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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Erick Erickson's Global Warming Denialist Tantrum
Latest barometer of denialist desperation: The rightwing 'thought leader', as usual, is wrong on the facts and science, so he's just taking his ball and going home...
Video Captures GA Family Disowning, Assaulting 20-Year Old Gay Son
But there is a "happy" ending, of sorts, to this heartbreaking and disturbing story...
'Green News Report' 8/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
BP refinery explodes. Again.; UN report warns of 'irreversible' warming; Fines for oil, chem spills; 22% of world elec. is now green; PLUS: People's Climate March coming to NYC...
Previous GNRs: 8/26/14 - 8/21/14 - Archives...
Faking the Ferguson Docs:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad interviews open records advocate Charlie Grapski on his evidence that Ferguson and St. Louis County police are illegally withholding evidence in the killing of Michael Brown; Plus MUCH more...
Records Requests Suggest Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Involved in Cover-Up
How else to explain the missing details and required documentation of Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown?...
'Green News Report' 8/26/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Napa earthquake is a warning for CA's nuke plants; Another coal plant bites the dust; Cutting emissions will save $$$; PLUS: Fighting drought with a 'salmon cannon'...Yep...
Previous GNRs: 8/21/14 - 8/19/14 - Archives...
Siegelman Judge, Arrested For Beating His Wife, May Avoid Prosecution Altogether
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller checks in for 'treatment', may be able to duck prosecution...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring GOP Photo ID voting restrictions in WI? We'll catch you up quickly...
Obama Orders Review of Police Militarization Program
In response to bi-partisan calls for reform and disturbing display by militarized local police in Ferguson, MO, the President takes aim at controversial Pentagon program...
Ryan Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 hopeful 'charms' elderly voters in FL, by ignoring them...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Is this another 'oops' moment from the Repub TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; Solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and Demilitarizing the Police: KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Bradto discuss his new bill...
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...


Legislative Session Ends This Friday at 6pm CT!
By Brad Friedman on 5/14/2008 4:45pm PT  

Jason Leopold over at The Public Record has more goods today on GOP Vote-Suppressor Extraordinaire Thor Hearne, including confirmation that he is working behind the scenes with the Missouri state Congressman (Rep. Stanley Cox) who drafted the Constitutional Amendment currently barreling through the state Senate to require proof of citizenship and Photo ID proof of residency before voting.

For the record, MO already has a Voter ID requirement, so this new restriction is meant to do nothing more than keep Democratic-leaning voters from being able to vote. Period.

The Senate session goes on hiatus as of this Friday, so the question is whether the Dem majority can hold off the effort to disenfranchise some 240,000 state voters, according to the MO SoS, who could be affected by this cynical attempt at stealing November. Failure to fight off the effort could result in the Show-Me state, a crucial swing state, in going to the Republicans this November simply by virtue of voters turned away for lack of specific types of Photo ID in the City of St. Louis alone.

An urgent call has been put out for MO residents to call their Senators immediately and urge them to vote against HJR 48, Thor's latest move, the Constitutional amendment to require incredibly draconian proof of citizenship and state residency with Photo ID before you're allowed to cast your legal ballot!

So for those in Missouri, please take action NOW to fight for your democracy and Constitutional rights! Call your Senators, and defeat this amendment! Here are some helpful tools for you, courtesy of PDA...

  • Find your Missouri State Senator online here.
  • Find your Senator's phone number online here.
  • Or call the Senate Communications Office toll-free at (800) 88-GAVEL or (800) 877-5982.

Recently related BRAD BLOG stories:

LATE UPDATE 5/16/08: Details on HJR48 status, on the final day of Senate session!

LATER UPDATE 5/16/08: The good guys win one for a change! Measure fails to be passed by the MO Senate before they completed this year's session! Details now here...

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" 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.
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You're a Great American, Thor Hearne...
By Brad Friedman on 5/12/2008 2:56pm PT  

The parade of disenfranchised and/or soon-to-be-disenfranchised elderly, nuns, U.S. veterans (even those disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan), hurricane victims, and other Democratic-leaning voters continues this week, following the recent Supreme Court decision to allow the disenfranchisement of thousands of such (previously) legal voters in Indiana.

