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Christopher Hitchens has a new article in Vanity Fair entitled, OHIO'S ODD NUMBER'S.  The lead-in states "No conspiracy theorist, and no fan of John Kerry's, the author nevertheless found the Ohio polling results impossible to swallow: Given what happened in that key state on Election Day 2004, both democracy and common sense cry out for a court-ordered inspection of its new voting machines."

Hitchens was never a supporter of George W. Bush per se.  He was active before the 2000 election in highlighting the felons list in Florida.  Generally speaking, Hitchens holds leftist political views that have evolved unpredictably over time.  He has been a relentless critic of Henry Kissinger.  

(Ohio Vote stuff below the fold)

I admire him for his beautiful use of language, his excellent book reviews, and his high tolerance for alcohol.  I even sympathized with many of his pre-war arguments for invading Iraq.  Hitchens has been an agitator against religious and ethnic hatred for a long time and has taken a special interest in Cypriots and the Kurds.  I believe he sincerely thought that Iraq would be a better place (especially for the Kurds) without Saddam Hussein, and that the only proper response to 9/11 had to begin with "solving" the containment policy in Iraq.

However, Hitchens has never come to grips with some of the inherent problems with the way the Bush administration chose to solve that problem.  The largest shortcoming was the basic dishonesty the Bush team used about motives.  Misusing and hyping intelligence was both unnecessary and harmful to their program.  Another shortcoming was their failure to share the post-war lucre with potential allies like France, Russia, and China that had a financial disincentive to help us remove Saddam.  This led directly to our failure at the United Nations, which was more important than whether those countries deserved a piece of the pie.  The Bush administration also failed diplomatically in the region.  Most glaringly they gave guaranteed loans in the billions to the Turks, and received a refusal to base our troops in return.

And then there was the inadequate troop deployment that was a direct result of our failure to enlist anticipated support.  And then there was our rejection of the State Department reconstruction plan.  And then there was our use of torture and renditions.  On and on, and Hitchens has never stepped back and asked himself seriously, whether he was misguided to place his trust in the Bush administration to carry out a mission that might have had potential to make us safer, but has manifestly failed to do so.

So enlisted is he in the Iraqi Liberation Project that he developed a hatred of those who criticized its implementation and began to move toward wholehearted and uncritical support of Bush's reelection.

As he says about Kerry in this Vanity Fair article: "...I did not think that John Kerry should have been President of any country at any time."

Yet, in spite of this, he now says that, "The Federal Election Commission, which has been a risible body for far too long, ought to make Ohio its business.  The Diebold company, which also manufactures A.T.M.'s, should not receive another dime until it can produce a voting system that is similarly reliable.  And Americans should cease to be treated like serfs or extras when they present themselves to exercise their franchise."


Most of the reasons that Hitchens cites will be familiar to those fraudniks that followed Georgia10's peerless work after the election.

First, the county-by-county and precinct-by-precinct discepencies.  In Butler County, for example, a Democrat running for State Supreme Court chief justice received 61,559 votes.  The Kerry-Edwards ticket drew about 5,000 fewer votes, at 56,243.  This contrasts rather markedly with the behavior of the Republican electorate in that county, who cast about 40,000 fewer votes for their judicial nominee than they did for Bush and Cheney.  (The latter pattern, with vote totals tapering down from the top of the ticket, is by far the more general-and probable-one nationwide and statewide)...In 11 other counties, the same Democratic judicial nominee, C. Ellen Connally, managed to outpoll the Democratic presidential and vice-presidential nominees by hundreds and sometimes thousands of votes. In Cuyahoga County, which includes the city of Cleveland, two largely black precincts on the East Side voted like this.  In Precinct 4F: Kerry 290, Bush 21, Peroutka 215.  In Precinct 4N: Kerry 318, Bush 11, Badnarik, 163....In 2000, Ralph Nader's best year, the total vote received in Precinct 4f by all third-party candidates combined was eight.

In Montgomery County, two precincts recorded a combinced undervote of almost 6,000...that number represents an undervote of 25 percent, in a county where undervoting averages out at just 2 percent.  Democratic precincts had 75% more undervotes than Republican ones.

In Precinct 1B of Gehanna, in Franklin County, a computerized voting machine recorded a total of 4,258 votes for Bush and 260 votes for Kerry.  In that precinct, however, there are only 800 registered voters, of whom 638 showed up.

Miami County also managed to report 19,000 additional votes for Bush after 100 percent of the precincts had reported on Election Day

Hitchens begins the article by detailing the 8-11 hour wait that 2,200 voters from Kenyon College endured waiting to vote on ONE voting machine.  There had been two, but one broke down around lunch time.  Apparently the mayor of Gambier had requested more machines ten days before the election and was refused.

Hitchens also reports on "vote-hopping" where a vote in one column comes up reported as a vote in another.  And he makes an overall point about the trend in such problems:

Machines are fallible and so are humans, and shit happens, to be sure, and no doubt many Ohio voters were able to record their choices promptly and without grotesque anomalies.  But what strikes my eye is this: in practically every case where lines were too long or machines too few the foul-up was in a Democratic county or precinct, and in practically every case where machines produced impossible or improbable outcomes it was the challenger who suffered and the actual or potential Democratic voters who were shortchanged, discouraged, or held up to ridicule as chronic undervoters or as sudden converts to finge-party losers.
From all this Hitchens draws the proper conclusions.  A conclusion NOT DRAWN BY THE ADMINISTATORS OF THIS SITE:

Whichever way you shake it, or hold it up to the light, there is something wrong about the Ohio election that refuses to add up.  The sheer number of irregularities compelled a formal recount, which was completed in late December and which came out much the same as the original one, with 176 fewer votes for George Bush.  But this was a meaningless exercise in reassurance, since there is simply no means of checking, for example, how many "vote hops" the computerized machines mights have performed unnoticed...
...there is one soothing explanation that I don't trust anymore.  It was said, often in reply to charges of vote tampering, that it would have had to be "a conspiracy so immense" as to involve a dangerously large number of people.  Indeed, some Ohio Democrats themselves laughed off some of the charges, saying that they too would have had to be part of the plan.  The stakes are very high: one defector or turncoat with hard evidence could send the principals to jail forever and permanently discredit the party that had engaged in fraud.
I had the chance to spend quality time with someone who came to me well recommenended, who did not believe that fraud had yet actually been demonstrated, whose background was in the manufacture of the machines, and who wanted to be anonymous.  It certainly could be done, she said, and only a very, very few people, would have to be "in on it."

