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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, August 3, 2015
At Least Six Ways to Hack the 2016 Election: 'BradCast' 7/31/15
With computer security expert Michael Gregg; Plus: 'Paper of record' keeps digging; Gullible global warming trolls; MORE...
NYTimes Blows It Again: 'BradCast' 7/30/15
Eric Boehlert of Media Matters on the latest fiasco by the 'paper of record' (and how it always hurts Dems); Also: Medicare turns 50; Trump dominates GOP (loses to Dems)...
'Green News Report' 7/30/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Portland activists blocking Arctic drilling; Wildfires explode across West, getting much worse around world; PLUS: The killing of Cecil the Lion ignites a firestorm of controversy...
Previous GNRs: 7/28/15 - 7/21/15 - Archives...
Michael Mann on 'Bombshell' New Report on Sea Level Rise: 'BradCast' 7/29/15
'Uncertainty, it turns out, was reason to act even faster,' says the Nobel Prize winning climate scientist...
Trump, 'Spousal Rape',
and His Horrible Attorney:
'BradCast' 7/28/15
Plus: Hacks, election debates, pipelines, spying, GOP approval ratings and much more...
'Green News Report' 7/28/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Hillary goes big on solar; Jeb wants to eliminate ALL energy subsidies; PLUS: New study suggests worst case sea level rise may happen much sooner than previously thought...
Previous GNRs: 7/21/15 - 7/23/15 - Archives...
Hillary's Climate Plan & the Awful Truth About It: 'BradCast' 7/27/15
Journalist David Roberts of Vox.com; Plus: Bernie beats all GOPers; Trump continues to surge; MUCH MORE...
U.S. House Passes Bill to Block 'Right to Know' About GMOs
Despite recent scientific findings on dangers of GMOs, failure of existing governmental testing standards, Repubs lead fight to keep you in the dark about what's in your food...
Sunday Toons: Guns Trump All
Also in this week's collection from 'PDiddie': Sandra Bland, Donald Trump, Iran, Climate Science and Planned Parenthood...
High Times for Pot Biz; Plus: More Shootings, More Trump: 'BradCast' 7/24/15
Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project joins us to discuss some encouraging news. Also: The Lafayette theater shooting; Perry's felonies; and Trump cracks the code...
Kansas SoS Kobach Defrauding Voters; FBI Whistleblower Coleen Rowley on 'Terrorism': 'BradCast' 7/23/15
A big show. But even bigger when our guest is a TIME Mag Person of the Year!...
'Green News Report' 7/23/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
OH's Kasich jumps into 2016 GOP race - we decipher his climate position; Dem candidate links global warming to ISIS - Fox goes nuts; PLUS: Two CA Guvs slam climate deniers...
Previous GNRs: 7/21/15 - 7/16/15 - Archives...
The Woman Who Led the #BlackLivesMatter Protest Against Sanders & O'Malley in AZ: 'BradCast' 7/22/15
Tia Oso on why she did it and reaction from progressives. Plus: Hillary in trouble? MORE...
Who the Hell is John Kasich and Why is He Running for Prez?: 'BradCast' 7/21/15
Journalist John Michael Spinelli of Ohio's PlunderBund; Plus: Trump soars in polls!...
'Green News Report' 7/21/15
Extreme weather whips CA - bridges collapse and cars burn; June 2015 hottest on record; PLUS: Record warming in Pacific kicks hurricane season off to record start...
America's Top Psychological Org Colluded w/ Bush on Torture: 'BradCast' 7/20/15
Dr. Yosef Brody of Psychologists for Social Responsibility; Plus: Progressive protesters disrupt Sanders; Trump disrupts himself...
Sunday Toons: Plutocracy is Not a Planet
Plus: 'Jade Helm'; Cosby; Iran; Greece and the rest of last week's messes in cartoon form, as curated by 'PDiddie'...
Mother of All GOP Voter Suppression Laws on Trial in NC: 'BradCast' 7/17/15
Nation's Ari Berman, at the trial this week, joins us. Plus: More on Walker/WI corruption & Maine's dumb Guv!...
Walker Wins & Democracy Loses (Again. Big Time.): 'BradCast' 7/16/15
We don't use the phrase 'death of democracy' lightly. But there's good reason to today. Brendan Fischer explains today's outrageous ruling by WI's corrupt Supreme Court...
'Green News Report' 7/16/15
Graham chides fellow GOPers on climate; Cap & trade nets big bucks for states; Dirty coal on the way out in U.S.; PLUS: Boy band joins climate movement...
Iran, Trump Rising & Confederate Monument Worth Keeping?: 'BradCast' 7/15
We cover a lot of ground today, plus listener calls and more (including Brad wrestling w/ tech probs, which is always amusing -- for you!)...
Chart of the Moment: You v. Donor Class
Wondering why you can't have nice things? This is why...
Not a Dime's Worth of Difference? Really?: 'BradCast' 7/14/15
Iran nuke deal; Then Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser on what really separates the two major parties...
'Green News Report' 7/14/15
Scott Walker's in! Here's his climate position; Warmest June ever for the Western U.S.; Exxon knew about global warming in 1981; PLUS: Latest denialist scam debunked...
Debunking New 'Mini Ice Age' Scam; Man Who Punked Scott Walker: 'BradCast' 7/13/15
Guests: Physicist Joe Romm; Ian 'David Koch' Murphy...
#FeelTheBern
Sanders is drawing crowds far larger than any other candidate, Dem or Repub, in the race for the 2016 Presidential nomination...
Stories Behind the Stories: On Confederate Flag, Trump, Marriage: 'BradCast' 7/10/15
Facts behind the headlines you may not have heard! Also: More on nation's dumbest Guv; Listener complaint...
Good Election & Campaign Finance News!: 'BradCast' 7/9/15
Prof. David Schultz on new rulings and how campaign finance can be reformed right now!; Plus: SC, Trump...
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...

