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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, January 29, 2023
NJ 2022 Computer Mistally Means Loser Actually Won: 'BradCast' 1/26/2023
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Dark money fossil fuel bribery and disen-franchising military voters in the Buckeye State; Also: GOP's dangerous limit debt game...
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EU's plan to compete with U.S. on renewables; Banks spend billions on fossil fuel despite net zero pledges; PLUS: Dark money led Ohio Repubs to redefine NatGas as 'green energy'...
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GOP's 'One-Two Punch to Shut Down' House Ethics Watchdog: 'BradCast' 1/18/23
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What did you THINK would happen?; Also: House GOP to crash economy over debt limit...
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PDiddie curates another first draft of history in his latest weekly toon collection...
Republican Federal Courts Take Aim at VRA Section 2: 'BradCast' 1/14/23
Guest: ACLU attorney Jonathan Topaz; Also: IA, NY GOPers charged with mass vote fraud; OH Guv signs bill restricting voting rights...
Transparency and Public Oversight to the Rescue: 'BradCast' 1/12/23
Hand-count of 2020 Prez race in PA county confirms tally; Also: Garland taps Special Counsel in Biden docs case; Trump still obstructing justice in stolen docs case...
'Green News Report' 1/12/23
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Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
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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...

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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


May He Finally Rest in Peace.
By Brad Friedman on 1/18/2006 11:22am PT  

Yesterday, I wrote about the suicide of Specialist Douglas Barber, an Iraq War vet who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) upon returning home from fighting on behalf of this country. A man who put his life on the line for this country, but who was unable to receive adequate help from the Veteran's Administration as run (and facing deep cutbacks) by George W. "Support the Troops" Bush.

Here is an email posted on SCOOP, from Barber, as written in January of 2005.

He had a difficult time getting people to listen to him while he was alive. Perhaps some of us can try to listen to him now that he's dead, so that perhaps his death will not be in vain.

In his email, Barber describes what many families go through when they witness their sons and daughters coming home in flag-draped coffins, hidden from view by the Bush Administration. And, even more telling in this case, some of the horrors veterans suffering from PTSD face once back on the homefront. Here's a few grafs...

All is not okay or right for those of us who return home alive and supposedly well. What looks like normalcy and readjustment is only an illusion to be revealed by time and torment. Some soldiers come home missing limbs and other parts of their bodies. Still others will live with permanent scars from horrific events that no one other than those who served will ever understand.

We come home from war trying to put our lives back together but some cannot stand the memories and decide that death is better. They kill themselves because they are so haunted by seeing children killed and whole families wiped out.
...
Still others come home to nothing, families have abandoned them: husbands and wives have left these soldiers, and so have parents as well. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has become the norm amongst these soldiers because they don't know how to cope with returning to a society that will never understand what they have had to endure to liberate another country.

PTSD comes in many forms not understood by many: but yet if a soldier has it, America thinks the soldiers are crazy. PTSD comes in the form of depression, anger, regret, being confrontational, anxiety, chronic pain, compulsion, delusions, grief, guilt, dependence, loneliness, sleep disorders, suspiciousness/paranoia, low self-esteem and so many other things.

See his full post for some of the specific personal issues that Barber faced as he wrestled with his PTSD demons.

But then, he goes on to finish with some words for all of the Wingnuts out there who make this sort of disaster possible. Those who, from the comfort of their million dollar homes and multi-million media contracts, distort the cost of this war to sell it as "a noble cause," as if it's a Made-in-America product we can all be proud of and ought to promote to every corner of the earth. Those who bang on a political drum to give the death and destruction of others a "positive" spin for their own personal benefit. Those who gain from the nameless, faceless deaths of real heroes who --- unlike the media-politico scoundrels --- will never benefit by having their contracts renewed, their books promoted to the Best-Seller lists, or see offers for multi-thousand dollar speaking fees. Those who haven't the first clue of what heroes like Barber faced in order to make the lives of such Chickenhawks so cozy and swell. Those like Rush and Sean and O'Reilly who, in Barber's own words are "nothing but dirt under every soldier's boots!"

All of that, even as Barber's death, along with countless others, won't even rate to make the Pentagon's ever-growing list of U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, or even seem themselves added to the scores of thousands listed on the Injured Lists.

I'll let Barber finish out this post...

Talk show hosts like Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and so many others act like they know all about war; then they refuse to give any credence to soldiers like me who have been to war and seen the brutality of war. These guys are nothing but WEAK SPINELESS COWARDS hiding behind microphones while soldiers come home and are losing everything they have.