And if that doesn't convince RonKfromSeattle, maybe this will:
I asked her finally, what would be the logical grounds for deducing that any tampering had in fact occurred. "Well. I understand from what I have read", she said, "that the early exit polls on the day were believed by both parties."  That, I was able to tell her from direct experience, was true.  But it wasn't quite enough, either.  So I asked, "What if all the anomalies and malfunctions, to give them a neutral name, were distributed along one axis of consistency: in other words, that they kept on disadvantaging only one candidate?"  My question was hypothetical as she had made no particular study if Ohio, but she replied at once, "Then that would be quite serious."

Indeed.  Quite serious.  The election was stolen, and instead of getting our hands on the machines and "send(ing) the principals to jail forever and permanently discredit(ing) the party that had engaged in fraud" we worried about looking like sore losers.  I'm with Hitchens on this one, even though I'm pleasantly surprised to see that he is with me.

Originally posted to on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:07 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  well (2.01)
    come off it, even if ohio was stolen (which is not certain), more people voted for GWB than voted for Kerry. The lead is just too immense. Of course they cheated, and justice should be done. But that doesn't mean the Presidential Election was stolen.

    There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

    by Sandals on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:13:38 PM PST

    •  Did more people vote for Gore? (4.00)
      yes, they did.  But all that mattered was whether more people voted for Gore in Florida.

      This time all that matters is whether more people voted for Kerry in Ohio.

      Remember, Kerry could have campaigned in Chicago and Los Angeles if he wanted to win the popular vote.  But both he, and I, spent our time campaigning in swing states.

      The popular vote is not the issue because of the rules of the game.

      The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

      by BooMan23 on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:16:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ya think! (3.87)
        Hitchens wakes up from is Rethug induced drunken coma to find that there are problems with the vote in Ohio. If he really wanted to know he should ask John Conyers or Stepthanie Tubbs who have been screaming to the rafters......about this bull shit.

        Hitchens must have had sober time to find that we actually won Ohio no matter what they say......the Zogby data stated leads in tracking and day of polls in Ohio and Florida.......

        "These guys are biggest bunch of lying crooks I have ever seen" John Kerry

        by alnc on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:29:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good point! (4.00)
          Conyers and Tubbs Jones have introduced the Voting Opportunity and Technology Enhancement Rights Act, aka the VOTER Act of 2005, to rectify the problems we saw in this election.

          Read my diary on the bill here.

          "The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State, because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government" - Teddy Roosevelt

          by mrboma on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:05:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hillary Clinton need support for this, too (4.00)
            Just got a mass-mailed email from her:

            Dear Jennifer Kruse Quirk,

            It's time to tell those who celebrate elections and voter participation in countries around the world that we must make sure every vote is counted in elections right here at home!

            That's why I am asking you to sign on now as a citizen co-sponsor of vitally important election reform legislation.


            Next week, I will introduce the Count Every Vote Act of 2005, co-sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer. This comprehensive election reform bill will:

            -Provide a verified paper ballot for every vote cast in electronic voting machines.

            -Set a uniform standard for provisional ballots, so that every qualified voter within the state will know their votes are treated equally and will be counted.

            -Require the Federal Election Assistance Commission to issue standards that ensure uniform access to voting machines and election personnel in every community. It's outrageous that some people in predominantly minority communities had to wait up to 10 hours to vote, while people in other communities often voted in minutes!

            In 2004, I introduced legislation similar to the Count Every Vote Act. But it never saw the light of day. I couldn't even get a hearing for my bill before the Senate Rules Committee. We can't allow this new legislation to suffer the same fate.

            The Republicans who control Congress don't want to address this issue. So we've got to build grassroots momentum to make sure they don't have any choice but to act. That's why I am determined to keep moving forward -- on the Hill, with advocacy groups, and with all of you!


            Will you join me in calling for action to Count Every Vote? Will you sign up to become a citizen co-sponsor of this bill, so that we can demonstrate that the American people won't sit still for inaction on legislation so essential to our freedom?

            Please forward this e-mail to your friends, and ask them to join us. Together, we will restore the credibility of American democracy, and make sure that we count every vote.


            Hillary Rodham Clinton

            P. S. I thank you for all you have done to build a stronger Democratic Party. Now, as we say goodbye to the outstanding leadership of my friend Terry McAuliffe, I look forward to working with Governor Howard Dean and the new DNC leadership. Let's make sure that our hard work counts on Election Day!

            "It is no longer a choice, my friends, between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

            by grannyhelen on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 09:35:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  close, but not true (4.00)
        It didn't even matter THAT more people voted for Gore in Florida.

        Gore lost the election 5-4.

        And if you need anything...there's some ants.

        by Skipbidder on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:55:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for posting this! (4.00)
        See what happens when you go to sleep early and wake up late?  BAM!  A thread with a hundred comments.

        Tipped and recommended, accordingly.

        As Hitchens writes, the numbers never did, and still do not, add up.  I especially agree with this part of his analysis:

        The sheer number of irregularities compelled a formal recount, which was completed in late December and which came out much the same as the original one, with 176 fewer votes for George Bush.  But this was a meaningless exercise in reassurance, since there is simply no means of checking, for example, how many "vote hops" the computerized machines mights have performed unnoticed...

        Despite my lack of Ohio diaries since the elector challenge, I have been following the issue, working with some election reform groups to get Congress to do a full investigation.

        The problem, of course, is that everyone thinks the election is over.  Everyone is waiting for a whistleblower to re-open investigation.  The irony is that unless an investigation begins, there is no pressure for a whistleblower to come out.

        Needless to say, I'm glad that others have not abandoned the story either.  

        Thanks again for posting this.  Good stuff.

        If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

        by Georgia Logothetis on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:44:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  To BooMan (none)
        Sir, your prose is noticeably fine and adds a lot of punch to your diary.  I didn't have time to read more than the first several paragraphs, but I will come back to it when I do have more time.

