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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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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...

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...

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
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The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

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The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

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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
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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 Brad Friedman on 2/6/2005 2:18pm PT  

It was rough going as we started sneezing about an hour out of the gate on Interstate 15 on our way up to interview senor Curtis at the Freedom Cinema Festival, and we've been under the weather ever since.

I suppose travelling across the country and up and down mountains isn't necessarily the best thing for a sloggy headcold and everytime we think we've shaken it (to quote Michael Corleone) "they keep pullin' me back in."

So with our health way below what it ought to have been after a couple of weeks away from "the job", and mountains of unanswered Email to climb and Velvet Revolutions to wage, we'll be starting slowly I guess. But a path is built one stone at a time. And so we begin again. Year number two.

A quick word of thanks to both our friends Fin and Winter Patriot for keeping the joint in such tip-top shape over the last coupla weeks. As much as I was draggin' ass throughout my travels, at least I was able to rest easy knowing the two of them were fighting the good fight and keeping things in good order here while I was otherwise occupied.

Please be sure to visit both of their excellent blogs regularly. Winter Patriot's is right here. Fin's What We Know is right here.

Aside from lending me a hand, I'm hoping they each had enough fun that they'll consider doing it again in the future if/when I'm pulled away by other projects and/or distractions. Several of which --- if some touchstones made at the FCF bear fruit --- just may be on the horizon.

But more on all of that, news from Clint Curtis in UT and beyond, and much more to come as we crank up again. Slowly.

NOTE TO MR. FEENEY: Yup, I'm back. Didja miss me?

ReddIt this story!

By Fin on 2/6/2005 10:15am PT  

Guest blogged by Fin

For those who wondered why Senator Feinstein didn't join Senator Boxer in opposition to Condoleezza Rice, we have this from The Byrne Report:

ON JAN. 18, California senator Dianne Feinstein introduced Dr. Condoleezza Rice at a Senate nomination hearing for Secretary of State in terms so saccharine that molasses seemed to ooze out of her mouth....That very same day, Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum, took advantage of a spike in the price of his URS Corporation stock. He sold a third of his holdings in the defense contractor for $57 million, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. With Rice confirmed, the business of death and occupation looks rosy as hell for Feinstein, who--let's get real--benefits tremendously from sharing community property with Blum....Hubby holds a controlling interest in another engineering firm, Perini Corporation of Framingham, Mass....After the Senate, Feinstein included, approved Bush's war plans in 2002, Perini's defense contract awards soared from negligible to $2.52 billion. But, as with many of the sole-source, open-ended contracts awarded to politically connected firms, there are problems with accountability. Last summer, Department of Defense auditors determined that Perini could not adequately justify its costs in Iraq as fair and reasonable.

Some would say it's just business as usual, but with 1,500 dead and tens of thousands wounded (both physically and psychologically), it all seems criminal.

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"a premeditated plan to reap unjust profits"
Courtesy of Russ Kick and The Memory Hole
By Winter Patriot on 2/5/2005 10:22am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

In a few recent posts, I have mentioned Russ Kick and his twin websites, The Memory Hole and The Memory Blog. The most recent [February 4] item on The Memory Blog looks very interesting...

Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) today publicly released a new set of evidence showing Enron energy traders fabricated repair needs in order to take a Nevada power plant offline during the height of power blackouts in California in early 2001. The evidence also highlights illegal gaming schemes that crossed into Canada and involved senior Enron officials. PUD evidence reveals that Enron's market manipulation started at least two years prior to the western energy crisis as part of a premeditated plan to reap unjust profits from western consumers.

This would be bad enough, of course, even if Enron and Bush were not like this [holding two fingers very close together].

Click here for more details on the so-called president's close friends, and their high moral values...

UPDATE: Brad here, jumping in with a quick update to Winter Patriot's post. It's a quote from comments on this thread posted by Nana, but it deserves to be front and center. The fake California Energy Crisis of 2001 being a pet bugaboo of mine...Thanks, Nana.

"The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants ..."

George W Bush
NY York Times, Jan 14 2001

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And this one comes with a question
No penalties for incorrect answers :-)
By Winter Patriot on 2/5/2005 9:49am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

USA's new Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, has begun a week-long tour of Europe, during which she has been assuring foreign leaders that an attack on Iran is "not on our agenda".

Do you believe her?

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Story Critical of Defense Department Vanishes!
Expect More 'Information Warfare'!
By Winter Patriot on 2/4/2005 6:28pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Early this afternoon, the lead story on CNN's main page was headlined "Critics question Pentagon news sites".

It began:

The U.S. Department of Defense plans to add more sites on the Internet to provide information to a global audience --- but critics question whether the Pentagon is violating President Bush's pledge not to pay journalists to promote his policies. The sites are run by U.S. military troops trained in "information warfare", a specialty than can include battlefield deception.

That story is now gone, and not a trace of it can be found. The CNN search engine can't find it. Google knows nothing. Interesting, no?

