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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, January 25, 2015
'Rights'? What 'Rights'?
Yes, elections have consequences. Republicans take control of U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee and immediately dump 'Civil Rights and Human Rights' from its name...
Hannity Must Be Furious About Keystone XL Pipeline!
Foreign owner TransCanada has now filed an eminent domain action to sieze property of private landowners in Nebraska...
'Green News Report' 1/22/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama's SOTU focuses on climate; Repubs give Keystone XL pipeline a new name; MT pipeline spill spews oil, benzene; PLUS: GOP votes climate change not a hoax -- but...
Previous GNRs: 1/20/15 - 1/15/15 - Archives...
The Progressive State of the Union: KPFK 'BradCast'
Deconstructing Obama's SOTU and the GOP response, with our special in-studio roundtable, including: Heather 'Digby' Parton, David Dayen of Salon, John Amato of Crooks & Liars...
St. Louis County Election Director Forced Out Of Office
Official who ignored pre-election warnings, obtained exclusively by BRAD BLOG, about likely paper ballot shortages last November, is unanimously ousted by Election Board...
Only 41% Support Keystone XL, But...
That's the good news. The not-as-good news is more surprising, though perhaps we shouldn't be surprised at all by it by now. (Or by the latest pipeline spill in Montana)...
Did John Roberts 'Stack the Deck' for SCOTUS Marriage Equality Cases?
The Court's agreement to hear challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage includes some 'unusual' questions...
'Green News Report' 1/20/15
Confirmed. Again. NASA and NOAA find 2014 hottest year on record; More studies warn human impacts threaten our life support systems; PLUS: 'A glimmer of hopefulness'...
Cluster of Studies Warn of Planetary Peril
New group of scientific reports find humanity rushing to brink of survivable limits, advise swift action needed to change course...
NASA, NOAA Confirm 2014 Hottest Year on Record for Planet Earth
Yet another climate change denial myth is scuttled, but here's how the fossil-fueled scammers have been getting away with their "no warming over the past decade!" hoax...
Saudi Arabia Beheads 10th 'Criminal' of 2015
Some barbarians better than others, apparently...
'Green News Report' 1/15/15
Obama's moves to cut methane; WV fight for science in science textbooks; Good news and bad news on sea level rise; PLUS: Electric Car Wars - Tesla vs. Chevy...
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...

Another Conservative Media Whore EXPOSED!! Prices Continue To Drop!!
PLUS: Links to another great site (or two)
By Winter Patriot on 1/28/2005 7:27am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Michael McManus, conservative author of the syndicated column "Ethics & Religion," received $10,000 to promote a marriage initiative.

Salon has confirmed that Michael McManus, a marriage advocate whose syndicated column, "Ethics & Religion," appears in 50 newspapers, was hired as a subcontractor by the Department of Health and Human Services to foster a Bush-approved marriage initiative. McManus championed the plan inhis columns without disclosing to readers he was being paid to help it succeed.

Three weeks ago we found out that Armstrong Williams had sold his honor for $240,000. Wednesday it was revealed that Maggie Gallagher had sold hers for a mere $21,000. And now it's Mister Ethics & Religion himself, and the price was a measly ten grand. It's like an auction in reverse. How low will they stoop? Stay tuned.

You can read the entire Salon piece here, although you have to register or watch a short ad in order to do so. You can also find a related blog item from Winter Patriot and that's here. Maybe it's not brilliant, but at least it's short, and no registration or ad-watching is required! [ahem]. And if you want to enjoy the fruits of your ten thousand tax dollars, you can start here.

Also of note: I found out about the Salon piece through Russ Kick's fine blog, The Memory Blog, which serves as a companion to his fabulous site, The Memory Hole. Russ is a bit of a stickler about knowledge and information. He doesn't like to see it go missing. So whenever he gets his hands on a document, or a set of documents, that's being hidden [or in danger of being hidden], he posts it at The Memory Hole. And whenever he learns about these kinds of things, he posts blog items about them at The Memory Blog. I have both sites bookmarked [hint, hint!] and I visit them regularly [hint, hint!].

The Memory Hole became something of a story when Russ obtained and posted a set of photos the Pentagon doesn't want us to see. But it's been good for a long time, and there is plenty of interesting reading to be found there. [hint, hint!]

