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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Sanders and Trump Dominate NH Primaries; Satan Wins in Phoenix: 'BradCast' 2/10/16
Guest: Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser. Also: Federal court finds NC racially gerrymandered Congressional districts...
Before the Storm: Dirty Tricks, Voting Rights, Election Integrity and the NH Primary: 'BradCast' 2/9/16
Catching up with a LOT of news, and why voters in every state should be concerned...
'Green News Report' 2/9/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Clinton pushes action for Flint Water Crisis; Trump calls out GOP on eminent domain; Sanders fights to block new pipelines; PLUS: Obama proposes new oil tax...
Previous GNRs: 2/4/16 - 2/2/16 - Archives...
Rubio Short-Circuits, Cruz Keeps Lying, Trump Keeps Winning: 'BradCast' 2/8/16
GOP NH Debate coverage and analysis with Salon's Heather Digby Parton and Washington Monthly's Martin Longman...
Super Sunday Toons!
From the NFL's brain injury epidemic to the questionable brains of the 2016 candidates running for President (and more) in the moment before NH voters go to the primary polls...
'Progress' v. 'Revolution': Bernie and Hillary's Lively NH Debate: 'BradCast' 2/5/16
Coverage and analysis with KY civil rights attorney Joe Dunman and Crooks and Liars' Managing Editor Karoli Kuns...
Black Box Voting's Bev Harris on Iowa Caucus Mess, NH Concerns: 'BradCast' 2/4/16
ALSO: 'Hero of Democracy' Tom Courbat, In Memoriam...
'Green News Report' 2/4/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Dems keep pushing climate action, Repubs keep ignoring it; FL mayors slam Rubio on sea level rise; CA AG files suit over massive gas leak; PLUS: FBI launches Flint probe...
Previous GNRs: 2/2/16 - 1/28/16 - Archives...
FL Mayors Slam Rubio on Climate Flip-Flop; Cruz Accused of 'Fraud' in IA: 'BradCast' 2/3/16
Rising ire, rising tides. Mayor Cindy Lerner of Pinecrest, FL joins us...
What the Hell Just Happened in Iowa?!: 'BradCast' 2/2/16
Concerned about missing votes, coin tosses, videos suggesting fraud? Caucus expert Prof. David P. Redlawsk explains it all (and more) for you...and me...
'Green News Report' 2/2/16
Cruz promises to kill all energy subsidies; Rubio was for climate action, before against it; Crashing oil prices blow hole in NC budget; PLUS: Bad and good news in CA...
Sanders on the 'Edge'? Really, NY Times?: 'BradCast' 2/1/16
Jim Naureckas of FAIR on corporate media's false balance; Plus: More Dem debates; Trump's Iowa faux pas; Leaker Petraeus gets another pass...
Sunday Toons of the Hawkeye State Moment
Documenting the moments before the Iowa Caucuses via PDiddie's weekly collection of political toons...
Microsoft's App at the Iowa Caucuses: 'BradCast' 1/28/16
Also, the latest on the Oregon 'Patriot' standoff with independent journalist Arun Gupta...
'Green News Report' 1/28/16
Dems focus on climate, energy in IA; FL mayors smack Rubio on climate; Flint stuck with bad pipes, water; Poor bear brunt of pollution; PLUS: Victory for coal miners...
Ernie on Bernie: 'BradCast' 1/27/16
BRAD BLOG legal analyst turned Vets for Bernie advisor Ernest A. Canning on Sanders' electability and much more; PLUS: New OR standoff news, GOP/Dem debate controversies, listener calls!...
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
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'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...

As Expected, They Call for Photo ID to Disenfranchise Millions More Americans...
By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2005 1:54am PT  

The discredited "Blue Ribbon" National Election Reform commission led by Bush Family Crony and Democracy Hater James A. Baker along with former President Jimmy Carter releases their recommendations today.

