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Posts Tagged ‘Greg Palast’

TOP STORIES
Jerk or genius, TV’s Stephen Colbert boosts US

Remembering ‘Kvetcher in the Rye’ JD Salinger by Greg Palast

ACORN mounts campaign to ‘sting the stinger’ by Daniel Tencer

Rahm Emanuel will really, really not like hosting this mental disabilities panel

CORPORATE POWER
How corporations secretly move millions to fund political ads by Brad Jacobson

Dems consider constitutional amendment to combat campaign finance decision

ACLU may reverse course on campaign finance limits from NY Sun

The end of the corporate zombie? from Huffington Post

BEHIND THE CONSERVATIVE VEIL
Rumsfeld sent Wall St Journal op-ed dismissing torture allegations to Dubya

Report: SarahPAC spent thousands buying copies of Palin’s ‘Going Rogue’

Insurance companies ‘used Tea Party’ to try and kill bill by Sahil Kapur

Glenn Beck update: The backpedaling begins by Arianna Huffington

MIDDLE EAST POWER STRUGGLES
Obama’s silent war shocks Pakistan from Guardian UK

Onward Christian soldiers, again from Antiwar.com

Raze illegal buildings, unless they are Jewish settlements

Israeli commander: ‘We rewrote the rules of war for Gaza’ from The Independent

BROADCAST POLITICS
FCC gives Native American tribes priority to obtain radio licenses

Obama wants you to create the next YouTube by Megan Tady

Countdown begins for end of Olbermann’s ‘Countdown’

Obama is obligated to sue Rush Limbaugh for demotion from True/Slant

JOURNALISM & PRESS FREEDOM
McChesney & Nichols on ‘Death & Life of American Journalism’ from DN!

Novaya Gazeta, publisher of assassinated journo, site back online after attack

College journalists included in proposed amendment to Maryland shield law

Anti-Govt protest covered by bloggers, ignored by Russian media

THE LATEST WATERGATE
What if the Landrieu phone plot perpetrators were liberal or Muslim?

High jinks to handcuffs for Landrieu provocateur from NY Times

Landrieu phone plot: Men arrested have links to intelligence community

Is this the same Stan Dai arrested for trying to bug Landrieu’s office?

POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CINEMA
Wal-Mart, Target put squeeze on Redbox from Business Week

Movie Gallery files bankruptcy, closing 760 stores

Hollywood loses key battle over illegal downloads

Surveying video art and alternative media 1968-1980 from Cineaste

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

Common Cause on the outcomes of the Citizens United case

Supreme Court rips up campaign spending limits on corporations from NPR

Transnational corporate class empowered to buy Congress by Greg Palast

Critics: ‘Destructive’ decision ’empowers corruption’ from Raw Story

Dems plan to push bill to limit impact of decision from The Hill

‘A rejection of the common sense of the American people’ from Think Progress

The problem isn’t the law, its the court by Doug Kendall

The Supreme Court’s nonviolent corporate coup by Miles Mogulescu

Citizens United: What happens next by Rick Hasen

GOP overjoyed by unprecedented influence corps will now have in campaigns

Citizens’ movement emerges to overrule the court from Reclaim Democracy

Decision a stunning blow to democracy by Jon Bartholomew

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Arab-Americans feel targeted, call airport profiling ‘unconstitutional’

SPECIAL ELECTION

Coakley conceded before ballots ‘counted or examined by any human being’

Pre-emptively ‘calling the race’ is not the media’s job by Bev Harris

‘5 reports’ of voting irregularities in ‘at least 3’ jurisdictions from Brad Blog

‘Sidecar’ reconciliation, the public option lives again by Jane Hamsher

HAITI RELIEF

Tell CNN to stop hyping fears of violence from Media Hacker

Blackwater before drinking water by Greg Palast

US military turning away humanitarian assistance by Cynthia McKinney

Checking our elitism at the door from Future Majority

BUSH ERA

FBI used fake threats to illegally obtain Americans’ phone records

Blair’s attorney general warned in 2002 that Iraq invasion would be illegal

CENSORED NO MORE- Exclusive preview of Mike Connell story in Maxim

Court of Appeals reviews Bush FCC’s ‘fleeting expletive’ rule from FEP Project

INDEPENDENT MEDIA

‘Cognitive infiltration’ stirs up Internet storm from Rag Blog

Can newspaper muckraking carry on in nonprofits? from NY Times

Chicago Independent Radio Project hits the web from Radio Survivor

Criminal justice blogger outlines 2010 agenda from Texas Tribune

MORE STORIES!

