings me to a point I've been pondering for a while. After Richard Clarke last week displayed the first real act of contrition from an American Official since the 9/11 Attacks by apologizing for the Government's failure to protect us, there was one lone member of the Media, Rick Mercier - sadly from a tiny paper in Fredericksburg, VA --- who had the courage to admit the Media's culpability in this whole fine mess:
Since the attacks of 9/11 (but also in the months leading up to it) the complicity the Major Media outlets have shown by simply going along with the Whitehouse line, wholly unchallenged and uninvestigated, is a National Disgrace. They have, by and large, played Hired P.R. Hand to virtually every hollow, misleading and frequently out and out incorrect line that the Whitehouse has tried to sell the American People since that day.
Their sycophantic behavior shows little sign of abating. Last week's Radio & Television Correspondents Association Dinner featured a slide-show narrated by Dubya, with photos of him looking around the oval office along with the repeated lines: "Those WMD's gotta be somewhere!"
The packed house of DC Media and Insiders yucked it up together. What a riot. 600 or so Americans and countless Iraqis are now dead because they all failed to do their job of keeping the Government honest by actually investigating their claims and by and large wholly shutting out or even mocking (ask Scott Ritter) all viewpoints which ran contrary to the Whitehouse line. Alternative viewpoints which turned out to be correct in the end, right in front of their noses, but they were too busy - I suppose - hoping not to be branded "unpatriotic" or otherwise losing their much sought insider status.
Is it any wonder then, that Americans have such a high view of themselves even while seeming to have no clue why the rest of the world could possibly hold us in such contempt?
The swamp is hardly being drained --- and there is plenty of blame for that to go around.
It's nice occasionally to come across the intellectually honest Conservative. A rare breed these days. So it was nice to catch this blog item from Andrew Sullivan today. Of note...
Not sure if it's because he's British or gay, but it's certainly nice to see a bit of both "nuance" (overworked word of the year so far in 2004) and honesty from the Right.
Most of the country won't yet get Air America, the new Liberal radio network featuring Al Franken's "The O'Franken Factor" program, which launched today. Even in Los Angeles, where Air America currently is on the air (along with NY, Chicago, Portland, a couple of other cities and on XM Radio) many may have trouble picking it up on it's tiny 1580-am broadcast signal. To make matters worse in L.A., the show is running here on tape delay at Noon, instead of LIVE at it's 9am PT air time. (I guess they're avoiding going direct against Rush out here, but I'm not sure why.)
Nonetheless, with all of those first-day strikes against it, there is some good news to report. For one, the show does stream live on the Internet at 9am PT and offered a far better signal streamed on the net then it does on it's current on-air tape delay broadcast in L.A.
After hearing the first show's live stream, I can report - in general - so far, so good. The first show was head and shoulders above O'Reilly's freshman day on the radio. That would be due in no small part to the smart move of including Katherine Lanpher, a seasoned radio professional, as Franken's co-host. She kept the show moving smartly along without all the amateurish hemming and hawing we got from O'Reilly's first day (and continue to get, quite frankly, from his Radio Factor - although he's much improved.)
A good guest line-up today included former Senator and 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerry, Liberal icon Michael Moore and a call-in from Al Gore, among others. Also, it seems that Conservative icon Ann Coulter was present as well, though mercifully (for us) locked in the green room in a running gag (and sounding suspiciously like an unbilled Bebe "Dr. Lillith Sternin-Crane" Neuwirth).
Breath-of-fresh-air topics included the lousy deal made by the 9/11 Commission with the Bush Administration for Condoleezza Rice's public testimony in exchange for Bush and Cheney's joint, private, unsworn, unrecorded and untranscribed testimony, Michael Moore's publication of his best-seller "Stupid White Men" originally planned for September 11th, 2001 release and some of the rather stunning Email he's received directly from the troops in Iraq which seem to indicate that perhaps the media (whadda suprise!) may not be reporting the whole story on troop morale and the toll that this whole dubious affair is taking on their psyche.
Obviously, judging a new show of this sort on it's first broadcast is a mistake, so I'll avoid to much criticism or praise just yet, but suffice to say, it's a welcome voice on the Radio, and frankly anywhere in the media which until now has ranged from Far Right to Middle of the Road without a single outlet - anywhere - for the Left. So, welcome to the fray Air America! What took you so long?!
