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Let me be quite frank, Bev Harris led her people up an alley.

She could have made her case in many different ways.  She chose to use the "frame" of conspiracy and paranoia.  The "election was stolen and the media won't talk about it" became a mantra on the part of her followers.  Posts that stated "I just FEEL this had to be stolen" were deemed acceptable as argument.  That works for building a factionalized break away movement.  It doesn't work for doing mainstream politics and remaining proud members of the...

reality based community.

I have some experience with factional politics.

  • they need demons
  • they need demons on their own side
  • they love to follow the rhetoric that "your arguments against us justify our irrational personal and spiteful rejection of you"
  • they need holy grails...information that is just beyond reach
  • they need a BIG CLAIM.  something that is held as a tenet of belief whether or not evidence emerges against it
  • they are happy to use the "openess" and "democratic" nature of  left wing oraganizations to their own ends

Factionalist conspiracy folks NEED counter factuality and uncertainty.  It's the one dependable fuel that can motivate their supporters  to hold to unproveable yet unshakeable beliefs.  Bev Harris has played right into this.  A real leader would have spoken up and realized how out-of-hand things had gotten and tried to move her movement into a better strategic place.

Bev Harris is not a good leader, and she is the wrong person to spearhead the movement for reform.

Have Bev Harris' supporters and those who've enabled them with recommended diaries that repeat discredited claims here thought for a second about what the legacy of this election on the left is now?:

  • Bev Harris, DU and BBV front and center
  • the "stolen election" meme trumping the "election reform" meme
  • the easy demonization of Markos, Atrios, Chris and Josh Marshall for no good reason.  (ie. they are for election reform too.  they worked their asses off this election year just like all of us.)

Wow....pretty sick.  You should be ashamed of yourselves in my opinion. And I do blame Bev Harris and Jeanane and anyone who should have known better.

I think one of the things that happens with factions is that there is a hidden political struggle that plays itself out even though most of the "innocent" participants can't and don't see it.  

In this case it is a battle between BBV and DU and the "Not in my Name" folks...and the more "mainstream" blogs like dailyKos, Atrios, JMM and MyDD that aspire to raise money and egage constructively with the Democratic Party. In a nutshell, whoever wins the sympathy of those who are "outraged" over this election loss wins a shot at the new leadership mantle.

That's the real battle here, even if it is pretty loosely defined...and it's a battle over money, activist energy, lefty bragging rights and "street cred"....and it has already enunciated itself  with some really sad rhetoric that has done none of us any favors. (violent fantasies, claiming that a diary you disagree with is "hateful", personal attacks.)  

In my view, either the community standards of dKos reassert themselves and we figure out how to have a discussion in this environment. A discussion, by the way, which should focus on everything we need to do to win real election reform and count all the votes this time.  Or...I am predicting that we will see a polarized  factionalizing of the netroots.

It's our choice.

Update: I know this diary, and the other one I wrote on this topic, "Taking a Stand," took strong polarized views on the politics of this issue while trying to leave a core of the middle ground intact. They were polemics, and intended as such. My intent was to outline a clear, unmistakeable point of view.

I knew, going into it, that some folks would take offense at these diaries. I knew some folks would make a personal issue of my points, and that I would take some heat. However, there are fifteen diaries in support of the opposite view here for every one like mine. And I felt strongly that the discussion here has just gotten way out of balance. Whether you agree with my position on the substance of these issues or not, you maybe can see my broader point, we need to decide how we want to have this discussion here.

To be frank, I did not write this piece to be diplomatic, but to start a very clear, very pointed discussion that might clarify this issue for all of us. You can be the judge of whether we had that discussion or not. In my view, ALL the comments below are an essential part of this diary, whether they support my point of view or not. Thank you for considering this and what follows.

Originally posted to kid oakland on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 12:16 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Please Don't Paint All of DU With That Brush (4.00)
    There are plenty of us who disgree with Bev, and/or think she's just a terrible messenger.  Many of us just got sick of listening to her and her followers, however, and just put them on Ignore.


    •  Well then you should stand up (3.87)
      when folks like me get called a

      "concession democrat" or told I'm an "idiot" or a "right wing shill". When you know that's not true.

      Or when folks post things saying that they "despise" me.  Or when folks title diaries "Jeanane Bitchslaps Kos".

      I'm making an argument you can disagree with.  That is not the same as the bullying that has gone down.  And that bullying is a part of the factionalizing that's going on.  I'm surprised at how many folks here have just sat on the sidelines.

      All it takes if for enough good folks to do nothing.

      2004's the election, 2005's the prize...let'sTCB on eleven two!

      by kid oakland on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 12:20:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Have Stood Up (4.00)
        I can't tell you how many times in the past I've defended liberals (including myself) who are actually considered moderates on sites like DU where the philosophy skews significantly more left than the nation as a whole.

        That said, we all choose to participate in these communities.  After even a short while at DU or here (and I'm not sure I agree with you that DU is less mainstream than Kos), it should be quite clear to just about anyone that voices from the left-wing of our party are heard more frequently than others.

        Yet I'm still here, and still on DU (although I've been posting less everywhere, simply because I've been busy).  You're still here, and apparently still there, fighting the good fight.

        At the risk of sounding sycophantic, you already do a fantastic job promoting calm and reason, and I think your analysis of Mosh was amazing.  I honestly don't think you need people like me to defend people like you, here or anywhere, because you're tough and can defend yourself.

        I mean hell, you've got the owner of this site explicitly endorsing your call for calm and reason with respect to the electoral fraud issues.  I think that's more than just about anyone here can say.

        That said, when I have time and see the threads, I'm always happy to chime in and give my $0.02.


        •  Thanks (none)
          and much respected in return.

          2004's the election, 2005's the prize...let'sTCB on eleven two!

          by kid oakland on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 12:58:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  hey kid, just between you and me (4.00)
            I talked to Julian Rogers today, the head guy for Americans Coming Together in Cleveland, which group reportedly conducted intensive get-out-the-vote campaigns in the urban Cleveland precincts.

            I asked him about the Cleveland 6C precinct in Cuyahoga County that voted at the Martin Luther King Library that only had a 7.1 percent turnout on Election Day.

            He was unfamiliar with this information.

            He appeared quite interested, but clearly wanted to check the information out for himself. When I suggested the very low turnout might be due to voting machines being broken all day, he said, "No, we would have heard about that."

            My point being: Rogers' unfamiliarity with this pretty extreme result makes it seem to me that those who have been saying, chill people, the lawyers and elections monitors are looking very carefully at everything, are just plain wrong.

      •  Your original post (4.00)
        is right on target.

        Although, the outrage at the harshness of DKossers isn't new. Many of us were treated to heaps of abuse for pointing out that the polls numbers weren't looking good for Kerry down the stretch. I got called quite a few names, was told I was hurting the cause (by pointing out reality?), etc. etc.

        Unfortunately, many people on DKos are just like people out in America -- they believe what they want to believe.

        Many Democrats don't want to believe that we simply got out-voted on Nov. 2.

        People like conspiracies because they provide simple answers for difficult questions. Ever since 2000, Democrats have been able to say that we were really the winners, but the election was stolen from us (which it was). More difficult issues about message, infrastructure, organizing, etc. could be placed to the side.

        Sidenote: voter intimidation and suppression, and very open policies like rejection of provisional ballots, cost us a lot more votes in 2004 than electronic voting machine problems.

        •  One thing I have learned (3.66)
          In my time on the blogopshere, is that it is very, very difficult ot be the bringer of bad news, no matter how well thought-out and researched your idea is. We have little or nor language of interiority here, and reflection and regrouping are difficult to come by.  
          •  nonsense (2.66)
            its very easy to bring bad news to the blogosphere....IF YOU CAN BACK IT UP WITH FACTS.  (I did it a LOT when I was researching AWOL, explaining to people that they had all sorts of misconceptions, and because I backed it up with FACTS no one ever got angry with me.)

            Kid Oakland is simply engaging in an ad hominem attack on Bev Harris because the issue is too complex for him to understand, AND there is a lot of misinformation on the issue in the blogosphere at the moment (like, there really aren't 90,000 more votes counted than cast, etc...).

            Bev Harris is saying "Fraud"....people on DU are doing research on the subject---some of which is very valuable (like the fact that in Cuyahoga county there is an inverse relationship between precinct level turnout and support for Kerry) and some of which is nonsense.  

            But KO can't separate the wheat from the chaff, so he makes baseless accusations.  

            •  Irony (none)
              Kid Oakland is simply engaging in an ad hominem attack on Bev Harris because the issue is too complex for him to understand

              Wow. Cute! Accuse someone of engaging in an ad hominem while making an ad hominem attack on them in the very same sentence. Irony must be smiling down on us from heaven!

              Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

              by David Nir on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 06:47:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  How dare you say that... (none)
  're just being divisive now. Pick up your pom-poms right this minute and or get to the back of the line. ;-)
      •  KO (none)
        You and have agreed on some issues, disagreed on others, but I still respect your discussion.

        I hope that at no time it has ever seemed otherwise.


      •  Hmm (none)
        I am giving this diary a 2.  I certainly agree with the substantive parts of the argument, but I just feel really uncomfortable with the ad hominem part of it.  This sort of decreased the value for me.

        Where this diary entry was right:  A disservice has been done by framing election reform in terms of conspiracy theory language.  Oh, yeah.  A drive toward "Secure and Accurate Voting" with even-tempered, serious spokespeople would have been much more effective.

        Where this diary entry was wrong:  It attacked people, as well as their ideas.  The folks at BBV might be over their heads at the moment, who knows?  But Ms. Harris and Co. have done a great service up to now in making issues with electronic voting visible issues.

        Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community.

        by bink on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 02:15:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  deservedly ad hominem (none)
          I would argue it attacked the way people were bringing forth their ideas.  Not in a calm rational way (which is always better), but in the ALL CAPS divisive, you-better-believe-me way.  Ironically, the ad hominem portions of KO's post were more an attack on people who respond ad hominem to KO, or Kos or any of the "calm, rational" people on dKos.

          I think eVoting needs to be looked into, but, realistically, when we approach it with tin-foil gusto and not enough facts to back up our positions, while attacking any counter-evidence without looking at or analyzing it, the argument is not going to be looked at.  And the way someone brings forth their ideas, even if it is a good idea, deserves to be criticized (and in this case, most of those criticisms were dead on).

          That all said, I would agree that the eVoting issue is more visible now, but I think the cause is getting hurt by tin-foilers who scream and shout until they're heard.

          Osama's followers think he has "moral values" too.

          by ragnark on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 03:54:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's Easy to Attack Bev Harris (4.00)
          The voting reform movement is more than Bev Harris.  What about Verified Voting and Rush Holt's bill for a paper trail?  All are interested in documenting the election data.

          Attacking Bev Harris without pointing out where her methodologies fail is easy.  But it's flat out ad hominem unless the time and effort is taken to point out where she goes wrong.  And the frenetic activity over at DU is just a political blog all fired up.  I thought that's what blogs do.  What's the problem?

          Stop making it easy for the right to paint electoral reform advocates as nutcases.  She's been out there taking the heat; give her credit.

          Frankly, Bev Harris has been way ahead of the left in understanding how critical this all is.

        •  Nuh-uh! (none)
          It attacked people, as well as their ideas.  The folks at BBV might be over their heads at the moment, who knows?  But Ms. Harris and Co. have done a great service up to now in making issues with electronic voting visible issues.

          I beg to differ on this. Kid Oakland has presented a dead accurate analysis of an extremist who may have good intentions, but is using BAD methodology, wrongheaded tactics, and soliciting more. It's completely irresponsible.

          Please distribute: If you have not done so already, sign up at Black Box Voting --

 -- to audit the election and deal with vote fraud.

          HELP AMERICA AUDIT: 5 Things You Can Do
          Right Now to Reclaim Democracy

          You're our greatest hope. If you choose to accept it,  your job, on the Black Box Voting Cleanup Crew, is to spread the word in order to build a fast-growing grass roots movement -- a voting integrity project so powerful that it cannot be mowed down.

          1. BE THE MEDIA -- See below for specifics. TV
          networks are on lockdown, are not able to cover real news on vote fraud. The only "OK" news is stuff about vote suppression and a little bit on touch screens -- nothing on the bizarre and impossible math that's showing up, or the central tabulator meltdowns, or the crazy numbers from optical scan counties. Network TV: The subject is officially taboo. I have
          this from two separate producers, who have also been told not to talk about it.

