The Politicus USA headline typified MSM coverage of what Brad Friedman often refers to as the "horse race" --- "Democrats Surge As Michelle Nunn Leads Georgia Senate Race In Third Straight Poll."
For The BRAD BLOG, and for a good many election integrity advocates and computer scientists, that narrow focus ignores "the track conditions," which, in Georgia entails the continued use of touchscreen voting systems courtesy of a 2009 determination by the Georgia Supreme Court that "unverifiable elections are just fine."
Where horse race coverage focuses exclusively on the here and now, this site feels it helpful to look back a dozen years to what took place in Georgia shortly after Democratic Secretary of State Cathy Cox signed a May 2002 contract with what was then known as Diebold Election Systems Inc....
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: It's official: record flooding on the Missouri River, record snowpack & record drought mean another record-breaking Spring in the US; Record drought in Europe too, bringing crop failure and blackouts this summer; Obama Administration boosts funding for the smart grid; PLUS: It's that time again: Get ready for a year and a half of Republican presidential campaigning ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 'Liquid battery" breakthrough?; Where's that green jobs revolution Obama promised?; Obama Pushes for More Cleantech, Green Jobs; Planet Earth Doesn't Know How To Make It Any Clearer It Wants Everyone To Leave; Oil to spike again before new recession; Japanese unite against nuclear power; NM Abandons Efforts to Restore Mexican Gray Wolves; New breed of wheat 'near immune' to devastating plague; Appeals Court Rules for Massey Over U.S; In Koch Country, KS gov begs federal government for climate disaster relief; High levels of Strontium Found at Fukushima Plant; EPA Delays Rule on Power Plant Emissions; New Rules For Offshore Fish Farms; 150 Chemicals No Longer Icognito; 2 Common Materials Pose Risk of Cancer; GAO finds most plants lack emissions controls; Do You Live Near One of the Top 25 Dirtiest Coal Plants?; Mining Company to Pay $263 Million settlement; Do we have a moral obligation to stop screwing up the planet? ... PLUS: "Humans ‘blissfully unaware’ of coming climate crisis"...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Happy birthday, EPA! Now die! (Same to you, FDA!); Huge food safety overhaul passes in the Senate (maybe); Updates from the international climate summit in Cancun ...PLUS: USA's 'Sputnik Moment' --- Losing the race for clean energy ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Oil spill panel chief 'mystified' by GOP block on subpoena power, mulls broader drilling regulations; US lab develops grid controls to handle renewable energy; Leaking Siberian ice raises a tricky climate issue; Homeland Security panel on at-risk chemical plants stacked with insiders; Divers find more oil on Gulf sea floor; U.S. Rescinds Expansion of Offshore Drilling; Coal: EPA withholds study on Spruce Mine alternatives; Appeals court halts U.S.-sanctioned killing of sea lions ... PLUS: Breaking away from coal: Utilities increasingly turn to natural gas, away from coal ...
The story for which The BRAD BLOG was awarded a 2010 Project Censored award for "Excellence in Investigative Journalism" is "censored" no more. From the February 2010 issue of Maxim hitting mag racks this week...
Though they give me the credit, it was Rady Ananda's story here last week which expertly covered Diebold's wholly unverifiable touch-screen voting machines receiving the thumbs up for use across the entire state of Georgia, where they've been using them since 2002. That, even though there is no way to determine that any vote ever cast on any of them has ever been recorded accurately as per any voter's intent.
"Bad as Diebold was, it's now gonna be ES&S, their largest competitor ... ES&S may be the single voting machine company --- this one Goliath that will be unaccountable, unauditable to anybody --- and that's really where we're headed," Bender accurately warns. He advises folks to call Congress at 202-224-3121 in support of Sen. Chuck Schumer's demand for a DoJ antitrust investigation on this matter. We'll also point you to BlackBoxVoting.org who instructs how you can send your own antitrust complaint to the DoJ.