Have fun at The Memory Blog, but don't disappear down The Memory Hole!! And please don't swallow too much of that good old "Ethics & Religion".

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seems appropriate to me
how about you?
By Winter Patriot on 1/28/2005 3:33am PT  

This thread is completely open.

There's not even a question this time.

If you think we need a question, please consider this ...

What's up? ;-)

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Into History's Cauldron
'Favorite Writers' Series Continues ... As Promised
By Winter Patriot on 1/27/2005 11:26pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

In a previous post, I highlighted John Kaminski's list of his 25 favorite writers, mentioned that some of my favorites hadn't made Kaminski's list, and threatened to divulge a few names.

OK then. Here's a name: Manuel Valenzuela. And here's a sample: Because There Is No Cause.

If you haven't read this piece already, please do so. Cheryl mentioned it in a comment on another thread, and even said "WOW", so some of you may have read it already. But it's way too good to be buried in a stack of comments. Even with a "WOW". Isn't it, Cheryl?

It's a long story composed of long sentences. No sound bites here. But enormous food for thought, and masterful use of the language. Perhaps I can entice you with a few paragraphs...

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

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By Fin on 1/27/2005 10:08am PT  

Guest blogged by Fin

Brad just contacted me with this information from one of his sources inside the Judiciary Committee.

Washington, D.C. - Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Ranking Member on the Senate Rules Committee, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr, (D-MI), Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, announced that they will be working together in seeking changes to our nation's elections system this Congress. Dodd introduced S. 17, the Voting Opportunity and Technology Enhancement Rights Act of 2005 (“VOTER Act”) Monday, and Conyers will introduce a House companion version based in significant part on the Senate bill shortly.

Among other things, their legislation will provide for a nationwide federal write in/absentee ballot; require states to provide for a voter verified ballot; insure that provisional ballots cast anywhere in a state are counted; eliminate disparities in the allocation of voting machines and poll workers; mandate early voting and election day registration procedures; and protect against improper purging of registration lists in federal elections.

“It is imperative that we have elections that count every vote of every eligible voter,” declared Dodd and Conyers. “A provisional ballot cast anywhere in the state of Ohio should count just as it does in the state of Iowa. There is no reason that voters in inner city areas should be forced to wait in lengthy lines, while their counterparts in the suburbs are able to vote immediately. If voters in Oregon can vote early, why can't voters in Michigan, and if citizens in Idaho enjoy same day registration, why can't voters in Florida?”

“Our elections are the very foundation of our democracy. We've made great strides in repairing cracks in that foundation, but clearly we still need to do more to strengthen and reinforce each American's right to vote and have that vote counted,” said Dodd. “This measure can hopefully act as the democratic mortar to anchor one of our nation's most precious rights and ensure that all voters are treated equally on election day.”

Conyers stated “Our nation has just endured the second consecutive presidential election which came down to a single state, and that state – Ohio – was riddled with irregularities and the appearance of partisan manipulation. If there is any issue that is central to our democracy, it is insuring that eligible voters are freely able to participate in our elections. I intend to do everything I can to insure that this issue does not go away until we have a set of uniform and non-discriminatory rules that respects all of our citizens' right to vote.”

In 2001, in the wake of the myriad problems that surfaced in Florida and around the nation in the presidential election, Sen. Dodd and Rep. Conyers jointly introduced election reform legislation that ultimately passed into law as the Help America Vote Act.

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By Fin on 1/27/2005 8:32am PT  

Guest blogged by Fin

Juan Cole puts it all in perspective:

In his appearances on Wednesday, President Bush said that it was a positive that Iraqis are even having elections, since three years ago it would have seemed out of the question. You know, if all you have to boast about is that you are better than Saddam Hussein, it isn't actually a good sign. Can you imagine what would have happened to the Republican Party if its reply to Kerry's criticisms of last summer had been, "Well, the American Republican Party is a damn sight more progressive than Hitler was." Saddam was overthrown on April 9, 2003. It is 2005, and the US has been running Iraq for nearly two years. Now the question is, how does the situation in Iraq compare to the Philippines, or India, or Turkey. Answer: It sucks. There is little security, people are killed daily, there is a massive crime wave, and elections are being held in which most of the candidates cannot be identified for fear of their lives. So the conclusion is that the Bush administration has done a worse job in Iraq than the Congress Party does in India, or the AK Party does in Turkey. That's the standard of comparison once Saddam was gone. And, by the way, veteran NYT journalist John Burns, who is nobody's fool, told Tina Brown last Friday that he was taken aback when an Iraqi told him recently that he wished Saddam were back. This was an Iraqi who really had been delighted at the American invasion. So Bush should drop the cute sound bite about being better than Saddam.

