Follow & Support The BRAD BLOG!
&

BRAD BLOG IS NOW IN OUR 15TH YEAR OF TROUBLE-MAKING & MUCK-RAKING! (But we still need your help!)
Latest Featured Reports | Monday, April 23, 2018
Sunday 'Consensual Collusion' Toons
Documenting the not-so-strange bedfellows of the week and much more, in PDiddie's latest weekly Sunday toon collection...
Senate GOP Twists Law to Gut Decades-Old Regs (Forever): 'BradCast' 4/20/18
Guest: James Goodwin of CPR: Also: DNC files Trump/Russia suit; Wells Fargo fined $1B; Memos reveal Trump wants to jail journalists...
Senate Confirms Climate Science Denier as NASA Chief: 'BradCast' 4/19/18
...and many more otherworldly reminders of the importance of elections...
'Green News Report' 4/19/18
  w/ Brad & Desi
Puerto Rico power knocked out again; Studies find Gulf Stream slowing down; New climate lawsuits for oil industry, Florida; PLUS: Earth Day 2018 focused on ending plastic pollution...
Previous GNRs: 4/17/18 - 4/12/18 - Archives...
'Dark Lord of Coal Country' Rising, GOP Panicking Before WV U.S. Senate Primary: 'BradCast' 4/18/18
Guest: Bob Kincaid; Also: McConnell says no, Mattis got Trumped, Kobach in contempt...
'Corrupt Intent': 'BradCast' 4/17/18
Guest: Former Asst. US Attorney Randall Eliason on Trump, Cohen, Mueller, indicting a sitting Prez; Also: Tax cut support falls, GOPers keep heading for the exits...
'Green News Report' 4/17/18
Federal watchdogs say EPA violated law for Admin Scott Pruitt; Senate confirms coal industry lobbyist for deputy EPA chief; PLUS: Google and Apple go 100% renewable...
Trump's Unlawful, Evidence-Free 'Mission Accomplished': 'BradCast' 4/16/18
Congress acquiesces after second US attack on Syria; Hannity revealed as secret Cohen client; Callers ring in...
Sunday Toons: 'One Raid Begets Another'
It didn't take long after Donald Trump's friend, business associate and personal lawyer was raided by the FBI for Trump to unleashes the missiles, as the cartoonists observe in PDiddie's latest collection...
As Trump Goes Ugly, How Dems Can 'Fight Dirty' to Win for the Country: 'BradCast' 4/13/18
Guest: Author David Faris on radically reform-ing 'long-term barriers to progressive power'...
Mattis: U.S. Lacks 'Actual Evidence' of Syrian Chemical Attack: 'BradCast' 4/12/18
Also: Clueless Trump to rejoin TPP?; Sinclair's abuse of public airwaves; And, why local news matters...
'Green News Report' 4/12/18
Newly unearthed docs reveal Shell knew about warming since 1950s; Dems want Pruitt to resign; EPA docs under-mine his claims; PLUS: Obama EPA chief speaks out...
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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
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...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

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...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
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
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

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...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
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...

By Brad Friedman on 1/27/2006 2:20pm PT  

From the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll out yesterday...

Fifty-eight percent described [Bush's] second term as a failure. At the same point in former President Bill Clinton's presidency, 70 percent of those surveyed by Gallup said they considered it a success and 20 percent a failure.



(But Can Use Your Help)
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2006 4:19pm PT  

VelvetRevolution.us (an organization co-founded by The BRAD BLOG) has got a huge billboard truck that will begin driving around D.C. beginning next Tuesday.

This will be on one side...

This will be on the other side...

Feel free to leave your thoughts here in comments about any future signs you'd like to see VR make noise with around Capitol Hill.

While VR has the truck, the cost of getting the billboards made is not cheap. Thanks to the good folks at AfterDowningStreet.org/CensureBush.org for supporting the effort and helping VR raise the funds for the costs of the signage.

Your help is needed as well. Please contribute to the effort here. The Velvet Revolution thanks you...

