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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, April 24, 2017
GA Blocks Voter Registrations Before U.S. House Run-off: 'BradCast' 4/21/17
Also: Court finds TX intentionally discriminated (AGAIN!); NV SoS invents non-citizen voting scare; Stolen SCOTUS helps AR kill a man...
Science Rising, O'Reilly Fallen and the 'False God of False Balance': 'BradCast' 4/20/17
Guest: Washington Monthly's D.R. Tucker; Also: Trump's Iran flip-floppery, court karma; AR's killing spree; Lighting up Capitol Hill...
'Green News Report' 4/20/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Saudis invest $50B in renewables; Global warming torching wildfires; New Arctic garbage patch; EPA moves to scuttle more pollution regs; PLUS: Scientists ready to march...
Previous GNRs: 4/18/17 - 4/13/17 - Archives...
100% Unverifiable Diebold System Saves the Day for GOP in GA06!: 'BradCast' 4/19/17
How Dem Jon Ossoff ended up in a run-off for GA's US House special election. Plus: Bill O'Reilly finally fired!...
Death and Democracy: 'BradCast' 4/18/17
Guest: Attorney Robert Dunham on AR's unprecedented planned killing spree; Also: More concerns about GA-06 results; UK snap elections; Turkey's referendum probs...
'Green News Report' 4/18/17
Toxic spill in Lake Michigan; BP's new oil blowout in Alaska; US nuclear co. bankruptcy; March 2017 heat record; PLUS: London's iconic black cabs go electric...
Cyberwarfare v. NK?; And Dems to 'Vote Their Ossoff' in GA-06: 'BradCast' 4/17/17
Guest: Jim Dean of Democracy for America; Also: Trump popularity still falling; BP springs another oil leak...
Sunday Toons of the Holy (Crap) Moment
No Easter bunnies this year (budget cuts), but PDiddie's got Spicer, 10 Plagues, a stolen SCOTUS, a spinning O'Relly and Trump through Virtual Reality glasses...
'Green News Report' 4/13/17
FL wildfire state of emergency; Court upholds CA cap-and- trade emissions system; Trump's BLM to prioritize fossil fuel extraction; PLUS: 'Iceberg armada' invading Arctic...
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...

By John Gideon on 11/23/2005 5:24pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

In yesterday's DVN' I mistakenly characterized the California SoS's Diebold hearing as being in a room that was difficult to find and with people only speaking to a microphone and tape recorder. Unfortunately, I reported from the wrong article. The room used was, in fact, the same hearing room that had been used in past meetings and there were members of the elections staff in attendance. What is important is that there were very few members of the public who defended the Diebold TSx and there were many from the disabled community who all spoke about the complete lack of accessibility provided by these machines. Thank you to all of those who pointed out my error. I would also like to take this opportunity to join my associate, Ellen Theisen, in wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Please be safe and enjoy the holiday....

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




By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2005 4:00pm PT  

The congressman man who ran sham hearings in House Administration Committee on last year's Ohio Election mess (the ones that exposed the insidious ACVR hucksters), was recently subpeonead by the DoJ where he is said to be under investigation on four different aspects of an ongoing probe, looks to be in big big trouble in the wake of the Michael Scanlon indictment.

Jesse of Stakeholder has a round-up of today's headlines on the apparently-soon-to-be-indicted U.S. Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH). Here's what Jesse's found just today at a quick glance:

"Plea Deal Ties Ney to Second Tribe" [Roll Call]

"Rep. Bob Ney is poster boy in bribe probe" [AP]

"Ney's Troubles Are Mounting" [Roll Call]




Columbus Dispatch Editor Likens Pre-Election Poll to Explosion of Space Shuttle...Without the Follow-Up Investigation...
By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2005 3:23pm PT  

Tribune Media Service columnist Robert Koehler weighs in tomorrow on the Ohio's impossible '05 Election Results.

The latest piece from the courageously curious columnist who has been one of very few in the Corporate Mainstream willing to question the dangers of our increasingly crumbling democracy, includes a puzzling acknowledgment by the Columbus Dispatch public editor on their poll which went inexplicably awry for the first time in its history. It will also mark the first time a Corporate Mainstreamer has even acknowledged the existence of the recent GAO report confirming the unbridled dangers of Electronic Voting Machines in America. The piece ends thusly:

Hmm, we have widespread confusion in the voting process, a recent GAO report that cites many glaring insecurities in e-voting, and our own polls indicating big victories that turn into big defeats. Could it be ...? Nah! What are we thinking? This is the world's greatest democracy.

