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'Green News Report' 3/5/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Gag order lifted in Blankenship case; Sea levels rose 5" in 2 years; Oil drillers dumping in CA; Pollution rules cut asthma in half; PLUS: Repubs fail to override Keystone XL veto...
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'Green News Report' 3/3/15
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 6/3/2005 12:32pm PT  

Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva has seemingly gotten an earful (or an eyeful as the case with Email may be) for helping out Bush this week, by changing his use of the word "disassembling" when in actuality he meant "dissembling", in Silva's coverage of Bush's Rose-Garden Presser last Tuesday. (Here's our previous quick story, showing how Silva and many other members of the so-called "Liberal" Media did the same favor for Bush.)

In response yesterday, Silva attempted to shrug it all off in a piece headlined "Catalog of 'Bushisms' continue to expand".

As Silva seemingly winks and nods about his poor judgement by covering a few more of Bush's "dyslexicon" moments, he mentions the "disassembling" matter specifically...

Karen Murphy of Lansdowne, Pa., and many other readers took exception with this reporter's decision to spell dissemble correctly in an account of Bush's news conference this week.

"If it were more of a truly `honest' mistake, i.e., someone misspeaking when you know they really know the difference, I would have agreed with your choice," Murphy wrote. "But of course, that isn't the case with the master dissembler, who really knows how to disassemble working public policy or institutions, other countries, governments, etc."

Oddly enough, however, in the very next graf, Silva goes on to give one of the most mystifying apologies for his own behavior that we could imagine:

Yet even Bush's closest supporters have taken to soft-pedaling what one Web site has dubbed "Dubyaspeak" by laughing away the malaprops.

Huh? Are we reading that correctly?

Silva seems to be saying there, that because "even Bush's closest supporters" attempt to play down his inability to articulate an idea without sounding like an idiot, that others (including the media, we guess) should somehow excuse the fact that the American "President" appears to be a complete moron.

What the hell is Silva smoking? And can we get some of it?

The point of all of this, by the way, is not to pick on Bush, or on the couple of (well, scores of ) media folks for covering up this mostly-unimportant (and we're being generous ourselves here) slip of the tongue. The point is to demonstrate how even in the most seemingly insignificant ways, the American Corporate Mainstream Media is in the business of shining a positive light on Bush in any way that they can. We won't bother to make a case of the possible reasons for it today. But either way, it's a fine demonstration of everything that is wrong with today's media.

Such apologies --- by knee-jerk habit or premeditated agenda --- would seem to fly in the face of what one would think ought to be the media's primary mission: To keep America and the world informed about what this Administration is actually doing and actually saying. We believe it's then up to America and the world, to decide what to make of it all. All by themselves! It's not up to the press corps to hold our hands by letting us know what to think!

Keep up the bad work, Silva! The White House check is in the mail!

...CONTACT...
Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune

And one last take (hopefully) on the matter from the refreshingly un-apologetic Tom Toles --- (an editorial cartoonist, whose job is to help us know what to think! Understand the difference, Mr. Silva?) ...

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Listen up LIVE Saturday Night: 7p - 11p ET (4p - 8p PT)
By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2005 7:06pm PT  

Scheduled so far...subject to change as news events warrant and as we damn well please...

  • Boston Attorney, JOHN BONIFAZ on the Downing Street Minutes "Resolution of Inquiry"
  • Newly-fired, Hocking County, OH recount whistleblower, SHEROLE EATON
  • White House Correspondent/Blogger, ERIC BREWER with BTCNews.com Blogmaster WELDON BERGER
  • Plus Much Much More! Probably! ... Listen up LIVE Saturday 7p-11p ET (4p-8p PT) via www.BradShow.com and participate in our LIVE Open Thread right here! Hosted this week by KIRA (cuz that slacker, Winter Patriot is just too damn busy!)

