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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, April 23, 2018
Senate GOP Twists Law to Gut Decades-Old Regs (Forever): 'BradCast' 4/20/18
Guest: James Goodwin of CPR: Also: DNC files Trump/Russia suit; Wells Fargo fined $1B; Memos reveal Trump wants to jail journalists...
Senate Confirms Climate Science Denier as NASA Chief: 'BradCast' 4/19/18
...and many more otherworldly reminders of the importance of elections...
'Green News Report' 4/19/18
  w/ Brad & Desi
Puerto Rico power knocked out again; Studies find Gulf Stream slowing down; New climate lawsuits for oil industry, Florida; PLUS: Earth Day 2018 focused on ending plastic pollution...
Previous GNRs: 4/17/18 - 4/12/18 - Archives...
'Dark Lord of Coal Country' Rising, GOP Panicking Before WV U.S. Senate Primary: 'BradCast' 4/18/18
Guest: Bob Kincaid; Also: McConnell says no, Mattis got Trumped, Kobach in contempt...
'Corrupt Intent': 'BradCast' 4/17/18
Guest: Former Asst. US Attorney Randall Eliason on Trump, Cohen, Mueller, indicting a sitting Prez; Also: Tax cut support falls, GOPers keep heading for the exits...
'Green News Report' 4/17/18
Federal watchdogs say EPA violated law for Admin Scott Pruitt; Senate confirms coal industry lobbyist for deputy EPA chief; PLUS: Google and Apple go 100% renewable...
Trump's Unlawful, Evidence-Free 'Mission Accomplished': 'BradCast' 4/16/18
Congress acquiesces after second US attack on Syria; Hannity revealed as secret Cohen client; Callers ring in...
Sunday Toons: 'One Raid Begets Another'
It didn't take long after Donald Trump's friend, business associate and personal lawyer was raided by the FBI for Trump to unleashes the missiles, as the cartoonists observe in PDiddie's latest collection...
As Trump Goes Ugly, How Dems Can 'Fight Dirty' to Win for the Country: 'BradCast' 4/13/18
Guest: Author David Faris on radically reform-ing 'long-term barriers to progressive power'...
Mattis: U.S. Lacks 'Actual Evidence' of Syrian Chemical Attack: 'BradCast' 4/12/18
Also: Clueless Trump to rejoin TPP?; Sinclair's abuse of public airwaves; And, why local news matters...
'Green News Report' 4/12/18
Newly unearthed docs reveal Shell knew about warming since 1950s; Dems want Pruitt to resign; EPA docs under-mine his claims; PLUS: Obama EPA chief speaks out...
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

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

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2006 12:06pm PT  

Back from a brief "working vacation," the esteemable Joseph Cannon is back with a few worthy thoughts on "conspiracy theories" as the GOP's dismissive political tool of choice these days...whenever their back is against the wall.

His thoughts were spurred, in part, by Arizona Sec. of State Jan Brewer's foolhardy shot at Election Reform advocates who loudly exercised their First Amendment Rights last week and dang near spoiled her precious re-election campaign announcement. She labeled these constituents as "anarchists" and "conspiracy theorists" as we reported that evening.

While I'm somewhat waylaid while working on several things at once of late, be sure to check in on the various anarchic trouble-makings of the conspiracy-theorist Cannon.

(In a related thought: At some point, following one Republican indictment after another on charges of conspiracy, one would think the wingnuts might want to find a fresh epithet to hurl against those of us who continue to point out their crimes long before the official indictments inevitably show up. It's up to them, of course, but I'm just sayin'...)




The BRAD BLOG apologizes for the oversight...
And we're also happy to remind readers about allegations that he attempted to rig the vote, is Tom DeLay's #1 fan and a great travelling companion for foreign agents to boot!
By Brad Friedman on 1/6/2006 12:00pm PT  

What with all this talk of Abramoff, DeLay, corruption in DC, we have a strange feeling our old friend, Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL), may soon be finding his way into the news more and more in the coming weeks and months. For those reasons (and more to come), now may be a good time to remind BRAD BLOG readers who may not have been around during the Clint Curtis affair, just how dirty this guy is!

