w/ Brad & Desi
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
In his first outing as one of the "new voices" to replace fired progressive columnist Robert Scheer at the LA Times, Jonah Goldberg forwards the wingnut CYA agenda by beginning to build a case that Bush may have lied the country into a war, but if he did so, it was okay since it was for "a just cause". He also regales his new readers by referring to those who disagree with him politically as "moonbats".
Great hire, LA Times!
Jeff Johnson, new Op Ed page publisher
Jeff.firstname.lastname@example.org, voice: 213-237-5000 fax: 213-237-4401
Dennis FitzSimons, CEO Tribune Company
email@example.com, voice: 312-222-9100 fax: 312-222-1573
Letters to the Editor, Letters@LATimes.com
Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org
The new Secretary of State in Colorado has told 10 counties to be prepared to conduct hand recounts of all of their paper ballots. An audit of the results from those counties ES&S optical-scan machines has caused some question as to whether the results are correct. Also, on the front of this morning's Washington Post is an article that reports that not everyone in the Department of Justice was in agreement that Georgia's voter ID law is constitutional. Political appointees overruled career employees....
A page one story in today's Washington Post reports that a 51-page memo obtained by the paper, shows Dept. of Justice staffers had rejected a controversial new Photo ID requirement law for voters in Georgia, but that their recommendations were overruled and the measure was approved anyway by the Bush appointed Attorney General.
Georgia's new law was recently rejected as unconstitutional by two Federal Courts who equated it to a "Jim Crow-era poll tax" after its approval by the DoJ despite the recommendation against it by 4 out of 5 staffers in the DoJ's Voting Rights Act division.
The law would have required all voters to present a Photo ID at the poll, available for $20 to those who did not have one. The measure, which, like all such measures currently being pushed around the country by Republicans, is alleged to be disproportionately disenfranchising to minority (read: Democratic-leaning) voters.
Despite a complete dearth of evidence to demonstrate that Photo ID requirements are useful in combatting the non-existent epidemic of "Voter Fraud" in America, Republican legislators in Georgia and other states are attempting to ramrod such measures through their state legislatures. Even the creators of the Georgia law were unable to cite a single example of fraud in the state which would have been held off by the new legislation.
Indeed, the self-described "non-partisan" GOP front-group calling itself the American Center for Voting Rights has been fervently attempting to perpetrate the hoax of a "Voter Fraud" epidemic on voters for at least the past six months. They've made the cause their number one plan in attempting to further disenfranchise millions of minority, elderly, poor and urban-dwelling voters, all of whom are far more likely to vote Democratic and not own drivers licenses.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965, parts of which are up for renewal by this Justice Department in 2007, requires states such as Georgia to have any such new laws that may effect voters to be "pre-cleared" by the DoJ.
"Some of my colleagues told me early on that, because of politics in the Bush administration, no matter what the staff recommendation was, this would be approved by the attorney general," Brooks said. "It's disappointing that the staff recommendation was not accepted, because that has been the norm since 1965."
UPDATE 12/2/05: Bush DoJ does it again! This time with a unanimous decision against Tom DeLay's Texas redistricting! Turns out that too was overruled by his DoJ cronies!
UPDATE 12/10/05: Now the DoJ has barred staffers from offering opinions at all! Democracy crumbles...
The Corporate Mainstream Media may not give a damn about our democracy. Neither might the bulk of our politicians on both the Left and Right side of the aisle. But clearly the citizens do, and even one rightwing blogger who has recently seen at least some of the light...
The response to our article on the "staggeringly impossible" results of last week's election in Ohio on several Election Reform initiatives which would have struck deep into the heart of far-right Republican Ohio Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has been notable to say the least.
We felt the report was notable enough that we decided to cross-post it both at BRAD BLOG and at HuffPo, where --- though it was never added to the front page as a "featured blog" --- it has already received an extraordinary 93 comments as of this posting.
To give you an idea of what that story documented, here are the numbers from just one of the four Election Reform initiatives which all ended up failing by numbers which defy reasonable explanation when compared to the historically accurate Columbus Dispatch poll, completed and published just days before the Election in the Buckeye state:
ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No
The results on that issue alone was so far askew that it was enough to give the usually dubious Mark Blumenthal of Mystery Pollster pause enough to comment, "These results had MP seriously wondering whether the pollsters or election officials had mistakenly transposed 'yes' and 'no' in their tables."
See the original post for a comparison of Polling vs Final Results for all of the initatives, but suffice to say while the one above was the most inexplicably out-of-whack, the others, with the exception of Issue 1 --- which was the only one supported by Ohio's Republican Governor and on which the Dispatch poll was virtually right on the money on "Yes" voters --- all of the initiative Final Results bring the entire election machinery in Ohio once again under deservedly fresh scrutiny.
(We'll remind you that Ohio's results in the '04 Presidential Election squeeker, where just 6 votes for Kerry instead of Bush at each precinct would have changed the entire result for the nation. And also that the results from that election remain completely suspect, largely uncounted, and never recounted according to state law even while several elections officials have either been indicted or remain under investigation for their role in gaming that fiasco...the one in the state which gave Bush enough electoral votes to claim the Presidency).
