Category: Election Integrity (page 1 of 3)

Global Hackers and the Russians Have Made Hand-Counted Paper Ballots an Issue of Urgent National Security

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By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, The Columbus Free Press & Reader Supported News

15 May 17

e have no evidence at this point that the Russians, or global hackers, hacked our electronic voting machines to put Donald Trump in the White House.

But we are 100% certain our electronic voting machines have been hacked by many many others, and could be in the future by virtually anybody with entry-level computing capabilities. As the New York Times and others have reported, cyberattacks have now become an integral part of the modern landscape. A tool stolen from the very National Security Agency meant to protect us has been used to perpetrate more than 75,000 recent hacks—-and those are just the ones being reported.

The evidence that our electronics-based election system is particularly vulnerable to such attacks has long been well-established. It ranges from a wide range of public vote flipping demonstrations to a computing professor using a voting machine to play the University of Michigan fight song.

But, why would you need to hack the machines if you are one of the private, for-profit partisan corporations that secretly program the computerized voting machines and tabulators with secret proprietary software? The lack of transparency with our “black box voting” means that none of our elections are truly verifiable.

In 2016 some 80 percent of America’s ballots were cast and/or counted on such machines and tabulators. Many touchscreen voting machines provide no usable paper trail and render vote counts that cannot be independently verified. Scanners of paper ballots can be rigged to render dishonest counts that go undetected if the ballots are never manually audited.

Though we have no evidence of Russian hacking on our electronic voting machines in 2016, there is no doubt that they or any other hacker with an interest in the outcome could have done so if they wanted to.

Or, the private companies could have simply programmed the results

So that leaves us with one inescapable conclusion: to protect the integrity of our future elections, our entire electoral system must convert to universal hand-counted paper ballots.

It has become an issue of national security.

The entire nation is now in an uproar over Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. We know he was investigating possible Russian involvement in our election. The Russians clearly wanted Trump to win.

During the campaign, Trump very publicly asked the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails. The Russians did, in fact, hack the Democratic National Committee, releasing documentation showing the DNC hierarchy worked actively against the nomination of Bernie Sanders.

We don’t yet know what else the Russians actually did or did not do, if anything, to help shape our choice of presidents in 2016.

We know further that someone hacked into the recent French elections on behalf of Marine LePen.

In an electronic era, election theft has now become a matter of a few keystrokes.

Indeed, election theft in the United States is very much a home-grown industry. As we explain in our new STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS (www.freepress.org / www.solartopia.org) electronic machines are perfectly designed to steal elections. As Bev Harris has shown, they are black boxes that give local election officials virtually unlimited power to shape the outcome however they like.

Thus we document clear instances of electronic vote theft in the 1988 New Hampshire Republican primaries won by George H.W. Bush, and in the general presidential elections won by George W. Bush in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004.

Along the way we have encountered likely electronic hacks in numerous other local, state and federal elections. In Ohio 2006 a series of statewide election reform referenda were defeated with swings of more than 30% from pre-election polls to official outcome, a virtual statistical impossibility. In 2014 and 2016, Republicans claimed six US Senate seats in elections where they lost in the exit polls by significant margins. That six such vote counts would all go in the same direction is also a virtual statistical impossibility.

In 2016, the Electoral College was decided by five states—-Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin—-where Trump lost the exit polls but won the official vote count. That all five states would go in the same direction is, once again, a virtual statistical impossibility.

In Michigan, more than 75,000 ballots were counted in heavily Democratic Flint and Detroit metropolitan area without presidential preferences being registered. This presumes that some 75,000 citizens took the trouble to vote (often waiting hours in line) but failed to choose a president. In Wisconsin, electronic anomalies also abounded. In Wisconsin, a suspicious anomaly was uncovered across several voting precincts where the last number in Trump and Clinton’s vote totals appeared not to be randomly distributed in regards to zeros and fives. In these precincts, over half of Trump and Clinton’s total numbers ended with a zero or a five.

Meanwhile, countless black, Hispanic, Asia-American, Muslim and other non-millionaire citizens were stripped from registration rolls by some 29 GOP secretaries of state. As shown in Greg Palast’s “Best Democracy Money Can Buy,” the far-right secretary of state from Kansas, Kris Kobach, spread the Crosscheck program around the country with the clear intent to strip as many likely Democrats from the voter rolls as possible. Trump has just appointed Kobach to head his special commission on voter fraud, aimed at “proving” that millions of illegal voters cost Trump a majority in the popular vote.

Additional mass disenfranchisement has been done throughout the US through demands for photo ID, short-changing of precincts and voting machines, deliberate misinformation and much more.

There is little doubt that between stripping the voter rolls and flipping the electronic vote count, our electoral system is in shambles. The Russians are clearly NOT at the root of the problem. Election theft can be and has been repeatedly perpetrated right here, by Americans.

But the Russians could have done so. In coming elections, they, other foreign powers and a veritable army of domestic hackers can deliver pretty much whatever outcome they want.

Our private voting machine companies like ES&S and the now-defunct Diebold have long had this power.

The solution is obvious: we must secure our voting system entirely off-line. with outcomes that can be certified in real time, by real people. We need universal automatic voter registration; a four-day natonal holiday for voting; universal hand-counted paper ballots; an end to gerrymandering and the Electoral College; and a ban on corporate campaign spending.