As expected, the scam to disenfranchise millions of more minority, elderly, poor and urban-dwelling Americans through a call for a Photo ID requirement at the polls has been made. Washington Post has the first look at what this shameful excuse for a "Blue Ribbon" commission --- irreparably stocked and tainted with Voting Machine Company officials and anti-American, anti-democracy advocates from GOP front-groups like the phony "American Center for Voting Rights" --- is now hoping to perpetuate on an under-informed (thanks WaPo and friends) American public.

BRAD BLOG readers will be delighted to know that WaPo's Dan Baltz informs readers in his article on the Commission's report this morning that "there has been no credible evidence of partisan manipulation of the election in Ohio." Betcha didn't know that!

The only upside as reported for now:

[T]he proposed ID card drew sharp dissent from some commissioners, among them former Senate Democratic leader Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.). In a dissent joined by two other commissioners, Daschle likened the ID to a "modern day poll tax."

Not that anyone will bother to listen.

More after we get some sleep, and try to convince ourselves in our dreams that we are still in the United States of America.

...CONTACT...
Dan Balz, Washington Post, balzd@washpost.com

UPDATE: More details...many more...in this update!




Odds 'n' Ends and the Net Reaction...
PLUS: Brad Appearances on Pacifica and Huffington Post
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2005 2:49pm PT  

There's been quite a hullaballoo both here and elsewhere since I posted my exclusive interview with DIEB-THROAT last Thursday pointing to the Cyber Alert from the arm of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security which warned about Diebold's hackable machines prior to last November's election. That's good. Without noise and vigilance from the citizenry, the story of what has happened and continues to happen to our Electoral System in this country will be drowned out by those who have an interest in the system remaining as is...and real democracy in America will drown along with it.

It is up to you to make sure that something is done now about what DIEB-THROAT described as "one of the greatest threats democracy has ever known." Here's a link you can use right away to alert your Congressional Representatives (both Dem and Rep!) about the problem, and ask them to support at least one piece of legislation --- Rep. Rush Holt's HR 550 --- that attempts to deal with at least some of the problems in the current disastrous system. Holt's bill has over 100 co-sponsors now, including some Republicans as we understand, and thus it has the best chance of seeing the light of day in Congress at this time. It's worth supporting.

Several Mainstream Media organizations have contacted me since publishing Thursday's story to get more info and/or interviews with DIEB-THROAT. I've done everything I can to accommodate them, and hopefully we'll be seeing more on this story soon. Then again, I was also contacted by many MSM'ers after I broke the amazing Clint Curtis story, and we're still waiting for those exposes to appear in the MSM. So we'll see what happens. Don't wait for them! Make noise yourself right now!

Amongst the notable noise out there on the net was this coverage by Mako Yamakura at the Detroit News and Free Press weblog site. Yamakura does a fine job of explaining --- in laymen's terms --- the significance of the US-CERT Cyber Alert discussed in my original article.

Over at BlackBoxVoting.org where the backdoor vulnerability to Diebold's central tabulation software was originally discovered more than a year ago, there is a thread discussing our article, its ramifications and a great deal of additional information along with both kudos and critiques for yours truly. To be frank, I was a bit surprised there wasn't more appreciation for the story originally over there, since it provided independent corroboration to so much of what they've been trying to get folks to pay attention to for so long. Nonethess, I'm glad that folks are talking about it.

A few of the notable links found via BBV's thread would include:

  • Internal email purported to be from a Diebold support tech in 2001 asking about the security flaw in the GEMS tabulation software. And the lead technician who then acknowledges the problem in detail in return.
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich's webpage quoting from the Diebold Employee manual, encouraging them to lie about ballot integrity issues in Diebold's election system. (Along with more links, to more internal emails).
  • Oh, and for the technically minded, you can download Diebold's GEMS Central Tabulator software right here and use the step-by-step instructions to hack it yourself!
  • I'm also reminded that you can watch Howard Dean hack the Diebold GEMS Central Tabulator in 90 seconds in a video clip from CNBC's Topic A with Tina Brown where Dean guest-hosted with BBV's Bev Harris as his guest.

