October Updates 2012


Featured Monthly Commentary


John Kerry, you must finally tell the world that you—and we—were robbed eight years ago! 

By Mark Crisipin Miller / News from Underground

John KerryOn the evening of Friday, Oct. 27, 2005, I met John Kerry at a fundraiser in Manhattan, having gone there to give him a copy of Fooled Again, which had just been published. "You were robbed, senator," I told him, handing him the book. He answered, with a look of outrage and astonishment: "I know!" We talked about the matter for about ten minutes, and ended with him promising to read the book, and then presumably consider what he ought to do.

A week later, on the morning of Nov. 4, I reported that exchange in an interview with Amy Goodman on "Democracy Now!" The show's producers sent out a press release, and the Internet exploded, with some condemning Kerry for his silence, and others hailing him for breaking it. And then, a few hours later, Kerry's office came out with a statement Claiming that I'd made the whole thing up. (For a more detailed account, both of my exchange with Kerry and his office's retraction, see the Afterword to the paperback edition of Fooled Again.) I'm not the only one whom Kerry told he thinks that race was stolen. (Dick Russell had a very similar conversation with him.) So why does he not Finally break his long, strange /public/ silence, and tell the people what he knows about that race—before Karl Rove et al. attempt to "win" this next election, too?

Read more here.


Editor's Choice: Click below for the Justice Integrity Project's monthly archive of cutting-edge news excerpts for October 2012.


JIP Clips:

Oct. 30

Verified Voting.org, Provisional ballots could keep Ohio’s presidential outcome in doubt for days after election, Staff report, Oct. 30, 2012. As the presidential race narrows in Ohio, the Buckeye State runs the risk of preventing the United States from calling a winner for days after the Nov. 6 election. A wild card in declaring a winner on Election Night could be thousands provisional ballots. Provisionals are given to voters when their eligibility is in question, often because of address changes or discrepancies. Election boards hold the ballots 10 days to determine eligibility. ”If it’s a really tight race, we could be in a position where we don’t know [the winner] until provisional ballots are counted,” said Edward Foley, director of Election Law @ Moritz, a program at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. ”If Ohio is held up, and Ohio is essential to know who won, then the presidency is going to get held up.”

Oct. 29

Guardian/OpEd News, US detention of Imran Khan part of trend to harass anti-drone advocates, Glenn Greenwald, Oct. 29, 2012. The vindictive humiliation of Pakistan's most popular politician shows the US government's intolerance for dissent. Strictly on pragmatic grounds, it seems quite ill-advised to subject the most popular leader in Pakistan -- the potential next Prime Minister -- to trivial, vindictive humiliations of this sort. It is also a breach of the most basic diplomatic protocol: just imagine the outrage if a US politician were removed from a plane by Pakistani officials in order to be questioned about his or her publicly expressed political views. And harassing prominent critics of US policy is hardly likely to dilute anti-US animosity; the exact opposite is far more likely to occur. But the most important point here is that Khan's detention is part of a clear trend by the Obama administration to harass and intimidate critics of its drone attacks.

AlterNet, Is The Voter Vigilante Group True The Vote Violating Ohio Law to Intimidate Voters at the Polls? Steven Rosenfeld, October 29, 2012. TrueTheVote’s poll worker training effort may violate Ohio law for interfering in an election. A right-wing voter vigilante group, TrueTheVote, may be pushing their anti-democratic agenda into illegal territory in Ohio by interfering with that state’s official poll worker training regimen one week before the 2012 presidential election. In recent weeks, the Texas-based group, with many local affiliates drawn from Tea Party ranks, has been urging poll workers in key Ohio counties—primarily Republicans—to supplement their official state training with TrueTheVote materials. These Election Day workers are not the observers chosen by political parties who can watch but not interfere with voting; they are the people who are drawn from both parties and employed by the state to run the voting process. “A few weeks back it was reported that TrueTheVote had talked about doing trainings,” said Brian Rothenberg, ProgressOhio Executive Director. “It appears that some offshoot of the Tea Party is now training elections workers in Hamilton County and we’re starting to hear that it’s happening in other counties, and that requests are being made for lists of poll workers throughout Ohio—to provide extra training.”

FireDogLake, Why We Must Abolish the Electoral College, David Dayen, October 29, 2012. Hayes had the most thoughtful discussionof the National Popular Vote I’ve ever seen on cable television yesterday. Every so often, it’s worth pointing out that it’s entirely unnatural to run a national political campaign through a handful of boroughs and counties in at most 9 out of the 50 states, which leads to highlighting a mish-mash of local issues as if they were the most vital and critical national issues.