While much of the coverage --- such as today's report by Art Levine at HuffPo --- has been intelligent and serious, the New York Times took the lazy way out in a front page story today, lending credence to the discredited GOP "voter fraud" huckster, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, with quotes and reference to his defunct, sham organization, The American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR).

Writing about him and it, as if he were legit, and as if the ACVR were still in operation, the article's author, Ian Urbina --- who has written very good reports in the past --- didn't bother to mention the controversy surrounding Hearne and his group, that they had disappeared themselves under the glare of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, that they had lied on federal tax forms claiming that the group had not "attempted to influence national, state, or local legislation, including any attempt to influence public opinion on a legislative matter or referendum" (fraudulent tax form here), that Hearne himself has been behind every step of the systematic and dishonest scheme to get laws of this sort on the books across the country, and finally, Urbina didn't even bother to note that Hearne had been the national general counsel to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. and remains the top election lawyer for the Republican National Lawyer's Association.

It's all easy to find, of course. We've even set up a Special Coverage page at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR so folks like Urbina --- and NPR who similarly quoted Hearne as if he were legit recently --- wouldn't have to look too far.

But darn that "liberal media" again. For the record, we sought comment from Urbina, who we've been a source for in the past, and who has done good work over the years, but he declined to comment on our criticism here.

In the days immediately following the horrible SCOTUS decision, we quickly turned to our old home state of Missouri, where the huckster Hearne has been basing his well-funded voter suppression operation on behalf of the White House and the RNC for years, going back at least as far as the moment we originally outed him in 2005 just after he had created the not "non-partisan," tax-exempt front group, ACVR, and testified just days later at a Congressional hearing, led by Ohio's felonious Rep. Bob Ney. Hearne told of fraud having been committed in Ohio in 2004, but by John Kerry's campaign, after Hearne described himself to legislatures only as a "longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experienced in election law."

We called on MO's Sec. of State Robin Carnahan for an exclusive interview, while we were hosting KPFK's "Special Election Year Coverage" last week (audio here), and took the opportunity to inform her, if she didn't already know, that Hearne's group lied on his federal tax form, and has, to this day, illegally failed to discose the source of his group's $1 million in start-up funding.

Our interview with Carnahan took place even as Missouri's Republican legislature was in mid-debate on the House floor about a new state Constitutional Amendment to require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote and for a similarly draconian Photo ID requirement as those approved by the SCOTUS for the polling places in the Hoosier State.

Kansas City Star reporter Dave Helling noticed our interview with Carnahan, and wrote a quick item about it, noting her characterization of these anti-voter efforts as "absurd," and alleging that she has not been quite as available to "reporters in the state"...

Appearing yesterday on the radio with well-known voting machine critic and blogger Brad Friedman, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan called the push for photo ID "absurd."

(Carnahan's discussion --- by telephone --- was rare. Her office usually refuses to make her available for questions from reporters in the state.)

...But whether the MO SoS has been available to Helling or not, she has been making quite a bit of noise ever since, concerning what a study by her office has found to be some 240,000 largely Democrati-leaning voters in the Show-Me State who would be disenfranchised by the Republican law as she explained to us on air.

Meanwhile, over in Arizona, a law that has already made it on to the books will similarly be keeping legal Americans from casting their legal votes this year.

Thor Hearne deserves a raise...

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

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No Country for Old Nuns...
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2008 1:22pm PT  


Context, for those who still may need it...

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ALSO: Voting Machine, Registration Roll Problems Reported to National Election Protection Hotline...
By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2008 1:37pm PT  

The non-partisan Election Protection coalition offers a mid-day press release detailing some of the problems being reported to their 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline today from both Indiana and North Carolina.

The Supreme Court's recent, outrageous approval of Indiana's restrictive and disenfranchising Photo ID law --- better described as their Voter Suppression Act, despite Scalia's claim that "the burden at issue is minimal," to him, anyway --- is already "working" to disenfranchise legal voters, denying them their right to cast ballots like everyone else.

