Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Voting Machine Malfunctions(?) In The U.S. Election

The US election begins to be called Bush Coup II overseas. Was it a smooth election? Why recount Ohio? Some interesting graphics here.

The US vote was rigged - at least based on the standards used in the Ukraine and three other countries where US agencies said the vote was rigged.

A delegation of international election observers from the Ukraine harshly criticized the recent U.S. electoral process, with one saying, "It reminds me of the worst examples of suppression and dirty tricks under the former Soviet regimes."

Sequoia Pacific another election machine company with long history of criminal abuses. This joins the Diebold and ES&S brother owned companies who make a practice of hiring felons. Thugs and Racketeers Counting American Votes.

Miami Herald finds no flaws after doing some small recounts. Strange, a look at their data extrapolates to a recount swing for Kerry that could have carried the state.

Thom Hartmann - How to take back a stolen election

Ohio recount volunteering.

Jesse Jackson Says Court Should Consider Setting Aside Bush's Ohio Win

FLASH - My Ranger nephew ordered back to Iraq away from pregnant wife and home under construction. U.S. military officials have said up to 11,000 additional troops will be sent as Iraq tries to hold elections. Right now these are planned short-term deployments but the GOP control of the Pentagon has shown incredibly poor planning skills. This will increase troop strength to over 150,000 in Iraq.

Monday, November 29, 2004

$29 Million Paid to Hack the Vote?

Unconfirmed report has leaks from a purported massive scale vote fraud campaign for Bush.

The leak about the money and the rigged election apparently came from technicians who were promised to be paid a certain amount for their work but the Bush campaign interlocutors reneged and some of the technicians are revealing the nature of the vote rigging program.

The money to rig the election in favor of Bush reportedly came from an entity called Five Star Trust, largely based in Houston but a worldwide entity that is directly tied to the Saudi Royal Family. Five Star Trust was termed "a well-protected vehicle" that has been used to support both Bush and Osama bin Laden in the US and around the world.

Other money used to fund the election rigging was from siphoned Enron money stored away in accounts in the Cook Islands, which was once the base of one of the more questionable and Saudi-linked BCCI subsidiaries. Cook Islands banks also handled some of the weapons smuggling financing of the Iran-Contra scandal. A former Justice Department attorney who helped prosecute the BCCI case said the use of the Cook Islands by the Bush reelection team indicates they wanted the bank arrangements to be a "quick folding tent" operation that would cease to exist when the election was over.

Additional information on the buying of vote riggers with Saudi and former Enron funds has been obtained. The epicenter for the vote rigging operation is Dallas, Texas, and the operation may involve retired FBI agents who used a well-established "good ole boy" network to arrange for access to polling precincts by electronic voting machine technicians who took advantage of various November 2 security "lockdowns" to illegally alter the tabulation of votes in favor of Bush. Some of the retired agents may have used courtesy credentials issued upon retirement to fool unsuspecting polling place workers.

The cost of the operation was estimated at $29 million with the money sent via a circuitous network of offshore trust companies and shell activities. This reporter has obtained a copy of a bank check for $29,600,000 that was allegedly sent to cover the cost of the Texas-based vote rigging operation. The check is dated October 22, 2004, and was made payable to "Five Star Investment Ltd.," a trust said to have long connections to Saudi-funded operations in Texas and around the world. The payer is identified as "Equity Financial Trust," a Houston-based "brass plate" and post office box entity tied to offshore Cook Islands "folding tent" accounts used to hide away profits amassed by the former Enron as well as Saudi financiers.
In a mostly ignored report Madsen had documented that financiers funding Osama bin Laden were also financing Bush's oil companies. Madsen's extensive credentials.

ADDED - MSNBC's Olbermann doubts the story which is very qualified and offers no evidence except a check Madsen claims to have seen. Madsen's last article was another story with unsubstantiated rumors that Bush was about to attack Iran before the election.

Meanwhile things are heating up in Ohio with the Free Press reporting voter irregularities and suspicious totals. Jesse Jackson is blasting an audit and recount into the spotlight. (el -The counter argument to the much higher percentages for other Democrats and even landslides for progressive issues compared to the low percentages for Kerry is the pervasive smear campaign the GOP ran against Kerry. There appeared to be many Democrats who would not vote for Kerry but would vote for other candidates.)

Janette Writes Senators To Stop Anti-Filibuster Changes

Dear Senator Cornyn (or Hutchinson or Reid):

I am concerned that you Senate Republicans are going to try to push through judges that are not in the mainstream of American society. I have read you intend to change the Constitution and/or whittle down the filibuster rule until only 51 votes are required for judicial confirmations.

The Senate confirmed 203 of Bush's appointments--more than Republicans confirmed during Clinton's presidency. Only 10 were denied during Bush's first term, and I do not believe that every single judge he appoints should be confirmed!

Bush does NOT have a mandate, and, frankly, I am not entirely sure he won the election outright. There are too many allegations of election fraud. If no Senator signs onto the complaints I expect to be brought forward when the electors are seated in the Chamber in January, it will be a very sad day for America.

There is going to be a recount of the votes in Ohio after the vote is certified in early December. As far as I am concerned, we should nullify the November 2, 2004 election and redo it as the Ukrainians.

You in Congress need to seriously take up the issue of Election Reform. We should not be voting on machines that produce no paper trail for verification of votes. We should not be voting on machines that we, the people, do not trust are posting our votes accurately. I have to wonder how many Senators and Representatives that were not duly elected are now sitting in Congress.

We want and expect the Democrats to filibuster judges and legislation that will damage this country. We will stand behind them, and we will not consider you (them) obstructionists!

Janette Sexton

As revealed here, Texas Senators are playing important roles in changing Senate rules to end filibusters for judges.

Janette Sexton for State Representative,
District 144, in 2006
Campaign Planning Meeting
Tuesday, December 7, 7:00 P.M.
Mamacita's Mexican Restaurant
7325 Spencer Highway
Pasadena, Texas
Please RSVP to
or 281-479-0934
If you are unable to attend but still want to help, please submit ideas!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Dowd on our priorities, Moore, and Left Behind

Beware the terrible breast bombs. If we were buttoning up the borders and making the airlines safer, unbuttoning and being patted down in public would be more bearable.
Maybe we're not at the Philip K. Dick level of technology yet. But how about some positive profiling? If airport security can have a watch list for the bad guys, why can't it develop a watch list for the good guys? Can't there be a database of trustworthy American frequent travelers who are not going to secrete things in their bras? After all, no one is going to sneak anything in there without our knowledge. Can they at least get a screen?
A roundup up the latest news on Michael Moore's site

Also Kristof on 'Left Behind' - The "Left Behind" book series, which predict the slaughter of everyone who is not a born-again Christian, is highly lucrative hatemongering. In the final book the Prince of Peace and Love and Forgiveness tosses all those who refuse to worship him into the pit for an eternity of torture.

I am so glad I'm an Universalist.

Molly ivins is finding it hard to get in a holiday spirit

"You can't be depressed now, the worst is yet to come." Following that good advice, I intended to keep my indignation dry and save the outrage for when it is really needed, kind of like saving room for the pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving dinner. If we're going to get through the next four years, we have to pace ourselves, I concluded. But here it is, not even three weeks into the new Bush regime, and already I'm jaw-dropped, you've-got-to-be-kidding mad.

Thanksgiving Holiday

Advice From Eschaton: Dealing with your Fundie relatives this season. Include this How to Use the Bible in Your Political Arguments.