Huffington Post, FISA Lawsuit: Supreme Court Skeptical Of Request To Toss Expanded Surveillance Challenge, Jesse J. Holland, October 29, 2012, The Supreme Court seemed skeptical Monday of a government request to invalidate a lawsuit challenging the expansion of a surveillance law used to monitor conversations of foreign spies and terrorist suspects. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, passed in 1978, allows the government to monitor conversations of foreign spies and terrorist suspects abroad for intelligence purposes. The 2008 FISA amendments allow the government to obtain from a secret court broad, yearlong intercept orders, raising the prospect that phone calls and emails between those foreign targets and innocent Americans in this country will be swept in.

Oct. 28

New York Times, Medicaid on the Ballot, Paul Krugman, October 28, 2012, There's a lot we don’t know about what Mitt Romney would do if he won. He refuses to say which tax loopholes he would close to make up for $5 trillion in tax cuts; his economic “plan” is an empty shell. But one thing is clear: If he wins, Medicaid — which now covers more than 50 million Americans, and which President Obama would expand further as part of his health reform — will face savage cuts. Estimates suggest that a Romney victory would deny health insurance to about 45 million people who would have coverage if he lost, with two-thirds of that difference due to the assault on Medicaid.

Chattanooga Free-Press, 2nd Scott DesJarlais girlfriend talks, Chris Carroll, October 28, 2012. On the heels of a sex scandal involving a female patient, another woman has acknowledged having a sexual relationship with physician and U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais while she was under his medical care. The second woman described DesJarlais as "the nicest guy" and said he cooked dinner for her at their first get-together in 2000. But she also said they smoked marijuana during their relationship and remembered DesJarlais prescribing her pain medication on dates at his home. "His biggest thing that's completely unethical is him just picking up women while he's a doctor," the woman said in an interview last week. "I mean, seriously, that's his big no-no. ... He's just a hound." The woman said the affair lasted six months and included mutual illicit drug use. Now in her 40s, the woman said she met DesJarlais as a patient in the mid-1990s and began dating him about five years later in the midst of his divorce. She said DesJarlais' early attempts at romance were "bizarre." She recalled feeling strange about a general practitioner who encouraged her to call him at home. Eventually he phoned her and invited her over.

LA Progressive, Retired NSA Analyst Proves GOP Is Stealing Elections, Part I, Denis Campbell, October 28, 2012. Why is Mitt Romney so confident? In states where the winner will be decided by less than 10%, of the vote he already knows he will win. This is no tinfoil hat conspiracy. It's a math problem. And mathematics showed changes in actual raw voting data that had no statistical correlation other than programmable computer fraud. This computer fraud resulted in votes being flipped from Democrat to Republican in every federal, senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial election since 2008 (thus far) and in the 2012 primary contests from other Republicans to Mitt Romney. This goes well beyond Romney's investment control in voting machine maker Hart Intercivic and Diebold's close ties to George W. Bush. Indeed all five voting machine companies have very strong GOP fundraising ties, yet executives (including the candidate's son Tagg Romney) there is no conflict between massively supporting one party financially whilst controlling the machines that record and count the votes. A retired NSA analyst has spent several sleepless nights applying a simple formula to past election results across Arizona. His results showed across-the-board systemic election fraud on a coordinated and massive scale. Retired NSA analyst Michael Duniho has worked for nearly seven years trying to understand voting anomalies in his home state of Arizona and Pima County. 

Blaze, Retired Lt. Col.: My Sources Say Obama Was in the Room Watching Benghazi Attack Happen, Madeleine Morgenstern, October 28, 2012. Retired Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer said Saturday he has sources saying President Barack Obama was in the room at the White House watching the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya unfold. Two unarmed U.S. drones were dispatched to the consulate and recorded the final hours of the attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. “This was in the middle of the business day in Washington, so everybody at the White House, CIA, Pentagon, everybody was watching this go down,” Shaffer said on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” “According to my sources, yes, [Obama] was one of those in the White House Situation Room in real-time watching this.” Shaffer served as a senior operations officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency in Afghanistan in 2003 and wrote a book critical of the policies there. The U.S. government purchased the entire print run for $47,000 in an attempt at censorship just before its 2010 publication, claiming it contained classified material. Shaffer said the question now is what precisely Obama did or didn’t do in the moments he saw the attack unfolding. The CIA reportedly made three urgent requests for military backup that were each denied. “He, only he, could issue a directive to Secretary of Defense Panetta to do something. That’s the only place it could be done,” Shaffer said. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last week the military did not intervene because they did not have enough information about what was happening on the ground. Col. David Hunt, a Fox News military analyst, said the military could have had jets in the air within 20 minutes and forces on the ground within two hours.

Oct. 26

Keith Thomson, Could Romney-Linked Electronic Voting Machines Jeopardize Ohio's Vote Accuracy? Huffington Post, October 26, 2012. In the United States, 35 percent of this year's general election votes will be cast on electronic voting machines that are said to have been "designed with insufficient attention to computer security."

Colleen Barry, “Silvio Berlusconi Trial: Former Italian Prime Minister Sentenced For Tax Evasion,” AP/Huffington Post, October 26, 2012. A court in Milan Friday convicted former Premier Silvio Berlusconi of tax fraud and sentenced the media mogul to four years in prison, his first prison sentence in years of criminal probes.

