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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, July 29, 2015
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...


Demands Congress Hold Bush/Cheney Accountable, Stop Another Ill-Conceived War Before It Starts!
By Brad Friedman on 3/19/2006 11:35pm PT  

This morning (Sunday), lawmakers and members of the media in Washington D.C. opened the Op/Ed section of the Washington Post to find VelvetRevolution.us' latest ad waiting for them.

VR is calling on both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to perform their Constitutional Duty and hold the criminal Bush/Cheney Administration accountable for their actions. As well, they must stop the reckless drumbeat towards War in Iran before we find ourselves in yet another disastrous foreign policy debacle.

Bush and Cheney, through their incompetence and dishonesty have lost the right to be trusted for any foreign policy decisions, much less the decision to start yet another unnecessary, unprovoked war in yet another country. It's time for Congress to draw a line in the sand against the Bush/Cheney administration and for the people to stand up and make sure they hear us!

-- The full ad, in a size large enough to read the complete text, is here.
-- A resizable PDF version is here.
-- A petition to demand Congress peform their Constitutional Duty to hold the Bush/Cheney Administration accountable for their actions and stop the march towards yet another ill-conceived war is here.
-- Donations to VR, to help us continue our no-holds-barred ad campaign, can be made here.

Please spread the word! And thank you for the support!

(DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us ... and couldn't be prouder.)

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By Brad Friedman on 3/19/2006 1:02pm PT  

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

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Two 'Accu-Vote' 'OpTech' Machines Confiscated for Examination by Attorney General After Results Fail to Add Up
(Just Another 'Glitch')
By Brad Friedman on 3/18/2006 3:39pm PT  

ED NOTE: Diebold's Charles "Buck" Jones has sent us an email about the following story, with a scan of a correction published by the Union Tribune concerning the following story. The "Accu-Vote" machines referred to in their story, as originally reported below, are actually "Optech IIIp" optical-scan machines made by ES&S, not by Diebold. The complete correction, reportedly published by the Union Tribune, is posted at the bottom of this blog item. We appreciate the information from Mr. Jones, and only wish that Diebold was as responsive to answering questions and clarifying the mountain of problems and failures in their own machines as they are with ES&S's. We are also delighted to see that Diebold follows BRAD BLOG's reporting so closely. Even on a Saturday.

======

Diebold's hackable Accu-Vote (Hack-U-Vote?) machines fail again.

ES&S's "OpTech" (Op-Wreck?) machines fail again.

From New Hampshire's Union Leader on Thursday...

Grafton --- No matter how you do the math, 193 "yeas" plus 198 "nays" don't add up to 369 votes.

That faulty equation --- results of a warrant article vote from Tuesday's election ballot --- was the first clue for Grafton town officials that something was wrong.

As a result, two voting machines used to collect ballots in the annual town and school district meetings are now in the custody of the Attorney General's Office, removed from the town yesterday, said Grafton Selectman Jennie Joyce.
...
She said the voting machine showed no signs of malfunctions during two pre-election tests --- most recently one week prior to the election.

It's notable, by the way, that the Union Leader's story refers to the "Accu-Vote" machines being confiscated, but never mentions the maker of the machines --- in this case, Diebold. (Actually, ES&S, and the machines were "Optech" machines instead. See the clarification below.)

It's unclear from the story whether these were optical-scan or touch-screen machines, but apparently there is some paper that can be counted to get an accurate count of the election, instead of an "Accu-Vote" count of the election. According to the article, "Joyce said she is in favor of recounting ballots, both by hand and by machine." --- so it would seem there is something to actually go back and count.

And yes, the problem is referred to as a "glitch" at one point in the story. As it always is. This time in reference to a heretofore unknown issue (at least to us) concerning "dip switches" on these machines...

McDow, who is trained to operate the voting machine, said she learned more after placing a call yesterday to LHS Associates of Methuen, Mass., the company that services the town's Accu-Vote machine.

