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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, July 5, 2015
Into the Holiday With a Bang: 'BradCast' 7/2/15
After an amazingly encouraging week or two, we head into the July 4th weekend with a whole bunch of stuff we've been trying to clear off our desk. Plus: Lots of breaking news and an encouraging ending for the weekend...
'Green News Report' 7/2/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Alaska, Northwest on fire; Warming oceans linked to NC shark attacks; China, Brazil commit to emissions cuts; PLUS: Fracking companies can now be sued for earthquakes...
Previous GNRs: 6/30/15 - 6/25/15 - Archives...
Ann Who?
The long-overdue irrelevance of Ann Coulter. The former GOP Superstar (and voter fraud queen) just doesn't matter anymore...
Kochs' Chris Christie; Wingnut Marriage Meltdown; 'Most Important Climate Ruling':
'BradCast' 6/30/15
Guest: Michael B. Gerrard of Columbia's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law...
'Green News Report' 6/30/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
SCOTUS nixes mercury pollution rules; Christie jumps in, we tell you his position on climate; Coal plant cleaned up in Navajo Nation; PLUS: Solar plane's dangerous Pacific crossing...
Previous GNRs: 6/25/15 - 6/23/15 - Archives...
The Good, Bad and SCOTUS Ruling on AZ Redistricting: 'BradCast' 6/29/15
Former AZ state legislator Ted Downing; Plus: much more on latest SCOTUS rulings...
Sunday Toons: Flags & Fits
Both supremacy and Supremes are at issue in PDiddie's collection of the week's best (and most iconic) political toons...
'A More Perfect Union': 'BradCast' 6/26/15
An extraordinary end to an extraordinary week. Mike Rogers of Raw Story joins us to discuss the landmark SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality and how we got here...
MARRIAGE EQUALITY FOR ALL
The U.S. Supreme Court finally recognizes what The BRAD BLOG has for more than a decade. Because rights ultimately win and haters ultimately lose...
Scalia Lies (Again); And 2014's Last Election Contest: 'BradCast' 6/25/15
Dr. Laura Pressley, Austin City Council candidate, explains why she's challenging her 100% unverifiable 2014 election...
'Green News Report' 6/25/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Jindal's in! Here's his weird climate position; Deadly heat in Pakistan; New studies see climate change as 'catastrophic' for health; PLUS: Landmark ruling in Netherlands...
Previous GNRs: 6/23/15 - 6/18/15 - Archives...
Vexillology! Why Flags Matter:
'BradCast' 6/24/15
Annie Platoff, flag expert from North American Vexillological Association explains it all for you! (Even flags on the moon!); Plus: Callers, Trump surge & more!...
TRUMP-MENTUM!
Republican's newest Frankenstein Monster and billionaire real estate developer surges into 2nd place in NH GOP Primary poll! Not to say 'we told ya so' or anything...
Sanders Destroyed Fed Chair in 2003
Years before the economy would collapse, then-Rep. Bernie Sanders unloaded on Alan Greenspan during a Congressional hearing. Years later, the Fed Chair admitted he was wrong...
Fox 'News', Bill O'Reilly and All Their Racist Viewers: 'BradCast' 6/23/15
Sean McElwee of Demos on his new study; More (positive) fallout from Charleston; (Some) Senate Dems help move TPP forward...
'Green News Report' 6/23/15
Repubs in bind after Papal encyclical on climate; Massive algae bloom shuts down West Coast fisheries; May 2015 hottest on record; PLUS: Goodbye, Eastern Cougar...
Race, Guns, Flags, Terrorism and the Right's Quickly Changing Politics of Denial: 'BradCast' 6/22/15
Historic GOP flip-flops and Fox's 'pathological denial' w/ Eric Boehlert of Media Matters...
Sunday Toons: Identity Crises Edition
This is now getting really strange. And 'PDiddie' has the week's collection of toons to prove it...
RW Domestic Terror in SC & Beyond; Big Govt GOP in TX; 'BradCast' 6/19/15
The 2009 DHS report Repubs hope you've forgotten; Plus: Adam Briggle of Frack Free Denton on GOP banning fracking bans and democracy in TX...
Sanders on 'Democratic Socialism'
'Bernie-mentum' begins to show itself in the polls as Sanders' message is heard on 'Late Night', beginning a challenge to nation's woeful 'democracy deficit'...
Evangelical Response to the Pope's Climate Encyclical: 'BradCast' 6/18/15
Rev. Mitchell C. Hescox, Repub CEO of Evangelical Environmental Network; PLUS: Latest on SC church massacre; Limbaugh's lie about the Pope...
'Green News Report' 6/18/15
The Pope's unprecedented call for climate action; RWers freak out about it; India goes solar in big way; PLUS: Trump's running, thinks global warming is a hoax...
GOP's World of Trump: 'BradCast' 6/17/15
Has Trump blown up the GOP primary? Is he more than just a joke? Is he the Frankenstein Monster created by 40 years of Reaganism and Fox 'News'? Callers weigh in on that, Bernie Sanders and more!...
RW Radio Rescues Limbaugh in Boston
More wingnut welfare and Heart-less abuse of our public airwaves for corporate profit as Premiere radio uses it's corporate-owned station to save the failing Rush...
The GOP's New 'Frankenstein's Monster': 'BradCast' 6/16/15
Heather Digby Parton on Trump as 'culmination of 30 years of American Dream propaganda' by the Right; Plus: 'Dickensian' Kansas; Politifact fail...
TRUMP: THE CANDIDATE
Sure, he's a clown and the latest into the 2016 GOP clown car. But 'misunderstimate' his candidacy at your peril...
'Pope Francis: The Encyclical' (The Movie)
The Pope kicks climate ass, takes climate names...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
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...

