In a recent article, "The Left Has Nowhere to Go", Chris Hedges joins Ralph Nader in attributing the quadrennial failure of third party candidates to muster a meaningful challenge to the two-party system to a "cowardice" of the left.
Hedges, who described a 2008 vote for either Nader or Cynthia McKinney as "an act of defiance," quotes Nader as stating that "the more outrageous the Republicans become...the more the left has to accept the slightly less outrageous corporate Democrats." Hedges adds:
Nader fears a repeat of the left’s cowardice in the next election, a cowardice that has further empowered the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, maintained the role of the Democratic Party as a lackey for corporations, and accelerated the reconfiguration of the country into a neo-feudalist state. Either we begin to practice a fierce moral autonomy and rise up in multiple acts of physical defiance that have no discernible short-term benefit, or we accept the inevitability of corporate slavery.
While Nader and Hedges have accurately described the existing "lesser evil" paradigm as coming into play during each Presidential election, where only one Republican and one Democrat are perceived as "viable" options, neither Nader nor Hedges acknowledges the extent to which their own tactical inflexibility has reinforced the existing paradigm.
Nader himself would be wise to reflect on that reality in advance of the 2012 primary season...
I hope you'll join me as I guest-host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show again for a few days this week. I'll be on duty tonight (Tuesday), as well as Wednesday & Friday.
We'll be BradCasting LIVE from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT) as usual. Please join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! The LIVE chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG during the show as ever, 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...
OH SEC OF STATE JENNIFER BRUNNER. Now that Ohio has again elected a Republican Governor and Sec. of State, will the 2012 Presidential Election look like the 2004 disaster in the Buckeye State? We'll talk about that and much more with the state's outgoing Democratic SoS.
TIMOTHY KARR of FreePress.net and MediaCitizen joins us to discuss the uncertain future for Net Neutrality and, oh, whatever became of that whole Fairness Doctrine thing, and that horrific Telecommunications Act that is now destroying the country?
PLUS: A whole whole bunch more from today's news, your calls at 877-520-1150 and tweets to @TheBradBlog!...
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: Fighting with a cold all night, I think we still had a helluva good show! But you'll tell me. The commercial-free --- and yes, UNCENSORED! Hear what got dumped from the air! --- audio archives are now posted below. See if you can spot the wingnut troll before I did in the final hour! (And the chat room archive is below as well, if you like.) See ya tomorrow night!...
No worries. The election officials in Stark County, OH say the Diebold touch-screen vote-flipping, as captured on iPhone video by voter and University of Akron freshman Ian Sanderson on Election Day last week, was just "an isolated incident"...
In 2007, Ohio's current Sec. of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, commissioned the largest independent scientific review of electronic voting systems the nation has ever seen. That report, known as EVEREST, resulted in her recommendation that use of all touch-screen voting systems be discontinued in every county in the state. Nonetheless, election officials in counties like Stark have so much contempt for voters that they persist in forcing them to use these 100% unverifiable, oft-failed, easily-manipulated systems a full three years later.
Last Tuesday, the Buckeye State reportedly elected Republicans once more to the offices of both Governor and Secretary of State. Should be another fun Presidential Election there in 2012, eh? Unless, of course, the Republicans were serious about the concerns they expressed, largely for the very first time this year, about e-voting systems like the one seen flipping votes above.
Prior to Election Day we saw reports in Texas, in Nevada and in North Carolina of Republican votes flipping to Democrats or other candidates during the early voting period. The NC GOP claimed to be so outraged by the reports that they filed (and won) a lawsuit suit after one of their attorneys even went so far as to suggest "the touch screen systems should be been banned."
Well, good news for Republicans! As of January, they will be the majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives! If they really want to ban unverifiable touch-screen voting systems like the ones that failed this year in NC, TX, NV, OH and elsewhere, they've got their big chance! Democrats failed to do so over the last four years, so we'll be looking forward to the Republican legislation calling for exactly that come January, right?
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Video coverage of the incident from Akron's ABC affiliate WEWS 5 follows below...
The upshot of its argument: If Republicans are set to take over the U.S. House, as predicted, and if they've suddenly found religion in regard to the dangers of electronic voting, as they seem to be asserting in North Carolina, in Nevada and in Texas, then it'll soon be their turn to take legislative action to once and for all ban the horrific, anti-democratic (small "d"), 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems plaguing our nation before they are again used to pervert results of the 2012 Presidential Election --- just as they have every year since they've been introduced into our electoral system (by a majority Republican Congress, by the way, in 2002.)
Please check it out and leave some nice (or not so nice) comments there, as you see fit. Lot's of disinformed bumpkins seem to currently be weighing in. Please free to straighten them out. Politely.
Think Progress has a great report today on the billionaire industry titans, U.S. Supreme Court Justices (including Scalia and Thomas), infamous front-group astroturfers and Rightwing media scammers who meet in secret twice a year --- as they did last year in Aspen and will again this January in Palm Springs --- to plot how they will spend their billions to keep "liberty" and "freedom" available to all (of them) and to plot the 2010 and 2012 elections for Republicans.