    We would be remiss if we didn't mention that your DONATIONS help defray the cost of keeping The BRAD SHOW on the Air! So feel free to donate at will, and help us (okay, me, Brad) lose a little bit less money in the fight for American democracy! But tune in whether you've donated or not!

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    Additional Members of Congress Sign On, Now at 94 and counting...
    Target Raised to 'Quarter of a Million Signatures' [UPDATED] Tipster Page Created!
    By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2005 1:30pm PT  

    Apparently the American People are rallying behind John Conyers' bold leadership in Congress. He has updated the progress on his request, posted late last week, for 100,000 signatures on his letter to Bush demanding answers concerning the Downing Street Minutes. When he receives the requested number of signatures --- upped in his latest item to a "quarter of a million" --- he has promised to hand-deliver them to the White House.

    The official British document, now known as the "Downing Street Minutes", originally uncovered by Rupert Murdoch's own Times of London, describes that Bush Administration as having determined to topple Saddam through military means months before receiving approval from Congress. And worse, that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

    Says Conyers today...

    The response has been outstanding. To date, I have relied on hardworking volunteers to maintain my website and, frankly, the response has overwhelmed them. Over the holiday weekend, there was so much activity on the letter that my website froze, and we are still in the process of compiling the data. I thank you for your continued patience.

    I do have some preliminary results, however. As of Wednesday, in five days, we had at least 86,000 signatures on the letter. This would not have happened without your help and hard work. This is so important that I have concluded that it is time to do more. My new goal is a quarter of a million signatures and I once again must ask for your help.

    If you haven't already ask your friends to sign on at www.johnconyers.com (Use that link instead of the interior link - because of another web glitch, it is rotated while data is compiled), post this on any websites you visit, and if you have your own blog, please post this link conspicuously.

    Consider it conspicuously done, Congressman.

    He also updates on the original letter signed by 89 members of Congress and sent to Bush --- which has so far failed to receive even the courtesy of a reply. There are now a total of 94 members signed on to that letter, and Conyers is recirculating it at the request of still more who have expressed an interest in signing on.

    He reiterated today why this matter is so important:

    The most serious matter for the Congress and the President is the decision to go to war. It is the sole constitutional responsibility of Congress to decide whether to declare war. The President has a constitutional responsibility to be straightforward and candid with the Congress in providing it with the information it needs to evaluate the case for war. If that decision is skewed or corrupted by false or misleading information, it raises the most serious Constitutional questions and substantial issues about abuse of power.
    ...
    If, as the Downing Street Minutes appear to clearly indicate, the falsehoods that led us into war were deliberate manipulations of the public and Congress, we deserve to know and we deserve answers. More importantly, we need to hold this President accountable for a very grave abuse of power.

    The BRAD BLOG is one of a growing number of citizens' groups that have organized the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition to demand a formal "Resolution of Inquiry" from Congress into the matter. We urge you to do your part by signing their petition in addition to Conyers' letter to help ensure accountability for the wholly unnecessary death, dismemberment, and other permanent physical and psychological damage to scores of thousands of American troops by this administration and their dangerously deceitful policies.

    UPDATE 6/3/05: According to RAW STORY, the number of signatories on the Conyers letter is now at an "estimated110,000 and growing". As well, in the wake of "Deep Throat Fever", the House Judiciary Minority has set up a page for informants to provide tips related to information in the Downing Street Minutes.

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    The 'Liberal' Media 'Disassembles' on Behalf of Bush
    By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2005 11:42am PT  

    Working overtime on behalf of George W. Bush this week, "reporters" (or, "copy-editors" as they are likely better described) from the "Liberal" Media around the country were busy attempting to make their "President" look just a little bit better.

    As tipped-off by several BRAD BLOG commenters, we've found scores of "news" outlets which found it appropriate to clean up after Bush's Tuesday Rose Garden Press Conference for him.

