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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, November 28, 2014
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seemed before this week's show'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in Town of Long Island, reverse results of very close state contest, leaving officials baffled...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Gov. Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank issue's dire warning...
Previous GNRs: 11/20/14 - 11/18/14 - Archives...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting of Michael Brown
A few early thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice on the night of his announcement...
'Recount' Ahead for Oregon's GMO Labeling Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
GOP House Intel Committee Findings Debunk GOP BENGHAZI! 'Scandal'
Final report released quietly before holiday weekend and before eighth Republican BENGHAZI! committee set to convene...
Monster Energy Drink Not Just Crappy, Also the Work of Satan!
The indisputable video proof is now here!...
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record-breaking storm breaks Buffalo; October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Repubs: China to cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy...
Previous GNRs: 11/18/14 - 11/13/14 - Archives...
Extreme Weather? What Extreme Weather?
Yes, scientists have been warning us about this for years. And, yes, the record breaking storm in Buffalo is tied to global warming...
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
Gag Order Won't Ensure Impartial Jury in Trial of 'Dark Lord of Coal Country'
WV's criminally indicted coal boss and U.S. Chamber of Comm. director Don Blankeship presents challenge for federal prosecutors...
Oxford English Dictionary's 2014 Word of the Year: 'Vape'
That small point likely underscores some very encouraging news for the health of the world...
'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL; Can Congress override the Prez next year?; Native Americans: KXL is 'an act of war'; PLUS: Accountability for 'The Dark Lord of Coal'...
Previous GNRs: 11/13/14 - 11/11/14 - Archives...
Sanders on Colbert: Midterms a Vote Against Both Parties
For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
Exclusive: St. Louis County Was Warned Before Election Paper Ballots Would Run Out
Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
Not Voting IS a Vote
Stop blaming those who didn't turn out. Americans did vote. By not turning out, they voted against the two major parties and against the system as a whole. It may have been a dumb vote, but it was a landslide...
Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
This segment makes clear once again that it's very very sad The Colbert Report is soon going away...
'Green News Report' 11/13/14
Historic US-China agreement that GOP said couldn't be done; New hope for int'l treaty; Repub freak out; Scientists say deal not enough, but good start...
Crucial Moment for FCC & 'Net Neutrality'
Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
Brad on Hartmann TV: Election 2014 Mess
On thousands of 'missing' votes in Wisconsin, on Nate Silver and polls vs. 'results', on Rightwing 'True the Vote' voter fraud fraudsters, and on much more...
'Green News Report' 11/11/14
'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, 1979-2014
On Veterans Day, America added another casualty from the War on Iraq -- one who, after first meeting and interviewing him in 2005, we will never forget...
Early Data Suggests TX GOP Photo ID Restrictions 'Worked'
Provisional ballots doubled, turnout down by more 1/4 million votes, despite larger population, contested gov's race and increased voter registration...
WI Scanner Fails To Tally Thousands of Votes in 'Citizens United' Referendum
'Programming error' blamed for paper ballot tabulator recording just 16 of 5,350 votes in city of Stoughton, WI...
The Results Were Skewed Toward Republicans: A Response to Nate Silver
The statistics guru unhelpfully explains away mid-term's surprising outcome by presuming pre-election polling was wrong and unverified election results were all correct...
'True the Vote' Group Fails to Find 'Voter Fraud' (Again)
Laughingstock RW org's 'army' of monitors and smart phone app uncover just 18 benign 'irregularities', 0 cases of polling place impersonation...
'Green News Report' 11/6/14
Election 2014-pocalypse: Republican hegemonic hellscape!; Climate deniers now in charge; PLUS: At least one note of very good environmental election news...
About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
Guest Matthew Segal of OurTime.org joins Brad to discuss whether young voters are to blame for Tuesday's election results and, if not them, then who...or what...
Reuters: Voting Probs Around Nation, 2,000 Missing Election Judges in Chicago
Wire service summarizes machine probs, Photo ID vote suppression and a really strange story out of Chicago...
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...


By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2007 2:04pm PT  

Well...Mrs. Conyers anyway...