"They told me one of the dip switches let go, or the problem had to do with one of the dip switches not being set --- that's what LHS told me after I read them the information from the tally sheet," McDow said.

The toggle switch glitch likely caused some ballots to be counted twice, McDow said.

The "Glitch" that Would Destroy American Democracy. Cuz we let it.

UPDATE: According to a Diebold employee who notified The BRAD BLOG (see the Ed Note added to the top of this article) the Union Tribune posted the following correction to the story referenced above:

In a story about voting machines in Grafton that ran in yesterday's Union Leader, the machines were incorrectly identified as Accuvote machines. They should have been identified as Optech IIIp machines.

We have not been able to find the correction published on the Union Tribune website, but this New Hampshire state page seems to confirm that Grafton County uses the ES&S "Optech" machines instead of the Diebold "Accu-Vote" machines as most other counties in New Hampshire do.

We've also learned, since running this piece orginally, that New Hampshire does not allow for the use of touch-screen (DRE) machines. So the voting systems in question here, are all optical-scan machines, akin to the Diebold optical-scan machine used in Ion Sancho's recent "hack test" in Leon County, FL which demonstrated that such machines could be hacked to cause election results to be completely flipped without a trace being left behind.

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By David Edwards on 3/17/2006 3:08pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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CNN's Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider awards Senator Feingold the "Political Play of the Week" for his bold introduction of a resolution to censure President Bush.

Bill Schneider describes Feingold as "principled" while he suggests that other Democrats might need "Spines. Backbones. They help you stand up for what you believe."

Schneider says "Acting on principle need not be political suicide."

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1000 Cards Fail Tests in N. Carolina After Massive Failures Discovered in Ohio!
ALSO: Testing Reports Say Voting Machines One-Third as Reliable as Incandescent Light Bulb!
By John Gideon on 3/17/2006 12:46pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

As reported on March 9 and March 10 by The BRAD BLOG the folks in Summit Co. OH have discovered massive problems with memory cards on ES&S Electronic Voting Machines in recent tests. Some 30% of the cards completely failed.

ES&S, the largest voting machine provider in the country, attributed the problem to low or dead batteries on the PCMCIA memory cards. At the time, we inquired as to whether other states using ES&S equipment might be experiencing similar problems. The reporter covering the story for the Akron Beacon Journal told us she was able to get no response from ES&S --- but was then given an assurance that ES&S had contacted their customers to inform them about the concerns.

A week ago Tuesday, Texas experienced loads of problems (or "glitches" as Voting Machine Vendors and Election Officials enjoy minimizing them as) in their Primary Elections. Just a few of those reported in newspapers the day after are listed here.

Then yesterday the Akron Beacon Journal reported that, in fact, ES&S had contacted North Carolina. North Carolina, who lost some 4,500 votes completely via an electronic voting machine in Cartaret County during the 2004 Presidential Election, began checking their ES&S memory cards and have so far found more than 1,000 cards that to be bad!

Summit County, OH has also now confirmed that two-thirds of the cards failed due to "battery issues"; the rest failed due to "read-back errors".

ES&S officials contend that bad batteries were to blame for the problem memory cards, but Summit County officials now say that low batteries were the problem in only about one-third of the hundreds of faulty memory cards here.

``The majority of them were read-back errors, not a battery issue,'' Bryan Williams, director of the Summit County Board of Elections, said Wednesday.

``About one-third were battery errors. Two-thirds were read-back errors,'' Williams added.

He said after new batteries were installed in the memory cards, many still failed to work.

Marijean Donofrio, deputy director of the Summit elections board, said memory cards reading ``low battery'' began to work properly when new batteries were installed. But others that read ``dead battery'' still did not work when the batteries were changed.

She said the more common problem was the ``read-back error,'' which occurred when testers were attempting to run a mock election. The memory cards could not read the data programmed onto them.

It is important to point out that North Carolina state law requires any voting vendor to alert the state if there is a problem found on any voting system in another state that may be a problem in North Carolina. The law worked very well or the state may never have been warned except by the voting activist community who raised the 'red flag'.