Relax.

UPDATE: The column is now available online, at this location.




Pollster Mark Blumenthal Joins the Crowd of Folks Who Simply Don't Get It or Otherwise Just Don't Care
By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2005 2:03pm PT  

"Mystery Pollster" Mark Blumenthal follows up his recent post on the matter of the extraordinarily questionable results of Ohio's November 8th, '05 Elections. All four of the Election Reform initiatives on the ballot that day mysteriously and spectacularly failed to win approval in stark opposition to the pre-election polling by the historically accurate Columbus Dispatch which had predicted most of them would win by large margins.

That they lost by large margins instead, has been the subject of some controversy. We've blogged about it (here and here) and responded (here) to Blumenthal's analysis of tweaks in the Dispatch polls methodology that he feels "might" have skewed their findings this time around. Despite the major changes in the "methodology" used to gather the actual Election Results in Ohio this year (44 of Ohio's 88 counties installed all-new Touch-Screen Electronic Voting Machines for the first time ever) Blumenthal's presumption is that it must have been the tweaks in the Dispatch poll's methodology rather than any problem with the Election Results as gathered by these all-new, untested, unaccountable, untransparent and demonstrably prone-to-failure Electronic Voting Systems.

In his latest article on the matter, he follows up by suggesting that citizens in Ohio take advantage of Public Records Laws in the state which --- according to Blumenthal's information gathered from the Ohio attorney general website --- allow for the examination of "paper ballots" 60 days after Election Results have already been certified by the state. Says Blumenthal:

That means that in early January, any Ohio citizen (or reporter) can request access to the paper ballots and conduct their own audit. An enterprising voter or investigative reporter should be able to check the ballot paper trail in any of the 82 of 88 counties to look for inconsistencies between that paper record and the official count.

While Blumenthal later calls for "more formal routine audit procedures with far more transparency," he stops short of accepting my previous invitation that he join those of us calling for a truly transparent democracy by ending the use of Electronic Voting Machines employing secret software protected by the Voting Machine Companies who have claimed that examination of their source code by the public would violate "proprietary trade secrets". So the privatization of our Public Elections by private (and partisan) corporations, paid for with our tax dollars is presumably just fine for Blumenthal. Which is good, because billions of tax-dollars are now being given to those corporations to do exactly that, even though millions of us agree with the non-partisan GAO that reported recently on how all of this is a threat to our democracy.

Beyond that, there are apparently a number of points the Mystery Pollster mysteriously doesn't seem to understand about all of this, or that he simply does not wish to acknowledge when he calls for "an enterprising voter or investigative reporter" to "check the ballot paper trail" in Ohio. For example...

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




By Brad Friedman on 11/22/2005 6:14pm PT  

Faster even than the Lefties at Air America were able to embarrass themselves with missteps not long after their launch, the new and well-monied hard Right-leaning "Open Source Media" bloglomerate has been forced to change its name back to its original working title: Pajamas Media. The founders explain, blame others.

Last week, we briefly covered their launch featuring the dubious selection of disgraced former "reporter"/jailbird Judith Miller as keynote speaker. We might recommend that OSM PJM now focus a bit more on content rather than parties and/or names, since they have yet to offer much of a reason to stop by the joint. (Other than to enjoy the brilliant and airtight performance of yours truly in one of their early online debates about the Left/Right Politics of Shame.)

For the moment, it seems that Arianna doesn't have too much to worry about.

(DISCLOSURE: We should also mention again that they've been in talks with us about adding The BRAD BLOG to their list of paid homies. Discussions to that end continue to continue.)




Prosecutor, Witness, Jury Forewoman, Victim All Regret
'Texas murdered an innocent person' says Co-Defendant
By Brad Friedman on 11/22/2005 5:36pm PT  

Were it not for our world gone mad, this is the sort of thing I wish I was able to report more about. According to a recent report in the Houston Chronicle it appears that an innocent man was likely executed in the state in 1993.

The prosecutor, the jury forewoman and the one lone eye-witness all seem to now believe they executed an innocent man.

