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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, August 25, 2016
'Green News Report' 8/25/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
. 300+ dead, 6 million displaced by India flooding; Obama pledges long term LA flood aid; Bad news for WA state wolves; PLUS: 100th birthday of the National Park Service...
Previous GNRs: 8/23/16 - 8/18/16 - Archives...
Clinton, Trump and Cracking the Two-Party Duopoly: 'BradCast' 8/24/16
Guest: Historian, columnist Matthew Rozsa; Plus: Unfolding deadly disasters in Italy, India and Louisiana...
NSA Hacking Tools in the Wild, Hackable Elections in the US: 'BradCast' 8/23/16
Guest: Princeton computer scientist, e-vote 'hacker' Andrew Appel; Also: Obama in LA and Trump's latest vote suppression dog-whistle...
'Green News Report' 8/23/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
. Media failure on LA flooding; Floods accelerate Zika virus; PLUS: A tale of two warming Arctics -- Native American tribe forced to move, luxury cruises just getting started...
Previous GNRs: 8/18/16 - 8/16/16 - Archives...
'What Do You Have to Lose?': 'BradCast' 8/22/16
Trump 'pivots', reaches out to African-American voters, forgets to tell the rest of his party...
Sunday Toons of the Makeover Moment
PDiddie's round up of his favorite toons from last week focuses on campaign shake-ups, shuffles, makeovers and other political reality avoidance techniques...
Three Daves: 'BradCast' 8/19/16
Guest host Angie Coiro w/ Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future, David Atkins of Washington Monthly, and Chain of Title author David Dayen...
6th Circ. Upholds 'Straight-Party' MI Voting
Republican AG vows appeal to optional voting method used in state for 125 straight years, disproportionately used at polls by African-American voters...
DoJ to 'End' Private For-Profit Federal Prison System: 'BradCast' 8/18/16
Guest: Carl Takei of ACLU's National Prison Project; Plus: GOP 'Civil War' v. Reality; Trump comes up short in NYC...
'Green News Report' 8/18/16
. Explosive CA fire forces evacs for 80,000; New rules for heavy trucks; Report: Ending oil subsidies won't raise gas prices; PLUS: First-ever U.S. offshore wind farm...
Send in the Clowns: 'BradCast' 8/17/16
Eric Boehlert on Trump's bizarre staff shake-up; Plus: NC GOP's desperate voter suppression Hail Mary, California burning, and 'Bye-Bye' to John McLaughlin...
NC Files with SCOTUS for Emergency Stay of Unlawful Vote Suppression Law
State Republicans display remarkable chutzpah in their last gasp argument to keep a 'racially discriminatory' statute in place for November...
'Rogue' DEA Punts Pot: 'BradCast' 8/16/16
Guest: Michael Collins of Drug Policy Alliance on 'rotten to core' DEA's marijuana announcement; Plus: 'Third-party' Presidential woes, disturbing climate news, more...
'Green News Report' 8/16/16
. Another historic, deadly rain event in LA; Another massive fire in CA; July 2016 Earth's hottest month ever recorded; PLUS: Green Party nom Jill Stein on climate...
Facts Behind Fraud: 'BradCast' 8/15/16
Debunking Trump on terror, 'voter fraud' in PA and climate change; Plus: Even Rightwing propagandists beginning to realize 'We've created this monster'...
Sunday Toons of Performance Art Moment
Trump fails to win the gold in this week's Presidential olympics. Plus, other pratfalls in PDiddie's latest collection of his favorite toons of the past week...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2005 12:57pm PT  

The Terminator earns his name...and his bones.

The Death Penalty is a disgrace to our country. Our collective national shame...

VERY LATE UPDATE 12/15/05: This Madison Capital Times editorial is 100% correct. Murder is Murder... (Thanks Katrina!)




Eight Current and Former Executives Named as Co-Defendants, Including former CEO O'Dell and New CEO Swidarski
Class Action Suit Alleges Fraud, Insider Trading, Manipulation of Stock Prices, Concealment of Known Flaws in Voting Machines and Company Structural Problems
By Brad Friedman on 12/13/2005 12:15pm PT  

The BRAD BLOG can now report that a Securities Fraud Class Action suit has been filed against Diebold, Inc. (stock symbol: DBD) naming eight top executive officers in the company as co-defendants. The suit has been filed by plaintiff Janice Konkol, alleging securities fraud against the North Canton, Ohio-based manufacturer of Voting Systems and ATM machines on behalf of investors who owned shares of Diebold stock and lost money due to an alleged fraudulent scheme by the company and its executives to deceive shareholders during the "class period" of October 22, 2003 through September 21, 2005.

