He will, indeed, be missed. At least by those of us here at The BRAD BLOG. See ya in a few years, Mittens!...
w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
Guest Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org
The community of Gloucester Mass. has a huge environmental disaster on its hands due to a sewage pipe that is leaking into the bay. The community has $150M in unfunded mandates due to the sewage pipe and all of that on an $80M budget.
Now the community, as well as those across Massachusetts, has been told that they must replace all of their ES&S Optech Eagle III-P precinct based optical scan voting machines. ES&S has told these people that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has mandated that those machines can no longer be used. According to the Gloucester Times Daily ES&S has told its customers in MA that "the firm's software 'will not meet federal standards and can't be modified to meet those standards.'"
In fact, the software may not meet the present federal standards that it would be tested against, if it needed to be tested today. However, the software and the machines have worked fine in the past and can probably continue to work for as long as Massachusetts communities want to use them.
This morning I called the Editor of the Gloucester Daily Times. He was interested to learn that the EAC had made no such mandate and that this seemed to be a sales ploy by the vendor. His interest was not unexpected after he ran an editorial in his paper this morning in which he said:
But that is apparently not good enough for the federal government. The city - along with several dozen other communities in Massachusetts and thousands across the nation - has been informed by the manufacturer that it will have to replace them. In Gloucester, the bill is estimated to be around $80,000.
The mandate, from the dubiously named federal Election Assistance Commission, calls to mind one of the more famous quotes of former President Ronald Reagan: "The most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
Then I called the city clerk's office and spoke with the gentleman in charge of voting machines. He said that communities across the state like the III-P's and want to keep them. They cannot afford to buy new machines and they don't understand why they are being forced into that position. He told me that with the III-P's the only failure they ever had was a "read head" that was easy to replace. Newer technology has many more moving parts.
It's amazing that ES&S is clearly misstating the facts and accusing the federal Election Assistance Commission of making mandates that will cost these Massachusetts communities hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Does the Secretary of State of New Hampshire have any idea that a key executive in the private firm that programs and "counts" 80% of the state's ballots on hackable, error-prone Diebold voting machines is a convicted narcotics trafficker?
In 1990, Ken Hajjar, the Director of Sales and Marketing for LHS Associates, and childhood friend of company owner John Silvestro, was arrested and pled guilty to charges of "Sale/CND" (Sale of Controlled Narcotics/Drugs) which earned him a 12 month sentence, according to documents received via a public records request and posted this evening at BlackBoxVoting.org.
LHS Associates, as BBV's Bev Harris points out, programs "every single voting machine in New Hampshire, Connecticut, almost all of Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine."
Hajjar himself is also the the guy who showed up in BRAD BLOG comments, at one point last summer, to let us know we are "totally full of shit" and "deluded...paranoid...looney idealogues" to boot. Well, maybe. But at least we don't have a secret felony conviction, even while owning almost complete control over every vote cast and "counted" in New England.
The newly-revealed felon's impolitic rant here earned him the boot from the Secretary of State of Connecticut, where he is now barred from working, as guest blogger Dori Smith pointed out in another BRAD BLOG story last November, detailing the horrors that are LHS Associates, Silvestro and Hajjar.
When Smith asked Hajjar about his admission that he and his company regularly replace voting machine memory cards (the keys to the kingdom!) at will, in the middle of elections, he told her, "I mean, I don't pay attention to every little law."
Go check out Harris' new article tonight, which includes more details and the arrest record --- along with the note that "until recently, LHS employees were listed on the company Web site. Now the pages identifying who programs New England voting machines have been taken down."
Now ya know why.
Even if you still don't know who actually won the New Hampshire Primary.
(What say we actually count the ballots and put the questions to rest? Just sayin'...)
For good measure, we'll also post again below the rare video footage of Silvestro, along with the first-hand BBV footage of the infamous and stunning Leon County, FL hack of a Diebold optical-scan machine --- the very same ones used across NH on Tuesday --- and the one originally seen in HBO's Emmy-nominated Hacking Democracy...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt is a professional propagandist. Any remaining doubt that Hewitt was not a legitimate journalist was removed earlier this month by former White House counsel, Dan Bartlett, who had the following exchange with The Texas Monthly:
Bartlett: That’s when you start going, “Hmm . . .” Because they do reach people who are influential.
TM: Well, they reach the president’s base.
Bartlett: That’s what I mean by influential. I mean, talk about a direct IV into the vein of your support. It’s a very efficient way to communicate. They regurgitate exactly and put up on their blogs what you said to them. It is something that we’ve cultivated and have really tried to put quite a bit of focus on.
