Thursday, March 31, 2005

Why Are We Back On

Brad Friedman just posted some GREAT news at The Brad Blog. Bobby Eberle, the grandaddy of the plagiarism factory Talon News, has picked up the Cybercast News Service story that I referred to last night, the one that picked on Brad and me for picking on the American Center For Voting Rights: Howdy Bobby Eberle. And the rat bastard GOP propagandists still didn't permalink me and I hooked them both up with liberal links.

This sentence by Brad gets my pick for Best Sentence In A Blog if there's a category next year for that at Wampum: "In an apparent attempt to shore up the discredited American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) (see BRAD BLOG's Special Coverage on ACVR for more info) -- the phony "Voting Rights" group set up by Bush/Cheney/RNC operatives to provide a smoke-screen from what really went wrong in the 2004 general election -- GOPUSA, the phony "news" service created by Republican operative and shadowy money-meister, Bobby Eberle, most famous for creating the phony Talon News group, headlined by professional hooker cum phony journalist James Guckert (better known for his phony White House Correspondent name Jeff Gannon) is re-running the story published yesterday by their sister-phony-"news" group, Cybercast News Service (CNS) on the phony ACVR operation."

Links and even more dirt on ACVR at The Brad Blog.

I give Bobby Eberle full permission to run any post that he'd like from my blog which covers the rampant plagiarism at his former "news" service.

In other news about fake news, the gang from Propagannon now known as ePlurbius Media have a great diary at Daily Kos which should also piss off our buddy, Jeff Gannon: Fake Reporter Running Sham Nonprofit?

The Press may have overlooked you fake, phoney GOP shills and operatives for the last three years but you can't run from the bloggers who practice real journalism.

John Aravosis at Americablog keeps hitting hard on this never ending real story about fake news and shillery. Today John reported that the National Press Club is going to operate their event with Jeff "copy-and-paste" Gannon just like a Bush "town meeting" so that no liberals can get in and ask real questions. This is a link to what John believes the National Press Club are doing right now since they made such asses of themselves: AmericaBlog.

I just signed on to the list of left-leaning bloggers at The Agonist who are pissed about the National Press Club's actions the past few days and would like to have one of the bloggers who've worked on this story added to the panel such as John Aravosis (if you have a blog you should sign on too). They wouldn't even return phone calls to John Byrne to comment on the proof of Jeff Gannon's plagiarism. John Aravosis reported yesterday that the Press Club had two "events" related to Jayson Blair, and he wasn't invited to either one (Jayson recently took down the blog that he was "writing" at, and if he's working on a new Website I hope he finds a different Webmaster than the one that worked with Jeff Gannon).

There's more links to other great stories at other blogs about the Press Club that I'll try to add later. But for a hilarious take on Jeff Gannon's plagiarism go to Corrente and read the farmer's Crib Songs: New collection of Jeff "Lick-n-Stick" Gannon's Greatest Swiped Hits...! which features a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo appearance by my favorite cartoon character (next to Jeff Gannon), Mr. P-Niss, who deserves his own plush toy (or at least a guest appearance on Aqua Team Hunger Force).


Jeff Plagiarist Gannon's Second Hand Exclusive!

(John Byrne at The Raw Story has an exclusive interview with Melissa Beecher, a real journalist who was plagiarized by fake journalist Jeff Gannon at Bobby Eberle's fake news service Talon News/GOPUSA.)

Jeff Gannon's plagiarism of the wire services and mainstream media outlets is one thing, but stealing the work of a hard-working real life journalist is inexcusable.

Melissa Beecher wrote a story for The MetroWest Daily News and The Daily News Tribune (and the Community Newspaper Company which is owned by The Boston Herald) on June 13, 2003 which received some attention but not the kind of attention that Jeff Gannon the plagiarist has been bestowed with. In response to a "You Got Plagiarized By Jeff Gannon" e-mail that I sent, Ms. Beecher informed me that she "was the only reporter at this "event" and reported on a first-hand experience." Jeff didn't acknowledge her as a source for his "copy-and-pasted" story, and that's about the worst journalistic sin anyone can commit (next to Judith Miller's lies dictated from unnamed government sources which helped lead to the illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq).

On June 17, 2003 Jeff Gannon's stolen goods "Homeschooling Parents Threatened With Loss of Children" ran on Talon News, the portal to, travelled all across the Web to conservative Websites, and it is still archived at Mens News Daily (though probably not for much longer). Here is a link to Melissa Beecher's "Home-schooling standoff in Waltham." Jeff Gannon was so sloppy that he completely plagiarized the last sentence in this post:

Jeff - "A homeschooling Massachusetts family clashed with workers of that state's Department of Social Services last week when the agency tried to force their children to take a standardized test."

Beecher - "A legal battle over two home-schooled children exploded into a seven-hour standoff yesterday, when they refused to take a standardized test ordered by the Department of Social Services."

Jeff - "At 7:45 a.m. Thursday, DDS workers and police came to the Waltham, MA residence of George and Kim Bryant to transport the couple's two children George Nicholas, 15, and Nyssa, 13, to a hotel to administer a test to determine their educational level."

Beecher - "George Nicholas Bryant, 15, and Nyssa Bryant, 13, stood behind their parents, Kim and George, as police and DSS workers attempted to collect the children at 7:45 a.m. DSS demanded that the two complete a test to determine their educational level."

Jeff - "Waltham Youth Officer Detective James Auld said, "We are simply here to prevent a breach of the peace, we will not physically remove the children."

Beecher - ""We are simply here to prevent a breach of the peace," said Waltham Youth Officer Detective James Auld. "We will will not physically remove the children.""

Jeff - "DDS worker Susan Etscovitz adamantly told the Bryants, "We have legal custody of the children and we will do with them as we see fit.""

Beecher - ""We have legal custody of the children and we will do with them as we see fit," DSS worker Susan Etscovitz told the Bryants in their Gale Street home."

Jeff - "The Waltham couple was ruled unfit because they did not file educational plans or determine a grading system for the children."

Beecher - "The parents have been ruled as unfit because they did not file educational plans or determine a grading system for the children..."

Jeff - "Kenneth Pontes, area director of DDS said that it is possible that the children will be removed from their home, but that would be a last course of action."

Beecher - "Pontes said that a possibility exists that the children will be removed from their home, but that was a last course of action."

Jeff - "The Framingham Juvenile Court issued a court order at 1:00 p.m., and the Bryants drove their children to the hotel. But the children refused to take the test."

Beecher - "After a court order was issued by Framingham Juvenile Court around 1 p.m., the children were driven by their parents to a Waltham hotel. Again, they refused to take the test."

Jeff - "The Bryants believe that the city and the state do not have the legal right to force their children to take standardized tests."

Beecher - "The Bryants contend that the city and state do not have the legal right to force their children to take standardized tests."

Jeff - "Both sides agree that the children have not been abused mentally, physically, sexually, or emotionally..."

Beecher - "Both sides agree that the children are in no way abused mentally, physically, sexually or emotionally..."


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Jeff Gannon Still Plagiarizes, Somebody Stop Him

(Whoops - The breaking news story I promised about Jeff Gannon's plagiarism has been postponed until tomorrow morning. Along with the news I'll also be posting another example of Jeff Gannon's plagiarism of a real journalist. So to tide you over here's a recent "cut-and-paste" job that appeared on Jeff's "blog.")

A few weeks ago, on March 11th, "Groups Mobilize For Battle Over Judges" was the top "story" at "Washington correspondent" Jeff Gannon's blog. But Jeff didn't need to go to Washington to get this "exclusive." All he had to do was cut-and-paste some copy from a press release issued by the Judicial Confirmation Network (link) and switch around a few words in the last Talon News article written by Bobby Eberle which had already been reassembled from articles written by real journalists that write for the Associated Press and Reuters (hmmm...can Bobby sue his former employee for plagiarizing a story that he already plagiarized):

Gannon: "...the President threw down the gauntlet to incoming Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) by resubmitting the names of 12 judges..."

Eberle: "President George W. Bush figuratively threw down the gauntlet to Senate Democrats on Monday by resubmitting the names of 20 judicial nominees to the Senate Judiciary Committee."

Gannon: "...the Judicial Confirmation Network is partnering with more than seventy citizen and grassroots organizations across the country and circulating a national petition calling on Senators to act."

Press Release: "the Judicial Confirmation Network is circulating a national petition and is partnering with more than seventy citizen and grassroots organizations across the country calling on Senators to bring..."

I would like to credit Jeff for coming up with this Freudian line himself:

Gannon: "Republicans campaigned hard..."

Gannon: "Some political observers suggested that Democrats might rethink the strategy of obstruction that contributed to the defeat of their leader, Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD)..."