All I Want for Xmas Is Fair and Verifiable Elections - Hecate is launching an anti-Christmas boycott until he gets what he really wants - I’m not going to be buying Xmas stuff and I’m not going to be charging Xmas stuff until this country has a system in place that ensures fair and verifiable elections. I don't think this will work but I am not spending anything much on Christmas and this is a good excuse. I think I might expand this into I will not spend money at Christmas until Christmas is not commercial. What I will try instead are activity gifts, the smaller and more local the angle the better. Think about putting the X to Xmas.

More wacky exit poll info. They had to do so much adjustment to the exit poll data to match results, which is what the exit polls do - massage the poll data to match the actual results, that the party identification for Republicans went up 7%. There is a 7% Dem over GOP advantage in the latest very large polls. The final messaged exit polls have it even. There will be and shouldn't be a honeymoon for Bush and the GOP.

Minimum Wage - the states get it even if Bush and the GOP leaders in Washington don't. Based on 1968 minimum wage it should be at $8.50 an hour, not $5.15.

Positioning the Democratic Party - Fairness, Opportunity, The Future, and a discussion thread. Here is another analysis that examines the "trust gap" for the Party. Democrats need a heartland strategy to go with a positive message that reaches the heart as well as the wallet.

The problem with America's intelligence for Iraq was that mostly fair-to-good analysis was overruled by political decisions from the top. Bush and the GOP's fix, make the the intelligence agencies more political. Creating a New Worthless Intelligence Agency
When it comes to ignoring accurate CIA intelligence, the preeminent example in the Bush administration was National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's indifference to al-Qaeda and her failure to ensure that the president read and understood the explicit warnings of an imminent surprise attack that the agency delivered to her. As the Washington Post's Steve Coll has summarized the matter in his book Ghost Wars, "BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE IN U.S. was the headline on the President's Daily Brief presented to Bush at his Crawford, Texas, ranch on August 6 [2001]. The report included the possibility that bin Laden operatives would seek to hijack airplanes. The hijacking threat, mentioned twice, was one of several possibilities outlined. There was no specific information about when or where such an attack might occur."

The Agency may have become little more than a speed-bump for an imperial president who also dominates the Congress and the courts, but it is still part of the checks and balances of power within the executive branch of our government that make the U.S. a democratic republic and protect us from an imperial usurpation of power. With the reelection of President Bush and the appointment of Porter Goss to bring the CIA under White House control, it becomes increasingly hard to see how the republic will survive.
George Bush's real agenda from the tax-free right-wing think tanks.
Little is said in media analysis of the Bush victory about the role of big business in financing an elaborate, well-coordinated reactionary propaganda machine of think tanks like Heritage and Hoover, which pushed America far to the right. Business worked for 30 years to win this election and Bush knows exactly what it wants in return ­ more tax cuts, continued dismantling of publicly-supported programs like education, health care and pensions, and expanding US hegemony and business around the globe.
Real Americans tell the world about real moral values.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

I hadn't blogged anything about sex lately

So here is a collection of thoughts and links.

Why come ghosts don't have babies?

Because they have hollow-weenies.

Star of Buffy and Angel - Charisma Carpenter - Unpublished Playboy Pictures

Getting your ass penetrated as a spiritual awakening - Toni Bentley's The Surrender : An Erotic Memoir or Tom Robbins Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. Of course, this is a very bad thing and will shortly be outlawed in all fifty states as we get right with God. Tom DeLay made Austin the Asshole of Texas to generate a national spiritual awakening - "Central Texas is now the ass end of seven different districts." Perhaps Dean Democrats are feeling this past year is a similar painful experience best viewed as a spiritual awakening.

Enough about anal sex already... A discussion on the status of hand jobs in Suicide Girls. Pictures of suicide girls.

On Fraud, Ballot Theft and Suppression of the Vote

John Belisarius -- What the vast majority of Democrats find most disturbing about 2004 is that Bush's victory was based on a pervasive strategy of dishonesty [el - What I call the bearing-false-witness campaign and presidency] --a dishonesty that included major distortions of Kerry's record by the Bush campaign's own television commercials, outright lies told by the Swift Boat Veterans, grotesque distortions circulated among rural or minority voters (such as the claim that Democrats would take away religious people's bibles or that Martin Luther King was a Republican), flyers listing false reasons why voters should believe themselves disqualified, leaflets and phone calls falsely announcing changes in polling places and phony voter registration groups that collected and then destroyed voter registration forms.

Layered on top of this were techniques for suppressing the vote in Democratic areas that included last minute changes in polling places, use of felon lists known to be inaccurate and the provision of inadequate numbers of voting machines and ballots.

It is this entire pattern of appallingly anti-democratic behavior that should be at the center of the national discussion today, and not just the specific question of whether these kinds of activities--along with any direct theft or alteration of votes by electronic or punch card voting machines--could have risen to a level sufficient to reverse Bush's victory.

What vast numbers of Democrats as well as many moderates and independent voters already believe and believe very strongly is that Bush's victory was based on a campaign that was deeply, deeply dishonest and profoundly unfair.

News links:
Did Dubbya rig the election?
What Were the Odds That Bush Would Win?
Disputes and questions linger 3 weeks after presidential vote
GAO looking into Nov. 2 votes
Concerned Locals Push For Presidential Election Fraud Probe
Researchers: Florida Vote Fishy
Congress is probing vote count complaints
Election-fraud rumors on Web refuse to die
Exit Polls and Voter Fraud: A User-Friendly Explanation
A Tale of Two Elections
More voting questions raised in Ohio
Ohio Dem Party Offers Support for Ohio Recount Effort


Because Bev Harris says the media choose to ignore the video tapes she offered.

Dems Pocket $52 Million, CNN Ignores Evidence, and Officials Stonewall...What Vote Fraud?
- by Bev Harris

County officials say vote tabulator wasn't connected to the internet, Printout they tried to shred shows it was and outside connections attempted during vote count.
Stay tuned for an upcoming national conference which will be put on by Black Box Voting, called "Help America Audit," in which we will teach citizens groups, political parties, candidates, and private citizens how to conduct citizen audits of elections on a county by county basis, the only method available to us, really.

Stay tuned, also, for an action we’ll be taking soon to beef up compliance with the public records requests needed for election auditing.
-- Bev Harris Executive Director Black Box Voting

BlackBoxVoting.org in posts on Democratic Underground http://www.breakfornews.com/articles/WhatVoteFraud.htm

Minimal local news: Lawsuit disputes Volusia vote outcome

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Media Lockdown on Volusia County Continues

Latest news, an editorial in local paper urging a recount.

Election officials tossing vote records in garbage must not be an exciting story in our current theocracy.

The Kerry Campaign and the Recount

Except that we will have Bush until he is impeached, crowned, retires to Crawford, or otherwise leaves office I would not be fond of a Kerry presidency. Latest example of his politician pussyfooting campaign:
Early Monday afternoon, Ohio Chairman Dennis White released a comparative bombshell inside the still tiny world of the Recount-Conscious. It bore the headline “Kerry/Edwards Campaign Joins Ohio Recount” and advised that “assuring Ohioans receive an accurate count of all votes cast for president has prompted the Democratic Party to join the initiative to recount the results of the November 2 presidential election.”

