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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, March 23, 2017
Capitol Chaos & Pipeline Peril: 'BradCast' 3/23/17
Guest: DeSmog Canada's James Wilt on why KeystoneXL may never happen; Plus: House GOP fails to hold O'Care repeal vote, Senate Dems to filibuster stolen SCOTUS nom...
'Green News Report' 3/23/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump vows to bring back coal, as world moves away from it; Toxins found in Great Lakes; Wind energy blows past new milestones; PLUS: Wildfire season erupts early across US...
Previous GNRs: 3/21/17 - 3/16/17 - Archives...
How 'Citizens United' Gave Us Clarence Thomas, Climate Denial and Neil Gorsuch: 'BradCast' 3/22/17
Sen. Whitehouse calls out 'dark money' and $10M for Trump's stolen SCOTUS nominee...
(Not) Normalizing a Stolen U.S. Supreme Court: 'BradCast' 3/21/17
Law prof Peter Shane on lack of 'institutional penalty' for GOP theft of SCOTUS; Also: House GOP makes healthcare bill even crueler...
'Green News Report' 3/21/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump's cuts go deepest on climate; Extreme rains trigger catastrophe in Peru; SCOTUS nom blocked environmental suits; PLUS: DefSec says climate change a nat'l security threat....
Previous GNRs: 3/16/17 - 3/14/17 - Archives...
Comey Confirms Russia Probe, Rejects Trump Wiretap Claim: 'BradCast' 3/20/17
Guest: Marcy Wheeler on House Intel Comm testimony from the FBI, NSA chiefs, and on the many still-unanswered questions...
Sunday Toons of the 'Air Quotes' Moment
The scam, the con, the paranoia, the cruelity, the Trump Administration makes waves in PDiddie's latest collection of the week's best political toons...
'It's Wrong': Vet Group Slams Trump's Cruelest Cuts: 'BradCast' 3/17/17
Guest: Will Fischer of VoteVets.org on why, despite increase to VA spending, Trump's proposed budget is 'un-American'...
Ban Blocked Again; Cruel Cuts; Good News for GA, TX Voters: 'BradCast' 3/16/17
52 years after LBJ's Voting Rights Act speech, 4 since SCOTUS gutted VRA, 2 recent cases prove it's still very much needed...
'Green News Report' 3/16/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump rolls back mileage standards, seeks deeper cuts to EPA; Global warming killed large swaths of Great Barrier Reef; PLUS: Six years on, radioactive boars haunt Fukushima...
Previous GNRs: 3/14/17 - 3/9/17 - Archives...
Plowing Through the Disinformation Blizzard: 'BradCast' 3/15/17
Guest: Meteorologist, and GOP climate champ Paul Douglas; Also: GOP healthcare plan still failing; Repubs repudiate Trump claim...
The Republican Assault on American Institutions: 'BradCast' 3/14/17
Guest: David Roberts of Vox on Trump, Pruitt, Tillerson and GOP's ongoing war on science, facts, health, journalism and much more...
'Green News Report' 3/14/17
EPA Chief peddles climate lies; Disinfo works -- Americans confused about climate; Musk to save S. Australia? PLUS: Extreme weather wallops Northeast...
CBO: GOP to Uninsure 24M; And Trumpers, Lobbyists in Charge: 'BradCast' 3/13/17
Guest: Jeff Hauser of CEPR's on Trump's succesful and ongoing 'deconstruction of the administrative state'...
Sunday Toons of the 'Tweets of Mass Distraction' Moment
Something's bugging Trump. But, the nation is paying the price, as 'PDiddie' finds in his latest political toon collection...
That OTHER Constitutional Option for Removing Trump: 'BradCast' 3/10/17
Ernie Canning on the 25th Amendment; Also: More bad news for GOP healthcare bill; Trump out-bombs Obama in Yemen; Some good news for voters...
Taking the 25th
Impeachment is a long, cumbersome and, with GOP-control of Congress, perhaps unlikely process. But, there is another Constitutional path for Trump's quick removal from office, should he continue to spiral...
Get Ready for Hot GOP on GOP Budget Action!: 'BradCast' 3/9/2017
Guest: TPM Journalist Alice Ollstein from Capitol Hill; Plus: The high cost of cutting IRS funding and the benefits of single-payer national health care...
'Green News Report' 3/9/17
Early season wildfires erupt; Trump to cut Coast Guard, FEMA, Energy Star; Dolphins still suffering 2010 BP spill; PLUS: Pollution killing 1.7M kids each year...
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...


