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Appeals Court Upholds MD's Ban on 'Weapons of War': 'BradCast' 2/22/17
And other encouraging news for a change! Guest: Attorney Mark Joseph Stern of Slate...
'Our Worst Fears Realized': 'BradCast' 2/21/17
Trump issues radical new deportation policies, disturbing anti-Semitic crimes are rising, and much more. Guest: Wendy Feliz of the American Immigration Council...
'Green News Report' 2/21/17
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What to expect from the EPA after rushed confirmation of EPA-enemy Scott Pruitt; 3 fossil fuel explosions, 2 weeks; AK natgas pipeline leak; PLUS: New U.S. wind energy record...
Previous GNRs: 2/16/17 - 2/14/17 - Archives...
The Insidiousness Behind Trump's Dangerous Lies: 'BradCast' 2/20/17
False claims of 'terror' in Sweden and false 'voter fraud' in New Hampshire may be funny, but Trump's fake news is deadly serious...
Sunday Toons of the Flaming Hot Cheeto Moment
"This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine," says Trump. But the political cartoonists may see it somewhat differently, as PDiddie's latest collection helps document...
TRUMP DUMP: Much Too Much: 'BradCast' 2/17/17
Guest host Angie Coiro with guests Lisa Graves of the Center for Media and Democracy on Scott Pruitt and the 'Belabored' podcast's Sarah Jaffe on Trump and the unions...
Nearly One Million Signatures Calling for Impeachment: 'BradCast' 2/16/17
Guest: Author, activist Norman Solomon on grounds for removing Trump from office; Plus: Trump's insane presser; More on the Logan Act; our 8th Anniversary 'Green News Report'...
'Green News Report' 2/16/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR's 8th ANNIVERSARY!: Trump nixes anti-corruption reg; New spill from Dakota Access co.; Good news for AZ breathers; PLUS: Man-made toxins in deepest ocean...
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Trump's Chaotic Weapons
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'BradCast' 2/15/17
Guest: D.D. Guttenplan of The Nation; Also: Puzder out; Congress helps mentally disabled buy guns; ICE detains a 'DREAMer'...
It's Not the Crime, It's the Cover-Up: 'BradCast' 2/14/17
Trump's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns. What did the President know and when did he know it?...
'Green News Report' 2/14/17
Oroville Dam highlights climate & US infrastructure probs; Judge rejects tribe's request to halt Dakota Access; PLUS: Extreme heat, fire again in Australia...
'This is Not a Drill': Looming Catastrophe at Nation's Tallest Dam: 'BradCast' 2/13/17
Guest: Eric Wesselman on warning 12 years ago about now-potential disaster at Oroville Dam in Northern Cal...
Sunday Toons of the Fourth Reich Moment
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Immigrant Deportations Begin, Even as Court Slams 'Muslim Ban': 'BradCast' 2/10/17
Guest: Maria Castro of People United for Justice. Plus: Repubs confirms Price in middle of night; Racists celebrate Sessions as A.G....
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Dakota Access fight continues, owners reported 69 spills in 2 years; Air pollution and dementia; More American jobs in solar than coal; PLUS: Sweden to go zero emissions...
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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?...

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
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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...

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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
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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
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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...

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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
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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...

Appellate Court Reinstates Lawsuit Challenging Ability of E-Vote Machines to Count Votes Accurately and in Accordance with Both the State Constitution and Election Law
Suit May Have Far-Reaching Implications for Other States...
By John Gideon on 2/9/2006 4:12pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

In a just released press release the Constitutional Litigation Clinic at Rutgers School of Law in Newark, NJ has announced that all electronic voting machines used in New Jersey may violate New Jersey's Constitution and election laws.

The press release goes on to say:

In its decision, the Appellate Division reinstated a lawsuit filed by the clinic in 2004 that challenges the ability of New Jersey's electronic voting machines to count votes accurately, in compliance with voting rights laws. The Court reinstated the lawsuit even though, as a result of judicial and legislative efforts led by the clinic, all voting machines in the state must be equipped with a voter verified paper ballot component by 2008. The Court was concerned with protecting the hundreds of millions of votes that would be cast on voting machines between now and 2008. The Court also expressed its concern that the Attorney General's office would use a loophole in the statute and issue waivers to the 2008 voter verified paper ballot requirement further jeopardizing the franchise.

