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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, September 18, 2014
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
Seeks full 7th Circuit hearing after remarkable three-GOP judge ruling reinstating Photo ID restrictions just weeks before election...
'Green News Report' 9/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
DiCaprio takes climate role at UN; Jindal plays dumbest role yet; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Previous GNRs: 9/16/14 - 9/11/14 - Archives...
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Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
MSNBC's Chris Hayes plays horrifying audio from the wife-beating incident of Federal Judge Mark Fuller; ALSO: calls for accountability from two Alabama U.S. Congresswoman...
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Louisiana's governor and pretend 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful pulls the old 'I know you are, but what am I?' maneuver by calling the Obama Administration 'climate deniers'...
'Green News Report' 9/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Hottest year on record in CA, hottest Aug. on record for planet; Record hurricane hits Cabo San Lucas; Warm-water fish found in Alaska; PLUS: Burlington, VT now 100% renewable!...
Previous GNRs: 9/11/14 - 9/9/14 - Archives...
Wife-Beating Federal Judge Finally Mentioned on MSNBC
MSNBC contributor asks about lack of outrage, impeachment for federal judge Mark Fuller who beat his wife bloody in August...
Outrage Slowly Grows After Wife-Beating Federal Judge Avoids Prosecution
Fellow GOP District Court judge calls for accountability, says 'no one should trust Mark Fuller's judgment in a federal trial courtroom'...
GOP PHOTO ID RESTRICTION LAW RESTORED IN WI
Republican voter suppression laws getting huge boosts from GOP-appointed federal judges in NC, where 100s recently disenfranchised, and now in WI, in advance of critical mid-terms...
Not Taking the ISIS Bait
The media and the U.S. Government have decided to give the latest barbaric idiots to rise up in the Middle East all the publicity they crave, despite the 'exaggerated' threat posed to the U.S., or even in the region. We're not interested in playing along...
'Green News Report' 9/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Greenhouse gas emissions jump at record rate; Australia's emissions soar after carbon tax axed; Oceans acidifying at historic rate; PLUS: Some good news: Ozone Hole begone!...
Previous GNRs: 9/9/14 - 9/4/14 - Archives...
Accountability for Judge Fuller?; O, Mighty ISIS!:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Will Alabama's wife-beating U.S. District Court Judge face impeachment? Plus: Callers, lots of 'em, on what to do about ISIS...
Wife-Beaters: Rice Loses Job; Judge Fuller Continues Lifetime Appointment
America was outraged by the NFL superstar. So, what about Alabama's federal judge who beat his wife bloody and is now off scot-free?...
'Green News Report' 9/9/14
Floods: Catastrophic in Pakistan, Historic in Phoenix; Hillary on Global Warming; Rand Paul dismisses; PLUS: Lobster Boat Blockade wins!...
GA GOP State Senator: Too Many Black People Will Vote in DeKalb County!
Vows to close 'election loophole' allowing convenient Early Voting in area 'dominated by African Americans'; UPDATE: Says just wants 'more educated voters'...
GOP Allows 'Citizens United' Amendment to Move Forward, Will Vote Against
Koch Brothers' beneficiary Sen. Rand Paul wouldn't even allow that much...
NYT Public Editor Calls Out Paper for Phony 'Balance' on 'Voter Fraud', Global Warming
Margaret Sullivan's no weasel (unlike a predecessor). She's calling out the 'paper of record' again for misreporting on GOP myths...
Siegelman's Judge Strikes Deal to Avoid Trial After Beating Wife Bloody
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller to have record expunged following drug/alcohol evaluation, domestic abuse counseling...
ObamaCare 'Nightmare': 2015 Premiums Rates to DECLINE in Many Major Cities
This whole 'tyrannical government takeover of health care' thing is really a disaster...for Republicans...
Federal Judge Orders Restoration of Early Voting Hours in OH -- Again
'Ohio GOP keeps trying to cut early voting and federal courts keep striking the cuts down'...
'Green News Report' 9/4/14
Accountability for BP in Gulf Oil Spill Disaster and for PG&E in deadly pipeline explosion; CA bans plastic bags, regulates groundwater for first time in history...
The Corruption of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman: KPFK 'BradCast'
GUEST: Attorney and BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
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...


Now Updated Many Times at Bottom of Article...
By John Gideon on 10/19/2008 2:04pm PT  

This just in as Brad is headed over to the FOX News studios. Yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported on the Republican voter registration outfit who had allegedly been illegally changing thousands of registrations from Democratic to Republican.