    That demonstration is also used in the short Special Edition of the Votergate documentary film still in production by our friend Russ Michaels. If you haven't seen this version of his film, released to the net prior to last November's Election, you're in for an eye-opener! Go watch it!

    Also, McCamy Taylor was moved enough by our article to do up a quickie cartoon strip on DIEB-THROAT over at the Grand Theft Election Ohio website.

    Lastly, for those folks who are just now waking up to unaccountable, unverifiable, untransparent privatization of America's elections by Diebold (the Halliburton of the Voting World) and others, I would recommend you:

  • a) Watch this video reminder of last November's Illegitimate Election as compiled in part by BRAD BLOG's own David Edwards.
  • And b) read the remarkable story of Clint Curtis about which I've been reporting since last December. Curtis, a Republican, claims to have been asked by Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) to create a Vote-Rigging Software Prototype in 2000. He has signed a sworn affidavit, given sworn Congressional testimony, and passed a polygraph test about all of that since then. Tom Feeney, notably, has not.
  • Wanna Do Something About All of This?

    Other than linking to our DIEB-THROAT article, emailing it around, and writing letters to the editor at your local newspaper about both that story and other reasons to be greatly concerned about what has happened to America's Electoral System, you can help light a fire under some Congressional feet! Both Dems and Reps! They must get to work and pass some legislation that begins to deal with this incredible threat to our Democracy! VelvetRevolution.us has made it easy to SEND A LETTER TO YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES demanding that they support Congressman Rush Holt's "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" (H.R. 550). Click here now to do it! It'll just take a minute of your time! And thanks for giving a damn!

    P.S. I'll be on Pacifica's Sunday Monitor program out of KPFT 90.1 FM in Houston to discuss all of this today (Sunday, natch) at 4:15p PT if you want to listen in...

    P.P.S. Arianna has asked me for a piece on this as well for Huffington Post which I hope will be posted soon over there is now posted here!




    'The Chain of Evil'
    By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2005 6:01pm PT  

    Perhaps the best "New Rules" segment I've seen yet on Bill Maher's show. He knocks it out of the park, frankly. Don't miss this one.

    Crooks & Liars has the complete video...




    REBRADCAST: Our '40th Anniversary Voting Rights Act' Special Edition!
    Listening Links via www.BradShow.com - 7p-11p ET Saturday, 12p-4p ET Sunday!
    By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2005 2:47pm PT  

    If you missed it the first time, it's new to you! Be sure to catch our jam packed Special Edition of The BRAD SHOW celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Originally aired on Aug. 6th, the show features an amazing array of folks both live and on tape! Here's a few of them, but see www.BradShow.com for more details!

    Rep. JOHN LEWIS (D-GA) · Rev. JESSE JACKSON · SAM WALKER · Rep. CYNTHIA MCKINNEY (D-GA) · Dr. MARTIN LUTHER KING · LEON SMITH · KEENAN KELLER · Rev. BILL MOSS

    Interestingly, the day we originally broadcast this show, a woman named Cindy Sheehan had showed up in Crawford, Texas, outside Bush's vacation home to request a meeting with him. We spoke that night with Leon Smith, editor of the Lonestar Iconocast in Crawford, about what became quite a national event!

    This program is also particularly timely as the Baker/Carter Commission on Election Reform, the one that was created in part with the help of the cretins/GOP-operatives who call themselves the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), is to release their findings on Monday. Our early word is that they will making their recommendations to ensure disenfranchisement of millions of American through the requirement of Photo ID at the polls (which millions of Elderly, Urban Dwellers and Minorities simply don't own). So this show is a good reminder of what was won 40 years ago in the name of government of the people, by the people and for the people...and what may well be lost at the hands of America and Democracy Hating folks like James A. Baker who continues to do George W. Bush's bidding...or vice versa.

    Perhaps Americans and Democrats will soon wake up before it's too late. Though we're not particular optimistic about that today. Either way...Enjoy the show! It was a great one!




    By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2005 9:22am PT  

    The Lonestar Iconoclast is reporting that the remaining memorial at Camp Casey, crosses, tent, the boots of Cindy Sheehan's fallen son, Casey, were stolen on Wednesday Night/Thursday Morning in Crawford, Texas...