I ask every American who reads this e-mail to stand up for the soldier who has given their everything for this country to stand up to these guys in the media; ask them why they don't pick up a weapon and follow in the steps of a soldier. Send this e-mail to as many people on your e-mail lists and ask them to do the same.

There needs to be a National awareness for every Veteran who has ever served in any war. Send e-mails to the Big Mouths on TV and ask them to have soldiers like me on their programs. I am asking you as Americans to BOYCOTT every TV show or host/journalist that refuses to tell the real truth.

THIS IS A PERSONAL CHALLENGE TO BILL,SEAN AND RUSH TO HAVE ME ON YOUR PROGRAM TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT. Otherwise you are nothing but dirt under every soldier's boots!

SPC. Douglas Barber

(Please consider supporting Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), formerly OpTruth.org --- Unlike Rush and Sean and O'Reilly, these guys were actually there...and they actually give a damn.)




May America 'Never Forget' What Has Gone on Here...
By Brad Friedman on 1/17/2006 2:34pm PT  

I'm on the road for a few days, currently near Palm Springs (or, as I like to call it, the Hollywood Old Folks Home), so unable to blog as around-the-clock as normal. But a couple of points today have really got me upset.

One is the spin-meister Bill O'Reilly's unpardonable apologies for the criminal George W. Bush administration. His remarkable rationalizations and attempts to excuse what noted constitutional attorney Jonathon Turley just called "an open and shut criminal case" against Bush (at the bottom of the first hour of O'Reilly's radio show today), are simply appalling.

O'Reilly's reasons why none of these broken rules of law or corruption of the U.S. Constitution rises to impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors? Because the American people don't support the impeachment of Bush. (Never mind the new Zogby poll showing that 52% of Americans would support such action for illegal, warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens. And never mind that no more than 30% of Americans ever supported the impeachment of Clinton!). But more on that, hopefully, later or tomorrow as my stomach, and time-away allows it.

For the moment however, a very disturbing story...just another one of far too many similar ones, I'm afraid...pointing up why this son-of-a-bitch who sits in the White House needs to be held accountable for the horrific actions of which I don't believe he actually has a clue. Or, at least, has insulated and lied to himself so much, that he can't even conceive anymore of the pain he has caused the citizenry of this country which he once swore to protect and defend. That, on top of the cynical claims of looking after the armed forces which he (fallaciously) claims at every opportunity to support.

I received some very disturbing email messages this morning, which have, by now, become all too familiar...

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




And Other Hightlights from an Extraordinary Speech to a Bi-Partisan Audience...
Calls for Special Counsel, Exec Branch Whistleblower Protection, Comprehensive Congressional Hearings to Immediately Investigate Constitutional Crimes by the Executive Branch...
By Brad Friedman on 1/16/2006 9:52am PT  

Al Gore's speech, to a bi-partisan audience, on our "Constitutional Crisis" has just concluded. UPDATE: We've posted extended video highlights from the speech here...

Gore was to have been introduced by former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA), but Barr's live video feed broke down at the last moment. We are told by the Liberty Coalition's Michael Ostrolenk (who jumped up to introduce Gore in an improvised statement), that Barr will be appearing on CNN's Situation Room later this afternoon.

An early highlight from Gore's address: "The President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently."

MORE HIGHLIGHTS...

A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government. Our Founding Fathers were adamant that they had established a government of laws and not men. Indeed, they recognized that the structure of government they had enshrined in our Constitution - our system of checks and balances - was designed with a central purpose of ensuring that it would govern through the rule of law.
...
The President and I agree on one thing. The threat from terrorism is all too real...Where we disagree is that we have to break the law or sacrifice our system of government to protect Americans from terrorism. In fact, doing so makes us weaker and more vulnerable.
...
It is this same disrespect for America's Constitution which has now brought our republic to the brink of a dangerous breach in the fabric of the Constitution. And the disrespect embodied in these apparent mass violations of the law is part of a larger pattern of seeming indifference to the Constitution that is deeply troubling to millions of Americans in both political parties.
...
This shameful exercise of power overturns a set of principles that our nation has observed since General Washington first enunciated them during our Revolutionary War and has been observed by every president since then - until now.
...
But the most serious damage has been done to the legislative branch. The sharp decline of congressional power and autonomy in recent years has been almost as shocking as the efforts by the Executive Branch to attain a massive expansion of its power.
...
The Congress we have today is unrecognizable compared to the one in which my father served. There are many distinguished Senators and Congressmen serving today. I am honored that some of them are here in this hall. But the legislative branch of government under its current leadership now operates as if it is entirely subservient to the Executive Branch.
...
In the 70's and 80's, the oversight hearings in which my colleagues and I participated held the feet of the Executive Branch to the fire - no matter which party was in power. Yet oversight is almost unknown in the Congress today.
...
It is the pitiful state of our legislative branch which primarily explains the failure of our vaunted checks and balances to prevent the dangerous overreach by our Executive Branch which now threatens a radical transformation of the American system.

