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FEC Commissioners at War Over Rove's Campaign Finance Violations
Deadlock vote, ignoring federal agencies own attorneys, leads to lawsuit and scathing attack of Dem Commissioners by GOP colleagues...
'Green News Report' 7/29/14
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Obama Admin approves sonic cannons for offshore oil exploration; Bizarre weather across U.S.; CO judge nixes fracking ban; PLUS: Neil Young wants your help in the rainforest...
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Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
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'Green News Report' 7/22/14
Record wildfires in Pacific NW; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
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A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
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CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
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UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
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Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: CA gets tough on water wasters...
Kochs Radical 'Libertarianism' Broke KA
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VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
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RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
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VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
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EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By John Gideon on 1/17/2007 4:30pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Mahoning Co. Ohio sits on the Ohio/Pennsylvania border. Like most of that area of the country they are struggling with funds to keep their infrastructure operating. In fact the county is discussing laying off employees. They have ES&S iVotronic DRE voting machines that use batteries that need to be replaced after 5 years. They have had the machines for 5 years so they went to ES&S for new rechargeable batteries and the chargers. ES&S wants $197,500 for the equipment. The county then found a company in California that would provide them with the batteries and chargers for only $50,877. ES&S and their ilk are raping this country in their efforts to squeeze every possible dollar out of the taxpayers....

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

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An Open Thread...
By Brad Friedman on 1/17/2007 3:08pm PT  

I've gotten waylaid by a number of projects and stories over the last 24 or more. With my apologies, here's an Open Thread during which I hope you'll be the blog for now in my absence.

Speaking of "24", I've been meaning to write something of late, as a public service to inform its many wingnut fans that it is a television show. You can easily tell the difference between 24 and Reality because 24 appears only on a television screen. Whereas Reality is that thing that which is seen occurring everywhere else. If they bother to look. Just sayin'. Discuss.

Back very soon...

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By John Gideon on 1/16/2007 4:35pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

According to "Roll Call", "After rewriting rules for lobbyists, increasing the federal minimum wage and moving on other election-year promises, senior Democratic Members in both chambers said Friday that within weeks they will begin scrutinizing electronic voting equipment and, for now, shelve other election-related proposals such as overhauls of 527s and electronic financial disclosure in the Senate. "The first thing is going to be elections," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, told a group of reporters Friday. "We're going into 2008 with [an electronic voting system] that is problematic." ...

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

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The EAC and Its Outgoing Commissioner Paul DeGregorio's Campaign to Plant Misinformation in the American Media...
By John Gideon on 1/16/2007 6:05am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, Executive Director, VotersUnite.Org

In the weeks following last November's mid-term election, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) sent retiring Commissioner Paul DeGregorio out to cheerlead and to make the voters feel warm and cozy about the election.

The Commissioner keeps telling the voters that we should have confidence in the election process. He constantly states that everything worked just fine except for isolated incidents. Meanwhile, he ignores the facts about failures that happened across the nation. He ignores data such as that which is reported in "E-Voting Failures in the 2006 Mid-Term Elections" written by VotersUnite, VoteTrustUSA, VoterAction and Pollworkers For Democracy.

Early last week Commissioner DeGregorio had an Op-Ed posted by a McClatchy-Tribune News Service newspaper in Mississippi. In this Op-Ed he opens with the following paragraph:

The 2006 election was a success: Most of the millions of Americans who cast their ballots did so with confidence. Despite some isolated problems, exit polls showed that in 98 percent of U.S. jurisdictions, the process worked so well that voter confidence rose to levels not seen since before Election 2000.

My immediate attention was brought to the mention of an exit poll which showed that 98 percent of voters had a confidence level not seen since before 'Election 2000'. This was news to me and I wanted to see this exit poll so I sent an email to the EAC's spokeswoman, Jeannie Layson:

To: jlayson
From: John Gideon
Subject: DeGregorio Op-Ed
Cc:

In the op-ed that Commissioner DeGregorio has written for the McClatchy-Tribune News Service he says, "Despite some isolated problems, exit polls showed that in 98 percent of U.S. jurisdictions, the process worked so well that voter confidence rose to levels not seen since before Election 2000."