        "Now watch this drive."

        by tompaine2004 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:08:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  A few % points is not an immense lead n/t (none)

      What an excellent day for an Exorcism.... Social Security THERE IS NO CRISIS!

      by DianeL on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:28:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  in recent politics it is (none)
        and i refuse to believe that that much of the country's election infrastructure is corrupt. just look at WA state where the SoS, a REPUBLICAN, adhered fully to election standards and state law against the wishes of the state Republican Party; the recounts of the vote resulted in a Gregoire victory.

        There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

        by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:04:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Go read the diary (4.00)
          Hitchens asks how many people would need to be in on a fix and concludes, a very small cabal.

          I've got blisters on my fingers!

          by Elwood Dowd on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:47:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's known as the exception... (none)
          ...that proves the rule.
        •  Those who vote have no power (4.00)
          But those who count the vote have all the power. Good old Stalin can break it down for you right there. The only thing that saved Gregoire in WA was the Dems who stuck to the rules and then found some uncounted absentees. The real fraud in this election happened in Snohomish County where a statewide Dem has won every race for the last twenty years except on e-voting machines. Rossi overcame ONE in FOUR THOUSAND TRILLION odds to post a 5,000 vote from only 33% of the vote. Statistical impossibilities like this happened in Nevada and all over the country, including Ohio in places like Toledo.
        •  You're entitled to your opinion (none)
          I happen to believe that when someone the likes of George Bush is "leading" this country, the whole system is subject to question.

          What an excellent day for an Exorcism.... Social Security THERE IS NO CRISIS!

          by DianeL on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:01:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Snohomish Country (none)
          First, Sam Reed, is a straight shooter. I voted for him precisely because of his positions on electonic voting machines and his opposition to the blanket primary.

          Second, I encourage you to get up to speed on the problems we did have. Here's a summary:

          Evidence Of Election Irregularities
          In Snohomish County, Washington, General Election, 2004

          There is no benefit of doubt with regards to voting. The only rule must be every body votes, every vote is counted. Otherwise the election results are suspect.

          And another thing...

          There is no fixing electronic voting and tabulation. The only reliable, cost effective, and reasonable solution is paper ballots with manual counting. Just like Canada does things.

    •  Tell me how you know that (3.94)
      Please. I want to know.

      Because if they can fix enough precincts or machines in Ohio to give Bush a margin of victory, what on EARTH makes you think they couldn't have done it nationwide?

      And let's do a little math... okay, let's not... but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that it wouldn't be difficult to come up with a few million extra votes if, say...

      You had the fucking voting machine company in your fucking back POCKET!

      Now, like I've said all along, we got royally fucked twice over this time, because they fucking stole this election -- and we'll never prove it was stolen (and even if we do, it will be far too late to bring back, oh, the thousands of lives that will have been lost since Bush started his 2nd ILLEGITIMATE TERM).

      But what puzzles me is this unwillingness on the part of a huge percentage of Democrats (who ought to know better) to say aloud anything resembling a concession that, well, yes, it probably WAS stolen.

      Is it fear of being called a tin foil hatted conspiracy theorist? A sore loser? Some unconscious desire to have been proven right about Kerry's unworthiness as a candidate?

      I cannot fathom the fear of being caled... hell, anything. It's not like the Republican Scumsucking Shitbags will REFRAIN from calling us names if we do everything Just So and take EXTRA care not to appear obstructionist... oh, blah blah blah.

      For what it's worth, and admittedly that's not much, you may put me in the column labeled, "People who never for a minute believed Bush actually won the 2004 election, but knew all along there would be nothing done about it."

      Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

      by Maryscott OConnor on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:57:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wish (4.00)
        More people shared MaryScott's view. Where's your outrage?

        I write in every once in awhile, with my pathetic two cents, about how the anger towards Kerry is misplaced, that the concentration on campaigning is misplaced. Seriously, if you push the button for Kerry, and it registers Bush, what chance do dems ever have?

        Where's your outrage? Your moral uppitiness now? (forgive me, I'm a little upset with everyone shouting Bush's policies unfair, then turning a blind eye to election reform) You intellectual elitests turn a blind eye to the statistical anomoly that is Bush's victory? You don't question that EVERY mistake has favored Bush? THat Bush won EVERY SINGLE small county? How is this possible? Is my meager intellect simply incapable of measuring up to your profound sense of absolute comprehension?

        Do people really believe this admin. incapable of pulling such a stunt off? The same admin that led us to an immoral and illeagal war? The same admin that condones torture? This hateful, contemptful adminitartion? Really? They're incapable of such a stunt?

        I read your personal statements attached to your names, and I think, if these people can't be convinced of following this story, what chance does America have of being a democracy ever again?

        •  Anger Management (1.25)
          people can't be angry all the time you know.  and righteous anger isn't going to get anyone anywhere. does the phrase 'wild eyed idiot liberal' ring a bell? because i guarantee it will if anyone gets on a show and starts talking about how Bush stole the election.  christ, they'll be buried under a heap of scornful ridicule.  thems facts- we know how these people operate.

          There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

          by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:17:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They'll call us names, no matter what we do. (4.00)
            Howard Beale from Network:
            I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a HUMAN BEING, Goddamnit! My life has VALUE!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"
            (emphasis added)

            "Ah, you come from one of those Americas. You have my sympathy." - Neil Gaiman

            by PatrioticallyIncorrect on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 09:24:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't care if they call us names. (none)
              But we need to be able to get a foot in the door.  It's hard to do that when an idea is laughed off TV.

              FIRST you establish as CW that the Ohio election was rigged, THEN you can cast doubt on Bush's legitmacy. Doing both at once is rhetorical suicide a Leftist.  We will get called on things, unlike the Right.

              There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

              by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:38:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Okay Sandals, (none)
                I realize a whole lot of people, myself in the front row, just faced off with you, and maybe you need a break from it.  BUT, I am moved to ask you what the fuck CW means, and why, after hundreds of years of human beings speaking, and ESPECIALLY WRITING, FULL SENTENCES, why must EVERYTHING be reduced to an ACRONYM, as if to say, I have better things to do, than to CLARIFY myself to the person/people I am addressing???

                exempli gratia: WTF, is hardly clear, when compared to - What the Fuck!

