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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

[UPDATED: Fixed Broken Links to NY Times Response!]
By Brad Friedman on 11/24/2004 11:39am PT  

Have to do some travelling here in the next few hours, so will be shortly out of the loop. There's several brewing items I'd like to comment further on, but for lack of time, I cover them quickly now and hit in more detail later as time allows:

  • The irony of the current situation in the Ukraine over the last couple of days has been almost too much to wrap my brain around. Thus, I haven't mentioned it until now. As of this morning, the U.S. Government's official position is that the election was not legitimate due to "numerous and credible accusations of fraud". While no fraud has actually been proven, the position seems to be based on the fact that the Exit Polls showed the opposition candidate leading by 11%, but the Kremlin-backed incumbent candidate ended up "winning" in the Final Results by 3%. Sound familiar? As I say, the irony is almost too much for my brain to process here for the moment. Not to mention that I've already seen more coverage in the Mainstream Media about possible fraud in the Ukraine Election than I have about the U.S. Election. A velvet revolution seems to be brewing now in the streets of Kiev...anybody up for one in the United States?
  • Another official government investigation into the alleged Voter Irregularities has been announced by a congressional committee. I was able to find word about that investigation only from the Newhouse News Service as of late last night. Perhaps it's getting more coverage in the Ukraine.
  • Finally this morning, the Email campaign encouraged on the BRAD BLOG (nice constructive item here and angry reactionary one here) to the NY Times has had enough of an effect to receive a reaction from their "Public Editor" (the NY Times' version of an ombudsmen), Paul Okrent. His reply --- a pretty lame and apologetic one as you'll see when you read it --- is posted online here. I'll most definitely be speaking to his reply later tonight when I'm settled back in, as I have more than a thing or two to say in reply. But the good news for the moment, as you'll note when you read his response, is that we've gotten their attention! Keep those Emails going! managing-editor@nytimes.com; executive-editor@nytimes.com; national@nytimes.com; editorial@nytimes.com; oped@nytimes.com; public@nytimes.com; letters@nytimes.com; magazine@nytimes.com; QandA@nytimes.com; washington@nytimes.com; TheBradBlog@cville.com?Subject=Investigate and Report On Voter Irregularity, Mistabulation and Fraud NOW!">Here again are the addresses to write to to encourage them to investigate and report on the many irregularities that have been found in our elections. (I know we don't live in the Ukraine, but still, alleged fraud in our elections would seem to be at least as trouble as alleged fraud in Kiev.)
  • As I've said, I hope to give each of the above items their proper due later tonight, hopefully along with more breaking news. In the meantime, safe travels to those of you moving about the country for Thanksgiving!

    ReddIt this story!



    A Clear Channel 'Public Service' Billboard in Orlando, FL
    Driving the Message Home...
    By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2004 3:10pm PT  

    Any questions?

    ReddIt this story!



    Completely Blowing the VoterGate Story
    By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2004 2:51pm PT  

    Maureen Farrell does a masterful job, in a new BuzzFlash piece today, of rounding up the national disgrace that is the current Mainstream Media coverage of VoterGate 2004. The piece is called "Election Angst Update: Clark Kent Vs the Media Wimps". The whole story is worth a read, particularly if you're new to what's been going on or are still in denial about the import of this story and how the MSM has so far completely missed it with the exception of one guy at MSNBC.

    Here's just one of her many money quotes:

    There is no doubt, of course, that had the e-vote been on the other foot, FOX News and Drudge would be discussing voter irregularities 'round the clock. And if Kerry's brother were Florida's governor and had a track record of disenfranchising Republicans, Rush Limbaugh would be throwing tantrum after tantrum. What do you suppose would have happened had the head of a voting machine company promised to deliver Ohio's electoral votes to John Kerry? Close your eyes and imagine.

    Still have questions? Go read the whole story.

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2004 1:37pm PT  

    Predictably, the promised "Did E-Voting Work?" coverage from CNN's Judy Woodruff didn't add much to what we've already covered here. The only notable issue is that she discussed the GAO investigation reported in the previous item here and other concerns about E-Voting, as well as giving a mention to the up-coming Ohio Recount and the quarrels about thereof. Reporting on those items at all on CNN is a step up at least! So we'll take that as a luke-warmish good sign. (CNN's report on the GAO Investigation is now online. Woodruff's report on video is here.)

