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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, December 22, 2014
'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP anti-enviro wish list in "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate talks; Calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into action; PLUS: CEO indicted for WV chemical spill...
Previous GNRs: 12/9/14 - 12/4/14 - Archives...
The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'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 seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot 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...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
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 7/20/2007 6:46pm PT  

From Bloomberg News:

July 20 (Bloomberg) --- Patrick Fitzgerald won the convictions of four Osama bin Laden associates in May 2001. In March, he got Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Last week, he nailed Conrad Black.

Fitzgerald, 46, isn't saying what he'll do next in his career. Friends and colleagues say he probably will remain a prosecutor rather than join a law firm. One colleague says Fitzgerald's destiny may include the top law-enforcement job in the country: U.S. attorney general.

"I think he would make a spectacular attorney general," said former Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Comey

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By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2007 11:34am PT  

Blogged by Brad from Houston...

Concerning today's BREAKING NEWS of an FBI bust of a man alleged to have stolen nuclear secrets from the Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee, has anybody else noticed that Bush is set to speak today in Tennessee?

No doubt it's just another one of those lucky 'Homeland Security' coincidences we guess.

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Docs Based on Pre-Election Meetings in Duvall County Reveal Issue Was Repeatedly Discussed Despite Denials by Local Bush/Cheney '04 Election Chairman
DoJ Continues to Review U.S. Senator's Demand for a Full Investigation...
By Brad Friedman on 7/8/2007 12:36pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from St. Louis...

Slowly but surely, the issue of felonious Republican "Vote Caging" during the 2004 Presidential Election is making its way into the consciousness of media, federal, state, and local elected officials and --- whether they like it or not --- the Bush/Cheney campaign officials who were involved in the practice despite repeated consent decrees signed by the RNC that they would no longer use the tactic to target minority voters for removal from voting rolls.

Today, the Florida Times-Union is reporting that, "Internal city memos show the issue of Republican 'vote caging' efforts in Jacksonville's African-American neighborhoods was discussed in the weeks before the 2004 election, contradicting recent claims by former Duval County Republican leader Mike Hightower - the Bush-Cheney campaign's local chairman at the time."

The report goes on to say that Hightower had previously denied any knowledge of the practice of vote caging, which includes sending registered letters, marked "Do Not Forward," to targeted voters along with a request to return a postcard. When the postcards are not returned, officials might then take measures to challenge the voters at the polls, or remove them entirely from the voting rolls.

Last month, Hightower reportedly told that paper that the issue of caging never came up in county meetings prior to the elections, and that he had never heard "of that expression or that practice."

The Internal memos show otherwise, according to the paper. In fact, the issue came up quite regularly at meetings. Nonetheless, Hightower --- pulling a Bob Dole and referring to himself in the third person --- is sticking by his denial...

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

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Fitzgerald Unhappy, But Thompson and Guilliani Thrilled
As Bush Senior Prepares to Roll Over in His Grave...
By Brad Friedman on 7/2/2007 11:46pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from Nashville...

Via TPM, the DoJ manual on Commutations:

Section 1-2.113 Standards for Considering Commutation Petitions
...
Requests for commutation generally are not accepted unless and until a person has begun serving that sentence. Nor are commutation requests generally accepted from persons who are presently challenging their convictions or sentences through appeal or other court proceeding.

And from Patrick Fitzgerald's reaction:

We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as “excessive.” The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

Meanwhile, former Sen. Fred Thompson couldn't be happier:

I am very happy for Scooter Libby. I know that this is a great relief to him, his wife and children. While for a long time I have urged a pardon for Scooter, I respect the President’s decision. This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life.

...And Guilliani joins him in standing firmly against National Security for America, and in favor of outing covert CIA assets:

After evaluating the facts, the President came to a reasonable decision and I believe the decision was correct.

George W. Bush's father, however, feels differently. Or, at least he did back in 1999 when addressing his former colleagues at the CIA...


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Founder, Front Man, Thor Hearne, Crawls Out from Under His Rock to Provide a Few Laughs
Even as His Vote Suppression Efforts Continue to Haunt the DoJ, America's Electoral System...
By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2007 11:43pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from Nashville...

