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Member since: 2002
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So what does Amy Goodman do for a living, or Greg Palast?

Or before them, I.F. Stone or George Seldes?

Or right now, the folks at Alternet or Commondreams or Counterpunch?

Or, I don't know, Scoop or (often, still) the Guardian?

Although I confess, while I am a current newspaper subscriber -- it's only for laughs and the local sports section. (A very good sports section, which unlike the rest of the paper, almost always tell the truth.)

But it hasn't always been that way. When the newly formed United States of America were brand spanking new, government subsidies were provided to newspapers to help defray the cost of publication. Fourth class postage for periodicals and printed matter was meant to educate the electorate, so they wouldn't be so easily swayed by ....Hamiltonian Federalists, who were backed by the One Percent of that day. (It was Thomas Jefferson's idea.) It's still a good idea. Just needs a little tweaking and technical upgrade.

At 8:25 pm, media was 'leaning' to call WI for RobMe/Lyin

But two heavily blue wards hadn't been counted, so they held off.

Forty minutes later the call went the other way. Not too long after those
two wards turned in the expected results, and other results came in.

At least according to this blog:


The programmer/analyst/expert named, Richard Charnin, has a very complete
and detailed list of election integrity links at his website:



If Florida gets counted for Obama, Charnin will have exactly predicted the
final announced tally.

If Florida ends up going the other way, it will raise a red flag in one of the
states that had a very high level of voter suppression activity before the

With all these late, slow, or delayed vote counts -- there are still 600K ballots
missing in Arizona? How many other state counts are still incomplete, or show
untabulated ballots? -- what's the correlation between a ....s . l . o . w... count
and increasing uncertainty, or greater skepticism with final, released tallies?

And if states like FLA and AZ were working sooooo hard to assure the cleanest,
most accurate and reliable lists of registered voters before the balloting started
-- what's been taking so long?

Are there increased rates of early/absentee ballots going uncounted, or lost or
missing? With similarly higher rates for "spoiled" and 'improperly marked' ballots?

Big Lot$ Bargain & Liquidation Endorsements

Newspaper and print publications, those same folks who bring us the acutely unhelpful Politifact franchise (appealing to the lowest common denominator and shortest-attention-span voter), have a new game to play.

Last night on the local TeeVee news, the anchors talked about newspaper endorsements and after saying that our state’s biggest daily, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel had ‘made no endorsement,’ they seemed at least a little surprised (and even pleased) to announce that the second biggest paper in the state, liberal Madison’s “Capitol Times” had endorsed a Republican. For, like, the first time since Lincoln. (Or whenever it was that the Loyalty League and Fighting Bob LaFollette started not seeing eye-to-eye on foreign policy.)

That kind of thing gets picked up by online as well as broadcast media.

If you google “Wisconsin State Journal + Romney” you’ll see all kinds of resonance and reverberation. Not all of it is from Echo Chamber sites. The Washington Post paid attention, as did quite a few other state and out-state news sources.

But to find out how such a curious endorsement could have been made, you have to dig deep to find out who is actually owning, operating and managing the editorial policy of the paper:


Of the eleven member board of directors of Lee Enterprises -- the company that owns the Wisconsin State Journal and dozens of other newspapers accross the country-- most are heavy donors to republican candidates or PACs.

…Now, I'm sure some will poo-poo this and say these people are just on the board. But keep in mind, Lee's only business is owning newspapers. The head of the board and CEO of Lee, Mary Junck, is also chair of the board at the Associated Press.

It should also be pointed out that Lee Enterprises and its board recently crushed the union at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and gutted the once-decent newspaper even though it was making a profit for the company. And, according to the St. Louis Journalism Review, "Lee has a website for employees that provides negative information about unions."

But that’s the newspaper business these days. It’s not news that their opinions and endorsements are anything like impartial, objective, or always in the best interest of the local community. But all the other media outlets keep on and pretend that they are.

I’d actually be curious to know if other people have seen the same kind of thing, with other publications?

The most obvious recent example I can think of is Newsweek. I had started getting free copies in my mailbox when I found a forwarded viral email in my inbox. Pasting the exchange, below:

(Apologies for the tiny print size, I'm new to formatting for PhotoBucket. It seems to paste the same no matter what dpi or image width I have in the source file.)

That's a great story. Please put it up in an O.P.

From the link:

Security experts have warned that electronic voting systems are decades away from being secure, and to prove it a team from the University of Michigan successfully got the foul-mouthed, drunken Futurama robot Bender elected to head of a school board. ...In 2010 the Washington DC election board announced it had set up an e-voting system for absentee ballots and was planning to use it in an election. However, to test the system, it invited the security community and members of the public to try and hack it three weeks before the election....

