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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, December 16, 2017
GOP Tax Scam's Final Mile; Tillerson's NK Flip; Packing the Courts; Trump Family Fail: 'BradCast' 12/15/17
A spoonful or two of sugar along with some of today's bitter medicine...
Trump FCC Kills 'Net Neutrality', Endangering Internet Free Speech: 'BradCast' 12/14/2017
Guest: Media reformer Sue Wilson; Also: More mega-mergers, Trump noms withdrawn, more...
'Green News Report' 12/14/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
Toxic smoke warnings from SoCal fires; New bad news for the Arctic; New good news for Tesla; World fights climate change without U.S.; PLUS: French prez makes good on promise...
Previous GNRs: 12/12/17 - 12/7/17 - Archives...
Veteran Recount Attorney Sees Little Chance for Moore in AL: 'BradCast' 12/13/17
Guest: Recount expert Chris Sautter on Jones' win, Moore's odds, AL Supremes' 'ballot images' ruling...
Internet Freedom of Speech Now at Stake
With Trump's Repub-majority FCC set to kill Net Neutrality, a media reformer on why the result will be another political horror show for Dems and the nation...
AL Supremes Allow 'Ballot Images' to Be Destroyed: 'BradCast' 12/12/17
Guest: David Rothschild's new study on whether real or fake news was the bigger prob in the 2016 election...
'Green News Report' 12/12/17
SoCal fire now CA's 5th largest ever; Trump Admin attacks private co. in nat'l monument fight, opens E. Coast to drilling, slows EPA actions against polluters...
Moore, Moore, Moore... and Other Vital News: 'BradCast' 12/11/2017
Terror attacks in NY, KS, NM; Pentagon to allow trans-gender enlistment; SoCal fires; Election integrity court win and deep dive before AL's insane U.S. Senate election...
GOP/NRA's 'Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act' Likely Unconstitutional
New bill rammed through House blocks states' rights on gun safety laws and may violate the U.S. Constitution...
Sunday Toons of the Soulless Moment
A lot of souls have been sold in recent days. For what in return? 'PDiddie' rounds up the consequences in his latest weekly toon collection...
Former CO GOP Chair Found Guilty of Voter Fraud: 'BradCast' 12/8/17
And other ironies and outrages: SoCal fires spread; Trump dumps science; Election Integrity suit in AL; House GOP ignores states' rights on guns; Listener e-mail...
'Green News Report' 12/7/17
Trump rolls back protections for two national monuments; Tribes, conservationists sue; GOP tax bill slashes renewables; PLUS: Credit firm warns cities on climate...
Two SCOTUS Cases This Week 'Take the Cake' for Absurdity: 'BradCast' 12/6/17
Guest: Slate's Mark Joseph Stern; Also: Fires worsen in, near L.A.; Franken pressured by Dem Senators to resign...
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...

Sec. of State, Formerly an ES&S Supporter, 'More than Upset About Broken Promises' by Country's Largest E-Voting Company
By John Gideon on 5/10/2006 7:38pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Just hours ago Betty Ireland, the Secretary of State of West Virginia filed a formal complaint against ES&S with the federal Elections Assistance Commission. A story in the State Journal quotes Secretary Ireland:

"I am more than upset that or county clerks and their staffs and county commissions had to withstand stress and anxiety over the broken promises and delays ES&S put them through".

"And, Ireland says, now that the election is over, strategy talks about the problems with Election Systems and Software will begin...but, "We will not and cannot discuss publicly our legal strategy. As before, we continue to work with the Attorney General's Office to address our options"."

"The state's selection committee chose ES&S because of it's past service in the state and it's knowledge of West Virginia election deadlines and procedures. Ireland says, "Unfortunately, we now feel ES&S let West Virginia down"."

There have been failures all over the state. A small sampling of problems gives us:

  • Taylor County's votes could not be counted last night because the main computer would not read tabulators from individual voting machines.
  • Upshur County's counter was in such bad shape that as of midnight the county was trying to get a similar machine from a neighboring county
  • Mineral County's optical scan ballot counter was producing skewed results
  • Ohio County could not count about 800 absentee votes because it was not given the equipment to do so
  • - and ?