The suit was filed today in U.S. Federal District Court in Ohio and alleges the company "artificially inflated" stock prices through misleading public information designed to conceal the true nature of Diebold's financial and legal situation. The defendants are also alleged to have attempted to disguise well-known and ongoing problems with Diebold's Voting Machine equipment and software. Additionally, the suit alleges insider trading by defendants resulting in proceeds of $2.7 million. Remedies are sought under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The suit, filed by the law firm Scott+Scott, LLC on behalf of Konkol and the plaintiff class, names former Diebold CEO and Chairman, Walden O'Dell as a co-defendant along with seven other current and former officers of the once-venerable company.

News of the pending litigation was first reported as imminent in an exclusive report by The BRAD BLOG late last week.

Yesterday, in a surprise announcement, O'Dell unexpectedly resigned from the company. A Diebold press release described O'Dell as leaving the company for "personal reasons". He was immediately replaced by the company's president and chief operating officer, Thomas W. Swidarski, who had directly overseen Diebold's Election Systems subsidiary division for some time. Swidarski is also named as a co-defendant in today's class action suit.

After news was released of weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings on September 21, Diebold stock prices plummeted 15.5% in unusually heavy trading that resulted in a one day sell-off costing investors more than $40 million dollars. The complaint describes Diebold and the co-defendants as having "failed to disclose adverse facts known" to the company and that they "participated in a fraudulent scheme and course of business that operated as a fraud."

The suit, to be released in full by The BRAD BLOG shortly, (UPDATE: Full suit now available for download here) alleges Diebold and the eight co-defendants failed to alert investors to adverse facts known to the company, choosing instead to participate in a "fraudulent scheme and course of business" that operated as a fraud or deceit on the company's shareholders.

The suit describes the liabilities of the company and co-defendants as follows...

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




By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2005 9:47pm PT  

In all the hubbub that occured this afternoon vis a vis Diebold, I want to make sure that you folks noticed the previous EXCLUSIVE concerning Conyers and the Downing Street/Iraq business. It's an important story that may have gotten buried by the news about everyone's favorite American Voting Machine company which followed quickly on its heels.

The earlier story we reported is important as it signals that there is much to come from the Judiciary Committee Dems in regard to the use, misuse and/or abuse of pre-war intel. The story was also updated a bit with comments from AfterDowningStreet.org's David Swanson after I originally published. And our sources say there will likely be additional notable headlines along with all of this in the next week or so...So stay tuned...




By John Gideon on 12/12/2005 8:12pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The big news for today is the surprise resignation of Wally O'Dell as chairman and CEO of Diebold. It is apparent from the Diebold press release and from MSM news articles that the resignation was not on friendly terms and that Wally may have been forced out. The news from Ohio is grim. The state senate is sure to pass HB-3 which will strip much of the voting rights from citizens of the state....

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




Controversial, Partisan Head of Voting Machine Company Steps Down Citing 'Personal Reasons'
Fraud Securities Litigation --- as previously reported in a BRAD BLOG Exclusive --- is Imminent! Most likely to be filed on Tuesday!
By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2005 1:47pm PT  

Diebold, Inc. (stock symbol: DBD) CEO Walden O'Dell has resigned due to what company officials describe in a press release as "personal reasons". Reuters is reporting that O'Dell will be replaced by the company's president and chief operating officer, Thomas Swidarski.

As The BRAD BLOG reported exclusively late last week, the filing of a securities fraud class action litigation against the company, O'Dell and other current and former members of their Board of Directors is now imminent. The BRAD BLOG has learned that the case may be filed in Ohio Federal District court as early as today or tomorrow. We will, of course, have more details when that occurs.

O'Dell has faced a great deal of criticism for his statement to Republican fundraisers, prior to the 2004 Presidential Election, that Diebold he (see correction explanation below) was committed to delivering the electoral vote of the state of Ohio to George W. Bush. O'Dell was part of Bush's "Rangers and Pioneers," a group of individuals who had raised at least $100,000 each for Bush/Cheney's 2004 re-election campaign.

In the wake of the controversy concerning O'Dell's involvement with the Bush/Cheney campaign, a corporate policy was instituted to disallow involvement in political campaign by senior executives at the company. A report in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer late last week, however, revealed that several Diebold executives had continued to donate to GOP campaigns even after the policy was enacted. The new CEO, Swidarski appears to have given the maximum allowable $2000 contribution himself to George W. Bush's campign in 2004.