    In the meantime, real reporter Erica Solvig of the Cincinnati Enquirer slightly advances the Mysterious Goings-On in Warren County where you'll recall, unlike any other county in all of Ohio, all media were locked out from witnessing the vote tallying on Election Night. Warren County was amongst the last to report their results and one of the top Bush counties in Ohio. The reason given by Election Officials for the lockout was due to "terror warnings" they were said to have received from FBI/Homeland Security officials. It turns out the FBI has denied giving any such warnings to anybody in Ohio.

    In today's Enquirer Solvig reports that the lockout was planned in advance:

    County Commissioner Pat South has said the decision to lock the doors election night was made during an Oct. 28 closed-door meeting (the Thursday before Election Day). But in e-mailed memos dated Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 - released Monday after an Enquirer public records request - other county officials were already detailing the security measures, down to the wording of signs that would be posted on the locked doors.

    Not sure what we learn from that, other than the plan to lock-out reports was made in advance and Election Officials have been inaccurate about even that. Still no word on why it was all done at all, but hopefully Solvang will keep digging!

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2004 12:03pm PT  

    With more than 14 Democratic Congressman now joining the call for the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the E-Voting Irregularities, word has just come out that they will indeed begin an investigation!

    I just saw it on the CNN crawl, and here is how Common Cause is reporting it:

    The Government Accoutability Office is going to investigate the voting irregularities of 2004 elections. Here is the press release we just received in our email minutes ago:

    Government Accountability Office to Conduct Investigation of 2004 Election Irregularities

    (Washington, DC) Reps. John Conyers, Jr., Jerrold Nadler, Robert Wexler, Robert Scott, and Rush Holt announced today that, in response to their November 5 and 8 letters to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the GAO has decided to move forward with an investigation of election irregularities in the 2004 election. The five Members issued the following statement:

    "We are pleased that the GAO has reviewed the concerns expressed in our letters and has found them of sufficient merit to warrant further investigation. On its own authority, the GAO will examine the security and accuracy of voting technologies, distribution and allocation of voting machines, and counting of provisional ballots. We are hopeful that GAO's non-partisan and expert analysis will get to the bottom of the flaws uncovered in the 2004 election. As part of this inquiry, we will provide copies of specific incident reports received in our offices, including more than 57,000 such complaints provided to the House Judiciary Committee.

    "The core principle of any democracy is the consent of the governed. All Americans, no matter how they voted, need to have confidence that when they cast their ballot, their voice is heard."

    The Members listed above were joined in requesting the non-partisan GAO investigation by Reps. Melvin Watt, John Olver, Bob Filner, Gregory Meeks, Barbara Lee, Tammy Baldwin, Louise Slaughter and George Miller.

    As well, more breaking news seems to be coming this afternoon as well. Notable items I hope to have more on later today:

  • Judy Woodruff teases with "Did E-Voting Work?" on her show scheduled for 3:30pm ET (12:30pm PT) (A report at CNN.com on the GAO Investigation is now online here. Video of Woodruff's report here.)
  • I may have some more "news from Jeff Fisher" for you later today (he called last night, and I hope to speak to him shortly)
  • And then there was this last night from Bev Harris at BlackBoxVoting.org:
    UPDATE due Tuesday Nov 23 --- A significant development, announcement late afternoon or evening.

    BREAKING --- MONDAY NOV 22 2004: Florida counties stonewall records requests. While some Florida counties have been attentive to the public interest and have promptly complied with our public records requests (scroll down for the Nov. 2 records request, for critical audit diagnostics), other counties have stalled, stonewalled, failed to comply in a timely manner, or outright refused to provide the records. Stay tuned for who they are and what happens next.

  • Apparently reports of my "vacation" may have been greatly exaggerated...Stand by...ALL DEVELOPING...

    ReddIt this story!



    Or, the Lasting Effects of Electile Dysfunction
    By Brad Friedman on 11/22/2004 7:11pm PT  

    Several notable items concerning the theoretically upcoming full recount in Ohio:

    WELCOME BACK TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!...You've been missed. Sort of. The Ohio Democratic party (if not the actual Democratic National Party) has joined the recount effort of the Greens and Libertarians in as much as they will be calling for volunteers, witnesses, funding etc. The extent to which they will actually be involved should become clearer as we get closer to the count. See their pathetically tepid or brilliantly under-the-radar Press Release today for more details of their return from the dead.