    In response to a question about the recent Amnesty International report alleging human rights violations by the Bush Administration in their mistreatment of prisoners in Gitmo --- which they described as "the gulag of our times" --- here's how Bush actually responded, according to the White House's own website (and a couple of still-honest papers), on Tuesday [emphasis added]...

    For Immediate Release
    Office of the Press Secretary
    May 31, 2005

    President's Press Conference
    The Rose Garden
    President's Remarks
    10:43 A.M. EDT
    ...
    THE PRESIDENT: I'm aware of the Amnesty International report, and it's absurd. It's an absurd allegation. The United States is a country that is --- promotes freedom around the world. When there's accusations made about certain actions by our people, they're fully investigated in a transparent way. It's just an absurd allegation.

    In terms of the detainees, we've had thousands of people detained. We've investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of --- and the allegations --- by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble --- that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report. It just is.

    The Leader of the Free World apparently meant "dissemble" (which means to not tell the truth, as he helped us to understand in his charming 4th-Grader-Defines-Newly-Learned-Word sorta way) as opposed to "disassemble" which, we are fairly certain, means something entirely different.

    But never misunderestimate the American Media's "Liberal Bias" in working overtime to keep their "President" from looking too terribly stupid! Here's just a few examples (and there are many more) of how they covered for him...

    Mark Silva in Chicago Tribune:

    Bush said that "it seemed like to me (Amnesty International) based some of their decisions on the word of, and the allegations, by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to dissemble. That means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report."

    William Douglas for Knight Ridder Newspapers:

    "It seemed to me they based some of their decisions on the word of --- and the allegations -by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to dissemble --- that means not tell the truth," Bush said.

    Finlay Lewis for Copley News Service:

    Referring to the report, Bush said, "It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on . . . allegations by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to . . . not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report."

    Scott Stearns for Voice of America

    Mr. Bush says thousands of people have been detained in the fight against terrorism and all allegations of abuse have been investigated. He says it seems like some of the Amnesty report is based on the word of people who hate America and have been trained to lie.

    UPDATE 6/3/05: Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva digs himself still deeper into the hole of "Bush disassemblage".

    And here's a short MP3 of Bush's latest failure to use the English language correctly.

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    Another Patriot Speaks Out Against the Failure of the Corporate Mainstream Media...
    By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2005 4:34pm PT  

    We've been reminded, in the hours since the revelation of the identity of "Deep Throat" of the importance of patriotic Americans speaking out, wherever the case may be, in favor of truth over lies, honesty over corruption.

    We've also noted, with particular respect to both Woodward and Bernstein, their promise well-kept over 30 years to keep their source confidential. That is a promise that we regularly extend --- and indeed to keep --- to confidential sources who share sensitive information with The BRAD BLOG. We have always honored that promise throughout our brief history, and we take this occasion to assure such sources, both current and future, that we intend to guard such confidentiality with the same sort of integrity that W&B guarded the identity of W. Mark "Deep Throat" Felt.

    There are other timely matters --- many of them --- that the revelation of "Deep Throat's" identity brings to mind right about now as we find ourselves with another American "President" who seems to disregard the American People and their Constitution with even more cavalier disrespect (if one can imagine it) than Richard Nixon did some thirty years ago. And while Nixon's disregard for the truth and the Constitution ultimately hurt mostly himself and his cronies, Bush's offenses have led quite directly to the untimely deaths, dismemberments and life-long nightmares of thousands of Americans and World Citizens. But more on that at later date...

    For now, we'll share a letter written today to Mssrs. Russert and Brokaw by our friend and patriot, Bernie Ellis. Bernie is the organizer of the historic "Gathering To Save Our Democracy - a National Conference on the 2004 Election and the Need for Election Reform" held recently in Nashville.

    In his letter today, he manages to hit quite a few timely nails square on the head as to the matter of the gross delinquency of the American Mainstream Corporate Media today...And he manages to do it with more than a bit colorful Southern flair to boot!...

