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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Erick Erickson's Global Warming Denialist Tantrum
Latest barometer of denialist desperation: The rightwing 'thought leader', as usual, is wrong on the facts and science, so he's just taking his ball and going home...
Video Captures GA Family Disowning, Assaulting 20-Year Old Gay Son
But there is a "happy" ending, of sorts, to this heartbreaking and disturbing story...
'Green News Report' 8/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
BP refinery explodes. Again.; UN report warns of 'irreversible' warming; Fines for oil, chem spills; 22% of world elec. is now green; PLUS: People's Climate March coming to NYC...
Previous GNRs: 8/26/14 - 8/21/14 - Archives...
Faking the Ferguson Docs:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad interviews open records advocate Charlie Grapski on his evidence that Ferguson and St. Louis County police are illegally withholding evidence in the killing of Michael Brown; Plus MUCH more...
Records Requests Suggest Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Involved in Cover-Up
How else to explain the missing details and required documentation of Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown?...
'Green News Report' 8/26/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Napa earthquake is a warning for CA's nuke plants; Another coal plant bites the dust; Cutting emissions will save $$$; PLUS: Fighting drought with a 'salmon cannon'...Yep...
Previous GNRs: 8/21/14 - 8/19/14 - Archives...
Siegelman Judge, Arrested For Beating His Wife, May Avoid Prosecution Altogether
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller checks in for 'treatment', may be able to duck prosecution...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring GOP Photo ID voting restrictions in WI? We'll catch you up quickly...
Obama Orders Review of Police Militarization Program
In response to bi-partisan calls for reform and disturbing display by militarized local police in Ferguson, MO, the President takes aim at controversial Pentagon program...
Ryan Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 hopeful 'charms' elderly voters in FL, by ignoring them...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Is this another 'oops' moment from the Repub TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; Solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and Demilitarizing the Police: KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Bradto discuss his new bill...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By John Gideon on 4/5/2007 6:05pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today’s top news item, in my mind anyway, is a column written by Bob Koehler who is an editor for Tribune Media Services and is a friend and fellow Election Integrity activist. Today Bob wrote an article about another friend and activist who many of you know, Bernie Ellis. Bernie was one of the movers and shakers in the EI movement in Tennessee and one of the organizers of the “Gathering To Save Our Democracy” in Nashville in 2004. I hope you read and enjoy Bob’s article and that it moves you to help Bernie. Thank you.

In other news the Virginia House of Delegates rejected a proposed amendment from the Governor to a bill that would require a phase-out of DRE voting machines and replacement by optical-scan machines. The Governor wanted the legislation to not take effect until July, 2008. If Virginia can vote to ban DREs why is Congress dragging their feet?

Those, and links to other worthy voting news stories, follow...

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

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Three Years Late, Long After the Flawed Senate Intelligence Committee Report, WaPo Finally Fills in a Very Few Blanks on Bush's Infamous '16 Words' Which Led to War
PLUS: A Quick Follow-up on Last Week's 'Bush Admin/WaPo Swift-Boating of Fitzgerald' Story...
By Margie Burns on 4/5/2007 1:32pm PT  

*** Blogged by BRAD BLOG D.C. Correspondent Margie Burns

On Tuesday, April 3, 2007 the Washington Post finally got around to publishing a front-page article, “How Bogus Letter Became a Case for War,” on the bogus Niger/uranium/Iraq story underlying those infamous “16 words” in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union speech.

The Post subtitle is “Intelligence Failures Surrounded Inquiry on Iraq-Niger Uranium Claim.” A more accurate subtitle would have read, “Intelligence Community Caved to Bush-Cheney Pressure.”

{Ed Note: We might suggest "Mainstream Media Failure to do Job, Scrutinize Admin's Iraq-Niger Claim, Led to Endless War" - BF}

I, among others, am familiar with the chronology because I wrote about it almost a full three years ago...