From Reuters coverage of the Chronicle's story:

"Ruben Cantu had nothing to do with the murder, attempted murder and robbery of the two men ... I should know," a friend and fellow gang member, David Garza, told the newspaper.

Cantu, only 17 when the crime took place, was convicted of murdering Pedro Gomez during a 1984 robbery largely on the testimony of a single eyewitness, Juan Moreno. Moreno, then 19, an illegal immigrant wounded during the robbery, now says he is positive Cantu was not at the scene.

Moreno twice failed to identify Cantu to police, but did so when they asked him a third time, the Chronicle said. Cantu was put to death by lethal injection in 1993, when he was 26.

"(Police) told me they were certain it was him, and that's why I testified," Moreno told the newspaper. "That was bad to blame someone that was not there."
...
Miriam Ward, forewoman of the jury that sent Cantu to his fate, said the entire process failed.

"We did the best we could with the information we had, but with a little extra work, a little extra effort, maybe we'd have gotten the right information," she told the newspaper. "The bottom line is an innocent person was put to death for it. We all have our finger in that."

Perhaps the worst part is that Cantu could not have been executed today since the Supreme Court "ruled this year that executions are illegal for crimes committed by minors."

In the meantime, I haven't been able to find where I read it recently, but as I recall there has been a move afoot by lawmakers to decrease the length of time that Death Row inmates have to appeal their cases and/or prove their innocence. (I welcome any BRAD BLOG readers who might have links to post on that in comments.)

Prior to the systematic killing of thousands of innocent folks around the world, I might have liked to have spent more time in the pursuit of stopping the shameful practice of our government killing its own citizens...whether they are guilty of a crime or not. No government should be in the business of putting its own citizens to death. Period. Our country has plenty of shame to go around for this continuing and morally reprehensible practice.

(Hat-tip RAW STORY for the reminder about this story!)




By John Gideon on 11/22/2005 5:20pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Yesterday the CA SoS held a hearing regarding the state certification of the Diebold TSx DRE. The hearing was held in a room that was difficult to locate and was held in front of a microphone attached to a tape recorder. This is what the SoS seems to think of as democracy. In regards to the Diebold machine and Diebold's actions so far, Jim March of BlackBoxVoting had this to say, "If you don't want to be accused of cheating at cards, don't let aces fall out of your sleeves at every step." Bev Harris and Jim March are going to be allowed to do their hack' into a Diebold machine on Nov. 30....

ADDITIONAL INFO FROM BRAD: The California Secretary of State's office will accept public comment on the certification of the Diebold TSx touchscreen voting machine until next week. To submit a comment, visit www.ss.ca.gov/elections/elections_vs.htm, call (916) 653-6814 or email votingsystemcomment@ss.ca.gov.

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




As the Democracy-be-Damned Media Continue to Wait for the Politicians They Cover to Tell Them What They Should Cover
By Brad Friedman on 11/22/2005 3:52pm PT  

Mark Crispin Miller, author of the new book FOOLED AGAIN, which makes the case that Election 2004 was stolen, and so will be the 2008 Election unless something is done --- and quick! --- responds in a letter to the editor to critical coverage by both Slate's Farhad Manjoo and Mother Jones' Mark Hertzgaard.

Manjoo has written numerous articles for Slate pooh-poohing the theory that anything went particularly wrong in the 2004 Presidential Election and recently wrote a critical review of Miller's new book. In his foolish review of Miller, Manjoo embarrasses himself by suggesting that he --- and the rest of the media --- would bother to give a damn about the mountain of demonstrable problems in our democracy if only John Kerry or the mainstream Democrats bothered to complain about it. He thus sets aside any responsibility that he might have as has a watchdog for our democracy...unless instructed to do so by some politician or another. Shameful.

In Hertzgaard's long feature article at MoJo, he claims to have done "some reporting of [his] own" to look into the claims made by Miller and others who have been investigating the mountain of problems from last November. And yet, the work Hertzgaard turns in --- while it looks and reads a whole lot like reporting --- contained damned little of it. What it did contain was little more than half-baked. His recurring tactic in "reporting" on each of the "irregularities" he chooses to examine can be summed up this way: "Folks who challenge the election claim this, but those who disagree say that, therefore, that proves there's nothing here to worry about, folks!" It's really ludicrous and atrocious, --- as many astute MoJo letter writers point out --- and just one of the reasons I haven't bothered to highlight his article until now.