    To Tim Russert and Tom Brokaw:

    This morning, I turned on TV briefly (to catch the weather report, since we really need rain here in Tennessee) and I heard the two of you discussing the self-outing of "Deep Throat" yesterday. At the end of your on-air discussion, you said, "If there's another Deep Throat out there, give us a call, won't you. We're waiting for your call."

    Yeah, bullshit. For the past eight months, thousands of people have been sending you information on the 2004 stolen election and you've been ignoring it like a burning herpes sore on your anus when your wife asks you why you just can't sit still. So here's one more attempt to call your bluff. How about contacting Clint Curtis and Sherole Eaton, both of whom have very important stories to tell about the 2004 election theft, and neither of whom is hiding anything (including their identities).

    Clint Curtis has testified under oath numerous times and has taken a polygraph test (which he passed) saying that he was hired by Tom Feeney (now a Republican Congressman from Florida and the chief beneficiary of Tom DeLay's largess) to create a software program to hack electronic voting machines (and throw the elections) in south Florida. Sherole Eaton has been fired as an elections official in Ohio after going public with an affidavit saying that a Triad employee (another electronic voting equipment vendor) had illegally tampered with the vote tabulating equipment in her county (including replacing the hard drive) just before the sham recount occurred there. Once again, neither of these brave Americans have hidden their identities or their stories. But they may as well have, for all the attention that you and the rest of the corporate media has given their stories since they went public.

    So don't fool yourselves, because you certainly are not fooling us. There are no more Woodwards and Bernsteins left in the corporate media, only patriotism-deficient reporters competing to out-trivialize "Access Hollywood" on the evening (non) news. If you had an ounce of journalistic curiosity or patriotic relevance left, you would write Clint Curtis immediately (his email is above) and arrange an on-camera interview tomorrow. Or you would contact Bob Fitrakis with the Columbus Free Press or Brad Friedman with BradBlog (whose email addresses are also listed above) to conduct an interview with Ms. Eaton --- I am sure they would be happy to arrange it right away. If you don't do those things, stop kidding yourself that you are American journalists in the Woodward/Bernstein tradition any more than the "hot military stud" whose presence in OUR White House press corps was another quickly forgotten and barely covered story. Your self-imposed journalistic castration says more about your fear of, or fawning flirtatiousness with, this illegitimate regime which has captured our country than anything that you and your bloated cohorts have revealed in quite some time.

    "Deep Throat, call us --- we're waiting." Waiting for what --- to put Clint and Sherole on indefinite hold, where they can listen to Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" played ad nauseum until the shuttle service to Gitmo comes to pick them up. Shame on you folks --- your on-camera hubris is only matched by your irrelevance these days.

    So get in touch with Clint and Sherole or stop pretending you do anything of value for this country. Hurry along now, there must be another celebrity somewhere doing something else nauseating enough to keep us distracted while our votes are stolen and our democracy is smothered under a Paris Hilton-stained pillow.

    If you're what passes for journalists these days, we don't need no steenkin' journalists. At least not ones who cash GE checks.

    Most assuredly,

    Bernie Ellis, Organizer
    Gathering To Save Our Democracy

    In a related note, we hope to have whistleblower Sherole Eaton as a guest on this Saturday's BRAD SHOW (we are currently attempting to work out some time conflicts) and have Bob Fritakis of Columbus Free Press tentatively scheduled to appear the following week. We'll let you know when both of those appearances have been finalized.

    We've already had Clint Curtis on the show and you are welcome to listen to the MP3 archive of that interview here. For more information on Clint Curtis, please see below the following...

    For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
    The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
    - A Quick Summary of the story so far. -
    - An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
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    Congressman Calls Latest Report: 'The smoking bullet in the smoking gun'
    By Brad Friedman on 5/31/2005 3:25pm PT  

    In regards to what John Conyers over the weekend reportedly described as "the smoking bullet in the smoking gun", a letter has just been sent to Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, asking questions about the recent reports that the U.S. and U.K. stepped up their air attacks in the Iraqi "No-Fly-Zone" prior to the war in "an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war." A draft version of Conyers' letter was published over the holiday weekend by RAW STORY.