Diebold, along with Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) are the two largest Voting Machine Companies in America. Between them, they account for equipment which tallies more than 80% of America's votes.

The North Canton, Ohio-based company has faced several recent financial and upper-level management problems. A recent plummet of 15.5% in the once-venerable company's stock price occurred just days after another BRAD BLOG exclusive in which we reported on a company insider, dubbed "DIEB-THROAT", who had drawn comparisons in the companies management to the now-bankrupt Enron.

A source (not DIEB-THROAT) familiar with the company is intrigued by the news and expressed amazement that O'Dell is stepping down as both CEO and Chairman of the Board. "This was his baby," commented the source to BRAD BLOG. The source suggests this move "has the earmarks of an internal coup d'etat" given the dearth of other explanations beyond "personal reasons" as given by the company for O'Dell's departure.

As we reported last Thursday in our exclusive concerning Diebold's mounting legal problems, the company has been plagued by such issues for some time.

A "Privileged and Confidential" document [PDF] from Diebold's law firm Jones Day was leaked to the Oakland Tribune last year revealing the companies legal fees for just one two month period in the state of California were estimated at $535,000 - $925,000. The document discussed costs related to a $2.6 million dollar settlment the company eventually reached with the state, and outlined fees for "legal analysis of potential criminal violations," "White collar criminal law attorney pre-grand jury investigative advice" and even costs to "Monitor selected Web sites to gain key intelligence."

Our source, DIEB-THROAT was not surprised to hear of the pending litigation. "I am not surprised that such a lawsuit has developed [as] the company consistently offered Wall Street deceptive information."

The BRAD BLOG has been told there will be details on the litigation within the next 24 hours. We will, of course, report all such developments once they are confirmed.

CORRECTION: A reader correctly pointed out that O'Dell promised that he, not necessarily his company, Diebold, as we originally reported, was committed to delivering the state of Ohio to George W. Bush in the 2004 election in his now-infamous fundraising letter to Republicans. More details here on that letter, here....

More on our DIEB-THROAT reports can be found here. Your DONATIONS to BRAD BLOG help allow us to continue our work. Thanks for whatever assistance you can provide.



Domains Re-Directed to Ranking Judiciary Committee Democrat's Website
Names Suggest Report on DSM and Manipulation of Pre-War Intel by Bush Admin May be Imminent...
By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2005 1:21pm PT  

The BRAD BLOG has learned that the "Conyers for Congress" committee has registered a series of Internet domain names that may suggest a forthcoming report based on ongoing investigations held by the Ranking Minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. The domain names, including dsmreport.com, dsmreport.net, iraqreport.net, thedsmreport.com, thedsmreport.net, theiraqreport.com and theiraqreport.net are all set for automatic re-direction to Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) personal campaign website, JohnConyers.com.

Conyers had led hearings earlier this year concerning the so-called "Downing Street Documents", a series of leaked memos from high-level British officials revealing the Bush Administration's determination to topple Saddam Hussein via military means, concluding that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy," according to the officials after meeting with the Bush Administration. All of that, even as the Administration was telling both Congress and the American people that they were working toward a diplomatic solution to the Iraq situation.

Those hearings on the "Downing Street Documents" have become known as "the basement hearings", since they were held in a small room in the basement of the U.S. Capital Building after Republican lawmakers refused to give Democrats on the Judiciary Committee access to a regular Congressional hearing room. On the same day the hearings were held, June 16th of this year, GOP House Leadership scheduled a record number of votes in the chamber in an attempt, as several Democrat lawmakers have charged, to disrupt the basement proceedings, which were carried live at the time by C-SPAN.

Conyers staffers have no on-the-record comment at this time regarding the intended use for the recently registered domain names. Information on the registration records for the domains has been protected, so The BRAD BLOG was unable to determine the exact date of registration.

John Conyers' and his Judiciary Committee staff had previously released a landmark 100+ page report on the irregularities that marred the 2004 Presidential Election debacle in the state of Ohio. That report was given to all House and Senate lawmakers on the day the Electoral Votes from the Buckeye State were debated in an historic constitutional challenge to the validity of the results of the November 2004 elections in that state. Despite having access to Conyers' detailed report, many lawmakers claimed on the floor of Congress, during the debate of the Electoral Challenge, that "there was no evidence" to suggest anything had gone wrong in Ohio's much-maligned 2004 election, resulting in the seating of Electoral College Voters for George W. Bush.

