The Russians flew into town to talk to me last week. The result, from Russia Today, their huge worldwide English-language satellite/news outlet, follows (appx 3.5 mins)...
For the record, I take little joy or comfort in detailing, to folks from Russia, just how bad the current state of democracy is in the U.S.. Describing the failures of our corporate media to them was not much fun either. But I call 'em as I see 'em.
Describing our elections these days as "Russian Roulette," however, did seem to make some kind of perverse sense on Russian television, even if it's not the first time I've used that turn of phrase that way. But I looked Anastasia Churkina in the eye, found her to be very straight-forward and trustworthy, and we had a very good dialogue. In fact, I was able to get a sense of her soul, so I knew I could trust her.
POST-SCRIPT: Anastasia headed up to Portland to speak to the good Thom Hartmann, on many of the same topics, the day after she was here to interview me. The RT interview with Thom is here.
Any questions? If so, first see this and then this, and then read the following list of ACORN FACTS before getting back to me with any of your questions, as I'm happy to help straighten you --- or any of the clueless and lazy media folks who have fallen for the GOP's "voter fraud" fraud --- out, as needed.
The following FACT list is from a recent press release from ACORN, pointing out their success in registering hundreds of thousands of low-income voters whom few others care to go out and register, and the fact that in almost every instance where there have been concerns about registrations turned in by the group (by law, they must turn in all registration forms they collect, problematic or not), it has been ACORN themselves who have first notified officials about the potentially fraudulent or incomplete applications.
The following FACTS need to be read by everybody (apparently), even those who believe they are progressives, yet have fallen for the GOP's Dixie-Chicking of ACORN...
As Josh Marshall notes, in his must-read take on the video clips at right from a McCain rally yesterday, it's "Weird. Sad. Surreal."
"There's something else to note too," writes Marshall. "Over the last 48 hours several name brand Republicans have come out and either chided or denounced McCain's borderline incitement. And given how taboo it is to level such criticism of your own nominee at this stage of the election you have to assume these criticisms were only the tip of the iceberg, with a far more intense and angry barrage of criticism voiced privately."
"[L]look at the facial expressions. McCain looks down as he says it and has the countenance of someone who been forced to tell someone else they're sorry," he continues.
"I get from his expression a sense of a man that is, in addition to all the other things he's angry about, is frustrated or angry at the situation he's gotten himself into. But he has sown the wind and now he's reaping the whirlwind."
After failing to count votes accurately in a number of recent elections in FL, NJ, and D.C., a report has now been released by the D.C. Board of Elections noting that, as it turns out, Michelle Shafer, official mouthpiece for both Sequoia Voting Systems and the election industry's PR outfit, Election Technology Council (ETC), has once again been misleading the public about Sequoia's bad voting equipment --- both touch-screen and paper ballot systems --- and the fact that they don't work.
The D.C. Board released its report on its investigation into an incident from last month's primary where some 1,500 phantom votes were recorded on Sequoias tabulator after being uploaded from a paper ballot system. There should have been just over 300 votes, instead of thousands, from Precinct 141.
Shafer had originally claimed (as usual) human error and static electricity were to blame. When the incident was first discovered in September, Shafer told the Washington Post: "There's absolutely no problem with the machines in the polling places. No. No."
Turns out, Shafer lied. Again. As the D.C. report notes Sequoia was "too quick to exonerate itself and the equipment used in the tabulation process" and that "the evidence appears to indicate that there was a problem both in equipment (the server) and in the software"...
Who is running for president? In an upstate New York county, hundreds of voters have been sent absentee ballots in which they could vote for "Barack Osama."
The absentee ballots sent to voters in Rensselaer County identified the two presidential candidates as "Barack Osama" and "John McCain."
Commissioners for the Rensselaer County Board of Elections say they regret the error but do not acknowledge in a statement exactly what the error is.
The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system, fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going. If you like, we'll send you some great election integrity documentary films in return. Details on that right here...
The GOP's October "Surprise" continues...Even as it's no surprise at all that they are hoping to cause absolute bedlam at the polls. They are off to a good start, as the Democrats seem to be caught flat-footed, despite years of warnings about all of this.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Law enforcement officials in southwest Ohio are seeking information on hundreds of voters who registered and voted during Ohio's weeklong same-day voting window.
Greene County Sheriff Gene Fischer and representatives of County Prosecutor Stephen Haller have contacted the local Board of Elections asking for the voter registration cards of everyone who voted during the six-day window, which ended Monday.
Haller is the former law partner of Mike DeWine, the former Republican senator who is chairing presidential nominee John McCain's Ohio campaign.
[Update: In an updated version of the AP report quoted above, it's noted that Sheriff Fisher is "a Republican," that Green County is "rich with Democrat-leaning college students," and that Fisher requested the voter information after "he had been inundated with phone calls from people concerned about possible fraud." In other words, no actual evidence of anything, just angry Republicans, fired up by chasing their own tails after Fox/RNC told them too. Smelling the rats here, yet?]
