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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, August 28, 2015
'A Crazy Man Got a Gun': 'BradCast' 8/27/15
Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke, horrifying U.S. gun death toll; PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism; Good news for Dems; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
'Green News Report' 8/27/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
10th anniv. of Hurricane Katrina; NASA warns 3 ft. of sea level rise now locked in; Obama heads to the Arctic; PLUS: Switch to clean energy will cost less than fossil fuel, says Citigroup
Previous GNRs: 8/25/15 - 8/20/15 - Archives...
Let's Go to the Phones: 'BradCast' 8/26/15
Covering a lot of ground with listener callers -- from the on-air shootings in Roanoke, VA to why Democrats shouldn't be so gleeful about Donald Trump -- and much more...
Carly's Climate Clap-Trap or The Fiorina Follies:
'BradCast' 8/25/15
Journalist David Roberts on the 'moderate', 'reasonable' GOP candidate's ridiculous climate comments and Citigroup's global warming report. Plus: Beck, Trump and Sanders...
'Green News Report' 8/25/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
July 2015 hottest month ever recorded; Record wildfires get worse; Mysterious whale deaths in WA; Oil hit hard by China crash; PLUS: Obama calls out anti-free market ideology...
Previous GNRs: 8/20/15 - 8/18/15 - Archives...
TX Photo ID Law Found Illegal, Yet Still Suppressing Voters: 'BradCast' 8/24/15
Guests: Attorney Ernest A. Canning on TX' discriminatory law; Financial journalist David Dayen on Dow 'crash'...
Sunday Toons, Untrustworthy Edition
Hillary's email; Ashley Madison's mess; Subway's Jared; Schumer's shame; Amazon agonistes; Trump's tyranny and more...
E-Cigs Are Good For You; GOP is Not: 'BradCast' 8/21/15
Also: Bernie Sanders & ignoring corporate media are good for you too...
5th Circuit Photo ID Ruling Could Leave Thousands Without Right to Vote in TX
'Good news' decision could leave 600k lawfully registered voters disenfranchised in 2016...
'No Good Evidence' Russia Behind MH17 Shootdown in Ukraine, Says Longtime CIA Analyst: 'BradCast' 8/20/15
Exclusive interview with 27-year, top CIA vet turned peace activist Ray McGovern...
'Green News Report' 8/20/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Fox 'News' now 'cares' about environment; Hillary opposes Arctic drilling; EPA rules to cut methane; Islamic leaders call for climate action; PLUS: River toxins create intersex fish...
Previous GNRs: 8/18/15 - 8/13/15 - Archives...
Did KXL Judges Profit Off Ruling?: 'BradCast' 8/19/15
Investigative journalist Steve Horn on two judges who allowed the disturbing precedent that led to the completion and opening of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline...
AT&T/NSA Whistleblower Mark Klein on New AT&T/NSA Docs: 'BradCast' 8/18/15
'They approached the phone companies before 9/11,' he says, citing new Snowden disclosures that 'vindicate' his own 2006 revelations...
'Green News Report' 8/18/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Shell gets Obama go-ahead to drill Arctic, Obama to visit to Arctic; July 2015 hottest on record; 'Monster' El Nino brewing; PLUS: Oregon kids sue govt over global warming...
Previous GNRs: 8/13/15 - 8/11/15 - Archives...
Demise of the Death Penalty and Rise of The Donald's GOP; 'BradCast' 8/17/15
With Diann Rust-Tierney of the National Coaltion to Abolish the Death Penalty; Plus: 'Godzilla El Nino!' & more!...