But by 8 PM Eastern, a second press release was out, with two notable tweaks. Now the headline read “Kerry/Edwards Campaign Participates In Ohio Recount,” and the lead sentence read “…has prompted the Democratic Party to participate in the initiative to recount the results…”

The switch from “join” to “participate” reduces the Democratic commitment from virtual co-sponsorship to nearly the level of acquiescence. In late afternoon, Ohio Dems’ spokesmen Dan Trevas told us that the remains of the national Kerry/Edwards campaign had approved the original press release and “gave us the authority to proceed with this. Tomorrow we expect to have a letter from them to Kenneth Blackwell” which would ask Ohio’s Secretary of State to proceed with a recount.

But the lead Kerry lawyer on the ground in Ohio, Daniel Hoffheimer, was more cautionary. “What they meant to say is that the Kerry/Edwards campaign will be putting witnesses in the Boards of Elections if a recount is asked for… We are not requesting a recount.”

At this point, the words are being that carefully chosen and, evidently, debated. So don’t think when John Kerry said in his web-exclusive statement and video Friday that “Regardless of the outcome of this election, once all the votes are counted…” he wasn’t being deliberately vague. Similarly nuanced were the words of the Ohio Democratic chair, Mr. White: “As Senator Kerry stated in his concession speech in Boston, we do not necessarily expect the results of the election to change…”
It should be pointed that a full recount including the undervotes, the hanging chads, will likely give Kerry the presidency if he is man enough to pursue it.

Reasons for Pessimism

Almost half of Americans believe man was created by God less than 10,000 years ago. Only 35% think Darwin's theory of evolution is supported by evidence. Another survey finds that 25% think the Sun goes around the earth.

Kevin Sites reports from the front lines in Falluja and gets accused of being a pinko who should be shot.

How does Bush justify proposing to privatize Social Security and adding almost two trillion dollars to the national debt? By pretending the debt doesn't exist.

"Today's antiwar position -- it was a terrible mistake and it's a terrible mess, but we can't just walk away from it -- was actually the pro-war position during Vietnam," Michael Kinsley in Slate argues that "Anyone who opposes the war [in Iraq] but isn't ready to demand peace needs an answer to the question, 'Why on Earth not?'"

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Did Bev Harris Catch Vote Fraud in The Act?


Bev Harris of blackboxvoting.org was interviewed by the liberal radio host Thom Hartmann about the incidents in Volusia County. OpEd News has Thom Hartmann's column.
[She], the erstwhile investigator of electronic voting machines, along with people from Florida Fair Elections, showed up at Florida's Volusia County Elections Office on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 16, 2004, and asked to see, under a public records request, each of the poll tapes for the 100+ optical scanners in the precincts in that county. The elections workers - having been notified in advance of her request - handed her a set of printouts, oddly dated November 15 and lacking signatures.

Bev pointed out that the printouts given her were not the original poll tapes and had no signatures, and thus were not what she'd requested. Obligingly, they told her that the originals were held in another location, the Elections Office's Warehouse, and that since it was the end of the day they should meet Bev the following morning to show them to her.

Bev showed up bright and early the morning of Wednesday the 17th - well before the scheduled meeting - and discovered three of the elections officials in the Elections Warehouse standing over a table covered with what looked like poll tapes. When they saw Bev and her friends, Bev told me in a telephone interview less than an hour later, "They immediately shoved us out and slammed the door."
In a way, that was a blessing, because it led to the stinking evidence.

"On the porch was a garbage bag," Bev said, "and so I looked in it and, and lo and behold, there were public record tapes."

Thrown away. Discarded. Waiting to be hauled off.

"It was technically stinking, in fact," Bev added, "because what they had done was to have thrown some of their polling tapes, which are the official records of the election, into the garbage. These were the ones signed by the poll workers. These are something we had done an official public records request for.

"She told me later in the day, in an on-air interview (mp3), that when the police arrived, "We all had a vigorous debate on the merits of my public records request."
Comments on Daily Kos include the observation that there are four days to call for a recount in Florida.

The Resounding Silence from the media continues.
There was a time in America when the media would actually practice journalism. They would investigate. They would corroborate. They would scrutinize. In modern day America , this must be proving to be too daunting for our faux media.
Orlando Weekly has a review of all the evidence suggesting GOP vote hacking.

Olberman on John Kerry being AWOL on this issue. He also writes about the media being AWOL on election problems.

University Researchers: Florida electronic voting "went awry"

Other more typical Florida vote problems - election clerks calling blacks the n-word and noting that on poll lists, missing ballots.

Pollster Zogby now saying "something is wrong here" about the votes compared to polling.

As Thom Hartman, and Stalin and Limbaugh noted: "
Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything."
Limbaugh's Republicans, led by Tom DeLay and Dennis Hastert in the House and Bill Frist in the Senate, were fighting hard to keep their corporate friends counting the vote, by blocking legislation introduced in the House by Rep. Rush Holt (H.R. 2239) and in the Senate by Senators Bob Graham and Hillary Clinton (S. 2313).

The Restore Elector Confidence in Our Representative Democracy (RECORD) Act would require voting machines to produce a voter-verified paper ballot and to be randomly audited. During the past two years, neither bill has made it out of committee in the Republican-controlled House or Senate, so in 2004 it was private, for-profit corporations who, for the most part, counted the votes, be they touch-screen, optical scanners, or even punch cards. On

November 11th, 2004, Doug Halonen reported in TV Week that former Enron lobbyist and current RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie had, at a National Press Club event that day, called for an end to exit polls. Gillespie, it turns out, is concerned about the emotional well being of Republicans who may feel as "discouraged" as he felt when he saw the initial exit polls.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

More Election News

Kerry Slammed for poor Hispanic outreach. I second that, the Democratic party has not been effective in running enough tailored media to the Latino community. I thought Gore did an incredibly poor job and Kerry was only slightly better as shown by the increase in Bush support and the lack of Democratic ads.

In-depth analysis of Florida electronic voting finds Bush with huge, statistically unlikely, increase after accounting for all other factors. He gets this increase only in e-vote areas.

Scalia: 'Get over it!' Speaking at the University of Michigan the Supreme Court Justice draws protests and boos when he scolds a questioner asking about the 2000 Florida election decision.

Media accused of ignoring election irregularities

Recounting New Hampshire

Checking in with Undecided Voters - Stupid in Decidedly Different Interesting Ways

The Daily Howler provides a well-deserved smackdown to Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post,
who, in a column yesterday, argued that there's nothing wrong with our voting process and it's silly that everyone's worried about it.

In other news, reporters are getting very frank about the closeness between Bush and Miss Rice. Or is this reporting very coy?

After a self-proclaimed mandate and control over all branches of government will right-wing talk turn on their own? Early hint:
Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida who now hosts MSNBC's nightly "Scarborough Country," says the challenge for conservative hosts will be to prove "that we're more than just the Pravda of the right." He adds, "I think that's going to be difficult for some people. I honestly don't know what Sean Hannity is going to be able to talk about. If you've been reading off the Republican National Committee's talking points like he has for the past four years, it's going to be hard to be critical of the status quo."
Scarborough now claims he was misquoted:
"I would not tell a reporter that 'Sean Hannity has been reading off of RNC talking points for the past four years' even if I were on heroin."

Volusia poll tapes being examined to determine next step

Black Box Voting Organization is examining the information they have obtained from Volusia County and it's garbage bags to determine the next step. They appear reluctant to make any statements to the media until they have a more complete understanding of what they call "poll tape discrepancies."
Black Box Voting began to compare the special printouts given in the FOIA request with the signed polling tapes from election night. Lo and behold, some were missing. By this time, Black Box Voting investigator Andy Stephenson had joined the group at Volusia County. Some polling place tapes didn't match. In fact, in one location, precinct 215, an African-American precinct, the votes were off by hundreds, in favor of George W. Bush and other Republicans.