The former FBI translator and whistleblower suggests blackmail may be at the heart of Congressional refusal to bring accountability and oversight to its own members - such as both Hastert and Harman - in matters of espionage and national security
Exclusive to The BRAD BLOG...
By Sibel Edmonds on 5/4/2009 1:41pm PT  

Guest Editorial by Sibel Edmonds

I have been known to quote long-dead men in my past writings. Whether eloquently expressed thoughts by our founding fathers, or those artfully expressed by ancient Greek thinkers, these quotes have always done a better job starting or ending my thoughts - that tend to be expressed in long winding sentences. For this piece I am going to break with tradition and start with an appropriate quote from a living current senator, John Kerry: "It's a sad day when you have members of Congress who are literally criminals go undisciplined by their colleagues. No wonder people look at Washington and know this city is broken."

The people do indeed look at Washington and know that this city is 'badly' broken, Senator Kerry. The public confidence in our Congress has been declining drastically. Recent poll results highlight how the American people's trust in their Congress has hit rock bottom. A survey of progressive blogs easily confirms the rage rightfully directed at our Congress for abdicating its role of oversight and accountability. Activists scream about promised hearings that never took place - without explanation. They express outrage when investigations are dropped without any justification. And they genuinely wonder out loud why, especially after they helped secure a major victory for the Democrats. The same Democrats who had for years pointed fingers at their big bad Republican majority colleagues as the main impediment preventing them from fulfilling what was expected of them.

The recent stunning but not unexpected revelations regarding Jane Harman (D-CA) by the Congressional Quarterly provide us with a little glimpse into one of the main reasons behind the steady decline in the integrity of Congress. But the story is almost dead - ready to bite the dust, thanks to our mainstream media's insistence on burying 'real' issues or stories that delve deep into the causes of our nation's continuous downward slide. In this particular case, the 'thank you' should also be extended to certain blogosphere propagandists who, blinded by their partisanship, myopic in their assessments, and ignorant in their knowledge of the inner workings of our late Congress and intelligence agencies, helped in the post-burial cremation of this case.

Ironically but understandably, the Harman case has become one of rare unequivocal bipartisanship, when no one from either side of the partisan aisle utters a word. How many House or Senate Republicans have you heard screaming, or even better, calling for an investigation? The right wing remains silent. Some may have their hand, directly or indirectly, in the same AIPAC cookie jar. Others may still feel the heavy baggage of their own party's tainted colleagues; after all, they have had their share of Abramoffs, Hasterts and the like, silently lurking in the background, albeit dimmer every day. Some on the left, after an initial silence that easily could have been mistaken for shock, are jumping from one foot to the other, like a cat on a hot tin roof, making one excuse after another; playing the 'victims of Executive Branch eavesdropping' card, the same very 'evil doing' they happened to support vehemently. Some have been dialing their trusted guardian angels within the mainstream media and certain fairly visible alternative outlets. They need no longer worry, since these guardian angels seem to have blacked out the story, and have done so without the apparent need for much arm twisting...

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




Roe to Rove: 'You guys wouldn't be in White House without Tom'
So what did he mean by that?...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2009 2:08pm PT  

Late this week, Politico's Anne Schroeder ran details of a purported public showdown, in a D.C. steakhouse, between Karl Rove and Jason Roe, the former Chief of Staff to FL's former Republican U.S. House Rep (and alleged vote-rigging conspirator) Tom Feeney.

During the exchange between Rove and Roe, as reported by Schroeder, Rove tells Roe that he has a file on Feeney, and Roe, who was angry with Rove for cracks he'd made on Fox "News" at Feeney's expense just after the extremely corrupt FL Republican had lost his 2008 election, says angrily to Rove: "You guys wouldn't be in the White House without Tom."

Given the coverage we've offered over the years on Feeney, and former Republican computer programmer Clint Curtis' allegations against him, several folks --- including our friends Marcy Wheeler of emptywheel and Patty Sharaf, filmmaker of Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story --- sent us the link to the Politico article, asking our opinion on what Roe may have meant by that crack.

In the interest of keeping links to that story from continuing to pile up in our Inbox, here's our take on Roe's purported comment to Rove...