  • Clay, Gilmer, Greenbrier, Putnam, McDowell and Webster that all violated provisions of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 when they were not able provide any voting machines for their voters with disabilities.
  • The national media? Mums the word for them, it seems.




    Detailed Essay Excoriates Administration and the Republicans on Every Point
    Doug McIntyre's Brutally Honest Essay Makes Him the Latest BRAD BLOG 'Intellectually Honest Conservative' Award Winner!
    By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2006 5:09pm PT  

    Wow.

    Doug McIntyre, the very conservative morning drive talk-show host out here in Los Angeles, last Friday issued a stunning "apology" for voting and supporting George W. Bush. It's a must read, hits on every point --- and I mean every point --- and should serve as a template for all intellectually honest conservatives. It also garners McIntyre the latest, and rarely bestowed, BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award!"

    Here's just one graf:

    I'm saying today, I was wrong to have voted for George W. Bush. In historic terms, I believe George W. Bush is the worst two-term President in the history of the country. Worse than Grant. I also believe a case can be made that he's the worst President, period.

    Read the whole thing there are far too many money quotes to pull out and post here. Incredible.

    (Thanks Bring 'Da Noise for the tip!)




    (Why Do the Terrorists Hate Me?)
    By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2006 4:21pm PT  

    I'm speaking on Election Reform issues to the Culver City Democratic Club tonight at 8pm. Their site, www.CCDemClub.org has been hacked this morning in the bargain.

    Joining me will be Arlene Pinzler from California Sen. Debra Bowen's office. Bowen is running for CA Sec. of State and must be supported, by the way! Her opponent in the Democratic primary, Deborah Ortiz, told the Sacramento Bee yesterday, incredibly, that she's satisfied with McPherson's certification of Diebold machines in the state and thinks "they're adequate to get us through the June 6 elections."

    That is not a woman who belongs in the SoS office! Or even near it!

    I any case, since details for tonight's event are no longer available at the Culver City Dem's site (but alot of hate-speech from hackers claiming to be representing Turkish Muslims is), here are the details. If you're in Southern California area, please stop by and say hello! And a note to Republicans: Happy to come on by and speak to your groups, too! Just let me know!

    Culver City Democratic Club, 8pm (other business begins at 7pm)
    Veteran's Memorial Building, Rotunda Room
    4117 Overland Ave. (SW corner of Culver Blvd.)

    Now I just have to find time to put something worthwhile together to speak about! :-)




    Motion Demands Preliminary Injunction, Alleges E-Machines Are Not Secure, Not Fully Accessible to Disabled Voters
    Suit is Latest in Growing Line of Similar Actions Being Taken Around the Country, SoS Brewer Continues to Duck Public Discussion of Issue or Support the Troops
    By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2006 3:26pm PT  

    John Gideon contributed to this report.

    A group of Arizona voters have filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction against Sec. of State Jan Brewer to halt the purchase of electronic touch-screen voting systems in the state made by both Diebold, Inc. and Sequoia Voting Systems.

    The voters announced today that the motion was being filed in time to stop the use of the Diebold TSx and Sequoia Edge II systems in the state's upcoming 2006 elections, due to security, verifiability, and disability access problems with these systems.

    In addition to the litany of security issues concerning Diebold's TSx, details from the most severe one to date were just revealed publicly last Friday with more chilling details filed in the Oakland Tribune by Ian Hoffman today, the suit also contends the machines, being purchased and implemented in many Arizona counties for the first time this year, are accessible only for a small number of voters with disabilities.

    Indeed, on Monday, Diebold issued a press release about new disabled-accessible features that the company is now making available for their line of touch-screen voting machines. The press release can be seen as a tacit agreement, of sorts, that those systems had not been previously accessible to all disabled voters as required by the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA)?

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




    BRAD BLOG Publishes Exclusive Documents: Incident Report, Letter to Coulter from Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections
    GOP Propagandist May Also Be Guilty of Tax Code Fraud for Taking $25,000 'Homestead Exemption' if She Doesn't Actually Live in Palm Beach
    By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2006 2:11pm PT  

    Republican extremist/hate-monger, Ann Coulter may be on the verge of being tossed from the Voter Rolls in Palm Beach County, Florida.