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Asks 'Who Created Purge List and Why?'
Wexler NAILS the Issue During Gonzo Hearings Today in House Judiciary...
By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2007 6:19pm PT  

I spent most of the morning (and afternoon) watching the Gonzalez hearing in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. (The extra $5 per month to add C-SPAN3 to my cable tier has already been well worth it.)

All of those hours are perhaps best summed up by the nugget of today's hearing found in Rep. Robert Wexler's extremely to-the-point questions, along with a follow up by Rep. Stephen Cohen (some guy named Rep. Tom Feeney went between the two of them, but it was not particular interesting or newsworthy).

So to save you the time of having to watch all 9 hours, or however long it was, here are the 9 minutes or so of video from those two sections. First Wexler's must view clip, followed by Cohen:

http://www.youtube.com/v/wad4IWfhtWg\" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="240" height="198">

The crux of Wexler's very heated questions: If it wasn't anyone at DoJ, and it wasn't Bush or Cheney (as Gonzales said today) then who created the firing list?

Chairman Conyers is wondering exactly that, and his office sent us this statement, following today's hearing:

"After hours of testimony, the first and most basic question remains: who created the list of US Attorneys to be fired and why? As I said in the hearing, the bread crumbs are steadily leading toward 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

"We learned from the media today that Todd Graves was the ninth fired US Attorney, and Thomas Heffelfenger of Minnesota may have been the 10th. That begs the question that my colleague, Rep. Sánchez asked earlier, are there any others?

"My request for more information was met with an untenable response: 'I'll take that back.' To whom will Mr. Gonzales take that back to if he, in fact, is the Attorney General, the one in charge?"

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Conyers Statement: House Judiciary Prepared to Use Subpoena Power if Necessary...
By Brad Friedman on 3/19/2007 8:46pm PT  

3,000 pages were just released to the House Judiciary Committee by the Dept. of Justice in re: the U.S. Attorney purge. Judiciary is getting 'em posted as quickly as they can, even as we type. Says Conyers in a statement just released:

"While I appreciate the Department's willingness to make these voluminous documents regarding the U.S. Attorney firings available to us for review, I am disappointed that they are denying other important information to Congress without any real authority to do so. This investigation has uncovered serious charges of misleading congress, obstructing justice, and abuse of power. I hope we can resolve the outstanding issues over redactions, but if necessary, we are prepared to press ahead to get to the bottom of this growing scandal, using subpoenas if necessary."

Looks like it'll be a long night for the folks at Judiciary, and likely much longer for Josh Marshall and friends at TPM. Happy reading, all!

Earlier from U.S. News & World Report:

Paralysis Sets In as DOJ Faces Crisis
...
"You have no idea," said one Justice official, "how bad it is here."

The fear that virtually any piece of communication will have to be turned over has paralyzed department officials' ability to communicate effectively and respond in unison to the crisis...

Accountability sucks, huh? Welcome to it. We believe your nightmare is just beginning.

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CONYERS: 'It is time to rein in this President and his Administration'
SÁNCHEZ: 'DoJ acted behind closed doors to intimidate appointees...Had no effective oversight during previous majority'
By Brad Friedman on 3/6/2007 5:15pm PT  

Sent to The BRAD BLOG by the House Judiciary Democrats concerning this morning's oversight hearings on the U.S. Attorney firings (full statement posted at end of this article):

"Our country decided after the Watergate scandal that ideological partisanship has no place in our system of justice," said Chairwoman Sánchez. "Unfortunately, the firings of these attorneys indicate that the Bush Administration has once again acted in the interest of its political party instead of the good of the nation."
...
"Today's testimony signals that it is time to rein in this President and his Administration before they do any further damage to our democracy," said Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers. "Today, we received strong evidence that the firing of these U.S. Attorneys was politically motivated, and we clearly need to follow up on these developments with further investigations."
...
David Iglesias, former U.S. Attorney from New Mexico, testified that U.S. Senator Pete Domenici and U.S. Representative Heather Wilson called him in the days before the close 2006 elections to discuss issuing an indictment against a local Democratic official. Mr. Iglesias said that after Senator Domenici abruptly hung up the phone, "I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Six weeks later I got the call that I had to move on."