                (laughing now after having to look up e.g. and fully spell it so I could walk the walk, I still despise so many acronyms though!)


                What an excellent day for an Exorcism.... Social Security THERE IS NO CRISIS!

                by DianeL on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:50:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Pardon my French, (none)
            but who gives a rat's ass?  Okay, so proven anticonstitionalists like Abu Gonzales, George "Jim Jones" Bush, satanic Karl Rove, et. al. will call constitutional enfranchisement activists "wild eyed."  What the fuck would we expect?  This is a group of proven cynical anticonstitutionalists craven enough to fall asleep at the wheel of 9-11 prevention; who disregard the Constitution at will (Gitmo, torture memos, Patriot Act I and II); and who have publicly claimed that they will create a reality and sell it, rather than exhibit any intention of acting as responsible governmental representatives of the people.  Fuck 'em.  Let 'em call names.  Their only power is our fear of looking stupid.  I consider the possibility of looking "wild-eyed" an extremely small price to pay during the course of yanking back the power of the people from those who cynically and unpatriotically would deprive us of that power.  They can call kiss my ass with the namecalling and shenanigans.  It's time to stand up.
        •  My outrage? (4.00)
          My outrage is focused forward.

          Sadly, there's no reasonable chance of overturning the reported election result. Probably never was. But there are things we can do.

          • Support investigations into and prosecutions of voter fraud and voter intimidation.
          • Work to enact voting rights legislation that addresses the concerns, including paper-trail auditability, same day registration, etc.
          • Build structures that support progressive politics.
          • Continue to support and elect candidates on our side.

          Will we succeed on the four points above? The first two - investigating and legislating - tend to fall beyond our side's sphere of influence (since the Justice Department and state (Ohio) prosecutors are GOoPers). But the two latter goals are entirely within our grasp. We cannot depend on the pugs to tote our load for us.

          As far as getting the people convinced, it's another trip back to "Elephant" for us. The chance for America having a democracy is dependent on our learning that facts don't matter if we don't clearly communicate our values. If we appear to value ELECTABILITY beyond all else, we will be seen as opportunistic elitists. If, however, we take Rockridge Institute's advice by learning to build frames based on progressive values, the people will come.

          Your outrage is unharnessed energy. To allow it to dissipate in chaotic fashion by cursing the stars in the sky, or by lashing out about the past without a reasonable desired result, becomes an exercise in futility. Much of America has local elections coming in a couple of months. It's time to plan winning those. After that, it'll become time to plan winning midterms next year. A key part of the midterm plan should be a sane and well-framed appeal to voter rights.

          Your claim about me, and others like me - that we turn a blind eye - is patently unfair. Folks like myself realize that the prize you seek - removing GWBush from the presidency - is not available. Election2000 should have taught us, beyond anything else, that with the courts as a resort, the deck was already stacked.

          Senators Boxer and Clinton are introducing voting rights legislation in the Senate. A similar bill was already introduced in the House. It will likely languish in committee until, oh, I don't know, a Democratic majority appears in at least one of the two houses!?! It sucks being in the legislative minority. Not sure I want to imagine the horse-trading that would be required just to get the bills out of committee and onto the floor. These are the bizarro-world realities.

          Focus your outrage. We face a myriad of problems, but the fact that we do not control the reins of government supercedes all, including that which appears to be election theft. There's a solution available for every problem, but to enable them, we must first manage to find the solution to the primary one. Taking Congress back, as well as the state legislatures, is JOB-1. It may seem doubly tough because of voting rights issues, but if we work the frame right, we can produce historic landslides on our side. If, otoh, we choose to continue to rant, chanting STOLEN ELECTION without a well-planned and well-coordinated plan of attack, we'll continue to suffer from being marginalized by the SCLM.

          vote early - vote often

          by wystler on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:19:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Point well taken (none)
            I'm shocked at the singular focus on my use of the word "outrage". I thought my point was that the kos community seems eerily complacent with all this election fraud news, and very wary to broach/pursue this topic. But I guess my point came across that this community either doesn't care or should be in some kind of frothy-mouth uproar. Sorry for the confusion, I was simply taken aback by how hesitent people here are to take up this issue. I will try to be more carefull how I word things in the future.
        •  Kerry and anger (4.00)
          You wrote that you wished more people shared MaryScott's outrage and the anger at Kerry is misplaced.
          Well, I wish Kerry shared MaryScott's view, and at least some of the anger directed at Kerry has been very well placed and is directly related to his lack of action or outrage in the face of such fraud.

          The opposite of war is not peace, it's creation --Jonathan Larson

          by MaggieEh on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:30:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm in the column labeled (4.00)
        "People who never for a minute believed Bush actually won the 2004 election, but were shocked to their core by the number of democrats who were willing to let it slide."
      •  It's not useful (none)
        In fact, it's the opposite of useful to go around saying yes, it probably was stolen.  What will I accomplish, aside from perhaps encouraging others to get caught up in a debate about the past, which cannot be changed, while we ignore major political problems of the present?

        Unless we get a Woodward and Bernstein and a Watergate style exposé series on the front page of a major daily, I don't accept that the election was stolen.  

        I just don't get the point of continually beating this dead horse.  Like I said, in the meantime Bush is preparing to start another war and dismantle what remnants of a social safety net we do have.  Why should we always be stuck in the past and the past conditional?  Kerry spent half the campaign answering hypothetical questions about how he would have voted on Iraq, and now we're back talking about how the election could have been stolen.

        So I refuse to be browbeaten into accepting something that hasn't been proven, not least because whether or not I accept it is just not relevant to anything that's happening in the country right now.  Let Hitchens, if he can, push his fellow journalists to go over the Ohio results and push it onto the front pages and major news shows and make it Bush's problem that he has to answer for - but until that day comes, I think we're kind of wasting our time and energy.

        •  We continue to carry the belief (4.00)
          because we know the election was stolen (for the third time)>

          Daria G, by hanging onto this issue, I don't think we are choosing to live in the past.  We merely seek answers to questions from the past that have not been adequately answered.  

          While appearance is often important, we do not posture to look like tinfoil hatters or those that we live in the past.  Many, including myself, will be climbing on the bandwagon when Dean becomes the DNC chief.  I personally plan to work as hard as I can to force change upon this party while fearlessly living in the present.  