Last night the head of that GOP backed group, Mark Anthony Jacoby of Young Political Majors (YPM), was arrested by the California State Election Fraud Taskforce and Oxnard, CA Police.

According to CA SoS Debra Bowen's press release, Jacoby himself had committed voter registration fraud and perjury by lying on his own voter registration form. (That's similar to what Ann Coulter did, though she not only committed felony voter registration fraud, she also committed actual voter fraud, as well, even though such fraud is exceedingly rare.)

UPDATE FROM BRAD: It was my pleasure to break this story today on Fox "News" of all places! Thanks to John Gideon for getting it posted as I was on the roll towards the studio. I'll have the video up of my appearance on Fox, and the "Fox News Alert" I was able to do, later tonight (it's now posted here). Please note, this isn't the first time there have been serious problems with GOP-gathered voter registrations in CA, as outlined recently at Alternet. Looks like the GOP's voter registration record for errors far outpaced ACORN! Whaddaya know? (Our special coverage of the GOP's ACORN "Voter Fraud" Hoax is right here.) More updates now at bottom of article.

Bowen's press release, just out, on Jacoby's arrest is posted in full below, along with a number of additional updates after it...

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

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By John Gideon on 9/16/2008 4:42pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

SAVE R VOTE is a group of election watchdogs in Riverside Co California. Yesterday the group gave the county Board of Supervisors a report that they wrote after pouring over more than 10,000 documents for the past three months. Their report included evidence of elections staff correcting documents to balance ballot inventory; electronic voting machines being delivered up to 11 days before the election, some times to bathrooms [Election law permits officials to deliver voting machines a week before Election Day]; and missing electronic voting cartridges. Of course the county registrar could only do all she could do to minimize the issue. Congratulations to SAVE R VOTE. They got the county supervisors to listen. They have ordered an audit of the Registrar’s office to determine why there were hundreds of violations found. ...

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

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Experts from CA's 'Top-to-Bottom Review' of E-Voting Systems Demonstrate How to Insert Virus, Access Machines Without Disturbing 'Security Seals' in Hack Which Would Not Be Discovered Even in 100% Audit of 'Paper Trails'
Single Malicious Individual Shown Flipping Entire 'Touch-Screen w/ Paper-Trail' Election in Seconds...
By Brad Friedman on 9/9/2008 9:01pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

The Computer Security Group at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) has released a short, chilling video demonstrating how a single person can hack an election on a touch-screen voting system --- even one with a so-called "Voter Verifiable Paper Trail" (VVPAT) added to it --- in such a way that it is highly unlikely that the manipulation would ever be detected by either the public or election officials.

The video which shows "just examples of the different ways in which the system can be compromised" is the latest in a similar string of such demonstrations that have been released over the last two years, all showing how easily electronic voting systems can be tampered with, often undetectably.

In the UCSB video posted below, the hack of Sequoia voting system being prepared for use in an entire county, is done in approximately 3 seconds, by a single person with simple insider access and a $10 USB thumb drive. Every machine used in the county, in such a case, would be effected. Moreover, the viral hack would not be discovered by pre-election "Logic and Accuracy" testing --- in cases were election officials actually bother to perform such tests prior to elections --- nor would it likely be discovered even in the event of a complete, 100% post-election audit of the touch-screen "paper-trail" records.

The hack demonstration, prepared by the UCSB scientists as part of California's 2007 Top-to-Bottom Review" of all of the state's e-voting systems, also reveals how so-called "security seals" placed on such machines after they've been programmed for an election, can be easily defeated without detection...

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

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Now UPDATED With Audio Archive...
By Brad Friedman on 8/13/2008 11:19am PT  

I'll be jumping in again today (Wed.) to host KPFK/Pacifica's "Special Election Year Coverage" hour from 2p-3p PT (5p-6p ET).

My guests will be...

KPFK is heard at 90.7FM in Los Angeles and 98.7FM in Santa Barbara and streams live on the net at KPFK.org. Please tune in, stream in, and call-in at 818-985-5735, if you like.


Post-Show Update: Thanks to both Phil Lindsey and Dean Logan for joining me today. It was a very good and informative hour, if I say so myself. So informative, in fact, that someone called in to complain after the show that I wasn't tough enough on Logan. Okay. You can decide for yourself if I was, or wasn't, or if he even deserved it this time out. The archive follows. I appreciate that he showed up and took questions. We've got to work with election officials, folks. Period. Even as we hold feet to the fire.

(Appx. 1 hour) MP3 Download or listen online here...