Oct. 25

Ben Swann, Reality Check: Can Ohio Voting Machines Be Hacked? Fox 19 News WXIX-TV (Cincinnati), October 25, 2012. 

James Nye, CIA agents in Benghazi twice asked for permission to help Ambassador Chris Stevens as bullets were flying and twice were told to 'stand down,' Daily Mail, October 25, 2012. “Revelations shed new light on the effectiveness of the CIA at Benghazi and the level of support they were given.  When the CIA annex come under attack the field agents were denied a request for military help despite a counter terrorism team being two hours away in Italy.  There was full communication between operatives on the ground and headquarters - with the ability to laser guide drones, planes or special forces to enemy target. “

Nate C. Hindman and Christina Wilkie, Wynn Employee Voter Guide Pressures Workers To Vote Right, Huffington Post, October 25, 2012. Wynn Resorts, the third-largest casino operator in the U.S., recently mailed a "2012 General Election Voter Guide" to its 12,000 employees in Nevada. The bound booklet, obtained by The Huffington Post, identifies candidates whom the Las Vegas-based company supports, leading to what one worker described as a feeling of being pressured to vote for candidates favored by the boss. This pressure is compounded by the behavior of company CEO Steve Wynn, who has used corporate time and media to attack President Barack Obama's policies. 

PR Newswire, Chevron Criticized for Prying Into Emails of People Working On Ecuador Case, Says Amazon Defense Coalition, Herald Online, October 25, 2012. The nation's leading online privacy organization is accusing Chevron of violating the First Amendment and trying to intimidate its critics by prying into the private email accounts of 71 individuals connected to the Amazon villagers who recently won a historic $19 billion judgment against the oil giant. In a brief filed this week in federal court in San Francisco, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said Chevron's subpoenas to Google and other internet service providers are "staggering" in their overbreadth, violate personal privacy, and have engendered fear for the personal safety of those aware of the oil giant's campaign of intimidation against lawyers and their allies who won the judgment. The brief argued that Chevron's request for information should be denied because it was nothing more than a "fishing expedition" for information that would allow it "to create a comprehensive and detailed map of each person's movements over a nine-year period."

Roger Shuler, Romney Might Prove That Ted And Randall Rollins Aren't The Only Rich Guys Who Lie Under Oath, Legal Schnauzer, October 25, 2012. Mitt Romney might have blown his chance for the presidency by lying under oath in a divorce case some 20 years ago. The ex-wife of a former Romney business partner claims that the GOP candidate testified falsely about the value of a company and cost her millions of dollars in the process. Celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred represents Maureen Sullivan Stemberg and is expected to push at a hearing today for release of Romney's testimony from 1991. Some in the press have dubbed the story "Gloria Allred's October Surprise," saying Romney's candidacy could sink if it is shown he committed perjury.

David Dayen, The Lasting Impact of 2010 Election: Redistricting Cementing Republican House Majority, October 25, 2012  Whether you think that Democrats lost the House and a majority of state legislatures in 2010 because of a lack of improvement in the economy, the natural cycle of out-party gains in a midterm election, the clever use of Republican obstructionism to dampen economic performance, those damn liberals who didn’t clap loudly enough, or whatever, you cannot deny the lasting impact of that massive thumping. The Brennan Center has a report out today about post-2010 redistricting, and how it has tilted the map in favor of Republican control that may last regardless of the mood of the nation.

Carol D. Leonnig, Judge releases Romney testimony from Staples founder’s divorce trial, Washington Post, October 25, 2012. A Massachusetts judge agreed Thursday to release Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s testimony in a testy 1988 divorce case that pitted one of his key business associates against a Boston socialite. At issue is what Romney said in the case about the estimated value of Staples, then a fledgling private company in which his firm was a major investor. The office-supplies firm went public shortly after and became a sensational success story.

Dan Froomkin, GOP Voter Fraud Accusations Suddenly Blowing Up In Their Faces, Huffington Post, October 25, 2012. Republican officials, who have used hysteria about alleged voter fraud as an excuse to support measures that disproportionately block Democratic voters, are furiously trying to distance themselves from a growing number of GOP voter registration drives that either submitted false applications or threw away authentic ones. The incidents might have been overlooked if not for the GOP's clamorous campaign to restrict registration drives, purge voter rolls, roll back early voting, and pass voter ID laws that opponents point out have the effect of depressing the vote among minorities, the poor and other generally Democratic constituencies. As one Southern California alt-weekly put it, it's turning into a story of "The Wolf Who Cried Wolf." The latest drama began to unfold on Oct. 17, when the manager of a Tuesday Morning discount store in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley saw a man throwing a garbage bag into the store 's private dumpster. Inside the bag was a file folder containing eight completed Virginia voter registration forms. The manager described the man to Rockingham County sheriff's deputies, who the following day arrested Colin Small, 23, a voter registration drive contractor for the Virginia GOP -- and charged him with eight felonies and five misdemeanors related to the destruction and disclosure of the applications and obstruction of justice. A few weeks earlier, the GOP had been under fire following reports of suspicious registration applications that had been submitted in 10 Florida counties by a company run by Nathan Sproul, a Republican operative who has long been trailed by allegations of voter fraud. The Republican Party paid Sproul's company, Strategic Allied Consulting, about $3 million this year for registration drives in five swing states: Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, and Virginia.