Who conducted that national exit-poll and where are the results posted? I think that is an important piece of information and would like to discuss it with my colleagues and perhaps write an article on the results.

I'm a little surprised that the EAC considers over 18,000 under-votes in Sarasota Co., Florida as an isolated problem. Or over 18,000 voters walking away without voting in Denver, Colorado. Or the just revealed news that Sequoia and David Orr in Chicago/Cook Co. have admitted to failures, including using voting equipment that was never tested, that cost voters their voices. Or any of the 1022 incidents in over 300 jurisdictions in 36 state that were reported in the VotersUnite/VoteTrustUSA/VoterAction/Pollworkers For Democracy report on the recent election.

Thank you

Here is the remarkable response I received back from Ms. Layson...

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

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UPDATE: Gore Spokes Says It Ain't So, Reuters Was Wrong
ADDITIONAL VIDEO UPDATE: Hearting Huckabee...
By Brad Friedman on 1/15/2007 7:31pm PT  

Boy, I really hope this is wrong. Or that something changes it. Otherwise, I see nobody amongst the current crop of Dems that I could perceive of supporting. Again.

Exceptions would be a big "perhaps, we'll see much much later" in either John Edwards or Wes Clark. But man would it be a shame for both America and the World --- whether you'd support him or not --- if Gore chose not to run again. Again.

UPDATE: Melinda Henneberger says it ain't so:

As it turns out, though, Gore did no such thing, and contrary to the Reuters report out of Tokyo, has not definitively ruled out another presidential run. (Neither has he given those close to him any indication he's seriously considering it, though many in his party continue to hope he'll reconsider.)

"Absolutely nothing new,'' Gore spokesman Michael Feldman said of the report. "He's been saying the same thing for six years - that he's not running but has not completely ruled it out - and depending on where he is, it's reported differently.''

(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG reader KestrelBrightEyes)

RELATED-ISH UPDATE: Btw, on the Republican side, I might suggest one of the dark horses that Democrats should be most concerned about is Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. His recent appearance on The Daily Show may give you an idea why. That is, if he can make it through the hard right phony "conservative" hurdles of the primary process.

Daily Show's Huckabee Interview on Vid here: Part 1, Part 2.

Beyond this interview, I don't know much about him, so I welcome reader feedback --- particularly from Arkansans and others with an inside angle on him.

UPDATE RELATED TO THE PREVIOUS RELATED-ISH UPDATE: E.J. Dionne has a similar thought at nearly the same moment. Calls Huckabee "the brightest star among Republican presidential dark horses" and "the Republican to watch."

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By John Gideon on 1/15/2007 4:36pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

"…….all types of conniving methods are still being used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters. The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic traditions and its is democracy turned upside down.
So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote I do not possess myself. I cannot make up my mind — it is made up for me. I cannot live as a democratic citizen, observing the laws I have helped to enact — I can only submit to the edict of others. So our most urgent request to the president of the United States and every member of Congress is to give us the right to vote." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., excerpted from a speech that Dr. King delivered before the Lincoln Memorial at the March on Washington, on May 17, 1957, three years after Brown v. Board of Education and eight years before the enactment of the Voting Rights Act....

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LAURA BUSH FLASHBACK: 'Dr. Rice Not Interested in Presidency Because She's Single, No Parents Living, is Only Child'
PLUS: Nora Ephron's 'Condi Diaries'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/15/2007 3:51pm PT  


Finally! A media outlet which appropriately covered the news from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing last week in which Rice claimed the White House made no estimates for the potential change in casualty rates that may come from their plan to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq.

Over the weekend The McClaughlin Group focused on --- and showed the video of --- the actual newsworthy exchange between Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rice, if you can imagine such a thing.

If you can't, that video is here for you on the right. (Hat-tip Alan Breslauer)

Yes, the Washington Times' Tony Blankley tried mightily to turn the topic to the phony, non-existent "attack" that the White House, and their sycophants in the media from the wingnut blogs all the way over to the NYTimes fell for, but he was fairly well shut down by both Eleanor Clift and Pat Buchanan. But given Wash Times' extraordinarily and purposely twisted "reporting" we saw over the weekend ("Democrats" suggested "the secretary's childlessness, race and sex are to blame for mistakes in Iraq," distorted the White House Organ and Tony Snow's old stomping ground), we're not surprised at Blankley's attempts to do the WH's bidding.

