It's been explained to me that one of the reasons we have such a difficult time selling ads on this blog --- or receiving donations (Serious hint there, people! Please? Thanks!) --- is that I'm reliably unreliable when it comes to supporting any particular political party.
This, of course, makes me toxic to most of the partisans out there, in what has become an insanely partisan world. (It also makes it very difficult to pay the rent, so see shameless plea above.)
In any case, I'm now I'm more toxic than ever, as the following short animated video proves!
The video below has just been released by the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition, and I was honored to give voice to all of the different male cartoon characters you'll see. Yes, they're all actually me! Toxic, but hopefully amusing. Just like this blog. Enjoy and spread the word!...
(And I was serious about the terrible lack of donations. Could really use the support! And you know I hates askin'! If you can help, I promise much more relentless toxicity from this blog in the foreseeable future!)
Of course, the ad was run on television before it was pulled. The fact-checking was not done in advance, so lies such as health insurance reform being "a government takeover of healthcare" were allowed to be aired as if they were legitimate claims.
Naturally, the campaign of Sestak's Republican opponent, Pat Toomey, backed up the Chamber's ads, even as they are not supposed to be coordinating with such groups, according to the law. But what do quaint old notions like "the rule of law" really mean anymore in these United States anyway?
What is underscored again here, is that corporate lobbyists and criminals like those at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are now free to wield millions --- even billions --- of dollars for or against candidates they don't like, or who may not meet with their corporate approval for any reason.
That's what the U.S. Supreme Court has recently deemed "free speech". And you, dear private citizen of the United States of America, can do nothing about it --- unless you happen to have a few hundred million extra dollars sitting around the house and want to exercise your "free speech" in producing and airing TV commercials in opposition. Good luck with that.
[Please see, and support, VelvetRevolution.us' StopTheChamber.com campaign to help push back against the anti-American, anti-citizen Goliath that is the U.S. Chamber. Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.]
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UPDATE 4:04pm: Looks like the Rightwing corporate bosses at Sinclair may have come down on the local stations. AP is now reporting the Chamber says the ads are being restored:
Two Pittsburgh-area TV stations are reversing a decision to pull a commercial attacking Democratic policies and the voting record of U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Friday that the stations are restoring the ad that the business advocacy group sponsored.
An official for sister stations WPGH and WPMY declined to comment.
An investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), the state's top law enforcement agency, has concluded that no charges will be filed against Alvin Greene, the mysterious and unverifiable winner of the Democratic Party's nomination for the U.S. Senate, in relation to the $10,440 filing fee the unemployed military vet paid to get onto the party's June 8th primary ballot.
In that election, the unknown Greene was reported --- by the 100% unverifiable ES&S e-voting system --- to have defeated former four-term state legislator and U.S. Circuit Court Judge Vic Rawl 59% to 41% despite having failed to campaign for the nomination, nor even having a campaign website.
Questions have arisen as to how the jobless Greene, who was recently appointed a public defender in a felony obscenity case he faces, was able to afford the filing fee for the U.S. Senate race. As noted by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which requested an investigation into the matter, Section 7-25-200 of the SC Code of Laws prohibits anyone from accepting or offering "either directly or indirectly, money, a loan of money, or any other thing of value...as inducement to file as a candidate for any state or federal election office." Greene, who lives with his father, maintains he used money saved from military pay to cover the fee.
Some, including both state Republicans and South Carolina's Democratic U.S. House Rep. James Clyburn (SC), have stated the possibility that Greene was a "plant" on the ballot, given a public poll taken in May, as cited by Rawl campaign manager Walter Ludwig here at The BRAD BLOG, just three weeks weeks before the election, which showed Rawl trailing SC's incumbent Republican Sen. Jim DeMint by just 7 points, 50 to 43%. However, even the "plant" theory can't explain Greene's nearly 20-point "victory" as reported in the June 8th election results.
