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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

[UPDATING THROUGHOUT THE DAY]
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2006 1:31pm PT  

Just some of the problems already brewing today in just two of the states, of eight, holding primary elections today. With a reminder that most problems such as these don't begin to show up until later in the evening, and even more so in the days following the elections...We'll update this item as appropriate and as time allows throughout the day...

In California...

  • Kern County - Malfunctioning cards delayed poll voting Tuesday morning (Diebold)
    "A procedure that no one told us about needs to be done," [Chief Deputy Registrar] Brockman said. "It's a widespread problem in the county." ... "We're asking people not to vote for a couple hours," she said..."It's a nighmare I never wanted to handle"
  • Kern County ? Elections Snarl Delays Voting (Diebold)
  • Kern County - Voting problems (Diebold)
  • Orange County - Machine Malfunctions - broken voting machines prompt voter complaints (Hart InterCivic)
  • Los Angeles County ? Diebold Voting Machine Scandal Hits L.A. County
  • San Joaquin County ? Early voting problems in S.J. (8:05 a.m.) (Diebold)
    "People were sent away without casting their ballots in Stockton, Lodi and Morada..."

    NOTE: San Joaquin is registrar Debra Hench's county. She has been amongst the most vociferous supporters of Diebold, and deniers of their problems, despite witnessing so many before her very eyes. As expected, she takes the Diebold company line in the article above, by attempting to blame poll workers for problems with her machines. New info also suggests that she's been closely involved, personally, with a team of Diebold disinformation experts. More on that to come soon.

  • Contra Costa County ? Few flock to polls by midday (AutoMark machines not working)
  • In Mississippi...

  • Voting machines not working in Leflore, Jackson counties; other problems reported statewide (Diebold)
  • "Problems with Mississippi's rollout of touchscreen voting machines are surfacing across the state...'We found out about an hour into the process that these machines were programmed incorrectly,' he said. 'I don't know what happened.'"

  • Leflore County ? Paper ballots required at precinct on Claiborne Avenue (Diebold)
  • Leflore County ? Machine woes plague polling sites (Diebold)

    NOTE: Remember, MS Sec. of State Clark is on record --- via video here --- telling Election Integrity advocates, during a public meeting with a Diebold rep that their machines are "the most secure thing outside of a Wells-Fargo truck." Will he eat those words tonight?

  • (Thanks to John Gideon for the early heads-up! More tonight in his 'Daily Voting News', of course.)

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    But Can't Find 30 Seconds to Discuss an American Presidential Election Which May Have Been Stolen
    By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2006 11:48am PT  

    So, let me get this straight. NBC will give extremist fringe whacko, Ann Coulter more than 7 minutes of air time to spout her disgusting personal opinions about such things as widows of those killed in the 9/11 attacks rejoicing about it. Says Coulter: "I have never seen people enjoying their husband's death so much."

    She receives 7 minutes and 38 seconds of airtime (video and transcript here) to help her sell her book, nonetheless! But NBC can't come up with 30 seconds of airtime for an actual legitimate source, like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has written a legitimate and painstakingly researched article --- over four months in the making --- which alleges that our last Presidential Election may have been stolen?

    Note to Matt Lauer and NBC: The shame is not Ann Coulter. The shame is you.

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    By David Edwards on 6/6/2006 11:44am PT  

    Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


    Video in Streaming Flash format...
    Video in Windows Media format...

    In Iraq, the month of May saw the largest number of Iraqi civilian deaths since the war began 3 years ago. The Baghdad morgue reported over 1400 dead in May. Over 400 of the dead Iraqis could not be identified. Some journalists, like veteran reporter Robert Fisk, claim that the officials are under-reporting the actual number of deaths. In addition, many more bodies can never be counted because explosions and road side bombs often leave little evidence of human remains.

    What's clear is that the violence in Iraq is increasing at a pivotal time for the fledgling Iraqi government. Even the shell-shocked Iraqis are stunned by the new level of violence. For example, over a two day period, 18 severed heads wrapped in plastic have been discovered. The likely cause are the escalating sectarian revenge killings.

