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midnight's Journal - Archives
Posted by midnight in General Discussion
Wed Nov 30th 2011, 08:17 PM
"Previous lab demonstrations of e-voting system hacks, such as Princeton's demonstration of a viral cyber attack on a Diebold touch-screen system -- as I wrote for Salon back in 2006 -- relied on cyber attacks to change the results of elections. Such attacks, according to the team at Argonne, require more coding skills and knowledge of the voting system software than is needed for the attack on the Diebold system.

Indeed, the Argonne team's attack required no modification, reprogramming, or even knowledge, of the voting machine's proprietary source code. It was carried out by inserting a piece of inexpensive "alien electronics" into the machine.

The Argonne team's demonstration of the attack on a Diebold Accuvote machine is seen in a short new video shared exclusively with the Brad Blog . The team successfully demonstrated a similar attack on a touch-screen system made by Sequoia Voting Systems in 2009.

The new findings of the Vulnerability Assessment Team echo long-ignored concerns about e-voting vulnerabilities issued by other computer scientists and security experts, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (an arm of the Department of Homeland Security), and even a long-ignored presentation by a CIA official given to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission."

Despite warnings of theft and investigation into this national security issue, several states will be using this technology in the 2012 presidential election.... This technology is a Republican tool that does not have to respect our vote. In fact if we vote contrary to their wishes, they will just change it without any footprint.. so no matter how many eyes we have on the ground, we will never see the theft...nor will we know about it... And because election pollsters are being removed outside of the polls... for several hours at a time in spots like Butler Wisconsin....It makes it difficult to provide any meaningful oversite...

" Wisconsin suffers from the presence of many Diebold machines, and have been plagued by their new Republican governor and his rubber-stamp legislature. As Republican arrogance grows exponentially, the role of vote-turning Diebold machines will undoubtedly increase. As more and more voters turn against the GOP, Republicans will count on Diebold to flip more and more votes."

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Posted by midnight in Editorials & Other Articles
Mon Nov 21st 2011, 07:09 PM
In April, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to cut Medicare and Medicaid. And this month, even Democrats on the so-called Super Committee have offered deep cuts to these vital programs.

Essentially, Republicans in Congress are telling senior citizens and the poor that tax cuts for billionaires and millionaires are more important than providing a health care safety net for our most vulnerable.

But did you know that members of Congress get great taxpayer-funded health care? In fact, they have one of the best health care plans in the world.

It strikes us as the height of hypocrisy to be accepting government-provided, taxpayer-subsidized health insurance while denying seniors, the disabled, and the poor the basic coverage that Medicare and Medicaid provide.

That's why we're circulating this petition demanding that members of Congress who voted to cut Medicare and Medicaid stop accepting taxpayer-subsidized health insurance for themselves. If they believe our most vulnerable citizens should buy insurance on the corporate, for-profit market, shouldn't they do the same?

The petition is addressed to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and says:

If you voted to cut Medicare and Medicaid, you must stop accepting taxpayer-funded health care for yourself and your family.

Will you sign the petition? Click here to add your name, and then pass it along to your friends:


–Michael Morrill
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Posted by midnight in Editorials & Other Articles
Sat Nov 19th 2011, 10:28 PM
As tens of thousands of people descended upon the state Capitol Saturday, organizers of the effort to remove Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from office announced they have collected more than 105,000 signatures on recall petitions.

“As of (Friday) night — the fourth day of signature collection, more than 105,000 Wisconsin residents have already signed their name to a petition to recall Scott Walker," said Heather DuBois Bourenane, a volunteer with United Wisconsin, the group spearheading the recall effort. "Across the state, people are talking with their friends, family and neighbors about Walker’s destruction and are doing all they can to end his days as governor."

Organizers need to collect 540,000 signatures by Jan. 17 to force a recall election. United Wisconsin, which is working with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin on the recall effort, says it hopes to gather between 600,000 and 700,000 signatures by that deadline.