But pointing out the obvious fact that wingnut bloggers and talk-radio hosts are hardwired to do White House bidding is hardly newsworthy.
What makes Hewitt an interesting study today is that his overwhelming support for presidential candidate Mitt Romney has exposed his propagandist ways to even his "conservative" listeners, one of whom recently noted on air, before being cut off by Hewitt, the host's apparent "man crush" on the Presidential Candidate...
Guest Editorial by Kenneth Anderson
Endlessly mundane and always uninformative, the moribund struggle for party nominations in what we so disrespectfully still call the "presidential campaign" inhabit a realm of such vacuous inanity one can palpably sense malignant tumors of ennui forming within.
While would-be Republican candidates spar for the GOP nomination by appealing to brain stem functions (that is, when they're not extolling us with tales of their heavenly devotion), Democrats carry themselves at only a marginally elevated level. This is not to say that there are not candidates --- on both sides --- who would like to raise the bar and address actual issues and policy, but those are shunned by our craven and cack-handed media mavens, who never seem to tire of their perceived role as king-maker in what has become --- for the world's "greatest democracy" --- an embarrassing spectacle of the most base and primitive dimensions. I suspect if media moguls could get Romney and Huckabee to square off in a cage fight, well, that would be next on the tour of the candidates. Who needs all this talk? Though the American public demand campaigns of substance, there appears too little of that on the political horizon, while furry idiots like Wolf Blitzer express puzzlement at the term "triangulating" as it pertains to Hillary Clinton.
What we constantly hear from the corporate media, though it is never stated quite so bluntly, is that those with the money become the kings. The American political campaign system is now a big-money bonanza for media corporations. These corporations prop up candidates with the most money knowing full well that that money will come straight back to them in the form of campaign advertising. The media are now simply advertisers for the biggest political spenders, which is perhaps the reason why the campaign cycle is now virtually continuous. It is a positive feedback loop, reinforcing in the minds of the public that the only viable candidates are the ones with the money, the polls reflect this, more money pours in for those "viable candidates," which in turn cycles right back to the media money machine.
Which is why I am constantly amazed that the so-called "progressive" blogs have chosen to endorse corporate-backed candidates like Hillary Clinton.
Though Dennis Kucinich espouses ideals resonant with most liberal voters, he is as marginalized by progressives as much as the mainstream media as "unelectable," though no one ever seems to understand or explain exactly what that means. Is it his ears?
By all appearances, blogs such as dKos, MyDD, etc, have now simply become another arm of the Democratic party and their backing of the major, big-money candidates simply because they are deemed "electable" entirely betrays the original purpose of their fora.
Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.
On KCRW's "Left, Right and Center" political chat show last Friday, Tony Blankley, of all people, the former chief of staff for Newt Gingrich and editor of the Washington Times, the rightwing newspaper owned by cult leader Sun Yung Moon, joined Arianna Huffington and Matt Miller in tearing apart the speech on religion Mitt Romney delivered last week:
(Laughter among the co-hosts.)
MATT MILLER: What about Christianity and the Romans?
HUFFINGTON: You wonder, how was that allowed to stay for the final draft. I mean, what does it even mean?
TONY BLANKLEY: It was a wonderfully drafted phrase, even though it was historical nonsense.
HUFFINGTON: Historic nonsense and current nonsense. Also the fact that he mentioned the name, the word "Mormon" once compared to the number of times JFK mentioned [Catholicism] was a real indicator that he was still not entirely clear that this was not going to have some definite public relations disadvantages for him.
BLANKLEY: I've just got to say that Arianna picked on exactly the right phrase. It was such ahistoric nonsense. Not only does Christianity thrive under the repression of the Roman emperors but the whole history of Judaism --- you know, this little religion has thrived over, what, 5,000 and a half years, and they have rarely ever experienced any freedom. The idea that you can't --- that religion has to exist only in freedom is just historic nonsense. It's just silly.
Exception should be taken to Romney's corollary statement that freedom requires religion, as well. At least three of our Founding Fathers --- Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine --- were irreligious, and there is ample evidence they understood freedom fairly well (leaving aside the very large matter of Jefferson's dependence on slavery). In any case, they and others did not "require" religion in order to lay the groundwork for America's experiment with personal liberty.
Blogged by Brad from the road...
Okay, we retract our hundreds of articles with evidence that Voter Fraud (as opposed to Election Fraud) is exceedingly rare. At least when it comes to Republicans and Florida.
