The signature drive for John Conyers Downing Street Minutes letter to George W. Bush is at just over 411,000 signatures gathered in somewhat fewer than 24 hours as of 3:02am PT.
And thank you for caring.
w/ Brad & Desi
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
The signature drive for John Conyers Downing Street Minutes letter to George W. Bush is at just over 411,000 signatures gathered in somewhat fewer than 24 hours as of 3:02am PT.
And thank you for caring.
We meant to blog about this earlier, but were waylaid by the power outage today and other matters... In any case, a DU'er announced last night that a meeting of the Hocking Democratic Central Committee was to take place tonight to discuss the recent firing by the Board of Elections of Ohio Recount Whistleblower, Sherole Eaton.
Eaton filed an affidavit during the December recount concerning some chicanery she witnessed by a Voting Machine Company employee from Triad. The employee, Mark Barbarian, she testified, removed a hard drive from the central tabulating machine in Hocking County prior to the recount and instructed her county and others in Ohio, on how to create a "cheat sheet" to ensure that the recount would match the original Election results.
As her thanks for whistleblowing, she was fired this month by the Hocking County Board of Elections.
The legend goes --- as spread frequently and thickly by Ohio Secretary of State and Co-Chair for the Committee to Re-Elect Bush/Cheney, J. Kenneth Blackwell --- that nothing could possibly have been amiss in Ohio's Election, since all of the BoE's are bi-partisan and comprised of two Democrats and two Republicans.
Trouble is, many of those Democrats, we've since come to learn, may indeed be "Democrats" in name only. They serve at the approval and pleasure of Blackwell and the behavior of the Hocking County Democrats on the BoE give every indication that they are anything but Democrats.
As Eaton explained to us on the show last Saturday night, these Boards of Elections are "cooked".
This evening, the Democratic Central Committee met to call those two Hocking County "Democrats", Susie Hughes and Gerald Robinette, on the carpet in a public hearing concerning the Eaton firing.
Once again, DU'er "NoBushSpokenHere" filled us in on the details including a surprise appearance by Eaton herself who was, as of this past Monday, under the knife having brain surgery for an aneurysm.
The good news is she made it through the surgery successfully. The bad news is that the surgery was unsuccessful.
Indefatigable as she is, incredibly, she made it to the meeting tonight to stand her ground and face her accusers. We'll let "NoBushSpokenHere" take it from here:
Shaping up to be a great show so far! Check out our currently scheduled guests...
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As fallout from the Downing Street Minutes continues to rock Capitol Hill, more unwanted attention to Administration policies on the war and human rights abuses looks to be on the way.
MoveOn.org joined the call for signatures earlier this morning for John Conyers letter to George W. Bush asking for clarification about several matters in the official British minutes now known as the Downing Street Minutes. That recently released information documents an official UK meeting describing the Bush Administration policy to topple Saddam Hussein through military means and to "fix" intelligence around the policy as early as eight months prior to the war. The BRAD BLOG has learned that MoveOn.org has received well over
240,000 350,000 new signatures to that letter in just the few hours since joining the campaign, and is receiving several thousand new signatures each minute.
But Conyers and Company are not resting. The BRAD BLOG has learned that the ranking House Judiciary Member has just announced additional hearings will be held tomorrow morning concerning the allegations of Human Rights abuses at U.S. Terror Prisons, including Gitmo and Abu Ghraib. The hearings will feature testimony from a representative of Amnesty International, the first such congressional testimony since the group released their recent report on alleged Human Rights abuses at the U.S. run prison camps.
The following Press Release was issued just moments ago concerning hearings to be held tomorrow on Capitol Hill...
HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TO HOLD OFFICIAL OVERSIGHT HEARING ON PATRIOT ACT ABUSES
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a rarely used procedural move, House Judiciary Committee Democrats invoked Rule 11 of the House Rules and requested an additional day of hearings on the Patriot Act and civil liberties implications of the Administration's terrorism related efforts. This will be the first hearing in which Members of the Committee will have the opportunity to address in detail, the horrific human rights abuses of detainees that occurred in the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons, as well as the ongoing problems of racial profiling and hate crimes that have plagued Muslim and Arab Americans since the passage of the Patriot Act in 2001. In addition, this will be the first time Amnesty International has testified before Congressional Committee since the publication of their 2005 Annual Report on human rights abuses throughout the world. The Committee will also hear testimony how the Administration has abused the immigration system to hold people without charge or bond, and have proceedings behind closed doors.