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BRAD BLOG Asks Dean Logan and Leon County, FL's Ion Sancho About Experimental Election Night Program for Small Number of Precincts
Q&A's on That and a Few Other Points of Note, Documented on Video During Recent Appearance in Los Angeles by Both Election Officials...
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2008 5:31pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

I had the opportunity to ask an important question of both the legendary Leon County (Tallahassee), FL, Supervisor of Elections, Ion Sancho, and Los Angeles County's no-longer-interim Registrar of Voters, Dean Logan, last week here in Los Angeles.

Readers of The BRAD BLOG will remember Logan from his poor showing, as acting Registrar, in the handling of L.A.'s Super Tuesday "Double Bubble" ballot debacle, in which at least 12,000 mostly-perfectly-countable votes from the Democratic Primary went completely uncounted, as well as his handling of the failure I encountered myself, in the more recent state primary in June, when four of my own votes were printed incorrectly by the county's ES&S electronic voting system.

Sancho was in town for press avails, in advance of the opening of Dorothy Fadiman's new documentary Stealing America: Vote-by-Vote (opening for week-long runs in NYC on Aug 1st, and in L.A. on Aug 15th - DISCLOSURE: I appear briefly in the film). Logan, to his credit, was kind enough to show up, with his deputy Peter McNamara, for a screening of the film held by PDA last Thursday.

After the screening, Sancho, a compelling presence in Fadiman's film, as he was in HBO's landmark 2006 documentary, Hacking Democracy, answered questions, and the activists in the crowd managed to shoehorn Logan onto the stage to speak to a number of local concerns as well.

I took the opportunity to ask a few questions of both men, as captured by Alan Breslauer, with answers, on the video posted at the end of this article.

Of most important note, I wanted to know if either of them would commit to a hand-count of ballots in a handful of precincts this November, on an experimental basis, on Election Night. The count, in such a "pilot program" as I described it, needn't be the official count, but could later be compared to the results as reported by both counties' optical-scanners, since both L.A. and Leon County use paper ballots for their non-disabled voters.

As I've advocated to a few other election officials in the past, hand-counting in this small, experimental way would help us all to begin to compile data about the effectiveness --- or even, lack thereof --- of transparent, polling-place based HCPB (Hand-Counted Paper Ballots) on Election Night, as many Election Integrity advocates have called for...

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

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BRAD BLOG Headquarters Shaken, Not Stirred...
By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2008 12:08pm PT  

Just minutes ago, the ground gently rattled and rolled a bit here at The BRAD BLOG World News Headquarters in Los Angeles for 15 seconds or so.

Wire services, TV and radio news responded within seconds to report a sizable 5.8 (later downgraded to 5.4) magnitude quake, centered some 28 miles east of downtown.

Don't have much more to offer for the moment, but wanted to report --- particularly for those who know we're back in L.A. --- that we're fine here. While the shake was noticeable, it was either far enough or deep enough (reports now say it was 7.6 miles down) that it didn't even much rattle the cupboards where we're located near Hollywood.

More later if we're able to offer any other notable developments...

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Every American City Should Follow San Francisco's Lead and Name a Sewage Plant After George W. Bush...
By Jon Ponder on 7/21/2008 8:53am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

On Election Day this November, voters in San Francisco will vote on a local initiative to rename one of the city's largest waste treatment plants in honor of George W. Bush. If the initiative passes --- and since the number of Republicans in the city is statistically zero, it very well might --- the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant will be forever known as the George W. Bush Sewage Plant. It is as fitting a monument to the eight years of the Bush presidency as we can think of, with the possible exception of naming a garbage dump after him.

The San Francisco effort is the work-product of local activists who came up with the idea in the most grassroots of all settings: over beers. Subsequently, the group set up the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco, which handled promotion for the petition drive. On Thursday, the city's Department of Elections certified that the 7,168 signatures the commission submitted were valid and approved the initiative for the November ballot.

Although the organizers in San Francisco are clear that their effort is satire, this is a cause that grassroots organizers in other cities should consider seriously. This nationwide effort could be similar to, but hopefully more successful than, the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, which was the brainchild of the anti-government lobbyist Grover Norquist, who is best known for his close associations with corrupt Bush cronies like (now-imprisoned) Jack Abramoff and (perhaps incarcerated one day) Karl Rove.

