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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, December 21, 2014
'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP anti-enviro wish list in "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate talks; Calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into action; PLUS: CEO indicted for WV chemical spill...
Previous GNRs: 12/9/14 - 12/4/14 - Archives...
The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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'Special Coverage' Archives
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
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

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
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

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
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

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...

'American Conservative' mag's description of interview with previously-gagged FBI whistleblower as 'explosive' may prove to be a gross understatement
Blackmail, bribery, infiltration, theft, and sale of nuke secrets by Turkey, Israel explained in clearer detail than ever before...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2009 10:17am PT  

[Update 9/22/09: The American Conservative story is now posted. As well, the office of the Congresswoman named for the first time in the report has offered a vehement denial of the allegations to The BRAD BLOG. Her full response, rebuttal now here...]

On Friday, we reported on the coming exclusive American Conservative cover story interview with formerly-gagged FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds by quoting the magazine's own teaser description of the piece as "explosive." Over the weekend, we received an embargoed look at the final version of the AmCon interview by former CIA officer Phil Giraldi, and yes, "explosive" may be a vast understatement. At least if the U.S. corporate media bother to notice it this time.

It seems it may be difficult not to notice it, given that Edmonds finally names, on the record, for the first time, in a right-leaning periodical founded by Pat Buchanan, the identity of the currently-serving Democratic Congresswoman she has previously described as married with grown children and having been "hooked" into participating in a lesbian affair with a Turkish foreign agent, as she was secretly video-taped for blackmail purposes.

Edmonds has alluded to the Congresswoman, without naming her, in the past, most notably in her recent sworn and video-taped deposition in the Schmidt v. Krikorian case now pending before the Ohio Election Commission. In that testimony, she did manage to name the names of other Congress members she had previously identified publicly. At the time, we (and virtually no other media outlets) reported on her disclosures that Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Bob Livingston (R-LA), Dan Burton (R-IN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Stephen Solarz (D-NY), and Tom Lantos (D-CA, deceased), were all participants in blackmail and/or bribery schemes by and with agents of the Turkish government, as she became aware while translating wiretaps in the FBI's counterintelligence division after 9/11. Some of those crimes are said to have resulted in the theft and sale of nuclear weapons technology to allies and enemies alike.

In her 8/8/09 D.C. deposition, she discussed, for the first time on the public record since being previously gagged by the Bush Administration's use of so-called "State Secrets Privilege" (twice), details of what she heard while reviewing and translating wiretaps of Turkish agents who were targets of a long-running FBI investigation centered out of Chicago, but extending far beyond.

In addition to specific details on allegations of serious wrongdoing by the Congress members mentioned above, as well as State and Defense Department officials such as Marc Grossman, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle, Edmonds had offered details, during the deposition, about a Democratic Congresswoman who is "married with...grown children, but she is bisexual."

"So they have sent Turkish female agents," she testified, in her sometimes-broken English, according to the transcript [PDF]. "And that Turkish female agents work for Turkish government, and have sexual relationship with this Congresswoman in her townhouse actually in this area, and the entire episodes of their sexual conduct was being filmed because the entire house, this Congressional woman's house was bugged."

She went on to add that she hadn't used her name in the past because she left the FBI before knowing whether or not the information was actually used against the Congresswoman to blackmail her, or if the woman had even been made aware of it. "I don't know if she did anything illegal afterwards," Edmonds said.

In Giraldi's AmCon interview, Edmonds again repeats that she doesn't know if the Congresswoman "ever was actually blackmailed or did anything for the Turkish woman," but she does name her name this time...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/20/2009 12:30pm PT  

As noted late last week while covering Joe Conason's smart "In Defense of ACORN" at Salon, the UK Guardian had, earlier in the week, asked me to ring in on the latest ACORN nonsense. So I did. It's been published today. You can read it here online...

The Guardian eds tell me the short piece will also run as well on Monday in their print edition.

