BlueWaveNJ Blog

Mueller: “They’re doing it as we sit here!”

Small “d” democracy

By Mark Lurinsky

Special counsel Robert Muller worried aloud during his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee that the Trump campaign’s openness to accepting Russian assistance during our 2016 elections would become “the new normal”.  Then a few moments later, he exclaimed to chairman Adam Schiff that the Russians are continuing to interfere in our elections “as we sit here.”

All 50 state election systems probably targeted

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A Real Plan For Climate Crisis

By John Reichman

This is an urgent moment with regard to our climate crisis. We need your help next week to ensure that New Jersey has a real plan to combat our climate emergency and to address the needs of our most vulnerable communities. There is an important opportunity for each of you to be heard a week from Thursday, August 8th, in Newark.

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Time to Support the Warren Cummings (CARE) Act and End the Opioid Crisis

By Donna Ward

Last week on Facebook, a friend posted a remembrance of the second anniversary of the death of her 32-year-old niece due to a fentanyl overdose. Similarly, one of our neighbors in Montclair lost their 27-year-old son this year to heroin laced with fentanyl.  The opioid epidemic is still wreaking havoc in New Jersey. While the rate of opioid prescriptions in New Jersey declined from 2016 to 2017, (the latest data available) and is below the national average, deaths from drug overdoses skyrocketed +29% to 2,685. The state’s rate of drug overdose deaths of 30.0 per thousand in 2017 is still well above the U.S. average of 21.7. Nationally, deaths have increased six- fold over the past 18 years, and have contributed to a lowering of overall US life expectancy.

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It’s Mueller Time: A Book Review

Small “d” democracy

By Mark Lurinsky

Sometime after Robert Mueller’s late May press conference cast doubt on his willingness to become a witness at public hearings, I decided that I would recommit to the challenge of reading the full Mueller Report, which I had bought and put aside.  (Democracy isn’t a spectator sport, I told myself.)  I’m glad now that I pressed on.  With Mueller’s testimony to Congress now imminent, reading the report makes even more sense for us.

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Reading The Mueller Report: Easier Than You Think

Small “d” democracy

By Mark Lurinsky

Editions

I bought the Washington Post edition of the report, which is now available for under $10.  There are at least three versions in print.[1]  I’m not sure that it matters which one you read.  My own preference however is not to begin by reading any publisher’s introductions or additional materials, at least until you have gone through the report itself, since the whole point in something like this which is the subject of so much controversy is to get your own understanding without being influenced by anyone else’s spin.

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The Trump administration and the war danger

Small “d” democracy

By Mark Lurinsky


On May 9, President Trump’s national security advisor John R. Bolton ordered a military contingency plan to send up to 120,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East, although Trump, a few days later, insisted he doesn’t want a war with IranHow great is the war danger?  Where is it coming from?  What can be done to prevent war?

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BlueWaveNJ Is Fighting For Women's Rights And We Need Your Help

This week BlueWaveNJ joined progressive organizations across the country in hosting a rally for the National Day of Action to #StopTheBans and protect women's rights. We rallied in Montclair with over 150 attendees, to stand up to the draconian and cruel anti-abortion bills being proposed in states across the country.

We had local leaders, activists, and elected officials speak to the importance of legal abortion.

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Protect Women's Rights In New Jersey

A5287 Establishes "New Jersey Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act."

This bill is a thinly veiled attempt to criminalize the right for women to make choices about their own bodies. The below is a list of the representatives who have supported this bill and their opponents in this year’s upcoming elections.

Read the full text of this anti-choice and anti-women bill here.

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Where does Trump stand on violent anti-Semitism?

Small “d” democracy

By Mark Lurinsky


In the wake of the horrendous shooting attack in the synagogue near San Diego, California, on the last day of Passover, we have to consider whether President Donald Trump is capable of leading our country in any meaningful way to combat an upsurge in anti-Semitic violence. Trump’s response to the shooting, in which an avowed white nationalist wielding an AR-type assault rifle killed one woman and injured the Poway synagogue’s rabbi and a young girl, was to do three things: He tweeted the usual “thoughts and prayers” to those affected. He assured the injured Rabbi Goldstein that “I have a son-in-law who’s Jewish, a daughter that’s Jewish ….” And he stated, “I love Israel.”

But what else do we need to know in order to see the bigger picture?

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NJ Voting Security at Risk

Dear BWNJ Activists,

As you may be aware, our current voting machines have no "paper trail".  The Sequoia AVC Advantage Machines are 1980 vintage computer technology and produce no record of each ballot.

The good news is that all the counties are about to buy new machines since our current machines are aging out. The bad news is that there is no transparency to this purchase.

Right now, it seems that most counties are favoring a machine that will print a 3" wide 'receipt' of the voters’ choices as marked by the voter on a touch screen.  This receipt will be used for audits of each election, and any recounts. This is an improvement, to be sure, and as voting activists, we welcome the addition of a paper trail.

However, this is not the system recommended by security experts.  The machines that print a voter 'receipt' can be hacked, and half of voters, in a trial at a real polling place, did not check the paper receipt, while the half that did, checked theirs’ for an average of 3.9 seconds on an 18-contest ballot.  (See summary of the study here)  In addition, this system is more expensive. 

The system recommended by security experts is a hand-marked paper ballot counted by an optical scanner at the polling place. The hand-marked ballots are kept in a tamper proof box for later auditing and they are the ballot of record.

This is an area where local level political activism can make a difference.

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