Of course, you can read the summary of Feeney's involvement with a computer programmer in Florida who was allegedly asked by the one-time Florida House Speaker, one-time Jeb Bush running mate, now-U.S. Congressman on the House Judiciary Committee, to create Vote-Rigging Software. That summary will also give you an idea of the confirmed Chinese Spies who worked at the same firm where Feeney was a registred lobbyist (even while he was Speaker of Florida's House) and how the computer programmer, Curtis, has passed given a sworn affidavit, sworn video-taped testimony before members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and how he has passed a polygraph test concerning all of the above. All of the key articles in that series are also indexed here for convenience.

Then you can flashback to our coverage revealing that Tom Feeney was one of indicted former-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's #1 supporters! And vice versa! The two lovely Tom's are just like two peas in a corrupt pod!

So inseperable, in fact, that (in case you didn't know, we'll remind you) Tom Feeney took some of those very same Foreign Agent-funded overseas trips that DeLay did! Yup, Feeney loves his St. Andrews Golf as much as the next Tom. And trips to Asia? Don't even get us started! Here's a lovely breakdown of Feeney's trips as he was most recently listed as amongst the Top 13 "Ethically Challenged Members of Congress!"

Way to go, Tom! And we have a feeling we'll be talking much more about you in the not-too-distant future!




Republican Jan Brewer's Re-Election Announcement Interrupted by Demonstrators
Activists Object to Her Recent Decision to Allow Unsecure, Hackable Diebold Voting Machines for Use in Virtually Every Arizona Precinct!
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2006 4:38pm PT  

Perhaps it's a step up from "dissidents" as the AP once called them, but Election Transparency Advocates who turned out today at Arizona's Sec. of State Jan Brewer's speech to announce her re-election bid were labeled "anarchists" and "conspiracy theorists" by the woman who recently approved Diebold's flawed "AccuVote" touch-screen voting machines for use in virtually every precinct in the state.

During her speech today, according to the Arizona Star, "which boasted of the state getting rid of the last punch card ballots as part of her accomplishments since being elected in 2002 but one that never mentioned the Diebold contract" the Republican official in charge of ensuring free, fair and accurate elections in the state was repeatedly interrupted by advocates for transparent election who objected to the use of Diebold's failed machinery in the state.

Diebold's election equipment was recently shown to be hackable in a mock election test in Leon County, Florida, where the final results were completely flipped by computer security specialists. Over the summer, 20% of the same AccuVote touch-screen systems that Brewer approved on Friday, were found to have failed during a massive mock election test in California.

According to the Star, Brewer apparently dismissed the adamant concerns of the very voters she is (theoretically) in charge of serving:

Brewer, responding to media questions, called the noisy protesters "anarchists" and said they were off base.

"I don't think there is a problem with the Diebold equipment," she said. Brewer said a committee investigated the bids and the machines passed on the guidelines.

"I think that there are a lot of conspiracy theorists out there that are trying to blow this completely, totally out of proportion," she said.

In December of 2004, while members of several political parties had joined in challenging the results of Ohio's disastrously run Presidential Election, the Associated Press referred to those challengers who dared seek transparency in an utterly gamed election as "dissidents" which prompted one dubious American to reportedly ask at the time, "Great! So now we're dissidents?! What's next --- 'insurgents'?!"

No. Apparently "what's next" is that those who wish transparency and oversight and accountability in American democratic elections are now "anarchists." At least according to Arizona's shameful --- and hopefully out-going --- Secretary of State, Jan Brewer.

A useful thought for those considering running for the office of Secretary of State around the country: "It's the voters, stupid."