Why Americans stopped fighting back against oppression from Alternet

Obama calls for integration of state and federal military forces

Federal government still discouraging medical marijuana research

Head of Boating buys Editor & Publisher by Greg Mitchell

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Watch the documentary by Big Noise Films, This is What Democracy Looks Like:

10 years ago: Indymedia’s grassroots daily coverage from Reclaim the Media

Battle in Seattle: 10 years after the WTO from Counterpunch

Democracy Now: David Solnit, ‘The Battle of the Story of the Battle of Seattle’

Bankers’ scheme to re-open worldwide finance casino by Greg Palast

Listen to Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men interviewed by Joaquin Uy

Watch Seattle’s Blue Scholars perform “50 Thousand Deep” live at Sasquatch:

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Crossroads October 31 LISTEN or DOWNLOAD HERE

Digital Crossroads is a weekly program covering media democracy, press freedom, technology policy, radio and the record business, privacy & surveillance and voting. I’m producer and host Radioactive Gavin. Each week I bring you headlines, clips and original interviews trying to help you understand the connections between your life, powerful media companies, government officials and activists.

On today’s program the 2008 Election. Voting trouble is a nationwide problem. From state governments kicking people off the roles illegally to errors with touch-screen voting systems, Americans are seriously doubting all votes will be counted accurately this year. Leading election integrity experts outline some problems and reporter Greg Palast offers advice for Stealing Back Your Vote. Also today some good news from around the country, and a bunch of clips including the original actors from the Budweiser “Wassssup” campaign, LA electronic musicians and folk singer Ellen Bukstel going political.

All this and more on today’s Digital Crossroads, stay tuned!

We start today with a clip from Video the Vote who investigated ES&S brand touch screen systems in West Virginia. The video makes you even less confident as county clerk Jeff Waybright re-calibrates a machine, then it still gets the vote wrong.

After mocking the idea that anyone clicking on a Democratic ticket vote would get the Republican ticket vote, he shows how to correctly calibrate the machine, showing how easy it is to fix the “problems” of the miscalibrated machine. When he’s done, to prove it works, he touches the box to vote for a straight Republican ticket… and, wouldn’t you know it, Ralph Nader’s name is highlighted as the voter’s choice. His response? “Oh, that’s out of calibration!” as if it was no big deal, apparently missing the fact that he had just calibrated the machine. Commentary from TechDirt.

Next up, Experts outline e-voting problems

Blogger Jim Cirile assembled a panel of 13 leading election integrity (EI) experts for Velvet Revolution.us and asked their advice on myriad aspects of the e-voting problem. Their recommendations are wide-ranging and should hopefully serve as a wake-up call, since candidates’ political futures, not to mention the future of the U.S. and the entire planet, could be decided on error-prone and worse, easily tamperable electronic voting systems.

The question put to each of the experts was, “How can candidates best protect themselves from potential electronic voting problems and manipulation?” Here are some of their conclusions-

At least 55 percent of Americans voting this November will vote on paper ballots that will be counted by optical scanners, according to Virginia-based Election Data Services, Inc. Jim Cirile of VelvetRevolution.US put together panelists who agree that it is critical to election safety that a significant percentage of these paper ballots be randomly audited by hand — at least 5 to 10 percent. Other key recommendations include urging the use of paper in any way, shape or form over touch-screens, increasing awareness of candidates, election officials, and the media as to e-voting vulnerabilities, and most importantly, urging the candidates not to concede until every last ballot has been counted and counted accurately.

But there is one other problem with taking on the machines. “Candidates are incredibly vulnerable to allegations of being a poor loser or conspiracy theorists if they challenge,” says Simon Ardizzone, who made the DVD Hacking Democracy. “Many candidates who want a political career often choose not to challenge, but to keep their credibility for the next election. It’s just unrealistic to ask them to sacrifice their political career for a completely non-vote-winning issue like election reform.” Despite that, he recommends candidates ask as many questions as possible when discrepancies occur, and they should make the answers public.

Ardizzone raises one more intriguing point: “There are certain candidates who don’t stand a chance of being elected and so have nothing to lose by rocking the boat. There is one candidate on the presidential ballot who is incredibly well-versed in the issue and who I am sure would participate in any investigation, because we filmed her extensively during the 2004 election cycle in Georgia (she’s in one of the extra features on the ‘Hacking Democracy’ DVD). That candidate is Cynthia McKinney. Cynthia has rights to a recount almost anywhere in the country. Interesting thought.”

What can you do? Get active, writes Cirile. Get in your candidates’ faces. Forward this report far and wide — to candidates and their staff, friends, neighbors.