Why do you suppose CNN pulled it? You don't suppose they got any heat for it, do you?

And what do you make of the shift-of-tense? The first sentence says "[DoD] plans to add more sites", but the second sentence says "the sites are run". Is this story about sites that are already up and running? Or about sites that don't yet exist? Or both? I can't tell. Can you? We may as well assume the worst.

Further, what do you suppose it means by "journalists"? What do you suppose that word means in the context of the phrase "President Bush's pledge not to pay journalists to promote his policies"? How about "partisan hacks pretending to be journalists"? Do you think his pledge extends that far? Do you suppose Jeff Gannon qualifies as a "journalist"?

I still say we may as well assume the worst. We may as well expect more "information warfare". We may as well expect more "battlefield deception". We should never forget that "the home front" is considered "a battlefield", where those who can see through the propaganda, and who dare call it by its proper name, are considered "the enemy".

I wish I had saved more of that story. I wish I had read more of it.

Oh well. We'll find out soon enough. But not from CNN.

ReddIt this story!

He Said It In San Diego!
And NBC4 Has The Video!
By Winter Patriot on 2/2/2005 11:02pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

According to from this item from Southern California's NBC4, Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the Marine Corps' top general, believes that it is

"fun to shoot some people."

What? Yeah! Not only did he say it; he said it in public! Here's the video!

According to the NBC4 story,

Many military members laughed at the comments

but Retired Vice Adm. Edward H. Martin

"was a little surprised"

What surprised the Retired Vice Admiral? The attitude? Or the statement?

"I don't think any of us who have ever fought in wars liked to kill anybody."

Aha! It was the attitude!

You tell me. Who's kidding whom? The "surprised" Retired Vice Admiral? Or the "many military members" who "laughed at the comments"?

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The Writings of Robert Parry
'Favorite Writers' Series Continues
By Winter Patriot on 2/2/2005 11:24am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

In a previous post, I highlighted Manuel Valenzuela, one of my favorite writers who did not make John Kaminski's Top 25. Valenzuela writes long essays composed of long sentences; his pieces require substantial time and effort --- to read! Imagine what it takes to write them...

Let's go a different direction this time: Robert Parry writes fairly short pieces using short and simple sentences. But that's not why I like him so much. I like him because he never seems to get distracted from the major issues. He just keeps pounding away, hoping that eventually some of it might start to sink in. And maybe it will. Someday.

Most of what Parry writes, most of what we read and see and think every day, every little bit of what we think of as 'political reality', can be better understood against the backdrop of Bush's 'Perception Management' Plan. If you haven't read this important essay yet, please do so.

You can find Robert Parry at Consortium News. Or you can click on the links here to read his most recent columns:

Your comments, as always, are invited, and welcomed...

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This one is Completely Open!
No question, no nothing!
By Winter Patriot on 2/2/2005 10:10am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

You have the floor...

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Major Political Crisis! Troops In The Streets!
Unconstitutional? So What??
By Winter Patriot on 2/1/2005 3:41pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Yes, It has really happened. Not here, but in Nepal. It's been in the cards for a long time, but nobody could do anything to stop it. Sound familiar?

Pay attention, folks. This is what it looks like when a fragile democracy goes down the drain.

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With Friends Like These ... Who Needs ... Friends??
good photos and captions at The Memory Hole
By Winter Patriot on 1/31/2005 11:53pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Russ Kick of The Memory Hole has reposted some very interesting old photos in a set called "Senior US Officials Cozy up to Dictator Who Boils People Alive".

And I thought you might like to have a look.

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Money Disappears As If By Magic!
Poof! More Than $8 Billion Simply Vanished!
By Winter Patriot on 1/31/2005 11:32pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

There's a good article at about a pile of money that seems to have developed magical powers. Here are the first few paragraphs:

The U.S.-run administration in Baghdad failed to keep track of nearly $9 billion of money it transferred to various Iraqi ministries, according to an official audit released Sunday.

The report by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says that the now defunct U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) did not exercise adequate managerial control over funds paid to Iraqi government ministries, which employ hundreds of experts from the United States.

This resulted in potentially widespread corruption, including paying salaries to "ghost" employees, and led to the eventual disappearance of $8.8 billion between early 2003 and mid-2004.

"Potentially widespread" corruption? Good phrase! That's right up there with the "possibly innocent" civilians whose home was bombed the other day. Pardon our "catastrophic success"!

What am I bitching about? It's only money, is it not? And we have money to burn, don't we? No? Ok then, why are we so busy burning it?

I do not want to know how many humvees could have been properly armored for 8.8 billion dollars. I do not want to know how many American lives could have been spared. Really. I don't even want to know how many extra votes could have been gained by making sure those 8.8 billion dollars disappeared into the right pockets! Oh that's right! They did disappear into the right pockets! How ironic!!

And how many elections can you buy for 8.8 billion dollars? Don't tell me. I don't want to know!