The story includes the actual invitation letter [PDF] to the upcoming Palm Springs event, from Vast Rightwing Conspiracy funder, billionaire Charles G. Koch of Koch Industries Inc., along with the agenda and participants of last year's Aspen meeting attached to it.
The letter begins creepily enough: "If not us, who? If not now, when?", but my favorite part is this part from the reprint of the agenda of last year's meeting...
Waukesha - Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus' decision to go it alone in how she collects and maintains election results has some county officials raising a red flag about the integrity of the system.
Nickolaus said she decided to take the election data collection and storage system off the county's computer network - and keep it on stand-alone personal computers accessible only in her office - for security reasons.
"What it gave me was good security of the elections from start to finish, without the ability of someone unauthorized to be involved," she said.
Nonetheless, Director of Administration Norman A. Cummings said because Nickolaus has kept them out of the loop, the county's information technology specialists have not been able to verify Nickolaus' claim that the system is secure from failure.
"How does anybody else in the county know, except for her verbal word, that there are backups, and that the software she has out there is performing as it should?" he said. "There's no way I can assure that the election system is going to be fine for the next presidential election."
Cummings stressed that the voting process at local polling places is not in question. However, municipal clerks send their election night results by dial-up modem to the county clerk, where they are tabulated and stored.
Several years ago, Nickolaus discontinued reporting election results on her county website for individual municipalities, as was done under the prior clerk.
Hopefully, the citizens and county administrators in Waukesha County, Wisconsin (adjacent to Milwaukee) will realize how completely insane it is to allow one person, County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus (R), to have complete, unfettered, un-observable, un-overseeable control of such public information, and are willing to do something about it.
As we have long tried to get across to anyone who would listen, the greatest threat to "secure" computerized systems --- such as the electronic voting systems, incredibly, still in use in all 50 states for this year's crucial election cycle --- comes from insiders.
IDG News Service - A Bank of America computer specialist is set to plead guilty to charges that he hacked the bank's automated tellers to dispense cash without recording the activity.
Rodney Reed Caverly, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is scheduled to plead guilty to a computer fraud charge next Tuesday in federal court in Charlotte, according to his lawyer Christopher Fialko, who declined to comment further on the case.
Caverly was charged last week with one count of computer fraud for allegedly writing a malicious program that ran on Bank of America's computers and ATMs, according to court filings.
He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Caverly had worked in Bank of America's IT department where he designed and maintained computer systems, including those used by the ATMs. The alleged scam ran between March 2009 and October 2009.
The gullible are welcome to buy into the Rightwing propaganda that ACORN is somehow stealing elections, despite the complete dearth of any actual evidence that any vote has ever been illegally cast in any election vis a vis an improper registration by an ACORN worker.
But the facts, demonstrated yet again by the BofA story, are much as non-ideological computer scientists and security experts have been trying to warn for years in regard to electronic voting systems: the greatest threat to such systems comes from insiders, such as election officials who can manipulate results simply and directly and in such a way that they are unlikely to ever get caught doing it.
Even the sham 2005 Rightwing-created Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission --- created almost entirely to put an "official"-appearing imprimatur on the call for disenfranchising Photo ID restrictions at polling places --- was forced to admit as much in their final report...
This must drive the Neo-Cons even crazier than they are already. From the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC)'s straw poll over the weekend:
NEW ORLEANS --- In the presidential-preference straw poll here at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Mitt Romney won by ONE vote over Ron Paul --- out of 1,806 cast.
Romney received 24% of the vote (439 votes) to Paul's 24% (438 votes).
Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin received 18% --- followed by Mike Huckabee at 4%, Tim Pawlenty at 3%, Mike Pence at 3%, Rick Santorum at 2%, and Gary Johnson at 1%.
Yes, Ron Paul lost to Mitt Romney, the man who signed legislation into law mandating health insurance policies for all Massachusetts citizens, by just one vote. That, after Paul easily won the straw poll at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) in D.C. in February.
Paul's positions, however, are actually conservative, and thus run antithetical to most of the Neo-Con, Big Government, Bush/Cheney-era Republicanists who now call themselves Tea Baggers, as RAW STORY notes today here. How many more "Democrats in Disarray" articles will we have to read before the "Republicans in Disarray" articles finally begin in the corporate media?
One other related thought: When Palin came in a distant fourth at CPAC's straw poll, the Republican and Republican-enabling and TeaBag-promoting Chattering Class instructed us via the corporate media that she would have done better had she actually showed up and spoken at the event. Well, she showed up and spoke at the SRLC, received a larger percentage of the vote, but still managed to do no better than third place among the dyed-in-the-wool, hard Right Southern Republicanists at the conference. Go figure.
While the topic was Afghanistan, a concern emerged over the splintering of the Left as a product of what Coiro described as strident "rhetoric," such as the suggestion that President Obama was a "sell-out" or the announcement by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) that he intended to introduce a privileged resolution to stop the "criminal enterprise" in Afghanistan. The concern was the potential for that "rhetoric" to adversely impact the Democratic Party in the 2010 and 2012 elections.
Unfortunately, in part due to technical difficulties they had on the show that night, I failed to adequately articulate my concerns, which go to the core of the Progressive dilemma in U.S. electoral politics....