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

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On Felonies, Diebold, Paper Ballots, Secret Software, Lies, George W. Bush and More
COMPLETE AUDIO/TEXT TRANSCRIPT NOW POSTED...
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2007 1:24am PT  

I recently interviewed whistleblower Stephen Heller, while guest hosting Cynthia Black's Action Point on Air America/Nova M Pheonix.

It was Heller's first live broadcast interview and his wife Michelle Gregory also joined us for a bit. A documentary film crew was on hand to capture the event.

Heller is the Los Angeles actor who stole incriminating documents while working as a temp at Diebold's powerful law firm Jones Day and turned them over to Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org who, in turn, gave them to Ian Hoffman at the Oakland Tribune where many of them were published. The documents showed that Diebold had illegally installed uncertified hardware and software in California during the 2004 primary, which led to the decertification of their touch-screen DRE voting systems in the state.

Incredibly, Heller was many years later --- notably, long after the 2004 Election --- charged with three felony counts. He eventually pled guilty in a deal to one of the charges, as he discussed during our interview, to protect his family. As well, he was given the assurance that he'd serve no jail time and the charges would likely be removed entirely from his record after a year or so.

The complete audio and text transcript of the half hour interview is now posted here.

Here's just a few of the highlights from Heller's first live interview:

On why he took the documents in the first place...

Ultimately I took them because dishonorable people at Diebold were trying to turn our Democracy into a facade. They were trying to turn our elections into a mockery, into a lie. Lies must be challenged.

On the privatization of our public election system...

I think it's a horrible idea. I just can't understand why anyone would think that in the United States, it's a good idea to let a private corporation run our elections for us, in secret, using secret machines and secret software. That's insanity. We should never allow that. All votes must be on a paper ballot and there must be complete transparency in all machines used to process or tabulate those votes.

On not being able to talk while he was under indictment:

It was frustrating as I saw elections come and go and I had to keep my mouth shut and I knew what these election machine companies, Diebold and ES&S and Sequoia were doing, and at least I knew for a fact what Diebold had been doing and I was assuming the others were doing the same, or similar. It was very frustrating

On whether he believes himself to be a whistleblower:

I think I am a whistleblower. I also think I'm a thief. I stole attorney - client privileged documents. That's a serious crime. I pled guilty to the crime and I'm taking responsibility for it. But what is a crime is not necessarily wrong. And in fact, I believe that I exposed something that all Americans needed to know about. So I do think I'm a whistleblower.

On the legitimacy of Diebold elections and George W. Bush...

I think anywhere that Diebold's running an election, you have to be very suspicious of what they're doing and what their machines are doing. In terms of the President being illegitimate, or well, being the President on an illegitimate basis - I'm sure his parents were married - but in terms of him being the illegitimate President, yes, absolutely. I believe the man who is now serving his second term in the White House has yet to be elected.

All of that, plus what happened when police raided his home, why it took so long for charges to be brought, his wife Michelle's plan to write a book on the life of a wife of a whistleblower (check the full interview to learn the planned title :-) ) and much more.

We'll soon be publishing a guest blog from Heller here at The BRAD BLOG, on whistleblowing and why those thinking about doing it, should.

The complete 3/25/07 interview with Stephen Heller, both the audio and text transcript, is now posted here...

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By John Gideon on 4/4/2007 8:00pm PT  

As recently as October of 2004, the first voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) printer was qualified for use on Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines used in this country. These printers came about due to the insistence of the voters that there be a means of auditing elections. However, even in that short time, we have found that the printers often do not work as we expected them to. The printers have proven to be a placebo rather than a reliable tool. In fact the printers fail as often as the DREs they are mounted on and because of those failures they cannot be relied upon to produce ballot printouts to be used for audits.

It is clear that VVPAT printers don’t serve their purpose. Why were there problems in Cuyahoga Co.? Why didn’t the voters notice that their votes were not being recorded on the VVPAT’s? That’s the problem. Voters tend not to look at the VVPAT tapes for a number of reasons. A new, improved VVPAT printer will be no different and if the voter doesn’t verify the paper audit trail the paper audit trail may be worthless. The answer is to use only voter marked paper ballots and ban the use of electronically marked electronic ballots that unverifiable because no one can review internal data inside a computer.