UPDATE: JPentz of ReallyNews.com has made a printable WORD version of the first graphic available if you wish to make your own noise, in your own hometown!




Kennedy: 'A vote of a generation and a test of conscience'
Kerry: 'Itís our right and our responsibility to oppose him vigorously'
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2006 3:54pm PT  

Pam at The Democratic Daily has links to Kennedy's official statement confirming he supports a filibuster:

KENNEDY SUPPORTS FILIBUSTER ON NOMINATION OF JUDGE ALITO

Other than voting to send our men and women to war, there is no more important vote in the Senate than our vote on a Supreme Court nominee. This is a vote of a generation and a test of conscience. Judge Alito does not share the values of equality and justice that make this country strong. He does not deserve a place on the highest court of the land.

We owe it to future generations of Americans to oppose this nomination. If Judge Alito is confirmed, he will serve on the court long after President Bush leaves office, and the progress of half a century on the basic rights of all Americans is likely to be rolled back. He's the wrong justice for justice and the rule of law in America.

Previously, CNN reported John Kerry's support of same. Kerry had earlier posted a call for support asking that Americans support his effort to filibuster...

To muster enough Senators to defeat Judge Alito, the American people have to make it clear that they are against his nomination. That's where you come in. By speaking out, you will help us convince other Senators to join our fight.

He then asks for folks to sign this letter in support.

AP has more on the GOP pushing back.

UPDATE: Kerry's office makes it official:

"I support a filibuster of Judge Alito's nomination. Judge Alito's confirmation would be an ideological coup on the Supreme Court. We can't afford to see the Court's swing vote, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, replaced with a far-right ideologue like Samuel Alito.
...
The President has every right to nominate Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. It's our right and our responsibility to oppose him vigorously and to fight against this radical upending of the Supreme Court."

FURTHER UPDATE: Pam now has a Guest Blog from Kerry on the matter...




Falls for the old Handwritten Letter from a 'Democrat' Trick...
Reports of a Kerry-led Filibuster Continue... UPDATE: CNN Confirms Kerry Filibuster 'Attempt'
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2006 1:56pm PT  

Robert Byrd falls for the old "Handwritten letter from a 'Democrat'" Ploy and announces he'll support Alito. Yes, Senator, we get many of those same "I'm a Democrat, but I can't abide what my party is doing" notes as well. Constantly. One of the most tired tricks in the Troll Playbook. Sorry to see you fall for it.

In the meantime, Pam from The Democratic Daily, is hearing from her inside sources that Kerry will lead a filibuster. We can't confirm anything of the sort, nor can we deny, but Pam seems to feel strongly about it, so we pass on this link to her report with that caveat. Don't know if Byrd's announcement, which we believe was released after her post, will have any effect on that or not.

UPDATE: Pam updates her item to include a link to CNN's report, posted just minutes ago, that Kerry "will attempt a filibuster".




BRAD BLOG Celebrates (if that's the right word) Turning Two Years Old!
Funny, We Don't Feel a Day Over One!
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2006 12:35pm PT  

Whoops...Yesterday (Wednesday, January 24th) was The BRAD BLOG's 2nd Anniversary! And I was too busy to notice.

Oh, well. What a long, strange --- very strange --- trip it's been.

From our very first blog item...to...wherever the hell the world has turned now.

I'd wax more poetically, except that two years in and up since lord knows when this morning and I couldn't be more exhausted. Or could I? Ask me next year around this time if we're still at it.

In the meantime, feel free to leave a Happy Anniversary Gift in the Tip Jar, if you're so inclined. We could still, even after two years, use it! Otherwise, Open Thread here to your heart's content to celebrate! While I sleep.

Thank you all for helping to make this journey possible and so incredibly satisfying day after day, and now year after year. Peace. Soon.




So Does The BRAD BLOG...Still.
By Brad Friedman on 1/25/2006 9:35pm PT  

In an editorial titled "Senators in Need of a Spine" in tomorrow's NY Times "the paper of record" gets it right for a change. (Truthout posts the editorial in full, for those note registered with NY Times.) Here are some of the money quotes...