    CRAWFORD — The Camp Casey Memorial on Prairie Chapel Road was removed by thieves earlier today. Not a single item is left at the memorial site.

    Crew members working for McLennan County said they witnessed items being removed by an unidentified individual and contacted their office to inform commissioners.
    ...
    Among the items stolen were numerous crosses, Casey Sheehan's boots, tents, and other items.
    ...
    The three honor guard volunteers diligently listed, item by item, the belongings that were stolen from the site. Tents, pillows, signs, books, a box of literature, sleeping bags, an air mattress, flowers, plants, tarps, memorial crosses — even Casey Sheehan's boots that stood in front of the small wooden cross bearing his name. Virtually every item that was at Camp Casey is gone.

    Veterans For Peace member and honor guard volunteer Paul R. McDaniel said, “My role here was as caretaker. Now it's gone.” Honor guard volunteer Linda Foley cried as she said, “Casey's boots are gone! His boots are gone. You tell me that we're not being respectful. Those crosses are probably in a trash can somewhere right now! His boots are gone. What kind of people would do that.”
    Honor guard member Sarah Oliver said, “His boots were one of the last things that Cindy had of Casey. I can't believe that anyone would take something like that.”
    ...
    Following the tedious report given to the officer, honor guard members began to disassemble the poles of the pavilions tent that stood over the tent of Cindy Sheehan—the single item left at the site. One could walk through the area where the tents and crosses stood and see nothing. There was no evidence that Camp Casey had even existed.

    Nice "support for the troops", we guess. Incredible.

    UPDATE 9/21/05: Stolen items returned by Sherrif's office! No explanation given! Lonestar Iconoclast reports...




    DIEB-THROAT : 'Diebold System One of Greatest Threats Democracy Has Ever Known'
    Identifies U.S. Homeland Security 'Cyber Alert' Prior to '04 Election Warning Votes Can be 'Modified Remotely' via 'Undocumented Backdoor' in Central Tabulator Software!
    By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2005 11:05am PT  

    In exclusive stunning admissions to The BRAD BLOG some 11 months after the 2004 Presidential Election, a "Diebold Insider" is now finally speaking out for the first time about the alarming security flaws within Diebold, Inc's electronic voting systems, software and machinery. The source is acknowledging that the company's "upper management" --- as well as "top government officials" --- were keenly aware of the "undocumented backdoor" in Diebold's main "GEM Central Tabulator" software well prior to the 2004 election. A branch of the Federal Government even posted a security warning on the Internet.

    Pointing to a little-noticed "Cyber Security Alert" issued by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the source inside Diebold --- who "for the time being" is requesting anonymity due to a continuing sensitive relationship with the company --- is charging that Diebold's technicians, including at least one of its lead programmers, knew about the security flaw and that the company instructed them to keep quiet about it.

    "Diebold threatened violators with immediate dismissal," the insider, who we'll call DIEB-THROAT, explained recently to The BRAD BLOG via email. "In 2005, after one newly hired member of Diebold's technical staff pointed out the security flaw, he was criticized and isolated."

    In phone interviews, DIEB-THROAT confirmed that the matters were well known within the company, but that a "culture of fear" had been developed to assure that employees, including technicians, vendors and programmers kept those issues to themselves.

    The "Cyber Security Alert" from US-CERT was issued in late August of 2004 and is still available online via the US-CERT website. The alert warns that "A vulnerability exists due to an undocumented backdoor account, which could [sic: allow] a local or remote authenticated malicious user [sic: to] modify votes."

    The alert, assessed to be of "MEDIUM" risk on the US-CERT security bulletin, goes on to add that there is "No workaround or patch available at time of publishing."

    "Diebold's upper management was aware of access to the voter file defect before the 2004 election - but did nothing to correct it," the source explained.