Finally, after Pap details ES&S' legendarily monumental "screw-ups" over the years (his firm was one of those who took on the state of Florida and ES&S after their voting machines simply lost 18,000 votes cast in the 2006 FL-13 U.S. House race, decided for the Republican candidate by just 369 votes), they go on to say some extraordinarily kind things about our work here at The BRAD BLOG.
My thanks to both Pap and David along with the swell Ring Of Fire producers for tipping us off with the exclusive heads-up in advance of this weekend's show --- both for their coverage of this issue, and for those exceptionally kind accolades.
This week, Broward County, Florida, Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes said, with a straight face, "No one could have anticipated that this election would be so historic and draw as much attention as it has," and defended her choice to oppose expanding early voting hours next week due to "logistical problems."
In addition to the problems in Florida, there are now reports that longtime GOP "voter fraud" hoaxster Pat Rogers (also known for his involvement in the U.S., Attorney Purge Scandal for the bogus "voter fraud" allegations he filed in 2004, and as a board member of the now-defunct and fully-debunked GOP astro-turf group, "American Center for Voting Rights," or ACVR), is apparently using private investigators to intimidate voters in New Mexico.
Details on those stories and many more --- pre-election litigation over polling place photo I.D. restrictions in Georgia and Ohio, absentee military ballots in Virginia, GOP efforts to close early voting polling places in Indiana, GOP calls for the Dept. of Justice to investigate ACORN just days before a federal election --- from across the country, all follow in the detailed round-up below...
The whistleblower lawsuit against voting machine company Hart InterCivic, as filed in federal court on behalf of former employee William Singer, has been withdrawn following a decision by the Supreme Court that makes pursuing the case nearly impossible, according to the law firm who originally filed the complaint.
The suit had been sealed for nearly two years as the Dept. of Justice asked for extension after extension during their decision on whether or not to join the case. Earlier this year, they ultimately decided not to join the case, as we reported last March, leaving the firm of Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Echsner & Proctor, P.A to proceed on their own. The DoJ declines to join some 76% of such cases.
In the interim, while waiting for the DoJ, the case of Rockwell Intl Corp. v. U.S. [PDF] came before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the findings in that decision, as attorney Mike Papantonio told The BRAD BLOG, has "made it next to impossible to proceed with any and all federal whistleblower (qui tam) cases."
The decision found that Rockwell was required to pay millions of dollars under the federal False Claims Act to the federal government, but that the relator of the case --- the insider who blew the whistle --- was not entitled to any of that money, nor even for the millions of dollars accrued in legal costs since the amended complaint, filed with the Justice Dept., included information about which the relator did not have direct inside knowledge.
The SCOTUS finding, as expressed for the majority by Justice Antonin Scalia, may well hamstring future whistleblower cases in federal courts, according to legal experts.
"I used to think qui tam was the way to go," Papantonio told me as his firm was weighing their decision on how to proceed after the case was finally unsealed, "but now I just don't know anymore."
Papantonio's Florida law firm has used the qui tam laws successfully in the past, and has taken on giants such as the Tobacco Industry. After he and his radio partner Robert F. Kennedy Jr. had learned about Singer's case from The BRAD BLOG --- we originally reported Singer's extraordinary saga back in early 2006 --- they decided to launch the federal fraud suit on his behalf later that year.
(I was interviewed about the withdrawal of the federal case by Mike Papantonio for this weekend's Ring of Fire radio program, which he co-hosts with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.. A video version of the interview is also posted on their GoLeft.TV site. Both versions are now posted in full at the end of this article.)
Though the attorneys working on the case have gone out of their way to express their faith in both Singer and his remarkable complaint --- detailing more than 40 federal fraud allegations, and accusing Hart of doctoring voting machines, covering up system failures, including the loss and miscounting of votes, and other malfeasance, in order to attain contracts and payment under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 --- the chance that millions of dollars spent pursuing the case might be unrecoverable at the end of the process, even if successful, in light of the Rockwell decision, forced them to withdraw the complaint from federal court...
Sitting in this week for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, David Bender joins Ring of Fire co-host/attorney Mike Papantonio to discuss, in the first five minutes of the show, the finally-unsealed qui tam fraud suit brought by Pap and RFK Jr's law firms against voting machine company Hart InterCivic, on behalf of former employee/computer technician turned whistleblower William Singer.
