Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
A WaPo article from Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein yesterday, headlined "Voter-Fraud Complaints by GOP Drove Dismissals," reports:
"More central than previously known" to whom? Certainly not BRAD BLOG readers, as we've been reporting on the scam to invent actionable, yet phony "voter fraud" claims via the White House's Thor Hearne-run front group, The American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), since at least March of 2005.
The swing-state hotspots reported by WaPo and others of late, as named by Rove in 2006, etc., are almost precisely the same ones which led the coordinated ACVR effort going back for years. The same locations --- Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Missouri, etc. --- were named in the ACVR's phony report on phony "voter fraud" released back in July of 2005. We covered it at that time, while few, if any, in the MSM --- certainly not WaPo --- bothered to take notice.
As we reported back then, in our August 2, 2005 article headlined, "Phony GOP 'Voting Rights' Group Delivers Onslaught of Disinfo Today!":
Five different heavily Democratic-leaning cities were cited in each of six different Press Releases issued at once via US Newswire within the last hour as being amongst the "top Election Fraud Hotspots" in the country.
The complete report, which we linked to at the time, is now found here via the Internet archives, since the ACVR website was taken down shortly after the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal began to expose the entire conspiracy. Here's what the "Letter of Introduction" for their propaganda report said at the time:
1. Philadelphia, PA
2. Milwaukee, WI
3. Seattle, WA
4. St. Louis/East St. Louis, MO/IL
5. Cleveland, OH
Those cities and states, of course, have almost all come into play in the firings of the U.S. Attorneys. Point being that very little of the entire scheme is actually "new" --- it's just that the mainstream media (and even elements of the progressive blogosphere) are finally beginning to wake up to what we've been running around with our hair on fire for years trying to let them know about.
It's all been there all along. The only thing that was missing was the will to investigate and report on it. And it's still being under-investigated and under-reported today.
So, if we might take the liberty, allow us once again to point to the person who holds the key to much of all of this: one Mr. Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, the former national general counsel to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc., friend of Rove, and mastermind behind the ground game for national conspiracy as aided, abetted and orchestrated by the group he co-founded, the still-mysteriously funded ACVR.
Although some light was finally shone onto Hearne and the ACVR in a recent groundbreaking McClatchy report, he and his entire direct connection to the White House remain incredibly under-investigated, even while he and his ACVR co-conspirators have been trying to hide their tracks wherever possible of late. (E.g., Thor's online profile at his very powerful, corrupt Missouri legal firm, Lathrop & Gage --- also very much at the center of all of this, btw --- had described him as "General Counsel for the American Center of Voting Rights (ACVR)" as of April 27, 2007, as seen via the Internet archives. That reference to ACVR has now been quietly excised from Thor's current online profile.)
So again, all we can do is try to get the word out that MSM reporters and progressive bloggers looking into the US Attorney scandal may want to peruse our years of coverage on all of this, nicely indexed for their review at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
On a related note, moving the ball one step forward...WaPo's piece also goes on to quote Dan Tokaji, election law specialist at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, as saying: "There is reason for worry and suspicion at this point as to whether voting fraud played an inappropriate role in personnel decisions by the department."
"Reason for worry and suspicion?" With all due respect to Tokaji, we'd say it's gone far beyond that. We'd suggest "reason for indictments and jail time" would be more accurate.
But the question, however, which occurs to us at this point is: What is the next step? It's unclear where Congress plans to go with this investigation, as it's become clearer and clearer that the White House was directly behind the use of the DoJ as little more than a political bludgeon and an outreach arm of the RNC.
Do they plan to recommend indictments? If so, to whom? The DoJ? Will they ask for a Special Prosecutor to do same? Or will they exercise their Constitutional duty to impeach those Administration officials who have criminally violated their oaths to protect and defend that Constitution?
We don't pretend to know where all of this goes, and the endgame seems hazy right now to say the least, but we'd suggest it's time for Congressional investigators to start thinking and/or talking about it.