...CONTACT...
AZ SoS Email Contact Page: http://www.azsos.gov/info/contact_us.htm
AZ SoS Office: 602-542-4285

Campaign Website: JanBrewer.com
Campaign Email: info@janbrewer.com
Campaign Office: 602-439-3425

UPDATE 1/8/05: Brad was on Air America Phoenix today to discuss, amongst other things, the incident above on the M&M Show. The hosts, Fred and Steve McChesney, were amongst the "anarchists" and "conspiracy" --- and later called "brownshirts"! --- who made poor Jan Brewer's life so difficult. Audio available here.




America Recieves Another Smack in the Face by the Democracy-Hating Bush Administration
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2006 12:27pm PT  

The U.S. Senate convenes two weeks from now. George W. Bush could not wait and had to "recess appoint" the three latest additions to the Federal Elections Commission. You know how he is about those things. Hates to wait. And hates that whole annoying "Congressional oversight", "check and balances", blah, blah, blah stuff.

Amongst Bush's 17 recess appointments made today:

Robert D. Lenhard, of Maryland, to be a Member of the Federal Election Commission.
Steven T. Walther, of Nevada, to be a Member of the Federal Election Commission.
Hans Von Spakovsky, of Georgia, to be a Member of the Federal Election Commission.

We had more previously on these characters when they were first nominated last month, including details on Bush crony von Spakovsky as well as Lenhard, who happens to be the husband of Vivica Novak (she, not just coincidentally, of TIME Mag/RoveGate fame). Novak will likely be testifying in some fashion concerning crimes surrounding the Bush Administration's alleged outting of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame. Now, it seems, Novak will have to decide whether or not to give damaging testimony against her husband's boss.

Aside from being a key player in the 2000 Florida Election Boondoggle, a member of the extremist Federalist Society and a former Republican Party Chairman in Georgia, von Spakovsky was Bush's political appointee at the DoJ who recently made the papers as well. He was revealed to be behind the overriding of opinions given by career DoJ attorneys in the Voting Rights division concerning the Georgia Photo ID requirement laws and the Texas redistricting pet project of indicted former House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay. 4 out of 5 attorneys said the Georgia law would disenfranchise minority voters. While 8 out of 8 unaminously found the new Texas congressional map to be in violation of the law for similar reasons. Both of those decisions were overriden with the help of von Spakovsky and resulted in an effective gutting of the very heart of the 40 year-old Voting Rights Act of 1965 as we reported in early December. Who better to sit on the Federal Elections Commission?!

The Georgia law has since been found unconstitutional by two Federal courts and the Texas law is headed to the Supreme Court where still more Bush appointees will likely be sitting in judgement.

One party rule. America rocks! Except for this whole "Decade of Shame" thing we seem to be in the middle of...Lady Liberty weeps...More encouraging news on other matters tomorrow...




Feds Said to Approve Return to Lever-Style Voting Equipment!
[UPDATED] Voting Company Danaher Reportedly Misled State! ALSO: CT is Home to HAVA Author Sen. Christopher Dodd!
By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2006 2:31pm PT  

Great news! Just in from WTHN.com in Connecticut...

There likely will not be a high-tech voting machine in your future this year. After announcing late last year that Connecticut's 3,300 mechanical, lever-style voting machines could no longer be used, the secretary of the state reversed herself. It's all about a big foul-up by companies bidding for Connecticut's business.
...
"I am stopping the purchasing process for electronic voting equipment in Connecticut," Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz. "The state will use lever voting machines in the 2006 election."

After a much publicized, public testing of modern electronic voting technology late last year, it was determined that none of the high-tech devices met all of the requirements of new state and federal rules. In addition to being user friendly for those with disabilities, voters must be able to see the entire ballot all at once and there must be a voter verifiable paper record of their vote. Not even one of the machines tested qualified.

So the secretary of the state announced the process must start all over again.

At our invitation, two professors of computer science from a group called True Vote Connecticut watched. They had tried to raise the red flag on the electronic machines. Their complaints were dismissed last month by Secretary Bysiewicz, but today they learned that their observations were right on the money.

And, in a message that we hope other states and counties will also hear loud and clear now that the 1/1/06 deadline for "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA) money has now passed, the article adds:

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says the feds are okay with this move because the state made a good faith effort to get new voting machines.