I call upon Democratic and Republican members of Congress today to uphold your oath of office and defend the Constitution. Stop going along to get along. Start acting like the independent and co-equal branch of government you're supposed to be. [standing ovation received after this section]
...
Fear drives out reason. Fear suppresses the politics of discourse and opens the door to the politics of destruction. Justice Brandeis once wrote: "Men feared witches and burnt women."

The founders of our country faced dire threats. If they failed in their endeavors, they would have been hung as traitors. The very existence of our country was at risk.

Yet, in the teeth of those dangers, they insisted on establishing the Bill of Rights.

Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment's notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars simultaneously?

It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same.

We have a duty as Americans to defend our citizens' right not only to life but also to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is therefore vital in our current circumstances that immediate steps be taken to safeguard our Constitution against the present danger posed by the intrusive overreaching on the part of the Executive Branch and the President's apparent belief that he need not live under the rule of law.

I endorse the words of Bob Barr, when he said, "The President has dared the American people to do something about it. For the sake of the Constitution, I hope they will."

A special counsel should immediately be appointed by the Attorney General to remedy the obvious conflict of interest that prevents him from investigating what many believe are serious violations of law by the President.
...
new whistleblower protections should immediately be established for members of the Executive Branch who report evidence of wrongdoing --- especially where it involves the abuse of Executive Branch authority in the sensitive areas of national security.

Third, both Houses of Congress should hold comprehensive-and not just superficial-hearings into these serious allegations of criminal behavior on the part of the President. And, they should follow the evidence wherever it leads.
...
As I stand here today, I am filled with optimism that America is on the eve of a golden age in which the vitality of our democracy will be re-established and will flourish more vibrantly than ever. Indeed I can feel it in this hall.

As Dr. King once said, "Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us."

Much more in the extraordinary full speech, for which RAW STORY now has the complete prepared text.

UPDATE: FBI Whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds issues an exclusive statement to BRAD BLOG in reply to Gore's speech...

Crooks and Liars has video highlights.




By John Gideon on 1/15/2006 5:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

In an attempt to beat the inevitable and still save some face, Rep. Bob Ney has announced that he will agree to step down from his seat of power as the House Administration Committee Chairman.

According to the Associated Press:

"Unfortunately it has become clear to me in recent days that the false allegations made against me have become a distraction to the important work of the House Republican Conference and the important work that remains ahead for the House Administration Committee," Ney said in a written statement.

It appears that Bob Ney will continue in the same vein as Tom Delay and kick and scream and deny all the way to court.

If you haven't already, please see BRAD BLOG's exclusive expos� from last week revealing Ney's previously unreported connections to Abramoff, Diebold and HAVA.




Soon-to-be-Indicted Ohio Congressman's Luck Begins to Run Out...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2006 4:45pm PT  

The powerful Ohio Congressman man who, while gambling at a London casino on a lobbyist paid vacation, got "lucky" and won $34,000 on a $100 bet (just in time to pay off a $30,000 credit card debt) may be seeing his luck finally run out.

Reports now breaking all over the place that House Speaker Denny Hastert is pushing Ney out of his chairmanship position on the House Adminstration Committee...

House Speaker Dennis Hastert is trying to force out Ohio Rep. Bob Ney as chairman of the House Administration Committee, a week after Justice Department documents linked Ney to a bribery scheme involving convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Ney's committee has jurisdiction over the Republican reform agenda in the wake of the Abramoff scandal, and Hastert believes it is inappropriate to let Ney run it, said a GOP leadership aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the negotiations between Ney and the speaker.
...
"I'm considering it --- stepping down temporarily --- and once the issue is over, I'll come back," he said.
...
The aide said the speaker himself cannot fire Ney, and unless Ney steps aside it would be at least three weeks until the GOP caucus, on holiday break, could consider removing him.

He'll step down "temporarily" and "come back". Now where have we heard that before?

COVERAGE:

-- MSNBC...
-- Hotline...
-- Roll Call... [subscription required]
-- AP...
-- CNN...

-- BRAD BLOG's Ney exposé from Tuesday...

UPDATE from David Edwards: Video Report by CBS News:

-- Video in Streaming Flash format...
-- Video in Windows Media format...

Ney, a principal author and advocate for the disastrous Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 was revealed, last Tuedsay, in a detailed BRAD BLOG exposé to have had very close ties to lobbyists paid by Diebold and Jack Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig.

