Had planned to run this on what I thought would be a "slow" Labor Day weekend. Oh, well.
w/ Brad & Desi
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
Had planned to run this on what I thought would be a "slow" Labor Day weekend. Oh, well.
True to form Florida is in the midst of another election nightmare. Is it a few less than honorable election officials in a couple counties; or, is it the simplistic process the state uses for certifying and accepting voting systems for use; or, is it vendors who have no problem at all selling counties voting systems that should never be used in elections work and that they don’t even warrant as being manufactured to be used in elections? Or, is it all of the above? I suspect it is all of the above. Indian River Co. decided to test a new system that would modem results from the poll sites to the main tabulating room. They decided to do this test in the middle of an election and they ended up doubling results from 40 polling sites. The results from Palm Beach Co are still a mess big enough to boggle the mind but there seems to have been thousands of votes that went uncounted originally while the final total vote count went down by over three thousand votes in one race after a machine and manual recount. And there is still a recount underway in Broward Co. Who knows what reports of problems will come from that recount. Is this a portent of things to come in November? It very clearly is that. ...
The youngest member of our host family in Boulder, CO, last week seemed to be on her way to making a clear choice. Feel free to add your own photo caption in comments...
-- Brad Friedman, from Denver, CO...
16,632 votes are unaccounted for in a Palm Beach County election recount following last Tuesday's state primary, according to Ellen H. Brodsky, non-partisan candidate for Supervisor of Elections in Broward County and a long-time Election Integrity advocate.
The machine recount was completed early Saturday morning in the Circuit Court race between Judge Richard Wennet and challenger William Abramson, Brodsky reports via email. The machine recount was completed at 4:30am, in the race in which Wennet and Abramson were separated by just 18 votes in the initial machine tally. Palm Beach County recently changed voting systems again, moving from faulty touch-screen voting systems to --- apparently --- faulty optical-scan paper-ballot systems made by Sequoia Voting Systems, Inc. [PDF].
The still-unexplained "disappearance" of votes in the machine recount "has severe repercussions," Brodsky wrote in an email alert this afternoon describing the re-scan of some 90,000 ballots.
"With 16,632 less votes on summary report," she writes, it "portends dire consequences for the November election and all elections."
The question remains as to how many votes were lost in other races on the same ballot which were not included in last night's re-tally. Florida state law disallows hand-counting of paper ballots which have already been counted by machine, other than in special circumstances. We'll see if this ends up being one of those circumstances. Theoretically, a hand-count would determine the correct totals for the race, where the machine-count has misreported totals. [UPDATE: Palm Beach Post reports the machine recount was close enough to allow for a hand-count of over votes and undervotes. See more in the update at end of this article.]
Sequoia's voting machines have seen notorious failures of late, including lost votes and other problems, around the country...
The administration was accused by both Republicans and Democrats of acting too slowly and inefficiently to protect New Orleans against 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,800 people amid high winds and rain that flooded the city.
“McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said delaying the start time is a possibility.
"Senator McCain has always been sensitive to national crises — in the 2000 race, he postponed his announcement because of the situation in the Balkans, and we are monitoring the situation very closely,” Bounds said."
Ah, but he partied down with his pal the prez in 2005 as Katrina was drowning a thousand Americans and their pets in their homes.
"Silent Patriot" over at Crooks & Liars has the video, and a bit more detail to go with this. But here's the condensed version [emphasis in original]:
With all due respect again to Governor Kaine, he’s been a governor for three years, he’s been able but undistinguished. I don’t think people could really name a big, important thing that he’s done. He was mayor of the 105th largest city in America. And again, with all due respect to Richmond, Virginia, it’s smaller than Chula Vista, California; Aurora, Colorado; Mesa or Gilbert, Arizona; north Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada. It’s not a big town. So if he were to pick Governor Kaine, it would be an intensely political choice where he said, `You know what? I’m really not, first and foremost, concerned with, is this person capable of being president of the United States?
Rove argues that Kaine’s mayorship of Richmond (pop. 200,000+) is insignificant and that his 3 years as Governor of Virginia (pop. 7,712,091, GDP $383 million) has been “indistinguisahable.” If Rove was intellectually consistent, wouldn’t that mean Palin’s mayorship of Wasilla (pop. 8,000+) and 20 months as Alaska governor (pop. 683,478, GDP $44.5 million) makes her even less qualified than Kaine?
So, Karl, who made the “intensely political choice”?
Last week Premier/Diebold admitted that their GEMS software used in as many as 34 states may have failed any number of times over the last 10 years. The admission comes from their actions in Ohio but no jurisdiction in any of the 33 other states can truly say they have not had the same problem but just never caught it.