While it's tough keeping up from the road --- where we will be for a long while still --- we rest much easier knowing that Greg Gordon of McClatchy Newspapers continues to lift the rocks and scrape off the slime that's found under them in the name of the disgraced "non-partisan" GOP front group calling themselves the "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) and their vote-suppressor in chief, the Bush/Cheney '04 General Counsel, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne.

Today, Gordon advances the ACVR story --- which we broke more than two years ago and have been drilling down into ever since --- with the latest in his string of doozies that he's been rolling out since jumping on the beat.

His latest must-read begins by detailing the ACVR Menace as it reached its tentacles into New Mexico and the case behind the political firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.

He also details some fresh gut-busters from our friend Thor, whose turds just don't seem to have the same luster they once did, when previously offered to a far less dubious media...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2007 9:32pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from Nashville...It's not easy keeping up from the road. But we're doing our best....

Leahy on Meet the Press today (via TPM, who has more, video available at C&L)...

RUSSERT: Are you prepared to hold the Bush White House, the vice president, the attorney general and his office under contempt of Congress?

LEAHY: That is something that the whole Congress has to vote on. In our case, in the Senate, we'd have to vote on it; in the House, they would have to vote on it. I can't...

RUSSERT: Would you go that far?

LEAHY: If they don't cooperate, yes, I'd go that far. I mean, this is very important to the American people.

Leahy's comments synch up with what Conyer's telegraphed a week during a House Judiciary hearing when he asked outgoing Dep. AG Paul McNulty if the DoJ would work with Congress should the White House ignore their subpoenas and it became necessary to issue criminal contempt charges. (For the record, McNulty punted in response, stating he's recused himself from the issue, will likely be gone by then, since he's already resigned, and otherwise, couldn't speak for the DoJ on the matter.)

Washington Post noticed Leahy's comments as well, and offers this road map to what comes next in their Monday edition...

The next step is for the congressional committee chairman to rule on the validity of the privilege claims. If the claims are deemed invalid, the committee can repeat the directive to comply. If the president continues to refuse, the committee can find the president in criminal contempt, and the issue would go to the full Senate or House. If a majority in either chamber approves the criminal citation, the matter is referred to a U.S. attorney with a recommendation to issue an indictment.

"Referred to a U.S. attorney." See what a frickin' mess we're looking at here? The USA in question would be Jeffrey A. Taylor of the District of Columbia. Unless he gets fired any time soon. Don't know much about Taylor, with no time to dig for now. So feel free to fill us in with any thoughts on him in comments.

As the Summer of Accountability continues...

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Another 'Loyal Bushie' Announces Departure From Bush's Justice Department
By Desi Doyen on 6/30/2007 1:09pm PT  

Guest blogged by DES

Catching no one by surprise, yet another official in Bush's Department of Justice has resigned with an announcement late on a Friday afternoon, apparently in hopes of minimizing coverage of the beleaguered department in the media.

According to the Boston Globe (via Think Progress), Rachel Brand, Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy, announced she will step down from her post on July 9.

While no reason was given for Brand's departure, apparently the department is floating the explanation that she is "expecting a baby soon." It is unclear what, if anything, that floater is intended to imply. Is it that the Bush Administration's version "maternity leave" is unofficially equivalent to permanent leave, or Brand never intended to return to her job after having her baby anyway, and simply decided to leave the job early and forgo using maternity leave benefits altogether? In the past, the Bush Justice Department has used maternity leave as a reason to pass over other pregnant career professionals for promotion. That is considered an illegal form of job discrimination, and in any other Justice Department, would be grounds for an investigation.

Aside from the pregnancy discrimination question, Brand's resignation couldn't possibly be related to the U.S. Attorney firing scandal, could it? According to the Globe, why, yes, it could...

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

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What happens next?
Will a U.S. Attorney close to Gonzales convene a grand jury?
By Joseph Cannon on 6/28/2007 11:38am PT  

Guest Blogged by Joseph Cannon

A long predicted constitutional battle has finally begun. The judiciary committees of both the House and the Senate have subpoenaed administration documents pertinent to the U.S. attorney scandal. In a letter of response, White House counsel Fred Fielding has declined to cooperate, invoking executive privilege.

Thursday was the deadline for surrendering the documents. The White House also made clear that (former counsel Harriet) Miers and (ex-political director Sara) Taylor would not testify next month, as directed by the subpoenas, which were issued June 13. The stalemate could end up with House and Senate contempt citations and a battle in federal court over separation of powers.