          In all fairness, this is an exaggeration. The media has been covering it. Keith Olberman said: "I didn't get the memo" (on a media lockdown).

          2. CRUNCH THE NUMBERS: Discrepancies please, and hurry. E-mail them to
 Pass the word. Need
          source documents, too. ASAP. Follow your nose, or join the Black Box Scavenger Hunt: Pick a county with optical scan machines or touch screens. Look at small counties, as we are seeing many discrepancies in those. Look in any state. Get the official number of registered voters, Dem and Republican. Get the number of votes cast on Nov. 2, Republican and Dem. Make a grid like this, filling in the right numbers:

          # reg. voters  %              # votes cast              
          Rep          100                 33%                150                  
          Dem        200                 67%                150                  
          Totl           300                100%                300                  

          We can find out a lot from this procedure, very hard data, that will make a real difference. As soon as you have finished a county, e-mail it to us. Do as many counties as you can.

          Horrible methodology. This kind of data proves zilch. WHY is she encouraging more and more and more of it? Who stands to profit?

          5. DONATE to any of 3 organizations: Black Box Voting .ORG, the consumer protection group for elections; or the new recount fund (information upcoming),  or send contribution to  (...)They deserve your support.

          They = who exactly?

          Spread the information we send you to every blog, listserv, forum you know and throughout your personal network. Talk about it at work and to people you meet everywhere, lots, quickly, all the time.

          ELECTION "TRUTH TOURETTES". Please excuse
          the political incorrectness, as it is not meant to be hurtful. It is for a good purpose. This the antidote to "watch what you say." It is a good icebreaker at a party. Have your guests make up truths, like those below, and mix them into the conversation at surprise times throughout the party. Unexpectedly and
          urgently blurt them out:

        • Recount!  
        • Electile Dysfunction!
        • Gotta audit-Gotta audit-Gotta audit Florida!
        • --mathmatically impossible!--
        • Count all the votes! Count all the votes! Count all the votes!
        • Votefraud.
        • Paperballots! Handcounts!
        • --where's my vote?--
        • Where's the paper?

Great, just great. Make us ALL look like the tinfoil hat brigade by propagating this utter nonsense, screaming "FRAUD!! as if we have Tourette's syndrome (tacky, insensitive). There are voting irregularities which should be investigated, but fraud? Gimme a break.

Kid Oakland is right. What Bev and BBV are breathlessly encouraging is irresponsible and misguided.

  •  if not bev harris, then who? (4.00)
    A drive toward "Secure and Accurate Voting" with even-tempered, serious spokespeople would have been much more effective.

    on this point, i agree with you.

    and i think one of the reasons we're seeing some over the top (in my opinion) accusations flying around is that kos is NOT leading the charge or even doing much to support a "drive toward secure and accurate voting"... just telling people to chill.

    the problem with just calming down, is that we AGAIN won't get the massive and transparent investigation that we need.

    as far as i can tell, bev harris has done more than anyone on this site to move us towards verifiable and trustworthy voting.  that's not a problem - after all it's not fair to expect kos to solve ALL the world's problems.  ;-)

    but, i do think it is unfair to attack those who are trying to address people's desperate desire for a trustworthy voting system - unless those doing the attacking are willing to step into the breach and lead the charge the way they think it should be done.

    voting is SO fundamentally critical to a political system that has the least bit of legitmacy.  tell me, what else in the political realm is more important at this moment? nothing.

    we the people of the democratic party have see our polical leaders utterly FAIL us... everyone who has seen f911 remembers the segment when one after another congressional reps of the black caucus asked for ONE senator to support an investigation into african american voter disenfranchisement in the 2000 election.  but, gore and the rest of the senators abandoned them.

    quite frankly, i'm more inclined to support those folks who are fighting - not on behalf of any candidate, but on behalf of every voter - to have every vote count... even if there are some problems with their methods. and i'm less inclined to support those folks who are undermining their efforts without contributing to a better action.

    i'm sure i wouldn't feel so strongly about this without the history of the dem party leaders refusing to stand up and fight to make sure our votes are counted.  but they haven't.

  •  I'm usually with you (none)
    but this time i think you've WAY WAY WAY overestimated the effect Bev Harris has had. Most of America doesn't know about her, and unless she uncovers something huge, it will probably stay that way. K.O., I think you are guilty of taking things too seriously. je t'accuse, or something like that.

    Idea:No Blood for Oil. Action:I use Biodiesel. site blog

    by KumarP on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 02:16:06 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

  •  Well, I agree with you. (4.00)
    I spoke up and said I'd agreed with Kos on the infamous "bitchslapped" diary.  I guess.. well, discourse around here can be like cable news with everyone following the soccer ball at once - for instance, when the Mary Cheney flap went down - and I just get bored with it & go elsewhere.

    I don't pay too much attention to the bullying and namecalling, because.. it's mostly shrill and stupid and annoying, and that's different from flinging insults in a clever or interesting way.  It doesn't have much weight, to me - one smart, thoughtful post here by someone I recognize and respect is worth more than dozens of cheap potshots.

    We must cultivate our garden.

    by daria g on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 02:24:40 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, Kid (4.00)
    You're a voice of reason around here. I'm glad someone said this as well as you have.

    And someone who keeps his head when all around are losing theirs is someone I want covering my back in a crisis.

    And a crisis we've got.

    A depressingly large portion of our natural allies are adopting the Tinfoil Headgear, running naked down the freeway with sparklers in both fists.

    And I'm concerned about frightened and/or angry people mistaking their intimidation and/or "with us or against us" tactics for dedication and conviction. I would have thought we'd had enough of that from the other side.

    And nothing would make our adversaries happier than for us to turn on each other, factionalize, and be easier to divide and conquer.

    In any case, I can't think of a higher compliment than to say you're a real mensch*.


    *And no, that's not sexist. Great women possess menschkeit, too.

    There's a thin line between incompetence and evil genius.

    by Malacandra on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 03:13:55 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

  •  With you, brother (none)
    I'm quite as left as anybody.  I'm not afraid to call a shill a shill and a fifth columnist a fifth columnist.  But you are dead on right.  We're reality-based or not.  There is simply no reality to these charges.  I'm sorry these people are emotionally shattered, but this shit is not effective therapy.

    Randi Rhodes, who I love, has been among the worst.   Four hours a day of WEWUZZROBBED, every day for a week.  No facts, unless you count "Everybody I was on line with when I voted was against Bush!".  Yeah, right.

    Take also the case of Thom Hartmann, who wrote a brilliant piece on the central issue of letting corporations run our voting systems, then, the next day, wrote a cry-baby WEWUZZROBBED rant that just invites the dismissal (as more crank shit) of his important analysis piece.  Stupid!

  •  What if we think you (none)
    are right but still think you're an idiot;)

    I've stayed out of this fight because of a lot of what you wrote above. There's far too much suspicion being presented as fact. This just causes real concerns to be dismissed and hurts the overall cause of election reform.

    In the end it will hurt our side more because some people listening to the pseudo facts will feel that their votes won't count and won't show up on election day.

  •  Let's all be aware of the circular firing squad. (4.00)
    Remember that a lot of people are simply grieving and that denial is a major aspect of grief.

    Instead of shame, some folks need a hand thinking things through.  That said there does appear to be at least some anomalies that need to be investigated.

    We need to hang together or we will all hang separately. Hyperbole is not going to help at this point.

  •  Don't ignore Bev Harris and her followers (3.60)
    She and her followers continue to push a bad methodology with a furiousness that is setting the terms of the debate on the questions of the election.

    Unfortunately, because their methodology is so bad, their work is very easily discredited, and all questions about this election end up getting discredited along with them.

    Refute, at every turn and opportunity. Demand that her supporters answer questions about the historic behavior in precincts and counties they find suspect.

    Discredit them, so if someone actually does find credible problems, their more responsible claims aren't lost in the noise.

    Discredit them, and change the subject back to 6-hour lines to vote in urban precincts in Ohio.

    On the plus side, I'm glad someone on the left is learning the tricks of the Republican Noise Machine.

    76% of dKos readers think I'm a secret wing-nut operative!

    by Gustavo on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 01:39:25 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

  •  I'm so happy, liberals are so level headed!! (none)
    I've been warry of these stories all week, I support the reform side. No more Iowa caucus, no more electoral college, no more private companies owning the voting machines.  That's where the dicussion needs to be.  I'm glad the congressmen want the GAO to investigate but they need to make sure it's all about "Lets check these machines out" rather than "They stole the election" If we come out and say that latter, the media and the right will have a feild day!! It will be "oh the left are a bunch of conspiracy theorists, and they can't take it that they won, they can't accept that 58 million people voted for George W. Bush" and I really can't take rhetoric like that right now.  I'm still sore from our last beating.

    The Best Revenge Is Success!!

    by ereid922 on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 05:15:44 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

  •  If not BBV, then who? (4.00)
    You may be right about BBV, but I'm still looking for some organization to support that will effectively investigate all of the election irregularities and expose any evidence of fraud or incompetance that may have affected this past election, and also work toward better, verifiable procedures for future elections. If BBV is not that organization, then who else is doing this?
  •  This diary is overkill (3.56)
  •  Amen. (4.00)
    I will not allow the factionalization of Daily Kos.  Over my cold dead body.

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.--John F. Kennedy, 1962.

    by Delaware Dem on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 12:34:40 PM PST

  •  Yeah, well maybe Bev Harris isn't... (4.00)
    ...the person who should be out front on this issue but other than her, who exactly has been out front on this issue?

    Perhaps the people who should be most ashamed are those of us who didn't pay enough attention to her in the first place.

  •  I am very skeptical of BBV (3.87)
    in due part to the company Bev Harris has kept at those sites. While some of her work may be compelling, the people she has associated with in the past make me skeptical.

    I don't take most of the posts here about Diebold or the voting machines seriously. Most of the posts lack any substance.

    Ever since those machines first came out on the scene in 2002, whenever a Republican wins a close race, the same crowd screams "Diebold" or "BBV". The mantra almost always repeats itself over and over again.

    In the process those folks, who may mean well, basically discredit the issue. It makes it easier for mainstream media outlets and ordinary people to dismiss them as nutty conspiracy theorists.


  •  I have addressed individual diaries as they (4.00)
    happen, although some days I can't keep up with them.

    I'm for responsible handling of this. The KO main page diary plus Kos' voter reform thread was enough for me. If there are more snopes-verifiable facts we should present them. Absent that, we need to concentrate on voter reform, the Dem lawyers and dem party reviewing Ohio (we lost FL, period) and moving on. Circular firing squads blaming each other, Kerry, etc are a waste of time. Quality improvement assumes everyone does the best they can and then improves and builds on that; it doesn't waste time and bandwidth pointing fingers.

    The "Main posters and Kos lack balls" posts are tiresome to the extreme. Although he didn't directly tell me (and was under no obligation to) I assume Atrios shut down the comments and took the weekend off for similar reasons. Can't hardly blame him, although I was amused to be labeled as a 'republican operative' on one thread.

    Thanks for this diary.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 12:36:15 PM PST

  •  Cannibalism (4.00)
    As could have been expected after such a defeat (fraud or no fraud) the Dems/Left/Liberals are eating eachother alive. The "moderates" fight the "progressives." Politician after politician, from Dean to Clinton, are vilified by one side, deified by another. Fingers point. Breasts are beaten. Forelocks are torn.

    From what I have seen, each side of all these debates has a point. Each side sees a part of the picture. We eat eachother up, call eachother names and troll rate eachother.

    Maybe it's all part of the process. Maybe in the end cannibalism (metaphorical, of course) will strengthen  our party. But somehow I expect that this is the same kind of self hate/civil war that keeps the left so ineffective so much of the time.

    If there is one thing I have learned over the years it is that the right does better than we do because they remain, on average, far more unified. Our diversity is our strength...but it often is also what keeps us fragmented and marginalized. I see it happening yet again. In such an environment, what we see is the rise of the mediocre and the marginalization of the extremes. We wind up with people like Daschle running things while the Leiberman are declared heretics and Kennedys are seen as extremists.