It is hard to imagine a moment when it would be more appropriate for senators to fight for a principle. Even a losing battle would draw the public's attention to the import of this nomination.
...
in what he has said in the past, and what he refused to say in the hearings, Judge Alito raised warning flags that, in the current political context, cannot simply be shrugged away with a promise to fight again another day.
...
But portraying the Alito nomination as just another volley in the culture wars vastly underestimates its significance. The judge's record strongly suggests that he is an eager lieutenant in the ranks of the conservative theorists who ignore our system of checks and balances, elevating the presidency over everything else. He has expressed little enthusiasm for restrictions on presidential power and has espoused the peculiar argument that a president's intent in signing a bill is just as important as the intent of Congress in writing it. This would be worrisome at any time, but it takes on far more significance now, when the Bush administration seems determined to use the cover of the "war on terror" and presidential privilege to ignore every restraint, from the Constitution to Congressional demands for information.
...
A filibuster is a radical tool. It's easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.

The BRAD BLOG has been calling for such a spine from Democrats (on this matter at least) for the past week. We're glad to see the NY Times join the bandwagon.

The only question now is will the Dems find the courage to do the right thing as they have failed to, with very few exceptions, over the last five years? Or will they roll over yet again at the most decisive moment of the entire Bush "Presidency" and fail to fight for the future of this country, in hopes that all will be forgiven by the base when the 2006 mid-terms come around?

We hope they choose wisely.

According to an earlier report from RAW STORY, your phone calls providing "cover" for the Senators, or lack thereof, may make all the difference.

The Senate switchboard can be reached at 888-355-3588 or 888-818-6641. Democrats.com has many more contacts and details for you.




Yolo County, CA Spurns ES&S, Signs up to Use Vote-PAD for Voters with Disabilities, Other Jurisdictions may be Right Behind!
Made of paper, plastic and NO SOFTWARE AT ALL, the device works with a paper ballot and costs about one-tenth of flawed, hackable electronic voting machines...Could this be the HAVA voting solution America has been waiting for?
By Brad Friedman on 1/25/2006 2:06pm PT  

State and County Elections officials from coast to coast to coast are now in a mad, confused, frustrated scramble trying to figure out how the hell to comply with and make sense of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) legislation.

HAVA has proven to be an unmitigated disaster, gamed as it was from the start by Congressmen like Ohio's Bob Ney working in cahoots with voting machine companies. The effort has shamefully employed disabilities groups like the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) and American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), who received more than a million dollars from companies such as Diebold, Inc., to help trump up the sympathy factor in order to force jurisdictions to purchase unreliable electronic voting machines (read: junk), said to be needed by disabled voters who would be unable to vote in secret without assistance from others.

As of the 1/1/06 HAVA deadline, Boards of Elections are now officially plunged into complete and utter disarray as they attempt to comply with the reckless and cynical legislation's mandated requirement (dreamt up by the American Voting Machines Vendors who stand to make billions) for at least one disabled-accessible voting device in every precinct around the country --- even in small precincts without a single disabled voter!

Touch-screen (DRE) voting machines created by mega-corporations like Diebold, Inc. and ES&S have been proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be unsecure, hackable, unreliable and finally, not fully accessible by many segments of the disabled community. Meanwhile, the one electronic-based device in which voters with disabilities have expressed the most interest, the AutoMARK system, has reportedly been kept largely out of the marketplace through a number of means. ES&S, the voting machine company who managed to secure exclusive rights to distribute the AutoMARK system, has reportedly been overpricing it in favor of their own DRE systems. As well, there have been a number of reports of ES&S sales reps being actively dissuaded from properly demonstrating that system in pitches to potential customers around the country.

As well, states such as Florida and many others have been incredibly slow at certifying the system --- which prints a readable, verifiable, recountable paper ballot with every vote cast --- even while they've already giving their blessings to DRE systems made by both Diebold and ES&S, despite the demonstrated inaccuracy, hackability and secret-software that employs "interpreted" source code, explicitly banned by HAVA guidelines.