According to EP, it's not just veterans, elderly, and minorities who are being affected by the ruling, so are young voters and, yes, nuns, who have reportedly already been disenfranchised today under the Republican law...

This morning, in South Bend, Indiana, a freshman student at St. Mary's College, excited to vote for the first time, left the polling place in tears because she only possessed a private college ID and was unable to vote. The poll workers, nuns at a local convent, were trying to help the young student through her problem. While they were helping her, they realized that some of their fellow nuns, who had just arrived at the polling place, also could not vote because of the photo ID law. Not only was this group of nuns disenfranchised, but so would be four floors of retired nuns in their convent.

Remember, the law was upheld by the Supremes just last week, despite Indiana's inability to point to a single instance of in-person, polling place, voter impersonation fraud (the type of "voter fraud" the law was purportedly meant to deter) in the entire history of the state.

UPDATE: Brad Jacobson has more on the dangerous "roaming pack of octogenarian and nonagenarian hooligans [nuns, who] attempted to exercise their right to vote," including one of them, a clearly-up-to-no-good, 98 year-old, trouble maker who Catholic Antonin Scalia and friends don't believe deserves the right to cast a ballot.

Additional updates at the end of this article, including details on the evil nuns, a newly married woman, and more disenfranchised students.

Milwaukee Magazine's Bruce Murphy notes today that if a study recently done in Wisconsin correlates to numbers in Indiana, as many as 620,000 citizens in the Hoosier State might lack the Photo ID needed to cast votes there. That, even as the state downplayed the numbers in the SCOTUS case, arguing that there were only 43,000 such voters there. The authors of the WI study were unable to check the same numbers in Indiana, because "the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles would not provide the data needed to do the study," reports Murphy.

EP's news release goes on to list a number of other incidents being reported (if not yet by the corporate media) so far during voting today in IN and NC both, including multiple reports of voting machines problems; paper ballots not being offered to voters when machines go down; registered Independent voters being disallowed from voting in either party's primary; or voters being given Republican ballots when they believed they were registered as Democrats.

A few of the specific incidents as reported by EP so far, (which we post along with the usual caveat that frequently the most serious concerns do not come to light, if ever, until the days and weeks following such e-elections) include, from Indiana...

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

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ALSO: Unverifiable, Decertified, Virus-Prone, Failed E-Voting Systems Set for Use in Hoosier State Primary Tomorrow...
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2008 1:23pm PT  

[Ed Note: Please see the update at the bottom of this article, for the state's explanation concerning the 1.1 million voter records discussed in the following.]

The Republican War on Voting continues apace.

In addition to the recent, outrageously bad decision by the Supreme Court to approve Indiana's draconian polling place Photo ID restrictions, sure to keep thousands of legal voters from even being able to cast votes in tomorrow's important Primary Election --- despite the state's inability to offer up a single instance of in-person polling place voter impersonation that's ever occurred during the state's entire history (as we've covered here, here and here, for example) --- another 1.1 million voters have now been purged from the voting rolls altogether, reports Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, as based on the Hoosier State's own data.

Moreover, the state will use unverifiable touch-screen style voting systems across the state. One widely used system, made by MicroVote, will be used despite having been decertified, and two other systems, made by ES&S and Diebold, have been found vulnerable to undetectable vote-flipping viruses by several reputable universities.

According to Harris' report...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2008 8:05pm PT  

Couldn't find many more on this topic this week. Guess ensuring that legal voters can actually cast their ballot this November isn't all that important. On the other hand, there are dozens of toons this week about that guy who said some stuff and who also happens to know someone that's running for President (to paraphrase Jon Stewart on the Rev. Wright nonsense).

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Why Do Republicans Hate our Troops? And the U.S. Constitution?
By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2008 11:54am PT  

As I've been trying to help people understand, this Indiana polling place Photo ID restriction law, as upheld last week by the Supreme Court, is so much worse than most folks realize right now.