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BONUS VIDEO RESPONSE: Jon Stewart: 'You might be confusing tyranny with losing'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2009 12:53pm PT  

No. He's not crazy at all. Glenn Beck pours metaphorical "gasoline" on "himself," his viewers, and his imagined newly-tyrannical America, and his own, and his viewers', rapidly accelerating, self-perpetuated sense of victim-hood. When he/they eventually --- and it shouldn't be long at this rate --- actually light the match and blow themselves/us up, feel free to point back to this item, when we're told "who could have predicted it?"...


Beck's daily hour on governmentally subsidized cable TV, and three hours daily on our publicly owned radio waves, is a tremendously responsible use government welfare, and reflects brilliantly on our Founding Fathers' guarantee to one single industry --- and one single industry only (the press) --- in our U.S. Constitution.

That's a very responsible use of that singular Constitutional dispensation, Glenn. Keep up the bad work.

BTW
, in case you missed it on Wednesday, Jon Stewart --- an actually responsible steward of public largess --- spoke directly and brilliantly to the crazies like Beck and Hannity and O'Reilly and Levin and Bachmann et al, by informing them (since they don't seem to know): "I think you might be confusing tyranny with losing...that's not tyranny, that's democracy"...

That video --- actually worth watching and taking notes --- follows below...

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Official tallies still neck-and-neck as hand-count of nearly 7,000 absentee ballots begins...
By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2009 11:07am PT  

With hand-counts taking place in Pheonix (a criminal investigation into allegations that a 2006 Tucson election may have been defrauded electronically), and completing in Minnesota (the 3-judge panels just completed count of remaining, lawfully cast, previously-rejected absentee ballots) this week, we've neglected to keep you up to date on the remarkably close results of the NY-20 U.S. House Special Election from last week in which the Democrat Scott Murphy had edged out the Republican Jim Tedisco by just 65 votes on Election Night, after polling place lever machines were initially, and unofficially, tallied.

The special election is meant to fill the vacated seat left open by now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand after she was tapped by the Governor to replace now-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate.

The numbers in the NYT-20 race have gone back and forth and back and forth over the last week as counties canvassed their numbers, checking and double-checking for accuracy, in advance of the counting of some 7,000 absentee paper ballots which is set to get underway today.

Thankfully, TPM's Eric Kleefeld has been following every peak and valley in the roller coaster ride over the last week and, as thankfully, David Kurtz over there has rounded up the highlights of Kleefeld's ongoing coverage to give us a quick summary of where things stand today as the hand-counting is set to begin...

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65 25 vote margin for Democrat, with 100% precincts reporting
Will all come down to absentee ballots...again...
By Brad Friedman on 3/31/2009 10:39pm PT  

[Update 4/1/09: Murphy's lead shrank to just 25 votes "after local election officials began double-checking totals and their math today".]

Can't you citizens make up your minds?! Please?! The NY-20 U.S. House Special Election held today to fill the vacant seat of now Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is, of course, too close to call. Big time. Sigh.

The Democratic candidate Scott Murphy leads the Republican Jim Tedisco by just 65 25 votes out of more than 150,000 votes cast at the polls (lever machines, the last state to have them), with 100% of the precincts now having reported in tonight. It would be quite a come-from-behind victory for Murphy if he's able to pull it off, as Tedisco had been leading in the polls, in the heavily Republican district, until just a few days ago.

Of course, this will all now come down to the absentee ballots cast in the race. Just like Minnesota. The NY Board of Elections must now work out a schedule for their counting, as there are still a number of days for those to come in. It's being reported tonight that some 10,055 absentee ballots went out, "including 1,882 military and overseas ballots, of which 5,907 total had been returned" so far.

As Gregg Levine at FDL noticed earlier this afternoon, in a peculiar legal move, the NY Republican Party filed a strange legal motion [PDF], long before the polls were even closed, including this pre-emptive election challenge:

Ordering the respondent New York State Board of Elections and the Commissioners thereof to certify the name of James Tedisco as elected to the public office of Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 20th Congressional District, in Dutchess, New York, at the Special Election held therefor on the 31st Day of March, 2009, or alternatively enjoining the improper issuance of a certificate of election for the said public office.

That part of the motion, Levine reports in a followup was "struck out by the court on the spot". They didn't buy the old "heads I win, tails you lose" routine from the GOP, apparently.

But the last graf of Eric Kleefeld's TPM coverage of the NY-20 race tonight deserves an all-time special prize:

This race is headed to the court system, which will oversee the counting and recounting of votes. One problem Murphy might have is that Al Franken's lawyers aren't available right now. And in Tedisco's favor, Norm Coleman's attorneys are busy, too.

