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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, October 22, 2016
'Too Big to Rig?':
'BradCast' 10/21/2016
The no-spin truth about our vulnerable U.S. election systems, as a major DDoS attack cripples huge Internet sites from Twitter to Amazon today; Plus: MUCH MORE!...
Election Rigging, Integrity, Amnesia - The Final Debate: 'BradCast' 10/20/16
Bad hombres! Nasty women! And SUSPENSE! Special coverage with Heather Digby Parton of Salon and David Dayen of Fiscal Times...
Everything is 'Peachy Dory': 'BradCast' 10/19/16
Trump still plummeting; Wingnuts still falling for phony 'voter fraud' (MSM helping them); Good news for KS, FL (and maybe) GA voters; Huge early turnout; Clinton WikiLeaks; #FreeDesi!...
Will It Be 'Rigged'? 'Hacked'?: 'BradCast' 10/18/16
Dems and DHS warned of election system hacking a few weeks ago. Now, not so much. Fact-based discussion about our vulnerable US elections w/ Verified Voting's Pam Smith...
Neocon: 'Nazi Echoes in Trump's Tweets'
Former adviser to John McCain, Jeb Bush sees shadow of Third Reich in Trump response to NC GOP campaign office firebombing...
'Green News Report' 10/18/16
Major new int'l agreement phases out HFCs; US emissions lowest since 1991; Sept. 2016 hottest ever recorded; PLUS: Wikileaks reveals Clinton dinging climate activists...
NH GOPer Decries Trump 'Rigging', But Denies Party Claimed 'Voter Fraud'(?!?): 'BradCast' 10/17/16
Guest: Former state GOP Chair Fergus Cullen. Also: Good news for FL voters, bad for OH...
Federal Judge Blocks FL's 'Illogical', 'Obscene' Absentee Ballot Rejection Scheme
Thousands of Vote-by-Mail ballots likely saved as court blocks GOP suppression scam at last minute...
Sunday Toons of the Unshackled Moment
Please do not touch, grab, or grope -- as the shackles come off in this week's collection of the week's best toon via 'PDiddie'...
'Dark' Presidential 'Debate' a Product of Strangled Democratic Discourse
Presidential Debate Commission joins corporate media in failing to help fully educate the electorate...
The Meltdown Began Long Before Trump:
'BradCast' 10/14/16
Through the darkness and towards the light...
FL Preps for Election 'Storm'; Michelle: 'Enough is Enough': 'BradCast' 10/13/16
Guest: Palm Beach, FL election chief on extended registration, e-tabulator failure, hack worries...
'Green News Report' 10/13/16
Gore, Clinton rally Millennials to #VoteClimate; Court allows Dakota Access construction; Matthew's toxic aftermath in NC; PLUS: OK Gov. calls for oil prayer...
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...
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...

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...

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...

The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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

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...

The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

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...

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...

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 David Edwards on 1/6/2006 12:25pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Yesterday, TV evangelist Pat Robertson said that God may be punishing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for "dividing God's land". Sharon is in intensive care recovering from a serious stroke.

This is not the first time that Robertson has made controversial statements. Not long ago, Robertson was in the news for suggesting that the US should assassinate Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

In November, Robertson said that Dover Pennsylvania should not expect help from God when disaster strikes their city. The voters of Dover had rejected teaching "intelligent design" in public schools.

Robertson has also angered Muslims by calling Islam "a scam".

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The BRAD BLOG apologizes for the oversight...
And we're also happy to remind readers about allegations that he attempted to rig the vote, is Tom DeLay's #1 fan and a great travelling companion for foreign agents to boot!
By Brad Friedman on 1/6/2006 12:00pm PT  

What with all this talk of Abramoff, DeLay, corruption in DC, we have a strange feeling our old friend, Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL), may soon be finding his way into the news more and more in the coming weeks and months. For those reasons (and more to come), now may be a good time to remind BRAD BLOG readers who may not have been around during the Clint Curtis affair, just how dirty this guy is!