    This latest information on the covert way in which the Bush Administration may have pushed the world towards war is based on a new report from Rupert Murdoch's London Times which reported over the weekend that "despite the lack of an Iraqi reaction, the air war began anyway in September [of 2002] with a 100-plane raid."

    In fact, the original Downing Street Memo/Minutes mention that "The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime."

    Concerning the latest report, Conyers writes in his letter to Rumsfeld today:

    If true, these assertions indicate that not only had the Administration secretly and perhaps illegally agreed to go to war by the summer of 2002, but it also took specific and tangible military actions before asking Congress or the United Nations for authority, and absent an actual or imminent threat.

    Thus, while there is considerable doubt as to whether the U.S. had authority to invade Iraq, given, among other things, the failure of the U.N. to issue a follow-up resolution to the November 8, 2002, Resolution 1441, it would seem that the act of engaging in military action via stepped up bombing raids that were not in response to an actual or imminent threat before our government asked for military authority would be even more problematic from a legal as well as a moral perspective.

    ...He then goes on to ask Rumsfeld for a response to the following questions, along with a request for "any memorandum, notes, minutes, documents, phone and other records, e-mails, computer files (including back-up records) or other material of any kind or nature concerning or relating thereto which are in the possession of or accessible by the Department of Defense."

    Did the RAF and the United States military increase the rate that they were dropping bombs in Iraq in 2002? If so, what was the extent and timing of the increase?

    What was the justification for any such increase in the rate of bombing in Iraq at this time? Was this justification reviewed by legal authorities in the U.S.?

    To the best of your knowledge, was there any agreement with any representative of the British government to engage in military action in Iraq before authority was sought from the Congress or the U.N.? If so, what was the nature of the agreement?

    Conyers, along with 88 members of Congress recently sent a letter to George W. Bush asking for information concerning the now-infamous Downing Street Memo (actually Minutes, not a Memo) which was also first reported by Murdoch's paper. That document --- written a full eight months prior to the war --- revealed, amongst other things, that "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

    It also goes on to say that "Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran."

    The members of Congress have yet to receive a response from the White House, though neither the Bush nor Blair Administrations have disputed the authenticity of the information contained within the minutes.

    An alliance of citizens groups has recently been formed at AfterDowningStreet.org to petition congress to launch a "Resolution of Inquiry" into the matter. A congressional "Resolution of Inquiry" is considered the first step towards Presidential Impeachment. (Both The BRAD BLOG and Velvet Revolution, which we helped to co-found, are members of that alliance.)

    Conyers also has asked citizens to sign the same letter they sent to Bush, and has promised to hand-deliver it to the White House once he receives at least 100,000 signature.

    The complete text of Conyers' finalized letter to Rumsfeld is below...

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

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    By Brad Friedman on 5/31/2005 2:19pm PT  

    Never mind the allegations that he abused his wife by forcing her to participate in group sex. Never mind the allegations that he abused his position to spy on other government officials who opposed him at various times. One might also feel inclined to ignore the 43 former U.S. ambassadors who have added their names to a letter signed earlier by 59 ex-ambassadors opposing Bolton's nomination (most of whom served in Republican administrations, according to AP.)

    Never mind all of that (since the Corporate Media has been largely doing so anyway, as per their custom). If you go back to the initial criticisms of John Bolton --- that his past statements about the U.N. make him amongst the least appropriate human beings on this planet to be our U.N. Ambassador at a time when the U.S. so desperately needs cooperation from that world body --- you will likely understand immediately what a boondoggle this man's nomination is. And why it's taken so long to get him through what should have been a very friendly Congress.