Hmm. Which was right? The polling tape Volusia gave to Black Box Voting, specially printed on Nov. 15, without signatures, or the ones with signatures, printed on Nov. 2, with up to 8 signatures per tape?

Well, then it became even more interesting. A Volusia employee boxed up some items from an office containing Lana Hires' desk, which appeared to contain -- you guessed it -- polling place tapes. The employee took them to the back of the building and disappeared.

Then, Ellen B., a voting integrity advocate from Broward County, Florida, and Susan, from Volusia, decided now would be a good time to go through the trash at the elections office. Lo and behold, they found all kinds of memos and some polling place tapes, fresh from Volusia elections office.

So, Black Box Voting compared these with the Nov. 2 signed ones and the "special' ones from Nov. 15 given, unsigned, finding several of the MISSING poll tapes. There they were: In the garbage.
As an election judge I can state that there should be no change from precinct vote record tapes produced on November 2nd to those produced later. The paper tapes produced at the precincts are the only paper trail that exists for electronic voting. These paper tapes contain the vote totals for poll booths in the precinct before the memory cards are uploaded to the county vote tabulator software. I will also note that destroying the paper tapes is a federal criminal offense.

The county appears to be claiming that the paper tapes in the garbage bags are copies. This seems to contradict early statement by Black Box Voting on their website. Reporters have not been able to obtain statements from Black Box Voting as they are apparently going through the records and deciding the next step.
Harris went to the Department of Elections' warehouse on State Road 44 in DeLand on Tuesday to inspect original Nov. 2 polling place tapes, after being given a set of reprints dated Nov. 15. While there, Harris saw Nov. 2 polling place tapes in a garbage bag, heightening her concern about the integrity of voting records.

Lowe confirmed Wednesday some backup copies of tapes from the Nov. 2 election were destined for the shredder. She added that originals were still available for Harris, or anyone else, to see. It is those polling place tapes that were copied and provided Wednesday to Black Box Voting for about $125.
A few news media have picked up Black Box Voting's website story.
Everyone agreed to convene tomorrow morning, to further audit, discuss the hand count that Black Box Voting will require of Volusia County, and of course, it is time to talk about contesting the election in Volusia.
The closest major metropolitan newspaper, the Orlando Sentinel, reports that Bev Harris is considering requesting ballots from up to 50 precincts which she suspects have problems.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Media Cautious or Silent on Volusia County

Perhaps after seeing what has happened to the one mass media figure reporting on the election problems there has been no pickup yet of the next posted story - Volusia election lockdown.

Attacks on MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann, included calling him a "voice of paranoia" and accused him of perpetuating "idiotic conspiracy theories" for his sustained spotlight on the numerous local news reports of voting irregularities during the November 2 presidential election. Olbermann's emphasis during Countdown with Keith Olbermann on voting irregularities has been part of a critique of what he has called the "Rube Goldberg voting process of ours" -- as well as a criticism of the major media outlets' failure to report on the irregularities.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


I may be wrong about there being little evidence of massive fraud in Florida - Black Box Voting pulls up with a film crew and a lawyer in Volusia County, which had strange results in 2000, and finds panicking officials, dumped poll tapes in garbage bags, and poll tapes which do not match official results. In one black precinct the November 15th results they give her has added hundreds of Bush votes compared to the November 2nd tape.

Also here at Black Box Org. - scroll down.


More - Volusia County machines locked down. Democatic Underground is back up with more comments.

I explain precinct vote tapes below.

E-vote precinct machines: Precincts have poll booths usually connected to one of two booth controllers. The booth controllers can have up to ten voting machines plugged into them. At the end of the evening in e-vote precincts the election judges print paper poll tapes that are the record of the votes in all the races for that booth controller. These tapes have the totals for each candidate in each election. The tapes look much like receipt tapes you get from grocery stores.

The machines called booth controllers are taken to central locations after closing procedures at the precincts. At these central locations all voting materials are turned in. There modems send the results from memory cards in the controllers to tabulators on PCs that count the electronic votes. The paper tapes from the machines are back-ups, paper trials that are usually not used.

If you wanted to commit massive illicit vote fraud the vote tabulator software on the PCs is the easiest place. Another place is modifying the memory cards from the controllers but you have hundreds or thousands of them. Changing the memory cards after the controllers are turned in might be easier than before the election and less likely to be caught if there is some kind of test, for example only a few people vote on one machine and you know how they voted. The original paper trails from the controllers could reveal modifications in either the tabulator results or the memory cards after they left the precinct.

There should be no changes from a precinct printed controller paper trail after the election. It is also, of course, a felony violation of federal law to change the votes or even throw away most of the election materials

ADDED - How the vote could be hacked at the tabulating software in less than two minutes leaving no evidence. Many states do not use Diebold for their voting machines but use their vote tabulating software. Who is this liberal conspiracy theorist? A self described Republican, who makes his living as a "white hat" security hacker. He was shocked he so easily hacked Diebold's system, and states he'd be surprised if this election wasn't hacked. There was evidence by a missing audit trail that an election was recently hacked.
Another audit log incident occurred during the Washington State primary just six weeks ago. Two interesting events took place here:

1) all entries are absent from the audit log between 9:52 pm and 1:31 am. This includes records of summary reports being printed during that time frame, which is something that is always logged by the system, and shows up when they are printed before and after that block of time. Here is the audit log: http://www.blackboxvoting.org/auditlog.PDF

2) Here are copies of the 5 sets of summary reports printed off during that missing time period, complete with timestamps showing that they were printed during that block of time and signed by the elections chief, Dean Logan.


Can anybody guess what it means when you are missing audit logs for a specific block of time, and known events took place that should be reflected in the logs?
In addition, no less than 5 of Diebold's developers are convicted felons, including their Senior Vice President. Topping the list are his twenty-three counts of felony Theft in the First Degree. His crime - planting backdoors in computer software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection.

LATEST Breaking, cautiously and uninformatively, into their real local newspaper. I have a PR contact list - should I alert NBC, Amy Goodman, or AP to the story? How about Drudge?

The Big O and Religion

Over in Slate Thomas W. Laqueur is all worked up about being unsatisfied after reading Margolis' O: The Intimate History of the Orgasm. He believes it somehow can't quite find the point despite lots of fooling around.

Amy Sullivan on Political Animal refers us to Steve Waldman in Beliefnet eschewing the stereotyping that is so popular and presenting instead the ten ideas about liberals and conservatives that are true. Elsewhere on the Beliefnet, David Domke argues that a new religious coalition contributed to Bush's victory. She, like myself, is withholding judgment about whether David's right but his theory is worth a look.

Local Politics

Charles Kuffner keeps up with Houston and Texas politics. Here he is with the speculation on a challenge to Vo's election and do Texas Democrats have a problem with turnout or message?

Election Analysts

Pollster Zogby speculates that Bush won by running as the outsider against the supposed leaders of the country. WTF? When Bush and the GOP controlled all branches of government and still supported by most of the So-Called-Liberal-Media? It also seems clear Zogby is now questioning the Florida and Ohio results. He has posted this article by someone else supporting allegations of massive fraud on his website, I smell a rat.

The debate over Ohio results continues in subscription Salon.

National Journal: A quick post-post-election exit poll: Which of the following two statements more accurately describes what happened on November 2?