Okay --- so the moment was a week or two ago.
Sue me, I was busy.
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2005 12:22pm PT  

A terrific (and very funny) Inauguration Day video mash-up from John Wellington Ennis' new blog Toolz of the New School.

John is just one of the many emerging patriots who have taken it upon themselves to be the media. Or, as his one-line bio describes him, he's "a director and producer who, after the election, couldn't take it anymore."

Good to have you in the growing club, John. Sorry it had to come to this. But, keep up the good work!

Now go watch his very fine video vandalism. Then do your part and help spread the word (as usual, the "Email it to someone!" link below makes that very easy!)

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Not Compassionate. Not Conservative. Not surprising.
Is there anything honest about this guy??
By Brad Friedman on 2/7/2005 8:06pm PT  

As mentioned...we're starting slow with more of the actual fun stuff still on our "desk" for the coming days.

For now though, a number of you have sent links re: Bush's latest anything-but-compassionate and anything-but-conservative budget presented today to Congress.

We're no experts, but from what we've read, it looks to be the usual masterpiece of bait-and-switch that we've come to expect from the current slicker-than-Willie occupants of 1600 Penn. Ave.

Below is a quick rundown from what just a few critics are saying. (In other words, analysis from people who have actually read the budget and crunched the numbers...rather than taking Fox "News" Channel's word for it.)

From Business Week's piece titled "Wanted: An Honest Budget"...

It gets worse. The President is sure to ask Congress to make permanent his previous tax cuts. At the same time he is proposing a five-year budget instead of the usual 10-year plan. That means most of the fiscal impact of his tax cuts won't be felt until he leaves office. And then it will be severe. [emphasis added] If all the 2001 and 2002 tax cuts are made permanent, the deficit will rise by an additional $45 billion in 2009. In 2012, the hit to the deficit will grow to $300 billion. President Bush may succeed in his goal of cutting the deficit in half by the end of his Administration, but he could easily leave behind a fiscal disaster that will drive interest rates higher and the dollar much lower.

From Alan Fram of AP:

President Bush proposed a $2.57 trillion budget Monday that would erase scores of programs and slice Medicaid, disabled housing and many more but still worsen federal deficits by $42 billion over the next five years.
...
Forty-eight education programs would be eliminated, including one for ridding drugs from schools...and grants to communities hiring police officers.
...
"It's a budget that focuses on results," Bush told reporters after meeting with his Cabinet. "The taxpayers of America don't want us spending our money into something that's not achieving results."

Yet largely because of Bush's plans for a defense buildup, this year's Iraq and Afghanistan war costs, and a handful of new tax cuts, the budget shows that deficits over the five years ending in 2010 would total nearly $1.4 trillion.

