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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, December 22, 2014
'A Terrible Idea': E-Voting, E-Counting, 'Open Source' and Internet Voting
Computerphile's Tom Scott understands and explains what too many -- even most opponents of 'e-voting' -- don't fully appreciate...
'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 David Edwards on 4/13/2006 12:21pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com

Most people have little doubt that Americans were mislead into supporting an invasion of Iraq. As the war has continue, so have the lies. Here are a few of the latest...

ABC News Report on False Claims about Bio-Weapons Trailers


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The Bush Administration made claims that mobile biological weapons labs had been found in Iraq for at least a year after a several reports determined that the trailers were used for making weather balloons. The Washington Post first broke the story on Wednesday morning.

The White House would not say if the President or others had read the report before continuing to use the trailers as case for justifying their war on Iraq.

MSNBC Countdown Interview with Journalist Who Broke Phony Bio-lab Story


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Countdown provides another great report on the Bush Administration's misrepresentation of Saddam era weather balloon trailers as mobile bio-weapons labs.

Keith Olbermann interview Washington Post writer Joby Warrick who broke the story. Warrick responds to the charge of irresponsible reporting from the White House.

ARAB TV - Iraqis Angry Over U.S. Military's Al-Zarqawi Propaganda


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Al-Alam TV reports on a Washington Post article exposing a U.S. Military plan to inflate the role of Al-Zarqawi as a source of terrorism in Iraq. As the deceptions continue, Iraqis are becoming increasingly angry with the American occupation.

The Washington Post article begins saying, "The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks"

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By David Edwards on 4/12/2006 3:20pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Yesterday, Senator Barbara Boxer delivered a letter to President George W. Bush demanding that he apologize for his role in using NIE intelligence for political purposes. Boxer's letter begins, "I am writing to request that you apologize to the American people for your role in declassifying information for political reasons and authorizing its dissemination."

Senator Boxer appeared on MSNBC Hardball to explain her reason for writing Bush. Boxer also spoke in support of Senator Feingold's censure resolution.

From the MSNBC transcript:

MATTHEWS: Thank you, David. Great report. With us now in California is California's own Barbara Boxer, the Democratic senator, who wants to censure President Bush for the NSA's domestic surveillance program and today SHE called on the president to apologize for, "declassifying information for political reasons during the Iraq war."

Let me ask you this, Senator, are you going to follow through with this? Are you going to try to get him censured?

SEN. BARBARA BOXER: Well, I absolutely feel that we can't close our eyes to what this president has done. You could ask me is it a smart, strategic move for the Democrats, I don't know if it is or isn't, Chris. But every day you think it can't get worse and it gets worse.

Now we see how hard the president himself tried to hurt Ambassador Joe Wilson, who told the truth about Saddam Hussein and the nuclear weapons program. He told the truth that it wasn't happening. And yet in fact, this president wanted to release information that even he knew, and the administration knew, was suspect.

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David Shuster: 'This Administration Cherry-Picks Intelligence and Plays by It's Own Rules'
By David Edwards on 4/11/2006 8:32am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Yesterday, The President said that he "declassified the NIE" because he wanted people "to see the truth" about intelligence used to bolster the case for war on Iraq.

The corporate media dutifully reported The President's misleading remarks without correcting his misinformation. The Bush Administration is built on lies and, yesterday, Bush added another lie.

MSNBC's Countdown correctly points out that only specific parts of the NIE were leaked to a few sympathetic reporters. The leaked information provided a defense for statements the President made that exaggerated Iraq's desire to acquire nuclear weapons. Other parts of the same NIE that was not given to reporters, show that the leaked information was false.

In fact, the President had been informed multiple times that the information leaked from the NIE to defend his statements about Iraq's nuclear ambitions were "baseless". In short, the President knew that false information was being used to discredit Joe Wilson.

Yesterday, Bush knew that he was misleading Americans by saying that he released the discredited NIE intel because he wanted people "to see the truth." The same lie is being told over and over again and the corporate media refuses to call the President on it.

In this video, Keith Olbermann, Joe Wilson and David Shuster do not hesitate to point out the twisted intelligence, misinformation and outright lies of the Bush Administration. Playing time is about 10 minutes.

