Thursday, September 9, 2010

Crime Country? How Bush I/Reagan Started Deregulation Madness that Immediately Corrupted Democracy (Diebold Again & CU Shaped Wealthcare Bill?)

(Revised 9/9/2010 in memory of my treasured South Carolina Grandmother's birthday. She thought John F. Kennedy was a great man, and, no, she was not a Catholic.)

Must be nice to among the rich, huh? But not so much how they got that way? (Psssst! I know it's hard in these tough economic times to ask people who are already hurting for contributions to someone's blogging efforts (and be taken seriously), but if you have a few spare dollars for a good get-out-the-political-facts site, please, consider donating them here.) Are you finally wondering what happened to your pension funds, especially those guaranteed by Federal Deposit insurance (or how much of it was used in money laundering for you know who)? Ever wonder how it all became pocket change to gangsters (which it evidently was during the Bush/Cheney years (and many years before starting with Raygun and Bush I))?

Please read the following essay and watch the videos (closely as they are chockful of data about the original Houston oil ties between the banks, the CIA, prostitute rings, Cubans with Bay of Pigs backgrounds, and the Mafia - and how the money from their financiers (which came from the public in the original S&L blowouts with their paid-off public figures in both parties (think deeply about where the Bushes saw so much opportunity originally in Democratic Texas and who John Connolly and Lloyd Bentsen really represented?))), and then try (just try!) to keep up with how many of these crooks got out of their particular part of the banking scam right before it all blew up onto everyone else (except for Neil Bush, of course - but he wasn't really worried, was he as there was a very good reason he stayed in until the end?).

I've just switched the video link to the Part 2 video. Watch them all. You will not regret it, and afterwards, I guarantee that you'll have enough world-changing information to start your own "Change Movement." Many people have been arguing lately about exactly when the deregulation madness began that led to the massive corruption in the S&L's in the early 80's, culminating in the Keating Five's guilty pleas (and especially John McCain's pleas that he was too brain-addled from Vietnam (but not to serve as President?) to remember his part (and that ex-astronaut's claims that he'd swallowed too much space dust to know what he was doing?), and its links to the orchestrated, wholesale murder of the American economy under Bush II. George Bush I as Vice President was in charge of the original deregulation efforts - Garn-St. Germaine (look it up!) - for the deadly Rayguns (Ronnie The Always First), who destroyed everything in sight that benefitted the middle class before this era, and introduced the Mafia (through its always-present CIA connections (especially trustworthy since the "What? Me Worry?" Kennedy/King murder successes)) into the very exclusive S&L pension/savings ongoing Mardi Gras looting blowout (and lots, lots more). The known information about the largest (or second largest behind an even more suspicious and largely unknown entity called Hill Financial in Red Hill, PA - run by a Middle East arms shipper) failed S&L in the country (costing taxpayers 100 million dollars (back when 100 million was real money)), Sunrise Savings in Boynton Beach, Florida, alone exposes the CIA and Mafia ties so clearly that you immediately begin understanding why the MSM NEVER COVERED THIS (and couldn't have anyhow because it was "owned" by the perpetrators). The role of C. Boyden Gray, currently counsel to Obama - formerly Condi Rice's employee and before that counsel to George Bush I - in the Sunrise fiasco, is also quite revealing of the game that has been played for almost 30 years. (Remember when knowledgeable people at that time said if you really wanted to know how the drug trade and its scion Iran/Contra occurred and was funded, all you needed to do was follow the money? But no one ever did?) Notice how many of the same people (or their flunkies) have been identified as being involved in the current bankster corruption as were already exposed in the early 80's. If you dare. Try to remember also that all this happened after Bush I's CIA connections were obfuscated during the Warren Commission hearings about the JFK assassination and Lee Harvey Oswald's murder by the well-known mafioso Jack Ruby. Are you getting those connections yet? Wait till you hear about the connections of these same guys to the invasions of Kuwait and Iraq. I know. I know. I'm preaching to the choir. But imagine if we could somehow get these facts out now that they've completely ruined the economy (purposively), leaving the last jobs available anywhere to be only those in the military, the police state or the Mafia (i.e., selling illegal drugs) - as you are pretty definitely not getting a nice job in the energy industry unless its with a new Enron-like enterprise. (And good luck, there!) Do yourself (and your children and grandchildren, etc.) a favor and listen to these videos. (I've run the link to the first one only, but please, continue on to the next ones (until you can't take it anymore), which are on, for the true U.S. economics education resident within.) Kind of makes you a little bit wiser about how both Bush and Cheney (C-students at best) thought they understood the most complicated Economics, doesn't it? Certainly well enough to know that "deficits don't matter!" (from Cheney's own piehole during the buildup to the Iraq invasion). And on a cheerier note, wanna know how Neil Bush came out of that very successful Silverado S&L looting operation he spearheaded? Remember his Education Foundation being touted at Katrina time by his beaming Mom, Barbara? I remember how proud she was to say that those people were actually better off after Katrina, don't you? Wonder how much better off those students are after Neil's scholarship?