    THE RECOUNT BEGINS...UM...SOON!... The heroes of the hour, the Green and Libertarian parties who asked for the recount in the first place, are now urging Ohio's much-beloved (insert irony here) Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell to begin the recount sooner than the currently scheduled date of "after Dec. 3" or "after Dec. 7" depending on where you get your info. As discussed on these pages previously, the time currently allotted for a full hand recount of the 5.5 million ballots in Ohio (70% of them paper punch-card "dangling chad" type ballots) would not be enough to comfortably finish a recount fully and accurately, the Greens/Libs charge, before the final certified numbers must be sent to the Electoral College in D.C. on Dec. 13th.

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

    ReddIt this story!



    15 Unanswered Questions about Election 2004
    Since they can't seem to figure out anything worth investigating on their own.
    By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2004 12:48pm PT  

    In this previous piece, I reported on the latest New York Times article which essentially dismisses the very real concerns that millions of Americans have about our electoral system in the light of the 2004 Election results debacle. I suggested that readers managing-editor@nytimes.com; executive-editor@nytimes.com; national@nytimes.com; editorial@nytimes.com; oped@nytimes.com; public@nytimes.com; letters@nytimes.com; magazine@nytimes.com; QandA@nytimes.com; washington@nytimes.com; TheBradBlog@cville.com?Subject=Investigate and Report On Voter Irregularity, Mistabulation and Fraud NOW!">send email to The New York Times and let them know how you feel about their disgraceful performance in this regard. Keep those emails going!

    It occurred to me that since The New York Times can't seem to find anything worth investigating and reporting on for the American people in regards to the way their votes were counted --- or not --- in the 2004 election, that perhaps I'd help them out with a cheat sheet to help them get started. Here's just a few of the many questions concerning this year's election (none of them "conspiracy theories", all of them confirmed by actual election officials and/or reported on by local news outlets --- not just "crazy leftist bloggers" --- in the affected areas) that the "newspaper of record" may wish to consider assigning reporters to investigate and report upon. NOW!:

