Lawsuit in Georgia

BREAKING: Donzella James Contesting Primary in Georgia

By Matthew Cardinale, News Editor and National Correspondent, Atlanta Progressive News (August 04, 2006)

(APN) ATLANTA — US Congressional Candidate Donzella James has filed a legal contest of the results of her Primary race against US Rep. David Scott (D-GA), Atlanta Progressive News has learned. The suit has been filed in State Court in Fulton County, Georgia.

The lawsuit asserts Georgia’s election “results” are meaningless because they run on E-voting machines which have no verifiable paper trail or audit system.

“People know there’s a problem with auditing these machines. But no opponent has ever challenged after the race,” Donzella James told Atlanta Progressive News.

The lawsuit also lists instances of machine breakdowns and malfunctions in Georgia’s 13th Congressional District during the Primary. These instances are similar to those documented by US Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s (D-GA) Campaign in the 4th District, and discussed exclusively by Atlanta Progressive News.

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Amusing ourselves to death

National Electrical Demands Soar

Projecting demand for electricity can be harder than predicting the stock market, but the North American Electric Reliability Council tries to do so each spring. In 2003 and 2004, actual growth in demand was smaller than anticipated, but last year’s peak demand exceeded projections by 1.7 percent. Because growth last year was so strong, the council predicted an 0.5 percent rise this year, a number that was clearly too small.

Jim Smith, a spokesman for the New York Independent System Operator, which oversees the state’s power markets and distribution, said: “There are more people, more houses, those houses are bigger, there are more electronics in those houses, and they have bigger air-conditioning units. Computers, plasma televisions, video games, BlackBerrys, iPods – every new gadget you can think of has to be plugged in somewhere.”

In 1978, 56 percent of American households had air-conditioning. By 2001, the most recent year for which government statistics were available, that figure had risen to 77 percent, and all evidence suggests that it has continued to climb since then.

Experts say that for now, at least, the long-distance power transmission system appears to be up to the challenge, though there is a constant threat of local distribution problems because persistent heat and the electricity surging through the lines can overwhelm equipment. That is what happened last month in parts of Queens that lost power for more than a week.

http://www.nytimes.com

Money talks on New York 1

… which means there’s no such candidate as “Jonathan Tasini”

Action Alert
NY1 Silences Debate
Refuses to allow Clinton challenger Tasini in television primary debate

There is a heated debate among Democrats about the direction of the party, with centrist party stalwarts facing challenges from the left on issues like the Iraq War. But New York City voters will have a more difficult time seeing this debate play out, as New York City cable news channel NY1 (which is owned by TimeWarner) has blocked the anti-war Democratic challenger Jonathan Tasini from a primary race debate against incumbent Sen. Hillary Clinton.

In a statement (Village Voice, 8/2/06), the channel said it had “established criteria to identify which candidates would be invited to participate” in the debates: poll at least 5 percent and have spent and/or raised $500,000.

In a recent Marist poll (7/19/06), Tasini stood at 13 percent, but his campaign has only raised $150,000.

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Vote-PAD undercut in California

People With Disabilities Set-Up For Failure In Vote-PAD Testing In California
Voters To Hold Press Conference Before Public Hearing In Sacramento On Wednesday

Guest Blogged By John Gideon

Vote-PAD is a low-tech, voting assistive device that was developed, with input from the disabilities community. Vote-PAD, because it is inexpensive to purchase and maintain, is a threat to electronic voting systems. Vote-PAD also makes voting a possibility for a wider-range of voters with disabilities than do almost all of the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) or touch-screen voting systems.

Even though some northern California counties had already purchased Vote-PAD for use in their elections as their HAVA compliant voting system for voters with disabilities; the Secretary of State decided that they would have to certify Vote-PAD for use with the optical-scan systems that are in use in each of the user counties.

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Fresh air

Published on The Progressive

Gore Vidal Interview

Gore Vidal
By David Barsamian
August 2006 Issue

Gore Vidal is a gold mine of quips and zingers. And his vast knowledge of literature and history-particularly American-makes for an impressive figure. His razor-sharp tongue lacerates the powerful. He does it with aplomb, saying, “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” He has a wry sense of noblesse oblige: “There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.”