The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Mitt Romney supporters stuffed the "ballot box" (actually touch-screen DRE voting machines) by voting multiple times at last week's GOP straw poll in Tampa, FL, just prior to the Republican CNN/YouTube debate. Ironically enough, the video evidence, some of it posted at the end of this article, has been posted all over YouTube.
According to the Times...
Meanwhile, some Romney supporters openly admitted to using rolls of tickets to vote multiple times. Romney won the poll with 893 votes, while Paul finished with 534.
It was all caught on tape, and the local Paul supporters rushed to share their complaints with the rest of the world.
By week's end, at least three videos hit YouTube, documenting Romney supporters - including prominent lawyer and lobbyist Fred Leonhardt - openly casting multiple votes.
In one video, a Clearwater woman and Paul supporter sat on a couch and accused Pinellas County GOP chairman and straw poll organizer Tony DiMatteo of threatening bodily harm if she didn't stop complaining.
"Tony's exact words on the phone to me was, 'If you make a big deal out of this, you will get hurt,'" Sofie Lefebvre said in the video. "And I was shocked. At that point, I realized that there was a lot more corruption going on than we even realized before."
DiMatteo dismissed the incident, calling it a non-issue that he refused to discuss any further.
"I've read some of those comments [angry ones, from Paul supporters accompanying several Youtube videos]," he said. "These are a bunch of people that need to get lives and don't understand what really happened here."
Granted, these GOP straw polls are phony from the get-go. The candidates buy tickets and give them out to supporters to show up and vote for them. They're fund raisers for the local Republican parties. But, theoretically, it's supposed to be one vote per ticket per person.
But these are Republicans. And this is Florida. So such rules concerning voting don't much matter. (Isn't that right, Ann Coulter?)
Besides, what better way to fire up the troops than by encouraging them to vote multiple times just before the upcoming primaries?!
The Ron Paul supporters have put tons of videos up at YouTube on this. Here are a few of the best we came across after going through a bunch of them. You're welcome...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
This two-minute video of Mitt Romney on C-SPAN today represents much that is wrong with his candidacy. He gives lame answers to easy questions like claiming to be unable to participate in a Republican YouTube debate as "September is a tough month" because "it is the end of a quarter." Thus, he must fundraise rather than answer questions from possibly the most egalitarian media outlet on the planet that comprises mainly the nation's youth trying to do their civic duty by participating in the political process. His message is clearly that it is all about the money and not the people.
Romney then seems to imply that he wouldn't participate in a YouTube debate anyway, because the format was not (cough) respectful enough. Laughable on its face coming from a member of the party of the Swiftboat, Southern Strategy, and Voter Caging, Romney adds to the foolishness by admitting that he never even watched the recent Democratic CNN/YouTube debate but for a couple of excerpts. Finally, after first being too busy and then claiming that the format was not proper, he kinda sorta backtracks and says he would not rule out doing a more respectful YouTube debate in the future.
And a bit later in the day, now speaking in a townhall meeting in Iowa, Romney slammed YouTube again. This time he asked his audience if they watched the debate before saying, "No, I didn't think so. You were peeling carrots or, you know, something else critical at that time...and, ah, just like me, I was doing something else. But you saw the excerpts, and perhaps on YouTube, you saw one of the presidential candidates on the left talk about what he'd do in his first year in office."
ADDENDUM FROM BRAD: Can there be any better indictment of the Mainstream Corporate Media than Romney and the others chickening out from appearing at the YouTube debate? These GOP Presidential Candidates (both Guilliani and Tancredo have also stated they are not likely to take part) would rather answer questions from Wolf Blitzer or Brit Hume et al. They know what those questions will be, and how to answer them. God forbid actual human beings should ask them something they aren't prepared for. "Give me Brian Williams!," says Romney. How pathetic.
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
UPDATE: Because of a technical glitch we are in the process of correcting, the videos in this post cannot be viewed in Firefox. In the meantime, suitable alternatives include Internet Explorer, Safari, Ominweb and Opera.
UPDATE: Problem fixed. Video should now work fine in Firefox et al.
Roger Simon takes Mitt Romney to task on Meet The Press this morning for waffling on the issue of pardons. Romney, who never issued a pardon while serving as Governor of Massachusetts out of respect for jury verdicts, now thinks that Scooter Libby is deserving of a pardon from the current White House occupant. As Simon wrote in his syndicated column this week:
NPR's Morning Edition reported yesterday that Douglas Feith, the Bush Administration's former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, has a new job since leaving the Pentagon. Apparently he's busy rewriting history as a professor at Georgetown University.