(By the way, be sure to catch's Mike's latest not-ironic-at-all column at the Republican News Channel (RNC)'s website on the "The Death of Journalism"!)
No doubt the Republican News Channel (RNC), recently seen on video-tape "stage managing" the Teabagger protests they sponsored last week in D.C., is very proud. Though perhaps they missed an opportunity by not putting Glenn Beck into the poll? With a show five days a week on the RNC, and on your public radio airwaves --- unlike Huckabee, who's only seen on weekends (though he does do a short syndicated daily essay on your public airwaves in 500 radio markets) --- it's likely he would have been a shoo-in! Why waste all that valuable air time, Fox, when you could be using it to put your superstar in office?!
This weekend's summit in D.C., as in previous years, celebrated far-rightwing liberal interpretations of the Constitution and extremist judicial activism, such as the promotion of big government intrusion into the lives of American citizens, the "right" of that government to come between patients and their doctors, and other anti-American values such as ignoring the Rule of Law, and the Constitutional right to equal protection under the law for same sex couples who wish to be recognized by the government as married, just like their heterosexual counterparts.
The winners and losers, out of 597 votes cast in the straw poll, were reported to have been Huckabee with 28%, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney a distant second at 12%, followed by Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, with the celebrity community organizer and former Alaskan Governor who aborted her term earlier this year, Sarah Palin tying with Indiana's U.S. Rep. Mike Pence for fourth/fifth.
Congratulations to them all! You're all both winners and losers in our eyes!
I was taking a few (merciful) hours off yesterday, so missed Ms. Palin's farewell, as she completed her first term gubernatorial abortion to become America's premiere celebrity community organizer. But if you, as I, missed her speech, AKMuckraker kindly provides the transcript (Immoral Minority offers the video, if you prefer it) reinforcing the old saw about the 'difference between George W. Bush and Sarah Palin: Lipstick'. Oh, and speech writers.
Much of her theme throughout the weekend's "word salad" speeches, was the old "support our troops" strawman. She repeated over and over, that our military protects our freedoms. It is, perhaps, futile to point out, yet again, that our Military does not protect our freedoms. Our Constitution does. Our Military is supposed to defend it. So are folks like Palin, Bush, Cheney, Obama etc. who swear an oath to do so, but too often end up doing just the opposite.
Suffice to say, Washington's Farewell Address --- which, as EarlyAmerica.com describes, extolled the benefits of the federal government; noted the necessity of taxation; warned against the party system, permanent foreign alliances and "overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty" --- Palin's long "goodbye" was not.
Of the passages which jumped out at me for various, sometimes inexplicable, reasons:
"Together we stand."
"It is as throughout all Alaska that big wild good life teeming along the road that is north to the future."
"I remember on that December day, we took the oath to uphold our state constitution, and it was written right here in Fairbanks by very wise pioneers. We shared the vision for government that they ground in that document."
"[W]e have done our best to fulfill promises that I made on Alaska Day, 2005, when I first asked for the honor of serving you."
"Don’t forget Alaskans you are the resource owners per our constitution and that’s why for instance last year when oil prices soared and state coffers swelled, but you were smacked with high energy prices, we sent you the energy rebate. See, it’s your money and I’ve always believed that you know how to better spend it than government can spend it." (Ed Note: Why do Sarah Palin and the wingnuts applaud such socialism in Alaska, but nowhere else? Why does nobody in the media seem to point that out?)
So with another thanks to Mudflats (and sincerest apologies to our own Jeannie Dean), here are a few priceless photos for the scrapbook from Saturday's Governor's Picnic in Anchorage, one of the last stops on her Farewell-for-Now Tour...
We've been covering this on the Malloy Show, but I haven't been able to keep up with it on the blog, unfortunately. So, this just in:
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admits to extramarital affair
Sanford admits to a love affair with an Argentine woman. 'The bottom line is this: I've been unfaithful to my wife.' He apologizes to his family and the people of South Carolina.
The very quick back-details:
Monday: Gov 'missing' for six days, didn't tell wife where he was, missed Father's Day with four sons. Wife says he was going off to write, staff says he was hiking Appalachian Trail. Tuesday: Staff says Gov contacted them, was surprised at the hubbub, would return to office on Wed. Today: Sanford caught by reporter returning from Argentina, not Appalachian Trail. Presser announced. Sanford admits affair.
All of that follows, of course, on the recent admission by the GOP's other (once) 2012 Presidential hopeful, Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, that he, too, was having an affair. If I have time to fill in more back details here later, with links, I will.
UPDATE:Fox "News" does it again! Labels Sanford as a "(D)" Democrat as he was admitting to affair! Screenshot follows below...
Within hours after Election Day 2008 was over, the punditocracy had moved on to speculation about 2012 and the political future of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, whom many conservatives consider to be the next GOP frontrunner.
If history is a guide, however, chances are next to nil that Palin will survive the primaries in four years, and even if she does, her odds of winning the presidency are even slimmer. In fact, based on past performances of losing vice presidential nominees over the last 180 years (see chart below), Sarah Palin's chances of becoming president at any point in the future are 45 to 1, at best.