That is $42 billion worse than they would be if the government continued current spending levels and made no tax-law changes other than making permanent his already enacted tax cuts, his budget tables showed.

If these are the results he's looking for, one must wonder what his goals really are. Or do we have to wonder anymore?

Finally, BRAD BLOG's 2004 Man-of-the-Year, John Conyers, issued a statement today that gets to the heart of the matter (or the lack of heart, as the case may be). He criticizes Bush "for Snubbing Veterans, Slashing Law Enforcement, and for Turning his Back on Vicitms, Civil Rights, and Election reform".

It's the slap in the face against veterans --- during a time of War and $40 Million Inauguration parties --- that most sticks in our craw, and apparently in those of several callers even to Rush Limbaugh's show this morning.

As Conyers' statement puts it:

The President has turned the American economy from bad to worse. After four years of offering tax cuts for his richest friends and turning our surplus into deficits, the President has continued his trend of slashing important government programs. He is particularly cold-hearted in his treatment of veterans, those soldiers who fought bravely in wars he started. The President actually is going to charge veterans who lost limbs or suffered other trauma to pay $250 per year for prescription medications; their monthly copay would more than double to $15. The President's proposal is a slap in the face to soldiers making unimaginable sacrifices to serve our country.

But Conyers, as expected, notices what so many others --- Democrats and Republicans --- are already overlooking in their rich criticism of this should-be-dead-on-arrival budget:

Unfortunately, the President's plan does not stop there. This budget goes one step further to completely phase out election reform in the states. Despite the fact that this country has seen two presidential elections in a row plagued with voting irregularities and machine errors, the President wants to eliminate grants to states for election reform.

You bet he does.

Anyone surprised yet?

If you haven't already, please join the Revolution.

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By Brad Friedman on 2/6/2005 2:25pm PT  

The text below the above picture in the LA Times says:

First Day on the Job
U.S. Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales, the first Latino to become the nation's top law enforcement officer, greets Justice Department workers. He said combating terrorism remained the department's priority. "But we will do so in a way that's consistent with our values," he said.

That's precisely what we're worried about, Mr. Gonzales.

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By Brad Friedman on 2/6/2005 2:18pm PT  

It was rough going as we started sneezing about an hour out of the gate on Interstate 15 on our way up to interview senor Curtis at the Freedom Cinema Festival, and we've been under the weather ever since.

I suppose travelling across the country and up and down mountains isn't necessarily the best thing for a sloggy headcold and everytime we think we've shaken it (to quote Michael Corleone) "they keep pullin' me back in."

So with our health way below what it ought to have been after a couple of weeks away from "the job", and mountains of unanswered Email to climb and Velvet Revolutions to wage, we'll be starting slowly I guess. But a path is built one stone at a time. And so we begin again. Year number two.

A quick word of thanks to both our friends Fin and Winter Patriot for keeping the joint in such tip-top shape over the last coupla weeks. As much as I was draggin' ass throughout my travels, at least I was able to rest easy knowing the two of them were fighting the good fight and keeping things in good order here while I was otherwise occupied.

Please be sure to visit both of their excellent blogs regularly. Winter Patriot's is right here. Fin's What We Know is right here.

Aside from lending me a hand, I'm hoping they each had enough fun that they'll consider doing it again in the future if/when I'm pulled away by other projects and/or distractions. Several of which --- if some touchstones made at the FCF bear fruit --- just may be on the horizon.

But more on all of that, news from Clint Curtis in UT and beyond, and much more to come as we crank up again. Slowly.

NOTE TO MR. FEENEY: Yup, I'm back. Didja miss me?

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By Brad Friedman on 1/29/2005 11:17pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from Park City, UT)

Today's event with Clint Curtis and myself at the Freedom Cinema Festival in Park City (at the Sundance Festival) went very well. Were I not still as sick as I am, and exhausted to boot, I might have more details to share.

For now, suffice to say, the event was a blast and there were a few folks there who seemed to take great interest in the story, touched base with both myself and Clint after the event, and may help move things forward in various ways in the near future. The interview was covered with a three-camera video shoot. So if the FCF folks are able to get it edited and posted in the next week or so, I'll be sure to link to it, of course. More on all of that as things develop, and as I get both my brain and body back.