Eberle: "Then Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle led the Democratic minority in blocking some high-profile nominations in the last congressional session, a role that some say led to his defeat last fall..."

I love the change that Jeff made to this paragraph:

Gannon: "Gary Marx, JCN’s executive director said, “Our message is simple, the people want the Senate to do its work and our petition will remind Senators that they have an obligation to bring these nominations to the floor for a fair vote.”

Press Release: "“Our message is simple, the people want the Senate to do its work and our petition will remind Senators that they have an obligation to bring these nominations to the floor for a fair vote,” said Gary Marx, executive director of Judicial Confirmation Network."

I especially love that he did it again in the next one, too.

Gannon: "He added, “The rhetoric we are already hearing from the left is divisive and unproductive to the confirmation process. The public sees through the liberal extremist groups' campaign to deny confirmation to highly qualified nominees and will hold obstructionist Senators responsible. Middle America realizes that the fear and smear tactics leveled by some groups isn’t helpful to a fair confirmation process.”"

Press Release: "“The rhetoric we are already hearing from the left is divisive and unproductive to the confirmation process. The public sees through the liberal extremist groups' campaign to deny confirmation to highly qualified nominees -- and will hold obstructionist Senators responsible. Middle America realizes that the fear and smear tactics leveled by some groups isn’t helpful to a fair confirmation process,” Marx added."

Gannon: "The group has been distributing petitions via e-mail alerts to citizens and to dozens of other citizen activist organizations including Focus on the Family, Americans for Tax Reform, the Committee for Justice, Americans for Limited Government and the American Center for Law and Justice. The national petition is accessible by visiting JCN’s website at:"

Press Release: "The group began distributing petitions this week via e-mail alerts to citizens and to dozens of other citizen activist organizations including Focus on the Family, Americans for Tax Reform, the Committee for Justice, Americans for Limited Government and the American Center for Law and Justice. JCN expects thousands of respondents in coming weeks. In addition, the national petition calling for an end to obstructionism is accessible by visiting JCN’s website at:"

Off Topic Just A Little Bit

Cybercast News Service recently replaced Talon News as the conservative "news" client for Bobby Eberle's GOPUSA and his Eagle List which gets sent to over half-a-million subscribers, and they've also written supportive articles about Jeff "copy-and-paste" Gannon.

Earlier today an article entitled "Liberal Bloggers Pounce on Voting Fraud Watchdog Group" attacked The Brad Blog and little old me for exposing some of the shady talon-newsish background behind the American Center For Voting Rights which is run by Bush/Cheney 2004 shills and was allowed to testify at the recent congressional hearing in Ohio: "Bloggers on The Brad Blog and like-minded site called Why Are We Back In Iraq have noted that Hearne previously worked as a lawyer for the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign, served as Missouri counsel to the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign and was general counsel to Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt."

While I am psyched to be recognized alongside the "indefatigible Brad Friedman" - as Congressman John Conyers refers to him - I'm mighty pissed that the rat bastards didn't include my URL. Now all the wingnuts gotta Google me to find me and most of them don't know how to Google.

But make sure you go to The Brad Blog (especially this article with funny pictures) and check out the numerous stories he's posted (mine are here and here and also check out the latest article by the dissed-by-CNS but just as indefatigible Joseph Cannon of Cannonfire).


Big News To Come Later Tonight

There's a new development in the Jeff Gannon plagiarist story. So make sure you check back in a little bit.

I'd like to thank Michael Hussey and everyone else who has tried to help me get this story out. I'd also like to thank Weldon Berger who wrote an e-mail to which mentioned my work uncovering Jeff Gannon's plagiarism.

Bobby Eberle's Talon News was a plagiarism factory. Since February 6th, I've exposed Leslie Wetzel, Steve Roeder, Jeff Gannon and even Bobby Eberle as plagiarists who stole from mainstream media organizations such as the Associated Press, The New York Times, Reuters, Fox News and many smaller publications.

I'd also like to thank Susan G of Propagannon, America Blog, Salon, CJR, Corrente, Jay Rosen at Press Think, David Anderson at ISOU, and everyone else who wrote about this a month ago though it unfortunately seeped through the cracks.

Also thanks to "my good friend" Atrios for linking to me today. Those that know the background of our "friendship" should remember that I've always been a fan of his work though we've been involved in a sort-of one-sided feud over the last month. I've continued to link to his stories (and to Media Matters), and I'm heartened that he was able to do the same for me.

Finally, I'd especially like to thank my friends and my favorite bloggers who have written about the plagiarism (and other work I've done) so many times that I can never thank them enough: Tas at Loaded Mouth; John Byrne at The Raw Story; ~A!, Mixter and Ryan Fenno at Watching The Watchers; and The Common Ills (but I have so many other friends that are incredible bloggers that I'm leaving out).

Ryan Fenno also deserves a ton of credit for helping me on some of the stories, especially the articles on Leslie Wetzel.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Jeff Gannon Likes To Plagiarize The Associated Press

(UPDATE - As soon as I can, I'm going to add all of my articles proving plagiarism by Jeff Gannon to this post...for now...just follow the links at the bottom for more...)

(Yet another example of Jeff Gannon's "journalism." More to come.)

The Talon News "article" "Kirkuk Falls, Mosul Next, Tikrit Soon" "written" by Jeff Gannon on April 11, 2003 plagiarized an entire paragraph from an Associated Press article entitled "Two clerics killed in attack at Shiite Muslim shrine" that was published on April 10th (Jeff Gannon & A.P.):

Associated Press: "One of the slain clerics, Haider al-Kadar, was a widely hated loyalist of Hussein, part of the Iraqi leader's ministry of religion. The other was Abdul Majid al-Khoei, a high-ranking Shiite cleric and son of one of the religion's most prominent ayatollahs, or spiritual leaders, who was persecuted by Hussein. Al-Khoei had urged cooperation with U.S. troops."

Jeff Gannon: "One of the slain clerics, Haider al-Kadar, was a widely hated Saddam Hussein loyalist, part of the Iraqi leader's ministry of religion. The other was Abdul Majid al-Khoei, a high-ranking Shiite cleric and son of one of the religion's most prominent ayatollahs, or spiritual leaders, who was persecuted by Saddam. Al-Khoei had urged cooperation with U.S. troops."

But Jeff didn't stop there. He also snatched a sentence from another A.P. article that appeared on April 11th (U.S. hitting Hussein's hometown):

Associated Press: "American troops have worked to block roads leading to Tikrit, hoping to keep Iraqi leaders from fleeing there as well as reinforcements from arriving."

Jeff Gannon: "American troops have worked to block roads leading to Tikrit, hoping to keep Iraqi leaders from fleeing there as well as reinforcements from arriving."

(UPDATE - Some links that illustrate why Jeff Gannon should not be invited to the National Press Club unless the subject is plagiarism: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and insert Gannon into the search box up top and you'll find even more at this blog.)


Jeff Gannon The Plagiarist

I've posted a number of articles on this blog showing how Talon News "reporters" didn't just plagiarize press releases, Bobby Eberle's team also plagiarized other media outlets.

Here are two articles that showcase Jeff Gannon's plagiarism that appeared here a month ago. Tomorrow, another example of Jeff Gannon's thievery (that I haven't posted yet) will be on display here.

How To "Write" LIke Jeff Gannon: Example #1

by Ron Brynaert (February 25, 2005)

Google, cut-and-paste, switch a word or two, then put your name on top and claim authorship of it.

Example #1.

Jeff Gannon's "Liberal Journalists Lambaste Fox News at South Dakota Event" appeared on Talon News on September 29, 2003 (cache link). Perhaps a more accurate title would have been "Liberal Journalists Lambaste Fox News at South Dakota Event According to an Article I Read By Randy Dockendorf Who Actually Attended the Event Although I'm Neglecting to Mention That" (The Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan) by Jeff Gannon:

Dockendorf: "a two-day celebration of the $5 million renovation of the Al Neuharth Media Center on the USD campus."

Gannon: "the $5 million Al Neuharth Media Center on the USD campus. A two-day celebration"

Dockendorf: "Neuharth, a 1950 USD graduate, founded USA TODAY, the nation's largest daily newspaper. He also founded the Freedom Forum"

Gannon: "Neuharth, a 1950 USD graduate, founded USA TODAY, the nation's largest daily newspaper...He also established the Freedom Forum"

Gannon breaks to Google: : "The Freedom Forum was established in 1991 under the direction of Founder Allen H. Neuharth as successor to a foundation started in 1935 by newspaper publisher Frank E. Gannett."

Gannon: "Freedom Forum in 1991 as successor to a foundation started in 1935 by newspaper publisher Frank E. Gannett."

Gannon Googles some more:

Newsquest: "Gannett is the USA's largest newspaper group in terms of circulation. The company's 101 U.S. daily newspapers have a combined daily paid circulation of 7.7 million."

