More on Occupation Nation tonight, as I continue to guest host the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show. Tune in tonight at 6p PT / 9p ET. We'll have live listening links and an occupied chat room right here at The BRAD BLOG! (Audio archives of last night's show are here.)
This afternoon on my Pacifica Radio show on KPFK here in Los Angeles (and up and down the West Coast) I interviewed Dr. Roger Johnston of Argonne National Lab's Vulnerability Assessment Team on their $26 "Man-in-the-Middle" attack on a Diebold touch-screen voting system as I reported yesterday in my exclusive at Salon (and here at The BRAD BLOG.)
While yesterday's reports included information on the team's previous, similar-ish hack of a Sequoia touch-screen system, and the fact they feel they could do the same with most other e-voting systems, among the interesting new points raised during our discussion on KPFK today is that Johnston believes they could use a similar method to manipulate the vote count on a paper-ballot based optical-scan system as well!
So, in other words, the low-rent attack Argonne has demonstrated --- requiring no knowledge of the voting system software, $10 to $26 in off-the-shelf computer parts, and little more than an 8th grade computer lab education --- could also be implemented not just on touch-screen e-voting systems, with or without a so-called "paper trail," but also on the paper ballot op-scanners used to count the majority of votes that will be cast in the U.S. in next year's Presidential election.
Note: Of the media outlets listed above, only CNET got the ownership of Diebold voting equipment correct in their reports. Both The Register and ComputerWorld incorrectly report that ES&S now has ownership of what had been Diebold Election Systems, Inc. In fact, while ES&S, the world's largest e-voting company, did purchase the company (that some refer to as DESI, but I do not, for personal reasons) in late 2009, the DoJ ordered them to sell it off due to anti-trust concerns. It was then purchased by Canadian firm Dominion Voting, though ES&S was allowed to retain a fair number of the contracts from Diebold jurisdictions that preferred to stay with ES&S. So while Dominion officially owns what was Diebold's election division, ES&S still maintains and services many Diebold machines as well. Dominion also took over Sequoia --- and lied about it --- shortly thereafter.
"Whether he discussed it or not, he's doing their bidding," insists Jeff Tittel, the director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. "The Governor has a problem about completely telling the truth. If the Governor was Pinocchio, you'd be getting hit with his nose about now."
Those were among Tittel's remarks today during my interview with him this afternoon on my Pacifica Radio show here on KPFK in Los Angeles. (Full audio posted below.) Needless to say, he doesn't have much confidence in NJ Gov. Chris Christie's latest denials about his relationship with the billionaire oil magnate Koch brothers.
As we've reported over the past 24 hours, last night, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) scammed a local radio host concerning his meetings with the Rightwing billionaires. Earlier today, finally, local media forced a direct answer from him on whether he ever discussed the landmark Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) with the Kochs. The co-owners of Koch Industries, the second largest private company in the nation, which they inherited from their father, hate the RGGI cap-and-trade plan to curb pollutants, as created by 10 Northeastern states. Christie's unilateral withdraw from the agreement last May was a shocker, though one celebrated by the Kochs and their well-funded Climate Change Denial Machine who had long been lobbying against it.
Today, Christie denied the topic ever came up in either of two now-known private meetings with Kochs, both revealed by Part 2 of our exclusive report last week at Mother Jones on the secret speech Christie gave for the Kochs at their ultra-exclusive Summer Seminar near Vail, CO last June, and David Koch's introduction to it. (Audio we obtained and transcribed, from that speech, is posted right here.)
After we'd broken the story last week, Tittel, told AP the secret Koch Tapes provide "the smoking gun that shows [Christie's] been working with the Koch brothers from the beginning."
But now, even after Christie insists that discussion of RGGI "never came up" during discussions at either the Colorado appearance, or during his secret two-hour meeting with David Koch in New York City earlier this year, Tittle is not inclined to believe him. He explained his reasons why on today's KPFK show, where you'll also get to hear some of the audio from the Koch seminar (such as when Koch describes Christie as "my kind of guy"), and Christie's bamboozling of the NJ radio host who had asked him about the topic last night...
One of the firestorms has even led the Democratic Speaker of the NJ Assembly to call Gov. Chris Christie "disgraceful," charge that his comments about her were "outright lies," that he is "not fit to lead the state," and that she is "beginning to wonder if Gov. Christie is mentally deranged." All statements given to local media late today in response to our release of the tapes. Though some local Dems are still wondering if it may be the Speaker, rather than Christie, who is hiding the truth.
