Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke, horrifying U.S. gun death toll; PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism; Good news for Dems; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
The Nation's John Nichols on new revelations of Scott Walker lying about a criminal investigation and on the Black Lives Matter movement and Sanders a better candidate; Plus: Big news for Bernie & more!
Catching up on a lot that fell through the cracks during last week's busy news week. From Jon Stewart to new toxic spill in SW to sentencing verdict for Aurora shooter to GOP debate answers media aren't discussing & more...
Rady Ananda at OpEdNews opens her review of Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story by declaring it "the most explosive documentary produced in recent memory, involving murder, espionage, cover-up, electoral cyber fraud and a United States Member of Congress with ties to the Bush Administration."
More details, pull-quotes from other reviews, and video preview here.
Haven't seen it yet? If you've got LinkTV, you can still check it out there. Otherwise, DVDs are available for prchase at the MSVL website, or better still, for a few dollars more, you can get one signed by both myself and the filmmaker Patty Sharaf with a $50 donation right here!
What more could you ask for? Collectors versions of great documentaries for you to watch and share, and all the while supporting the work we do here, so we can keep on doing it! And maybe by the time we're done, democracy gets saved somewhere in the bargain and everyone's a winner!
(Snail-mail works for all of the above as well. Send to: Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594, Los Angeles, CA 90028)
The second Mac-style "Paper Ballot v. Voting Machine" campaign ad from Jason Osgood, an election integrity advocate turned Democratic Secretary of State candidate in Washington state, has now been released.
We wrote, in some detail late last month, about Osgood and his reasons for running, as he released the first in a series of humorous 60-second spots that take off on the popular "PC v. Mac" television ads. In his first ad, the slick-looking, yet hapless "Voting Machine" character had lost a few ballots (see that video and the article with it, here). In Osgood's latest spot in the series, our friend "Voting Machine" is having just a bit of trouble due to the heat and humidity...
By the way, since we ran our initial article on Osgood, he has signed the StandingForVoters.org pledge to not concede his election unless and until all votes are counted, counted accurately, and all serious election challenges have been adequately resolved. The BRAD BLOG, which is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us, the initial sponsor of the SFV campaign, thanks Osgood for his commitment to the voters. We'd similarly welcome his Republican opponent, incumbent Sam Reed, signing the pledge as well!
Also...we're happy to note that last week, the Green Party's Cynthia McKinney became the first Presidential candidate to sign the SFV pledge. In her case, she signed the "Super Pledge" which includes a few more commitments, such as speaking out about election integrity concerns, and working with SFV to educate voters on the issue.
While guest hosting Mike Malloy's nationally syndicate radio program last week, during an interview with McKinney, we discussed her signing of the pledge, and other issues related to election integrity in some detail. Earlier in the show, independent Presidential candidate Ralph Nader also committed to signing the pledge, so we hope he'll do so soon. The interviews with both Nader and McKinney are posted online here.
Has your candidate signed the pledge yet? It's the least they can do. If they won't stand up for you, why should you stand up for them? Please demand your candidate takes the pledge, whoever, they may be, at StandingForVoters.org! Otherwise, donate to a candidate who has pledged to use their standing to stand up for you, or, hell, send The BRAD BLOG a donation, since we do pledge to stand up for the voters, every damned day!
Today we have four “Featured” articles. These four were selected together because they were all in the “Tennessean” newspaper; one of the largest newspapers in the state of Tennessee. These four articles are all found in the ‘Opinion’ pages and were written by the state’s coordinator of elections, a member of the advocacy community, the mayor of Shelby Co Tennessee, and the newspapers editorial staff. These pieces cover a gamut of issues from voting machines to voter intimidation and suppression. It’s encouraging to have a newspaper feature these pieces and do it in this way. ...