We won't comment on Miller's book itself, since we've yet to read more than just the excerpts from FOOLED AGAIN as published recently in Harper's. But we did read the two articles by Manjoo and Hertzgaard and came away less than impressed as you can tell. Most disappointingly so in MoJo since we like them, and indeed have an article upcoming ourselves in their January '06 issue.

Miller's money quotes from his full letter:

Both Manjoo and Hertsgaard have dismissed my book as an extended exercise in wishful thinking by a diehard partisan, portraying themselves as skeptical, hard-headed journalists, devoted only to "the facts." But it is they who are the partisans; for in their staunch refusal to perceive the glaring evidence of fraud, they are merely echoing the tense accommodationism of the over-cautious Democratic Party. In other words, they claim to see "no story" in last year's race because the Democrats (with all too few exceptions) claim there isn't one--a sort of faith-based journalism every bit as dangerous as the kind that has us fighting in Iraq. Surely we must base our civic conduct on reality itself, and not on what the stars of either party claim "reality" to be.
...
But this is not about John Kerry's image, any more than it's about the sales of Fooled Again, or about Salon's political position, or Farhad Manjoo's or Mark Hertsgaard's career. It's about the mammoth threat confronting this republic, which will not last if we continue to ignore the scandal of last year's election. If anyone should be attacked, it's those extremists who conspire against American democracy, and not those citizens who try to talk about it.



Freshman Congresswoman Has Long Relationship with Far-Right Wingnut Danny Bubp
Her Website May Also Be in Violation of Law, House Rules
By Brad Friedman on 11/22/2005 12:55pm PT  

The Marine Corps Reserve Colonel whom freshman Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-OH) claimed she was quoting last week when she delivered his "message" on the floor of the U.S. House that "cowards cut and run, Marines never do" has disavowed that statement and denies having made it to Schmidt.

The comment was directed to 37-year Marine colonel and combat veteran, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA). says she got his comments wrong.

Danny Bubp, a freshman state representative who is a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve, told The Enquirer that he never mentioned Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., by name when talking with Schmidt, and he would never call a fellow Marine a coward.
...
"There was no discussion of him personally being a coward or about any person being a coward," Bubp said. "My message to the folks in Washington, D.C., and to all the Congress people up there, is to stay the course. We cannot leave Iraq or cut and run - any terminology that you want to use."
...
"I don't want to be interjected into this. I wish she never used my name."

Schmidt's comment on the floor of the House has caused a firestorm of debate since they were uttered, forcing the recently-elected Congresswoman to apologize and retract them shortly thereafter.

Nonetheless, Schmidt has a long working relationship with Bubp. Schmidt has worked alongside him advocating for far-Rightwing and Fundamentalist Christian causes together over the years as reported by Max Blumenthal.

Cincinnati Enquirer has more on the fallout in wake of Schmidt's comments pointing to some of her statements, during her swearing in just a few months ago, that she would never do such a thing...She must have just been kidding.

Several bloggers called on Schmidt and Bubp to apologize and resign their offices. Others compared her remarks with a statement she made minutes after she was sworn in on Sept. 6.

"I pledge to walk in the shoes of my colleagues and refrain from name-calling or the questioning of character," Schmidt said then. "It is easy to quickly sink to the lowest form of political debate. Harsh words often lead to headlines, but walking this path is not a victimless crime. This great House pays the price."

And one more point on the shameful Schmidt --- a report from BluegrassReoprt.org [linked fixed] yesterday suggests that "Mean Jean" may also be flaunting a few laws and House rules on her own website.

We're shocked...shocked...to see such behavior by a Republican...from Ohio.

Firedoglake has more on the pride of Clermont County...

UPDATE: Chickenhaw Rush Limbaugh calls Murtha a "useful idiot" and questions his "hawk" credentials. Media Matters has the deets and the audio.

LATE UPDATE: Josh Marshall has more on Schmidt who is now, apparently, playing the victim card! Not kidding. Amongst "the attacks from the Left" that she claims to be getting, she also says, "There's no way that I remotely tried to impugn his character." heheh...




