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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By David Edwards on 4/17/2006 1:10pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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The writers at SNL seem more than a little skeptical about the quality of Bush appointments. As White House Press Secretary, Lindsay Lohan couldn't possibly be less informative than Scottie McClellan.

This clip is the opening segment from Saturday night's broadcast.

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A lot of American Democracy Can Unravel in Just One Week's Time
As We Continue to Connect the Dots the Media is Failing To�
By John Gideon on 4/17/2006 7:19am PT  

Blogged by John Gideon

In an article last week I pointed to the copious evidence that our elections are headed straight towards disaster; a "Train Wreck". That "Train Wreck," however, may still be avoided. The engineers of one of those trains, as it were, are the elections officials who are allowing themselves to be cowed by vendors like ES&S, Sequoia, and Diebold. The disaster can be avoided, but it will require the election officials to switch their train to a different track � by first acknowledging that there are problems.

In order to begin that process those officials must finally realize that they are not alone. Counties across the country are finding the exact same problems. The bad ES&S memory cards were not just found in Summit County, Ohio; they were also found in North Carolina and probably other counties in other states. ES&S will fail to deliver on contracts for voting machines in many counties all across the country. Does anyone really expect the engineer of the other train --- the voting machine vendors --- to switch tracks? They only see the money bags at the end of the track and not the other train barreling down on them.

The federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) --- created by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 --- has likewise not been doing their job. They seem to be content to just sit back and watch as voting systems across the country are in melt-down. Do they really serve any purpose other than to shovel out HAVA funding for these new systems to the states, who in turn pass them on to the vendors? It appears not. Take a look�

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

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'Our House...Up the River From Wall Street'
By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2006 8:30pm PT  

Abramoff, DeLay, Cunningham, Enron, Tyco, Jones Day, Sun Cruz...What more could you want in a Parody Music Video?! (Well, Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia maybe? We'll go ahead and give 'em credit for all of the above due to their inclusion of Jones Day. It's the least we can do.)

(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG commenters --- and perhaps video brain-children? --- Bill Stark and Renu Parker)

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By John Gideon on 4/15/2006 5:04pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

The most ridiculous quote for the day: "The ES&S iVotronic machines are fully HAVA compliant. They have been certified by both the U.S. government and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The optical scan machine does not have a voter-verifiable paper trail." Kevin Evanto, spokesman for Allegheny County Pennsylvania Chief Executive Al Onorato. Some North Carolina counties are now experiencing a problem that a lot of us told them would come up; that is storage space. They now have voting machines in every nook and cranny and they have to find climate control storage for them. ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2006 2:56pm PT  

We've just added a new text-only "BRAD BLOG Classified" adstrip on the left (below the "Premium Ads") for individuals who might like to advertise, make noise, or otherwise get their message out for less than half the price of a normal BlogAd here at The BRAD BLOG!

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Detained Peace Protestors Forced to 'Strip Naked', Were 'Scrubbed for Lice'
By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2006 12:41pm PT  

David Swanson updates the sitch in Crawford, TX this morning where, as we reported yesterday, 14 anti-war protestors who are part of Cindy Sheehan's "Camp Casey" Easter protest were arrested last night...

The 14 arrested included 8 veterans, one of them a disabled Iraqi vet, and 6 grandmothers. "It was amazing," said Barbara, "to see veterans and grandmothers arrested, while George Bush and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are running loose killing people.

Eight of the 14, including Daniel Ellsberg, had been arrested last Thanksgiving and charged with obstructing a highway and with felonious trespassing. They staged a demonstration at the court house the day before yesterday demanding that those charges be brought to a trial or dropped. This time, the 14 were charged only with obstructing a highway.

They were forced to strip naked, communally, women in one room, men in another, and made to shower and scrub for lice. Then they were dressed in reusable jail underwear and striped jail suits. I guess we should be glad that Rumsfeld wasn't there with any kinky fetishes or dogs.

Lonestar Iconoclast has more coverage and a bunch of fresh photos from yesterday.

Still more details, video of the arrests, and our LIVE audio interview last night with Cindy Sheehan after the arrests are all here...