UPDATE 7:49pm PT: Welcome Drudge/Breitbart fans! While you're here, be sure to peruse what's about to break in American Conservative magazine! We'll have some exclusive advanced details for ya very soon, which I believe you'll enjoy, which actually matter, and which may even distract you from your silly, misinformed ACORN-rage for a minute or two! Have a nice night! (Note to regular BRAD BLOG readers and others still in touch with their mental faculties: Be sure to read the comments from the geniuses over at the Breitbart link I gave you above. They're a hoot! Who knew I was a "limey SOB"?! :-) )

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By Brad Friedman on 9/20/2009 10:22am PT  

Who could have predicted the one man on the ballot with a weekly show on the Republican News Channel (RNC, nee: Fox "News" Channel) would win the 2012 Presidential straw poll at the 2009 (anti-American) Values Voter Summit this weekend?

(By the way, be sure to catch's Mike's latest not-ironic-at-all column at the Republican News Channel (RNC)'s website on the "The Death of Journalism"!)

No doubt the Republican News Channel (RNC), recently seen on video-tape "stage managing" the Teabagger protests they sponsored last week in D.C., is very proud. Though perhaps they missed an opportunity by not putting Glenn Beck into the poll? With a show five days a week on the RNC, and on your public radio airwaves --- unlike Huckabee, who's only seen on weekends (though he does do a short syndicated daily essay on your public airwaves in 500 radio markets) --- it's likely he would have been a shoo-in! Why waste all that valuable air time, Fox, when you could be using it to put your superstar in office?!

This weekend's summit in D.C., as in previous years, celebrated far-rightwing liberal interpretations of the Constitution and extremist judicial activism, such as the promotion of big government intrusion into the lives of American citizens, the "right" of that government to come between patients and their doctors, and other anti-American values such as ignoring the Rule of Law, and the Constitutional right to equal protection under the law for same sex couples who wish to be recognized by the government as married, just like their heterosexual counterparts.

The winners and losers, out of 597 votes cast in the straw poll, were reported to have been Huckabee with 28%, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney a distant second at 12%, followed by Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, with the celebrity community organizer and former Alaskan Governor who aborted her term earlier this year, Sarah Palin tying with Indiana's U.S. Rep. Mike Pence for fourth/fifth.

Congratulations to them all! You're all both winners and losers in our eyes!

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New study finds 45,000 Americans die each year for lack of health care...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/18/2009 7:31pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

In "ObamaCare: Right Diagnosis, Wrong Prescription" I noted that it was virtually impossible to mount an honest defense of the current U.S. health care system. Doing so would amount to suggesting that the obscene wealth of a few health care insurance company CEOs and their Wall Street investors has a greater social value than the lives of 18,000 of our fellow citizens whom the current system annually sentences to death simply because they are too poor to purchase insurance coverage.

Today, as I mulled over the legislative obscenity that Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) and a former vice president of WellPoint spent months preparing --- an insurance carrier wish-list that contains no public option, no means for controlling costs or abuse; a measure that does not merely protect but expands the already obscene wealth of the few by mandating that every citizen purchase insurance, with massive subsidies flowing into carrier coffers --- I learned that I was wrong...

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

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Destroys Republican news organization for WaPo ad falsely alleging CNN failed to cover Fox's 9/12 teabagger protest...
UPDATE: CNN pushes back with 'Distoring Not Reporting' ad...
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2009 3:59pm PT  

Some must-see video here. CNN's Rich Sanchez stood up for his news organization on air today, against Fox "News" after they ran an add today in the Washington Post alleging that CNN didn't cover Glenn Beck's political rally last week in D.C.

After slamming Fox by showing clips of CNN's extensive (some might say gratuitous, frankly) coverage, and even a clip showing Bill O'Reilly on Fox discussing the fact that CNN covered the event, Sanchez went for the jugular:

Here's the facts. We did cover the event. What we didn't do is promote the event.

Just like when thousands marched on Washington to protest the war in Iraq, we covered it as well. Probably less than we covered this event. [ed note: no kidding!] But we didn't promote it. ... Bottom line is, we do cover the news, and we did extensively cover this event.

We didn't promote the event. That's not what real news organizations are supposed to do. We covered the event. I would invite you to look into that distinction, between those two words: "promote" and "cover".