Then this week the same company had to admit that their software used in Florida has more problems, on top of the earlier admission. We also learned that their high-speed optical scan machines failed in Sarasota Co. to a point where Premier/Diebold is loaning the county older machines in hopes of not having problems in November.
All of these problems are still on the voting system that is presently awaiting EAC certification. All of these problems are forcing a change to that voting system. Now the vendors are working hard to lobby congress to force the EAC to go back to the old NASED type system. The vendors don’t want the test labs to be forced to actually test their systems and report problems. The vendors want a rubber stamp.
In no other industry do the vendors have so much power over the process of testing and approval. They should never have that power when it comes to our elections. If they can’t put out a product that they can stand-behind and be proud of then they need to get out of the business. Have a safe and sane Labor Day weekend...
-- Brad Friedman from Denver, CO...
We had the chance to interview former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman inside the Pepsi Center on Wednesday, during the Democratic National Convention.
Our concise conversation ranges from the Congressional Democrats' failure to call for a full House vote on Contempt of Congress by Karl Rove, Siegelman's 2002 election which he believes was "stolen electronically," the corporate media's inability to investigate or report on it, and the concern about whether or not Democrats will be in a forgive and forget mode after this session of Congress if Obama is successful in his quest for the White House.
Here's our complete interview (appx. 6 mins)...
Some pull-quotes from the interview...
On Rove: "If we do not vote the contempt citation, Karl Rove is simply going to get in his getaway car and thumb his nose at the Constitution, Congress, and the American people. It creates almost two systems of justice: one for the powerful, those connected to the White House, and then another system for you and me and the rest of the people."
On Democrats: "Democrats are so magnanimous in victory, as they were after Watergate, they did nothing. After the Iran-Contra scandal, they did nothing. But what Democrats are going to want to do is get on with positive programs, to fix the damage that has been done by the Bush administration...But I view this as part of that positive change. Finding out who hijacked the Department of Justice and who used it as a political weapon."
On his 'stolen' 2002 election: "I went to bed the winner. The media had been sent home. The pollworkers had been sent home. The party chairmen had been given their copies of the election results. And then after midnight a light went on in the basement of the capitol, the basement of the courthouse, in the sheriff's office, and 5,200 votes that were mine were shifted to my opponent."
The complete text transcript of the interview follows in full below (thanks to Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us)...
Guest Blogged by Brad Jacobson of MediaBloodhound...
Was the U.S. media admirably discreet or just plain ineffectual in covering news of the arrest of three men suspected of plotting to assassinate Barack Obama during his acceptance speech at Invesco Field?
First, consider the evidence: One of the men arrested, Nathan Johnson said the other two men, Tharin Gartrell and Shawn Robert Adolph, "had planned to kill Barack Obama...on Thursday...," which was why they were in Denver, and that "Adolph was going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a 22-250 rifle which had been sighted at 750 yards." According to the FBI, "Johnson was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama and he responded in the affirmative." The Denver police found in their possession two high-powered rifles with scopes, 85 rounds of ammunition, a bullet-proof vest, walkie-talkies, wigs, fake I.D.s, hotel reservations near the convention and 4.4 grams of methamphetamine, an amount, however, too small to be charged with more than simple possession. (Yet, for some reason, Colorado U.S. Attorney Troy Eid put a much greater focus on this relatively little amount of meth and their use of it than on the other apparent highly incriminating pieces of evidence obtained, including Johnson's statements). All three men have long criminal records, are suspected of having ties to white supremacist groups, and one of the men, Adolph, who was on the Weld County, Colo., sheriff department's "Most Wanted" list for burglary, larceny, aggravated motor vehicle theft and other charges, has a violent criminal history and is being held on $1 million bond for outstanding warrants.
During U.S. Attorney of Colorado Troy Eid's peculiar press conference Tuesday night, he characterized the men as "just a bunch of meth heads," framing his question-and-answer session with reporters more like an anti-drug campaign sloganeer than a chief law enforcement official: "You know, I don't know, uh, bunch of meth heads get together, I don't know what they do, I don't get inside their brain. But we take them very seriously what they do. I have to just emphasize this is a group of people, there were a number of people, that are using meth. I don't know how many of you know meth, anyone here not know about meth? This is a really terrible drug. People do all sorts of stupid things on meth." He followed that response with: "There is no credible threat right now and there was no credible threat based on the evidence that we have to Senator Obama or anybody else related to what we know about this case." Asked what the weapons could be for (not to mention the ammo, bullet-proof vest, wigs, fake I.D.s, etc.), Eid answered only, "You know, I don't know what they were for and we'll keep looking into that." Eid went on to say, "You know, they didn't, they didn't reveal a plan. I think what you can see in the affidavit was, uh, a lot of racist rantings and a lot of dislike for the idea of Senator Obama as an African-American person of color being able to pursue that office."