    As much as the actual words by which Bolton condemns the U.N. itself, it's the way in which he did so that has set off our personal alarm bells about this guy. (Though we admit that, on its own, the statement that losing ten stories today from the U.N. Building "wouldn't make a bit of difference" is troubling, to say the least, for a guy who would be our lead "diplomat" in that body!)

    Give his actual statements a look in this very short Quicktime video.

    Let us know if you agree that this revealing video --- all by itself --- would seem to indicate that John Bolton is, indeed, a crazy man.

    More info, a TV ad, and phone numbers by which you can call your Senators are available via StopBolton.org.

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    By Brad Friedman on 5/30/2005 12:01pm PT  

    American Troops Killed (as of 5/29/05)
    In Afghanistan: 184
    In Iraq: 1,657

    Funerals Attended by George W. Bush
    0

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    Conyers Competes Against Friedman! ;-)
    By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2005 4:03pm PT  

    C-SPAN will be airing Conyers' Media Bias forum from earlier this week, at 8pm ET this evening (Saturday). Hopefully it'll later be online for download as well.

    (And a reminder that last week's BRAD SHOW repeats tonight from 7p - 11p ET this week if you want to get your Media Reform hammer in both ears ;-)

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    Few House Members, None from Texas Delegation Showed Up Despite Free Tickets!
    But Tom Feeney Was There!
    By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2005 3:16pm PT  

    Featuring actual reporting (as opposed to just rewritten press releases), the Texas Observer actually writes about what happened at Tom DeLay's recent "Conservative Movement Salute" held in D.C. recently to shore up the failing GOP House Leader.

    They accomplished this feat by actually attending the event, talking to people who were there, and reporting on what they saw and what they didn't see. Imagine that.

    What they didn't see, was the bulk of DeLay's Republican colleagues, nor the many K Street lobbyists with whom DeLay has infamously raised millions...

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

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    One Small Victory for Democracy...
    By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2005 1:05pm PT  

    Look what happens when people actually pay attention to their democracy. As reported in today's South Florida Sun-Sentinel...

    After repeated embarrassing glitches at the polls, elections officials in Miami-Dade County have recommended scrapping the county's $24.5 million electronic voting system in favor of paper ballots with optical scanners.

    Supervisor of Elections Lester Sola made the recommendation Friday in an initial analysis of the county's voting system and the feasibility of adopting a new one. In his report, Sola said that adopting the simpler system could save county taxpayers millions and restore voter confidence by providing a paper record of ballots cast.
    ...
    Sola's report comes days after a voter advocacy group released a disparaging report that cited a litany of problems during last fall's general elections, among them malfunctioning voting machines.

    We previously linked to a Miami Herald news article describing the report referred to above.

    The report from earlier this month demonstrated, amongst other things, that "there were 5,917 cases where there were more votes than signatures" and that "In another 2,208 cases, there were more signatures than votes."

    The voting machines in question, which failed the voters and costs millions of wasted tax dollars, were made by Electronic Systems & Software (ES&S), one of two companies (along with Diebold) which record and count 80% of the votes in the United States of America.

    UPDATE: From Miami-Herald's article today on the same issue...

    ...if commissioners vote in favor of the change, it could be a public relations black eye for ES&S, which sold the machines to Miami-Dade in 2002 for $24.5 million.

    Broward County also uses ES&S machines.

    Dade is one of ES&S' biggest clients. The company has more than 40,000 units in 20 states.
    ...
    In Broward, there is no effort to replace the [ES&S] iVotronics the county purchased for $17.2 million in late 2001.
    ...
    ''It doesn't really make any sense to put more money into these machines that nobody trusts,'' Sorenson said.

    Either way, the county will continue to pay for its decision to buy iVotronics --- at least for the next seven years. It owes ES&S $20.5 million.