Bob Fitrakis, Mountains of evidence on election tampering documented in book on election integrity movement, Free Press, October 25, 2012. CICJ Books has just released "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Rise and Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, 2000-2008" by Marta Steele.

Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis, Romney family and friends will help tabulate the vote count in Cincinnati: Hart Intercivic holds maintenance contracts on their own machines, FreePress.org, October 25, 2012. Since the Columbus Free Press broke the story of Tagg, Mitt, HIG Capital and your e-vote, there has been a bi-partisan effort on the internet to restore faith in the system. There are Democrats who wish the Free Press would remain silent, fearing that exposure of these facts will demoralize their base and lead to low voter turnout. Pundits like Chuck Todd have used the phrase "conspiracy theory" and even gone so far as to say "The voting machine conspiracies belong in same category as the Trump birther garbage." An industry shill, Michelle Shafer, who currently works as media director for Scytl, a Spanish-based vote-counting company, and has worked for all but one of the major voting machine manufacturers, has replied via comment to our articles with additional falsehoods and misrepresentations.

Dan Froomkin, GOP Voter Fraud Accusations Suddenly Blowing Up In Their Faces, Huffington Post, October 25, 2012. Republican officials, who have used hysteria about alleged voter fraud as an excuse to support measures that disproportionately block Democratic voters, are furiously trying to distance themselves from a growing number of GOP voter registration drives that either submitted false applications or threw away authentic ones. The incidents might have been overlooked if not for the GOP's clamorous campaign to restrict registration drives, purge voter rolls, roll back early voting, and pass voter ID laws that opponents point out have the effect of depressing the vote among minorities, the poor and other generally Democratic constituencies.

Oct. 24

YouTube, Karl Rove’s Election Fraud Empire, Press Conference, Jim March, Jill Simpson, Dana Siegelman, Clifford Arnebeck and Andrew Kreig (Moderators), Oct. 24, 2012. In a news conference at the National Press Club, prominent election sleuths allege a plan to own, operate, and manipulate voting machine software in ways that could improperly determine the 2006 presidential election.

Staff report, James O'Keefe Video Prompts Jim Moran's Son To Resign From Campaign, AP/Huffington Post, October 24, 2012. The son of Democratic congressman Jim Moran of Virginia has resigned from his father's campaign after an undercover video shows him discussing a plan to cast fraudulent ballots. Patrick Moran had been a field director for his father's campaign. He said Wednesday he didn't take the man seriously and humored him, adding that he should have walked away.

Jason Linkins, “Was Donald Trump's Announcement A Gigantic, Pointless Waste Of Time Promulgated By A Venal Con Artist?” Huffington Post, October 24, 2012, Yes. If you'd prefer to not click the link there and watch his YouTube, here's the summary: Mitt Romney campaign surrogate Donald Trump will give $5 million to a charity of President Barack Obama's choosing if he provides Trump his college transcripts and passport records by Halloween. Since this is not going to happen, that means that inner-city kids with cancer and AIDS will suffer, or something. Basically, Donald Trump, having gotten nowhere in proving any of the innately stupid conspiracy theories he's promulgated about Obama, now wants Obama to help him.

Paul Craig RobertsInstitute for Political Economy, “In Amerika there will never be a real debate,” Paul Craig Roberts, right, October 24, 2012. God help them if Obama and Romney ever had to participate in a real debate about a real issue at the Oxford Union. They would be massacred. The “debates” revealed that not only the candidates but also the entire country is completely tuned out to every real problem and dangerous development.