          But I choose not to forget the past three elections.  For those who forget their past, are doomed to repeat it again in the future.

        •  Oh, please. Look at the statistics from just (4.00)
          one or two counties in Ohio. They cheated. They stole it.

          Bloomberg blows. Let's declare "Dinkins Days" zones!

          by E Vill Judy on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:59:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can't prove anything (4.00)
            by looking at statistics from "one or two" counties - it's not how statistics works.

            The fact is we don't know who won Ohio.  There was no recount.

            It needs to be investigated.  Statistics will help, but are unlikely to prove anything.  We need hard evidence, Blackwell needs to be charged with his prima facie illegal obstructions.  We need to get at those machines, documents, punchcards. There needs to be a proper, transparent, bipartisan, audit.

            I really don't think shouting "Kerry won!" or "Kerry lost!" helps one iota.  The scandal is that WE DON'T KNOW who won (now I'm shouting).  

            And in a democracy we should.

            •  Statistics ARE proof (4.00)
              When people are put to death from DNA evidence, what do you think that is? It is statistics. DNA evidence doesn't tell you that 2 samples are identical. DNA evidence does say that 2 samples generated similar patterns that would only happen by chance 1 in 1 billion times.

              Statistically, what are the chances that every fucking "glitch" and every supressed vote went in favor of Bush?

              "Blogging doesn't make it so" - Sen. Hayworth (R) AZ 1/6/2005. Oh yeah?

              by bejammin075 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:01:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Look, I'm on your side. (none)
                My point was that you can't deduce anything from two selected samples.  Yes, you can prove things with statistics (I do it for a living), or at least you can prove an association. If you can show that glitch, or even most glitches, by taking random samples of all glitches, or even an entire population of glitches, worked in Bush's favor, then you can prove there was foul play.  But you have to play by the statistic rules, which include RANDOM sampling (KEN BLACKWELL, ARE YOU LISTENING?) otherwise statistical inferences (and recounts) are invalid.

                More often, though, statistics are not proof, either because the effect size is too small, or because you can't show causality.  For example, there is absolute statistical "proof" that the exit polls differed from the count (massive effect size), not only in Ohio, but across the nation, but that does not prove that the count was wrong, any more than it proves the exit polls were wrong.  There is evidence for both hypotheses.  I for one have been working hard to disprove that it was the exit polls that were wrong, but there are a number of as yet undebunked hypotheses to support that hypothesis, one of which is selective lying by Bush voters (wouldn't you be embarassed to say you'd voted for Bush?).

                Statistical cases need to be waterproof, and much as it pains me to say it, this one isn't.  YET.  But we won't fix the leaks by asserting there aren't any.

                •  Further ... (none)
                  While a statistical analysis strongly suggest foul play, what cannot be proven, to the extent that the election could be reversed, is that the result - Bush winning Ohio - was in error.

                  This frame works against us. To the unititiated outsider, this entire argument sounds like the desired result is to remove Bush, and install John Kerry. It's just not going to happen.

                  The evidence for voting irregularities prosecutions may be solid enough for a criminal conviction. It IS solid enough to allow our side to use it, but it's dangerous, as the phrase "stolen election" doesn't play well outside our own group of the already-converted.

                  vote early - vote often

                  by wystler on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:36:52 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Plus, What's Being Compared? (4.00)
                  Febble, you've written some fine stuff on the exit polls and other aspects of the Ohio controversy.  But almost everyone who asserts major fraud starts out right from the get-go with something wrong, irrelevant or grossly misinformed.  In this case, it's Iraq war apologist Christopher Hitchens, and we get an absolute howler in the very first article excerpt posted in this diary:

                  First, the county-by-county and precinct-by-precinct discepencies.  In Butler County, for example, a Democrat running for State Supreme Court chief justice received 61,559 votes.  The Kerry-Edwards ticket drew about 5,000 fewer votes, at 56,243.  This contrasts rather markedly with the behavior of the Republican electorate in that county, who cast about 40,000 fewer votes for their judicial nominee than they did for Bush and Cheney.

                  This is so completely irrlevant to establishing a case of fraud it makes my head hurt.  Why is it irrelevant?  Two main reasons.  First, Supreme Court candidates don't have a partisan designation on the ballots, so unless you already know the partisanship of the candidates before seeing your ballot, you wouldn't know who's a Democrat and who's a Republican.  

                  The other reason is what I'm starting to think of as the "so what, did you look at the same dynamic on the other side" problem.  Using Hithchens' "logic" regarding the "discrepancy" between the Supreme Court candidate and the Kerry vote, one can "conclude," or at least suggest, that there was fraud in heavily Democratic Cuyahoga county, and the fraud favored Kerry.  In Cuyahoga, the Democrat, Ellen Connally, pulled 59.71%, but Kerry pulled 66.59%.  In raw terms, Kerry got 5,316 fewer votes than Connally in heavily Butler county, but he got 144,508 more votes than her in heavily Democratic Cuyahoga.  Does that mean that the results in Cuyahoga were fraudlent in favor of Kerry?  No more than the resuts in Bulter suggest fraud in favor of Bush.

                  Really, it's remarkable what one can find out in ten minutes of searching on Google, especially if one has a clue to the type of questions to ask that offer up obvious explanations for data that seems anamolous only to those who lack experience working with such data.  It's for reasons like this single example, repeated ad nauseum, that no respected elections analyist, pollster or pollitcal demographer has yet to come forward to support the fraud claims, becuase if you're familiar with the data, it just doesn't look as odd as so many people believe it is.  

                  •  asdf (none)
                    I think you are missing the point by ignoring the second part of the sentence.

                    Bush received 40,000 more votes than the GOP judge.

                    Kerry received 5,000 less than the DEM judge.

                    Kerry got 56,000 votes total.  So a 40,000 dropoff of votes is a large percentage of the overall vote.

                    Simple logic tells us that many people did not vote for judge but did vote for President.

                    So a suspicion arises as to why this Democratic judge did so amazingly well in Butler County.  Or conversely, why Kerry did so badly.

                    The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

                    by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:41:29 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Simple Logic is Simplistic (none)
                      Beside, look at my comment just below, and by the same "logic," there was fraud in Kerry's favor in Trumbull and Mahoning.