Wows Larger-Than-Expected Crowd at Invitation-Only Capital Hill Event!
By Brad Friedman on 2/9/2005 5:26pm PT  

Just in minutes ago from a source attending an invitation-only event at the Capital City Brewery next to Union Station in D.C.

With the last of the challengers for DNC chair now having dropped out of the race, an invitation went out just last night for "A Grassroots Celebration with Governor Howard Dean" organized by Democracy for America.

The crowd was so much larger than expected (the source estimates 2000 were there), that Dean moved outside to make his speech.

Below are some of the excerpts we were able to transcribe via the live cell phone connection from our source who was standing just next to the good doctor during his impromptu speech:

We're gonna change almost everything...We had the best grassroots organizations I've ever seen during our campaign, but it wasn't enough...We're gonna change that.

We have to NEVER be afraid to say what we believe! [HUGE CHEERS]

The people of this country are extraordinary exceptional people. 95% percent of the people want the same thing...Whatever category you think you fit into...We want to be respected in the world, not just have the strongest military in the world...We want jobs and job opportunities and to keep them in America. We want economic security...The largest number of personal bankruptcies are because of people who have medical emergencies, even those with insurance...We want to improve our public school system so we have the same chances our parents and grandparents had.

We're gonna do a lot of things together, because I can't do anything without all of you...This is your party, not mine.

But above all, we need not just to organize, not just to raise money, we need to stand up and speak up for what is right!

I will never use rhetoric that is used to divide America merely to win elections...We will never divide one American from another in order to win. If we do that, we will not be able to make an improvement once we get here.

...Take a look behind me (pointing to U.S. Capital Building)...In 2006 we're gonna make major strides in taking that building back and in 2008 it'll be a Democrat walking up Pennsylvania to take the oath of office! [CROWD WENT WILD]

We're not big Democrats around here these days. But we're big supporters of Dean, and couldn't give a crap what the detractors say (and boy, will we be hearing a lot from them now! We suggest you ignore them and smile in their general direction!), he's the man to change the party into something that's worth fighting for. Let's see if he can do it.

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By Brad Friedman on 2/9/2005 5:01pm PT  

I've posted important updates to two different stories from yesterday.