MORE...David Swanson, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org comments to BRAD BLOG: "When Congressman Conyers and his brilliant staff release an analysis of the lies that launched this war, it will be the first draft of a history that our media has been more an actor than an analyst in. This report should light up the internet brighter than an oil fire!"

More information on the registration of the domain names was obtained by Ron Brynaert. It appears that the domains were all registered on either December 9th or 10th (last Friday and Saturday) of this year.




Lawmakers Seek Inquiry in Wake of Revelations that Bush DoJ Appointees Overruled Staff Recommendations Against New Election Laws
Growing Unease Reported Amongst Hill Republicans Who Are 'Beginning to Realize They May Not Control All Branches of Government Forever...'
By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2005 12:26pm PT  

According to Matthew Cardinale of Atlanta Progressive News, 5 US senators and 13 members of the House of Representatives have now called for a probe of the Department of Justice in light of two recent cases where political appointees have overruled the recommendations of professional staff attorneys in giving preclearance to new electoral laws which fall under the jurisdication of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Among the legislators exploring the possibility of congressional inquiry is Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA).

Not listed in Cardinale's report of those calling for the probe is Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee. Conyers announced he will request House Judiciary chair James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) to schedule hearings, in a press release issued on the same day that Washington Post's Dan Eggen first broke the story of a 73-page DoJ memo, that revealed eight staffers, including the lead attorney in the Voting Rights department, had unanimously recommended against approval of the now-infamous 2002 redistricting of the Texas congressional map.

Previously, Eggen had reported on another leaked memo from DoJ, revealing that four out of five DoJ staffers had recommended against preclearance for a new Photo ID requirement at the polls in the state of Georgia. In that case, Bush's attorney general also ignored the staff recommendation and allowed the law to move forward without objection. Section 5 of the 40 year-old Voting Rights Act mandates that certain states with a history of disenfranchisement must receive pre-approval from the DoJ for new electoral laws which could disproportionately effect minorities in those states. The Georgia law was later found to be unconstitutional by two Federal courts, who found the law to be the equivalent of a "Jim Crow-era poll tax."

The Texas redistricting case faces court challenges ahead, and one hill insider explained to The BRAD BLOG that "some of this stuff is on such shaky legs, [the Justice Department] may find themselves embarrassed in some of these cases." UPDATE: The Supreme Court has now agreed to hear a challenge to the Texas redistricting case.

"We're talking about areas where the Justice Department is supposed to be a safety valve, a watchdog. Without that, you have the abilitity to have states that can disenfranchise voters with little redress for the minority voters in those states," the staffer explained.

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




By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2005 11:27am PT  

It looks as though Saudi princes may now be buying their way into the good graces of news organizations --- or at least into Rupert Murdoch's FOX "News" channel and other Murdoch-owned outlets as reported by FrontPage Magazine, a rightwing website:

Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal boasted in Dubai earlier this week about his ability to change the news content that viewers around the world see on television.

In early September 2005, Bin Talal bought 5.46% of voting shares in News Corp. This made the Fifth richest man on the Forbes World's Richest People, the fourth largest voting shareholder in News Corp., the parent of Fox News. News Corp. is the world's leading newspaper publisher in English. It operates more than 175 newspapers, in the UK, Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the US, and distributes more than 40 million papers per week.
...
Covering the riots in Paris last November, Fox ran a banner saying: "Muslim riots." Bin Talal was not happy. "I picked up the phone and called Murdoch... (and told him) these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty," he said. "Within 30 minutes, the title was changed from Muslim riots to civil riots."
...
If indeed he was successful changing FOX NEWS' reports of the Paris riots, he got a big bang for his bucks.

(Hat tip RAW STORY)




By David Edwards on 12/12/2005 7:34am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

CNN Reports that Iraqi insurgents (Bush-speak: Saddamists, Rejectionists, and Terrorists) are building more sophisticated I.E.D.'s (improvised explosive devices) which increases the violence and danger for U.S. Forces. A new type of IED uses a projectile that can go through 4 inches of steel on an M1 tank from 300 feet away. The projectile-style IED is often hidden in foam and disguised to look like concrete.

The Pentagon claims that Syrians and Iranians are coming across the borders to train insurgents how to build more sophisticated weapons. Attacks are expected to increase after the election.


