Monday, October 29, 2012


John Roberts Brakey

Arizona and Florida have a lot in common, a powerful "Growth Lobby" and “Election Fraud”. These short investigative video clips will help one understand what we're up against:

****CBS Miami Series 1 of 6 Video CBS Miami - For many voters Ion Sancho’s words hold weight. He was the first elections supervisor in America to dare a “look under the hood” of a voting machine, to see if the machines were recording votes properly and if they could be hacked. ” I sanctioned the first investigation of a voting system without the vendor’s authorization,” Sancho recalls.  
****CBS Series 2 of 6 10/09/12 - Does Your Vote Count? Flips are real! “As a result, the wrong winners and losers were called.” Same machines Maricopa Election uses.

****CBS Series 3 of 6 10/16/12 - That’s called an overvote, and your vote may be thrown out.

****CBS Miami Series 4 of 6 10/23/12 - Investigates: Does Your Vote Count? The Recount Test:

****Pima County had purchased the same hacking tool used to program the memory card before voting so that it would print the results they wanted as opposed to the actual votes showed in the CBS Miami series on “Does your Vote Count? Here is a copy of the invoice

****This video clip of Attorney Bill Risner Explaining in court How Election Fraud Works in Pima County:
Final Thought:

Public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility.


  SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2012
Local Daily Extolls the Virtues of Pima County in Apologetic Report of Lawsuit Aimed at Keeping Pima County from Breaking Laws

J.T. Waldron

When propaganda gets this obvious, we ultimately choose not to run away from it and prefer not to rely on the hopes that people will ignore it.
It is far more productive to give it its due and shed light on it.
The Arizona Daily Star's sunday edition contains the article with a peculiar title that is self evident as propaganda:

What is the main, bulkier part of the title? You guessed it:

Pima Sees Gains in Election Security

What was the actual current news to be reported in the story?

The lawsuit by citizens to compel Pima County to follow existing election laws.

What's the damage?

The Arizona Daily Star has over 364,000 readers for its Sunday edition, which is about a third of the population of Pima County being falsely assured about "Elections Security".


Saturday, October 27, 2012


Blogger's Note: My yesterday's post seems to imply that "Republicans" are stealing our elections, whereas the truth of the matter is that elections are being stolen by criminals for illicit purposes having nothing to do with their political party affiliations. Case in point: John Brakey and I are both progressive Democrats and cofounders in Tucson of AUDIT-AZ (Americans United for Democracy, Integrity and Transparency in Elections), and in the video below you will hear Republican Brad Roach, former candidate for Pima County Attorney, remark on how much he learned from AUDIT-AZ. Although at opposite ends of the Democrat-Republican political scale, John and Brad are great friends in their quest to restore honest elections in Arizona (see photograph below)! 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2012                                                                                  Original here

Arizona Citizens' Election Integrity Lawsuit Explained by Attorney Brad Roach and Republican Candidate Bill Beard

From left to right:  Attorney Brad Roach,  John Brakey,
Bill Beard, Chris DeSimone
KVOA Wakeup Tucson at 7:00 AM Mountain Time on 1030 AM radio Stay tuned for the final clip containing Pima County shill Benny White refusing to participate in the Elections Integrity Board's emergency meeting scheduled to discuss former NSA employee Mickey Duniho's analysis of past elections. White mistakenly assumed that the meeting was going to discuss the pending lawsuit requiring Pima County to follow existing election laws. One can assume he is also mistaken in thinking he can be a co-defendant in that case because he ultimately would be acting against significant members within Pima County's Republican Party who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit. 

NSA Analyst Mickey Duniho's presentation to the Pima County's Election Integrity Board will be posted later this evening.


Pima commission to discuss chance of election fraud in larger precincts

Arizona Daily Star
                                                                                         Original here
Carli Brosseau

The Pima County Election Integrity Commission is holding a special meeting today to talk about whether one member's statistical analysis of votes in recent elections shows evidence of fraud.

Under the group's bylaws, an emergency meeting can be held if at least five of the nine members call for one.

Michael "Mickey" Duniho
His presentation to the Election Integrity Board
will be posted on The Intercept today.
Mickey Duniho, a retired National Security Agency computer programmer, requested the meeting two days ago after he began plotting cumulative votes by precinct and noticing that outcomes seemed to differ by precinct size.
He was replicating earlier studies done by California researchers Francois Choquette and James Johnson, an aerospace engineer and a financial analyst. The researchers argue that their analysis of the recent Republican primary shows Mitt Romney making strange vote gains in most states' large precincts.
Duniho - formerly a Republican election observer in Maryland, a supporter of Democrat-backed lawsuits against Pima County's Elections Department and now a registered independent - said that his results seem to parallel those of Choquette and Johnson, who tried to account for their findings using demographics.
He is now collecting demographic data by precinct to try to explain his results with other factors, such as whether a precinct is rural or the affluence of the precinct's residents.

Duniho suspects that the patterns he found show a 10 percent flip of votes in favor of the Republican candidate in the 2010 race between Raúl Grijalva and Ruth McClung and the race between Gabrielle Giffords and Jesse Kelly the same year, as well as votes switched to benefit Romney in the Republican primary.

"The problem is figuring out what the statistical evidence does mean," Duniho said. "The computer is a black box. It is very easy for the guy who wrote the program to do just about anything."

At today's meeting, Duniho hopes to persuade the county Elections Department to sort early ballots by precinct before doing the hand-count audit required by law.

He has been advocating for that sorting, as well as for upping the percentage of ballots hand-counted, for about six years, arguing that his method boosts the chances of revealing fraud if it were to occur.