It's the very last paragraph of CNN's report on SLED clearing Greene, however, which, for the moment, raises both our eyebrow and, possibly, a curious red flag in the results of the Republican-controlled state's investigation into Greene's filing fee...
[Now UPDATED with full --- highly recommended --- audio archives.]
It's Day 4 of our latest week-long stint filling in for Mike on the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show. And again we'll be BradCasting LIVE from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT). I hope you'll join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in!
The LIVE chat room, as ever, will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG during the show, so come on by while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)
So far scheduled for tonight's show...
HOWIE KLEIN, political blogger extraordinary from Huffington Post and Down With Tyranny on all the politics that's fit to speculate about! Specifically this November's Congressional elections, the outlook for Democrats, Republicans and those damned Blue Dogs!
BREAKING NEWS, You'll have to tune in tonight to hear about some rathering disturbing new news in a long-running election fraud case in a specific county, in a specific state. It's one we've been following for some time, and tonight there's breaking news in the case. We'll talk about it with one of the key players in the long running investigation!
PLUS: Catching up with the week's news and your calls on whatever you'd like to discuss at 877-520-1150, or via tweets to @TheBradBlog and whatever else comes up along the way...
The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates around the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.
POST-SHOW UPDATE: Well that was one very lively, very fast-paced show, chocked full of breaking news and exclusives. Check this one out! The audio archives are all posted below (and the chat room archives are posted below that, if your interested.) Enjoy! I know I did!...
We're back again tonight filling in as Guest Host on the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show. We'll be BradCasting LIVE all this week from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT). Please join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in!
The LIVE chat room will be up and rolling again here at The BRAD BLOG during the show, so come on by for that as ya listen! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)
PLUS: Other stuff on my mind and yours via calls at 877-520-1150, tweets to @TheBradBlog, a likely visit from the lovely DESI DOYEN of the Green News Report and whatever else comes up between here and there...
The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates around the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.
Near the end of an article today on an investigation now underway by South Carolina officials into how the unknown, unemployed Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Alvin Greene was able to afford the state's $10,440 filing fee to get on the ballot in the first place, the Associated Press quickly summarizes the "multiple theories" forwarded to speculate on how it was that Greene could have garnered a 59 to 41% "victory" over former state legislator and Circuit Judge Vic Rawl in the recent Democratic U.S. primary:
Multiple theories have surfaced about Greene's success. Some had speculated that Greene, who is black, benefited from black voters looking for a black candidate and opting for his name because of the spelling of his name, with an "e" on the end. And the leader of the state Democratic Party has speculated voters picked the first name on the ballot.
Earlier this month, the state Democratic Party's executive committee upheld Greene's victory, nixing a protest lodged by Rawl that could have required a new vote.
So, it must have been the "e" at the end of Greene's name that made more than 100,000 South Carolinians vote for a man who never campaigned and who they never heard of. Yeah, that must have been it.
In related news, I've officially changed my name to Brad Friedmane and am hereby announcing my candidacy for President of the United States in 2012. I hope this notice serves to get me elected, as it's the only campaigning I will be doing between now and then. Should be more than enough though. Measuring the Oval Office for drapes even as we speak.
Judge Vic Rawl just released a public statement on the heels of the SC Democratic Party Executive Board's insane rejection yesterday of his protest to the 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen system's announced "victory" of Alvin Greene to be the state's Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate. Rawl's statement reads in part:
I wanted you to hear from me that we will not be appealing last night’s decision by the Democratic Executive Committee to reject our protest of the election results. My campaign for the United States Senate has ended.
The issues we raised about the lack of election integrity in South Carolina are real, and they are not going away unless people act. I assure you that I will continue to speak out about our frail and vulnerable election system in the months to come.
Rawl's comments follow on both his own impromptu remarks after yesterday's protest was rejected, and his Campaign Manager Walter Ludwig's barely-contained on-the-record comments following the hearing: "We're certainly disappointed, but the unique circumstances of this election gave us an opportunity to put the specter of voting machines in front of the national public in the strongest way since Bush v. Gore."