With the rapid approach of the 2006 primary elections, the question is now: What the hell are these Boards of Election around the country going to do, to both meet HAVA requirements for voters with disabilities and provide all voters with some semblance of an accurate, reliable, recountable, democratic means of casting their vote in secret and with some certainty that it may be counted, and counted correctly?

Comes now, with not a moment to spare, an ingeniously simple, non-electronic device to allow voters with disabilities of all sorts to be able to cast their own vote, in secret, and with the knowledge that their paper ballot will accurately reflect their intent.

Say hello to the Vote-PAD, the little paper and plastic voting assistive device, that just may save American democracy...

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




Contract with State said to Bar Release of 'Company Secrets' Such as Records of Who Citizens Actually Voted For
Democratic Official: 'It's impossible to say whether the correct candidates were declared the winner in all Alaska races from 2004'
By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2006 2:39pm PT  

In just one more story which illustrates the many undemocratic dangers of allowing private companies to "own" our public elections, Diebold, Inc., one of America's largest Voting Machine Companies is currently blocking citizens in Alaska from viewing election data from the 2004 general election!

"All Alaska races from 2004" are now being questioned, said a Democratic party official in a written letter to the state Elections Director.

Questions have begun to arise about results from that election, including the reported revelation that "district-by-district vote totals add up to 292,267 votes for President Bush, but his official total was only 190,889."

The BRAD BLOG has obtained a copy of the letter sent yesterday by Jake Metcalfe, chair of the Alaska Democratic Party to Whitney Brewster of the Alaska Division of Elections. The letter responds to Brewster's refusal to supply the party with the requested data files and outlines a number of additional concerns about the reported 2004 election results.

The complete letter is available for download here [PDF].

Anchorage Daily News covers the emerging controversy today. Some highlights here [emphasis ours]:

The state Division of Elections has refused to turn over its electronic voting files to the Democrats, arguing that the data format belongs to a private company and can't be made public.

The Alaska Democratic Party says the information is a public record essential for verifying the accuracy of the 2004 general election and must be provided.

The official vote results from the last general election are riddled with discrepancies and impossible for the public to make sense of, the Democrats said Monday. A detailed analysis of the underlying data could answer lingering questions about an election many thought was over more than a year ago, they say.
...
At this point, it's impossible to say whether the correct candidates were declared the winner in all Alaska races from 2004, [Democratic spokeswoman, Kay] Brown said.

The private contractor hired to provide Alaska's electronic voting machines is Diebold Election Systems.
...
Diebold told the state it owns the format, which can't be released because it's a company secret.
...
[U]nder the state's contract with Diebold, that cannot be released, Brewster said.

Never mind, of course, that Diebold's "company secret" has been available for download from the Internet for years, since the company --- who claims to specialize in security solutions --- left the information sitting unprotected on a public download site.

The full story is here...

(Hat tip to our friend Peter B. Collins of KRXA 540-am in Monterey, CA for the lead!)

* * *

UPDATE 2/7/06: Alaska capitulates...sort of. Details now here...




Palm Beach Post Covers Software Programmer's Audience with Voting Technology Committee
By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2006 1:14pm PT  

The Palm Beach Post covers Clint Curtis in an article yesterday, headlined "Paper-trail advocate to air rigging concerns". The detailed article is occassioned by Curtis' "official audience this week with the committee advising Palm Beach County on voting technology."

Those not familiar with the extraordinary tale which we broke exclusively back in December of 2004, can read a short summary of the remarkable story here. It essentially concerns Curtis' sworn allegations that former Florida House Speaker, now U.S. Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL), asked him to create vote-rigging software back when Curtis worked as a programmer for the Oveido, FL software firm Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI). At the time, Feeney, in addition to leading the FL statehouse, was also the general counsel and a registered lobbyist for YEI.