As we now know from this past presidential election, whether flipped by the Russians or not, it has become an issue of national security…and the future of our democracy.


Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman have co-written seven books on election integrity, including the new STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS (www.freepress.org / www.solartopia.org).

Bill Maher & the Corporate Democrats Need to Stop Scapegoating the Grassroots Resistance

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by Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis

 

Corporate Democrats and liberal commentators love to scapegoat the activist left for their catastrophic failures.  The blame game just fell to a new low with Bill Maher’s latest attack on Jill Stein.

Like Hillary branding Trump supporters as “deplorables,” Bill tells American grassroots activists to “go f*** yourselves with a locally grown organic cucumber.”

Hillary says she was “on her way to victory” when FBI Director James Comey and “the Russians” intervened.  Maher and others say Stein caused her defeat, as they blamed Ralph Nader for George W. Bush in 2000.

Hillary now pledges to “resist” Trump Fascism.  Maher and other liberal pundits have been relentless in their attacks on him.

And the rest of us struggle with the keys to nonviolent resistance in the Dark Age now upon us.

But one thing is clear:  what won’t work is another 16 years of liberals like Maher scapegoating left activists without facing the basic realities of where Trump came from:

  • Like Al Gore in 2000, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.
  • Counting 2004, which was stolen from John Kerry in Ohio, the Democrats have won every presidential election since 1992
  •  Gore and the Democrats have had 16 years to fight the Electoral College, a racist anachronism designed to enhance the power of slaveowners.
  •  The EC has put six popular vote losers in the White House, nearly 15% of our presidents.
  •  Rather than work to end the EC and win electoral reform, liberal bloviators and corporate Democrats have spent 16 years whining about Nader, one of America’s greatest activists.
  •  Had they instead abolished the EC, Trump would not be president.
  •  With the Electoral College in place, still more candidates who lose the popular vote will win the White House.
  •  Had Nader NOT run in 2000, George W. Bush still would have become president.
  • Had Stein NOT run in 2016, Donald Trump still would have become president.
  •  In Florida 2000, Gov. Jeb Bush used the Jim Crow ChoicePoint program (as reported by Greg Palast) to strip more than 90,000 black and Hispanic voters from registration rolls in a tally allegedly decided by 537 votes.
  • In Ohio 2004, Jim Crow GOP election boards stripped more than 300,000 primarily urban black voters from registration rolls in a tally decided by 118,775.
  •  In 2016 nationwide, 29 GOP Secretaries of State used the Jim Crow CrossCheck program (as reported in Greg’s “Best Democracy Money Can Buy”) to strip countless thousands of black and Hispanic voters from registration rolls in states that decided the Electoral College.
  • In Florida 2000, electronic flipping in Volusia and Brevard Counties (as reported by Bev Harris) allowing Fox “reporter” John Ellis (a Bush cousin) to flip the network narrative from a Gore to a Bush victory.
  • In Ohio 2004, between 12:20 and 2am election night, a “glitch” in the state’s computerized vote count (as run under a no-bid contract by a Bush family operative in a Chattanooga bank basement) was used as cover to flip a 4.2% Kerry victory to a 2.4% Bush victory, giving Bush a second term.
  •  Nationwide in 2016, electronic “irregularities” continually flipped Clinton exit poll victories to Trump official victories, including Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, which gave Trump the Electoral College and the presidency.
  •  As in New Mexico 2004 and elsewhere in both 2004 and 2016, thousands of ballots in heavily Democratic areas were allegedly missing a presidential preference, including some 75,395 in Michigan, which was decided by less than 11,000

All this and more fits a clear historic pattern which we outline in our new STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS.

Clinton Democrats and liberal pundits like Maher call this “conspiracy theory.”  They refuse to deal with either the stripping of voter rolls or the flipping of electronic vote counts.  Instead they attack grassroots activists who do.

Jill Stein, for example, attempted recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  She fought corrupt officials in all three states (Pennsylvania has a Democratic governor) and hit nothing but brick walls.

Clinton sent “legal observers” but no financial or other meaningful help.  Liberal pundits continually attacked Jill for her efforts.  Despite the horrors of Trump fascism, the Democrats have said and done nothing about the total fraud that put him in the White House.

Al Gore essentially disappeared immediately after losing 5-4 in the US Supreme Court. So did Kerry and Clinton immediately after their own losses.  Not one of them is working to abolish the Electoral College, or for a reliable election system. But the corporate Democrats and liberal pundits have plenty of energy to scream at the grassroots left.

Of course, in 2008 and 2012, that’s precisely who put Barack Obama in the White House.  We have reported widespread electoral fraud in both years.  But a powerful and diligent grassroots upheaval curbed enough abuses to save Obama from what doomed Gore, Kerry and Clinton.

Obama also used that grassroots energy to build a popular vote margin too big to steal.

In 2016, Bernie Sanders again unleashed that grassroots power.  As an avowed socialist, he inspired millions of precisely the activists a legitimate Democratic Party should have welcomed—-young, committed, energetic, idealistic, ready to work for a social democratic future.

We believe Bernie was the rightful Democratic nominee.  We also believe that had she chosen Bernie for VP,  Hillary could have walked into the White House.