As we'll be guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show again for the first week of July, hopefully Rawl and/or Ludwig will be able to join us to explain what the hell happened, what they intend to do about it, and what the hell is wrong with SC's shameful, apparently democracy-hating, Democratic Party Executive Board. (See yesterday's report & live blog of the hearings for all the insane details.)
The South Carolina Democratic Party Executive Board rejected Judge Vic Rawl's official protest to the results of last week's U.S. Senate primary, despite no evidence presented that the results were accurate, and despite Alvin Greene having not even shown up to the protest hearing. Rawl had originally filed his protest based, in large part, on the "well-documented unreliability and unverifiability of the voting machines used in South Carolina."
Greene's election as the Democratic party nominee for the U.S. Senate, to run against incumbent Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, stands. The vote of the Executive Board was 38.5 to 7.5 in favor of rejecting Rawl's protest and upholding the results. Not kidding.
The Rawl campaign presented an impressive five-hour case in Columbia today, including two computer scientists and security experts who both asserted that there was no reasonable explanation for election results other than some kind of voting system malfunction in either the hardware or software. Voters testified that they had trouble selecting Rawl on the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen systems, and that their votes were flipped to Greene. Campaign workers testified that they received calls all throughout Election Day concerning problems with the machines and reports that pollworkers were swapping out sensitive memory cartridges.
Despite the historical record of failure of the ES&S voting system, and numerous state-sponsored studies (in state's other than SC) which all found that the systems are poorly coded and exceptionally vulnerable to malicious manipulation, Rawl's team of computer scientists were not allowed access to the voting system hardware and software in order to examine it for bugs or tampering.
Rawl's attorney instructed the Executive Board that they were required to vote on the protest on the basis of whether the evidence presented in the hearing demonstrated the results to be true and accurate or not. No evidence was presented that the results were accurate, only that they were not. Nonetheless, the SC Democratic Party's Executive Board voted resoundingly to reject Rawl's protest, which the candidate has said he will not appeal.
After the motion was rejected, and the meeting adjourned, Rawl quieted the crowd to say a few words (the following is now transcribed directly from the audio)...
First, some very good news just in: The hearing for the protest to the results of last week's SC Democratic U.S. Senate primary will be streamed live on Thursday at 3pm ET via Live.VicRawl.com.
The protest will be heard by the Executive Board of the South Carolina Democratic Party to consider Judge Vic Rawl's protest to last week's bizarre election.
Second, I'm happy to say that I have finally been able to make contact with the campaign of former state legislator and Circuit Court Judge Vic Rawl. I had a somewhat lengthy conversation earlier today with his campaign manager Walter Ludwig, and continue to be happy to report that it seems they have a very good grasp of the issues at stake --- in relation to the horrific ES&S e-voting system --- in their challenge to the 100% unverifiable election of Alvin Greene in SC's recent Democratic U.S. Senate primary race.
As I noted last night, in discussing Rawl's interview yesterday on Fox, given the sharp learning curve for those unfamiliar with the complex issues involved with e-voting and Election Integrity, they've done an excellent job of getting up to speed, at least inasmuch as possible in the short time they've been forced to become "experts" on the topic.
That, of course, is just another pitfall of using insanely complicated rocket science instead of common sense and eyeballs to add one plus one plus one in our current electoral system. Most candidates with questions about their election results simply can't afford the resources and computer scientists and time needed for the forensic investigation of these systems --- that's if they're even allowed access to the often proprietary trade-secret hardware and software --- following an election and prior to the date by which they must file and argue a legal challenge. That, as opposed to simply examining paper ballots and chain of custody procedures, as would be the case with sane, paper ballot elections.
Ludwig seems to understand just how bad the voting system is that voters were forced to use in SC's recent election, the same system used in dozens of other states despite The BRAD BLOG's best efforts over the past six years to warn of the dangers.