  • A UC Berkley study released Thursday of 15 counties in Florida has shown anywhere from 130,000-260,000 unexplained extra votes for George W. Bush in Florida in just three of those counties. The results of the study, which already take into account the widely reported "Dixiecrat Effect" in Florida, has now been duplicated and verified by an MIT professor commissioned by the Oakland Tribune. You have yet to report on the disturbing study at all. How can 130 to 260 thousand extra votes in just three counties in Florida be explained? Don't you think you should find out? And at least report on the study itself?
  • Incorrect information provided by the UniLect company to an election board in Carteret County, North Carolina resulted in 4,500 votes being entirely lost. The memory chip in one of their voting machines held only 3,005 votes instead of the 10,000 promised by the company. Those votes are now lost. What will be done for the 4,500 voters who had their right to have their vote counted taken away in the process? And perhaps more importantly, what other precincts and counties in the United States used the same type of machine with the same chip but didn't happen to notice that votes were lost? (HINT: Machines from the UniLect company were also in use in Ohio on Election Day, where counties reported many problems with those machines that went unsolved the entire day!)
  • In Broward County, Florida a "computer programming glitch" on a vote tabulating machine caused the counting of votes to begin going in reverse once the machine reached 32,767 votes. We're told they noticed the software bug in time. What other counties and states in the country use the same model counting machine with the same software error? And did they notice if the same problem occurred? The manufacturer of that counting machine, Electronic Software & Systems, Inc. (ES&S), attempted to discredit the report initially as "user error", but anyone familiar with computer programming recognizes the error that occurred at 32,767 --- it's a very specific number --- and any programmer can tell you why it occurred. HINT: It wasn't user error, it was programming error. And it happened at least twice there that we know about. (If you have trouble getting in touch with ES&S officials, ask Republican Senator Chuck Hagel how to reach them, he used to be their CEO until he retired to run for the Senate. And while you're poking around in Florida, you also may wish to investigate and report upon the tens of thousands of absentee ballots in Florida that went missing, and never made it to voters!)
  • In the Gahanna 1-B Precinct in Franklin County, Ohio, there were 4,258 votes counted for George W. Bush, yet only 638 total votes were cast in that precinct! How did that "glitch", noticed by citizens on the internet and since then confirmed by election officials, occur? Was it another problem with software? If so, what other precincts, counties and states in America use the same type of machine with the same type of software, but didn't happen to notice the problem? (You may also wish to report for the American people on which other precincts, counties and states used the same equipment and software that caused 33,000 straight-ticket votes to be miscounted as Libertarian votes in Utah!)
  • Why did Election Officials in Warren County, Ohio --- unlike every other county in Ohio --- lock out all members of the media from witnessing their counting of ballots on Election Night? They had claimed they were given warnings to do so by the FBI and/or Homeland Security Dept., but both the FBI and Homeland Security Dept. have denied having told anything of the sort to anybody in Ohio! Isn't that worth an investigation and a report of some sort? (For background, you may wish to know that Warren County was amongst the last to report it's totals on Election Night and also happened to report the 5th highest voting percentage for George W. Bush in the state and the absolute highest among counties with more than 23,000 voters.)
  • Why was the entire Auglaize County, Ohio Board of Elections placed on "Adminstrative Oversight" by the Ohio Sec. of State's office after one of their members reported that an unauthorized employee from Election Software & Systems (ES&S) was seen using one of the central tabulating machines just weeks before the election?
  • Why did elections officials in Volusia County, Florida give incorrect information to a "Freedom of Information Act" request by Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org? Why do the numbers she's found seem to indicate inaccuracies in the vote counting there? And why were official election materials found in the dumpster outside the Board of Elections when Harris and her team arrived to pick up such materials?
  • BlackBoxVoting.org (one of the plaintiffs in a California lawsuit against Diebold Inc. which ended just last week when Diebold agreed to pay some $2.6 million to settle the suit to avoid going to court) has also reported that software used in voting machines in this year's election was not certified and inspected as it was required to have been by law. How could that have happened? And what are some of the consequences of that? Will anybody be held accountable for it? If so, who, when, where and how? (You may also wish to know that last week, the conservative/Republican Washington Times reported on the confirmed security holes in Diebold software. Why haven't you?)
  • What reason do House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Tom DeLay have for not allowing bills that would have required voter-verified paper trails for all electronic voting machines in the country from ever reaching the light of day in either the U.S. House or U.S. Senate? Why were those bills --- for two years --- never allowed to even come up for a vote? And how much money have those Republican legislators and all the rest received from the makers of electronic voting machines such as Deibold, ES&S and Sequoia?
  • All over Ohio, voters stood in line, often in the rain, up to 10 or more hours in many precincts --- the majority of them strong Democratic precincts. Yet, the Columbus Free Press has reported that as many as 68 voting machines stayed in storage instead of being deployed on Election Day to such heavily trafficked voting precincts. What explanation does Republican Sec. of State Kenneth Blackwell, in charge of both elections in Ohio and the Bush/Cheney campaign in the state, have to give for this outrage?
  • Why did Kenneth Blackwell shut down precinct after precinct in Ohio's largest minority areas (and the ones which most heavily vote Democratic) when every indication prior to this election correctly predicted that voter turnout would in fact be way up by huge numbers over the 2000 election?
  • The margin between Bush & Kerry on Election Night was approximately 136,000 votes. The Sec. of State's office in Ohio reported there were approximately 155,000 provisional votes left to be counted. Have they been counted? What's the new margin of difference now in Ohio?
  • The Presidential Candidates in the Green and Libertarian parties have joined together to demand a recount in the entire state of Ohio. When will that recount begin? Since 70% of Ohio uses punch-card ballots (as in Florida in 2000) a manual recount of millions of ballots could take quite a while. Reports have said that the recount won't begin until after Dec. 7th, yet the final tally must be ready to send to the U.S. Congress by Dec. 13th. How do they plan on doing a thorough and fair manual recount of all of those ballots in such a short time? Shouldn't the recount begin much sooner than Dec. 2nd as David Cobb, Green Party Presidential candidate has requested? (I'd give you a link to the page on www.VoteCobb.org which expresses this concern, but their site is currently unavailable, likely due to being either over-accessed by Americans attempting to support their efforts or, more likely, they are again under DDoS attack as has my own website been since I began reporting this story...As have other websites who have been attempting to report this story. Anything worth investigating there for you as well, perhaps?)
  • Why has the FBI raided, confiscated and locked-down computers and files at the CyberNET Group's office in Grand Rapids, MI? Is it related to information supplied to the FBI by Florida's U.S. Congressional candidate, Jeff Fisher? Has he actually supplied such information to the FBI? And if so, what sort of evidence does he have for the various claims that he's been making about the vote in Florida and elsewhere having been hacked? It's true he tells a strange and complicated story. So was the story of three cuban exiles breaking into the Democratic Headquarters in a Washington D.C. hotel at the order of an ex-CIA agent funded by a multi-millionaire in Florida. You may want to investigate instead of dismiss this report.
  • In 2000 much was made of the broadcast networks calling Florida for Gore an hour before the polls had closed in the panhandle of Florida, yet this year, when the Fox Network called Ohio for Bush at 12:41am and the Fox News Channel just three minutes later in the early morning hours of Election Night, voters will still lined up in Ohio to vote! The last vote was not made until 3:55am at Kenyon College in Knox County, Ohio (where there were only two voting machines to serve the entire large student population), a full three hours later. What is the Fox Network's explanation for doing precisely what they decried the other networks for doing back in 2000 when the call seemed to work at the time against George W. Bush?
  • I could go on, but that should be enough questions for the NY Times to continue to ignore for quite a while.