    Anyone have any suggestions on how we can break this habit? I have watched it up close since the Reagan era, but I think it has gone on longer than that.

    Delenda est Sinclair!

    by mole333 on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 12:36:32 PM PST

  •  Why can't we be Switzerland for a little while? (4.00)
    Why must we polarize?  Can't we adopt the middle ground for at least the next 2 weeks until the vote is certified?  What's wrong with thinking that we probably just lost the election, but that investigations and some recounts would be a good thing and should be supported.  The Dems (myself included) did not fight hard enough for voter transparency reforms before the election - and we are now paying for it.  I hope that will be a priority by the next election cycle.  Again, I am not saying I think there was fraud, but I am certainly patient enough to wait, watch, and support investigation into any appropriate areas.  I think there are many "moderates" out there like myself.  I'm tired of being insulted with fairies and UFOs for wanting investigations and possible recounts in OH and FL - and I am also fully capable of accepting the fact that we just lost.  Why must we race to one conclusion or the other right now?
  •  How about agree to disagree? (3.33)
    I do disagree (if that's still permissible).  

    I feel it's my patriotic DUTY to get to the bottom of this Election-Gate, and here's the argument supporting my contention that I sent to my unconvinced friend:

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 12:47:25 PM PST

  •  Thank you for saying this (none)
    I'm thrilled that Bev is pursuing the issue, but I'm saddened with the way she, Andy Stephenson and BBV are doing so.  They are not leaders, and they as yet have little to no tangible results.  It's a real shame that they and others are taking a few pieces of hearsay and conflating it into a huge conspiracy of which there is, as yet, no proof.  

    Investigate, yes.  Instigate, not yet.  Too bad they don't get that difference.

    I put things where they don't belong at Switzerblog.

    by switzerblog on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 12:55:04 PM PST

  •  yeppers.. happens all the time (4.00)
    the wilderness preservation movement was destroyed from within by the radicals who refused to accept ANY congressional designations because they didn't designate all eligible lands... the same radicals who glorified the b.s. "monkeywrencher" myth.  The radicals not only refused to condemn monkeywrenching which had the potential to injure real people, but accused the compromisers of betrayal.  Result:  no new wilderness designations and now the perfectly predictable destruction of unprotected wilderness through abandonment of the "roadless rule".  Zealots would rather remain pure than be tainted by an imperfect level of success.

    Can it really be true that only the left has such zealots?

  •  Keith Oberman has handled it well (none)
  •  I very much believe that the election was stolen (none)
    But I agree with KO that BBV is taking a conspiracy theorist approach to all this that is not in our best interests.

    That whole thing with the "lock down".  What was that all about?

  •  reality-based! (4.00)
    Yep, that's exactly how i feel about it, too... the reality-based community is worrying about the next election, not the last one.  

    Voters may be stupid, but they're not THAT stup... oh hell, i guess they are.

    by Radical Middle on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 01:03:08 PM PST

  •  yeah, bev harris is a flake, (3.57)
    i think it would be hard to say it isn't, given her ridiculous site, but that's not the issue here.

    it seems to me that you're rattled about this because someone went off on you over this thing. people probably called you a troll, modded you down, and all that. it seems to me that's what this is really about, because the fact is it doesn't make a damned bit of difference whether a bunch of weirdos on blogs think the election was stolen or not (unless in the end they find out it was -- then it would make a big difference).

    look, you have system that rewards extremism (it's much easier to get fours being jingoistically lefty than by posting something reasonable or thoughtful) and gives people the power to kick others off the site. this is a recipe for thuggery and that is, i believe, what this is really about. one side are conspiracy theorists, one side is a bunch of right wing shills. neither of those characterizations are particularly charitible nor accurate, but that's what's flying around.

    we need to liberalize the environment here. we need more room for discussion and less power of suppression. that's the way to get things on track.

  •  The bulk of the personal attacks I've seen (3.85)
    have been made by those who argue we should move on against those who argue we should not.

    Markos should expect that when he makes the decision to keep an issue of immense importance to a significant % of Kosters off of the front page that he will get some flak.  That being said, I haven't sent him an email, nor would I be inclined to.  I think he has a certain responsibility to the community as a whole to honor the wishes and priorities of a significant percentage of its members, but I haven't been here long enough to express that to him directly.  

    I don't want to have this argument again in 2008.  I don't want to investigate another election for a week or two after it happens.

    To me, right now, elections reform should be the top priority of ALL Democrats.  And the best way to get that to happen is to thoroughly investigate this election, not just in Ohio and Florida, but in Pennsylvania and any other states where the results look fishy.

    I don't understand why this should be a source of division.  It's a no-brainer.  

    Election 2004: It's the paperless evoting machines, stupid.

    by Jonathan Ferguson on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 01:14:02 PM PST

  •  Baloney (1.78)
    I knew some chicken-bully would come along and blast Bev -
    If you yourself were all that brave and smart, you could have begun your own investigation in the manner that you thought proper - until then, we've got Bev - and thank goodness.
    That gal makes you guys look chicken.
  •  Spilt milk (4.00)
    Heh.  What I find amazing is that with all the screaming over this year's vote, no one is screaming at the Dem party, both leadership and rank and file, over their lack of follow-through on election reform even after the painful object lesson of 2000.  Not all Sec States of states are Rs.  Even if they are, a Dem legislature can put a lot of pressure on an R administration.

    No one really did this, did they?  They let Bev Harris and her helpers try to make their cases before individual election boards, but there was no broad support for their efforts.  It's a lot easier to effect change on a local level but we ( and I'm talking everyone) didn't bother to work at it.

    That's why I don't buy either side of this argument.  

    INVESTIGATE FRAUD!  How about preventing it? What have you been doing since 2000?

    MOVE ON TO MORE IMPORTANT WORK! I haven't seen reform on the top of the important work agenda, though.  

  •  Well said... (4.00)
    The biggest problem I have with Bev Harris and the like-minded is the way that their actions HURT the cause of election and voting reform.  I've been arguing this consistently.

    The other problem (less big, since it is so common that I've come to expect it) is that when reasonable explanations that are alternatives to fraud, are simply dismissed. But that's not a new pattern around here, its been going on since the primaries began.

    It gets to the point that it isn't worth the energy to point these out, as they become so commonplace.

    In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 01:18:07 PM PST

  •  And I'm not worried about the next election or (4.00)
    the last election.

    I'm worried about THIS election.

    The one where they're still counting the votes.  

    The one that hasn't been certified yet one way or the other.

    The one some people thought was the most important one of their lifetimes.

    Election 2004: It's the paperless evoting machines, stupid.

    by Jonathan Ferguson on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 01:18:16 PM PST

  •  Done our job... (4.00)
    IMHO, our job was to brainstorm through the data we were seeing, identify things that might seem newsworthy, and pass those on.

    This seems to be done. Keith Olbermann is aptly handling the issue, de-bunking the de-bunkable, and underlining the concerns that remain.

    He even states, explicitly in his blog - that even though most of this is bunk, enough is legit to make the investigation worthwhile.

    I think the infighting here is where we risk damage.  If the MSM, or the Reps & their mouthpieces, complain about Dems with tinfoil hats, I would counter with "Well, whose brilliant idea was it to buy e-vote machines with documneted security issues, and then refuse to adapt them to leave a paper trail?  That was irresponsible, and begging for an audit if the election was at all close."

    Won't satisfy all, but enough to make the concerns voiced here look less unreasonable.

    "Reality-Based" is well and good - but it includes forming a theorum, testing it, checking the result and refining it.  THATs how you find reality - and that's waht people here seem to be doing.  You don't find reality by just accepting that an idea is dangerous, or bad PR.

    KO - you've been rational, and do not deserve any negative feedback for anything you've posted, as far as I can tell.  It's just taking a little longer for some floks here to come around to your line of thinking.  AS progressives, we let that process unfold for each individual.  Forcing our "reality' on someone is what the Christo-fascists do .. that's why we have to be extra tollerant, even when our compatriots are in full-mental-panic mode.


  •  good start (4.00)
    Wow....pretty sick.  You should be ashamed of yourselves in my opinion.

    That's a pretty good way to start off the discussion, KO. </sarcasm>

  •  Did anyone think about (4.00)
    this might just be alot of people's way getting through this? My youngest child, as well as my husband cannot believe the voice of reason in our society is gone.  They can't believe people voted, but voted against EVERYTHING they abhor and are afraid of. They choose to believe fraud, since it will be impossible to prove one way or another. It gives them a reason to stay engaged in the political process.  They can fight against a bad government, but have a harder time fighting against 59 million people. BTW, niether of them even know who Bev Harris is, although they both know plenty of people with crazy (true) stories of problems with people voting in Ohio, FL and PA.Since I'd say this is a reality based community, most will start working toward a common cause soon enough. Anger and grief affect people different ways.

    I will speak for you

    by housesella on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 01:34:36 PM PST

  •  What Is A Conspiracy, Anyway? (none)
    The media system has this parphobic concept of "conspiracy." But what could it mean?

    There does exist a question of whether the strange phenomena encountered by thousands and thousands of voters has anything to do with the many exit poll disparities.

    Of course, we will never know the nature of this relationship, because of all the paperless voting, and potential for hacking. Obviouisly, however, computers and voting don't mix.

  •  Some good points, but more hypocrisy and smugness. (4.00)
    "You should be ashamed of yourselves in my opinion."


    "we figure out how to have a discussion

    Whoa, boy, off that pedestal.  Relax, Kos is gonna make you one of the three.  You can stop campaigning now.

    We wouldn't have gotten a voter reform thread if we hadn't practically demanded it for a week.  And as it was, it was one post that was quickly pushed down the main page by quick, additional stories and hasn't been heard much from since.

    I do agree that something doesn't smell quite right with Bev (she reminds me a bit of Nancy Lieder of Planet X fame), but she has done good work, and is doing something now.

    Most here are trying to have a discussion and don't deserve to be thrown into whatever bin you're trying to throw us in (repeatedly I might add).  There is a vast middle-ground that is just seeking fair, transparent, paper-verifiable elections for the future .... while also reasonably investigating the various irregularities and forms of suppression.

    Enough with the poo-poo-ing from a pedestal.

  •  All I want is to feel confident in the vote count (none)
    If Bev Harris wants others to see her as professional, she really needs to change her web site.  Those pictures are really strange. But having said that, who is there that doesn't have her baggage that can investigate the irregularities in a professional way? I just want to feel confident in the vote count.  I think that is reasonable.
  •  this diary is unfortunate (4.00)
    Bev Harris said she has "hard evidence", so did Jeff Fisher in Florida.  Why don't we at least give them until the certification of the vote counts in Ohio before Declaring them Liers. Maybe they are trying to tighten up the case before they go public.  If you've read any part of BBV's book, or any other account of these machines and the companies that make them, you don't find it hard to entertain the notion that something might have been tampered with on election night.  Of course, no one who hasn't actually seen the evidence is going to say that there was indeed fraud, beyond the shadow of a doubt, but I for one am willing to wait for the people who are investigating to report.

    Note: it definately not logical to flatly assert that BBV is lying; at least not without having some of your own evidence to back up your unfounded assertion.  I ask you this:  What would be their motive for lying?  Do they stand to gain from this at all?  I say no: if it turns out they were lying about the evidence and there really wasn't any fraud,  they'll be finished, no one will invite Bev Harris to go on anymore TV shows.  Is that what you think they want?

  •  Some BBV history (4.00)
    Discussion of the vulnerabilities of all-electronic voting systems long preceded

    I began following the discussion on Risks Digest (Forum On Risks To The Public In Computers And Related Systems) in 1999. When, early in 2003, my friend Adam Dick was appointed to the Wisconsin State Elections Board, I alerted him to the vulnerabilities of unauditable electronic systems, and he requested a report from the Board's Executive Director. This led to the April, 2003 decertification of such systems by a unanimous vote of the tripartisan Board. (Adam was designated by the Libertarian Party, which won a seat with "Major Party" staus as a result of the LP's candidate for governor topping 10% in the 2002 Governor race.)

    This unanimous vote would not have been possible if our arguments had been framed around a "Republican plot." Instead we argued only on the weaknesses of the existing systems.