A) The election was a stunning triumph for the president, the Republicans, and (especially) social conservatives. Because the country turned to the right, President Bush received a mandate, the Republicans consolidated their dominance, and the Democrats lost touch with the country.

B) Bush and the Republicans are on thin ice. Bush barely eked out a majority, the country is still divided 50-50, and the electoral landscape has hardly changed, except in one respect: The Republican Party has shifted precariously to the right of the country, and the world, that it leads.

Usual answer: A. Correct answer: B.

How good are exit polls? The exit polls also showed Dukakis and Gore winning.

Brownshirts - Now that Bush has won his supporters are writing to the Department of Homeland Security trying to get Democrat sites shut down and their leaders arrested as traitors.

Contrary to conservative rhetoric, liberals aren't on the decline - conservatives are. People who call themselves conservative peaked in 1995 at 40% and have been declining ever since. Liberals have remained steady since the sixties at 18%.

Gay Sex News - A national GOP leader placed personal ads for multiple male partners, unsafe sex. It's official - the new gay GOP head. Children of same-sex parents well-adjusted and normal according to studies. The GOP response -- look over there! - they out Interstate highway for sodomy and try to force name change. (They now claim this was a hoax.) Scalia again supports orgies to eliminate social tensions.

Letters from soldiers: "It scares the shit out of me that there is a single soul in this country that can still be in support of George W. Bush."

News Updates

MSNBC's Keith Olberman now is doing a very decent blog. I see he noticed our non-award winning Houston Chronicle: "the Houston Chronicle has an editorial so puerile that it may be the most naïve thing I?ve ever read that was actually written by a grown-up" This is part of a story where he says the Ohio recount will attract tons of media interest as they may look for "hanging chads" again.

Powell smacked down by Bush yet again. He wanted to stay to continue the Middle East peace process but was forced out. The reason? So a political loyalty purge can begin at the State Department similar to what is taking place at the CIA. As Josh points out this is an administration that values political power over competence and they are making all of us less safe.

Fallujah was the center, the biggest concentration of foreign fighters in Iraq. How many have we captured? Looks like less than 20 of the 1000 prisoners. Before the battle, U.S. officials frequently stressed the role of foreign fighters in Fallouja. Last week, as the battle got underway, Myers told reporters that the city was "a major safe haven for former regime elements and foreign fighters, in particular Zarqawi and his folks." This is an American grown insurgency fueled by colonial actions converting Iraqi civilians to fighters. Another article points out the captors aren't even from outside the city.

4 of the 5 smartest states voted for Kerry.
7 of the 10 smartest states voted for Kerry.
8 of the 10 dumbest states voted for Bush.
16 of the 20 dumbest states voted for Bush.
The 7 dumbest states voted for Bush.

Church Folks for a Better America. Human rights experts said Friday that American soldiers might have committed a war crime on Thursday when they sent fleeing Iraqi civilians back into Fallujah. Citing several articles of the Geneva Conventions, the experts said recognized laws of war require military forces to protect civilians as refugees and forbid returning them to a combat zone.... James Ross, senior legal adviser to Human Rights Watch, said, "If that's what happened, it would be a war crime."

Dallas Morning News:
"There is no future for moderate and progressive Republicans in the Republican Party," said Jim Scarantino, president of the centrist GOP group Mainstream 2004. "The far right wing and the fanatics have seized control."

"If they can't agree and support the president and the platform, then they ought to go over to the Democrats," said Jan LaRue, chief counsel for the conservative group Concerned Women for America.

Videotape of an American Marine shooting an unarmed wounded Iraqi inside of a mosque.

National Geographic: Evolution still correct. Natasha plans on writing more about science for skeptics and religious fanatics.

A brief cartoon guide to what society values. Alas, a blog also has a number of good posts on the same sex marriage debate arguments - the activist judges were on the other side, the misleading bait-and-switch arguments, the "framing" of the argument, and voters supported politicians who supported gay marriage. She also points out that elections don't so much change the country as a changed country changes leaders. Spend less time concentrating on winning elections and more time on changing people's understanding of the issues.

Monday, November 15, 2004


NYT - If George Lakoff had his way, the Kerry campaign would have run a commercial attacking the "baby tax."
Dr. Lakoff, a Berkeley linguistics professor and Kerry campaign adviser, wanted to divide the interest on the national debt by the number of Americans born each year. The result, $85,000 per newborn, say, would have been handed to a baby in the form of a bill, and the baby would have started to cry. That, Dr. Lakoff says, "frames" the issue "in a way people can understand."

"Framing" is a hot topic among political junkies and in the blogo-sphere right now, thanks to Dr. Lakoff. In "Don't Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate," his surprise best seller, Dr. Lakoff argues that Republicans have been winning elections because they have been better than Democrats at framing issues - from taxes, to abortion, to national security - in ways that resonate with core American values.
Texas Observor - Frame Wars Luntz and Lackoff represent the opposing sides in the political war to shape ideas. "As long as liberals and progressives insist that having the facts on their side is all that matters, they are doomed to impotence. The next move for the left in the frame war is to accept that it’s okay to cherry-pick reality as long as it conforms to a frame that’s morally acceptable. According to Lakoff, we already do it every day."

From Berkeley an essay of Kerry getting framing half-right.
Those of us on the progressive left, whatever that might mean these days, played our part in the drama like good soldiers, though we had our doubts from the beginning. We contributed our brains to designing elaborate web systems for optimizing the campaign, our bodies to get-out-the-vote drives in Nevada and Florida and Oregon and Ohio, and our money to the Democratic National Committee and America Coming Together. It doesn’t seem to have made a whole lot of difference, because the good grey candidate of the Democratic Leadership Council was never able to get the attention of the electorate with his cautious middle-of-the-road positions.

Jim Hightower has often been quoted as saying that there’s not much in the middle of the road except yellow lines and dead armadillos, and the timid centrism of the DLC has now given us two successive armadillo tickets. Would’a, could’a, should’a, but what if Kerry had launched his campaign by saying vigorously, “I was wrong about Iraq, but now I’ve changed my mind?”

Kerry was fooled about Vietnam, though he later repented. He was fooled again on Iraq, and he never fully repented. How about, just for variety, a Democratic candidate who catches on early to what’s going on and is not timid about saying so? It’s entirely possible that Howard Dean might have won this election if he hadn’t been sandbagged by the DLC and its media allies. Me-too Democrats fighting for the middle of the road will just continue to be blindsided by the hard right’s shifting compass of phony “moral values.”

Morality and Politics

The majority of American voters are actually moderate progressive Christians.
According to a new poll co-sponsored by the Center for American Progress, Res Publica and Pax Christi, there actually is a new silent majority in America: a coalition of religious moderates, progressives and other non-traditional religious voters. "This bloc of religious voters constitutes 54 percent of the electorate and holds very similar moderate-to-progressive views on domestic and national security issues" such as economic justice and the war in Iraq. By comparison, religious conservatives make up less than a quarter of the national electorate. GAY MARRIAGE: Exit polls on Nov. 2 showed 22 percent of voters claimed their votes were influenced by "moral values." The same survey, however, showed "nearly three times as many Americans approve of some form of legal status for gay couples."

CONSERVATIVES DISPARAGED BELIEF BEFORE THE ELECTION: Republicans spent a lot of effort before the election trying to paint Democrats as the anti-God party by disparaging their religious beliefs. During the 2004 campaign, the New York Times reported that mailings by Republicans warned voters that liberals wanted to ban the Bible. The GOP also distributed flyers in church parking lots saying John Kerry favored "'anti-Christian, anti-God, antifamily' judges, same-sex marriage and abortion." Jerry Falwell told CNN Democrats were on an "anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-religion kick."