Now eighty, he lives in the Hollywood hills in a modest mansion with immodest artwork. I felt I was entering a museum of Renaissance art. A stern painting of the Emperor Constantine was looking down upon us as we sat in his majestic living room. A Buddha statue from Thailand stood nearby. But all was not somber. He had a Bush doll with a 9/11 bill sticking out of it on a table behind us.

His aristocratic pedigree is evident not just in his artistic sophistication but also in his locution. In a war of words, few can contend with Vidal.

“I’m a lover of the old republic and I deeply resent the empire our Presidents put in its place,” he declares.

Vidal moved gingerly and was using a cane. A recent knee operation left him less mobile. He says, “The mind is still agile but the knees have grown weak.” We sat in upholstered chairs. On a nearby table I saw the galleys of his second memoir, Point to Point Navigation. It will be out this fall. His earlier one, Palimpsest, came out in 1995.

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Thousands of troops refuse to fight

Air Force Times – Thousands of troops say they won’t fight
July 05, 2006

Thousands of troops
say they won’t fight

By Ana Radelat
Gannett News Service

Swept up by a wave of patriotism after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Chris Magaoay joined the Marine Corps in November 2004.

The newly married Magaoay thought a military career would allow him to continue his college education, help his country and set his life on the right path.

Less than two years later, Magaoay became one of thousands of military deserters who have chosen a lifetime of exile or possible court-martial rather than fight in Iraq or Afghanistan.

“It wasn’t something I did on the spur of the moment,” said Magaoay, a native of Maui, Hawaii. “It took me a long time to realize what was going on. The war is illegal.”

Magaoay said his disillusionment with the military began in boot camp in Twentynine Palms, Calif., where a superior officer joked about killing and mistreating Iraqis. When his unit was deployed to Iraq in March, Magaoay and his wife drove to Canada, joining a small group of deserters who are trying to win permission from the Canadian government to stay.

“We’re like a tight-knit family,” Magaoay said.

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What's wrong with HR550

From Nancy Tobi:

Article published here:

What’s wrong with the Holt Bill in three easy bullets
Common Cause, MoveOn.org, TrueMajority, VerifiedVoting.org, and many other large election reform groups are pushing – and pushing hard – for passage of HR550 (the Holt Bill), national legislation aimed to amend the Help America Vote Act. The bill is being sold as a way to put “auditable paper trails” into national law. Sounds like a great idea. But many activists disagree with the approach to support “paper trails” that might be audited when what we want are real paper ballots that are – not might be – counted.
The other problem with HR550 is that it is about much more than paper trails. Read below the dangerous details that the groups pushing for passage of HR550 “as written” aren’t talking about.

The democratic processes of the American Republic are based on decentralized power. Centralized power led to the American Revolution. Centralized power is the antithesis to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

1. Centralization of Executive Power-White House Control over Counting the Votes: HR550 extends beyond the existing expiry date the power and authority of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), establishing a Presidential Commission authorized to control the counting of votes in every election–federal, state,and local–in the nation.

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Good review of NEWS JUNKIE

‘News Junkie’ breaks his own story

By Brittany Anas, Camera Staff Writer
July 16, 2006

I wonder how many college journalism students would seek out careers as reporters if “News Junkie” was on their required reading lists.

There are the behind-the-scene tours of newsrooms and bureaus that author Jason Leopold takes his readers on — complete with a condescending editor, a sloppy slaughter-house copyeditor and competitive senior reporters too greedy to share bylines. As an editor himself, Leopold rules with profanities, and a hammer at his computer to hurry along reporters on deadline.

There’s also the lump-in-the-stomach feeling Leopold describes when his sources accuse him of sloppy reporting or demand a correction. And the betrayed-by-the-world disgust when his editors don’t stand behind him in a Hollywood libel suit.

It’s a far cry from “Murphy Brown.”

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Bush wants a "legal" US gulag

Since the Patriot Act allows for a broad definition of “terrorist”, this new legislation, should it become law, opens up the possibility of anyone who resists this Administration as being defined a terrorist.

This is really not good, folks!

Bush submits new terror detainee bill – Boston.com
By Anne Plummer Flaherty, Associated Press Writer | July 28, 2006

WASHINGTON –U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill.

A 32-page draft measure is intended to authorize the Pentagon’s tribunal system, established shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks to detain and prosecute detainees captured in the war on terror. The tribunal system was thrown out last month by the Supreme Court.

Administration officials, who declined to comment on the draft, said the proposal was still under discussion and no final decisions had been made.

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