    When the Congress passed HAVA in 2001, they created a $3.4 Billion pot for anyone who could implement an electronic voting system, and any business with a product which could be adapted dove for the money. Engineers were instructed, not to take their time and do it right, but rather to "get something to marketing in six weeks," and fix it later if need be.

    After the Board vote I attempted to post to the then new site, with my suggestion that the winning argument was not centered around the Diebold head's Republican affiliation, but rather a nonpartisan critique. I was unable to post, sent numerous emails, and left 6 messages on the BBV answering machine, but got no response.

    Since Wisconsin was the first State to bar nontransparent electronic systems, one might think BBV would be interested. I suspect their non-response flowed from a critique which did not match their "Republican Plot" narrative.

    We really have no way of knowing whether the Diebold head was thinking as a Republican or as a Corporate Officer when he made his ill considered promise to deliver Ohio. In any event, given his dual role, it was either an idiot tossoff remark, or a brilliantly laid political trap, which the left fell into.

    I'm not trying to argue the recent election wasn't gamed. Given the weaknesses of the technology used we will never know. Accusations about the last election is counterproductive in fixing the systemic problems, except, perhaps in legitimizing those who will say 'let's make sure even the "conspiracy nuts" have to accept the results next time.'

    Your Blunder War is showing.

    by ben masel on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 01:54:00 PM PST

  •  interesting discussion. (3.85)
    i've only followed this issue here at dkos. it's gotten pretty heated at times. my eyebrows have certainly gone up at some of the personal attacks on markos, especially considering that it's his site. on the other hand, he has my admiration for his ability to roll with the punches - i think maybe having been in actual trenches he understands it's possible to disagree with someone and still know "he's got your back" when the chips are down.

    i do see a couple of good things coming out of this eventually. there will be lots of polarizing issues to deal with. people will have to learn to deal with them and each other. this is one place for that process to happen.

    i've said before that the rating system here is a very interesting one. you can use the system to "destroy" someone with whom you merely disagree or you can use the system to encourage discussion. if you use the system destructively, it can come back to haunt you as the person you've troll rated goes back through your posts to troll rate them all. if you use the system to encourage discussion, you can still end up being destroyed by someone who decides to troll rate you anyway. the only safety belt is self-restraint - and not everyone has it. but the mechanism is there to encourage learning it. it really is a mini-full democracy situation, where the only safeguard is an educated citizenry.

    i have great respect for kid oakland from reading all his work at dkos. but even though i agree with him on this issue, i do find the title of this diary somewhat inflammatory. somehow the tone of "j'accuse" strikes me wrong for making a point about someone leading people "up an alley'. it's the kind of language i think i would expect to see targeting someone who deliberately lies and misleads, not someone who seems (at least in the protrayal here) a bit wooly-headed and weak on judgment.

    anyway, i said in another thread and i guess i'll repeat - i am not convinced there is fraud. i agree that looking ahead matters. but i don't understand what the problem is with working on both. why does everyone have to demand that everyone else deal only with one or the other? there are many issues of importance. we need people to be working on all of them. respectfully disagreeing is one thing. attacking the other guy personally for thinking an issue is important or not agreeing that it is unimportant is counterproductive. i mean, look how many words and bandwidth i've been inspired to waste by all of this.    


    We get a lot of advice. We tend to listen when somebody's won something. - Joe Lockhart

    by yankeedoodler on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 01:54:57 PM PST

  •  Amen Again (none)
    And you are right.

    I have posted a fair amount on this site over the last 2 years, and have received a 1 3 times:

    • Once when I wrote a anti-Yankee poem in a baseball thread (that tells you something about Yankee fans)
    • Once when I accused another poster of being a Nader troll (may have deserved that - I wrote the accusation in anger)
    • And once when I argued against the conspiracy theories about voter fraud.

    Make no mistake - this is a fight for control over this site.   The conspiracy theorists are taking it over - the recommened diaries are full of this stuff.

    It has reached the point where Kos needs to step in.  I love him to death, but at some point he needs to make his views known.

    You are dead right to say this fight is important as hell.  If the consipracy theorists take this site over, I will be gone for good (not that anyone will morn that) and I suspect many others will again.

  •  NPR is doing a segment on voter irregularities (none)
    Will be on the air this hour.
  •  Dear Kid Oakland and fellow Kossacks (4.00)
    I'm a fellow supporter of election reform. That is truly my motivation these days.  I do not expect, nor am I looking for the results of last Tuesday to change.  I do, however very much hope, expect, and will work for election reform by our 2006 elections. I think Hunter made the best point by saying Bev, though dividing, is doing more personally to effect election reform than the rest of us. And though I/we may disagree with her actions, her methods, at least I have to commend her effort.
    Because of Bev's research I was made aware of electronic voting problems.  That led me to becoming heavily involved locally to be sure my county did not use these machines.  And indeed, we did not.  One small victory thanks to Bev's research.
    I will continue to do all I can do to further reform our election processes.  If nothing else, because we can do better than this.
    As for the animosity being thrown around.  I have not been a participant nor a recipient, though I can only imagine how awful it must feel to be spoken to (written to?) in such a tone.  I look at all of you as peers.  Sometimes I dissagree, sometimes you make me laugh, sometimes you make me think, sometimes you give me new info, but I have always felt welcomed and 'a part of the crew' if you will. I don't know what can be done about it, but yet another reminder to those who are slinging insults to take it elsewhere.  This just isn't the place for that kind of behavior.  
    We're here to support each other, to throw ideas around, to be a force for causes that need our help, and yes, to disagree RESPECTFULLY.  This has become a beloved part of my days.  To check in with y'all- to see what's up.  To double check facts, to be a part of something that is truly changing our world.  Blogs are still babies, but we're gaining a foothold in the worlds of activism and politics, media and protest.  It's a whirlwind, and a hell of a thing to feel a part of.
    To Kid Oakland, and Kos and anyone else who has fielded insults and troll ratings and the like.  It's a damn shame. And I'm sorry it's happened/happening.  There is no reason for spitting at someone simply because you disagree.  But it exsists in this society, and I fear it's unavoidable.  I hope that kind of behavior doesn't discourage any of you.  Kos is doing us a hell of a service, as are you, Kid Oakland, and Josh Marshall, and Atrios and all the others who put themselves on the block as a target so that the rest of us may have a forum in which to communicate.  
    I for one, am grateful for it. And I welcome disagreement always, as long as it is given with a modicum of respect.
    So here's to all of you, to all of us.  Suck it up, ignore the insults, discuss the issues, show respect, and keep it up.  This truly is one hell of a community and I'm proud to be a part of it.

    Another proud member of the Reality-Based Community

    by saint on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 01:59:40 PM PST

  •  I'll say it again (4.00)
    as I've said it before.  The word fraud needs to be taken out of all discussions until someone comes up with absolute, irrefutable proof that such fraud exists.

    Otherwise it undermines everyones credibility and the process of election reform.

    ride the Vermont slopes baby - and run republicans over on the way down.

    by maddrailin on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 02:00:47 PM PST

  •  Of course the discussion will polarize (none)
    .... there are already identifiable viewpoints, from pragmatists to politicians to conspiracists I don't find that surprising. I also can't see it's surprising after running BBV for some years with next to no coverage why she wouldn't use an emotive conspiratorial phrase to describe the lack of interest either.

    If someone high up in the IT industry discovers M$ has a built in spyware prog called 'Bill's Revenge' and that's passed on to you in a tone that leaves it obvious that it leads to some unavoidable catastrophe for personal privacy. If you were told the story won't be going anywhere, you'd use the same format for a sentence : Someone whom I trust in the industry told me blah blah - It's because she's been ignored and because corporate control, national security issues, editorial press interference, gagging orders all exist she wants to scream it at anyone who'll listen.

    Other than KO, It looks to me as though the mainstream IS ignoring the alleged problems. To my mind it's no worse than an unfortunate choice of words - Surely the result is that because of the publicity the blogs have been fueled or debunked the ideas.
    I've had just as many doom laden emails to look out for the crazy virus that will eat your brain or kittens grown in bottles, but I don't view them as tin foil, hysterical or paranoid, I can ignore them or follow the trail to

    Personally, I'd rather she turned up something more than voter rights violations so that verifiable elections are forced to take place. Then we'd also be saying she was a hero rather than a fool.

    Avoiding Theocracy at Home and Neo Cons Abroad

    by UniC on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 02:02:40 PM PST

  •  why the personal attack? (none)
    does bev harris soil you by her presence on the planet or something?
    tis election has had a nasty odor right from the start. lies & distortion & fearmongering all with the beaming of a complicate press.
    would karl rove or any of his minions hesitate to press the button on a rigged election? i think not.
    just chill, watch & be amused (like g.w. when asked about the swift boat attacks) as the bush campaign denies & denies that they are liars & cheats.
    you don't have to join in but,again, why the personal attack?

    i'm an agnostic, i'd be an atheist if it weren't for mozart

    by rasbobbo on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 02:08:35 PM PST

  •  be a linuist not a jingoist (none)
    Hi - - You are obviously a thoughtful type, kid oakland - - now would you please help out the interested reader who is not so deep into all this (yet) by de-lingo-izing your post:

    I know that when you say Bev Harris then "BBV" must mean - - but some perhaps many readers may not.

    I do NOT know what you mean when you say "DU"

    Please elucidate.  Clarity, friend, clarity.


  •  Ummm, we're already assuming the GOP mindset here. (none)
    Which is dualistic - us v. them, Good v. Evil, Satan v. Jesus, etc. That's the weltanschaung (world view) of the GOP faithful.

    There is no doubt that the voting fraud discussion here was filled with untruths, exaggerations, denials and outright deceptions.

    However, it's not all-or-nothing! We can continue to investigate Election 2004's irregularities (yes, some still exist) while we dialogue about election reform. Perhaps we can capitalize on the momentum of Votergate to make real change for the better for all Americans, while we simultaneously strategize for building a better, stronger, more inclusive DNC.

    We need to grow our collective skills at objective analysis, at communicating the valid issue that exists while dispelling the veil of distortion. It's as lazy to refuse the topic as it is to expound ad nauseam.

    I understand the need not to muddy the message with hyperbole and supposition... but there is no need to silence valid discourse.

    We should not be scolding each other, we should be setting POSITIVE examples. I honestly look forward to this process in the years to come, and I am PROUD of how many of my friends have dealt with the issue. It's also important to note that given the nature of the electronic voting systems, the conflicts of interest inherent in their corporate manufacturers' political actions, the 'black box' nature of the technology, etc., the ability to prove allegations is drastically reduced, if not gutted. Therefore, in case of real fraud, the tracks are well-covered if not obliterated.

    In the face of this, discussion continues... I think it's important to focus on the issues, and implement changes as appropriate, to ensure that the American people have confidence in American elections, without shouting "The sky is falling".

    To dismiss or diminish what are still valid concerns about the vote process in this way does not advance a real understanding of what happened, but rather seeks to obliterate any 'obstructions' to the 'new DNC party line' - something that cannot build confidence in the process.

    In the words of Vaclav Havel, "Hope is a state of mind, not of the world," Havel wrote. "Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good."

  •  Nice post KO. (none)
    It's not the goal (electoral reform) that a lot of people disagree with. It's the approach.  The approach that Bev Harris & Co. causes people to take them less seriously. It's not productive.  

    There is a sense of urgency involved, but that doesn't mean you can't pursue the goal in a reasoned manner.  

    The conspiracy theory manner is counterproductive.

    community, empowerment, spirit

    by Newsie8200 on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 02:18:45 PM PST

  •  oh fooey (none)
    this dispute is a mere distraction. everyone just needs to try be respectful and avoid insulting anyone, right? i have been frustrated by the lack of attention to this issue on the main page, but give kos props for letting the recommended diaries stand. those of us who wish to discuss evoting and fraud have been allowed to. given the nature of the crime i doubt we'll ever find a smoking gun.
    bottom line: fraud or no fraud we have to get some verifiability into the system.
    also, attention on the potential for fraud in this election will help undermine bush's man date:)

    if you want to keep your distance on this one, i say, so be it. no hard feelings, see ya later, but you skeptics do provide a valuable service by weeding out bad info, as some of the info on this election has been. nic_voting_bias
    intresting entry in a web based encyclopedia.

    paper trail by 06.

  •  Bev Harris deserves credit for her hard work. (none)
    Democratic Underground is a great message-board.

