w/ Brad & Desi
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
Unlike the previous video, this one is real, as the line between satire and Bush's 'Presidency' grows increasingly impossible to discern in his waning days, and as his final visit to Iraq becomes as embarrassing as his first (when he delivered a fake turkey to the troops).
But his appearance at a news conference here was interrupted by a man, apparently a journalist, who leaped to his feet and threw one shoe at the president, who ducked and narrowly missed being struck. Chaos ensued. He threw a second shoe, which also narrowly missed Mr. Bush. The man was roughly 12 feet from the lecturn in the center of two rows of chairs, about two feet from a pool of reporters. A scrum of security agents descended on the man and wrestled him, first to the floor and then out of the ornate room where the news conference was taking place.
TV news coverage has noted that throwing shoes is one of the culture's greatest insults. So is calling someone a "dog." Unlike hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed by Bush's attacks over the last 5 years, however, he was able to survive this one with his life, and even make a joke about it...
UPDATE: The video of both shoes dropping follows below. Also, MSNBC reports that WH Spokesliar Dana Perino may have ended up with a black eye. Both a literal, and an unbelievably symbolic one at the same time...
Following up on the latest monumental failure by Diebold/Premier --- whose voting system was recently found by a citizens' transparency project to have lost hundreds of ballots in a single precinct in Humboldt County, CA --- Wired's Kim Zetter covered the issue earlier this week.
Her article touched on a number of technical issues involved in the failure of the Diebold GEMS central tabulator which, though we hadn't noted them in our own coverage, are nonetheless important, even if somewhat down in the weeds, and perhaps most of note to technical election integrity geeks only.
As quoted below in some detail from Zetter's report, she advances the story by noting:
Let's take a look at the details...
Last month we reported the story of the arrest of Broward County, FL, election integrity advocate and independent candidate for Supervisor of Elections, Ellen Brodsky. She was handcuffed and arrested, according to the police report, for "disorderly conduct" and "trespass/structure or conveyance" while trying to observe post-election ballot counting and canvassing procedures in the county.
After her arrest, orchestrated by her opponent, Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, Brodsky was held overnight in the county jail until 5:45am the next morning, despite her son having posted bail for her --- a grand total of $25 --- at 8:30pm the night before.
Brodksy has an impressive record of finding serious problems with counting and election procedures in Broward County, which undoubtedly helped foster the animus from her opponent Snipes. Shamefully, as we pointed out in our original coverage, Brodsky is only the latest in a string of EI advocates around the country who have been arrested recently while trying to peacefully carry out public observation of our public elections.
Here now is the video tape of the incident that results in her arrest, as captured on a small flip camera provided by election watchdog organization VideoTheVote.org. The man seen on the phone, at the beginning of the tape, calling the police, is Snipes' deputy Fred Bellis. It's clear that Bellis, in cahoots with Snipes --- again, Snipes was Brodsky's election opponent --- clearly seems to have been choreographing the entire arrest.
As you'll see in the video below, the fact that she was arrested at all, much less for "disorderly conduct," is absolutely incredible and clearly without merit. Our original report offered a great deal of background and context, as well as comments from Brodsky and a number of both EI advocates and a state election official from a different county who have all worked with her. They all, almost uniformly, described the turn of events at the time as "outrageous" and an "abuse of power."
Here's the video. You decide...
By John Gideon and Brad Friedman
"Some people have called those who have long decried our nation's move toward voting machines nuts or just sore losers," reads the editorial from yesterday's Eureka Times-Standard.
"They were loud, and they were strident in proclaiming that they didn't trust election technologies as much as they trust the ability of actual human beings to count votes," the paper continues in response to the citizen's "Transparency Project" in Humboldt County, CA which, as The BRAD BLOG reported last week, discovered some 200 ballots that the county's Diebold optical-scan system had deleted from the initially certified count. Humboldt registrar Carolyn Crnich --- who deserves much credit for working with local election integrity advocates to allow them to create a more transparent, open-source optical-scan system as a check on the buggy Diebold hardware and software --- was forced to to re-certify the November 4th election with new results after the findings.
"The recent discovery, thanks to the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project, of a discrepancy in election results due to flawed software reveals that these activists were right to make noise, and right to complain about a company that has been less than responsible in dealing with the problem."