                      Oh, your explanation is wrong, btw; fewer people voted for Supreme Court, but the margins were closer; thus, Kerry got such a smaller percentage of the bigger pot of presidential votes that his raw vote total was less than the Dem-nominee who didn't appear on the ballot as a partisan.  Same thing happened to Bush in the two counties listed above, and damn near happened to him in Cuyahoga County, the biggest county in the state.

                      •  My explanation is not wrong (none)
                        By my calculations there were 35,000 more votes for President than for judge.

                        Bush got 40,000 more votes than the GOP judge.

                        I can understand how a non-partisan race could lead many Bush supporters to vote for a Democratic judge.

                        But it passing strange that the dropoff of 35,000 overall translated into a 40,000 advantage on one side of the aisle.

                        That's all I'm saying.  And I don't that is comparable to your other examples.

                        The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

                        by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:54:29 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Why Is It Strange? (4.00)
                          Why is it strange when Kerry gets fewer votes than the Dem SC candidate but it's not strange when Bush gets fewer votes than the Repub SC candidate?  And why is the smaller dropoff to SC in Butler more significant than the larger dropoff in Cuyahoga?  After all, Moyer only lost by 98,920 votes in Cuyahoga, but Bush lost by 225,903.

                          And saying "I don't that is comparable to your other examples" without demonstrating why says nothing other than you chose not to believe something that conflicts with what you apparently already believed.  Maybe there's a good reason, but you've not provided it.  Surely if one were concerned with not losing another person's respect, you'd make an effort to explain why one shouldn't believe it's odd when Kerry seems to gain an advantage but it is when it appears as though what you believe an advantage to Bush in one locale provides an even greater advantage to Kerry in another.  

                          But hey, I guess you'll believe what you chose to believe, right?

                          •  Don't get snotty (none)
                            I have provided reasons at your request.

                            The Butler numbers look fishy.  I think Bush did unexplainably well in Butler, or the GOP judge did inexplicably badly.  Or the converse for the Democratic candidates.

                            I never said that it was conclusive evidence of something wrong that Kerry received less votes than his judge.  

                            But when the dropoff number in the majority column exceeds the dropoff number overall, then something is suspicious.

                            For instance in Cuyahoga, the dropoff column in the majority column was 145,000 but the overall dropoff was 162,000.


                            The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

                            by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:38:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But You Haven't Provided Answers (4.00)
                            All you're saying is they look "fishy."  You're asking me to assume the numbers are inexplicable.  And you're doing it devoid of relevant context, because you're not explaining why Butler is fishy but the near mirror image in favor of Kerry in Mahoning and Trumbull isn't fishy.  

                            And I'm not picking on you.  Nobody else is aksing or answering any of these questions either, including Christopher least none of the proponents of the belief that Ohio's results are "odd" or "fishy" or cannot easily be exlpained by voter preferences, even after accounting for the obvious attempts to suppress Dem turnout and the error rates of the various machines used.  No, it's mostly just "this looks weird" comments from people who probably hadn't spent any time trying to figure out if it looks weird when compared to past elections or elections in any other state.  So I'm not singling you out other than this is your diary and you were the only person to engage my comments.  

                          •  you're right (none)
                            Trumbull and Mohoning look weird for the same reason.

                            Kerry's advantage over his judge exceeds the undervote.

                            The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

                            by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:56:11 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OK, Then Here's Where We Are (4.00)
                            It's not weird.  It's normal for a seemingly non-partisan race where most people don't know much about the candidates to be more clustered in the middle of the electorate than a highly-charged partisan race like the Presidential contest in a battleground state.  I'm very experienced in looking at Supreme Court numbers, and there's nothing weird in how those numbers compare to the Presidential race.  (Espcially since the Dem is a woman, which in down-ballot races in MI tends to result in a 1-2% advantage, and is probably the same in OH.)  

                            And this example, which may on first glance appear strange, but isn't strange to those who've looked at this kind of data for a long time, is consistent with just about everything offered up for why the vote had to have been rigged to benefit Bush.  If things really did look strange to those folks who're experienced in dealing with election data, a lot of them--myself included--would have been screaming from the rooftops.  [And btw, the data did look odd in Florida in 2000.]  But the fact that nobody experienced in looking at this kind of data, nobody well-versed in voting trends, nobody knowledgable on the procedural aspects of voting (separate from software issues) has come forth to support the claims or suggestions that Ohio looks "fishy" should, I would hope, tell folks something about the credibility of the claims.  For some, it has.  For too many, it still hasn't.  

                          •  I don't agree with your characterization at all (none)
                            It is not normal for judicial candidates to be distributed in this way.  These are outliers.

                            It is normal to have outliers.

                            I don't agree that none of the people speaking out have any experience in analyizing election returns (or have not acquainted themselves before issuing studies or opinions).

                            Even in this case Turnbull and Mahoning had 19 and 16% undervotes, which is considerably different than Butler and Cuyahoga.

                            The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

                            by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 04:55:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Who (none)
                            Name one pollster, political professional or academic whose area of specialty includes voting analysis who's supported the fraud theories.

                            As for "normal," I think you're playing semantics.  OK, these fall within the normal and predictable range of results.  Furthermore, they are "outliers" but consistent, as the outliers are those counties with the greatest partisan cleavage, which is lessened in races where partisanship is masked by no party identifier next to the candidate's name on the ballot.

                            Outlier, yes.  "Fishy" or "odd?"  No.

                          •  How about (none)
                            you give me a list of experts in the field?

                            I agree that the one point about Butler Co. is deceptive.  At least the way Hitchens portrays it as sinister is misleading.

                            But that is only one of many points.  

                            You have to remember, as well, that what is suspected is a strategic hack.  The numbers that would result would be intentionally hard to decipher.  

                            How are we supposed to gleen proof out of the difference between 2000 and 2004 numbers, or differential undervotes where the undervotes vary so much already.

                            Even though the numbers are small, one area of concern is those Badnarik and Petrouka numbers.  One theory I heard was that people were voting at one location with multiple precincts, and were given the wrong ballot.  

                            Another area is the use of stickers to cover Kerry votes on Optiscans.

                            Another is the general trend of computer errors and anomalies.

                            And so on.