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

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51% Oppose; 42% in Favor - Only 7% Are Undecided
By Jon Ponder on 7/18/2008 12:57pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

A new Field Poll shows that 42 percent of California voters say they will vote for Proposition 8, the ballot initiative sponsored by the national anti-gay lobby that would amend the California Constitution to revoke the right of gay people to marry, while 51 percent say they plan to vote against it, according to a report in the Mercury News:

The poll showed a California sharply divided over a constitutional ban --- along the lines of geography, gender, race, age, religious belief and political affiliation. But it's also a California where Proposition 8 supporters may have a hard time winning in November. Just 7 percent of voters were undecided, a strikingly small amount so long before Election Day, leaving relatively few voters to sway.

"Very few initiatives in the history of the Field Poll have started out behind and come from behind to be approved," said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll. "The fact that (the initiative) is behind does not bode well for its chances."

Mercury News also reports that "[women], older baby boomers and residents of coastal California --- particularly the Bay Area --- were among those most hostile to the proposed ban. Protestants, Latinos, residents of inland counties and people in their 40s and over age 65 were the most likely to favor it."

At least one professional advocate of bigotry toward gays was quick to downplay the poll results. "Historically, the Field Poll has understated the support for upholding the definition of marriage," Jennifer Kerns, a spokeswoman for ProtectMarriage.com, told the Mecurty News. "The reality is that the vast majority of Californians support the definition of marriage as between a man and woman."

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

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And a Whopping 46 Points among California Independents...
By Jon Ponder on 7/17/2008 8:48am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Polling before Labor Day in the presidential race is all but useless, still -- this is amazing:

The latest statewide poll, conducted by the Field organization, shows Democrat Barack Obama extending his lead in the state and now trouncing Republican John McCain by 24 points, 54 percent to 30 percent. In May, Obama’s lead was a smaller 17 points, and in January, an even slighter 7 points.

The Field poll, conducted July 8-14, also demonstrated an enthusiasm gap in California: 51 percent of Obama’s supporters said they were very enthusiastic about him, whereas only 17 percent of McCain’s made the same claim...

[Among] the nonpartisan voters highly coveted by candidates, Obama led 64 percent to 18 percent.

That last number, Obama's 46 point lead among independents, is significant. This is just a guess but much of the antipathy among independents toward McCain, the self-described "maverick," likely can be traced to his position in favor of drilling off the coast.

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

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Despite a String of Failures, The Acting Registrar Gets the Permanent Nod to Administer Elections in America's Largest Voting Jurisdiction....
By John Gideon on 7/9/2008 8:35am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Why should anyone be surprised at yesterday's decision by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors that Dean Logan is the best qualified to be the county's permanent Registrar of Voters? After all, failed election officials seem to be sought after by counties. Michael Vu failed miserably in Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, where he even had two employees convicted of felony election violations. San Diego Co. tripped over themselves as they rushed to hire Vu to be their assistant Registrar.

In 2004 Dean Logan was the King County (WA) Election Director. Logan was the center of a fire storm that erupted due to the close gubernatorial race. In their reporting of Logan's new promotion from acting Registrar to Registrar, the Los Angeles Daily News reports:

In 2004, when Logan was director of Records, Elections and Licensing Services in King County, a political firestorm erupted after the closest governor's race in state history between Republican Gov.-elect Dino Rossi and Democrat Christine Gregoire.

The initial count showed Rossi had won by 261 votes, triggering a mandatory machine recount. The recount ended with Rossi ahead by 42 votes.

A few days later, Logan's office found 336 more ballots not previously counted, prompting Washington state Democrats to call for a hand recount.

In the ensuing weeks, Logan's office said it found more uncounted ballots and ultimately Gregoire won by 129 votes.

Afterward, Logan's office released records showing 450 people who had voted were not registered voters and that hundreds of provisional ballots were fed into voting machines without verification and by mistake, making it impossible to authenticate their legality.

The brouhaha resulted in lawsuits and some elected officials called for Logan's resignation, accusing him of mismanagement.

A year later and Dean was rescued by then LA Co Registrar Conny McCormack, who herself came to the county under the cloud of failings in her elections jobs in Texas. Conny hired Dean as her assistant. In August 2007 Conny announced her retirement and Dean was named acting Registrar later in the year.

Failures seem to follow Logan. He was in charge of the LA Co elections office when the "Double Bubble Trouble" incident took place last February on Super Tuesday, and thousands of legally cast ballots were left uncounted from the Democratic Primary. He was also in charge when our very own Brad Friedman attempted to vote on his polling place's supposedly disabled-accessible voting machine and the machine flipped four of his votes to candidates he hadn't voted for.