We hope to have a fresh Exclusive here tomorrow from Greg Palast, with some new details, which begin to look at exactly that. Stay tuned...
In a statement just sent to The BRAD BLOG, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) says he is prepared to up the ante in the fight with the White House in light of Bush's spending bill veto, and will be proposing that war funding be cut off by a date certain as part of the next spending bill sent to the White House.
Feingold adds that his previously proposed legislation, known as the Feingold-Reid Bill (S. 1077), had a number of co-sponsors already on board in the Senate, and that the same language would be used for his proposed amendment to the Senate's new supplemental spending bill.
His statement just in to The BRAD BLOG:
In addition to Reid's support of the original bill, the co-sponsors already on board as listed at Feingold's website include Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), John Kerry (D-MA), Pat Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
It's not yet known if the same Senators will support the bill as an amendment to the next supplemental spending bill or not, according to a Feingold spokesman tonight.
The legislation includes a few caveats sure to be ignored by the wingnuts when they begin to attack it, so we'll point them out here. Namely, that Feingold's bill will not cut off funding for the purpose of:
CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story was unclear about the differences between the two versions of Feingold's legislation. Feingold's original legislation, supported by 10 Senators in all, and quoted in full below, will be used as the basis --- "likely with identical language," according to a Feingold spokesperson --- as an amendment to the new supplemental spending bill in the Senate. At the moment, it's unclear what that new supplemental will look like. We thank the Feingold staffer who contacted us late tonight with the clarification.
The full text of Feingold's straight forward proposed legislation follows below...
Sen. Russ Feingold's office sent the following statement to The BRAD BLOG a few hours ago...
On the 4th Anniversary of the President Declaring “Mission Accomplished”
“The four-year anniversary of “mission accomplished” comes on the heels of one of the deadliest months since our invasion of Iraq. The anniversary reminds us that we shouldn’t give credence to an Administration that has made such disastrous mistakes in Iraq. Congress should listen to the American people and not an Administration that has been so wrong, and so dishonest, so many times. The President should acknowledge the will of the American people and sign the Iraq spending bill Congress is sending him today.”
Of course, Bush didn't. He vetoed the spending bill late this afternoon, saying "Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure, and that would be irresponsible."
Of course, nobody knows from failure and irresponsibility more than George W. Bush.
When he gave his infamous "Mission Accomplished" cod-piece speech on board the USS Lincoln on May 1 of 2003, just 139 US troops had been killed.
Happy Anniversary, asshole.
...And this one, unlike John McCain's version, is actually amusing. Even if both of them are creepy as hell...
Kudos to the creator of the video, Adam Kontras, for his prescience and sense of dark satire back in April of 2006 when it was originally released. Even as we curse him for having given McCain, the former "straight shooter"-turned-wingnut-loon, any bad ideas.
Kontras tells us he received "lots of death threats from angry Iranians not understanding it," when he first posted it, and that he still does. As we receive far too many love letters here at The BRAD BLOG, hopefully this will to serve to send a few of the irony-impaired Iranians our way for a while instead. Always happy to serve.
(Hat-tip to Justice Through Music, who's also had this on their radar for some time!)
Guest Blogged by Daniel Borchers of Citizens for Principled Conservatism
Controversialist Ann Coulter, legendary for her hate speech and elimination rhetoric (see just a few of her most notorious greatest "hits" in the chart below), is a featured speaker at tonight's New Jersey Right to Life (NJRTL) Banquet. That’s right, an advocate for death is a spokesman for life.
Presidential candidate Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), among others, will be sharing the dais with Coulter.
Despite Coulter controversies just last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, DC, and at the Reclaiming America for Christ (RAC) Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, NJRTL still prominently features conservatism’s most prominent polemicist.
