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'Progress' v. 'Revolution': Bernie and Hillary's Lively NH Debate: 'BradCast' 2/5/16
Coverage and analysis with KY civil rights attorney Joe Dunman and Crooks and Liars' Managing Editor Karoli Kuns...
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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?...

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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

His Machines Are Allowed to Count Millions of American Votes, But He's Not Allowed to Visit
By John Gideon on 10/17/2005 9:36pm PT  

{Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org}

The CEO of Smartmatic Inc., Antonio Mujica, has been denied a tourist visa by the US embassy and will not be allowed to return to the United States according to a recent report in VCRISIS, a Venezuelan news source.

Smartmatic Inc. is the Florida-registered, Venezuelan-owned parent corporation of Sequoia Voting Systems, one of the leading voting machine companies in the US. Its ownership has also been tied to Hugo Chavez and other shadowy multi-national organizations.

No reason is given for denying renewal of Mujica's visa in the VCRISIS article which describes an agitated confrontation with US Embassy officials. According to the story, Mujica "argued that he was legal, that he had an important company in the USA and that he had to travel with urgency to that country."

Sequoia Voting Systems was recently purchased by Smartmatic from a UK firm for $16 million. The surprisingly small sale price has brought into question the stability of Sequoia Voting Systems, which would seemingly stand ready to make millions of dollars in sales of voting systems around the United States as money from the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) continues to pour out to counties and states. However, the company's ability to provide technical support to their customers has now come into question as this blogger was recently told by a high level official at a competing American-owned voting machine company.

Sequoia is also involved in a lawsuit filed by attorney Paul Lehto in Snohomish County, Washington. The suit calls for the county's contract to be voided with the company due to the proprietary "trade secret" software used by the company. Lehto has published a report detailing a number of disturbing irregularities found in Snohomish's general election last November.

The Smartmatic company slogan is "All Things Connected". Setting aside whether all things being connected in an election system is a good thing (it isn't), their website has the following text on the front page:

�Smartmatic is the device networking company.
We envision a world where everything will be connected.
And we're making it happen... here and now.

The irony here...and now...of course, is that the entire situation demonstrates how utterly dysfunctional the election administration in America has become. While US law allows a Venezuelan man to control the secret counting of America's votes, the US State Department doesn't consider him fit to enter the country, even temporarily.

Further pointing out the absurdity of it all, in a media release published earlier today at VoteTrustUSA, Ellen Theisen, Executive Director of VotersUnite.Org says, "It's ironic that when we take vote-counting to Iraq, we take it in the form of paper ballots deposited into clear plastic ballot boxes, but in our own country, vote-counting is in the form of electronic ballots and secret software controlled by a man our government has declared ineligible to set foot in the country."

Just another day in the decline of American democracy...




By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2005 1:31pm PT  

(Ed note: Is it us, or does that woman in the red sweater there look suspiciously like someone we know? Just asking.)




REPORT: AFR Flip-Flops on Previous Decision to Carry Progressive Talker Ed Schultz...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2005 12:16pm PT  

According to our friends at RAW STORY, the plans that Armed Forces Radio had to add the progressive Ed Schultz Show to its current "Conservative"-only line up of talk shows has been changed as of this morning...

The United States' military's Armed Forces Radio has reversed a decision to add The Ed Schultz show to their lineup abroad, RAW STORY has learned.

Schultz was told Sept. 29 he would be added to the military's programming today. That decision was reversed this morning. His producers are currently seeking answers from the military.
...
Armed Forces Radio provides programming to American troops wherever they are stationed abroad. The network carries newscasts from a variety of outlets, including NPR and the Associated Press, along with commentary from Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, among others.

Read RAW's whole story to find out the possible reason for the military's flip-flop and last minute decision to NOT stay the course...




Extremist Syndicated Radio Host Takes a Crap on the American 'Culture and Values' She Claims are under 'Assault' from 'The Left'
Absuses the Very 'Free Speech' She Writes About in Her 'Best-Sellers'
By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2005 12:47pm PT  

So I'm driving to an important appointment yesterday, to which I'm late, when I hear Tammy Bruce on TalkRadio 790 KABC, the powerful ABC station out here in Los Angeles, out and out lying to her listeners.