The story also concerns Curtis' long-standing and now-verified claims that YEI was employing a now-convicted Chinese spy and was also engaged in massively overcharging on contracts such as the one it had with the Florida Department of Transporation. As well, there is the startling tale of the untimely, and unexplained demise of the Florida Inspector General, Raymond Lemme, who had been investigating Curtis' charges against YEI and Feeney. Curtis has since passed a polygraph test concerning these charges.

The Post piece covers much of the territory, of course, that BRAD BLOG readers familiar with our year-long plus Clint Curtis coverage will know well by now. Apparently, reporter George Bennett has spent quite a bit of time reading our work here, which we are happy to see.

The downside of the Post article, is the usual misrepresentation of information disquised as "balance" that we see so often these days, not just in coverage of Curtis, but in the MSM in general. Eg., Bennett feels it important, and properly so, to give YEI's attorney's rebuttal to Curtis' charges. But, of course, Bennett then fails to point out that YEI's attorney is also Feeney's old law partner dating back to just prior to his joining the U.S. Congress. Bennett also fails to point out that both YEI and their attorney continue to be large donors to Feeney and that Feeney has continued to lie about his ongoing relationship with the company.

That's just one example of the downsides. The upside, however, is hopefully the additional attention to Curtis' story at a time when a host of new questions are arising concerning Tom Feeney's corruption (he was, you know, on one of those now-infamous trips to St. Andrews to play golf, like Tom DeLay and Bob Ney, for example!)

In addition to this latest article, we have reason to believe there will be still more information and coverage elsewhere of the continuing Clint Curtis saga soon...

UPDATE 1/31/05: We were contacted today by George Bennett, author of the recent Curtis piece in the Palm Beach Post. He had the following reply to this blog item:

One small-ish quibble of my own. You wrote:

"Eg., Bennett feels it important, and properly so, to give YEI's attorney's rebuttal to Curtis' charges. But, of course, Bennett then fails to point out that YEI's attorney is also Feeney's old law partner dating back to just prior to his joining the U.S. Congress."

Actually, after I made a few calls to YEI, the person who returned my call and introduced himself as YEI's general counsel was named Charles Harrison, who has a law office in Winter Park. He does not appear to be connected to Feeney's old law firm. If O'Quinn or somebody from that firm had spoken on behalf of YEI, I would have noted the connection to Feeney.

The BRAD BLOG appreciates Bennett's clarification, and we're happy to post it here for the record.

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.



By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2006 11:05am PT  

Saddam Hussein's intolerable use of weapons of mass destruction against enemies; unprecedented aggression against and occupation of a country which posed no threat to his own; routine kidnapping, torture, murder and secret prison system; wholesale slaughter of citizens from other countries; imprisonment of political rivals held for years without charges; and secret spying on his very own countrymen without court order or legislative approval, demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that this so-called "President" was a dangerous rogue, a tyrant, and a grave threat --- of the highest order --- to worldwide peace, stability and democracy.

His immediate removal from unelected power was...and is...a completely justified imperative.




By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2006 12:33pm PT  

The BRAD BLOG has obtained the official transcript of last week's congressional hearings on warrantless NSA wiretapping as authorized (on at least thirty occassions) by the Bush Administration. The event was officially titled, "CONSTITUTION IN CRISIS: DOMESTIC SURVEILLANCE AND EXECUTIVE POWER".

The hearing, chaired by ranking House Judiciary Committee minority member, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), was held in the basement of the Rayburn building last Friday after the Republican leadership once again (as they did for hearings on the "Downing Street Documents" last year) refused the Democrats a formal hearing room to conduct the congressional oversight forum. That, despite the House having been in recess on Friday and the official hearing rooms otherwise vacant.

C-SPAN carried the hearings live as seven House members sat on the panel to hear testimony and question the following expert witnesses:

  • Bruce Fein, Associate Deputy Attorney General under President Reagan
  • James Bamford, Author of "The Puzzle Palace"
  • Professor Jonathan Turley, George Washington Law School
  • Richard Hersh, The Truth Project
  • Caroline Fredrickson, Washington Legislative Director, ACLU
  • Kate Martin, Director, Center for National Security Studies
  • As The BRAD BLOG reported in an exclusive prior to the hearing, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who has defended the Administration's warrantless wiretapping of American citizens on U.S. soil as "legal", despite the prohibition against such activity as outlined by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), was invited to give testimony as well in defense of the Administration's position. He declined to appear, as did any other representative from the Bush Dept. of Justice.