Gannon: "Gannett is the America's largest newspaper group in terms of circulation. The company's 100 daily newspapers in the U.S. have a combined daily paid circulation of 7.7 million"

Gannon goes back to Dockendorf:

Dockendorf: "Louis Boccardi, the former chief executive officer, and Tom Curley, the chief executive officer, of the Associated Press; Robert MacNeil, former host of "The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour"; John Siegenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center; and Judy Woodruff, anchor for the Cable News Network."

Gannon: "Robert MacNeil, former host of Public Broadcasting's "The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour", John Siegenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center, Louis Boccardi and Tom Curley of the Associated Press, and Judy Woodruff, CNN anchor."

Dockendorf: "MacNeil criticized the motto as misleading. "The Fox claim is a con on the public ... The network is blatantly unbalanced," he said, adding that the network has used patriotism to promote the right wing and Bush administration.

Gannon: "MacNeil criticized the most-watched cable news network's motto as misleading. "The Fox claim is a con on the public. ... The network is blatantly unbalanced," MacNeil said. MacNeil accused the network of using patriotism to promote the right wing and Bush administration.

Dockendorf: "Sen. George McGovern, who was in the audience, asked the panelists about the definition of "patriotism" and the increasing unpopularity of those who spoke out against the Iraq war."

Gannon: "George McGovern asked the panel about the definition of "patriotism" and the increasing unpopularity of those who spoke out against the Iraq war."

Dockendorf: "Woodruff said, noting the "deep attacks" felt by Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., when he criticized President Bush heading into the Iraq war."

Gannon: "Woodruff noted the "deep attacks" felt by Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) when he criticized President Bush prior to the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom."

(Message to Randy Dockendorf: Instead of suing Jeff Gannon, Talon News/GOPUSA and owner Bobby Eberle for stealing your work, perhaps they can call Scott McClellan and get him to issue you a White House Press Pass.)

Talon News Plagiarism Archives

How To "Write" Like Jeff Gannon: Example #2

by Ron Brynaert (February 27, 2005)

Does Bob Allen of the Associate Baptist Press know that significant portions of an article that he wrote and published a year-and-a-half ago later appeared as a Talon News/GOPUSA exclusive credited to the poor-poor-persecuted propagandist and plagiarist - Jeff Gannon? Bob Allen's story "Christian Coalition divided over Alabama tax reform" (August 12, 2003: ABP Press) only got so much play, but Jeff Gannon's "Conservative, Christians Battle Alabama Governor on Tax Hike" (August 22, 2003: cache link) travelled all across the Internet, appearing here, here, here, and was even cited in this Reverend's sermon).

Allen: "The $1.2 billion tax package, aimed at erasing budget deficits and reforming an antiquated tax structure"

Gannon: "Riley's tax package, aimed at erasing budget deficits and reforming an antiquated tax structure"

Allen: "Religious leaders led opposition to the previous governor's plan to raise funds for education through a statewide lottery."

Gannon: "They had previously defeated another governor's attempt to fund education with a statewide lottery."

Allen: "The Christian Coalition of Alabama passed a resolution in May opposing the raising of taxes and blaming the state's budget woes on "years of poor stewardship and fiscal irresponsibility.""

Gannon: "The Alabama Christian Coalition passed a resolution in May opposing the raising of taxes and blaming the state's budget woes on "years of poor stewardship and fiscal irresponsibility.""

Allen: "Roberta Combs, national Christian Coalition president, made unannounced visits in cities across Alabama Aug. 6 to tout the Republican governor's tax plan, according to a story by"

Gannon: "The national Christian Coalition broke with the state organization when its president, Roberta Combs made unannounced visits in four cities across Alabama on August 6 to speak in favor of Riley's plan."

Jeff Gannon "journalism" students, as you can see from that last example, the Jeff Gannon style of "journalism" means that when you steal from a source you don't have to even cite the source that the source that you stole from cited.

Which brings me back to the Reverend. The line the Reverend attibuted to Jeff Gannon appeared this way in the Associated Baptist Press article:

Allen: "According to our Christian ethics, we're supposed to love God, love each other and help take care of the poor," he told USA Today."

But in Talon News/GOPUSA it simply ran this way:

Gannon: "Riley, a Southern Baptist who took office in January said, "According to our Christian ethics, we're supposed to love God, love each other, and help take care of the poor.""

I guess that way no one could easily figure out that Jeff Gannon stole a couple more lines from that same USA Today story attributed to the Associated Press (link to a cache of "Alabama governor calls tax hike Christian duty"):

USATODAY/AP: "The state is facing a $675 million deficit, and without new revenue, Riley says, it will have to release prisoners, cut medicine for the mentally ill and end Medicaid payments for many nursing home residents."

Gannon: "The state is facing a $675 million deficit, and without new revenue, Riley has threatened to release prisoners, cut medicine for the mentally ill, and end Medicaid payments for many nursing home residents."

USATODAY/AP: "Two of the governor's cabinet members who resigned after Riley made the proposal."

Gannon: "Two of the governor's cabinet members resigned after the governor announced his proposal."

Shame on you, Mr. Gannon. And shame on any right-wing pundit who still thinks that Talon News is worthy of being defended as a legitimate news organization.

Talon News Plagiarism Archives


Kenneth Blackwell's Confession

(NOTE - This post is a work in progress. As I continue digging up information I will be adding it here.)

Last week, at a congressional hearing on the 2004 elections, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell had this to say: "I confess: I’m a Republican. And with every other Republican elected to statewide office, I was an honorary co-chair of President Bush’s Ohio campaign. It was an honor – one shared by previous Ohio secretaries of state of both parties, in presidential elections – but it was one that carried no responsibilities."

No responsibilities.

"Blackwell, who said he was asked by Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman earlier this year to do "surrogate work" on gay marriage in Ohio...Blackwell stands by his statement to 1,500 state GOP leaders last month - in a letter written on "Blackwell for Governor" letterhead - that the amendment could help Bush carry Ohio and thus win the election. But that's a side benefit, he said." (link).

"Today, supporters of the amendment, known as Issue 1, will start a statewide radio ad campaign featuring Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell. "Ohio families are stronger with a wife and a husband," Blackwell says in one 60-second spot. "Our children do better with a mother and a father. That’s just common sense." The ads are paid for by Citizens for Community Values, a Cincinnati group that gathered the signatures to put the amendment on the ballot. President Phil Burress would not say how much the ads cost or what the group is spending on its ad campaign." (link)

"Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, a surrogate for the Bush-Cheney campaign in Ohio, recently sent a letter to Republican leaders throughout the state in which he said the Bush campaign "has asked me to help with the state DOMA effort and I agreed." Kevin Madden, spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign, declined to verify that the campaign had sought Blackwell's help." (link)

"Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R) admitted that the Bush campaign is helping coordinate the state's effort to pass an anti-gay Constitutional amendment."

Excerpted from Blackwell's letter: "The President's campaign has asked me to help with a state DOMA effort and I have agreed. I am working closely with state and national religious leaders to protect and defend the sanctity of marriage. No one is spending more time communicating with the key elements of the GOP base on behalf of the President than I." (link)

"Blackwell also was a factor in Bush getting 17% of the Black vote in Ohio as opposed to 8% in 2000...Blackwell, in the months before the election, met with over a thousand evangelical pastors providing them with the tools and encouragement to register their church members and turn them out on Election Day. The percentage of evangelical vote participation jumped from 17% in 2000 to 25% in 2004." (link)

Two-and-a-half months ago, The Raw Story posted a Kenneth Blackwell for Governor fundraising letter (link), in which he "boasted of helping “deliver” Ohio for President Bush and said he was “truly pleased” to announce Bush had won Ohio even before all of the state’s votes had been counted": "I have no doubt the strong campaign we helped the President run in Ohio - - coupled with a similiar effort I helped deliver for State Issue One (the Marriage Protection Act) - - can easily be credited with turning out record numbers of conservatives and evangelicals on Election Day...As Co-Chairman of Bush/Cheney '04 in Ohio, I counted on you to help us win the Buckeye State in 2004."

From the July 25, 2004 edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer: ""Transforming a Boston liberal into a Midwest conservative will make for fascinating TV, but I don't think Ohio voters will be fooled," said Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell Friday in a conference call arranged by the Bush-Cheney campaign" (link).


Monday, March 28, 2005

The Ohio Whitewash

Yesterday, The Common Ills posted a summary of Saturday's Laura Flanders show on Air America which featured highlights from last week's hearing in Columbus, Ohio on the 2004 election and the implementation of the Help America Vote Act (link). There were quite a few memorable exchanges between Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell and House Reps Juanita Millender-McDonald (California - D) and Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (Ohio - D).