Sunday Toons: Money Changes Everything
Another great collection this week from 'PDiddie'! On money in politics, poison in the river, Rick Perry in trouble and much more...
Happy 80th Social Security! And What's China Up To?: BradCast 8/14/15
Guest host Nicole Sandler interviews Eric Kingson on Social Security and more and Dave Johnson on China's currency manipulation...
VERDICTS IN: On ME Guv; CO Cakes; CT Death Penalty, ID 'Ag-Gag' & TX Photo ID: 'BradCast' 8/13/2015
Analyzing several recent, important rulings along with BRAD BLOG's Ernest A. Canning...
'Green News Report' 8/13/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
More than half of US Forest Service budget now going to fight wildfires; Australia's climate targets denounced; New Zealand ditches coal; PLUS: Free solar for African schools...
Previous GNRs: 8/11/15 - 8/6/15 - Archives...
Walker, Bush Lies and Bernie's Rise: 'BradCast' 8/12/15
The Nation's John Nichols on new revelations of Scott Walker lying about a criminal investigation and on the Black Lives Matter movement and Sanders a better candidate; Plus: Big news for Bernie & more!
'The Kids Who Die'
The words of Langston Hughes, spoken in a new video, capture the essence of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Please take less than three minutes to watch...
'Feeling the Bern' in L.A.; Ferguson One Later: 'BradCast' 8/11/15
With Cassandra Fairbanks in Ferguson; Margot Paez at the L.A. Sanders rally, and Nicole Sandler's exclusive intvw w/ Bernie Sanders...
'Green News Report' 8/11/15
Toxic spill contaminates waterways in Southwest; Single mention of climate in Fox/GOP debates; Kasich backtracks on climate; PLUS: Shell breaks up with ALEC...
Last Week's Messes: 'BradCast' 8/10/15
Catching up on a lot that fell through the cracks during last week's busy news week. From Jon Stewart to new toxic spill in SW to sentencing verdict for Aurora shooter to GOP debate answers media aren't discussing & more...
Federal Court Nixes Idaho 'Ag-Gag' Law
Finds journalists and whistleblowers have Constitutional right to videotape abuses at private factory farms...
Sunday Toons: Debates, Deniers, and De-rest
The title of this week's collection of last week's best political toons, as curated by 'PDiddie', says it all...
'Crazy Train' - Dissecting the First GOP/Fox 'News' Debate(s): 'BradCast' 8/7/15
With award-winning blogger/journalists Heather 'Digby' Parton and Paul Rosenberg...
Voting Rights Act 50th Anniversary: Special 'BradCast' Coverage, 8/6/2015
Sam Walker of Selma's Nat'l Voting Rights Museum; Former DoJ atty Katherine Culliton-Gonzalez...
'Green News Report' 8/6/15
Opponents attack landmark emissions rule; Majority supports fight against global warming; First off-shore U.S. windfarm; PLUS: Repubs get a new 2016 contender...
Sanders' 'Militarism', Obama's 'Propaganda' & Big TX Voting News: 'BradCast' 8/5/2015
With peace activist, author David Swanson; Constitutional law expert Ian Millhiser...
U.S. COURT OF APPEALS STRIKES DOWN TEXAS GOP'S PHOTO ID VOTING LAW
Huge opinion from conservative court on day before 50th anniv. of Voting Rights Act...
Cartoonist Rall Blasts Bizarre LAPD-Fueled Firing by LATimes: 'BradCast' 8/4/15
Award-winning journo tells Brad LAPD trying 'to send a message to other reporters' Also: D.R. Tucker on MSNBC firing of Ed Schultz...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Excoriates State Officials Who Are Attacking Leon County, FL Election Supervisor for Exposing Security Flaw in Their Diebold Voting Systems
By Brad Friedman on 3/9/2006 4:11pm PT  