Then again, our Dear Leader has always been graded on a serious curve, hasn't he? From his humble upbringing as a poor little rich kid, to his drug filled days at Yale and beyond, to his 'aw shucks isn't it funny I can't speak English' act, Bush has always been cut a serious amount of slack for his actions and inactions. But it's not cute or uplifting, it's embarassing.

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Serious New Allegations! Affidavits from Multiple Witnesses!
Recount volunteers give details on very strange story
By Winter Patriot on 1/26/2005 7:46pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Check this out: I have a great new idea for scamming an election. What do you think of this?

Suppose you took a filled-in ballot, used a blank sticker to cover the oval filled in by the voter, colored in a different oval, and then fed the ballot into an optical scanner. How do you think the machine would count that ballot? Pretty slick, no? I am so clever! Nobody else would ever think of doing something like this, would they?

On second thought, maybe somebody else would think of it. And according to this article from RAW STORY, it's already been done. Quite recently, in fact. And you'll never guess where!

Tough question, no? OK, here's a hint: What's round on both ends and high in the middle? Did you say "Ohio"? Well, maybe you will guess after all. But you'll never guess which ovals had stickers on them...

Serious new election tampering allegations have emerged from an Ohio county, where witnesses allege that stickers were placed on presidential election ballots, RAW STORY has learned.

Several volunteer workers in the Ohio recount in Clermont County, Ohio have prepared affidavits alleging serious tampering, violations of state and federal law, and possible fraud. They name the Republican chief of Clermont's Board of Elections and the head of the Clermont Democratic Party Priscilla O'Donnell as complicit in these acts.

These volunteers, observing the recount on behalf of the Greens, Libertarians and Democrats, assert that during the Dec. 14, 2004 hand recount they noticed stickers covering the Kerry/Edwards oval, whereas the Bush/Cheney oval seemed to be “colored in.”

Some witnesses state that beneath the stickers, the Kerry/Edwards oval was selected. The opti-scan ballots were then fed into the machines after the hand recount.

Well, what do you think about that? I thought I had a good original idea here. Apparently it is a pretty good idea, but it's not exactly original. Oh well...

Read the entire story here. Then come back and scream and yell all you like. This really does call for a good rant.

But don't just rant here. Spread the pressure around.

Or as Brad would say: Go Make Some Noise!!

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Tortured POWs Win Judgement Against Iraq; Justice Department Seeks To Overturn It!
By Winter Patriot on 1/25/2005 9:04pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

If you needed any further proof that the American government doesn't give a damn about its soldiers, here's a story to make you cry ... again! It looks like our Justice Department has fallen so deeply in love with torture, that in their view, it's not only OK for our guys to torture their guys, but it's also OK for their guys to torture our guys!

I quote the following passages from an article written by John Norton Moore, published by Slate, and headlined: Abuse of Trust: The POW scandal you haven't yet heard about.

Moore writes:

This nation has a special responsibility to prevent the torture of Americans held as prisoners of war. Our POWs have been brutally tortured at command direction in war after war, including the Korean, Vietnam, and most recently, the Gulf War; and it's clear that we need to do whatever we can to break this pattern. Yet when 17 of our tortured Gulf War POWs and 37 of their family members said "enough" and joined together to bring a historic civil action to hold their Iraqi torturers liable, they were shocked — having won their case in federal court — to find the Department of Justice seeking to erase their judgment and "absolve" their torturers.

Moore details the horrific treatment suffered by Americans who were held prisoner in Iraq during George Herbert Walker Bush's 'excellent Iraqi adventure', and describes their efforts to hold the Iraqi government accountable. These efforts culminated in a lawsuit against the Iraqi government, which the POWs won. But then something very strange happened...

Historically the United States has been a world leader in seeking to prevent torture. Today, along with most nations, it is bound by the Third Geneva Convention for the Protection of POWs. That convention bans all torture and inhumane treatment of POWs and, as a core enforcement mechanism, provides in Article 131 that no state may "absolve" a torturing state of "any liability" for their torture. This provision is particularly aimed at holding the state itself liable and banning any removal of that liability at the conclusion of a war.