So we can now add Connecticut to the growing list of American states and counties, including:

- Leon County, FL
- Volusia County, FL
- St. Louis County, MO
- The State of California
- The State of N. Carolina

...amongst those who seem, at least partially, to be coming to their senses of late vis a vis the absurd proposition of instituting unsecured, uncertified, un-transparent, hackable, secret software to count votes in our once-great American democracy!

(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG emailer Robert R.!)

UPDATE 1/5/05: More details today from AP:

She said the finalist in the bid process, Simsbury-based Danaher Controls, misled the state and had not yet sought proper certification to meet state and federal requirements. Bysiewicz's office made the discovery during final negotiations with the company.

Other voting machine companies, she said, also failed to meet the state's needs. Eight firms responded to the state's request for proposals.

"Unfortunately we were unable to find qualified vendors," she said, adding that no company could provide a certified electronic machine that displays a voter's entire ballot and provides a paper receipt that he or she can verify.

We were remiss in pointing out originally, by the way, that Connecticut is home to Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd, one of the authors of the original crappy "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA). We suspect he can't be too happy about his home state sticking with the older machines instead of caving to HAVA's many flaws. Oh, well. Too bad.




As Grass Roots Group Continues to Offer Help in Ensuring the Style Trend-Setting Continues!
By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2006 12:45pm PT  

It's another fashion "home-run" for Jack Abramoff! His smart head attire --- this time captured by eager paparazzi as the increasingly well-known GOP uber-lobbyist, took "a lap around the bases" of a Florida courthouse today --- attracts still more attention from an adoring press!

The BRAD BLOG just can't get enough of America's daring new trend-setting chapeau-wearing fashion mogul! And apparently, neither can the photogs who are now following him around whereever he goes!

And again --- since we know such luxurious adornments don't come cheap! --- we're happy to remind Mr. Abramoff that help is available if needed to ensure you won't have to "put a lid" anytime soon on your continuingly courageous profiles in haberdashery!

(A literal hat-tip to the style-mavens at Cursor.org for following up on our previous nod to the latest in Capital Couture!)




UPDATE: Governor Confirms!... LATER UPDATE: Reports Wrong! All But 1 Miner Found Dead...
By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2006 9:01pm PT  

Good news (we hope). All three cable nets are reporting that 12 of the trapped miners have been reported as having been found alive...

AP has the breaking story here. The news, so far unconfirmed by officials, seems to be coming from "Family Members". We pray they have good info:

Twelve miners caught in an explosion in a coal mine were found alive Tuesday night, more than 41 hours after the blast, family members said.

Bells at a church where relatives had been gathering rang out as family members ran out screaming in jubilation.

Relatives yelled "They're alive!"
...
Neither the company nor the governor's office immediately confirmed the news.
...
A relative at the church said a mine foreman called relatives there, saying the miners had been found.

One of the minors was reportedly found dead earlier this afternoon.

I had hoped to post something on this today --- and perhaps David Edwards can update this item with some video --- but I was tremendously moved and impressed by the remarks and demeanor at the Press Conference very late last night (about 2am PT) by Ben Hatfield, the CEO of the mining company, International Coal Group Inc. His apparent candor and willingness to take all questions from reporters is something not often seen these days from CEO's or others who find themselves at such pressers (elected officials especially, of course). Hopefully David can add some video to this item, or the commenters can jump in with appropriate links to relevant items. A short account of the conference late last night is here.

UPDATE: WV Governor seems to now be confirming:

"They told us they have 12 alive," Gov. Joe Manchin said. "We have some people that are going to need some medical attention."

VERY LATE UPDATE: 2:38am Tragic news. The reports were all apparently wrong. All but one miner was found dead. Just now from AP...

TALLMANSVILLE, W.Va. - In a stunning and heartbreaking reversal, mining officials told family members early Wednesday that 11 of the 12 trapped coal miners initially thought to have survived a mine explosion had died.