If you haven't read already what's happening down in Florida to Leon County's Election Supervisor/Hero Ion Sancho, see this article from yesterday.

On Tuesday, Fred Grimm of the Miami-Herald wrote a tremendous editorial in support of Sancho worth reading in it's entirety. It's slightly out of date, since it says that two of the three Voting Machine Companies certified to do business in Florida have refused to do business with Sancho (all three have now done so, as we reported yetserday). Nonetheless, Grimm offers tremendous support to the heroic Sancho. His editorial starts this way:

Ion Sancho may be a hero in California, where grateful election officials have verified the ''serious security vulnerabilities'' in Diebold voting machines that the Leon County election supervisor uncovered last year.

Sancho is regarded a little differently in Florida.

Florida's secretary of state's office disparaged Sancho's finding, demonstrating considerably more interest in propping up vendors than protecting elections.

California, alarmed by Sancho's report, dispatched its independent, expert-laden Voting Systems Technology Assessment Advisory Board to conduct its own investigation.

Florida, meanwhile, threatened to sue Sancho.

The piece goes on to outline a letter of support sent to Sancho from David Wagner, a University of California computer scientist on California's assessment team which confirmed Sancho's findings of hackable Diebold voting machines. (That report, amazingly, was actually used as a basis to certify Diebold in California anyway!)

Wagner says, "Our report found all of Ion Sancho's concerns were valid and, in fact, worse than anyone realized...This is incredible how he has been treated...He's the leader everyone else in the nation has been watching."

Grimm concludes by quoting Wagner this way:

"If they can drive out Ion Sancho, this is going to have a chilling effect on election supervisors across the country."

He e-mailed Sancho: "I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that some of us are grateful for your dedication to election security, even if the state of Florida can't bring themselves to thank you.

''In my mind,'' Wagner added, "You are a real hero."

In Florida, real heroes just catch hell.

The Florida Secretary of State, who has threatened [PDF] punishment of Sancho (and possible removal from office) if he doesn't do business with one of the three Voting Machine Companies certified to do business in Florida --- all three of whom have now refused to do business with him --- can be emailed with your opinions of their treatment of Sancho and their disregard for reliable, accurate and transparent elections at this web page.

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Failure Rate So High on Memory Cards in Summit County Test, They Were Thrown Out for a New Batch...Which Then Also Failed!
By John Gideon on 3/9/2006 3:51pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

In preparation for a May 2 primary, election officials in Summit Co., OH began testing their new ES&S optical scan voting machines. The Akron Beacon Journal announced today that ES&S has isolated the problem to a memory card made by one of their contractors.

The article also reveals that the county is not doing the testing themselves.

A consulting company that Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell hired has been in the county since Monday testing all the new voting equipment before its planned use May 2.

Why would a county that has to conduct elections on their own equipment allow a consulting company hired by the Secretary of State, do the testing?

The article goes on to explain the memory card problem in more detail:

Tests on Monday and Tuesday showed that about 30 percent of the computer memory cards --- which should read and store vote tabulations --- did not work, Elections Board Director Bryan Williams said. ``We are noticing a high failure rate,'' he said Wednesday.

Election Systems & Software in Omaha, Neb., makes the machines. Williams said ES&S officials believe they have isolated the problem to the computer cards produced by one of its subcontractors. ES&S contracts with several companies to make the memory cards, Williams said.

"We're looking into the extent to which this affects others,'' said Ellen Bogard, spokeswoman for ES&S. "It will be remedied if there are other cards that need to be replaced.''

The first 177 cards tested Monday worked flawlessly, Williams said. When testing began on the remaining 348 cards, however, the failure rate was so high that the rest were thrown out. ES&S had a second batch of cards sent to Akron on Tuesday, but Williams said those cards experienced a similar failure rate. He said a third batch is expected to arrive today.

Unanswered questions abound. How many other ES&S customers have these bad memory cards? How many of these other customers will go into elections without knowing that their memory cards are bad? How many of the problems with ES&S machines in Texas on Tuesday are a result of bad memory cards? Does ES&S have any Quality Control at all?

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By David Edwards on 3/9/2006 8:02am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Tavis Smiley interviews former U.N. Inspector Scott Ritter who has a new book out titled "Iraq Confidential : The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein" (Official Site, Amazon page).

