Rupture feared; Workers contaminated; New evacs 'recommended'... PLUS: German study uses French data to corroborate findings from Austrian, U.S. scientists, suggesting Fukushima disaster should be reclassified as 'level 7' accident, on par with Chernobyl...
An ironic and interesting item that we missed as it ran yesterday, but which we'll store away for future reference [emphasis added]...
On Tuesday, Forensicon, a Chicago computer forensic company, said that it was contacted last week by a security firm last week to assist the Republic National Committee (RNC) in challenging cases of "computerized voter fraud."
"If the election returns vary significantly from the polled numbers in any precincts that proves crucial to the election outcome, I expect that a legal struggle over the validity of the election results will ensue," said Forensicon's President, Lee Neubecker in a press release.
The move seems to indicate a future move by the RNC to challenge certain voting results, in some contradiction to past RNC actions regarding electronic voting
I've written both here and at the UK's Guardian to point out that not a single case of ACORN "voter fraud" has been shown anywhere despite the Republican's phony outrageous and MSM's knee-jerk reporting of it.
That changed on Friday (for about a minute) when the GOP and their always-reliable and incurious media echo chamber began trumpeting "undeniable proof that a significant number of fraudulent votes were cast in Democrat primary races for the New Mexico legislature as a result of ACORN’s voter registration fraud."
Knock us over with a feather, but those charges have now fallen apart as well...
Nathan Sproul of Sproul & Associates, Accused of Shredding Democratic Registration Forms in Several States, Now Working on the Republican Presidential Campaign, According to Campaign Disclosure Forms...
And speaking of GOP voter registration hucksters, it looks like Nathan Sproul of Sproul & Associates, the group accused of destroying Democratic registrations in several states during previous elections, has been hired by the McCain-Palin campaign and the RNC again this year. Knock us over with a feather...
Hopefully, soon will come the GOP's ACORN "voter fraud" fraud backlash, though I realize that's still very much a hope given the continuous rightwing media's full-throated reporting attempt to punk American democracy in regards this issue.
Palm Beach Post, thankfully, bothered to do some actual reporting yesterday, and led with the following good news:
Republican National Committee officials are turning up the heat on a left-leaning organization linked with Sen. Barack Obama that tried to register "Mickey Mouse" to vote this summer, but state officials say accusations of voter fraud in Florida are mostly unfounded.
The story goes on to quote FL Secretary of State Kurt Browning who says: "'we have not seen a persistent problem across the state of Florida' with registration fraud by ACORN or other groups."
And FL's Republican Governor Charlie Crist who says: "There's some who sort of enjoy chaos. That's kind of what's going on more than fraud."
Bingo, Charlie. And rather ironic, given the outrageous statement John McCain made during last night's debate; the GOP's own far-worse-than-ACORN's record of registration form problems in California; Crist's own record of voter purges in his own state; and the Republican Party's dismal history of trying to use ACORN at the last minute, just before elections, in order to wreak the "chaos" that Crist was referring to...
After being asked a question about keeping Obama supporters from also voting for Democrats down the ticket at a press conference in D.C., Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), a former chair of the National Republican Congressional Commitee (NRCC) said: "Well you're talking about voter suppression and we would never, ever do anything along that line, for the record."
The room broke into laughter during his comment! (video 1:14 mins)...
Ari at the Oxdown Gazette covered it also and notes that nearly one-quarter of John McCain's laughably and insultingly named "Honest and Open Election Committee," "chaired by Warren Rudman and John Danforth, has been involved in GOP voter suppression efforts or unfounded partisan claims of voter fraud. Of the 21 members of the committee, five have been engaging in these shady efforts."
See his report for the details on those liars, hooligans, and anti-democracy champions. Transcript of the above video follows below...
Fox "News" and its Rupert Murdoch-owned print brethren, the New York Post, continue to bang the GOP's phony ACORN "voter fraud" drum, but as far as I can tell, they've failed to come up with a single incident of any actual voter fraud committed by the dastardly "left-wing extremists."