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By David Edwards on 4/15/2006 10:37am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Tavis Smiley interviews former White House Council for the Nixon Administration John Dean. Dean focuses on the moral and legal failings of the current Administration.

Dean recalls his experiences as an insider during a Watergate and is amazed that Bush Administration has ignored those lessons. Dean expands on his March 31, 2006 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee censure hearing where he said,

No president that I can find in the history of our country has really ever adopted a policy of expanding presidential powers for the sake of expanding presidential powers. And I think that's what we have going on here in this presidency.

Dean says that the Bush inner-circle has had a policy of expanding presidential powers from "the day they took office." Secrecy was one of the symptoms of a now obvious campaign to create a presidency unchecked by government or the people. Dean says the actions of the Bush Administration have gone far beyond Nixon's "Imperial Presidency".

Dean goes on to give an ominous warning about slipping into a dictatorship:

The Congress... has lost its' institutional pride. For some reason it doesn't try to check this president.

I've seen the system how it's supposed to work and it's not working that way. When you get it lopsided and one branch is so dominating, it's something other than our founders really designed.

And, of course, the worse case is that if you go on to something that we really don't want to get to and that's a dictatorship. That can happen much more easily than one thinks.

This clip plays for about 10 minutes and was originally broadcast on Wednesday, April 10, 2006.

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By John Gideon on 4/14/2006 5:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

Most people agree that elections are successful when the losing candidates can be certain that they lost the election. Losing candidates and the Republican party in Cook County, Illinois have joined together in a request for re-vote or re-counts of all races due to the poor performance of the voting system and elections officials in last month's primary. ES&S continues to get a lot of deserved heat in Indiana where they seem to have failed to uphold contractual agreements. And the county council in Allegheny County Pennsylvania has have issued a resolution to stop the use of new voting machines in this years primary. They are asking for a moratorium on any changes until November. ...

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

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UPDATED: Audio from LIVE Sheehan Interview Now Included...
By Brad Friedman on 4/14/2006 3:54pm PT  

As David Swanson at AfterDowningStreet.org reported minutes ago, there have been 14 arrests in Crawford, TX where Cindy Sheehan and supporters are again camping out in the original location where they took up camp last Summer.

Though Cindy's sister and Daniel Ellsberg were amongst those arrested, Cindy and ersatz Camp Casey organizer U.S. Army Col. Ann Wright have chosen to not be amonst those arrested this time around so they can continue to run the camp.

I've just spoken with Wright, and have arranged for Cindy to appear with us in person on The Peter B. Collins show on KRXA 540am, in Monterey, CA and elswhere, during my normal weekly Friday guest appearance on his show.

I'll be on tonight beginning at 5pm PT (7pm Crawford time, 8pm ET) and Cindy should be joining us at the bottom of the hour for a live update with the latest.

===

UPDATE: Just completed the live interview with Cindy, straight from Crawford, TX... Here are the MP3's in your choice of length...

-- Peter B. Collins Show: Segment with Cindy & Brad [MP3]
-- Peter B. Collins Show: Complete Hour with Brad on Election Stuff and more, includes live Cindy interview. [MP3]

FURTHER UPDATE: "Crawford is now our home too," says Ann Wright after the arrest, along with a promise to dog Bush wherever he goes. As Cindy pointed out in the interview above, and the Lone-Star Iconoclast ably reports, the folk arrested in Crawford on Thanksgiving last year still have not been formally charged. It seems the folks of McLellan County, TX would rather not have their new, unconstitutional ordinance disallowing protestors from camping on the side of the road, get tested in court.

See Scott Galindez' video coverage of the arrest at TruthOut.