The lawsuit is the first in the nation to successfully challenge electronic voting machines. Professor Penny Venetis, associate director of the clinic and lead counsel on the case, commented, "This shows that our courts take very seriously their role in protecting our most fundamental of all rights the right to vote. Despite clear evidence that New Jersey's voting machines are insecure, the other branches of government failed to take appropriate action. That is why the Court stepped in," Venetis added.

The same voting machines used by almost all of New Jersey's five million registered voters have been found too insecure to use and have been de-commissioned by California, Ohio, Nevada, and New York City. New Jersey does not check the software of electronic voting machines to determine whether they have been tampered with or whether they are faulty.

The Rutgers clinic filed the suit on behalf of the Coalition for Peace Action, a citizens group based in Princeton that has been in the forefront of advocating for safe, transparent and auditable elections, as well as voter Stephanie Harris, a farmer whose vote was lost by a malfunctioning Mercer County electronic voting machine. Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include State Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, an early proponent of the voter verified paper ballot.

This lawsuit could have an impact on lawsuits in other states. Paul Lehto, who is a complainant in a suit against Sequoia in Washington state because using secret software to count votes secretly is contrary to the Washington state Constitution, is very interested in the opinion in this case.

We will keep an eye on this and report back when more is known.




By David Edwards on 2/9/2006 2:00pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

The Daily Show doesn't hold back as it covers two of this week's hot topics in a single hilarious segment.



Video in Streaming Flash format
Video in Windows Media format




By David Edwards on 2/9/2006 1:20pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham appeared on PBS Newshour along with Democratic Representative Jane Harman. Both expressed serious doubts about the legal underpinnings of the Bush-approved NSA Domestic Spying program.

It is a rare occasion when words resembling actual wisdom grace the lips of the ultra-conservative South Carolina Senator. In this case, Senator Graham makes a strong argument in favor of the system of checks and balances required by The Constitution:

...the arguement that the Congress is unable to provide legal protections to American citizens in a time of war because the commander in chief believes that hurts his ability or her ability to make us safe would basically, over time, neuter the Congress and do away with the courts.

During our entire history, during a time of war, Congress has been involved in passing legislation [like] "The War Powers Act". Courts have reviewed military decisions... I don't want that to change because checks and balances at a time of war are more important than ever.


Video in Streaming Flash format...




Open Letter Also Calls for National Security Whistleblower Protection
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2006 11:31pm PT  

George W. Bush's conservative flank continues to show signs of crumbling.

A Libertarian-leaning coalition, comprised of many conservative Republican groups, is now joining the chorus of Americans calling for a full Congressional investigation into George W. Bush's warrantless government eavesdropping program, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

In an open letter obtained from The Liberty Coalition, to be released publicly tomorrow, the group --- which features such noted true conservatives as former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA) and the Republican Liberty Caucus --- is calling on Congress to hold comprehensive hearings into the warrantless NSA domestic wiretapping program. As well, the group calls on the Dept. of Justice to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the matter and stresses the need for Whistleblower protections to allow employees of national security agencies to come forward to testify to Congress about criminal behavior in their respective agencies.

The letter says Bush's program threatens the ability of America to prosecute terrorists due to "tainted evidence obtained in possible violation of federal law." As well, it asks "what limit is there on any future president to secretly re-write our civil and criminal laws at will" if constitutional transgressions, such as those admitted to by the Bush Administration, continue to go unaddressed.

Michael Ostrolenk, the group's co-founder, was most recently seen introducing Vice President Al Gore before a January 16th speech which was highly critical of Bush's program, describing it as in criminal violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In his address, Gore said, "The President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently." (Highlights of the speech available here.)

FISA requires that the NSA receive a court order for wiretaps of U.S. citizens on American soil. Such warrants may be requested for up to 72 hours after the eavesdropping takes place. Ostrolenk's impromptu introduction was in place of Barr whose live video link to the event failed at the last minute. The Liberty Coalition was a co-sponsor of the event.