The news came as a crowd estimated at between 25,000 and 30,000 attended the Madison rally, the largest gathering since the huge Capitol protests in March, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
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Posted by midnight in General Discussion
Wed Nov 16th 2011, 01:25 PM

400,000: The number of technical college students in Wisconsin who Republicans yesterday decided should have more stringent ID requirements in order to vote.
10,000+: The number of recall Walker petition forms the Democratic Party of Wisconsin said were downloaded online. (Click here to download one yourself)
8,392: The population of New Richmond, Wisconsin, where over 200 recall signatures were gathered.
1,000+: The number of protesters who marched to Scott Walker's house yesterday and signed recall petitions in the driveway of a neighbor who supports the recall.
100+: The number of recall petition signing events held around the state.
58: The percent of Wisconsinites who support recalling Scott Walker, according to a a poll released yesterday.
28: The number of schools in the school district of Waukesha, according to its website.
25: The number of schools that an ad Scott Walker released yesterday says are in the school district of Waukesha.
4: The number of Republican state senators who had recall campaigns filed against them yesterday.
1: The number of state senate seats Democrats need to win in order to take control of the chamber.
Infinite: The amount of money Scott Walker is legally allowed to raise from individual donors, such as the billionaire Koch brothers, during the recall petition drive.
If you live in Wisconsin, please sign up to recall Scott Walker. No matter where you live, please contribute $7 to support the recall of Scott Walker.
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Posted by midnight in Editorials & Other Articles
Fri Nov 11th 2011, 05:31 PM
Why Scott Walker Needs To Be Recalled – printable grassroots documents for distribution/sharing
If you want to distribute a quarter-sheet or make a poster or handout with some of the reasons to recall Walker in your grassroots efforts, you can use these documents. The text for the handouts can be used in any way you wish:


Didn’t campaign on the elimination of collective bargaining rights and then terminated collective bargaining for public employees, ending more than fifty years of bipartisan support and dividing the state

Signed legislation to eliminate programs for cancer screening, STD treatment, birth control and reproductive health support

Nearly a billion dollars in cuts to education with restrictions on how school districts can make up for the cutbacks and programs

By rejecting $810 million in stimulus funds for the Madison-Milwaukee train, thousands of jobs were lost and taxpayers have to pay for contracts that were cancelled due to careless incompetence

Signed legislation repealing clean water testing, cut alternative energy programs using biomass and wind power that lost thousands of jobs

Signed legislation for the most restrictive Voter ID law in the US based on unproven Fox News/Republican myth of voter fraud

Find out more reasons on


The main idea is to boil down the messaging to a quarter-sheet, which is a 8 1/2 x 11 inch printed document cut into four handouts. You can do volumes of information or do a documentary (we are) of all the reasons, but this can get the dialogue started.
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Posted by midnight in Wisconsin
Fri Nov 11th 2011, 04:57 AM
Medicaid cuts expected to result in about 65,000 poor people leaving the health insurance programs have been approved by the Legislature’s Republican-controlled budget committee.

All Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee voted Thursday to approve the plan by Gov. Scott Walker’s administration.

All four Democrats opposed it.

The plan now heads to President Barack Obama’s administration for approval.

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Posted by midnight in Wisconsin
Wed Nov 09th 2011, 07:40 AM
"The STEP Up program would financially penalize any Milwaukee County employees who choose not to participate in the program in an effort to “encourage” employees to pursue healthier lifestyle choices while lowering health care costs."

Wellness Initiative. The 2011 Adopted Budget included a provision to contract
with United Health Care for a disease management program that focuses
wellness efforts on individuals suffering from specific chronic health issues. For
2012, the cost of Disease Management is assumed in the overall health care
budget, while $700,000 $625,000 is budgeted for this initiative an improved
wellness program, beginning July 1, as an investment in improving the health of
employees to slow the long-term rate of health benefit cost increases.
An RFP will be issued for a wellness program that includes a health risk
assessment with biometric screening, health coaching and quarterly follow-up
contacts by health professionals. A contract proposal will be submitted for
County Board approval no later than May 2012. Additionally, the Employee
Benefits Division will work with the TPA to broaden the definition of preventative
health services that can be accessed without an office visit co-pay, thereby
incenting well-checks. The wellness program will incentivize program
participation. The Employee Benefits Workgroup is directed to design an
improved wellness program that focuses on adherence as opposed to
participation by providing monthly financial incentives for full participation in the
program, and surcharges for non-participation or tobacco use to be credited
against premiums, as shown in the following table.
Single Plan Family Plan
Participation – non tobacco (Credit) ($25) ($50)
Participation – tobacco user (surcharge) $10 $20
Non-participation (surcharge) $25 $50