                            You've made a good point on the judicial area, which I have conceded.  But that is only one point among dozens.

                            The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

                            by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:14:05 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Here are the comparable numbers (none)

                        Bush: 65%    GOP Judge:53%
                        Kerry: 34%   DEM Judge:47%

                        Bush outpaces his judge by 13%


                        Bush:33%     GOP Judge:40%
                        Kerry:67%    DEM Judge:60%

                        Kerry outpaces his judge by 7%

                        Now the narrower margins for the judge probably reflect the fact that many people didn't know what party they belonged to.

                        But if that is a factor, and the controlling factor, we should not see a 6% difference between counties.

                        The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

                        by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:15:56 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Why Shouldn't We? (none)
                          Besides, did you compensate for the fact that there was a greater undervote for SC Justice in Cuyahoga?  Do you know if the undervote was greater in Dem areas?  Or are you just looking for things that look strange, but not asking if they really are strange, or for explainations other than fraud?
                          •  I didn't because (none)
                            there wasn't.

                            Butler had a 23% undervote (rounded)
                            Cuyahoga had a 24% undervote (rounded)

                            The raw numbers are:

                            166,000-129,000=37,000 for Butler
                            670,000-508,000=162,000 for Cuyahoga

                            The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

                            by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:28:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Furthermore... (none)
                 Mahoning Kerry ran 11.61% better than Connally, and in Trumbull he ran 12.3% better.

                          Why aren't those significant, but the 13.65% difference in Butler is significant?

                •  Furthermore... (none)
         at least two counties--Mahoning and Trumbull--won heavily by Kerry, the Repub SC candidate got more raw votes than Bush.  

                  Hitchens' first piece of "evidence" is a whole lot of nothing.

              •  OJ! OJ! OJ! (4.00)
                In all fairness, I must say that I did hear one third-hand report that someone in New Mexico reported a Bush vote flipping to Kerry due to an apparent machine malfunction.

                Thus the proportion of anomalies favoring Bush is not 100% but more like ... 99.99%.  

                Now that I've restored your faith in American democracy, let's move on to the topic of PM Alawi's impending victory in Iraq with, uh, 16% of the vote.

                Yeah, I'm being a smartass.  There'll never be definitive proof, but the exit polls and the 99.999999999% tilt of anomalies for Bush are conclusive enough for any reasonable citizen.  Even after all the egregious, despicable voter suppression in Ohio & FLorida, they still couldn't win the actual vote.  

                There are millions of Americans today whose consciences should be eating them alive.  I drink to their eventual doom.

        • goes (4.00)
          Woodward and Bernstein? We have our own group of investigative journalists here doing a slam bam job on the "Gannongate" issue. Lots of kudos to them all for their efforts and I commented in a previous diary as to my awe for them and their passion for truth/integrity/accountability. Is there not one of you extremely intelligent folks willing to dig into this? If I could I would but don't have the experience or education to evewn know where to start. So I challenge someone to follow these irregularities to the death.

          Ok? I think this may be my first rant and fair warning I am gonna shout here. WTF? Is there anything more worth investigating than our right to have our votes counted and accounted for? Slowly but surely oveer these past four years I have watch one "democratic" right after another slowly disappear. We have a Preznut that will only allow those that agree with his way of thinking into rallies and speeches so he can show the media that the'murcans agree with him. Anyone that questions him is dragged out or arrested. We have propaganda(paid for)falling from the sky, blahdy blahdy bla!!

          but.."FREEDOM IS ON THE MARCH" FOLKS ? Yeah, right out the f'ing door of America. What's it gonna take? Some schmuck that knows that the system is broken and just who broke it to come forward. Will that ever happen? I sure as hell hope so but I won't hold my breath.  

          The more understanding one posesses, the less there is to say and the more there is to do.

          by Alohaleezy on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:41:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  How many times do people have to point out (4.00)
          that anything that has the potential to undermine Bush's legitimacy is a good thing? It doesn't even have to be proved. All you have to do is convince a significant portion of the electorate that the Republicans steal elections and you have a great big club which can be used to whack them with for the next forty years.
          •  Just Not True (none)
            All you have to do is convince a significant portion of the electorate that the Republicans steal elections and you have a great big club ...

            Nope. We've already got a bigger portion of the electorate that believes that Bush and the GOP are bad for America. (Unless you mean that a portion of the electorate is significant only if it's large enough to produce an election-day plurality beyond voting theft capabilities.)

            The problem with doing this is that it's almost certain, barring a breakthrough into mainstream thought that I cannot forsee, that a much more significant group of the public will still dismiss the notion of election theft as coming from the ultra-whacko lunatic-fringe far-left radicals who hate America.

            On the other hand, it would be much easier to convince a significantly large portion of the electorate that the election systems are not secure. (I assume the subtle difference is not lost ...)

            vote early - vote often

            by wystler on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:44:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  On your point (4.00)
              that is why it matters that Hitchens thinks Ohio stinks and is demanding access to the machines.

              Because he has been bashing Michael Moore, not embracing him.

              It adds a little weight and provides scant cover.

              The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

              by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 11:08:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, Of Course (none)
                I'm glad CH is seeing the world this way. We need folks with different public personae who appear to "get it".

                Just want to make sure that we don't get lost trying to undo a dimensional impossibility (i.e., travel back in time and re-fix the election) ... I'll leave that to the third rate sci-fi script writers (Doctor Who & QuantumLeap come to mind ...)

                vote early - vote often

                by wystler on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:19:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and on and on and on (4.00)
          Let's see. The point of continually beating this dead horse? See dates listed above. It's rather off the mark to deem this a "problem of the past," when, given what even Kerry-hater Hitchens calls the gross anomolies of the 2004 election, there is absolutely no incentive to ensure that these do not happen again, unless someone keeps the issue alive; the theory of election reform needs real context in order for it to be implemented -- geez, what happened in 2000 wasn't even enough to make these most recent elections go off unsuspiciously. How are we going to get a Woodward and a Bernstein if we don't keep making noise? If it's up to Christopher Hitchens to "push his fellow journalists" -- do you think Hitchens would have written this article if we weren't still showing interest in the topic? Do you think his editors would have run it? The movement for fair, transparent elections will never be a waste of time or energy -- it's as important as the other "major political problems of the present" (which, by the way, most of us are working our asses of for in addition to what we're doing on election reform).