Today...finally...a transcript of some of the testimony has been posted (but interestingly enough, Thor's testimony is not included though it's posted on the American Center For Voting Rights Website). So I bring you some of Kenneth Blackwell's defiant testimony (link):

"But first, I am compelled to speak to the fabrications, exaggerations, and innuendos that some who dislike the fact that their presidential candidate lost Ohio keep repeating. Unlike Mr. McTigue, they dismiss evidence and simple explanations – and the word of fellow Democrats – when the intimation of some vast conspiracy to steal the election is so much more exhilarating."

"Sadly, these fabrications come not only from disappointed partisans talking to each other on internet boards, but also from people in responsible positions and people with enough experience in electoral politics to know better."

"A reported dated January 5, 2005 by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee minority staff made several misleading and intellectually dishonest assertions regarding the 2004 election in Ohio. That report and its false assertions where shamefully used to challenge Ohio’s electors at the Joint Meeting of Congress to ratify the Electoral College vote. It was a stunning and disgraceful display demonstrating that there are those in Congress who are very willing to cast aside the Constitution and the lawfully certified vote of the people to wage a nasty and disingenuous partisan attack. I am certain that history will not look kindly on those who engaged in the shenanigans of January 6, 2005."

"While the report’s charges were thoroughly examined and debunked by the Ohio media, I would like to address some of the document’s more egregious mistakes. The report stated “the misallocation of voting machines led to unprecedented long lines that disenfranchised scores, if not hundreds of thousands, of predominantly minority and Democratic voters.”

"To believe this statement, you would have to conclude that somebody decided to distribute voting machines with the idea in mind that mostly Democratic voters, when faced with long lines, would give up and go home."

"We can make up numbers all day about the number of voters who might have cast ballots if the lines were shorter. But what would be the point? We can only count the ballots of the voters who registered their preferences, not the phantom voters of someone’s dreams."

"Ohio’s paperweight requirement for voter registration forms was in place for many years. Its goal was to protect the forms from damage by postal equipment and was based on US Post Office requirements for self-mailers."

"I challenge the authors of the report to identify a more comprehensive ballot review system. I doubt that they will even attempt to search. Because, sadly, those individuals are not interested in truth or fair elections, they are interested in bluster and deceptive partisan rhetoric."

"And one last point about Ohio’s bipartisan system. There have been some who have noted as if it were some deep, dark, meaningful secret that I was a co-chair of the President's campaign in Ohio. I confess: I’m a Republican. And with every other Republican elected to statewide office, I was an honorary co-chair of President Bush’s Ohio campaign. It was an honor – one shared by previous Ohio secretaries of state of both parties, in presidential elections – but it was one that carried no responsibilities."

I'm not going to respond to this silliness. I'll leave that to Congressman John Conyers, who I'm sure will refute every silly thing this Bush tool said. One thing's for sure, I do believe that Blackwell will regret claiming that his chairmanship of the Bush/Cheney campaign "carried no responsibilities." That's the statement that I'd start with if I was Congressman Conyers.

But it wasn't just Blackwell and Thor that attacked bloggers and the January 6th heroes in Congress. This hearing was a mostly one-sided charade full of attacks on voter registration efforts by 527 groups, instead of any attempts to get at the truth about what happened.

Blackwell's collaborating testimoniers included Senator Jeff Jacobson from the Ohio Senate; Keith Cunningham, President, Ohio Association of Election Officials and Director of the Allen County Board of Elections; William Anthony (Democrat), Chairman, Franklin County Board of Elections and Dana Walch, Director of Legislative Affairs and Office of the Ohio Secretary of State.

Michael Vu, the director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Election even lied and said that no one waited on line for more than 2 and a half hours even though the polls had to remain open nearly the whole fucking night and we saw it on tv.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that there is no transcript of the testimony of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones either. Another disgraceful day in America, folks. What the fuck are we going to do about this? If these undemocratic Americans get their way, there will be no real election reform in America, and we can't let that happen.


Stop Lying, ABC's Terry Moran Is No Liberal

One of the characters in my play - "The Rules of Embedment or Why Are We Back In Iraq?" - is named Terry Moran but I didn't specifically name him after the ABC White House correspondent. My character, an unembedded Australian journalist covering the invasion of Iraq, was a little bit based on Alexander Cockburn, Robert Fisk and (my idol) Norman Mailer. But I named him after two journalists killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom: Paul Moran and Terry Lloyd (Journalists killed or missing in Iraq).

Unreality-based Republicans such as L. Brent Bozell, III and Ari Fleischer pretend that ABC's Terry Moran is a part of the vast liberal media conspiracy. But he's not. He sucks.

This is from a Bozell the Clown article about former Press Secretary Ari's new pile-of-crap book (link):

"One of the juiciest anecdotes in the book concerns ABC White House reporter Terry Moran, whose sharply opinionated questions make him look like he's auditioning for the role of the next Helen Thomas. On April 28, 2003, President Bush made a speech to Arab-Americans in Dearborn, Mich., proclaiming his confidence in the ability of the Iraqi people to create a new democracy and his commitment to helping build that vision. The crowd went wild in an emotional response. But ABC only gave the speech two sentences."

"Fleischer asked Moran: Why so little coverage? "I couldn't get it on the air," Moran tells him, adding: "If they had booed him, it would have led the news." That's the national media we see too often. Arrogant, tendentious, partisan, unbalanced, unfair -- and in denial."

Um. Would a liberal tell Bush's Press Secretary, "I couldn't get it on the air. If they had booed him, it would have led the news." I don't fucking think so.

Here's another right-wing take on Terry's "liberalism." Fair Press, which is anything but, attacks Terry for this exchange with Ari Fleischer on May 2, 2002:

Moran: "One more on a different subject, the House Majority Leader, Mr. Armey, suggested on an appearance on Hardball that it would be preferable for Israel to keep the West Bank and for the Palestinian people there to be transferred, ethnically cleansed. What does the President think of this? He [Armey] didn't use those words."

Fleischer: "Yeah. Did the Majority Leader use those words?"

Moran: "He said that they should leave."

Fleischer, answering his own question: "He did not."

Moran: "That's the way Milosevic said it, he never said ethnic cleansing either. And I wondered what the President felt about this high official of the United States government calling for the forcible transfer of -"

Fleischer: "Well, Terry, given your characterization of it I think it's only fair to go back and read the words with precision before I would give you a comment on something based on the way you've asked the question."

Hell, even I'd admit that Terry went a little too far in bringing up Milosevic, but this conservative for "Fair Press" omits the fact that Terry said it tongue-in-cheek. If you check the White House transcript, you will see that Mr. "Fair Press" left out the reaction of the press corps: (Laughter.)

But maybe Terry took Ari's line to heart: "based on the way you've asked the question." There's been a huge difference in his questions since.

At the Jeff Gannon blog (which I linked to once, but never will again), Mr. Plagiarist posts questions that he would ask his buddy Scott McLellan if he weren't "on hiatus from the White House briefing room."

The questions are scary. The latest one is a complaint about Bush's use of the word "vigilante" to describe vigilantes who are "monitoring the southern stem the tide of illegal immigrants and possibly terrorists that stream into the United States from Mexico." The one before it basically asked when the hell are we going to start invading Latin American countries to promote "democracy."

On March 11th, Jeff's question was about the only story that matters in the world right now (not): "Terri Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman in Florida is due to be starved to death now that a judge will allow her husband to remove the feeding tube that has been keeping her alive. The President's brother, Gov. Jeb Bush has been trying to prevent this from happening. The President has the absolute power to grant pardons. Will he intervene to save Terri Schiavo from what is essentially a death sentence?"

On March 17th, Jeff gave credit to ABC's Terry Moran: "But ABC's Terry Moran asked my 3/11 question about Terri Schiavo. Well done. Somebody named Jessica suggested that the President's support for Terri might set a precedent for "federal intervention into a matter already decided by a state court."

This is Terry's question from the transcript of the March 17th press briefing: "All right. On another subject, the United States Congress is -- seems poised to pass a piece of federal legislation in the case of Terri Schaivo to try and save her life. What is the President's position on it?"

Would a liberal ask "to try and save her life"? Fuck no. And the second part of that question is so fucking stupid that it boggles the mind. Fucking Terry Moran knows damn well what the "President's position on it" is. This is the same kind of softballs that Jeff liked to toss.

Now, I'm not certain that Terry got the idea for the question from Jeff's blog, but I am pretty darn certain that he got it from the same place that Jeff probably plagiarized his question from.

But many folks on our side are also fooled by Terry Moran. The Village Voice gave a "gold star" to Terry for a question he asked at an earlier press briefing about the President's position on torture (Terry asked a similiar question just before the one about Terri, as well).