Several "non-Conservative" groups, including Democrats.com and the non-partisan VelvetRevolution.us are also members of the coalition which describes itself as a "transpartisan network dedicated to protecting civil liberties and privacy rights". Additional groups from all across the American political spectrum have been joining of late. (DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us which is a signatory to the letter.)

The complete Liberty Coalition letter (WORD version here), beginning with a quote from the "Federalist Papers" by James Madison, follows...

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




By John Gideon on 2/8/2006 5:04pm PT  

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

After yesterday's reports from electionline.org and the large number of articles that were the result, today has been pretty quiet. The big news is the update of an AP article from yesterday that discussed Diebold and possible actions to be taken to save the corporation. The update includes more quotes from their CEO and plainer language regarding the possibility that Diebold will divest themselves of the money losing elections unit. Another blow to Diebold was announced today as the largest county in Washington state announced that they were going to go all vote-by-mail next year, thus not needing all of the Diebold TSx's they would otherwise need to purchase....

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




By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2006 1:35pm PT  

As we pointed out in our story on Diebold yesterday, AP ran a short piece including an interview with new CEO Tom Swidarski revealing indications that he seems to be looking to unload the beleaguered Diebold Elections Division as part of his $100 million "restructuring plan" as recently promised to share holders.

Shortly after our post about that article, AP reissued the same article, but with an additional quote from Swidarski, a bit more background on Diebold's many woes (former CEO Walden O'Dell's promise to deliver the state of Ohio to Bush, etc.) and a new headline: "Diebold chief says fate of e-voting unit under review".

Looks like they changed their lede after they realized what Swidarski was actually signaling in his comments, which --- in the new piece --- also includes these two quotes:

NORTH CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Diebold Inc.'s new chief executive, determined to cut $100 million in costs over three years, said he is reviewing whether the company should continue investing in its embattled electronic voting business.
...
"There's pieces and aspects of each of our businesses that I'm going to be looking at with a very critical eye in terms of what the future holds for us," Swidarski said in his first media interview since taking over in December the company best known for its automatic teller machines and security systems.

Risk within any of Diebold's businesses will be weighed against profit potential, Swidarski said. "If any of the pieces don't fit or any of the pieces don't add the value we think is associated with that risk, then we'll make appropriate decisions at that point," he said.

Got that? Diebold is now looking to get the hell out of the Election Business.

Feel free to contact your local Board of Election or Secretary of State who is considering signing a contract with these guys and let them know that Diebold may well not even be there a few months from now!

For more information and key articles on the downfall of Diebold, see this BRAD BLOG Special Coverage Page...




MoveOn Ad Morphs Nixon Into Bush or Vice Versa...
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2006 11:56am PT  

Nixon or Bush? You tell me...

Either way, they both deserve the same fate for breaking the law and violating their oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

See MoveOn.org's excellent and creepy 30 second spot.




And the NY Times Can't Seem to Stop Reporting White House Spin as Fact...
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2006 11:16am PT  

THE GOOD NEWS... We have a new winner of the too-rarely-bestowed BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award"! According to Wednesday's NY Times:

A House Republican whose subcommittee oversees the National Security Agency broke ranks with the White House on Tuesday and called for a full Congressional inquiry into the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program.

The lawmaker, Representative Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico, chairwoman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, said in an interview that she had "serious concerns" about the surveillance program. By withholding information about its operations from many lawmakers, she said, the administration has deepened her apprehension about whom the agency is monitoring and why.
...
She said she realized that publicizing her concerns over the surveillance program could harm her relations with the administration. "The president has his duty to do, but I have mine too, and I feel strongly about that," she said.

Congratulations Rep. Wilson on being the latest recipient of our prestigious award! You are in shamefully rare company these days!

THE BAD NEWS... The once great NY Times is still hopelessly in the tank, reporting the Administration "company line" as fact in the "paper of record" [emphasis added]:

Ms. Wilson, who was a National Security Council aide in the administration of President Bush's father, is the first Republican on either the House's Intelligence Committee or the Senate's to call for a full Congressional investigation into the program, in which the N.S.A. has been eavesdropping without warrants on the international communications of people inside the United States believed to have links with terrorists.