The emerging meme last week from the conservative corner is that the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is to blame for the economic meltdown on Wall Street. The CRA was intended to confront decades of institutionalized discriminatory lending practices by banks in refusing loans to women and minorities. The twisted logic behind this newest meme is that the CRA forced formerly prudent lenders to abandon their previously cautious ways, and forced them to throw sound lending practices out the window because that's what the law demanded, and gosh, it's not their fault that they made bad loans in the bargain.
You may not be surprised to learn that's not the case. Read below, in full, for some facts that counter the insidious prejudice --- with racism at its heart --- inherent in the latest lie drummed up in the conservative blame game. You'd think they couldn't cry "Political Correctness made me do it!" with a straight face, but alas, they do...
We have two important recommendations. Please pass this email on to your distribution lists.
Check your voter registration. For months, we have been recommending that everyone check to make sure they are registered to vote. It has recently come to light that 19 states are not following federal law; they are purging voters close to the election.
These states are: Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Masachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington.
But even if you live in some other state, please check your registration status right now – if you can. Otherwise, check on Monday. We have created a page to assist you. It’s HERE
If you have been wrongly purged from the voter rolls, don’t simply register again. Call your county election official to say you were wrongly purged and should be placed back on the rolls. If you do not get satisfaction, contact your state election officials. If you still have problems, let us know.
Don’t vote straight-party. Problems abound with straight-party voting – on electronic voting machines and on paper ballots. We highly recommend that, if you want to vote for the same party across all races, vote for each individual person separately, and don’t mark any “straight-party” choice at all. See today’s “Featured” article for a good reason why straight-party voting is not a good idea....
The dirty tricks are starting even earlier than usual this year. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, "An anonymous flier circulating in African-American neighborhoods in North and West Philadelphia states that voters who are facing outstanding arrest warrants or who have unpaid traffic tickets may be arrested at the polls on Election Day."
The Daily News goes on to note that "Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison, who learned of the flier last week, said that the message is completely false."
Here's the misleading, dirty tricks flier...
The information seen above is an old, and venerable trick meant to scare Democrats, usually African-Americans, away from the the voting booth. We'll likely see much more of it --- and the variation of it, fliers that "inform" voters that Democrats are supposed to vote on Wednesday --- between now and November 4th.
A few similar dirty tricks fliers that were circulated in 2004, in Wisconsin and Ohio, are reposted below as a reminder...
Today I listened to, and watched, a hearing, on-line, from Washington DC in which the DC Council heard testimony regarding the recent failures in the district’s primary election where there were thousands of phantom votes from one precinct and even after those were discovered and cleaned-up the final numbers still do not add up. The two council members who asked questions in the morning, Council members Mary Cheh and David Catania, were extremely well prepared and concerned especially when taking sworn testimony from Michelle Shafer and Ed Smith, both VPs of Sequoia Voting Systems and other Sequoia representatives.
Soon after one representative from Sequoia tried to claim that the problem found in DC was unique, the result of pollworker mistakes, and that no votes had ever been lost on Sequoia machines Mr. Catania began asking questions about past problems that are very much like the problems that happened in DC and that may have resulted in lost votes. There were, of course, claims of mistakes in the media and misunderstanding of the facts from Sequoia.
Further testimony was taken from computer scientists who also had concerns about the Sequoia product and testimony. Our featured article discusses this hearing in more detail. I will include a link to an archive of the hearing if/when it becomes available. And, watch for more articles from Washington DC about the hearing and the fall-out from the hearing....
Tonight's the last of my Guest Host stints, for now, on this week's Mike Malloy Show. We'll air live tonight from 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT) and we should have another good one for you this evening.
Scrambling now to get over to the studio, because from 8p-9p ET (5p-6p PT), during my usual weekly Friday guest appearance on The Peter B. Collins Show, just prior to subbing on Malloy's show tonight, we'll have a very special guest appearing with us at the same time, for the first half hour, and you may want to tune in for that as well! It should be a very lively hour!
While I'll not give you the name of that special PBC guest, I can give you the names of a couple of my guests tonight on the Malloy Show. You may have heard of them...