I've got a better idea... Provide a healthier work enviroment for employees... Provide a gym.... don't make the insurance industry fatter off of the stress created by two time walker....
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Posted by midnight in Editorials & Other Articles
Tue Nov 08th 2011, 12:28 PM

"The GAB isn't totally independent because it depends on the state Legislature for its budget. The GAB does, however, have discretionary funds to investigate election discrepancies.

The 26 lawmakers who signed onto this bill — all of them Democrats, including state Sen. Dave Hansen of Green Bay — did so to shield the GAB from being subject to a state law passed in May that gave Walker veto power over administrative rules of state agencies. Prior to that, the agencies developed rules that were reviewed by the Legislature before going into effect. Walker said the process would be smoother if the rules were reviewed by his office first.

We believe it is important for the public to have confidence the GAB will not fall under the thumb of any political party or agenda. The upcoming year promises to be filled with political skirmishes associated with the organized effort to recall the governor and possibly some state legislators, and the national election. The GAB must be an equalizer to guarantee the will of the people is fulfilled.

The board was established four years ago and is comprised of six former judges who are nominated by a panel of four Wisconsin Appeals Court judges, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. The board and its staff are committed to ensuring that Wisconsin elections are administered through open, fair and impartial procedures that guarantee that the vote of each individual "

Another reason the GAB is not so independent is that it allows the GOP to handle the election code for places like Waukesha and doesn't have any staff who deal with code...

The Code by the GOP is handled by Mike Huebsch: gave the drafting orders for the collective bargaining section of the budget bill. Huebsch's top political appointee, Cynthia Archer, served as a top aide to Scott Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive.

Mike Huebsch: He was an author of the groundbreaking Wisconsin Works welfare replacement legislation that shaped federal reform. He is a graduate of Oral Roberts University.
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Posted by midnight in Editorials & Other Articles
Fri Nov 04th 2011, 10:30 PM
Whatever one thinks about the Occupy movement, or about a bunch of noisy young people blocking traffic in places they shouldn't, the arrest of a journalist covering news is very troubling. Disconcerting, in a creepy, police-state sort of way.
Journal Sentinel editor Martin Kaiser said the photographer did not ignore any commands from the officers. "She was clearly not part of the protest," Kaiser said. "... Her arrest was completely uncalled for and violates the First Amendment."
In this era of protests aplenty — with Madison having a well-earned reputation as a hyper-hot-spot for protests — it's good to remember the First Amendment and what it does for us, with "us" meaning our community and not simply the news media.
Gene Policinski of the First Amendment Center put it this way when writing about the arrest of a reporter in Nashville, Tenn., at an earlier Occupy event: "So when police improperly arrest a journalist who simply is reporting at a scene, they do more than violate one person's rights — they attack our collective, constitutional right to know from a free and independent source what our government is doing so that we may hold it accountable."

Read more:
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Posted by midnight in Editorials & Other Articles
Sun Oct 16th 2011, 08:22 AM
Madison Firefighters 311 paid for the papers and now are cancelling their subscription. Joe Conway says they aren’t boycotting, just choosing where they spend their money – they are sending a message to Lee Enterprises. They say the media (nationwide) is not informing, but trying to influence readers. They say we need the media to be more responsible and provide the facts. And besides, they mostly want it for the sports and crosswords.

They are looking for other media sources. Looking for more local news and fair editorials. Good luck with that.

Sly is looking for the Cap Times to buy the Wisconsin State Journal so that there would be locally owned paper.

Thanks firefighters. I hope your message gets through (I’m doubtful). I cancelled my home subscription 8 or 9 years ago and Tenant Resource Center’s subscription 7 or 8 years ago for much the same reason. The facts, especially on the editorial pages, were irrelevant and while they had a good reporter or two left, they don’t really get to report the news like they used to. Yes, the paper should have more value than the crossword puzzle.