As I described in my BRAD BLOG piece linking to Part 2 at MoJo on Wednesday morning, the good citizens of the Garden State (and the whole of the mainstream media along with them) learned only yesterday that their Republican Governor had snuck out of state on June 26th, right after appearing on Meet the Press, jetted across the country to deliver the keynote address at the super-secret, ultra-exclusive gathering of rightwing corporate barons and billionaires --- otherwise known as the Koch Brothers 2011 Summer Seminar --- at a resort near Vail, Colorado, before he then flew back home to NJ that night, and went on to appear on three cable news shows, in studio in Manhattan, the next morning. Nobody ever knew he was gone --- at least until my story broke at MoJo yesterday morning.
More on the Part 2 fallout, including new details, confirmations from officials, ignited firestorms and opened hornets' nests below. But first, I wanted to front page these nice comments from an NPR report by Frank James, which helps to put this entire flurry of Koch muckraking in perspective:
The reports are well worth taking time to read not just for the secret thrill you'll get from glimpsing something never intended for the public eye.
It's a look behind the curtain of how big money is raised in conservative circles that's a worthwhile addition to our sum of knowledge about how American politics is practiced in the early 21st Century.
Indeed. And with that, on to the summary of yesterday's noteworthy fallout and, at points, rather mucky, developments...
This was an important discussion about an important article about one of the most important issues to directly effect the outcome of virtually every election in the nation in 2012. None of that, apparently, given what the rest of the MSM decided to cover today, is any where near as important as whether John Boehner will allow the President to speak to a joint session of Congress on Sept 7th or or whether it'll have to be on Sept 8th, and whether Christine O'Donnell or Sarah Palin will appear at a "Tea Party" event this weekend in Iowa.
And you wonder why we're in the mess we're in.
My conversation on "The GOP War on Voting" with Ari Berman today follows...
On today's BradCast on Pacifica Radio's KPFK here in Los Angeles, I picked up on all that's transpired over the last several days in the Wisconsin recall mess, as reported at The BRAD BLOG of late, including yesterday's late-night concerns about our old friend Kathy Nickolaus, the GOP activist and County Clerk of Waukesha County which played a key role in last night's drama and reported results.
On my Pacifica Radio show on KPFK in Los Angeles today, I interviewed Karen Bernal, chair of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party (CDP) on their new resolution in support of a primary challenge to President Obama. [Audio posted below.]
I was struck during my conversation this afternoon with Bernal when she mentioned the CDP had actually considered "punishment" for the caucus for, apparently, even daring to suggest such a challenge to Obama, much less for overwhelmingly passing a resolution in favor it by some 75 of their members. While attacking the party's nominee might be in violation of the party's rules, the fact is, to my knowledge, the DNC has yet to nominate a candidate for the 2012 Presidential election.
It seems the CDP might do well to remember what the "D" stands for in their name.
Since today's interview, the San Francisco Chronicle's Joe Garofoli has posted a column on the matter, including some comments from Bernal and, of more note here, some, uh, colorful comments about the Progressive Caucus resolution and the idea of a primary against the President, by California Democratic Party chair John Burton. It's worth noting, as Garofoli did, that Burton supported the primary challenge against President Jimmy Carter by Sen. Ted Kennedy back in 1980. He's singing a different tune now. Of course, Kennedy didn't win that primary challenge, Carter won the re-nomination and he ended up losing in a landslide to Reagan --- for whatever that comparison may be worth. (Not too much, in my humble opinion.)
Also, progressive author and journalist David Swanson sent me a link to this new website, StopHoping.org, at which you can vote on whether Obama should be primaried and, if so, by whom.
On my Pacifica Radio show today on KPFK in Los Angeles, I discussed yesterday's report at The BRAD BLOG concerning the woman who was forced to jump ridiculous hoops while trying to help her son get Photo ID at the Wisconsin DMV in the wake of the new GOP voter suppression law there which institutes polling place Photo ID restrictions before legal voters are allowed to cast their legal vote.
By the way, I spoke to the woman today --- who'd like to be identified only as Nicole --- and she made clear that her video was not secretly taped (as, for example, James O'Keefe's ACORN hoax tapes were). Her video camera was on the table and in plain sight the whole time, she told me.
As seen (and heard) in her video tape, during the process of trying to get the Photo ID for free at the DMV, as allowed by the new statute, the son's bank statements were rifled through, and questioned as to whether they showed enough "activity" on them. Also, they were almost charged $28 for the "free" ID, which brought up questions as to why the WI DMV policy is to charge applicants, unless they know to "request" the ID for no charge.
I also took the opportunity during the show to offer a bit more background context, including a 1980 sound clip from Paul Weyrich, one of the "conservative" movement godfathers, during which he calls for fewer people to be allowed to vote. "Quite candidly," he said to the convention of Baptist ministers where Ronald Reagan and Jerry Falwell also spoke, "our leverage in elections goes up when the voting populace goes down."