It's only a shame that Lawrence O'Donnell wasn't sitting in with 'The Group' this week.

Yes, O'Reilly keeps up the disingenuous (or uninformed, take your pick) attacks as he was on all morning about Boxer's non-existent "attack" on Rice, as if any such attack actually occurred, on his Radio Factor. Hey, Bill: You can read the transcript of the exchange here, or you can look at the actual video above. Or you can continue to misinform your listeners and viewers. Either way, I continue to make myself available to you if you wish to interview me on the matter, as I'm the guy who originally wrote the question that Boxer asked.

Beyond that, perhaps the tide is turning as folks are beginning to see this whole shameless phony Rightwing twist/smear for what it really is. Nora Ephron over at HuffPo, after pointing out apparently-not-"outrageous"-at-all comments made Laura Bush about Condi before year's end --- "Dr. Rice, who I think would be a really good candidate, is not interested. Probably because she is single, her parents are no longer living, she's an only child. You need a very supportive family and supportive friends to have this job." --- goes on to give us a peek at "Condi's Diary."

By way of necessary reminder, here's the way Boxer actually prefaced her question about WH casualty estimates (or the apparent lack thereof):

BOXER: Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families. And I just want to bring us back to that fact.

As you see, she said nothing about Rice not having the moral authority to make such choices, didn't attack her childlessness or her singleness or her sex or her race or anything at all, as has been wildly, widely, and wholly inaccurately "reported" by Wash Times, O'Reilly, Snow and friends...

A sample from "Condi's Diary" by Nephron follows below. The full, informative piece of satire is here...

I felt so dumb, Dear Diary. It turned out she had really insulted me, but I was so busy wrinkling my forehead I hadn't really clocked it. She'd been asking me about the war, and she'd said to me: "The issue is who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families."

Karl and Tony said: "How does that make you feel? Doesn't it make you feel terrible?"

"Not as terrible as Chuck Hagel made me feel," I said. "Chuck Hagel actually insulted our policy! He insulted The P.!"

"Never mind that," Karl Rove said. "Barbara Boxer insulted you."

PREVIOUS RELATED BRAD BLOG ARTICLES:

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By Brad Friedman on 1/15/2007 6:05am PT  

"We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest...A time comes when silence is betrayal."

-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Riverside Church, New York City, April 4, 1967

(Hat-tip Colbert I. King. And thanks now to reader TH, the audio and text of the entire speech is here...)

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The White House Organ Faced Stiff Competition, But Managed to Produce the Most Disingenuous, Inaccurate, U.S. Troop-Hating 'News Report' of the Week
Tony Snow to Present 'Award Statuette' in Appreciation During Secret Rose Garden Ceremony...
By Brad Friedman on 1/14/2007 12:56pm PT  

Since it should have always been front and center --- but even the New York Times succeeded in fellating the White House by ignoring the news this week --- here is that news once again:

* * * The White House failed to make any casualty estimates before committing another 20,000+ U.S. troops to War in Iraq, according to the Secretary of State. * * * (transcript)

The news, which The BRAD BLOG covered almost exclusively, came in reply to a direct question from Sen. Barbara Boxer during last Thursday's oversight hearings on Iraq Policy when Condoleezza Rice came to Capitol Hill to argue in favor of the White House's new escalation plan.

But as Boxer's critical direct question evoked Condi's stunning answer --- which, if true, reveals a remarkable delinquency and breathtaking lack of support for U.S. troops by this White House --- was subsequently all but ignored by the media both on the Right and the supposedly not-on-the-Right. After White House spokeshole/MVP Tony Snow gave his cue to attack the messenger to avoid the message, all of his media tools lined up behind him and performed admirably in the service of disserving America.

But among fierce competition this week, the Biggest Tool of the Week Award must be given to one of the White House's very own publications, The Washington Times.

In "reporting" on this statement made by Boxer during the exchange with Rice on Thursday...

BOXER: Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families. And I just want to bring us back to that fact.

...The Washington Times' and their "reporter" Charles Hurt topped the rest of the wingnut and non-wingnut media by turning it into the following remarkable opening graf from their front page propaganda piece on the phony, White House created "outrage" by Saturday...