She's telling them that Valerie Plame/Wilson was not a covert CIA agent. That she couldn't have been because "she drove to work every day at the CIA building." That she was nothing more than a bureaucrat with a desk job at the CIA and so she was never outed.

Never mind that the CIA themselves requested the current Dept. of Justice investigation into the outing of one of their agents, or the myriad CIA officials who have testified that indeed she was very much a covert agent.

Furthermore, the former "liberal" turned...whatever she's turned...also instructs her listeners that Plame/Wilson could not have been covert because she posed in photographs with her husband Joe Wilson months before she was ever mentioned in the press by Bob Novak.

Needless to say by now, for anyone with a nickel's worth of information on the matter, Bruce was horrifically wrong on both accounts. (For just a partial refutation, since my time is short today, from a CIA classmate of Plame/Wilson's, you can read this.) And since Bruce was asking for folks to call in with their opinion on the matter, I did.

While driving, I got through right away to the show via my cell phone. Her producer asked what I was calling about. I identified myself as "Brad Friedman from The BRAD BLOG," and mentioned that "Tammy is completely misinforming her listeners about the Plame affair. That I'd be happy to correct the record having spoken to both Joe Wilson and others at the CIA on these matters, and I'd be happy to give her the real information about what's going on."

Her producer puts me on hold for a minute, and comes back to say, "Please send Tammy some email at TammyBruce@KABC.com and you can give her your thoughts."

I say: "Well, I'm in the car driving right now, so I can't email her."

She says: "You can send her email anytime..."

I say: "Wait, are you not going to put me on the air to talk to her to correct the record?"

She says: "Right."

I say: "Why not?"

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




Did Scooter Libby Attempt to Coach Miller's Testimony?
Bloggers Still Critical of Miller and New York Times Reporting
By David Edwards on 10/16/2005 10:16am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Arianna Huffington supplements her Huffington Post analysis of Judy Miller's and The New York Times' latest account of Miller's role in Traitorgate by appearing on CNN's Reliable Sources this morning.

In her article and later on CNN, Huffington identifies the biggest fault in Miller's account:

Now that I have spent a few hours absorbing this latest installment in the ongoing soap opera "Desperate Editors," I can safely say that not since Geraldo cracked open Al Capone's vault has there been a bigger anticlimax or a bigger sham. After all, the question everybody has been asking is: who was the source who leaked Valerie Plame's identity to Judy Miller?

And the answer? She can't remember.

Given the "gee-whiz, it all just sort of, like, happened, and I don't know when or why or where or who..." tone of her mea no culpa , maybe Judy is vying for a role on MTV's "Laguna Beach."

Which is just as well, because if these two articles have revealed anything at all, it's that Judy Miller is no journalist.

CNN Reliable Sources:
Video in Windows Media format...
Streaming Video in Real Media format...

Did Libby Attempt to Coach Miller?

Talk Left focuses on a statement by Miller's lawyer, Bob Bennett, made this morning on ABC's this week that further implicates Libby in attempting to influence Miller's testimony. Hunter at Daily Kos concludes that "Libby is in deep, deep trouble here."

AP quotes Bennett from his appearance on ABC:

One of Miller's lawyers, Robert Bennett, was asked Sunday whether he thought Libby's letter was an attempt to steer her prospective testimony.

"I wouldn't say the answer to that is yes, but it was very troubling," Bennett said on ABC's "This Week."

"Our reaction when we got that letter, both Judy's and mine, is that was a very stupid thing to put in a letter because it just complicated the situation," Bennett said.

"It was a very foolish thing to put in a letter, as evidenced by the fact that you're highlighting it here," Bennett said. "It was a close call and she was troubled by it; no question about it."

ABC This Week:
Video in Windows Media format...
Streaming Video in Real Media format...

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




... in which a friendly Raw Story journalist enjoys the the liberating exercise of free speech
Use it or lose it, I guess!
By Winter Patriot on 10/15/2005 9:25pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Larisa's newest blog entry at Huffington Post is called On Liberating Something, and it all sounds extremely liberated, if you ask me.

It starts like this:

It seems that our dear President needs smoke blown up his ass regularly in order to maintain his fine swagger and shit-eating grin.

and I think you'll enjoy reading the whole thing (in other words, click here!).