Freshman Congresswoman Has Long Relationship with Danny Bubp
Her Website May Also Be in Violation of Law, House Rules
By Brad Friedman on 11/22/2005 12:53pm PT  

The Marine Corps Reserve Colonel whom freshman Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-OH) claimed she was quoting last week when she delivered his "message" on the floor of the U.S. House that "cowards cut and run, Marines never do" has disavowed that statement and denies having made it to Schmidt.

The comment was directed to 37-year Marine colonel and combat veteran, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA). says she got his comments wrong.

Danny Bubp, a freshman state representative who is a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve, told The Enquirer that he never mentioned Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., by name when talking with Schmidt, and he would never call a fellow Marine a coward.
...
"There was no discussion of him personally being a coward or about any person being a coward," Bubp said. "My message to the folks in Washington, D.C., and to all the Congress people up there, is to stay the course. We cannot leave Iraq or cut and run - any terminology that you want to use."
...
"I don't want to be interjected into this. I wish she never used my name."

Schmidt's comment on the floor of the House has caused a firestorm of debate since they were uttered, forcing the recently-elected Congresswoman to apologize and retract them shortly thereafter.

Nonetheless, Schmidt has a long working relationship with Bubp. Schmidt has worked alongside him advocating for far-Rightwing and Fundamentalist Christian causes together over the years as reported by Max Blumenthal.

Cincinnati Enquirer has more on the fallout in wake of Schmidt's comments pointing to some of her statements, during her swearing in just a few months ago, that she would never do such a thing...She must have just been kidding.

Several bloggers called on Schmidt and Bubp to apologize and resign their offices. Others compared her remarks with a statement she made minutes after she was sworn in on Sept. 6.

"I pledge to walk in the shoes of my colleagues and refrain from name-calling or the questioning of character," Schmidt said then. "It is easy to quickly sink to the lowest form of political debate. Harsh words often lead to headlines, but walking this path is not a victimless crime. This great House pays the price."

And one more point on the shameful Schmidt --- a report from BluegrassReoprt.org yesterday suggests that "Mean Jean" may also be flaunting a few laws and House rules on her own website.

We're shocked...shocked...that such behavior would occur from a Republican from Ohio.




By David Edwards on 11/22/2005 6:41am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Democrats are further honing their message on the misuse of intelligence by the White House during its' attempts to sell the Iraq invasion to the American people. Accusations of war critics with the phrases "lied us into war", "twisted the intelligence" and "manipulated the intelligence" are being slowly replaced with more moderate arguments.

Ray McGovern uses the term "corrupted intelligence" in this recent article. Former Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) chooses an even milder criticism by saying that the administration engaged in a "selective use of intelligence" to garner support from Congress and the American people.

Regardless of the PC-ness of the allegations used, the truth remains... The Bush Administration engaged in immoral, unethical and most probably illegal tactics to achieve the unnecessary goal of a pre-emptive war on an invented enemy. Let's hope that future intelligence can be "selected" (misused or twisted) to help us invent a victory.

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




It's A Lesson In Contemporary American History, Without The Usual Blinders
'The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know.' --- Harry S Truman
By Winter Patriot on 11/22/2005 1:38am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Holy Cow! A blast and a half from Maureen Farrell. Although it's only the first in a three-part series, she's floored me already!

Or, as Gandhi writes:

If I took four weeks off work to put together an article saying everything I wanted to say about Bush & Co, with lots of URL links to back up the facts, it might look something like this (I wish!).

I'll give you a short excerpt, which I hope will entice you to read the whole thing.

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




'Biggest Scandal in Congress in Over a Century'?
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2005 6:07pm PT  

I didn't get to read this NY Times article from Saturday until just now. Gentelmen...start your shredders...

The Justice Department has signaled for the first time in recent weeks that prominent members of Congress could be swept up in the corruption investigation of Jack Abramoff
...
The investigation by a federal grand jury, which began more than a year ago, has created alarm on Capitol Hill, especially with the announcement Friday of criminal charges against Michael Scanlon, Mr. Abramoff's former lobbying partner and a former top House aide to Representative Tom DeLay.
...
Scholars who specialize in the history and operations of Congress say that given the brazenness of Mr. Abramoff's lobbying efforts, as measured by the huge fees he charged clients and the extravagant gifts he showered on friends on Capitol Hill, almost all of them Republicans, the investigation could end up costing several lawmakers their careers, if not their freedom.
...
"I think this has the potential to be the biggest scandal in Congress in over a century," said Thomas E. Mann, a Congressional specialist at the Brookings Institution.