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By David Edwards on 4/10/2006 4:42pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Wolf Blitzer interviewed former Ambassador Joe Wilson this afternoon during CNN's Situation Room. Joe Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, have been victims of a Bush Administration effort to stop the American people from learning that intelligence was twisted and misused to lead the country to war on Iraq.

Bush ordered that parts of the classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) be used to rebut a New York Times op-ed written by Joe Wilson. Wilson charged that the administration had had purposefully used baseless intelligence to inflate Iraq's nuclear ambitions.

Today, during a Q&A session with students, Bush said that he had released information from the NIE because he wanted people "to see the truth". In this interview, Joe Wilson sets the record straight by pointing out that the President only released part of the NIE to rebut Wilson's charge. If The President had wanted the people "to see the truth" then he would have also released other parts of the NIE which expressed serious doubts about the information Bush used to rebut Wilson's charge. In fact, by releasing more information which he knew to be faulty, George Bush just fed Americans another lie.

This video contains Wolf Blitzers' complete interview with Joe Wilson. It runs about 10 minutes. Wilson does a great job explaining some of the nuances of the case. He talks fast so you might want to watch it twice.

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Head of 'Non-Partisan' Republican Front Group 'American Center for Voting Rights' Singled Out by Rove
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2006 2:46pm PT  

Working on several items, so we'll defer to RAW STORY's coverage of the story.

Suffice to say, Karl Rove spoke to Republican lawyers this weekend (carried on C-SPAN) and thanked them for their work ensuring "clean elections" in 2000 and 2004.

He singled out Mark F. "Thor" Hearne by name. Hearne was the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. who, along with RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, created the so-called non-partisan "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) just three days before being called to testify before Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) U.S. House Administrative Committee hearing in March of 2005 on the Ohio Election. The front group, which declared tax-exempt 501(c)3 status, has still failed, to our knowledge, to disclose any information of it's funders or proof of their 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan status. They operate out of a PO Box in Houston, TX, though neither of their founders live in Texas.

ACVR was the only "Voting Rights" group called by Ney to testify at the hearings, and identified himself only as a "longtime advocate of voter rights" in his testimony. He failed to mention his connections to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc.

Hearne and ACVR have done little more since they opened shop beyond creating propaganda reports to suggest that their is an epidemic of Democratic voter fraud in the country to encourage state legislatures around the country to implement Democratic voter disenfranchising "Photo ID requirements" at the polls. Their charges of a voter fraud epidemic has been roundly disproven in various court cases around the country. (Though it does appear that at least one voter, Ann Coulter, seems to have engaged in voter fraud lately.)

The "non-partisan" Dyke went on to work for the White House to flak for John Roberts during his Supreme Court nomination, and now works out Dick Cheney's office.

Ney, who pushed the so-called "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA) through Congress in 2002 --- the bill which urges all States and Counties in the country to impliment hackable electronic voting machines by 2006 --- recently stepped down from his chairmanship of the House Admin Committee after being named in the on-going Jack Abramoff investigations. His former chief of staff, David DiStefano is Diebold's main lobbyist in congress, as BRAD BLOG reported in January, and Diebold has made thousands of dollars in so-far unexplained payments to Abramoff's old firm, Greeburg Traurig.

See RAW's story for Rove's comments about Hearne and the other "non-partisan" GOP attorneys over the weekend.

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
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Bush on Nuclear Iran, Hersh Article, War Protestors, Plame Case
By David Edwards on 4/10/2006 11:27am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Today after giving another Iraq/War-on-Terror PR speech at Johns Hopkins International Studies School, President Bush took questions from students in the audience. When compared with recent Q&A sessions, the President appeared to be relaxed to the point of laughing off the some of the tougher questions.

Bush may have offered a little bit more information about his role in using the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) for political retribution. He was asked how future intelligence employees could trust the Executive Office in light of the Plame Wilson case. Bush responded that he had declassified the NIE "for a reason" but refused to say much more.

This video has about 8 minutes of clips from The President's Q&A session.

