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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, November 24, 2014
GOP House Intel Committee Findings Debunk GOP BENGHAZI! 'Scandal'
Final report released quietly before holiday weekend and before eighth Republican BENGHAZI! committee set to convene...
Monster Energy Drink Not Just Crappy, Also the Work of Satan!
The indisputable video proof is now here!...
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record-breaking storm breaks Buffalo; October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Repubs: China to cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy...
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We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
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WV's criminally indicted coal boss and U.S. Chamber of Comm. director Don Blankeship presents challenge for federal prosecutors...
Oxford English Dictionary's 2014 Word of the Year: 'Vape'
That small point likely underscores some very encouraging news for the health of the world...
'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL; Can Congress override the Prez next year?; Native Americans: KXL is 'an act of war'; PLUS: Accountability for 'The Dark Lord of Coal'...
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Sanders on Colbert: Midterms a Vote Against Both Parties
For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
Exclusive: St. Louis County Was Warned Before Election Paper Ballots Would Run Out
Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
Not Voting IS a Vote
Stop blaming those who didn't turn out. Americans did vote. By not turning out, they voted against the two major parties and against the system as a whole. It may have been a dumb vote, but it was a landslide...
Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
This segment makes clear once again that it's very very sad The Colbert Report is soon going away...
'Green News Report' 11/13/14
Historic US-China agreement that GOP said couldn't be done; New hope for int'l treaty; Repub freak out; Scientists say deal not enough, but good start...
Crucial Moment for FCC & 'Net Neutrality'
Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
Brad on Hartmann TV: Election 2014 Mess
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'Green News Report' 11/11/14
'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, 1979-2014
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Early Data Suggests TX GOP Photo ID Restrictions 'Worked'
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The Results Were Skewed Toward Republicans: A Response to Nate Silver
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'True the Vote' Group Fails to Find 'Voter Fraud' (Again)
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About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
Guest Matthew Segal of OurTime.org joins Brad to discuss whether young voters are to blame for Tuesday's election results and, if not them, then who...or what...
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VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
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'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
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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
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CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
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CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
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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
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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
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

With Friends Like These ... Who Needs ... Friends??
good photos and captions at The Memory Hole
By Winter Patriot on 1/31/2005 11:53pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Russ Kick of The Memory Hole has reposted some very interesting old photos in a set called "Senior US Officials Cozy up to Dictator Who Boils People Alive".

And I thought you might like to have a look.

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Money Disappears As If By Magic!
Poof! More Than $8 Billion Simply Vanished!
By Winter Patriot on 1/31/2005 11:32pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

There's a good article at Antiwar.com about a pile of money that seems to have developed magical powers. Here are the first few paragraphs:

The U.S.-run administration in Baghdad failed to keep track of nearly $9 billion of money it transferred to various Iraqi ministries, according to an official audit released Sunday.

The report by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says that the now defunct U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) did not exercise adequate managerial control over funds paid to Iraqi government ministries, which employ hundreds of experts from the United States.

This resulted in potentially widespread corruption, including paying salaries to "ghost" employees, and led to the eventual disappearance of $8.8 billion between early 2003 and mid-2004.

"Potentially widespread" corruption? Good phrase! That's right up there with the "possibly innocent" civilians whose home was bombed the other day. Pardon our "catastrophic success"!

What am I bitching about? It's only money, is it not? And we have money to burn, don't we? No? Ok then, why are we so busy burning it?

I do not want to know how many humvees could have been properly armored for 8.8 billion dollars. I do not want to know how many American lives could have been spared. Really. I don't even want to know how many extra votes could have been gained by making sure those 8.8 billion dollars disappeared into the right pockets! Oh that's right! They did disappear into the right pockets! How ironic!!

And how many elections can you buy for 8.8 billion dollars? Don't tell me. I don't want to know!

You can read the entire article but please don't answer any of my questions!!

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Sundance Festival Success!
More Details To Follow!
By Winter Patriot on 1/31/2005 9:51pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Brad Friedman has finally met Clint Curtis, and he interviewed him before a live audience on Saturday night at the Freedom Cinema Festival in Park City, Utah. We're eagerly awaiting Brad's return and our chance to learn more about this tantalizing story.