Oct. 23

Charlie Savage, Former C.I.A. Operative Pleads Guilty in Leak of Colleague’s Name, New York Times, October 23, 2012. “Less than two months after the Justice Department announced that it would not charge Central Intelligence Agency officials who participated in the brutal interrogation of detainees during the Bush administration, prosecutors on Tuesday won the conviction of a former C.I.A. counterterrorism operative who told a reporter the name of a covert C.I.A. officer involved in the program. The operative, John Kiriakou, who worked for the agency from 1990 to 2004, admitted that he had disclosed the name of the former colleague to a reporter, identified as Matthew Cole, formerly of ABC News. Mr. Kiriakou, who was a leader of the team that located and captured Abu Zubaydah, a suspected high-level facilitator for Al Qaeda, in Pakistan in 2002, pleaded guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Mr. Kiriakou came to public attention in late 2007 when he gave an interview to ABC News portraying the suffocation technique called waterboarding as torture, but describing it as necessary. The interview prompted reporters investigating the program to reach out to him. The plea was a victory for the Obama administration’s unprecedented crackdown on the unauthorized disclosure of government secrets. Mr. Kiriakou is one of six current or former officials to be charged with leaking under President Obama, twice the number of cases brought by all previous presidents combined. On Tuesday, Mr. Kiriakou, 48, spoke calmly in court as he stood to face the judge, Leonie M. Brinkema. His lawyer, Robert Trout, stood beside him as the judge posed a series of questions to Mr. Kiriakou before asking him how he would plead. “Guilty,” he said, nodding slightly. As part of the deal, prosecutors recommended a sentence of 30 months in prison, rather than the decades he was potentially facing. They dropped several other charges, among them that he helped Scott Shane of The New York Times identify another colleague involved in interrogations, and that he lied to a C.I.A. publication board reviewing his memoir, “Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the C.I.A.’s War on Terror,” published in 2010.”

Marc Fisher, Sheldon Adelson: Casino magnate, mega-donor is a man of many motives, Washington Post, October 23, 2012.

Dana Milbank, Trending on Twitter: Groupthink, Washington Post, October 23, 2012.

Charles P. Pierce, The Problem with the New American Exceptionalism, Esquire, October 23, 2012. There were a couple of moments in the course of my trip to Florida for the final debate hese my man Chuck Todd sent out an ill-conceived tweet on the subject of whether or not we can trust the machines that increasingly have come to control our elections or, more to the point, whether or not we can trust the people who create, operate, or service them. My man wrote: /The voting machine conspiracies belong in same category as the Trump birther garbage./ What I think we're seeing here from my man Chuck, I fear, is not so much careful journalism as it is /the will not to believe/. He has spent so much time on the road, crunching numbers and talking to campaign operatives, that he has become wholly invested in the Exceptionalist notion that the country knows better than any other how to run a national election. This is, of course, nonsense, and I fear that events on November 6 will bear me out on this. And, given that there is overwhelming evidence of a national campaign to suppress the potential vote through the law, why should be not believe in a parallel effort to influence votes after they are cast? Why should we believe that the national campaign to rig an election is purely legal, and not technological? The only reason is that /we don't want to believe it/.

Oct. 22

Harper's, An Excerpt From “How to Rig an Electionic," Victoria Collier, October 22, 2012. In 2002, George W. Bush signed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), offering states $3.9 billion in subsidies to modernize their election administration and equipment, purportedly in response to Florida’s hanging-chad fiasco of 2000. HAVA mandated that every polling place provide at least one voting system that allowed disabled people to vote with the same “privacy and independence” accorded to nondisabled voters. Thanks to confusing language in HAVA itself, and even a misleading report issued by the Congressional Research Service, one might easily assume that the mandate called for the purchase of DRE machines. In this way, the blind and visually impaired were unwittingly used as pawns to advance the agenda of the voting-machine industry. One election supervisor claims that Diebold went so far as to send him threatening letters after he sought out less expensive alternatives to service the disabled, even when these machines were compatible with Diebold’s systems. This was not the only deception surrounding the rollout of these electoral Trojan horses. In a 2007 Dan Rather exposé, The Trouble with Touch Screens, seven whistle-blowers at Sequoia charged that company executives had forced them to use inferior paper stock for ballots during the 2000 election. What’s more, said the whistle-blowers, they had been instructed to misalign the chads on punch cards destined for the Democratic stronghold of Palm Beach County. “My own personal opinion was the touchscreen-voting system wasn’t getting off the ground like they would hope,” said Greg Smith, a thirty-two-year Sequoia employee. “So, I feel like they deliberately did all this to have problems with the paper ballots.” Such blockbuster allegations are perhaps unsurprising given the group of Beltway insiders who helped to pass HAVA. One central player was former Republican representative Bob Ney of Ohio, sentenced in 2006 to thirty months in prison for crimes connected with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff—whose firm was paid at least $275,000 by Diebold.

National Law Journal, A troubling effort to politicize courts, Ruth V. McGregor and Randall T. Shepard. For more than a decade, special interests have engaged in increasingly partisan efforts to tilt the scales of justice, spending tens of millions of dollars to elect judges whom they believe fit their political beliefs. Now these assaults on America's courts are expanding in troubling new ways and in dimensions we have never witnessed. In states as dissimilar as Florida and Iowa, interest groups are seeking to oust judges because they disagree with a few rulings in controversial cases. By focusing on retention elections — a historically low-key vote focusing on judges' professional qualifications — these groups have threatened to puncture a protective shield that keeps politics outside the courthouse.
In recent months, political party leaders have joined the assault in these states, breaking with local tradition and calling for removal of state supreme court justices. These party leaders, with their partisan declarations in a nonpartisan realm, threaten to utterly destroy the protective shield.