The devastating news came more than three hours after Gov. Joe Manchin announced he had been told 12 of the miners survived the disaster. Rescue crews found the first victim earlier Tuesday evening.

"About the confusion, I can't tell you of anything more heart-wrenching than I've ever gone through in my life. Nothing," Manchin said.

Complete late update here...




And Bush Wins in Brave 'Combat' With a Cedar Tree on the Homefront!
By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2006 6:44pm PT  

Oh, well. At least we're killing women and children over there, so they don't get killed over here! Or something....Can you imagine the hue and cry if a terrorist bombed a house in residential U.S. and killed twelve citizens --- including sleeping women and children --- in the bargain? (Not to mention if the United States' statistical population equivalent of at least 30,000 citizens, as Bush recently admitted, had been killed by terrorists? You think the wingnut whackjob girly-men are quaking in their boots with fear of the boogey man now?! Just imagine. But I digress...)

From today's WaPo (via Truthout):

Tikrit - A U.S. air strike that Americans said was directed at suspected bombers killed a family of 12 in their home north of Baghdad Monday night, Iraqi officials said Tuesday. A Washington Post special correspondent watched as rescuers removed the bodies of women and children still in their nightclothes.
...
The Post special correspondent watched as crews removed the bloody body of an older woman, her head covered in a black scarf, and two younger women in nightclothes with their heads uncovered for sleep.

Rescuers brought out the bodies of three boys on their thin mattresses. They were wrapped in the blankets in which search teams said the boys had been sleeping when the explosives hit. The boys appeared younger than 10.

Residents and Iraqi officials said there were no insurgents in the home. The area is one where insurgents are present and stage frequent attacks.

Six other houses in the area were damaged, and two residents wounded, authorities said.

U.S. air strikes in Iraq increased almost five-fold over the course of 2005, going from 25 last January to 120 in November. The U.S. military says it uses only precision-guided munitions and makes every effort to minimize civilian casualties. Critics say civilian casualties are almost inevitable in air strikes in cities and towns, and they fault the military for not tracking civilian deaths from those strikes to better learn how to reduce them.

The Reuters account of the incident further makes clear how we are winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people through our efforts "over there":

"I absolutely confirm there were no terrorists in this house," police chief Colonel Sufyan Mustafa told Reuters.

"Even if there had been, why didn't they surround the area and detain the terrorists instead?"

No time for that, we suppose. And how dare he second guess America?!

In other related news (sorta), the "Commander-in-Chief" regaled military personnel who'd lost their limbs and much more in Iraq about his "combat with a Ceder" over the holiday weekend. Said the brave "War President" in a courageous statement to troops at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio over the weekend:

"As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself --- not here at the hospital, but in combat with a Cedar. I eventually won. The Cedar gave me a little scratch. As a matter of fact, the Colonel asked if I needed first aid when she first saw me. I was able to avoid any major surgical operations here, but thanks for your compassion, Colonel."

Phew! Glad he's okay! And so thoughtful to share such a harrowing personal tale with our brave troops.

Jerk.

(Hat tip Larry Johnson, who has additional thoughts on the above.)

UPDATE 1/6/05: A translated video report from Syrian TV on the 12 killed Iraqi civilians is now posted here. It's the only we could find on the --- apparently --- not newsworthy event.




In Stunning Fashion Statement Sure to Merit Worldwide Attention, DC GOP Lobbyist Brings Renewed Focus on Once-Popular Men's Headware Accessory!
Grass-Roots Group Offers to Help Buy Him More!
By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2006 2:32pm PT  

Not since Indiana Jones, has one man made such a bold statement about men's haberdashery! In a stunning photograph, flashed across the AP wires today, a well-known and well-connected GOP lobbyist by the name of Jack Abramoff has put the once-ubiquitous headware for men, known as the fedora, back on the nation's front pages!

Attaboy, Jack! The BRAD BLOG thanks you for waking up a fashion-stultified nation! The country relies on forward-thinking media icons like yourself to help keep our nation --- and our nation's capital --- from suffering under the oppressive malaise brought on by an all-too-timid crop of girlyman fashion mavens in DC!