While we wait, Fin and I are guest-blogging here at The BRAD BLOG, and over the next few days we're hoping to continue our "Favorite Writers" series, start another open thread or two, and maybe even look at a few news stories. Here though, are links to Brad's most recent posts. We've disabled comments for this entry, but you can still discuss Brad's previous posts on their own threads:

  • Brad's most recent post contained a short summary of the interview as well as the complete text of Brad's remarks introducing himself and Clint Curtis.
  • Here's a slightly earlier post announcing Tom Feeney's Town Hall Meeting, and reporting on the progress of the Festival.
  • And here's Brad's last post from his office, composed hours before he hit the dusty trail.
  • He may be movin' along as you read this, maybe even somewhere between Tehachapi and Tonopah.

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    By Brad Friedman on 1/29/2005 11:17pm PT  

    (Blogged by Brad from Park City, UT)

    Today's event with Clint Curtis and myself at the Freedom Cinema Festival in Park City (at the Sundance Festival) went very well. Were I not still as sick as I am, and exhausted to boot, I might have more details to share.

    For now, suffice to say, the event was a blast and there were a few folks there who seemed to take great interest in the story, touched base with both myself and Clint after the event, and may help move things forward in various ways in the near future. The interview was covered with a three-camera video shoot. So if the FCF folks are able to get it edited and posted in the next week or so, I'll be sure to link to it, of course. More on all of that as things develop, and as I get both my brain and body back.

    So the long (and hopefully slow) trek back to L.A. begins tomorrow. We hope it will take quite a while. We need it. For the duration then, Winter Patriot and Fin are still on active guest-blogger duties here at The BRAD BLOG. We continue to appreciate their efforts in my "absence" as I slowly amble back to Hollywood and stay away from the net as much as humanly possible.

    Until then, for those who may be interested, here are my opening remarks from today's event/interview which helped tee up the festivities and which also serve nicely as a several-days-late milestone marker for The BRAD BLOG's First Anniversary year-in-review...

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

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    By Fin on 1/29/2005 9:21pm PT  

    Guest blogged by Fin

    The first hour is officially over and I think I saw all of 3 people come into vote on the Fox News Baghdad feed. The talking heads are trying to cheerlead their asses off but it's looking pretty grim. Anybody still up and watching?

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    The View From Inside
    By Fin on 1/29/2005 2:13pm PT  

    Guest blogged by Fin

    From Christopher Allbritton at his always insightful Back to Iraq

    The security situation is unreal. No cars tomorrow—except those with special passes, which includes media, cops, political guys, etc. in short, if you're an insurgent and you hit a car tomorrow, you're bound to get someone vaguely important. Only five polling stations in Baghdad will allow cameras or other electronic gear, so bear that in mind when you look at photographs of the election.

    I'll be out in the thick of it for a while at least... Out with my photographer and seeing what goes on. Not sure if I'll be driving or walking. That will depend on my security guys. This is a free election? Insurgent pamphlets are being distributed that anyone walking to a polling center is a target. Several centers have already been blown up. The fear is thick enough to cut with a knife. The Iraqi security forces—with their American patrons—have tanks at the end of my street. Old Soviet T-55s, but tanks, nonetheless.

    He goes on to give a detailed prediction on how the vote percentages might play out and what might happen next. He finishes with this far from ringing endorsement of freedom's march:

    Tomorrow is shaping up to be a big day. Lots of security issues, worries about the future and general anxiety. Will the elections be successful? What would constitute successful? To be honest, I don't know anymore. A high turnout would definitely help, but even that may not be enough if the Sunni don't come to the polls and can't be enticed into the constitutional process. One thing is certain though: The insurgency will continue unabated. Our sources in the insurgency—the Ba'athists and nationalists, not the jihadis—pledge that Sunday means nothing. As long as Iraq is occupied by Americans and their puppets, “brought in on the back of their tanks,” as the saying goes, the violence will continue. And since I don't see the government changing much, I don't see much changing in Iraq. The infrastructure will continue to limp along or deteriorate further, Americans and Iraqis will continue to die, in large numbers in the case of the latter. And Iraq will further disintegrate into a failed state.

    Now, I may be surprised by the turns of events here. And Lord knows I've been wrong before. But from here in Baghdad, people are voting not because they want democracy, but because they're grasping onto anything they think will help. For Iraqis, hope is fleeting and life is short. This isn't optimism, it's desperation, and that's no basis for a democracy.

    The whole post is worth a read.