By David Edwards on 10/15/2005 12:47pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Enjoy these video clips from Bill Maher's latest episode...



Opening: Bush/Cheney Ad
Streaming Video in Real Format
Windows Media Format

Maher's Monologue
Streaming Video in Real Format
Windows Media Format

Panel on Iraq and Terror
Streaming Video in Real Format
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New Rules and Rant on Miers
Streaming Video in Real Format
Windows Media Format




As DeLay Gets Desperate...
By Brad Friedman on 10/14/2005 6:54pm PT  

In a wistful mood this evening...as apparently is Jane Hamsher who does a fine job of looking both back and forward at Rove's big day today --- four and half hours with the Grand Jury --- as an eery calm seems to set in before the TreasonGate Storm that is most assuredly headed this way.

Thanks also to Jane for pointing us towards DeLay's latest desperate gasp. Something tells us that this (hopefully) soon-to-be "old school" video may end up in a museum some day in the "America's Decade of Shame" section. At least we hope so anyway.




Columnist's Far-Too-Late But Dead-On Essay Merits a Too-Rarely Bestowed 'Intellectually Honest Conservative Award' from The BRAD BLOG!
By Brad Friedman on 10/14/2005 12:50pm PT  

Actual Conservative George Will unleashes on Republican "Faux Conservatives" in his NEWSWEEK column this week.

While his column raises the question of why it has taken so long for Will to finally get firmly on board the bandwagon of honest-to-God Conservatism in calling out the Republican Party and their leaders for their phony use of the "Conservative" label for little more than cynical partisan expediency, The BRAD BLOG is impressed enough with his no-holds-barred column to award him our "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award".

We hope this award --- very rarely bestowed these days due to the overwhelming dearth of actual Conservatives willing to call out their fake "Conservative" brethren for what they are --- may soon find still more recipients as the Conservative Momement finally begins to distance themselves from the disaster that is the Bush Presidency and the failed Republican Leadership in Congress.

By way of making the case for Bush and the Republican-led Congress' complete avoidance of true Conservative values, consider this point amongst many from Will's latest piece:

In 1987 Reagan vetoed a transportation bill because it contained 152 earmarks --- pork --- costing $1.4 billion. The bill President Bush signed contained 6,371, costing $24 billion. The total cost of the bill --- $286 billion --- is more, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than the combined costs of the Marshall Plan and the interstate highway system.

While we have many and various policy disagreements with true Conservative philosophy, we welcome the general tenets of Conservativism as applied towards American discourse and policy-making. What we are appalled by however, and have been for some time, is the continuing phony use of the "Conservative" label for pure partisan gamesmanship and political opportunism. That, even while the supposed "Conservatives" in control of every branch of the Federal Government have grown its size --- including so-called non-military discretionary spending --- beyond anything that any of the most "Liberal" Presidents or Congresses have been able to do in the history of the country!

And yet, a majority of Republican voters, according to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, continue to blindly support the anything-but-Conservative borrow-and-spend Republican "President" and Congress.

In that regard, Will is particularly on-target in his attack on the beseiged, disgraced and ethically-challenged Rep. Tom DeLay. In a blistering attack, Will describes the fallen U.S. House Majority Leader as one "who neither knows nor cares any more about limited government than a camel knows or cares about calculus."

He then continues to take on what he describes as the "faux conservatism" of today's Republican Party as sold out to the D.C. lobbyist's brand of what Will describes as "K Street conservatism."

Quoting Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), leader of the conservative Republican Study Committee who charges that some Republicans think "big government is good government if it's our government," Will unleashes on the entire "faux conservative" cabal in Washington:

DeLay's troubles, and his party's, may multiply with coming revelations about the seamy career of uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. He is emblematic of DeLay's faux conservatism --- K Street conservatism. That is Republican power in the service of lobbyists who, in their K Street habitat, are in the service of rent seekers --- interests eager to bend public power for their private advantage.

Since 2000 the number of registered lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled, from 16,342 to 34,785. They have not been attracted to the seat of government, like flies to honey, for the purpose of limiting government.