Once thought to have been relegated to the fashion basement, the new statement by Abramoff is rumored to have caught a great number of DC lawmakers off-guard! Those who might have otherwise thrown out their old chapeau's are now rumored to have begun to "hold onto their hats" indeed!

Hooray Jack Abramoff! Thanks to you, the fedora is back! We think we'll buy ourselves one today! If you'd like help in buying a few more, please see this! We'll be happy to help any way we can! It's the least we can do to say thanks!

UPDATE: Fashion-maven Wonkette weighs in...




By Brad Friedman on 1/1/2006 12:24pm PT  

Missing 2005 already? I'm not. But if you are, here's
The Best of The BRAD BLOG 2005!




By Brad Friedman on 12/31/2005 10:00pm PT  

What a year 2005 has been. Wish I could say it was a "great year". But it wasn't. Even if it was a "great year" for the blogosphere and the citizen's uprising against both a failed media and a failed administration. I'm sorry to say that America's shame is the blogosphere's gain. I'd be much happier if it weren't the case. I'd be happier still if our government halted its tragically wreckless and misguided foreign policies, cynically and ironically implemented in the name of "national security". I'd be joyous beyond reason if the unprecedented rise and reign of corruption in DC came to an end. And giddy to the point of distraction if the Mainstream Media woke up finally from their five-year slumber and decided to show up to play their vital role as our fourth estate once more. All of which would allow for a welcome retirement from the job I reluctantly find myself doing much less because I want to, and much more because I believe it's necessary.

At the year's very end, I thought it would be interesting to compile a "Best of BRAD BLOG 2005". A list of notable stories, achievements, landmarks, highlights and lowlights. In the process, I was overwhelmed by how much has been recorded on these cyber-pages over the last twelve months. Selecting choices for the "Best of..." list was no easy feat, even if the end result is still a rather hefty compilation of notable stories. I welcome your thoughts on these selections and any additions that you, dear BRAD BLOG readers who have made it all possible, feel should have made it onto this list. As always, all of our archived stories are here for your perusal.

I can't turn the page to 2006 until I've given a proper thanks to the many who have made The BRAD BLOG what it is and The BRAD SHOW what we hope it may soon be. To all the Guest Bloggers, contributors, tipsters and sources (named and otherwise) who have shaped the very character of these pages, I say thank you. To name just a few (and likely to leave too many errantly out!) I'd like to recognize a few folks who have served above and beyond the call of duty here over the past year: "Winter Patriot", David Edwards, John Gideon, John Byrne, "Kira", Brett, Katrina Wilcox, Joseph Cannon, Ben Burch, Jaime Robledo, Kat L'Estrange, Ilene Proctor, Aerielle Louise, Otie McClay, Lydia Cornell and Desiree Doyen. Thank you all several times over. And, of course, without you readers, listeners, emailers, commentors, donators (see how I snuck that in?) and all-around patriotic trouble-makers, I am nothing. So thank you all from the very bottom of my heart.

From Bush's ignominious inaugural and electoral challenge in January...to new revelations in the Clint Curtis story and CNN's duplicitious or just dumb drumbeating for war in February...to Velvet Revolution's launch of a campaign against American Voting Machines companies, a stunning twist in the Curtis case and the appearance of a phony GOP "voting rights" group in March...to a cooked "National Election Reform" commission, a new radio show and the emergence of the "BRAD BLOG 6 or 7" in April...to spiked newspaper columns and outrage on Capitol Hill in March...to meltdowns in Congress and Conyers at the White House gates in June...to whitewashed investigations, censored websites, fired elections workers, a heroic "Blogathon" and the first whiffs of "the I word" in July...to an unexpected trip to Crawford TX to be a witness to history and to "be the media" like never before in August...to Rove shenanigans, disastrous hurricanes, an insider dubbed "DIEB-THROAT" and "nothing at all" happening in D.C. in September...to running Ann Coulter off the air, finding Conservatives who despise her and discovering "faith-based voting" is alive and well in October...to GAO reports corroborating and ignored, staggeringly impossible election results and Ann Coulter lashing back in November...to a remarkable end of the year unraveling of the once-great, now-disgraced company known as Diebold and more election reform panics than one could shake a stick at, much less blog about as fully as it all deserved, in December...2005 has been --- to paraphrase Dubya --- "a heckuva year".