Thanks for noticing, Times-Standard. Now will the rest of the country notice? Specifically, will the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, responsible for testing and certifying these machines at the federal level, and the U.S. Dept. of Justice, responsible for enforcing federal laws --- which again seem to have been violated by Diebold (whose election division now calls themselves Premier) --- notice and take action?
Interviews with and responses from CA officials from Crnich to Sec. of State Debra Bowen's office indicate a serious problem, yet again, with Diebold's handling of the software failure which the company has known about for four years, even as they allowed election officials to continue using the same system in several states.
The BRAD BLOG has obtained a copy of Diebold's original terse, emailed notice of the software failure, sent to Crnich's predecessor in 2004, but never sent to CA's new Sec. of State, despite her "Top-to-Bottom Review" of all e-voting systems in the state which she undertook after taking office in 2007. (The Diebold email notice is posted below, in full.)
At the same time, local software programmer Mitch Trachtenberg, who developed the simple, transparent, open-source optical-scan software, using off-the-shelf hardware for the citizen's project --- including the ability to post all scanned ballots onto the web for citizen review --- may have inadvertently revealed the scam perpetuated by the nation's electronic voting machine vendor's who were allocated some $3.9 billion federal tax dollars for their efforts at creating proprietary systems, which don't even work as promised...or as required by federal law...
[Ed Note: Be sure to see the second of two UPDATES added to the bottom of the story below for Prof. Scott Althaus email sent in to note that his University of Illinois report does indeed cite The BRAD BLOG, several times, for our original contribution to their findings.]
Today's "news" that the White House altered Iraq War documents on its website regarding "the coalition of the willing" is not actually news at all.
The BRAD BLOG broke that story --- the first such scoop of ours to be noticed and picked up by the national media --- back in 2004, prior to the Presidential Election. At the time, the noise we helped cause with the revelations led to the WH being forced to restore terrabytes of documents, audio and video to their website in the week prior to the election. You're welcome.
We initially made the discovery of the missing WH website documents on the night of the Vice-Presidential Debate, after Dick Cheney claimed to be offended by John Edwards' assertion that the U.S. had "taken 90 percent of coalition casualties" in Iraq.
Cheney faked indignation in response, arguing that it was "beyond the pale" that Edwards was ignoring the sacrifices of Iraqis. Not recalling that Iraq was ever named as part of the "Coalition of the Willing," we checked the WH website, only to find the link to the list still there, but the page itself missing. Afterwards, we found many other pages, as well as audio and video, had been illegally removed from the website.
Here's our Special Coverage page, indexing our series of reports on the "White House Website Scrubbing" scandal, beginning in October of 2004.
We're very happy, in any case, that it's now "officially" news, and that the violation of the federal Presidential Records Act that we noted at the time is also confirmed, now that a professor at a university has found the same, and written about it. Guess we'll have to find a professorship somewhere. Haven't gotten to read his original report yet, but I'll assume he offered us the hat-tip we're due.
UPDATE: The above benefit-of-the-doubt, concerning credit where its due, may not be a safe assumption. The rather irony-laden coverage of professor of political science and communication Scott Althaus' findings, as reported by the Daily Illini today, follows. Get a load of this...
I haven't been able to watch all of the Capitol Hill hearings with the Big 3 automaker CEOs, but caught a fair portion. I've yet to hear anybody ask GM CEO Rick Wagoner why the hell his company killed their perfectly good, and rather popular, fully electric car which was introduced in CA in 1996.
The EV1 was much beloved by its owners (leasers, actually, since they were not allowed to buy them). There were waiting lists to be able to get one, before finally, three years later, with little or no explanation, GM announced they would not be renewing any of the leases on those cars and those who used them would have no recourse but to give them back.
Customers were outraged, heartbroken even. Many had tried to buy them outright --- and even sign contracts that they'd not hold GM accountable for any future problems or repairs --- but they were all turned down. When the devoted customers learned the planned fate of the cars --- and discovered, by helicopter, that they were all being rounded up in the desert --- they took up a round-the-clock, 24/7 vigil in an effort to block what GM had planned for them.
Incredibly, not only had GM taken back the cars, they were actually sending them, in perfectly good working order, to be shredded --- yes, literally shredded. As EV1 supporters tried to physically block the movement of cars to the shredder, they were threatened with arrest if they didn't get out of the way to allow the perfectly usable, and almost brand new cars to be taken out by trucks to be completely destroyed.