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By David Edwards on 3/27/2006 5:43am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Windows Media and QuickTime at Crooks and Liars.

CBS News reporter Lara Logan appeared live from Iraq on CNN Reliable Sources on Sunday morning. She issued a stern rejection of the notion that Iraq reporters are biased towards negative stories.

Lara Logan's genuine outrage makes this a must see clip!

From CNN's trancript:

KURTZ: But critics would say, well, no wonder people back home think things are falling apart because we get this steady drumbeat of negativity from the correspondents there.

LOGAN: Well, who says things aren't falling apart in Iraq? I mean, what you didn't see on your screens this week was all the unidentified bodies that have been turning up, all the allegations here of militias that are really controlling the security forces.

What about all the American soldiers that died this week that you didn't see on our screens? I mean, we've reported on reconstruction stories over and over again...I mean, I really resent the fact that people say that we're not reflecting the true picture here. That's totally unfair and it's really unfounded.

Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars

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By David Edwards on 3/17/2006 7:59am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Last night on MBNBC Scarborough Country, Joe Scarborough was surprisingly polite during his interview with peace activist Cindy Sheehan.

Cindy Sheehan is joining other peace activists today who are undertaking a 140 mile march to protest the Iraq war and demanding that Iraq war monies be diverted to Hurricane Katrina relief.

UPDATE: VIDEO - Peace Activists March to New Orleans


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CNN reports on the peace/anti-war activists who are marching 140 miles to New Orleans.

The video in this report is from yesterday's segment of the march.

One protester carried a sign saying "Make Levees Not War!"

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Delegation Seeks U.N. Help to Avoid Civil War, Hardships for Women, Children Under U.S. Occupation
By Brad Friedman on 3/7/2006 10:04pm PT  

Meant to post this yesterday...From Reuters...

Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist whose son was killed in the Iraq war, was arrested with three other protesters in New York on Monday after a rally with women from Iraq.
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On Monday, she had joined a delegation of women from Iraq at the rally at the United Nations, urging the United Nations to help prevent civil war in Iraq.
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Entisar Mohammad Ariabi, a pharmacist at Baghdad's Yarmook Teaching Hospital, wept as she told reporters of the hardships experienced by Iraqi women.

"U.S. occupation has destroyed our country, made it into a prison," she said. "Schools are bombed, hospitals are bombed."

"We thank you, Mr. Bush, for liberating our country from Saddam. But now, go out! Please go out!" she said.

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DeLay's #1 Supporter Unapologetic About Money Taken from Duke Cunningham, Abramoff-Funded Golf Trip to Scotland, Foreign Agent-Funded Trips to Asia and More...
Clint Curtis' Campaign Gets Some Florida Ink in the Bargain...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2006 12:32pm PT  

Looks like our old friend, the indefatigably corrupt Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), is making news again.

St. Petersberg Times takes a front page look at the "allegations pil[ing] up" against Feeney. Here's some highlights:

Three members of Congress went on a golfing junket to Scotland with lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Two of them are under investigation.

The third is Rep. Tom Feeney of Florida.
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Feeney, 47, has tried to move past the allegations but, in typical fashion, has shown little regret or caution.

He kept patronizing Abramoff's Washington restaurant, Signatures, long after others stopped. He defended former majority leader Tom DeLay even after the Texas congressman was indicted. He let a private group pay for his trip to China last month, even though many in Congress are avoiding such travel because of bad publicity over questionable trips.
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Feeney, usually one of the most accessible of the state's congressional delegation, refused to answer questions. His staff described questions into his relationship as a "fishing expedition" and said he has done nothing wrong.

So will Feeney disclose who paid for that trip to China last month, in which he visited the Chinese Space Agency and called for more cooperation with them? Perhaps he should, considering that NASA, where his wife also works, is in Feeney's district. Even more notably, Feeney spent years as the general counsel and registered lobbyist for the firm Yang Enterprises, Inc. --- which harbored an illegal Chinese alien eventually found guilty of espionage charges related to sending military missile guidance chips to China --- a firm that currently has lucrative contracts with NASA.