So the long (and hopefully slow) trek back to L.A. begins tomorrow. We hope it will take quite a while. We need it. For the duration then, Winter Patriot and Fin are still on active guest-blogger duties here at The BRAD BLOG. We continue to appreciate their efforts in my "absence" as I slowly amble back to Hollywood and stay away from the net as much as humanly possible.

Until then, for those who may be interested, here are my opening remarks from today's event/interview which helped tee up the festivities and which also serve nicely as a several-days-late milestone marker for The BRAD BLOG's First Anniversary year-in-review...

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

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Tom is Having a Town Hall Meeting on Monday!
And a few other quick notes from the Freedom Cinema Festival at Sundance...
By Brad Friedman on 1/29/2005 1:28am PT  

(Blogged by Brad on the road from Park City, UT)

I've been largely off-line all week as promised, but have had the opportunity to check in hither and yon for a few minutes at a time to see that our friends Winter Patriot and Fin are doing a swell job of keeping things lively around the joint in my absense. Thank you, guys! The time-off is doing me wonders and has allowed me to instantly catch a headcold upon my first hour off and I haven't been able to shake it since.

Nonetheless...I had to jump in momentarily to pass on just a few quick notes (much more upon my return later next week)...

Of most notable note, I've just been informed via Email that our friend Congressman Tom Feeney, Republican of the 24th Florida Congressional district, will be dishing it out is having a Townhall Meeting in Apopka, FL this Monday night! Apopka is, I am told by sources, "basically on the western edge of his Jerrymandered voting district".

I presume he'll be taking questions, so this is an URGENT notice to all BRAD BLOG readers within walking, running, driving or flying distance of Apopka, FL to stop on by and ask Mr. Feeney any questions you may have for him!

If you're able to make it by, please report back to me via Email on the proceedings!

BRAD BLOG readers familiar with the Clint Curtis story should have no problem coming up with interesting questions to try and ask Jeb Bush's former running mate and the alleged Vote-Rigging Software Conspirator in public. Here's just one you might try:

Mr. Feeney, why did you ask your attorneys to threaten the weekly newspaper The Seminole Chronicle with a lawsuit after they reported on the affidavit and sworn testimony of Clint Curtis who alleged you conspired to create vote-rigging software at Yang Enterprises when you were their corporate counsel and registered lobbyist? Wouldn't it have been less disingenous to actually sue Clint Curtis if his claims were "false and defamatory" as you suggest, since he's the one who has actually made the charges against you, instead of a newspaper that was simply doing its job of reporting on public matters of record to its local readers?

You get the idea. Hopefully there will be press on hand to share the proceedings with everyone! Go see what you can do! It's your democracy, dammit! So if you're in Florida this week, go use it!

Other Quick Notes from the Freedom Cinema Festival here at Sundance...

  • My live interview with Clint Curtis is scheduled for 4:45pm tomorrow (Saturday) as mentioned. If you're in the area, come on up the mountain! The weather's fine and I'd love to say hello!
  • Curtis arrived in town today and we were able to meet face-to-face for the first time. We had an interesting dinner touching on quite a few details that our previous phone conversations had not allowed. As promised, there is still much more to come on the Clint Curtis affair in the not-too-distant future. Sorry for the tease, but it's just too late to go into details for the moment. But I did want to mention: More to come.
  • I tried to grab as many of the questions you guys posted here in comments that you wanted me to ask him. I will do so as time allows at tomorrow's event. I gave him no previews. I'll try to outline his answers to them as best as possible in an item upon returning next week.
  • The Freedom Cinema Festival folks are doing a tremendous job; jam-packing the festival wall-to-wall with all sorts of fascinating films and speakers...Kudos to FCF for a great job and tireless effort in only their second year up here. Hopefully there will be many more to come!
  • Amongst the notable events I've been able to catch...Greg Palast's film, Bush Family Fortunes, screened yesterday and I was able to chat briefly with him afterwards about a few things. A compelling documentary, though for my money, he seemed more interested in selling merchandise and talking to the cameras than fighting the bad guys. Perhaps that's just me. I'll just leave it at that for now.
  • Danny Schecter's Weapons of Mass Distraction doc on the corporate media's rollover for the Bush Administration and their culpability in helping them mount and wage an unnecessary and ill-concieved war is very well done. Schecter's efforts to fight the bad guys tirelessly over a 35+ year career is exceedingly admirable.
  • Angela Shelton's Searching for Angela Shelton was remarkable and extraordinarily courageous. She was molested by her father, along with her step-sister and step-brother, and went about making a film tracking other Angela Sheltons across America. Of the 40 woman who shared her name that she was able to track down and interview, 24 of them had been either raped, beaten or molested. The film's penultimate interview with her father in complete denial was stunning. I hope this film is able to get further exposure. Some incredible and gutsy filmmaking.
  • There's a quick update for you with enough juice to hopefully give both Fin and Winter Patriot a much deserved breather over the weekend.