CONSERVATIVES STILL AT IT AFTER THE ELECTION: After the election, gloating Republicans continued to attack the religious beliefs of many Americans. Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh charged Democrats "don't like God." Evangelical leader Bob Jones charged the reelection of George Bush was a "reprieve from the agenda of paganism," stating, "You owe liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ." And conservative television host Joe Scarborough accused Democrats of "taking solace" in "bigoted anti-Christian screeds."
I also consider it immoral and following in Stalin's footsteps that the biggest intelligence priority of this administration is a political purge of the CIA. Bush and Cheney are backing a purge of intelligence analysts and administrators who are not Republican enough.

And still talking about morality, I can't forget Tom DeLay whose aide now can't pay the teachers at his private school because of his involvement in illegal and corrupt practices such as extortion of money from Indian tribes and diverting money from supposed charities to political campaigns.

Bill Moyers writes about morality, religion, and democracy in America for Sojourners Magazine.
The class war was declared a generation ago, in a powerful polemic by a wealthy right-winger, William Simon, who was soon to be Secretary of the Treasury. By the end of the '70s, corporate America had begun a stealthy assault on the rest of our society and the principles of our democracy. Looking backward, it all seems so clear that we wonder how we could have ignored the warning signs at the time.

What has been happening to the middle and working classes is not the result of Adam Smith's invisible hand but the direct consequence of corporate activism, intellectual collusion, the rise of a religious orthodoxy that has made an idol of wealth and power, and a host of political decisions favoring the powerful monied interests who were determined to get back the privileges they had lost with the Depression and the New Deal. They set out to trash the social contract; to cut workforces and their wages; to scour the globe in search of cheap labor; and to shred the social safety net that was supposed to protect people from hardships beyond their control. Business Week put it bluntly: "Some people will obviously have to do with less….It will be a bitter pill for many Americans to swallow the idea of doing with less so that big business can have more."
Locally, the GOP members of the Pasadena City Council deprived elected council members of the right to speak to prevent criticism of their actions. I know that this action is being investigated as a possible violation of Robert's Rules of Order that may invalidate the vote to deprive some low-income citizens of their homes. As the headline in the Pasadena Citizen says "it is a sad day for Pasadena."

MORAL HYPOCRISY AND SELF-LOATHING Soon several of the top GOP officials will be gay.

Internationally, Juan Cole has the best roundup of the chaos in Iraq. Iraq continues to head down the wrong track -- away from peace, away from morality, and toward Civil War.

Hope for the future - a new candidate to replace a local GOP state Representative has tossed her hat in the ring early. Way to go Janette.

My State is Blue

My State is Blue
by Adam Wasson

Today you are joyous while I’m filled with rue
I canvassed, I voted, what more could I do?
I said invasion and you said “rescue”
Your state is red; my state is blue

You protect companies I want to sue
I’m pro-first amendment, you like number two
You promote abstinence; I like to screw
Your state is red; my state is blue

You say “be strong” and I say “be true”
I say “homophobia,” you say “value”
You’re killing health care and I’ve got the flu
Your state is red; my state is blue

You like the Cowboys, I side with the Sioux
My pets go “meow” and your pets go “moo”
You think that crap in the Bible is true
Your state is red; my state is blue

I fought the good fight, did all I could do
There are millions of me, and yet more of you
Oh Cheney, Cheney, you bastard, I’m through
Your state is red; my state is blue

Dating Bush

I have been warning my female friends not to date Bush supporters. Their political thinking might be reflected in their bedroom policies. They could get someone in bed under false pretenses, without preparation, and who wasn't really the one he wanted but he couldn't find her.

Someone else has ten reasons not to date a Bush supporter.

Flash Onion Headlines:
Kerry Captures Osama bin Laden - too late
Nation's Poor Wins Election For Nation's Rich
Bush Promises To Unite Nation For Real This Time
Nation's Wildlife Fleeing to Canada
New Overtime Laws Changing Way Americans Wash Dishes For 60 Hours A Week

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Kerry's Biggest Flip-Flop Was Because He Didn't Hear the Question

The Boston Globe has a terrific article on the Kerry campaign.

On the afternoon of Aug. 9, John F. Kerry stood on the lip of the Grand Canyon, about to make one of the biggest mistakes of his three-year quest for the presidency. A stiff wind was blowing across the canyon, and Kerry, whose hearing was damaged by gun blasts in Vietnam, had trouble understanding some of the questions being thrown his way. But he pressed on, coughing from the pollen blowing on the breeze.

Would Kerry have voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq, one reporter asked, even if he knew then that Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction? "Yes, I would have voted for the authority; I believe it's the right authority for a president to have," Kerry replied, as aides stood by, dumbfounded.

Kerry's answer ricocheted around the political world. Faced with the revelation that almost all the prewar arguments for invading Iraq were wrong -- the existence of weapons of mass destruction, close links to Al Qaeda -- President Bush had nonetheless insisted that he would do nothing differently. And he had been challenging Kerry to do the same, hoping to catch the Democrat changing his position on the unpopular war.

The senator explained to aides that part of the question had been lost in the wind; he thought he was answering a variation on the same basic query he'd been asked countless times: Was it right to give Bush the authority to go to war against Iraq? Kerry had simply given his standard "yes," with the proviso that he would have "done this very differently from the way President Bush has" -- yet the misunderstanding now muddied Kerry's message.

Worried advisers briefly considered issuing a clarification, but feared it might further feed Republican efforts to portray Kerry as a "flip-flopper."

Meanwhile, back in Washington, the Bush campaign pounced: Kerry now agrees with the president! Bush media strategist Mark McKinnon crowed about Kerry's "forced error," while the president repeated Kerry's answer over and over on the campaign trail and the GOP later advertised the Democrat's varied Iraq statements. "How can John Kerry protect us," the narrator in those ads intoned, "when he doesn't even know where he stands?"

Molly Ivins -- Ashcroft -- What a record. He blew the fight against terrorism, but he covered up tits on statues.

Nice article on the GOP bias in the electoral college. I wasn't aware of it but they had a good projection going on of the electoral college race.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Catch Up Links

A couple of insane quotes and a handful of links FYI.

NYT interesting but dismissive article on internet vote fraud investigations.

"You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ."
-- Bob Jones III, president of Bob Jones University, in a letter to President Bush.

Can History Save the Democrats?

Greens and Libertarians demanding recount in Ohio.

David Corn - The election does not appear to be stolen but had many problems and may be stolen in the future.

100,000 Iraqi dead? - More study needed.

Born Again Christians Over Half the Voters - Only 38% of Americans

Blue States have the moral values in a landslide

The election is over, the results are now known.
The will of the people has clearly been shown.
We should show by our thoughts, our words and our deeds
That unity is just what our country needs.
Let's all get together. Let bitterness pass.
I'll hug your elephant.
If you'll kiss my ass.

Cheney's Viagra got out of hand, which may be what his wife requires, while Christian Right demands administration lock Cheney's daughter in a closet. (They conveniently overlooked her appearance with her partner on stage at the VP debate before the election.)

Big vote problems in Washington and North Carolina.

GOP Advisor Nordquist - "Once the minority of House and Senate are comfortable in their minority status, they will have no problem socializing with the Republicans. Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they're fixed then they are happy and sedate. They are contented and cheerful. They don't go around peeing on the furniture and such."