    ATTENTION BROWARD COUNTY (and all other counties and Secretary's of State now using or considering purchasing from ES&S and other private and unaccountable voting machine companies): Save your tax payers' money NOW! Don't buy these pieces of junk from irresponsible companies like ES&S and Diebold!

    FURTHER UPDATE: ES&S seems to be gaming the system further in what appears to be a specific bid by the company to supress sales of technology by AutoMARK which creates both a paper trail and assists disabled voters. ES&S entered an agreement with AutoMARK to help sell their machines, but appears to be in the business of doing precisely the opposite! Thanks to John Gideon of VotersUnite.org for his excellent work on this report exposing the chicanery that ES&S is up to!

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    In Observation of Memorial Day Weekend...
    By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2005 4:40pm PT  

    We'll be re-broadcasting a previous show (probably last week's) since it's a Holiday Weekend. Be sure to catch it (7p - 11p ET on Saturday) via www.BradShow.com if you didn't last week! It was a great show and includes interviews with Jim Lampley, Sen. Dick Durbin, and "Operation Iraqi Freedom" vet USMC 1st Lt. Andrew Borene amongst others!

    Beyond that, enjoy the weekend and take a break from saving democracy if you wish! I'm guessing that you, like I, can use the break! Though I have a feeling I'll still be on duty throughout the next few days...at least somewhat.

    While we take the time to remember those who fought and died for what's left of our freedoms and those who are doing so on behalf of this country even as I write...allow me to thank all of you who have fought so hard and so tirelessly over the last several months and years attempting to preserve those same freedoms. I know that it's been easy for none of us and --- though nothing like those who have given their lives for the cause --- has taken a toll on all of us. A toll, however, that I firmly believe will prove before long to have been well worth it.

    So thank you endlessly to all of the BRAD BLOG Freedom Fighters! Now go enjoy the weekend!

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    A Call to Action for the BRAD BLOG '6 or 7'!
    By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2005 2:43pm PT  

    John Conyers has just posted a request for 100,000 signatures by citizens on the same letter that he and 88 other Congressmen sent to George W. Bush concerning the Downing Street Memo/Minutes. The same letter from Congress that Bush has arrogantly seen fit to ignore completely for more than three weeks!

    He has been there for us, it's our turn to be there for him!

    If Conyers is able to collect 100,000 signatures, he has promised to hand deliver them to the White House. Let's ensure that he gets that many and more!

    Please sign Conyers' letter here, asap! (and be sure to answer the "Validation Email" that will come to you afterward!)

    And, as well, if you haven't already, be sure to sign the petion to Congress for a "Resolution of Inquiry" into the matter created by the citizens coalition as discussed yesterday. That petition can be found here.

    Yes, these signatures matter. Please sign them both and spread the word! While we are privileged to enjoy Memorial Day Weekend BBQ'ing and frolicking in rememberance of those who gave their lives for this country, the least we can do is a click a couple of links and fill out a petition or two! Please do so now! And that means all "6 or 7" of you and your friends and family!

    (Feel free to use the "Email it to someone" link at the bottom of this item to make it easier!)

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    Even the Prince of Darkness Begins to Display Doubts...
    (Another chapter from the quickly-growing "Listen to the Thunder" File)
    By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2005 1:33pm PT  

    When they even begin to lose Novak, that should tell you something.

    This from his column yesterday --- headlined "Army's recruitment crisis deepens" --- in which he quoted from an Email exchange with a friend of his, Retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Krohn:

    ''Army recruiting is in a death spiral, through no fault of the Army,'' Krohn told me.
    ...
    The Army's dilemma is maintaining an all-volunteer service when volunteering means going in harm's way in Iraq. The dilemma extends to national policy. How can the United States maintain its global credibility against the Islamists, if military ranks cannot be filled by volunteers and there is no public will for a draft?