    In this video, an Iraqi woman cries,

    Where is the government?

    Where is Bush who occupied our country?

    Why did they kill us?

    ADDENDUM FROM BRAD: Good timing for David Edward's post here. I was about to do one of my own, pointing out this report that 6,000 Iraqi corpses have been discovered in the last 5 months. Given Iraq's population of appx. 25 million, compared with the US's population of 300 million. The equivalent of 6000 deaths in Iraq over the past five months would be some 72,000 in America. If we had 72,000 murders via "sectarian violence" in America in just five months, would that be considered a civil war? Or would we criticize the media for not reporting all the "good news" in our country?

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    Slams Foreign Ownership of Sequoia Voting Systems, Private Ownership, 'Trade Secret' Privileges of ALL Such Companies!
    ALSO: CNN's Jack Cafferty Asks, 'Do you trust the honesty of America's election process?'
    By John Gideon on 6/6/2006 7:31am PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon

    Video in Streaming Flash format...
    Video in Windows Media format...

    Yesterday on the Lou Dobb's Show on CNN, Lou's crack reporter, Kitty Pilgrim did the second of a two-part (with more to come we hope) report on the ownership of Sequoia Voting by a foreign conglomerate that is directly owned by Venezuelan nationals with direct ties to the Hugo Chavez regime.

    It was fun to see Lou all blustery and nearly spitting as he decried the fact that the US government had allowed a foreign owned company to buy a company that supplies voting machines to states and counties.

    ===
    ADDITIONAL THOUGHT FROM BRAD: It should also be pointed out here, when the questions/concerns about Sequoia's ownership are raised, that it's no different from the "local" privatized ownership of all of the other companies, such as Diebold, ES&S, etc. They are equally, if not more, partisan and their privatized (and secretized) ownership of our public elections should be of equal concern to Lou Dobbs, and all other, mostly rightwingers, who are suddenly concerned about the ownership of Sequoia!
    ===

    A transcript of the show follows but a lot is missed if you cannot watch the video above.

    Also Jack Cafferty asked about the honesty of the election process in his "Cafferty Files" segment on CNN's "Situation Room".

    ===
    UPDATE: Tonight on Lou Dobbs - Warren Stewart, Legislative Director from VoteTrustUSA and a poll worker in the Bay Area in CA. and Avi Rubin, Computer Scientist and possibly a poll worker again this year in Maryland.
    ===

    Text transcripts from both of yesterday's segments follow?

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

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    By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2006 1:10am PT  

    Wish You Were Gore...

    (Hat tip BRAD BLOG emailer Justin F.)

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    By John Gideon on 6/5/2006 10:38pm PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

    Today's news was dominated by preparation for 8 states to hold their primaries tomorrow. Also leading in the news were stories from USAToday and UPI, among others, regarding the lawsuits being filed around the country. Just breaking is the news of a possible injunction being filed this afternoon in Los Angeles Co., CA over the use of uncertified GEMS software and a plethora of internet connected PCs in the counties tally room. More on that, hopefully, tomorrow....

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

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    California Primary Election Eve Complaint, Filed Within the Hour in LA Superior Court Claims E-Voting Tabulators Placed in Room with Internet Access, in Close Proximity to Uncertified Tabulator Software
    Complaint Filed by Plaintiffs Cindy Asner and Peace & Freedom Party Chair, Declaration Filed by Green Party Election Inspector, Several Troubling Details Alleged...ALSO: Voter Given Wrong Ballot in Winograd Race on Diebold Touch-Screen Early Voting Machine...
    By Brad Friedman on 6/5/2006 4:04pm PT  


    UPDATE 6:56pm PT: Judge Denies Injunction! Suit Dismissed! Details follow in an update following our original coverage...