    The BRAD BLOG has also obtained exclusive official documents from the chain of events which has helped bring the GOP darling to a new place in her career: She has fallen completely silent.

    Coulter, who appears to have committed a third-degree felony by knowingly giving an incorrect address on her voter registration form in Palm Beach, Florida, and then knowingly voting at the incorrect polling place last March, could face up to $5,000 in fines and five years in prison if convicted.

    In April, The BRAD BLOG posted Coulter's fraudulent Voter Registration form in full. Today, we have more official and exclusive documents from the incident.

    In light of Coulter's apparent voter fraud felony, the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, Dr. Arthur Anderson, had sent her a letter last March (posted in full below), giving her 30 days to explain her actions, before possibly referring the matter to the state attorney for prosecution. So far, Coulter has failed to reply at all. Officials now say she may be removed from the voter rolls.

    The Palm Beach Posts's Jose Lambiet originally broke this story back in March, and today adds a few new details in an update:

    The elections office tried to contact her again last week with another missive. No response. Now, the voting-eligibility watchdogs are losing patience.

    "We may start the administrative procedure to remove Ms. Coulter from the voter rolls this week," said Charmaine Kelly, deputy elections chief. "There will be a public hearing to cancel her registration. If that happens, she won't be able to vote until she re-registers. It's a rather rare procedure."

    The incident was first reported to county officials by Precinct Advisor James Whited (incident report posted in full below) who had informed Coulter that her true home address, at 242 Seabreeze Ave., did not match the one on her voter registration. Coulter, had inexplicably used her Real Estate agent's address on the voter registration form which includes a signature next to an oath which says, in part, "All information on this form is true" and acknowledges the third-degree felony penalties for lying.

    Whited explains in the report that he advised Coulter of the problem:

    Ms. Coulter then said, "What was the problem?" It was explained that she needed to fill out a change of address form in order to vote in Precinct 1198. She countered with, "Where would I vote with the address that I have?" I advised her that it would be at St. Edward's Church. She said ''thank you" and hurriedly went out the door and down the driveway. I followed her to the edge of the driveway trying to get her to return but to no avail. I had no idea where she was going when she left the precinct.

    Coulter would shortly thereafter cast her ballot at St. Edward's Church where she would have completed the final act of her knowing voter fraud. According to Michelle Pilecki at Huffington Post, Coulter has since been attacking those who question her about the incident on her speaking tour. Comment at that linked story, posted by a student who attended one of Coulter's events reported:

    Ann Coulter spoke on my campus tonight, and I asked her "I was just wondering if you would like to respond to allegations that you knowingly voted in the wrong precinct in Palm Beach."

    She responded that "No, I don't live in Palm Beach. Maybe you shouldn't read retarded news!"

    But "retarded news" site, The BRAD BLOG linked to several documents which indicate, in no uncertain terms, that Coulter purchased a $1.8 million dollar crib in Palm Beach in March of 2005. If that is not her residence, Coulter would still be guilty of an apparent voter fraud felony, since she did register to vote in Palm Beach...even if at the wrong address.

    As well, Coulter has received a $25,000 homestead tax exemption, which, according to Palm Beach law, would only be available to use as a tax deduction on the property if she "lives there permanently".

    For the first time, to our knowledge, The BRAD BLOG now publishes the complete incident report on the matter, as filed by Whited, along with the original certified letter sent to Coulter by Anderson --- which has subsequently been ignored. We post both, along with the "Statement of Legal Residence" form which Anderson requested, on March 27th, be returned by Coulter within thirty days, below...

    (Awesome graphic above courtesy of Towelroad.com)

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




    Questions the Media Should Ask of All Elections Officials
    By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2006 4:45am PT  

    A blogger who has been obsessively tracking the growing number of electronic voting horror stories around the country --- stories largely ignored by the national media --- offers an annotated list of questions to help election officials learn from others' mistakes.

    "Obsessively?" Me? (He says as he writes this at 4:39am) Well, maybe. But someone's gotta.

    So begins the editor's intro to a piece I was invited to submit to the Harvard University's Nieman Foundation for Journalism's Watchdog site. The invitation came from Deputy Editor, and Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin, so I was honored to accept.