H.E. "Bud" Cummins III, a former U.S. Attorney from Arkansas, testified that Michael Elston, Chief of Staff to Deputy U.S. Attorney General Paul McNulty, called him with a warning that any of the fired prosecutors who publicly discussed their cases would be targeted by negative information campaigns.
...
"The Department of Justice, which had no effective oversight during the previous majority, has been acting behind closed doors to empower political cronies and intimidate its own appointees," said Chairwoman Sánchez. "This thuggish behavior is beneath our democracy and underscores the importance of Congressional oversight, a function that Chairman Conyers and I are committed to continue."

In regard to the alleged threats of retaliation against the attorneys for speaking out on this, an email from Cummins, published by Sacramento Bee, gives contemporaneous specifics. According to SacBee...

Former U.S. attorney Bud Cummins, who resigned in December and was replaced by Karl Rove assistant Timothy Griffin, sent this Feb. 20 e-mail to five other fired U.S. attorneys after receiving a phone call from the Justice Department following comments he made to The Washington Post for an article published Feb. 18.

Of course, Gonzales today said none of it ever happened, these aren't the droids you're looking for.

The complete statement issued by the Judiciary Committee Democrats follows below...

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

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First Subpoenas Issued by Dems Since Taking Control of Congress...
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2007 3:51pm PT  

As The BRAD BLOG reported yesterday would happen today, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Administrative Law has today voted to issue subpoenas in the matter of the forced firing of U.S. Attorneys at the Dept. of Justice after pressure from higher-ups.

According to a statement just received by The BRAD BLOG (full statement posted below), the subcommittee voted to issue subpoenas requiring former U.S. Attorneys David C. Iglesias, Carol Lam, H.E. Cummins, III, and John McKay to appear at a hearing next Tuesday.

"The former U.S. Attorneys are alleging very serious charges against the Administration and we need to hear from them," Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) says in his statement. "We want to hear their stories and we want the Administration to address the charges head on so that we can get to the bottom of this."

The subpoenas, issued as a "last resort" according to subcommittee Chairwoman, Linda Sánchez (D-CA), are the first to be issued by the Democrats since taking control of Congress.

We must run, so we'll refer you to the full statement below for more details for the moment...

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

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'Subpoenas will be Issued,' Says House Judiciary Aide in Advance of Tomorrow's Vote, Next Week's Hearings
ALSO: House Judiciary Committee Will Hold Hearings Next Wednesday on 'Election Reform and Irregularities'
By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2007 4:48pm PT  

Two media statements released from members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee indicate that subpoenas will soon be issued in the matter of the allegedly coerced firings of U.S. Attorneys in the Department of Justice. A vote will take place tomorrow in the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law on whether to issue the subpoenas to Justice Dept. officials Carol Lam, David Iglesias, H.E. Cummins, III, and John McKay to compel them to appear before a subcommittee hearing next week.

As well, The BRAD BLOG has learned the Judiciary Committee will also hold hearings next week on matters related to "Election Reform and Irregularities."

According to a Committee staffer, "subpoenas will be issued" tomorrow in the U.S. Attorney matter. If so, it would be the first time the Democrats have exercised their newly-gained subpoena power since wresting control of Congress from Republicans...

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

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Conyers and Feingold Announce Judiciary Hearings on Bush Admistration Policy in Both Senate and House...
By Brad Friedman on 1/25/2007 2:16pm PT  

At the turn of the new year, we dubbed 2007 "The Year of Accountability." So, let it begin.

Two announcements were released today concerning upcoming oversight and investigative hearings in Congress on Bush Administration policy. If you can imagine such a thing.

In the House, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee --- the one which would lead the way concerning any Articles of Impeachment for a sitting U.S. President or Vice-President --- announced today that hearings would be held next Wednesday in the committee on "Presidential Signing Statements under the Bush Administration: A Threat to Checks and Balances and the Rule of Law?" (Complete media release, with details, scheduled witnesses, etc. at end of this article.)