...Once in, the team searched the government servers for additional vulnerabilities and system options. They found that the cameras installed to watch the voting systems weren't protected, and used them to work out when staff left for the day and so wouldn't spot server activity. More worrying, they also found a PDF file containing the authentication codes for every Washington DC voter in the forthcoming election.

The team altered all the ballots on the system to vote for none of the nominated candidates. They then wrote in names of fictional IT systems as candidates, including Skynet and (Halderman's personal favorite) Bender for head of the DC school board. They also set up systems so that any further ballots would come under their control.

According to the log files the team found, plenty of people were also busy trying to get into the system. They spotted attempts to get in from the Persian University, as well as India and China. Using their inside access, they blocked these attacks.

What the heck are "authentication codes" for voters? Would having that information allow someone to go in and selectively invalidate the ballot choices of voters they'd want to disenfranchise?

Serving drinks. I think that captures the picture.

If the Koch Bros. told him to, he'd wear an apron and heels, too.

Anything goes, as long as it satisfies the Money Party agenda:

Tax cuts for the top of the top tier, and screw the rest of us.

McCamy Taylor: John Sununu's White Trash Moment

Few days old, but no less timely or to the point:


First, I want to clarify something. There is no such thing as White Trash (noun)---poor or otherwise---just as there is no such thing as Evil Incarnate, the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus. Folks are folks. They can be nice one moment and shitty the next. They love some people and hate some others. They have positive qualities and negative qualities----and, depending upon their circumstances, their negative qualities can become virtues and their positive ones can become liabilities.

However, there is such a thing as white trash (verb), as in to blame one’s loss on someone else’s race or ethnicity. Recently, we witnessed former New Hampshire governor and current Romney pit bull, John Sununu demonstrate how white trashing is done.

...I miss seeing her thoughts at the right side of the home page, here at D.U. Thanks, McCamy. Very glad to see that you're still jotting down what's on your mind.

Hate to say it but let's see if the emails really turn up.

On C-Span weekend BookTV, not too long ago, author Craig Unger described a similar situation:


Quick Summary:

In violation of Federal Law, which requires that elected representatives conducting official business must
have all their correspondence and transcripts available to the public, Karl Rove had a secret deal with a
Nashville, TN company called Smart Tech. When Bush administration officials were subpoena'd following
the Valerie Plame and Fired Attorney General's scandals, it was discovered that email records germane
and pertinent to those cases had gone through Smart Tech web servers. Not through the same servers
that other elected representatives used. So they were simply, "unavailable." Deniability is right at the top
of Rove's game plan, according to Unger. So if there are problems or leaks or anything gets out that might
bite them in the ass, they don't have to do a lot of messy, open back-tracking.

Even when they have to take extreme measures:


...The SmartTech servers at one point housed Karl Rove's emails. Some of Rove's email files have since mysteriously disappeared despite repeated court-sanctioned attempts to review them.

In 2001, Michael Connell's GovTech Solutions, LLC was selected to reorganize the Capitol Hill IT network, the only private-sector company to gain permission from HIR [House Information Resources] to place its server behind the firewall, he bragged.

At 12:20 am on the night of the 2004 election exit polls and initial vote counts showed John Kerry the clear winner of Ohio's presidential campaign. The Buckeye State's 20 electoral votes would have given Kerry the presidency.

But from then until around 2am, the flow of information mysteriously ceased. After that, the vote count shifted dramatically to George W. Bush, ultimately giving him a second term. In the end there was a 6.7 percent diversion---in Bush's favor---between highly professional, nationally funded exit polls and the final official vote count as tabulated by Blackwell and Connell.

Until his death Connell remained the IT supervisor....

If you go to the BookTV link, Unger says something like -- 'server traffic increased dramatically -- over 700 percent' and it stayed at that high level.... For as long as it took to flip all those votes.

So the outline of the foot print is still there -----> the record of how much bandwidth was needed to accomplish that task. But there is no imprint of the actual foot. Let alone any toe prints, or identifying or distinguishing marks that could be used to find the individuals responsible.

The bottom line is at the end of the article.

It's one more reason to suspect (as Harry Reid speculated), that on balance, over the last ten years,
Romney may have had ZERO tax liability. He's released incomplete returns for a very small part of
that decade. But using strategies likes this, it's a way to pay a nominal amount to the Mormon church,
and significantly reduce tax liability.

The article quotes Harry Reid:

“For all we know Mitt Romney could be one of those who have paid no federal income tax. Thousands of families making more than a million dollars per year pay nothing in federal income tax,” the Nevada Democrat observed. “Is Mitt Romney among those? We’ll never know because he refuses to release his tax returns.”

“We know that Mitt Romney pays a lower tax rate than middle-class families, thanks to a number of things he’s done: Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Islands tax shelters. And we can only imagine what new secrets would be revealed if he showed the American people a dozen years of tax returns like his dad did.”