    I was asked to submit questions for mainstream media folks to ask of Elections Officials about our current Electoral Train Wreck-in-Progress in hopes that someone in the MSM might actually do so. These are the tough questions which, frankly, ought to be asked of every damn Election Official in the country by every damn responsbile media person.

    Several questions were edited out by Dan before posting for reasons that I don't completely understand. But as I consider him one of the good guys (who occassionally even links to BRAD BLOG from his WaPo page) I won't hold it against him.

    So here's the piece as posted at Nieman Watchdog. (Including a swell pic of yours truly!)

    And for the hard-cord Election Reform junkies, read on for the extra bonus questions which didn't make the cut. Who knows? Maybe someone in the MSM may one day want to know what they completely failed to ask about...

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




    By Brad Friedman on 5/9/2006 5:58pm PT  

    New CBS/NYTimes poll. Bush now ties his father's career low point, higher only than Nixon and Carter...

    "We should have stayed out of Iraq until we knew more about it," Bernice Davis, a Republican from Missouri who said she now disapproves of Mr. Bush's performance, said in a follow-up interview today. "The economy is going to pot. Gas prices are escalating. I just voted for Bush because he's a Republican, even though I disapproved of the war. If I could go back, I would not vote for him."



    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Announces 'Informal Inquiry' into Accounting Practices of ATM, E-Voting Giant!
    Inquiry Comes on Heels of Recent Securities Fraud Class Action Litigation, Sharp Drop in Stock Value, Growing List of Security Vulnerabilities Discovered in Company's Electronic Voting Machines...
    By Brad Friedman on 5/9/2006 3:13pm PT  

    Just out from Reuters...

    NEW YORK, May 9 (Reuters) - Diebold Inc. (DBD.N), one of the world's largest makers of automated teller and electronic voting machines, on Tuesday said staff at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have begun an informal inquiry into how the company recognizes revenue.

    North Canton, Ohio-based Diebold said it learned recently about the SEC inquiry and is cooperating. The company disclosed the inquiry in its quarterly report filed with the agency.

    The investigation of Diebold by the SEC, which we had heard previously about through background sources over the past several months, comes on the heels of a class action Securities Fraud litigation suit, originally reported exclusively by The BRAD BLOG just before it was filed last December.

    That suit came on the heels of a growing number of reports on the reliability and vulnerability of Diebold's electronic voting machines and concerns about their larger ATM division.

    Last September, just days after we reported on an anonymous Diebold insider, nicknamed "DIEB-THROAT", who pointed us to a Dept. of Homeland Security "Cyber Security Alert" about vulnerabilities in Diebold's election software, the company's stock-prices plummeted more than 15%.

    While the stock price has remained lower than the nearly all-time highs it had been at just prior to the sudden drop, the price per share has been slowing inching back up over the last several months since the resignation of former CEO Walden O'Dell who was apparently pushed out just prior to the filing of the Securities Fraud suit which complained of insider trading, stock price manipulation and other malfeasance by eight current and former top Diebold executives.

    O'Dell had earned criticism after sending a fundraising letter to Republicans, prior to the 2004 President Election promising to deliver the state of Ohio to George W. Bush, for whom O'Dell was a top supporter.

    O'Dell was quickly replaced by the President of the Diebold Elections division, Thomas Swidarski, who is also named in the class action litigation.

    Problems continue to plague the North Canton, Ohio-based company's Electronic Voting Machine division. Last Friday, The BRAD BLOG filed a detailed report on the newest security vulnerability to be discovered in Diebold touch-screen voting machines. This particular vulnerability, just the latest in a string of more than a dozen serious flaws to be discovered since last December, has been described as a "major national security risk" and last week forced the state of Pennsylvania to "sequester" all of their new Diebold touch-screen systems until an attempted "fix" can be applied to mitigate the problem...

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




    By David Edwards on 5/9/2006 11:04am PT  

    Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com

    Hoekstra (R-MI): 'Every Intel Agency Will Be Under Control of Military'


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    Republican Pete Hoekstra is Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He was one of the first to oppose the appointment of General Hayden as CIA Director during last Sunday's edition of Fox News Sunday.