    A "MEDIUM" risk vulnerability cyber alert is described on the US-CERT site as: "one that will allow an intruder immediate access to a system with less than privileged access. Such vulnerability will allow the intruder the opportunity to continue the attempt to gain privileged access. An example of medium-risk vulnerability is a server configuration error that allows an intruder to capture the password file."

    DIEB-THROAT claims that, though the Federal Government knew about this documented flaw, originally discovered and reported by BlackBoxVoting.org in August of 2004, they did nothing about it.

    "I believe that top Government officials had an understanding with top Diebold officials to look the other way," the source explained, "because Diebold was their ace in the hole."...

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




    (Bring it on)
    By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2005 9:55pm PT  

    I've been working on a rather important story since I've returned home. You'll recognize it when you see it. Hopefully very soon. So apologies in the meantime for things having slowed down here a bit since my return. Plus, the good David Edwards, Winter Patriot and Joseph Cannon all deserve a bit of a break since pulling extra long Guest Blogging duty in the wake of my unexpectedly long summer "vacation". Hopefully they will each continue to contribute here, however, after a bit of a well-deserved rest. They are welcome any time and I can't thank them all enough for their tremendous work here while I was on the road. Especially since I'll soon be heading out for it again to make my way up to participate in the National Summit to Save Our Elections in Portland along with Thom Hartmann, Bob Koehler, Jesse Jackson Jr. and other illuminaries too numerous to mention at the end of the month.

    Beyond that, I can't seem to get this E.J. Dionne piece from yesterday's WaPo out of my mind. Though Dionne may be jumping the gun a bit (anything and everything could happen any day now), his epitaph for the "End of the Bush Era" seems to be right on target. Or at least provide a bit of welcome and smart perspective to an America in trouble, but perhaps soon on the mend. Perhaps.

    Here's a few key grafs, though I recommend you read the whole thing if you haven't already:

    The Bush Era is over. The sooner politicians in both parties realize that, the better for them --- and the country.

    Recent months, and especially the past two weeks, have brought home to a steadily growing majority of Americans the truth that President Bush's government doesn't work. His policies are failing, his approach to leadership is detached and self-indulgent, his way of politics has produced a divided, angry and dysfunctional public square. We dare not go on like this.
    ...
    He failed to realize after Sept. 11 that it was not we who were lucky to have him as a leader, but he who was lucky to be president of a great country that understood the importance of standing together in the face of a grave foreign threat.
    ...
    And what of Bush, who has more than three years left in his term? Paradoxically, his best hope lies in recognizing that the Bush Era, as he and we have known it, really is gone. He can decide to help us in the transition to what comes next. Or he can cling stubbornly to his past and thereby doom himself to frustrating irrelevance.

    As I said (twice) read it all.




    By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2005 8:58pm PT  




    Another Anatomy of Another Rightwing Lie
    2000 Unused School Buses, 2000 School Buses, 2000 Unused School Buses... (or not)
    By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2005 12:47pm PT  

    Every now and again, we like to remind BRAD BLOG readers how the wingnuts --- from the "mainstream" Washington Times to the top nutcase blogs like "Little Green Footballs" and "Powerline Blog" to the expected spinners at Fox "News" --- love to grab onto a lie, avoid bothering to check a single fact, and shove it down America's throat as if it had any basis in reality. Which all results in the actual mainstream corporate media like ABC and CNN repeating the horseshit as if it was actually true.

    Case in point, courtesy of Media Matters (via this morning's Al Franken show), is the falsehood repeated over and over again in the wingnut media and beyond about the "2000 school buses" that could have been used to evacuate everyone in New Orleans who needed evacuation, but sat instead in a parking lot unused.

    Turns out, the city of New Orleans actually owns only 324 school buses, 70 of which are broken down (according to September 5, 2003, article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune) plus another 364 city owned public transit RTA buses. Bringing the total available fleet in New Orleans to less than 700. The Times-Picayune reported on July 8 in an article headlined "RTA buses would be used for evacuation: But plan still falls far short of needs" that "Even if the entire fleet was used, the buses would carry only about 22,000 people out of the city --- far short of the 134,000 people estimated to be without cars in a recent University of New Orleans study."

