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By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2006 1:35pm PT  

As we pointed out in our story on Diebold yesterday, AP ran a short piece including an interview with new CEO Tom Swidarski revealing indications that he seems to be looking to unload the beleaguered Diebold Elections Division as part of his $100 million "restructuring plan" as recently promised to share holders.

Shortly after our post about that article, AP reissued the same article, but with an additional quote from Swidarski, a bit more background on Diebold's many woes (former CEO Walden O'Dell's promise to deliver the state of Ohio to Bush, etc.) and a new headline: "Diebold chief says fate of e-voting unit under review".

Looks like they changed their lede after they realized what Swidarski was actually signaling in his comments, which --- in the new piece --- also includes these two quotes:

NORTH CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Diebold Inc.'s new chief executive, determined to cut $100 million in costs over three years, said he is reviewing whether the company should continue investing in its embattled electronic voting business.
...
"There's pieces and aspects of each of our businesses that I'm going to be looking at with a very critical eye in terms of what the future holds for us," Swidarski said in his first media interview since taking over in December the company best known for its automatic teller machines and security systems.

Risk within any of Diebold's businesses will be weighed against profit potential, Swidarski said. "If any of the pieces don't fit or any of the pieces don't add the value we think is associated with that risk, then we'll make appropriate decisions at that point," he said.

Got that? Diebold is now looking to get the hell out of the Election Business.

Feel free to contact your local Board of Election or Secretary of State who is considering signing a contract with these guys and let them know that Diebold may well not even be there a few months from now!

For more information and key articles on the downfall of Diebold, see this BRAD BLOG Special Coverage Page...

ReddIt this story!



MoveOn Ad Morphs Nixon Into Bush or Vice Versa...
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2006 11:56am PT  

Nixon or Bush? You tell me...

Either way, they both deserve the same fate for breaking the law and violating their oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

See MoveOn.org's excellent and creepy 30 second spot.

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By John Gideon on 2/7/2006 5:04pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

As reported by The BRAD BLOG and then, just a few minutes later, the Associated Press, the CEO of Diebold is making overtures about possibly pulling the plug on their e-voting unit. States and counties need to be aware of this possibility before they make any decisions. Electionline.org has published their report on the state of elections around the nation. California counties are talking about ignoring the state vvpat law for the June primary. Another 'red state', Missouri, has joined the list of states that are working on regressive voter ID bills....

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

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Also, 'Anonymous Liberal' Decimates the Wingnut Apologists...
By Brad Friedman on 2/7/2006 4:38pm PT  

Wow! Russ Feingold --- a Democrat that I could now actually consider voting for for President! --- offers the single best, most complete and clear rebuttal to the mountain of Bush Adminstration lies, deceptions, and disinformation concerning their illegal warrantless NSA wiretaps of American citizens on U.S. soil. He kicks alotta ass here. Read it, memorize it...

Additionally..."Anonymous Liberal" is in a back-and-forth with wingnut Jeff Goldstein over the illegal NSA wiretaps. The following quick exchange from their debate, however, is too hilarious to not note here. It starts with the claim made frequently by Goldstein and other Bush apologists and is followed by AL's response:

[T]he administration, under AUMF, is treating the al Qaeda threat as a war; civil libertarian absolutists and the Dem leadership are treating it as a law enforcement issue domestically, complete with attendant vigorous defenses of fourth amendment protections for would-be terrorists, including demands for FISA warrants (which were intended as a law enforcement tool, and are in fact, if I'm correct, still be used as such), and spirited attacks on our foreign intel gathering capabilities.

This argument is so incredibly ass-backwards that its staggering. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as you might guess from its name, is a statute that regulates the type of surveillance used for foreign intelligence gathering purposes. Contrary to Jeff's contention, it has nothing whatsoever to do with law enforcement surveillance. Traditional law enforcement surveillance (of the mob, drug dealers, etc.) is governed by a totally different statute, Title III of the Omnibus Crime Act of 1968 (the "Wiretap Act").

Is there no end to the cluelessness of the Bush Dead-Enders?

Now go read Feingold.

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By David Edwards on 2/7/2006 8:23am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

London's highly respected Channel 4 provides a balanced summary of the issues surrounding the Domestic Spying Hearing which were held in the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.

The report notes the similarities between hearings in 1975 about Nixon's abuse of wiretapping.

Most most U.S. media outlets spin the Domestic Spying scandal as a winning issue for the Bush team. In contrast, the Channel 4 reporter explains that American people are very concerned with privacy abuses. This scandal has Bush and his Congressional supporters in a very difficult position.


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

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By David Edwards on 2/7/2006 7:36am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Yesterday, Oprah choked up while speaking at a memorial service for Coretta Scott King.

The funeral is scheduled for noon today.


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

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By John Gideon on 2/6/2006 5:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

USAToday and AP report that election officials fear the 'year of the glitch'. However, when a 'glitch' is defined it has nothing to do with machine failures. Apparently they are going to stick by the misinformation from the vendors about the reliability of voting technology and they are preparing to blame all errors on elections workers and the voter. I wonder who was responsible for Diebold TSx counting more votes than voters who cast votes in Montgomery Co., OH or in Alaska?...

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

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Gonzales Dodges and Dances on the Hot Seat
By Brad Friedman on 2/6/2006 12:07pm PT  

Have been watching the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings on warrantless domestic NSA wire-tapping all morning (since 6:30am PT!)

All of the Cable News Channels are ignoring them for the most part. You can watch them on C-SPAN and via their website.

Feel free to use this thread to post your thoughts on the hearings. Mine: Alberto Gonzales should be investigated.