He closes with a remarkably lucid assault on the abandonment of virtually all true Conservative values --- including a complete abdication of the bedrock Conservative notion of personal accountability --- by those now (for the moment) in power in Washington in general and in the White House's War on Iraq in specific:

Conservatives are not supposed to be cuddly, or even particularly nice. They are, however, supposed to be competent. And to know that scarcity --- of money, virtue, wisdom, competence, everything --- forces choices. Furthermore, they are supposed to have an unsentimental commitment to meritocracy and excellence. The fact that none of those responsible for the postwar planning, or lack thereof, in Iraq have been sacked suggests --- no, shouts --- that in Washington today there is no serious penalty for serious failure. Hence the multiplication of failures.

All of which leaves us scratching our head in continued wonderment and asking, along with Eric Alterman, who commented on a new Pew Research poll released today by asking "You couldn't have figured this out, say, last November?"

Alterman's question was directed to the American people, a majority of whom for the first time, the Pew poll finds, now say "George W. Bush's presidency will be judged as unsuccessful" and that "By a 2-1 margin, people said the Bush administration has had a negative impact on politics and the way government works."

Setting aside what the people actually said last November --- since we have no real way of knowing due to the disastrous gutting of a once fairly-reliable and once fairly-transparent Electoral System in this country --- it's perfectly appropriate to direct Alterman's question towards Will. Where the hell was he last November?!

Nonetheless, given the dearth of Republicans who still maintain an actual set of Conservative Values --- better late than never, we guess --- we'll go ahead and award Will the coveted BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award" today. We offer it in the hopes of "shaking the bushes" to encourage other true Conservatives to step out from the shameful, murky, self-deceiving and destructive cynicism of Power-before-Policy and Politics-before-Country brand of "Faux Conservatism" that has hijacked and perhaps irreconcilably destroyed both the Conservative Movement in America and the Republican Party along with it.

{Thanks to Des for tips to both Will's and Alterman's pieces.}




Claims 'Planned Parenthood Encourages Teen Abortion to Get Paid For Each One'
Media Matters Covers Tip from Astute (and Handsome) Listener, Brad Friedman
By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2005 4:47pm PT  

During a discussion about "parental notification" for teen abortions on this morning's Bill O'Reilly radio show, the "no spin" host vibrated with a charge that Planned Parenthood encourages teen abortions so that they can "get paid for every abortion they're involved with."

I heard the smear merchant, O'Reilly mention it this morning, but as I'm in the middle of a mountain of stuff, I knew I wouldn't have time to look into it and blog it myself. I shouted out to the good folks over at Media Matters, who record such things all day anyway, and they just now blogged the item (with a courtesy tip of the hat, to yours truly): [emphasis theirs]

O'REILLY: Look, again, it's notification, not approval. So you --- if you're a girl, you can still go ahead and have the abortion, and I'm sure Planned Parenthood would be encouraging you because Planned Parenthood gets paid for every abortion that they're involved with. I don't like Planned Parenthood.

The full Media Matters item offers information on how Planned Parenthood is actually paid, along with the audio clip from the segment.

And, by the way, MM, who's always looking out for Bill O'Reilly, encourages folks to send in such tips to mm-tips@mediamatters.org.




Bush gets 2% approval from Black Americans --- Lowest in History
Americans favor Democrats for control of Congress
By David Edwards on 10/13/2005 9:54am PT  
Guest blogged by David Edwards

A newly released poll by NBC and The Wall Street Journal reflects growing problems for the president and the Republican party.

Bush's approval rating dropped to 39%, an all time low for his presidency. The most striking polling showed that only 2% of Black Americans approve of George Bush. Tim Russert, of Meet the Press, said that this represents the lowest approval in the history of polling among African-Americans.

Other poll numbers spell out trouble for the GOP. 48% prefer that Democrats control Congress while only 39% prefer that Republicans maintain control of Congress.

65% of those polled believed that Tom DeLay was involved in illegal activity. 57% believed that the investigation into insider trading by Bill Frist indicates the possibility of wrongdoing.

Watch the video of Tim Russert's analysis of these new poll numbers:

Video in Windows Media format...
Video in QuickTime format...