    Please continue to managing-editor@nytimes.com; executive-editor@nytimes.com; national@nytimes.com; editorial@nytimes.com; oped@nytimes.com; public@nytimes.com; letters@nytimes.com; magazine@nytimes.com; QandA@nytimes.com; washington@nytimes.com; TheBradBlog@cville.com?Subject=Investigate and Report On Voter Irregularity, Mistabulation and Fraud NOW!">let them know how you feel about their reporting or lack thereof!

    And send the link to this article to anybody and everybody you can!

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    By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2004 10:52pm PT  

    As if to say "Fuck off, Americans! We're busy with more important things!", The New York Times is running a smarmy little piece in tomorrow's Week in Review under the headline: "Still Unhappy About the Election? Here's a Place You Can Vent."

    It's a piece about some of the email that's been sent to the "National Association of State Election Directors" --- whoever the hell they are --- complaining about the way the election was run and the way votes were counted, mistabulated, or whatever.

    The New York Times has been bravely leading the way in ignoring the story of America's failure to hold an honest, clean and transparent election. Even though they've had time to dismiss the whole affair as "the conspiracy theories of leftwing bloggers."

    Their criticism and sniffing dismissal of those of us who give a damn about getting this story right and told to the American people accurately is ironic coming from the "newspaper of record" which spent a year helping us get into a war by becoming the unquestioning lapdog of the Bush Adminstration's rhetoric and inaccurate propaganda. They had to issue an apology for their crappy reporting. And they've got the gall to criticize "bloggers" for covering this story?!

    Still Unhappy About the NYTimes Disgraceful Coverage of This Story? Here's a Place You Can Vent!

    UPDATE: I've decided to help The NY Times do their job. Please see these 15 Unanswered Questions about the Election Results that they may wish to investigate. Apparently they need a cheat sheet to get started!

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    While Voters in Dem Districts Waited in Line for Hours!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2004 9:13pm PT  

    I came across this story a few days ago but failed to blog it in the crush of...something or another. Glad I was reminded of it again today.

    The Columbus Free Press, (which, by the way, should be lauded for the superb job they have been doing covering the post-Election outrages in Ohio, unlike so many of their media brethren) documents the latest scandal to surface from Ohio's Election Night, this time in Columbus:

    The Board of Elections' own document records that, while voters waited in lines ranging from 2-7 hours at polling places, 68 electronic voting machines remained in storage and were never used on Election Day.
    ...
    An analysis of the Franklin County Board of Elections' allocation of machines reveals a consistent pattern of providing fewer machines to the Democratic city of Columbus, with its Democratic mayor and uniformly Democratic city council, despite increased voter registration in the city. The result was an obvious disparity in machine allocations compared to the primarily Republican white affluent suburbs.

    The formula used to determine where and how many machines will be placed is based on a maximum usage of 100 votes per machine so that the length of voting lines won't become a burden to voters.

