Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org
A slow news day today. We hope you had a good President’s Day weekend....
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...|
On several deadlines and fighting some server probs. So...please talk amongst yourselves (if you can, one of the probs is in the comments routines!), and I'll otherwise be back shortly. Thanks for your patience, as ever...
“Replacing trusted people with computers doesn't make the problem go away; it just moves it around and makes it even more complex. The computer, software, and network designers, implementers, coders, installers, maintainers, etc. are all trusted people. See any analysis of the security of electronic voting machines, or some of the frauds perpetrated against computerized gambling machines, for some graphic examples of the risks inherent in replacing people with computers.” Bruce Schneier in the first of our ‘Featured’ articles. Bruce is one of the foremost experts on network security in the world.
In our second ‘Featured’ article we have an editorial from The Olympian of Olympia Washington that discusses the newest threat to Washington State and national elections; Internet voting. The staff of the Olympian correctly warns the state legislature and the Secretary of State to take a deep breath and actually consider how to ensure the security of whatever scheme they decide to use. They recommend that actual experts, and not vendors, be brought in to review and comment on the security of any Internet voting scheme....
If the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) ever had any actual legitimacy, self-respect, or credibility as a professional organization --- and I think they used to have all three --- they have now, officially, thrown any last pretense of any of that down the drain, and have come out of the closet as hard-right, conspiracy theory-based, propagandist loons.
On the day that presumptive Senator-elect Al Franken (D) won a huge victory during former Senator Norm Coleman's (R) election contest in Minnesota, the RNLA issued an hysterical email with the subject line: "Al Franken Loses Legal Battle, He Is Very Desperate."
See below for the embarrassing email that the once-respectable-now-whack-job RNLA sent out via their equally looney-toons "media arm" partners at HumanEvents.com this past week, in hopes of raising funds to "Stop Al Franken From Stealing The Election"...
For all of you paraskevidekatriaphobiacs or triskaidekaphobiacs this may not have been a very good day. For all the rest, hope you had a Happy Friday the 13th.
The chances of Norm Coleman taking back his lead over Al Franken in the Minnesota Senatorial race have taken a long step back today with a ruling from the recount trial judge that lowers the number of rejected absentee ballots that can be recounted. ...
[Updated several times at bottom of article.]
A late Friday finding from the 3-judge panel presiding over the Coleman/Franken U.S. Senate election contest in Minnesota has limited the number of previously rejected absentee ballots that may be reviewed for possible counting.
The 17-page order [PDF], issued late today, will likely come as a blow to former Senator Norm Coleman's (R) chances of overtaking presumptive Senator-elect Al Franken's (D) current lead of some 250 votes out of approximately 2.9 million ballots cast last November...
With the entire state of California facing a massive budget crisis, and most, if not all, of its counties facing shortfalls this year, Riverside County's Registrar of Voters, Barbara Dunmore, is refusing to collect at least $160,000 from Sequoia Voting Systems for the cost of manually counting paper trails produced by their touch-screen voting systems last November.
California counties which choose to use touch-screen voting systems to serve disabled voters are required to tally all of the so-called "paper trails" by hand after elections, as per requirements for their use as imposed by Sec. of State Debra Bowen in 2007, due to security concerns with such systems.
The cost for that tally is to be covered by the voting machine company, as per Bowen's certification documents, which state: "Elections officials are required to conduct the audits, and the vendor is required to reimburse the jurisdiction."
U.S. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) has subpoenaed Karl Rove today, yet again (the third time, for those keeping score at home), to give sworn, public testimony before the committee on February 23rd concerning the politicization of the U.S. Dept. of Justice during the Bush Administration.
Today's subpoena was sent to Rove's attorney Robert D. Luskin. It's accompanied by a brief, two-page letter [PDF] in which the Congressman politely refuses a request by the attorney to delay Rove's appearance, yet again. The previous subpoena required Rove's appearance on Feb. 2nd, but was delayed at his request and rescheduled for the 23rd at that time.
Following the previous subpoena, Rove told Fox "News" that he would refuse to testify, and committee member Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) responded on MSNBC by saying that he would either testify, or go to jail.