Note: There are many handy items that you can use to learn more about the danger of DRE voting machines and why they should be banned here: http://www.votersunite.o...11AmendmentResources.asp

Links to many more voting stories from today follow below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2007 4:48pm PT  

On a related note... In the corporate media's misleading and self-created "two-person race" for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have each raised approximately $25 million in the first quarter of this year.

Neither, however, has gone on record in favor a paper ballot --- one that is actually tabulated --- for every vote cast in America.

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First Presidential Race to Use Paperless Voting Draws Fear, Protests, Florida Comparisons, ES&S Spokesliars...
By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2007 3:01pm PT  

Dear People of France: Welcome to our nightmare...

PARIS, April 3 — For France’s Socialists, among others, the coming presidential election could descend into a nightmare like last fall’s in Florida.

This is the first presidential election in France to use paperless computer voting. As many as 1.5 million of the 44.5 million registered voters are expected to cast their ballots electronically in more than 80 municipalities around the country.

But with election day less than three weeks away, opposition to the electronic voting machines has grown, in part because a small percentage of them are made by the same American company whose machines were involved in a bitterly disputed Congressional election in Florida last November.

“We have doubts about the reliability of these machines,” Gilles Savary, a spokesman for Ségolène Royal, the Socialist Party candidate, said in an interview. “I don’t want to lecture America. But we don’t want France to fall into the same Kafkaesque balloting as happened in the United States.”
...
It is not only the Socialists who oppose the use of electronic machines.

François Bayrou, the centrist candidate from the Union for French Democracy party, said last month that it was necessary to “stop this evolution and suspend all use” of electronic voting, because the vote would not be completely reliable.

Some smaller party candidates, including those representing the Green and Communist Parties, also are demanding that the machines not be used.

But not to fear, ES&S, just as here in America, is on the job! Spokesholes are standing by, ready to lie in France, as quickly as they do here...

“We have an extreme amount of confidence in our machines in France,” said Rob Palmer, director of marketing and communications for ES&S-iVotronic. “Our machines have proven themselves in thousands of elections in the United States and elsewhere.”

"Proven themselves"? To be what? Shitty? Uh, yup...Bonne chance, mes amis!

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New Charges Announced Against Chair of BoE Who Refused to Resign: He Allegedly Ordered $15k PR Contract Awarded to 'GOP Spokesperson'
By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2007 9:36pm PT  

Ohio's Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner cleaned out the last dead-ender from the Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) Board of Elections today. That would be the chairperson of the BoE and the head of Ohio's Republican Party, Bob Bennett (see previous coverage here.)

Bennett was the last of the four directors of the Board of Elections (supposedly two Democrats and two Republicans) to leave the board of the state's most Democratic-leaning county. The other three resigned after requested by Brunner in the wake of the convictions of two Cuyahoga Elections Officials for rigging the 2004 Presidential Election recount, a raft of disastrously run elections and a new criminal investigation into malfeasance at the county election board. The new investigation includes the early printing of absentee ballot results and an unexplained network cable left attached to the central tabulator overnight.

According to a statement posted to the SoS website, Brunner notified Bennett today about his suspension in writing, and has also announced yet another new charge against him:

"The Secretary of State's office will be working with the current and emerging leadership of the board to develop a plan improving, with the assistance of the Secretary of State's office, the board's operations and service to the citizens of Cuyahoga County. To further these efforts, I believe it to be in the best interests of all involved to suspend your participation as a member of the board," said Brunner. The notice of suspension pointed to the reasons addressed in the complaint filed against the Cuyahoga Board of Elections members by Brunner on March 23, 2007.

Brunner cites an additional reason for the suspension involving instructions to former Executive Director Michael Vu to award a contract to a consultant without Board approval.