And wake people the hell up. “How do you break through the sleep of the American electorate?” ponders Florida election official Ion Sancho. “In my opinion, they simply don’t want to question elections simply because it’s too difficult, too untidy, and causes problems.” Brad Friedman of The Brad Blog adds, “There is a school of thought which I find bizarre and twisted and totally without merit, that if you talk about these issues, people will give up and not vote at all. I have found absolutely no evidence of that, and in fact, the contrary is true.” He notes that in 2006, Democrat Debra Bowen ran for Secretary of State in a year that Schwarzenegger was very popular. “Her big issue was election integrity and concerns about the voting machines. She shouldn’t have won that election, but she did because she spoke about these issues of electoral integrity that nobody else is speaking about. So the people get it, but the media and the politicians don’t. The politicians need to start talking about it.”

David Jefferson of Livermore National Laboratories says that election officials need to step up. “They have the responsibility to demand better voting systems and, in the meantime, create and enforce strong security procedures. And it is federal officials who need to have their consciousness raised about standards, certification, and the need for meaningful auditability requirements.” And that means we need to force them to do just that.

David Swanson of After Downing Street concludes, “All of us should make clear ahead of time that we will denounce and shame any candidate who either wins or loses a questionable election and does not seek to find answers to those questions.”

Writer Jim Cirile’s conlusion: Be the media. That means every one of us. Jim Cirile is a freelance screenwriter, musician and journalist living in Los Angeles.

Next up let’s listen to a clip from Center for Media and Democracy‘s Weekly Radio Spin from last week- According to Princeton, despite their own study showing elections in New Jersey can be hacked in a matter of 7 minutes, voting is too important to watch…

In Colorado, public interest groups fought purges and won-
The Colorado chapter of national non-partisan non-profit Common Cause has fueled one voting victory before the election takes place. From a press release available on their website an agreement was reached on October 29th before a federal judge in Colorado ensuring that tens of thousands of Colorado voters illegally purged from the registration lists will have their votes counted. Colorado Common Cause, Mi Familia Vota and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) filed a complaint contending that the Colorado Secretary of State had violated the National Voting Rights Act by removing voters from the rolls within 90 days of a federal election. In addition to about 1900 voters removed for permitted reasons such as death and incarceration for a felony, approximately 30,000 voters were scrubbed. The state sent non-forwardable mail that was returned as undeliverable, but a voter doesn’t lose their rights simply by not receiving mail. For more on this go to http://www.JustVoteColorado.com

There is also some encouraging news about citizen journalists protecting the election

The New York Times reported October 27th, “There are at least two wikis intended to let voters collaborate to collect examples of problems with voting, whether exceptionally long lines or more direct actions meant to scare off voters — the Voter Suppression Wiki and SourceWatch’s Election Protection Wiki. Since 2006, the Video the Vote project has sent out volunteers to monitor voting around the country, and this year the group expects to dispatch at least 2,300 volunteers with cameras in all 50 states to videotape potential trouble spots. … The ultimate home for much of this content could be the video-sharing giant YouTube, which has created a channel, Video Your Vote, in collaboration with PBS, to encourage submissions. … While his organization is partnering with YouTube (and received 300 cameras as part of the Video Your Vote project), [project founder Ian] Inaba says he sees their missions as different. ‘YouTube is there to generate content, to generate eyeballs,’ he said. ‘We came at this from more of an election protection framework. We want voters to oversee the election process – it requires citizen oversight.'”

Investigative Reporter Greg Palast sent an email to his mailing list this week with tips on what he calls stealing back your vote.