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




A Look Back at the Most Notable Stories from the Week That Was In Our Continually Crumbling Democracy...
By John Gideon on 12/11/2005 4:34pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

As an introduction, the "DVN Top 5" is a feature that I have been providing in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The December 5 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on BRAD BLOG!...

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




By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2005 2:51pm PT  

This is only a test. Please ignore.

Will be erased shortly.




By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2005 1:12pm PT  

(Hat tip YesButNoButYes)




By John Gideon on 12/10/2005 4:49pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

In Virginia they use a mixture of DRE and Optical-Scan voting machines. They are presently involved in a recount of votes due to a close race for Attorney General. One side was able to convince a three judge panel that it was sufficient to just re-add the computer tapes from the machines and that recounting 500,000 paper ballots was not necessary. This is NOT a recount and the people lost in this court decision. In Ohio an activist and seminary student is on a hunger strike and prayer vigil in front of the Statehouse to protest a regressive bill that is passing through the state legislature and will soon be passed by the governor. This bill will in essence make it virtually impossible for homeless folks to vote, would make it virtually impossible for groups to register large numbers of voters, would eliminate oversight of voting machines, and would cancel our right to challenge election results....

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




By Brad Friedman on 12/10/2005 3:01pm PT  

The folks at DU are talking about this caller to O'Reilly's Radio Factor on Friday claims to have refused a tip to a waitress after she said "Happy Holidays" at the end of the meal.

Here's the audio clip [MP3] (it's just about two minutes).


What are your thoughts?

UPDATE: Eric Jaffa at SpeakSpeak says the call reveals O'Reilly as a "flip-flopper" for contradicting his own previous statements about "Happy Holidays".

ADDENDUM: Larisa has some serious thoughts on the threat O'Reilly's silly campaign poses to this country in an open letter at HuffPo.




'Christian Faith Requires Personal Sacrifice' Says Divinity Student Protesting Law Said to Ensure Republican Control of Scandal-Ridden Ohio
By Brad Friedman on 12/10/2005 2:29pm PT  

To protest what Free Press investigative reporters describe as a "holiday burial for American Democracy" in the Buckeye State, Ohio divinity student and Columbus resident, Jonathan Meier is continuing his prayer vigil and hunger strike at the Ohio Statehouse despite heavy snow and brutally cold winter temperatures.

House Bill 3 has already passed the House and is about to be approved by the Republican-dominated Senate in the ground-zero snakepit of GOP political corruption otherwise known as Ohio.

Activist Meier, in a just-issued press release says "that his Christian faith calls him to 'constantly pursue social justice and illuminate social ills, and, often, this call requires personal sacrifice."

Free Press' Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman recently described the latest onslaught to democracy in Ohio, which Meier is protesting, this way:

HB3's most publicized provision will require positive identification before casting a vote. But it also opens voter registration activists to partisan prosecution, exempts electronic voting machines from public scrutiny, quintuples the cost of citizen-requested statewide recounts and makes it illegal to challenge a presidential vote count or, indeed, any federal election result in Ohio. When added to the recently passed HB1, which allows campaign financing to be dominated by the wealthy and by corporations, and along with a Rovian wish list of GOP attacks on the ballot box, democracy in Ohio could be all but over.

Says Meier, "Most people don't realize that this legislation, if passed by the senate next week, would make it virtually impossible for homeless folks to vote, would make it virtually impossible for groups to register large numbers of voters, would eliminate oversight of voting machines, and would cancel our right to challenge election results."

He added, "Instead of addressing the long lines at the polls, instead of making it easier for people to register and to vote, Republican lawmakers put forward 424 pages of legislation that will set up roadblocks to our democracy. I, for one, do not trust a vote reform bill that is purely a partisan act."

Fitrakis and Wasserman put the Ohio legislation in context for the rest of the country, where similar bills are being explored by various Republican-controlled legislatures:

In traditional terms, the scandal-ridden Ohio GOP would appear to be more vulnerable than ever. Governor Robert Taft has become the only Ohio governor to be convicted of a crime while in office. With an astonishing 7% approval rating, he has been compared to Homer Simpson by the state's leading Republican newspaper. Republican US Senator Mike DeWine appears highly vulnerable. The GOP has never won the White House without winning the Buckeye State.

But HB3 will solidify the GOP's iron grip on the electronic voting process and all that surrounds it. Unless they break that grip, Democrats who believe they can carry any part of Ohio in 2006 or 2008 are kidding themselves.

When it comes to 2008, can you say "Jeb Bush"?




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