But before anybody gets too excited about all of this, remember: this word is coming out of the Bush Justice Dept. which means it will all depend on who gets ahold of the case --- the crime-fighting career professionals or the Bush appointees. Notice this passage from the same article:

Richard Cullen, a lawyer for Mr. DeLay, said in an interview Friday that he was "glad that the Justice Department is looking into all aspects of the trip because I think that a thorough investigation will show that the trip was substantive and transparent."

Given just some of what we already know about the corruption and cronyism at DoJ and their willingness to follow the marching orders from above, it would be little surprise if Cullen's "prediction" comes to pass.




By John Gideon on 11/21/2005 5:07pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The amount of news has finally dwindled down to a normal amount for a Monday. Of interest today are two opposing editorials in the Atlanta Journal Constitution regarding the Voter ID issue. Also of interest are the articles from Lucas County, OH where they have finally decided that they had better do an investigation to figure out what went wrong and why it happened....

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




(While Election Results Themselves Continue Un-Investigated)
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2005 2:27pm PT  

The oft-cited pollster Mark Blumenthal, who writes about all matters related to polling and its methodology on his Mystery Pollster blog, has posted the results of his analysis/investigation into what he feels may have gone awry in the Columbus Dispatch polling just prior to the November 8th election in Ohio.

We've previously reported on the final results of the five initiatives on the ballot in the Buckeye State two weeks ago - four of them part of an Election Reform package --- and the "staggeringly impossible" disparities, as we described them, revealed by those results when compared to the results of the Dispatch's final pre-election polling. To catch anybody up who hasn't seen the numbers, here's one set of them:

ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No

Blumenthal deserves kudos for his serious and detailed investigation into both the Dispatch survey's "long and remarkable history of success," as he describes it, and where he feels they might have gone so astoundingly wrong this year for the very first time. He points to a few changes in the methodology for the poll; the Dispatch didn't use the precise text of the initiatives in its survey; included an "Undecided" option for the first time; an examination of the data seems to show the poll occurred at a time that the electorate was in the process of changing its opinions on the issues; and finally that many voters found the text of the actual ballot initiatives to be long and confusing leading them to take the safer vote of "No" when they were not clear about what they were actually voting for.

Where he doesn't deserve credit is in his approach which presumes from the start that there must be something wrong with the polling itself --- but not the Election Results --- to explain the unprecedented disparity between the polling and the final results of the actual election.

As a pollster himself, he surely knows that it's quite simple to construct a poll in such a way that one can get back results which match just about any pre-determined outcome an unscrupulous pollster may hope for. Similarly, as with Blumenthal's earlier efforts to examine the disparity of Exit Poll Results vs. Final Election Results in last November's Presidential Election, his approach presumes from the get-go that the polling, not the results, are incorrect...and now we just need to figure out why.

Fair enough, in general. No doubt the articles we've written about the Ohio '05 election results, as well as the one from Fitrakis and Wasserman at Free Press, tend to presume that the election results are suspect, more so than the polling or its methodology.

The difference, however, is that while we welcome the search for reasons why the Dispatch's historically accurate poll might suddenly have failed for the first time in such an unprecedented matter, we have as much or more reason to be skeptical of Ohio's Electoral System which has been documented as full of unquestionable corruption and all-sorts of top-to-bottom malfeasance. Particularly over the last year or so since the Presidential Election.

In other words: Sure, we can, and should, go looking for reasons why the Dispatch poll might have failed so mightily for the first time in its history, as others (including Blumenthal) did with the Exit Polls from November '04 which also --- just a coincidence, we know --- failed so hugely for the first time in their history. We can likely find anomalies to somewhat explain what might justify a pre-determined conclusion that Election Results are right and Pre-Election Polling must be wrong. But why would Blumenthal, or anybody else, have reason to believe that scientifically run polls with methodologies developed and honed over decades, run by pollsters with (theoretically) no dog in the hunt, should be less reliable than an Electoral System being run on newly developed, newly introduced technology employing secret software that nobody inspects for validity or integrity? All of which is run on machines which have a tremendous and documented known failure rate and are run by partisan officials with not just a stake in the outcome, but whose very livelihoods (in the case of the recent Ohio initiatives, as well as last November's election) are at stake in the final results. ...

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