One is on the story of Yang offering Curtis $1 Million to come back and "work" for them in a No-Show job. The update now includes actual evidence of Curtis having told this story to the now-deceased FDOT Inspector General Raymond Lemme back in April of 2002. A piece of that recently uncovered evidentiary report is now included to partly corroborate Curtis' story on the matter. The updated story is here.

And the New Times Broward-Palm Beach story on Clint Curtis has now published. A link to the very good story online, and a quick comment or two from yours truly (what did you expect?) are available via the original item from yesterday.

No comments link on this thread so you can post any you may have at the appropriate story.

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The Bush-Supporting Journalist goes on Record in 'Vanity Fair'
And Congressional Republicans Begin to Question Blackwell!
By Brad Friedman on 2/9/2005 1:05pm PT  

The Nashua Advocate --- which has been doing some excellent reporting on Election Irregularity stories for some months --- breaks the news of Christopher Hitchens' story in the March 2005 Vanity Fair finally joining the chorus of folks questioning the Ohio results.

The subscription-only magazine lists the article in their contents as such:

OHIO'S ODD NUMBERS Are the stories of voter suppression and rigged machines in Ohio to be believed? Christopher Hitchens presents "non-wacko" evidence that something went seriously awry on Election Day.

The Advocate offers some quotes from the VF piece, as well as a few quotes from Hitchens in the past regarding George W. Bush.

Since we are otherwise busy working on some other stories, we associate ourselves with their reporting on this matter for the moment.

A quick quote from the Hitchens story via The Advocate:

Whichever way you shake it, or hold it up to the light, there is something wrong about the Ohio election that refuses to add up. The sheer number of irregularities compelled a formal recount, which was completed in late December and which came out much the same as the original one, with 176 fewer votes for George Bush. But this was a meaningless exercise in reassurance, since there is simply no means of checking, for example, how many "vote hops" the computerized machines might have performed unnoticed....there is one soothing explanation that I don't trust anymore.

Hitchens was one of the many nay-sayers about Election Irregularities in the past. Here he is in a previous post-election story in Slate:

Many are the cheap and easy laughs in which one could indulge at the extraordinary, pitiful hysteria of the defeated Democrats.

...And finally then, here's Hitch on John Kerry:

"I did not think that John Kerry should have been President of any country at any time."

The Advocate piece offers more and includes some of the Republicans in Congress who are now beginning to question Ohio's Sec. of State and Bush/Cheney Re-Elect Co-Chair, J. Kenneth Blackwelll, on his motives and behavior. Please check it, and the rest of their fine reporting, out.

UPDATE 2/21/05: The entire Hitchens article has just been posted online here.

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...And other details from Brad's Meeting with Clint Curtis in UT.
PLUS: Clint Curtis Answers Questions from BRAD BLOG Readers!
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2005 8:35pm PT  

Regular BRAD BLOG readers know that we took the opportunity of an invitation to interview Clint Curtis live at the Freedom Cinema Festival in Park City, UT, recently to grab a few days of vacation via roadtrip on the way there and back.

Persistent (but finally waning) headcold, exhaustion, and a welcome lack of net access kept us from documenting the event in any more than scant details until now.

Some of the most notable results from the event are now still in-progress. So we're somewhat reluctant for the moment to show our hand on several of those in-progress connections made until more tangible fruit is borne from the various leads.

Holding back information from devoted readers is not something I'm entirely comfortable with. But we've learned along the way --- especially when dealing with issues of the potential magnitude of the Clint Curtis story --- that it's smarter, when in doubt, to keep cards close to the vest in such cases, even at the risk of off-putting readers.

We don't like to do it. But it is, apparently, a necessary evil if we are both to make headway and retain our fairly well-earned reputation here for getting it right, respecting our sources, and not giving away the ship until we are damned good and ready to let the chips fall where they may.

So, with all of that said, we hope to offer more details on the nefarious plans hatched and fruitful connections made via the FCF event when the time is right. Be that a few days, weeks or months from now as things shape up. We'll see.

What we can report on for the moment is how things went in general, our impressions of Clint Curtis after having spent a fair amount of face-to-face time, and his answers to some of the questions sent in by BRAD BLOG commenters prior to the interview...