Despite her miserable campaign, locking into the Sandernista movement would have allowed us to thoroughly monitor this election, curb some of the worst abuses and build a grassroots constituency that could have overwhelmed Trump’s fascism and put this country on the road to real social change.

In these dark days we must recall that in the spring of 2016 we enjoyed the HUGEST social democratic movement in a century, with tens of millions of optimistic Americans ready to work and win a bright and fair future.

Instead we face the grim realities of tangible fascism.  It doesn’t help when liberal pundits and corporate Democrats attack the grassroots activists who are on the frontline of the resistance.

The Democrats will stay out of power until they can convince the American public (even us “deplorables”) they can deliver on civil liberties, social justice, ecological sanity, and more.  And that they can construct an electoral system that actually reflects the popular will.

Clinton, Kerry, Gore and the liberal punditocracy must finally deal with how they lost these three presidencies.   And then DO something about it, so it doesn’t happen again.

They could start by demanding universal automatic voter registration; transparent registration rolls immune to Jim Crow stripping by programs like ChoicePoint and Crosscheck;  universal hand-counted paper ballots; a four-day national holiday for voting; an end to gerrymandering, the Electoral College and corporate purchase of campaigns.

They might also THANK rather than scapegoat what was once the Democratic Party’s energetic base, including activists like Nader, Stein, Bernie and the rest of the grassroots movements that form our last and strongest barrier against the harsh realities of Trump Fascism.

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Harvey Wasserman & Bob Fitrakis co-wrote THE STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS (www.freepress.org / www.solartopia.,org), where Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES appear with HARVEY WASSERMAN’S HISTORY OF THE US and SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH. Harvey’s Green Power & Wellness show is at www.prn.fm.

Trump Is Our Imperial Vulture Come Home to Roost – We Must Repent

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By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

Cross-posted from Reader Supported News

13 February 17

 

s the nightmare reality of Donald Trump sinks in, we need to put our resistance in a larger perspective.

There’s no need here to list what he is doing and is prepared to do to what remains of our rights, freedoms, economy, ecology, human dignity, sense of justice, the future of our children and much, much more. Donald Trump appears at this point to be our worst national nightmare.

For many of us, it will be the challenge of a lifetime to solve this problem. Millions of words will be written about it in the months to come.

But we might start by comparing him to the kinds of leaders our nation has forced on other countries, and by making some kind of amends. Trump is, in fact, our own imperial vulture come home to roost.

Indeed, he’s actually (so far) a moderate compared to scores of murderous dictators the US has installed in other countries throughout the world. Especially since World War II, our imperial apparatus has constantly subverted legitimate attempts by good people to elect decent leaders.

In all such cases, people no different from most of us have suffered terrible, tangible consequences. No matter how much pain we may now feel in America, it pales before the horrors we’ve imposed with Trump-style dictators in other nations.

To get them installed, the Central Intelligence Agency and other imperial organs have often merely subverted elections. As was done here in 2016 and for countless elections before (and perhaps to come), substantial portions of the population have been systematically stripped of their right to vote. Where that’s proven insufficient, vote counts have been flipped by electronic and other means to guarantee a secure corporate outcome.

But where even that’s not been enough, our imperial minions have simply exiled, killed outright, invaded, employed mass violence, concocted civil wars and done whatever else necessary to remove those popular leaders that have not suited the American corporate interest.

One recent instance has been in Honduras, where the elected president, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, was ousted in a U.S.-backed coup and the military took over from 2009 to 2013. Honduras became the most violent non-war zone on Earth in those years.

Here is a partial list of other duly elected leaders the United States has had removed, disappeared and/or killed to make way for authoritarian pro-corporate regimes. In each case, their demise resulted in death, denial of democratic rights and massive suffering to individuals within those countries who stood in the way of America’s imperial agenda:

Lumumba, Congo; Allende, Chile; Aristide, Haiti; Mossadegh, Iran; Arbenz, Guatemala; President Joao Goulart, Brazil; Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou, Greece; Sukarno, Indonesia; Tecumseh, John Ross, Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, Sealth and countless other indigenous Americans; and too many more.

Taken in sum, the horrors these coups have imposed on innocent people throughout the planet comprise a terrible karmic debt our nation owes the rest of humankind.

The idea that such retribution would come home to roost may have been best stated by our 16th president. It is chiseled on the wall of the Lincoln Memorial in our nation’s capital, for all to see.

At the end of the Civil War, in his Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln mourned that this “terrible war,” which killed more than 620,000 Americans, had come “as the woe due to those by whom the offense came.”

The offense, of course was slavery. To pay for it, Lincoln warned, we would see the war “continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword.”

Are we, as modern Americans, now being called to pay for the blood drawn and the pain imposed by our imperial armies? And for all the wealth and comfort and dignity unjustly stolen from innocent peoples around the world?

As we squirm and mourn and march and organize, we might keep in mind the image of Donald Trump as imperial payback.

We might remember that as we work to overcome this homegrown vulture of our own making we must make right what we’ve imposed on so many others.

And that the restoration of sanity, dignity, and democracy to this nation can only come with a genuine sense of perspective … and with the resolve to never again impose any such suffering anywhere else in this world.


Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of THE STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016: FIVE JIM CROWS & ELECTRONIC ELECTION THEFT at www.freepress.org, where Bob’sFITRAKIS FILES are available. Harvey’s SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at www.solartopia.org.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

3 Million “Alien Voters”: Figment of DT’s Imagination?

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Joan Brunwasser interviews  Harvey Wasserman

(originally published on Op-Ed News)

 

My guest today is Harvey Wasserman, author, teacher, environmental and election activist. He just co-authored a piece with Bob Fitrakis: Trump’s Big Lie About 3 Million “Alien Voters” Cuts Far Deeper Than You Think 2.6.2017.

Joan Brunwasser: Welcome back to OpEdNews, Harvey. We last spoke several weeks before this election. And, I thought we were initially glad that DT shined a spotlight on the dysfunctional apparatus that powers our elections. Apparently, that’s not the case. Why not?

Harvey Wasserman: He was the wolf crying wolf. He yelled about a rigged election while himself rigging it.

Joan Brunwasser: You’re going to have to flesh out that very provocative statement for us, Harvey. Are you referring to the Russian involvement?

Harvey Wasserman:  By yelling about three million alleged alien voters, which as everyone knows is an utter falsehood, he distracted from the fact that millions of primarily black, Hispanic, Asian-American, Muslim and other non-millionaire citizens were denied the right to vote in this election.

This is the Big Lie at work: as the Nazis knew, if you tell one long enough, people start to believe it.

I’m glad much of the media has persistently referred to it as a false claim. It’s important they do that.

But his people are persistently making the claim and it’s very dangerous.

It masks the fact that millions were in fact DISENFRANCHISED from voting in this election, as shown by Greg Palast’s BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY and others.

It’s also important to remember that Clinton won the five key swing states of Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin in the exit polls but not the official vote count, a sure sign of electronic manipulation.

And then, Jill Stein and the Greens were throughout abused during the recounts, with no help from the Democrats.

So, this was a fascist stolen election and Trump’s screams are a brilliant smokescreen.

Joan Brunwasser: Trump being capable of executing such a “brilliant smokescreen” may be a stretch for many voters who view him as irrational and narcissistic, at best. Our readers might not be familiar with the voter suppression that was carried out throughout the country. Ohio, where you and your colleague and co-author, Bob Fitrakis, live, was particularly hard hit. What can you tell us? How does voter suppression happen, especially on such a large scale?

Harvey Wasserman:  Trump’s rantings may or may not have to do with covering up Russian involvement. We don’t know if the Russians hacked the electronic voting machines or the poll books. It’s possible.

But the real hacking is homegrown. There are 30 GOP Secretaries of State who used the CrossCheck program to strip hundreds of thousands of black, hispanic, Asian-American,Muslim and other non-millionaires from the voter rolls.

So when Trump bleats about three million “alien” voters what’s he’s covering up is the millions of AMERICAN voters who were stripped from the rolls.

Joan Brunwasser: Why is no one having a total hissy fit about this? This is pretty darn serious. Where was Clinton? Where’s the press?

Harvey Wasserman:  Clinton and the corporate Dems may be hushed because what Trump did to them, they did to Bernie. Bernie was the rightful winner of the primaries. The Superdelegates played the role of the Electoral College. The [corporate] Dems don’t want to give up the ability to steal elections themselves, especially primaries. They clearly prefer having Trump in the White House to having Bernie there.

Joan Brunwasser: Two questions here: Is this just a case of sour grapes because Bernie didn’t get the nomination? And how can you say that the corporate Dems would prefer Trump to Bernie?

Harvey Wasserman:  Well, however it happened, the grapes are sour indeed.

Our studies show Bernie was the rightful winner. (For a full discussion, see our book THE STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016 via www.freepress.org; a full summary will appear in our upcoming THE STRIP & FLIP DISASTER OF AMERICA’S STOLEN ELECTIONS.) There’s no doubt the leadership of the DNC conspired to prevent him from getting the nomination. There was stripping of voters in both CA and NY, and indications of electronic flipping as well. And they used the Super delegates like a form of the Electoral College at its worst.

Did they prefer Trump to Bernie in the White House? There are many ways to speculate on different outcomes in this election. But one fairly obvious conclusion is that if Hillary had taken Bernie as her VP, which seems the obvious and gracious thing to have done, she would have won. The army of grassroots activists would have been there, as with Obama in 2008 and 2012, to make sure this lunatic did not get into the White House. So you tell me”.why didn’t she do it?

And where has she gone now? Hillary has virtually disappeared since the day after the election. Just like Gore and Kerry after they won their elections and then said nothing about election theft or the EC. It’s as if they never existed, and here we are stuck with the catastrophic aftermath. There’s got to be a better way.

Joan Brunwasser: Before we discuss our options, you didn’t answer the age-old question, where is the press?

Harvey Wasserman: The media can’t seem to handle the idea that our elections are a total sham. There was some coverage of disenfranchisement leading up to the 2016 election. But not much. And no follow through. The reality that our voting machines are totally rigged is simply “conspiracy theory” in their eyes. And they are unwilling to make the slightest effort to research the realities.

Joan Brunwasser: Sadly, you appear to be right. Which brings us to possible paths of action. I read something encouraging from the Jill Stein camp regarding their lawsuit in Pennsylvania. Would you care to discuss that for a moment?