UPDATE 4/8/09: Over the past week, the lead has shifted back and forth several times between Murpy and Tedisco in advance of the hand-count of some 7,000 absentee paper ballots set to begin today. We've got a quick update on the week's roller coaster ride as the count gets underway, now posted here...




'Final' draft for introduction, committee process sees important improvement following criticism from BRAD BLOG last month; But substantive concerns still remain
A review of the good, the bad and the still ugly...
By Brad Friedman on 3/31/2009 2:32pm PT  

Due, in no small part, to the concerns expressed in our February analysis of the January draft version of this year's Election Reform bill being introduced by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) in the U.S. House, along with a bit of "lobbying" his office for a key change after the publication of that article, the updated version of the bill [PDF], said by his office to be the "final" one before introduction, has been slightly --- one might even say, significantly --- improved to meet one of our major concerns.

Still, while there is a lot of much-needed reform in this federal legislation, there remain many concerns with it as well. So let's take a quick, updated look at the good, the bad and the ugly in the soon-to-be-introduced "final" version of Holt's "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2009"...

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By Brad Friedman on 3/14/2009 4:27pm PT  

Just another Fox "News" typo, no doubt...

...Just like all of the other ones before it (examples: here and here and here).




'It's a non-issue', source tells The BRAD BLOG, federal law already 'makes it a crime to lie to Congress, regardless of oath'
UPDATED: Siegelman whistleblower Simpson responds: 'I had to take oath'...
By Brad Friedman on 3/5/2009 2:49pm PT  

[See update at bottom of article, for response from whistleblower in Don Siegelman case.]

Given the questions concerning whether or not Karl Rove and Harriet Miers will be required to testify under oath as part of their agreement to give "transcribed depositions under penalty of perjury" concerning the U.S. Attorney purge scandal, as announced yesterday by House Judiciary chairman John Conyers, we thought we'd seek some clarification.

We asked a senior source on the U.S. House Judiciary team whether or not taking an oath before testifying would be required, or whether the agreement requires Rove and Miers not be placed under oath. Writes our source in reply:

NO oath is required for congressional testimony. 18 USC 1001 (copied below) make it a crime to lie to congress, regardless of whether there is an oath. Penalties are the same as traditional perjury, where an oath is given (as in a court of law). There is no difference. When oaths are given in congress, it is generally for the cameras or to remind the witness of his obligations. On the latter point, the same can be accomplished by reminding about a witness's obligations under 18 usc 1001. This is a non issue.

See the copy of 18 USC, Sec. 1001, as sent by the House Judiciary source below...

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Election Integrity expert Bev Harris compares 'secret software' provisions, 'persistent' e-voting proposals to process that allowed for 'Corporate Personhood'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/25/2009 1:12pm PT  

From BlackBoxVoting.org's Bev Harris, on the section of the new Election Reform bill being proposed in the U.S. House by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), which would federally institutionalize secret software for vote counting, and the requirement of non-disclosure agreements for those who are lucky enough to be allowed permission to examine it...

I've been engaged in debate in private listservs on the so-called "new" Holt Bill, which is basically exactly the same as the old Holt Bill, and every bit as much a danger to our liberty as the other Holt Bill.

In fact, clause for clause, it's pretty much the same. Now, one wonders, in a new administration and with new political realities, why would one put forth a bill that supports secret vote counting?

The Holt Bill, like the persistent reappearance of Internet Voting proposals, reminds me very much of the process corporations followed in the late 1800s while grabbing "corporate personhood." They kept coming back to the well, year after year, defeat after defeat, until one year, someone fell asleep at the wheel and corporations grabbed the "right" to personhood.

What we are seeing in elections today is the surreptitious dismantling of self-government. Heck, if corporations can be persons, why not just choose our decisionmakers and in fact, just vote for us?

Well, we wouldn't allow that, because we'd know that is actually just slavery, giving up our inalienable right to self-government. So it must be done surreptitiously.

Last week, we analyzed the latest draft version [PDF] of Holt's soon-to-be-introduced "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" bill in depth. We detailed the dangers of its provisions allowing for secret software --- which even he and his office admit have been included in the bill because Capitol Hill lobbyists from "the proprietary software industry...won" the battle over full software and hardware disclosure --- along with Holt's continued insistence on allowing for the use of unreliable, unverifiable touch-screen voting devices.

The BRAD BLOG has covered your electoral system, tirelessly, fiercely and independently for years, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work, which only you help to fund, with a donation to help us continue the work so few are willing to do. If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details on that right here...