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

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Article to hit stands and net tomorrow!
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2005 3:05pm PT  

You thought the Clint Curtis story had run its course just because we've been otherwise distracted here over the past month by historic Congressional Electoral College challenges, Velvet Revolutions, out-of-town seminars and headcolds? Well, think again.

There are several media outfits currently looking at and/or working on stories that either report on "our story so far" or advance things a bit. Yours truly, whenever we can catch up with all of the above, to be included in that list.

Things are moving. And perhaps quickly. So we hope to catch up over the next couple of days where possible.

In the meantime, the next oufit out of the gate to touch on the Clint Curtis story will be yet another of Feeney's "hometown papers" (get those legal threat letters ready, Tom), The New Times Broward-Palm Beach, tomorrow morning in a piece by staff writer Trevor Aaronson.

The first article on the matter from The New Times B-PB --- which we have not seen but which has been described to us by a source at the paper --- reports on the several aspects of Curtis' charges against both Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) and Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI) which have already been borne out as accurate via reporting by The BRAD BLOG, The Daytona Beach News-Journal, other sources and their own original investigation of several related matters.

The bad news for Feeney is that much of the meat and potatoes of Curtis' allegations are about to receive even wider coverage in South Florida (Flashback to Curtis' affidavit [PDF] quoting YEI CEO Mrs. Yang: "You don't understand, in order to get the contract we have to hide the manipulation in the source code. This program is needed to control the vote in South Florida.")

The latest thorn in Tom Feeney's side is scheduled to hit the stands on Wednesday. We will, of course, offer a link to the online version of the article just as soon as it is made available to us. We're told it should be up by tomorrow P.M.

UPDATE 2/9/05: Aaronson's story at New Times Broward-Palm Beach is now online headlined "Pulp Nonfiction". And it's very well done. He's taken the basics of a rather complicated story, and made very readable sense of it.

We have only the smallest of quibbles with a few details, but believe they are worth mentioning here just to keep the record straight.

Aaronson writes:

On December 6, 2004, Curtis submitted to Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee a four-page affidavit detailing the meeting with Feeney.

That's true. Though they had already received it from us as the Affidavit was first submitted to us and released by The BRAD BLOG on the morning of the 6th. We, in turn, gave it to our sources on the House JC and infact set up the meeting in D.C. between Curtis and those sources in the first place.

Incidentally, we are given no credit by Aaronson for any of reporting beyond the generic mention of "Bloggers have reported on the story with idealistic conviction."

In truth, it's not really the credit that we want for ourselves in general, but in an age where bloggers like us and other Internet-only news sites (like RAW STORY, for example) are breaking stories that the corporate media is missing, and getting those stories right in the bargain, it's important that alternative newsweeklies like New Times give credit where it's due.

We believe they'd have likely given credit to a NY Times reporter had they first broken the story and continued for two months reporting new details on it regularly. And if outlets such as ours are going to receive the credibility they deserve (when they deserve it), alternative news outlets such as New Times ought to be giving us our due.

The other small, but notable quibble...Aaronson mentions in his reporting on Feeney's relationship with Yang (YEI):

"He ended the professional relationship, which had extended through all 12 years of his time in the state House, only after he was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2002...His 2002 congressional campaign even rented office space from Yang."

In truth, the relationship continues! Feeney's 2004 campaign continues to have its office and mailing address in the Yang Building as evidenced even today on Feeney's official website. (See the screenshots taken today below.) And both the Yang's, their company and their attorney O'Quinn (Feeney's longtime friend and former law partner at Fowler, Barice, Feeney and O'Quinn P.A.) were both substantial contributors to Feeney's 2004 campaign...in which Feeney ran unopposed.

None the less, it was a very well done article and we recommend you give it a read. We're sure Feeney's and YEI's attorneys will be doing so. We look forward to more investigation and reporting from Aaronson and The New Times P-BP.

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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.

    ReddIt this story!



    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.

    ReddIt this story!



    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.

    ReddIt this story!



    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!



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