In the Senate, Russ Feingold (D-WI) will chair Judiciary Committee hearings on "Congress's Power to End a War." In a media advisory just released, (posted in full below) Feingold refers to Congress's "power of the purse to redeploy our troops safely from Iraq so that we can refocus on the global terrorist networks that threaten our national security."

"This hearing will help inform my colleagues and the public about Congress’s power to end a war and how that power has been used in the past," Feingold is quoted in the release. As well, he promises to to introduce new legislation to do exactly that in the Senate. "I will soon be introducing legislation to use the power of the purse to end what is clearly one of the greatest mistakes in the history of our nation’s foreign policy," the senator said.

Neither of the Constitutionally mandated oversight hearings will be held in a basement broom closet, but rather in proper Congressional Hearing Rooms.

UPDATE 8:22pm PT White House says they "will cooperate." Of course they will.

The complete media releases from Conyers and Feingold, with dates, times, locations, and expected witnesses, follow below...

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

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An Exclusive Explanation of Conyer's New Report: 'A Constitution in Crisis'
By Joy Williams on 8/24/2006 5:22pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Joy & Todd Williams

Representative John Conyers (bio) has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for over 20 terms, having represented the 14th Congressional District in Detroit since 1964. For all those years he has fought for our democracy. From his website: “In his role on the Judiciary Committee, Representative Conyers has introduced and endorsed legislation to advance civil liberties, ensure equal protection and access to the voting booth and combat violence against women.”

In July of last year he led a citizens' movement to deliver 500,000 signed petitions to the White House which questioned George Bush about his attempt to “fix the facts around the policy” as revealed in the infamous “Downing Street Memo”. This “fixing of the facts” eventually led to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Additionally, he held hearings about the Ohio voting irregularities during 2004, and published What Went Wrong in Ohio which enumerates most of the irregularities and abuse of the election process in that state. He has now published a new book, Constitution in Crisis, which documents the Bush administration’s violations of the Constitution in over 26 different categories, and in many cases multiple violations within each category.

It is tragic that our Nation has invaded another sovereign nation because 'the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy' (in the infamous words of the Downing Street Minutes) and that millions of innocent Americans have been subject to government surveillance outside of proper legal process. Moreover, it is unforgivable that Congress has been unwilling to examine these matters or take actions to prevent these circumstances from occurring again. Since the Majority Party is unwilling to fulfill their oversight responsibilities, it is incumbent on individual Members of Congress as well as the American public to act to protect our constitutional form of government. It is with that purpose and in that spirit that I am releasing this report.

You can support Representative Conyers' Campaign here as he will become the chair of the powerful U.S. House Judiciary Committee if the Democrats, by some fluke of nature, take the majority this November.

I had the pleasure of interviewing him a couple of weeks ago while he was en route to the airport to return to his constituents during the Congressional break. He’s a very gracious, experienced and thoughtful representative of the 14th district and for all Democrats everywhere.

Our exclusive interview with the good congressman follows...

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

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(And Reminds Us Why We Love Conyers!)
By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2006 11:25pm PT  

John Conyers op/eds in tomorrow's WaPo on Impeachment. Or a lack thereof. Or otherwise responds to the strawman nonsense from the Republicans of late running on the notion that a vote for Dems this fall is a vote for impeachment of Bush by the incoming Judiciary Committee Chair, John Conyers.

While it may ultimately turn out to be a vote for impeachment, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney will have only themselves to blame. Not John Conyers.

And, as one might expect, his response in WaPo to those sad charges and transparently desperate attempts to scare America, displays his usual grace, dignity and old-style statesmanship...in stark contrast to the nattering nabobs of fear-mongering that are today's disgraceful Congressional Republicans.

Not to give anything away, since we hope you'll read the whole thing, but the last line underscores why John Conyers is a hero for all times...

Most important, before we have another presidential election, I believe we need to pass laws protecting the integrity of our electoral system --- the very foundation of our democracy.

Bravo. And thank you, sir.

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By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2006 3:45pm PT  

David Edwards picked up on these over the weekend, but didn't have the chance to get them all posted here.

A full frontal coordinated attack on John Conyers was launched over the weekend by the GOP as their newest last-ditch attempt to save their asses this November. The tactic has now come down to the rather sad: "Vote for us or we might lose!"