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Posted by midnight in Editorials & Other Articles
Sat Oct 15th 2011, 06:27 AM

Home Voting, Elections, Policy, Civic Engagement

September 15, 2011

The Honorable Patty Murray
The Honorable Jeb Hensarling
The Honorable Max Baucus
The Honorable John Kerry
The Honorable Jon Kyl
The Honorable Rob Portman
The Honorable Patrick Toomey
The Honorable Xavier Becerra
The Honorable Dave Camp
The Honorable James Clyburn
The Honorable Fred Upton
The Honorable Chris Van Hollen
Dear Senator Murray, Representative Hensarling and Members of the Committee on Deficit Reduction:

The undersigned are writing to urge you to immediately take steps to voluntarily disclose the efforts of outside interests to lobby you on matters related to the Committee on Deficit Reduction. Likewise, we urge you to also disclose the campaign contributions you receive between now and the time the Committee submits its final recommendations to Congress. Failure to ensure transparency of these fundamental avenues of influence will reinforce the public's mistrust of the process and risks delegitimizing the Committee's work.

Your critical work on this Committee has begun, and yet the public remains in the dark about special interests' attempts to influence your decision?making process, whether by meeting with you or donating to your campaigns. Efforts to make the work of the Committee transparent by posting information on the Committee's new website are laudable, as are decisions to forego attending fundraisers during this time period. Unfortunately, neither shines a light on who may be lobbying or continuing to contribute to your campaigns. Because neither lobbying disclosure reports nor campaign finance reports are required to be made public until January, the public will not have access to the critical information contained in those reports until long after the Deficit Committee has completed its work.

Disclosing meetings from registered lobbyists and other special interests seeking assistance has precedent. The Obama administration required executive branch officials to disclose meetings on the implementation of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Disclosure of efforts to lobby Members of Congress sitting on the Deficit Committee is at least as critical.

Likewise, Congress has recognized that the public has a right to know who has given to a candidate's campaign prior to going to the polls, and thus mandated 48?hour reporting of campaign contributions for contributions given within 20 days of an election. Such reporting is standard practice for all campaigns. Similarly, the public is keenly interested in the contributions received by members of the Deficit Reduction Committee and should be informed of those contributions prior to the Committee's final recommendations.

The Committee on Deficit Reduction has unprecedented power to shape future spending in the United States, affecting all Americans. Members of the Committee should, therefore, take unprecedented steps to ensure that outside efforts to influence to the committee should be transparent.

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
Center for Responsive Politics
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Common Cause
Fix Congress First
The League of Women Voters of the United States
OMB Watch
Project On Government Oversight
Public Citizen
The Sunlight Foundation
Taxpayers for Common Sense
U.S. Public Interest Research Group

Sincerely, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law Center for Responsive Politics Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Common Cause Fix Congress First The League of Women Voters of the United States MapLight OMB Watch Project On Government Oversight Public Citizen The Sunlight Foundation Taxpayers for Common Sense U.S. Public Interest Research Group
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Posted by midnight in Editorials & Other Articles
Thu Oct 13th 2011, 11:59 PM
Canary, perhaps the most corrupt prosecutor in the history of U.S. Justice Department, will join RSA’s legal staff in January. Canary, best known for her role in the political prosecution of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman, stepped down as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama in June. She was appointed by President George W. Bush, and inexplicably, served for more than two years in the Barack Obama administration.

Why should RSA stakeholders be alarmed about this news? For one, it comes as Republicans in the Alabama Legislature are pushing bills that would allow them to control boards that govern RSA and its $25 billion nest egg. (Yes, that’s billion, with a “b.”) For another, RSA chief David Bronner long has been viewed as probably the sharpest financial and political mind in Alabama. Our state ranks near the bottom on many surveys regarding quality-of-life issues–education, health, child welfare, you name it–but RSA is considered one of the strongest, best managed retirement systems in the country.

David Bronner is one smart dude, so why would he be so stupid as to hire Leura Canary? Methinks something foul is going on in Montgomery, Alabama.

