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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, October 31, 2014
Court Rejects LePage's Science-Free Restrictions on Maine Medical Aid Worker
Stinging rebuke orders Kaci Hickox freed of state's fear-based restrictions after creepy 'threat' by nation's dumbest governor...
Touch-Screen Votes Flipping in Arkansas. Again.
Year after year the state's $30 million ES&S iVotronic voting system has failed voters. So why should this year be any different? Because now they have a terrible plan to deal with it...
GOP v. Registration Nation
50,000 new voter registrations said 'missing' in GA; Millions of voters threatened by faulty GOP 'Crosscheck' database scheme; About that 'non-citizen' voter 'study' at WaPo that all the RWers are talking about...
'Green News Report' 10/30/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
'Shut up!': NJ's Sandy recovery stalled, 2 years later; Weather Channel repudiates climate-denying co-founder; PLUS: 'Not too late': Stark, if hopeful message in UN's climate report...
Previous GNRs: 10/28/14 - 10/21/14 - Archives...
Why Dems Shouldn't Get Too Excited About Encouraging Pre-Election Polls in GA
A very brief reminder of the state's long and disturbing history with 100% unverifiable Diebold touch-screen voting systems...
Touch-Screen Votes Reportedly Flip R to D in MD
Diebold systems have been failing in Maryland since the state was the first to install them (and cover up their failures) in 2002. So why should 2014 be any different?...
'Green News Report' 10/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate Change and Election 2014: High stakes at the ballot box on energy, the environment, and global warming...
Previous GNRs: 10/21/14 - 10/14/14 - Archives...
Deja Vu All Over Again.
Again.
Brad's appearance this week on Thom Hartmann's 'Big Picture' TV show, as touch-screen votes starting flipping across the country yet again...
NM 'Motor Voter' Registration Rates Dive Under GOP SoS
Facing tight re-election bid, 'voter fraud' fraudster and Sec. of State Dianna Duran stands to benefit from failed, unlawful new reg process in race against Dem challenger...
NJ's Emergency 'Internet Vote' Scheme After Sandy Failed Disastrously
Aside from being illegal, a new report finds Chris Christie's order resulted in tens of thousands of unauthenticated votes during the 2012 Presidential Election in NJ...
Touch-Screens Flip 'No' to 'Yes' on TN Abortion Measure
After the state GOP repealed the law to move to paper ballots, votes now reportedly flipping again on a controversial Amendment to the state Constitution...
More Trouble With Touch-Screens (2014 Edition)
Votes Flip D to R in Texas, R to D in Illinois - What's happening (again), what it means (again), and what you can do about it (please?)...
Christie: GOP Governors Needs to Control 'Voting Mechanisms' in 2016
NJ Governor and 2016 Presidential hopeful offers interesting reason why Republicans in three key states need to win in 2014...
Justice Ginsburg Republishes TX Photo ID Law Dissent After BRAD BLOG Cites Error
Turns out U.S. Vets' ID can be used to vote under TX' new GOP voting restriction. Official SCOTUS opinion updated...
'Mercy' and 'Restorative Justice'
Sentencing of South Africa's Oscar Pistorius offers stark reminder of concepts missing from U.S. justice system...
'Green News Report' 10/21/14
GOPers still dodging climate Qs; Mountaintop removal coal mining promotes cancer; 2014 on track as hottest year ever; PLUS: LEGO breaks up with Shell...
Everything Old is Texas Again
On the upside though, even if they successfully violate the Constitution by keeping some 600,000 legally registered, disproportionately minority voters from voting this year, they can save some money on signage...
Congresswoman Sets Impeachment Deadline for Federal Judge Mark Fuller
ALSO: Court unseals divorce docs from first marriage, Fuller attny dismisses abuse allegations as 'rhetorical'...
SCOTUS ALLOWS TEXAS' DISCRIMINATORY GOP PHOTO ID LAW TO USED IN MIDTERMS
Despite uncontested findings striking down the law as a racially-motivated, 'unconstitutional poll tax', it will be implemented this year...
'Dead Heat' and 'Dirty Tricks': The Nightmare Scenario
Maddow: 'Now we watch for ways that people will try to stop voters from turning out or from having their votes counted'...
Judge Fuller's Attorney Says Wife Beating Thing No Big Deal; 911 AUDIO and Gov. Don Siegelman Disagree
Standalone video of 911 call; First comment on case by imprisoned former AL Gov.; MORE...
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...


Said Recently Threatened by Karl Rove, Had Been Key Witness in OH '04 Election Fraud Case
Built Alternate WH Email System, Websites for Bush, McCain, Swiftboaters, '04 OH Election, More...
By Emily Levy on 12/19/2008 11:27pm PT  

Guest blogged by Emily Levy of Velvet Revolution
[Additional material added on 12/20/08 by Brad Friedman]

The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting that the private plane of the GOP's highly-placed "IT guru" Mike Connell's went down in Lake Township, Ohio on Friday evening. Connell was killed in the crash and is reported to have been the only person on board. There are no reports of anyone on the ground being hurt, though his plane crashed in a residential neighborhood.