Sadly, along came the Abu Ghraib scandal, setting aside this historic tradition and the professional judgment of our military JAG officers and State Department experts. As is now well known, one effect of the abuse scandal was to undermine deterrence against the torture of American POWs in future wars (this, along with its catastrophic political cost to the Iraq war effort and, more broadly, to our nation's reputation). But, in a perfect storm of bad news for future American POWs, while the now infamous abuse decisions were still policy, the Justice Department went into court to erase the POWs' judgment and its message of liability for torture.

This incredible situation may be reversed on appeal, if the Supreme Court decides to hear the case, and if it rules in favor of the POWs. But what is the likelihood of the Supreme Court ruling against the Justice Department? And...

If the [...] decision stands [...], the consequences will be catastrophic. Future tyrants will hear the message, like a fire bell in the night, that the United States has little concern for its own POWs. Morale will decline in our armed forces as the reality sinks in that our government has sided with their torturers over them. A core enforcement mechanism of the POW convention, as well as our reliability as a treaty partner, will be undermined by our remarkable decision to "absolve" a torturing state in violation of the convention.

So there you have it. Our Justice Department won't even let the Geneva Convention protect our own troops! But at least they can't be accused of using double-standards! They don't want the Geneva Convention to protect anybody!!

Oh yeah! Freedom and Liberty are definitely On The March ... in the Land of the Formerly Free, and the Home of the Utterly Depraved!

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By Fin on 1/25/2005 8:23pm PT  

Guest blogged by Fin

What will be the tipping point of the Bush Presidency? Iraq? The Economy? Another terrorist attack in the U.S.? Another pretzel?

Enlighten me.

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Always read the stories these people write
By Winter Patriot on 1/25/2005 7:58am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Looking for something to read? Here's a great place to start: John Kaminski's newest piece at Serendipity, "The Ten Best Writers On The Internet".

Kaminski is a bit of a wild man, and I mean that in the best possible way. He digs deep, and writes passionate prose. He is beholden to nobody, and he always says exactly what he thinks. [Does that remind you of anyone? Somebody who's on his way to Utah, perhaps?]

As you will see when you read the article, Kaminski intended to list just ten writers, but he couldn't stick to that arbitrary limit. Instead, he's provided short introductions (and links) to twenty-five of his favorites.

You may find some familiar names here. You will probably find some new names as well. Some of my favorite writers didn't even make the list. Tough list! Greg Palast isn't on it. Neither is Brad. Neither is Freebird. Oh well. What are you gonna do?

Maybe someday I will write a piece about my favorite writers who are not on Kaminski's list. Maybe someday I will start an open thread where I ask you to do the same. But in the meantime, here's a way to get us all started on the same page (as it were)...

Please bookmark this page. Open it whenever you have nothing else to do. Familiarize yourself with the names, and explore the links. Then come back here and let us know what you think.

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By Fin on 1/24/2005 7:40pm PT  

Guest blogged by Fin

I (like you, I'm sure) was thrilled and energized by the President's call to increase Freedom and Liberty across the globe. To that end, in today's L.A. Times comes an article that I'm sure will make our Dear Leader's heart leap. One in which a repressed group of people are finally being given the opportunity to cross over into the promised land of freedom. The money quote:

In the Islamic Republic of Iran... hundreds of people are having their gender changed legally, bolstered by the blessings of members of the ruling Shiite clergy.

Let's take a moment and think about this. How monumental that one of the original members of the Axis of Evil (back before it was trendy) has chosen to give liberty to a discriminated against group. (Now, for the sake of full disclosure, the excised text in the above quote did say "gay male sex still carries the death penalty and lesbians are lashed", but still this is a clear beacon of freedom for thousand of men and women yearning to be free of...well, being lashed and killed.)

What's that, you say, Mr. President? You didn't mean that kind of freedom? Oh, I see. I missed the fine print at the bottom of your speech. Funny, the list of unapproved freedoms listed is a lot longer than that other one. A few samples...