By law, Arizona counties must do a hand-count audit of 1 percent of early ballots and 2 percent of precincts in at least one federal and one state race. Pima County already audits more than required - 4 percent of precinct-cast ballots and 1 percent of early ballots. No local races are audited.

Some of the commission's members have argued strongly against holding the meeting and worry that it could unnecesarily increase fears about the vote count.

Benny White, a Republican election observer, responded to news of the meeting request with a sharply worded email.

"After reviewing the academic research involved with the links in the message, I conclude that the allegations being made are absolute nonsense," he wrote. "These academics don't take into account the fact that election results are the response by voters to campaigns and candidates. …

"I think there is a greater probability that fluctuations in the electrical voltage of the lines serving the election department have more to do with variations in election results than these alleged anomalies."

The county's technical consultant on election matters, John Moffatt, agrees that the data do not seem to show a vote flip in Pima County, but he does think the California researchers may be on to something with their findings in some other states. 

Pima County employee John Moffatt speaks of
"witch hunts" in the past, but is responsible
for the incoherent rationale that required a suit
to obtain electronic public records.
"It's worth paying attention to, and we took it seriously," he said. "My personal opinion is that it's another witch hunt, but our responsibility is to check this stuff out, not just blow it off."

He adamantly rejects allegations that county elections staff somehow tampered with any results.

The county's elections director, Brad Nelson, will not be at the meeting to approve a change of audit procedures because of family issues, but county workers involved in those processes caution that while it's theoretically possible to make Duniho's suggested change, it would be logistically difficult.

"That's a monumental task," Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez said. "It's kind of late to be changing the procedures in the middle of a major election."

The sorting machine needed to do the job efficiently would cost at least $125,000, said Chris Roads, deputy recorder and registrar of voters.

To do the sorting by hand would likely take two days, Moffatt said.

The window to challenge a vote count after an election in Arizona is five days after the canvass.


Friday, October 26, 2012


NSC Analyst Proves GOP is Stealing Elections

By Denis G. Campbell and
Charley James
(c) 25 October 2012 

UPDATED: 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 maths 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) insist 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. But the analysis indicated that this only happens in larger precincts because anomalies in small precincts can be more easily detected.

“Easy to Cheat”
The bigger the precinct (x axis) the higher the number of votes for Romney
and corresponding decrease for Santorum and Paul when all lines should look
like the Gingrich line.                                                   (Source: MA Duniho
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. This publication has written extensively about apparent vote machine manipulation in a 2006 RTA Bond issue election that is still being fought in the courts. Said Duniho, “It is really easy to cheat using computers to count votes, because you can’t see what is going on in the machine.”

When Duniho applied a mathematical model to actual voting results in the largest voting precincts, he saw that only the large precincts suddenly trended towards Mitt Romney in the Arizona primary – and indeed all Republicans in every election since 2008 – by a factor of 8%-10%. The Republican candidate in every race saw an 8-10%. gain in his totals whilst the Democrat lost 8-10%. This is a swing of up to  20 point, enough to win an election unless a candidate was losing very badly.

Since sifting through and decoding massive amounts of data was his work for decades on behalf of the National Security Agency, he wanted to understand why this was ONLY happening in large precincts.

Nose Counting
The idea of examining large precinct results came via a link to a report written by Francois Choquette and James Johnson. Choquette became curious about South Carolina primary results in the February Republican contest. There a poll observer noted an unusually big gain of votes for Mitt Romney in larger precincts than in smaller ones. Choquette wanted to know why?

He examined and applied all of the normal statistical markers to see where a variance might occur: income level, population density, race, urban vs. rural, even party registration numbers. He found no correlation to explain why Romney votes trended upward while Paul and Santorum votes trended downward -yet only in large precincts.

Choquette then looked at all 50 states and found roughly a 10% switch in votes from Democrat to GOP. This was noted in every state except Utah, where the presumption was, as it was Mitt’s religious home state and very conservative, there was no chance of Romney losing and no variance was found.
Choquette even saw in Maricopa County, which is Phoenix and its suburbs, that in 2008 Romney used this technique against John McCain. But McCain beat him by too much for a 10% fraud gain to matter. McCain tried to do the same thing in the general election to President Obama but 9 million votes nationally were too many to make up.

Examining every county across America was too massive an undertaking for any one person so he included a simple set of instructions and encouraged others to do the same with raw vote totals in their county/state.

1. Download the text files of all raw actual vote results by precinct from the Secretary of State’s Office.
2. Arrange them in precinct order.
3. Put in all of the candidate totals for each precinct.
4. Sort the data by total vote smallest on the top.

Now here it gets a bit dense: He needed to add columns that show cumulative totals by candidate then compare them by candidate to establish trend lines.

That reveals trends should remain statistically constant throughout an election.

Stealing Votes
But as the spreadsheet shows, the larger the precinct, the numbers start to change dramatically.

“If percentages did not change from one precinct to the next, we would see a flat line, but what we are seeing is sloped lines downward for Democrats and upward for Republicans (or, in the case of the Presidential primary, upward for Romney and downward for his opponents), said Duniho.”

In every election contest, the trend lines dramatically crossed for no apparent reason. It was revealed that votes were being systemically bled off for Rick Santorum and Ron Paul and then being credited to Mitt Romney.

Once Duniho completed the spreadsheet, he pumped in actual vote totals from other Arizona election contests.

Chart showing Barber v Kelly special election to replace Gabby Giffords
result in Pima County where the margin of victory was too large even
with the supposed 'fix' in to overcome.
He looked at every 2010 race in Arizona from Governor Brewer to Senator McCain and Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. The trends lines all did the exact same thing. Someone had manipulated the election outcome, most likely one person inserting a programme inside the system’s central computer… that flipped votes.
The results were astounding.