Ritter puts together the evidence of an Iraq intelligence conspiracy by connecting the dots with known facts and media reports. The Administrations of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush are all implicated in falsifying intelligence for the purpose of creating regime change in Iraq.

Ritter alleges that the United States purposefully undermined the authority of the U.N. by voting for sanctions against Iraq that would be lifted when inspectors could verify that all weapons of mass destruction had been removed. Officials in the Bush #1 and Clinton administrations admitted that the sanctions would never be lifted regardless of the removal of Saddam's WMDs. The official policy of the United States was to impose permanent sanctions until Saddam was removed from power. The U.S. policy effectively undermined the credibility and authority of the U.N. Security Council.

Scott Ritter goes on to explain that Iraq under control of Saddam Hussein was never a direct threat to the security of the United States. All disputes could have been solved with focused diplomacy. Ritter says that no American lives needed to be lost over the fabricated threat that Iraq posed.

Ritter points out the Neo-conservative group that gained power under President Reagan as the primary driver of this conspiracy to manipulate the CIA and intelligence data about Iraq's WMD, undermine the United Nations, and the remove Saddam Hussein at all costs.

The Neocons are still in power and the conspiracy outlined by Scott Ritter continues to control U.S. foreign policy today.

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By David Edwards on 3/8/2006 4:36pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Abu Dhabi TV which is located in The United Arab Emirates broadcasts this report on prisoner abuse by "Iraqis and Americans" in Iraq.

Amnesty International found crimes so severe that they are considered "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity." They also found that American forces have detained 14,000 Iraqis.

Iraqis that have been released are almost never given an explanation for their detention or compensation. In the video, one Iraq can seen being released decrying his imprisonment as "terrorism! terrorism! terrorism!"

Today, the United States Department of State released a report claiming human rights violations by The United Arab Emirates and the Iraqi Police. The report even hinted at abuses by the U.S.

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Leon County Election Supervisor Alleges 'Breach of Contract' After Security Test Revealed Hackable Elections Possible on Diebold Optical-Scan Systems!
E-Voting Monolith and 'Competitors' All Refuse to do Business with County Unless the Elected Ion Sancho is 'Removed from Office'
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2006 2:26pm PT  

Ion Sancho is fighting back.

Sancho, the Election Supervisor of Leon County, Florida who exposed a number of security flaws in Electronic Voting Machines made by the Diebold corporation of North Canton, Ohio, today launched legal "breach of contract" proceedings against the company. The action has been filed on behalf of the Leon County Supervisor of Elections office.

In a conversation moments ago with Sancho, he confirmed to The BRAD BLOG that "we filed a breach action this morning, pursuant to a contract which notifies Diebold we are pursuing all available options."

The breach concerns Diebold's refusal to deliver their latest operating system for the optical scan voting systems which had previously been used in Leon County --- until Sancho discovered an alarming security flaw in the system at the end of last year.

"According to our contract with Diebold," Sancho explained, "we have to give them 30 days notice. And so we are requiring them to answer by March 21, as to how they intend to repair the breach."

The only two other Voting Machine Vendors, ES&S and Sequoia Voting Systems, have now officially refused to do business with Leon County and Sancho in the wake of a series of security evaluations held last year in the county on actual Diebold equipment. With the state threatening Sancho with legal action themselves if he is not able to implement a voting system which requires with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA), Sancho had been forced to attempt to do business again with Diebold.

The most infamous of the security evaluations held last year by Sancho was a "hack test" in December of Diebold's optical scan voting system. That mock election test revealed that election results could be completely flipped on Diebold's optical-scan system without a trace of the hack being left behind.

With all three companyies now refusing to do business with him, and pressure being applied from Diebold as well as state and local officials to do "do something about Sancho" - he now finds himself with no other choice but to fight back against Diebold, and face this "titanic clash" head on...

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

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By David Edwards on 3/8/2006 12:13pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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The Bush Administration has ordered investigations into who blew the whistle leaked information about NSA domestic spying and information about secret CIA prisons.