But Eid's statement appears to be patently false. As reported by the Associated Press:
That's not merely, as Eid called it, "the racist rantings of drug abusers." Rather, coupled with the arsenal found, it shows motive, intent and a plan. And, to be clear, contrary to what Eid told the press, it was in the affidavit.
Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.
In the clip, you'll see John McCain's pick for vice president, Alaska governor Sarah Palin, interviewed by the nauseatingly unctuous Glenn Beck, which makes the clip NSE (not safe for eating while watching). The interview actually starts at 4:20.
She was on the program to discuss her lawsuit against the Bush administration to stop them from including polar bears on the endangered species list, and reveals herself to be a rabid anti-environmentalist and a strong proponent of global warming, who favors drilling in her state's pristine wildernesses.
Here are a some highlights of her biography:
Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.
[UPDATE 7:39am PT: NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell has confirmed that McCain has picked Palin.]
No less a source than Fox News says this morning that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is en route to Ohio this morning, and is likely to be John McCain choice to be his running mate.
Fox also reports that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is out of the running. Meanwhile, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told a local radio station this morning that he will not be in Ohio later today when John McCain names his vice presidential running mate.
About Palin, Fox reports that "a charter aircraft from Anchorage had arrived in Dayton, Ohio, where McCain has scheduled a noon ET rally to announce his choice."
Of course, because the source is Fox News, the story about Palin could be disinformation sent out by the McCain campaign
It is never easy asking for funding but it is something that non-profit groups have to do occasionally. VotersUnite.Org is not a project of Pew or one of the big-money organizations and we don’t want to be. We like being able to make our own decisions and not having to make those decisions based on a position of a sponsoring organization. However, this freedom means we have to do our own fundraising and we have to ask, hat in hand, for your help. “Daily Voting News” is a near daily service provided by VotersUnite free of charge to subscribers. I have never taken a penny, beyond some expenses, for doing this; not for over four years of gathering the news; and I never will. We do, however, have overhead and we need help with that. So, here I am doing what I dislike doing very much, asking for help from you so we can keep doing this work and keep VotersUnite.Org as one of the premier informational election integrity organizations. Please help us out with a tax-deductible donation. ...
Here's an object lesson in so much that's wrong with the corporate mainstream media.
U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, the Republican from Arizona, showed up at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night. He was mobbed by "reporters" from the corporate media (people with large video cameras and microphones who turn them on, point them towards famous people, and allow them to say whatever they want without ever challenging them in any way) out front of the Pepsi Center in Denver.
I happened to be there as well, with a much smaller video camera rolling, and the willingness to actually try to hold Kyl's feet to the fire.
First he had mentioned John McCain's "experience" in foreign policy that allowed him to deal with situations like the Russia/Georgia conflict in a way that Barack Obama couldn't. The "reporters" asked no follow-ups in response to Kyl's unsupported talking point, so I tried to ask him how McCain could deal with the two parties as an honest broker, given that he has senior campaign staffers who are paid lobbyists for Georgia. Kyle dodged the question and quickly moved onto something else. I tried to follow up, but he ignored me.
Then, when one of the "reporters" asked Kyl a hard-hitting question about whether he had "seen anything this week that made [him] cringe," he referred to Bill Clinton's convention speech, made within the past hour that night. Responding to the compliant, smiling media zombies he charged that Clinton had cited "statistics...that are not accurate." However, the Senator gave no evidence for those allegations, and the zombies didn't press him, so I decided to do so.
Here, then - with my polite pauses, allowing him to ramble on in answer to other inane questions from the zombies, edited out for time --- is what it looked like...
Today Premier/Diebold has again had to accept the blame for voting machine failures. This time the optical scan machines that had tallied absentee ballots in Sarasota County would not upload the totals to the main server and refused to post elections in Hillsborough County. Election officials in Sarasota ended up having to count 10,000 ballots by hand. It is a good thing they had the paper ballots to count by hand or those votes would have been lost....
Bob Novak, the rightwing columnist who treasonously revealed the clandestine identity of CIA WMD investigator Valerie Plame, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, but recently returned to producing short squibs for his syndicate, including the latest on Joe Lieberman's chances of being named as John McCain's VP on Friday:
But they can't get away with it --- and this has been made clear to McCain by none other than Joe Lieberman himself.
Lieberman surely doesn't know that much about Republican politics, but he has close Republican friends. One of them prevailed on Lieberman to tell McCain that a McCain-Lieberman ticket would be a disaster for all concerned, and especially for the GOP.
We should be so lucky.
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