Yes, Ann Coulter has committed felony voter fraud, but neither of the Murdoch outfits has yet to note that point, even while they go wall-to-wall with misleading reports claiming that ACORN is committing massive "voter fraud" on behalf of the Democrats.
Those who wish to believe in the hoax, however, attempt to link to article after article about allegations of voter fraud carried out by ACORN. And yet, the articles themselves --- if one bothers to actually read them --- reveal that either 1) They describe allegations and investigations brought by Republican agents, with little or no evidence of any wrong doing, and certainly no "voter fraud," 2) Where voter registration fraud has occurred it has been by rogue ACORN employees, originally reported to authorities by ACORN themselves (who are the actual victims of any such fraud by their employees), or 3) Smoke and mirrors are used to cloud the fact that not a single fraudulent vote has actually been cast by anyone.
Let's take a look at just two recent, oft-linked, oft-quoted New York Post articles from today and last week to give you an idea of how the scam works, and how the rightwing suckers fall for it. Every time...
Golly, for a group that's committed so much "voter fraud" for so long (if you're gullible enough to believe the lies that RNC/FNC has been telling you) it's mighty strange that, as News One notes, "McCain attended an ACORN convention just two years ago."
The once-honorable Republican's campaign has even seen fit to produce a video smear ad, attempting to tar Obama with "associations" with ACORN, and alleging the group has committed "massive voter fraud" to boot! (They've yet to produce any actual evidence for that, unfortunately.)
But more than just attending the ACORN-sponsored February 2006 rally, ACORN confirms in a statement today that McCain was actually the keynote speaker!
So now, they wonder, why it is that McCain seems to have "lost that loving feeling"?
"It has deeply saddened us to see Senator McCain abandon his historic support for ACORN and our efforts to support the goals of low-income Americans. Maybe it is out of desperation that Senator McCain has forgotten that he was for ACORN before he was against ACORN," noted Bertha Lewis, Chief Organizer of ACORN.
"We expected Senator McCain to support our efforts to give voice to millions of Americans who have never participated in an election before," she continued. "We are surprised at his efforts to vilify an organization that, until recently, he saw as an ally."
Hmmm...So, why was John McCain "palling around with" an organization that "has violated more Americans' civil rights to have their votes counted than any group since the KKK," as described by noted Florida 'vote-rigger' and McCain surrogate Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff)? Or was Feeney speaking out of school? If so, we've yet to hear McCain condemning the outrageous remarks, or distancing himself from Feeney, the three time winner of CREW's "Most Corrupt Members of Congress" Award.
Also, we can't help but wonder, in regard to McCain's meeting with ACORN, where he spoke on immigration reform, by the way...were there were any preconditions before he agreed to meet with them?
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...
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...
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...
To nobody's suprise, Democracy Now! announces that charges against journalist Amy Goodman and two other staff journalists arrested while doing their job covering protests at the Republican National Convention are being dropped by the City of St. Paul. Journalists intimidated. Mission accomplished...
The St. Paul City Attorney’s office announced Friday it will not prosecute Democracy Now! journalists Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman also issued a statement Friday that “the city will decline to prosecute misdemeanor charges for presence at an unlawful assembly for journalists arrested during the Republican National Convention.”
Both announcements come two weeks after the conclusion of the Republican National Convention where over 40 journalists were arrested while reporting on protests taking place outside the convention center.
Upon learning of the news, Democracy Now! Host, Amy Goodman said, “It’s good that these false charges have finally been dropped, but we never should have been arrested to begin with. These violent and unlawful arrests disrupted our work and had a chilling effect on the reporting of dissent. Freedom of the press is also about the public’s right to know what is happening on their streets. There needs to be a full investigation of law enforcement activities during the convention.”
John Lundquist, attorney for the Democracy Now! journalists, said, “The most notable lapse by law enforcement during the RNC was the record-breaking number of journalists indiscriminately arrested and detained for doing nothing more than performing in the best tradition of reporters who gather the news.”
Chris Bowers has more thoughts on the arrests of journalists, and the dropped charges, and what he alleges amounted to 'a deal' of sorts between the RNC and the St. Paul cops.