The original report we filed, discussed an article by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman of the Free Press in Columbus where they've been detailing an extraordinary amount of the election chicanery and "irregularities" under the iron-fisted rule of Blackwell, the Ohio elections arbiter and Bush/Cheney '04 Co-Chair in a state which is currently a snakepit of Republican machinery and out-and-out corruption.
Amongst the comments at both BRAD BLOG and HuffPo where the blog item was posted, a few, as expected, have knee-jerked that it must have been the Columbus Dispatch polling that was wrong, rather than the Final Results reported by the State which added brand-spankin' new, and wholly unaccountable, unrecountable, untransparent, and undemocratic Electronic Voting Machines for the first time in this election to 44 of its 88 counties. Machines which use secret software on which voters are asked to trust --- but not verify --- that their votes will be recorded accurately...or at all.
In addition to those 44 counties (41 of them using the same machines by Diebold, Inc. that the Republican Sec. of State in California recently decertified for their 20% failure rate), several other counties already use Electronic Voting Machines, and nearly all of them use electronic tabulating machines of one brand or another to count those votes.
We spoke yesterday to Fitrakis about the Dispatch poll's "historic accuracy" (which he described as "legendary" in our phone call) and about the various wingnuts who predictably presume the polling, instead of the election results, were wrong...
Guest blogged by David Edwards
Murtha is the top Democrat on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He explained that the American people are ahead of congress on this issue. Murtha choked back tears as he explained the failures of the Iraq war that lead him to call for the immediate withdrawal of troops.
AP reports on Murtha's speech:
"It is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering, the future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region," Murtha said.
Murtha voted to give the president authority to use force against Saddam Hussein in 2002. In recent months, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee defense panel has grown increasingly troubled with the direction of the war and with the Bush administration's handling of it, particularly following reports of secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe.
"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion," Murtha said.
UPDATE: Stakeholder has the full text transcript of Murtha's speech, along with the text of his resolution. Right here...
Guest blogged by Winter Patriot
If it feels like 1984, that's because it is. We're 21 years late but we're there all the same. The Ministry of Information is busy changing our past. Fiction has become the news. And Truth has become an enemy of the state.
Whether you measure by severity or frequency, it's clear that the falsification of our national history has recently reached an all-time high. Bush's declaration that we don't torture was a clear sign that the truth is definitely behind us now, and his assertion that his opponents are rewriting history raises the level of absurdity to a level one would prefer to call unimaginable.
The propaganda that has been catapulted lately --- like all good propaganda --- contains almost enough truth to make it somewhat slightly plausible. For example, the CIA has from time to time acted as a rogue agency, Congress did vote to grant Bush the power to do something to Iraq; and Bush may have believed some of what he was saying about Iraq before he started the war. So the lies are not totally false, and we can't dismiss them entirely. We have to pick them apart very carefully, in order to show that, even though said claims do contain an occasional nugget of half-truth, the claims themselves are overwhelming false.
It's hard work!
And in the meantime, like all good propagandists, the White House Spin Machine has a vast assortment of Spinnerettes at its disposal. [And make no mistake, the Spinnerettes are definitely disposable!] The Spinnerettes keep repeating the lies, over and over and over, generating an ocean of falsehood that comes at us in wave after wave after wave, until most of us must struggle to discern what is true and what is false.
Of course the wise men among us have no such trouble. So it's always a good idea to read Robert Parry, and his newest column, in my opinion, is one of his best.
Here's a sample [with emphasis added]:
However, as a Washington Post analysis politely observed in response to those two arguments, “neither assertion is wholly accurate.”
The White House sees far more detailed intelligence than what is shared with Congress, which found itself depending on a CIA-compiled National Intelligence Estimate that downplayed or left out objections to key pro-war assertions, the Post wrote.
The Post article also noted that neither the Senate Intelligence Committee nor a Bush-appointed commission, headed by retired Judge Laurence Silberman and former Sen. Charles Robb, gave much attention to how the intelligence was used – or misused – addressing instead how it was produced. [Washington Post, Nov. 12, 2005]
Kaboom! Game, set and match!
What's that? You want another game?
Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org
While Ohio SoS Ken Blackwell characterizes last weeks election as a success the dirty truth is just now coming out. In Lucas County, for instance, the election board's call logs for the Nov. 8 election, reviewed yesterday by The Toledo Blade, show that paid poll volunteers made more than 180 requests for help. Many of the calls involved broken machines. Does that sound like a success Mr. Blackwell? In Detroit, the city elections director suspects there are problems with their Nov. 2 vote count and she wants to do a 5% hand recount. The state is keeping her from doing that....
The just posted story at RAW reports that "attorneys close to the investigation and intelligence officials" identified National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley as having revealed Valerie Plame/Wilson as a "CIA analyst" to WaPo's Bob Woodward.