    I look forward to being back on the job soon...Though not too soon.

    Thanks everyone for your notes of support and best wishes. I'll need them all to get over this headcold enough to have a voice for an hour or so at tomorrows event!

    As Winter Patriot says I say: Keep making noise out there!

    I shall return.

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    A Live BRAD BLOG / Freedom Cinema Festival Event!
    PLUS: I'm outta here! (for a bit) & Happy Anniversary to Us!
    By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2005 8:10pm PT  

    I will be appearing this Saturday, Jan 29th at the Freedom Cinema Festival with Clint Curtis in a live event co-sponsored by The BRAD BLOG. It'll be my first time meeting him in person, and it should be a fun afternoon/evening. (Don't worry, I'm told security will be very good).

    The festival takes place in Park City, UT smack-dab in the middle of the Sundance Festival. So if any of you are in the area, please be sure to come on by and say hello after the event! There is a ton of terrific political films, events and speakers scheduled, including Greg Palast and Danny Shecter, and, of course, me, so come on by! Click the link above --- or better yet --- the advertisement for the festival at left for more info!

    As I'll be interviewing Curtis live, I'd love to open up this comment thread for any questions you might like me to ask Curtis directly from The BRAD BLOG denizens during the event! If they're ones I haven't thought of, I'll try and get the goods for ya straight from the whistleblowers mouth.

    I'm told the event will be videotaped, so we'll try and link it up next week upon our return if possible.

    And finally...After nearly six months of nearly non-stop 24/7 bloggin' to save the world, countless stories broken, and buckets of muck raked, I'm gonna attempt to use this opportunity to take a slow roadtrip to UT and back and try and get a much needed break here for a week (or so).

    Tomorrow, by the way, will be the One Year Anniversary for The BRAD BLOG. What a short strange trip it's been. Thank you all for your support every step of the way. I'd say something more poetic, but I gotta get outta here. So that's that until next year!

    I hope you'll forgive my absense (I know Tom Feeney will) for a bit, as I will be attempting to stay away from all things net for as long as possible. We'll see how well I do. I may just jump in from the road as events warrant. But I hope they won't warrant. And I hope there's no net.

    Until then, BRAD BLOG stalwart and official typo-corrector, Winter Patriot (of the fine eponymously- named blog and friend Fin (of the superb and silly What We Know blog) may jump in and do some guest-blogging and/or open thread-posting.

    Please be nice to them, and keep a good eye on democracy while I'm gone! I would like it to be in much better shape than when I left it! So keep making noise in favor of Truth, Justice and the American Way over at Velvet Revolution while I'm gone as well! And stand by for some trouble-making over there when I return which I believe you will enjoy as well!

    (To all the Emailers, forgive my inability to reply while I'm gone, much as you forgive my inability to reply when I'm here!)

    Peace.

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    Same Models as Those Which Lost 4,400 Votes in NC!
    Unusually High Rate of 'Undervotes' in both States on Same Machines.
    By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2005 7:11am PT  

    After November 2nd, 2004, there were increasing reports from elections officials, small local papers, and, yes, bloggers who had bothered to studiously examine official election results, The New York Times published several articles labelling such concerns by Americans as "conspiracy theories".

    So we sent them a list of "15 Unanswered Questions" --- all of them based on hard evidence --- that we'd hope they'd investigate and report on to the American people. That was on November 21st, 2004.

    One of those questions concerned a single county in North Carolina which had used the UniLect voting machine and, as we reported on November 4th, 2004, had completely lost a full 4,438 votes. Those lost votes later spawned a Special Election in Cartaret County, NC to re-vote some of the local issues because of it.