Of course, you can read the summary of Feeney's involvement with a computer programmer in Florida who was allegedly asked by the one-time Florida House Speaker, one-time Jeb Bush running mate, now-U.S. Congressman on the House Judiciary Committee, to create Vote-Rigging Software. That summary will also give you an idea of the confirmed Chinese Spies who worked at the same firm where Feeney was a registred lobbyist (even while he was Speaker of Florida's House) and how the computer programmer, Curtis, has passed given a sworn affidavit, sworn video-taped testimony before members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and how he has passed a polygraph test concerning all of the above. All of the key articles in that series are also indexed here for convenience.

Then you can flashback to our coverage revealing that Tom Feeney was one of indicted former-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's #1 supporters! And vice versa! The two lovely Tom's are just like two peas in a corrupt pod!

So inseperable, in fact, that (in case you didn't know, we'll remind you) Tom Feeney took some of those very same Foreign Agent-funded overseas trips that DeLay did! Yup, Feeney loves his St. Andrews Golf as much as the next Tom. And trips to Asia? Don't even get us started! Here's a lovely breakdown of Feeney's trips as he was most recently listed as amongst the Top 13 "Ethically Challenged Members of Congress!"

Way to go, Tom! And we have a feeling we'll be talking much more about you in the not-too-distant future!

Republican Jan Brewer's Re-Election Announcement Interrupted by Demonstrators
Activists Object to Her Recent Decision to Allow Unsecure, Hackable Diebold Voting Machines for Use in Virtually Every Arizona Precinct!
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2006 4:38pm PT  

Perhaps it's a step up from "dissidents" as the AP once called them, but Election Transparency Advocates who turned out today at Arizona's Sec. of State Jan Brewer's speech to announce her re-election bid were labeled "anarchists" and "conspiracy theorists" by the woman who recently approved Diebold's flawed "AccuVote" touch-screen voting machines for use in virtually every precinct in the state.

During her speech today, according to the Arizona Star, "which boasted of the state getting rid of the last punch card ballots as part of her accomplishments since being elected in 2002 but one that never mentioned the Diebold contract" the Republican official in charge of ensuring free, fair and accurate elections in the state was repeatedly interrupted by advocates for transparent election who objected to the use of Diebold's failed machinery in the state.

Diebold's election equipment was recently shown to be hackable in a mock election test in Leon County, Florida, where the final results were completely flipped by computer security specialists. Over the summer, 20% of the same AccuVote touch-screen systems that Brewer approved on Friday, were found to have failed during a massive mock election test in California.

According to the Star, Brewer apparently dismissed the adamant concerns of the very voters she is (theoretically) in charge of serving:

Brewer, responding to media questions, called the noisy protesters "anarchists" and said they were off base.

"I don't think there is a problem with the Diebold equipment," she said. Brewer said a committee investigated the bids and the machines passed on the guidelines.

"I think that there are a lot of conspiracy theorists out there that are trying to blow this completely, totally out of proportion," she said.

In December of 2004, while members of several political parties had joined in challenging the results of Ohio's disastrously run Presidential Election, the Associated Press referred to those challengers who dared seek transparency in an utterly gamed election as "dissidents" which prompted one dubious American to reportedly ask at the time, "Great! So now we're dissidents?! What's next --- 'insurgents'?!"

No. Apparently "what's next" is that those who wish transparency and oversight and accountability in American democratic elections are now "anarchists." At least according to Arizona's shameful --- and hopefully out-going --- Secretary of State, Jan Brewer.

A useful thought for those considering running for the office of Secretary of State around the country: "It's the voters, stupid."

AZ SoS Email Contact Page:
AZ SoS Office: 602-542-4285

Campaign Website:
Campaign Email:
Campaign Office: 602-439-3425

UPDATE 1/8/05: Brad was on Air America Phoenix today to discuss, amongst other things, the incident above on the M&M Show. The hosts, Fred and Steve McChesney, were amongst the "anarchists" and "conspiracy" --- and later called "brownshirts"! --- who made poor Jan Brewer's life so difficult. Audio available here.