Hadley's leak to the reporter who gained fame via his investigative work with Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal, would have occured prior to any other known leaks to journalists on the matter, and prior even to Joe Wilson's now-infamous NY Times Op/Ed which was critical of the Bush Administration's assertion that Saddam had attempted to purchase yellowcake uranium from Niger.
They've already come under some harsh criticism (also here and here) from the left for their far-right leaning Editorial Board and unbalanced collection of blogs, but the group previously known as Pajamas Media has opened for business-proper today under the name "Open Source Media". Discredited former NY Times "journalist" Judith Miller was the keynote speaker at their launch. (Both BuzzMachine and Kos have some worthy thoughts on that).
OSM was founded by rightwingers Roger Simon and Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs. The latter blogger, at least, being quite fond of disparaging his political opponents by labeling them as "moonbats".
Nonetheless, and despite their currently massive lack of editorial "balance", several of their staffers have claimed in various recent conversations I've had with them that they hope to change that hard right tilt in the near future. The proof, however, will remain in the blog pudding.
During their testing phase, I participated in a "BlogJam" with three other bloggers for them. That's their term for an online debate forum. The no-brainer topic about which we debated a week or two ago was "Are left-right politics becoming too polarized?"
That debate is now available online here as one of their first offerings.
I had fun doing it, as you may be able to tell. You'll let me know how I did...
Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org
"We fondly remember Mayberry; but it was a fictional town. We have to move on."
So said Catherine Carpenter, the Administrative Assistant and self-described "Queen of Town Hall" and "Jill of All Trades" in the once sleepy little southern town of Bluffton, South Carolina.
Last night was the last time that the citizens of Bluffton would vote using paper ballots after going to the only polling place they ever needed: Town Hall. It has been a long-standing tradition that at the end of the day, when the polls closed, the citizens of the town would gather in the hall and watch as the votes are counted.
Each vote is marked with a slash mark on a chalk board and audience members call out "tally " each time a group of five votes is recorded.
But now, according to Carpenter, the town has grown too large to do that anymore. Since 2000 this once little town has grown from 1278 citizens to over 4800. They are very quickly being swallowed up into the retirement community craze that has swept north from Florida. And that means Tuesday's gathering of citizens to watch the tally of the votes and to call out "tally" will move on too...
A group of 16 former intelligence officials sent a letter to George W. Bush earlier today expressing their outrage over "the breach of trust between this Administration and members of the intelligence community that has resulted from the Valerie Plame case."
The letter is described by former CIA analyst Larry C. Johnson as having been signed by a "bipartisan" group "representing a variety of political views."
"We are agreed on one thing," said Johnson in an Email receved by The BRAD BLOG this evening, "we are Americans and believe this country is worth defending."
Johnson had been a classmate of Valerie Plame/Wilson's during training at the CIA.
The missive, sent late this afternoon from a variety of former and retired officials, calls on George W. Bush to keep his "promise to restore honor to the White House," and demands accountability for any staff members "implicated in the leak of Valerie Wilson's classified identity." It goes on to decry the "bond of trust" that was "shattered with the exposure" of Wilson's identity.
One White House official, so far, I. Scooter Libby, has been indicted on charges relating to an ongoing investigation into the matter by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.
The former intelligence officials express that whether her exposure was "unwitting or intentional" the action's by Administration officials has destroyed both Wilson's career and her intelligence network "which was devoted to protecting this country from the threat of weapons of mass destruction."
They call on Bush to "immediately suspend the clearances of all White House personelle" who spoke to reporters about Wilson's CIA affiliation while taking the occassion to remind Bush about Dick Cheney's dismissal of the Air Force Chief of Staff who inadvertantly disclosed classified information to the press.
The letter, which was CC'd to several members of Congress, follows in its entirety...
This from a friend and emailer who attended today's protest over the recent dismisal of liberal columnist Robert Scheer at the LA Times. Scheer's apparent crime was being right on this administration and their trumped-up war from the get-go. That won't do as the LA Times works hard to both destroy itself and appease the Bill O'Reilly McCarthyites of the New American Right. You'll be delighted to know that while Scheer was removed, wingnut Jonah Goldberg has been added to the Opinion Page. Scheer's own website will continue to carry his columns, along with other papers around the country.
Protesters layed white bread on the sidewalk, amid shouts of "No more bland, we want Bob."
Meanwhile Scheer is launching an internet news service at the end of the month to be found at www.truthdig.com.
The LA Times can be reached at Letters@LATimes.com if you have any thoughts for them.
UPDATE: More details sent to me on how to contact the folks who need to be contacted:
Several additional photos from today's protest follow...
Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org
The little town of Bluffton, SC will decide to cease hand tallying their paper ballots after an election today. They have always had a town meeting after the polls close in which the votes are read off and tallied on chalk boards with the audience yelling “tally” after each group of five slash marks is put on the board. Now some feel the town is getting too big and they will go to DREs in the future. ...
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