As lifetime jurists and former chief justices of the supreme courts of Arizona and Indiana, we believe citizens should be concerned. If judges cannot make hard calls based on the law, without looking over their shoulder for threats of retaliation, it will become harder for our justice system to fulfill its traditional responsibility to uphold the Constitution and protect Americans' rights.
In retention elections, only the incumbent judge appears on the ballot, and voters choose "yes" or "no" to decide whether to grant the judge another term. This model, used at least some of the time for 20 state supreme courts, is based upon the principle that we should give voters a check on professional wrongdoing, while keeping politics and campaign spending to a minimum.
Unfortunately, that ideal is gravely at risk. When national political stars barnstorm Iowa to pillory a judge, and when political leaders in two presidential swing states publicly endorse the removal of qualified justices for partisan ends, they have crossed the line. The threat is growing.

Michael Collins, "Rigged Elections for Romney?" OpEd News, October 22, 2012. "A group of independent researchers caught a pattern of apparent vote flipping during the 2012 Republican primaries that consistently favored Mitt Romney. A form of election fraud, vote flipping occurs when votes are changed from one candidate to another or several others during electronic voting and vote tabulation. Vote flipping is difficult to detect because the vote totals remain the same for each precinct. In one of several possible scenarios, an instruction is given to a precinct level voting machine or to a county-level central tabulator. The corrupted totals from precincts are sent from county election officials to state elections board and published as final results. The group's analysis is based on raw data from primary sources, local precincts, and state and county election records. The pattern of vote flipping raises serious doubts about the Romney victories in the 2012 Republican primaries in Wisconsin and the Ohio. Apparent vote flipping was demonstrated in the group's paper for at least nine other 2012 Republican primaries as well. The findings showed a consistent pattern of increasing votes and vote percentages for Romney in the precinct vote tally. The pattern emerges when precinct vote tallies are presented by candidate based on the size of a county precinct. Vote flipping gave Romney a 57,000-vote victory over Santorum in Wisconsin. Absent vote flipping, Santorum would have won over Romney by about 54,000 according the group's analysis.

Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis, Election software company Scytl on the run from the Free Press, from one fake address to the next, FreePress.org, October 22, 2012, . On September 28th, the day after the Free Press published the address and photo of Scytl headquarters, their vice president for media relations and governmental affairs, Michelle Shafer (See Why are legal scholars dismissing election fraud?: Manufactured skepticism and exit polls) of Austin Texas, filed an official change of address form with the United States Election Assistance Commission. In just 24 hours, in the middle of a presidential election, Scytl USA miraculously relocated to Baltimore, Maryland.

Washington Times, Gaffney: The real reason behind Benghazigate, Frank J. Gaffney Jr. (president of the Center for Security Policy, a columnist for the Washington Times and host of Secure Freedom Radio on WRC-AM), Oct. 22, 2012. Was Obama gun-walking arms to jihadists? President Obama’s once seemingly unstoppable march toward re-election hit what he might call “bumps in the road” in Benghazi, Libya, late on Sept. 11, 2012. It might be more accurate to describe the effect of the well-planned and executed, military-style attack on a diplomatic facility there as the political equivalent of a devastating improvised explosive device on the myth of the unassailability of the Obama record as commander in chief. Thanks to intrepid investigative reporting — notably by Bret Baier and Catherine Herridge at Fox News, Aaron Klein at WND.com and Clare Lopez at RadicalIslam.org — and information developed by congressional investigators, the mystery is beginning to unravel with regard to what happened that night and the reason for the subsequent, clumsy official cover-up now known as Benghazigate. The evidence suggests that the Obama administration has not simply been engaging, legitimating, enriching and emboldening Islamists who have taken over or are ascendant in much of the Middle East. Starting in March 2011, when American diplomat J. Christopher Stevens was designated the liaison to the “opposition” in Libya, the Obama administration has been arming them, including jihadists like Abdelhakim Belhadj, leader of the al Qaeda franchise known as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

Not surprisingly, one of the most important priorities for someone in that position would be to try to find and secure the immense amount of armaments that had been cached by the dictator around the country and systematically looted during and after the revolution. One of the places in Libya most awash with such weapons in the most dangerous of hands is Benghazi. It now appears that Stevens was there — on a particularly risky day, with no security to speak of and despite now copiously documented concerns about his own safety and that of his subordinates — for another priority mission: sending arms recovered from the former regime’s stocks to the “opposition” in Syria. As in Libya, the insurgents are known to include al Qaeda and other Shariah-supremacist groups, including none other than Abdelhakim Belhadj.

Fox News has chronicled how the Al Entisar, a Libyan-flagged vessel carrying 400 tons of cargo, docked on Sept. 6 in the Turkish port of Iskenderun. It reportedly supplied both humanitarian assistance and arms — including deadly SA-7 man-portable surface-to-air missiles — apparently destined for Islamists, again including al Qaeda elements, in Syria. What cries out for further investigation — and debate in the remaining days of this presidential election — is whether this shipment was part of a larger covert Obama effort to transfer weapons to our enemies that could make the Iran-Contra scandal, to say nothing of Operation Fast and Furious, pale by comparison.