FRESH IDEA FOR NY TIMES 'REPORTERS'/EDITORS... Try reporting facts instead of White House spin. The fact of this matter is that unless you all know something that neither the Congress nor the Country seems to know, you have no idea whether the illegal warrantless NSA domestic spying program is eavesdropping on people "believed to have links with terrorists."

We realize the White House would like you to report it that way --- and though you scored many points with them doing exactly that prior to the War in Iraq, we'd have hoped you'd have learned a lesson by now. Apparently you haven't.

The fact that nobody outside of the Administration has any idea who is being tapped is just one of the reasons Ms. Wilson is calling for a full investigation. Had you read your own article, you might have understood that.

Keep up the bad work!




By John Gideon on 2/7/2006 5:04pm PT  

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

As reported by The BRAD BLOG and then, just a few minutes later, the Associated Press, the CEO of Diebold is making overtures about possibly pulling the plug on their e-voting unit. States and counties need to be aware of this possibility before they make any decisions. Electionline.org has published their report on the state of elections around the nation. California counties are talking about ignoring the state vvpat law for the June primary. Another 'red state', Missouri, has joined the list of states that are working on regressive voter ID bills....

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




Also, 'Anonymous Liberal' Decimates the Wingnut Apologists...
By Brad Friedman on 2/7/2006 4:38pm PT  

Wow! Russ Feingold --- a Democrat that I could now actually consider voting for for President! --- offers the single best, most complete and clear rebuttal to the mountain of Bush Adminstration lies, deceptions, and disinformation concerning their illegal warrantless NSA wiretaps of American citizens on U.S. soil. He kicks alotta ass here. Read it, memorize it...

Additionally..."Anonymous Liberal" is in a back-and-forth with wingnut Jeff Goldstein over the illegal NSA wiretaps. The following quick exchange from their debate, however, is too hilarious to not note here. It starts with the claim made frequently by Goldstein and other Bush apologists and is followed by AL's response:

[T]he administration, under AUMF, is treating the al Qaeda threat as a war; civil libertarian absolutists and the Dem leadership are treating it as a law enforcement issue domestically, complete with attendant vigorous defenses of fourth amendment protections for would-be terrorists, including demands for FISA warrants (which were intended as a law enforcement tool, and are in fact, if I'm correct, still be used as such), and spirited attacks on our foreign intel gathering capabilities.

This argument is so incredibly ass-backwards that its staggering. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as you might guess from its name, is a statute that regulates the type of surveillance used for foreign intelligence gathering purposes. Contrary to Jeff's contention, it has nothing whatsoever to do with law enforcement surveillance. Traditional law enforcement surveillance (of the mob, drug dealers, etc.) is governed by a totally different statute, Title III of the Omnibus Crime Act of 1968 (the "Wiretap Act").

Is there no end to the cluelessness of the Bush Dead-Enders?

Now go read Feingold.




Waives 'Proprietary Rights' to Public Voting Data Files...Though Reserves the Right to 'Manipulate the Data' Before Release!
PLUS: CEO Swidarski Works the AP PR Rope Line and Suggests Diebold's Election Division May Be For Sale, While Both AP and 'USA Today' Get the Story Wrong --- Again --- in Their Continuing Efforts on Behalf of America's Electronic Voting Machine Companies...
By Brad Friedman on 2/7/2006 2:47pm PT  

Good news (perhaps) regarding our previous story on Diebold's refusal to allow the voters of Alaska to look at their own voting data since the Electronic Voting Machine vendor claimed the file format of their GEMS tabulation software was a "company secret" in their contract with the state.

But now, according to a letter from Alaska's Election Officials, published at BlackBoxVoting.org from Alaska's election authorities, "Diebold has agreed to waive its proprietary rights to the GEMS database files."

That apparent capitulation by the Voting Machine Company may set a precedent with wider implications for other states and counties seeking access to such data and other forms of transparency in public elections. See the BBV link above for more thoughts on some of the possibilities.