    Once a machine is recording 200 voters per machine, 100% over optimum use, the system completely breaks down. This causes long waits in long lines and potential voters leaving before casting their ballots, due to age, disability, work and family responsibilities.

    A preliminary analysis by the Free Press shows six suburban polling places with 100 votes a machine or less, and only one in the city of Columbus meeting or falling under the guideline.

    The legendary affluent Republican enclave of Upper Arlington has 34 precincts. No voting machines in this area cast more than 200 votes per machine. Only one, ward 6F, was over 190 votes at 194 on one machine. By contrast, 39 Columbus city polling machines had more than 200 votes per machine and 42 were over 190 votes per machine. This means 17% of Columbus' machines were operating at 90-100% over optimum capacity while in Upper Arlington the figure was 3%.

    In the Democratic stronghold of Columbus 139 of the 472 precincts had at least one and up to five fewer machine than in the 2000 presidential election. Two of Upper Arlington's 34 precincts lost at least one machine. In the 2004 presidential election, 29% of Columbus' precincts, despite a massive increase in voter registration and turnout, had fewer machines than in 2000. In Upper Arlington, 6% had fewer machines in 2004 One of those precincts had a 25% decline in voter registration and the other had a 1% increase. Compare that to Columbus ward 1B, where voter registration went up 27%, but two machines were taken away in the 2004 election. Or look at 23B where voter registration went up 22% and they lost two machines since the 2000 election, causing an average of 207 votes to be cast on each of the remaining machines. In the year 2000, only 97 votes were cast per machine in the precinct. Thus, in four years, the ward went from optimum usage to system failure.

    If you're not outraged about that, whether on the Right or Left, then I hope you'll not do me the insult of calling yourself an American.

    The system is broken. Period.

    ReddIt this story!



    (Also - Bloggers Right, Mainstream Media Wrong)
    By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2004 1:17pm PT  

    From today's Cleveland Plain Dealer:

    A trio of activist lawyers armed with mysteriously wrong exit polls and hundreds of voter horror stories announced plans Friday to contest Ohio's presidential election as soon as the vote is official.

    Their challenge could lead to widespread reconsideration of dozens of alleged election irregularities around the state - from reported computerized voting glitches to provisional-ballot mishaps to unusual incidents involving voter rolls, poll workers and machine technicians.
    ...
    Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for the secretary of state's office, said many glitches brought to light on Internet blogs and in the alternative press will be corrected in the state's official canvass of the election.

    That process, which turns unofficial election results into official ones, is still under way.
    ...
    Susan Truitt, co-founder of Citizens' Alliance for Secure Elections and one of the participating lawyers, said Ohioans need to know their vote was properly counted.

    "Our intent is to examine this election, and to prevail, so that we will have a democracy in this country," she said. "So that we will not have our voices shut down."

    SIDENOTE: Notice LoParo's statement that it was "Internet blogs" and "alternative press" that have brought "glitches" to light. While the word "glitches" may or may not be accurate, it's certainly notable that even the Republican Ohio Sec. of State's office is admitting that the blogs and alt. press have noticed, caught and reported errors while the Mainstream Media continues to nap.

    Whether one believe these are "glitches" and/or whether there is enough of them found to change the national election seems to me to be beside the point. Such "glitches" have already reversed the results of several local races and initiatives across the country as is. And since they are all about counting our votes correctly in the world's most important democracy, one would think that these issues would be a top priority for the MSM.

    In other words, we (bloggers, etc.) have been right and the MSM has been wrong in not reporting and investigating these stories. Even the Republican Secretary of State's office in Ohio has now officially admitted as much!

    WAKE UP, CNN!!!

    ReddIt this story!



    Or, There's No Place Like Home
    ...For Rick.
    By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2004 12:47pm PT  

    Love this story. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-"PA") as hypocritical as you likely already know him to be. But this time, it's only the U.S. Constitution that he seems to be violating, as opposed, for a change, to just common-decency and human-kind.

    Or as John Aravosis of AMERICAblog (from whom I caught the link) put it --- "couldn't have happened to a nicer asshole".

    This brouhaha should be of no major concern to Mr. Santorum, however. Since Republican legislators are now more than free to avoid violations of their once sacred "Rule of Law" by simply changing the rules of the law as any potentially-scandalous situation-of-the-moment may require.