    No excuses here for those available buses which were not being used (Mayor Ray Nagin has claimed they didn't have enough drivers for them, but we haven't verified that one way or another at this time.) Nonetheless, the wingnuts repeated the nonsense about "2000 unused school buses" over and over again as if it was based in reality.

    So where did the wingnuts version of "reality" begin this time? The story apparently began (little surprise) when it was used in a Sep. 6 column by Washington Times managing editor-and-liar-in-chief, Wesley Pruden. He wrote instructed followers to say:

    Ray Nagin, the mayor, ordered a "mandatory" evacuation a day late, but kept the city's 2,000 school buses parked and locked in neat rows when there was still time to take the refugees to higher ground.

    That claim was quickly and unsurprisingly linked by the popular wingnut blogs Power Line and Little Green Footballs, both of whom have shown an utter inability, day after day, month after month, year after year, to check a single fact, or do anything other than repeat one Republican talking point after another. Hence, they are both very popular amongst the faith-based Bush dead-ender crowd. That's what they're paid for.

    Of course, Sean Hannity then raced to the airwaves that same evening to dutifully repeat the misinformation to Fox "News" viewers on Hannity & Colmes:

    HANNITY: You would have thought that the 2,000 buses, school buses, that sat in the yards would have been used to help those people that were incapable of getting out on their own, but none of that had happened locally.
    ...
    GERALDO RIVERA: You know, Alan [sic], I'm telling you, you have to put in the context of this is a guy --- half the National Guard is in Iraq. You can't --- I heard [Defense] Secretary [Donald H.] Rumsfeld --

    HANNITY: Two thousand buses sat there; 2,000 school buses, Geraldo.

    The next night on Hannity & Colmes, Newt Gingrich was called upon to continue spreading the misinfo:

    GINGRICH: No. The fact --- the fact is there were more than enough buses to, in a methodical, orderly way, help every poor person in New Orleans leave the city. And the mayor and the city failed to use the buses that existed and failed to help people in an orderly way.

    In fact, the number of buses required to evacuate the city's approximately 100,000 elderly and disabled, according to the New York Times on Sep. 4, was 2,000, but as their article responsibly noted, that 2,000 number was "far more than New Orleans possessed."

    Never mind responsibility and reality, though. Back to the wingnuts and the so-called myth of the "Liberal Media".

    By last Sunday, Sep 11, the lie had become mainstream "reality" as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's national security writer Jack Kelly wondered:

    [W]hy weren't the roughly 2,000 municipal and school buses in New Orleans utilized to take people out of the city before Katrina struck?"

    ...And then the deed was finally done --- as Wingnut Horseshit becomes Conventional Wisdom --- on last Sunday morning's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Gingrich was the guest, but it was "Liberal Media" elitist, Stephanopolous who made certain the lie got out to all of America across the ABC Television Network:

    GINGRICH: Part of the point of my message is, we've now had the most vivid proof you could ask for that the current systems of government --- the city system --- failed. Remember, it's the mayor who fails to use the city buses to move the poor out of New Orleans. So all this talk about George W. Bush --

    STEPHANOPOULOS: He says that was never part of the plan, but you're right, there were 2,000 buses under water.

    GINGRICH: That's right. OK.

    Not bad for a week's work. Mr. Rove and his America-Hating friends have certainly earned their pay check over the past week.

    Kudos to Media Matters for their detailed tracking of all of this. And if you stop by over there (where all the audio and video is also available) be sure to check out how the Fox and Friends wingnuts also keep spinning the nonsense of when Gov. Blanco declared a state of emergency and those "Liberals" at CBS who repeated it thereafter, how the entire media gave a free pass to Bush's "dodged a bullet" claim about the levees, how O'Reilly is spinning numbers to trick America into believing that Bush is better on poverty than Clinton was, and oh, so many documented, out and out Right Wing lies we'd need about 2,000 unused school buses full of bloggers to report them all.