Bill 'improved' to require paper ballots, but they may be marked or printed by computer devices which offer most of the same dangers as current Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) devices...
Additional concerns remain in the previously-defeated, newly-rewritten draft version of the landmark legislation...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2009 12:54pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) is preparing to drop a new version of the "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" legislation which met so much resistance during the last Congress from both Election Integrity advocates and those opposed to any reform whatsoever alike.

A recent draft of the new legislation [PDF], as obtained by The BRAD BLOG, is an improvement over last session's controversial HR 811 bill (which we covered, at the time, in exhausting detail, as indexed on this special coverage page) in that it would ban the use of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting devices by the 2012 general election. However, the new bill fails to ban all forms of computerized touch-screen voting and, indeed, encourages it through federal funding to help jurisdictions move from DREs to similar, but non-tabulating, Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs).

We could well jump out of the frying pan, and into yet another frying pan, if the legislation passes as currently drafted.

BMDs, which often use touch-screens to allow voters to make selections, offer many of the same flaws and dangers that DRE voting systems do, such as: the possibility that votes may be flipped on the touch-screen to selections other than those chosen by the voter (as seen in state after state on DREs over the last several election cycles); failures to boot up and power outages which keep citizens from being able to vote at all; machine shortages which cause long lines, discouraging voters from waiting to vote; and the requirement for voters to attempt to verify the accuracy of their ballots on three separate occasions, before the computer-marked version of the paper ballot is actually cast.

Holt has offered The BRAD BLOG a fairly puzzling response to our concerns, at least as we read it, which we'll share in full below.

Moreover, in addition to encouraging the use of troublesome, expensive, and hackable electronic BMDs, the new bill would federally institutionalize the ability of private election companies to keep their hardware and software from public review by requiring that anyone who wishes to examine the systems and source code for integrity, must show cause, get "approval" from a governmental body (largely, only scientists, academics, or election officials need apply) and sign a non-disclosure agreement before being allowed to do so.

While the bill offers some improvements over previous versions, the major flaws still inherent in the legislation --- as it's currently drafted --- will fail to ensure the security, accuracy, and transparency that American democracy requires and deserves. As a sweeping piece of (much-needed) federal reform, we'd better make sure that we get it right this time, since it'll be years, perhaps decades, before we get another bite at that apple should this legislation actually be signed into law this time...

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(At least we think that's what she said she thinks.)
By Brad Friedman on 2/19/2009 9:55pm PT  

In today's Tim Dickinson interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Rolling Stone, it sure seems like she's leaning towards accountability for the criminals in the Bush Administration. Many of her words sound like the correct ones, even if she's a bit too enamored of Leahy's "Truth and Reconciliation Committee" proposal, which, among other "shameful" things, would likely results in a whole bunch of immunity, to a whole bunch of folks who deserve no such thing.

But she says she supports what Conyers is doing in the Judiciary Committee, in continuing to pursue Rove, Bolten and Miers. She says she can foresee a scenario in which senior members of the Administration are actually prosecuted. She says "The American people do not want wrongdoing to go unaddressed." She even said similar words to Fox "News" two days before the Inauguration.

So why does it always feel like she's still sitting on a fence? And, if she really believes these words she says, as House Speaker, can't she do more to make them happen?

Here's the snippets of note from Dickinson's interview. You tell us what the inscrutable Speaker really means. Or does she even know herself?...

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Slams attorney in accompanying letter, refuses request for further delay...
By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2009 9:45am PT  

U.S. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) has subpoenaed Karl Rove today, yet again (the third time, for those keeping score at home), to give sworn, public testimony before the committee on February 23rd concerning the politicization of the U.S. Dept. of Justice during the Bush Administration.

Today's subpoena was sent to Rove's attorney Robert D. Luskin. It's accompanied by a brief, two-page letter [PDF] in which the Congressman politely refuses a request by the attorney to delay Rove's appearance, yet again. The previous subpoena required Rove's appearance on Feb. 2nd, but was delayed at his request and rescheduled for the 23rd at that time.

Following the previous subpoena, Rove told Fox "News" that he would refuse to testify, and committee member Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) responded on MSNBC by saying that he would either testify, or go to jail.

At the end of today's letter, refusing Luskin's request for further delay, Conyers, rather amusingly, notes:

[G]iven Mr. Rove's public statements that he does not intend to comply with the subpoena, I am puzzled as to why Mr. Rove needs a mutually convenient date to fail to appear.