"Cover" is kind of like a fair and balanced way of doing things. Ya get it? You might want to look into that.
...
Let me address the Fox News network now, perhaps the most current way that I can, by quoting someone who recently used a very pithy phrase. Two words. That's all I need. "You lie!"


Might we suggest Sanchez offer a workshop to Democrats on how to stand up for themselves? And while we're here, and CNN is claiming they "cover the news", perhaps they may wish to back up that claim and give this news a bit of coverage, since The American Conservative magazine is finally bothering to do so today, which means the liars at Fox "News" may not be far behind.

UPDATE 9/19/09, 2:05pm: Not taking it lying down, CNN pushes back with their own anti-Fox ad. "Distorting Not Reporting":


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By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2009 12:54pm PT  

I was asked by the Guardian UK earlier this week to write a piece about the latest ACORN. Thought it was to run yesterday, so hopefully it'll run today. [Update: Just heard from the Guardian with some good news, as they've decided to run the piece I wrote for them in their paper version on Monday, so it'll run online Sunday night. || FURTHER UPDATE: That piece is now posted here.] But until then, Joe Conason over at Salon has posted a similar, if longer, piece, "In Defense of ACORN" in which I'm mentioned by name in regard to one of the (many) great hypocrisies in all of this silliness:

If only the Republicans who have worked up a frenzy over ACORN's alleged crimes were so indignant about real and damaging voter fraud --- such as the amazing case of Young Political Majors, the firm that ran GOP registration efforts in California, Massachusetts, Florida, Arizona and elsewhere before the authorities in Orange County, Calif., busted its president, Mark Anthony Jacoby, and sent him to jail last year. He had built a lucrative partisan career by teaching his minions to deceive thousands of voters into registering as Republicans rather than Democrats, among other scams. Of course, the only on-air mention of the Young Political Majors scandal on Fox News was made by blogger Brad Friedman-- and the national media, mainstream and conservative, generally ignored it. They were too busy generating "controversy" over ACORN.

Conason also highlights another superb (and yes, classically wingnut hypocritical) point which I didn't note in my own piece...

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

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4,000 word exclusive interview with 'the gagged FBI whistleblower on espionage, al-Qaeda, and secrets for sale'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2009 11:08pm PT  

Broke the news on air tonight. 4,000 word cover story on FBI translator turned whistleblower Sibel Edmonds in The American Conservative to hit stands and web early next week, by former CIA agent Phil Giraldi.

Here's the teaser from TAC...:

There’s a new issue of The American Conservative going to press today, and it includes a story that will make more than a few congressmen and foreign lobbyists intensely uncomfortable: an in-depth interview between Phil Giraldi and FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. She tells us exactly how Turkish intelligence have penetrated national secrets, suborned government officials, and blackmailed Congress. It’s going to be explosive.

Good. Rightwingers are covering it. So hopefully that means the "liberal media" will now pay attention!

UPDATE 9/18/09 1:15pm PT: Sibel posted the cover over at her site, and I've added it above. She also notes that the story is available online to subscribers on Monday when they'll release "a major press release" along with the print version out the same day. The story should then be available to all online on Tuesday.

The cover title: "Who's Afraid of Sibel Edmonds?: The gagged FBI whistleblower on espionage, al-Qaeda, and secrets for sale"

In an email she just sent me just now, she notes: "We've been getting foreign MSM inquiries; tons. Zilch here; so far..."

Not much of a surprise by now. After all, what U.S. media would possibly care about members of the U.S. Congress (both Republican and Democratic) and high-ranking State and Defense Dept. officials taking bribes, being blackmailed, and enabling the theft and sale of U.S. nuclear secrets? Even if the allegations came under sworn and video-taped deposition by a former FBI translator who overheard such things first hand. Non-story, apparently.

UPDATE 9/21/09: I've now gotten a look at the final version of the story. 'Explosive' may prove to be an understatement. Details now here...

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By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2009 5:39pm PT  

Just got called in, at last minute, to guest host for Angie Coiro's Live from the Left Coast on San Francisco's Green960am (KKGN). If you're not in SF, you can listen online from 6p-8p PT tonight (Thursday), log onto the live blog chat room at AngieCoiro.com, and/or give us a call at 866-960-5733!