Raw Story - Now Deserves the Number 1 on Google for Liberal News Position

Molly Ivins
If it were possible to compare the odds of an American getting killed by a negligent regulatory agency and rapacious corporate behavior vs. an American getting killed by a terrorist, it would turn out that we need to be a lot more scared of rank greed and its enablers than we do of terrorists. That's not counting what the corps -- that's short for corporations; say it like corpse -- steal and mess up.

So, fellow progressives, stop thinking about suicide or moving abroad. Want to feel better? Eat a sour grape and then do something immediately, now, today.

Figure out what you can do to help rescue the country -- join something, send a little money to some group, call somewhere and offer to volunteer, find a politician you like at the local level and start helping him or her move up.

Don't mourn -- organize.
Donkey Rising -- Exit Polls DO NOT Indicate Voter Fraud and this advice -
..the most important thing for Democrats to remember about this debate is that they should not allow it to be reduced simply to the question of whether or not the election was "stolen". What vast numbers of Democrats as well as many moderates and independent voters already believe and believe very strongly is that Bush's victory was based on a campaign that was deeply, deeply dishonest and profoundly unfair.

Curmudgeon Alert - "As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
-H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

Did 2004 lay the foundations for victory? Was it as significant as Goldwater and Reagan?

Reframing the Debate, You don't win on facts alone.

Late Night Political Humor

~ Compiled by Daniel Kurtzman | Late-Night Joke Archive

Jokes for the Week of Oct. 31-Nov. 6

"George Bush was elected president of the United States, and you know what they say, the first time is always the sweetest." --Bill Maher

"Did you see how happy President Bush was yesterday when he found out he won? Man he couldn't decide whether he should give a victory speech or announce the invasion of Iran." --Jay Leno

"In fact, the GOP did so well, the only Republican without a mandate: Dick Cheney's daughter." --Jay Leno

"Democrats and liberals, stop saying you're going to move because Bush won. Real liberals should be pledging to stay because Bush won. Trust me, you can't get away from Bush by moving to France because that's where we're invading next." --Bill Maher

"President Bush was re-elected and today he hit the ground vacationing." --David Letterman

"On election night Bush only got two hours sleep, but don't worry, he'll nap through intelligence briefings." --David Letterman

"The Republican Party is now in charge of the presidency, the Senate, the House, and the Supreme Court. You know how they got there? They got there by saying the liberals control everything." --Jay Leno

"As you know Osama bin Laden has released another video. He bragged that he will 'bankrupt the United States.' And today President Bush said, 'two can play that game, pal.'" --Jay Leno

"Democrats swore this election would not be decided by the Supreme Court. Thanks to their clever strategy of incoherent campaign themes, an uncomfortable Vietnam fetish, and an undying belief in the get-out-the-vote power of Ashton Kutcher and Bon Jovi, it won't be. Yeah, suck on that, Scalia!" --"Daily Show" correspondent Rob Corddry

"If you want to have gay sex or visit a library, it's probably your last night to do those things … Personally I'll be killing two birds with one stone." --"Daily Show" correspondent Ed Helms, on the Bush mandate

"The president is focusing on his agenda for the next three years. One: finishing the war in Iraq. Two: starting the war in three other places." --Ed Helms

"President Bush was really sweating this, because he knew if Kerry won, he's probably make Bush go to Iraq and finish his National Guard service." --Jay Leno

"No word yet on what Daschle will do in private life, but insiders agree, whatever it is, it's safe to assume he'll be ineffective." --Jon Stewart

Collected by Daniel Kurtzman

Political Humor also has a very interested two maps - Slave States and Territories / Bush States.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Architects of Kerry's Defeat

Arriana brings us some inside scoop about how focus groups and Clinton era leadership prevented a clear Kerry message from getting out.
If we can’t win this damn election,” [James Carville] the advisor to the Kerry campaign said, “with a Democratic Party more unified than ever before, with us having raised as much money as the Republicans, with 55% of the country believing we’re heading in the wrong direction, with our candidate having won all three debates, and with our side being more passionate about the outcome than theirs — if we can’t win this one, then we can’t win shit! And we need to completely rethink the Democratic Party.”

Well, as it turns out, that’s exactly what should be done. But instead, Carville and his fellow architects of the Democratic defeat have spent the last week defending their campaign strategy, culminating on Monday morning with a breakfast for an elite core of Washington reporters.

At the breakfast, Carville, together with chief campaign strategist Bob Shrum and pollster Stan Greenberg, seemed intent on one thing — salvaging their reputations.
Our Texas Supreme Court candidate sent an email indicating his disgust with the Kerry campaign and the politics of focus groups, surveys, and $100-a-plate and up dinners. Until the Democratic leadership takes its direction from the people and their hearts it will continue to lose. Only online link I can find is here:
A Democratic candidate who last week lost a race to become a Texas Supreme Court justice says his party will never get anywhere if it persists with a "kiss the ring" hierarchical political culture.

David Van Os said that if the Democratic Party wants to regain the trust of the voting public it must throw out all polling data, computer projections and focus groups and get back to strong, authentic, grassroots campaigning.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

How progressives can win the fight for America’s soul

The right is winning on fear and cultural issues that don't affect peoples lives.

The deepest red states are where there are few neighbors and the people there are afraid of strangers with different religions or skin colors or sexual preferences. You fight fear with honesty and truth and optimism and some good programs.
The way to win is not, as many have suggested, for progressive thinkers to try and convince conservatives that we are like them. John Kerry tried that with his goose hunting adventure and talk of his faith and nuanced positions that tried to split the difference between progressive and conservative. Telling voters you “have a plan” for every issue and for them to go to your Web site won’t convince anyone to jump the wall.

The answer is not to bend ourselves into pretzels of accommodation, but to be, openly, who we are. Remember when every politician in America had to answer the “Did you smoke pot” question? It’s no longer an issue, because there’s no political advantage to raising the question anymore. Everybody, conservative or liberal, has either smoked pot or is related to someone who has — or does. You can’t condemn a candidate for doing something that’s “normal.”

Likewise, when both candidates were asked during the final presidential debate to say whether or not they thought homosexuality was a “choice,” Bush, pled ignorance (quite believably, I might add). Kerry chose to finesse the question and divert attention to Dick Cheney’s gay daughter. It was awkward and unappealing. But what would have been wrong with forthrightly saying, “Of course, it’s not a choice. Science has shown very clearly that it’s a genetic predisposition. I have gay friends and family and coworkers, as do most Americans. We need to bring this issue out of the closet. Civil unions are fine with me and I think the question of gay marriages should be left up to the states.”

More on Getting Back in the Ring
The country hasn’t moved to the right. It has been moved to the right. And now it’s time to move it back! I have faith that we can do this. We’ve moved mountains of public opinion before—on segregation, voting rights, the New Deal. Our values are good and righteous. We’re bound to win—if we can just figure out how.

But at the moment, in the struggle for the hearts and minds of America, the right wing is winning. Most Americans buy into conservative explanation for their problems—and are primed to accept conservative solutions. And moral laxity is elevated as the primary problem—threatening everything from the family to the economy. The right carefully nurtured these paradigms, and then triggered them to win the election. This year, it was the Federal Marriage Amendment, which the right used to fire up conservative values among voters as the Democrats and liberal groups turned their heads. We ignored the Amendment, knowing it wouldn’t pass, just as we ignored the eleven state-level amendments, figuring they would. Unopposed, the right framed the values debate for the election.