    This morning, Hoekstra continued to express stern opposition to Hayden's appointment in this interview from NBC's Today Show.

    Fineman: White House Wants Domestic Spying Fight During Hayden Confirmation


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    In an interview on MSNBC's Countdown, Howard Fineman says that the White House is welcoming a fight over Bush's Warrantless Domestic Spying programs during General Hayden's confirmation.

    Karl Rove believes that the Democrats can be made to look weak on National Security if they continue to express concerns over the legality of their so-called "Terrorist Surveillance Program."

    Flashback: General Hayden Defends His Domestic Spy Program


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    On January 26, we posted this video of a press conference with General Michael Hayden at the National Press Club. Hayden was there to kick off a PR blitz defending the NSA's warrantless domestic surveillance program(s).

    General Hayden has been the leading defender of illegal spying. He showed no reluctance in stepping into the role of political operative for the Bush Administration. As CIA Director, we can expect him to stifle Congressional oversight and further the consolidation of Executive power.




    Also: Prosecutors Considering Indictment for Bob Ney
    By David Edwards on 5/9/2006 7:10am PT  

    Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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    MSNBC's David Shuster has followed the Plame leak case as closely as any reporter working for the corporate media. Last night on MSNBC's Countdown, Shuster reported on the possible indictment of Karl Rove.

    Lawyers familiar with the case say that Rove would have been notified that he was no longer a subject of the investigation if Fitzgerald were not pursuing an indictment. Fitzgerald referred to Karl Rove as "official A" in the indictment of Scooter Libby. Shuster reports that in every case where Fitzgerald has referred to a person as "official A", that person was eventually indicted...

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




    By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2006 3:55pm PT  

    The word "glitch" takes a rest, as the AP uses "hiccups" instead to minimize what happened in Ohio's Primary Election mess last Tuesday.

    Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, who was on the Republican Primary ballot for the Governor's race, refuses to step down from the investigation which is just now beginning since manual hand-counting of ballots in Cuyahoga County was just completed yesterday (Sunday), after Diebold machines failed to be able to read 17,000 absentee ballots...

    CLEVELAND (AP) --- The Ohio Democratic Party on Monday called on Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to remove himself from investigating what went wrong with the primary election in Ohio's largest county, saying the Republican gubernatorial candidate faces too many conflicts of interest to properly oversee the probe.

    More...




    By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2006 3:45pm PT  

    David Edwards picked up on these over the weekend, but didn't have the chance to get them all posted here.

    A full frontal coordinated attack on John Conyers was launched over the weekend by the GOP as their newest last-ditch attempt to save their asses this November. The tactic has now come down to the rather sad: "Vote for us or we might lose!"

    Apparently the GOP's pliant cohorts in the media, including Russert, Stephanopolis, Matthews, the front page of the New York Times and, of course Fox, were all too happy to lend a hand to their efforts. Here's a round-up of a few of the most obvious efforts...

    Russert and Stephanopolis do GOP Duty...


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    Chris Matthews Takes His Turn...


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    Fox, Reliably, Brings up the Rear...


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    UPDATE: David Swanson has a few choice words on the organized Conyers attacks.




    ...As Ney Chief of Staff Becomes Latest GOP Player to Cop a Plea Today
    By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2006 2:38pm PT  

    Over the weekend, AP reported that email from Tom DeLay's (R-TX) office to Jack Abramoff's office reveals that the indicted former-majority leader was quite aware of who was paying for his $75,000 trip to St. Andrews, Scotland to play golf in 2000.

    All of which makes it likely that Bob Ney (R-OH) was similarly aware of who was paying for the lobbyist funded vacation to St. Andrews when he took a similar trip with Abramoff in 2002.

    All of which makes it likely that Tom Feeney (R-FL), the third Republican Congressman to take the trip to hit the links in Scotland with Abramoff, he in 2003, was also aware of who was paying for it.

    Feeney has done a fine job of flying under the radar on this matter up until now. But with DeLay now down and out, and Ney's chief-of-staff, Neil Volz, copping a guilty plea today --- making him the fourth such criminal to implicate Ney in the vast Right Wing Conspiracy --- we'd think it only a matter of time before the media start noticing Feeney's conspiratorial involvement as well.