    You're putting down Bev Harris because she said someone told her the media won't cover election irregularities?

    Did it occur to you that maybe someone did say that to her?

    We need to support people investigating election issues.

  •  Too much introspection (none)
    Never mind demonizing bloggers who don't want to touch the fraud thing.  We have one enemy: the right wing revolutionaries.

    This is why we need to push the voting irregularities story relentlessly:

    • it undeniably LOOKS fishy
    • They interfered with this election in many very well documented ways (Sproul, Ohio challenges, long lines, etc.)
    • It puts the Rethugs on the defensive, and keeps them off balance. Especailly if the story comes up again and again. (I heard Krauthammer try to laugh it off on the Brian Lehrer show. He sounded more than a little nervous)
  •  No Electronic Voting without a Paper Trail (4.00)
    This type of intercommunity conflict is not going to stop until we have moved to a place where blatant error/fraud is not as easy, or as easy to believe, as it is now.

    One man/woman... one vote.... one standard that all e-voting manufacturers must agree to across the industry... and all solutions to setting permanent evote standards must involve some form of printed RECEIPT... universally available to all e-voters and printed out after each vote at every electronic voting site.

    If you can get a piece of paper from a cash register telling you that you have purchased a single can of diet coke... you can get a piece of paper that says that you voted and who/what for.

    No exceptions.
    No excuses.

    Its 2004 now... Sept. 11th was in 2001... Mr. President, why is it that Osama Bin Ladin is still around to run Al Qaida and dole out videotapes?

    by LeftHandedMan on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 02:31:49 PM PST

  •  Sore losers (4.00)
    A lot of people would like fraud to exist because it would explain what happened.

    It's a form of sore loserism. Which is fine. BUT, has anyone thought of the consequences if this was true. Not moral consequences, but the legal and economic ones.

    If this happened, we are basically talking about treason. It's an unconscionable crime. So before we make these charges, we need to be extremely, absolutely careful that it happened. Screaming stolen election without indictiable proof is corrosive to democracy and discretes people working for change.

    Thinking and feeling isn't enough. Proof, real proof, is what matters.

    Also, it's becoming a distraction. We have a lot more work to do than this. Let's get on to it.

  •  Sorry, but you are wrong about Bevery Harris... (none)
    You may not like the "style" of her message, but if it wasn't for her, we wouldn't know the dangers of electronic voting.

    Also, accusations of fraud, and they are just accusations right now, and suspicians, have gone beyond the tin foil hats that the conspiracy theorists are supposedly wearing:

    6 Congressmen signed onto a letter to the General Accountability Office, requesting an investigation in irregularities in voting machines(three originally signed on, and three more congressmen added their names, according to Olbermann).

    John Hopkins did a study on the machines, and said they were full of security flaws that could not be corrected satisfactorily.

    Dr. Avi Rubin was a part of the study, and worked as an election judge on Nov. 2. He had this to say:

    The night before the election, there was an imbalance. Two judges from the same party had set up the machines alone, and that night, someone from the same party had access to the room where the machines were left unguarded. Why is that a problem? The Diebold Accuvote TS machines were shown to be highly vulnerable to tampering. With physical access to the machines, for example, one could change a few bytes in the ballot definition file and votes for the two major Presidential candidates would be swapped. In that case, none of the procedures we had in place could detect that votes were tallied for the wrong candidates. At the end of the election, we packed up the machines and left them in the same room with the door locked. Any malicious changes that had been made the night before could have been undone then. Each machine had a plastic seal on it, but the seal did not look like something that would be impossible to find. In fact, our supply packet contained a number of extras. This is just an example; there are many other ways someone with unfettered access to the machines could tamper with the election. Clearly it would be easy to make it so that the machines did not work at all, e.g. using a hammer. Such attacks exist regardless of the voting technology. The big difference with DREs is that tampering that is undetectable can change the vote count. Again, let me stress that I do not have any reason whatsoever to believe that my fellow judges did anything untoward. In fact, I believe strongly that they did not. My only point here is to observe that there are vulnerabilities in the system, vulnerabilities that someone could exploit someday and that ought to be eliminated.

    We know the electronic voting system can be exploited. There are obvious reasons, not the least of which are the numbers in Florida, and Ohio, to audit the machines and investigate the election.

    With Olbermann covering this story, it is now in the national media, and beyond conspiracy theory.

  •  Let them rage (4.00)
    and ignore them. This is going to fade out in time, but people have to work through their own demons.  

    I've been loosely following the stolen election threads, and most of them are nonsense, and it quickly becomes obvious that they are.  But ... in my heart I still can't explain how such an awful president won the election.  And, in my heart, I believe that it is possible that the election was stolen. The difference between me and most of the others is that I believe that if it was stolen, we will never find proof.   There is no way that they would have done it in a way that leaves obvious traces.  Face it, they have motive and opportunity, and in this case they didn't even have to be present at the scene of the crime.  All they had to do was set up simple code in the machines that would erase itself after the election.  I don't generally go in for conspiracy's, because the more people who are involved in a conspiracy, the more likely it will be exposed when someone brags.  But... this would only take a few people.  A programmer and someone to direct the programmer.  We know that the companies that made the voting machines were sympathetic to republicans in a big way.  We know that the republicans have shown through their actions that they will do pretty much anything to win an election, including putting people in polls to discourage democratic voting.  Is it that big a leap to think that they would cheat if they could?  If someone convinced you that the future of your country depended on you doing something unethical, would you consider it?  Many would.  

    Please don't be too harsh on the conspiracy theorists.  It's easier to believe that the election was stolen than to believe that our country has betrayed us by voting the way it did.  They'll work through it in time.  It won't go away, but will fade into the cultural memory like the JFK theories.  Meanwhile, it's good that people are looking for problems.  Drawing attention to election irregularities will help us to fix the system, if we can garner the power to do so.  

  •  On analysis and arguments. (none)
    I would like to see detailed analysis comparing exit poll results with vote totals, and looking specifically at whether there was a significant (statistically significant, mind you) difference in how the exit polls did in areas with paper balloting vs. optical scan vs. touch screen, etc.  

    I would like to see some kind of methodologically rigorous investigation of voter suppression and its possible effects.

    I would love for someone to come up with proof that Bush et al stole the election and that knowledge of the plan went to the top, and I would love to see them all taken away in handcuffs.

    But until someone has that kind of proof, I don't want to hear the words conspiracy or fraud used openly!  In private discussions, sure -- I've even said, over the last 10 days, things like "the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if..."  But the point is that we should be doing one of two things: Finding hard evidence of conspiracy and/or fraud that will convince even skeptics, or moving on and strategizing for the future, about how we can have more reliable voting, how we can win specific legislative issues that are likely to come up in the next four years, how we can win elections.  Both things are extremely valuable.  What's not valuable is making unverifiable claims, using overblown language that makes people dismiss you right off the bat, or attacking people who are taking a different approach to this specific issue despite being people of integrity who are otherwise your political allies.

    Shorter me: I think Kid Oakland has a point and that there are a few people around here who need to go sit quietly in a corner and think about why they should maybe regret some things they've said recently.

  •  the problem with this debate. . . (none)
    is that it is so polarized.  There are those who seem pretty convinced that there has been some kind of fraud and then there are those who are convinced that this is ridiculous.  

    I just posted a diary here that tries to move beyond these polemics by calling attention to certain aspects of this issue that both sides have thusfar mostly ignored.

    Might there not still be some way for us to move forward together without bloodying any more noses?

  •  Advice from a new member (4.00)
    I'm new here, so forgive me if what follows has already been offered and ridiculed.

    My sense is that there is a schism between those whose main concern is election reform for 2006/8, and those whose current concern is rooted in the 11/2/04 election.

    Would it be simplest to have a corresponding bifurcation in the diaries. For example, if I were in the latter group (I am!), I might title my diary "04: Paperless voting sucks" while someone in the former group might write "06: Need paper trails."

    I think this would prevent some bickering.

    The Unavoter...manifesto coming soon! Be the first kid on your blog to visit Fahrenheit 11/2.

    by unavoter on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 02:42:42 PM PST

  •  So let me get this straight (none)
    A bunch of people sent you nasty emails, and you put up a post in response that has a title basically attacking Bev Harris, in which you complain about her approach in such a way that it implies that the nasty emails you've received are all due to her poor influence?

    1. She may not be a statistics wizz, but her heart is in the right place.

    2. She is not responsible for the state of your inbox.

    3. Anybody who publically posts their email address is asking for it.  Junk mail.  Hate mail.  Whatever.  Remember the guy whose name was published by the New York Times after he wrote one nasty email?  They didn't publish his contact info, but he was flooded with hate mail and nasty phone calls anyway.  So: either depublicize your email address or stop posting even potentially abrasive topics or GET USED TO IT.  People are far too blunt and offensive and personal on the web: anonymity makes it possible, and human nature being what it is, people take advantage of any leverage (the ability to insult with impunity) that they can get.

    Like this: What the hell did you think was going to happen?  I mean, FUCK, man, think!  You stick your neck out in an anonymous and contentious crowd, the folks that don't like your face are going to pull out their weapons of choice and do their damnedest to sever your head from your body.  Accept it, then figure out how you want to deal.
  •  Here is what I am sick of (4.00)
    This notion that the entire left is somehow responsible for everything that is said. I don't give a rats behind what Bev Harris said, or how she said it. Try and get some repubs to denounce anything Limbaugh, O'Rielly, or any of that ilk has ever said. They will just smile and talk past it.

    There's a lesson the left needs to learn here. We need new voices, and a variety of them. We need everything from frothing, shrill, red meat eaters to high toned statesmen.  If we delude ourselves into looking for a single voice or message, we're forever doomed. Different people will respond to different spokespeople. We should not run away from any of them. We need them all. Smile and ignore them while restating the position with more moderation.

    Here's an example: I can't speak for Bev Harris, but it's clear that there are a number of irregularities that we must look into. Let her run wild. That's all that anyone need say about her.

  •  Respect (none)
      Kos, Chris Bowers, you Kid O., and others have amassed some hard earned respect. And are being currently being asked, and in some cases demanded, to use it for the purpose of accusing this administration of fraud. In your position, I would be hesitant. There is no courtroom quality evidence yet only statistical analyses that argue the results we saw on election night were highly unlikely. Your opinion is your own.
      However, I will continue to look for answers to why the exit polls were so far off.
      We should remember we would need to rebuild alliances our before the next election in order to win. So, everyone, please have patience with one another.

    Suppression of a political opinion leads to it's violent expression.

    by Bryce in Seattle on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 03:00:45 PM PST

  •  I would just like for someone to explain (4.00)
    why it is that so far EVERY case of irregularity reported thus far FAVORS GEORGE BUSH.

    It drives me batty that instinct means nothing to people. Something is wrong, and I have witnessed as well as personally experienced those of us who are trying to figure out the truth continually being made fun of.

    We are the ones who got Olbermann to pay attention to the issue. We are the ones who have caused 6 house Dems to call for a GAO investigation.

    As of this moment. There is no cause that can be harmed by us. There is a political party in complete disarray.

    IMHO if we don't get to the bottom of the voting problem, there is no point in any of it, because the Republicans have made campaigning an artform and they play very very dirty.

    Maybe you think that an intelligent, rational discussion is going to get attention from people in power who can do something about it, but we tried that over the last four years and it did not work.

    If people are upset, if people are vocal, if people truly believe they've been disenfranchised and have lost faith in the system. If people protest the near fascist state we have come to. Then, and maybe not even then, will the politicians do something about it.

    IMHO you underestimate the power of panic.

    Plus, no one has asked for your help. No one has gotten in your way regarding whatever it is that floats your boat, yet you continually feel some need to try to supress what it is WE are trying to get across.

    This is a democracy, and we are free to speak out, even if you don't agree with the way we do it. You are free to speak out however you'd like.

    No one is going to hold US against YOU. I don't hold Rush Limbaugh against Andrew Sullivan. People don't even hold Dick Cheney against George Bush. There are different roles that people in politics fill. The Messenger. The Attack Dog. The Spin Doctor.

    No one is hurting your precious cause. I think you really need to get over that concept.

    Here's a piece of reality for the community: Conspiracies DO exist.

    The overwhelming irony is that the stereo-type regarding "conspiracy theorists" is the exact thing that makes getting away with one that much easier to accomplish.