It is, as previously predicted, already beginning to spread like wildfire to other states, such as Missouri, where the Republicans control both legislature and state house, and where even a few thousand legal Democratic votes, shaved cynically off of the results in places like the city of St. Louis next November, can be the difference between the state going "red" instead of "blue."

The following remarkable tale of a U.S. Army vet who has fought in three conflicts for our country, and who has won multiple medals for his service, including two bronze stars, purple heart, etc., who has been registered to vote since 1968, but who is now having a helluva time being able to cast a ballot in Indiana, will likely become all too typical now. The report comes from from the Nuvo weekly in the Hoosier state, and was sent in by BRAD BLOG reader "RC."

It is absolutely maddening, at least to those of us who give a damn about American values, such as democracy, the U.S. Constitution, patriotism, love of country, etc., so it may mean little to the vast majority of Republicans out there today. Please, at least, read the lede to the story below and --- if you're a Republican who supports this anti-American bullshit --- please let us know, in comments, why why this sort of treatment of our troops is okay with you. All of this, despite Indiana's own admission during the SCOTUS hearing, that there has never been, in the state's entire history, a single known instance of polling place voter impersonation fraud of the type this law is supposedly meant to keep from happening...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2008 11:49pm PT  

I just finished a very lively late-night hour (actually 26 minutes with all the commercials removed, you're welcome) on San Francisco's KGO with Christine Craft. The discussion concerned the Supreme Court's outrageous ruling in the Indiana Photo ID restriction case, and my article yesterday detailing how difficult it now is to vote in Indiana if you don't happen to have one. Rights shmights.

The audio features plenty of wingnut callers who just don't get it, demonstrating why it's so damned difficult to fight off this out-and-out GOP voter suppression scam/assault on your democracy and Constitution. If it's this difficult in "liberal" SF (albeit, on "conservative" KGO), this nation is in big trouble. And, if the articles from the last few days here haven't made that clear, we are. Big time. This November is gonna be a nightmare. Big time.

Give it a listen. If only for the clueless callers and chickenshit racist emailers (MP3 Download, 26 mins)

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!
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By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2008 12:45pm PT  

Media Bloodhound nails the latest corporate mainstream media disgrace. This time, courtesy of NBC's Brian Williams, and Dick Cheney's longtime former protégé turned NBC News "reporter" Pete Williams...

Last night, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams allotted eighty seconds to yesterday's momentous Supreme Court ruling that there's nothing unconstitutional with Indiana's law requiring a photo ID to vote. Meanwhile, during the same broadcast, it spent over two minutes on the concern caused by photos of teen star Miley Cyrus in Vanity Fair.

That would be embarrassing enough for a news organization purporting to be credible.

But earlier in the day on the Nightly News blog The Daily Nightly, anchor and managing editor Brian Williams (in a post titled "What Times Is It?") actually took The New York Times to task for publishing puff pieces.

Well, at least Williams covered the outrageously anti-Constitutional Supreme Court decision, sure to disenfranchise thousands, if not millions, of voters, right? Even if only for 80 seconds. But, as it turns out, no coverage would have been preferable to Williams' unfair, unbalanced (and inaccurate) coverage...

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

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Polling Place Photo ID Restrictions in Indiana Upheld by SCOTUS in Courageous and Historic Dredd Scott-like Decision
But Why Stop at Keeping Black and Elderly Fraudsters from Stealing Elections?...
By Brad Friedman on 4/28/2008 3:22pm PT  

As the great voting rights advocate, Rush Limbaugh, trumpeted at the beginning of his radio show this morning, today's 6 to 3 Supreme Court ruling allowing new, modern restrictions regarding which citizens may or may not cast votes at American polling places on Election Day, is "a huge, huge, huge move forward to undercut Democrat efforts to commit voter fraud this fall."

Fortunately, instead of coming in June as expected, this decision on an Indiana Photo ID restriction case comes just in time to prevent massive voter fraud at the polls in Indiana's Democratic Primary two weeks from now, when millions of fraudulent Democratic voters were almost certainly plotting to try and show up to vote on electronic voting systems on which it's impossible to prove one way or another whether they did or didn't vote the way the machines will tell us they did. With voting systems like those in use across the Hoosier State, and elsewhere around the country, it's all the more reason to ensure those Democrats can't show up and commit the fraud they were probably planning to engage in on May 6th!