Why? That was never really made clear, at least not in the excellent 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? which detailed the entire heartbreaking tale of the cars which ran quickly and quietly, and without a drop of gasoline. Here's a short teaser for the film...
So, as promises of the Chevy Volt for 2010 have been well advertised, has Wagoner been publicly asked about the shameful EV1 chapter, and why his company can't just start making them again --- like tomorrow? Surely they didn't shred the blueprints for the cars as well, did they? If anyone has asked him, even about why the hell they destroyed them in the first place, I've not seen it. But with everything that's going on right now, and with GM's hat-in-hand, threatening "bankruptcy within the month" if they don't get billions of dollars pronto, it sure seems like someone oughta bring up the still unanswered questions of the EV1.
Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org
First I think congratulations are in order for Humboldt County California Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich. Crnich worked with local voters and began the "Humboldt Election Transparency Project". The Eureka Times-Standard describes the program like this:
Software, created by volunteer Mitch Trachtenberg, then allows viewers to sort the ballots by precinct or race to conduct recounts at their pleasure.
Crnich also deserves a big thank you, along with Trachtenberg, from the voters of Eureka Precinct 1E-45 because if not for the project and Trachtenberg's software their votes in the recent general election would not have been counted. The Times-Standard explains:
And this "glitch" in the Diebold/Premier GEMS central tabulator software has been known to the company since 2004, or so Crnich learned after exchanging several calls with the vendor...
Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.
On Tuesday, Stephen Hayes, a conservative columnist and analyst for CNN, revealed that George Bush and Karl Rove have launched a new propaganda campaign with the monumental goal of rewriting the history of the past eight years. The newspeak title of the enterprise is the "Bush legacy project."
The campaign rolled out this week, first in an "exit interview" Bush gave Charlie Gibson of ABC News and then in an Oxford-style debate in Manhattan in which Rove argued against the proposition that "Bush 43 Is the Worst President of the Last 50 Years." In the separate venues, both men attempted to reposition Bush's role in the invasion of Iraq from resolute war president, as he depicted himself at the time, to a reluctant warrior who was misled by bad intelligence into making what many analysts rate as the worst military decision in U.S. history.
The BRAD BLOG commented previously on the newly retreaded myth of "bad" pre-war intel, and how it's now being used to prop up both Bush's and the mainstream corporate media's tragic legacy of failure which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops and innocent Iraqi civilians.
Bush was up first, on Monday night, with the interview with ABC's Gibson, but notice how Bush whiffs on the revisionist script when he is supposed to second-guess the decision to invade:
Guest blogged by Brad Jacobson of MediaBloodhound
From the aftermath of the 2003 "shock and awe" bombing campaign all the way through Thanksgiving Day 2008, major US news outlets have nearly uniformly blacked out or downplayed reports of the Iraqi death toll. But a recent Associated Press article reveals the depths to which these outlets are still willing to delve to censor this information.
In the November 27 article "Iraqi Parliament OKs US Troops for 3 More Years," by Christopher Torchia and Qassim Abdul-Zahra, AP editors approved the following characterization of Iraqi deaths suffered since the US invasion:
How's that for a statistically rigorous accounting? With the exactitude of a third-grader's book report cribbed from a novel's dust jacket copy, the AP --- America's #1 wire news service --- blankets US news outlets with a quantification of Iraqi casualties that would've made Stalin proud.
In truth, the worst of it isn't Rightwing Radio and other such outlets which we expect to be GOP shills. Far more insidious --- as we discussed recently on the Gregory Mantell Show --- is the lazy, enabling, complicit, rightwing slant of actual news outlets, such as AP, WaPo, NYTimes, etc., which are generally believed by the public to be credible, down the middle, unbiased, and legitimate. They aren't. As proven time and again over the last eight years. And they're still at it, even in the waning days of Bush. They're now helping him to prop up a phony legacy as phony as the last eight years of the phony illusions of "success" they helped him invent in the first place.
Greg Sargent elucidates the latest round of corporate mainstream media misreporting which, conveniently, helps both Bush and --- perhaps more to the point --- themselves by justifying their own failure to report the story of the unnecessary War on Iraq accurately, as they did, straight from the jump...
After Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) discusses the bailout as if it's something "they" are doing (as opposed to her, a member of the U.S. Congress) Ashton Kutcher called her on it on Friday's HBO's Real Time w/ Bill Maher, before going on to make a very significant point about the insane way this economic "bailout" is being carried out.
"With all due respect, you're in a position to do something very significant about it. We're all in a position to do something very significant about it," he tells the Congresswoman, before the actor/producer of Punk'd goes on to declare, deadly seriously, in reply to Maher: "They're punking us right now!" (appx. 2 mins)...
I'll tell ya, I was really impressed with Kutcher every time he opened his mouth on the show last Friday. I hope he keeps talking. Clearly, he's been paying very close attention to what's really going on out here. And, to that end, we'll have another clip of him from the same show later today, which offers some pretty good evidence that he must be a BRAD BLOG reader. Stay tuned...
Text transcript follows below...
A candidate for Supervisor of Elections in Broward County, FL, was arrested yesterday, following threats and orders from her opponent, the current Broward SOE, Dr. Brenda Snipes.
Ellen H. Brodsky, the county's first non-partisan candidate for SOE, had previously been barred from public counting and oversight on a number of occasions, at the county's official Canvassing Board site and voting machine warehouse in Lauderhill, Florida.
After being taken into custody yesterday afternoon by three uniformed police officers, Brodsky was held overnight at the Broward County Jail even though the $25 --- that's twenty-five dollar --- bail had been posted for her by her son by 8pm last night. She was finally released well after 5am this morning.
(Note: An account of the arrest posted this morning on the South Florida Sun Sentinel's blog incorrectly reported that Brodsky was "released on bail Thursday evening." A report later filed on their website by the same reporter correctly noted that she "was released from jail at 5:40 a.m. Friday.")
Brodsky is a longtime member of a number of election integrity advocacy groups in Florida, including the Broward Election Reform Coalition, which she also founded. Earlier this year, she determined to run against Snipes as a non-partisan candidate.
Brodsky is the latest in a string of election integrity advocates around the country who have been arrested in the course of attempting oversight of our election procedures --- although she is the first, to our knowledge, who also happens to be a candidate on the ballot.
The action has brought condemnation from a number of other election watchdogs and even other election officials in Florida who have characterized the arrest to The BRAD BLOG as an outrage and an abuse of power by Snipes and her office...
The response from the guy who works at the real NYTimes alone --- after he claims "we've been all over the Bush administration since day one, we set the standard for coverage of the Iraq War" before the reporter mentions the name "Judith Miller" --- makes this a must-see video (appx. 2 minutes)...
Thank you to those who dare to dream, even if such dreams are little more than saying out loud what we all know to be possible. Even that much, incredibly, in 2008, seems to have become the impossible for so many, in a country which once saw nothing as impossible.
The Democrats, as usual, have only themselves to blame. But we're still happy to help both them and the Republicans if it means the voters might see their votes counted and counted accurately, no matter who will ultimately be declared the winner of any election. You're welcome, Republicans (and Democrats).
After years of Democrats refusing to use the f-word (fraud) or discussing concerns about the s-word (stolen) for elections, for fear of being declared conspiracy theorists and sore-losers by the Republicans, we'll note that Republicans have no such fears. They never did. And they are happy to don enormous and shiny tin-foil hats any time to claim any conspiracy they need to, regardless of the actual evidence (or lack thereof) to support their theory.
They will claim --- even at the highest official levels of their party --- that "Democrats are stealing the election," "stuff[ing] new ballots into the ballot box" and all other manner of unsubstantiated allegations, if they believe it might help their candidate "win." The voters be damned.
To that end, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has now gone so far as to set up a "Minnesota Recount" conspiracy theory blog. The site is devoted to the advancement of making and reposting unsubstantiated claims from around the wingnut 'sphere --- and that would include liar John Fund's Wall Street Journal --- that Al Franken and the Democrats are in the process of "stealing" the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota...
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
· Huffington Post
· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
Project Censored Sites:
· Daily Censored
· Media Freedom
· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
· TV Newser
· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
· Not Banned Yet
· Pat Oliphant
· Paul Conrad
· Ted Rall
· This Modern World
· Thomas Burns
· Tom Toles
· Tony Auth
· Stuart Carlson
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