    We had asked suggested to The Times that such hard facts were hardly "conspiracy theories" and we had hoped they'd be able to investigate and report on which other states and counties had been using the identical UniLect machines which --- company officials admitted --- had contained memory chips that stored fewer votes than they had told state officials.

    Since UniLect machines were also in use in Ohio, we thought it was a particularly germane point. But apparently The Times didn't agree. They neither investigated, nor reported on the matter to our knowledge.

    And now, months after the election, and days after the inaugural, The Charlotte Observer reports this morning that the same model of UniLect machines used in North Carolina were also in use in Pennsylvania and seem to have lost votes there as well [emphasis added]:

    Local and state officials in Pennsylvania are examining malfunctions and questions with voting machines in three counties --- the same model machine that lost more than 4,400 votes in North Carolina.

    "We continue to be uncertain about these machines," said Michael Coulter, who heads an independent committee examining voting machine mishaps in Mercer County, Pa., where he said machines in 13 precincts erased some voters' choices.

    Mercer County, as well as Beaver and Greene counties, along the Ohio border, use the Unilect Patriot voting machine, an electronic mechanism that does not produce a paper ballot and is the same model that lost 4,438 votes in Carteret County, along the N.C. coast.

    As well as lost and erased votes, there was also an unusually high rate of "undervotes" on the Presidential ballot where those machines were in use [emphasis again added] ...

    All three of the western Pennsylvania counties recorded a high percentage of "undervotes" for president, which is when a voter doesn't vote in that race. Mercer County's undervote was 7.8 percent, four times higher than in 2000, when they used old, lever machines.

    In North Carolina, state lawmakers are scrutinizing why more than 10 percent of Burke County voters were recorded as not making a choice in the presidential race, an "undervote" rate that is four to five times as high as nearly all the other counties in the state. Burke and Carteret are the only N.C. counties that use Unilect machines.
    ...
    [M]achines in 13 of Mercer's 100 precincts would let a voter select candidates in the races on several pages of the ballot and highlight the choice, but when the voter reached the sixth page the highlighting disappeared and all the candidates were unselected. The voter's choices had vanished.

    "The voter's choices had vanished."

    And we remind you again, The New York Times didn't find it necessary to look into which counties in Ohio used these same machines, if there were any lost votes or an unusually high rate of "undervotes" on them, presumably because such notions were simply the "conspiracy theories" of "leftist bloggers" as they had described them at the time.

    That despite just 60,000 or so of 5.5 million in a single state (Ohio) which would have completely flipped a United States Presidential Election.

    Repeating: Election officials and the voting machine manufacturer admit that 4,438 votes were entirely lost in just one North Carolina county where UniLect machines were used.

    Repeating: UniLect machines were also in use in Ohio.

    We will continue to press both the Mainstream Media, the States and the Voting Machine Companies to better serve the American Public whom they are failing to adequately serve at this time. But just in case you wonder why --- on January 23rd, 2005 --- this information is finally being reported by The Observer at all, it is because of inquiries in Pennsylvania that were demanded by the voters who spoke up, made noise, and created a petition to force their elected officials into taking action:

    Their inquiry was prompted not by Election Day glitches, but by a petition sent by voters in Beaver County who suggested the machines were susceptible to fraud and tampering.

    Your voice does matter. When you speak up.

    We've set up VelvetRevolution.us to help you do that. Please visit and sign-up (it's free!), so you can speak up, make noise and take part in some upcoming actions that will be announced there in the coming weeks.

    Count on no one but yourselves to make a difference.

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    BRAD BLOG: Thanks for the Three Month Old News...
    Where Were You BEFORE the Election When This News Mattered?
    By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2005 10:45pm PT  

    Just out from Reuters, three months after it happened...

    The White House has scrapped its list of Iraq allies known as the coalition of the willing, which Washington used to back its argument that the 2003 invasion was a multilateral action.

    A senior US administration official, wishing to remain anonymous, says the White House replaced the 45-member coalition list with a smaller roster of 28 countries with troops in Iraq sometime after the June transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government.

    The official could not say when or why the administration did away with the list of the coalition of the willing.