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More MSM Coverage of BRAD BLOG Reporting...Same Lack of Appropriate Attribution...
By Brad Friedman on 4/14/2006 2:55pm PT  

Before I register my complaint here with Matt Taibbi's otherwise excellent article on the background of "Mr. Republican" Jack Abramoff and "The secret history of the most corrupt man in Washington," as published in the April 6th edition of Rolling Stone, I'll point to this smart graf amongst many such smart grafs in a very well-researched and informative piece:

One of the ugliest developments in American culture since Abramoff's obscure Cold Warrior days in the Eighties has been the raging but highly temporary success of various "smart guys" who upon closer examination aren't all that smart. There was BALCO steroid scum Victor Conte ("The smartest son of a bitch I ever met in my life," said one Olympian client), Enron's "smartest guys in the room" Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay, and, finally, "ingenious dealmaker" Jack Abramoff. Somewhere along the line, in the years since the Cold War, Americans as a whole became such craven, bum-licking, self-absorbed fat cats that they were willing to listen to these fifth-rate prophets who pretended that the idea that rules could be broken was some kind of earth-shattering revelation --- as though they had fucking invented fraud and cheating. But to a man, they all turned out to be dumb, incompetent fuckups, destined to bring us all down with them --- not even good at being criminals.

Taibbi's piece covers in detail some of the many scams that Abramoff and the rest of the nationwide Republican Network of dishonest, opportunistic players who now comprise the power structure of the Republican party --- or the "vast rightwing conspiracy" as Hillary correctly described it. It's an ugly, but accurate portrait of those who have hijacked all that America was supposed to have stood for while an otherwise distracted and/or media-whipped public was trained to look the other way --- or otherwise give the benefit of the doubt to some very very bad guys who have earned no such benefit.

Those bad guys now run the country, its government, its corporations and its media virtually in its entirety. And more shamefull still, they've got goons played for suckers who are so daft and gullible that, to this day, they run around and play apologist for these people who --- I guess they don't realize it --- are fucking them hard up their own asses with their own hard-earned money and blindly offered good-will. You'll find many of those dopes repeating Fox "News" and Limbaugh-isms over Thanksgiving dinners everywhere, and otherwise plying their foolish and self-destructive trade wherever they can. A stroll through some of the most trollish comments left here at The BRAD BLOG reveals these people have left only the dimmest of connections to Reality as it exists in 2006 on the planet Earth.

With those accolades for Taibbi's work now out of the way, allow me to point to this earlier graf in his piece (emphasis added)...

All along, Abramoff was buying journalists, creating tax-exempt organizations to fund campaign activities and using charities to fund foreign conflicts. He spent the past twenty years doing business with everyone from James Dobson to the Gambino family, from Ralph Reed to Grover Norquist to Karl Rove to White House procurements chief David Safavian. He is even lurking in the background of the 2004 Ohio voting-irregularities scandal, having worked with the Diebold voting-machine company to defeat requirements for a paper trail in elections.

"Lurking in the background" must be MSM code for: Reported by BRAD BLOG but otherwise ignored.

We're glad to see Taibbi pick up on some of our reporting as he writes...

And now it comes out that Diebold, the notorious voting-machine company, paid some $275,000 to Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig, with the apparent aim of keeping legislation requiring paper trails in the voting process from getting into the Help America Vote Act. Conveniently, Abramoff pal Bob Ney, one of the HAVA architects, blocked every attempt to put paper trails into law, even after the controversial electoral debacles of 2000 and 2004.

...But it would certainly help to keep such bad guys from affecting so much corruption and damage for so many years before they actually get busted, if Taibbi would be kind enough to point out some of the sources --- independent, alternative, "blog" or otherwise --- who have been trying to blow such whistles for so long.

With appropriate credit and recognition from the mainstream, as we opined a several weeks ago, reporting such as ours and many others would likely have the effect of stopping the bad guys before they manage to wreak quite as much havoc on our once-great American democracy.

We'd hope that even the usually independent-minded Rolling Stone would keep such important points in mind by choosing to give appropriate attribution where possible in their future reporting. As we've said before: It matters.

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Seeks to Stop Last Minute Implementation of ES&S Voting Machines and to Push Back Unconstitutional Threats by the DoJ...
By John Gideon on 4/14/2006 12:57pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

The BRAD BLOG has received a copy of the 'Complaint For Declaratory and Injunctive Relief', as filed earlier this week in Allegheny County, PA, by several disabled voters. The complete suit is now available here [WORD format].

As the suit itself is some 43 pages, we will distill it for you a bit, and cover the most notable aspects. The BRAD BLOG is just thoughtful that way.