WHAT: House Judiciary Committee Democratic Oversight Hearing on Patriot Act Abuses
WHEN: Friday, June 10th @ 8:30am
WHERE: 2141 Rayburn House Office Building
Chip Pitts, Chair of the Board, Amnesty International USA
Dr. James J. Zogby, President, Arab American Institute
Deborah Pearlstein, Director, U.S. Law and Security Program, Human Rights First
Carlina Tapia-Ruano, American Immigration Lawyers Association
UPDATE: Tomorrow's hearing, clearly, is different from the one later announced by Conyers concerning the Downing Street Minutes. That one, scheduled for next Thursday, will feature testimony from Constitutional Attorney John Bonifaz (featured on last weekends BRAD SHOW) as well as CIA Analyst Ray McGovern (scheduled for this Saturday's BRAD SHOW! Do we got your news agenda right here or what?!
UPDATE 6/10/05: Holy Meltdown, Batman! Watch Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) go nuts at this morning's Patriot Act hearings! Full BRAD BLOG team coverage right here...
NOTE: That's also a rare picture of the ingenious and mysterious Freeway Blogger himself, otherwise known as "Scarlet P." --- and more good news, he is currently scheduled to be a guest of ours on this weekend's BRAD SHOW!
Robert Koehler of Tribune Media Services, one of just a handful of MSM'ers willing to continue the fight for democracy in America, gets it right all over again in tomorrow's column when he refers to November 2nd, as a "shiv to the gut of democracy."
Koehler had previously made quite a bit of noise with his now-classic initial column on the matter --- the first that we know of in the Mainstream Media, to charge that Election 2004 was "stolen" --- and his subsequent columns here, here and here. That last one was spiked by the higher ups at TMS, as we reported some weeks ago, and was never syndicated to TMS member newspapers. (Our radio interview with Koehler on The BRAD SHOW is archived as an MP3 here.)
In his latest column, Koehler recounts the story of a man from Franklin County, Ohio, who had voted at the same precint for 50 years, only to show up last November to find that he was no longer on the voter rolls. "I guess my vote don't matter anymore," he was quoted as saying at a hearing before the Franklin County Board of Elections.
Koehler also vows to continue his still-too-lonely fight to correct the greatest domestic threat to democracy this country has seen in...well, perhaps ever.
Here's an advance look at a couple of key grafs from tomorrow's piece, penned after returning from the recent Election Reform Conference in Cleveland, most of which will be picked up by very few newspapers most likely, as none of them contain the words "Michael Jackson":
And this won't happen until the country's small-d democrats, who constitute, I am positive, a large if disorganized and overly trusting majority, demand it. Right now they're in a fog that's one part denial and 99 parts ignorance.
As Jonathon Alter posits in his must-read NEWSWEEK column this week (really, go read it!) about what would have happened had Watergate occured in today's Media/Political climate, the current strategy for the apologists on the Right --- and a very successful one so far, we might add --- is to make enough noise with unsupported claims that eventually "the American people figure both sides [are] just spinning, and a tie always goes to the incumbent."
If you have any doubt about that strategy, just ask yourself who eventually won the PR battle last year between Bush and Kerry concerning their respective military service during Vietnam.
Echoing that sentiment, Koehler recounts his personal investigation of one such attempt by an emailer from the Right to neutralize the issue of Election Fraud with bogus claims to a level playing field:
This is a comforting stopgap assertion that may preserve complacency, but not only does it fall apart upon examination, it actually reveals what might be the underlying hysteria - Republican fear of riffraff, you might say - that made vote suppression not only widely tolerated but a participatory sport in 2004.
We'll leave the results of his investigation for him to tell when his column publishes shortly. The entire column will soon be available here.
Thanks for your continued work on behalf of this country, Bob. Glad to see that you've vowed to remain on the job! We'll be right there with you keeping up a fight that is more than worth continuing, no matter how many charlatans are on the beat trying cynically to suppress it.