Harvey Wasserman: What Jill Stein’s brave campaign made clear is that the electoral system is completely corrupted and impenetrable. Even in a state like Pennsylvania, which has a Democratic governor.

Nationwide, our elections are simply a bad joke. They need to be reformed from top to bottom, with universal automatic voter registration, a four-day holiday for voting, ample places to vote, hand-counted paper ballots, automatic recounts at no charge to candidates and abolition of gerrymandering, the Electoral College and corporate money in campaigns.

It’s a simple, clear agenda but a monumental task to win. On the other hand, without it, we have nothing resembling a democracy.

Joan Brunwasser: Do you want to talk about Jill Stein’s lawsuit?

Harvey Wasserman: Over the coming months and years, you can expect to see numerous lawsuits by many democracy advocates. There will be referenda and other campaigns to fix this problem. The corruption of this system is deeply embedded in our body politic, but so was the British empire, slavery, legal segregation, the war in Vietnam and much more.

I also expect to see the rapid shutdown of all nuclear power plants, hopefully before the next one explodes, and the conversion of our civilization (if it can be called that) to 100% renewable energy.

So let’s just remember our great activist history and honor it and get the job done,. I think everyone who intends to go to a march or rally in the Trump Era should knock on ten doors before they do. Then, we will win!!!

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Trump’s Big Lie About 3 Million “Alien Voters” Cuts Far Deeper Than You Think

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by BOB FITRAKIS AND HARVEY WASSERMAN FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Donald Trump’s relentless insistence that three million “aliens” voted for Hillary Clinton and cost him a popular majority in November’s presidential election cuts far beyond what the corporate media is willing to report. When it comes to undermining democracy in the US, Trump is once again proving that the best defense is a total attack, even if it relies on “alternative facts.”

Trump’s Big Lie on voter fraud has been as widely scorned as his fantasies about the size of the turnout at his inauguration. Even the normally restrained New York Times has editorialized that “what once seemed like another harebrained claim by a president with little regard for the truth must now be recognized as a real threat to American democracy.”

It seems to be dawning on The Times and others that by claiming so many non-citizens voted more than once, Trump re-loads America’s Jim Crow lynch laws against Black people voting. Based on these assertions, we can expect more and more aggressive attacks by the administration against the rights of non-whites and non-millionaires to a fair and honest ballot.

Indeed, the corporate media has not yet faced the devastation of mass disenfranchisement in 2016. As reported by Greg Palast (www.gregpalast.com) and others, some thirty GOP Secretaries of State across the US used a computer program called Crosscheck to strip thousands of mostly black, Hispanic, Asian-American and Muslim voters from the registration rolls. These mass disenfranchisements could well have made the difference in key swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida that allowed Trump to win in the Electoral College while so thoroughly losing the popular vote.

Trump’s carping about voter fraud has first and foremost has helped divert the public’s attention from this defining reality.

But unfortunately, there is far more.

Let’s start with the Electoral College. For the sixth time in US history, the candidate who lost among eligible voters has entered the White House. Last was 2000, when Al Gore beat George W. Bush nationwide by more than a half-million votes. Neither Gore nor the Democratic Party followed this stunning election theft (which had such dire consequences) by launching any kind of movement to abolish the Electoral College. Instead, many Democrats have spent 16 years screaming at Ralph Nader for daring to run for president.  Had they instead recruited him to help organize the abolition of the Electoral College, Trump might not now be in the White House.

In 2016, the attack on Nader has morphed into a fixation on Russian hacking and anger at the FBI. So barring a miracle (or a Constitutional Amendment) in 2020 and the foreseeable future beyond, the curse of the Electoral College will still be there to serve the popular minority.

Trump has also fought hard against any meaningful recounts, And for good reason. As many as 28 states this election showed statistically significant variations between exit polls and official vote counts. In 25 of those states, the “Red Shift” went in Trump’s direction.  Among statisticians this is known as a “virtual statistical impossibility.”

In Michigan, which officially went to Trump by about 10,000 votes, some 75,000 ballots came in without a presidential preference, mostly in heavily Democratic urban areas. The idea that 75,000 citizens would take the trouble to vote but not to make a preference among at least four presidential candidates has yet to be explained by the media or the Democrats.

Major problems with electronic voting machines, precinct access, ballot chain of custody and vote count issues also surfaced throughout the swing states. But when the Green Party’s Jill Stein dared to attempt a recount, Trump launched an all-out attack. High-priced attorneys in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and elsewhere did all they could to prevent any realistic examination of what actually happened in the states that gave him the presidency.

Meanwhile, rather than doing the work themselves, the corporate media heaped scorn on Stein for daring to examine exactly how Trump became president. The Democrats and the Clinton campaign offered no help beyond sending a few attorneys to “observe” the assault on greens uppity enough to challenge the system that had flipped the presidency, the Congress, the Supreme Court and innumerable state and local governments.

The bottom line here is that our entire electoral process is broken. Donald Trump became president because massive disenfranchisements kept thousands of citizen from voting, because electronic “black box”  voting machines cannot be monitored or accounted for by the general public, and because the Electoral College remains in place, ready to swing the next loser into the White House.