So the Whitehouse has finally come to their senses and will "allow" Condoleezza Rice to testify in public under oath before the 9/11 Commission. How very thoughtful. I guess I was wrong, they really do wish to investigate what went wrong that day and how it might be avoided in the future.
But wait, another caveat or two from the Whitehouse counsel before proceeding:
...That way, they won't have to bother with cleaning up any inconvenient loose ends in the future.
Furthermore, they care so much that they will not only have the President testify (in private, not under oath) to the Commission, but they'll be kind enough to throw in the Vice-President on that same day, at that same session at no additional cost! More from the counsel to the President:
Why waste time asking the President and Vice-President to testify separately, when they can be in the same room at the same time in a "joint private session" to keep their stories straight and avoid any confusion?!
These guys are amazing.
From Drudge just now...
...Could that be right? Condi's first testimony was not even allowed to be recorded? By order of the Whitehouse?!
So she not only had to testify under oath, but they wouldn't even allow the session to be recorded or a stenographer to take a verbatim transcript of the National Security Advisors testimony with the Commission investigating the greatest National Security failure in the history of our nation!
Man...Of course, the pundit echoes continue to the effect of "We've heard Condi on every show in the world, clearly she has nothing to hide! She should testify".
The more I keeping hearing that "Condi has nothing to hide" from the talking heads, the more I begin to wonder if she must!
Keep in mind, all the Whitehouse "precedent" protestations aside, including Condi's own tortured logic on 60 Minutes, to wit:
...Which is valid only if you disregard Sandy Berger (Clinton's NSA) and Zbignew Bzerzinksi (Carter's NSA), both "sitting national security advisors" at the time having testified in the past and consider their testimony to not have been about "policy" but about a criminal investigation. More to the point, though, the precedent being shoehorned into this situation concerns an NSA testifying before Congress. The 9/11 Commission, however, is not "congress". It was created by a vote of Congress with it's Head chosen by the President of the United States. A fact conveniently omited by the dubious and ultimately self-defeating explanation from Condi and friends.
As, once again, Josh Marshall so brilliantly put it:
UPDATE: Since writing the above yesterday, when this site was down due to a network outage, the Whitehouse has finalized their "accommodation" with the 9-11 Commission for Condi to testify. Well, that took long enough, huh? More on that shortly....
Looks like it's true. Al Franken's radio show, beginning this week, will in fact, be called "The O'Franken Factor". Too brilliant.
I wish him luck. He's gonna need it. It looks like they're starting in three big markets (NY, LA and Chicago), but on puny stations in each city. The unremarkable Air America website doesn't give me much confidence either considering they open for business this Wednesday! They've got some great folks in the line-up and it'll be nice to have someone - anyone - on the Left to give us all an occasional break from the big fat lying liars on the Right. But it remains to be seen if the Air America business folks can step up and get the job done. So far, I'm underwhelmed. But I sure as hell am looking forward to Wednesday!
What an astounding week. The crush of events and dirty dealing swirling around the bombshells Richard Clarke dropped this week have been almost too much for even me to keep up with. And I eat this stuff for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Kudos are due to the remarkable coverage this week from master blogger Josh Marshall of the Talking Points Memo for his detailed and meticulous blow by blow on the continuing fallout and the desperately run counter-offensive from the Whitehouse. He has been, minute by minute, exhaustively sourced, from the right and the left, exposing every hypocrisy and misstep as every shoe continues to fall. You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't follow him closely.
So who let the dogs out? Apparently it was Dubya hisself who realized last Monday morning that he may be on the verge of losing the only re-elect issue he has left with which to fool some of the American people some of the time.
But will the desperate, all-out, mis-coordinated flight of the Bush Attack Monkeys work to save the impression that a slim majority of Americans still have that George W. Bush has been so-far-so-good on the "War on Terror"? Or are they simply making matters worse for themselves?
To be fair, I'll disclose once again my personal view of what a horrible mistake I believe the War in Iraq to have been. In the early months following 9/11, I was all ears to the Bushies arguments on the despicable Saddam. Then, as it became increasingly clear that they had no real interest in their very own argument - that Saddam's WMD program was a danger the world couldn't afford to ignore - by undermining themselves with that whole UN/Hans Blix charade they put on, all credibility quickly dissipated, and has been in continuous freefall from where I sit ever since.