The White House and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday accused Democrats of suggesting that the secretary's childlessness, race and sex are to blame for mistakes in Iraq.

Wow! Now that's some impressive work! Give that Tony Snow a raise!

All the other men and women in America who helped him --- for free --- give them a one-way ticket to Gitmo, since clearly they hate both America and the troops attempting to defend her.

Remind us again why Impeachment is "off the table"? Is it because Tony Snow says so? If so, we understand completely. We hope he'll let us know when it's okay to proceed.

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By Brad Friedman on 1/14/2007 11:41am PT  

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So Many Notable Developments, So Little Time
In Case You Missed 'Em... Selected Stories from the Week That Was
By Desi Doyen on 1/14/2007 11:28am PT  

Guest Blogged by Des

SUNDAY, January 7th...

BLOOD SURGE
Congress Must Demand to Know the White House's Estimated Body Count for Bush's Double-Down Scheme in Iraq...

(A)side from cutting off funding for the war, now or in the future, there is another option for the moment in answer to Bush's predicted call for a "surge": demand that the White House release their estimates of the number of casualties we will incur during such a "surge."

MONDAY, January 8th...

BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: Major E-Voting Critic, Attorney Named to Key Voting Systems Oversight Role by New CA Secretary of State!
Debra Bowen Appoints Lowell Finley of Election Integrity Watchdog Group VoterAction.org to Role of 'Deputy SoS for Voting Systems Technology and Policy'
[UPDATED] Critics of E-Voting Hail News as 'Collosal Suprise,' Very Good for Voters, Very Bad for the Nation's Electronic Voting Machine Companies...

TUESDAY, January 9th...

EXCLUSIVE: The EAC Now Admits 'The Ciber Report' Does Exist After All
Federal Commission Admits There is Paperwork on 'Barred' Voting Machine Testing Lab, Will Release 'When the Process is Complete'
Lab Was Secretly Refused Credentials in July, State and Local Voting Officials Were Kept in Dark Throughout November Elections Until NYTimes' Revelations...

EXCLUSIVE FL-13 UPDATE: ES&S Moves to Strike U.S. House Admin Committee Letter
Voting Machine Company Claims Chairwoman's Missive 'An Attempt to Intimidate, Unduly Influence' Florida Court
Plaintiff Attorney Says Claim is 'Remarkable,' 'Takes a Lot of Chutzpah'

WEDNESDAY, January 10th...

Update on Busby/Bilbray CA50 Election Contest Appeal
ADDITIONAL MATERIAL: Details of Attorney Oral Arguments Concerning Whether the U.S. Congress Can Overrule State Election Laws Simply by Swearing Someone In
Also, Updates on Some of the Sad Players...Some Gone, Others (Hopefully) on Their Way Out...

ABC: Bush Gives Congress, American People, Democracy the Finger
Begins Iraq Escalation Before Speech, Approval From Congress, in Wake of Opposition from Dems and Republicans Alike...
POST-SPEECH UPDATE: No Estimate Given for Change in Casualties in New Plan. Surprised?

THURSDAY, January 11th...

EXCLUSIVE: NEW COULTER VOTER FRAUD DOCS - Police Report Says TWO Third Degree Felonies, One Misdemeanor May Have Been Committed by GOP Darling!
New Third Degree Felony for Fraudulently Registering Driver's License Added to Previous Allegations of Voter Fraud!
But Palm Beach Election Supervisor Having Trouble Finding Law Enforcement Agency to Bring Charges...

Christine Jennings Admits She Should Have Listened to Election Integrity Advocates Earlier...

"Those people with the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections? I used to pat them on the back at Democratic meetings, but I had no idea. The vote is the great equalizer in this country - and when we've lost that, we've really lost something.''

FRIDAY, January 12th...

White House Made No Casualty Estimates for 'Surge' Plan According to Rice Admission!
Rightwing Outlets Smear Senator Who Asked Question, Ignore Stunning Newsworthiness of Answer
Iraq Vet Source Dubious About Secretary of State's Admission that Military Lacks Body County Estimates...

SATURDAY, January 13th...