Most of those ties had yet to be reported by the mainstream media who have been focusing primarily on information concerning Ney's lobbyist-funded trips, gifts and other monies raised via his close relationship with Abramoff and his clients. Much of the information so far reported by the MSM was revealed by the guilty plea agreements filed by Abramoff and his former associate Michael Scanlon.

As we reported in our piece on Ney, his former chief of staff, David DiStefano, was hired by the beleagured and duplicitous Voting Machine Company, Diebold, Inc. in order to lobby Ney to ensure that HAVA's provisions mandating disabled-accessible voting machines in every precinct in the country stayed firmly in place. At the same time, via his post as Chair of the House Administration Committee, Ney was able to hold hearings to smokescreen massive election irregularities in Ohio in 2004 and see to it that bills calling for voter-verified paper records for every ballot cast would never see the light of day.

Our story also reported the thousands of dollars being paid by Diebold to Jack Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig. Though we have yet to find any official disclosure of those payments via congressional lobbying databases. So for the moment, we're still left wondering what happened to that money, and what precisely it was meant to be used for.




The Dots Connect Between Abramoff, Ohio 2004 Election Smokescreen and Ney's Former Staffer Revealed to be on Diebold's Payroll While Working for White House Law Firm
All the While as HAVA --- America's 'Election Reform' Bill --- is Used for Political Payoff in the Bargain...
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2006 11:21am PT  

There's been a great deal of speculation over the last several days, particularly in the light of Jack Abramoff's recent guilty pleas, concerning the connection of Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) to Election Fraud in Ohio, vis a vis his stewardship and authoring of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) back in 2001 and 2002. The heavy-handed tactics he has taken since, in order to keep the flawed act from being changed in any way over the years, along with going to great lengths to keep the nation's eyes off of massive electile dysfunction in Ohio and elsewhere since 2004, may finally get the attention it all properly deserves.

Both Abramoff and his partner Michael Scanlon have directly informed prosecutors of Ney's alleged wrong-doing in regard to money and gifts given to Ney, in apparent exchange for support on various legislation and even personal business deals. Ney, who chairs the important U.S. House Administration Committee, has been fingered, and now subpoenaed, for accepting illegal trips, gratuities and other apparent quid pro quo deals with Abramoff's former firms, partners, friends and groups who had paid both him and Scanlon as lobbyists.

His direct connection to the HAVA Election Reform bill passed in the wake of the 2000 Florida Election Debacle, and his various extraordinary efforts to specifically block amendments to the bill and to smokescreen attempted investigations into his home state's conduct during the 2004 Election Debacle, has been less widely reported. Until now.

While Common Cause quietly reported in December of 2004 that Diebold --- the much-beleagured-of-late American Voting Machine company --- paid as much as $275,000 to Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig for lobbying work, The BRAD BLOG has now found additional details that begin to shed new light on Ney's personal connections to Diebold lobbyists.

Such personal connections include those with Ney's former chief of staff turned lobbyist, David DiStefano, who has been working on behalf of Diebold, Inc. and at least one other Voting Machine Company as a registered lobbyist in the House going back to at least 2001. One of DiStefano's online bios crows about his having "an insider's edge to hard-to-reach political officials." That "insider's edge" has proven to have been a very worthwhile investment for the Voting Machine Companies who'd purchased access into Ney's political office.

Congressional lobbying records reveal that Diebold, Inc. has paid at least $180,000 to DiStefano and eventually his partner, Roy C. Coffee, to lobby for the "Help America Vote Act" and other "Election Reform Issues" in Congress since 2003. Another Electronic Voting Machine Company, AccuPoll, Inc., also paid DiStefano some $70,000 to lobby for HAVA on their behalf in 2002, although that relationship was apparently terminated once the legislation was passed by Congress.

In turn, Ney's former employee DiStefano and Coffee themselves have given nearly $20,000 to Bob Ney's campaigns dating back to 2002.

The connections of DiStefano and Coffee don't stop at Congress, however. Both lobbyists now work out of the new Washington office of the Texas-based law firm of Lock, Liddell & Sapp LLP --- the firm of George W. Bush's White House Counsel Harriet Miers. And Coffee, himself, had previously worked as a senior aide to then-Governor Bush back in Texas.

In addition to lobbying in favor of Electronic Voting, DiStefano and Coffee were also paid thousands to lobby Ney on behalf of an obscure firm by the name of FN Aviation, which later became known as FAZ Aviation. FN/FAZ Aviation, the Columbus Dispatch reported last December, paid for Ney's 2003 trip to England. On that trip, Ney met at a casino with FN Aviation's director, Nigel Winfield, a three-time convicted felon, and Fouad al-Zayat, the Syrian-born head of FN Aviation. Zayat, as reported by NBC News, is known as "one of London's biggest gamblers."