At the end of today's letter, refusing Luskin's request for further delay, Conyers, rather amusingly, notes:
RAW STORY's John Byrne reports that request for comment from Luskin was responded to with an auto-reply email stating that Luskin would "be out of the office and unable to check emails or voicemails until February 23, 2009."
UPDATE 2/14/09: "White House counsel Gregory Craig issued a statement late Friday encouraging former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove to cut a deal with Congress, an indication the new administration has begun to put pressure on President George W. Bush's former chief adviser." More details...
UPDATE 2/16/09: "Representatives of the Bush White House are no longer advising former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove that he is protected by executive privilege as regards testimony about the alleged political prosecution of an Alabama governor.
"In an exchange with Raw Story, Rove’s Washington, D.C. attorney, Robert Luskin, also said Rove won’t invoke his Fifth Amendment right to protect himself from self-incrimination, if and when he testifies about the firing of nine US Attorneys and the prosecution of the former governor." More details...
VoterID has been accepted by the Mississippi state House. No surprise for a ‘Red-State’. Meanwhile a House legislative committee in Minnesota has voted against a VoterID bill. Once that decision was made, the sponsor of the bill made accusations of voter fraud in the Senate race. He needs to speak with the Coleman lead attorney who has clearly said, "There hasn't been a whiff here, of any fraud."...
Might we suggest these Republicans get their lies straight before going public?
From Republican State Representative Tom Emmer's press release today, on the defeat of his restrictive Photo ID voting bill in the MN legislature this morning:
Just now, from attorney James Langdon, arguing on behalf of former Republican Senator Norm Coleman, in the U.S. Senate election contest in MN:
But why quibble when we might be able to disenfranchise (Democratic-leaning) voters in a democracy? By the way, the RNC seems to agree with Langdon, not Emmer:
Not that any of that will stop any Republican anywhere from doing everything they can to keep legal (Democratic-leaning) voters from being able to cast their legal votes through Photo ID restrictions, or anything else they can think of.
In a short item on Michael Steele --- the recently-elected, first African-American chair of the RNC --- and his requested resignation of all 100 members of the committee, in order to presumably rebuild it from scratch, rightwing blogger Matt Lewis' coverage at AOL, uses an unfortunate turn of phrase [emphasis added]...
The reformers won, and --- unlike Obama who seems to have used "change" as merely an slogan --- Steele (so far) appears to be "governing" (inasmuch as an RNC chairman can "govern") --- as a true change-agent.
By the same token, one hopes Steele will not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Whoops. As mentioned, unfortunate turn of phrase...
From last night's Colbert Report:
Colbert's probing look at the whacked-out world of the whacked-out Beck, as now proudly featured on everyone's favorite whacked-out cable "news" channel, courtesy of RAW STORY...
"Pre-eminent computer scientists have come to a scientific consensus that the (e-voting) technology is a bad idea," elections attorney and member of the commission Paul Hultin said at a Colorado Election Reform Commission meeting on Tuesday. This statement was made while the commission recommended that the state get rid of electronic voting machines and go to an all-paper system by 2014. Another DRE state may soon be falling to paper ballots....
While Norm Coleman may believe that "God wants [him] to serve," the voters of MN, and a ruling yesterday from the 3-judge panel presiding over his U.S. Senate election contest, still seem to indicate otherwise.
Yes, at it turns out, something actually happened during Coleman's ongoing trial yesterday, and it resulted in still more votes for Al Franken.
That, and other late developments follow...
At Monday night's prime-time press conference (transcript) at the White House, President Obama was asked by NPR's Mara Liasson what he'd learned from his "experience with the stimulus" package, in regard to "future challenges" he will face, legislatively.
The key part of his answer: "I suppose what I could have done is started off with no tax cuts, knowing that I was going to want some, and then let them take credit for all of them. And maybe that's the lesson I learned."
Uh, ya think? Yeah, giving away the store, by negotiating with oneself --- by handing billions of dollars in tax cuts to Republicans, before they'd even asked for it --- is something we long ago learned in Negotiations 101. Apparently Obama skipped class that day.
While we do hope he's learned from it, we coulda seen the disaster coming for miles. In fact, we did --- way back in the early part of 2007 when he did something similar, causing us to post serious reservations about his negotiation and decision making skills at the time.
We were even quoted on it, at the time, by Brit Hume on Fox "News"...
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