    A last-minute Election Eve compaint has been filed in a Los Angeles courtroom within the hour calling on LA County's registrar of voters, Conny B. McCormack to immediately remove Diebold elecronic voting machine tabulators, said to have illegal access to the Internet as well as uncertified tabulation software, from counting rooms at the county's main facility in Norwalk, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

    The plaintiffs in the case are Cindy Asner and Cynthia Henderson, LA County Chair of the Peace and Freedom Party.

    The emergency filing, being heard at this hour, is based on an affidavit filed today by Green Party election system inspector, John Wenger, a PhD and retired software engineer from Northrup Grumman who has been tracking LA County's use of electronic voting machines over the past month along with several other inspectors from both the Green and Democratic parties. The BRAD BLOG spoken at length with Wenger over the weekend, and has reviewed a draft version of his declaration being filed with the suit. (The final version of Wenger's declaration is now posted at the end of this article.)

    Los Angeles county is the largest voting area in California. The state is holding its Primary Election tomorrow. Touch-screen Diebold voting machines --- now shown to be hackable and highly vulnerable to malicious tampering at both the point of the voting machine itself and its central tabulator software --- are used for early voting only in LA County. Though early voting in LA began several weeks ago and ended last Friday, tabulation of votes cast during that period will not begin until the polls close on Tuesday evening at 8pm PT.

    The race is an important one to Election Integrity advocates since state senator Debra Bowen is running in a primary race in hopes of winning the Democratic nomination to take on Republican CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson who has been a supporter of vulnerable electronic voting machines, including Diebold's, in the state. As well, the LA County Registrar of voters, Conny B. McCormack has been a long-time supporter of Diebold and their election equipment and has even been featured, via photograph and endorsement, on promotional brochures distributed by the controversial Ohio company. (See graphic below.)

    This year's primary is also being closely watched due to a Democratic primary challenge by anti-war candidate Marcy Winograd against powerful pro-war Democratic U.S. House Representative Jane Harman in the state's 36th U.S. Congressional district.

    Further, another troubling detail about Diebold's touch-screen systems in the county was revealed on Friday of last week when The BRAD BLOG received an email indicating that one voter at least --- Michael Shure, a political commentator on Sirius Sattelite's The Young Turks radio program --- who voted on the Diebold touch-screen machines was given the incorrect ballot.

    Shure, who lives in CA's 36th congressional district noted that his touch-screen ballot gave him the option to vote for Rep. Henry Waxman, who is running unopposed in his U.S. Congressional primary, instead of the Winograd/Harman race which should have been on his ballot.

    "Unbelievable," Shure wrote in his email. "Had I not known, as I am sure many voters don't, who my Rep. was, and what district I live in, I would have been voting for someone else."

    Indeed, Shure's experience underscores further dangers of combined precincts using elecronic touch-screen voting machines as Los Angeles offers during the early voting period when voters may go to any early voting location and cast their ballot on machines which --- supposedly --- offer them the appropriate ballot for their particular district.

    The experience has left the Winograd campaign wondering how many other voters may have missed out on the opportunity to vote in that contentious race and whether or not they may need to file a challenge to the election in order to find out.

    UPDATE 6:56pm PT: Judge Denies Injunction! Suit Dismissed! Details follow below...

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

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    A Rare BRAD BLOG Endorsement and an Exclusive Election Eve Interview with the Woman Who Might Save American Democracy
    By Brad Friedman on 6/5/2006 1:40pm PT  

    We don't generally do endorsements around here for the most part. In the case of California state Senator Debra Bowen's primary race to be the Democratic nominee for California's Secretary of State, however, we're more than happy to make an exception.

    While many Californians --- and even more non-Californians --- may not know it, the path towards restoring America's crumbling democracy may well rest in a little noticed primary race that will take place here on Tuesday.