    On the day prior to the hearings, however, the DoJ issued a 42-page document declaring the warrantless wiretaps of American citizens on U.S. soil to be "legal". Judiciary Committee member Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) spoke to that document during the hearings, commenting that "making their argument longer did not make it any better." The statement received laughter from the hearing room. Van Hollen followed up by charging:

    I have to say that any first-year law student would, after reading this, quickly conclude that the arguments were specious. And I think that if you had a private attorney in Washington, D.C., or anywhere in this country provide their client with this kind of advice, they would be sued for malpractice. And I believe that this opinion is malpractice on the American people.

    Some remarkable testimony was given by each of the witnesses at the hearings. It's all now available in full, via the complete 122-page transcript.

    -- Complete Transcript of House Democratic Hearings on Warrantless NSA Wiretaps [PDF]




    The BRAD BLOG Calls on Bush and Cheney to Resign Immediately.
    By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2006 11:52am PT  

    Several of "The Jersey Girls," who were widowed in the 9/11 attacks, have issued a statement in response to the Bin Laden audiotape released last week which excoriated Bush for his failure and apparent disinterest --- "I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him ... I truly am not that concerned about him." --- in hunting him down "dead or alive", as he once acted like he was promising.

    Further, they criticize him for having "sanctioned the torture of individuals, breached constitutional safeguards regarding the privacy rights of U.S. citizens and started an illegal war in Iraq."

    Not to mention their enumeration of the various 9/11 Commission recommendations that Bush has all but ignored to this day, some four years and four months since the deaths of their husbands.

    This graf however, in particular, caught my eye:

    if we are attacked again, President Bush's shameless disregard of our constitutional rights and his poor judgment in defending our nation against terrorists should be borne out in his resignation from office or a Congressional demand for impeachment.

    While we agree with the general sentiment, we have just one quibble: Bush should resign now for his unprecedented Constitutional transgressions. There is no reason to wait for the next attack, and indeed it would be insane to do so. Especially as this rubber-stamp Congress will do everything in their power to avoid an impeachment --- as appropriate as would be right now --- in deference to their Political Party's "Commander-in-Chief".

    Bush would never have the courage or fortitude or integrity or simple manliness to stand up and face down any impeachment proceeding. He'd go running away with his tail between his legs like the chickenhawk he is, once it became clear that virtually any such impeachment proceedings would have him dead to rights.

    So why not show some sense of honor and dignity now, Mr. Bush, by leaving the office which you have tainted and stained beyond even Bill Clinton's wildest wet-dreams?

    It's time for Bush, and his criminal co-conspirator Dick Cheney, to resign from office immediately in order to save this country from one more day of inexcusable exposure to attack from terrorists, but even more so, for Bush/Cheney's demonstrated and unmitigated loathing of American Values, their unapologetic failure to uphold their oaths of office to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States", and, once and for all, to put an end to the metastized cancer of the unprecedented Executive Shame they have brought to the great United States of America.




    Dan Eggen Continues His Series of Reports on Adminstration Political Appointees Overruling the Opinions of Career Voting Rights Attorneys...
    By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2006 1:01am PT  

    Last month, we reported how the George W. Bush administration has effectively gutted the beloved, 40-year old Voting Rights Act. He has done so by allowing political appointees in the Department of Justice to override the recommendations of career attorneys in the Voting Rights division who had recommended against the Georgia Photo ID Requirement Law and Tom Delay's Texas Congressional Redistricting Scheme.

    In both cases, the career attorneys at DoJ had written lengthy memos opposing the new laws --- 4 out of 5 of them in the GA case, 8 out of 8 in the TX case --- only to be overruled by Bush's political cronies. Dan Eggen of The Washington Post broke both of those stories, with some exemplary reporting, after obtaining the leaked memos.