Still unanswered is whether the recent myriad problems with ES&S systems in Texas had anything to do with the memory card failures. Also still unanswered is if there are any problems in other states like Indiana or West Virginia where primary elections are soon to be held and ES&S machines are in place.

ALSO: A newly released study of the reliability of voting systems shows that those voting systems studied and presently being sold across the country are one-third as reliable, at best, as an incandescent light bulb.

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(That Is, If It Ever Closes - Pentagon Says Reports of Abu Ghraib's Demise Greatly Exaggerated.)
By David Edwards on 3/17/2006 5:26am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Last week the U.S. military announced plans to handover control of the infamous Abu Ghraib prison to Iraqi authorities.

Chris Floyd points out that the Pentagon quietly retracted the idea that Abu Ghraib would be closed in the near future. The following statement was released by the Pentagon:

"The United States always has planned to transfer authority for all detention facilities in Iraq to the Iraqis, but announcements regarding the imminent closure at the Abu Ghraib prison are premature, defense officials said today. News reports that the U.S. military intends to close Abu Ghraib within the next few months and to transfer its prisoners to other jails are inaccurate, officials said.

"There's no specific timetable for that transfer or for closure of the Baghdad prison, they said. Decisions regarding Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities in Iraq will be based largely on two factors: the readiness of Iraq's security forces to assume control of them and infrastructure improvements at the facilities…"

Regardless of when (or if) the U.S. closes Abu Ghraib, NGO's and Iraqi citizens agree that prisoners will continue to be abused in other facilities throughout Iraq. According to Khalid Rabia'a, spokesman for the Baghdad-based Prisoners' Association for Justice (PAJ):

Torture has been practiced by the US as well as by Iraqi military officials,

The handover of Abu Ghraib won't stop the suffering and human rights abuses.

The video in this post is a news report by the independent Arab News Network (ANN) broadcasting out of London, England. In the video, several Iraqis share their thoughts on the closing of Abu Ghraib and the continuing prisoner abuse in Iraq.

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Can't Get Their Story Straight on 'Tehran IED's'
BRAD BLOG's White House Correspondent Holds McClellan's Feet to the Fire...
By Eric Brewer on 3/16/2006 4:01pm PT  

Special to BRAD BLOG by BTC News White House Correspondent Eric Brewer

Today I finally got another chance to get Scott McClellan riled up. Ever since the last time I did it, back in January, he's been lucky enough or tricky enough to avoid having to call on me, but today, the briefing room wasn't quite as crowded as it has been, and I got my chance to ask a question that has been puzzling me ever since the Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, testified to the Senate on http://www.btcnews.com/btcnews/1195\" target="_blank">February 2 that:

"Tehran has been responsible for at least some of the increasing lethality of anti-coalition attacks by providing Shia militia with the capability to build improvised explosive devices with explosively formed projectiles similar to those developed by Iran and Lebanese Hizballah."

Among the many reasons (detailed by BTC News chief Weldon Berger in his article that I linked to above) that Negroponte's statement was odd are the following: 1) Iran-connected Shiites now dominate the U.S.-backed government in Iraq, 2) IED attacks have been coming primarily from the Sunni insurgency, and 3) Iran would have nothing to gain from helping its U.S.-supported allies in Iraq attack coalition forces with IEDs.

Then last Monday, President Bush repeated Negroponte's claim in a speech that appeared to be the opening round in a new "drumbeat to war" against Iran. But the administration is perhaps getting sloppier, for the next day it appeared that not everyone was on the same page. When Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace was asked about the claim with these words, "Do you have proof that they are, indeed, behind this, the government of Iran?", Gen. Pace replied, "I do not, sir." Immediately afterward, Secretary Rumsfeld also failed to endorse the accusation, saying:

"As to equipment, unless you physically see it coming in --- in a government-sponsored vehicle, or with government-sponsored troops, you can't know it. All you know is that you find equipment --- weapons, explosives, whatever --- in a country that came from the neighboring country. With respect to people, it's very difficult to tie a thread precisely to the government of Iran."