Full disclosure on this matter would seem to be particularly important, given the revelation of Feeney's lies regarding his continuing relationship with the Yangs and their company.

On a related point, here's an unfortunate little tidbit from the article:

Feeney...has been infatuated with politics since he dressed up as his childhood hero Richard Nixon in a mock grade school election

The list of allegations against Feeney continues in the article, along with some ink for Clint Curtis' run for Congress against him:

Feeney was immediately taken with DeLay, to whom Feeney sometimes is compared, and voted with him almost all the time. Later, Feeney became a prominent defender of DeLay, giving $5,000 to his legal defense and supporting a Republican move to allow him to keep his leadership post if indicted.
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He received $5,000 from former Rep. "Duke" Cunningham's PAC before Cunningham resigned last year amid a bribery scandal.

"My concern about him is that he seems to view the rules are optional," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a group that has primarily criticized Republicans. "Rules are there for a reason."

In September, Feeney was named one of "the 13 most corrupt members of Congress" by Sloan's group. The Congressional Accountability Project demanded that the House ethics panel investigate Feeney and others for their ties to Abramoff.

"No one likes being attacked but he still continues with his daily routine," said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, a Brooksville Republican who served in the Florida Legislature with Feeney. "This hasn't changed him at all."

Feeney did not face opposition in 2004 but this year already has two opponents, veterinarian Andy Michaud, a Democrat, and computer programmer Clint Curtis, a lifelong Republican turned Democrat. Both Curtis and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee question Feeney's ethics.

Here's a complete list of Reps who received money from Duke Cunningham. Feeney is among those accepting the most, but has not returned the money at this time.

Hat-tip to Jesselee from Stakeholder, who has more on the St. Pete Times article.

Clint Curtis' campaign website, where he needs much financial and logistical support if he's to have a chance of taking on Feeney and the Florida Republican Machine is right here.

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
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Matalin Blames Press over Cheney's PR Blunder
By David Edwards on 2/20/2006 6:48am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Mary Matalin appeared on NBC Meet the Press (transcript) to defend Vice President Cheney's handling of the shooting scandal. She attacked NBC White House correspondent David Gregory and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd for their attention to the discrepancies in Cheney's story.

Gregory: Mary, ...the Vice President of the United States accidentally shot a man... and the Vice President's office doesn't feel an obligation to disclose that to the American people directly? You do it through a ranch owner in Texas? It just strikes me as odd.

Matalin: It strikes you as odd because you live in a parallel universe...

Gregory: ...If the Vice President did everything right by disclosing it the way he did, why did you do a big national interview this week?

Matalin: Because you went on a jihad, David. For four days you went on a jihad...

Gregory: That's an unfortunate use of that word, by the way.

Matalin: Oh OK... Were you saving up for that line?

So, Matalin slips in the inflammatory "jihad" remark and then accuses Gregory of "saving up for that line"?

I created a video compilation of the exchanges between Matalin, Gregory and Dowd that is posted at Crooks and Liars. If you haven't already seen it, watch the clip here in streaming flash format or download other video formats at Crooks and Liars.

Matalin's performance is a popular topic throughout the blogosphere: Arianna Huffington, firedoglake, Think Progress, AMERICAblog, James Wolcott, Hullabaloo, Talking Points Memo.

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Story of Army Specialist Tomas Young, First Revealed on The BRAD SHOW from Crawford, Texas, Discussed in Mike Wallace Story This Evening
By Brad Friedman on 2/12/2006 5:48pm PT  

We're told that tonight's 60 Minutes features a segment with Mike Wallace on "Wounds of War" featuring soldiers injured in Iraq. (60 Minutes' website now has coverage of the segment, with a video link, but it's not the complete segment apparently.)

The segment, third on tonight's broadcast, features an interview with Tomas Young, whose story we first highlighted during our special "Operation Noble Cause" radio broadcasts on The BRAD SHOW from on the ground at "Camp Casey" in Crawford, TX, last summer. Apparently footage of me interviewing Young is a quick part of the segment.

Army Specialist Young was paralyzed from the waist down --- on the same day and in the same city as Cindy Sheehan's son, Casey --- while riding in a canvas-covered truck through Sadr City during the uprising there.