Employees of the CIA and other agencies have been questioned and forced to undergo polygraph testing. The Justice Department has warned that journalists may also be prosecuted under Federal espionage laws.

This video is a segment from Monday's MSNBC Countdown. Craig Crawford discusses the chilling effect this attack has on the ability to report information about the government. In effect, we are quickly getting to the point where only official information released by the government can be reported by the media.

You may also want to take a look at this video at C&L where David Gergen rails against the Bush Admin. for being worse than Nixon about secrecy and the press.

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(With a Nod to your Friendly Neighborhood BRAD BLOG)
By Brad Friedman on 3/7/2006 9:49pm PT  

A bit alarmist, perhaps, for our personal taste (though we've misunderstimated the amount of needed "alarm" in the past), Chris Floyd covers the state of American Democracy and the Rise of the Machines in Russia's Moscow Times.

Chris, of Empire Burlesque, who has popped up from time to time as a friendly BRAD BLOG Guest Blogger, covers some of our Diebold/California coverage in his article. So we have no complaints. And couldn't be prouder.

If only American Media would cover the fall of American Democracy as closely as the Moscow Times does. Remember what the Wingnuts like to say: The world is watching.

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By David Edwards on 3/7/2006 2:58pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Senator Pat Roberts convinced Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee to vote to kill an investigation into the NSA domestic spying scandal. Instead of an investigation, Republican Senators Hagel, Snow and Dewine agreed to create a new subcommittee that would oversee future domestic spying by the NSA.

Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller said that "this is an unprecedented bow to political pressure from the White House."

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Two Completely Unrelated News Stories
By Brad Friedman on 3/7/2006 12:29pm PT  

Today, Tom DeLay faces his first primary battle for re-election down in Texas since being indicted on money-laundering and conspiracy charges.

Tonight, he'll be back in D.C. at a fundraiser held by lobbyists. Smartly done.

Over the weekend, an ES&S IVotronic touch-screen voting machine was stolen from the house of an election judge. That, despite the water-tight security that American Election Officials are known for across the globe. (Just ask Linda Lamone in Maryland.)

To be clear, however, all four of the counties in DeLay's 22nd congressional district, use Hart-Intercivic machines and not ES&S machines. It's just an unfortunate coincidence that we can't help but think about Tom DeLay, Elections, Voting Machines and Theft all at the same time. Oh, well.

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By Brad Friedman on 3/7/2006 11:38am PT  

They were abruptly removed from the air last week, and replaced with yet another Christian radio station.

This week, Air America Phoenix is fighting back to rise from the ashes, perhaps as soon as April if you can help with money and/or noise.

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Three Republican Candidates Threaten DeLay
Absentee Ballot Problem Sends Bush to Vote in Texas
By David Edwards on 3/7/2006 7:26am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Tom DeLay faces three Republican challengers in today's Sugerland Primary Election but he isn't sticking around for the results. DeLay is on his way back to Washington for a fund-raiser.

In related news, President Bush is flying to Texas today to vote. It has been reported that an aide made a mistake with his absentee ballot.

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Diebold's Other 'Showcase State' Starts Wising Up
AP Continues to Report on Issues That Actually Matter, Albeit Not Particularly Accurately...
By Brad Friedman on 3/6/2006 5:58pm PT  

What's with AP? We thought all of this stuff was "conspiracy theory"?

It looks like Diebold's other "showcase state" who, along with Maryland, were the first to move to un-auditable paperles touch-screen voting machines is beginning to face the music. Reports AP...

ATLANTA - The state Senate on Monday unanimously approved a plan that could lead to paper ballots being added to Georgia's electronic voting machines.

"My hope is that this legislation will take us one more step forward toward having the most trustworthy, secure voting system in the country," said Sen. Bill Stephens, R-Canton, the plan's sponsor and a candidate for secretary of state in this year's election.