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

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A Live BRAD BLOG / Freedom Cinema Festival Event!
PLUS: I'm outta here! (for a bit) & Happy Anniversary to Us!
By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2005 8:10pm PT  

I will be appearing this Saturday, Jan 29th at the Freedom Cinema Festival with Clint Curtis in a live event co-sponsored by The BRAD BLOG. It'll be my first time meeting him in person, and it should be a fun afternoon/evening. (Don't worry, I'm told security will be very good).

The festival takes place in Park City, UT smack-dab in the middle of the Sundance Festival. So if any of you are in the area, please be sure to come on by and say hello after the event! There is a ton of terrific political films, events and speakers scheduled, including Greg Palast and Danny Shecter, and, of course, me, so come on by! Click the link above --- or better yet --- the advertisement for the festival at left for more info!

As I'll be interviewing Curtis live, I'd love to open up this comment thread for any questions you might like me to ask Curtis directly from The BRAD BLOG denizens during the event! If they're ones I haven't thought of, I'll try and get the goods for ya straight from the whistleblowers mouth.

I'm told the event will be videotaped, so we'll try and link it up next week upon our return if possible.

And finally...After nearly six months of nearly non-stop 24/7 bloggin' to save the world, countless stories broken, and buckets of muck raked, I'm gonna attempt to use this opportunity to take a slow roadtrip to UT and back and try and get a much needed break here for a week (or so).

Tomorrow, by the way, will be the One Year Anniversary for The BRAD BLOG. What a short strange trip it's been. Thank you all for your support every step of the way. I'd say something more poetic, but I gotta get outta here. So that's that until next year!

I hope you'll forgive my absense (I know Tom Feeney will) for a bit, as I will be attempting to stay away from all things net for as long as possible. We'll see how well I do. I may just jump in from the road as events warrant. But I hope they won't warrant. And I hope there's no net.

Until then, BRAD BLOG stalwart and official typo-corrector, Winter Patriot (of the fine eponymously- named blog and friend Fin (of the superb and silly What We Know blog) may jump in and do some guest-blogging and/or open thread-posting.

Please be nice to them, and keep a good eye on democracy while I'm gone! I would like it to be in much better shape than when I left it! So keep making noise in favor of Truth, Justice and the American Way over at Velvet Revolution while I'm gone as well! And stand by for some trouble-making over there when I return which I believe you will enjoy as well!

(To all the Emailers, forgive my inability to reply while I'm gone, much as you forgive my inability to reply when I'm here!)

Peace.

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Same Models as Those Which Lost 4,400 Votes in NC!
Unusually High Rate of 'Undervotes' in both States on Same Machines.
By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2005 7:11am PT  

After November 2nd, 2004, there were increasing reports from elections officials, small local papers, and, yes, bloggers who had bothered to studiously examine official election results, The New York Times published several articles labelling such concerns by Americans as "conspiracy theories".

So we sent them a list of "15 Unanswered Questions" --- all of them based on hard evidence --- that we'd hope they'd investigate and report on to the American people. That was on November 21st, 2004.

One of those questions concerned a single county in North Carolina which had used the UniLect voting machine and, as we reported on November 4th, 2004, had completely lost a full 4,438 votes. Those lost votes later spawned a Special Election in Cartaret County, NC to re-vote some of the local issues because of it.

We had asked suggested to The Times that such hard facts were hardly "conspiracy theories" and we had hoped they'd be able to investigate and report on which other states and counties had been using the identical UniLect machines which --- company officials admitted --- had contained memory chips that stored fewer votes than they had told state officials.

Since UniLect machines were also in use in Ohio, we thought it was a particularly germane point. But apparently The Times didn't agree. They neither investigated, nor reported on the matter to our knowledge.

And now, months after the election, and days after the inaugural, The Charlotte Observer reports this morning that the same model of UniLect machines used in North Carolina were also in use in Pennsylvania and seem to have lost votes there as well [emphasis added]:

Local and state officials in Pennsylvania are examining malfunctions and questions with voting machines in three counties --- the same model machine that lost more than 4,400 votes in North Carolina.

"We continue to be uncertain about these machines," said Michael Coulter, who heads an independent committee examining voting machine mishaps in Mercer County, Pa., where he said machines in 13 precincts erased some voters' choices.

Mercer County, as well as Beaver and Greene counties, along the Ohio border, use the Unilect Patriot voting machine, an electronic mechanism that does not produce a paper ballot and is the same model that lost 4,438 votes in Carteret County, along the N.C. coast.