So through those eyes, I've watched as nearly 600 American servicemen died, some 13,400 medical evacuees, anywhere from 4800 to 6400 Iraqi military killed (the great majority of them inscripted by threat of death), and a stunning 7000 to 13,500 Iraqi Civilians killed (depending on the source, for example Bill O'Reilly likes to quote 10,000 as the number) in this disgraceful debacle waged under the guise of "Making the world safe from terror" or "Liberation" or "Draining the swamp" or whatever the hell the talking points of the week were.
Then comes forth Richard Clarke, registered Republican, and top Counterterror Advisor to four US Presidents going back to the Reagan Administration who originally appointed him. He unleashes the wrath of the Bushies in one fell swoop, stating in no uncertain terms - under oath - that "By invading Iraq the President of the United States has greatly undermined the war on terror."
Uh, oh. Game over.
And the Bushies went apeshit and began shooting in every possible direction, but continue to hit seemingly only themselves.
I have been, from time to time, the intended prey of wolves out to save themselves at any cost. I've seen such characters foolishly attempt to personally destroy those they see as opposition, instead of simply answering to the charges made with substantive information if it exists and/or simply taking accountability for failures. So as one who has been there - albeit on an admittedly smaller and ultimately insignificant level - I would like to go on record to say: Richard Clarke is an American Hero. History, I'm certain, will bare me out on that one.
In the meantime, what a godforsaken mess they've handed themselves at the Whitehouse.
For a bunch who claim to be fighting to protect America, isn't a bit strange that they seem to be tone deaf to the spontaneous applause for Clarke by the families of the 9/11 victims at this week's hearing? That they ignore their pleas for them to cooperate with the 9/11 Commision? That they laugh off the complaints of those same families when they suggest it might be inappropriate to use the dead bodies of their loved ones in campaign commercials? That they didn't understand in advance that jokes about the lack of WMD's aren't particular funny when so many thousands have died in a war predicated - falsely or otherwise - by same? That they'd allow their National Security Advisor, the once-respected Condoleezza Rice, to testify only privately and never via SWORN testimony to the bipartisan blue ribbon commission convened to investigate the greatest National Security failure in the history of the country?
Who are these folk really trying to protect? And what must they be thinking?
Now, of course, as you know by my admissions above concerning the war, I'm an Anti-American, Liberal, Communist, Pinko, God Hating, Heathen, so don't listen to me. But when Conservatives like Pat Buchanan concede that "the cancer of Terrorism has metastasized due to the War in Iraq" (McLaughlin Group, 3/27/04) you'd think this bunch might wanna sit up and start paying attention.
Of course, they have been sitting up, and they have been paying attention. They just don't seem to be getting the message. Or perhaps they do, but having gone so far down the wrong path, with eyes and ears shut to anyone - even within their own ranks - who didn't tell them what they wanted to believe, they have no choice but to follow the same misbegotten path no matter where it now leads. No matter how many more dead Americans lay along it. No matter how much farther on this fools errand we seem to be running in this misconceived, ill-waged "War on Terror".
There may be good news at the end of the path, however. It's looking more and more each day like that path may, in fact, soon reach it's end. Smack dab in the middle of Midland, Texas. Game over. Or so we can only hope.
Never one to shy away from tooting my own horn, regretfully or otherwise, I came across this item this morning about a crop of babies born in Gaza today, named after the Hamas Leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated yesterday by Israel.
On September 14th, 2001, I wrote a "Speech to the Nation�were I President" to no one in particular that I shared only with my family and a friend or two at the time (the family, by the way, was quite critical of it).
Reading the news item above, I recalled the following paragraph from that "speech":
I've heard Bush and Israeli Officials over the last 24 hours describe Yassin as "Israel's Bin Laden". And today, we seem to - quite literally - have quite a few more "Yassins" born in his place.
Something to ponder as we continue down the short-sighted, narrow-minded, fear-based, vengeful, seek-and-destroy strategy currently employed as our own "War on Terror". I have no reason to believe that this strategy will work any better for us than it has for Israel.
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