Contrary to reports, bill does NOT allow for examination of source code!
Original version --- which did --- was changed during amendment process to remove important clause!
By John Gideon on 1/5/2006 1:16pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of and VoteTrustUSA.Org

Additional Reporting by Brad Friedman

The voting activist and election reform advocacy community was excited yesterday upon release of news about the signing of a new bill in Wisconsin, AB267, that originally included wording that would allow munipalities to "provide to any person, upon request, at the expense of the municipality, the coding for the software that the municipality uses to operate the system and to tally the votes cast". Indeed, The BRAD BLOG received many email reports last night about the "good news" concerning this bill.

The bill, as understood and reported by many, would have been the first time that voting activists would have been afforded the opportunity to actually "look under the hood" of voting machines by examining the source code used in the software in order to see what was really being done on the equipment supplied by Voting Machine Companies. So far, those companies have managed keep such source code secret and proprietary and away from the 'prying eyes' of the pesky public who has been forced --- by the corporate privatization of America's public elections --- to rely on such secret
software to accurately record and count their votes.

The apparent "good news," however, was incorrect, as The BRAD BLOG has learned. The language from the original bill was changed during the amendment process to strip it of the provisions that would have allowed the public inspection of the secret code!

The good news still left to report is that the bill, signed yesterday by WI Gov. Jim Doyle, will at least require a voter verified paper "record" for every vote cast. In theory, the measure would allow for a manual count or recount of votes in cases where the state determines such a count would be necessary.

Unfortunately, the version of the bill widely cited by election reform advocates was to the original language as introduced on August 24, 2005.

On November 3, 2005 a committee gutted the "disclosed source code" requirement with an Assembly Substitute Amendment 1. That amended deleted AB627 as introduced and replaced it with ASA1.

On November 10, that version was replaced in toto by Assembly Substitution Amendment 2 which is the version eventually signed by the Governor yesterday.

So, we are now going to have to wait for another day to "look under that hood"... Though that day may be coming soon...

America Recieves Another Smack in the Face by the Democracy-Hating Bush Administration
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2006 12:27pm PT  

The U.S. Senate convenes two weeks from now. George W. Bush could not wait and had to "recess appoint" the three latest additions to the Federal Elections Commission. You know how he is about those things. Hates to wait. And hates that whole annoying "Congressional oversight", "check and balances", blah, blah, blah stuff.

Amongst Bush's 17 recess appointments made today:

Robert D. Lenhard, of Maryland, to be a Member of the Federal Election Commission.
Steven T. Walther, of Nevada, to be a Member of the Federal Election Commission.
Hans Von Spakovsky, of Georgia, to be a Member of the Federal Election Commission.

We had more previously on these characters when they were first nominated last month, including details on Bush crony von Spakovsky as well as Lenhard, who happens to be the husband of Vivica Novak (she, not just coincidentally, of TIME Mag/RoveGate fame). Novak will likely be testifying in some fashion concerning crimes surrounding the Bush Administration's alleged outting of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame. Now, it seems, Novak will have to decide whether or not to give damaging testimony against her husband's boss.

Aside from being a key player in the 2000 Florida Election Boondoggle, a member of the extremist Federalist Society and a former Republican Party Chairman in Georgia, von Spakovsky was Bush's political appointee at the DoJ who recently made the papers as well. He was revealed to be behind the overriding of opinions given by career DoJ attorneys in the Voting Rights division concerning the Georgia Photo ID requirement laws and the Texas redistricting pet project of indicted former House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay. 4 out of 5 attorneys said the Georgia law would disenfranchise minority voters. While 8 out of 8 unaminously found the new Texas congressional map to be in violation of the law for similar reasons. Both of those decisions were overriden with the help of von Spakovsky and resulted in an effective gutting of the very heart of the 40 year-old Voting Rights Act of 1965 as we reported in early December. Who better to sit on the Federal Elections Commission?!