    Krohn's e-mail describes the problem: ''Consider the implications of being unable to find sufficient volunteers, as seen by our adversaries. Has the United States lost its will to survive? What's happened to the Great Satan when so few are willing to fight to defend the country? Surely bin Laden et al are making this argument, telling supporters victory is just around the corner if they are a bit more patient. And if they're successful, the energy sources in the Mideast may be within their grasp.''

    A trial balloon being floated there concerning a Draft? Perhaps. Novak floats many balloons for his friends in the White House (just ask Valerie Plame).

    And then, of course, Krohn's admission about what he fears most --- a loss of "energy sources in the Mideast" --- is rather revealing. Not that it's a war about Oil or anything.

    But the bottom line is that even Novak seems to be seeing the light of day: George W. Bush's colossal failure in Iraq is the real problem...

    Krohn's message goes on to say ''the recruiting problem is an unintended consequence of a prolonged war in Iraq, especially given the failure to find WMD.'' He therefore calls for a ''national consensus to address the root causes'' of the recruiting problem --- that is, the war in Iraq.
    ...
    Krohn is a lifelong Republican who actively supported George W. Bush's presidential candidacy in 2000. He specified in his e-mail that ''I'm not now blaming'' President Bush or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for the situation. ''We have a problem that transcends politics,'' Krohn added.
    ...
    That means the problem goes beyond mechanics of recruiting and the details of volunteer service and is found in the war itself.

    Oh, do ya think, Bob? Not to go all Rush on ya to say "see, we told ya so", but we will say, where the fuck were you two years, 1600 dead troops and 100,000 dead Iraqis ago, Bob?

    Anyway, we'll attempt to be generous as is our proclivity even in these dark days, and simply hope that is a signal that even Novak is joining the club of those many Republicans now taking baby-steps towards joining the rest of us back here in the Reality-Based Community.

    UPDATE: Last weekend on CNN's Capitol Gang Novak said that his Pentagon sources feel that "it is imperative to get the hell out of there". He also goes on to say "I really believe that we've done all we can and it's time we go and hope things work out for the better."

    Video clip in two flavors courtesy of David Edwards: Streaming Real Player, Windows Media

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    Congress Doing Its Job?! What's This World Coming To?!
    (Okay, so it was only for 30 minutes, but it's a start!)
    By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2005 6:17pm PT  

    Finally. The United States Congress was allowed 30 minutes by the Republican Majority to debate the War in Iraq!

    Yesterday, an amendment by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) to the Pentagon's $491 Billion Appropriation Bill was debated on the floor of congress. Woolsey's amendment called on Bush to begin planning an Exit Strategy for Iraq.

    Imagine that! An actual dialogue --- out loud, and on the floor of the U.S. Congress! --- about one of the most botched, illegitimate, ill-conceived and ill-waged foreign policies in the history of the United States of America. One that has taken hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, has made the world more dangerous (by the Pentagon's own admission!) and has no end in sight.

    The amendment didn't pass, of course, but the topic is finally being discussed. Albeit all too briefly.

    Nonetheless, even five Republicans, one of them Walter Jones (R-NC) of Freedom Fries fame (see yesterday's story on his change of heart and regret over both the fries and the war) voted in favor of the amendment!

    Despite the overwhelming defeat, about two-thirds of Democrats voted for it and so did five Republicans – a dramatic shift from just a few months ago, when talk of a potential withdrawal was taboo for even the most progressive lawmakers.

    Of the five Republicans to vote for Woolsey's amendment, only one, Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina, spoke in favor of it on the House floor. Jones, one of the most conservative members in Congress, led the campaign in 2003 to change French fries to freedom fries.

    "We've never voted one time together in my eleven years here," said Jones, referring to Representative Woolsey. "When I voted two years ago to submit the troops, I was making my decisions on facts. Since that time, I've been very disappointed on what I've learned about the justification of going into Iraq. Afghanistan, absolutely, we should be there. We should have more troops, but we can't have more troops there when they're in Iraq."

    Read the tea-leaves. Listen to the thunder.

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