Of course, the GOP's ACORN "Voter Fraud" Scam was picked up today by John McCain on the stump (and, mercilessly, on Fox "News" all morning, naturally). Here's McCain putting the scare tactics first, and democracy and country second, if even that high on his list. Here's the shameful video...
We've been reporting on the GOP's October "Surprise" over the last few days (challenges to Democratic voter registrations in a number of states, and, perhaps more notably, their bogus PR campaign to charge that ACORN, a community organization that heroically registers millions of low-income voters who nobody else bothers to, is committing "voter fraud." See here, here and here, for example.)
But the November Surprise, as we've been trying to warn for many months (if not years), will undoubtedly be the thousands who show up to the polls to vote on November 4th, only to find out that they have somehow "fallen off" the voter rolls.
We've urged folks to check their registrations, even if they recently voted in a primary election, to make sure they haven't been purged (info on how to do that quickly in all 50 states, right here).
Today, the New York Times has published a scathing report, based on a detailed investigation revealing that "Tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states have been removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law."
U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy spanked the Montana GOP's Executive Director Jake Eaton for his unsubstantiated (and since-withdrawn) challenge to 6,000 voters in Democratic-leaning counties yesterday, solely on the basis that they'd filed change of address forms within the last 18 months.
"In his zeal to protect what he sees as Montana's fragile democracy from these transient hordes," the Judge wrote in his order, in response to state Dems and even the Obama campaign who stepped up to challenge the out-and-out attempt at voter suppression, "Eaton ignored the very law that answers his challenges."
“One can imagine the mischief an immature political operative could inject into an election cycle were he to use the statutes, not for their intended purpose of protecting the integrity of the people's democracy, but rather to execute a tawdry political ploy," Malloy wrote.
"The timing of these challenges is so transparent that it defies common sense to believe the purpose is anything but political chicanery," he added before noting that the challenges clearly violate federal law, since they come so close before an election, and focused only on counties where Democratic-leaning voters live.
When we covered the Montana GOP's waving the white flag of surrender yesterday, in light of actually being challenged (for a change) by Democrats, we also noted that we hoped they would not drop their lawsuit, even as the bully-boy Republicans had decided to cut and run...
Remember yesterday when we told you about the transcript of the Fox & Friends show yesterday morning, discussing the bogus raid of an ACORN office in Las Vegas, and then implying "more" ACORN "voter fraud" occurring in Missouri? The RNC actually issued that transcript verbatim as an official RNC press release. Remember when we told you that, given the hints within the RNC/FNC report that swing state MO was likely next on the RNC/FNC/FBI hit-list?
Well, late last night, AP delivered right on schedule, open their story with "Officials in Missouri...are sifting through possibly hundreds of questionable or duplicate voter-registration forms submitted by an advocacy group that has been accused of election fraud in other states."
The report quotes GOP tool & Jackson County (Kansas City), MO election director, Charlene Davis complaining they are "bogged down" with registrations right now, and insinuating that it's ACORN causing the problem for them.
Of course, as with the pageant staged in Las Vegas, the Missouri action is also a scam. Read a little closer into the AP article, and you'll see the tell-tale signs of this October "Surprise" joke rather clearly...
The RNC isn't even trying to pretend like they are independent from their media arm, Fox "News", anymore, apparently.
Here's today's RNC press release. It's, quite literally, a transcript of this morning's Fox & Friends, wherein the FNC/RNC clowns "report" on yesterday's PR stunt/raid on a Las Vegas ACORN office and then, for good measure, prime the pump for yet another similar raid in Missouri (another swing state, go figure.) Needless to say, it's utter stuff and nonsense, with zero evidence of "criminality" by ACORN --- as explained in our coverage yesterday, all civic organizations are required by law to turn over ANY signed voter registration applications even when they are known to have problems -- and includes plenty of unsubstantiated hearsay and garbage, as if it were actually fact. So, naturally, it's been released as a press release by the RNC, as is.
Unless they find that yesterday's PR stunt in NV has blown up on them (and it might, as folks, even some in the corporate media, are beginning to understand what a desperate scam this GOP "voter fraud" hoax really is) we'll expect a similar stunt or two, akin to the one in Vegas, soon in MO, OH, and anywhere the GOP feels they need a phony reason to challenge elections, intimidate voters, and otherwise cause havoc at the polls before, during and even after Election Day.
Earlier today, I was reminded that similar nonsense occurred just days prior to the 2004 Presidential Election, when the wingnuts falsely reported that ACORN had registered a terrorist to vote in Ohio. And, of course, the DoJ famously violated it's own written rules when it brought similar "voter fraud" charges against ACORN workers just days before the '06 election.