And with that overly long preamble, and having more than a few ideas of what is soon to come in 2006, I hope you now enjoy a look back, if only at a few of the remarkable headlines! --- to the BRAD BLOG year that was 2005...

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




'Non-Partisan' Group Tied to Bill Frists' Attorney, Ohio's Pending Anti-Democracy Legislation & Hordes of Frivilous Lawsuits and Attacks Against Legitimate Voting Rights Advocates...
By Brad Friedman on 12/30/2005 6:49pm PT  

It's been a while since the slimy cretins trying to pass themselves off as the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) have reared their ugly, high-level GOP-operative heads. We first uncovered these punks back in March while they were busy attempting to pull off a congressional charade in cahoots with the not-yet-indicted U.S. congressman, Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH). We haven't heard much out of the ACVR since their August '05 report trying to sell the silly notion that "Democrat operatives were far more involved than Republican in voter intimidation and suppression in 2004" was laughed off the nation's radar (by all but a few of the most pathetic dead-ender wingnut suckers who will believe anything they're told to believe, no matter how laughable.)

But today, our friend Bob Fitrakis at the Free Press in Columbus connects a few more dots in the shameful ACVR/GOP/Ohio story. He offers a few more details on the group's direct connection to other high-level GOP operatives (like Bill Frist's attorney), the horrendous Ohio HB3 "Election Reform" legislation being ram-rodded up the asses of otherwise democracy-loving Ohio citizens by the unapologetically corrupt GOP-controlled snakepit of a legislature in the state, as well as more of the direct connections between them and the frivolous lawsuits and PR attacks made against several of the most active (legitimate) Voter Registration groups in the country.

We had a quick story ourselves on that last bit about two weeks ago, explaining how virtually all the phony legal attacks made against these groups have now failed --- even if the swiftboating success of the phony PR from it lingers on. Mission accomplished. This is the group whose website --- the one with Fox "News" Channel's Tony Snow on the front page, speaking of dead-ender wingnut suckers --- promises "ACVR will defend the election process through on-going civil litigation" amongst other lies, garbage and scurrilous attempted deceptions on the American electorate. Anyway, before we get too worked up into another rant on the America/democracy-hating ACVR chumbuckets, here's Fitrakis' latest on them and more.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.



Tells DittoHeads, NATO 'never approved' Kosovo Bombing (which was led, um, by NATO)
By Brad Friedman on 12/30/2005 1:51pm PT  

While sitting in for Rush Limbaugh this morning, Roger Hedgecock did a fine job of lying in his place.

Paraphrasing here, since I don't yet have a copy of the audio (any Ditto Heads out there feel like sending it to me?), at appx. 40 minutes into the first hour of today's show, Hedgecock informed lied to his listeners by telling them that Bill Clinton "didn't even have NATO approval" for the campaign against Kosovo.

Aside from NATO, who actually led the bombing, Hedgecock's "news" will likely come as a shock to the wingnuts out there (like Phyllis Schlafly, for instance) who have been referring to the Kosovo campaign as "the Clinton/NATO bombing raids" for years while expressing their outrage (IRONY ALERT!) that the President "lied" us into the war. A war, we might add, where not a single American Troop was lost, but that's beside the point, of course.

BRAD BLOG comment trolls can rest assured that --- even with their Talking Points Master, Rush, gone for the week --- they are still receiving the finest misinformation GOP money can buy even in his absense.