Bennett instructed Vu to award a second contract to David Hopcraft in the amount of $14,750 on or about February 26, 2007, for public relations services to be paid for by public dollars by the board of elections. The Dayton Daily News on March 26, 2007 reported Mr. Hopcraft to be a "GOP spokesperson."

Accountability to continue in Ohio...

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By John Gideon on 4/3/2007 8:45pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

In a March 30 news release reposted today on VoteTrustUSA, ProjectVote reports:

A federal agency tasked with serving as a clearinghouse for election research played politics today when it released but declined to endorse a study documenting the impact of voter identification requirements on voting. The study, conducted jointly by the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University and the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University for the US Election Assistance Commission (EAC), found that documentary ID requirements lower voter turnout, particularly for minority voters. Researchers examined voting in the 2004 election. Several states have adopted more stringent voter ID requirements since 2004.

Just why is the commission that is supposed to be a “clearinghouse” for information about elections only a “clearinghouse” for information that meets their narrow political viewpoint? Why is it that projects that show that voters are disenfranchised by Voter ID laws, or that voter fraud is nearly non-existent, get minimized by the EAC? Is it because the EAC is partisan? It clearly appears that is the case and its time the EAC do what’s best for the voters and not for one political view point.

That, and many more voting stories today, linked below...

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

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Former Monterey County Registrar of Voters Heads to Jail on 43 Criminal Counts, Stole More Than $80,000 in Tax Dollars from County
Once Told Us We Must Have 'Trust and Faith in Elections Officials, Or In This Case, Me'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2007 8:43pm PT  

While he was still the 13-year Monterey County, CA, Registrar of Voters, Tony Anchundo once told us live on air that "There is obviously going to have to be some trust and faith in the elections official, or in this case, it's me."

On Monday, the disgraced Anchundo reported to jail after pleading "no contest" last December to 43 criminal counts of forgery, misapplication of funds, embezzlement, falsification of accounts, and grand theft:

Former Registrar Reports For Jail Time
Anchundo Stole More Than $80,000 In Tax Dollars

SALINAS, Calif. --- Tony Anchundo checked into the Monterey County Jail Monday morning, beginning his nine-month jail sentence for embezzlement.

The former registrar of voters plead no contest to stealing more than $80,000 of taxpayer's money.

And last month, a judge suspended a five-year prison sentence, ordering him to jail instead.

Anchundo could apply for home confinement or a work alternative program after serving 90 days.

He's also been ordered to repay more than $100,000.

We've said it before, but obviously it bears repeating (particularly to the members of CACEO - California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials and the shameful Santa Cruz Sentinel): Trust no one when it comes to your elections. You should never have to. Especially those who tell you they should be trusted.

While it should be self-evident by now, it's our duty to remind you (and the CACEO and the Santa Cruz Sentinel as previously owned by former CA SoS Bruce McPherson) that our country and Constitution and Rule of Law were not built on trust. They were built on checks and balances. The best elections officials in America (if not necessarily the CACEO) will tell you as much:

  • Leon County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho said in a speech last May: "Trust no one. If it can't be verified, it can't be used."
  • Yolo County, California Registrar-Clerk Freddie Oakley wrote last June in response to many of her colleagues: "They also argue that, 'We have to trust our poll workers…' To this I can only say…only if they are incorruptible."

On that note, no American should have to trust in an electronic voting system which counts votes in secret, as never verified by the voter or any human being. Doing so makes as much sense as "trusting" in Tony Anchundo --- object lesson #1 in all that is wrong with trusting anyone or anything in this regard.

See the notice below on how you can (and must!) take action now to make sure Congress finally gets the message!

Take action to amend the Holt Election Reform Bill!
DEMAND A BAN ON DRE/TOUCH-SCREEN VOTING!
- Email Congress!
- Call your members!
See www.BradBlog.com/Holt for more details, coverage, talking points & information on all of the above!
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Yours Truly Quoted by Name for First Time by Former Newsman Hume...for Comments Against Democratic Presidential Hopeful, Of Course...
By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2007 5:35am PT  

Since Brit Hume of Fox "News" has never quoted us (rather, me, Brad Friedman) by name as far as I know, I thought it would be worth elevating the following update from our piece over the weekend which was critical of Obama, to note the once-credible Hume having done so today, in order to smash up a Democrat, of course. Oh, the irony never stops.