They showed that Governor Brewer actually lost her election and Gabby Gifford’s razor thin less than 1% point re-election victory over Tea Party Conservative Jesse Kelly was closer to a 20 point victory for her.

Duniho added, “We need to have strong hand count audits to confirm the integrity of these elections. This means comparing hand counts with official reports of the election.”

Ohio Precedent

This isn’t the first time Republicans have been charged with vote theft. It happened in the 2004 presidential election, in Ohio and Florida.

In Ohio, GOP consultant Michael Connell claimed that the vote count computer program he had created for the state had a trap door that shifted Democratic votes to the GOP.

He was subpoenaed as a witness in a lawsuit against then-Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, and lawyers for the plaintiff asked the Dept. of Justice to provide him with security because there were two threats made against Connell’s life by people associated with Karl Rove. But in Dec. 2008, before the trial began, Connell was killed in a plane crash outside Akron Ohio.
There were problems in Florida, as well.

A study by the Quantitative Methods Research Team at the University of California at Berkeley found that anomalies between Florida counties using touch-screen voting and those using other methods could not be explained statistically. Noting the higher-than-expected votes for Bush in three large Democratic counties, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, Michael Hout, a Berkeley professor who did the study said there were strong suspicions of vote-rigging.

“No matter how many factors and variables we took into consideration, the significant correlation in the votes for President Bush and electronic voting cannot be explained,” Hout said. “The study shows that a county’s use of electronic voting resulted in a disproportionate increase in votes for President Bush. There is just a trivial probability of evidence like this appearing in a population where the true difference is zero—less than once in a thousand chances.”

Don’t Trust, Verify
Indeed the only way to 100% verify this election fraud would be through handcounts of ballots by precinct, matching those results to the reported totals. But as was mentioned earlier, a group in Pima County has been trying unsuccessfully to get access to ballots to conduct such a count for almost five years since anomalies first surfaced in voting machines in 2006.

Is there a judge in Arizona likely to suddenly reverse past trends and allow access to conduct such a handcount of ballots 12 days before a national election? And if not, why not? Maybe someone needs to commission the Anonymous hacker group to re-level the playing field because the courts are not going to do it.

The results of Duniho’s analysis can only happen if votes are being stolen, and the only way that’s possible is if the computerised machines are programmed to steal them. Welcome to Zimbabwe.
More than 100 million Americans will cast their ballots thinking their vote will be fairly counted. It should be. Yet the crooks know they can safely flip up to 10% of votes without consequence. Anything more than that is statistically suspect.

President Obama won by such a huge margin in 2008 that even with this anomaly built into the system, he cruised to victory. This year the election is much closer. Can American democracy afford yet another election crisis placing three of the four last national Presidential election results in question or worse: The outcome was stolen, the outcome a victim of election theft?

Don’t Take Our Word
Use the spreadsheet above to do the maths in your own state, county or precinct. The results are compelling. Then demand that the Justice Department stop this insane view that results need to be reported by 11 pm for the television networks. Demand hand ballot counts!

We use paper ballots in the UK and results do not even begin to trickle in until 3 am. The final outcome can take up to three days to finalise. But voters in Britain know the count is accurate because every ballot is transparently hand-counted. When I read this article that Serbia, Belarus and Kazakhstan were sending election monitors to watch the US Election?, I knew we’d jumped the shark.

We are already being victimized by vote fraud on a scale that, in another country, would lead to calls for international election monitors. It is time for Americans to stop being victims of ghosts in the machine.

(This story was simultaneously released on the magazine and The David Pakman Show of 25 October.)

Denis G. Campbell is the author of 6 books including ‘Billionaire Boys Election Freak Show,’ ‘The Vagina Wars’ & ‘Egypt Unsh@ckled.’ He is the editor of UK Progressive Magazine and provides commentary to the BBC, itv Al Jazeera English, CNN, MSNBC and others. His weekly ‘World View with Denis Campbell’ segment can be heard every Thursday on the globally syndicated The David Pakman Show. You can follow him on Twitter via @UKProgressive and on Facebook.

Charley James is a long-time independent journalist who covers social justice, politics and economic issues. He’s worked in print and broadcast media for national magazines, large newspapers and major market radio and television outlets. Follow Charley on Twitter @SuddenlyHomeles.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


A few questions for the popular pundit that may help better educate both him and the nation's electorate...

By Brad Friedman on 10/21/2012, 12:56pm PT

This morning, NBC News' top election expert, Chuck Todd, tweeted the following...

Todd was responding, no doubt, to the many folks who have been justifiably concerned of late, since it was discovered that a bunch of Bain Capital investors, led by Mitt Romney's son Tagg, via a company called H.I.G. Capital (believed to stand for Hart Intercivic Group) took over control of Hart Intercivic, the nation's third largest voting machine company, in 2011.

The Austin-based Hart company, according to's database, supplies electronic voting machines and paper ballot tabulators that will be used to tally votes in the Presidential Election this year in all or parts of California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

I offered my point of view about those concerns earlier this month, explaining that it was not just the private ownership of Hart's machines by Romney backers which voters should be concerned about, but the private ownership of the similar systems in all fifty states that will once again be used to tabulate the results of this year's Presidential Election with little --- and very often zero --- possibility of oversight by the public or even by election officials.

Todd does an extraordinary disservice to the electorate with Tweets like the one above, and I'd be happy to come on his daily MSNBC show any time to explain why, as I have told him via Twitter in response to the above.