Apparently the GOP's pliant cohorts in the media, including Russert, Stephanopolis, Matthews, the front page of the New York Times and, of course Fox, were all too happy to lend a hand to their efforts. Here's a round-up of a few of the most obvious efforts...

Russert and Stephanopolis do GOP Duty...


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

Chris Matthews Takes His Turn...


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

Fox, Reliably, Brings up the Rear...


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

UPDATE: David Swanson has a few choice words on the organized Conyers attacks.

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By David Edwards on 5/8/2006 7:03am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

We posted this video from ABC's This Week at Crooks and Liars yesterday. If you are a fan of DNC Chairman Howard Dean then you'll enjoy this video. For those that get physically sick at the sight of DeLay, you might want to skip the first 5 minutes.

Outgoing, indicted and disgraced Republican Rep. Tom DeLay spews the same hate-filled attacks on Democrats that we've heard for several years now. DeLay still manages to brandish the freshest Republican talking points.

Most notable was DeLay's attack on John Conyers' concerns that President Bush may have committed impeachable offenses. The Republicans believe that they can motivate their party to get out to the polls in November to save their favorite President from certain doom if the Democrats take control.

Howard Dean largely ignores DeLay's bluster. Chairman Dean has really improved the focus and delivery of his message. Dean doesn't dodge the tough questions. He delivers clear answers, straight talk and real hope the the American people. Having DeLay and Dean on the same segment really exposes the great disparity in the quality of their character.

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Conyers Sends New Letters to Agencies, Continues to Amend Request by 52 Congressmen, Argues Fees Should be Waived as Agencies Keep Up Stonewall
DoD, State, Question House Members' Ability to 'Disseminate Info to Public'
By Brad Friedman on 4/21/2006 10:31am PT  

Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) is continuing his negotation, on behalf of more than 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, for the release of documents related to the Bush Administration's plans for War in Iraq long prior to the beginning of hostilities, according to new letters written by the ranking member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and obtained exclusively by The BRAD BLOG.

After the revelations in Spring of 2005 from the so-called Downing Street Memo and other related documents --- a series of secret memos created by British officials documenting Bush Administration efforts to "fix" the "intelligence and facts...around the policy" of going to war with Iraq no matter what --- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were filed by 52 House Members [PDF], including Conyers, for the release of documentation of Administration Iraq policies going as far back as the day after the 2000 Election.

The original FOIA requests were filed [PDF] with both the Departments of Defense and State, in June of 2005 after the disclosure in May, by Sunday Times of London, of the initial memo. Both federal agencies have largely stonewalled in response to the request. Correspondence from the agencies have claimed that the House Members must first agree to pay large fees for the requested material on the grounds that they do not meet FOIA standards which allow such fees to be waved.

The Dept. of Defense has estimated [PDF] the fees chargeable for answering the FOIA request would be approximately $110,000. The State Department has not yet given a similar estimate, but has also informed the members that they would have to agree in advance to such payment.

FOIA, however, allows such processing and copy fees to be waived in cases where the information provided will be widely circulated to the public and will "contribute significantly to the public understanding of activities or operations of the government."

Several communications from both DoD and State have suggested that since the requests for information did not come formally from a U.S. House Committee, the members' request does not meet the standard required for waiving fees or expediting the release of the information.

Conyers' disagrees...

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

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Conyers: GA Legislature Should Have Never Passed 'Modern Day Poll Tax'
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 3:11pm PT  

A federal judge has just issued an injunction to keep the new Photo ID requirements at polling places in the state of Georgia from moving forward. As reported many times on The BRAD BLOG, the requirement for photo ID at the polls would disenfranchise anywhere from 10 to 20 million Americans who do not have driver licenses --- mainly the elderly, minorities, the poor and other urban dwellers.

The call for Photo ID at the polling place is the latest attempt by Republicans who hope to further disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters across the country. The effort has been pushed hard by the self-declared "non-partisan" phony GOP "voting rights" group calling themselves the American Center for Voting Rights and was called for by the shameful Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission, which was led by disenfranchisement expert and Bush family crony James A. Baker along with high-level GOP operatives from the ACVR.

