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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...|
Yesterday, "Mediabloodhound" Brad Jacobson (an occasional guest contributor to The BRAD BLOG) covered the coverage, noting the curious lack thereof, in the corporate mainstream, of the death of Mike Connell, the longtime top Bush/Rove/McCain IT consultant.
Jacobson's piece concludes:
What caused Connell's crash is only one piece of this story. One that, as in many such stories, may or may never be confirmed. Pilot error? Aircraft malfunction? Weather conditions? Foul play? Suicide? Heart attack? A thorough investigation needs to take place. Part of what the media should be doing is making sure that happens.
But everything that has already been confirmed, having nothing to do with the crash, should also have the national media covering this with at least as much gusto as "BlaggoGate" or, say, Britney's comeback or Brangelina's pre-nup. So far, though, in a replay of journalistic fecklessness rife during the Bush years, mum's the word.
Shortly following the publication of Jacobson's piece, AP/CBS filed a rather detailed report, one which is actually quite thorough by MSM standards.
Nonetheless, it's still been fairly quiet in the bulk of the MSM, especially in the broadcast MSM, and especially given the high-ranks of Connell, who had been the chief IT consultant for Karl Rove, had received millions creating websites for the Bushes, McCain, the Swiftboaters, the state of OH and dozens of other GOP campaigns, as well as having created the network firewalls for top Congressional committees (for which his company reportedly received a sweetheart, no-bid contract) and the controversial alternate email server used by the White House and at the center of the US Attorney purge scandal.
Let's hope the AP/CBS report will now spur more MSM coverage...just in time to be lost in the XMas news hole, of course.
A few more odds and ends of note today on this matter, as we head into that news hole...
I'm not sure what, if any, light this video --- as shot by local eye and ear-witnesses in Akron, OH --- sheds on the plane crash and death of high-ranking GOP IT operative Mike Connell. But, as it may reveal something, to somebody, in the still-unexplained, and surprisingly-timed crash, I suppose it may useful to put it on the record here.
For example, despite scattered reports that bad weather may have contributed to the cause of the crash, the weather seems to have been clear, at least on the ground, at least by the time the witnesses arrived, as seen in the video. Reports of "mist" seem to be belied in the early part of the video, shot through the front window of the car which does not appear to have its windshield wipers on. [UPDATE: RAW STORY also reports weather data during the hour of the crash, noting visibility was clear, and temperatures just above freezing.] Also, several descriptions of what was heard by the "ear-witnesses" as the crash occurred, may be of value as well.
The video, and an audio interview with OH attorney Cliff Arnebeck, who had sought Connell's protection after reported threats from Karl Rove, follow below...
-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG
The lead attorney in the widening 2004 federal election fraud conspiracy case which began in Ohio --- but is rapidly growing to other states and other elections --- says that the stunning death of a key witness last Friday is a blow to the case, but not the end of it by a long shot.
"Michael Connell was a critically important witness. His loss hurts our case," Cliff Arnebeck, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the King-Lincoln Bronzeville v. OH Sec. of State lawsuit, told The BRAD BLOG in an email responding to questions about Connell's death. The Republican 'IT guru,' a top IT consultant to Karl Rove, George W. Bush, John McCain, and a bevy of congressional Republicans, had been in the nation's capital on still-unknown business before his single engine plane crashed Friday night on the way home, just three miles short of the runway in Akron, Ohio. The cause of the crash remains similarly unknown as of today.
"We will have to adjust," Arnebeck told us in response to queries about where the case may necessarily need to go from here. "The kind of organized criminal enterprise we are addressing requires the resources of the very best that the investigative press corps and law enforcement, at all levels, can muster."
As posted on the New York Times website in full on Saturday, the last line of a press release from VelvetRevolution.us, who has retained Arnebeck as counsel in the case, reads "Our prior request to have Mr. Connell protected went unheeded and now he is dead." [DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.]
However, despite Connell's elite status as a top-rung Republican consultant for years --- he reportedly received some $800,000 from the Bush/Cheney campaign in 2004 alone --- the NYTimes, the nation's paper of record, has yet to run anything else on the death of the man who, Arnebeck notes, he had intended to both further depose, as well as call to testify as a key trial witness in the federal conspiracy case. Coverage from the UK's Telegraph, however, is published here.
Connell had been compelled by the federal district judge in the case, on the Friday prior to last month's Presidential Election, to give a deposition to plaintiff attorneys on the Monday before the general election. The order for that deposition came after the OH attorneys had sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, seeking protection for Connell and his wife. While Connell had expressed a willingness to testify about what he knew concerning the '04 election, and the election website network he had created for Ohio's then-Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, he had become reticent after Rove had sent threats to Connell and his wife, according to tipsters...
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...
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...
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.
"Why they arrested her would be a really good start," he said.
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...
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...
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!
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:
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...
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
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· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
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· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
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· 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
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· Stuart Carlson
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