    J.C. on line one, D.o.d on two-No defense for you, you can't be saved.

    by Brian Nowhere on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 03:01:39 PM PST

  •  I've got a great idea. (4.00)
    Instead of criticizing the messenger (one of many I might add), why don't you become the face/spokesman of it yourself?

    Not that easy is it?

    I've been a verified voting activist for longer then most people here even knew it was an issues... that's why I was so happy when, because I didn't have to point people to Bev's site.

    Bottom line is that even if Bev is a total nutcase (which she is not), she's the only one loudly pursuing this.

    I mean come on, the Democrats are all going on the talk shows and talking about how important their "faith" is to them, don't make me freaking vomit. Kerry may have conceded, but it isn't over until the fat lady sings for me, and that means AFTER the electoral college votes.

    Also, even though the VV bills have bipartisan support and would pass Delay and Hastert won't let them go for a vote, why do you think that is?

    Fight the real enemy.
    Everybody agrees there are some fishy things out there, everybody agrees that we need paper trails.

    Concentrate on this stuff.


    Electronic miscounts of votes are a fact, not a theory, i've been saying it for 2 years now:

    by Neutron on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 03:05:56 PM PST

  •  Here's the thing, it's a two-fold issue (none)
    I don't know enough about Bev Harris to call her a flake and I was/am a member of DU and got banned for no reason I can figure out but things have been nutty over there and people are grieving over this election. People poured their hopes and dreams and energy into change and it didn't happen, it died last Tuesday night. Now on to my points.

    Point one being many people who worked their asses off and felt it in their bones that Kerry was going to win. You have to expect a let down and people react differently in times such as these. It is fishy that election after election, the exit polls have been fairly accurate and now suddenly, they are not. Many of us had our hopes up based on that fact. So of course they're going to look for a smoking gun and some will make less than wise decisions in the verbage they use.

    The other point is something I posted on my blog yesterday. Who knows how long election fraud (or what appears to be) has been going on. It's only recently come to light with the 2000 debacle. If you look at something this closely, you are going to find irregularities and since 2000, people have their eyes on election's like no one's business. So yes, there will be a faction of tinfoils shouting fraud, just as there are a faction from the other side saying this is a victory carried down from the heavens by God Almighty himself.

    I'm not claiming it is right, fair, honest or fun to be attacked personally because of something you wrote on a blog but at least expect people to be people. People are weird, they behave badly, they say stupid things and they write even dumber things when cloaked with the anonymity of an internet user name. There are very few people who would "call you out" KO in person but put them in cyberspace and they grow a second pair.

  •  I want to address just this... (none)
    Let me be quite frank, Bev Harris led her people up an alley.

    She could have made her case in many different ways.  She chose to use the "frame" of conspiracy and paranoia.

    Bev Harris has done some serious harm to her credibility with inflammatory and provocative language.  It's been going on for a long, long time. She also seems to be incredibly paranoid, to the point of attacking and alienating some of those who have helped her along the way.  There's no happy medium with many of the BBV activists.  You're either with them or against them. I don't blame DU for all of's just a venue.  

  •  points of agreement (none)
    What are the points of agreement?

    We all want to improve how elections are handled.

    What specific reforms do we seek? On what reforms do we agree? Disagree?

    While we disagree about the extent of which fraud played a role in Bush's victory, can we agree to be respectful to each other in our disagreements?

  •  No reason for blanket condemnation of DU (none)
    I am an long-time DUer and daily Kos reader, (although infrequent poster, which I realize means some people won't take me very seriously).  I'm not aware of this supposed demonization of those advocating election reform that you describe, but granted I don't have time to read every post on DU.  I supsect that claim is exagerrated though.  

    DU is a very large and very diverse place.  The DU administrators are quite moderate themselves actually.  They have however encouraged people from across the center to far left spectrum to participate on DU.  That makes it somewhat fractious and some more radical elements appear.  

    But there are plenty of rational, reasonable and even moderate people there.  A lot of us worked our butts off in this election, and used DU connections to organize local and regional efforts.  

    Your point would be better couched in less inflammatory and less accusatory language. In fact, isn't that part of your admonition to others?  I think most would agree that election REFORM is the key issue and that we are not going to overturn the results of the 2004 election.  That may be wishful thinking verbalized by some, but I doubt too many people believe it is actually possible.  

    Also, why set a false dichotomy of us versus them (or you versus me) when your goal is a unified and cooperative front?  We are all on the same side I believe.  

  •  My two bits... (4.00)

    I think what a lot of this comes down to is that we weren't prepared for Kerry to concede so quickly as he did.  It also doesn't help that we essentially got clobbered in what we thought would be some close Senate races.  Many of us are still digesting the election results, and there are questions regarding voting irregularities in many states that haven't been fully or reasonably answered.

    And we just appear to have rolled over and died.

    Now, if I was going to go after anything regarding question marks of the election, I personally would be going after getting counted  the huge number of provisional ballots in Florida.  But Bev Harris and her bunch have decided to go a different path.  And she shouldn't be discounted, bad public relations approach among fellow ABB's and all.  It just plain smells funny that the only two states that failed in their exit polls to be anywhere near accurate are Ohio and Florida.

    That said, we don't want the lesson of 2004 to only be "fraud was the only thing that made the difference".  It wasn't - we made mistakes, and many, such as you and the folks at MyDD, are highlightling them.  And they need to be highlighted.

    But if both sides of this divide within our ranks don't maintain their focus on their areas of emphasis, and instead waste their energy in accusations and counter-accusations, we play right into the Repugs' hands.  There is time enough to figure out which points now being made are valid and which aren't - let's let both sides see what they figure out, and stop the accusations of "inadequate purity."

  •  what a pile of crap (none)
    you are still waiting for absolute PROOF that the 2000 election was stolen in Florida, right?

    Have you even LOOKED AT the numbers from Cuyahoga County Ohio?  

    Or is this just another case of "I don't understand it, its too much trouble to actually do the necessary original research, so I'll discount it in order to make sure that when I decide to get my own blog, I'll be able to attract advertizing dollars...."

  •  Some of us were waiting for her to implode (none)
    Evidently, as you know from DU, daring to question Bev Harris over there is a waste of time.  Some people prefer not to know the truth.  Having said that, I'm posting the email I sent this morning to one of my favorite bloggers (but not Markos) asking for help:

    I'm not asking you to publicly address the issue of vote fraud with electronic voting.  I'm asking you to do what WE have been doing quietly - compiling the evidence, massaging the numbers, and looking for the data which WILL prove fraud.

    Not one word has been said about Georgia on blogs, message boards or web sites anywhere.  That's because we insisted we had nothing to say until we had CAREFULLY studied the data.

    Well, we've done that now; and we've exceeded our abilities.  We need a mathematician, a statistician, or someone who can take the numbers and interpret them into what they say.  What DO they tell us?

    You see, we didn't scream FRAUD.  We didn't howl to the cameras.  We didn't pimp for the television pundits.  And, because we didn't, we're being ignored.  Along with the factual data we have compiled.  Maybe Bev Harris, Con Artist Extraordinaire, has it right.  But, in the long run I still believe she does a great deal more harm than good.  In fact, I believe she does great harm to this issue.

    It's not fair of our own side to dismiss our work without seeing it. Will you look?  Will you quietly, privately tell us if we're stupid, ill informed or out on Planet Nine?  Will you give us that much?  Can we get a private hearing in the Judge's Chambers?  That's all we're asking for.

    In the meantime, tell me how the following should be played by good, little quiet lefties:
    (as amended through the November 1998 general election)





    Paragraph I. Method of voting. Elections by the people shall be by secret ballot and shall be conducted in accordance with procedures provided by law.

    Sullivan (Fulton County, Georgia Election Supervisor) said Kidd's advance vote was tossed out after it was discovered. Early votes are marked with a numbered identification in case they are later challenged, Sullivan said.

    The form Georgia voters must fill out for early voting can be found here. Note the "For Office Use Only" section where the ballot number is recorded.  That number is recorded onto the electronic voter access card and identifies the voter on the records of the voting equipment.
    Full article regarding the Craig Kidd incident here for historical purposes (we also have the Board of Elections hearing on video):
    Votes raise red flag on potential for fraud
    Fulton man who cast 2 ballots stirs questions on early polling

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 09/29/04

    The case of a Fulton County man facing possible felony charges for voting twice in the July primary has raised questions about the potential for fraud through a new early voting initiative.

    Buckhead resident Craig Kidd has acknowledged that he voted twice in July. Kidd said he voted first in the five-day period preceding the election known as advance voting. Kidd said that on the day of the election the following Tuesday, he went to his precinct to make sure he had been recorded as having cast a ballot. Kidd said a poll worker told him he was not listed as having voted early, and advised him to vote again to be sure his vote was counted.

    Kidd contacted The Atlanta Journal-Constitution later that day to alert reporters that he was concerned some people were being allowed to vote twice, since it appeared that Fulton County was not keeping track of who had voted early. Kidd worked for the state Senate campaign of Republican Shawn Davis and served as a poll watcher for the Republican Party.

    After learning of Kidd's actions, Secretary of State Cathy Cox's office recommended last week that Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard consider pursuing felony charges of voting twice in the same election.

    Kidd's case, which was discussed Wednesday at a meeting of the state Election Board, raised questions about the possibility of voter fraud through the advance voting, a year-old program gaining in popularity. More than 76,000 Georgians cast ballots through advance voting during the July primaries.

    "I'm a lot more interested in finding out whether a lot of people can do this, rather than whether this one person did this," Election Board member Eunice Mixon of Tifton said during the meeting.

    Fulton County says it investigated and found no other advance voters had voted again on the day of the election. And a spokesman for Cox, who has championed advance voting, said her office has sent out several e-mail and fax alerts since July reminding local elections officials of the importance of making sure voter rolls on Nov. 2 reflect people who already have cast a ballot.

    'We made a mistake'

    Advance voting allows voters to cast a ballot in the five business days preceding an election, strictly for convenience. In the past, voters had to provide a reason for not being able to vote on the day of an election, such as a work or vacation conflict.

    After a voter casts an advance ballot, the county elections office puts the voter's name on a list. That list is then sent by the county to poll workers at voting precincts before the day of the election. The names of the people who have voted early then are supposed to be crossed off the voter registration lists kept at each precinct, to ensure they do not vote twice.

    John Sullivan, registration chief for Fulton County elections, acknowledged Wednesday that the county was late in getting the names of advance voters to some polling locations. The lists were updated later in the day.

    "We made a mistake," Sullivan said. "Yet when you vote absentee or advance, you sign an oath saying you're not going to vote again in this election and when [voting on Election Day] you fill out a voter certificate saying, 'I have not already voted in this election.' "

    Sullivan said Kidd's advance vote was tossed out after it was discovered. Early votes are marked with a numbered identification in case they are later challenged, Sullivan said.

    Spokesman Chris Riggall said that Cox is concerned about such incidents, but insisted it is not unique to advance voting. "This is no different from absentee voting as it has existed for decades," Riggall said. "But there's lots more people involved in the process, so there's an order of magnitude."

    No charges filed

    Voting twice in the same election is a felony in Georgia. Kidd has not been charged with a crime. A spokeswoman for Howard said the matter is under investigation.

    Kidd declined to comment. But Davis, who spoke on Kidd's behalf, told board members that Kidd was not attempting to commit fraud. "This is simply a person who's trying to make that one vote count one time," Davis said.

    "Clearly, we have a problem with early voting if a county as large as Fulton County does not have controls in place to make sure people don't vote twice," Davis said after the meeting.

    The Fulton County Board of Elections voted along party lines not to refer the case to the secretary of state's office, Sullivan said. A Fulton elections board member then asked Cox to consider taking action against Kidd.

    Cox's decision to pursue the matter outraged Randy Evans, the Republican representative on the state Election Board chaired by Cox.

    During the meeting Wednesday, Evans charged that Cox, a Democrat, is pursuing criminal charges because the voter is a Republican.

    He accused Cox of overlooking more serious cases of voter fraud, and produced documentation of a vote-buying case by a Democratic candidate in South Georgia's Coffee County that resulted in fines levied by an administrative law judge but no criminal prosecution. Cox denied acting on politics and said she had a duty to report what she felt was a serious violation of election laws.