RAW STORY's John Byrne reports that request for comment from Luskin was responded to with an auto-reply email stating that Luskin would "be out of the office and unable to check emails or voicemails until February 23, 2009."

UPDATE 2/14/09: "White House counsel Gregory Craig issued a statement late Friday encouraging former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove to cut a deal with Congress, an indication the new administration has begun to put pressure on President George W. Bush's former chief adviser." More details...

UPDATE 2/16/09: "Representatives of the Bush White House are no longer advising former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove that he is protected by executive privilege as regards testimony about the alleged political prosecution of an Alabama governor.

"In an exchange with Raw Story, Rove’s Washington, D.C. attorney, Robert Luskin, also said Rove won’t invoke his Fifth Amendment right to protect himself from self-incrimination, if and when he testifies about the firing of nine US Attorneys and the prosecution of the former governor." More details...




Experts: Unpublished finding may impede grand jury probe into Abramoff-ties by corrupt former FL lawmaker, alleged vote-rigging conspirator, and other members of Congress
ALSO: Feeney now being represented by Karl Rove's(!) attorney...
By Brad Friedman on 2/6/2009 11:16am PT  

From Washington Post:

A federal appeals court has dealt a blow to the investigation of a former congressman in a ruling that could also limit probes of other lawmakers, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The order, which has not been made public, came during the grand jury investigation of former representative Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) and his potential ties to former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the sources said. The appellate judges who issued the ruling did not say when they would release an opinion explaining their decision, which reversed a lower court order favorable to prosecutors seeking documents and grand jury testimony, the sources said.

Even without knowing the details of the ruling, sources and legal experts said it is important because it is the second time in two years that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has sided with Congress in its fight with the Justice Department over what protections lawmakers are granted under the Constitution's "speech or debate" clause. The clause is designed to shield lawmakers' official work from executive branch interference and has been increasingly cited by members of Congress under federal investigation.

The corrupt Feeney, as regular readers of The BRAD BLOG likely know, is currently under federal investigation due to his association with jailed Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In 2003 Feeney went on a junket with Abramoff to play golf at St. Andrews in Scotland. He would later claim he had no idea that the trip was illegally paid for by lobbyists.

For more details on the appellate court ruling --- or rather, hints, given what little is available on it for the moment --- please see WaPo's coverage today to hunt for clues.

One other very interesting point we hadn't noticed previously...

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




Senior Democratic House Judiciary member confident rule of law will be followed by Dept. of Justice under President Obama
NEWSWEEK: Before leaving office, Bush counsel ordered Rove, others, not to testify to Congress, arguing 'absolute immunity' from compelled testimony...
By Brad Friedman on 1/30/2009 12:33pm PT  

A senior Democratic Congressman on the U.S. House Judiciary has said that either Karl Rove will testify before the committee, or he will go to jail. In the meantime, it has also now been learned, legal counsel for George W. Bush issued a letter just days before leaving the White House, claiming Rove, Bush, and other senior staffers have "absolute immunity" from testifying to Congress in the future.

Speaking on MSNBC, Judiciary member Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said last night that if Rove fails to show, in answer to a subpoena issued earlier this week, he'll be cited for Contempt of Congress. Then, he said, "the grand jury indicts him, you arrest him for contempt, and you put him in jail until he is prepared to testify to obey the subpoena." (More details, as well as video of the Nadler interview, follow below.)

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




Rove on Conyers: 'He's Captain Ahab and I'm the whale'
O'Reilly: 'If you need a place to hide, we have it here at The Factor'
By Brad Friedman on 1/29/2009 2:23pm PT  

Last night, on Bill "Paul Revere" O'Reilly's show on Fox "News," Karl Rove said he planned to refuse to testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee next Monday, as required by the new Congressional subpoena he was served on Monday.

Mr. "Revere" noted, at the end of the interview, that he offered Rove the opportunity to not discuss the issue on the program. "I told Mr. Rove, 'Look, if you don't want to talk about this tonight, you don't have to,'" the hard-nosed, fair and objective, no-spin "newsman" said.

Offering further to further aide and abet Rove in dodging the rule of law and a Congressional subpoena, the courageous O'Reilly told Rove, "If you need a place to hide out, we have it here at the Factor." Impressive stuff. Video via RAW STORY...

UPDATE 1/30/09: House Judiciary's Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) says Rove will either testify or go to jail. (Also, hearing date postponed to Feb. 23rd) Video, details...




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