That's what all of this is about. He says it quite plainly in the video tape.
Weyrich went on to found the non-profit American Legislative Exchange Counsel (ALEC), the group of Rightwingers said to be responsible for writing the polling place Photo ID restriction laws being passed by Republicans now in state after state. I also share some hard stats on who will actually be affected by these laws (and who will not.) And, for good measure, I tossed in some Stephen Colbert speaking about Photo ID and "voter fraud" as well.
As I'm on the road this week and next (and thus, posting may also be a bit lighter here than usual, but we'll see), I took the opportunity this week to re-purpose a recent interview for my show today on Pacifica Radio's KPFK in Los Angeles.
The interview is with Ken Morris and Jeanne "AK Muckraker" Devon of the great Alaska blog, The Mudflats. The two progressives are co-authors with Frank Bailey, a long time Sarah Palin aide, of Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years, as based on tens of thousands of previously undisclosed emails between Bailey and the now-infamous former governor of Alaska.
Morris and Devon discuss their experience and secret process in coming together with the conservative Bailey to write the book, how the inside information from Palin's private emails colored their perspective on her, and whether they think she is still inclined to jump into the 2012 Presidential race. I think it's a fascinating and fun conversation, so I hope you'll enjoy it here if you missed it when it originally ran live while I was recently guest-hosting the Mike Malloy Show a week or two ago.
Today on my show on Pacifica Radio's KPFK in Los Angeles, I spent the first part on a "Republican War on Democracy" update.
The update kicked off this week with the latest details in the story of Indiana's new Republican Sec. of State Charlie White who is facing seven felony charges, three of them for voter fraud, as yesterday, the Indiana Recount Commission found (incredibly enough) that though White was registered at his ex-wife's house to vote (rather than his own) and had re-married and purchased a condominium, he actually hoped to someday move back into the ex-wife's house. Therefore, he wasn't illegally registered to vote, so he was not illegally on the ballot, so he gets to remain as Indiana's Secretary of State. So sayeth the Indiana Recount Commission.
The Democrats who filed the complaint with the commission may still decide to take the case to court where, in the meantime, White is still facing those seven felony violations. (Did I mention that three of them are related to voter fraud?)
As well, I offered a quick review of all of the other recent high-profile GOP vote fraudsters, such as Ann Coulter, Gov. Mitt Romney, Ambassador Jon Huntsman and Rep. Todd Akin, and the latest news on which states' GOP-fueled voter-suppressing polling-place Photo ID restrictions have been passed into law, and which ones have been thankfully stopped by gubernatorial vetoes.
Also, there was a remarkable statement by Ohio's new Republican Sec. of State John Husted against Photo ID disenfranchisement recently! He deserves big props for that!
In the second part of the show, I was joined by Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen's energy program. He's an expert on the dangers and pitfalls of nuclear power and other fossil fuels. We discussed the unprecedented floods threatening the Fort Calhoun and Cooper nuclear plants in Nebraska; the wildfire threats to New Mexico's Los Alamos nuclear site; the woeful state of nuke plants across the country (as detailed of late in Jeff Donn of AP's remarkable investigative reports here, here, here & here); and the fact that there seems to be absolutely nobody at the federal level of our government able or willing to do a damn thing to protect the citizens from the looming and growing dangers.
My interview with Slocum (and a shot at climate change denying Rep. Steve King (R-IA)) is here:
"Over the past several decades, Republican methods for winning national power have come to resemble CIA techniques for destabilizing an enemy country --- through the use of black propaganda, political skullduggery and economic disruptions," Parry argues rather convincingly in his article which is also cross-posted at Alternet under the title, "The GOP's CIA Playbook: Destabilize Country to Sweep Back into Power".
So with the GOP doing what they've done now for years, placing party far ahead of country --- and, as Parry explains, mirroring strategies used in the past to take down foreign nations like Chile --- who is really to blame for the destruction they continue to wreak? Them? The media for enabling them? The Democrats for having no apparent strategy to counter them? Or the American public, for being gullible enough to fall for it time and time again?
My conversation with Parry today on all of the above (and a few words about Obama's "draw down" from Afghanistan), follows below.
Now, before I forget, a quick note to say that a) I'll be guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show again beginning tomorrow (Thursday), weekdays through next Tuesday and b) I will have what is no doubt a Malloy Show first on tomorrow night's show: one of my guests will be a 2012 Republican Presidential candidate. Which one? You're welcome to guess, but otherwise, stay tuned.
With that tease out of the way...Today I had a special extended 90-minute BradCast on on L.A.'s Pacifica Radio affiliate KPFK, as I filled in for the host of the hour-long show which follows my usual Wednesday, 3:30pm PT slot.