As Todd has not responded in kind, and to expand upon my response to Todd there, I'd like to ask him these few respectful questions...
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when paper ballot optical-scan tabulators made by Sequoia Voting Systems in Palm Beach County declared incorrect results of three different races last March, including declaring two losing candidates to be the "winners"?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when the Canadian firm, Dominion Voting, which now owns Sequoia Voting Systems admitted the failure in Palm Beach was caused by a bug in all versions of its central tabulation software which will be used to tabulate the Presidential Election (and many others) on November 6th this year in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when, despite using Dominion/Sequoia's recommended "fix", the same problem occurred yet again in Palm Beach County's August primary elections, as their Supervisor of Elections recently explained to me on air?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when 16,632 votes were found unaccounted for when those same machines were first used in Palm Beach County back in 2008?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when eight (8) top election officials --- including the County Clerk, a Circuit Court Judge and the School Superintendent --- in Clay County, KY were sentenced last year to 156 years in federal prison for gaming elections, including changing the votes of voters on ES&S electronic touch-screen voting machines?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when the President of Diebold Election Systems, Inc. (by then renamed Premier Election Systems, which is now owned by the Canadian firm Dominion Voting) admitted in 2008 that the company's GEMS central tabulation software, used in some 34 states, does not tabulate votes correctly and routinely drops thousands of them when they are uploaded to the central server?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when Diebold/Premier's spokesman admitted to the CA Secretary of State during a 2009 hearing that the supposedly permanent "audit logs" in all versions of its GEMS central tabulation system fail to record the deletion of ballots, after it was discovered that their electronic tabulator had failed to tabulate hundreds of paper ballots in a Humboldt County election (or to even notify system administrators that it had deleted those ballots)?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when the CA Sec. of State decertified federally-certified electronic voting and tabulation systems made by Diebold, Sequoia and Hart Intercivic in 2007 after a state-commissioned team of computer science and security experts from the University of California, Livermore National Laboratories and elsewhere "demonstrated that the physical and technological security mechanisms" for all of the state's electronic voting systems (also used across the rest of the country) "were inadequate to ensure accuracy and integrity of the elections results and of the systems that provide those results" and that their "independent teams of analysts were able to bypass both physical and software security measures in every system tested"?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when the 2007 landmark study commissioned by OH's then Democratic Sec. of State, found "Ohio's electronic voting systems have 'critical security failures' which could impact the integrity of elections in the Buckeye State" and when she (unsuccessfully) recommended, along with the then Republican Speaker of the Senate, who is now the state's Republican Sec. of State, that all touch-screen systems in the state be decertified due to concerns of, as she told The BRAD BLOG, "viruses that can be inserted into [Ohio's e-voting and tabulation] system through something as simple as a PDA [Personal Digital Assistant] and a magnet and then the cards are passed from machine to machine almost like Typhoid Mary" so that "If there is malicious software, like a virus put into the system, it can not only affect the machines at the polling places, it can affect the tabulation that occurs at the server and it can also affect future elections if it's not detected"?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when the New York Daily News discovered in 2012 that hundreds of paper ballots at just one precinct in the Bronx went uncounted in 2010 during the September primary (failure rate of 70%) and the November general election (failure rate of 54%) on their brand new ES&S DS200 paper ballot optical-scanners, which are also used in OH, AZ, MI and elsewhere?
• Was it 'conspiracy' garbage when the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) released a warning in 2011 from a "Formal Investigation Report" that those same systems failed to count paper ballots correctly, on the heels of Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), OH's previous finding that 10% of those machines failed during pre-election testing in 2010?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when Oakland County, MI wrote a letter of concern to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), seeking advice in 2008 after finding their ES&S M-100 optical scanners "yielded different results each time" the "same ballots were run through the same machines" during pre-election testing?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when Princeton University discovered in 2006 that they could, in seconds time, implant a virus onto Diebold touch-screen systems used in dozens of states which could then spread itself from machine to machine and result in an entire county's election being flipped with little chance of detection?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when a computer security expert hacked a memory card on a Diebold paper ballot optical-scan system and flipped the results of a mock election (see the hack and its results as captured in HBO's Emmy-nominated 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy here) in such a way that only a hand-count of the paper ballots in the election could reveal the true results?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when a CIA cybersecurity expert testified to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission(EAC) in 2009 that e-voting was not secure, "that computerized electoral systems can be manipulated at five stages, from altering voter registration lists to posting results" and that "wherever the vote becomes an electron and touches a computer, that's an opportunity for a malicious actor potentially to...make bad things happen"?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' that the Vulnerability Assessment Team (which also monitors nuclear facilities) at Argonne National Laboratory (the non-profit research lab operated by the University of Chicago for the Dept. of Energy) released a report earlier this year finding that Diebold's touch-screen systems and, according to the team's lead scientist, "pretty much every electronic voting machine", can be hacked with just $10.50 in parts and an 8th grade science education, or just $26 if you want to do it remotely?
• Was it 'conspiracy garbage' when, in Volusia County, FL's 2000 Presidential Election a paper-based optical-scan tabulator made by Global Elections Management Systems (GEMS, thereafter purchased by Diebold to become Diebold Election Systems, Inc.) tallied negative 16,022 votes for Al Gore thanks to a supposed "software flaw" which has never been explained by anyone, and which Leon County (Tallahassee), FL's Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho --- the man, so well respected by both major parties, that he was placed in charge of the aborted 2000 Presidential Election recount in Florida --- believes was a purposeful hack of the electronic tabulation system which is now used in hundreds of counties in dozens of states?
I could go on and on, obviously, but I won't. You're welcome. There are some 10 years worth of articles at The BRAD BLOG that folks can peruse to determine the facts underscoring my concerns and those of the others who have legitimately expressed them to you, Chuck Todd, about private, unaccountable corporations --- owned by associates of Mitt Romney or by anybody else --- having so much unoverseeable control of our once-public electoral system.