Videos of DN! reporter Nicole Salazar being assaulted by the police (:23 seconds) and Goodman's outrageous arrest while peacefully trying to learn what had happened to her reporters (:49 seconds), both follow below...
I've been quite critical of the Obama/DNC plan (or lack thereof) for "election protection" this year, noting that it looks, smells and sounds a lot like a slightly beefed-up version of the Kerry/DNC "we'll have thousands of lawyers in place on Election Day should anything go wrong."
On Election Day, of course, if DNC lawyers are still trying to keep up with what's going on, it's already game over. While for years Osama Bin Laden and Muslim extremists had supposedly declared war on the U.S., as the legend goes, America paid little attention until it was too late. So it is with the raging Republican War on Democracy, where proactive steps are necessary (beginning long ago, but we'll take what we can get at this point) to join the war and push back against the GOP's assault on the most democratic of all values, the right to freely cast one's vote, to have that vote counted, and to have it counted accurately.
Back in 2006, after speaking to a group of DNC election attorneys in Chicago, I wrote about the "Dysfunction at the DNC" and the persistent cluelessness they had displayed at the time concerning a number of very real threats to our electoral system. While Obama has certainly displayed a tendency to understand at least some of the issues at stake --- far more so than his '04 counterpart --- the party, from every sign I'm able to get, remains out of touch with the serious threats they face: from the massive front-end disenfranchisement efforts, about which they are at least somewhat aware, to the back-end disenfranchisement efforts via manipulation and/or often-undiscoverable "tabulation error" of completely un-transparent electronic voting systems used in virtually every county, in every state in the union.
So we may be grasping for any optimistic straw we can find here, but at least today we have one such sign of proactivity from the Obama/DNC that we can tell you about...
"Strategists say that Mr. McCain can now count on a more motivated social conservative base to help him in areas like southern Ohio, where the 2004 race was settled."
--The New York Times, Sept. 7, 2008, A1
"In investigating the 2004 election in Ohio--examining pollbooks, talking to pollworkers and election officials, as well as reading local newspaper accounts --we could find no data of a late surge to the polls by born-again Christians. What we did find is certified voting totals in areas favoring Bush that didn't match the number of voters who officially signed-in on the poll sign-in sheets."
--Email from Bob Fitrakis of The Columbus Free Press, Sept. 7, 2008
To understand how Team McCain intends to get away with stealing this election, we must recall how Team Bush got away with it four years ago. (Those aren't two different teams.)
The plan for stealing this contest has everything to do with the ostensibly surprising choice of Sarah Palin as McCain's VP.
Last night, we noted the bizarre choice of backdrop that led to the first five minutes, or so, of McCain's acceptance speech being given in front of a classic green screen. For those who watched the speech, they likely realize that the green in close-up was the lawn from a larger backdrop of what appeared to be a mansion.
Our thought: One of McCain's?! Odd choice, that.
Turns out, no, it wasn't one of his houses, it was an even dumber selection from the geniuses what run the GOP, who want you to entrust them to run the country...
John Aravosis explains what that backdrop actually was...
You're gonna love this. ... In fact, the picture was of Walter Reed. No, not Walter Reed Army Medical Center where injured troops are treated - though that was clearly McCain's intent, to use our injured troops as a political prop (just as last night they dared show footage of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center, and the towers falling) - no, in fact, McCain posted a photo of Walter Reed Middle School, a school for kids in California that has nothing to do with Walter Reed the military hospital. They actually thought the school was the Army hospital. Apparently McCain just discovered the Google.
With these chuckleheads in charge, little wonder the "war on terror" is going so well. For our money, the hit of the night last night was the courageous American from Iraq Veterans Against the War who managed to get the real message out to the whole wide world, over the pool camera feed during McCain's speech...
(NOTE: We'll be hosting The Randi Rhodes Show on Monday. We've learned it was Adam Kokesh who managed this very successful demonstration and smart use of his First Amendment freedoms last night, and we're going to try to get him on the air with us!)