As well as lost and erased votes, there was also an unusually high rate of "undervotes" on the Presidential ballot where those machines were in use [emphasis again added] ...

All three of the western Pennsylvania counties recorded a high percentage of "undervotes" for president, which is when a voter doesn't vote in that race. Mercer County's undervote was 7.8 percent, four times higher than in 2000, when they used old, lever machines.

In North Carolina, state lawmakers are scrutinizing why more than 10 percent of Burke County voters were recorded as not making a choice in the presidential race, an "undervote" rate that is four to five times as high as nearly all the other counties in the state. Burke and Carteret are the only N.C. counties that use Unilect machines.
...
[M]achines in 13 of Mercer's 100 precincts would let a voter select candidates in the races on several pages of the ballot and highlight the choice, but when the voter reached the sixth page the highlighting disappeared and all the candidates were unselected. The voter's choices had vanished.

"The voter's choices had vanished."

And we remind you again, The New York Times didn't find it necessary to look into which counties in Ohio used these same machines, if there were any lost votes or an unusually high rate of "undervotes" on them, presumably because such notions were simply the "conspiracy theories" of "leftist bloggers" as they had described them at the time.

That despite just 60,000 or so of 5.5 million in a single state (Ohio) which would have completely flipped a United States Presidential Election.

Repeating: Election officials and the voting machine manufacturer admit that 4,438 votes were entirely lost in just one North Carolina county where UniLect machines were used.

Repeating: UniLect machines were also in use in Ohio.

We will continue to press both the Mainstream Media, the States and the Voting Machine Companies to better serve the American Public whom they are failing to adequately serve at this time. But just in case you wonder why --- on January 23rd, 2005 --- this information is finally being reported by The Observer at all, it is because of inquiries in Pennsylvania that were demanded by the voters who spoke up, made noise, and created a petition to force their elected officials into taking action:

Their inquiry was prompted not by Election Day glitches, but by a petition sent by voters in Beaver County who suggested the machines were susceptible to fraud and tampering.

Your voice does matter. When you speak up.

We've set up VelvetRevolution.us to help you do that. Please visit and sign-up (it's free!), so you can speak up, make noise and take part in some upcoming actions that will be announced there in the coming weeks.

Count on no one but yourselves to make a difference.

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BRAD BLOG: Thanks for the Three Month Old News...
Where Were You BEFORE the Election When This News Mattered?
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2005 10:45pm PT  

Just out from Reuters, three months after it happened...

The White House has scrapped its list of Iraq allies known as the coalition of the willing, which Washington used to back its argument that the 2003 invasion was a multilateral action.

A senior US administration official, wishing to remain anonymous, says the White House replaced the 45-member coalition list with a smaller roster of 28 countries with troops in Iraq sometime after the June transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government.

The official could not say when or why the administration did away with the list of the coalition of the willing.

We, however, can tell you both when and why.

We, however, cannot tell you when the MSM became such miserable failures at their jobs, or why it is that some jerk with a blog who works for no salary in a smoky little office in Los Angeles seems to be able to report --- when it still actually matters --- on issues that effect both America and the entire world.

(If you feel sorry for us due to that snarky "no salary" comment above, feel free to make a donation here in order to immediately ease your pangs of guilt ;-)

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WaPo Veep: 'All We Want is Tickets to the Balls'
BRAD BLOG: 'They're Yours'
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2005 7:53pm PT  

The Washington Post, which recently donated $100,000 to President Bush's inaugural, was granted rare high-level access yesterday in the form of a coveted presidential interview. A spokesman insisted there was no connection, but one grizzled media observer, who requested anonymity so he could still submit op-eds to the paper, said: "Let's face it, the whole thing reeks."

The above was not actually written by us, but by The Post's Howard Kurtz last week in a WaPo article headlined "Influence Being Peddled!"

His piece, which followed-up a front-page article the previous day headlined "Big-Money Contributors Line Up for Inauguration" postulates how terrible it might look "if some blogger" led one of their items with just such a charge. So, Howard, consider it done.

[ed. Note: We've linked the MSNBC version of the original WaPo article above. It has a slightly different headline than the one in WaPo, but does not require a free sign-up to read. The Kurtz response in WaPo is unfortunately not posted on the MSNBC site.]