The Georgia law has since been found unconstitutional by two Federal courts and the Texas law is headed to the Supreme Court where still more Bush appointees will likely be sitting in judgement.

One party rule. America rocks! Except for this whole "Decade of Shame" thing we seem to be in the middle of...Lady Liberty weeps...More encouraging news on other matters tomorrow...

By David Edwards on 1/5/2006 8:24am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

The L.A. Times is reporting that Jon Stewart will be named as host of the 78th annual Academy Awards.

Stewart is expected to take a week off from hosting The Daily Show to prepare for the Oscars.

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(Well, Almost...) Announce They will Defy HAVA's 2006 Mandate to Install Electronic Voting Machines!
'Perfectly Satisfied With, Served Well By' 213 Year-Old Paper System, 'Disabled Voters May Use Absentee Balloting'
By John Gideon on 1/4/2006 3:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of

DRE's? Optical Scan? Diebold? ES&S? Not for the little town of Cheshire, Massachusetts! They've used paper ballots for 213 years and the system, they say, is not broken so it needs no "fixing"!

Furthermore, they suggest an interesting (and perhaps obvious) means for meeting the new Federal requirement for disabled voters...The absentee ballot!

According to The North Adams Transcript the "Voice of the Northern Berkshires", town Selectmen in the small city have signed a letter to Secretary of State William F. Galvin, giving notice that they would not comply with the federal Help America Vote Act, which mandates the purchase of an electronic voting machine for elections. (Note: There is actually no requirement for any electronic voting machines as noted in VotersUnite's "Myth Breakers: Facts about Electronic Elections")

The letter, prepared by Town Administrator Mark Webber, said in part that "The Town of Cheshire, along with 20 percent of the rest of the Commonwealth's communities, still uses and is perfectly satisfied with the paper ballot system of voting.

"This system has served us well for the past 213 years, and we see no compelling reason to change," the letters states.

Selectman Paul F. Astorino said the town does not need a modern voting machine because of its small population. "If we had thousands of people in this town, we'd get one, but we don't," he said.

Cheshire has about 3,500 residents.

Town Clerk Christine B. Emerson, who is also head of elections for the town, said buying a new voting machine would cost too much for the town, and that the town already had a system for disabled voters in place. "What is being overlooked here is that there already is a mechanism in place for disabled voters and it's the absentee ballot system," she said.

Feds Said to Approve Return to Lever-Style Voting Equipment!
[UPDATED] Voting Company Danaher Reportedly Misled State! ALSO: CT is Home to HAVA Author Sen. Christopher Dodd!
By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2006 2:31pm PT  

Great news! Just in from in Connecticut...

There likely will not be a high-tech voting machine in your future this year. After announcing late last year that Connecticut's 3,300 mechanical, lever-style voting machines could no longer be used, the secretary of the state reversed herself. It's all about a big foul-up by companies bidding for Connecticut's business.
"I am stopping the purchasing process for electronic voting equipment in Connecticut," Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz. "The state will use lever voting machines in the 2006 election."

After a much publicized, public testing of modern electronic voting technology late last year, it was determined that none of the high-tech devices met all of the requirements of new state and federal rules. In addition to being user friendly for those with disabilities, voters must be able to see the entire ballot all at once and there must be a voter verifiable paper record of their vote. Not even one of the machines tested qualified.

So the secretary of the state announced the process must start all over again.

At our invitation, two professors of computer science from a group called True Vote Connecticut watched. They had tried to raise the red flag on the electronic machines. Their complaints were dismissed last month by Secretary Bysiewicz, but today they learned that their observations were right on the money.

And, in a message that we hope other states and counties will also hear loud and clear now that the 1/1/06 deadline for "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA) money has now passed, the article adds:

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says the feds are okay with this move because the state made a good faith effort to get new voting machines.

So we can now add Connecticut to the growing list of American states and counties, including:

- Leon County, FL
- Volusia County, FL
- St. Louis County, MO
- The State of California
- The State of N. Carolina

...amongst those who seem, at least partially, to be coming to their senses of late vis a vis the absurd proposition of instituting unsecured, uncertified, un-transparent, hackable, secret software to count votes in our once-great American democracy!