A Year-End Diebold Round-Up...
By Brad Friedman on 12/29/2005 3:20pm PT  

For those of you who may have missed any of the notable ups and downs (mostly downs) for our patriotically-impaired friends over at Diebold, Inc. over the last three weeks, I've just done a quick review of the most notable tales from the tape over at Huffington Post, including links to the latest key BRAD BLOG articles chronicling the end-of-year undoing of everyone's favorite American Voting Machine Company.

At HuffPo: "DEMOCRACY STRIKES BACK! As Diebold Goes Down for the Count..."




(Without Telling Us What Was Wrong in the First Place)
Some Quick Damage Control After Secret Letter Uncovered Threats of Decertification for Voting Machine Company by SoS in the Golden State
By Brad Friedman on 12/29/2005 11:11am PT  

Everything's fine. Nothing to worry about. These aren't the droids you're looking for. That was the message out of Sacramento yesterday in regards to the newly exposed concerns about ES&S voting machines in California as recently revealed by a secret letter from California's Secretary of State. That letter was written and sent five weeks ago privately, but only reported publicly for the first time last week after it was uncovered by an AP reporter.

Of course, CA SoS Bruce McPherson's office has yet to actually inform the voters (you remember them, don't you, Mr. McPherson?) of the "problems experienced by counties utilitizing ES&S voting equipment and software" as discovered during the recent November Special Election which "deeply concerned" the SoS enough to threaten ES&S with decertification in the entire state, according to the letter.

But the message out yesterday is that all is well, and no --- you pesky voters don't need to worry your pretty little selves about a thing!

According to the Vallejo Times-Herald (note how the concern in the lede here is for Elections Officials as opposed to Voters!):

Solano County leaders could breathe a sigh of relief Tuesday when the state announced it would not decertify voting machines used here.

If the state had gone forward with its threat to decertify the Election Systems and Software used in Solano and in 10 other California counties, it likely would have meant Solano would have to replace its voting machines for the second time in nearly two years.

Yea! The Solano County leaders don't have to worry about a thing! Merry Christmas, Bedford Falls!

But after threatening potential decertification of the ES&S voting machine company, a Secretary of State's office spokeswoman said Tuesday the state was satisfied the company would make necessary improvements.

Specifically, in a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Assistant Secretary of State for Elections Bradley J. Clark warned he'd start the process of decertifying ES&S machines for use in California if senior officials didn't address concerns with vote counts and verification, problems that surfaced during the state's Nov. 8 special election. The concerns needed to be dealt with immediately, the letter said.

"They've thoroughly met our needs," Secretary of State spokeswoman Jennifer Kerns said Tuesday, adding that the company addressed the concerns "one by one."

What exactly are those needs, Ms. Kerns? Do the California Voters have any right to know about them? Or will it require investigative reporters and bloggers with bad attitudes to uncover still more secret letters and documents sent to the Voting Machine Companies that we, the Voters (you remember us, don't you, Ms. Kern?), are paying with our tax-dollars to privatize our public elections?!

State Senator Debra Bowen had previously called on you "to immediately release all corrspondence to all vendors, and all documentation related to the certification of any and all voting equipment and voting systems." Have the SoS's office done so? It would certainly be appreciated, so we could judge for ourselves about those "one by one" needs that ES&S has "thoroughly met". And we speak as California Voters ourselves here, by the way.

Bowen also asked, "When is the public entitled to know?" Which, of course, we'd like to know as well. She also added "This kind of secrecy is completely unacceptable." And, of course, we agree to that as well.

So, Mr. McPherson or Ms. Kerns --- or whoever it is that is making decisions up there in Sacramento while you suppose that few are paying attention between Christmas and New Years --- would you like to answer the Senator's call on behalf of the voters of California for whom you work?

Our lines are always open. We'll be happy to help you disseminate all of that information. If you actually care about such things. We'll even try and get rid of the bad attitude when we do just for fairness sake. But you'll have to meet us halfway. If you work for us (as you're supposed to), then we'll do our best to work with you.

(Hat tip to the eagle-eyed John Gideon, who, unlike Diebold, actually means it when he says he "never rests".)




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