Young is seen in the photo at right at Camp Casey with his new wife, Bree, requesting a meeting with Bush. They had come to Crawford on their honeymoon. Bush had refused a meeting with Sheehan at the time on the grounds that he'd already met with her. As far as we know, Bush has still never met with Young, who wanted to ask him why he was refusing to support Stem Cell research so that he might someday be able to walk again.

-- The initial BRAD BLOG item on Young from Aug. 29, 2005 is right here.
-- My radio interview from Camp Casey on that same day with Young is right here [MP3].

UPDATE: Have now seen the segment, and it was interesting. We'll try to get it up here. One thing I didn't know until tonight was that Tomas' brother is still serving in Iraq. So for those who suggest that what Young is doing --- in speaking out against the war --- is harming our troops...well...he made clear on 60 Minutes that's the last thing he'd want to do with a brother still serving there!

FURTHER UPDATE: Here's the segment! Courtesy of the invaluable David Edwards!


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(Hat-tip Jesse of Stakeholder for the heads-up!)

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The Continuing Pro-Administration Bias of both WaPo and Fox News
And the Hypocrisy of One Very Dangerous Republican Congressman from Florida
By Brad Friedman on 2/2/2006 5:12pm PT  

Hopefully this will be my last words on the disgraceful incident involving the arrest, removal and detention of Cindy Sheehan, who gave the life of her child in defense of this country, just prior to Tuesday's State of the Union address.

This latest canary-in-the-coalmine story made the front page of WaPo today, and reveals quite clearly both the Media's and at least one Republican's bias against those who do not agree with the George W. Bush Administration...As well as the disregard for our Constitutional Freedom of Speech. At least by the Republican.

The WaPo article, written by Petula Dvorak, first reveals the pro-administration media bias and/or their consistent inability to fairly report on an unfair situation. Note this early graf:

[Capitol Police Chief Terrance W.] Gainer said he also would ask that charges against Sheehan --- she was arrested; Beverly Young left before it came to that --- be dropped. "It was," he said, "a good-faith mistake by officers operating under poor direction."

In other words it's implied here that Beverly Young, the wife of Congressman Bill Young (R-FL), who was removed from gallery at some point during Bush's speech wasn't arrested because, unlike Sheehan, it didn't come to that. Mrs. Young must have been polite (she wasn't) requiring no arrest, while Sheehan must have been unruly (she wasn't) requiring arrest and hours of detention.

The fact of the matter, however, as clearly explained later in the article, is that Mrs. Young was never threatened with arrest at all, unlike Sheehan who was frog-marched out of the chamber and handcuffed from the get-go. And that was even with Sheehan being polite in every respect, by all accounts of the story, while Young was abusive towards the cops, calling them "idiots" (that night, and even later after their eventually apology) and, as WaPo points out, "Witnesses said her words for him were much saltier the night before."

After a night of fingerprinting and booking and lockup, Sheehan departed the city. But Young had not, and her response as she enjoyed hugs from supporters yesterday after the apology was to call Gainer "an idiot." Witnesses said her words for him were much saltier the night before.

As I mentioned yesterday in my article on "Cindy Sheehan's Unequal Treatment Under the Law", the Wingnuts who've been busy trying to equate Sheehan's treatment with Young's ("They were both asked to leave, so clearly there's no political bias here!" say the apologists) have also overlooked the fact that Young was asked to leave much later. After the cops already had an embarrassing situation on their hands. As WaPo reported...

About 45 minutes into the speech, an officer asked Beverly Young to step outside, where he told her: "We consider you a protester" because of her shirt, she said.

She said she angrily challenged officers to explain what law she had violated, and they threatened arrest.

She said an officer mentioned that Sheehan was removed earlier and therefore "it was kind of only fair" that she be asked to leave, too.

It's clear that Mrs. Young would have been left alone with her "Support the Troops" T-shirt and would not have been asked to leave, had not the cops already had the Sheehan situation on their hands, and needed to cover their asses.