Investigative journalist Aaron Klein has reported that the “consulate in Benghazi” actually was no such thing. He observes that although administration officials have done nothing to correct that oft-repeated characterization of the facility where the murderous attack on Stevens and his colleagues was launched, they call it a “mission.” What Mr. Klein describes as a “shabby, nondescript building” that lacked any “major public security presence” was, according to an unnamed Middle Eastern security official, “routinely used by Stevens and others to coordinate with the Turkish, Saudi and Qatari governments on supporting the insurgencies in the Middle East, most prominently the rebels opposing Assad’s regime in Syria.” We know that Stevens‘ last official act was to hold such a meeting with an unidentified “Turkish diplomat.” Presumably, the conversation involved additional arms shipments to al Qaeda and its allies in Syria. It also may have involved getting more jihadi fighters there. After all, Mr. Klein reported last month that, according to sources in Egyptian security, our ambassador was playing a “central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.”

It gets worse. What we do know is that the New York Times — one of the most slavishly pro-Obama publications in the country — reported in an Oct. 14 article, “Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster.” In short, it seems President Obama has been engaged in gun-walking on a massive scale. The effect has been to equip America’s enemies to wage jihad not only against regimes it once claimed were our friends, but inevitably against us and our allies as well. That would explain his administration’s desperate and now failing bid to mislead the voters through the serial deflections of Benghazigate.

Oct. 21

Juan Cole, "Col. Wilkerson on Romney’s Chickenhawk Advisors: They 'make me sick,'” Informed Comment/Op Ed News, Oct. 21, 2012.

Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis, Why are legal scholars dismissing election fraud?: Manufactured skepticism and exit polls, FreePress.org, October 21, 2012. Time and again, the scholarship of citizens, programmers, engineers and others has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that direct recording electronic voting machines fail, fail often, and fail in ways that primarily benefit the Republican Party. But to the self-interested, including the self-appointed legal scholar “experts,” the well placed, and those who benefit from those failures a different dynamic than fact is at work. A faith-based reality is being enforced for narrow interests by a few people who are very close to Karl Rove, the inventor of faith based reality and a leading proponent of push-and-pray voting.

Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis, Employees of Romney Family's Secret Bank Tied to Fraud, Money Laundering and Drug Cartels, Free Press, October 21, 2012. As previously reported in by the Columbus Free Press, the Romney family, namely Mitt, Ann, G Scott and Tagg Romney, along with Mitt's "6th son" and campaign finance chair have a secretive private equity firm called Solamere Capital Partners. This firms ties to Romney's campaign and bundlers is already well documented, along with its connection to the manufacture and distribution of voting machines. What is not as well documented is a subsidiary of that private equity firm hiring employees of a failed firm tied to a Ponzi scheme that has a long history of money laundering for Latin American drug cartels and to the Iran-Contra scandal. As reported by ThinkProgress, Solamere Capital Partner's subsidiary Solamere Advisors is a investment advisory group, providing advice to Solamere clients and boosting sales. Would-be corporate pugilist Tagg Romney is a director. According to the New York Times, all but one of its 11 employees came from the Charlotte office of the Stanford Financial Group, the US investment arm of convicted felon R. Allen Stanford's offshore banking and fraud network that comprised a host of companies including the Stanford International Bank, Stanford Capital Management, The Bank of Antigua, Stanford Trust and Stanford Gold and Bullion. Three of these employees, Tim Bambauer, Deems May, and Brandon Phillips, received incentive compensation related to their direct sales of securities linked to a fraud that brought down this banking network.

Oct. 19

Dana Davidsen, Salt Lake Tribune throws support behind Obama, CNN,  Davidsen, October 19, 2012.  The Salt Lake Tribune announced in an editorial published Friday its endorsement of President Barack Obama for the 2012 race, questioning the "pragmatic, inclusive" former Massachusetts governor's change into Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Oct. 18

Free Press, Does the Romney family now own your e-vote? Gerry Bello, Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman," October 18, 2012. Will you cast your vote this fall on a faulty electronic machine that's partly owned by the Romney Family? Will that machine decide whether Romney will then inherit the White House? Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 6. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the United States. In other words, a candidate for the presidency of the United States, and his brother, wife and son, have a straight-line financial interest in the voting machines that could decide this fall's election. These machines cannot be monitored by the public. But they will help decide who "owns" the White House.

Trevor Loudon, Political author and researcher Trevor Loudon presents key findings from his extensive research, Pacific Freedom Foundation/You Tube, October 18, 2012. He identifies President Obama's inner circle of friends, socialist supporters, and the mentors who dramatically inluenced his political perspective. His findings are eye-opening because the mainstream media has consistently refused to inform the American public about Barack Obama's motivations and underlying ideology. With the approaching 2012 elections, it is critically important that voters have a clear understanding of what they can expect if he is re-elected. Mr. Loudon describes himself as, "... a political researcher from Christchurch, New Zealand. "I believe in freedom with responsibility, not freedom from responsibility. My ideal society is one in which government is confined to protecting its citizens from criminals and external enemies. I believe in working with all those who are moving in broadly the same direction."

