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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, December 20, 2014
'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP anti-enviro wish list in "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate talks; Calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into action; PLUS: CEO indicted for WV chemical spill...
Previous GNRs: 12/9/14 - 12/4/14 - Archives...
The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
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...


(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.

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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...

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'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%).

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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...

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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!

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'Democracy for America' Creates Flash Video, Petition Calling for Paper Ballots!
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2006 10:47am PT  

We're tempted to ask, "What took ya so long? Your name is Democracy for America, after all!"

But we'll not look a gift horse in the mouth now that DFA (formerly: Dean for America) is finally using their huge resources to promote the "horse sense" of demanding paper ballots when we vote in our American democracy.

Watch their new flash video, sign their petition to your elected officials, spread the word...

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By David Edwards on 3/15/2006 9:59am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com

Paul Hackett has some campaign advice for Democrats but Ed Helms suggests that Paul Hackett may have too much backbone. Under Helm's guidance, Paul Hackett may yet become another gutless politician.

WARNING: Members of the DLC and other Democratic Party purists may be offended by the following Daily Show report by Ed Helms.



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By David Edwards on 3/15/2006 7:43am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Ali Shalal Qaissi was the mayor of a town near Baghdad before he was arrested and taken to Abu Ghraib prison. While detained, Mr. Qaissi was subjected to torture including electrocution. He says, "I felt my eyes popping out. Once I bit my tongue and and blood started coming out of my mouth."

Mr. Qaissi underwent psychological and physical abuse techniques developed by the CIA and perfected at Guantánamo by General Miller. Under orders from Secretary Rumsfeld, General Miller spread his school of torture developed at Guantánamo to U.S. detention centers in Iraq and other secret prisons throughout the world. Take a look at this video interview with Professor Alfred McCoy for more information about how the Bush Administration has made torture a permanent policy of the U.S.

The New York Times initially reported that Ali Shalal Qaissi was the prisoner in the now-famous-picture of a hooded man standing on a box with electrical wires connected to his hands. While the media has produced only a few articles on the Ali Shalal Qaissi's horrifying story, scores of articles have been written about the fact that The Times may have misreported the exact photo in which Qaissi was pictured.

During Ali Shalal Qaissi imprisonment, his wounded hand was infected after "a US soldier stamped on it." As reported in the video, Qaissi's deformed hand makes him easier to identify in the photos.

UPDATE: VIDEO - CNN Reports on "Hooded Man" Photograph Confusion


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CNN's Kyra Phillips interviewed Salon.com author Michael Scherer who is challenging The New York Times assertion that Ali Shalal Qaissi appeared in the most famous of the Abu Ghraib "hooded man on box" photo.

CNN's interview (and many other reports in the media) focus on an error made The Times. Mr. Qaissi's claim that he was tortured in Abu Ghraib and that he appeared in one or more of the "hooded man on box" photos has not been challenged. Nonetheless, all of the attention on mistakes in reporting may taint Mr. Qaissi's reputation and hurt his efforts to bring attention to the atrocities being committed by our government.

At one point in this interview, Kyra Phillips actually asks "... are these prisoners trying to capitalize on these pictures? Are they looking for opportunities to make money?"

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/14/2006 12:35pm PT  

"I don't do personal attacks...We don't do personal attacks."
-- Bill O'Reilly, The O'Reilly Factor, 2/23/06.

MediaMatters.org disagrees...and has the evidence to prove it.

Do we feel sorry yet for Bill making such a continuous yutz of himself? Over and over...and over...again? Nah.

ReddIt this story!



Welcome to the First Day of 'Sunshine Week' in the State of Florida!
By Brad Friedman on 3/14/2006 11:25am PT  

Meanwhile...Down in "the Sunshine State"...

Police called to remove reporters
Public meeting turns private when Cobb restricts access to reporters

Sunshine Week started off with the slamming of the secretary of state's door Monday, when Leon County Commissioner Bob Rackleff and news reporters were shut out of an announced public meeting on county voting issues.

"I've always said I have no objection to the press, but we do make faster progress without people having to look at cameras - that's a fact," said Florida Secretary of State Sue Cobb.

Tallahassee Democrat Political Editor Bill Cotterell, Associated Press reporter Brent Kallestad and cameraman Dave Heller also were threatened with eviction from a hallway outside Cobb's closed conference room by Capitol Police for trying to attend the meeting with Cobb, Leon County Commission Chairman Bill Proctor, Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho and staff members.

"I'm very concerned and very confused," Democrat Executive Editor Bob Gabordi said. "I have to know that when reporters show up to a meeting that has been given proper public notice, that they will not be harassed and threatened with arrest."

This story is just incredible.

For those just jumping into this tale, SoS Cobb (Jeb's recent political appointee) has been threatening Leon County's elected Election Supervisor Ion Sancho because he revealed that the Diebold voting machines in Florida and elsewhere can be hacked and flipped without a trace being left behind.

In the bargain, all three Voting Machine Companies certified to do business in Florida have now refused to do business with Sancho. Nonetheless --- and incredibly --- the state is now targetting [PDF] the heroic Sancho with threats to remove him from his elected position.

All, at the same time that Florida sent a "technical advisory" to all Election Supervisors in the state, warning them of what Sancho found --- but without mentioning their friends Diebold by name, and certainly not bothering to laud Sancho for discovering a huge electoral integrity issue in the "Sunshine State."

And now, a meeting with officials which is supposed to be open to the press and the public --- on the first day of Florida's phony "Sunshine Week", celebrating open government (no, seriously) --- results in closed doors, reporters tossed and calls to the police.

Just amazing...Please read on...

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

ReddIt this story!



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