Finally then, it's revealed in the story that the hypocritical Congressman Young himself would likely not have said a word about Sheehan's treatment (which was much worse than his wife's) had his wife not been asked to leave. He admits as much:

Young said he wouldn't be so mad if it were just Sheehan. "I totally disagree with everything she stands for," he said. But by removing his wife, Gainer's officers clearly "acted precipitously," Young said.

So the woman actually arrested, detained, and perhaps even "roughed up" was no problem for Young's "standards" because he "totally disagree[s] with everything she stands for."

Welcome to the amazingly slipperly slope...as it gets still slipperier and slopier every damn day in this country.

Still unclear? See how Judge Anthony Napolitano --- who defended Sheehan on Fox News, ostensibly, once it became clear she broke no rules or laws --- reportedly contrasted Young's T-shirt with Sheehan's. Young's, said Napolitano, in regard to the "Support the Troops" T-shirt, was "a Republican T-shirt."

Fox happily took up the meme on their website:

"Sheehan's T-shirt alluded to the number of soldiers killed in Iraq: '2245 Dead. How many more?' ... Young's shirt had just the opposite message: 'Support the Troops --- Defending Our Freedom.'"

The "opposite message"?!

It's a dangerous fucking line we're crossing here in America 2006. Pay attention.

ALSO... It's not just the MSM who get the story wrong in their rush for political points. Blogger Glenn Greenwald reports on tons of Wingnut bloggers who couldn't wait to lie about the Sheehan story to their readers...and then refuse to correct themselves after it was proven how incredibly wrong they were.

ReddIt this story!



Will Drop All Charges, According to NBC. 'We Screwed Up,' Says Capitol Police...
[LATE UPDATE] MSNBC Scrubs 'We Screwed Up' Article Without Explanation! Replaces with AP Story...
By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2006 2:46pm PT  

According to MSNBC...

WASHINGTON - Charges against antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan, who was arrested after a scuffle over a T-shirt she wore to the State of the Union address, will be dropped, officials told NBC News Wednesday.

U.S. Capitol Police took Sheehan away in handcuffs and charged her with unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor, when she showed up to President Bush's address Tuesday night wearing a shirt that read, "2245 Dead. How many more?" --- a reference to the number of soldiers killed in Iraq.

But Capitol Police will ask the U.S. attorney's office to drop the charges, NBC News' Mike Viqueira reported Wednesday.

"We screwed up," a top Capitol Police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said Sheehan didn't violate any rules or laws.

As we pointed out previously, Sheehan was arrested and detained for hours for wearing the T-shirt she had been wearing all day prior to the State of the Union Address, while a Republican Congressman's wife who wore a "Support the Troops" shirt was simply asked to leave (even though she called the cops "idiots").

On moral and "Freedom of Speech" grounds, neither should have been ejected. Now, as it turns out, neither of them should have been ejected on legal grounds or even "rules of Congress" grounds.

Here's a photo of a statement by Republicans from last year that was allowed. Here's our minute-by-minute coverage of the shameful affair as it played out last night.

UPDATE: As of Wednesday evening, it looks like MSNBC has scrubbed their "We Screwed Up" article and replaced it, at the same link, with an article by AP. No explanation is given at the MSNBC website for the switcheroo!

ReddIt this story!



And George W. Bush's Hatred of Both Freedom and the U.S. Constitution
By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2006 11:55am PT  

Let me be very clear, since the Mainstream Wingnut Media Spinners are already attempting to "Fair and Balance" (read: level an unlevel playing field) this one.

Cindy Sheehan, who did not plan to, or even want to go to the State of the Union speech, was convinced to go. She wore the T-shirt she had been wearing all day long in support of our troops, including her own son who gave his life in service to this country while in Iraq. Sheehan's shirt said, "2,245 Dead --- How Many More??"

She was arrested for wearing the shirt, held for hours in detention, and claims to have been "roughed up" a bit in the process.

We covered the entire process, minute-by-minute, as it shamefully unfolded last night.

Later, during the speech --- after Sheehan had already been arrested --- the wife of a Republican Congressman from Florida, Bill Young, was politely asked to leave the chamber for wearing a T-shirt in support of our troops. Her shirt said "Support the Troops Defending Our Freedom."