  1. Don’t don’t don’t Mail In Your Ballot-unless… For those of you who mailed in your ballot, please tell me, what happened to it? You don’t know, do you? I can tell you that officially, three-fourths of a million absentee ballots were never counted last time, on the weakest of technical excuses. And you won’t even know it. Furthermore, tens of thousands of ballots are not mailed out to voters in time to return them – in which case you’re out of luck. Most states won’t let you vote in-precinct once you’ve applied to vote absentee. Every time I hear of a voter going “absentee” to avoid computer screens, I want to “go postal” myself. But for gosh sakes-don’t throw out your ballot if you have a mail-in. Either mail it in, making sure to include ID if required (you first-time voters) or, better, WALK it into your county clerk’s office.
  2. Vote Early…very early
    Every state now lets voters cast ballots in designated polling stations and at county offices in the weeks before Election Day. Do it. Don’t wait until Election Day to find out you have the wrong ID, your registration’s “inactive,” or you’re on a challenge list. By Election Day, there’s little to do but hold up the line.
  3. Register and Register and Register
    Think you’re registered to vote? Think again. With all this purg’n going on, you could be x’d out and you won’t know it. Check online with your Secretary of State’s office or call your County Board of Elections. Then register your girlfriend, your wife, your mailman and your mommy. Contact the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the League of Women Voters, and your local party organization, and commit to a couple of days of door-to-door registration, especially in minority neighborhoods or at social service agency offices. And if you’ve served the time, you can sign: in almost every state, ex-cons can vote.
  4. Vote Unconditionally, Not Provisionally
    In 2008, they’ll be handing out provisional ballots like candy, especially to Hispanic voters. If your right to vote is challenged, don’t accept a provisional ballot that will likely not get counted no matter what the sweet little lady at the table tells you. She won’t decide; partisan sharks will. Demand adjudication from poll judges on the spot; demand a call to the supervisor of elections; or return with acceptable ID if possible. And be a champ: defend the rights of others. If you’ve taken Step 1 above and voted early, you have Election Day free to be a poll watcher. Run into trouble­-you’ve been caged or purged or challenged-call Election Protection at 1-(866) OUR-VOTE. Then challenge the challengers, the weird guys with Blackberrys containing lists of “suspect” voters. Be firm, but no biting.
  5. Occupy Ohio, Invade Nevada
    The revolution will not be podcast. Let go of that mouse, get out of your PJs and take the resistance door-to-door-to register the vote, to canvass the voters, to get out the vote. Donate time to your union or to the troublemakers I’ve already listed here and on our site. This may seem a stupendously unoriginal suggestion, but I know of no other method more effective for confronting the armed and dangerous junta that has seized the White House.
  6. Date a Voter
    Voting, like bowling and love, should never be done alone. As our sponsor, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, says, make a date to ‘Arrive with Five.’ And keep this comic book in your holster – with our 800 numbers and your photo ID in your hand.
  7. Make the Democracy Demand: No Vote Left Behind!
    I have this crazy fantasy in my head. In it, an election is stolen and the guy who’s wrongly declared the loser stands up in front of the White House and says three magic words: “Count the votes.” You can have all the paper ballots in the world, but if you don’t demand to look at them, publicly, in a recount, you might as well mark them with invisible ink. Democracy requires vigilance The Day After. That’s when you check in at http://www.stealbackyourvote.org one more time.

It’s time for a break, here’s Ellen Bukstel with “They Lost My Vote

You’re listening to Digital Crossroads, produced in the downtown studio of Boise Community Radio, now airing on affiliate KRFP Radio Free Moscow.

Let’s listen to a couple of interesting clips about the election. First up Change 2008-

The original actors behind the super famous Budweiser “Wassssssssssup!” commercials recently got back together to make a new political ad that’s an update on the original Bud ad. The commercial makers make it clear that the message of the commercial is not in any way endorsed by or associated with Anheuser-Busch. Charles Stone III, who created the whole Wassup concept, directed the first commercial and stars as the first guy who picks up the phone. According to TechDirt he never gave Anheuser-Busch full control over the Wassup concept. Rather, he sold them an exclusive on it for 5 years for a grand total of $37,000. He admits that people laughed at him at the time for selling so “low,” but he’s quite happy with how it worked out: He says- “That I’m able to use an idea distributed by a huge company, who made a lot of money off it, so that now when I put out what I want to say, it’s recognizable, and it sparks — that’s worth $1 million to me.”

Next up, the viral video that has people dancing in the streets for Obama. The video is hilarious, though the song is kinda repetitive. Taz Arnold of Sa-Ra Creative Partners and other LA-based musicians and dancers put together a video featuring celebrity appearances by rapper Kanye West, artist Shepard Fairey, and music producer Alfred “Daedelus” Darlington.

Here’s Taz Arnold with “I’ma Vote Obama Way”

You’re listening to Digital Crossroads…

Well, November 4th is not only Election Day. It is also the day when the Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments in the FCC vs. Fox case, which is the first time the Federal government’s ability to regulate language on the American airwaves has come before the Supremes since FCC vs. Pacifica, also known as the George Carlin case. Its kind of amazing when you realize the issue of so-called “indecency” is back on center stage again the same year when comedian George Carlin passed away.

The issue of “Fleeting Indecencies” or bad words uttered over the air unintentionally on awards shows and so-called reality TV may not even get “AIRTIME” with the Supremes, because they have the option of ruling very narrowly on whether the FCC handled their own procedures correctly and then the First Amendment issues could be left out of the discussion. Tune into Digital Crossroads next week to hear an interview with Free Expression Policy Project director Marjorie Heins, a friend of the program.

Last but not least on this Election special, the Federal Communications Commission is having a controversial day of policy decision-making on November 4th. One of the big issues on the docket is White Spaces. This issue presents a very real opportunity for the Federal Government to address Bridging the Digital Divide, and I have for you a clip featuring Minnie Ingersoll of Google, talking about WiFi on steroids and what this all means. The video is available on Free the Airwaves.

Theme music by Ooah of the Glitch Mob.

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