Oct. 17

Tom Hays, Bernard Kerik Cries In Court At Perjury Trial Against Frank and Peter DiTommaso, AP, October 17, 2012. 

Oct. 3

Andrea Stone, Mitt Romney Was Pivotal Advocate For Homeland Security 'Fusion Centers' Slammed In New Report, Huffington Post, October 3, 2012," . "A devastating new report that found homeland security officials have wasted perhaps billions of dollars on intelligence-gathering complexes known as fusion centers that haven't detected a single terrorist threat, even as they invaded citizens' privacy, could present another political headache for one of their biggest advocates: Mitt Romney. Romney played a pivotal role in promoting the establishment of these counter-terrorism centers across the country to "connect the dots" and stave off another 9/11, as the Huffington Post reported in May. In his role as chairman of a national task force on intelligence sharing, the then-Massachusetts governor used his bully pulpit to call for a nationwide network that would meld together local, state and federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies to detect threats.

Oct. 1

RT, Russia must close NED, other US fronts for money laundering, Veronika Krasheninnikova, Oct. 1, 2012. Russia’s decision to shut down the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Moscow, starting October 1st, was immediately followed by Washington’s “pledge to maneuver around the Kremlin,” according to a New York Times report. Indeed, State Department Press Secretary Victoria Nuland assured: “We will continue to be vigilant in supporting democracy, human rights, civil society in Russia. We’ll just do it another way.” Other US officials named possible avenues for such maneuvering: The National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute and others. Let’s take a closer look at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an umbrella organization that includes the two aforementioned institutes. It came to existence in quite a peculiar a way: US Code Title 22, ‘Foreign Relations and Intercourse,’ section 4411, ‘Findings,’ states, “The Congress finds that there has been established in the District of Columbia a private, nonprofit corporation known as the National Endowment for Democracy which is not an agency or establishment of the United States Government.”

The Reagan administration, after coming to power in 1981, was looking for a civilian cover for conducting subversive operations in the USSR after a vast plot involving the CIA funding of public organizations was uncovered by investigative journalists. As President of NED Carl Gershman stated in 1986, “We should not have to do this kind of work covertly. It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the CIA. We saw that in the ‘60s, and that’s why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that’s why the endowment was created.” (The New York Times, June 1, 1986.) One of NED’s architects was Walter Raymond, Jr. According to the Washington Post, “From 1970 to 1982, he worked for the CIA, becoming an authority on overseas media operations.” In 1982, Raymond transferred to the National Security Council as Senior Director of International Communications and Information. In Gershman’s doublespeak, that reads as: “He was the democracy person at the White House, and his job, among other things, was to help the NED family take its first steps.” (Carl Gershman's tribute to Walt Raymond, April 24, 2003, www.ned.org).

NED has been funded by the US Congress ever since, initially through the US Information Agency. After 1999, NED got its funds through the Department of State’s Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act. In 2011, the NED budget totaled $118 million, and $104 million this year. Just like any other government agency, NED directs its annual reports to the president and Congress. And one of NED’s founding fathers, Allen Weinstein, even confessed to the Washington Post in 1991 that, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

Who is running NED? Carl Gershman has held this position for almost thirty years, since 1984. What better shows to show Washington’s continuity, where “people is policy.” NED is supervised at the State Department by an Assistant Secretary in charge of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Barry F. Lowenkron held this position and oversaw NED from 2005 to 2007. According to his official biography, prior to this appointment Mr. Lowenkron served in the intelligence community, including two tours as Director of European Security Affairs on the National Security Council (1988-89 and 1991-93 – both critical times in Russia); Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence; Director of the National Intelligence Council's Analytic Staff; Civilian Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and other similar positions. Michael Posner currently supervises NED at the State Department. Previously, Mr. Posner was president of Human Rights First, whose stated mission is to “advance universal rights and freedoms.” Every year, Human Rights First presents their ‘Next Generation of Human Rights Defenders’ award. In 2008, Posner gave this award to a coordinator of Oborona, a leading Russian movement in the effort to foment a color revolution and oust Vladimir Putin.

NED is so clearly part of the US government that legislators had to pass a specific law stating that it was not. ‘Private’ organizations like NED are nothing but funding channels for activities that used to be run by the CIA under the title of ‘subversion.’ The fact that Washington is planning to redirect USAID funding through ‘private’ organizations reflects an outrageous level of disrespect for the decision of the Russian government. Russia needs to enforce its decision and shut operations of NED and its all four mandated grantees, namely the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS). The process of concealing an institution’s income or funding is called money laundering, and is forbidden by international law.