Connell is a familiar name to readers of The BRAD BLOG as a key witness in the King-Lincoln v. Blackwell lawsuit regarding fraud in the 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio. That recently revived, long-standing lawsuit led to Connell's recent deposition on November 3, 2008, the day before this year's general election. According to plaintiff's lead attorney Cliff Arnebeck in July, a tipster had warned that Connell had been threatened by Karl Rove, as The BRAD BLOG reported at the time, in an attempt to intimidate him into "taking the fall" for Ohio election fraud not long after a motion was filed to lift the stay in that case.

Connell had been memorably described as a "high IQ Forrest Gump", by the attorneys for the plaintiffs in the Ohio fraud case, for his apparent penchant at the scene of "every single crime" from Florida 2000 to Ohio 2004 to the network firewall on a number of key Congressional committees to the case of the missing White House emails. (Video and text transcript of the interview with the attorneys here.)

In late September, the federal judge in the Ohio case agreed to lift the stay, and in late October he compelled Connell to give a deposition to plaintiff attorneys on the Monday before the Tuesday general election.

Connell had been served with a subpoena to appear in the federal courtroom in Ohio at the same College Park, MD airport where his single engine plane reportedly took off from last night, on his final solo flight...

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Constitutional Law Professor Charges Citizenry With Responsibility for Bringing Accountability...
By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2008 5:06pm PT  

As Jon Ponder noted here on Tuesday, a bi-partisan U.S. Senate panel has found [PDF] that George W. Bush was responsible for approving War Crimes (torture and abuse) at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Dick Cheney admitted in a recent interview to helping to approve War Crimes (torture and abuse) in interrogations, and the corporate media --- with the lone exception of MSNBC --- have been virtually as silent on what may be the most offensive crimes ever committed by an Executive Branch in the U.S. as they were during the lead-up to and follow-through on the War on Iraq, when those same officials sent our nation into war on the basis of demonstrable lies.


George Washington University's highly-respected constitutional law professor Jonathon Turley, noting the War Crimes now known and admitted to by Bush and Cheney, asked Keith Olbermann Tuesday night, "If someone commits a crime and everyone's around to see it and does nothing, is it still a crime?"

(Please watch the video at right, or read the text transcript at the end of this article.)

During the discussion, Turley mentioned --- no less than three different times --- that it'll be up to the citizens whether or not any action is actually taken to prosecute those who committed these crimes.

But is there any real basis --- in 2008 --- for his well-meaning argument? Not bloody likely...

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Despite Overnight Detention in County Jail for 'Disorderly Conduct', as Orchestrated by Broward's Election Chief, a Candidate for That Same Office, Ellen Brodsky, Remains Uncharged a Month Later and Still Seeking Discovery Documents...
Counter Charges for 'False Arrest' Still to Come...
By Brad Friedman on 12/17/2008 1:11pm PT  

It's been more than a full month since the November 13th arrest of Broward County, FL's election integrity advocate Ellen Brodsky and the state has still failed to file formal charges or supply her with discovery documents.

As The BRAD BLOG reported in detail following the arrest, Brodsky was taken into custody, seemingly at the behest of her opponent in the election, after attempting to oversee the public counting of ballots for the election in which she ran as a candidate for Supervisor of Elections.

The arrest for "disorderly conduct" (according to police records) was caught on tape and posted here last week. The tape shows fairly clearly that there was no such disorderly conduct by Brodsky, despite the order for the arrest having apparently been issued by the office of the current Broward Supervisor of Elections, Dr. Brenda Snipes.

Today's South Florida Sun-Sentinel picks up the story with an update noting that Brodsky, a month since her arrest, has been forced to seek a judge's order demanding that prosecutors explain why she was arrested in the first place.

The BRAD BLOG has also obtained a copy of a motion to compel discovery exhibits, which have similarly not been given to her, as filed by Brodksy's attorney earlier this month.

According to the Sun-Sentinel:

Ellen Brodsky has asked a judge to order prosecutors to explain why she was arrested at the election office warehouse.
...
The case is open but no charges have been filed, State Attorney's Office spokesman Ron Ishoy said Tuesday.
...
Her lawyer, Tanner Andrews, denies wrongdoing. He wants to know what exactly his client is accused of doing and who made the accusation on Nov. 13.

"Why they arrested her would be a really good start," he said.

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By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2008 1:01pm PT  

Journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi, the new hero in Iraq, much of the Muslim world, and even among many in this country, is facing less than friendly treatment from the Iraqi military and, according to some news reports, the U.S. forces overseeing his custody...

The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at US President George W. Bush has a broken arm and ribs after being struck by Iraqi security agents, his brother told AFP on Tuesday.

Durgham Zaidi was unable to say whether his brother Muntazer had sustained the injuries while being overpowered during Sunday's protest against Bush's visit to Baghdad or while in custody later.

He said he had been told that his brother was being held by Iraqi forces in the heavily fortified Green Zone compound in central Baghdad where the US embassy and most government offices are housed.