So today I asked Scott if he could clear up this slight inconsistency. Our exchange follows...

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

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WaPo Drives a Stake Through the Heart of Our Current Inexcusable State of Electronic Voting...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2006 3:03pm PT  
It's easier to rig an electronic voting machine than a Las Vegas slot machine, says University of Pennsylvania visiting professor Steve Freeman...[who] has assembled comparisons that suggest Americans protect their vices more than they guard their rights.

Wow...today's Washington Post has a nifty illustrated chart today comparing the security and inspection of Las Vegas Slot Machines versus that for Electronic Voting Machines.

Click to see his comparisons...

(Hat tip to emailer Beth H.!)

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BRAD BLOG Cited, Quoted Yet Again...
Plus: A Few More Ion Sancho Items...
By Brad Friedman on 3/16/2006 1:51pm PT  

Following up on his "Whistling Diebold" column last week, Tribune Media Service's Bob Koehler stays on the case in his nationally syndicated column this week. He begins this way...

Something fundamental about who we are as a nation is dribbling away, it seems, without alarm or even debate. We torture prisoners - it's out in the open, a done deal. We're fighting an unnecessary war that, well, yes, was launched on a lie, but too late now; we're in, we can't get out. And our neighbor's phone is being tapped.

But the worry that trumps all others is the state of this proud, imperfect democracy. We may be surrendering our power to change the national direction or demand that government be responsive to us. My fellow Americans, our voting machines don't work, at least not all the time. The mechanism of our democracy is in chaos, and almost everyone is going along with it.

Thanks to the allegedly well-intentioned, but disastrous, Help America Vote Act, the country is shifting, county by county, to electronic voting machines, which are not only glitch-prone on a spectacular scale (e.g., 100,000 phantom votes were recorded in Tarrant County, Texas, during the state's primary last week), but work, like God, in mysterious ways, which we're not supposed to question.

Koehler goes on to describe the astounding situation that Leon County, FL Election Supervisor Ion Sancho --- the hero who revealed that Diebold optical-scan machines can be hacked without a trace left behind --- finds himself in.

As well, Koehler cites and quotes your humble webmaster (two MSM cites of your friendly neighborhood BRAD BLOG in as many days? What's happening here?!). Finally, he concludes thusly...

I humbly submit that this is nuts, and that if we don't scream out at the top of our lungs we're going to lose our democracy. What we're witnessing, I fear - and what isolated watchdogs like Sancho are warning us about, but cannot prevent all by themselves - is democracy's transition to expensive charade.

As the power of the vote leaks away, the hissing sound I hear are the words "Trust us, trust us."

NOTE: I'll be on the air today with Sancho on Houston's KPFT 90.1 FM as guest hosted by occasional BRAD BLOG Guest Blogger, Pokey Anderson at 5pm PT (8pm ET). You can listen live online here.

SECOND NOTE: My hourlong interview with Ion Sancho from Feb 28th's edition of The Young Turks radio show, during one my Guest Host stints, is now available online here [MP3]. It's an amazing interview methinks, Sancho is awesome in this one, if you didn't hear it or watch it live at the time.

FINAL NOTE: The Turks have asked me back to Guest Host along with them tomorrow (Friday), and I'm trying to clear the time right now. If I'm able to do so, it'll be posted in the "Media Appearances" box at the top of the BRAD BLOG front page so you can listen and/or watch along at home (or via Sirius Satellite).

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By David Edwards on 3/16/2006 9:47am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Earlier today, Senator Russ Feingold held a press conference on his resolution to censure President Bush for illegal warrantless wiretapping.

This video includes Feingold's question and answer session with the press. Reporters' questions were not audible so the blank audio has been trimmed out to save time.