"These machines are incredibly frail and subject to manipulation. They don't work very well." In short, Ludwig told me, "They're crap."...
There are a number of points in Andreas Antonopoulos' article at Network World yesterday with which I respectfully disagree (eg. His assertion that counting paper ballots by hand might take longer than with machines, and nuances in regard to his belief that a federal standard for voting machines is the answer, etc.)
But for someone who doesn't cover the unique circumstances of e-voting exclusively or in great detail, he is essentially right on the money in his general assertions about the insane, 100% unverifiable nature of South Carolina's recent primary election. In regard to the questions about Alvin Greene's impossible-to-prove "win" over Judge Vic Rawl for the Democratic nomination to run for U.S. Senate, he writes, among other things:
How have we reached the point where the only way to audit an election is statistics? Why can't we get a robust, audited and validated election result? The simple answer is that we can, but we choose not to.
[T]he best solution is paper and pencil. It is auditable, secure, repeatable, easy and robust.
I note the above today, largely in response to the dead-enders, who I've begun to hear from yet again of late, who describe folks like me as "Luddites" or somehow "against progress". Those who believe that elections ought to be 100% verifiable by the citizenry --- and that any sort of concealed vote counting, electronic or otherwise, is a grave threat to democracy --- are not "Luddites". We are well-informed realists and patriots.
For the record, I spent some ten years of my life making my living as a computer programmer. Network World's Antonopoulos, author of the magazine's "Security: Risk and Reward" blog, is also senior vice president and founding partner at the the IT consulting and research firm, Nemertes Research. And the bulk of the science on which all of my reporting is based, comes directly from the top computer scientists and security experts in the world.
If anyone would like to call us "Luddites", after all of these years being proven right, again and again, on these issues, bring it on. You're only succeed in making yourself appear grossly ill-informed. Or worse.
[My thanks to "HeartlandLiberal" at dKos for bringing the Network World piece to my attention, and, for kicking back a bit at the many horribly dis-informed and mis-informed Kossacks who have been ignoring and/or poo-pooing these issues for years, to their own shame and disservice.]
Former Circuit Court Judge Vic Rawl's official protest against the results of South Carolina's Democratic U.S. Senate primary election last Tuesday --- when he was purportedly beaten by Alvin Greene, a jobless man who didn't campaign and didn't even have a campaign website --- will focus on what he describes as "systemic issues involving the software of the voting machine," according to the four-term, former state legislator in an interview with Fox "News" today.
The video and transcript of that interview --- in which Rawl displayed a very impressive command of the issues surrounding the 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting machines used in the election --- are posted below. It's well worth reading and/or watching.
But first, Democratic House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) also appeared on Fox today where he said, "I believe there was hacking done into that computer." He later added, that because SC used the type of voting machines that have been decertified by so many other states, "maybe somebody wanted machines that were easily hacked into."
Take a look...
Clyburn's comments are remarkable --- certainly for a currently-serving Democratic official, much less one as high ranking as he is. Perhaps his comments will help change the way the bulk of the mainstream media has been covering this issue to date. They've been looking at everything but the obvious potential for computer failure or manipulation, even though Rawl has been going out of his way to point to it --- as we saw in his remarkable statement announcing his protest of the election results filed yesterday, due, in no small part, to "the well-documented unreliability and unverifiability of the voting machines used in South Carolina."
Since speculating on the accuracy of the results, or lack thereof, is all that most of us can do, given the nature of the type of e-voting system in use in SC which offer zero proof of actual winners and losers, there is certainly every reason to believe the election could have been hacked. The state's woeful ES&S system --- both its voting machines and its central tabulators --- has been shown time and again, in scientific report after scientific report, to be easily manipulated, particularly by a well-placed election insider.
That said, there still remain other less nefarious explanations for the results, and it should also be noted that Clyburn got quite a few of the details --- albeit fairly minor ones in the scope of his main point, if rather important to the rest of the country --- wrong...