"He has got a broken arm and ribs, and cuts to his eye and arm," said Durgham.

And yes, as we noted in our coverage on Sunday, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino did, in fact, receive both a literal and symbolic black eye during the melee following the shoe toss. In what would be dismissed as ridiculous heavy-handed Hollywood symbolism, had it been featured in a movie, Perino actually received a black-eye when she was hit during the fracas, in the eye, with a microphone...

More photos here...

In other shoe-throwing news, you can now throw virtual shoes at Bush in a number of online games, or you can send him some actual shoes via a new online campaign promising to give Bush the boot. They all sound like good ideas to us!

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Now Cheney Has Admitted Approving Torture...
And Yet the 'Liberal' Media Yawn...
By Jon Ponder on 12/16/2008 12:25pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

The myth of the "liberal media" has become such an article of faith these days that attempting to refute it is futile. But if evidence against liberal bias were being collected, on top of the pile would go the scant coverage the liberal media are giving two stories about the approval of torture and prisoner abuse by the conservatives currently holding the offices of president and vice president of the United States.

Earlier this month, a bipartisan U.S. Senate committee put the blame for the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison squarely at the top of the chain of command. Here's Andrew Sullivan:

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By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2008 12:06pm PT  


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Staged Legacy Visit 'Marred' by Actual Event, Expression of Truth
UPDATED: WH Spokesliar Perino Said to Receive Literal, Symbolic Blackeye...
By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2008 12:23pm PT  

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).

From NYTimes:

BAGHDAD — President Bush flew to Iraq on Sunday, his fourth and final trip, to highlight the recently completed security agreement between the United States and the country that occupied the bulk of his presidency and will to a large extent define his legacy.

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...

The president was uninjured and brushed off the incident. “All I can report is it is a size 10,” he said jokingly. An Iraqi accompanying the pool of reporters, colleague said the man had shouted, “This is a farewell kiss, dog.”

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...

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The Failures Discovered in Diebold's Tabulation System Are Even Worse Than Previously Reported...
...And Never Would Have Been Found Were it Not for the 'Humboldt Transparency Project'...
By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2008 1:17pm PT  

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:

  • The problem, which Diebold admits has been in its system for years, likely wouldn't have been noticed at all were it not for the unique, experimental, citizen-led "Humboldt Transparency Project." Even CA's required 1% random post-election "audit" wouldn't have uncovered the problem, since absentee ballots are not included in that audit.
  • The chances of the problem occurring, which resulted in ballots being deleted without notice by the Diebold GEMS tabulator, are rather high, even if chances of discovery of the error by election officials are very low.
  • Diebold's explanation for the failure may or may not be legitimate.
  • The GEMS internal "audit logs" (the GEMS system was used in 34 states around the nation last November) aren't actually audit logs at all, and may not actually note the complete set of events which occurred on the voting system, even if anyone is allowed to review those logs in the first place.

Let's take a look at the details...

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Ellen Brodsky's Attempt at Peaceful Observation of Ballot Counting, Led to Overnight Detention in Broward County Jail, Apparently Orchestrated by Election Opponent...
By Brad Friedman on 12/9/2008 12:33pm PT  

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...

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Hundreds of Lost Ballots, Illegal Voting System, and the Boondoggle Behind Billions of Federal Dollars Spent on Voting Machines That Don't Work All Illustrated by Simple Citizen Oversight, Free Open-Source Voting System in One California County...
By Brad Friedman on 12/8/2008 3:28pm PT  

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...

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UPDATE: BRAD BLOG Credited for Original Findings in Academic Study...
By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2008 1:13pm PT  

[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...

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Now Would Be a Good Time for Congress to Ask the Automaker Why They Killed Their Perfectly Good and Much-Beloved All-Electric Car in 1999...
By Brad Friedman on 12/5/2008 8:12am PT  

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.

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Humboldt County's First-of-Its-Kind Citizen Oversight Program Finds 197 Ballots Dropped, Miscounted by Voting System in One Precinct
Company Knew About Software Flaw, Failed to Notify County...
By John Gideon on 12/5/2008 5:21am PT  

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:

The basic idea behind the first-of-its-kind transparency project is fairly simple: every ballot cast in an election is passed through an optical scanner after being officially counted and the images are then placed online and available for download.

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:

The first of its kind Humboldt Election Transparency Project has uncovered a glitch in the county election's software that resulted in almost 200 ballots not being counted and the county certifying inaccurate election results.

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...

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Campagin to Rehabilitate Bush's Image Starts with New Take on Bush's Role in Decision to Invade Iraq...
By Jon Ponder on 12/5/2008 5:19am PT  

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:

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UPDATE: NY Times Adds Unique Twist in Censoring Genocidal Numbers
By Brad Jacobson on 12/2/2008 6:33pm PT  

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:

The war has claimed more than 4,200 American lives and killed a far greater, untold number of Iraqis, consumed huge reserves of money and resources and eroded the global stature of the United States, even among its closest allies.

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.

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