    Better dead than red.

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2004 12:35pm PT  

    It was the clever graphic at left that first caught my eye. But the article which accompanied it by Jason Bradfield, a once-conservative activist who came to his senses and is now working towards progressive pragmatism in D.C., explains what might have been going through a Bush voters head in 2004 --- from the perspective of someone who had voted for Bush in 2000.

    He analyzes the way which progressives may be able to speak to the "hyper-individualistic 'me-first' worldview" of so many of those voters in the future.

    It's a fairly heady but extremely articulate analysis as is Bradfield's own blog "Random Thoughts of an Ex-Conservative". Both are well worth the read.

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2004 4:30pm PT  

    I wish I could resize this one to fit here. But I can't. So please click here to check it out (one panel of which is at right, another down left, but there is more...)

    And by the way, if you're of the mind that this should be a "time of healing" and "coming together", you are reading the wrong blog and/or listening to someone other than George W. Bush.

    The fact that the divisiveness in this country is now on schedule to grow only fiercer and more counter-productive to the general welfare of our nation and our world is perhaps the only thing that the faux "President-Elect" and I would seem to agree on. The difference being that while he apparently takes pride and pleasure in that fact, it breaks my ever-lovin' heart.

    But I just live in this country, so I play with the cards I am dealt.

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2004 3:47pm PT  

    The money quote from Mark Crispin Miller's piece from Tuesday...longer quote than usual...because it's well-deserved:

    To nod agreement that this was indeed an honest win is to forget how Bush was shoehorned into office in the first place; to ignore the ease with which electronic totals can be changed without a trace; to suppress the fact that Diebold, Sequoia and ES&S—the major manufacturers of touch screen voting machines and central tabulators—are owned and run by Bush Republicans, who have made no secret of their partisan intentions; to deny the value of the exit polls, which turn out to have been “mistaken” only in the swing states; to downplay the weird inflation of the Bush vote in county after county, where the number of votes for president was somehow higher than the number of voters who turned out; to ignore the bald chicanery of the Bush supporters who ran the central polling station in Ohio's Warren County and forced out the press and poll monitors so they could count the vote in secret; to forget the numerous accounts of vote fraud coast to coast throughout the prior weeks of early voting; to overlook the fact that every single “glitch” or “error” that has been reported favors Bush; to ignore the countless instances of ballots—absentee, provisional—thrown away or left uncounted; to forget that the civilian vote abroad (some four million Americans) was being mishandled by the Pentagon (which had somehow become responsible for doing the State Department's job); and to ignore the many dirty tricks reported—the polling places quickly relocated at the last minute, the fake voter-registration drives, the thousands of Americans who found themselves not on the rolls, the police road-blocks, the bullying pro-Bush poll workers, the machines that kept translating votes for Kerry into votes for Bush. And so on.

    To forget or ignore all this and to accept—on faith—the mere say-so of Bush & Company (and our compliant media) is to make clear that you are not a member of what the Busheviks deride as “the reality-based community.” Those who help discredit false reports are doing that community, and this erstwhile democracy, a precious service. But, those who would abort the whole inquiry in the name of science or journalistic probity and “closure” are putting that community, and this nation, at grave risk.

    (Thanks tipster DuffyB for the link!)

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2004 12:54pm PT  

    Our friend Pam, at her simmering "House Blend" asks an astute question --- though one for which the answer is likely self-obvious to any Reality-Based Americans.

    She wonders why it is that a Saudi Prince is protecting News Corp from a possible hostile take-over bid as reported in Wednesday's Financial Times:

    Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, the billionaire Saudi investor, has vowed to block any hostile takeover bid for News Corp, throwing his support behind Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the US media group.
    ...
    Prince al-Waleed told the FT: “The idea is that if the need arises, we will act to keep News Corp independent under the leadership of Mr Murdoch and convert our stock to a voting stake and take whatever additional stake is needed.” He also supported Mr Murdoch's sons, Lachlan and James, who are deputy chief operating officer and chief executive of BSkyB respectively. “I want to be sure Mr Murdoch and his family and the directors understand I'm ready to assist.”

    Follow the money. Ignore the sloganeering. Fox News and News Corp "support America" in the same way that George W. Bush "supports the troops".

    ReddIt this story!



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