What will we talk about? You'll know, like me, just as soon as I start talking about it! :-)

(May have a bit of breaking Sibel Edmonds news during the show, btw, so tune in for that too! - UPDATE: Here ya go!)

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: Fun show. First hour on what the hell to do about Dems, second hour with Norman Solomon of Institute for Public Accuracy, just back from Afghanistan, on the mess we've got there, and what can possibly be done now. Archives should be posted at LFTLC.com soon! Thanks all!

AUDIO NOW AVAILABLE: You can listen online over at the lftlc.com website...

Hour 1 on ACORN, Obama, Democratic failures and a bunch of phone calls
Hour 2 w/ Norman Solomon on Afghanistan

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/17/2009 1:39pm PT  

IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Interior Dept. kicks oil industry out of bed --- literally!; EPA to start regulating toxic wastewater from coal-fired power plants; Fastest electric motorcycle in the world breaks speed record... PLUS: Corporate "free speech" could get even worse...much... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': Clean energy to create more jobs than coal; Nestle Gives Up on McCloud Water Bottling Plant; Antibiotic resistance clue found; Google says We're Going into the Solar Mirror Business; UN: Gaza water supplies in danger of ‘collapse,’; Solar Filling Stations: On-Demand Fuel for Electric Cars and Bikes ... PLUS: A message from Van Jones...

Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2009 10:55pm PT  

Okay. Allow me to be as fair as possible, right off the top, following that headline. The all-day symposium which LA County Registrar/Recorder & County Clerk Dean Logan was kind enough to personally invite me to attend today at the California Institute of Technology, put "Technology" before "Democracy" at least in the title of the event...

...So technology came titularly before democracy, if not more so, as I good-naturedly chided Logan this afternoon. Though, in truth, it also tended to take the lead in at least those parts of the day that I was able to attend. But its hard to blame Logan for that. It's become the trend in the "election industry" over the last few years, where techno-scientists, private corporations and others (both well-meaning and less so) have seized the day (and the tax-payer dollars), to place techno-"solutions" far ahead of the real needs of citizens and their Constitutional requirements for true, democratic self-governance.

To his credit, that wasn't necessarily Logan's purpose in scheduling or naming this symposium, meant to begin opening the process of selecting a new voting system for the nation's largest voting jurisdiction to selected "stake-holders". And the good news is, the ultimate solution (complete transparency) to our voting system woes, did tend to bubble up towards the top, to the apparent surprise of some, as the day worn on...

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

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Hand-Marked, Hand-Counted Paper Ballots, Publicly Tabulated at Every Polling Place in America...
By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2009 10:30am PT  

-- Brad Friedman

[While I was off the grid for a brief vacation for a week in August, a short Op-Ed version of a piece I wrote for Commonweal Institute, where I am a Fellow, was published at CommonDreams.org. Unfortunately, I was off the grid, so couldn't respond to some of the off-base coments left on the piece over there. In any case, here now is the full-length version of that Op-Ed. -BF]

Last March, the country's highest court found that secret, computerized vote counting was unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the country was Germany, and the Constitution violated by e-voting systems was the one that the U.S. wrote and insisted Germans ratify as part of their terms of surrender following WWII.

Paul Lehto, a U.S. election attorney and Constitutional rights expert, summarized the German court's unambiguous, landmark finding:

  • "No 'specialized technical knowledge' can be required of citizens to vote or to monitor vote counts."
  • There is a "constitutional requirement of a publicly observed count."
  • "[T]he government substitution of its own check or what we’d probably call an 'audit' is no substitute at all for public observation."
  • "A paper trail simply does not suffice to meet the above standards.
  • "As a result of these principles,...'all independent observers' conclude that 'electronic voting machines are totally banned in Germany' because no conceivable computerized voting system can cast and count votes that meet the twin requirements of...being both 'observable' and also not requiring specialized technical knowledge.

After the verdict in the case --- filed by a computer expert and his political scientist son --- Lehto wondered how it could be that open, observable democracy is seemingly an inviolable right for "conquered Nazis," but not, apparently, for citizens of the United States...