    "We had evidence of double-voting, and I felt we had to send a message to the public and the 159 counties," Cox said.

    original link to this article at: The Atlanta Journal Constitution (but may be a dead link because of age)

  •  Thanks (none)

    The world's address
    a place that's worn
    a sad pun that reflects a sadder mess
    In case you haven't already guessed:
    The world's a dress.

    by Jaiwithani on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 03:51:05 PM PST

  •  Extraordinary claims..... (none)
    ....require extraordinary proof.  If I won't abandon reason when the promise of eternal life and happiness is dangled before me, I certainly won't abandon reason for an election.

    As someone else on here uses for his/her sig line:

    "Data is not the plural of anecdote."


    A proud member of the reality-based community!

    by roxtar on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 03:53:35 PM PST

  •  With All Due Respect ... j'accuse Kid Oakland (4.00)
    Please don't flame me. I know I'm a bit of a newbie here, so hear me out.

    There are a couple of things I find disturbing with this post -- and the first thing is that you seem to be making if not a personal attack, at the very least a taunting one. You have a bug up your butt against Ms. Harris, and I don't quite understand why. I know that's because I haven't seen your original accusation that she has revealed herself to be some kind of lunatic, and that may be true ... although I have heard her on several interviews, most notably on the THIS IS HELL radio show out of Northwestern University, and I personally have not found her or anybody else associated with her to be the kind of lunatic fringe that I have living around the corner from me.

    (Now if you want a lunatic, I direct your attention to the weirdo who rides around in the summer on a bike with a red, white and blue cape and shorts who insists on being called "Free." Now THAT is a lunatic! But I digress.)

    Where I come from on this issue is that Ms. Harris is NOT the only source who has said there are severe irregularities with BBV. There are the 2000 reports, the Greg Palast stories, the troubling comments from the Dieboldt CEO, the equally troubling links with the other manufactuers of video voting, the refusal of Repub administrations to do anything to fix problems that frankly favor them if left unlooked at, the Jimmy Carter comments about Venezuela, the discrepancies with the exit polls in districts with lots of voting boxes ... are ALL of these people nuts? Are every one of them loony tunes? Or do we follow the edict that where there's smoke, there's fire? To me, this isn't conspiratorial, it's a preponderance of suspicion that needs investigation. Is that so wrong?

    And if you want to argue that Ms. Harris' approach hasn't been the best to win hearts and minds, you don't do it by entitling a diary "J'accuse!" Isn't that one of the reasons we liberals aren't listened to in the heartland in the first place -- that when people don't see things our way it's because they're buffoons and not because we screwed up in our approach?

    Look, I don't say for a minute that we're going to overturn this year's election. Even if we flipped OH and FL for Kerry, he would be in the position Bush was in 2000, and that's not good. But Ms. Harris and her organization is but one of a myriad of voices, and by impuning her in the way that you do, you cast suspicions on everyone doing what is not only critical work, but in what I for one thinks should be one of the grass roots' biggest priorities in 2005 -- one that could create a bridge to red states, if played correctly. Not to mention throwing a shadow over those of us who want to attack and solve this problem before 2006.

    If 2004 is teaching us anything, it's that invective only goes so far, and doesn't convince people like we thought it would. There is a time and a place for such language. This does not seem like one of those circumstances.

    In my opinion. With all respect.

  •  The Sad Thing (none)
    "Have Bev Harris' supporters and those who've enabled them with recommended diaries that repeat discredited claims here thought for a second about what the legacy of this election on the left is now?"

    The sad thing is that there were actual election irregularities that deserved our attention.  And the faith-based wingnuts who have dominated the discussion here have taken the spotlight off the election irregularities we should be focusing on.

    I recently posted a diary to try to sort the real issues from the false issues:

    Check it out.

  •  election problems (none)
    Ok, I'm another newbie, and I've been following this discussion avidly.  I posted some of this yesterday, too.  I don't know if there was fraud, or if machines just malfunctioned, or what, but there have been at least a few verified problems with the election in 2004.

    The most egregiously partisan (ie not just lost votes,etc.) of these was the extra 4000 GWB votes in Franklin County, Ohio.  What I'm wondering is why this didn't trigger some sort of spot check.  Random precincts across the state, or across the country for that matter, could handcount the ballots and compare them with the electronic results.  Not a full recount, just a spotcheck; in other words, an audit.

    Why not? Because this is not part of election law.  And if it doesn't happen this year, it won't happen in the future.  Diebold & Co. told Congress and everybody else that the machines worked fine in 2002, and come our next e-voting congressional hearing, they'll say they worked fine in 2004.  Unless we do an audit, we won't know if that's true, or not.  

    Yes, I think the exit polls are fishy, and no I haven't gotten an answer that makes sense to me yet.  But I would feel a hell of a lot better if somebody could verify that in at least one county, these machines worked.  And right now, paper trail or no, it's not part of the system.

    The thing is, these ballots will be destroyed after the vote is certified.  So, it's not really something we can sit around and wait for, it's not a "plank of the platform" to discuss in 2005.  It has to be looked at now.  And I think that's where a lot of the moderate anger at Kos and others has come from.  Not the violent cruel bashing (well, it didn't come from me, anyway).  But I'm comfortable saying it upsets me that nobody seems to care that we're not looking at the paper trail.  "Get over it" is not an answer.

    Thanks for posting KO.  Your opinion is always interesting, even if I don't agree 100%.

  •  Deconstructing Kid Oakland (none)
    By forming a conspiracy theory accusing Bev Harris of attempting to divide the movement...

    Isnt Kid Oakland himself engaging in factional politics?

    Look, I thought it was wrong when people criticized Kos.  Go back and look at my posts.  I told them to back the fuck off.  

    At the same time, going after DU and Bev Harris and "accusing" them does no good either.  It's perfectly legitimate to state where you think our energies out to be focused.  But lashing out at our bretheren does no good.  

    Comrades!  We are all on the same team!

  •  I appreciate your points, KO (none)
    but I still have my own questions about the voting in Ohio.

    Now I understand the Green Party of Ohio is going to step up to the plate and ask for a recount there. They need to raise the money first, of course, which will be around $113K, I think.

    I think a recount is a very good idea. Let's count the freakin' votes and then we'll all know what the truth is-- and the truth will set us all free.

    So, my modest proposal is, let's not indulge in conspiracy theories or any of that stuff, let's just agree that recounting the votes is necessary to resolve the issues that we are all concerned about.

    Let the chips fall where they may, but let's get it all out there and know what the truth is !

    Let's get some Democracy for America

    by murphy on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 05:01:09 PM PST

  •  Reform not conspiracy theory (none)
    Is what we need, and therefore I'm recommending this diary/discussion.
  •  My 2 cents (none)
    KO don't let it all knock you off stride. For everyone that gives you a hard time there are others that depend on you for rational thought. Remember many of readers on the site know who you are and consider your opinions carefully. Those attacking you or disrespecting you are at least reading you. Can the same be said of their posts. The majority of people have now reached the anger stage of grieving. They are very apt to lash out out at those they feel are voices of authority. Here is the only place they feel they will be heard, so here is where they vent. From this diary I can see you also need to vent. Unthinking anger could easily drive us over a cliff into thoughtless actions. Your calm manner of analysis will help us bring all this into perspective. Your an Editorialist you now, so you have your advocates and your detractors. Don't become discouraged and abandon those of us who find your reasoned discourse so important during these troubled times.
    Also remember there are many of Republican on this blog now. Because of the power dailykos wielded during the last election they will stop at nothing to destroy this site. In an environment in which your ideas are your only power, you and other insightful people will help prevent us from become left wing freepers.
    As for Bev and the Blackbox group. Well, no, she has not handled the situation as I would like but, she is not getting as much play in the country as you might think. Having stopped watching the "News Channels" and watching only the local news I have a bit of perspective now. She is getting zero play on the regular news. So her impact at the moment is minor. This is obviously a mixed blessing as the important facts she has are not getting any play either.
    So hang in there. Keep writing. And remember just as the crucible of the election hones the candidates message, so the crucible of writing in an open forum will help you hone your message.

    When men build on false ground, the more they build, the greater the ruin.

    by Mosby on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 05:20:01 PM PST

  •  Diebold settles lawsuit filed by Bev Harris in (none)
  •  i am so glad... (none)
    i am so glad that the tide finally seems to be turning on this thing. thanks kid oakland for putting yourself out there in the pillory like this. as long as the "fraud" crew were dominating the discussion and demanding absolute purity of faith in this matter there wasn't a chance for rational protections of the franchise to get enough oxygen...

    with that in mind...

    now that the bizarro freepers' dishonest and misleading actions seem to be mostly confined to rating each other's comments as "excellent" do you think that you could post a diar of proactive measures we can take to make sure there are enough voting booths per precinct, and safeguards against overzealous and malicious "felon" purges, etc.?

  •  Here we go again... (none)
    Boy, do I hate abbreviations and acronyms.  I don't have a clue as to what "DU" and "BBV" are.  Without that knowledge, I can't even begin to make sense of this diary.

    Could we maybe make a rule that the first time you use an abbreviation or acronym in a diary you must define it?  It sure would help old folks like me who aren't necessarily up to date on stuff.


    Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practise to deceive! Sir Walter Scott.

    by tomathawl on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 05:31:17 PM PST

  •  an outsider's perspective - apologies, long (4.00)
     - an outsider in the sense that I'm all the way over here in Australia, although I've been a regular around here for a year or so now I guess.

    I don't know Bev Harris, but I can certainly see evidence that supports both cases - that she has clearly done good work and spearheaded a critical issue; and that her recent actions are coming close to undoing much of her own efforts.

    I've been following most diaries etc. on election / voting irregularities, because I haven't slept easy about the US election ever since Diebold began to be installed. I couldn't believe then and I still can't believe that Democrats and/or any thinking Americans in vast numbers weren't fighting them tooth and nail. The thought of allowing the installation of paperless voting without any back-up recording of votes is just gobsmacking.

    Given where they were installed and who they were supported by, the mountains of evidence on how easy to hack they are, the ridiculous ease with which any computer system can provide you with a receipt of some sort  - but electronic voting machines don't- all point to extremely justifiable suspicions.

    Then you have to combine this with clear evidence of voter disenfranchisement and intimidation - not to mention criminal activity.

    I can't even begin to imagine living in a country where someone could steal my vote by shredding my registration; or questioning where I live in court; or try and intimidate, lie, and thwart me with long delays to deny me my right to vote. Yet cases of this were documented over and over again in the lead-up to your last election, and were made front page by Kos and guestbloggers - and deservedly so.

    Still, with such evidence I was again stunned not to see more public and concerted action taken by Kerry etc. The stories reported here were done so with a rather grim but pragmatic - for want of a better word - slant. Such actions still seem to be considered part of the 'game'. I would call it a shocking attack on the very fabric of your democracy. I can't imagine accepting the disenfranchisment of hundreds of thousands of people as acceptable 'collateral damage'.

    So when it comes to some very 'surprising' election results, focussed in surprise! the two states Bush had to win, in two of the states where there were repeated documented efforts to thwart Dem & new voters, the two states which are the only ones (to my knowledge) where the exit polls don't match the recorded outcome, the two key states controlled by Republican stalwarts who oversaw the installation of paperless electronic voting- it's not a great leap of logic to start thinking there may well have been an orchestrated attempt to 'realign' the vote.

    I can understand why some may feel those who think this election was stolen are simply unable to accept the unbelievable  - that many millions of Americans voted for Bush again. Hell, I live in a country with no current evidence of electoral fraud and mandatory voting, and I have to accept that the average Australian voted for John Howard. Again. It ain't easy.

    But unlike Australia, in the USA, there is plenty of evidence prior to the election of attempted and successful activity to thwart Democrat voters.

    I can understand entirely why accusations of fraud can't be thrown around; and the paperless voting in key states has ensured that getting evidence is extremely difficult. But I strongly disagree with the lack of response to this issue - be it framed in terms of the desperate need for electoral reform in the USA, with evidence of irregularities and dirty tricks from this election & the stolen 2000 result as the basis. This issue should have been front page at Kos a long time ago. Not because Kos and other front page bloggers have to agree, but because framing of this debate from leaders in the community was clearly needed. Instead what happened looked awfully like suppression by avoidance.