As has also been reported by NBC and others, the apparently once-very lucky Ney reported winning some $34,000 a few months later at that same London casino, after an initial $100 bet "on two hands of a three-card game of chance," according to his spokesperson Brian Walsh. Ney, who coincidentally carried at least $30,000 in credit card debt in 2002, was fortunate to be able to report that the debt was paid off in full by the end of 2003.

The dots begin converging, however, in regard to both large campaign contributions and lobbying done by Ney's former chief of staff, DiStefano along with Coffee on behalf of both FN/FAZ Aviation and Diebold, Inc.

Ney was one of the original authors and lead co-sponsors of HAVA, and a fierce defender of both the act and the effort to keep further legislation from moving forward in Congress that would mandate Voter Verified Paper Ballots for electronic voting machines made by Diebold and other e-voting vendors.

In 2004, prior to the Presidential Election, Ney went so far as to send a "Dear Colleague" letter signed along with the other HAVA co-sponsors, to members of congress urging them not to amend the original legislation. He argued at the time that paper records on such machines would somehow disenfranchise disabled voters, who had been cleverly afforded a special provision in the bill which mandated at least one disabled-accessable device in every voting precinct in the country. That device, of course, would be a paperless touch-screen electronic voting machine, like the ones made by Diebold, which, legislators, vendors and lobbyists would later proffer, were required to meet provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Ney had also personally gone out of his way to keep Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" (HR 550), which would mandate paper records for all votes cast, from ever seeing the light of day in the House Administration Committee. That, despite Holt's bill having now nearly 160 bi-partisan co-sponsors. Ney has succeeded brilliantly at squashing Holt's bill, first proposed as HR 2239 back in 2003, as it continues to both gain co-sponsors and gather dust as the powerful Republican committee chair still refuses to allow it even to be brought up for hearings.

The American Prospect's Art Levine broke a superb exposé last May concerning Ney's alleged payoffs from a number of the Indian tribes that now-disgraced, once-uber-lobbyist Abramoff was representing in exchange for promises to support their hope for new gambling legislation back in 2002.

"Just met with Ney!!! We're f'ing gold!!!! He's going to do Tigua," wrote Abramoff to Scanlon in an Email, after Ney reportedly promised to add the Tribe's hoped-for legislation to HAVA while the bill was still pending.

Ney then told the tribes --- who had been instructed by Abramoff and Scanlon to give tens of thousands of dollars to his campaign and to pay for a $100,000 trip to play golf at St. Andrews in Scotland --- that he was working with the Democratic Senator from Connecticut, Chris Dodd, to add gambling language in HAVA that would be favorable to the tribes.

In reality, Dodd had rejected the idea early on in no uncertain terms, as Levine reports, but that didn't keep Ney from spinning tales to the tribal groups. He told them on several occassions, at least once personally, that things were moving smartly forward as he kept accepting more cash and gifts from them along the way.

Finally, when the HAVA legislation was passed, and the promised language was nowhere to be found, Ney informed the tribes that Dodd had reneged on the deal at the last minute.

That was, of course, not true, since Dodd had rejected the plan months earlier.

But as the spotlight of corruption has finally begun to shine bright and clear in the Mainstream Media onto Ney, renewed interest in his support and authorship of HAVA itself --- along with the connections between that legislation, chicanery in Ohio's Election, Abramoff and several other GOP operative and lobbying firms' merry band of pay-for-players --- are helping to bubble up towards the surface a few previously overlooked, but very important, details that may finally now receive the attention they always deserved from the Mainstream Media...

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




Assistant A.G. Refused to Renew NSA Program in 2004
By David Edwards on 1/1/2006 5:30pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

The New York Times reports that in 2004 Deputy Attorney General James Comey refused to sign off on renewal of Bush's warrantless NSA spying program. Instead of addressing Comey's concerns, Bush Administration officials took the desperate move of actually visiting Attorney General Ashcroft in the hospital to get his authorization for renewal of the program. Ashcroft was, at the time, in intensive care recovering from pancreatitis.

Comey refused to approve renewal of the program based on concerns over "whether the president had the legal and constitutional authority to conduct such an operation."

In light of these new revelations, Senator Charles Schumer, appearing on Fox News Sunday, demanded that Bush Administration officials testify before congress.

Mitch McConnel, who appeared along with Schumer, chastised The Times for continuing to report on details of the wiretap program. While Schumer said that any investigation should consider a possible whistle-blower status for anyone who leaked this information, Senator McConnel was more interested in punishing the whistleblower.