Trump’s screaming assertion of entirely the opposite is a brilliant strategy that can only work in a country where the media refuse to face the realities of a thoroughly broken system, and an “opposition” Democratic Party that won’t fight for elections it actually wins.

Our survival demands an actual democracy. That means universal automatic voter registration, with voter rolls transparent and readily accessible for verification. It means a four-day national holiday for voting, universal hand-counted paper ballots, and automatic recounts at no cost to the candidates. It also demands an end to gerrymandering, a ban on corporate money in our campaigns and, of course, the abolition of the Electoral College.

Trump’s rantings about voter fraud are a brilliant diversion away from all that. So is the media and Democrats’ obsession with the Russians.

Our stripped and flipped elections are home-grown poison. Donald Trump is the ultimate outcome. Until we reject the current electoral system, we will all be living in a world of hurt.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman have co-authored six books on election protection, including The Strip & Flip Selection of 2016, at www.freepress.org, where Bob’s Fitrakis Files also reside.  Harvey’s Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth is right here at www.solartopia.org.

This article was originally published at Truthout.

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We Are Mourning …But We Are Marching and Organizing for Democracy & the Earth

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In the midst of a terrible national illness, we organize and march for the known and solid cures.

by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman

For democracy and our natural planet.

We have clear direction on both issues.

This weekend’s massive, powerful women’s and other marches rocking the nation have dwarfed the turnout for Friday’s illegitimate inauguration.

With them we must demand—-and WIN—-a voting system that actually reflects the will of the people, and an energy supply that comes in harmony with our Mother Earth.

For democracy: we must have universal automatic voter registration, transparent voter registration rolls, a four-day national holiday for voting, elimination of all electronic voting machines, universal hand-counted paper ballots, automatic recounts at no charge to the candidates, an end to the Electoral College, a halt to gerrymandering and a ban on corporate money in our political campaigns.

It’s a towering agenda.  But without it, we have no structural power.  It’s the essential key to the one thing that can ultimately reverse a disease like this Trump presidency—-real electoral democracy.

For our Earth: Energy is the key.  Our survival on this planet demands a ban on all fossil and nuclear fuels, and an organic economy based on 100% renewables.  The Solartopian transition is well underway in Germany, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Iceland, at least parts of China and elsewhere.  Far more Americans now work in green energy production and efficiency than for King CONG—-coal, oil, nukes and gas (www.nukefree.org).

The economic and technological momentum is with us.  Despite Koch-funded attempts to stop it, the transition to a green-powered Earth is well under way.  Number one is stopping corrupt subsidies to decrepit, carbon/heat-spewing nukes before the next one explodes, and shutting the fossil fuel industry before it burns the planet to a crisp.

There are many many more things we can and must win.  But through the tears of Friday’s tragedy and the power of this weekend’s marches, we need to cope with the source of this devastating disease.

Trump is payback for our imperial sins.  He’s the vulture come home to roost for so many dictatorial kleptocrats the US has imposed on smaller nations over the years: Pinochet, Mobutu, Suharto, Somoza, Marcos, Duvalier, Diem, Ky, Saddam, the Shah…the list goes on.

These corrupt, repressive servants of the American corporate empire have inflicted untold suffering on millions of innocent people for far too long.  These dictatorships have formed the unjust source of much of this nation’s material riches.

Trump has brought home the infection:  imperial, greedy, misogynist, incompetent, uncaring, egomaniacal, sociopathic, a destroyer of the Earth.  This is what we’ve been imposing on the rest of the world for so many decades.  He is part of the price we pay for corrupting other countries and wrecking the lives of so many innocents within them.

Our agencies have done this under the illusion of democracy.  The client states “elect” their leaders.  If unsuitable to US corporate interests, that leader disappears, and the client colony gets to try again.

Likewise the Trump regime now takes power amidst a classic imperial “strip and flip” black op coup.

Leading up to the election, millions of black, Hispanic, Asian-American, Muslim and other citizens were stripped from the voter rolls, as they have been for decades.  Where that was not enough, black box electronic voting machines have flipped the final outcome, not only for the presidency, but for the House, Senate and state and local governments throughout the US.

Both tactics were used to eliminate the grassroots leftist Bernie Sanders.  When the corporate Democrats refused him the nomination, and then the Vice President’s slot, they trashed the youthful activist uprising that put Barack Obama in the White House, and that is the key to our progressive future.  The moneyed liberal elite made it clear they preferred having Donald Trump in the White House over a social democrat, even in the second slot.

The election was then flipped to Trump despite his losing the popular vote count by some three million ballots.

The deal was sealed in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where Hillary Clinton won the exit polls but lost the Electoral College.  The corporate Dems then refused to support recounts while the media heaped abuse on the Green Party’s valiant Jill Stein for daring to challenge corrupted outcomes that were obviously illegitimate .

Indeed, Clinton’s corporate Democrats sealed Trump’s coup by refusing to challenge the nationwide stripping of the voter rolls, or the flipping of the vote count in the key swing states.  They haven’t even raised the issue of an Electoral College that has now for the sixth time put the loser of a popular election into the White House.

Instead, as they screamed at Ralph Nader after Florida 2000, they now howl about the Russians.

But the real corruption of our elections is right here at home.  High atop the list of our real problems are our fake democracy, and a fossil/nuke industry that is destroying our planet.