In apparent and extreme denial, one of the main Neocon architects for Bush's failed war had the following extraordinary exchange with host Steve Inskeep (who, unfortunately, didn't correct the record, so we guess we'll have to) concerning the rationale for going to War in Iraq. Feith turned downright indignant when Inskeep suggested that there were analysts who didn't see Saddam Hussein as a threat before the war...
DOUGLAS FEITH: He had demonstrated that he was interested in WMD and the danger was that he could take action in the future that would get him in a major fight with us. At which point he might use the WMD capabilities and connections to terrorists to hurt us.
NPR: Is there any point in that that you ended up assuming too much?
FEITH: I think that...I think that was a reasonable assumption under the circumstances...
FEITH: ...Do you not?
NPR: It sounds reasonable the way that you put it.
FEITH: Well that's what we were worried about (laughs)...I don't think that there's anything unreasonable in in...
NPR: ...But of course there were analysts making an entirely different...
FEITH: No, there weren't. No, there weren't....I mean that's just false. I, I, I hope you can do something to clarify this point. I mean, this notion that there were analysts who were saying that Saddam Hussein was not a threat?! There was nobody saying that.
"Nobody saying that"?! Really? Here's just two of them for a start. Names that Mr. Feith might be familiar with:
"[F]rankly, [the sanctions on Iraq] have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."
- Colin Powell, February 24, 2001
"But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."
- Condoleeza Rice, July 29, 2001
What planet do these Bush dead-enders live on, anyway?! Amazing.
Guest Blogged By Michael Richardson
BOSTON - Diebold Election Systems, Inc., the controversial voting machine supplier, won't be supplying Massachusetts with its machines in 2008 and the company is not happy about it. So they are suing the state over the lost contract bid. But the solemn tone of Diebold's lawyer, William Weisberg, speaking in a hushed voice almost swallowed up by the stately, high-ceilinged courtroom of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court this week, drew laughter from the jovial judge with a Cheshire cat grin and raised chuckles from the courtroom audience.
In a real upside-down, topsy-turvy presentation, Diebold was arguing on behalf of the state's taxpayers and kept talking about the "public interest" --- all while pitching to get its lucrative contract approved. In February, after a year-and-a half selection process, Secretary of State William Galvin picked rival company ES&S to supply the state with AutoMARK, accessible electronic voting equipment, as mandated by the Help America Vote Act.
He also said that disabled voters who tested all the machines preferred the AutoMARK machines.
The hearing in the recently filed lawsuit was over Diebold's three emergency motions for a temporary injunction to stop delivery of the ES&S equipment, an expedited discovery order, and a confidentiality order. The judge later ruled, after the hearing, against all three motions although he allowed the lawsuit to proceed on a regular schedule.
While laughing, the judge wondered aloud about admissions made by Weisberg in the news paper that seemed to wholly contradict his failed court room strategy...
Guest blogged by Winter Patriot
The next Ned Lamont is just across the Connecticut border in Massachusetts, where voting rights leader John Bonifaz is similarly taking on the Democratic Party establishment in his grassroots campaign for Secretary of State. Bonifaz, a Democrat who sued George Bush on the eve of the Iraq war on behalf of soldiers, families of soldiers and members of Congress trying to prevent the illegal invasion, squares off against the incumbent, Bill Galvin, on September 19.
But the Lamont connection runs even deeper. Bill Hillsman, the media guru who produced the winning ads for Lamont and Paul Wellstone, is eager to jump into the race on the Bonifaz campaign, which could be the final ingredient that puts John over the top. What John needs now is the financial support to make the Hillsman addition a reality --- and if he can raise $25,000 by August 23, it will happen.
Meeting this goal would lead to Hillsman joining the campaign through the primary and the production of ads that would be used on the air, on the web and as tools for further fundraising success. Please go to John’s web site today to help make this winning combination possible. Your contribution is vital. We must support Democrats who stand up against entrenched interests and stand up for our rights as voters.
A year after the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts, Ed Helms investigates to find out if the critics' worst fears have come true. Has gay marriage ruined Massachusetts?
I don't have much to add here, but with everything else going on, somehow this AP story seems to have gotten overlooked today. And yet it's quite notable, so here it is...
The justices declined without comment to intervene and block clerks from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in Massachusetts. The state's highest court had ruled in November that the state constitution allows gay couples to marry and declared that the process would begin Monday.
At least something is still going right in this country and even the Supremes didn't screw this one up! Yet.
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