But these questions aren't about getting at the Bush Administration for advocating torture, many of these fine folks (including folks on the left) actually believe that America should do whatever it takes to stop the "evil-doers." Another Jeff question "not asked" yet: " "A government report says that a detainee at Guantanamo claims to have helped Osama bin Laden escape coalition forces at Tora Bora. Should we accept this to be factual when critics of our interrogation techniques say that information obtained in this manner is coerced and unreliable?"

Before ABC, Terry Moran wrote for The New Republic (the magazine that people pretend is liberal) and achieved some level of fame covering O.J. for Court TV. No. I don't believe Terry Moran is a right-winger or a neo-con or even a Christopher Hitchens/Zell Miller. He's just not a liberal.

Perhaps the de-certification of the press (see Jay Rosen's Press Think for more on de-certifying) under the Bush Administration has led Terry astray.

Guess who gets to ask the first question at most Bush press conferences? Nope, not Helen Thomas. Good old Terry Moran. I guess to keep getting the opportunity to ask that first question, Terry doesn't push too hard, and his follow-up questions are pathetically meek. The only good thing about Terry at the Bush press conferences and the press briefings is that other journalists sometimes follow-up with better and more pointed questions.

Terry to Bush on January 26, 2005 (link): "Mr. President, the insurgents in Iraq are threatening to kill anyone who comes out to vote on Sunday. Do you think they'll succeed in killing or scaring away enough people so that the elections will be rendered seriously flawed or not credible?"

No point in posting Bush's response. You already know the answer, so did Terry. Did he think Bush was going to say that the insurgents would succeed?

Terry to Bush at the same conference: "Can I ask a follow-up, sir? What would be a credible turnout number?"

No point in posting Bush's response. You already know the answer, so did Terry. Did he think Bush was going to toss out a figure that might make him look bad? How many months did we know before the Iraqi "election" that we would never get an answer to that question? Millions of Iraqis weren't allowed to vote, and the Bush Administration and their right-wing supporters (and douchebags like Thomas Friedman at The New York Times) don't care.

At first glance, a question that Terry Moran asked Bush on March 2, 2003 (before his days of getting to go first) appears to contain harsh criticisms (link): "Thank you, sir. May I follow up on Jim Angle's question? In the past several weeks, your policy on Iraq has generated opposition from the governments of France, Russia, China, Germany, Turkey, the Arab League and many other countries, opened a rift at NATO and at the U.N., and drawn millions of ordinary citizens around the world into the streets in anti-war protests. May I ask, what went wrong that so many governments and people around the world now not only disagree with you very strongly, but see the U.S. under your leadership as an arrogant power?"

But, again, how was Bush supposed to respond to that question? "Yep, you're right I'm an arrogant S.O.B." Well it didn't work. Instead, Bush hit that question out of the ballpark with a bunch of mumbo jumbo about freedom and security. Again, no point in posting it, you've all heard it before a gazillion times.

(I would like to commend Terry for mentioning the "millions of ordinary citizens" who marched and protested because that's about the size of the media coverage we got, there sure-as-shit wasn't much coverage on ABC)

I could go on and on giving examples of Terry Moran questions and showing you how they are all cannily crafted to show that he's a tough critic, but are mostly about getting Bush off the hook.

Terry Moran is just like Jeff Gannon. Jeff Gannon asked questions that attacked the left so that the Press Secretary (and Bush at least once) could respond to criticism. While Terry Moran does the same but under a different guise. His "tough" questions aren't really questions, they're just designed that way to trick us.

Don't let the "lying liars" fool you, ABC's Terry Moran is the Bush Administration's best friend. That's why he gets to go first. It's all about access to today's White House correspondents. The access overrides everything else, even their souls.


Sunday, March 27, 2005

We Fucking Need Tas

Loaded Mouth's Tas has posted a retirement letter (I send e-mails and...yeah...he sent it to me first...kind of obvious though from his title which plays off of Atrios' "We get e-mails" headline when he posted mine). Not from blogging. But from "conversations about the state of the blogosphere."

What can I say? I know that I've taken a lot of shots at various bloggers since the first week of November (the first week of November being the time when most left-leaning bloggers seemed to say "get me off this crazy ride...I don't care if 2004's election is more questionable than 2000's selection...I don't want to go there again.").

Believe it or not. I've held back plenty. I didn't link to my friend Jesse's post that criticized Atrios which Atrios linked to...nor did I link to the posts that Pam Spaulding wrote at Big Brass Blog and that Tas wrote at Loaded Mouth which supported Jesse (In Search of Telford is Jesse's new blog, which is mostly devoted to bio-fuel but fun to read as well). I also have a ton of unpublished posts which I decided not to run.

I've received letters and comments from readers who stopped reading me because I have continued to push this. Which pains me. But I blog what I want to blog, and I can't help it if my language or my targets offend some or many.

But maybe it is time to try the "flies with honey" approach (as a blogger I admire and respect...but have also "blobbidy-blobbed"...said in an e-mail). So, even if I don't receive a response to an e-mail that I've sent to an ally on the left about a story I wrote or someone else did that I think needs to be promoted everywhere so we can get the Press to hear us, I'll just keep doing it over and over again but without attacking the blogger for not responding to me. Shit. I still owe an e-mail or two to people who wrote me during the Atrios flare-up. It took me hours and hours to read all of my e-mail that week, and guys like Atrios get that every freaking day so of course they can't respond to every one. But that doesn't mean I don't want to hear from you. I do. Write me anytime you want at and you will get a reply (the same goes for the comments you leave) even if it's a little late or only a word or two.

That said or blogged. I will never, never, never hold back from criticizing the left for partisan reasons. I wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror...and I would be just like the liars on the right (or the guys on Crossfire that Jon Stewart dissed).

One more thing I'd like to add.

I am specifically talking about the smaller blogger vs. bigger blogger meme.

The other parts of this "war." The parts that concern women blogger or African American bloggers or Asian bloggers or Gay bloggers or every other kind of blogger that isn't getting enough exposure on the blogs written by white, male bloggers (I'm one, too) remains a concern of mine. This is a civil rights issue and I will never abandon that fight until things fucking change.

Please go to my buddy's blog at Loaded Mouth. Tas - easily - runs one of the best blogs we have. Please leave a comment and tell him not to rob us of his voice because we fucking need it. I know I fucking need it. Peace.


Saturday, March 26, 2005

Hey, You! Yeah, You! Wanna Help Fix Our Election System?

Who doesn't love a "good news, bad news" type of post?

The good news is the Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University will be hooking us up with a "star-studded study commission that will recommend improvements to the nation's federal election system." A.P..

The bad news is that no one at the Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University ever heard of the word "non-partisan" (but then the creeps that use that term lately like Talon News and ac4vr are anything but).

The good news is that former President Jimmy Carter is leading it.

The bad news is that he's gotta dance cheek-to-cheek with former Secretary of State James Baker (but how former do you think, really?).

The good news is that there's more to this article.

The not-so-bad news is that you're going to have to go to Watching The Watchers to read the rest of it (unless, of course, you came from there already).


CNN Sucks And They Lie

Since I'm tired of this politicized, personal story (when there are real stories being ignored like this, this and this) I'm throwing up a mostly "cut-and-paste" story that touches upon it. But I haven't seen anyone else take note of the New York Post article that I quote from at the end of this post, and I didn't want it to go unnoticed.

Nicole Casta at Media Matters: "In coverage of the Terri Schiavo case, CNN host Daryn Kagan and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield made sweeping assertions about public opinion of the case that are undermined by polling data." Media Matters includes links to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, a CBS News poll, and an ABC News poll which show that most Americans support the multiple court decisions (apologies to any right leaning readers who are unused to seeing the word court without being preceded by the word activist and the word media without being preceded by the word liberal, but to counter the bias I'll refrain from preceding the word Republicans with the words lying, fuckhead since, thankfully, some aren't).

Media Matters (re: a CBS News poll taken March 21-22): "Asked if Congress and the president should intervene in the Schiavo case, 82 percent said no; 13 percent said yes."

Atrios at Eschaton blogged about CNN's suckitude, too: "CNN has completely ignored the story about the "possible showdown" between local police and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement...The unwillingness of the media to confront this story, which is the logical conclusion of having Jeb Bush try to substitute his authority for that of a judge, a storyline that the media have been desperately pushing all week, is to me an unwillingness of them to confront their own role in encouraging this."

Don Kaplan wrote an article for the Fox-owned New York Post (in the "entertainment" section) entitled "Right-to-die case has it all" (interesting title considering the cover of The New York Post carried the headline "Terri's Doomed"), which included a few quotes from CNN's president - Jon Klein: "Klein says that public interest in the story took off last weekend when Congress held an emergency session to try and intervene in the case. The involvement of the Supreme Court, the president and Congress "really caught everybody's attention," he says. "It showed the extraordinary lengths that important people would go in order to wrestle with this issue," says Klein."