    Bowen, as state senator and chair of the state's Election Committee in Sacramento, has led the way where few Democratic elected officials have even bothered to acquaint themselves. Specifically, Bowen has studied, learned, investigated, held hearings and delved deep into that murky territory of electronic voting, electoral integrity and the threat to our democracy posed by the privatization of our public electoral system by corporate interests using secret software to "count" America's votes.

    As private and partisan corporations such as Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia, Hart InterCivic and all the rest have spidered out across the electoral landscape, usurping American values in the name of insidious corporate greed and at the expense of transparency, auditability and confidence in our once-great American democracy --- all at the cost and waste of billions of your taxpayer dollars, by the way --- few politicians have bothered to wend their way through the impossibly arcane and brain-withering technical details wherein the devil lies, most assuredly, in these matters of electronic voting.

    An avowed computer geek, Bowen has been paying attention to these matters from the get-go while the vast majority of elected pols today do little more than whistle past democracy's graveyard. She has fought for electoral integrity by successfully moving legislation into law which mandates audits (only 1%, but hey, it's a start) and paper records (not paper ballots, but hey, it's a start) for every vote cast in the Golden State.

    While one would think such ideas would be no-brainers for every state in the union, it's remarkable how few seem to give a damn about any of those ideas and, in fact, have gone out of their way to fight off mandates for such accountability in elections. Debra Bowen, on the other hand, does give a damn...

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

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    Quotes only Supporters of E-Voting in Article Today
    By Brad Friedman on 6/5/2006 1:11pm PT  

    It looked promising for a start. USA Today files a report today headlined "Spate of lawsuits target e-voting".

    As we've been calling for for some time, a national media outlet begins to connect some of the many "local" dots around the country. Then, of course, they blow it.

    Here's the good news, early in the story (all stuff we've reported long ago, but happy to see it reported here, of course):

    Electronic voting machines, adopted widely after the disputed Florida ballot count in the 2000 presidential election, are under legal attack as primary election season heats up..

    Lawsuits have been filed in at least six states, the most recent last week in Colorado, to block the purchase or use of computerized machines.

    Voter Action, a non-partisan advocacy group, led the challenge filed Thursday against the state of Colorado and nine counties, as well as similar lawsuits in California and Arizona this spring and New Mexico last year. Court actions by others targeted the devices in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
    ...
    Texas and Illinois had some problems using electronic voting machines during their March primaries.

    No mention of other "some problems" in primaries so far this year in Ohio, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, etc. But okay. What gets us is that the story then goes on to quote only two sources, both of whom are E-Voting advocates and both of whom suggest there is nothing to worry about and that these systems "can be trusted."

    Not one quote from any of the myriad computer scientists and security experts who have decried the enormous flaws and security vulnerabilities in loads of electronic voting machines describing them as shocking, alarming, critical, etc. etc. etc.

    Beginning to see any patterns here?

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    Wolf Pounces, Hands off to Holt for Phony Claims, RFK Jr. Holds Own
    [UPDATE] Text Transcript Now Added...
    By David Edwards on 6/5/2006 7:16am PT  

    Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


    Video in Streaming Flash format...
    Video in Windows Media format...

    Wolf Blitzer hosted a "debate"/ambush on CNN's Situation Room between Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and former Bush/Cheney '04 spokesman, Terry Holt. In his Rolling Stone article Kennedy shows that Republicans prevented 350,000 voters from voting or having their votes counted.

    Blitzer allowed a more civil discussion than did Tucker Carlson in another recent interview with Kennedy. CNN must have decided that an interview with Kennedy --- which would be entirely warranted --- would have appeared partisan. Republicans don't need someone who is uniquely qualified to defend their illegal electioneering in Ohio. Terry Holt can parrot the same tired GOP lies talking points and unsubstantiated, evidence-free charges as well as any talking head.

    Holt said he would turn Kennedy's charges of Republic election rigging "on it's head". His first line of defense was that "an exhaustive bipartisan study of all 88 counties in Ohio was conducted after the election and Republicans and Democrats... have agreed that there was no significant or insignificant fraud." Kennedy is quick with a strong response, saying that, "there has no been no bipartisan commission... It's simply wrong to say that."