Former reporter for the Houston Chronicle, Pete Brewton told of one of the most momentous stories of the past 50 years and how it was suppressed by the establishment media and the U.S. Congress. Brewton's book The Mafia, CIA and George Bush shows the incredible complexity of the relationships in the operation of the destruction of hundreds of Savings and Loans at the hands of the CIA and the Mafia, stealing many billions of dollars in the process, and leaving the taxpayers to bailout the banks. Big names at the state and national levels of power were involved, including Lloyd Bentsen, the Bush family, and power brokers in Houston. People such as Kenneth Keating and Don Dixon, mentioned prominently in the press in connection with the S & L debacle, were merely front men or "cutouts" for the main movers. Keating and his ilk only took millions; the CIA and the Mafia looted billions.
That able organization of alert reporters at Crooks and Liars have done us a very big favor in reporting the facts as we prepare to do our best to ensure a fair election with properly tallied ballots in November, but what else can we expect as most of the U.S. states are still using Diebold machines? Don't overlook what they haven't (emphasis marks added - Ed.).

Democracy, Corrupted August 30, 2010 Voter Record Tapes Recovered from Trash Bins in Tennessee

In Tennessee, ten candidates file suit after discovering widespread voter disenfranchisement in the August 5th primary. In Houston, 10,000 voting machines and associated data spontaneously combusts, incinerating the machines and tapes, and leaving a right-wing Republican's allegations of voter fraud standing with nothing to prove or disprove them. In South Carolina, ES&S voting machines are used to nominate an unknown and non-viable Democratic candidate to run against Jim DeMint. In Alaska, tea party candidate Joe Miller alleges vote tampering by the Murkowski campaign. These are only a few of the stories we're not seeing about voting machines and their role in shaping government and politics, particularly in areas with heavy Latino and African-American populations. It could almost be called a pattern - one that threatens to undermine the fundamental pillar of our democracy: one person, one vote.

Tennessee's Phantom Precinct

The Tennessee lawsuit has a list of the usual e-voting improprieties - tapes thrown out before they're reconciled to votes, more votes that voters, machines that mysteriously malfunction when voters came for early voting before work, but start working properly at 8:30 am, election officials taking computers with voter information home with them, and more - but there's a new twist that is especially sinister on this one.

According to the lawsuit filed, there is a "ghost precinct" in the database tables:

According to the MDB and GEMS tables, there are a total of 105 races. However, only 104 races are visible to the public, with one race existing but hidden from view. In the MDB tables, this “Ghost Race” is designated Race 105, with GEMS export ID number 440. This “Ghost Race” was created on June 11 and remained in the system until after the August election. It is coded so as to be hidden on both touch screen (early voting and at the polls) ballots and absentee ballots. It does not appear to be designed to capture votes entered by votersit can be used to transfer, delete or temporarily store votes. The race contains no candidate and is marked “nocount” which will cause any votes in this race to be omitted from vote count reports.

The existence of a “Ghost Race” is similar to a dummy bank account or a second set of log books. It allows votes to be moved around without reflecting transactions in the audit data. The most troubling aspect is that it only appeared on ballot styles 2, 10, and 80 – which encompasses 54 precincts.

Here's what you need to know about Tennessee: In 2008, a battle was mounted and won to require paper ballots. After Republicans took over the state legislature in 2008, the GOP Secretary of State and legislature sued to fight the use of paper ballots in future elections.

Late last year, both the new Republican Secretary of State Tre Hargett and the Republican legislature went to court to fight against the statutory move to paper ballots which was supposed to be in place by 2010 according to the law. And with the continuing court challenges and delays, the voters of the "The Volunteer State" find themselves still forced to vote on the oft-failed, never-verifiable Diebold/Dominion electronic voting system again this year.