This just in from AP...

ATLANTA (AP) --- A federal court has barred Georgia from enforcing a new state law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

In the ruling issued today, the U.S. District Court in Rome agreed with critics who claimed the law amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax.

The U.S. Justice Department approved the law in August. The department said that while Attorney General Alberto Gonzales did NOT object to the state's voter I-D requirement, the federal agency's approval did NOT preclude lawsuits against it.

The Republican-backed measure sparked racial tension during the state's legislative session last spring. Most of Georgia's black lawmakers walked out at the state Capitol when it was approved.

In a news release just issued to The BRAD BLOG, Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, lauded the decision to stop what he referred to as "a modern day poll tax."

Says Conyers in the release: "Truth be told, the issue should have never reached this point - the Georgia Legislature should never have passed this modern day poll tax, the Governor should not have signed it, and the Justice Department should have intervened to stop it. That is why 21 Members and I asked the Department to prevent this law from taking effect."

The full press release from Conyers office follows...

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

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Unrequested 'Report' Dismisses, Ignores Evidence of Discrimination, Disenfranchisement!
DoJ Report Also Reveals More than 100,000 Voters NEWLY 'Purged' from Rolls in One Ohio County Alone!
By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2005 3:57pm PT  

There is almost no other way to put this, but we are simply floored by the report just released by the Department of Justice concerning the Franklin County, OH elections.

If there ever was a report which could be called a whitewash, this would be the very dictionary definition --- with the emphasis on WHITE.

The DoJ four-page report, based on dodgy figures, uninvestigated charges and undocumented information and details, simply concludes that "Franklin County assigned voting machines in a non-discriminatory manner", that "no violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act" was found and they "are thus closing our file."

In truth, a detailed analysis of the flaws in this report, and an unwaivering condemnation of this reprehensible piece of "official documentation" is needed. But as folks are disappearing for the Holiday Weekend, we're afraid any analysis we took the time to compile right now would likely get lost in the holiday news-hole. So, for the moment, we're gonna dump these documents here and leave the detailed analysis and shouts of outrage and condemnation to BRAD BLOG readers. If we can follow up a bit more after the holiday, we will.

Essentially, John Conyers' office requested a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice investigation back in January on a number of very troubling matters related to Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election on behalf of the minority members of the Judiciary Committee. (Letter requesting a Special Prosecutor from the DoJ is here [PDF]. Coverage of it by RAW STORY is here, and BRAD BLOG's own reporting at the time, which led to one of the complaints in the letter to the DoJ, is here.)

Amongst the items for which Conyers' January 14, 2005 had requested an investigation at the time --- according to the response to the report Conyers sent on Wednesday --- were "serious charges concerning Voter Intimidation and Misinformation; Improper Purging and other Misconduct; Caging of New Minority Voters; Misuse of HAVA Funds; Tampering of Voting Machinery and Records; Perjury by a County Board of Election Official; and the Misuse of the Great Seal of the United States on Secretary of State Blackwell's Personal Campaign Materials."

While no "substantive response to the many instances of voting irregularities and civil rights violations in the state of Ohio" about which Conyers' submitted evidence has been forthcoming by the DoJ since that January letter, apparently someone within the DoJ took it upon themselves to conduct --- and as we've said WHITEWASH --- an investigation concerning what happened in just one county in Ohio.

The DoJ's resulting four-page report, conducted by "The Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division" and sent to Franklin County officials on Wednesday, is a masterwork of obfuscation, disinformation, misinformation, smoke and mirrors and out and out lies. And remember, it comes directly from your Department of Justice.

As we've said, a more detailed point-by-point analysis of the outrage is called for. But for now, we feel it's important to get the information out as is so folks can see with their own eyes what has "flabbergasted" Conyers' as according to the response he sent in reply to the DoJ yesterday.