As Rush spent a full two hours on this morning's show trying to tear Howard Dean apart, while not once mentioning the new WaPo-ABC poll just out today outlining the real trouble that Bush and his Congressional Supporters are now in, we figure he must be pretty worried about what's happening.
We also figure the poll will go less reported than it ought to, so we'll try to help. It's the least we can do.
In addition to the headline figure that shows, for the first time since Bush's War on Iraq began, more than half of Americans now understand that the war has not made America any safer, it's a few of the nothing-but-bad-news-for-Bush internals that caught our eye.
Even without the proper investigation and reportage by the MSM on the unprecedented corruption of this administration, the American people seem to be getting the picture. Take a look...
While the debate amongst the Left rages on (even here at BRAD BLOG on occasion) about which way Democrats should move --- to fight for their core values or move towards the Right --- the poll numbers are noteworthy, particularly in the current atmosphere where so little honest coverage is given to this Administration's failures by the Mainstream Corporate Media.
Those "Independents", as the poll demonstrates, are getting the picture. Without the Democratic party attempting to remake itself as Republican Lite.
And while the phony Red State/Blue State battle continues (phony, because most of the country lives smack dab in the Purple area, even while being largely underinformed and/or grossly misinformed, and the premise, put forward by Neo-Cons and Bush Supporters, but fallen for by too many on the Left, is simply meant as an attempt to shame the majority of Americans who live in the middle into choosing sides) the truth continues to make its way into the American conciousness.
Truth has a way of doing that. Sometimes, it just takes a while.
That said, perhaps now is a good time to remind Democrats once again that none of those numbers much matter. Not as long as the Republicans own the ballot box machinery. Pay attention. Or continue your "losing" streak.
UPDATE: On that point, it's also worth pointing out, as Stephanie Miller did on her excellent radio show this morning, that the "approval rating" numbers in this poll, just a few months after the November Election, are eerily similar to those "discredited" Exit Poll numbers you may have heard about. We just thought we'd mention that.
We were pulling for Eric Brewer, our man in D.C. (well, BTCNews.com's man in D.C., but as he's a blogger and was a featured guest on last weekend's BRAD SHOW, we consider him one of our own), to win the $1000 offered to anyone who would publicly ask Bush about the Downing Street Minutes/Memo. It's only been over a month or so since it was revealed, according to the minutes, that "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."
Brewer was there today, but Steve Holland of Reuters beat him to the punch. We'll let Eric give you the first-hand skinny...
It should also be noted that Mr. Bonifaz was a guest on last Saturday's BRAD SHOW as well, during which time he informed us that he was also a supporter of the Impeachment of Bill Clinton. Just so's ya know.
Something stinks to high heaven about these people and their new report. And not simply because they're based in Houston, TX, (though it certainly doesn't help their case) but the fact that they are directly funded by Voting Machine companies such as Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia immediately destroys any credibility they might have otherwise had when it comes to making decisions about our Electoral System in desperate need of reform.
ElectionCenter.org claims to be a non-profit, non-partisan, professional organization of Elections Workers. Today, they have released a new report [large PDF] with recommendations on how to improve America's Electoral System.
The AP covered the new report in a story yesterday which shines a fairly positive light on it yet manages to include a couple of paragraphs which jump out as huge red flags. Here's a couple of them from the AP story [emphasis added]...
So here we have yet another "nonprofit, nonpartisan" organization dedicated to Election issues, who have a clear conflict of interest due to their financial alliance with the Voting Machine Companies instead of the American Citizens whose interests they claim to represent.
Unlike the now-discredited "American Center for Voting Rights", a phony front group founded by GOP operatives as a smokescreen for real Election Reform issues, Election Center has been around for a number of years. But their claims that their mission is to "improve service to voters, the public, the taxpayers and to government" is completely belied by the companies they keep...or that keep them...
Here's a screenshot of the agenda from their upcoming August "National Conference" in Beverly Hills/Hollywood. It will likely tell you all you need to know about this group:
A few Googles of the various election officials associated with this organization and their new report should answer any other questions you may have. These people (folks like Palm Beach's Theresa LePore and Los Angeles' Conny McCormack to name just a few) are certainly not in the business of fighting for the voters' best interests.