Ann Coulter at CPAC 2006:
“I think our motto should be post-9-11, ‘raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.'“
(Responding to a question from a Catholic University student about her biggest moral or ethical dilemma) “There was one time I had a shot at Clinton. I thought 'Ann, that's not going to help your career.'“
“If we find out someone [referring to a terrorist] is going to attack the Supreme Court next week, can't we tell Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalito?”
Ann Coulter at the Reclaiming America for Christ Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 3/3/07.
“I spoke at CPAC yesterday, and I [took questions] about Obama and Hillary and Gore and global warming, and I said I was going to also have a few remarks about the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but apparently you have to go to rehab if you use the word ‘faggot.’”
“Those few abortionists were shot, or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure with a rifle performed on them. I'm not justifying it, but I do understand how it happened....The number of deaths attributed to Roe v. Wade - about 40 million aborted babies and seven abortion clinic workers; 40 million to seven is also a pretty good measure of how the political debate is going.”
I contacted both Sen. Brownback and Rep. Smith. Neither deigned to address, or even respond, to my concerns over their tacit endorsement of Ann Coulter’s views, despite my having written them to explain that…
Today I sat in on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, “Department of Justice Oversight,” part of which Brad posted about, earlier. The solo witness was Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, covering some by-now familiar ground in the matter of those questionable firings of US Attorneys in seven of 93 districts. In spite of some repetitive questioning, primarily by Charles Schumer (D-NY), the day was actually enlightening.
First, the hearing further indicated the direct White House connection suggested earlier by Brad. Gonzales is still in a position where he cannot speak freely about Bush, even if he wanted to do so. But even Gonzales’ measured and cautious answers to questions were revealing. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of Judiciary, led off by asking whether Gonzales had had any conversations about the US Attorneys with White House senior advisor Karl Rove. Answer: yes, in fall 2006 Gonzales had a conversation with Rove about USAs, regarding “voter fraud” in three districts – New Mexico, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia....
Florida's new Republican Gov. Charlie Crist continues to get far in front of Congressional Democrats concerning issues of Election Reform. Previously, he has called for the Sunshine State to replace all DRE touch-screen voting systems with paper-based optical scan systems (and touch-screen ballot marking devices for the disabled) and today, he succeeded in restoring voting rights for former felons to all but the most violent criminals after they've served their time.
While Democrats in Congress, and their public-advocacy group supporters such as People for the American Way (PFAW), MoveOn, Common Cause, and VoteTrustUSA, continue to dally around the edges of reform vis-a-vis Rep. Rush Holt's Election Reform Bill (HR811) in the House and a forthcoming companion bill from Dianne Feinstein in the Senate, shamefully, it's the Republican Florida Governor --- of all people --- who is proving to be the true Progressive in the fight for real reform.
There's plenty of blame to go around, of course. The GOP Legislature in Florida is hanging on to their own share of shame in fighting Crist's bi-partisan proposals to replace disenfranchising, democracy-stealing DREs. In Maryland, it's the Democrats in the Senate who are killing Election Reform after House Dems had approved it (as tepid as that reform would be in only requiring useless, panacea "paper trails" for the state's paperless Diebold touch-screen systems. LATE UPDATE 3/6/07 5:07pm PT: Stunning turnaround suddenly in MD's Senate, support for a paper ballot bill! Breaking details here...)
New Democratic Secretaries of State Debra Bowen in CA and Jennifer Brunner in OH are meeting their voter mandates and doing their respective best to correct dysfunctional, unverifiable, easily gameable voting systems, but they are also facing challenges from both Republicans and local Elections Officials alike who are fighting to put their own self-interests over those of the voters. As usual.
In the meantime, the currently-flawed federal bills in the U.S. House and Senate are on the verge of getting worse, not better, through the drafting, mark-up, and amendment process, as legislators bend to the demands of henhouse-guarding Elections Officials along with the uncritical support for "Election Reform, any Election Reform, whether it'll bring true Reform or not" by powerful groups such as MoveOn, VoteTrustUSA, Common Cause, and others.