She was not arrested for wearing the shirt, she was not held for hours in detention, nor roughed up. She does not face any legal charges or legal fees in connection with the incident that we know about. And, as far as we know, did not also make the ultimate sacrifice of giving the life of her child for this country.

Rep. Young reportedly decried, "Shame, shame," on the U.S. House Floor today for the treatment of his wife. His wife, who was not arrested as far as we know.

While neither woman should have been arrested --- or even removed from the gallery (in our opinion) --- they were not treated equally. Whatever the "rules" are about such things in the U.S. Congress, they did not receive "equal treatment under the law". (A law, we might add, which would seem to be unconstitutional, according to this 1971 Supreme Court decision which ruled that wearing a "Fuck the Draft" T-shirt into a courthouse was Constitutionally protected free speech).

Both T-shirts were in support of our troops. Both shirts made a political statement of sorts. One woman was arrested, the other was not.

In fact, the other was not even asked to leave until after the speech had already started. After Sheehan had been arrested and after the authorities knew they had a politically sticky situation on their hands. All of which begs the question of whether Mrs. Young would have been asked to leave the chamber at all, had not Sheehan's arrest occurred previously.

As to Sheehan's take on things, she wrote this morning about "What Really Happened" as she experienced it.

She describes the fact that she didn't want to go to Bush's speech at all, since it would be so difficult for her to here, didn't wish to protest or be disruptive, but was convinced, in the end, to go anyway.

You can read her entire description of events, but here's one notable passage:

I was never told that I couldn't wear that shirt into the Congress. I was never asked to take it off or zip my jacket back up. If I had been asked to do any of those things...I would have, and written about the suppression of my freedom of speech later. I was immediately, and roughly (I have the bruises and muscle spasms to prove it) hauled off and arrested for "unlawful conduct."

After I had my personal items inventoried and my fingers printed, a nice Sgt. came in and looked at my shirt and said, "2245, huh? I just got back from there."

I told him that my son died there. That's when the enormity of my loss hit me. I have lost my son. I have lost my First Amendment rights. I have lost the country that I love. Where did America go? I started crying in pain.

What did Casey die for? What did the 2244 other brave young Americans die for? What are tens of thousands of them over there in harm's way for still? For this? I can't even wear a shrit that has the number of troops on it that George Bush and his arrogant and ignorant policies are responsible for killing.

I wore the shirt to make a statement. The press knew I was going to be there and I thought every once in awhile they would show me and I would have the shirt on. I did not wear it to be disruptive, or I would have unzipped my jacket during George's speech. If I had any idea what happens to people who wear shirts that make the neocons uncomfortable that I would be arrested...maybe I would have, but I didn't.

All of that, even as Bush was saying at the exact same moment, as if he meant it, these words during his State of the Union Speech:

"No one can deny the success of freedom, but some men rage and fight against it.
...
We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it."

Cindy Sheehan understands what those words actually mean. She gave up the life of her son in supposed defense of that freedom. She is fighting for that freedom which George W. Bush doesn't have a clue about.

And frankly, any American who doesn't stand with her in that particular fight, hasn't a clue of what America --- or the U.S. Constitution --- actually stands for.

"Shame, shame," indeed.

UPDATE: John Nichols in The Nation gets it right. He discusses the events that took place "Minutes before the President of the United States would tell the Congress how much he appreciates 'responsible criticism and counsel'" and points out that Mrs. Young admits to having "argued loudly with officers and called one of them 'an idiot'". But, of course, unlike Sheehan, who behaved politely throughout the proceedings according to all accounts...

Mrs. Young was not handcuffed. She was not dragged from the Capitol. She was not arrested. She was not jailed.

Sheehan, who caused no ruckus, was arrested not because she engaged in "unlawful conduct." Rather, by every evidence, she was arrested because of what her t-shirt said --- and, by extension, because of what she believes.

ALSO... More on "Good SOTU Protests" versus "Bad SOTU Protests" here...

FURTHER UPDATE: Capitol Cops admit they "Screwed up"! Charges to be dropped!

ReddIt this story!



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