Should we be prepared for more fake terror alerts such as the NYC Subway hoax? Watch this MSNBC report for other terror alert 'coincidences'...




and the Special Prosecutor's Examination Centers on a Group which Operated out of the Vice Presidents Office!
our friends at The Raw Story have the details
By Winter Patriot on 10/12/2005 10:11pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

According to a late-night e-mail from Larisa Alexandrovna, Raw Story is currently featuring an article by Jason Leopold which starts like this:

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is trying to determine whether Vice President Dick Cheney had a role in the outing of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame-Wilson, individuals close to Fitzgerald have confirmed. Plame's husband was a vocal critic of prewar intelligence used by President George W. Bush to build support for the Iraq war.

The investigation into who leaked the officer's name to reporters has now turned toward a little known cabal of administration hawks known as the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), which came together in August 2002 to publicize the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. WHIG was founded by Bush chief of staff Andrew Card and operated out of the Vice President's office.

Fitzgerald's examination centers on a group of players charged with not only selling the war, but according to sources familiar with the case, to discredit anyone who openly disagreed with the official Iraq war story.

The group's members included Deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove, Bush advisor Karen Hughes, Senior Advisor to the Vice President Mary Matalin, Deputy Director of Communications James Wilkinson, Assistant to the President and Legislative Liaison Nicholas Calio, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and I. Lewis Scooter Libby - Chief of Staff to the Vice President and co-author of the Administration's pre-emptive strike policy.

Rice was later appointed Secretary of State; her deputy Hadley was made National Security Advisor. Wilkinson departed to become a spokesman for the military's central command, and later for the Republican National Convention. Hughes was recently appointed Undersecretary of State.

Several members of the group have testified before Fitzgerald's grand jury.

Read more here.

No kidding. There's a lot more to the story and you can read it here.

You gotta love her, don't you? Larisa Alexandrovna not only gave us a heads-up when Jason Leopold's article hit the net; she also contributed research to the article! So: three cheers for Larisa Alexandrovna! Hip Hip ... no, seriously: Read more here.




Using the fear of terror for political goals...
By David Edwards on 10/12/2005 6:39pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

As we noted earlier, on tonight's broadcast MSNBC's Countdown presented a report called "The Nexus of Politics and Terror".

In a piece which mildly reminds us of the BBC series The Power of Nightmares (video here), Countdown host, Keith Olbermann, provides evidence that politicians may use the fear of terror attacks to accomplish political goals.

Video in Windows Media format...
Streaming Video in Real Media format...
Audio in MP3 format...

Read more at MSNBC's Bloggerman...




Post-War Iraq Mess Predicted, Given Little Interest by Pro-War Bushies...
By Brad Friedman on 10/12/2005 11:26am PT  

I've been watching FOX "News" all morning, and for some reason they've failed to mention the following report that the CIA has criticized the Bush Administration in its latest report on Intel failures vis a vis Iraq. So I guess it's up to me to make sure that you know about it!

From this morning's USA Today:

WASHINGTON A newly released report published by the CIA rebukes the Bush administration for not paying enough attention to prewar intelligence that predicted the factional rivalries now threatening to split Iraq.

Policymakers worried more about making the case for the war, particularly the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, than planning for the aftermath, the report says. The report was written by a team of four former CIA analysts led by former deputy CIA director Richard Kerr.
...
Then-CIA director George Tenet commissioned the report after the invasion of Iraq. The authors had access to highly classified intelligence data and produced three reports concerning Iraq intelligence.

Only the third has been released in declassified form.

Full story here. Sssh...Don't tell Fox! We'd hate to rock their rose-colored world.

(Hat tip to emailer Tom O. for the tip)




By Brad Friedman on 10/12/2005 11:15am PT  

{Blogged by Brad, yes, still on the road...}

It was a joy to be in-studio yesterday evening with Peter B. Collins up here in Monterey on KRXA 540am. An honest-to-goodness Progressive radio station not owned by a corporate monolith! In fact, I was honored to have been greeted, upon my arrival, by Station Manager and co-owner Hal Ginsberg before spending an hour on-air with Peter, the other co-owner and Program Director and host of their afternoon show drive-time show.

They're new on the airwaves out here, and a very welcome addition. Hopefully more folks will buy up more stations and program them similarly to help give the truth a chance of getting out where the Corporate-run Media are simply failing America.

And I don't say all of that merely because they're interested in carrying The BRAD SHOW on KRXA. (Though such things never hurt! ;-)

If you're interested, here's the hour [MP3] I spent yesterday with Peter on air. Includes at least one wingnut caller! Enjoy!




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