And with that extra time we had today, I was finally able to take some calls for a change (plus, discuss Mitt Romney's alleged voter fraud and some related issues). That was our first half-hour of the show, which you can listen to below.
In the last 60 minutes, I was delighted to have two guests, together, who had never spoken in person previously. The first is conservative/libertarian D.R. Tucker --- whose recent column, "Confessions of a Climate Change Convert" was published at former Dubya speechwriter David Frum's FrumForum.com. The must-read article begins "I was defeated by the facts." It then proceeds to explain how the man who had previously "joined others on the right in dismissing concerns about climate change," and felt that "any movement associated with Al Gore and Van Jones couldn't possibly be trusted, that environmentalists were simply left-wing, anti-capitalist kooks."
And so, it was my hope that we'd be able to use radio to actually work on finding solutions, for a change, rather than exacerbate conflict. And so we did in the second hour, after Tucker explained his remarkable conversion. That too is also available below for your listening pleasure (or displeasure)...
On my KPFK/Pacifica Radio show today (heard on Wednesdays at 3:30pm PT in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego & around the world on KPFK.org) I spoke live with WI Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg. It was her first interview since conceding the highly-contentious and incredibly close WI Supreme Court election and "recount" yesterday to incumbent Justice David Prosser.
"How do you know," I asked her at one point during our conversation, "that, given the wild, widespread irregularities --- these wide open ballot bags, tamper-evident seals that were broken, serial numbers that were missing, scratched out, changed --- how do you know that those ballots that were counted during the recount process were actually the ballots that were cast by the voters on Election Day?"
Her disturbing but unavoidable answer: "At this point, we don't know. All we have to go on is the hand count, and the extent to which they're consistent with the tapes in the [voting] machines."
You can listen to my follow up, and much more of what she had to say about the election, the "recount", her still-pending request for an independent investigation of controversial Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, and the failure of the state's top election authority, the Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), to assure that statutory security processes, meant to deter both malfeasance and malfunction, were actually followed...
For much more specific information on what we discussed during the interview, including photographs of "wide open" ballot bags, missing seals and serial numbers, other blatant chain of custody violations discovered during the course of the "recount" across the state, and particularly in Waukesha County, please see some of The BRAD BLOG's extensively detailed most-recently related coverage as linked below...
On my KPFK show (L.A.'s Pacifica Radio affiliate) today, I was joined by RadioOrNot.com's Nicole Sandler, fresh after her release from the Broward County, FL, Jail earlier today. She was asked to leave the meeting after asking questions about the GOP's attempts to end welfare as we know it.
Nicole, who hosts her own progressive talk radio show and is the regular fill-in guest host for Randi Rhodes, was held overnight (several hours of it in solitary confinement, during which she was maced by guards), after her arrest at a Fort Lauderdale town hall event held last night by freshman "Tea Party" Republican Rep. Allen West (FL-22). Though she is a constituent of the insane Congressman, she was not allowed to ask questions, as West decided last night that he would take only pre-selected written questions. That, after town hall events have been turning into embarrassments for the GOP over the past week as they've faced questions from constituents angry about their recent vote to make drastic changes to Medicare by replacing the popular single-payer health care system with a voucher program.
In the time since our article concluded with a statement from her after she'd been released and I was finally able to speak to her by phone, and prior to my live KPFK interview with her, RAW STORY obtained and published the probable cause document filed by police along with her arrest.
In the report, the arresting officer claims Nicole became "physically aggressive with this ofc., pushing me several times." The video footage we posted earlier today reveals no such physical aggression or pushing. During our interview, Nicole denied any such aggressiveness on her part, either during the arrest or in jail prior to her being maced by a Broward County jail guard.
On my KPFK/Pacifica show today (which we may be calling "The BradCast" thanks to suggestions here, but still open to others!), we covered the breaking news out of Wisconsin today, naturally. Asst. AG JoAnne Kloppenburg's unflinching announcement that she would be filing for a statewide "recount" in her state Supreme Court election against the incumbent Justice David Prosser, happened in a press conference just prior to air time. So we had to scramble, but think we covered things well (given what we have to work with over here.)
One of my guests was WI's former union organizer, former state planner and former elected official Leslie "Buzz" Davis, a Kloppenburg supporter who spent some 20 minutes with her at her home last night, after she'd invited him in to chat when he went there to deliver 1000 signatures on a petition asking her to recount the state.
I was also joined by Sarah Manski of WisconsinWave.org who, with her group and her husband Ben (who I worked with years ago during another recount, when he worked for the campaign of Green Party Presidential candidate David Cobb in 2004), is raising funds to support Kloppenburg's efforts.
Again, our written coverage of today's breaking news is here. Our audio coverage for KPFK follows below...