Because the NSA shared the wiretap information with many federal agencies, it will be very difficult to assign blame to a specific leaker.


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...




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

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

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

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

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

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




a potential bridge to those who are still on the right in the wrong
By Winter Patriot on 11/20/2005 12:05pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Robert Parry's Consortium News has recently posted a beautifully-written piece by William Frey, M.D., called "Confessions of a Repentant Republican".

Dr. Frey is a former Bush supporter who has torn himself away from the propaganda and re-engaged with reality. And now he's writing about it. He can really write, too. Look at this:

I supported George W. Bush in the presidential election in 2000, believing then that he best reflected my love for America and for our tradition of liberty. I supported the war in Afghanistan. In March of 2003, I believed that the invasion of Iraq was justified based upon pre-war revelations presented to Congress and to the American people. Accordingly, the indictments contained herein apply, first and foremost, to myself.

Many Americans whom I know and love, including many current supporters of President Bush, remain conflicted over both his ultimate intentions in Iraq as well as domestic curtailment of civil liberties.

Many have given the benefit of the doubt to President Bush, and, in a misdirected spirit of unity, have supported, as did I, Administration policies that conflict with our essential values.

This essay explores many of the issues that led me personally to the recognition that the policies I was supporting in Iraq were not consistent with the justifications made for the invasion in the spring of 2003, that implicit in our post-invasion actions was the goal of permanent occupation, which would ensure endless war and the resultant degradation of our liberty, our security, and our moral authority.

For me, recognizing that I could no longer support the President for whom I voted, and the occupation of a land we had invaded, remains personally painful.

I have learned that while it is difficult to admit being wrong, such recognition is a prerequisite for redemptive action, necessary both for individual growth and for the healing of our nation.

It is in this spirit that I submit these reflections.

A great introduction, is it not? Who could argue with such a reasonable presentation?

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




Margin of Support Grows 19% Since June!
Mainstream Media Continue to Avoid Coverage...
By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2005 1:44pm PT  

Last June, 42% of Americans in a Zogby poll felt that Bush should be impeached if he lied about the War on Iraq while 50% opposed.

Earlier this month, in a new poll by Ipsos, a majority of 50% were in favor of impeachment, while just 44% were opposed.

And today, the latest poll from Zogby asking the same question, says 53% support impeachment of Bush while just 42% oppose.

In the meantime, even while the Mainstream Media were relentlessly discussing impeachment every day, wall-to-wall, about Bill Clinton back in September and August of 1998 (while hardly mentioning it today in relation to Bush) "only 36% supported hearings to consider impeachment, and only 26% supported actual impeachment and removal" according to a study of 16 major polls which asked the question back then (versus the 3 major polls now, 2 of them which had to be funded by American citizens donating to AfterDowningStreet.org.)

ImpeachPAC.org, a new organization from the AfterDowningStreet.org folks (of which The BRAD BLOG is an affiliate) have begun raising money for Congressional candidates who support impeachment of both Bush and Cheney. They have much more on all of the above.

UPDATE: Two commenters have taken us to task for what they consider to be a misleading headline on this item, noting that the 53% who "support Bush Impeachment," as the headline states were answering whether or not they would do so "if President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq."

Though we did make that point clear in the first sentence of the article, the commenters (one of them an habitual troll here at BRAD BLOG, but we do not discriminate) still had a problem with the headline.

When we posted this article, what we didn't delve into (mostly due to lack of time) was what the sponsors of the poll --- who similarly headlined their article announcing the results as "53% of Americans Support Impeachment," by the way --- also discussed how many Americans feel already that "Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq."

From their article:

Other polls show a majority of U.S. adults believe that Bush did in fact lie about the reasons for war. A June 23-26 ABC/Washington Post poll found 52% of Americans believe the Bush administration "deliberately misled the public before the war," and 57% say the Bush administration "intentionally exaggerated its evidence that pre-war Iraq possessed nuclear, chemical or biological weapons." Support for the war has dropped significantly since June, which suggests that the percentage of Americans who believe Bush lied about the war has increased.

Thus, 53% of Americans support impeachment "if Bush did not tell the truth" and anywhere from 52% to 57% believe he did not tell the truth.

Do the math. We stand by the original headline. (And still hope Bush gets a blowjob so impeachment proceedings may begin.)




Little-Known, but Powerful U.S. Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) up to Eyeballs in DeLay, Abramoff, Corruption Probe
Tied to Gambling, Illegal Favors and TeleCom 'Election' Fixing Investigations...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 12:57pm PT  

In an extremely detailed 2891-word page one Washington Post report today by James V. Grimaldi and Susan Schmidt, Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) is tied to at least four different aspects of ongoing probes being carried out by criminal investigators looking into the corruption of GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay --- both of whom have been indicted recently on charges relating to the various investigations.

