Why Tuesday?’s interview with California SoS Debra Bowen

Why Tuesday? is one of my favorite places to visit when it comes to the voting process. Their videos are always both educational and entertaining.

This video is of an interview with California’s Secretary of State Debra Bowen:

In August, CA Secretary of State Debra Bowen decertified certain types of voting machines used nationwide, citing security flaws uncovered by a University of CA study she commissioned. In this week’s episode, Bowen discusses her reaction to the study, how she thinks elections should happen in the USA, and her vision for voting in 2032.

This is a great interview.

Debra Bowen was in New Hampshire for their presidential primary two days ago to monitor their elections. In this brief interview she praises the system of the Ticonderoga #2 yellow pencil, with a string on it that’s tied to the voting booth!

Rodriguez Says No Immunity, No Testimony

Via: TPM Muckraker

With a full-blown criminal investigation in the works, Jose Rodriguez, the CIA official who ordered the destruction of the torture tapes, says, via his lawyer Bob Bennett, that he’s not testifying about it to Congress without immunity. He’d been scheduled to speak to the House intelligence committee next week as part of their investigation.

I say give him the damn immunity! I want to hear what he has to say, see who all was involved, and find out how high up this thing goes!

Blog stats

Cool. Here are TheZoo’s blogs stats as of noon (PT) today:

Total views: 100,504

Best day ever: 1961 views

Views today: 839

Posts: 1829

Comments: 31,879

Thanks to all the Critters who make TheZoo a great place to to visit, and thanks to all the visitors (even you lurkers) for letting us have so much fun. :)

Here’s a nice picture:

The Palouse, from Steptoe Butte.

Photo taken & photoshopped by Zach Meier

Demonstrating that ballot scanners can be easily hacked..

From Blackboxvoting:

One man’s private, sole source company programs 81% of the election in New Hampshire, 100% in Connecticut, almost all of Massachusetts and most of Vermont. Never before seen video of the under-the-radar elections contractor John Silvestro as he tangles with master security expert Harri Hursti.

For the full version of the hack see the 80 minute HBO film “Hacking Democracy“.

For a better understanding of how Diebold, John Silvestro (LHS company owner), and Ken Hajjar (LHS Marketing and Sales Director) come into play when it comes to the voting in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachussetts and most of Vermont, read these posts by Brad Friedman of Brad Blog here and here.

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U. S. Ranks Last in Preventable Deaths

This study said that healthcare in this country was pretty good if you could get it.  But with 47 million of the 300 million residents without health insurance they claim there are about 101,000 preventable deaths per year here.  France, Japan and Australia ranked the best in this study of 19 industrialized nations.

 Since every politician in this country has health insurance this doesn’t really have much impact on their lives.  What will it take for the people of this country to demand changes to the system?  And how strong is a lobby that convinces so many people that they don’t want changes to this broken system?   

2005 Use of Gas by Blackwater Leaves Questions

Photo by Capt. Kincy Clark

by James Risen
The New York Times
via: Truthout

Washington – The helicopter was hovering over a Baghdad checkpoint into the Green Zone, one typically crowded with cars, Iraqi civilians and United States military personnel.

Suddenly, on that May day in 2005, the copter dropped CS gas, a riot-control substance the American military in Iraq can use only under the strictest conditions and with the approval of top military commanders. An armored vehicle on the ground also released the gas, temporarily blinding drivers, passers-by and at least 10 American soldiers operating the checkpoint.

“This was decidedly uncool and very, very dangerous,” Capt. Kincy Clark of the Army, the senior officer at the scene, wrote later that day. “It’s not a good thing to cause soldiers who are standing guard against car bombs, snipers and suicide bombers to cover their faces, choke, cough and otherwise degrade our awareness.”

Both the helicopter and the vehicle involved in the incident at the Assassins’ Gate checkpoint were not from the United States military, but were part of a convoy operated by Blackwater Worldwide, the private security contractor that is under scrutiny for its role in a series of violent episodes in Iraq, including a September shooting in downtown Baghdad that left 17 Iraqis dead.

None of the American soldiers exposed to the chemical, which is similar to tear gas, required medical attention, and it is not clear if any Iraqis did. Still, the previously undisclosed incident has raised significant new questions about the role of private security contractors in Iraq, and whether they operate under the same rules of engagement and international treaty obligations that the American military observes.

This happened in 2005. Why is this story just now coming out?
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Let’s take a walk on the wild side of campaigning

Mike Huckabee wins the crown of wittiness. He has understood that in America, where free speech is considered a pillar of civil rights, you are not going to be shot, when disagreeing publicly and directly with what a candidate has to say. You just get tased!

“The fact is, in a lot places where a person would do that, they’d get shot on the spot. Not in this country, they’ll just tase you bro,’ that’s all they’ll do”, he said, referring to the incident at the University of Florida when a heckler tried to confront Sen. John Kerry during a speech and ended up getting tased by police.

The crowd at the Huckabee rally erupted in laughter and applause.

The google search words “Giuliani on the trail” don’t give you any results from the current year on the first page. But he is still around. He just phones in, if necessary.

Mitt Romney at a Nashua Rotary Club event ( quite the ordinary people’s candidate isn’t he ?) was asked how he’d combat the nation’s burgeoning pet population? One commenter on  the blog had the following solution to offer:

Romney would have all unwanted pets strapped to the roofs of cars and driven to Canada. Problem solved.

Posted by: bokonon13 | January 7, 2008 03:26 PM

Mitt Romney himself would … would …would ? Right, form a committee to deal with the problem! But you really can’t ask Mitt anything!

What a wild bunch!

How to win a primary – Just a thought – Do we really want to count backwards on Jan 21st, 2009 again?

When women voters stay away from you, you have to win them over, by snarky remarks on sexist heckling, for instance:

Shedding a few well placed tears could help you, too:

Was this all well calculated and planted? Well, she did it before:

And never mind the Diebold vote counting machine “glitches”, this has happened before as well, though not with the democratic side, as far as I know. BTW. It’s 375 Days of Bush left.