The judiciary committees have, in a separate action, also subpoenaed documents relating to the warrantless wiretapping controversy. The White House is again expected to invoke executive privilege.

Congressman John Conyers has fired back at the White House attorney...

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

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Waxman, Conyers, and Clay Issue Statement Calling on Response, Action from DoJ, Gonzales...
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2007 2:10pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from Atlanta...

Following on subpoenas issued to both Dick Cheney and the White House earlier today on the warrantless wire-tapping issue, the Summer of Accountability continues as the heat grows on both Cheney and Gonzales in the matter of the refusal by Cheney's office to provide reports on the handling of classified information.

A statement just sent to The BRAD BLOG (posted in full at the end of this article) by the offices of Representatives Conyers, Waxman, and Clay calls on Gonzales to explain his position on the National Archives request for Cheney to comply with an Executive Order requiring all Executive Branch offices to detail their handling of classified material and his subsequent refusal.

Cheney has claimed, in his failure to file appropriate reports for the last three years, that he didn't need to because the Office of the Vice President is not a part of the Executive Branch (that, despite their having complied with the order in years prior to 2003, when it seems they leaked the classified identify of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame).

In the statement, Waxman says Cheney's response is "absurd," Conyers calls it "highly dubious," and Clay characterizes the matter as "a breathtaking act of arrogance" in which Cheney is making a mockery of the law and our system of checks and balances."

The complete statement from Waxman, Conyers, and Clay follows in full below...

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

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Blogosphere Finally Beginning to Get It --- as Even Greg Palast Critic Shores up Palast's Reporting --- While MSM Remain Mostly Silent...
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2007 1:47pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from Atlanta...

BRAD BLOG readers will recall Greg Palast's exclusive here which followed on Monica Goodling's admissions in Congressional testimony concerning Tim Griffin's vote caging. As well, you may also recall an attack on Palast's reporting by DailyKos diarist "drational," in which he described Palast's reporting as "dangerous." Subsequently, Palast responded to those challenges here.

Well, the pseudonymous "drational" has now followed up with an excellent analysis of the caging lists which shores up the bulk of Palast's claims and reporting (even if he can't help but take a few more inappropriate and unhelpful shots at the guy who broke the story in the first place, and kept banging on it for two and a half years until Mr. "Drat" finally found the time to investigate the charges).

"Drational" posted a follow-up today on the RNC's "Widespread Caging in 2004" (in FL, OH, NV, WA, and OR, all crucial battlegrounds) and names names of high-level Bush/Cheney officials and others who seem to have been involved in some way.

Yesterday's "drational" posting was based, in no small part, on a detailed analysis researched and published by the good folks at ePluribus Media.

Also yesterday, Spencer Ackerman at TPM Muckraker posted a similar independent analysis of the Tim Griffin caging lists. His findings, as well, "strengthened allegations that Griffin, working for the Republican National Committee, was involved in an effort to target African-American voters."

All four posts mentioned are worth reading in full, with a reminder that we quoted a bit more from TPM Muck in Alan Breslauer's posting here yesterday of Tim Griffin's recent denial video in which he strains credulity by claiming he didn't even know what caging was, and had to look it up in a dictionary.

Nice try, Tim. In the meantime, any broadcast news outlets ready to run the story yet? Or will they wait until after it happens again, say, in 2008 or so?

Oh, and Mr. "Drat"? You owe a straight up --- unqualified --- apology to Palast for your original, over-the-top, un-researched, knee-jerk attacks on his reporting. Advancing and/or independently verifying someone's reporting is appropriate and appreciated, as you did in your latest. As well, holding folks responsible when elements are incorrect is also helpful. Going off half-cocked, as you did, with claims that Palast's reporting on this was "dangerous" and trying to justify those claims later based on several errors you claim to have found, none of which change the thrust of his original reports, as you did in your very good follow-ups, is less than impressive, in our opinion.

UPDATE: We failed to link, originally, to the ePluribus Media report upon which much of "drational's" article was based. We've now corrected that failure in the above article and have changed both the text and the headline to incorporate and link to their excellent work. The BRAD BLOG regrets the original oversight.

UPDATE 6/29/07 10:53pm PT: "drational" has done the right thing and posted "My Real Apology to Greg Palast..." at DailyKos. Some additional thoughts of mine posted in comments here.