RALPH NADER, independent candidate for President of the United States on the Wall St. bailout and more.
"Agent 99" will once again host tonight's Open Thread in the comments below...See ya tonight!
POST-SHOW UPDATE: Wow. Big show! All four hours of 'em, if you count the first one on Peter B. Collins with cowardly, lying guest John Fund (who hung up during the first commercial break, guess he's not used to anybody being able to answer to his bullshit).
Each "hour" is actually about 37 mins. with the commercials removed, thanks to Ben Burch of White Rose Society. Here they are. Enjoy...
No time to go into detail on this story, before what --- I promise --- will be a very lively appearance during my weekly 5pm PT (8pm ET) appearance on The Peter B. Collins Show today, where we'll have a very special guest joining us, and before Guest Hosting the Malloy Show from 6p-9p PT (9p-Midnight ET), so lemme just get this out here breifly and let you click for more details.
[T]he Republican Party of Montana is challenging the eligibility to vote of at least 6,000 residents of that state—mostly in key Democratic strongholds—based solely on the fact that the residents have filed change-of-address cards with the U.S. Postal Service. While state GOP executive director Jacob Eaton claims the challenges are an attempt to protect “the integrity of the voting process,” such massive challenges at this late date threaten to overwhelm election officials, suppress turnout of eligible voters, and create chaos at the polls.
As noted in the Missoulan's lede graf, the 6,000 challenged were voters are "in seven counties historically considered Democratic strongholds." They also report that, "Only twice in the past 15 years has [the] Missoula County election administrator [where 3,422 of the challenges are] had anyone try to challenge another voter's eligibility."
UPDATE 10/4/08:James Sample at HuffPo reports that one of those 6,000 challenged voters who may lose their right to vote is a former MT State Rep, and an Army Reservist, currently in New Jersey because he's about to leave for Iraq. Again. He won't be able to go to Montana to confirm his authenticity, unfortunately. First Lieutenant Kevin Furey (seen at right) has released this statement:
It is ironic that at the same time I am about to return to Iraq to help build a democracy that my own right to vote is being challenged at home for partisan purposes. These challenges are a blatant and offensive attempt to suppress the rights of voters.
Once again, Republicans continue to show that they hate both democracy and the troops!
John Gideon briefly noted what happened in Florida in yesterday's Daily Voting News, but it deserves a bit more attention. A lot more attention, actually.
A recent contested election for Circuit Judge in Palm Beach County, FL, where the initial results showed a 17 vote margin for one of the candidates, continues to reveal differing counts every time the same ballots are run through the county's new optical-scan paper ballot counters made by Sequoia Voting Systems.
Sequoia is one of America's largest private voting machine vendors, and one of its worst (even though we realize such judgements are akin to determing whether Mussolini was worse than Stalin.) Just 30-some days from America's next and likely-largest election ever, the desperate company is under fire today for recent voting system failures in Palm Beach, Washington D.C., and New Jersey.
For the moment, let's look at what was reported out of Palm Beach yesterday, where re-scans of 262 rejected ballots on Sequoia paper-ballot scanners revealed differing results each and every time they were scanned...
Tomorrow (Friday) there will be a hearing in Washington DC to discuss and take testimony about the failures in the DC primary election. How did one precinct have over a thousand more votes than it had voters? Again this seems to clearly be a machine issue.
The tie that binds Palm Beach Co and Washington DC together is that their voting machines were all supplied by Sequoia Voting Systems...
ADDENDUM FROM BRAD: More details on all of the above now here...
I'll be Guest Hosting a special "VP Debate" edition of the The Mike Malloy Show tonight. We'll carry the debate LIVE at 6pm PT (9pm ET), followed by an in-studio "Bloggers Roundtable" until 9pm PT (Midnight ET), featuring world class bloggers:
As always, "Agent 99" will be your rascible hostess here in our live Open Thread during the show. Hit comments below and give us your two-cents tonight! Maybe we'll read it on air!
