so i checked connections all is good, theres definitely power going to to programmer. multimeter shows 4.95.
could the programmer be faulty?
Where are you measuring at?
I looked at the wiring diagram you linked to earlier, and noticed that AVcc is connected to the positive pin of the programmer header. AVcc should be connected to Vcc, not as a power source for the programmer (it's the power source for port A and the AD converter) . It looks like it's being used as just another voltage source. I'm not really sure if that can wind up doing what you're observing, but I suspect it will throw off AD conversions if nothing else.
I'm still fighting a cold so maybe I'm not seeing something, but that wiring setup doesn't look right to me (at least not now).