    Holt wasted no time in blaming the voter. The true threat to America's democracy are the statistically insignificant fake voter registrations. Especially dangerous are those voters that attempt to "stuff the ballot box" registering with fake names like "Mickey Mouse" and "Michael Jordan". Holt's second talking point is a favorite in the Republican's long term strategy to restrict voting rights. They use this argument for everything from establishing voter Ids to purging Democrat voters from the rolls.

    Robert Kennedy found his voice and easily defeated Holt's weak attempt to divert attention from the real issues. A few "Mickey Mouse" registrations hardly compare to the fact that Republicans stole the 2004 Presidential election by subverting the will of 350,000 voters in Ohio.

    UPDATE FROM BRAD: Allow me to add to David's analysis here that there is not one known instance of phony "Mickey Mouse" or "Michael Jordan" registrations actually recorded as having voted. Holt spent no time speaking to the serious charges made by Kennedy in Rolling Stone but rather made up his own phony, unsupported nonsense. All the while Blitzer charged Kennedy didn't present evidence to support his charges (apparently, only if RJK Jr. had brought forward someone admitting they personally rigged the election would that have been evidence of anything). In the meantime, Blitzer allowed Holt to spread his unsubstantiated garbage without being challenged even once.

    The complete text transcript from the video interview from Friday, June 2nd's edition of The Situation Room on CNN follows...

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

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    First Ten Donors of $50 or More Will Receive 'Armed Madhouse'!
    By Brad Friedman on 6/4/2006 6:22pm PT  

    Much coming. But none of it for the moment, as I climb mountains over here for many hours today and tonight. Therefore, consider this an open thread if you like until I can come out from under...

    That said, investigative journalist and BRAD BLOG friend, Greg Palast, whose new book Armed Madhouse hits the shelves this week has been kind enough to offer us 10 signed copies of the book for use as a premium to contributors here!

    Couldn't come at a better time, frankly, as we are also being forced to expedite some software/design changes sooner rather than later due to increasingly virulent spam/hack attempts that have taken the site down at various times over the last several weeks. They are getting worse, and our hope is the new software will ward off some of those attacks (as well as allowing for many enhancements I've been hoping to make for some time --- more on all of this later.) To make it all happen sooner, rather than later, however, is going to cost no small amount of money for me, but it's gotten so bad I've got no choice.

    So...The first 10 folks who send in donations of $50 or more will receive a signed copy of Greg's new book shipped to you by mail! (We're undercutting Greg himself who is offering same for $100 on his site!) If interested, please be sure to give your mailing address when you donate so we know where to ship it!

    Thanks go to Greg for his generous offer and support of the blog! To learn more about Armed Madhouse, see my earlier posts about the day I recorded audio for the Armed Madhouse audio version with Ed Asner and Janeane Garafalo (here,) as well as some exclusive readings from those sessions by myself and Asner (here.) Or just stop by www.GregPalast.com.

    To donate online click here. For snail mail donations, see the address in the blue box at right. (Though I can't guarantee you'll be amongst the first 10 if you go by snail mail, I receive few enough donations however, that you may actually still have a pretty good chance!)

    I'd be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank all of you who have supported The BRAD BLOG throughout the years. Your generosity is consistently moving and help makes all of this possible. I never enjoy having to ask for support, but that's what we've got as of now. I do try to send a personal thanks via email to those who donate online, but it's almost impossible for me to reply personally to those who send in snail mail donations. So I hope this thanks goes at least some of the way to share my appreciation for your incredibly generous support, no matter what what form it may come by!

    UPDATE 6/5/06: Thanks guys! We received 13 donations before I was able to get back here and cut it off, so I'm going to see if I can get 3 more books from GP. If not, I'll let the final three who came in know about it, and return the donations to ya, if you like. In the meantime, of course, donations from any readers out of pure altruistic support of The BRAD BLOG are always appreciated (and needed) either way. Thanks again! I'll try and make more such premiums available in the near future!