According to the plan, which passed 51-0, precincts in Bibb, Camden and Cobb counties would be outfitted with the paper balloting for November's general election.

If all went well, the state could add the receipts to all of its voting machines by the 2008 presidential election, Stephens said.

Under current Secretary of State Cathy Cox, Georgia switched to an all-electronic voting system in 2002 in the aftermath of the chaotic presidential vote in Florida.

We should point out that what the GA Senate is talking about is not actually "paper ballots" as the AP story seems to erroneously suggest, but "paper trails". There's a difference, of course. More on that in a second.

For additional context here, we'll note (with a hat-tip to John Gideon) that Cox, a Democrat, is running for Governor now in the state. She, along with her counterpart in Marlyand, Linda Lamone had been huge supporters of paperless Diebold voting originally, going so far as to allowing herself to be featured on Diebold's brochures (see photo below).

Apparently Cox sees the writing on the wall, while the tone-deaf Lamone is still fighting to ensure nobody can ever actually count how her state's constituents actually voted (see this previous article.)

Also worth noting, unfortunately, is that what they seem to be calling for down in Georgia is "paper trails". The worthless, uncounted little "voter-verifiable" toilet-paper roll tapes which are almost never counted at all and, in the case of Diebold machines, have turned up completely blank on the busiest voting machines during the most recent Ohio election.

Well, it's a step in the right direction, anyway. If the state of Georgia wants to create new legislation for these "paper trails" now, only to have to face the music once again later to spend still another round of money in order to ensure full paper ballots that's up to them, of course. Though we might recommend skipping the middle step, and going right now to something that is actually countable.

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New Letter from Governor to State Board of Election Repeats Call for Paper Ballots, Expresses Additional Concerns About Security of E-Voting in Diebold's 'Showcase State' of Maryland
Says Machines May Be Vulnerable to 'Hursti-like Attack' Even if California's Recommended Security Measures are Implemented
By Brad Friedman on 3/6/2006 2:33pm PT  

Maryland's Republican Governor Ehrlich continues to face the music about the Diebold voting machines that his state bought into hook, line and sinker (emphasis on sinker). He's been had by Diebold's use of the state as a "showcase", but at least he now seems brave enough to admit it, even while the Diebold dead-enders (like State Elections Board Chairman Gilles W. Burger and Democratic Election Administrator Linda H. Lamone who brokered the deal) are trying to hang on to the very last.

Ehrlich has sent a new letter to Burger today, demanding that Maryland's paperless touch-screen Diebold voting machines be sent back to federal authorities for further testing in light of recent discoveries of the vulnerability of the machines to hacking and tampering. Ehrlich writes, "We are spending too much time protecting the status quo instead of evaluating Maryland's current election system from an objective and unbiased perspective."

-- The complete new letter from Ehrlich to Berger is now available in full right here [PDF].

Washington Post picks up on the Governor's letter today and reports:

"Maryland's lack of a paper trail means we are no longer a national leader in elections systems and that our equipment is susceptible to system failures," the governor wrote in a letter to be delivered today to the chairman of the State Board of Elections. "It is inexcusable for us not to be prepared for a catastrophic system failure in the 2006 cycle."

It should be pointed out that Ehrlich's motives may not be entirely pure. He is up for re-election himself this November, and the Democratic legislature has approved a measure to allow for early voting and other measures to help increase voter turnout. As Republican's do, Ehrlich opposed the measure to make it easier to vote by vetoing the bill, but the Dems in the legislature were able to muster enough votes to override that veto. Again from WaPo...

Last month, Ehrlich --- who championed the Diebold machines in 2003 --- wrote to Burger to express concern about reliability questions raised in California and Florida about those machines, which Ehrlich said would be exacerbated by early voting.

Nonetheless, Ehrlich is now joining the Dem run House Ways and Means Committee who, as we reported last night, voted 20 to 3 last Friday to support a measure calling for paper ballots...