DC Media Girl on CNN's Jon Klein: "Over the past few months, we’ve all read an interminable number of articles which outline CNN chief Jon Klein’s grand plan for CNN. He blathers on quite a bit about "storytelling" and other such nonsense, but you and I both know that when push comes to shove, he’s really only talking about one thing: Beating Fox."

Earth to Jon Klein. It's the "extraordinary lengths that important people would go" part of the story that's probably helped bump your ratings. This kind of shit scares many of us. And you scare us, too. Why don't you spend some more time reading the polls and hearing the concern of your viewers, and less time sucking up to the lying fuckhead Republicans that have taken over our country (through tricky use of the courts in 2000) along with our media (whoops...couldn't help it).


Friday, March 25, 2005

Another Ricky Vandal?

(NOTE - If you haven't read about Ricky Vandal, the Freeper from the Netherlands with over 100 blogs to his name including "I love Jenna Bush", "The New-Democrat", "Bill Clinton Daily Diary", "John Kerry - The New Patriot", and "The Olsen Twins are evil" go to Loaded Mouth, which contains links to the plethora of posts Tas and I wrote about the troll)

Today, a diary at Daily Kos got my attention. It got a bunch of Kossacks' attention as well.

The diary, which is just a "copy-and-paste" from Wikipedia of some anti-Hillary stuff was started by a bozo who calls himself Gore2008.

Furi Kuri left this comment on the diary: "Isn't he just dreamy? Sigh. If you think that's funny, read his letter to Al Gore, or this diary, where he proclaims, er, well, skim through it, then read the last 3 entries. Then there's this - which has got to be good, because half of it is hidden and it's his last entry under that name. A very strange character." (Rina, Rabid Child and a few others also left some good responses).

This was the wackadoo's response, "Yes I know which part of the hell you are going to."

Other wackadoo comments at Daily Kos and elsewhere: "By the way you Democrats are the one who has to be blamed for that.Because You are the one voted for him and elected him." "I repeat if there is no Al Gore then No one else. How do I know this?? Its the same way I knew that Kerry would loose in 2004. Believe it or Not. Miracles do happen in this world although this world is controlled by the demon's Power." " Why don't you all get real and accept the reality and deal with it instead of Fantacizing. I wish that I could leave this plannet right now and go where I am belonged to instead dealing with you all, thats not going to happen any time soon. In other words I am responsible for my own destiny and I am struct here dealing with all these Premature and Imature beings." "Dean won't goto hell, you repubs will goto to Hell 2000000%."

Just like Ricky, the ideology seems to be all over the map. This guy is no Democrat, that's for sure.

So, I did some digging...and this is what I have so far (mostly...I did find something else that prompted me to send someone an e-mail...who I'll hopefully hear back from next week).

(NOTE: the who is links contain phone numbers and addresses...I do not post personal information on my blog and I hope anyone who reads this does not think my linking to these public addresses that were easily searchable on a public Website is any sort of invitation to behave like disrespect to my readers by stating the obvious...but I thought it important to include...and I think that the addresses and phone numbers are phoney anyway)

On September 25, 2003 Run Al sprang to life with Thilagavathy Ponnuthural listed as Administrator and Organization name along with an address from Edison, New Jersey (who is). The e-mail address for Mr. Ponnuthural is

On December 13, 2003 Elect Gore sprang to life with Thilagavathy Ponnuthural listed as Administrator and Organization name along with the same address who is). The e-mail address for Mr. Ponnutharal is

Another alias that Election 2008 employs is Nathan Jack.

This page lists a slightly different address and telephone number for the Run Al Gore Website so I doubt either one is correct.

The Elect Gore 2008 Website has no about page, but Run Al Gore does (about): "Basically I have been a software Developer for the Last 10 yrs. Graduated with degree in Computer Science. I have written several different Application Software in the Banking Industry, Health care Industry, communication Industry, Insurance and Few more other Industries." Too bad, his Website designs suck (I'm a writer not a computer programmer so if you think my design sucks too that doesn't make me a hypocrite).

One primary motive behind starting the Run Al Gore Website seemed to be to spread a bunch of lies about Howard Dean: "BreadandWine you have the nerve to Tell us that you want to make AL Gore as VP for Dean, Ok why don't you call AL Gore's office and tell him that right now. You are under the influence of some kind of Narcotics may be, You are under hallucination. Bush will easily defeat him this time, may be he can run again in 2008. I am sure you can become his Chief of Staff. Here are the links for Deans Flip Flop . I got this from thingy Gephardt's web site. Have fun." (link ).

There are some similiarities between Thilagavathy and Ricky Vandal. Both use a number of aliases. Both sell t shirts and hats. Both change up their writing styles. Both sometimes write like they are 8 years old...other times 13...other times they seem much older and reasonably intelligent. Both make references to "other" religions. Both speak of "warriors" and reincarnation. Both insult even people that seem to agree with them. Both are obviously agent provocateurs.

Perhaps there's some kind of factory that churns out these phoney-baloney "serial bloggers." Perhaps they're products of the Leadership Institute.

To be continued.


Matt Margolis Blogs For Bush, Plus He's Stupid

Talk about stupid.

Matt Margolis blogged at Blogs from Bungholes for Bush (Republican readers, I'm not saying all bloggers for Bush are Bungholes, just these guys): "A recent report from the nonpartisan American Center for Voting Rights showed that in Ohio, it was actually Democrat leaning groups behind registration fraud, intimidation, vote fraud and litigation in the 2004 election."

Nonpartisan? Because they say so, bunghole?

If you Googled or Technoratied "American Center for Voting Rights" you might've learned (either at Brad Blog or Cannonfire or Alternet or Sensibly Eclectic or Martini Republic or Bite Sound Bite or Antiestablishmentarianism or Nero Fiddled or "This Could Have Been Your Left-Leaning Blog's Name" or Me! ) that the only thing nonpartisan about the American Center for Voting Rights is well...I'm not sure.

I do know that this "non-partisan 501(c)(3) legal and education center committed to defending the integrity of the election process and working to increase public confidence in the fairness and outcome of elections" (link) just started their Website last week, and, so far as we know, consists of two dudes.

ACVR General Counsel Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, "a former Reagan Administration official, is the National Election Counsel to Bush-Cheney ’04 Inc. and was Missouri counsel to Bush-Cheney ‘00 Inc. As well, he was General Counsel to Republican Missouri Governor Blunt." (Brad Blog).

While ACVR Contact Jim Dyke was the 2004 Communications Director for the Republican National Committee.

Would you believe the "Ohio for Blackwell" blog fell for it too? Would you believe there is an "Ohio for Blackwell" blog? Can't some Ohioan please come up with an "Ohio for Blackwell to Get the Fuck Out of Ohio" Blog?

There were other stupid bloggers that are too stupid to Google that blogged just because Matt Margolis blogged for Bush about it. Check for yourself at Technorati.

Buy 1 of these shirts (designed by Marvelous Matt Margolis: link):

Get 1 of these free:

As my buddy, Tas, likes to phrase it, "Feed The Wingnuts Some Sledgehammers" (more stupidity or unintentional satire at this link).


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Separated At Birth? (Part 2)

My dad was a union man.

It seems like GOPUSA...

...and The American Center For Voting Rights (

...aren't so original...

The slogan "You have a voice, make it heard" (or variations on it) has been used by the AFL-CIO for years. There are bumper stickers. Union officials have often said it. You can find that slogan somewhere on almost any union Website.

These duplicitous GOP lackeys not only want to destroy the labor organizations of America, they also want to PLAGIARIZE from them (that is the Bobby Eberle way: GOPUSA Plagiarism Archive).


Go Conyers, Go Conyers!

(Hat Tip to The Raw Story)

Does Michigan Congressman John Conyers Jr., ever sleep? I have no idea how Rep. Conyers finds the time to fight for us every chance he gets, but he does, and how.

Congressman Conyers wrote an incredible article in defense of us bloggers called "Bloggers Have Rights Too" (link which should be linked by every single blog in the blogosphere...but at least I know some of us will). Here are some of my favorite parts of the article (but don't just read the highlights, follow the link and read the rest of what this great defender of our rights has to say):

"The Internet has proved to be the greatest advancement in our ability to disseminate news and information since the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg in 1450."

"The confluence of these two cases indicates that we are at a turning point in the evolution of Internet-based media. I believe bloggers have shown they warrant First Amendment protection for several reasons."