Reid noted that most of “those people” who Romney talked about “are not avoiding their tax bills using Cayman Islands tax shelters or Swiss Bank accounts like Mitt Romney. Millions of the 47 percent are seniors on Social Security, who don’t have Bain Capital retirement funds or inherited stock to fall back on.”

Also, I'm not following when you say, "...you get no present-day tax write-off because you can't touch the cash."

That's not the point. Churches are not liable for capital gains taxes, so you do get that write-off. Your investment grows tax deferred, and it dribbles back to you in manageable chunks.

At least that's how I read the Bloomberg report.

That sounds familiar.

They weren't recruited by attorneys and it wasn't about redistricting, but I remember something kinda similar when there were "Pay Day Loan" (reform) bills in the legislature. To try and put a cap on 500 and 600% annual percentage rates being charged. Those least able to repay were the ones to whom those 'services' were marketed. So open hearings were held on the North Side of Milwaukee (Washington Park Senior Center) and the South Side (West Allis City Hall.) The PR people for the loan sharks had a posse of po' 'n black folks steppin' up to the mic at both locations. Saying that they 'appreciated the opportunity' to pay those high interest rates, because they really needed the money.

I talked to one of them, later, outside the hearing room. What she told me sounded a little unusual, but she had looked like their best witness to me, so I wonder if she had received special attention. She had gotten some kind of start up loan to get a HEPA vacuum and was working on getting certification to be able to do (government-mandated?) or (agency-approved?) clean up. Which paid the sub-contractor a very BIG dollar-per-hour rate. Pay Day Loans, which normally are repaid in two or three weeks, and Small Business start up loans are totally different things, but there she was, telling the crowd what a wonderful service the Lenders were providing. Some of the other folks there looked like they were testifying in exchange for less convoluted quid pro quo's. (Coupons for free pizza, 6-packs of Coke and Chee-Zee Bread, maybe.) They definitely didn't look like they were regular attendee's of public hearings, but they all really looked like they could use a buck.

Similar things happen when there are "minority participation" mandates for hiring, for some kinds of public construction jobs. The projects are Mega-million dollar bonanza's for the same big bidders that always get big contracts. But they take the time to hire small electrical sub-contractors to put the face-plates on electrical panels, when everything else is done. They pay them a few thousand bucks for the opportunity to make sure they have black faces available for photo-opportunities, when they're needed. On the front end of those same jobs, before anything's even begun, they'll hire some ex-felons for a few hours to push brooms or wheel barrows around. They'll keep their names on file as steady workers on those projects, even though they only end up working a few hours, or days.....

J-S article from the time, about Pay-Day Loan reform


"....Some lawmakers said they didn't see a reason for the Legislature to regulate the industry, saying people should be able to make their own financial decisions, even if they make poor choices.

"Why is it the government's job to protect people from themselves?" said Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc)....

.....The chairman of the Financial Institutions Committee, Rep. Jason Fields (D-Milwaukee), said he hasn't seen a need for the rate cap and that the committee is unlikely to pass a cap because of a lack of support from Sheridan and the Senate.......

Fields said he has concerns about creating a database because other state computer systems have had security breaches.

"We haven't been the most successful at keeping people's private information private," Fields said.

We didn't win that one, but Jason Fields is no longer representing that Assembly district. Mandela Barnes (keep an eye on him) wore out his shoes going door to door and with next to no money, won the race going away.

Edit Afterthought:

How many years has it been? Why don't people get it? Anatole France quote from the late 19th Century:

La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain.

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

Le Lys Rouge [The Red Lily] (1894), ch. 7

Variant: How noble the law, in its majestic equality, that both the rich and poor are equally prohibited from peeing in the streets, sleeping under bridges, and stealing bread!

Huh? How Hot is It???? Where?

"Halo of Hot Gas" sounds like a description of the left-over steam in a small bathroom,
after you've finished your shower.

But that can't be a very accurate comparison, because it doesn't sound like this is
your typical gas dispersion -- random, evenly distributed, more or less uniform throughout.

If that were the case, "temperature 'a few hundred times hotter' than the surface of our
Sun" would be something we would have detected by now?

So this isn't a "cloud" of gas, it's some kind of hollow, hot bubble with nothing to
see or detect anywhere near us? Only when you got out 5 or 8 times the diameter
of the Milky Way would an acute, perspicacious observer be able to notice.... *it's
hundreds of times hotter than the sun.* (YEEOW! Ouch, Ouch, Hot, Hot.)

....It's like something that could have come from a plot line in the original, 60's Star Trek.
The bubble -- a giant balloon, globule, bladder, vesicle -- of super-hot gas (with a face
on it, that talks to Kirk?) that stands as a barrier to space travel?
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