But, to misinform your 272,035 Twitter followers, not to mention your millions of viewers on television, that concerns about oft-failed, easily-manipulated electronic voting and tabulation systems are little more than "conspiracies" which "belong in the same category as the Trump birther garbage" is an extraordinary disservice to your readers, your viewers and the U.S. electorate as a whole.

They deserve a much better understanding of our electoral system from someone such as yourself, who is relied upon by so many as an expert in these matters.

Again, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss these concerns with you on your Daily Rundown show on MSNBC any time.

If, in fact, you are correct, that these concerns are little more than 'conspiracy garbage', you will do the electorate a great service by having me on, and putting me in my place once and for all by explaining why.

If these concerns are not 'conspiracy garbage', as I would argue, you would be performing a great service to the electorate by helping the electorate understand why they are not, and what voters may be able to do at this point to help minimize the possibilities of their votes not being counted accurately or transparently, or even at all, this November 6th.

Either way, the electorate will end up being much better informed before this year's Presidential Election, which is, after all, as I'm sure we can both agree, the most important core function of your job --- and mine --- as journalists.

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here).
We currently have a premium offer for signed copies of investigative journalist Greg Palast's new best-seller Billionaires and Ballot Bandits and his "Election Files" DVD, including his BBC reports on fraudulent U.S. elections in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Details on that limited time offer right here...

Monday, October 22, 2012


MCM interviewed by RT’s Abby Martin, on election fraud!                                                                               Original Here

“Abby Martin talks to Mark Crispin Miller, NYU Professor & Author of ‘Fooled Again’”
Please post your comments at the source:

Blogger's Note: If you should want to know more about election fraud in the U.S., I recommend reading the book edited by Mark Crispin Miller, Looser Take All -- Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy 2004 - 2008.  I am the author of one of the chapters, there are many chapters better than mine, and it can be had from Amazon for only about 3 bucks.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


America R.I.P.

During the second half of the 20th century the United States was an opportunity society. The ladders of upward mobility were plentiful, and the middle class expanded. Incomes rose, and ordinary people were able to achieve old-age security.

In the 21st century the opportunity society has disappeared. Middle class jobs are scarce. Indeed, jobs of any kind are scarce. To stay even with population growth from 2002 through 2011, the economy needed about 14 million new jobs. However, at the end of 2011 there were only 1 million more jobs than in 2002.

Only 426,000 of these jobs are in the private sector. The bulk of the net new jobs consist of waitresses and bartenders and health care and social assistance. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the 9 years, employment for waitresses and bartenders increased by 1,188,000. Employment in health care and social assistance increased 3,087,000. These two categories accounted for 1,000% of the net private sector job growth.

As for manufacturing jobs, they not only did not grow with the population but declined absolutely. During these nine years, 3.5 million middle class manufacturing jobs were lost.

Over the entire nine years, only 48,000 new jobs were created for architects and engineers.

In the 21st century the US economy has been able to create only a few new jobs and these are in lowly paid domestic services that cannot be offshored, such as waitresses and bartenders.

The lack of jobs, especially high value-added, high productivity jobs, is the reason real median household income has declined and the distribution of income has worsened. Without rising real household income, there cannot be a consumer economy.

In the early years of the 21st century, the Federal Reserve substituted a rise in consumer debt to drive the economy in place of the missing rise in consumer incomes. Low interest rates drove up housing prices, and people refinanced their mortgages and spent the equity. The Federal Reserve kept the economy alive by loading up consumers with debt that housing prices and consumer incomes would soon be unable to support.

When debt and real estate prices reached unsustainable levels, the bubble popped, and the ongoing financial crisis was upon us.

The cause of all of the problems is the offshoring of Americans’ jobs. When jobs are moved offshore, consumers’ careers and incomes, and the GDP and payroll and income tax base associated with those jobs, go with them. When the goods and services produced for American markets by offshored labor are brought into the US to be sold, the trade deficit rises, and downward pressure is put on the dollar, pushing up domestic inflation. (On October 12, statistician John Williams ( reported that “third-quarter wholesale inflation jumped to an annualized 6.2%.”)

Jobs offshoring is driven by Wall Street, “shareholder advocates,” the threat of takeovers, and by large retailers, such as Walmart. By cutting labor costs, profits go up.It is that simple. However, as a result of sending American jobs to cheap labor countries, US consumer incomes go down. The end result is to destroy the domestic consumer market. What would have been US consumer income growth becomes instead profit growth for US corporations.

Keynesian economists use in their textbooks the example of how the aggregate effect of individual saving could be the opposite of the effect intended by the individuals. Whereas each saver seeks to improve his position by building wealth, in the aggregate saving could exceed investment, resulting in a decline in aggregate demand and a fall in income for all. Offshoring has the same logic. Each corporation can expect to gain more profits from moving US jobs offshore, but the aggregate effect is a fall in American consumer incomes and a reduction in the American consumer market.

I have told this story many times. But policymakers, the media, and economists seem unable to connect the dots.

Jobs offshoring has substantial implications for Social Security and Medicare. The US has the least adequate social safety net of any developed country. The two major components of the US social safety net are Social Security and Medicare for the elderly. Social Security and Medicare are financed by a payroll tax. The combined tax is 15.3% of payrolls. For the past quarter of a century the Social Security portion of the payroll tax has built up a surplus of over $2 trillion. Recently, the Medicare portion began running in the red.

Right-wing Republicans, free market ideologues, and the left-wing have all indoctrinated themselves with incorrect beliefs about Social Security and Medicare. The right-wing claims that a safety net financed with 15.3% of payrolls is a “Ponzi scheme” and an “unfunded liability.” If that is the case, then so are veterans benefits, military pensions, and federal pensions, all of which are financed by the income tax, the basis for the payroll tax.