That said, there is still reason to be cautious about this news for a number of reasons. Note the following --- almost incredible wording --- from the published letter [emphasis ours]...

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




'Gag Ordered' FBI Whistleblower Gives Statement to BRAD BLOG Questioning Letter to Vanity Fair by House Speaker's Legal Counsel
Calls on Hastert to 'Come Clean' on $500k in Un-Itemized Campaign Donations, Relationship With Turkish Interest Groups
By Brad Friedman on 2/7/2006 10:43am PT  

In the September 2005 issue of Vanity Fair, a lengthy feature article on former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds discussed a number of claims that Edmonds has by and large been disallowed from expressing publicly.

Her attempts at whistleblowing on the malfeasance and cover-ups she alleges to have witnessed during her time at the bureau in late 2001 and early 2002 --- during which she translated covert wiretaps recorded prior to 9/11 --- have been silenced by the U.S. government. An arcane "states-secret privilege" has been applied to her which effectively "gag orders" her from discussing her claims including allegations which the Dept. of Justice's own Inspector General found to be "credible" and "serious" and "warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI," according to a declassified version of their investigation into her claims.

One of the allegations discussed by reporter David Rose in the VF article concerned FBI intercepts out of Chicago that Edmonds claims to have listened to. Reportedly, those intercepts suggest that U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), may have been bribed by a large number of small "donations" emanating from shadowy Turkish interest groups. Such donations, $199 and smaller, are not required to be itemized in public filings according to Federal Election Commission rules.

Rose's article reports that Hastert's campaign received nearly $500,000 in such "un-itemized contributions" between 1996 and 2000. By contrast, Tom DeLay (R-TX), one of the House's best fundraisers, received just under $100,000 in such contributions. Only one other congressman, Clay Shaw (R-FL), received more in such contributions than Hastert, bringing in just over $550,000, during that same period.

In late 2000, Hastert announced he would support a resolution in the House declaring the killings of Armenians in Turkey from 1915 to 1923 to have been a "genocide". Armenians have long been pushing for such a resolution in Congress to little avail until Hastert's sudden interest in the effort. The Turkish government has long opposed such a resolution.

The VF article claims the reported content of one of the Chicago wiretaps is of "a senior official at the Turkish Consulate" claiming that "the price for Hastert to withdraw the resolution would have been at least $500,000." After Hastert was able to see the resolution through the House International Relations Committee, he withdrew it just minutes before the full House was to have voted on it, citing a plea from President Bill Clinton who is said to have warned the measure would harm U.S. interests.

The February issue of Vanity Fair finally offers a rebuttal of sorts from Hastert's counsel, Randy Evans, in the form of a letter to the editor. That letter, as printed in VF, is posted below, followed by Edmonds rebuttal which she submitted to us over the weekend for publication by The BRAD BLOG...

Edmonds' reply to Evans' letter, in which she calls on Hastert to fully disclose his un-itemized contributions and explain apparent contradictions in his claims about his relationship with Turkish interest groups follows...

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




By David Edwards on 2/7/2006 8:23am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

London's highly respected Channel 4 provides a balanced summary of the issues surrounding the Domestic Spying Hearing which were held in the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.

The report notes the similarities between hearings in 1975 about Nixon's abuse of wiretapping.

Most most U.S. media outlets spin the Domestic Spying scandal as a winning issue for the Bush team. In contrast, the Channel 4 reporter explains that American people are very concerned with privacy abuses. This scandal has Bush and his Congressional supporters in a very difficult position.


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...




By David Edwards on 2/7/2006 7:36am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Yesterday, Oprah choked up while speaking at a memorial service for Coretta Scott King.

The funeral is scheduled for noon today.


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...




By John Gideon on 2/6/2006 5:00pm PT  

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

USAToday and AP report that election officials fear the 'year of the glitch'. However, when a 'glitch' is defined it has nothing to do with machine failures. Apparently they are going to stick by the misinformation from the vendors about the reliability of voting technology and they are preparing to blame all errors on elections workers and the voter. I wonder who was responsible for Diebold TSx counting more votes than voters who cast votes in Montgomery Co., OH or in Alaska?...

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




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