Ney has not yet been indicted, but the WaPo exposé ties him to several different scandals including the SunCruz casino boat fraud/murder investigation (for which Abramoff has recently been indicted), several illegally funded overseas vacations, support of Indian gaming in apparent trade for favors received in the form of cash contributions and other gifts from Abramoff and --- yes --- the apparent "fixing" of an election administered by Ney of telecommunications companies to determine who would receive a large contract at the U.S. Capital building.

Ney is chairman of the powerful U.S. House Administration Committee. BRAD BLOG readers will remember Ney's committee as holding a "show hearing" earlier this year on "Election Irregularities in Ohio" during the 2004 Presidential Election. That hearing, which attempted to whitewash the thousands of troubling reports calling the Ohio election into question, called just one witness from a "voting rights" group. That witness turned out to be Mark F. "Thor" Hearne of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), self-described "non-partisan" organization which had appeared out of the blue just days prior to the hearing. Hearne, identified himself in the hearings as a "long time voting rights advocate", but failed to mention that he was actually the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. The other "non-partisan" founder of ACVR was Jim Dyke, former RNC Communcations Director, and recently installed White House spokesman for Dick Cheney.

(BRAD BLOG's full special coverage of ACVR, the so-called "non-partisan" GOP front group masquerading as a "voting rights" organization, can be found here.)

The WaPo story reports that Ney is currently "under investigation by Florida federal prosecutors looking into Abramoff's acquisition of SunCruz, according to sources familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

Excerpts from the full WaPo report follow...

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




Finally...Someone in America Has Found a Case of Actual Potential Voter Fraud!
Registered to Vote in Texas Despite Not Actually Living There!
By Brad Friedman on 10/7/2005 10:25am PT  

{Blogged by Brad on the road...}

Well, whaddaya know...Despite the unsupported ravings of Republican operatives and cynics hoping to paint "Voter Fraud" as an actual issue of great concern in this country to deflect from the very real concern of Election Fraud, it looks as if an actual case may have been found.

The alleged fraudulent voter: Karl Rove!

Political watchdog organization, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), announced the latest news yesterday:

Washington, DC ? Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) announced that Frances Lovett, a registered voter in Kerr County, Texas, sent a complaint this week to Kerr County District Attorney, E. Bruce Curry, urging an investigation into whether Karl Rove, Deputy Chief of Staff to President Bush, violated Texas state law by illegally registering as a voter in Kerr County, despite never residing there.
...
"I have lived in Kerr County for the past 15 years and have never even heard that Mr. Rove or his wife lived in the area," Frances Lovett said today. "Reading about Mr. Rove's illegal voter registration in the paper, and knowing that a complaint could not be filed unless a Kerr County resident took action, I resolved to take this next step and send a letter to District Attorney E. Bruce Curry."

According to a report in The Washington Post on September 7, 2005, Mr. Rove and his wife, Darby, registered to vote in Kerr County in 2003 after they sold their Austin, Texas home. County property records show that Mr. Rove and his wife have owned two tiny rental cottages in Kerr County since 1997, the largest of which is only 814 feet and is valued by the county at $25,000. In contrast, the Roves' Washington, D.C. home is valued at over $1.1 million. Other local Kerr County residents have stated that they have never seen Mr. Rove in the area.

Texas law requires that a "qualified voter" be a resident of Texas and the county in which the application for voter registration is made.

Of course, such laws only apply to those who are actually bound by "the rule of law," which, as we all know, ceased applying to Republicans as of January 20, 2001. Just ask Ann Coulter.

In the meantime, we'll remind readers unfamiliar with the issue that Voter Fraud, though it undoubtedly happens in the United States, is far from an epidemic rocking our election system. A recent study by the League of Women Voters in Ohio, for example, of more than 9 million votes in the last two national elections there, found four cases of actual Voter Fraud (voters voting twice, or the spouse of a dead registered voter sending in an absentee ballot for them). More info on the phony hype over Voter Fraud here.

On the other hand, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of votes in America are routinely ignored, thrown out, not counted, or voters are disenfranchised by not being allowed --- by various means --- to cast their vote in the first place.

Nonetheless, we're happy to see all cases of Voter Fraud properly prosecuted. Including that of the the most insidious, anti-American, anti-democracy advocate of them all: Karl Rove. (Though in most states, felons aren't allowed to vote anyway...so Rove's voting rights may not be long for this world anyway.)