The original BRAD BLOG article from which Hume quotes us (me) was critical of Obama for reportedly telling AP over the weekend that Senate Dems would cave by sending an Iraq spending bill to the White House without troop withdrawal timelines, if Bush vetoes the current one as promised.

Hume failed to mention, of course, that we also noted the dubious provenance of the report: The Associated Press. Neither did he mention the ensuing updates and discussions about whether AP had the story right or not. Though, in fact, Obama has not gone out of his way to correct the record, or call out AP for being inaccurate, save for this middling response in the Union Leader today. Markos at DailyKos --- who is infamously singled out along with us (happy to tarnish his reputation) in Hume's piece --- has thoughts on Obama's response with which we will also associate ourselves in a rare meeting of minds.


So for infamy's sake, the video of former newsman Hume using us to slime Obama ("Liberal Bloggers Turn on Barack Obama") is at left. We'll presume he means "turns back on" versus the sexual connotation. Either way, we're happy to serve. Video courtesy of the indispensable NewsHounds.us and the indefatigable Alan Breslauer.

Please note: Unlike the Fox "News" website print version of Hume's "Political Grapevine" (see the update from the original article below), Hume referred to us as "popular" in the video version. We shall add it to our CV right away...

UPDATE 3/2/07 7:25pm PT: Looks like Republican propagandist Brit Hume of the Republican propaganda outlet Fox "News" quoted our report here tonight for the "Political Grapevine" section of their anti-Democratic propaganda "news" show Special Report with Brit Hume. Needless to say, he didn't bother to include the questions we've raised about the AP report. Here's their propagandistic website's version of the report (which doesn't bother to link to us, natch) and is naturally headlined: "Liberal Bloggers Turn on Barack Obama":

Liberal Bloggers Turn on Barack Obama

Monday, April 02, 2007
By Brit Hume
FOX NEWS

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Bloggers Furious

Left-wing bloggers, who are a potent force in the Democratic party, are furious with Barack Obama for saying over the weekend that Congress will vote to fund the troops without a timeline for withdrawal if President Bush vetoes the current version of the bill. Obama said that no lawmaker, "wants to play chicken with our troops."

Markos Moulitsas of the influential Daily Kos Web log writes: "What a ridiculous thing to say. Not only is it bad policy, not only is it bad politics, it's also a terrible negotiating approach. Instead of threatening Bush with even more restrictions and daring him to veto funding for the troops out of pique, Barack just surrendered to him."

And Brad Friedman of The Brad Blog says: "If we ever need to negotiate for anything, remind us to not call on Obama to represent us."

Setting aside whether we're "Liberal" or "Left-wing" as Fox "News" would like to have it, can one "turn their back" on someone that they never actually turned their front to in the first place? Just curious.

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In Attempted Ambush Interview, Twisted 'News Man' Spins Her Comments into Accusations of 'Hating Her Country,' 'Blaming America' for Iran/UK Soldier Capture, Cuts Off Her Mic...
Why is This Guy Still on Television?
By Brad Friedman on 4/2/2007 9:35pm PT  

In one of his most shamefully transparent swiftboat attacks yet, Bill O'Reilly twisted and perverted the comments of 29-year U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright last Friday, for having the temerity to explain that when Americans parade their own prisoners of war before the cameras, it's difficult to have the "moral high ground" in making the case that Iran has violated the Geneva Convention by doing similarly with their captured British troops.