The news is certainly the most important SCOTUS decision pertaining to elections since the triumphant, well-considered, and much-beloved Bush v. Gore decision of 2000. Today's verdict will undoubtedly be heralded and taught at American institutions of learning for decades to come, with the same reverence as that dedicated to landmark Supreme Court decisions like 1857's Dredd Scott v. Sandford ruling, which thankfully found that "people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves, or their descendants --- whether or not they were slaves --- could never be citizens of the United States, and that the United States Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories."

The Supremes have done it again! But no such important American political battle like that which was won today is ever fought alone. Due thanks must go to the long-fought efforts of countable simple citizens around our nation, concerned about the integrity of voting. We'd be remiss without noting some of the selfless freedom fighters who helped make today's great news a reality: Courageous, unheralded voices, such as those of "longtime advocate of voter rights" and Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, tireless Republican "voter fraud" information-wareness man John Fund, and Bush-appointed DoJ Civil Rights Division guardians of the ballot box, like Hans von Spakovsky, Bradley Schlozman and its former Voting Section chief, John "Minorities Die First" Tanner.

Thanks to brave men like them, and Mr. Limbaugh, of course, it'll be a new day at the polling place this fall! One in which, if Republicans legislators around the country hurry up and get on the anti-voter fraud ball, they can assure that millions of Democratic-leaning citizens won't be fraudulently mistaken for actual voters when they show up at their polling places this November.

But are restrictions that may keep just blacks and the elderly from casting a ballot enough to ensure the true integrity of our vote? Shouldn't we keep fighting to ensure that legitimate voters like you and me don't have our voices diluted by even more fraudulent groups out there, like gays, communists, and dead people, who every year change the results of election after election through their insidious anti-American efforts, because I say they do?

Read on for a couple of new ideas. Clearly, today's SCOTUS decision is a good start, but it hardly goes far enough to ensure that the right American voices are heard, as our founders intended! 14th Amendment, equal protection, blah, blah, blah, my ass!...

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

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VIDEO UPDATE: U.S. Named One of 'Top Five' Executioners with China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia; Bush Kids Around With Pope: 'All human life is sacred'
By Brad Friedman on 4/16/2008 10:51pm PT  

Speaking of perverse discordance on the same day the Pope was serenaded with "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the White House (where Bush told him he gave an "awesome speech!"), the Supreme Court found that state-sponsored executions by lethal injection were just fine and dandy, as far as the U.S. Constitution was concerned.

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the most common method of lethal injection used to execute condemned prisoners is constitutional, a decision sure to restart the nation's dormant death chambers.
...
"Simply because an execution method may result in pain, either by accident or as an inescapable consequence of death, does not establish the sort of 'objectively intolerable risk of harm' that qualifies as cruel and unusual," wrote Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Roberts, of course, is Catholic. As are a total of 5 of the 9 justices now on the bench, 7 of whom gave the thumbs up to the continued use of a three-drug cocktail in order to kill citizens convicted of capital crimes. That, despite plaintiffs arguments that "if the first drug does not work, the second induces a 'terrifying, conscious paralysis' and the third causes an 'excruciating burning pain as it courses through the veins.'"

Of course, the Catholic Church strongly opposes all such state-sponsored executions. Yet all 5 of the Catholic justices joined the majority decision to end a temporary national moratorium on state-sponsored killing of criminals. All on the very same day the Pope came to D.C.

You'll forgive us then, if we see something --- yes --- perversely discordant in that. Again.


UPDATE 4/17/08: This morning, Democracy Now covered the Supremes' end to the de facto Death Penality Moratorium, noting that "the decision came one day after Amnesty International named the United States one of the top five executioners in the world, along with China, Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia."

Couldn't be prouder to be in such fine company. Good luck finding that AI stat --- reporting that of the 1200 people executed by governments last year, 88% of them occurred in those five countries alone --- in the American corporate media today.