    Now there is a great deal of in-fighting and imblanace, which sadly I suspect could have been largely avoided if the issue had been tackled squarely. There are clearly several levels to it, eg from worrying about the results of this election as Kerry might have won; to wanting to see the issue pursued in the name of justice for disenfranchised voters in 2004, to pushing for longer-term electoral reform.

    In my opinion, it has been a noticeable failure on the part of the key bloggers on this site to tackle these issues more openly and clearly from the beginning, and help frame the debate away from divisive and emotional hyperbole towards a constructive and agreed course of action. This has contributed to the mess now. I can only hope that people will eventually put down their swords and work together once more as they were before November 2 - something that was absolutely thrilling and inspiring to watch from over here.

    I will say one more thing on this issue. Democrats cannot afford to think that people on the Right are all 'reasonable' and would not 'contemplate' such a 'treasonous' act as rigging an election. I only lived and travelled in the USA for 6 months, but it was long enough to confirm that.

    I'm  aware that the election result is being explained in terms of the 'values' vote, the born-again fundamentalists (I refuse to call them Christian) who are fanatically determined to have a man who represents their god, their values, in control; - and not just in the whitehouse, but at every level of authority in the USA. (Sidenote - it has begun here in Australia too).

    There have been several enlightening documentaries and journalist pieces providing valuable insight into the Fundamentalist movement in the USA. It's clear they believe in absolutes; it's clear they believe totally in heaven and eternal damnation. It's clear they believe Bush has the backing of God and will lead the country & the world to God. It's clear from many examples that many will stop at nothing to ensure "God's will" is done on earth, and see this as part of apocalyptical teachings.

    My American partner's mother is a fundamentalist like this. She really believes its ok to kill thousands of innocents to enact god's will in Iraq, because after all they are going to hell anyway, so their suffering on this earth is totally insignificant compared to the enternal hell they have chosen. And if God can be brought to the remaining Iraqis and their orphaned children, if those souls can be saved, it's more than worth the trifling sacrifice of lives that were condemned to hell anyway. What is important is to save as many souls as possible, especially the unborn innocents, and do god's will. George W Bush is an agent for God's will on this earth.

    If you truly feel you understand that fundamentalist mindset, it is no leap at all to believe such people of being capable of rigging election results. For them this is a fight between good and evil, God and Satan, and George W Bush is essential to God's plan, so he must win, ergo you must help ensure he does.

    Did I mention that my partner's mother is a millionaire? Because the deserving receive God's blessing, materially as well as spiritually. She won't pay for my partner's healthcare even though she suffers the same chronic pain condition, because my partner must work and be deserving of it; and besides she's lesbian and an unbeliever, so she's going to hell anyway.

    Galiel's post, shedding great insight into the fundamentalist mind was excellent, but not a surprise to me.

    There are those here who are perhaps too easily dismissing people who feel the election was stolen, on the grounds that such believers simply can't accept the election was lost. I'd argue they are practising their own form of self-deception if they truly think that there aren't those in the Republican camp who would gladly rig an election. They are not paying attention to the true nature of the enemy. They will stop at nothing, and they have demonstrated that over and over.

  •  you know, at first I liked.... (none)
    your posts and thought them level-headed, kid oakland.  But now you are just getting tiresome.

    And now I'm inclined to agree with people who look at Bev Harris (who may be shrill but at least has done SOMETHING other than spew verbiage in the blogosphere) and just say, more power to her, than take a so-called "stand" like yours.

  •  OK so we just move on and start praying (none)
    for St. Laura while helping Lynne Cheney burn the school books she doesn't like ?

    Because if that's what you are proposing then I'm sticking with Bev. No one else is doing anything and no one else HAS done anything before this election.

    We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

    by lawnorder on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 06:35:58 PM PST

  •  The real Question: Why are we still w/ Diebold ? (none)
    You want to rant about something, rant about the DNC. I agree 100% with you that all this "fraud" talk after the election looks goofy. It didn't need to be that way.

    Diebold's system was obviously flawed. Bev Harris at least did something. What did the DNC do ?

    The real Question: Why are we still w/ Diebold

    Why are we only doing this fuss about Diebold  NOW ?
    WTF didn't the DNC fight this before ? They had 4 years. It's not like all those Diebold vulnerabilities were unknown. In 4 years there was enough time to stress test several e-voting methods and decide which one was more reliable

    There were countless reports in the media about Diebold's flaws. Also, the system was used for the first time in Florida's 2002 primary elections with pitiful results

    The DNC had an army of lawyers at their disposal, experts gallore to consult, plenty of time and all the resources that one of 2 top parties in the country has

    Yet Dems let an obviously hackable program take away their victory.

    What does it mean ? The DNC was naive ? So why should they get the WH and face   Bin Laden, Zarqawi and other world menaces ? This election was minor league stuff. Sure we were all otherwise occupied, but what makes the DNC think things would be simpler when administering a country ?

    They want to go to the World Series after just getting creamed in T-ball ?!?

    We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

    by lawnorder on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 06:47:57 PM PST

  •  WaPo article: Nader demands a recount (none)
    Well, the Washington Post has posted an article on the recounts, so the wattage has increased on the subject a little. Nader demands a recount.

    . . .he said, he is concerned about the veracity of the results.

    "We have received reports of irregularities in the vote reported on the AccuVote Diebold Machines in comparison to exit polls and trends in voting in New Hampshire," Nader wrote Secretary of State William M. Gardner. "These irregularities favor President George W. Bush by 5% to 15% over what was expected."

    Perhaps some people on Kos were trying to be proactive on this subject, but ended up being reactive. I personally think it is good for the spotlight to shine on Diebold to get the cobwebs out of those corners. But, the comments about the reactionary conduct are points well made and valid.

    And, not sure if I have recommended the wrong diary on the subject of recounts when I shouldn't have. If I read something interesting in the comments, I might have done that. I am new here, but would never say or do anything intentionally wayward toward Markos. It is his site and by his grace it is possible for minds to meet here.

    Also, off subject, but for the civil libertarians out there, copied and pasted from my email: "Tomorrow at 10pET on Scarborough Country, Alan Dershowitz tells Joe why he feels The Patriot Act is Pro Human Rights."

    Politics is not about ...predictions. Politics is what we create by what we do, what we hope for, and what we dare to imagine. Paul Wellstone

    by bronte17 on Wed Nov 10, 2004 at 06:56:57 PM PST

  •  Father Oakland Falls In Line (4.00)
    Upon boarding the bus to W.Va at 3AM early election morn to get out the vote, I met one of your fellow Kossacks. He mentioned the energy and intellectual vigor evidenced on this blog and I was intrigued. I've been following the proceedings on this board for the past week and have, too, been riding the "Olbermann the Strong" wave. I agree 100% with one regular poster's by-line: "If you're not a conspiracy theorist yet, you haven't been paying attention."

    This administration has brought us: an illegal war based on lies and wildly inaccurate assertions, unprecedented Executive pressure on intelligence agencies (Cheney,Gingrich visits to Langley, a blantant propaganda campaign based on myriad distortions, hyperbole, and fear-mongering, the outing of Ms. Plame, one successful coup d'etat (Haiti), one failed coup attempt (Venezuela), the staffing of State and Pentagon posts with rabid Neo-Con Israel-firsters and Iran/Contra retreads, very suspect mid-term elections (Max Cleland), bogus short-lived Anthrax saga, race baiting (hostility towards affirmative action), gay baiting (sanctity of marriage canard), overt intimidation and manipulation of the media. I, like many of the faithful here, am probably not willing to give the Busheeple Brownshirts the benefit of the doubt any longer. Their rap sheet is long.

    I, for one, expected fraud and believe that it has been perpetrated. What we've been doing and what we have before us is further vetting of what is obviously a very complicated election in which some 115,000,000 votes were cast using different technologies, counted using different technologies, conducted under different rules, and with the electronic varieties having no verifiable paper trail. Why abort our fact finding mission early? Why concede in the short morning after?

    We need to continue to turn over every stone, undaunted by calls to fall in line and apply our energy "more constructively." If Father Oakland finds it unseemly, he can pick another diary to read and save his lectures for his children.

    For the last three years, the sinister Tom DeLay and Co. have blocked any and all Democratic congressional attempts to mandate the addition of a paper based verification system on these heavily Partisan voting machine corporations. Sure, we have no concrete evidence of foul play, but we must continue to apply pressure to all quarters on the chance that it occurred. A potential whistleblower will be emboldened by the reality of a soft landing in our MOSH pit.

    'Tis better to Diebold than to slink away quietly!

  •  Father Oakland Falls In Line (none)
    Upon boarding the bus to W.Va at 3AM early election morn to get out the vote, I met one of your fellow Kossacks. He mentioned the energy and intellectual vigor evidenced on this blog and I was intrigued. I've been following the proceedings on this board for the past week and have, too, been riding the "Olbermann the Strong" wave. I agree 100% with one regular poster's by-line: "If you're not a conspiracy theorist yet, you haven't been paying attention."

    This administration has brought us: an illegal war based on lies and wildly inaccurate assertions, unprecedented Executive pressure on intelligence agencies (Cheney,Gingrich visits to Langley, a blantant propaganda campaign based on myriad distortions, hyperbole, and fear-mongering, the outing of Ms. Plame, one successful coup d'etat (Haiti), one failed coup attempt (Venezuela), the staffing of State and Pentagon posts with rabid Neo-Con Israel-firsters and Iran/Contra retreads, very suspect mid-term elections (Max Cleland), bogus short-lived Anthrax saga, race baiting (hostility towards affirmative action), gay baiting (sanctity of marriage canard), overt intimidation and manipulation of the media. I, like many of the faithful here, am probably not willing to give the Busheeple Brownshirts the benefit of the doubt any longer. Their rap sheet is long.

    I, for one, expected fraud and believe that it has been perpetrated. What we've been doing and what we have before us is further vetting of what is obviously a very complicated election in which some 115,000,000 votes were cast using different technologies, counted using different technologies, conducted under different rules, and with the electronic varieties having no verifiable paper trail. Why abort our fact finding mission early? Why concede in the short morning after?

    We need to continue to turn over every stone, undaunted by calls to fall in line and apply our energy "more constructively." If Father Oakland finds it unseemly, he can pick another diary to read and save his lectures for his children.

    For the last three years, the sinister Tom DeLay and Co. have blocked any and all Democratic congressional attempts to mandate the addition of a paper based verification system on these heavily Partisan voting machine corporations. Sure, we have no concrete evidence of foul play, but we must continue to apply pressure to all quarters on the chance that it occurred. A potential whistleblower will be emboldened by the reality of a soft landing in our MOSH pit.

    'Tis better to Diebold than to slink away quietly!

  •  In the spirit of comity (none)
    I have gone through this thread, and given positive ratings, quite deliberately, to those on both sides of the argument, in the middle, and those standing outside, whose posts have (IMO) been lucid, meaningful, and void of personal attacks.
  •  Factions??? (none)
    Seems to me there is an attempt to create factions by the person who created this diary. The Calif. settlement with Diebold, a suit initiated by Bev Harris, should put to rest any claim that she is not working for the good of all.
  •  One thing I AGREE with you KO: (none)
    We should be careful on how far we go in this thirst to find a fraud:

    I'm not advocating SILENCE. I'm trying to put a word of caution to the more impetuous here.

    Asking the right questions GOOD
    Asking dumb questions that hurt our case more than they help BAD

    The GEMS software is still property of Diebold, regardless what one may think of the company, by accepting a copy, you are in effect receiving stolen property

    People inclined to get a hold of the code are walking on thin ice: I recommend them to leave the fraud investigation to the "novices" at MIT. Bev Harris is in contact with MIT and the guy who wrote this article They have years of experience, brilliant coders, good lawyers.

    The free-lance hackers are not helping and could be actually HURTING our cause. Why ?

    Can you see it in court when the attorney for Diebold asks :' sir, did you accept an unauthorized copy of the GEMS software from our undercover operative?' 'Thank you. Your Honor,I ask that the prosecution witness be disqualified.' end of case.... (by FormerCIA )

    We are here discussing the fire code violations on Abu Ghraib while the dogs and Liddie England are having their fun

    by lawnorder on Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 09:58:55 AM PST

  • Close


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