Campaigning in Ohio, I talked to working-class white folks who hated Bush but said Kerry wouldn’t make things any better. In Ohio—which lost 230,000 jobs under Bush—that’s probably true. Kerry supported NAFTA as much as Bush did. Voters were looking for a difference, for leadership—and they found it on moral issues. We haven’t given them anywhere else to look.

Moving forward, our primary mission is clear: stand for something, and move the country toward our vision. Here’s how:

1. Identify what we stand for.

2. Organize ourselves to move that vision.

3. Connect our vision to people and their lives.
This election isn’t a wake-up call. It’s the final round in a fight we’ve pretty much been losing for the last 40 years. It’s time we get up, fight smarter and win.

My Sister Reminds Me of this - Kristof - Living Poor and Voting Rich.
"The Republicans are smarter," mused Oregon's governor, Ted Kulongoski, a Democrat. "They've created ... these social issues to get the public to stop looking at what's happening to them economically."

"What we once thought - that people would vote in their economic self-interest - is not true, and we Democrats haven't figured out how to deal with that."

Who Knew? No more terror and crime in America!

In a bizarre end to his faith-based campaign against crime and terrorism, not to mention civil rights, John Ashcroft submits a hand-written letter of resignation saying his job is done. Hand-written because he writes he can't safeguard his own computer generated documents. “I have handwritten this letter so its confidentiality can be maintained... The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved” and “corporate integrity has been restored." He also mentions that “The rule of law has been strengthened and upheld in the courts” but fails to note it was upheld by the courts overthrowing his actions.
You can see why he’s resigning: after conquering both crime and terror, there’s nothing left to do but sit at home and wait for Jesus. He says that there have been no terrorist attacks in the US since 9/11. Uh, anthrax, does that ring a bell at all?
So ends the reign of an Attorney General who thinks dancing is Satanic.

High Noon: Maureen Dowd Challenges Zell Miller

SEN. Zell Miller (D- Ga.) laced into New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd yesterday on the "Imus in the Morning" radio show, saying, "The more Maureen Loud [sic] gets on 'Meet the Press' and writes those col umns, the redder these states get. I mean, they don't want some high brow hussy from New York City explaining to them that they're id iots and telling them that they're stupid." Miller also suggested "that red-headed woman at the New York Times" should not mock anyone's religion: "You can see horns just sprouting up through that Technicolor hair." Dowd responds: "I'm not a highbrow hussy from New York. I'm a highbrow hussy from Washington. Senator, pistols or swords?"

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Bush's Mandate

See what is number one on Google for the real Bush's Mandate.

See Purple America. See also a map of Bush's surburban support. Looks like Texas and New Mexico have the only urban counties to go for Bush.

Dean should get a new job as Democratic Strategist and Ass-Kicker At-Large.

Talk about successful get-out-the-vote campaigns! What a triumph for democracy in Fairview Park, twelve miles west of downtown Cleveland. Only 13,342 registered voters there, but they cast 18,472 votes

Red State Talking Points
1) Do you realize that Republicans have controlled the White House for 24 of the last 36 years and have made the lion's share of judicial appointments? If you don't like our federal judges and Supreme Court justices, aren't Republicans to blame for that?

2) If Republicans love you so much, why are they so ashamed of you? Why do they give their convention speaking slots to Schwarzenegger, McCain and Giuliani? When they do put a red stater on the stage, he's a Democrat (Zell Miller.) The last time a social conservative got to speak in prime time (Pat Buchanan) Republicans blamed him for losing the election for them.

3) If conservatives really wanted to clean up Hollywood, why do they love Fox so much? Do conservatives like the filth Fox TV puts on the air night after night? Are conservatives okay with calling a show "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" and promoting it while children are watching ballgames? Do you think shows like "My Big Fat Fiance" promote the institution of marriage?

4) If the White House was sincere about gay marriage, abortion, etc., why didn't they run television advertisements about those issues? Why did President Bush go out of his way to support civil unions with weeks to go in the election?

My point is this: yes, Democrats don't agree with social conservatives on a lot of issues. But at least we're honest with you.

Ignorance might have played as big a role in the election's outcome as values.
Voting Without the Facts. See also the education gap survey pdf. Bush swayed the dumbies.

Or did he... Bush's "incredible" vote tallies.

Thom Hartman - Was the Vote Hacked?

Jame's Predictions

A few predictions for the next four years, for those that are more hopeful send me your predictions, for those that are more pessimistic god help us but send them along:

In 2008 we will still have troops in Iraq, will have spent in excess of 1/2 a trillion dollars, will have killed at least 150,000 Iraqis and most tragicly lost over 4000 american lives.

In 2008 we will have even a greater number of americans living in poverty however the wealthiest 10% of the population will be richer than ever.

In 2008 we will have 2 possible 3 new supreme court justices. There will probable be our countries first hispanic justice but all of them will make William Renquest Nixon's "radical right" appointee look moderate. This type of appointment is already the case in the the appellate courts and will continue.

In 2008 the economy will be have shed as many high paying technology and manufacturing jobs as it has in the last four years. The median income adjusted for inflation will have fallen 3-5% if not more.

In 2008 the housing market will not have recovered from the "real estate adjustment" and home values will be 15-25% below their 2004 level.

In 2008 a barrel of oil will be $60-65 a barrel if not more. This may not occur as a crumbling world economy may lead middle eastern countries to gear up production and oil may fall to $30 a barrel.

In 2008 a case or perhaps several will be working through the court system to place stricter limits on a womans right to choose.

In 2008 a majority of states will have passed gay marriage bans.

In 2008 North Korea will have more nuclear weapons.

In 2008 Iran will be closer than ever to completing their first nuclear weapon.

In 2008 we will have witnessed at least one if not several successful terrorist attacks on american soil.

In 2008 Isreal will have had four years of continued violence and terror in Palestine. Having assinated most of the PLO leadership a more radical leadership will be calling for ever increasing violence.

In 2008 Afghanistan will ship more heroin than it has in 20 years.

In 2008 it will take $2.10 to equal 1 euro. We won't see as many european tourist as you would expect.

In 2008 Texas will lead the world in executions.

In 2008 "no child left behind" will still be an un/underfunded mandate and many children will be going to poorly funded, overcrowded, poorly staffed schools. These same children will be tested and found to rank below the top ten countries in math and science.

In 2008 more american will be without healthcare. For those that have healthcare their copay will be at an alltime high and their will be an even larger list of noncovered drugs and proceedures.

In 2008 we will start phasing in a privitized social security plan. If you make less than $60,000 a year when you retire your benefits will be less than if we had stayed with the current system.

In 2008 the deficit will hit a new record high and the idea of a surplus will be but a dream we tell our children about.

In 2008 the minimun wage will be the same as it was in 2004 as it was 2000 as it was in 1996. There will be a call for the elimination of the minimun wage in congress. It will be narrowly defeated.

In 2008 official unemployment will be 6.8% there will be a record number of people underemployed working parttime jobs.

In 2008 There will be no estate tax and if there is a capital gains tax it will be at a historic low.

In 2008 the number of fortune 500 companies that payed no taxes in 2007 will be at an all time high.

In 2008 there will be legislation before congress for national draft.

In 2008 illegal immigrants will be allowed to receive guest worker visas. This will drive down wages and push overtaxed social services to catastrophic failures.

In 2008 Texas will lead the nation in unplanned pregnancies and have the nations highest infant mortality rate. The state will still have an abstenance based sex education curriculum.

I can go on but I can't stomach it.

-- James Denton