The social movements needed to win these battles are alive and well.  From Occupy to Black Lives Matter to the Green/Bernie campaigns to the Dakota Pipeline to this weekend’s mass marches and beyond, we inhabit a vibrant body politic that is firmly committed to justice, social democracy and a sustainable Earth.

With this terrible coup in Washington we shed some tears and feel some fear.

We are mourning.  But we are marching, and we are organizing.

And the imperatives are clear.  We need to win a true democracy, a Solartopian Earth, equal justice for all, a definitive understanding that we are all created equal, and endowed with an inalienable right to survive on this planet.

Trump reminds us that it will not be easy.  We need to remind him that he’s just a blip, a tiny toxic bend in the arc of history that bends toward justice—-if we make it so.

In that, we have no choice.  See you on the barricades.

___________

Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman have co-authored numerous books on election protection, including THE STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016 at www.freepress.org, where Bob’s FITRAKIS FILES also appear.  Harvey’s SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at www.solartopia.org.

 

POTLUCK with GREG PALAST, HARVEY WASSERMAN & Special Guests

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JOIN GREG PALAST, HARVEY WASSERMAN & Special Guests

CALIFORNIA GREEN POWER & ELECTION PROTECTION

POTLUCK

Saturday, January 7, 2017 @ 7pm

Santa Monica, California.

RSVP via Ilene Proctor at (310)858-6643  ilenepr@sbcglobalnet.
Jan Goodman, jansorders@gmail.com (310) 729-2394

Free & open to the public. Donations accepted.

 

###

 

Unraveling a Rigged Election – Fitrakis & Wasserman

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Harvey Wasserman interviews investigative reporting partner Bob Fitrakis about the rigged 2016 selection and the inside story of the attempted recount for his weekly radio program, the Solartopia Green Power and Wellness Hour. EON photo

by James Heddle

(Cross-posted from FreePress.org)

The Woodward and Bernstein of Election Integrity
Every presidential election since 2004, we have traveled to Columbus, in key swing state of Ohio, to video document election protection efforts by Harvey Wasserman, Bob Fitrakis and the Columbus Free Press team (FreePress.org).   We made the trip again this year and have just returned from filming post-recount interviews with both of them in Columbus last week.

Harvey Wasserman – an author, historian, celebrated journalist and lifelong activist, and Bob Fitrakis – a practicing attorney who holds doctorates in both political science and law – are also both popular professors in Columbus colleges.

Dubbed by admirer Jesse Jackson as ‘the Woodward and Bernstein of election integrity’ – after the Washington Post reporters that famously broke the Watergate story in the Nixon era – Fitrakis and Wasserman’s research and reporting on election theft has twice won Project Censored awards.

The Free Press and its sponsoring organization the Columbus Institute of Contemporary Journalism (CICJ) has been in operation since 1970 and run since the ‘90s by life-partners Bob Fitrakis and Suzanne Patzer and their colleague Harvey Wasserman. Their work has been a vital epicenter not only of local community organizing and investigative reporting, but also of the national US Election Protection movement.

At the same time, they have either been consistently ignored or repeatedly denounced by mainstream media as “conspiracy theorists.”

Nevertheless, their ground-breaking findings have consistently been validated by subsequent developments.   They were unfortunately right on target with their prescient analysis of the 2016 election in their book “The Strip & Flip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows and Electronic Election Theft,” published in early 2016, months before the Nov. 8 vote.

For more than a decade, from their unique vantage point in one of the country’s main ground zero’s of vote rigging, they‘ve documented the multiple methods by which America’s elections have been stolen…and helped to galvanize grassroots awareness and resistance not only in Ohio, but across the country.

EON is proud to help give their important work wider exposure.  Here are four recent video interviews done as the election saga unfolded, and links to recent articles.

[ In the works: A report from inside the recount saga and post-Electoral College analysis. ]

Interviews with the FreePress Team On EON’s YouTube Channel & Vimeo

Losers Win, Winners Lose
Bob Fritakis and Harvey Wasserman on the seriously flawed US voting and electoral college system and the outcome of the 2016 election. The FreePress,org reporting team that Jesse Jackson dubbed the Woodward and Bernstein of Election Protection comment on the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and why the American election system needs a total overhaul from top to bottom.

Losers Win, Winners Lose – Fitrakis & Wasserman on Election 2016 from Ecological Options Network on Vimeo.

The Illegitimate Election 2016
What are the legitimate grounds for calling the recent election awarding the Presidency to Donald Trump illegitimate? Political scientist and attorney Dr. Robert Fitrakis and investigative historian Harvey Wasserman – editors of FreePress.org – summarize the evidence in this exclusive EON interview.

They are the co-authors of the book STRIP & FLIP SELECTION OF 2016 – Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft, available here –
http://freepress.org/store.php

Greg Palast interviews Bob Fitrakis on Voter Purges
How did the Ohio Republican Sec. of State purge and disenfranchise so many voters from the voter rolls? A conversation between Bob Fitrakis and Greg Palast, two of the leading investigative reporters on the many vote rigging methods at work in US elections.

Palast Interviews Fitrakis on Election Theft
Why before the Nov. 8, 2016 election, did Republican authorities in key swing state Ohio turn off the safety features for ballot records even though this security measure is already programmed into their electronic voting machine software?
A conversation between Bob Fitrakis and Greg Palast, two of the leading investigative reporters on the many vote rigging methods at work in US elections.

