SC Republican Commodities Broker Uses FOIA to Investigate Electronic Voting
By Joan Brunwasser
My guest is South Carolina commodities broker, Frank Heindel. Welcome to OpEdNews. But we’re not here to discuss pork bellies, orange juice, or the vagaries of the market today. I’d like to talk about your interest and concern about our elections. Can you tell our readers how you first became interested in this topic?
Technically, I am a grain trader – predominantly trading in corn, soybeans and wheat.
I first became interested in our voting machines after the Ohio EVEREST report was released in December 2007, which detailed how the iVotronic machines were unsuitable to be using for safe, reliable elections. After Alvin Greene won, I figured it was time to roll up my sleeves and try to understand what was really happening. I like Carl Sagan’s quote about extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence so I dove in, looking for all the evidence I was legally entitled to view. I have always been skeptical of any type of claims derived from black boxes, whether from commodity futures trading schemes, or economists’ claims of outlandish numbers of jobs being created.
Former Bush-Administration Official Was Beaten to Death
John P. Wheeler, the former Bush-administration official whose body recently was discovered in a Delaware landfill, was beaten to death.
The Delaware Medical Examiner’s Office has announced that Wheeler died from blunt-force trauma, according to a report at delawareonline.com. Does that mean Wheeler was the victim of a mugging gone wrong? That’s what one of Wheeler’s friends thinks, according to delawareonline, but we find that to be an unlikely explanation.
Wheeler, who had served as a Pentagon official and presidential aide, had extensive experience in the areas of aerospace, technology, logistics, intelligence, and cyber warfare. His body was discovered on New Year’s Eve, and officials took almost four weeks to announce a cause of death. Many mysteries, however, remain about the case. Reports delawareonline: The official cause of Wheeler’s death was “blunt-force trauma,” agency spokesman Karl Kanefsky said about a case that has drawn worldwide media coverage. Kanefsky would not say which part of Wheeler’s body sustained the lethal blows.
Clarence Thomas Appears to Have ‘Knowingly and Willfully’ Violated the Rule of Law for Twenty Years
By Brad Friedman
The words “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW” are famously chiseled above the main portico of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. But is one of the Justices seated in that building, with a lifetime appointment, now receiving special treatment under the law instead?
Evidence is mounting that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas violated federal law by failing to report his wife’s annual salary of more than $120,000 per year from conservative political organizations by checking “NONE” on the box for “Non-Investment Income” for his wife Virginia on judicial Financial Disclosure Reports for the last 20 years.
According to the “self-initiated amendment” letters [PDF] signed by Thomas as dated Friday, January 21, 2011 and stamped as “RECEIVED” by the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Committee on Financial Disclosure on a Saturday, January 22, 2011, the Justice failed to reveal such sources of spousal income even on his original nomination disclosure forms during his contentious 1991 confirmation hearings.
The House GOP’s Plan to Redefine Rape
Drugged, raped, and pregnant? Too bad. Republicans are pushing to limit rape and incest cases eligible for government abortion funding.
By Nick Baumann
Rape is only really rape if it involves force. So says the new House Republican majority as it now moves to change abortion law.
For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.) But the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act ,”a bill with 173 mostly Republican co-sponsors that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed a top priority in the new Congress, contains a provision that would rewrite the rules to limit drastically the definition of rape and incest in these cases.
With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to “forcible rape.” This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion. (Smith’s spokesman did not respond to a call and an email requesting comment.)
Given that the bill also would forbid the use of tax benefits to pay for abortions , that 13-year-old’s parents wouldn’t be allowed to use money from a tax-exempt health savings account (HSA) to pay for the procedure. They also wouldn’t be able to deduct the cost of the abortion or the cost of any insurance that paid for it as a medical expense.
Ex-worker at JBLM collected activist data
by JEREMY PAWLOSKI
A former Joint Base Lewis-McChord employee who spied on war protests in Olympia helped compile detailed information on protesters, including names, photos, addresses and, in some cases, Social Security numbers, according to 133 pages of law enforcement records released by the City of Tacoma.
A former Joint Base Lewis-McChord employee who spied on war protests in Olympia helped compile detailed information on protesters, including their names, photos, addresses and, in some cases, Social Security numbers, according to 133 pages of law enforcement records released by the City of Tacoma.
The records relate to a Pierce County detective’s recruitment and use of John Towery, the former JBLM employee, as a confidential informant who conducted surveillance of local protesters against the Iraq war.
The detailed information collected about the protesters continues to be stored by area law enforcement agencies, said Tim Smith, who requested the documents.
Unfinished Business: Suffering and sickness in the endless wake of Agent Orange
Vietnam and the United States have a common enemy.
Its name is Agent Orange.
From 1962 to 1971, the U.S. military sprayed millions of gallons of the herbicide, which contained the toxic chemical dioxin, to defoliate the jungles and forests that gave cover to Ho Chi Minh’s northern forces in what was then South Vietnam.
Greenpeace protests at Koch brothers’ rally
Billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch accused of distorting US democracy
by Ed Pilkington, in New York
Prominent figures on both the right and left of the US political spectrum gathered in the luxury enclave of Rancho Mirage in the Californian desert today amid increasingly heated debate about the influence of the secrecy-loving billionaires Charles and David Koch on the political process.
About 200 key figures in business, energy, the media and law were expected to assemble at a five-star hotel at the invitation of the Koch brothers for the latest of their twice-yearly discussion groups on how to forward their libertarian causes. The talks began at 1pm with sessions that focused on how to fight the Obama administration, which the Kochs see as a threat to the free market and unfettered wealth.
As the attendees arrived in their private jets, they were greeted by an airship that circled over the hotel’s golf courses and tennis courts bearing the logo: “Koch brothers dirty money.”
How the US Chamber of Commerce’s Egyptian affiliate went to bat for the dictatorship
As Egyptian protests continue to rage and thousands of people in that country continue to demand democratic reforms, many commentators are rightly calling upon the international community to show solidarity with the demonstrators and join them in battling the Mubarak regime.
However, there is at least one powerful, multinational entity that has continually stood by Mubarak and the Egyptian elite and has continually fought efforts to democratize the country.