Thousands of voters in Shelby County and the ten candidates who filed suit this week are currently paying the price for the GOP's legal obstructionism, as they will again this fall during November's mid-terms.

The math here is pretty simple. Paper ballots are verifiable. They reflect the true outcome of elections, They leave an audit trail. The GOP opposes their use, and why not? They win when they use Diebold unverifiable voting machines, and it's not the first time there have been voting machine problems.

Shelby County, by the way, covers the Memphis voting precincts - where the population is heavily African-American.

Houston's Lost machines: Boon or Bust?

On August 27, 2010, all of Harris County's voting machines were destroyed in a suspicious early-morning warehouse fire. One would suppose that such a fire might be of benefit to Harris County voters, who are routinely accused of voter fraud without much in the way of credible evidence. But this is a voting machine story with a weird twist. Some believe the destruction of Harris County's voting machines 51 days before early voting starts really benefits Republicans more than Democrats.

Whether or not early voting machines are re-used on election day, a shortage of machines will be an issue. Polling places might go from having six machines to one, potentially creating huge lines and delays. Another option would be to abandon the polling place model and use a limited number of election centers, as in early voting. This would eliminate the need to wipe machines but wouldn't negate the potential effect of long lines.

On the other hand, the machines that burned were made by Hart InterCivic, and are possibly less reliable than Diebold machines. The obvious solution would be to simply use and count paper ballots, but Republicans object to paper ballots on the grounds that they are more unreliable than electronic voting.

In a counterpoint, however, Glenn W. Smith argues that the loss of the voting machines disenfranchises Harris County voters as part of a larger effort. He points to Republican astroturf organization "True the Vote" as evidence of the effort to systematically disenfranchise voters to guarantee Republican wins.

His ideas aren't just the stuff of conspiracy theorists. One of the little-discussed issues around these midterm elections is redistricting - a specialty of Dick Armey's ten years back. (G)errymandered districts make Republican majorities that much stronger, and these elections will determine the players in the redistricting battles looming next year. Republicans desperately want to control the process and the outcome.

True the Vote is a well-funded group, clearly the product of Tea Party Republicans. It is the brainchild of the King Street Patriots, led by Catherine Albrecht, a well-connected Texas Republican and manufacturing company owner. Immigration reform and voter fraud seem to be Albrecht's pet projects, and she has the attention of the Liberty Institute as a result. Her highly-produced "sound the alarm" video calls patriots to action with this exhortation:

If we lose Houston, we lose Texas. And guess what? If we lose Texas we lose the country.

Could the lost voting machines mean voters are disenfranchised in Harris County? Well, yes, if Republican election officials decide to reduce the number of precincts or borrow flawed voting machines from neighboring counties. On the other hand, if election officials opt for paper ballots, it would be simple enough to move ahead with early voting and all precincts open at once. Will they? Probably not. They make the argument that Minnesota's paper ballot recount where Norm Coleman lost to Al Franken proves that paper ballots are bad.

One thing is sure: the chaos only benefits Republicans, not Democrats.

Alaska: Joe Miller Alleges Tampering

What's fair for one should be fair for all, and Joe Miller's campaign is alleging voting irregularities with the Diebold machines in use in Alaska. This is an interesting twist, given that Miller is the insurgent candidate and I would guess irregularities would go to his benefit, not against. However, the complaints are the same as with other Diebold machines:

But there is also another aspect of Mike's use of the state's election computer. As you know, Alaska uses electronic voting. The Diebold software contains vulnerabilities that may allow someone to install malicious software to miscount votes. In an election security report to the Lt. Governor submitted in 2007, it was noted that someone could "alter [] election results" by installing software. Further, software installed into the election management system could lead, according to the report, to "large scale election fraud..."(full complaint here - PDF)

Enough should be enough. There is no question that these machines are anti-democratic and corrupt. If this country cannot manage to have free and fair elections without suppressing minority voters and creating chaotic voting conditions, why are we promoting democracy around the world? And more importantly, when is it time to stand up against the erosion of our fundamental right to vote by demanding an end to these machines?