UPDATE: C-SPAN will rerun the hearings in full beginning at 8pm ET. Crooks & Liars has the opening salvo where the Republicans fought to keep Gonzales from testifying under oath (and they won). Scroll further down his page for some other high/lowlights from the hearings. Though the best parts came late in the day. Hopefully he'll have some up later. Or perhaps we will.

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Court Orders Special Re-Vote Tomorrow After 'Failure' of Montgomery County, OH's New AccuVote TSX Machines!
County one of forty-four to implement new touch-screen machines for last November's election resulting in inexplicable results...
By Brad Friedman on 2/6/2006 11:11am PT  

Diebold Inc., one of America's largest voting machine companies, likes to claim that there's never been any substantial problem with their touch-screen machines in any election in America.

You may not be surprised to hear that claim is patently untrue.

As reported in yesterday's Middletown Journal, a special "re-vote" will be held tomorrow in Montgomery county, OH on an issue where last November's election results were set aside due to more votes being cast on Diebold's AccuVote TSX touch-screen voting machines than there were actually registered voters who voted!

CARLISLE --- Voters will have another opportunity Tuesday in a special election to decide whether the city should have a combined fire and emergency medical services department with 24-hour staffing or continue as a volunteer fire department.

This is the second time in three months this levy has been before voters. Last November, the levy was narrowly defeated.

But those election results were set aside due to voting irregularities from the new electronic touch screen voting machines.

More votes were cast than there were registered voters in the city's Montgomery County precinct. The city contested the results, and the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court ordered Tuesday's special election at Montgomery County's cost.

Montgomery County is one of 41 counties in Ohio to have added new Diebold AccuVote TSX touch-screen (DRE) voting machines for last November's election.

In that election, remarkable and virtually inexplicable results occurred across the state in regard to four Election Reform initiatives on the ballot, all of which were predicted to pass by large margins in a historically accurate poll released just prior to Election Day. We wrote about the "staggeringly impossible" results of that election back in November. Those results have still not been explained, despite 44 of 88 counties in the Buckeye State using all-new touch-screen voting machines for the first time in that election.

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By John Gideon on 2/5/2006 3:31pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

The "DVN Top 5" is a feature in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The January 30 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on The BRAD BLOG!...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/5/2006 1:34pm PT  

Yes, that's right. The War on Iraq is now costing the United States $100,000 of your tax dollars per minute:

The White House said Thursday that it plans to ask Congress for an additional $70 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, driving the cost of military operations in the two countries to $120 billion this year, the highest ever.

Most of the new money would pay for the war in Iraq, which has cost an estimated $250 billion since the U.S. invasion in March 2003.

The additional spending, along with other war funding the Bush administration will seek separately in its regular budget next week, would push the price tag for combat and nation-building since Sept. 11, 2001, to nearly a half-trillion dollars, approaching the inflation-adjusted cost of the 13-year Vietnam War.
...
No large-scale reconstruction projects are included in the spending, officials said.

Currently, the Defense Department says it is spending about $4.5 billion a month on the conflict in Iraq, or about $100,000 per minute.

Heckuva job.

By way of contrast, you may remember what Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told Congress about the cost of the war on March 27, 2003: "We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon."

And before that, while the Administration was ensuring we'd go to war with Iraq no matter what, Rummy said on January 19, 2003: "The Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question."

Here's a few other similar statements from members of the most failed Administration in the history of the United States.

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By David Edwards on 2/5/2006 1:26pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

Why actually improve National Security when you can buy just as many votes with effective marketing?


Video in Streaming Flash format...

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By John Gideon on 2/5/2006 7:40am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

CommonDreams has now voiced their concerns over regressive and restrictive voting rights legislation in GA, OH, and PA. Newspapers in PA are now editorializing against the VoterID bill that will reduce turnout and ensure some voters do not vote. Officials in Vanderburgh Co., IN are now talking about a probe into why 46 machines sat unused in a warehouse in Nov. 2004 while voters waited in long lines to vote....

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

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By Brad Friedman on 2/4/2006 2:49pm PT  

Yes, that's right. The War on Iraq is now costing the United States $100,000 of your tax dollars per minute:

The White House said Thursday that it plans to ask Congress for an additional $70 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, driving the cost of military operations in the two countries to $120 billion this year, the highest ever.

Most of the new money would pay for the war in Iraq, which has cost an estimated $250 billion since the U.S. invasion in March 2003.

The additional spending, along with other war funding the Bush administration will seek separately in its regular budget next week, would push the price tag for combat and nation-building since Sept. 11, 2001, to nearly a half-trillion dollars, approaching the inflation-adjusted cost of the 13-year Vietnam War.
...
No large-scale reconstruction projects are included in the spending, officials said.

Currently, the Defense Department says it is spending about $4.5 billion a month on the conflict in Iraq, or about $100,000 per minute.

Heckuva job.

By way of contrast, you may remember what Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told Congress about the cost of the war on March 27, 2003: "We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon."

And before that, while the Administration was ensuring we'd go to war with Iraq no matter what, Rummy said on January 19, 2003: "The Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question."

Here's a few other similar statements from members of the most failed Administration in the history of the United States.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 2/3/2006 7:12pm PT  

Josh says (he said it yesterday, but I'm just getting caught up with it today)...

Interesting. Allen Raymond, one of the guys at the center of the New Hampshire phone-jamming case, was sentenced today up in New Hampshire.

In court, his lawyer, John Durkin, said that when Raymond was executing the election tampering plot he "was acting at the behest of the state and federal Republican parties (italics included)."

The call came from the campaign committee run by Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN). Jim Tobin, who's now appealing his conviction, was the guy who worked for Frist's committee, the NRSC.

This investigation ain't over.

For more info on that Republican Election Phone-Jamming case, see this previous coverage, as well as this report for details on the RNC itself footing the legal bills for Tobin and friends. For still more, search BRAD BLOG for the word "Tobin".

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