Suffice to say, if Election Center expects any recognition for their recommendations for Electoral Reform from the Election Reform community, perhaps they should have thought of that before selling that option off to Diebold and friends.
We congratulate the Republicans in Washington State for fighting so hard to ensure the accuracy of the election for Governor there. We're glad to see a political party willing to fight for the validity of every vote.
If they had an actual case, however, as the Democrats do in numerous other states where they've failed to fight the way Republicans do for every vote, John Kerry would likely be the President by now.
Nonetheless, here's the key information on the GOP's resounding defeat as reported by today's Seattle Times...
"They chose the county, they chose the court, they chose the method of proof," meaning the proportional deduction analysis.
"There is no corner for them to run to in that decision."
On the Republicans' fraud charge, the judge repeated the fact that there was no official fraud claim in the case, but then said that in any case, he saw no evidence of fraud.
Bridges did not apportion the vast majority of illegal votes to any candidate. The only votes he did subtract from any candidate were five that had been proven by Democrats, through depositions taken from the voters themselves. Of those five, four had voted for Rossi and one for Libertarian Ruth Bennett.
There is no evidence that the problems in King County had anything to do with "intentional misconduct or someone's desire to manipulate the election" or "partisan bias," the phrase Republicans used to allege wrongdoing.
"There is no evidence before the court to question ballot security as to those ballots actually counted," Bridges said, knocking down another Republican claim about King County.
Secretary of State Sam Reed, who had been critical of some of the claims of vote fraud made by his fellow Republicans, said he hopes Bridge's ruling, which he called "forthright, practical and clear," will help rebuild voter confidence.
Reed criticized the Republican efforts to claim vote fraud without producing convincing evidence.
"I think if they were going to allege fraud, they should have done it in the initial filings of the case and I think they should have had proof of fraud, and obviously they didn't do that."
So. No fraud found in Washington State. For the Governor's race anyway. We suppose the only thing that Wingnut Tinfoil Hat Wearers will now be able to use in order to counter the calls for a similar investigation of the Presidential Election in states where the votes were never actually counted (like J. Kenneth Blackwell's Ohio for example) will be those slashed tires in Wisconsin.
Beyond that, we're certain those GOP'ers who were outraged by what they thought they saw in WA will be calling for the same strict standards to be applied to the rest of the country any moment now. Right?
Calame's first column two weeks ago criticized the paper's tardiness in covering the issue of the Downing Street Minutes, and his latest column, published yesterday, sets a few of his goals in the new job.
Among those goals, Calame claims, will be more responsiveness to reader Email when they feel that stories are being given less than the coverage they deserve by "the paper of record".
The Okrent chapter now closed (and we had found his eagnerness and interest in responding to reader concerns to be less than up to snuff), we'd like to give Mr. Calame a fresh opportunity to get the job done right.
To that end, our hopes are that "6 or 7" of you might drop Mr. Calame some email concerning the dreadful coverage that the NY Times has given to issues of Election 2004 and Election Reform. Nothing else matters much as long as those issues are not resolved. And the clock is ticking towards '06. And the matter, thanks to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), is just getting worse every day around the country.
The case that we have a completely corrupt, hackable, non-transparent, non-auditable, un-democratic, un-American, privatized, GOP-owned Electoral System in this country, and the unaudited and likely wholly incorrect results that it produced last November has been well documented for at least seven months in hundreds of articles on The BRAD BLOG pages, but covered in perhaps 3 or 4 articles (at most!) by the NY Times.
And, of course, names like Vote-Rigging Software Whistleblower, Clint Curtis and the myriad of well-documented investigative articles on the matter which we have published over those months, have never been mentioned even once in their pages.
Neither have they mentioned the phony GOP front group calling themselves "The American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) or the affront to real Election Reform in the body of the illegitimate "Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission" headed by --- of all offensive ironies --- longtime Bush Family crony and the architect of the Bush/Cheney 2000 strategy to ensure that Americans' votes would never be counted, James A. Baker III. (That body, by the way, is meeting again on June 30th in Houston on Baker's home turf...shouldn't the fact that he's heading such a commission along with Voting Machine Company officials actually sitting on the same commission, with advisors from the ACVR be an issue worth reporting on by The New York Times?)