There is, however, at least one paragraph which jumped out at us, but that Conyers' reply does not deal with directly (understandably, frankly, since there is so much to be "flabbergasted" about in this DoJ report!). We feel this one is important to point out as we find it particularly disconcerting for what the future may hold in Ohio [emphasis added]:

A major complicating factor in the appropriate allocation of voting machines was the artificially inflated voter registration rolls in the county. The 845,720 registered voters in 2004 actually exceeded the 2000 total voting age population of Franklin County (800,657) by 45,063 persons. This unsettling disparity resulted from the loss, during preparation for computer system changes in anticipation of the year 2000, of voter history data necessary for purging the voter rolls of ineligible voters as required by the National Voter Registration Act. The County chose to start fresh with new voter histories, with the result that there had been no voter purge since 1999. The County resumed regular purging of its voter list only after the 2004 election, and on June 20, 2005 removed approximately 114,000 ineligible individuals from its voter registration list. The 2005 purge brings the voter registration total well below the 2000 voting age population in the county.

Yes, you read that right. Franklin County's "bi-partisan" Board of Election has just now "purged" 114,000 voters from the rolls! Tee-ing things up nicely, it would seem, for many more thousands of voters to find themselves suddenly ineligible to vote when they show up at the polling place in 2006!

Over one hundred thousand voters scrubbed from the voting rolls in just one Ohio County alone by their presumably "bi-partisan" BoE. That, while we have learned over the past several months how these Ohio BoE's are certainly not "bi-partisan" as Blackwell and their other defenders continue to maintain since a) There are "Democrats" on these boards who are specifically plants, in other words, "Democrats" in name only and b) All BoE members serve at the partisan pleasure of the distinctly partisan Secretary of State and Bush/Cheney Co-Chair, J. Kenneth Blackwell, who has routinely threatened BoE members with dismissal if and when they refuse to follow his personal partisan edicts.

But that's just one of the outrages. We'll let Conyers' handle a few more. Here is his response to the DoJ report first, followed by the complete report itself by John Tanner, the Chief of the DoJ's Voting Section. Prepare to be appalled...

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

ReddIt this story!



Encourage C-SPAN to Cover it NOW!
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2005 1:07pm PT  

It's official. Just in from the folks at Conyer's office...Fighting on every front...God bless him...In the DC area next week? Go help 'em make some noise!

Better yet, write to C-SPAN today and ask them to cover this event!!! We spoke with Conyers' office earlier this morning, and they made it clear they would appreciate any help that "6 or 7" of you might be able to provide in encouraging C-SPAN to be there!

...CONTACT...
Suggest Events: Submit a public event that you think C-SPAN should cover
events@c-span.org
Main Number: (202) 737-3220
FROM THE NEWSWEEK CONTROVERSY TO THE DOWNING STREET MEMO, CONYERS HOSTS FORUM: "MEDIA BIAS AND THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM OF THE PRESS"

WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m., Rep. John Conyers, Jr. and other Members will host a forum concerning the state of the freedom of the press in this country.

There are few liberties which are more precious to our citizenry or important to our democracy than a free and independent press. Unfortunately, in the present environment, the fourth estate appears reticent to cover numerous issues of genuine public import, and has frequently retreated in the face of criticism and threats from government officials.

For example, the mainstream media has largely ignored the implications of the "Downing Street Memo," which points to a secret agreement between the Bush and Blair Administration to not only go to war, but create the conditions necessary for the war. Similarly, in the wake of the Newsweek "retraction" of the Koran story, the Administration has sought to mandate that the magazine alter its coverage of our involvement in the Middle East.

Tuesday's Forum will provide a timely opportunity to assess the nature of media bias and the extent that press freedoms are at risk in the post-9/11 world.

WHAT: Forum: "Media Bias and the Future of Freedom of the Press"

PANEL:

  • Al Franken, the Al Franken Show on Air America Radio, author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right
  • David Brock, founder of Media Matters
  • Randi Rhodes, the Randi Rhodes Show on Air America Radio
  • Joe Madison, The Black Eagle Radio Show
  • Justin Webb, Senior Washington Correspondent of BBC News
  • Eric Alterman, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
  • Steve Rendall, media watchdog group FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
  • John Aravosis, America Blog
  • Mark Lloyd, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress
  • WHEN: Tuesday, May 24, at 1 p.m.

    WHERE: 2226 Rayburn House Office Building

    ReddIt this story!



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