We had originally broken Singer's remarkable story back in 2006. Our conversations shortly thereafter with Kennedy, and then with Papantonio's lawfirm, led to the filing of the suit, alleging a host of improprieties and criminally fraudulent behavior by the voting machine company as they dummied up voting machines during sales presentations, and concealed known failures, such as the possibilities of lost and miscounted votes, in their systems.
Pap also notes, during discussion of the case, that the nearly-two years it had to stay sealed by law --- while the DoJ ate up time in deciding whether or not to join the case --- is unusual in and of itself. Normally, in such qui tam cases, the DoJ is given just 60 days to decide whether or not to join with the whistleblower on behalf of the United States. Pap also goes on to note what may, or may not, be a coincidence: the US Attorney in CO, where the suit was filed, was removed shortly after this case was brought in his district, but before the decision was ultimately made by the DoJ not to join the suit...For now...
UPDATE: Here is an audio version of the first five minutes of the show, for those who had problems using the video player above...
"The most serious thing any software company can do is not fully test its products," William Singer told The BRAD BLOG this afternoon about the federal fraud case he filed nearly two years ago, which has finally been unsealed by a judge as of today.
"To release a product for important purposes that has not been tested at all is quite shocking, I would say. Especially since it indicates that nobody can predict what, when, or how it might fail," Singer explained about the e-voting systems made by Hart InterCivic, for which he worked as a technician several years ago. "It would make a mockery of any certification."
Despite having some direct involvement in the case from the beginning, The BRAD BLOG has been unable to report any details on it for going on two years --- we haven't even been able to offer the names of the plaintiff or defendant in the case --- since originally reporting that it had been filed in federal court, due to the fact that it was under seal, waiting for the U.S. Attorney General to decide whether the DoJ would join the suit or not.
Singer's suit is the fraud case which originally made waves when it was first filed two years ago, with the aid of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Florida attorney Mike Papantonio, until it then went "underground" due to the legally mandated seal disallowing the plaintiff and his attorneys from offering any specific details to the public.
As AP reported today, the seal on that federal qui tam (fraud, false claims) complaint, brought on behalf of the United States by Singer against Hart, one of the big four American voting machines companies, has now been lifted, and the case may finally proceed as originally filed.
The BRAD BLOG has obtained the complete complaint and the judge's order lifting the seal...
Our friends Bobby Kennedy Jr. and GoLeft.tv interview another of our friends, Election Integrity hero Ion Sancho, the legendary Leon County, FL, Supervisor of Elections, on the election messes in New Hampshire, Florida, Los Angeles, and everywhere else. (And thanks for the kind hat-tip, guys...even though The BRAD BLOG never claimed there was fraud in NH. But we're happy to let that slide, since the interview was live, and you might have been talking about someone else. And we know you mean well.)
WARNING: Markos Moulitsas and the other front-pagers and gatekeeping denialists at Daily Kos should not watch the above interview! If Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a user record over there, you should go ahead and ban him right now! Make sure he's never allowed to write at dKos! In this interview, he has the temerity to talk about concerns with the way the New Hampshire Primary Election was conducted! Can you believe it?! And he's even a Hillary Clinton supporter! Clearly, he, like The BRAD BLOG, is "doing far more harm than good," as you like to say, for the Election Integrity movement! What will the Democratic Party and the Mainstream Corporate Media say about your site if that "nutter" Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is allowed to post over there?! Quickly --- before he damages the credibility of your site --- you better go ahead and ban RFK Jr. in advance! As you know, better safe than sorry, boys!
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Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio, and David Bender had a great discussion about RFK Jr.'s Live Earth speech on the July 14, 2007 Ring of Fire on Air America Radio. The show opened with a laughing Papantonio asking, "So Bobby, what in the hell did you do this last weekend, my God, hate-mail is flying, Hannity is attacking you, I mean what's up?" You can hear RFK Jr. reply that he "just told the truth, man, just told the truth" in the ten minute audio clip from the radio program (below). The video of the Live Earth speech can also be viewed here at BRAD BLOG.