(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG emailer Robert R.!)

UPDATE 1/5/05: More details today from AP:

She said the finalist in the bid process, Simsbury-based Danaher Controls, misled the state and had not yet sought proper certification to meet state and federal requirements. Bysiewicz's office made the discovery during final negotiations with the company.

Other voting machine companies, she said, also failed to meet the state's needs. Eight firms responded to the state's request for proposals.

"Unfortunately we were unable to find qualified vendors," she said, adding that no company could provide a certified electronic machine that displays a voter's entire ballot and provides a paper receipt that he or she can verify.

We were remiss in pointing out originally, by the way, that Connecticut is home to Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd, one of the authors of the original crappy "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA). We suspect he can't be too happy about his home state sticking with the older machines instead of caving to HAVA's many flaws. Oh, well. Too bad.

By David Edwards on 1/4/2006 1:30pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

In an interview earlier this week on ABC Nightline, John Murtha explained how he came to believe that American forces should be redeployed from Iraq as soon as possible. The congressman made a trip to Iraq where he saw the futility of military operations. Every supply convoy was attacked. The commanders that Murtha met with expressed extreme discouragement at the progress being made in Iraq.

John Murtha believes in the necessity of having and, when necessary, using a strong military. After experiencing the situation in Iraq first hand, Murtha strongly believed that the Iraq war had caused long-term damaged to the Army. He now admits that he made a mistake by voting to grant war powers to the president.

ABC correspondent John Donvan was surprised to hear Murtha say that he wouldn't join today's Military. Murtha left college to fight for his country in the Korean War and went on to fight in the Vietnam war. He knows what he's talking about when he says that he understands why young men and women wouldn't want to join the military today. This is just one way that the Iraq war and the current administration are diluting the integrity of America's national defenses.

One of Donovan's questions prompted an emotional response from Representative Murtha. His voice trembled and he held back tears as he answered.

Donovan: Do you think that in the end that the enthusiasm for going to war that the president had would have been different if, like you, he had actually ever seen combat? Or if Dick Cheney, like you, had ever seen combat? Or Rumsfeld or Wolfowitz or Fieth? Men who wanted to go to war [with Iraq] and had never seen combat. Do you think it would have made a difference if they had had that experience?

Murtha: Let me tell you. War is a nasty business. It's seriously so and it made a difference. The shadow of those killings stay with you for the rest of your life.

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As Grass Roots Group Continues to Offer Help in Ensuring the Style Trend-Setting Continues!
By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2006 12:45pm PT  

It's another fashion "home-run" for Jack Abramoff! His smart head attire --- this time captured by eager paparazzi as the increasingly well-known GOP uber-lobbyist, took "a lap around the bases" of a Florida courthouse today --- attracts still more attention from an adoring press!

The BRAD BLOG just can't get enough of America's daring new trend-setting chapeau-wearing fashion mogul! And apparently, neither can the photogs who are now following him around whereever he goes!

And again --- since we know such luxurious adornments don't come cheap! --- we're happy to remind Mr. Abramoff that help is available if needed to ensure you won't have to "put a lid" anytime soon on your continuingly courageous profiles in haberdashery!

(A literal hat-tip to the style-mavens at for following up on our previous nod to the latest in Capital Couture!)

UPDATE: Governor Confirms!... LATER UPDATE: Reports Wrong! All But 1 Miner Found Dead...
By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2006 9:01pm PT  

Good news (we hope). All three cable nets are reporting that 12 of the trapped miners have been reported as having been found alive...

AP has the breaking story here. The news, so far unconfirmed by officials, seems to be coming from "Family Members". We pray they have good info:

Twelve miners caught in an explosion in a coal mine were found alive Tuesday night, more than 41 hours after the blast, family members said.

Bells at a church where relatives had been gathering rang out as family members ran out screaming in jubilation.