    Along those lines, a couple of notable pieces from from the Volz plea (courtesy of Paul Kiel over at Muckraker)...

    [W]e learn about a new, particularly shameless perk: Abramoff helped pay for a two-night vacation of Ney's, without even bothering to funnel the money through one of his nonprofits. "In or about August 2003," the plea reads, "defendant VOLZ paid for part of a two-night trip to the Sagamore Resort at Lake George, New York, for Representative #1 and members of his staff. Defendant VOLZ assured Representative #1 that defendant VOLZ would be reimbursed for his payments by Abramoff." Apparently Ney didn't want his old chief of staff laying out the bribe - he preffered to get it from a familiar source.

    That point may be useful as investigators and/or media take a closer look at Feeney and his other questionable trips, several of which are described here as part of CREW's "13 Most Corrupt" in Congress.

    Secondly, Kiel reminds us about Ney's use of his pet bill, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, to help a few of his closest "friends":

    We learned from prior plea agreements that Ney agreed to insert a line into the Help America Vote Act that would lift the Texas gaming ban on an Abramoff client, the Tigua tribe.

    We've discussed how Ney used his authorship of HAVA and control of the House Administration Committee --- which he chaired until being forced to step down because of all of this --- in the past (almost one full year ago today, as a matter of fact).

    More pointedly, however, we've reported on the roll Abramoff and Diebold played along with another former Ney chief-of-staff, David Distefano, in both passing HAVA in the first place, and ensuring it stayed intact as Diebold needed it to.

    That story, in which funds were apparently funnelled through to Ney from both Diebold and Abramoff's firm Greenburg Traurig, has also been overlooked by the media in general. If they care to pick up that ball now, they can find a lot of still-uninvestigated open ends in our report right here.

    Please feel free to let your media contacts know about both the Feeney issue and the Ney/HAVA/Abramoff issue, since both could use much more scrutiny by many more eyeballs.




    31% Approve, 65% Disapprove
    Conservative, Republican Support 'Seriously Erodes'
    By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2006 1:06pm PT  

    From USA TODAY...

    President Bush's approval rating has slumped to 31% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, the lowest of his presidency and a warning sign for Republicans in the November elections.
    ...
    Bush's fall is being fueled by erosion among support from conservatives and Republicans. In the poll, 52% of conservatives and 68% of Republicans approved of the job he is doing. Both are record lows among those groups.

    Moderates gave him an approval rating of 28%, liberals of 7%.

    "You hear people say he has a hard core that will never desert him, and that has been the case for most of the administration," says Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin who studies presidential approval ratings. "But for the last few months, we started to see that hard core seriously erode in support."

    (NOTE FROM BRAD: Playing serious catch-up on a number of stories, related-but-off-blog commitments and several crushing deadlines. Was gone the entire day yesterday interviewing someone on camera. Very interesting. More on that, and a bunch of other items as I can get caught up later today, tonight, and for the rest of the week as things are breaking and I do my best to keep up with all of it. Hopefully David and John will be able to jump into the breach where available here and as I continue to scramble to get caught up throughout the week. Begging your indulgence and patience over the next few days where coverage might be quicker or leaner than normal in the bargain...and as necessary.)




    By David Edwards on 5/8/2006 7:03am PT  

    Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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    We posted this video from ABC's This Week at Crooks and Liars yesterday. If you are a fan of DNC Chairman Howard Dean then you'll enjoy this video. For those that get physically sick at the sight of DeLay, you might want to skip the first 5 minutes.

    Outgoing, indicted and disgraced Republican Rep. Tom DeLay spews the same hate-filled attacks on Democrats that we've heard for several years now. DeLay still manages to brandish the freshest Republican talking points.

    Most notable was DeLay's attack on John Conyers' concerns that President Bush may have committed impeachable offenses. The Republicans believe that they can motivate their party to get out to the polls in November to save their favorite President from certain doom if the Democrats take control.

    Howard Dean largely ignores DeLay's bluster. Chairman Dean has really improved the focus and delivery of his message. Dean doesn't dodge the tough questions. He delivers clear answers, straight talk and real hope the the American people. Having DeLay and Dean on the same segment really exposes the great disparity in the quality of their character.




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