"First, bloggers have become widely accepted as legitimate news gatherers and disseminators. Columbia University's Project for Excellence in Journalism reports that 32 million Americans are currently turning to blogs for their information. Bloggers were granted press passes to both the Democratic and Republican national conventions last summer, and the White House recently approved the first blog press pass to a day's gaggle."

"Bloggers should be classified as journalists and given First Amendment protections based on the function they perform, not the form of their transmissions. Properly understood, the First Amendment applies to all those who report with journalistic integrity--offline or online."

"We need to protect bloggers' First Amendment rights so they can help us protect our own citizens' rights."

Congressman Conyers also made some changes to his wonderful blog: ConyersBlog. "In response to many comments, the blog is now interactive, with a comments section. It also now allows linking to individual posts. In the days ahead, I will be reading your comments and, where appropriate, responding to them."

I'm telling you, this Congressman is unbelievable. Go to his blog and tell him how much you appreciate everything that he has done for us. Specifically, his battles for election reform and against propaganda.

From his latest post (Preserving Democracy Continued): "I am not encouraged by press or other accounts I have heard, which make clear that Blackwell has yet to come clean about what happened in Ohio. Indeed, Mr. Blackwell reportedly still clings to the notion that "Ohio...had one of the best Election Administration performances in the country." If by that he means that he was the best Secretary of State in the nation at weighing the paper that registration forms were printed on, well...I wholeheartedly agree. If, however, he means treating voters fairly, I don't know who to believe: him or my lying eyes?"

That latest post includes a link to some video footage (as well as a plug for the "indefatigible Brad Friedman of BradBlog) shot last November which shows what happened in Ohio (there's one incredible tracking shot which shows you a line of fifty-plus Americans who waited in line in the pouring rain for hours to vote), so make sure you visit the ConyersBlog.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

GOPUSA & AC4VR: Separated At Birth?

Bobby Eberle's gives us:

The American Center For Voting Rights ( gives us:

You be the judge. Coincidence or Collusion?


Bush Won The Popular Vote In 2000, Didn't He?

(As I mentioned yesterday, both of the best vote fraud bloggers posted sensational stories yesterday. The other blogger is Joseph Cannon of Cannonfire and he has a huge story which he found at Democratic Underground.)

Of course, Bush didn't win the popular vote in 2000. Vice President Al Gore did by half-a-million votes. So why the misleading title?

Joseph Cannon analyzed a report released by the Social Science Research Council (link) which "explained" (or as Mr. Cannon puts it - "whitewash[ed]") the discrepancies in the early exit poll that were leaked to the Internet that led most bloggers (and even the Kerry and Bush campaigns for a little bit on election day) to believe that democracy would be reinstalled in America in 2005.

Mr. Cannon wrote ("They're lying to you about the exit polls. Here's the proof." link) "So why, in the eyes of the SSRC, did the exit polls show a Kerry win? The SSRC researchers believe that there was a demonstrable Democratic bias in the data, and they repeat the National Election Poll line that "differential response" is to blame. This amounts to an endorsement of what I call the "chatty Dem" theory: "Kerry voters were more likely to agree to be interviewed while Bush voters were less likely.""

The "concrete evidence that the "chatty Dem" explanation is wrong, wrong, wrong" can be found in a post started by TruthIsAll at Democratic Underground using these poll results at CNN which clearly show that the poll takers voted for Bush over Gore in 2000 by a rate of 43% to 37%.

Mr. Cannon: "How, prithee, can the NEP and the SSRC (not to mention Dick Morris and innumerable other GOP propagandists) ask us to believe that the exit polls were skewed in favor of John Kerry? If such weighting existed, then the question about the 2000 race would have resulted in a demonstrable preference for Al Gore."

There is some dissention in the "liberal" ranks with this story. A DUer named smoogatz noted that "[i]t's not altogether unlikely, IMO, that a lot of folks who leaned toward Bush in 2000 but didn't get out to vote would claim they voted for him in an exit poll four years later."

But I believe that this story does at least prove one thing. That the canard that the exit polling was flawed earlier in the day because Bush voters were "afraid" to speak to the pollsters was one of the biggest lies foisted on the American public.

Will this story matter for the 2004 race? No, most definitely not.

Because this isn't the Ukraine. Polls only matter in this country when the Bush Administration officials (including the ones who edit and censor our mainstream media and press) want them to matter.

But what about 2008?

Mr. Cannon's conclusion: "So: According to Warren Mitofsky and those wacky folks at the SSRC, the exit polls were marred by an over-abundant supply of "chatty Dems" who -- for God knows what reason -- bragged about voting for Dubya. And this, we are told, is why we must weight the 2008 exit polls more heavily favor of the G.O.P."

"These people are not only rationalizing the 2004 vote theft, they are laying the groundwork for an even grander heist in the future."

That, my friends, is the significance of these two stories. Certain left-leaning bigger bloggers won't fucking blog about this. Meanwhile, we're about to lose future elections as well.


More On Thor

Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II who toils for the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights was not only the National Election Counsel to Bush-Cheney ’04 Inc. and the Missouri counsel to Bush-Cheney ‘00 Inc. He was also one of 57 Missouri delegates at the 2004 RNC in NYC: link. The Republican National Committee also paid 253 dollars to give Thor "lodging" on December 22, 2003: open secrets.

The fix was in last November. And the Bushies knew that they couldn't just eke out another win in electoral votes and lose the popular vote like they did in 2000. " "It's not good enough for us just to win this election," says Thor Hearne, national counsel for the Bush-Cheney campaign. "We have to overperform. We have to win the election by 2 to 3 percentage points to get a fraud-proof margin of victory." (cache link).

Thor ran for the House of Representatives 3rd Congressional District of Missouri in 1988, but was soundly defeated by Richard Gephardt: link. Thor, of course, ran as the Republican candidate.

Non-partisan Thor will be attending the Florida Republican National Lawyer Association Chapter’s 2005 Kickoff Reception as the featured guest speaker on April 14th, 2005: link. According to the RNL Website, "this Reception will honor the lawyer volunteers who worked diligently in the 2004 elections to ensure that the voters, not the courts decided the election." But that's a fucking lie since Thor uses the courts to stop voters from voting and little else. The Florida Republican National Lawyers Association should be disbarred, every single one of them, for posting such a blatant lie on their Website.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Thor & Conan Vs. America's Voters

(The two best voting fraud bloggers on the Internet each have sensational stories today. First up, The Brad Blog.)

Brad Friedman writes "As reported here earlier today, the U.S. House Administrative Committee hearings yesterday in Columbus featured testimony from St. Louis attorney, Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, II of the "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (AC4VR). According to Internic records, the AC4VR was established on the web just last Thursday and early investigation into this group would seem to indicate that it is little more than a front group for Republican operatives with little or no interest in actual "Voting Rights" at all." (link "New 'Non-Partisan' 'Voting Rights' Org Appears Little More than Republican Front Group!")

Brad also mentions that "Hearne, a former Reagan Administration official, is the National Election Counsel to Bush-Cheney ’04 Inc. and was Missouri counsel to Bush-Cheney ‘00 Inc. As well, he was General Counsel to Republican Missouri Governor Blunt."

But Thor's much more than that.

I found this "interview" at the Lathrop Gage Website (the law firm that Thor works for...I thought Thor was supposed to be a I mixing up my Asgardian Gods...where the hell is Balzac?) which contains astonishing information about a man who was allowed to testimony at a House committee that was partly devoted to what may have transpired in the last election (cache link):

"From September through the election, Hearne traveled to every battleground state and oversaw more than 65 different lawsuits that concerned the conduct of the election. Every case was favorably resolved and included matters before various state supreme courts, several emergency appeals to the 6th circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and writs to the U.S. Supreme Court as well as litigation in multiple federal district and state trial courts."

You don't say. Thor is the Terminator of the elections (or maybe on).

Well, who the hell does Thor know?

""I was asked by President Bush’s uncle, Bucky Bush, to be the general counsel to the Bush-Cheney campaign in Missouri in the fall of 2003. (I had worked with the Bush campaign in 2000 and successfully represented the campaign in the City of St. Louis poll closing litigation and in Florida in 2000 in Broward County.)"

An astonishing tale.

But wait, you're saying, why the hell did you drag Conan into this?

"I was asked by a friend of mine, Chuck Bell, state party counsel to the California Republican Party to fly to California for the Gray Davis Recall election. Chuck and his team had done an outstanding job of organizing California for this election and had teams of lawyers ready to respond to any last minute election litigation. Because of some of my activity in Missouri and Florida in 2000, Chuck asked if I could provide any additional advice."

Do you see what we're up against, True Believers?

Doc Octopus Cheney, The Green Rumsfeld and the boy wonder Bush have assembled a super-team of super-villians who have stolen away our last two (three, four, seven...i give many) elections.