Relatives yelled "They're alive!"
Neither the company nor the governor's office immediately confirmed the news.
A relative at the church said a mine foreman called relatives there, saying the miners had been found.

One of the minors was reportedly found dead earlier this afternoon.

I had hoped to post something on this today --- and perhaps David Edwards can update this item with some video --- but I was tremendously moved and impressed by the remarks and demeanor at the Press Conference very late last night (about 2am PT) by Ben Hatfield, the CEO of the mining company, International Coal Group Inc. His apparent candor and willingness to take all questions from reporters is something not often seen these days from CEO's or others who find themselves at such pressers (elected officials especially, of course). Hopefully David can add some video to this item, or the commenters can jump in with appropriate links to relevant items. A short account of the conference late last night is here.

UPDATE: WV Governor seems to now be confirming:

"They told us they have 12 alive," Gov. Joe Manchin said. "We have some people that are going to need some medical attention."

VERY LATE UPDATE: 2:38am Tragic news. The reports were all apparently wrong. All but one miner was found dead. Just now from AP...

TALLMANSVILLE, W.Va. - In a stunning and heartbreaking reversal, mining officials told family members early Wednesday that 11 of the 12 trapped coal miners initially thought to have survived a mine explosion had died.

The devastating news came more than three hours after Gov. Joe Manchin announced he had been told 12 of the miners survived the disaster. Rescue crews found the first victim earlier Tuesday evening.

"About the confusion, I can't tell you of anything more heart-wrenching than I've ever gone through in my life. Nothing," Manchin said.

Complete late update here...

And Bush Wins in Brave 'Combat' With a Cedar Tree on the Homefront!
By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2006 6:44pm PT  

Oh, well. At least we're killing women and children over there, so they don't get killed over here! Or something....Can you imagine the hue and cry if a terrorist bombed a house in residential U.S. and killed twelve citizens --- including sleeping women and children --- in the bargain? (Not to mention if the United States' statistical population equivalent of at least 30,000 citizens, as Bush recently admitted, had been killed by terrorists? You think the wingnut whackjob girly-men are quaking in their boots with fear of the boogey man now?! Just imagine. But I digress...)

From today's WaPo (via Truthout):

Tikrit - A U.S. air strike that Americans said was directed at suspected bombers killed a family of 12 in their home north of Baghdad Monday night, Iraqi officials said Tuesday. A Washington Post special correspondent watched as rescuers removed the bodies of women and children still in their nightclothes.
The Post special correspondent watched as crews removed the bloody body of an older woman, her head covered in a black scarf, and two younger women in nightclothes with their heads uncovered for sleep.

Rescuers brought out the bodies of three boys on their thin mattresses. They were wrapped in the blankets in which search teams said the boys had been sleeping when the explosives hit. The boys appeared younger than 10.

Residents and Iraqi officials said there were no insurgents in the home. The area is one where insurgents are present and stage frequent attacks.

Six other houses in the area were damaged, and two residents wounded, authorities said.

U.S. air strikes in Iraq increased almost five-fold over the course of 2005, going from 25 last January to 120 in November. The U.S. military says it uses only precision-guided munitions and makes every effort to minimize civilian casualties. Critics say civilian casualties are almost inevitable in air strikes in cities and towns, and they fault the military for not tracking civilian deaths from those strikes to better learn how to reduce them.

The Reuters account of the incident further makes clear how we are winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people through our efforts "over there":

"I absolutely confirm there were no terrorists in this house," police chief Colonel Sufyan Mustafa told Reuters.

"Even if there had been, why didn't they surround the area and detain the terrorists instead?"

No time for that, we suppose. And how dare he second guess America?!

In other related news (sorta), the "Commander-in-Chief" regaled military personnel who'd lost their limbs and much more in Iraq about his "combat with a Ceder" over the holiday weekend. Said the brave "War President" in a courageous statement to troops at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio over the weekend:

"As you can possibly see, I have an injury myself --- not here at the hospital, but in combat with a Cedar. I eventually won. The Cedar gave me a little scratch. As a matter of fact, the Colonel asked if I needed first aid when she first saw me. I was able to avoid any major surgical operations here, but thanks for your compassion, Colonel."