As to the still-unexplained disparities between the Final Results of the Election and the now-infamous Mitofsky/Edison Exit Polls that day (the same polls, by the same company that were good enough to make the prima facie case for Electoral Fraud in Ukraine by no one less than George W. Bush himself, but completely ignored in America for reasons still unkown), the NY Times continues to be desperately delinquent in their job of investigating and reporting on the issue to the American People. Should Mr. Calame be unaware of the controversy, feel free to point him here [PDF] and here [PDF].
And then there is the matter of millions of American tax-payer dollars flowing right now to Voting Machine Companies under HAVA for new voting hardware and software which is unauditable, lacking any real standards and allowed to remain wholly proprietary and unverified by all independent bodies.
As Mr. Calame is freshly on board at "the paper of record", and as we frequently point out, "it's only democracy at stake", we feel it's time for a fresh round of polite email to the Times demanding once again that they fulfill their vital fourth estate duties as watchdogs on behalf of this country. It is time to demand again that they finally investigate the enormous and still-growing body of evidence out there that indicates Election 2004 was gamed at best, stolen at worst. Furthermore, they must offer informed, honest, investigative reporting about the most important issue that our democracy --- theoretically the world's most important --- faces today: clean, fair, open, transparent, verifiable and trustworthy elections which can only be achieved through real Election Reform requiring nothing less than a voter-verified paper ballot created for every vote cast.
If we don't get that right and we continue to have Elections in this country which the citizenry continue to have zero confidence in, then nothing...and we mean nothing...else matters.
Send Mr. Calame your email and spread the link to this article high and low --- use the "Email it to someone" link below as much as you wish --- so that others might do the same!
It's your democracy and we believe it's well worth fighting for! We won't give up on it yet, if you don't! Make some noise! It matters!
Byron Calame, NYTimes Public Editor: Public@NYTimes.com
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Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva has seemingly gotten an earful (or an eyeful as the case with Email may be) for helping out Bush this week, by changing his use of the word "disassembling" when in actuality he meant "dissembling", in Silva's coverage of Bush's Rose-Garden Presser last Tuesday. (Here's our previous quick story, showing how Silva and many other members of the so-called "Liberal" Media did the same favor for Bush.)
In response yesterday, Silva attempted to shrug it all off in a piece headlined "Catalog of 'Bushisms' continue to expand".
As Silva seemingly winks and nods about his poor judgement by covering a few more of Bush's "dyslexicon" moments, he mentions the "disassembling" matter specifically...
"If it were more of a truly `honest' mistake, i.e., someone misspeaking when you know they really know the difference, I would have agreed with your choice," Murphy wrote. "But of course, that isn't the case with the master dissembler, who really knows how to disassemble working public policy or institutions, other countries, governments, etc."
Oddly enough, however, in the very next graf, Silva goes on to give one of the most mystifying apologies for his own behavior that we could imagine:
Huh? Are we reading that correctly?
Silva seems to be saying there, that because "even Bush's closest supporters" attempt to play down his inability to articulate an idea without sounding like an idiot, that others (including the media, we guess) should somehow excuse the fact that the American "President" appears to be a complete moron.
What the hell is Silva smoking? And can we get some of it?
The point of all of this, by the way, is not to pick on Bush, or on the couple of (well, scores of ) media folks for covering up this mostly-unimportant (and we're being generous ourselves here) slip of the tongue. The point is to demonstrate how even in the most seemingly insignificant ways, the American Corporate Mainstream Media is in the business of shining a positive light on Bush in any way that they can. We won't bother to make a case of the possible reasons for it today. But either way, it's a fine demonstration of everything that is wrong with today's media.
Such apologies --- by knee-jerk habit or premeditated agenda --- would seem to fly in the face of what one would think ought to be the media's primary mission: To keep America and the world informed about what this Administration is actually doing and actually saying. We believe it's then up to America and the world, to decide what to make of it all. All by themselves! It's not up to the press corps to hold our hands by letting us know what to think!
Keep up the bad work, Silva! The White House check is in the mail!
Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune
And one last take (hopefully) on the matter from the refreshingly un-apologetic Tom Toles --- (an editorial cartoonist, whose job is to help us know what to think! Understand the difference, Mr. Silva?) ...
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