    We, however, can tell you both when and why.

    We, however, cannot tell you when the MSM became such miserable failures at their jobs, or why it is that some jerk with a blog who works for no salary in a smoky little office in Los Angeles seems to be able to report --- when it still actually matters --- on issues that effect both America and the entire world.

    (If you feel sorry for us due to that snarky "no salary" comment above, feel free to make a donation here in order to immediately ease your pangs of guilt ;-)

    ReddIt this story!



    WaPo Veep: 'All We Want is Tickets to the Balls'
    BRAD BLOG: 'They're Yours'
    By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2005 7:53pm PT  

    The Washington Post, which recently donated $100,000 to President Bush's inaugural, was granted rare high-level access yesterday in the form of a coveted presidential interview. A spokesman insisted there was no connection, but one grizzled media observer, who requested anonymity so he could still submit op-eds to the paper, said: "Let's face it, the whole thing reeks."

    The above was not actually written by us, but by The Post's Howard Kurtz last week in a WaPo article headlined "Influence Being Peddled!"

    His piece, which followed-up a front-page article the previous day headlined "Big-Money Contributors Line Up for Inauguration" postulates how terrible it might look "if some blogger" led one of their items with just such a charge. So, Howard, consider it done.

    [ed. Note: We've linked the MSNBC version of the original WaPo article above. It has a slightly different headline than the one in WaPo, but does not require a free sign-up to read. The Kurtz response in WaPo is unfortunately not posted on the MSNBC site.]

    In regard to the Post's original page-one condemnation (explanation? apology? justification?) of the corporate glad-handing to the Bush Administration, which they themselves have done as well, Kurtz quotes from the pieces list of "well-heeled, favor-seeking supporters", and then says...

    And there was this: "Practically all the major donors have benefited from Bush administration policies."

    Oh, and by the way: The Washington Post Co. forked over $100,000.

    So what the hell exactly does The Washington Post thinks it's doing by contributing $100,000 to the Bush/Cheney inauguration?!

    Kurtz admits "the appearance is awful", but to his credit, he tried to get some answers...

    Not to worry, the company has an explanation: "We make clear to one and all that all we want is tickets to the balls for our major corporate advertisers," Post Co. Vice President Patrick Butler, who is quoted in the piece, told me.
    ...
    Courting advertisers may be the motivation, but the appearance is awful. After all, the practice is deemed unsavory enough to warrant a Page 1 piece in The Post Co.'s newspaper.

    The company has business interests that are affected by administration policies. It owns a bunch of television stations that have FCC licenses, for example. So are we being asked to believe that the Bush administration will not notice that The Washington Post Co. was neighborly enough to cough up 100K for the inaugural bashes? We --- meaning journalists who work in the newsroom --- don't believe that other corporations and trade associations give such contributions without expecting anything in return. In fact, we write about this sort of thing all the time, including yesterday.

    And our corporate parent is now playing the same game.

    So we appreciate, in this case, his willingness to call his corporate bosses on the carpet, but it hardly gets WaPo off the hook for this appalling business practice.

    If we accept the explanation at face value --- that this is merely to provide major advertisers with "free tickets to the balls" --- then we're led to wonder who these advertisers are for which WaPo is willing to float $100,000 worth of tickets for.

    Are they willing to post a list of the companies that benefited from this corporate gift?

    Shouldn't we have that knowledge when next we read a story in their paper which may concern or affect one of those advertisers?

    Do they believe that explanation should assuage our concerns for their impartiality in the future when reporting on affairs in Bush administration?

    Their front-pager from last week fails to touch --- beyond a cursory mention that a donation had been made --- on what it was that WaPo had hoped to gain from the donation.

    That question seems particular key since, as the article admits, "Practically all the major donors have benefited from Bush administration policies."

    And also, should we now take closer notice that the article was co-written by Jeffrey Birnbaum, whose impartiality is already in grave doubt due to his association with the Republican Fox "News" Channel as an official salaried "Fox News contributor"?

    Unfortunately, we came across this item too late today to get comment or answers to the above questions from The Post. We'll be on the road for the next week or so, and therefore unable to properly follow up. But we do hope some of the other responsible media sources out there (Hello, RAW STORY?) might be able to push for a more palatable and detailed response to some of the above questions than the one offered in the Kurtz piece.