    ALSO: Sun Rose in West
    By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2005 8:40pm PT  

    Today, for the first time in five years, George W. Bush took responsibility. For anything. AP was there to note this extraordinary moment in the history of mankind.

    In related news, Hell reported record cold temperatures today and a small pig was spotted hovering over Ohio's Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

    As well, BRAD BLOG readers are urged to be on the lookout for four horsemen riding together and said to be mounted each on one white, one black, one red and one pale or ashen horse. Please report any such sightings immediately to FEMA or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security so that swift action may be taken. They're doing a heckuva job. Thank you.




    DeLay's National Fundraising Committee Alleged to Have Laundered Money, Violated Election Laws
    Republicans Seemingly Unable to Win Elections Without Cheating...
    By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2005 3:11pm PT  

    From AP via Jesse at Stakeholder who has more:

    Two associates of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay were charged Tuesday with two additional felony charges of violating Texas election law and criminal conspiracy to violate election law for their role in the 2002 legislative races.

    The indictment is the seventh this month from a Travis County grand jury investigating the use of corporate money in the campaigns that gave Republicans control of the Texas House.

    Jim Ellis, who heads Americans for a Republican Majority, and John Colyandro, former executive director of Texans for a Republican Majority, already are facing charges of money laundering in the case. Colyandro also faces 13 counts of unlawful acceptance of a corporate political contribution. The use of corporate money to influence political races is illegal in Texas.
    ...
    Americans for a Republican Majority, also known as ARMPAC, is DeLay's national fundraising committee. The Republican from Sugar Land helped create Texans for a Republican Majority.




    Debates, Votes to be Broadcast Live on the Net
    By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2005 1:51pm PT  

    Announcing that it is "time for Congress to exercise its duty to oversee the Executive Branch," the ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers has just released a press statement announcing that four different U.S. House Committees will be voting on resolutions within the next week to request information on the outing of covert CIA operative, Valerie Plame.

    Conyers describes the issue as a matter of "criminal and ethical misconduct" done "for political reasons, to retaliate against the operative's husband for successfully challenging the President's claim that Iraq had sought nuclear materials in Africa."

    The resolutions will be forced to come to a vote in the House Judiciary, International Relations, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Armed Services Committee.

    Conyers also calls former Attorney General John Ashcroft on the carpet for initially dragging his feet on the investigation and for remaining involved in it as it moved forward despite Ashcroft's "long-standing ties to Karl Rove."

    UPDATE: On ConyersBlog, he also adds this:

    We have no illusions that the Republicans in Congress are suddenly going to reverse course and start demanding accountability on this, or any other matter, that involves Bush Administration misconduct that is damaging to the nation. However, starting tommorrow, they will have to go on record and explain their votes defending criminal activity on the part of high ranking officials. That is the beginning of congressional accountability.

    The complete press release, along with scheduled dates and Internet URL's for watching and/or listening to the debates on the four separate resolutions in the four separate House committees follow...

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




    UPDATE: Video from the Big Big Registration-Only Restricted 'Freedom Walk'!
    By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2005 4:15pm PT  


    AMERICAblog's John Aravosis has all the skinny and more first-hand photos of all of those Americans who gathered yesterday in DC on the 4th Anniversary of 9/11 to support George W. Bush and his War. The event was sponsored by the Pentagon, and attended by...probably...several!

    Officially named by the Defense Department as the "America Supports You Freedom Walk", Seattle Times claimed that "about 1500" participated, though apparently photos of the gathering are nearly non-existant and some families of 9/11 victims have had it...

    Some families of those who died in the attacks were outraged that the Pentagon paired the anniversary with a tribute to the military.

    "How about telling Mr. Rumsfeld to leave the memories of Sept. 11 victims to the families?" said Monica Gabrielle, who lost her husband in the World Trade Center. "Instead of a Freedom Walk, how about a Truth Walk? I think it's about time."

    (Hat tip Kira, and all the BRAD BLOG commenters requesting more info on this event.)