Senator Feingold has posted the complete transcript of the press conference on his website as well as this statement which appears to be partially directed towards his Democratic colleagues:

March 16, 2006

As Congress heads into a weeklong recess, I hope members of the Senate have a chance to listen to their constituents back home. All Americans want to fight terrorism and protect our country from those who wish to do us harm, but they don't want to sacrifice the rights and principles our country was founded upon. One of those fundamental American principles is that the President doesn't get to pick and choose which laws he follows.

There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks, and especially this week, about Congress changing the law to authorize the President's otherwise illegal domestic surveillance program. Of course, anyone who makes that argument concedes that the program is illegal. In addition, the President has yet to explain convincingly why he can't follow the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, which allows wiretapping of terrorists while protecting law-abiding Americans.

The President has broken the law, and the censure resolution I introduced on Monday is intended to hold him accountable. While there have been plenty of personal attacks directed at me this week, few have argued the merits. The facts for censure are clear. FISA makes it a crime to wiretap American citizens on American soil without the requisite court orders – which is exactly what the President has admitted doing. Before the program was revealed, he misled the American people by assuring them that he was getting warrants for wiretaps. Since it was revealed, he has misled the American people about the legal basis for his actions.

I look forward to a full hearing, debate and vote in committee on this important matter. If the Committee fails to consider the resolution in a reasonable time period, I will ask that there be a vote in the full Senate. I know Americans will have a lot to say when they see their elected officials during the break. I hope my colleagues listen.

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By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2006 11:40pm PT  

Let's drop a few names and monger a few rumors.

Spent a few hours in the recording studio today (on the Ides of March) recording a section for the audio version of investigative journalist Greg Palast's new book --- to be released this June.

In the bargain, I got to spend some quality time hanging and chatting with both the legendary Ed Asner and the unstoppable Janeane Garofalo who are amongst the many notables recording sections of the book for the audio version. More on those two in a minute.

Palast's latest is called ARMED MADHOUSE: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, The Best Legal Whorehouse in Texas, The Scheme to Steal Election '08, No Childs Behind Left And Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War. A title so long, I feel like I've read the book already.

(Pre-order the hardcover here, or the audio version here.)

Haven't read the book yet beyond the passages I recorded today and the snippets I heard from Asner and Garafalo. But judging from all of that, the book looks to be another scandalous hoot. Moreover, I couldn't be happier to have been asked to read some of the sections concerning Leon County, FL, Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho (or, as Palast refers to him in that chapter, "one of the Lords of the Voting Universe.") Fortuitous timing, that.

Since it's not out yet, perhaps the cover has yet to be finalized...and so, here's a pull-quote that I hope Palast will feel free to use, if inclined, at least on the inside flap:

"Like most Americans, I don't read books. But if I did, Greg Palast's Armed Madhouse would be the first one on my list!"

Or perhaps this one:

"Once again, Greg Palast proves that nothing is sexier than a hard-boiled Jewish investigative journalist/gum-shoe hot on the trail of Electoral Fraud in the United States!"

Or even:

"The only thing more informative and entertaining than Palast's newest book is the audio version of Palast's newest book!"

As mentioned, had the opportunity while there to spend some time hangin' with Asner and Garafalo. While I'd heard through various grapevines that Asner's wife is a BRAD BLOG fan, it turns out he too keeps an eye on these pages from time to time.

That said, since his wife is indeed a reader here, I can't say too much more about our conversations, lest Ed be completely evicted. Though I was pleased to learn that this affable and wise-cracking hero of mine from way back originally hails from Kansas City, KA --- just a few hours down the road and across one state line from my old St. Louis home.

As for Janeane, an interesting tidbit mentioned --- amongst conversations of the Madness of Coulter and other Disturbing Signs of our Times --- was that, as of the first of the year, she chucked her computer entirely! Since unplugging all together, she reports, she feels like a new woman. Or, at least, is feeling a freedom she hasn't felt in years.