And there is plenty more truth telling in the Ring of Fire audio clip (above) which includes RFK Jr. elaborating on his Live Earth comments about treasonous corporations:
"The problem is we used to have laws in this country, laws that, in fact, were passed by Teddy Roosevelt and others that said corporations could not participate in the political process. They are economic entities and they should be confined to the economic realm. But once you allow them to participate in the political process and give them the rights of citizens, when they put their financial interest ahead of the interest of the United States and ahead of the interest of our people then they are capable of committing treason."
RFK Jr.'s appearance on Glenn Beck, also at BRAD BLOG, is also discussed briefly. Finally, Bender repeats RFK Jr.'s call to fight lying pundits like Hannity and Beck through their advertisers (many of which can be seen in this video mashup).
During the "Live Earth" concerts this past weekend, in one of the great speeches (both video and text transcript here) in recent American history, activist and radio host Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (his other sites here and here) called Glenn Beck and other right wing pundits "flat-earthers" and "corporate toadies" for continuously lying to the American people about global warming. Tonight, RFK, Jr. appeared on the "Face-Off" segment of Beck's CNN Headline News show and (in a heavily edited interview, see "UPDATE" at end of this story) continued to call out the host, stating at one point, "Your sentence should be that you should have to read the IPCC Report from cover to cover and I don't mean this with any particular disrespect, but I don't believe you have a long attention span."
The "IPCC Report" referenced by Kennedy is a report on global warming, recently issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international body which "assess[es] on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation," according to their website.
Beck then followed up with a clever retort about Kennedy's "even shorter attention span" because the longtime environmental advocate-turned-media critic had failed to define "fascist" for the host. Kennedy quickly replied:
"Let me answer your question. You asked me what the definition of fascist is. The American Heritage Dictionary defines fascism as the domination of government by corporate power. You and John Stossel, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have made yourselves the primary spokesmen for the domination of corporate power over American government."
After more Beck antics, RFK Jr. closed by prescribing that Beck "Go back to journalism school, number one" and "number two, that you read the IPCC Report with somebody standing over your shoulder to help you."
UPDATE FROM BRAD: I spoke with someone from RFK's office late yesterday, who said the interview with Beck was originally much longer, but that it was greatly edited by air time. Indeed, the version of the video posted by Alan above reveals a number of uneven cuts where, clearly, the interview had been edited. Big time.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gave one of the great speeches in recent history at Live Earth where he spoke truth to power to our "rotten politicians" who are "nothing more than corporate toadies" for "villainous companies that consistently put their private financial interest ahead of American interest and ahead of the interest of all of humanity."
RFK jr. also offered a couple of ways to combat the corporations, politicians, "slick public relations firms and their phony think tanks" and "crooked scientists" including getting involved in the political process and boycotting the companies that advertise on programs where the corporate toadies consistently lie about global warming. Specifically, RJK Jr. suggests:
And so I am going to tell you this, that the next time you see John Stossel or Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity --- these flat-earthers, these corporate toadies, lying to you, lying to the American public, and telling you that global warming doesn't exist --- you send an email to their advertisers and tell them that you are not going to buy their products anymore.
This mashup is produced entirely from the July 9th Hannity & Colmes and provides consumers with a list of corporations to avoid as well as evidences a number of typical Sean Hannity lies.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at Live Earth yesterday spoke truth to power in this fantabulous speech (video above).
Kennedy challenged the notion that environmental advocacy was in contradiction to sound economic policy. He charged that "the oil industry and the coal industry and their indentured servants in the political process" making the claim were presenting "a false choice."
Among his exhortations was a call to action to respond to environmental disinformation by holding advertisers who support the disinfo operatives accountable.
"The next time you see John Stossel or Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity --- these flat-earthers, these corporate toadies, lying to you, lying to the American public, and telling you that global warming doesn't exist," Kennedy said, "you send an email to their advertisers and tell them that you are not going to buy their products anymore."
A transcript of RFK Jr.'s comments at Live Earth follow in full below...