As we reported on Wednesday, the complaint was filed against the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, other state and county officials, an Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the US Dept. of Justice, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The complaint asserts that the state certified Electronic Voting Machines made by Elections Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) are not accessible by voters with disabilities --- contrary to the requirements of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Nonetheless, Allegheny County has selected their machines for use in upcoming elections. That, after previously hoping to go with Diebold, and then with Sequoia Voting Systems, until finally settling on ES&S after the first two choices fell apart either due to the politics of the companies involved and/or due to the discovery their Electronic Voting Systems were found to be hackable.

As mentioned, the choice to not use Diebold in Allegheny occurred, in no small part, because of the company's known hard-right partisan leanings. The lawsuit, however, points out the irony of finally choosing to go with ES&S --- considering their own dubious partisan background...

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

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By John Gideon on 4/13/2006 5:12pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

One Cook County Illinois candidate is threatening to file a federal lawsuit for both Democrat and Republican candidates and against the county for voting counting problems. ES&Ss inability to deliver paper ballots on time is now being blamed on consolidation that the company did last year when they closed a Chicago office and moved their functions in with the Omaha office. Meanwhile Indiana SoS Rokita has decided that it is time to hold hearings into the failure of ES&S to provide contractual services and to learn more about reports that MicroVote has provided uncertified software to some customers in the state. The fines to ES&S could be as much as $300,000 per incident....

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

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Says Company Activity Could be in 'Significant Violation of State Election Law'
NOTE TO MSM: Nothing to read here. Move on.
By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2006 4:08pm PT  

The E-Voting Train Wreck continues...

This from a statement released today by the Indiana Secretary of State (to get just a tiny idea of what this statement is in reference to see the "Train Wreck" article linked above...and just about every other damn thing we've been running here at BRAD BLOG for the last God-knows-how-many weeks/months/years)...

Today Secretary of State Todd Rokita announced his intention to bring an enforcement action against the Nebraska based voting system firm, Election Systems and Software. Secretary Rokita will personally conduct a public hearing to determine whether election law violations have occurred, and whether the company should be fined. County sequencing errors and paper ballot problems, noted by Rokita's office this week, have combined to quickly escalate already disturbingly poor service at the county level into what could be a significant violation of state election law. "I have ordered our legal staff to immediately set hearing dates and subpoena company officials," Rokita said.

The Indianapolis Star begins their coverage this way:

The Indiana secretary of state's office is investigating possible law violations by two voting machine companies, as doubts continue about possible hitches in next month's primary elections.

"To protect the voices of Hoosier voters, I intend to hold hearings on these matters to determine whether Indiana law has been violated, and if so, to hold the appropriate parties accountable," Secretary of State Todd Rokita said in a statement today.

"Hoosier taxpayers, voters and county officials deserve voting systems that comply with the high standards mandated by Indiana law."

Rokita said his office, which administers elections across the state, would bring an "enforcement action" to determined whether Election Systems and Software, a Nebraska voting system company, should be fined.

NOTE TO NATIONAL MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Please pay no attention whatsoever to any of the above. It's just a small local story. Nothing of interest. No pattern here here that effects our country as a whole in any way. All is well. Please enjoy your Easter Holiday break! Thank you.

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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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Gay News Site Notes Queer Lack of Response on Extremists Felonious Voter Registration Application
By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2006 11:33am PT  

Mike Rogers at PageOneQ, a gay online news site, has an interesting and amusing exclusive today based on our own exclusive last Tuesday featuring Ann Coulter's Felonious Florida Voter Registration Application.

The particular angle that PageOneQ focuses on today, came up briefly during a short appearance I made on The Stephanie Miller Show yesterday morning. The three-minute MP3 can be downloaded here or listened to below...

This part of the story is largely an amusing curiosity, of course. Not unlike Coulter herself. Though in truth, she is far more dangerous to America and it's values than a mere "amusing curiosity". Which is just one of the reasons why we follow her destructive antics from time to time here at The BRAD BLOG. To that end, I may have more substantive news and/or opinion on her alleged Voter Fraud Felony soon.

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