Why do these people hate democracy? Oh, yeah, because if legal voters are actually allowed to vote, and to have their vote counted accurately, the Republicans will lose. At least this year. So, let's hear it one more time for modern-day Republican Deity Paul Weyrich who sent out this year's marching orders some 28 years ago (the video is 40 seconds, but it should tell you just about all you need to know)...
It shouldn't be necessary --- at least if we had a corporate media which did their Constitutionally-protected jobs --- but since ACORN doesn't have the budget of FNC/RNC, here's an ACORN press statement, issued late this afternoon, concerning the bogus Vegas raid/PR stunt yesterday...
The day after the second Presidential Debate, one of CNN's top online headlines was:
Ticker: Obama actions called 'not presidential'
Naturally, readers might think this refers to something Barack Obama did or said during last night's debate. That it's possibly a response from a cross-section of undecided voters in a new poll. Or readers might think, having nothing to do with the debate, the headline refers to something Obama has done in the past, or something he may have even done today.
Whatever readers might think, they would have no idea --- unless or until they clicked on it --- that this egregiously misleading headline was actually referring to a new John McCain attack ad...
Last Friday, we told you about the bogus challenges --- 6,000 of them --- made by the Montana GOP against voters in six Democratic-leaning counties in the state, based solely on the fact that the voters had filed change of address forms with the U.S. Postal Service within the last 18 months. The GOP claimed, with a straight face, they were fighting "voter fraud", even though there was indications of no such fraud, and the result was little more than chaos at the election offices, just 30 days out from a major election.
One of the GOP's challenged voters turned out to be an Army Reservist who would be unable to verify his authenticity --- and thus would lose his right to vote under the challenge --- since he was in New Jersey, about to ship out for his second tour of duty in Iraq.
Well, we've got some good news on this story, for a welcome change...
I had been intending to post an answer to the ongoing --- and quickly escalating --- ACORN smears being issued of late by the GOP enemies of democracy out there, who have decided to intensify their unsubstantiated assaults on the community organization, given its effectiveness at registering millions of low-income voters across the country.
Today's incredible raid of an ACORN office in Las Vegas --- in hotly contested Nevada, as coincidence would have it --- has forced me to push this to the top of the heap right now. I've also posted ACORN's statement on today's nonsense in Vegas at the end of this article. Note to corporate media: Be sure not to read or report on that part of the story!
With prospects looking bleak for the Republicans this November, pulling out the old ACORN lie --- in hopes of scaring people away from the polls, causing chaos in November by challenging voters when they show up to vote, and putting in place baseless grounds to contest close results later on (when the GOP become "sore losers") --- is just about all they have left at this point.
Doubtless you've heard the smears by now: that ACORN is committing "voter fraud," on behalf of Obama, in hotly contested swing states. The media have been all too happy to pass that garbage on, without bothering to note that, in fact, the organization attempts to authenticate every registration form its workers submit and by law they must turn in every form to election officials --- even if they find a registration to be fraudulent when they call the phone number submitted on the form, or if the forms are otherwise suspect or incomplete.
They do so, and they flag all questionable registration forms as being suspect before turning them in to officials.
The thanks they receive for registering millions of new voters that nobody else has bothered with, and for notifying officials about questionable registration forms when they turn them in, is that the GOP's democracy-hating propagandists and election officials run to the media shouting, "ACORN is committing voter fraud! They've turned in hundreds and thousands of fraudulent registration forms!"
Of course they have. They have to. By law. But what those GOP despots of democracy always forget to mention is that it was ACORN themselves who notified officials about the potentially fraudulent and/or incomplete forms in the first place!...
The base of the Republican Party — a dwindling but still significant group — clings to a handful of pseudo-facts that don’t hold up to serious scrutiny but that still occupy a central place in GOP ideology. Those include the assertion that Saddam Hussein represented a threat to the United States, that affirmative action in lending led to the mortgage crisis and that voter fraud is a serious problem in modern elections.
In campaign seasons such as this, when victory may turn on a handful of votes, none of those claims is more important to Republican activists than overhyped allegations of voter fraud.
She goes on to note the insidious and shameless GOP New Mexico operative, Patrick Rogers (yes, of the voter-suppresion front group "American Center for Voting Rights" and, yes, at the heart of the U.S. Attorney Purge in the state and, yes, a man willing to lie to fend off charges of vote-buying by his comrade, the disgraced, outgoing Rep. Heather Wilson), who was discovered in "a recently unearthed e-mail" to have spoken quite directly to the cynical and despicable issue of using phony claims of "voter fraud" to help keep bad voters (Dems) away from the polls, and encourage good voters (Repubs) to turn out if only to counter all those dirty, filthy, illegal aliens who are showing up (after giving their names and addresses to the federales, in order to register, presumably) to vote...