    UPDATE: Reverend Mykeru (otherwise known as Michael Cortese) sets out on an Operation Yellow Elephant mission in search of new army recruits at the Pentagon-sponsored (your tax dollars at work!) fenced-in, no-media-allowed, registration-required "Freedom Walk". Video here. Additional details on the day here. Well done, Rev. Myk!

    (Hat tip BRAD BLOG commenter, NewYorker!)




    'Brownie' Apparently No Longer Doing 'a Heck of a Job'...
    By David Edwards on 9/12/2005 12:14pm PT  

    Guest blogged by David Edwards

    Michael Brown resigns as director of FEMA. After being removed from the Katrina disaster response effort, officials speculated that Brown would soon resign.

    Streaming Video in Real Media format

    Video in Windows Media format




    1st Lt. Kenneth Ballard's Death in Iraq More Than a Year Ago Was an Accident...
    His Mom, Karen Meredith, Was Just Informed Last Friday...
    By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2005 3:35pm PT  

    This item came across the AP wires as we were on our final leg back to Los Angeles yesterday. I happened to catch the original headline as "Soldier Not Killed in Action in Iraq; Kin Not Told". I was surprised and saddened, upon clicking to read the full story, to learn that the "soldier" in question just happens to have been 1st Lt. Kenneth Michael Ballard, the only child of Karen Meredith, a Gold Star Mom who we interviewed on The BRAD SHOW [MP3] and got to know a bit while in Crawford, TX.

    He was killed in Iraq on Memorial Day 2004...His mother was told it was an accident only last Friday...

    The Army said Saturday it knew for more than a year after 1st Lt. Kenneth Ballard's death in Iraq in May 2004 that he was not killed in action, as it initially reported. The family was not told the truth until Friday.

    Ballard's mother, Karen Meredith, of Mountain View, Calif., said in a telephone interview that she is angry and will press for a full explanation.
    ...
    "This news is stunning to me," she said. "People in the Army knew this news for 15 months, and why they couldn't be bothered to tell me the truth when this first happened and to have me go through this pain 15 months later is unconscionable on the part of the Army. It's a betrayal to my son's service," she said.
    ...
    The 1st Armored Division, which also investigated the death, said in a written statement from its post in Wiesbaden, Germany, on Friday night that investigations had "revealed additional information of the cause" of Ballard's death. It did not mention that the investigations were conducted more than a year ago.

    The full article also recalls the Army's failure to give the real story to the parents of the NFL's Pat Tillman after he had been used as a poster-boy by the Army and the Bush Administration for his sacrifice. It was more than a year after being killed in Afghanistan before Tillman's parents were given the real skinny on how their son died. One wonders, had not Meredith made a bit of a media figure of herself through her public support of Cindy Sheehan in Crawford and beyond, whether the story of the bungling of her son's death would have made a headline anywhere. Which makes one wonder just how many other families --- who have not become known to the media --- likely have similar stories of incompetencies from "the army we have."

    I have been honored to wear a duplicate dog tag of 1st Lt. Kenneth Ballard --- in memory of both him and the thousands of others pointlessly killed in this ridiculous war --- since her mother gave one to us in Crawford. I was sorry to learn that there was even more reason to be troubled by his death yesterday.

    Hopefully Karen's burden is made slightly easier knowing that there are thousands of us out here who do give a damn about both her, and the sacrifice that she and her son have made for this country. I think of both of them now every day...

    (NOTE TO BUSH APOLOGISTS, DEAD-ENDERS AND OPPORTUNISTS: The above article is critical of the Army's bureaucratic power structure, not those who are putting their life on the line every day for your "President's" war. You can save your cynical, appalling and divisive "Support the Troops!" sloganeering and propagandizing for those who are too stupid to tell the difference between a Chinese-made car magnet on the back of your SUV and true support for the men and women of our armed forces who put their lives on the line on behalf of this country. We support them no end. We wish you'd become one of them --- if you still support this idiotic war --- instead of acting like you actually support them. If you actually did support those folks, you'd be calling for the same accountability from the same abusive and incompetent officials that The BRAD BLOG has been calling for for months on end. And may God bless America.)




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