    Later, the DoJ mandated that no such written opinions would be allowed in the future.

    Eggen, on Page A1 of Monday's WaPo, now has more on the fallout and allegations of politics being played with the VRA within DoJ, as Bush continues to dismantle as many American Values as he can before leaving office...Here's some highlights (or lowlights, as the case may be)...

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




    Reports Story of Last Month's Leon County, FL Election Results Flip and Even October's GAO Report on Lack of Security, Accuracy in Electronic Voting Machines!
    Better Late Than Never!
    By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2006 8:39pm PT  

    We're torn between complaining about Washington Post's delinquency in covering anything to do with our crumbling electoral system and jumping for joy that they've actually filed a credible report on the problems we (and many other "conspiracy theorists", "sore-losers", "tinfoil hat wearers", "anarchists" and "insurgents") have been yelling and screaming about for months --- if not years!

    Given our endlessly optimistic nature, however, and the dearth of honest-to-God reporting by the Mainstream Corporate Media on these matters since...well, forever...we'll go ahead, slap a siren on this item, and focus on the "victory" side of things!

    In tomorrow's paper, page A6, in a "Special to The Washington Post", Zachary Goldfarb covers the matter of last month's hack of Diebold optical scan machines in Leon County, Florida which completely flipped the results of a mock election test without a trace being left behind.

    As well, for the first time, WaPo even discusses some of the findings of the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) 107-page report on the failures of electronic voting machines which was released last October!

    The story cannot be good news to Diebold and the other voting machine vendors, however. They've all had it pretty easy up until now as the Mainstream Corporate Media has played into their "company line" that such concerns were the stuff of "conspiracy theorists" and "sore-losers". Goldfarb even recognizes the fact, even if he doesn't call WaPo on being one of the media outlets who have contributed to Diebold and Friends' appalling ability to marginalize Election Integrity advocates with such insultingly dismissive and democracy-loathing remarks:

    Questions about the security of electronic voting machines have been circulating widely in recent years. But many of the concerns have been dismissed as the fantasies of Internet conspiracy theorists or sore-loser partisans who could not accept that their candidates simply got fewer votes. Critics have not demonstrated that any real elections have had returns altered by the manipulation of electronic voting systems.

    But the questions raised by [Ion] Sancho [Election Director of Leon County, where the hack demo occured], who has held his post since 1989, show how the concerns are being taken more seriously among elections professionals.

    "While electronic voting systems hold promise for improving the election process," the Government Accountability Office said in a report to Congress last year, there are still pressing concerns about "security and reliability . . . design flaws" and other issues.

    Well, there it is. In plain black and white WaPo ink! Go figure!

    Goldfarb goes on to make the case quite clearly concerning the Diebold hack as pulled off by Finnish computer security expert Harri Hursti, including Diebold's pathetic response to it:

    Using a device bought for about $200, he was able to easily alter the final vote by changing the program stored on the memory card.

    "You have to admit these systems are vulnerable and act accordingly," Hursti said.
    ...
    "More troubling than the test itself was the manner in which Diebold simply failed to respond to my concerns or the concerns of citizens who believe in American elections," he said. "I really think they're not engaged in this discussion of how to make elections safer."

    He is also critical of state officials who he believes should have caught the vulnerabilities earlier. He said that vendors such as Diebold have too much influence in the administration of elections, a view that resonated with Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, the founder of the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition. Sancho is "truly an advocate for voters," she said. "What he is doing in Leon County goes completely against the grain of county election commissioners elsewhere, who are allowing vendors to dictate how to run their own elections."

    Well, God Bless America...Perhaps the Mainstream Corporate Media is finally paying attention! Go read the whole thing with your own eyes!

    We've heard tell of another major news organization that may soon roll out legitimate coverage of these matters as well.

    Can it be that we are finally not alone? Stay tuned...