From a great source we have some fine reporting on (emphasis marks added - Ed.):

The Role of Citizens United in Shaping the Wealthcare Bill

Monday, August 30, 2010 A lot of liberals and progressives were outraged by the Democrats' Wealthcare bill that takes care and money from poor, middle class, and elderly Americans and gives a ton of money to HMOs, health insurers, and the rich people who speculate in their stocks. The vast majority of liberals and progressives were outraged by the US Supreme Court's Citizens United decision which absurdly claims that corporations have constitutional rights and that campaign contributions are "speech."

Yet, very few people have made the connection between the two.

The US Supreme Court's attack on democracy took place on January 21, 2010 and the Wealthcare bill passed that March. This is really important. Efforts to include a public option and to roll back some of the Wealthcare bill's many attacks on the non-rich were being fought up to the end.

Nearly all of those efforts collapsed at the end, in a political landscape reshaped by the Court's decision to disenfranchise ordinary Americans. It's become obvious to me that the Democrats decided that corporations now have absolute power in our country and that Democratic voters and grassroots activists don't matter anymore.

They made a calculated decision to side with the corporations against us.

This follows a pattern of refusing to take actions (if necessary by budget reconciliation) that would improve the lives of middle class and poor Americans such as jobs bills and the Employee Free Choice Act.

In fact, the Democrats were so leery of even allowing for the possibility of using budget reconciliation that they didn't even pass a budget this year.The problem with the Democrats' gambit is that midterms are decided by turnout, and the GOP style policies of the Democratic Party leadership has given liberals and progressives little reason to vote at all, unless it is to vote Green.

The saddest irony is that none of the "justices" that voted for corporate meddling in elections has any legitimate right to be serving on the court at this time. Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy were involved in the theft of the 2000 election, and they should have been impeached and removed from office for it. The nominations of Roberts and Alito to the Supreme Court were invalid because George W. Bush never was legally the President of the US and therefore had no legal right to make any appointments to any government body.Corruption leads to more corruption, which leads, in turn, to more corruption. It's no wonder our country is in so much trouble.

From our friends at Reality Zone and the Inter Press Service we have this ground-shaking report (no, not really, as bloggers such as myself and many others have been reporting on exactly these connections since 9/11 struck - I even remember the outing of Clark Clifford who had been a well-respected Liberal statesman up until his BCCI connection was revealed (and most of us started to wonder for the first time - WTF?):
Now that the U.S. Congress is investigating the truth of President George W. Bush's statements about the Iraq War, they might look into one of his most startling assertions: that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

Critics dismissed that as an invention. They were wrong. There was a link, but not the one Bush was selling. The link between Hussein and Bin Laden was their banker, BCCI. But the link went beyond the dictator and the jihadist - it passed through Saudi Arabia and stretched all the way to George W. Bush and his father.

BCCI was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, a dirty offshore bank that then-president Ronald Reagan's Central Intelligence Agency used to run guns to Hussein, finance Osama bin Laden, move money in the illegal Iran-Contra operation and carry out other "agency" black ops. The Bushes also benefited privately; one of the bank's largest Saudi investors helped bail out George W. Bush's troubled oil investments. . . . Important Saudis were influential in the bank. Sheik Kamal Adham, brother-in-law of the late Saudi King Faisal, head of Saudi intelligence from 1963 to 1979, and the CIA's liaison in the area, became one of BCCI's largest shareholders. George Bush Sr. knew Adham from his time running the CIA in 1975.

Suzan ______________


darkblack said...

'Remember when knowledgeable people at that time said if you really wanted to know how the drug trade and its scion Iran/Contra occurred and was funded, all you needed to do was follow the money?'

Right down the yellow brick road to, Kennebunkport.
Pardon me, I'm occasionally confused by American place names.


Dr. Know said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa G. said...

I thank God everyday that we don't have those hideous voting machines (Diebold, et. al.) in my county - we use optical scan which is easily verifiable by counting the paper ballot. How the Repubs could complain that paper voting is less accurate is beyond me, but now that they are too having trouble with the machines, maybe something will be done. Diebold won't let an independent firm review their code and it is easy to stick malicious code into those machines - any good hacker could do it. They should be outlawed throughout the US until they relent and let an independent body (like a public accounting firm) audit their software. I heard about the meltdown in Houston - lines were around the corner and such; think of how many people were disenfranchised by that vote alone.

Oh and Suzan, you forgot the comment thingy at the end of your post. :)