Tobey Maguire, we need you to put on the suit again and stop these mad men.

Attention: House Administration Committee The next time Thor testifies in front of one of your little hearings again, cross-examine, because you can bet your sweet asses that he knows exactly what the fuck happened and who exactly did it.


Bush Picks Karen Ryan & Jeff Gannon As New CBS Co-Anchors

He might as well.

Jay Rosen - an Associate Professor at NYU's Journalism school, author of the 1999 book "What Are Journalists For?", and blogger extraordinaire - posted his latest article yesterday at Press Think concerning the "de-certification" of the Press by the Bush Administration. In layman's terms, "de-certification" basically translates into the Bushies saying, "Hey the Media sucks cause they lie while we don't so we're taking over" (even though there's no oil to be found in any newsroom in America...though that David Brooks guy is a little bit oily).

In "From Meet the Press to Be the Press" Jay Rosen explains the significant significance of the video news release scandal which everyone in the blogosphere is talking about (ummm...they should be...but perhaps the blogosphere is being decertified too through Karl Rove talking points memos...bloggers it's kind of ridiculous to blog that something is a diversion but then keep blogging about it).

According to the Bush Administration, all propaganda that they release disguised as news (and aired by the embedded media) is "purely informational." The Bush Administration don't do lies, only those "liberal" journalists who want all the troops to come home from Iraq and demand election reform now (please somebody tell me what channel those "liberal" journalists are on...because all I can find are a bunch of butt-munching lackeys).

I know. I know. When I send someone a link to Jay Rosen, they're like, "Are you kidding me? Your posts are long enough, but that's just insane!" But Jay Rosen is easily one of the most important bloggers that we have (and by we...I mean all of us...both sides of the blogosphere...Jay Rosen is one of the gurus of "civic journalism" which is what this shit is supposed to be), and if you take an hour or two (or five or six) to read his brilliant articles than you will be even smarter (or more of a wise-ass) than you were before (I believe reading Wonkette will do the exact opposite...not because she's a woman, of course...just because she sucks...and not sucks as in anything as in "can barely even play"...and not play as in...sigh).

And I'd like to add that Jay Rosen's articles contain no steroids. You can bulk up legally and with a clean mind.

But this isn't dry academia stuff. Jay's funnier than that guy who stole David Letterman's job. Here's a few of my favorite bits in Jay's latest article:

"There is no "particular viewpoint" in the fake news spots, no message like: Bush Administration on the case."

"While today ninety-nine percent of the clients who pay for the production of a video news release about their work want it to highlight the great work being done, in Bushland there is, we're told, none of that stuff. No spin allowed, guys and gals. Just the facts, Uncle Sam."

"The innovation is in the coherence and totality of the approach, from the special interest argument, and the grinding newslessness of the briefings, to the fake news forms encouraged at the Department level, and how it all fits with the Bush Bubble, plus other simulations of the very things being lost-- or being destroyed."

Now, class, go read the rest for yourself (and if you happen to notice some blogger's name at the bottom of Jay's article, a blogger who is thanked for digging, all I have to say is...that the Bush Administration's not the only ones that hand out the payola...just a joke, one's paying me fact I just lost my last job because I spend all my time blogging...the only special interest I have in interest is you).


Did Anyone Hear About The Hearing In Ohio? (Part 3)

Not enough blog coverage of the Ohio hearing (see last two posts).

Especially before (I didn't get there until early Monday morning myself though I got word late Friday night).

Elaine, part of The Common Ills community (The Common Ills is probably the most important blog in the blogosphere because in addition to the incredible Media and Indy Media coverage that T.C.I. posts seemingly around-the-clock, much of the content of the blog is culled from the e-mails that the readers send in and most of it beats anything you read on one of those...oh yeah...I pulled back my forces because some a-listers are reaching out more) wrote an unspecified blogger about the Ohio hearing and was informed "that it doesn't matter because it's a "GOP led" committee."

That doesn't mean it doesn't matter, unnamed blogger. It matters. Believe me. Believe The Common Ills community. It matters.

Rebecca at Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude is another blogger who thinks that it matters. And - at her blog and at The Common Ills - she led me to another blogger who thinks that it matters (one that I've neglected lately in my blog surfing).

Jude Nagurney Camwell is one of my favorite fellow bloggers (and one of the best) in the Progressive Blog Alliance, and she wrote a great article called "Your Vote: Worthless in the Eyes of Media" at her blog, iddybud.

Jude wrote "Sometimes it seems like we're living in a world I like to call Bushworld - a topsy-turvy rightwing-heavy universe where everything that truly matters is given the lowest priority. Our elections mean everything to the survival of our republican democracy. The Washington Times has given a big megaphone to Ferrell Blount, Republican North Carolina state chairman, who is whining about John Edwards getting some free "visibility" at Chapel Hill, but stop a moment to listen to their deafening silence about John Edwards' "media-invisiblity" in relation to today's Congressional Committee investigation about the state of the American electoral process."

One final note. As Rebecca notes, "and isn't jude a groovy blogger? she's a woman and we're supposedly wondering where the female bloggers are so why doesn't she get more attention for all her hard work? or is that all 'so last week' already?"

No, Rebecca. It will never be 'so last week' on this blog until the truth comes out that us guys are only the equal to the myriad of exceptionally talented political women bloggers on the left (here's some of the ones that I've enjoyed reading for some time, some every day: Flogging The Simian, Annatopia, A Winding Road, Mixter's Mix, Ang's Weird Ideas, Rox Populi, Mad Kane, Mouse Musings, The Rogue Angel, and on the other side - though sometimes a real treat when she sides with us - Blonde Sagacity or "be nice, she's cool" as I permalink her...there's a bunch I'm forgetting but I'll getcha later) and certainly not any better yet maybe not always as good.

(lol...and, Rebecca, thanks for calling me "a great guy" and for digging my "don't take any shit attitude"...likewise)


Monday, March 21, 2005

Did Anyone Hear About The Hearing In Ohio? (Part 2)

Today's hearing in Ohio (see previous post) managed to garner a drop of attention in the Media. A drop. NBC4-TV in Columbus, Ohio mentioned it before it transpired, so did the Associated Press which was picked up by ABC in Chicago.

I haven't found a transcript yet but I'll keep looking.

John McCarthy of the Associated Press wrote a pretty good article (with an awful title: "Ohio Official Says Election Went Smoothly" instead of say "Ohio Official Pelted With Questions About Election Mishaps") about what happened which can be read everywhere from ABCnews to the Ohio News Network to Yahoo News to Wired to U.K.'s The Guardian to about thirty other Media Websites that I could find on Google News.

Cleveland Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones sat in with the U.S. House Administration Committee, though she's not part of it (Rep. Jones is just an American patriot concerned about our votes). Here are a few highlights from the A.P. article about her sharp exchanges with Ohio Secretary of State and Bush-Cheney 2004 Ohio Chairman J. Kenneth Blackwell: "Tubbs Jones questioned Blackwell about a telephone message delivered to thousands of voters just before the election to make sure they voted in the correct precinct, especially if they had not changed their registration and needed a provisional ballot. Tubbs Jones wondered why he didn't say in the message that voters had the option to use provisional ballots at their local boards of elections. Blackwell said, "It worked," several times, his voice rising as Tubbs Jones continued the question."

In response to a question by the highest-ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald of California, J. Kenneth Blackwell answered "that to rig the machine allotment to favor Bush" was insane crazy tin foil headed and that "[i]t would have taken the collusion of 176 Democratic leaders. It's silly on its face to think there was some kind of bipartisan conspiracy."

I've got a story coming up (it's been coming up for two months now...but it's still not ready for as-Prime-as-I-get Time yet) about one of those 176 Democratic leaders in Ohio and it's not going to be a pretty one.

Time Out: Does anyone have March Madness? My team, Syracuse University, lost its first game so I've only been half-watching.

But the NCAAs are not the only show in town. Survey Saint Louis is running a you-gotta-see-to-believe Presidential March Madness poll that includes 64 notable Republicans. Why am I blogging about this here?

Because J. Kenneth Blackwell got sent home in the first round. Harley Barbour cleaned his clock by a "score" of 63.3% to 36.7%.

At least Syracuse won the Big East. Perhaps Blackwell needs to work on his "inside touch."

The only thing J. Kenneth Blackwell has won recently is a criminal referral filed by House Democrats Robert Scott, John Conyers, Jr., Sheila Jackson Lee, and Jerrold Nadler two months ago: The Raw Story. As John Byrne reported, "Among other matters, the referral is to request an investigation into voter intimidation, improper voter purging, perjury, possible misuse of Help America Vote Act funds, tampering with voting machines during Ohio’s recount and Blackwell’s misuse of the Great Seal of the United States in a campaign letter."


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