One has to wonder how many times someone can fail and still come up with the rewards, such as a $195,000 a year position counting votes in the most populous county in the country. Some people are truly Teflon coated. Amazing!...But not surprising.

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This According to Michael Greenberger, a Former Director of the Gov't Board That Oversees Commodities Trading
By Jon Ponder on 6/22/2008 12:42pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Drilling off the coast of California, Florida and elsewhere would increase domestic oil production by 7 percent by 2030, according to the Energy Information Administration. But “because oil prices are determined on the international market…any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.” There is no short-term benefit to drilling, says the EIA, because it would take at least five years for oil production to begin. (Source: Center for American Progress.)

On the other hand, in a single step tomorrow --- closing the Enron Loophole --- Congress and George Bush could create an overnight drop in oil prices of between 25 and 50 percent. This is according to testimony before a Senate Committee two weeks ago by Michael Greenberger, the former director of Trading & Markets for the Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC), the government board that oversees commodities markets.

"Yes," Greenberger testified, "overnight [closing the Enron Loophole] will bring down the price of crude oil to get at least a 25 percent drop in the cost of oil and a corresponding drop in the cost of gasoline. Some people estimate 50 percent."

Greenberger's testimony was brought to light by an investigation into the Enron Loophole by Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's "Countdown" last week. (A transcript of Olbermann's report follows.)

The Enron Loophole is the nickname for a provision written into the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA) of 2000 that was drafted by lobbyists for Enron and inserted in the bill by then Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) that deregulated an aspect of the market Enron sought to exploit with its "Enron On-Line" trading program, the first Internet-based commodities transaction system. Phil Gramm is now a key economic adviser for the John McCain campaign.

While it was a technical success, Enron On-Line was based on a flawed business model that drained corporate revenues --- even while the company was manipulating the rates consumers paid for electricity in California. Enron On-Line eventually drove the company into bankruptcy, and the cooking of the books to hide its losses led to charges of conspiracy and fraud against Enron executives.

The Republicans' sudden rollout of the campaign to lift the ban on offshore drilling is really meant to shift the blame from Bush and the GOP to the Democrats and their opposition to offshore drilling. To their credit, they have done a masterful job --- and all it has cost them is the credibility of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who broke tradition in the state and came out in favor of lifting the ban. (It has also cost whatever meager credibility Crist's predecessor, Jeb Bush, had left. Bush opposed lifting the ban when he was in office but came out wholeheartedly in favor of it this weekend.)

*

Here's the transcript of the video of the report on the June 18 edition of "Countdown":

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

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6 Helicopters, Mr. Sulu, 3 Protesters But No Wrath of God
So far ...
By Jon Ponder on 6/19/2008 2:02pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

I live about 100 yards from West Hollywood City Hall so when the first marriage licenses were issued to gay people there on Tuesday, it was a big day for news helicopters overhead. I, of course, watched the festivities as reported by CNN's Thelma Gutierrez, via satellite feed to Atlanta, routed back to me 3,000 miles across the country by cable. What a whacky world.

Thelma was not alone. According to WeHo News, our local online-only newspaper, media outlets on the scene also included Tokyo Broadcasting Corporation, the British Broadcasting Corporation, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, and the Washington Post.

Here's how WeHo News described the first minutes of the gold-ring rush:

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2008 10:57pm PT  

Del Martin, 87, and Phyllis Lyon, 83, got to tie the knot today, after 56 years together. That's what liberty and freedom look like. Congratulations to the lovely couple.

Also, this. Fiscal conservatives here in California, and elsewhere, may wish to re-think their stance on marriage equality and say "Thanks, gay people!"

Analysts say same-sex marriages will generate several hundred million dollars and create thousands of jobs for California's economy.
...
"Spending by resident same-sex couples on their weddings and by out-of-state couples ... will boost California's economy by over 683.6 million dollars in direct spending over the next three years," the UCLA study reported.

Of course, some folks are hoping to turn back the clock by trying to change the Constitution next November out here. Here's my interview, from last week, with Richard Prenctice, CEO of the so-called California Family Council, a member of the "Protect Marriage Coalition." Why he's against liberty and freedom (and apparently sound fiscal policies) remains a mystery to me. Though I did my best to try and find out.

Another reminder may be needed: Just because California now allows same-sex marriage, it does not mean you must marry someone of the same sex. Also, if you are currently in a heterosexual marriage, you are more than welcome to stay married. I'm no lawyer, but I'm pretty certain about both of those points.