I can relate. You have no idea how much I wish I could unplug entirely at times. I'd recommend you folks find the opportunity do so as well, but that would make as much sense as Diebold recommending state officials use hand-counted paper ballots.

While she says she has no prob doing her radio show and her current gig on The West Wing without either email address or net access, I've yet to figure out how I can pull of the same thing and still be a blogger. But I'm working on it.

But since Janeane no longer goes online at all, I'm sure she'll never notice it if I report to you that she showed up an hour late, was drunk as a skunk, wouldn't stop doing blow off of Ed Asner's bare chest, and recorded her chapter of the book entirely in the nude! You shoulda been there!

(NOTE to Ed's wife: just kidding!) (NOTE to Sam Seder: don't mention any of this to Janeane, I promised her I'd keep it all off record!)

Also in da house was the winsome actress and frequently arrested activist, Shiva Rose McDermott, wife of The Practice's Dylan. Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend more than a minute or two with her, so I can't report much more than she was gorgeous, smart, delightful and simply appalled by Garafalo's outrageous behavior, particularly after Janeane went outside and started beating up a homeless guy. Even I thought that was way out of line.

It was nice to spend a few hours away from the machine.

ReddIt this story!



Election Integrity Hero Makes Deal With New Voting Machine Company
PLUS: VIDEO of FL Sec. of State, Sue Cobb, Explaining Why She Closed Monday's Open Meeting
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2006 8:18pm PT  

{ED NOTE: This story, posted earlier today, was somehow corrupted in it's original posting. So now reposting here.}


He came in prepared for a grilling, but embattled Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho left the Leon County Commission chambers Tuesday with a unanimous vote of confidence.

The commissioners gave Sancho a green light to pursue a deal with a Louisville, Ky.-based company to provide voting equipment for disabled people. The company, IVS, was the last option on the table that would make Leon County compliant with federal elections law come the September primaries.

As BRAD BLOG readers know, Sancho is the hero who helped discover last December that Diebold optical-scan machines were hackable and could have their results flipped without a trace being left behind. Since that discovery, all three voting machine companies certified to do business in Florida, have refused to do so with Sancho. And Jeb Bush's cronies in the FL Sec. of State's office have been been attacking the 18-year elected Elections Supervisor Sancho ever since, even while acknowledging the grave security flaw he found in their systems. For them.

We particularly enjoyed this nugget from the Tallahasse Democrat coverage from which we've been quoting here:

Commissioner Cliff Thaell, a Democrat, wanted to have the commissioners recognize Sancho as a hero for liberty - an idea that had many members of the public clapping thunderously; Commissioner Tony Grippa, a Republican, drew hisses from the audience when he called Thaell's comments "grandstanding" and asked the audience how many of them were Republicans.

The reply from one woman in the crowd: "How about taxpaying citizens?"

By the way, the Democrat has been doing a tremendous job of covering this story of late! Each of their reports have also included multi-media audio and video in addition to their written reports, so it's worth clicking through to catch some of those. The report linked above also features a short video [WMV] interview with Sancho speaking after the meeting mentioned above.

As well, there is also a very enlightening one-hour audio interview with Sancho speaking to members of the Tallahassee Democrat editorial board concerning the problem he discovered with the Diebold machines in Leon County, attacks on him by both the State and the Voting Machine Companies, and other E-voting problems across the country.

Yesterday we covered the meeting --- ironically enough, on the first day of Florida's "Sunshine Week", celebrating "open government" --- which Jeb's appointed Sec. of State Sue Cobb called in Tallahassee to put the heat on Sancho. It was to have been an open meeting, until Cobb closed it, slammed the door, and called the police to remove reporters from the hallway.

The Tallahassee Democrat coverage of the story included a short video of Sue Cobb explaining why she closed the meeting. We believe it's worth a quick look to understand this woman's reasoning for yet more secrecy in dealing with these issues of public importance and transparency.


-- Video in Streaming Flash format...
-- Video in Windows Media Player format...

ReddIt this story!