POST-SHOW UPDATE: We had a very lively roundtable, with a lot of disagreements (the Rightwinger, Patrick Frey thought Palin dropped the ball, while the Progressives tended to think Palin did well, except for Danziger, and lord only knows what he is. My thanks to all of them, as well as the callers, including my father who offered an "Edward R. Murrow-esque" field report, live from St. Louis! Unfortunately, Pamela Leavy was not able to join us at the last second.
We ended the spirited discussion --- audio archive below --- with my request for a quick McClaughlin-style response to the following question: "Between now and the next debate on Tuesday, after tonight's debate, do the polls go up, down, or no change for Obama and McCain?" The answers from the bloggers...
Last week we told you aboutThe Simpsons' upcoming episode wherein Homer, attempting to vote for Barack Obama on a touch-screen voting machine, has a few problems in the process. Here's the very funny, were it not so very unfunny, clip from the upcoming show...
So The Simpsons now get it. Why don't Obama and the Dems? And why are they doing little or nothing to ensure that every voter in the nation is able to cast a vote on a hand-marked paper ballot this year?
Tell your favorite candidate(s) that you'll support them if they support you and your vote by pledging not to concede this year until all votes are counted, counted accurately, or challenged in a court of law. (See StandingForVoters.org more info, the pledge, and stuff you can hand to your favorite candidate to demand they stand up for you this time!)
Guest Editorial by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.
The bailout of Wall Street is the rancid pickle on an economic crap sandwich that is a result of 30 years of conservative deregulation/trickle-down ideology. The fact that the Bush appointees who devised the original bailout plan are from the same gene pool as the neo-cons, cronies and heckuva-jobbers who turned America into a torture state, spied on Americans, drowned New Orleans, stole two national elections, corrupted the Department of Justice and took the country to war on the false pretext of bringing democracy to Iraq but then screwed up their true intent --- to steal its oil --- should have been reason enough to kill the plan on sight.
But that's not going to happen. As inept and ineffectual as they are at everything else, the Bush team is highly practiced at forcing Congress to act in haste. Six years ago this month, Karl Rove and the White House political shop "created a reality," as one of them has described it, that there was an urgent need to push the Iraq war resolution through Congress just days before the midterm elections. Now we know that the only urgency was Rove's need to get Senate Democrats who were potential Bush rivals in the 2004 presidential election on the record about the war before the election. Iraq post-invasion has been a disaster, but the vote on the resolution was stunningly successful in hobbling the campaigns of both John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.
Now, in what is either a horrendous coincidence or the most elaborate (and apparently botched) October Surprise in presidential campaign history, as Bush prepares to slouch off to Crawford for good, he is pushing one last crisis down our throats. As with his invasion of Iraq, it will probably be years before we know if this latest crisis is "real," or if it was fumbled attempt by the White House to change the game in John McCain's favor.
It certainly feels like we're being played again...
In one of our ‘Featured’ articles CBS Evening News has raised the “Red Flag On Purging Voter Rolls”. This article reports on a just released report from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law on voter roll purges. The report “provides troubling new insight into the process. There are no national standards and as a result, the cleaning up of voter rolls is not as precise as it should be and eligible voters are often wrongly removed. The Brennan report calls the nationwide process 'chaotic,' 'shrouded in secrecy', 'riddled with inaccuracies', 'prone to error' and 'vulnerable to manipulation'."
Our second ‘Featured’ article is a report done by USPIRG (Public Interest Research Group) in which they blow the whistle on nineteen states that are violating federal law in their handling of voter roll purges.
Neither of these articles should have been necessary. State election officials should be carefully following the law and carefully ensuring voter rolls are properly purged and not in such a way as to deny legally registered voters their right to vote. Any election official who does not feel the need to ensure due diligence should be replaced and, if they violated federal law, they should be investigated for that violation. ...