The left-wing claims that the rich do not pay high enough payroll taxes, because the income subject to Social Security payroll tax is capped at about $110,000. But the benefits are also capped. Social Security is not supposed to be an income redistribution scheme from rich to poor, and it is not supposed to be a pension system for the rich. The pension paid is supposed to correlate with the pre-retirement income level of the retiree. Those who had higher wages or salaries and consequently paid more in payroll taxes receive a larger Social Security check than those who had lower wages and salaries and paid less payroll taxes, although there is favoritism toward the lower income earners who receive proportionally more in respect to their payroll taxes than higher income earners.

There is no cap on income subject to the Medicare portion of the payroll tax. Moreover, Medicare charges a Medicare Part B premium that is deducted from the Social Security monthly check. In addition, there is a further Part B premium based on retirement age income. For example, someone working beyond retirement age and making $250,000 per year pays about $3,800 in Medicare Part B premium in addition to the Medicare portion of the payroll tax of about $7,500. The annual premium he pays for his “free” Medicare for which he has paid all his working life with a payroll tax is about $11,300.

Moreover, Medicare by itself is insufficient coverage. To actually have medical coverage, those covered by Medicare have to purchase a supplementary private policy to cover the large gaps in Medicare. Depending on the range of coverage, a supplementary policy costs approximately $100 to $300 per month.

As the person making $250,000 per year is likely to go for the most coverage, he will be paying about $14,900 (excluding deductions and co-payments) per year for his “free” Medicare. This is despite having paid the Medicare payroll tax each year of his working life. A person who made $250,000 in taxable income per year for 30 years would have paid $217,500 into Medicare at the current Medicare payroll tax rate.

The right-wing’s notion that Social Security and Medicare are handouts, part of the welfare state’s bread and circuses, and the left-wing’s idea that the rich get a free ride are equally untrue.

(Note: $250,000 is the politicians’ dividing line between the rich and the rest of us. For a person making $50,000 a year, an income five times larger can seem rich. However, a $250,000 annual income leaves a family or person far distant from the lifestyle of the rich. Upper middle class incomes are generally associated with high-tax, high-cost urban areas in states with high income taxes. After federal income and payroll taxes, state income and sales taxes, and property taxes, what appears to many as a large income disappears. In New York City, the federal income tax will take about 25% of the $250,000, New York state will take about 9%, and New York City will take about 3.65%. The combined city and state sales tax is 8.875%. The property tax is high. The conclusion is that in New York City a $250,000 income is reduced to $125,000 or thereabouts. Those who claim “the rich don’t pay taxes” are not talking about $250,000 incomes.)

Social Security and Medicare have served the country well. They protect the individual from his own mistakes, from crooked and incompetent money managers, and from financial crises, and they protect society from the moral dilemma of confronting large numbers of fellow citizens who through fault or no fault of their own cannot provide for their livelihood and medical care. After the financial scandals and crisis of the past five years, it is a stretch to believe that any but the astute can manage their personal wealth, whether small or large, in today’s situation of unregulated financial markets, zero interest rates, currency uncertainty, and highly complex investment instruments with computers programmed with mathematical models dominating equity trades.

The argument that conceptually a person could do better by investing his payroll taxes in the stock market is a poor basis for old age security policy. The person can do better as long as he or she doesn’t fall into the hands of a Bernie Madoff or a Goldman Sachs, doesn’t receive zero interest on his bonds because the Federal Reserve has to bail out the “too big to fail banks,” doesn’t experience a decline in currency value due to monetization of enormous federal deficits, and doesn’t experience a bear market as he approaches retirement.

The right-wing ideologues who try to scare old age security out of existence go on and on about rising medical costs, about an aging population living longer, declining birthrates and a worsening ratio of workers to retirees, about people learning to rely on handouts rather than their own means, and about Washington’s rising unfunded liabilities.

Scare projections are designed to scare, and most are untenable. For example, longevity was a product of rising incomes, good diet, and antibiotics. Today only the upper crust have rising incomes. Antibiotics are wearing out from abuse and rising immunity of bacteria. Diet is compromised in ways still poorly understood as a result of GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, pumping chicken, pork, and beef full of antibiotics and hormones and feeding the animals GMO grains and also possibly infected animal byproducts, and pumping our water full of fluoride. A variety of destructive activities and behaviors are causing ecological damage. Longevity might have been a short-term benefit of irreproducible conditions considering the mounting ecological damage and the rise of superbugs, stress, and tainted food and water production.

The projection of an aging population might also be wrong. Clearly, the post-World War II baby boomers are aging, but do the projections take into account the legislated 1965 immigration increases plus the illegal influx from Mexico and points south of young people with high birth rates? How can it be that a country with allegedly 30 million illegal immigrants, whose children born in the US are citizens, has a declining birth rate? How do we know that the illegal population will not continue to increase?

There are so many Spanish speaking people in the US today that if a person calls any of his utility companies, whether telephone, Internet, water, electricity, TV, or any of his credit card companies, or his bank, he has to select English or Spanish. Obviously, as anti-immigration sites make clear, the US population is changing in its national origin, and there appears to be no sign of an aging Hispanic population. How many old Spanish speaking people do you see in the US compared to the young?

When confronted with this apparent fact, the response is: “why will the Hispanics pay for the aging white population?” The answer is: because they are in the same payroll tax system and the taxes will be withheld from their wages and salaries just as they are from everyone else’s.

It is possible that if Hispanics in the US have suffered years of hostility, accusations, and hatred from “the ice people,” once Hispanics are sufficiently numerous to control the legislature, assuming one still exists, or to take over the executive branch, the only seat of power, they may in retribution cut off the aging whites. But if so, the whites will have brought it on themselves.