New York Times Joins Rightwing Outlets in Twisting and Torturing Boxer's Comments While Ignoring White House Delinquency in Their New Iraq Plan
The Once-Great Paper Misrepresents the Facts, Quotes Only Rightwingers and Misrepresents Some of them to Suggest They are 'Liberal'
PLUS: An Invitation to Bill O'Reilly...

Maryland Preparing to Screw up Their Election System Yet Again
State Lawmakers Moving Towards Paper 'Trail' Voting Instead of Paper BALLOTS...

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State Lawmakers Moving Towards Paper 'Trail' Voting Instead of Paper BALLOTS...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2007 7:21pm PT  

Maryland was one of the first states in the country (along with Georgia) to adopt Diebold's paperless touch-screen voting. Now that they've learned from that mistake, it looks like their legislature is preparing to make the same mistake again by moving to paper trail voting, instead of paper ballots, according to the Washington Post.

If you're still confused about the difference --- and even if you're not --- please see this short and to-the-point Open Letter to Congress Members, and the accompanying e-mail petition, signed and released by more than 35 non-partisan Election Integrity organizations just before the holidays.

It calls for a paper ballot --- not "trail" or "record" --- for every vote cast in America. That is, of course, the only acceptable first-step solution on the long road towards restoring America's electoral system and the voters' confidence therein.

After you've read it and signed it, please pass it on. Maybe Maryland will take notice before they screw things up again. We certainly hope so.

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By John Gideon on 1/13/2007 4:27pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

In Ohio, as well as most states, "elections directors, particularly those operating with touch-screen voting machines, say their charges for special elections are rising because of the rising costs associated with modern voting systems, including delivering and setting up machines, building rentals and custodial fees, the paper that backs up the touch- screen voting and training sessions." This is part of what HAVA is costing this country. Direct Recording Electronic voting machines are not just expensive to buy; they are expensive to operate. Local school boards, fire districts, port and park commissions who have historically used county elections equipment will no longer be able to afford to have elections to raise funds to do their work....

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The Once-Great Paper Misrepresents the Facts, Quotes Only Rightwingers and Misrepresents Some of them to Suggest They are 'Liberal'
PLUS: An Invitation to Bill O'Reilly...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2007 3:21pm PT  

The New York Times today joins the White House, the disingenuous Rightwing media and blogs, and even several unnamed supposed non-Rightwingers in purposely misconstruing Sen. Barbara Boxer's question to Condi Rice at last Thursday's Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Bush's new policy to escalate troop commitment in Iraq.

I reported on the controversy over the phony Boxer/Rice brouhaha yesterday here, after originally calling on a Congress member to ask the very question that Boxer asked (and which the Times ignored) last Sunday and again after Bush's speech on Wednesday night in the face of his supporting, yet callous, comments on the new policy that "we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties."

If the way in which the Times twisted the facts of the event was unintentional, the only alternative then is that the reporters who covered it, Helene Cooper and Thom Shanker, and the editors who allowed the article to go through, are utterly incapable of even the simplest intelligent analysis of a critical and relevant news event and, frankly, shouldn't be working for a paper as still-important to this country as the New York Times.

Picking up on the phony controversy over the prelude to Boxer's question of whether the White House had "an estimate of the number of casualties we expect from this surge?" --- the stunning answer from the Secretary of State, if she's to be believed, is that no, they did not --- the Times joined Fox "News" and NYPost and the other wingnut outlets in both twisting Boxer's comments and forwarding the unsupported notion that there was some sort of personal slur built into them.

The Times quotes Boxer's "offending" phrase --- one that even Rice admits not being offended at, until after the White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, suggested the comments were "outrageous" later on --- as follows:

During the Thursday hearing, Ms. Boxer told Ms. Rice: "You’re not going to pay any particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family."

Wow! The height of personal rudeness! Boxer really smacked down Rice for not being married and having no children! A comment which several suddenly-"feminist" Rightwing outlets characterized as "One Great Leap (Backwards) for Womankind!" just after Snow coincidentally called it a "great leap backward for feminism" in his official response.

Problem is, the way the Times characterized the "controversy" in the graf reposted above leaves out the rest of Boxer's comment and thus takes it completely out of context. Here's what she actually said in the lead-up to her important all-but-ignored question and response from Rice:

BOXER: Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So who pays the price? The American military and their families. And I just want to bring us back to that fact.