As we reported earlier this week, Leura Canary’s marriage to Bill Canary, president of the Business Council of Alabama, is on the rocks. If that should lead to a messy divorce, would David Bronner want RSA’s reputation caught in the middle of it? Also, Leura Canary reportedly is under federal investigation for her handling of the Siegelman case and other matters. Again, does David Bronner want his name soiled by association with Leura Canary? Finally, a pending federal lawsuit seeks more than 1,000 documents related to Canary’s recusal in the Siegelman case. If released, those documents are likely to show that Canary remained involved with the case after having announced her recusal.

The bottom line? David Bronner clearly hoped an appellate court would overturn Leura Canary’s handiwork. This indicates that Bronner has little, if any, respect for Canary’s abilities as a lawyer. So why does David Bronner now want to hire her? /
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Posted by midnight in Editorials & Other Articles
Tue Oct 11th 2011, 07:56 PM
"Now Camden County in Georgia is considering tasking prisoners to take on one of the most dangerous jobs there is: fighting fires. Using prisoners as firefighters is a cost-cutting measure that’s expected to save the county a bundle:
A select group of inmates may be exchanging their prison jumpsuits for firefighting gear in Camden County.
The inmates-to-firefighters program is one of several money-saving options the Board of County Commissioners is looking into to stop residents’ fire insurance costs from more than doubling. <...> The inmate firefighter program would be the most cost-effective choice, saving the county more than $500,000 a year by some estimates. But that option is already controversial, drawing criticism from the firefighters who would have to work alongside – and supervise – the prisoners.
The Camden program would put two inmates in each of three existing firehouses, and they would respond to all emergencies – including residential – alongside traditional firefighters. The inmates would have no guard, but would be monitored by a surveillance system and by the traditional firefighters, who would undergo training to guard the inmates." /

Now we know why they are destroying the unions... They are going to be giving union jobs to prison slaves.... Payed Fire fighters would be fired. Free prison labor would enable the prisoners once they are released from prison the ability to get paid... So the law abiding fire fighters will have to go to prison to get a job.... This makes no sense...
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Posted by midnight in General Discussion
Thu Oct 06th 2011, 10:35 PM
First they came for abortion, but I didn’t care because abortion was for sluts. Then they came for sex ed, but I didn’t care because the kids can learn all they need to know at home. Then they came for birth control, but… Wait a minute! Birth control? They’re coming for birth control? I need that! For nearly a decade prochoicers have been warning that abortion foes were gearing up to go after contraception, but the possibility of losing birth control was too far-out for most people to take seriously. And you know prochoicers—they’re always crying wolf. Well, wake up, sleepyheads, it’s happening.

After the Senate rejected a House attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, Republican Representative Cliff Stearns, chair of the energy and commerce subcommittee, demanded that PP turn over reams of documents going back twenty years. The official purpose was to see if PP’s abortion services, which cannot receive federal funds, are sufficiently segregated from its contraceptive and other health services, which do receive federal dollars. Since Republicans believe this separation is impossible—money is fungible, and all that, except when it goes to a church for supposedly nonsectarian social services—who knows what Stearns and Co. will decide counts as evidence?

Meanwhile, House Republicans continue their attempts to ban federal support for PP, this time through a draft bill on agency funding that would also completely defund Title X, the government’s main family-planning program. Title X, which provides family planning services to more than 5 million mostly low-income people each year, has nothing to do with abortion, which kind of proves that the “fungibility” issue is just a fig leaf. (Bill supporter and Tea Party Caucus member Denny Rehberg, a Montana Republican who opposes raising taxes on the wealthy—did I mention that he’s the twenty-fourth-richest member of Congress?—claims that zeroing out birth control funds for poor women is necessary to lower the deficit. Because what could be cheaper than babies?)

As is so often the case in the war on abortion, the most damaging action is in the states. GOP-led governments have voted to cut or eliminate PP funding in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, Wisconsin, Texas and New Jersey. Yes, New Jersey, where Governor Chris Christie, hero of Republicans who also happen to be sane, eliminated the state’s $7.5 million budget for family planning. And yes, Texas, where Governor Rick “N-wordhead” Perry slashed family planning funds from $111.5 million to $37.9 million. Meanwhile, since you can always find money for the things you really want, he boosted aid to antichoice crisis pregnancy centers to $8.3 million.

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