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Fight Over Access to Docs Could Lead to Constitutional Confrontation (and Impeachment?)...
UPDATE: Feingold Issues Statement, Says Subpeonas Have Bipartisan Support in Senate to Help End Stonewalling by White House Concerning 'Illegal Spying Program'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2007 11:29am PT  

Blogged by Brad from Atlanta...

Just out from AP...

WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office Wednesday for documents relating to President Bush's warrant-free eavesdropping program.

Also named in subpoenas signed by committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., were the Justice Department and the National Security Council.

The committee wants documents that might shed light on internal squabbles within the administration over the legality of the program, said a congressional official speaking on condition of anonymity because the subpoenas had not been made public.

As TPM Muckraker notes in their breaking coverage, "The trigger is pulled...Get ready for a huge court fight."

RAW STORY has a statement from Sen. Leahy concerning the subpoenas.

And as Joseph Cannon guest blogged here yesterday, a subpoena was/is needed to begin the impeachment process. Any subpeona issued to Cheney's office and/or the White House. Well, we now have one.

"If Cheney or any of his underlings refuse to comply with a single subpoena --- and that's a very good bet --- he becomes instantly impeachable, on the same grounds that brought down Nixon," wrote Cannon, who knows the topic well.

Stay tuned. It may be a busy summer...

UPDATE 12:06pm PT: In a statement sent to The BRAD BLOG (posted in full below) Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says "After a year and a half of stonewalling by the Administration...The bipartisan support for issuing these subpoenas demonstrates that both Democrats and Republicans are fed up with the misleading statements from the Attorney General and the Administration about this illegal program."

Feingold's complete brief statement follows below...

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

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TPM Muckraker Confirms Analysis of RNC 'Caging Lists' as Illegally Targetting Minory Voters...
By Alan Breslauer on 6/26/2007 12:30pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Brad wrote about it a couple of weeks ago. Then Greg Palast offered up a heartfelt apology on BRAD BLOG writing, "Boo-hoo! I made Tim Griffin cry." And now you can watch part of the infamous speech that will surely leave many readers teary eyed themselves. The part available at left is where Griffin denies knowing anything about vote caging, and references Palast --- though he refuses to mention him by name.

Of course, Griffin seems to have known what caging was, and had no similar problem naming names in the spreadsheet documents he sent to other Bush/Cheney and RNC operatives in an email with the subject line "Re: caging". The spreadsheet attachments contained lists of voters --- mostly minority voters, some serving over seas --- which they had planned to challenge at the polls in Florida during the 2004 election.

Thanks to TPMtv/Muckraker for the video. As well, they have done their own analysis of the Griffin caging lists in order to verify Palast's findings

The result? Our comparative analysis of the spreadsheet with Duval County voter rolls shows that most names were of African-Americans. (For more on the analysis, see below.) Such a finding, voting rights experts told me, strengthened allegations that Griffin, working for the Republican National Committee, was involved in an effort to target African-American voters. “It is difficult to explain other than an effort to target Democrats and by extension, minority voters,” Toby Moore, a former political geographer with the Justice Department, said.

Michael McDonald, an Associate Professor at George Mason University and an expert on elections statistics, said that the chance that the list is randomly so different from the population is less than 1 in 10,000. It is illegal to target voters based on their race under the Voting Rights Act.

Yes, "illegal". As we've been reporting for quite some time now. Also, in violation of several consent decrees, signed by the RNC during the 80's, that they would no longer target minority voters in these type of campaigns.

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Asst. Attorney General Alex Acosta Sent Letter to Federal Judge Backing Republican Effort to Challenge Democratic, Minority Voters Just Prior to Presidential Election
Investigation into Illegal RNC Effort Spreads from Florida to the Buckeye State...
By Brad Friedman on 6/25/2007 9:37am PT  

Blogged quickly by Brad Friedman from Alabama (with a laptop on my knee)...

McClatchy's excellent Greg Gordon reports that the DoJ had written a letter in support of vote caging by Republicans in Ohio in 2004...

Ex-Justice official accused of aiding scheme to scratch minority voters

WASHINGTON - Four days before the 2004 election, the Justice Department’s civil rights chief sent an unusual letter to a federal judge in Ohio who was weighing whether to let Republicans challenge the credentials of 23,000 mostly African-American voters.