By way of example, MoveOn sent out an email to members yesterday calling for unflinching support of the Holt bill, despite knowing it to be flawed and VoteTrustUSA yesterday sent out an "All-811-All The-Time" newsletter yesterday to members without a single article, from among the mountains available, critical of the bill. That, despite recent testimony to Congress by their own policy director, Warren Stewart, asserting that "the direct electronic recording of votes to computer memory is inimical to democracy." Both the Holt and Feinstein bills currently drafted would allow for exactly such systems, and in fact, institutionalize the practice for years to come.
Both MoveOn and VoteTrustUSA declined to respond to our queries seeking explanation about their mailings yesterday.
So what's going on here?
Legislation that would have been smashing in 2005, but has since been shown to be desperately out of date in 2007 given the mountains of new evidence which revealed itself during the 2006 Election Cycle and beyond, is mired under the weight of bureaucratic deal-making and go-along-to-get-along public advocacy. All of which is by-and-large enabling the Democrats who seem to be fiddling as democracy burns.
It's all made worse, for the moment, by the largest and most influential of the public-advocacy groups, PFAW, who continues to dominate the debate on many levels. The group, which The BRAD BLOG has come to learn wields great power and proxy throughout a large swath of the civil rights community, is not only currently against a much-needed ban of DRE voting systems, but --- far more disturbingly --- is actually advocating in favor of their use.
PFAW's position, as expressed above, is wholly unsupported by scientific evidence, common sense, or anything else as we have learned while investigating the matter over the past several weeks and months.
When a Republican governor from Florida has gotten ahead of Democrats on this issue, it's safe to say that something has gone terribly wrong.
If someone within the Democratic caucus doesn't stand up soon and bring the type of leadership to this issue that Crist has brought to Florida, they risk becoming the owners of a dysfunctional electoral system previously designed-for-disaster, via the Help America Vote Act of 2002, by the now-disgraced, Republican felon, former Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio.
Is there nobody in the U.S. Congress with the leadership skills and courage to stand up and do what is both right and well-supported by scientific evidence in order to make America's broken system of democracy right again?
Is there nobody who will stare down the disingenuous and/or fearful and/or ill-informed and/or self-serving factions standing in the way of restoring America's once-great shining example of democracy to the world?
As the right to vote and to have that vote counted transparently and accurately underpins every other right we have in this country, we'll continue to keep digging, advocating, investigating, reporting, and hoping. The alternatives --- and consequences --- are far too dire to do anything less....
On a related note... In the corporate media's misleading and self-created "two-person race" for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have each raised approximately $25 million in the first quarter of this year.
Neither, however, has gone on record in favor a paper ballot --- one that is actually tabulated --- for every vote cast in America.
Has the Washington Post been fooled (again) by high-level ‘leakers’? It sure looks that way.
On Tuesday, March 20, the Post ran a front-page article on the DOJ-U.S. Attorneys scandal that led off:
The item was sourced to unnamed “administration officials” who gave it to two WaPo reporters “yesterday.”
This juicy lede graf was followed up:
The major problem with this story? It’s not true. The Department of Justice never 'ranked' U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald negatively or as 'undistinguished.' According to sworn testimony by D. Kyle Sampson, today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Fitzgerald was rated 'very strong' internally in the DOJ.
So who fed the Post that story? And why did they run it without pinning it down first?...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Senator Barbara Boxer has a little talk with Senator Exxon, uh, James Inhofe who did not want to let former Vice President Al Gore answer his questions on global warming. It was Gore's first appearance on the Hill since January, 2001. Lou Dobbs covers the entertaining bit (1:32).
Just out from Waxman's office. A letter [PDF] to House and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairs Conyres and Leahy disputing Bush's contention yesterday that he is giving Congress "unprecedented" access to White House information and officials.
The letter begins this way...