The local Charleston, South Carolina, NBC affiliate, WCBD, was hoodwinked by someone; apparently it was the SC Election Commission. In the following report, WCBD's Larry Collins says that he has checked on the claim that "there is no independent paper back up from [South Carolina's] touch machines." He then goes on to inaccurately report, presumably from information given to him by the state election commission, that "there is a paper trail" on the state's ES&S iVotronic voting systems...
Collins' reporting is patently inaccurate.
The pieces of paper seen hanging in the background behind him are end of the day reports or possibly some "poll tapes," printed out after polls close, showing the purported tallies from each machine or precinct. They are not auditable "paper trail" records of voters' votes, and they are not verified in any way, shape, or form by the voter.
Those printouts can say absolutely anything, as printed, including the actual vote counts, erroneous vote counts due to machine malfunction or misprogramming, or, as seen in the following Fox "News" clip, vote counts that have been purposely manipulated by tampering and/or the inclusion of a virus implanted on one of the voting machines' memory cards...
Vic Rawl says inexplicable Democratic primary contest casts 'cloud' over state election; Notes 'irregularities', problem reports from voters, poll workers, vows 'electoral reform', calls for 'full and unblinking investigation of overall integrity' of state's ES&S voting system...
UPDATE: 'Burden of proof' on Rawls. Good luck with that.
A formal challenge to the announced results of South Carolina's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate has now been filed by Judge Vic Rawl, the candidate who wasn't announced the winner by the state's oft-failed, easily-manipulated, 100% unverifiable ES&S e-voting system.
The statement points generally to a number of findings being made by the campaign as independent experts have analyzed the results, voting patterns and problems being reported by poll workers and voters on Election Day where the unknown, unemployed candidate Alvin Greene defeated Rawl on the unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting systems, performing 11 points better on those machines than he did in the paper-based absentee results. The oft-failed, easily-manipulated ES&S election results reporting system gave Greene a 59% to 41% "victory" over Rawl.
Greene did no campaigning, had no name recognition, had no campaign website, faces felony obscenity charges and managed, somehow, according to the electronic results, to best Rawl, a four-term state legislator to win the nomination to face incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in this November's general election.
We've covered details and analysis of this bizarre matter in two previous articles since last Tuesday's election:
As you'll see below, Rawl's official statement today reads as an indictment of the state's electronic voting system and, frankly, as a summary of years of The BRAD BLOG's oft-ignored reporting (and warnings) about the ES&S e-voting system's disastrously failed record...
This post is an update to our earlier one today, which highlighted early, unexplained disparities seen by academic experts working on behalf of South Carolina Democrats, between paper-ballot absentee voting results and those from the 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen systems used on Election Day last Tuesday in South Carolina for the Democratic U.S. Senate primary race between the unheard of, jobless candidate Alvin Greene (who did absolutely no campaigning), and state legislator Vic Rawl (who did).
As we detailed in the previous post, Greene's "victory," thus far, seems to make absolutely no legitimate sense to state Democrats, or anybody else, in truth. The disparities in the voting patterns were described by experts quoted in Politico earlier today as "curious," "staggering," and "red flags," and by Election Integrity experts who we quoted as "clear signs of election fraud." Please read that post first for the full background on this story.
We've already included one update to our previous post, based on a post by Tom Schaller at FiveThirtyEight.com, a site which focuses on statistical analysis of elections. That post examined the possibility of the race factor in Greene's "win" over Rawl as the former is African American while the latter is white. Schaller's analysis of precinct data in the race, however, as compared to non-white registrants in each, found "no relationship between the race of a county's registrants and Greene's performance in that county," thus largely, but not entirely, ruling out race as an explanation for the bizarre results.
While Schaller had posited four existing possibilities for what "could have happened here" in his original article --- including the possibility of "systematic" election fraud --- he has now filed a follow-up report describing the matter as "getting weirder by the hour." His new piece includes a number of reports from other statistical experts which "suggest tampering, or at least machine malfunction, perhaps at the highest level"...