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    By John Gideon on 6/4/2006 5:06pm PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

    This coming Tuesday's primary election calendar is very full with elections in Alabama (precinct based Optical-scan(OS)), California (a hodge-podge), Iowa (ES&S and Diebold OS and DREs), Mississippi (Diebold TSx), Montana (AutoMark), New Jersey (many Sequoia Advantage DRE counties), New Mexico (a hodge-podge), and South Dakota (AutoMark)....

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

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    By John Gideon on 6/3/2006 5:06pm PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

    On the heels of yesterday's Lou Dobbs show where Lou showed his ire when talking about the foreign ownership of a company that counts many of our votes, the LATimes moved up the release of an article on the same subject. Be sure to watch Dobbs on Monday for more on the story. Guess who has failed to send software to Miller Co., Texas in time for early voting for run-offs? If you guessed ES&S, you're right. Who else could fail in every election; in every state? And the Salk Lake City Tribune editorializes against Diebold....

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

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    By John Gideon on 6/2/2006 5:02pm PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

    Humboldt County California has announced plans to scan every ballot cast and post those ballots on-line for anyone who wants to check the vote counts. This plan has been endorsed by many activist groups such as VotersUnite.Org. Alabama needs to be held-out as an example of the right way to do things. While the states surrounding them have sold-out to DRE's they are all precinct-based optical scan and AutoMark for the disabled voters. It seems that Mississippi is trying to obfuscate the issues with their new voting machines. In article after article the machines are identified as being AccuVote Touch Screen machines. It's as if the SoS has put out an edict that the name 'Diebold' will not be uttered by the media. And Pulaski County Arkansas has laid all blame for primary problems at the feet of ES&S....

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

    ReddIt this story!



    Spokesman David Bear Says Touch-Screen Machines 'Not Vulnerable', Just Require 'Redundant Enhancement'
    Flaw Described as 'Major National Security Risk', 'Only Vulnerable to Those Who Would Commit a Felony,' Says Desperate Flack...
    By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2006 2:10pm PT  

    There's an excellent article today in the Salt Lake Tribune concerning Emery County, Utah's 23-year elected (and now embattled) county clerk, Bruce Funk. Funk allowed computer security experts to examine his new Diebold touch-screen voting systems, resulting in the discovery of an enormous security flaw that would allow anybody with a bare minimum access to the machines to completely change the election software, the operating system, and even the computer firmware in a matter of minutes --- and with no password necessary!

    We broke the early details on this story several weeks ago. States around the country have been scrambling to figure out how to deal with this huge security flaw ever since (as it effects every Diebold touch-screen machine in every state in the country, and access to one, can effect all the others in the same precint and/or county). States other than Utah, anyway, whose officials are attempting to push Funk out of his job and are claiming that everything is just fine with their hackable Diebold touch-screen voting systems. Nothing to worry about here.

    Read the article. It's very good. But I'm pulling it out, just so that I can give you another taste of Diebold's sad spokesman, David Bear's latest --- and perhaps most pathetically ridiculous --- statement to date on this thing...

    Diebold spokesman David Bear says the so-called security hole is really a "functionality" that allows the software to be efficiently updated. What critics call a fix, Bear prefers to call a "redundant enhancement." "Keep in mind, this is not a vulnerability," Bear says. "[Election officials] are just asking for an enhancement to the existing system." The machines are already well-protected through standard procedures, including integrity tests, seals and, of course, honest elections officials, Bear says.

    "It's only a vulnerability to those who would commit a felony [tampering with an election]," he says.

    And why would anyone, with millions and billions of dollars at stake in each and every one of these elections ever have any interest in committing such a felony? Good lord.

    Bear's classic 'Orwellian/Bushian Doublespeak' concerning a "redundant enhancement" is one for the hall of fame. Keep slingin' it, Dave!

    ReddIt this story!



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