You can read the entire article but please don't answer any of my questions!!

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Sundance Festival Success!
More Details To Follow!
By Winter Patriot on 1/31/2005 9:51pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Brad Friedman has finally met Clint Curtis, and he interviewed him before a live audience on Saturday night at the Freedom Cinema Festival in Park City, Utah. We're eagerly awaiting Brad's return and our chance to learn more about this tantalizing story.

While we wait, Fin and I are guest-blogging here at The BRAD BLOG, and over the next few days we're hoping to continue our "Favorite Writers" series, start another open thread or two, and maybe even look at a few news stories. Here though, are links to Brad's most recent posts. We've disabled comments for this entry, but you can still discuss Brad's previous posts on their own threads:

  • Brad's most recent post contained a short summary of the interview as well as the complete text of Brad's remarks introducing himself and Clint Curtis.
  • Here's a slightly earlier post announcing Tom Feeney's Town Hall Meeting, and reporting on the progress of the Festival.
  • And here's Brad's last post from his office, composed hours before he hit the dusty trail.
  • He may be movin' along as you read this, maybe even somewhere between Tehachapi and Tonopah.

    ReddIt this story!

    By Brad Friedman on 1/29/2005 11:17pm PT  

    (Blogged by Brad from Park City, UT)

    Today's event with Clint Curtis and myself at the Freedom Cinema Festival in Park City (at the Sundance Festival) went very well. Were I not still as sick as I am, and exhausted to boot, I might have more details to share.

    For now, suffice to say, the event was a blast and there were a few folks there who seemed to take great interest in the story, touched base with both myself and Clint after the event, and may help move things forward in various ways in the near future. The interview was covered with a three-camera video shoot. So if the FCF folks are able to get it edited and posted in the next week or so, I'll be sure to link to it, of course. More on all of that as things develop, and as I get both my brain and body back.

    So the long (and hopefully slow) trek back to L.A. begins tomorrow. We hope it will take quite a while. We need it. For the duration then, Winter Patriot and Fin are still on active guest-blogger duties here at The BRAD BLOG. We continue to appreciate their efforts in my "absence" as I slowly amble back to Hollywood and stay away from the net as much as humanly possible.

    Until then, for those who may be interested, here are my opening remarks from today's event/interview which helped tee up the festivities and which also serve nicely as a several-days-late milestone marker for The BRAD BLOG's First Anniversary year-in-review...

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

    ReddIt this story!

    By Fin on 1/29/2005 9:21pm PT  

    Guest blogged by Fin

    The first hour is officially over and I think I saw all of 3 people come into vote on the Fox News Baghdad feed. The talking heads are trying to cheerlead their asses off but it's looking pretty grim. Anybody still up and watching?

    ReddIt this story!

    The View From Inside
    By Fin on 1/29/2005 2:13pm PT  

    Guest blogged by Fin

    From Christopher Allbritton at his always insightful Back to Iraq

    The security situation is unreal. No cars tomorrow—except those with special passes, which includes media, cops, political guys, etc. in short, if you're an insurgent and you hit a car tomorrow, you're bound to get someone vaguely important. Only five polling stations in Baghdad will allow cameras or other electronic gear, so bear that in mind when you look at photographs of the election.

    I'll be out in the thick of it for a while at least... Out with my photographer and seeing what goes on. Not sure if I'll be driving or walking. That will depend on my security guys. This is a free election? Insurgent pamphlets are being distributed that anyone walking to a polling center is a target. Several centers have already been blown up. The fear is thick enough to cut with a knife. The Iraqi security forces—with their American patrons—have tanks at the end of my street. Old Soviet T-55s, but tanks, nonetheless.

    He goes on to give a detailed prediction on how the vote percentages might play out and what might happen next. He finishes with this far from ringing endorsement of freedom's march:

    Tomorrow is shaping up to be a big day. Lots of security issues, worries about the future and general anxiety. Will the elections be successful? What would constitute successful? To be honest, I don't know anymore. A high turnout would definitely help, but even that may not be enough if the Sunni don't come to the polls and can't be enticed into the constitutional process. One thing is certain though: The insurgency will continue unabated. Our sources in the insurgency—the Ba'athists and nationalists, not the jihadis—pledge that Sunday means nothing. As long as Iraq is occupied by Americans and their puppets, “brought in on the back of their tanks,” as the saying goes, the violence will continue. And since I don't see the government changing much, I don't see much changing in Iraq. The infrastructure will continue to limp along or deteriorate further, Americans and Iraqis will continue to die, in large numbers in the case of the latter. And Iraq will further disintegrate into a failed state.

    Now, I may be surprised by the turns of events here. And Lord knows I've been wrong before. But from here in Baghdad, people are voting not because they want democracy, but because they're grasping onto anything they think will help. For Iraqis, hope is fleeting and life is short. This isn't optimism, it's desperation, and that's no basis for a democracy.

    The whole post is worth a read.

    ReddIt this story!

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