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Email from Acting Registrar Dean Logan Says Poll Workers Entered Incorrect Ballot Codes into E-Voting System
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2008 9:01pm PT  

Last week I reported in great detail that four out of the twelve votes I'd cast on my ballot on L.A. County's e-voting system, during California's state primary on June 3rd, were flipped to candidates that I hadn't voted for. The ES&S InkaVote Plus system printed my ballot incorrectly.

I was voting on the audio ballot voting system meant primarily for blind and visually-impaired voters. Had I not been able to inspect my ballot visually after it had printed --- for example, had I been blind --- I would never have known that I was about to cast votes for candidates that I had not selected.

Because the "disabled-accessible" e-voting system at my own precinct was not working, again, for the second election in a row, I was told I'd have to cast a provisional ballot on the "disabled-accessible" e-voting system at the other "precinct," in the same polling place, in the same room, as my own "precinct."

The machine had been down all day, and nobody had come out to replace or repair it, even though the county had been called early in the day and told about the problem. Last election, on Super Tuesday, the machine was also broken, and none of the poll workers would touch it, due to exposed wires.

This time, despite asking to vote in a specific party's open primary, I was given a non-partisan audio ballot to compound the fiasco when I tried to vote provisionally on the other "precinct's" e-voting system that was up and running, even though not a single voter had used it in either this, or the previous election.

The voting went smoothly enough --- even if it took 20 minutes to move through the short audio ballot, shorter than usual because it was a state primary, and because I wasn't allowed to vote in partisan races for some reason --- at least until it misprinted my selections, which I had confirmed as correct while actually moving through the audio selections.

Luckily, after noticing that the e-voting system had printed my ballot incorrectly, I was allowed to VOID that ballot, and this time chose to vote on a regular, hand-marked paper ballot instead. My hand filled in the ballot far more accurately than the computer did.

That night, I alerted officials at the CA Sec. of State's office and L.A. County's acting Registrar of Voters, Dean Logan, about the problem, and the machines and ballots in question were isolated for testing. Whether someone who wasn't a loud, muckracking journalist, specializing in issues of election integrity, would have had that kind of quick service, I can't tell you.

Logan promised the machine would be tested, and the SoS office promised to follow the testing closely.

Earlier this week, Logan sent me an update via email, with photos, on what the investigation had so far found. The problem, Logan wrote, is being attributed to the "human error" of the poll workers who, he says, entered incorrect information into the e-voting system when setting up my ballot for me to vote.

Logan's complete email, detailing the findings of the cursory investigation to date, follows below, along with my email in response to it. As you'll see, the all-too de rigueur "human error" excuse does not sit well with me...

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

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4 Out of 12 Ballot Selections Printed Out Incorrectly, Myriad Other Laws Violated
ES&S InkaVOTE Plus System Fails Miserably, Mars What Should Have Been a Simple Voting Experience During L.A. County's Very Low Turnout State Primary Election...
By Brad Friedman on 6/4/2008 8:04pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

As a fairly well-known Election Integrity journalist who has personally covered, for years, the myriad election woes of thousands (if not millions) of voters around the country who have tried to bring seemingly endless stories of votes flipped on e-voting systems to the attention of officials, these stories always continue to be remarkable to me, even if not to many others in the rest of the mainstream media.

It's even more troubling when one realizes that so little ever seems to be done in light of so many of these horror stories, as those very same failed systems are still deployed across the nation, with little or no modification to correct the mountains of documented problems even now, as we head towards an election likely to be of historic proportions this November.

What follows is yet another one of those stories, where a voter had vote selections flipped by the electronic voting system, such that candidates were chosen other than the ones intended to be selected by the voter, though no fault of his own.

But this time, the voter is me.

Though I've covered so many of these stories, it was nonetheless remarkable to see it happen before ones very eyes, as occurred yesterday when I voted here in Los Angeles during our very low turnout California state Primary election.

The ES&S electronic voting system that I used to try to vote on yesterday, ended up flipping a total of 4 out of the 12 contests and initiatives for which I had attempted to vote.

Right before my very eyes, the computer-printed ballot produced by the voting system I was using, incorrectly filled in bubbles for four of the races I was voting in. Had I not been incredibly careful, after the ballot was printed out, to painstakingly compare what was printed to what I actually voted for, I'd have never known my votes were being given to candidates I did not vote for.

Had I been a blind voter --- as the system I was using is largely intended for use by the disabled --- I would have cast my ballot without having a clue that a full 40% of the votes I'd tried to cast for various California Superior Court judges were flipped to other candidates...

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

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