For the record, Wright spent years educating troops on the Geneva Convention at Fort Bragg and understands it cold (unlikely, O'Reilly). She also spent 16 years in the diplomatic corps before resigning in protest as the Iraq War began. I interviewed her on the illegalities of the war while at Camp Casey in Crawford, TX, in August of 2005. Her explanation was exceedingly enlightening. (MP3 here, appx. 22 mins, as part of the collection of highlights from our 50+ hours of special BRAD SHOW "Operation Noble Cause" live broadcasts.)

Crooks & Liars' coverage of the interview, includes a transcript from the wrap-up of the attempted O'Reilly hit piece (in which he only seems to have hit himself):

WRIGHT: "I want to make sure the United States treats people properly.."

O'REILLY: "Sure you do. Sure you do."

WRIGHT: "I surely do. That's what I spent 29 years of my life trying to do."

O'REILLY: "Sorry. No you didn't. You know what happened to you…somewhere along the line you started to dislike your own country…."

WRIGHT: "I served 29 years. How many did you serve? Where did you teach the Geneva Conventions?"

O'REILLY: "Cut her mic."

Watch the video. It's absolutely shameful.

(Hat-tip for the video to Chrish at the indispensable NewsHounds.us for "watching FOX so [we] don't have to.")

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By John Gideon on 4/2/2007 8:30pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Many on all sides of the discussions over HR-811 point to the “Hursti Hack” as proof of their arguments. Those who back HR-811 without any ban on DREs tell us that the “Hursti Hack” in Florida proves that optical-scan systems are equally as bad as DREs. Those on the opposite side of the argument, and for hand counted paper ballots make the exact same argument. What does Harri Hursti have to say? Harri says that DREs are not safe for use in elections, even with a voter verified paper audit trail. He also says that hand counting paper ballots is not feasible in the US because of the complexity of our ballots. It may work in Finland, or other countries, where the ballots are simple and may only have one or two races; but not in the United States with ballots that are pages long.

That story, and many more today, all linked below...

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

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Vic Gold, Who Wrote Bios for Bush & Cheney Inaugural Program, Joins Mad Rush to Disassociate from 'NeoCons Who Destroyed the GOP'
Says Bush 'Dan Quayle in Cowboy Boots,' Cheney 'Out of Control'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/2/2007 3:30pm PT  

The deafening noise of scampering rats from the sinking ship continues.Following on the heels of Bush-Cheney's chief '04 campaign strategist, Matthew Dowd, over the weekend, GOP insider and Bush/Cheney family friend, Vic Gold, unloads on the two to WaPo in advance of his new book, Invasion of the Party Snatchers: How the Holy-Rollers and the Neo-Cons Destroyed the GOP.

Gold, who was asked by Lynn Cheney to write the profiles of both Bush and Cheney and their wives for the official commemorative 2000 Inauguration program tells WaPo today:

"For all the Rove-built facade of his being a 'strong' chief executive, George W. Bush has been, by comparison to even hapless Jimmy Carter, the weakest, most out of touch president in modern times," Gold writes. "Think Dan Quayle in cowboy boots."

And on Cheney...

"A vice president in control is bad enough. Worse yet is a vice president out of control."
...
"Men do not change, they unmask themselves." Cheney has a deep streak of paranoia and megalomania, Gold suggests --- but he says he did not see it at first.

"He was hiding who he really was," Gold says. "He was waiting for an opportunity."

The above point is particularly interesting in light of what Gold wrote about Cheney for the commemorative Inaugural program:

"A man of gravitas with a quick and easy wit; a conservative who'll see a road less traveled; a political realist who sees his country and the world around him not in terms of leaden problems but golden opportunities."

Indeed.

The parade of similar such defections, we suspect, will continue --- exponentially --- apace...

(Hat-tip to John Cole at Balloon Juice.)