Whatever the scare projections that are mustered to undermine the public provision of old age security, the real financial danger is never mentioned. The only significant financial danger to Social Security and Medicare is the offshoring of American jobs and GDP. A country without a job base is without a payroll tax base. If the only jobs that the 21st century “world’s only superpower” economy can create are for waitresses, bartenders, and health care and social assistance (hospital orderlies and practical nurses), payroll tax revenues will be less than if the US still had 20 million workers and rising in well-paid manufacturing jobs instead of 11 million.

Regardless of Medicare’s financing, the death knell for the elderly was the legality of abortion. If the yet to be born are an insufferable burden, imagine the cost of the elderly. As far as the state is concerned, once you stop producing income and payroll tax revenues for the state, it is time for you to die. Washington would rather enact euthanasia than to pay back the $2+ trillion in the Social Security trust fund that Washington spent, leaving only non-marketable IOUs in the account.

Readers might think that Americans would never stand for death by injection for the elderly once the qualified age is reached. But why would they not? They have accepted millions of aborted babies, and Americans, including the elderly, have stood for Washington’s murder, maiming and displacement of millions of Muslim men, women, and children in 7 countries over the past 11 years and are yet to show any signs of remorse for their complicity in mass murder. Next month tens of millions of Americans will vote for Mitt Romney who believes Obama isn’t killing Muslims fast enough.

The new “Obamneycare” health legislation does have “death panels.” They are not called that, and they do not make formal decisions to terminate lives. But it comes to almost the same thing. Various panels, committees, or bureaucratic departments are empowered to make decisions about “effective care.” It has long been known that most health care costs are associated with the last year of life. Cost and age will be elements in determining standards of care. The greater the weight assigned to cost, the more care will be withheld. In effect, the “effective care” panel is a “death panel.”

Prior to the advent of the new “health care” system, Medicare and or hospitals are already shifting costs to Medicare patients. To avoid penalties and fraud allegations for “medically unnecessary hospitalizations,” rather than formally admit Medicare patients as inpatients, hospital administrators classify them as outpatients “under observation.”

According to a Brown University analysis of Medicare records in 2007, 2008, and 2009, the ratio of Medicare observation patients to those admitted as inpatients rose by 34 percent.

Being classified an outpatient under observation eliminates medicare coverages, especially for post-operative or post-accident rehabilitation care, leaving Medicare patients with bills in the tens of thousands of dollars (AARP Bulletin, October 2012).

Other costs are being shifted to doctors and to hospitals. Medicare pays fixed prices for each covered procedure or test, and these prices can be as low as half of the billed prices. During a period when costs incurred by providers of health care have been rising, Medicare has been cutting the amounts it pays providers.

As the payroll tax is commingled with general tax revenues, Social Security and Medicare payroll tax collections can be diverted to other purposes and, thus, are always subject to competing budgetary demands, such as the previous 11 years of gratuitous wars and the bailouts of “banks too big to fail,” or to deficit reduction demands as the government consistently overspends all revenue sources.

A national health service is the only way to control health costs and provide the population with health care coverage. A national health system takes the many levels of profits out of the system and also reams of compliance and liability costs. A national health system can coexist with a private system for those who can afford it or whose employers are sufficiently profitable to provide it.

As Jarad Diamond reveals in his book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, societies fail, if not because of their moral bankruptcy, then because their rulers are only capable of short-term thinking. The future is beyond their interest. The US offshored its economy, because it worked short-term for corporate executives (rewarded with multi-million dollar performance bonuses), Wall Street (rewarded with profits), shareholders (rewarded with capital gains), and politicians (rewarded with corporate and Wall Street campaign contributions).

Incompetent free market economists confused jobs offshoring with free trade. They said the country would and was benefiting by giving its manufacturing, industrial, and tradable professional service jobs to China and India, that the US was ridding itself of “dirty fingernail jobs” and would soon be flush with highly paid high-tech jobs and highly paid financial service jobs.

None of these promises or predictions were true. Nowhere in the government’s jobs statistics are there any of these promised replacement jobs. The economists who provided cover for the destruction of the US economy were rewarded by the corporations with speaking fees, grants for their university departments, and newspaper columns paid for by corporate advertisers. Those few who told the truth were expelled from the corporate media that Bill and Hilary Clinton allowed to be monopolized (for campaign contributions, of course).

The future of old age security in the United States has been lost, because the job base has been given away to foreigners in order to maximize incomes in the short-run for the few decision-makers.

The misrepresentation of jobs offshoring as free trade has destroyed the prospects of cities, counties, and states along with those of unions and millions of Americans who once had a secure future. It has destroyed the prospects of class after class of university graduates burdened with student loans who expected to step into the jobs that have been offshored or filled by H-1B visa holders from abroad.

The American work force has been forsaken by the corporations and by Washington, and this means that Social Security and Medicare have also been forsaken.

As I predicted in the early years of this new century, “the United States will be a third world country in 20 years.” We might get there even sooner as Washington exhausts what little is left of American wealth in gratuitous wars in service to Israel and the US Military/Security Complex, in unaffordable military buildups in futile hopes of establishing hegemony over China and Russia, and in negative interest rates from the Federal Reserve’s effort to drive up the book value of debt instruments on the balance sheets of financial institutions.

In 1817 Percy Bysshe Shelly forecast America’s future:

“I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stampt on these lifeless things,
The hand that mockt them and the heart that fed:
On the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Writing in the October 15 online CounterPunch, John V. Walsh, relying on charts prepared by economics professor Mark J. Perry at the University of Michigan and blogger John Hunter, concludes that it is a myth that US manufacturing is in decline.