The case was triggered by allegations that Republicans had sent a mass mailing to mostly Democratic-leaning minorities and used undeliverable letters to compile a list of voters potentially vulnerable to eligibility challenges.

In his letter to U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott of Cincinnati, Assistant Attorney General Alex Acosta argued that it would "undermine" the enforcement of state and federal election laws if citizens could not challenge voters’ credentials.

Former Justice Department civil rights officials and election watchdog groups charge that his letter sided with Republicans engaging in an illegal, racially motivated tactic known as "vote-caging" in a state that would be pivotal in delivering President Bush a second term in the White House.
...
But Robert Kengle, former deputy chief of the department’s Voting Rights Section who served under Acosta, said the letter amounted to "cheerleading for the Republican defendants."

"It was doubly outrageous," he said, "because the allegation in the litigation was that these were overwhelmingly African-American voters that were on the challenge list."

Joseph Rich, a former chief of the department's Voting Rights Section, called the Ohio scheme "vote caging."

As BRAD BLOG readers know, we've been reporting --- often far too exclusively --- on the Florida 2004 vote caging scheme by former GOP oppo-researcher turned Karl Rove assistant turned Arkansas US Attorney turned disgraced former US Attorney, Tim Griffin. As we're on the roll, we'll have to refer you to our "Vote Caging" category for our previous detailed coverage. Scroll through the articles on that page for much more background.

But here's a bit more from McClatchy's piece today...

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

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Who Picked the DOJ Targets This Time? WashPost Does Not Tell the Public.
Internal Infighting Carried On Via Willing Newspaper (When will they run this headline?)
By Margie Burns on 6/25/2007 5:01am PT  

Guest blogged from D.C. by Margie Burns

Beneficiary of yet another political outing, the Washington Post ran an article on Thursday June 21, 2007, titled “Political Hiring in Justice Division Probed,” strongly alleging further personnel atrocities committed in the DOJ by former Civil Rights Division administrator Bradley Schlozman.

Not to throw the baby out with the bathwater --- this is not a defense of Schlozman --- but regrettably all the allegations were made by unnamed sources. So who are the unnamed administration sources, and why are they engaging in this maneuver?

Here, along the lines of the "numbers" speech by Erin Brockovich as played by Julia Roberts, is the rundown:

Number of grafs, total, in the two-page article: 29. Number of named sources: 2. (See below.) Number of items attributed to unnamed sources: at least 17. Number of unnamed sources, total: uncertain, but ranging from at least 6 to perhaps at most 16.
0
Graf 2: “ . . . according to four lawyers who said they heard the account from Dugan.”

Graf 3: “In another politically tinged conversation recounted by former colleagues, . . .”

Graf 4: “That account was challenged by six officials in the division who said in interviews that they either overheard him . . .”

Graf 14: “Appellate lawyers said that before Schlozman arrived, the small staff enjoyed a collegial work environment . . .”

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

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Hearing Clearly Reveals Continuing Lack of Interest in the Vote Caging Issue at DOJ
But McNulty Testimony Throws Little Light on DOJ Hirings and Firings
By Margie Burns on 6/21/2007 7:38pm PT  

Guest blogged from D.C. by Margie Burns

Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty returned to testify before Congress one more time today, but without shedding much new light on the much-criticized firings and hirings, alleged to be politically motivated, in the Department of Justice.

The Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law of the House Judiciary Committee, in another attempt to extract some truth about the DOJ personnel matter, held a hearing with McNulty as the sole witness. Under polite, soft-spoken but excruciatingly poignant questioning by Committee Chair John Conyers (D-MI), McNulty did clarify one thing: indeed it does seem that his part of the DOJ has done very little about “caging.”

Caging, as Rep. Cannon (R-UT) helpfully pointed out, “is a term of art in mailhouses” – it refers to the place where letters go when they have no address, all batched up in a separate room.

As Conyers gently reminded the audience, “caging” in the context of elections “is not an issue of the mail at all.” Voter caging, in the context of elections, means blocking voters out – choosing whole lists of voters whose vote will be challenged, chosen by whom and the criteria for challenge enunciated by whom, under this administration, still not fully explained.

Actually, not explained at all. Though it wasn't for Conyers' lack of trying to get information from McNulty about it...

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