In regard to the Post's original page-one condemnation (explanation? apology? justification?) of the corporate glad-handing to the Bush Administration, which they themselves have done as well, Kurtz quotes from the pieces list of "well-heeled, favor-seeking supporters", and then says...

And there was this: "Practically all the major donors have benefited from Bush administration policies."

Oh, and by the way: The Washington Post Co. forked over $100,000.

So what the hell exactly does The Washington Post thinks it's doing by contributing $100,000 to the Bush/Cheney inauguration?!

Kurtz admits "the appearance is awful", but to his credit, he tried to get some answers...

Not to worry, the company has an explanation: "We make clear to one and all that all we want is tickets to the balls for our major corporate advertisers," Post Co. Vice President Patrick Butler, who is quoted in the piece, told me.
...
Courting advertisers may be the motivation, but the appearance is awful. After all, the practice is deemed unsavory enough to warrant a Page 1 piece in The Post Co.'s newspaper.

The company has business interests that are affected by administration policies. It owns a bunch of television stations that have FCC licenses, for example. So are we being asked to believe that the Bush administration will not notice that The Washington Post Co. was neighborly enough to cough up 100K for the inaugural bashes? We --- meaning journalists who work in the newsroom --- don't believe that other corporations and trade associations give such contributions without expecting anything in return. In fact, we write about this sort of thing all the time, including yesterday.

And our corporate parent is now playing the same game.

So we appreciate, in this case, his willingness to call his corporate bosses on the carpet, but it hardly gets WaPo off the hook for this appalling business practice.

If we accept the explanation at face value --- that this is merely to provide major advertisers with "free tickets to the balls" --- then we're led to wonder who these advertisers are for which WaPo is willing to float $100,000 worth of tickets for.

Are they willing to post a list of the companies that benefited from this corporate gift?

Shouldn't we have that knowledge when next we read a story in their paper which may concern or affect one of those advertisers?

Do they believe that explanation should assuage our concerns for their impartiality in the future when reporting on affairs in Bush administration?

Their front-pager from last week fails to touch --- beyond a cursory mention that a donation had been made --- on what it was that WaPo had hoped to gain from the donation.

That question seems particular key since, as the article admits, "Practically all the major donors have benefited from Bush administration policies."

And also, should we now take closer notice that the article was co-written by Jeffrey Birnbaum, whose impartiality is already in grave doubt due to his association with the Republican Fox "News" Channel as an official salaried "Fox News contributor"?

Unfortunately, we came across this item too late today to get comment or answers to the above questions from The Post. We'll be on the road for the next week or so, and therefore unable to properly follow up. But we do hope some of the other responsible media sources out there (Hello, RAW STORY?) might be able to push for a more palatable and detailed response to some of the above questions than the one offered in the Kurtz piece.

It should be noted that Kurtz points out that WaPo made similar donations to Clinton's inaugural in '93 and '97, along with Bush's in '01.

It should also be noted that we don't give a damn about that and would like such --- theoretically --- impartial media sources as WaPo to have both propriety and appearance of same no matter which Administration they have a duty to report on for the American people.

Their coverage of affairs in D.C. and beyond is already under deservedly close scrutiny by "the new media" folks like us. We have criticized and will continue to criticize them for their continuing failures to cover the news that Americans need to know about.

We'd recommend, however, that they not make it any easier for those on the Right (who already opportunistically, inaccurately and cynically label them as part of the "Liberal Media") or those on the Left (who already find their coverage sorely and criminally wanting) to tar them with the brush of bias in a media world where they are already rapidly sliding towards dinosaur status.

A $100,000 gift to the Bush Administration, re-gifted as another $100,000 gift to major corporate allies and partners, does not bode well for a deceleration of The Washington Post's unfortunate descent towards irrelevance in a swiftly changing media landscape.

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A Fox "News" Inaugural Meltdown...
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2005 12:32pm PT  

"When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated...during a time of war as you know...he had a very modest inauguration and a very tiny party where chicken salad was served. And that was when we were winning a war..." --- Judy Bachrach, Vanity Fair contributing editor manages to slip the truth onto Fox "News".

We have a feeling one of their guest bookers is about to fired.

Oliver Willis has the entire tale of the tape.

(Thanks BRAD BLOG commenters Nana and Toni for the tip!)

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