Phew! Glad he's okay! And so thoughtful to share such a harrowing personal tale with our brave troops.


(Hat tip Larry Johnson, who has additional thoughts on the above.)

UPDATE 1/6/05: A translated video report from Syrian TV on the 12 killed Iraqi civilians is now posted here. It's the only we could find on the --- apparently --- not newsworthy event.

3570 Emails and 460 Letters Sent To The EAC So Far
By John Gideon on 1/3/2006 5:17pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of

We are happy to join the Action Alert from VoteTrustUSA and ask that the EAC do their job and demand that the ITA reinspect the Diebold software looking for banned 'interpreted' code. Diebold has admitted that it is there. Now the ITA needs to find it and, if necessary, withdraw the qualification of Diebold software until the 'interpreted' software is removed. So far 34 organizations have signed the VoteTrustUSA petition. Concerned citizens have sent 3570 emails and 460 letters so far....

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

In Stunning Fashion Statement Sure to Merit Worldwide Attention, DC GOP Lobbyist Brings Renewed Focus on Once-Popular Men's Headware Accessory!
Grass-Roots Group Offers to Help Buy Him More!
By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2006 2:32pm PT  

Not since Indiana Jones, has one man made such a bold statement about men's haberdashery! In a stunning photograph, flashed across the AP wires today, a well-known and well-connected GOP lobbyist by the name of Jack Abramoff has put the once-ubiquitous headware for men, known as the fedora, back on the nation's front pages!

Attaboy, Jack! The BRAD BLOG thanks you for waking up a fashion-stultified nation! The country relies on forward-thinking media icons like yourself to help keep our nation --- and our nation's capital --- from suffering under the oppressive malaise brought on by an all-too-timid crop of girlyman fashion mavens in DC!

Once thought to have been relegated to the fashion basement, the new statement by Abramoff is rumored to have caught a great number of DC lawmakers off-guard! Those who might have otherwise thrown out their old chapeau's are now rumored to have begun to "hold onto their hats" indeed!

Hooray Jack Abramoff! Thanks to you, the fedora is back! We think we'll buy ourselves one today! If you'd like help in buying a few more, please see this! We'll be happy to help any way we can! It's the least we can do to say thanks!

UPDATE: Fashion-maven Wonkette weighs in...

By David Edwards on 1/3/2006 8:28am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

This morning, lawyers for super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff revealed a plea deal where Abramoff will plea guilty to fraud charges in a Florida fraud investigation. In return for the deal, Abramoff agreed to cooperate with any other federal investigations. AP has filed this report.

Republicans are worried about information that may implicate as many as a dozen in Congress including Tom DeLay and Bob Ney. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) is up for re-election and has returned more than $100,000 in campaign donations. Polls in Montana show that Senator Burns' constituents are becoming concerned about his dealings with Abramoff.

ThinkProgress and RAW STORY are reporting that a news conference will be held at 12:30 et today. Some DU members suspect that the Abramoff scandal is masking foreign influence peddling by the GOP.

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UPDATE: David Corn asks "What's Good for Abramoff Is Good For America?" And in a just-published piece, Mad Cow Morning News follows David Corn's reasoning to a grave possibility:

But Federal prosecutors aren't just doling out justice. They appear to be putting a cover-up in place.

“Casino Jack” Abramoff and minion Adam Kidan just may be about to get away with murder.

At the press conference, the prosecutor read out the charges against Abramoff and then in a forceful but rehearsed voice said that "government officials and government action are not for sale. The Justice Department will aggressively investigate and prosecute these types of cases which have a devastating impact on the public's trust of government. We will not shy away from that responsibility no matter where the trail leads."

The prosecution of public officials by the DOJ has increased 90% in 3 years. When asked, the prosecutor chose not to give an explanation for the increase.

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