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    Tom is Having a Town Hall Meeting on Monday!
    And a few other quick notes from the Freedom Cinema Festival at Sundance...
    By Brad Friedman on 1/29/2005 1:28am PT  

    (Blogged by Brad on the road from Park City, UT)

    I've been largely off-line all week as promised, but have had the opportunity to check in hither and yon for a few minutes at a time to see that our friends Winter Patriot and Fin are doing a swell job of keeping things lively around the joint in my absense. Thank you, guys! The time-off is doing me wonders and has allowed me to instantly catch a headcold upon my first hour off and I haven't been able to shake it since.

    Nonetheless...I had to jump in momentarily to pass on just a few quick notes (much more upon my return later next week)...

    Of most notable note, I've just been informed via Email that our friend Congressman Tom Feeney, Republican of the 24th Florida Congressional district, will be dishing it out is having a Townhall Meeting in Apopka, FL this Monday night! Apopka is, I am told by sources, "basically on the western edge of his Jerrymandered voting district".

    I presume he'll be taking questions, so this is an URGENT notice to all BRAD BLOG readers within walking, running, driving or flying distance of Apopka, FL to stop on by and ask Mr. Feeney any questions you may have for him!

    If you're able to make it by, please report back to me via Email on the proceedings!

    BRAD BLOG readers familiar with the Clint Curtis story should have no problem coming up with interesting questions to try and ask Jeb Bush's former running mate and the alleged Vote-Rigging Software Conspirator in public. Here's just one you might try:

    Mr. Feeney, why did you ask your attorneys to threaten the weekly newspaper The Seminole Chronicle with a lawsuit after they reported on the affidavit and sworn testimony of Clint Curtis who alleged you conspired to create vote-rigging software at Yang Enterprises when you were their corporate counsel and registered lobbyist? Wouldn't it have been less disingenous to actually sue Clint Curtis if his claims were "false and defamatory" as you suggest, since he's the one who has actually made the charges against you, instead of a newspaper that was simply doing its job of reporting on public matters of record to its local readers?

    You get the idea. Hopefully there will be press on hand to share the proceedings with everyone! Go see what you can do! It's your democracy, dammit! So if you're in Florida this week, go use it!

    Other Quick Notes from the Freedom Cinema Festival here at Sundance...

  • My live interview with Clint Curtis is scheduled for 4:45pm tomorrow (Saturday) as mentioned. If you're in the area, come on up the mountain! The weather's fine and I'd love to say hello!
  • Curtis arrived in town today and we were able to meet face-to-face for the first time. We had an interesting dinner touching on quite a few details that our previous phone conversations had not allowed. As promised, there is still much more to come on the Clint Curtis affair in the not-too-distant future. Sorry for the tease, but it's just too late to go into details for the moment. But I did want to mention: More to come.
  • I tried to grab as many of the questions you guys posted here in comments that you wanted me to ask him. I will do so as time allows at tomorrow's event. I gave him no previews. I'll try to outline his answers to them as best as possible in an item upon returning next week.
  • The Freedom Cinema Festival folks are doing a tremendous job; jam-packing the festival wall-to-wall with all sorts of fascinating films and speakers...Kudos to FCF for a great job and tireless effort in only their second year up here. Hopefully there will be many more to come!
  • Amongst the notable events I've been able to catch...Greg Palast's film, Bush Family Fortunes, screened yesterday and I was able to chat briefly with him afterwards about a few things. A compelling documentary, though for my money, he seemed more interested in selling merchandise and talking to the cameras than fighting the bad guys. Perhaps that's just me. I'll just leave it at that for now.
  • Danny Schecter's Weapons of Mass Distraction doc on the corporate media's rollover for the Bush Administration and their culpability in helping them mount and wage an unnecessary and ill-concieved war is very well done. Schecter's efforts to fight the bad guys tirelessly over a 35+ year career is exceedingly admirable.
  • Angela Shelton's Searching for Angela Shelton was remarkable and extraordinarily courageous. She was molested by her father, along with her step-sister and step-brother, and went about making a film tracking other Angela Sheltons across America. Of the 40 woman who shared her name that she was able to track down and interview, 24 of them had been either raped, beaten or molested. The film's penultimate interview with her father in complete denial was stunning. I hope this film is able to get further exposure. Some incredible and gutsy filmmaking.
  • There's a quick update for you with enough juice to hopefully give both Fin and Winter Patriot a much deserved breather over the weekend.