““““`

Free Press  is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Free Press

James Heddle is a Co-Director with Mary Beth Brangan of the Ecological Options Network, a non-profit media service for progressive organizations and campaigns.

How a Hillary Clinton “Profile in Courage” Moment Could Save the World From Donald Trump

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By Harvey Wasserman, (Cross-posted from Reader Supported News)

The petition asking Hillary Clinton to do this is under review at MoveOn. Please contact Harvey Wasserman at www.solartopia.org for more information.

 

here are less than 24 hours to go before the Electoral College begins casting its votes.

Here is a petition to sign that might make a difference.

The desperate search for a successful Hail Mary to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president is down to the wire. The attempts can be easily seen by many as pollyannish. But we honor such individual acts of extreme clarity in John Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage.”

And given the specter of a Trump presidency, this could be one of them.

In the final moment, it all rests on Hillary Clinton. Given the legal strictures of the Twelfth Amendment, she may be the only one who can possibly stop a Trump presidency.

Here’s the petition to sign asking her to do just that.

It reminds her that she can instruct her delegates to vote for a moderate Republican who might attract enough Trump delegates to win the Electoral College. Possibilities might include Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) or others.

Here are the mechanics of the Twelfth Amendment that could allow this to happen:

As explained in the previously published “December Surprise“ article linked at Reader Supported News, if 37 electors abandon Donald Trump, the choice of a new president will revert to the House of Representatives. The House will choose the new president based on a state-by-state vote, with each state having one ballot. They can choose only from among the top three vote-getters in the Electoral College.

At this point, there are only two such candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. One potential defector from Trump has mentioned Republican John Kasich of Ohio. Kasich says he doesn’t want it.

But if Secretary Clinton were to choose someone (most likely a moderate Republican, perhaps such as Collins) that could carry all her delegates plus 37 Trump defectors, that person would become president.

Should enough delegates pledged to Trump or Clinton make Clinton’s choice the number three vote-getter, with Trump falling short of 270, the House would have to consider that third person (and ONLY her or him) as an alternative to Trump and Clinton.

But, as mentioned, if Clinton asks her electors to vote for a third choice in the Electoral College, and they all do, and 37 Trump electors join in, that alternative choice would be come the next president of the United States without going to the House.

The choice of a vice president then becomes critical. Should no one be elected president outright by Inauguration Day, the new vice president, as chosen by the US Senate, takes over. At the moment it would seem that could be Mike Pence. But there are a number of things that could also happen to avoid that.

In the meantime, as Steve Rosenfeld has written at Alternet, there are a range of state laws meant to bind electors to the candidate for whom they were chosen to vote. They could, of course, break those laws during the Electoral College voting. There are indications some may be willing to do so.

Their votes might then count as they cast them, but be subject to later litigation, which no doubt Donald Trump would be prepared to fund.

In any event, it is possible for a number of electors from both camps to defect to a third choice and throw the election into the House, with that choice as the third candidate.

And it’s also possible, if Clinton instructs all her delegates to vote for that alternative, and enough Trump delegates join in, to make him or her president outright.

Is it worth a try?

You can sign this petition at Moveon.org, asking Hillary to find a winning alternative. If you have a better idea, please send it to me via www.solartopia.org.

But for now, the choice – and opportunity – is Hillary Clinton’s … and yours.


 

Harvey Wasserman’s America at the Brink of Rebirth: The Organic Spiral of Us History can be had via www.solartopia.org. The Strip & Flip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft,co-written with Bob Fitrakis, is at www.freepress.org.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

WHAT DO WE DO NEXT? Or . . . Funny Things Will Happen on the Way to the Trumpocalypse

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Harvey Wasserman & Honored Guests

FOUR Bay Area Talks

(Sunday & Monday – December 18 & 19)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

12 Noon

San Francisco Public Library

hispanic-room

100 Larkin Street

San Francisco, California 94102

(Downstairs in the Latino/Hispanic Room)

““““`

Sunday, December 18, 2016

7 – 9 PM POT LUCK with Joanna Macy and Dennis Bernstein

(plus Kris Welch – hopefully)

Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists

berkeley-uu

1606 Bonita (@Cedar)

Berkeley

Second Floor, Connie Barbour Room.

$5 donation requested – no one turned away for lack of funds

(sponsored by BFUU Social Justice Committee & Code Pink Women for Peace)

Monday, December 19, 2016

12 Noon

Forest Books

forest-books

Japantown Peace Plaza

1748 Buchanan at Sutter

San Francisco, California 94115

Monday, December 19, 2016

6 – 9 PM

OCCUPY! at Global Exchange

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2017 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

(Near 16th Street BART)

““““`

Funny things will happen on the way to the Trumpocalypse.  We will fight like hell.  We will win a few (already the TPP). And we’ll never lose, because it’s never over til it’s over. We will also take California (and then the world) to Solartopia, because we have no choice.
At this gathering we’ll discuss the 2016 Selection, including how it was REALLY rigged, how we will cope with the coming of The Donald, and how we will shut Diablo Canyon while making California the decentralized post-grid renewable energy capital of the world.
And all because of you!  Don’t miss these talks!!!
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