No doubt, George W. Bush feels equally proud, even if we're not yet #1 in that area. And even though he said yesterday to the Pope, during the WH ceremony, as our own Alan Breslauer notes in the perversely discordant :38 second video at right: "In a world where some treat life as something to be debased and discarded, we need your message that all human life is sacred."

Bush was, of course, just kidding.

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By Brad Friedman on 4/16/2008 9:10am PT  

As Pope Benedict XVI was met with a resplendent ceremony on the White House lawn this morning, George W. Bush noted the visit would remind Americans to "distinguish between simple right and wrong."

"We need your message to reject this dictatorship of relativism," Bush said.

Is it just us? Or, given the news of late, concerning meetings in the White House to discuss what kind of torture America would officially carry out, isn't there something perversely discordant in Bush's remarks?

The Pope, who is celebrating his 81st birthday today, gave a few of his own remarks in turn (to which Bush replied "awesome speech") before being serenaded with a rousing rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic", as performed by a U.S. military choir.

Is it just us? Or is there something perversely discordant in that, too?

UPDATE: As is to help shore up our point, Rush Limbaugh positively gushed (full transcript here) for most of the first hour of his show today about the performance of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the WH ceremony today...

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

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Rep. Vern Ehlers Steps Briefly Off the Reservation at Recent Congressional Hearing, as Election Integrity Advocates Condemn the Privatization and Outsourcing of America's Electoral System
VoterAction's John Bonifaz Testifies: 'Growing Influence by Private Companies in How We Conduct Elections Puts Democracy at Serious Risk'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2008 8:05pm PT  


Last week our friends, voting rights attorney John Bonifaz of VoterAction.org and Greg Moore of the NAACP National Voter Fund, testified at a U.S. House Administrative Committee hearing on the 2008 Presidential Primaries and Caucuses and "What we've learned so far."

What we've learned, as Bonifaz explained in his opening statement (written version here [PDF], full video at the end of this article) is that "jurisdictions across the country are increasingly outsourcing, to private vendors, key election functions, and in the process, compromising the transparency and public control of our elections."

While all of that is likely old hat, by now, to readers of The BRAD BLOG, where our hair has been on fire about same for many years now, there was an interesting moment during the Q&A with a Republican congressman and panelists Moore and Bonifaz, as seen in the very short exchange (just under two minutes) in the video clip posted above left.

The Congressman --- at least momentarily --- stepped off the GOP reservation, to admit that the private corporations that fail in their outsourced election duties "should be fired"...

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

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Says Bush Ran 'Premeditated, Carefully Orchestrated Torture Program'
Constitutional Attorney Jonathon Turley Tells MSNBC Congress Refuses To Investigate Because They 'Do Not Want to Deal With That Fact'
By Alan Breslauer on 4/3/2008 6:21pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Jonathan Turley: It really is amazing because Congress, including the Democrats, have avoided any type of investigation into torture because they do not want to deal with the fact that the President ordered war crimes. But evidence keeps on coming out - the only thing we don’t have is a group picture with a detainee attached to electrical wires. I mean every time we see more evidence we have more and more high ranking people at the scene of this crime. And what you get from this is that this was a premeditated and carefully orchestrated torture program. Not torture, but a torture program.


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By Brad Friedman on 4/2/2008 2:11pm PT  

Is this your America?

The long saught DoJ "Torture Memo" written by John Yoo, offering a defense to George W. Bush and his sadistic friends to order the torture, and even killing, of detainees, has finally been made available. Not by the DoJ to Congress as they'd long sought, but to the ACLU via a FOIA request. (Thank you, ACLU!)

Yoo's document is some 80 pages long, offering what he feels --- or what the Administration wanted him to feel --- is a reasonable legal defense for the use of torture, even where it is explicitly disallowed by international treaties to which the U.S. has signed on.

Paul Kiel at TPMMuckraker, who offers his own summary on all of this, has posted one of the more remarkable sections here.

In short, that 7-page section amounts to:

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

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