'Incompetent' is Number One Word Used to Describe Him
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2006 2:09pm PT  

Also of note in the new Pew Research poll, top one-word descriptions Bush show negative words, for the first time, top the list (Incompetent 29%, Good 23%, Idiot 21%, Liar 17%).

ReddIt this story!



Election Integrity Hero Makes Deal With New Voting Machine Company
PLUS: VIDEO of FL Sec. of State, Sue Cobb, Explaining Why She Closed Monday's Open Meeting
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2006 1:20pm PT  

{ED NOTE: This story, posted earlier today, was somehow corrupted and comments were lost. Now restored here. Apologies for whatever happened.}


He came in prepared for a grilling, but embattled Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho left the Leon County Commission chambers Tuesday with a unanimous vote of confidence.

The commissioners gave Sancho a green light to pursue a deal with a Louisville, Ky.-based company to provide voting equipment for disabled people. The company, IVS, was the last option on the table that would make Leon County compliant with federal elections law come the September primaries.

As BRAD BLOG readers know, Sancho is the hero who helped discover last December that Diebold optical-scan machines were hackable and could have their results flipped without a trace being left behind. Since that discovery, all three voting machine companies certified to do business in Florida, have refused to do so with Sancho. And Jeb Bush's cronies in the FL Sec. of State's office have been been attacking the 18-year elected Elections Supervisor Sancho ever since, even while acknowledging the grave security flaw he found in their systems. For them.

We particularly enjoyed this nugget from the Tallahasse Democrat coverage from which we've been quoting here:

Commissioner Cliff Thaell, a Democrat, wanted to have the commissioners recognize Sancho as a hero for liberty - an idea that had many members of the public clapping thunderously; Commissioner Tony Grippa, a Republican, drew hisses from the audience when he called Thaell's comments "grandstanding" and asked the audience how many of them were Republicans.

The reply from one woman in the crowd: "How about taxpaying citizens?"

By the way, the Democrat has been doing a tremendous job of covering this story of late! Each of their reports have also included multi-media audio and video in addition to their written reports, so it's worth clicking through to catch some of those. The report linked above also features a short video [WMV] interview with Sancho speaking after the meeting mentioned above.

As well, there is also a very enlightening one-hour audio interview with Sancho speaking to members of the Tallahassee Democrat editorial board concerning the problem he discovered with the Diebold machines in Leon County, attacks on him by both the State and the Voting Machine Companies, and other E-voting problems across the country.

Yesterday we covered the meeting --- ironically enough, on the first day of Florida's "Sunshine Week", celebrating "open government" --- which Jeb's appointed Sec. of State Sue Cobb called in Tallahassee to put the heat on Sancho. It was to have been an open meeting, until Cobb closed it, slammed the door, and called the police to remove reporters from the hallway.

The Tallahassee Democrat coverage of the story included a short video of Sue Cobb explaining why she closed the meeting. We believe it's worth a quick look to understand this woman's reasoning for yet more secrecy in dealing with these issues of public importance and transparency.


-- Video in Streaming Flash format...
-- Video in Windows Media Player format...

ReddIt this story!



Columnist Robert Steinback Jumps into the Game, Quotes Yours Truly
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2006 12:10pm PT  

Miami-Herald columnist, Robert Steinback unleashes a terrific article today titled "Stop the Election Day cheating --- or it will spread further". Common Dreams republishes the article in its entirety here.

Modesty forbids my posting here some of the astoundingly brilliant and ingeniously cogent quotes, which Steinback uses in the article, as given to him by your handsome and talented blogmaster. So please check out the whole thing for yourself.

BTW, this is Steinback's final week at the Herald, unfortunately, so we're honored he chose to cover this topic before leaving for new adventures. We wish him great luck in the future!

Feel free to drop him and his editor a thank you note here for their coverage of this most important topic. Steinback has one more column left, I believe, before leaving. Who knows? Perhaps he'll even cover these matters again before leaving! It's that important after all!

ReddIt this story!



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