    It should be noted that Kurtz points out that WaPo made similar donations to Clinton's inaugural in '93 and '97, along with Bush's in '01.

    It should also be noted that we don't give a damn about that and would like such --- theoretically --- impartial media sources as WaPo to have both propriety and appearance of same no matter which Administration they have a duty to report on for the American people.

    Their coverage of affairs in D.C. and beyond is already under deservedly close scrutiny by "the new media" folks like us. We have criticized and will continue to criticize them for their continuing failures to cover the news that Americans need to know about.

    We'd recommend, however, that they not make it any easier for those on the Right (who already opportunistically, inaccurately and cynically label them as part of the "Liberal Media") or those on the Left (who already find their coverage sorely and criminally wanting) to tar them with the brush of bias in a media world where they are already rapidly sliding towards dinosaur status.

    A $100,000 gift to the Bush Administration, re-gifted as another $100,000 gift to major corporate allies and partners, does not bode well for a deceleration of The Washington Post's unfortunate descent towards irrelevance in a swiftly changing media landscape.

    ReddIt this story!



    A Fox "News" Inaugural Meltdown...
    By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2005 12:32pm PT  

    "When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated...during a time of war as you know...he had a very modest inauguration and a very tiny party where chicken salad was served. And that was when we were winning a war..." --- Judy Bachrach, Vanity Fair contributing editor manages to slip the truth onto Fox "News".

    We have a feeling one of their guest bookers is about to fired.

    Oliver Willis has the entire tale of the tape.

    (Thanks BRAD BLOG commenters Nana and Toni for the tip!)

    ReddIt this story!



    A Patriotic Commemorative Photographic Tribute...
    Still Uniting Not Dividing!...From Sea to Shining Sea!...And Beyond!
    By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2005 2:32am PT  

    UPDATE: Thanks to all of those who have linked to the following photo essay.

    Late last night, I was remembering having watched the scenes of protesters during the first inaugural parade in Fahrenheit 9/11. As I watched those scenes I had thought to myself, "I can't believe I had no idea that such protests had even occurred that day!" And I had watched virtually all of the "wall-to-wall coverage" of the inaugural back in 2001!

    The Mainstream Media failed us then, and I have since learned well how they are failing us now.

    It would be a travesty for people to remain similarly unaware of the hundreds of thousands who spoke out yesterday against a failed President who had to cheat to "win" and whose claims of having received a "mandate" are as arrogantly fallacious as having claimed to have been "a uniter, not a divider". So, though it took quite a while very late at night to collect the following, I was girded in the process by remembering the importance for all of us now to "Be the Media". It must be done.

    To that end, you too must do your part. The wingnut cabal preys on ignorance. Don't allow that to happen. Pass the link to these photos around. Hitting the "Send it to someone!" button is a convenient way to do your part. Don't be fooled. It's up to nobody but us at this point. - BF

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

    ReddIt this story!



    Sun Myung Moon Owned Paper Comes to Defense of George
    By Brad Friedman on 1/20/2005 5:22pm PT  

    As we alluded to a day or so ago, Sun Myung Moon, owner of Republican "Newspaper" The Washington Times, spiritual head of the Unification Church and self-proclaimed Messiah, reportedly glad-handed some $250,000 to the Bush Inaugural Committee disguised as a donation from a company called "The Washington Television Center".

    With all of the recent criticism of the Bush Administration throwing a $50 million inaugural during a time of war, it seems that the White House organ, The Washington Times, has now ridden late to the defense of their friends in the Administration by employing some fuzzy math about the "price" of the inaugural.

    They've fallen back on the old "Clinton did it" routine notable as the defense employed for all indefensible Bush and/or Republican actions. They had to lie to do it.

    RAW STORY has the story from Salon.com.

    By the way, according to Ken Bode, that $250,000 from Moon --- the price of an inaugural lunch ticket with Bush/Cheney --- could have fully armored 10 Humvee's in Iraq. $50 Million could have fully armored 2000 of them. (Not to mention the $10 - $20 million spent on security today and the cost of giving everyone in DC a federal holiday.)

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 1/20/2005 10:27am PT  

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2005 6:18pm PT  

    ReddIt this story!



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