Walsh says that the loss of US manufacturing jobs is due to automation, not to offshoring. Think about this for a moment. Perry’s graph on which Walsh relies shows the sharp drop in US manufacturing employment to be a 21st century experience. However, automation has been around for a long time. The notion that its effect on employment only showed up recently needs an explanation that is not provided. The steep drop in US manufacturing employment that began in 2000 does correspond with the date at which jobs offshoring began to bite hard.

Why does automation not also affect Chinese manufacturing, especially as most of the Chinese manufacturing technology came from the US as US corporations offshored their production for the US market? If Chinese manufacturing is not up to date with automation, like the US is assumed to be, how do the Chinese, even with cheap labor, undersell US automated factories? How did Chinese manufacturing employment increase in a mere four years by an amount equal to the total manufacturing employment in the US?

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis shows only 11.2 million full time US manufacturing jobs in 2010. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 11.7 million US manufacturing jobs in 2011, down from 15.3 million in 2002.

In contrast, China, an industrial and manufacturing backwater for most of my life, had 112 million manufacturing jobs in 2006. In a mere four years (2002-2006), the increase in China’s manufacturing employment was as large as today’s total employment in US manufacturing. As long ago as 2006, China’s manufacturing employment was about 10 times the current US manufacturing employment. The Chinese population is about 4 times larger than the US population, but China’s manufacturing population is proportionately greater–10 times larger. Indeed, Chinese manufacturing employees almost equal the total number of employees in all occupations in the US (Manufacturing and Technology News, December 15, 2009).

Obviously, something is wrong with Walsh’s article or the graphs on which he relied.

America’s manufacturing prowess cannot be found in the statistical data. The US is primarily an exporter of Agricultural commodities. The US imports almost twice the amount of manufactured goods as it exports. Indeed, according to the US Census Bureau Statistical Abstract of the US US imports of manufactured goods are 5.5 times larger than US imports of crude oil and 4 times larger than all imports of mineral fuel. Yet, we hear about energy dependency, not manufacturing dependency.

As of 2010 the “superpower” US economy still had a trade surplus in airplanes and airplane parts and a small $6 billion surplus in scientific instruments, but that is about all.

In ADP equipment and office machinery, the US exported $22.2 billion in 2010 (latest information at time of writing), down from $44.6 billion in 2000. US imports in 2010 of ADP equipment and office machinery were $113.5 billion, or 5.1 times exports.

The US cannot even make its own clothes and shoes. In 2010 footwear imports are 28.7 times exports. Clothing imports are 24.6 times exports.

Electrical machinery exports were $77 billion; imports were $120 billion.

Exports of power generating machinery were $33 billion; imports were $42 billion.

Exports of television, VCRs were $21.5 billion; imports were $137 billion.

US exports of vehicles was $88 billion; imports were $179 billion.

US news reports of thousands upon thousands of discharged US workers never cite their replacement by automation. The news story is always that the plant is being closed and the jobs moved abroad. Any review of America’s former manufacturing centers verifies this. Boarded up plants and cities and towns in decline are the remains of America’s formerly world dominant manufacturing economy.

The loss of the US post-war trade surplus in manufacturing has left the US with a huge trade deficit. The charts on which Walsh relied left him unaware of the fact that China has a large trade surplus with the US, and the US has a large trade deficit not only with China but with the world.

The fact that the US has to import not only manufactured goods, but also high-technology products from China, an inconceivable outcome during the second half of the 20th century, is powerful testimony to the decline of the US as a manufacturing powerhouse.

It took some doing to obscure the facts and to present the US as a rival to China in manufacturing prowess. How did it happen?

The fault might lie in the way statistical information is collected and presented. Apple, for example, is a US corporation. It reports its worldwide earnings to the IRS. Its manufacturing is counted as US manufacturing as it is a US corporation. However, Apple doesn’t produce a single computer in the US. They are produced in China. The employment that Apple reports is in China. The Chinese are employed by an American company, but they are not Americans. The Chinese incomes that Apple provides do not support the American consumer market or provide the tax base for cities and states. The Chinese incomes do not provide ladders of upward mobility or careers for Americans.

The wages Apple pays are in China. The consumer incomes and GDP that it generates are in China. When Apple’s computers come back to America to be sold they come in as imports. But Apple’s manufacturing and employment are reported as the output and employment of an American company.

When statistics and the methods by which they are compiled were put into effect, countries did not offshore their production for their domestic markets. Foreign investments were made for selling abroad, not for selling in the home market. With the advent of offshoring, counting the employment and output of US firms that are producing abroad for their domestic market as an indication of the strength of US manufacturing is very misleading. Apple, for example, has done more to boost China’s GDP than to boost America’s GDP. This is true of every US corporation that offshores its production for US consumers.

In recent years the percentage of the work forces of large US corporations that is foreign sourced has risen rapidly. Some of the overseas hiring reflects traditional foreign investment in which a company builds abroad in order to sell abroad, but much of the hiring reflects offshored production for US markets.

The US has been able to survive the large trade deficits produced by jobs offshoring, because the US dollar is the world reserve currency. Being the world reserve currency, the US does not have to earn foreign currencies with exports in order to pay for its imports. However, as these trade deficits persist and the buildup of foreign holdings of dollar paper assets rises, there is a diminishing willingness of foreigners to trade real goods and services for financial assets denominated in a fiat currency whose value is diminishing with the ever-growing supply.

Thus, the basic notion of globalism–that a country’s corporations can produce goods and services in any country for home markets–is false.

Walsh is correct that China is not to blame for the decline in US manufacturing. Offshoring is to blame, and, thus, the blame lies with US corporations, policymakers, and the economists and financial media who shill for “globalism.” The decision was made to sacrifice the US economy to the short-term profits of the few. A country so poorly led can do nothing but decline.