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

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Republicans amass an army to retain corporate control of the public airwaves...
By Sue Wilson on 9/15/2009 2:53pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Sue Wilson

I was strolling through my local county fair this summer, a small fair, a friendly fair, where cows, sheep, and pigs outnumber food vendors.

The Republican booth caught my eye, but not because of the red, white, and blue decorations. What caught my eye was the sign they'd posted, the sign that summed up the one key issue of importance to local Republicans.

What would it be, in this raucous political summer of 2009? Anger over bailouts, fear over death panels? No. The number one issue for Amador County Republicans: "Save Talk Radio."

I hadn't realized that the industry that just signed a $400 million contract with Rush Limbaugh needed saving, but they thought so; they even had a petition to save it...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/15/2009 12:53pm PT  

IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Good news for the U.S. auto industry? Obama says 'YES'!; Good news for opponents of mountaintop removal? EPA says 'YES'! Good news for fans of clean water? The New York Times says 'NO'! Can't win 'em all... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': Geothermal-rich Iceland Fast-Tracks Electric Car Charging; Nuclear plant monitoring finds small amounts of radioactive isotope in water; Hawaii Tries Green Tools in Remaking Power Grids; Panasonic introduces new LED bulbs that shine for 19 years ... PLUS: Concept City of the Future: A Desert Oasis for a Drought-Stricken Future...

Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...

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

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Dear Teabaggers: Here's something REAL you can actually worry about and/or take action on...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2009 2:18pm PT  

As we recently noted in some detail, Diebold's election division (now calling themselves Premier Election Solutions) has been purchased by their larger rival ES&S who, as we described at the time, has a well-established record for being tops in the election industry, both in size, and when it comes to thuggish, mafioso-like business tactics.

Saturday's Evansville Courier & Press highlighted just one minor example of such tactics:

[J]eers go this week to an old and extremely bothersome issue with Election Systems & Software, the company that manufactured and serviced the county's electronic voting system. The county is contesting some $112,000 it says the company owes it. One of the items on that list is $38,019 for precinct kits. The company charged Vanderburgh County about $120 each for these kits, supposedly designed to meet workers' needs at voting precincts. The kits consisted of cardboard boxes containing Scotch tape, paper election forms, rubber bands and pens. Local election workers found they could make their own for about $1 each.

While that one case is fairly small potatoes, it's fairly representative of the way this company does business. In the meantime, while the teabaggers have their panties in a collective wad about imaginary things they fear may someday happen to take away their rights, right now, immediately under their noses --- the same noses which failed to notice the stench of the unprecedented raping and looting of the federal government by their own Republican pals over the last eight years --- their right to a transparent, verifiable, citizen-overseen public election has also been stolen from them. Yet they're too busy watching Fox "News" and drawing pictures of Barack Obama as The Joker to notice.

With the ES&S takeover of Diebold/Premier, their nearest competitor, the privately-run election Goliath now has an un-overseeable lock on virtually every election in the United States of America.

Take a look at these two startling maps --- showing control of U.S. elections, before and after the takeover --- which Glenn Beck has yet to instruct his brain-dead zombies to give a damn about...

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

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$900 billion insurance carrier gift leaves 36 million uninsured...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/14/2009 1:07pm PT  

Guest editorial by Ernest A. Canning

Last week, in his address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama correctly noted:

Our collective failure to meet this challenge --- year after year, decade after decade --- has led us to a breaking point. Everyone understands the extraordinary hardships that are placed on the uninsured, who live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy...

We are the only advanced democracy on Earth...that allows such hardships for millions of its people….In just a two year period, one in every three Americans goes without health care coverage at some point. And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage...

But the problem that plagues the health care system is not just a problem of the uninsured. Those who do have insurance have never had less security and stability than they do today…More and more Americans pay their premiums, only to discover that their insurance company has dropped their coverage when they get sick, or won’t pay the full cost of care. It happens every day.

That was the easy part. Anyone who has paid attention understands that the core problem lies in the profit motives of the private insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

Thus, the President's diagnosis of the U.S. health care system was accurate, but did he prescribe "change we can believe in?"...

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

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