    I look forward to being back on the job soon...Though not too soon.

    Thanks everyone for your notes of support and best wishes. I'll need them all to get over this headcold enough to have a voice for an hour or so at tomorrows event!

    As Winter Patriot says I say: Keep making noise out there!

    I shall return.

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    Well Guess What? It WAS!!!
    Even A Texas Republican Can See It!!
    By Winter Patriot on 1/28/2005 11:46pm PT  

    Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

    By Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)
    Delivered to the U.S. House of Representatives
    Wednesday 26 January 2005

    America's policy of foreign intervention, while still debated in the early 20th century, is today accepted as conventional wisdom by both political parties. But what if the overall policy is a colossal mistake, a major error in judgment? Not just bad judgment regarding when and where to impose ourselves, but the entire premise that we have a moral right to meddle in the affairs of others? Think of the untold harm done by years of fighting - hundreds of thousands of American casualties, hundreds of thousands of foreign civilian casualties, and unbelievable human and economic costs. What if it was all needlessly borne by the American people? If we do conclude that grave foreign policy errors have been made, a very serious question must be asked: What would it take to change our policy to one more compatible with a true republic's goal of peace, commerce, and friendship with all nations? Is it not possible that Washington's admonition to avoid entangling alliances is sound advice even today?

    and so on...

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

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    Would you vote if you could?
    Suppose you were an Iraqi
    By Winter Patriot on 1/28/2005 9:43pm PT  

    Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

    My Mother (Winter Matriarch) always told me: "There are two sides to every story." I thought I understood that immediately. Right and Wrong. My Side and the Other Side. My side was Right and the other side was Wrong and those were the two sides to every story.

    It was much later that I learned she had meant "Always consider the other person's point of view." Ah... "Mom, That's good!"

    And so, as a tip of the cap to the Winter Matriarch, and as a toast to depth of understanding, no matter how delayed, I hereby open a thread with questions attached ...

    Suppose you lived in Baghdad ... or maybe Mosul ... certainly not Fallujah... anyway, suppose you lived in Iraq. Would you vote in this election? How would you feel about it? And why?

    (If you have any open-thread type comments that don't actually pertain to the election, please post them on yesterday's 'completely open' thread, ok? Thanks.)

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    Activist Festival Makes International Headlines!
    while CNN spills the beans about Michael Jackson!
    By Winter Patriot on 1/28/2005 9:21pm PT  

    Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

    CNN is 'featuring' Michael Jackson in the 'Entertainment' news tonight. You can read their story here but I'll give you a snippet...

    SANTA MARIA, California (AP) --- Dozens of adult-oriented books, magazines and DVDs seized at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch --- one with the fingerprints of Jackson and his accuser --- can be used as evidence in the singer's upcoming trial, the judge ruled Friday.

    Now That's ENTERTAINMENT!! Cultural Nothing Ness NEWS at its best, no? Who said that? Not me!!

    No, Really! It's Fabulous!! Really! Isn't it?? It's fabulous entertainment. Even the Bored and Boring Corporation often called the BBC is having some of it!

    Judge Allows Jackson Film Showing

    Martin Bashir's documentary Living With Michael Jackson will be shown to jurors at the singer's child abuse trial, the judge has ruled.

    The controversial programme contains footage of singer Jackson defending his practice of letting young boys sleep in the same room as him at his ranch.

    The defence opposed the move, saying the British journalist's show was heavily edited and unreliable evidence.

    Mr Jackson, 46, has denied 10 counts of child molestation and conspiracy.

    But if you go even farther afield, the perspective changes a bit, and here they are talking about something completely different!

    Sundance festival screens Enron film

    Tuesday 25 January 2005, 8:14 Makka Time, 5:14 GMT

    The new documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room has been screened for the first time at the Sundance Film Festival in the US.

    Touching on links between President George Bush and Enron Corp, the film closely explores the Houston-based company's massive financial collapse and the human toll on those involved in what was the largest US bankruptcy in history.

    Shown to packed houses over the weekend, the movie has left audiences shaking their heads and wondering how the Enron debacle could have happened.

    You probably won't see much about Sundance on CNN from the look of things, but on the other hand you can read more about it on Aljazeera!

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    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.

    ReddIt this story!



    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.

    ReddIt this story!



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