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Followed By Lying Politicians...
By Alan Breslauer on 4/2/2007 11:34am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

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As we Sit Down for a One-on-One Debriefing with the Finnish Computer Security Expert and Discuss American Elections, Rush Holt's Reform Bill, Debra Bowen, 'Black Hats' and Why Elections Matter
Big Turnout and Good Press Coverage Accompany his Riverside Visit, Even if Jeff '1000 to 1' Stone Was a No Show...
By Brad Friedman on 4/1/2007 7:13pm PT  

Harri Hursti drove up to Los Angeles last Friday after his appearance that morning before the Riverside County, California, "Blue Ribbon" panel convened to investigate massive problems during the County's 2006 election, and continuing concerns from Election Integrity advocates about both the performance and security issues surrounding the Sequoia Edge II DRE touch-screen voting systems in use down there.

We sat down to interview Hursti for a documentary film for an hour or two on Friday night, and we continued chatting into the wee hours. After getting home around 4am, we suspect we'll be playing catching up for a few days.

The headline from those discussions last night is probably that Hursti, now famous for his hack of a paper-based Diebold optical-scan voting system in Leon County, Florida, in late 2005 (as seen live in HBO's documentary Hacking Democracy), advocates digital optically-scanned paper ballots --- where the image of the scan can then be made available to all on the Internet --- as the most secure and most transparent method of voting for the type of elections we have in these United States.

That may come as a surprise to advocates of Rep. Rush Holt's Election Reform bill, who have been pointing to the "Hursti Hack" as a way to suggest that op-scan tabulation is "just as bad" as Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) touch-screen voting systems. Holt's bill (HR811) would allow for the continued use of DREs, despite the continuing warnings from computer scientists, disabilities and minority rights advocates, and the Election Integrity community that the devices should be banned.

Hursti heartily disagrees with those Holt supporters and told us again that DREs are not safe for use in elections, with or without a so-called "voter verified paper audit trail." He's asked for us to help facilitate a meeting for him with Holt and his staff to discuss the matter, and we are attempting to do just that.

As well, Hursti's position may also come as a surprise to those who have pointed to the "Hursti Hack" in their call for 100% hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) in American elections. While Hursti said he recognizes that such a system works well enough in other countries where ballots are much simpler, he feels the thousands of ballot styles and pages and pages of candidates and propositions would likely make all HCPB unwieldy here. By contrast, he explained that in Finland, voters go to the poll and cast a single vote for President as the only race on the ballot, which is simple enough to hand count on the night of the election.

He rattled off the many different systems of democracy in many different countries, from Europe to Asia, as well as a history of how America has come to its current mess, going back as early as the late 1800's to discuss the evolution of our modern day system in this country. Clearly, he's done his homework and is well worth listening to on these matters.

Hursti also gave high marks to California's new Secretary of State Debra Bowen for her recent announcement of "red team" hack testing for all of the state's currently certified electronic voting systems, as part of her "top to bottom review" of those systems. Other computer scientists and security experts have lined up to join in praising Bowen for this unique, first-of-its-kind attempt to finally test the security of these systems.

On the other hand, many of the state's elections officials have come out against such testing of their precious, hackable, un-transparent voting systems. And, surprise surprise, so has the Santa Cruz Sentinel --- the paper once owned by thankfully-former CA SoS Bruce McPherson --- in a laughable editorial late last week claiming that "paper ballots carry an even greater risk" than electronic voting systems, and that Bowen's planned test criteria is a "solution in search of a problem."

We're not sure what cave the Santa Cruz Sentinel has been living in, but we're guessing they've been sharing their hard tack and canned spam with their buddy, the gone-but-apparently-not-forgotten McPherson, the one responsible for certifying these god-awful systems in the first place for the state, despite mountains of evidence suggesting it was unwise. We're also guessing they've never sat down to chat with Harri Hursti.

Hursti's visit to Riverside, as we reported here last week, was in response to County Supervisor Jeff Stone's challenge last December that nobody could manipulate the county's Sequoia election system. After Hursti volunteered to take Stone up on that "1000 to 1" challenge, the county has been waffling ever since. So quite a few members of both the public and the press were on hand yesterday for Hursti's testimony before the "Blue Ribbon" panel.

Although Hursti traveled all the way from Finland, Stone and every other member of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors were apparently too busy to make it up the road to meet Hursti and listen to his presentation...

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