Yesterday President Bush asserted that the White House would give Congress "unprecedented" access to information regarding the Administration's recent dismissal of U.S. Attorneys. This statement is misinformed. As you continue discussions with the White House regarding your investigation of the U.S. Attorneys matter, I wanted to bring to your attention relevant precedent.
The President said yesterday that he would not allow White House aides including Senior Advisor to the President Karl Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, deputy counsel William Kelley, and political aide J. Scott Jennings testify under oath and on the record about the dismissal of the U.S. Attorneys. Contrary to the President's contention, there is extensive precedent for officials in these positions to appear before Congress.
When Republicans controlled Congress during the Clinton Administration, they routinely insisted that White House officials appear before Congress. During the prior Administration, a series of White House Counsels testified to congressional committees publicly and under oath:
Click here for the full letter [PDF], which outlines not only numerous White House officials who testified under oath before Congressional committees during the Clinton Administration, but even Bush Administration officials who were allowed to do so, as recently as last week!
This page at the House Oversight Committee has links to additional info and reports on the matter.
"We don't have a law that would make war profiteering specifically a federal crime," Sen. Leahy (D-VT) said in this morning's efficient hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, so he is introducing one.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is busy these days --- what with the scandal over White House manipulations of the prosecutorial function of the Department of Justice, the continuing scandals of war profiteering in the "war on terror," and other oversight matters, the Committee is in jeopardy of being overstretched. In fact, it already is overstretched.
The room was full for this morning's hearing, which I attended, on "Combating War Profiteering," but, as with last week's House Oversight Comittee hearings with Valerie Plame et al, this one was also scantly attended by GOP'ers. Of Republicans, only the co-chair of the committee Arlen Specter (R-PA) and --- to do him justice --- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) graced the hearing with their presence. The co-chair could do no less, and indeed did little, though I noticed that both he and Leahy alluded to their past jobs as prosecutors, from which it can safely be inferred that they too think the current manipulations of US Attorneys --- prosecutors --- by the DOJ look very bad...
While it's unlikely to get as much attention as Ann Coulter calling him a "faggot" during her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last night, The BRAD BLOG has learned that John Edwards is the first Presidential Candidate to announce his support for a growing movement calling for a ban on the use of all Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems in American elections.
The BRAD BLOG was contacted late last night by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) Board Chair Mimi Kennedy with the news that during a campaign event in Los Angeles Edwards agreed to join her organization in calling for an end to electronic ballots in American elections.
PDA has been one of many groups calling for the ban and other important amendments to Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) new Election Reform bill (HR 811), recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Kennedy, an activist and actress well known for her role as Dharma's mother on ABC's Dharma and Greg, told The BRAD BLOG that during a Q & A period following his address last night, she asked Edwards whether he would join PDA in their campaign calling for "the complete removal of all Touch-Screen Direct Record Electronic voting machines from U.S. elections, with or without a paper trail."
Drawing an "X" in the air as the question was being asked, Edwards --- who was reportedly upset at Sen. John Kerry's decision not to contest the 2004 Presidential Election count, or lack thereof, in Ohio --- answered with a definitive "Yes!"
"Yes!" echoed Kennedy in response as the audience reportedly cheered and applauded.
Edwards's public support for a ban on DRE voting systems follows just over a week after Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) was asked a related question by an Election Integrity advocate at a public event at the University of California/Santa Cruz. Waters announced, in response to the query, that she would be withdrawing her co-sponsorship of the Holt bill in the wake of the growing concerns about several troubling shortcomings in the proposed legislation.
Kennedy attended the event, sponsored by the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club, with friend and former TAXI co-star Rhea Perlman, who unsuccessfully tried to video tape the Q & A session on her cell phone. The BRAD BLOG is attempting to locate a complete video of the event and we'll update this item if and when we do.
Before an audience estimated at 400, Kennedy rose and said to the former Vice-Presidential candidate...
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