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

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AP Reports Again on E-Voting Issues!
MD Elections Director, Diebold Champion Linda Lamone Still Has a Job!
By Brad Friedman on 3/6/2006 12:55pm PT  

Signs are good in Maryland --- Diebold's original "showcase state" --- that the legislature there is finally wising up to the democracy undermining problem that is Diebold.

According to AP --- yes, again AP --- the Democratic chaired House Ways and Means Committee "voted 20-3 on Friday to scrap the Diebold touchscreen machines for at least this year and use paper ballots with an optical-scan system for the primary and general elections."

The measure still has to move through the Senate, though the Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich has previously called for something very similar. So if the Senate moves, chances are the Guv will sign on.

Yes, there are problems, as you know, with optical-scan machines (just ask democracy's hero Ion Sancho in Leon County, FL), but at least the move away from Democratic Election Administrator Linda Lamone's fateful deal with the devil to use (and continue apologizing for) Diebold's unrecountable paperless touch-screen machines across the state may finally be coming to an end.

Also of note; The media, this time in the form of Associated Press, is finally beginning to understand the importance of the story that they've ignored for years. From Tom Stuckey of AP...

Ohio company's voting machines lead election issues in Maryland

With Maryland facing what could be its most hotly contested election season ever, it's no surprise that election-related issues have grabbed the attention of lawmakers during the 2006 legislative session.
...
But the biggest election issue, which cuts across party lines, involves the electronic voting machines of Ohio-based Diebold that are scheduled to be used by all Maryland voters this year. With doubts growing about the reliability of the machines, a campaign to return to the days of paper ballots, at least for one year, is gaining momentum in the General Assembly.

Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who approved purchase of the Diebold Accuvote-TS voting system in 2003, now questions the reliability of the touchscreen machines.
...
Many members of the General Assembly share his concerns, and voting rights activists are keeping up an attack on the system (ed note: Yea voting rights activists!), arguing that the machines are vulnerable to hackers who could manipulate results and that fraud would be impossible to detect because there are no paper records that could be used for recounts in disputed elections.

The article also points out that Lamone --- who, as of this article, still has a job --- is certain everything will be fine due to the legendarily watertight security that American election officials are recognized for world-wide:

She and other proponents of the Diebold system say the kinds of fraud and manipulation feared by critics are impossible because of tight security measures implemented by state and local officials.

Fraud and manipulation is "impossible" says Lamone! I know I'll sleep better at night...

ReddIt this story!



By David Edwards on 3/6/2006 12:26pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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Most Americans believe that John McCain's anti-torture bill clearly protects prisoners in U.S. custody from abuse. Most Americans also believe that the conditions for detainees have improved since the Abu Ghraib scandal and some initial problems at the U.S. detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Republican PR efforts to change American's perceptions of detainee treatment have been have been successful. The truth is that the Bush Administration has used the McCain anti-torture bill to codify a policy of torture that is now embedded in our legal system for perpetuity.

Professor Alfred McCoy is the author of a new book, "A Question of Torture", in which he gives a history of US torture from the CIA's development of torture techniques through the latest generation of systematic torture in the Bush Administration's "war on terror".

McCoy explains how the Bush Administration has purposefully crafted a strategy of torture. They have claimed executive powers and have had laws re-interpreted by Administration lawyers to give the government the power to continue the practice. Loopholes slipped into the McCain bill now ensure an enduring policy of torture.

Democracy Now interviewed Professor McCoy several weeks ago. We've taken about 9 minutes of clips frmo the 23 minute interview and provided them here. The entire interview and transcript are available from Democracy Now.

Due to the focus on detainees' human rights at Guantánamo, the U.S. is quietly expanding a detention center at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. In the past few years, the population has increased by 5 times. While there has been significant legal action over Gitmo, little has been done for the detainees at Bagram. Many say the conditions at Bagram are far worse than even during the height of the Abu Ghraib abuse.

ReddIt this story!



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