    As Revealed by California State Senate Hearings on Transparency in Elections
    'Warts on Parade' as Voting Registrars Discuss Problems with Diebold, Sequoia, ES&S and Many Other Electronic Voting Systems...
    By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2006 4:40pm PT  
    "Turn around and look at all the people behind you," Bowen said gesturing at a gallery full of voting activists. "These are all people who care about transparency in the elections process. It's not about me knowing or you knowing, it's about anybody else in the state of California who cares about elections to assess for themselves what's going on."
    -- "Officials assess e-voting glitches: Confidence in electronic systems may be wavering" Oakland Tribune, 1/19/06

    Such was the sometimes contentious, sometimes exasperating atmosphere, apparently, in Sacramento this week when State Senator Debra Bowen, transparent election champion and Democratic candidate for Secretary of State convened a hearing on the current electoral mess in the Golden State. The hearing was held by the Senate Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments Committee which she chairs.

    County Election Registrars from all over the state were called to give a report on how things are going (not well, apparently) and Election Integrity advocates filled the gallery to witness the goings on.

    There was actually quite a bit of coverage by the media, some better than others, but overall, it's nice to see an open forum for oversight and discussion of the state of democracy in this state. All the while, so much that is involved with the most fundamental element of democracy --- the vote --- has been done in secret corridors of power, darkened Boards of Election back rooms, Private Corporation board rooms, and of course, inside the uninspected, none-of-your-business software of completely untrustworthy, unaccountable electronic voting machines.

    Articles hit late this week on Wednesday's hearings in the LA Times, Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Vallejo Times Herald and elsewhere. While the "facts" offered by some of the reports were at times less than accurate, we note that it's remarkable how many Journalists deign to cover such issues when they are granted "legitimacy" by an officially sanctioned Government Inquiry. (Just a thought to those of you who actually get paid for this sort of thing, from someone who doesn't...but we've long advocated Journalists cover what is newsworthy. Not only what politicians have instructed them to be newsworthy.)

    Let's take a look then at some of the coverage, including our own on-the-air conversation on Friday evening with Bowen...

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




    Total Pages (459):
    « Newest ... « 332 333 334 335 336 [337] 338 339 340 341 342 » ... Oldest »

    Support The BRAD BLOG
    Please visit our advertisers










    Support The BRAD BLOG
    Please visit our advertisers
    Brad Friedman's
    The BRAD BLOG



    Recent Entries

    Archives
    Important Docs
    Categories

    A Few Great Blogs
    Political Cartoonists

    Follow The BRAD BLOG on Twitter! Follow The BRAD BLOG on Facebook!
    Add to Google
    BRAD BLOG RSS 2.0 FEED
    Please Help Support The BRAD BLOG...
    ONE TIME ONLY
    any amount you like...
    $
    MONTHLY SUPPORT
    any amount you like...
    $
    Or by Snail Mail
    Make check out to...
    Brad Friedman
    7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594
    Los Angeles, CA 90028

    The BRAD BLOG receives no foundational or corporate support. Your contributions make it possible to continue our work.
    About Brad Friedman...
    Brad is an independent investigative
    journalist, blogger, broadcaster,
    VelvetRevolution.us co-founder,
    expert on issues of election integrity,
    and a Commonweal Institute Fellow.

    Brad has contributed chapters to these books...


    ...And is featured in these documentary films...

    Additional Stuff...
    Brad Friedman/The BRAD BLOG Named...
    Buzz Flash's 'Wings of Justice' Honoree
    Project Censored 2010 Award Recipient
    The 2008 Weblog Awards



    Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Politics

    Other Brad Related Places...

    Admin
    Brad's Test Area
    (Ignore below! It's a test!)

    Help save the planet by going green with solar. Get a SolarCity solar system with no money down.
    All Content & Design Copyright © Brad Friedman unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved.
    Advertiser Privacy Policy | The BradCast logo courtesy of Rock Island Media.
    Web Hosting, Email Hosting, & Spam Filtering for The BRAD BLOG courtesy of Junk Email Filter.
    BradBlog.com