Even Rice admitted in her comments to the Times that "It didn't actually dawn on me that she was saying, 'you don’t have children who can go to war'."

Of course it didn't actually "dawn on" you, Ms. Rice. Because it didn't actually happen that way.

At least until Tony Snow took the opportunity to brilliantly turn the focus away from both Rice's answer revealing that the White House hadn't bothered to measure the cost in increased deaths to U.S. troops before announcing their new policy ("Senator, I don't think that any of us, uh, have a number. That, of expected casualties.") and from the fact that both Republicans and Democrats alike on the Senate committee were highly critical of the White House escalation plan for the Iraq War.

Snow's comments, of course, were the marching orders to the various Rightwing outlets who were all too happy to twist Boxer's comments in the very same way. They all "reported" the exchange in the same phony context the following day (as I previously described here.)

While attacking the messenger to completely distract from the message is a time-honored and well-expected tactic from this White House and their sycophantic supporters, it continues to be distressing to see the once-great "Paper of Record" irresponsibly pick up that ball and run in the same disingenuous direction. Who needs Judith Miller?

To make matters worse, not only did the Times manage to only quote the mangled "analysis" of "Conservative" blogs and commentators in their coverage of the exchange, they even misrepresented a group which, at the first blush of the Times description of them, would seem indicate that they would have been an ally of Boxer's.

Appearing to defect from support of the Democratic Senator is a group called Project 21. The Times characterized the statement of a member of the group this way...

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

ReddIt this story!



By Michael Richardson on 1/13/2007 8:35am PT  

Guest Logged By Michael Richardson

Last week Christopher Drew of the New York Times informed a shocked nation that the leading "independent testing authority" of electronic voting machines, Ciber, Inc. of Greenwood Village, Colorado had not been following its own quality-control procedures and could not document that it completed required tests for reliability and security.

The federal Election Assistance Commission, which accredited the Ciber testing lab, secretly pulled its interim accreditation last year, without informing the public or election officials relying on Ciber's results. Independent testing centers, including Ciber, are not really independent at all and are funded by voting machine vendors to whom they issue their testing reports and only recently have come under federal scrutiny.

The EAC has yet to explain why it withheld the accreditation of Ciber from the voting public and the omission has entangled the controversial election oversight panel in the growing national distrust of electronic voting machines and may threaten its continued existence.

How many voting machines might be affected by the lax security inspections of Ciber?

Respected electronic voting machine authority and self-described "politechnologist" Joseph Hall did some digging. "The answer was not something I would have predicted...I knew Ciber did a good deal of software ITA testing, but it looks like, in terms of voting system deployment, that Ciber qualified the voting systems used by 68.5% of the registered voters (67.9% of precincts) in the 2006 election."

Hall explained the difficulty he encountered to acquire his data. "Since the test reports are not public, it is difficult to find information about who tested what when."

Undeterred by the veil of secrecy surrounding the testing of electronic voting machines, Hall used old testing identifiers, called NASED numbers, to track the deployment of voting machines around the nation. Ciber tested any machine that had a NASED number beginning with the digit "1".

"With this key piece of information, we can use published lists of qualified voting systems to determine which models were qualified by Ciber." explains Hall. Discovering that Ciber tested the vast majority of machines in the country Hall says, "In fact, it is much more simple to list which systems were not qualified by Ciber."

Hall concludes, "I suppose it would have been completely impractical to decertify all these systems. Even decertifying those systems in which the qualification testing Ciber performed was specifically lacking would likely be a significant double-digit percentage of voting systems used by registered voters."

One thing the ITA laboratories, or any other testing agency, cannot determine is if an electronic voting machine has been rigged with malicious self-deleting software code. All voting machines and optical scan vote-counters are subject to being hacked with self-deleting code that cannot be detected with any test. Self-deleting software code does its dirty deeds, including flipping or erasing votes, and then deletes itself erasing any sign of tampering.

A growing number of election integrity advocates are realizing that software technology has no place in the election systems of our country because of the inability to even detect mischief. The solution that is emerging is both simple and obvious, a return to time-tested hand-counting of paper ballots.

ReddIt this story!



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