Sept. 1 Radio: Can 'Non-Partisan' Solve Problems?

My featured guest Sept. 1 on the MTL Washington Update radio show was former two-term Kentucky Treasurer Jonathan Miller, a longtime Democrat and a Jonathan Millerco-founder of No Labels, the new national civic group that seeks to improve government by reducing political partisanship. Co-host and MTL founder Scott Draughon and I explored at noon (EDT) whether this is a solution for grave national problems -- or a gimmick. The show kicked off a strong fall schedule for our nationally syndicated My Technology Lawyer (MTL) Update series, now in its sixth year.

Organized late last year, Miller’s group seeks to improve government decision-making by reducing political partisanship, primarily at the House and Senate levels. Analysts suggest No Labels seeks to support conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans. Critics of No Labels and of Americans Elect, a new group seeking Presidential access in 50 states for an unnamed third party candidate in 2012, say voters can't hold government decision-makers accountable without traditional political labels. Click for the archived link here, available worldwide. As usual, we welcomed call-in questions via the toll-free phoneline at (866) 685-7469 and by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Cheney's Book Shows Collapse of 'Rule of Law'

Dick Cheney

As so often the case, Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald provides a compelling overview of an important law-and-order issue. Greenwald began, "Less than three years ago, Dick Cheney was presiding over policies that left hundreds of thousands of innocent people dead from a war of aggression, constructed a worldwide torture regime, and spied on thousands of Americans without the warrants required by law, all of which resulted in his leaving office as one of the most reviled political figures in decades." The columnist continued:

But thanks to the decision to block all legal investigations into his chronic criminality, those matters have been relegated to mere pedestrian partisan disputes, and Cheney is thus now preparing to be feted -- and further enriched -- as a Wise and Serious Statesman with the release of his memoirs this week: one in which he proudly boasts (yet again) of the very crimes for which he was immunized.

Read the column here: The fruits of elite immunity. We'll soon provide more of our own analysis on the motives of Obama administration officials. Until then, our JIP news round-up is below for the period beginning Aug. 18.

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Feeling Friendly This Week? Beware

Are you feeling friendly? Perhaps you’d like to meet Holly Weber, below, or others like her on their Facebook, Linked In and Twitter accounts.

Or maybe recent news has prompted you to get active in politics -- or even to protest in some way? Authorities have recently arrested hundreds of environmentalists outside the White Holly WeberHouse protesting the Obama administation's approval so far of a trans-continental pipeline for tar sands oil, with scores of the protesters jailed for up to two days under harsh, punitive conditions pending their hearings. Much larger mass protests against Democrats and Republicans are shaping up this fall in the city because of public opposition to the major parties on such issues as jobs, Social Security and Medicare, war spending, taxes and civil liberties.

Be careful, whatever your views. New evidence emerged in Washington in late August of sophisticated avatar, phishing and surveillance plots. The snitch scams were reportedly run by government-affiliated IT contractors to obtain personal information from those who criticize federal officials or key members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Holly Weber, the lovely University of Denver alumn, for example, does not exist -- except as avatar of a composite.

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Privacy Invasion Scandal Deepens for Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch

Major new allegations of privacy invasion, influence-peddling and perjury involving Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. continue to rivet the public in the United Kingdom. Murdoch, 80, founder of an empire instrumental in advancing the conservative agenda in the United States and worldwide, is portrayed at right in a photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

A big question is whether he and his minions can confine the scandal primarily to the UK, and to losses of money and prestige. Or will the damage extend to United States holdings and political clout -- and to dire liability for Murdoch family members who control his media holdings?

A sampling of the latest developments and analysis is provided below, primarily from progressive critics. Nearly all these critics have proven their civil rights and non-partisan bona fides in the spirit of our Project by recent, scorching commentaries on privacy invasions and other violations of civil rights by the Obama administration.

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Cutting Through Hype, Hypocrisy In Vote Fraud Claims

Michael Connell

Recent events show why election theft deserves much more scrutiny than it receives from either government officials or news reporters. Most dramatically, a federal judge has released the 2008 testimony of GOP IT guru Michael Connell, right. The Ohio resident died in a mysterious plane crash that year after anonymous warnings he would be killed if he testified about his work with Karl Rove and others helping the Bush-Cheney ticket win in 2000 and 2004.

Other recent news includes claims by both major parties of irregularities in last week’s Wisconsin state senate recall elections. In a pattern familiar nationally, Democrats suspect vote hiding by a partisan GOP elections supervisor and Republicans allege illegal inducements by Democrats to encourage voting. Elsewhere, Fox News played up a report about how a county judge in Nevada called the community-organizing group ACORN “reprehensible” on Aug. 10 and ordered a $5,000 fine for the defunct group because it paid a bonus to workers who registered voters.

To cut through the confusion on such disputes, the non-partisan Justice Integrity Project provides below a research guide to important recent allegations and landmark research. It emphasizes books and research reports by critics since they face the burden of challenging conventional wisdom and are typically ignored.

Update: Harper's Magazine published in its November 2012 issue arguably the first major mainstream treatment of electronic election fraud in How to Rig an Election by Victoria Collier, leader of the reform organization Votescam. Also, she is the daughter and niece of two pioneering investigators of the problem, each deceased. Also, OpEdNews published her column, Calling Out the Left-Wing Election Rigging Denialists on Nov. 3. In it, the author responded to what she called "the damaging attempts by left-wing journalists to deny the possibility of right-wing electronic vote tampering -- or any e-vote tampering -- particularly in the 2012 election."

Also, many blog posts and a half dozen books were published on the issue during the fall of 2012, as well as a powerful video report on the Fox News television affiliate in Cincinnati. For details, visit the Justice Integrity Project news archive for November 2012, and for the previous month.

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Feds Lose Big In Alabama Bribery Acquittals, Hung Jury

Montgomery CourthouseFederal prosecutors suffered one of their most remarkable setbacks nationally in decades Aug. 11 when an Alabama federal jury failed to convict any of nine defendants on any count in a massive gambling corruption case against state senators and those accused of trying to bribe them.

In a case that an Alabama legal commentator described even before the verdict as "a flat-out farce" signifying a collapse nationally in law enforcement, a jury in the state capitol of Montgomery acquitted two of the defendants outright. The jury either acquitted or failed to reach a decision on all charges against remaining defendants.

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