By Winter Patriot on 9/26/2005 9:06pm PT  
Special BRAD BLOG / Velvet Revolution coverage
of the Sep 24-26 Rally in D.C.
Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Cindy Sheehan and more than three hundred others were arrested this afternoon near the White House. From the look of this photo (courtesy of MSNBC) it seems she did not resist.

The mainstream media have not been quite as silent about Cindy Sheehan today as they were on Saturday; for instance, the Washington Post has an article and MSNBC has another.

Sadly, I don't have any inside sources or further details on this one. But I'm certain we'll all be watching very closely.

UPDATE FROM BRAD 9/27/05: Blogger, patriot (and occassional BRAD BLOG commenter) "Greyhair" has some great coverage and photos of the arrests! Thank you!

Also, RAW has the story of Conyers' inquiry into the troubling reports of hundreds arrested without charges, held handcuffed on buses for up to 10 hours! Have I mentioned "God Bless John Conyers" lately?




BRAD SHOW's 'Operation Noble Cause' Continues...
On RAW RADIO - LIVE from Crawford, Texas at HIGH NOON...
By Brad Friedman on 8/29/2005 7:48am PT  

U.S. Army Specialist Tomas Young has some questions for George W. Bush. He's never met with the Commander-in-Chief who sent him into Sadr City, Iraq in a canvass covered truck during a massive uprising in that city on April 4, 2004. The same city on the same day that Cindy Sheehan's son Casey was killed.

Tomas was lucky. He was only paralyzed from the chest down. Amongst other things he'd like to ask of Bush, is why he won't allow funding for stem cell research which might eventually restore the spine that he lost in Bush's War. A spine, as Tomas explained to us yesterday on The BRAD SHOW, which apparently Bush has never had.

Tomas and his new wife Bree (also pictured), came to Crawford from Kansas City on their honeymoon to "stand" in support of Cindy Sheehan.

We now have our interview with Tomas up in the BRAD SHOW "Operation Noble Cause" Archives shortly, with much more news, sound and the stories of the people of Camp Casey on today's LIVE BRAD SHOW from Camp Casey beginning at HIGH NOON in Crawford (1p ET, 12p CT, 11a MT, 10a). We are hoping to feature several Bush supporters on today's show!

Until then, WhiteRoseSociety.org is looping the previous days BRADcast throughout the night (live listening links here and here).

We have now broadcast 42 hours of LIVE coverage from on the ground in Crawford, Texas in the last seven days, simulcast over at least 7 different radio networks at various times, including Air America for several hours on Saturday. All hosted by your friendly citizen blogger, Brad Friedman. We are the only broadcast "organization" to feature such live daily coverage!

Your DONATIONS continue to be greatly needed and very much appreciated in order to help make all of this possible!

(Photo courtesy of Alaskagyrl.blogspot.com)

UPDATE: Tomas Young's interview with The BRAD SHOW and other audio highlights have been added to the Operation Noble Cause archives!

UPDATE 2/12/06: A profile of Tomas Young was run today on 60 Minutes and includes a brief shot of our interview from Camp Casey with Young. Details, video here...




The DNC Finally Fights Back at the Republican-run 'American Center for Voting Rights' Hoax!
PLUS: Proof that Republicans only pretend to hate Marxists and More on ACVR's Fake 'Democrat', Brian Lunde!
By Joseph Cannon on 8/15/2005 11:19pm PT  

Guest blogged by Joseph Cannon

The Democratic National Committee has responded to the false charges posted by the allegedly non-partisan American Center for Voting Rights.

As most of you should know by now, the ACVR is crawling with Republican operatives, many of whom have strong links to indicted sleazoid Jack Abramoff.

AVCR chairman Brian Lunde has a particularly troubling history...

According to Senate lobbying registrations, in 2001 Lunde registered to lobby for George Birnbaum, an associate of Republican consultant and mudthrower Arthur Finkelstein. According to his disclosure filed with the Secretary of the Senate, Lunde worked to "set up meetings for President Kabila of Congo."

According to the CIA factbook on the Congo, at the time, President Joseph Kabila had just assumed power from his father, Laurent Kabila. The older Kabila was a committed Marxist who had ruled Congo since he took forcefully took power in 1997 in a rebellion backed by Uganda and Rwanda. As President, Laurent Kabila banned all political parties except his and failed to hold long-promised elections. He also blocked an investigation into the massacre of tens of thousands of Rwandan refugees that occurred during his takeover. Today, Joseph Kabila still rules as a dictator and no elections have been held in Congo since 1984.

In addition, by claiming he worked for Birnbaum and not Kabila directly, Lunde skirted disclosure laws that would have required him to register as a foreign agent with the Department of Justice.

A lobbyist for a democracy-phobic dictator dares to give the rest of the world a lecture on voting rights? Outrageous!

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




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