          The public wants what the public gets, but I don't get what this society wants -- Paul Weller

          by jamfan on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 12:42:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  There's something very fishy (3.00)
        about a candidate who will not fight for his own victory. If Kerry had been leading this charge we might have had a chance to get to the bottom of it. But he wussed out. Why? Why in the world is it unseemly for Democrats to fight to the bitter end but perfectly OK for Republicans?

        It kind of makes you wonder if the fix wasn't in from the beginning. Skull and Bones, anyone?

        John Kerry: MIA

        •  oh stop (4.00)
          with the skull and bones thing.  That's just stupid.
          •  Replay (4.00)
            The skull an bones thing should go to bed.

            But remember the Senate scene that opens F9/11?  Gore (and every other Senator) stood by and did nothing when there was a real opportunity to protest the 2000 result.  Kerry did the same in the wake of the '04 result.  Yes, we have seen this twice now.

            What do these guys know that the people don't?  Is there a "man behind the curtain" that the Senate doesn't want to expose?  Do they know that the whole  one + one party system is a ruse to keep us proles in line?  Or is there a secret threat that they know about and we don't?  

            The abuses at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, in Afghanistan, and the increasing independence from oversight of the darker edges of the Defense Department and the intelligence community, are evidence that a culture of tolerance for covert activities that are destructive to American interests is thriving within the Executive Branch.  

            If the members of the Legislative branch were faced with the threat that they could be victims of covert ops, and that if they squealed something really bad would happen, and the threat were substantiated by the arrival of anthrax in the mail, and government was shuttered -- Oh, never mind, what kind of crank could dream up such an inane and improbable scenario, anyway?  Obviously, if anthrax arrived in the mail on Capitol Hill, the investigation would be swift and the perp would get locked up for good -- or worse.  And, besides, it still wouldn't explain Gore's behavior in 2000.

            Excuse me while I put my foil hat back on and retire to my bunker.

        •  It's amazing (3.66)
          that no matter how hard people try to get people to finally take a good hard look at what Bush's people may have been up to, somebody will always finds a way to make it Kerry's fault. I don't know whether to call it Democratic masochism or spousal abuse syndrome, but whatever it is, it ain't pretty.

          by Noisy Democrat on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:22:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  RIGHT ON, MARYSCOTT! n/t (4.00)

        Bloomberg blows. Let's declare "Dinkins Days" zones!

        by E Vill Judy on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:30:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (4.00)
        When I filled out my ballot on Election Day, I knew in my gut Kerry would win big.

        My gut never fails me.  

        Something was drastically fucked up.

      •  way to jump to conclusions. (2.72)
        Is there any hard evidence that MILLIONS of votes were illegally stolen this election? This is wild eyed conjucture.

        for your information my immediate family collectively donated four thousand dollars to the Kerry campaign. We drove from WA to Oregon to canvass for voters in Portland.  Don't bitch to me about my commitment or start making wild unwarranted assumptions about my opinions about Kerry. You know better.

        The Republicans didn't win this election by cheating at the polls. They cheated, but they didn't need to.  They wouldn't stand a fucking chance were we able to bring their activities to light in news. Any time in the past fifteen years, right? But we can't. And casting doubt on Bush's election requires the ability to do that. And we don't have it. We barely have the start of it, with this site and Media Matters and CAP and a few other organizations.  It's just not there.

        Maybe Kerry did win the popular vote. But Bush's margin is hard to ignore. I refuse to believe that this much of the country's election machinery is corrupt. Just look at WA state; The SoS, a Republican, is steadfast in his adherence to WA state law against the wishes of his party, and after two recounts Christine Gregoire is in office.

        Maybe there is a massive Diebold conspiracy. But it would be tough to keep it a secret.  The software IS vetted; they'd have to introduce flaws somehow (as is alleged occured during Cleland's election). Granted- the boxes ares also insecure, but obtaining a margin of millions nationwide would require a simply massive conspiracy that would not be able to maintain discipline. (Surely, they'd need one guy for every state they want to fiddle with, at least.) The most outrageous reports of voting machine failure were from PA- which did not involve Diebold machines. To me that adds up that their ability to defraud the election, while present, is also slim.  

        So fuck off with the ideological purity.

        There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

        by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:24:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  remember caging lists? (4.00)
          you don't have to prove that they rigged the machines to find credible that there was wide spread coordinated efforts to suppress the vote in Democratic districts.

          It was more than the failure to provision and distribute enough voting machines.  It was a concerted effort to challenge each and every voter - to obfuscate and confuse people with which precinct they were registered in.  It was throwing away valid voter registrations because someone failed to fill in a zipcode or a phone number.  It was making rule changes at the last minute that favored the incumbent.  It was moving polling places at the last minute and forgetting to tell people about it.   It was sending out fliers telling people their precinct was scheduled to vote on November 4th.

          It was death by bureaucracy and deception.

          Stolen or not, they should be held accountable for the outright goonery.

          Whether they actually changed the numbers is irrelevant.  

          The singlular proveable fact that you have compiled and distributed a caging list means that you are in felony violation of federal election law.

          •  AND THEY WILL DO IT AGAIN (4.00)
            Repeat.  If we fail to challenge the presidential elections for the obvious shenanigans the GOP employed, they will do it again.  

            In 2000, the GOP employed a caging list and illegally disenfranchised 3% of qualified African American voters in Florida.  In 2004, they produced another caging list, and went to such lengths as having private investigators film African American early voters as a means of intimidation.  We can only imagine what 2006 and 2008 will bring (it seems as if the worse the GOP has performed politically, the more serious and involved their electoral shenanigans are to retain power).

            It seems like many folks want to just "ride out" Bushism and figure that not making too many waves will somehow preserve Democratic credibility as well as preserve the illusion that the Bush-led GOP is not, as we speak, engaging in a soft coup.

            Guess what?  Just as the lack of outraged response to the 2000 presidential elections yielded the smelly 2002 and 2004 elections, lack of outrage to the 2004 elections will yield an even smellier 2006 set of elections.

            No one's going to be able to just "ride out" the GOP's Bushist political revolution; they've grabbed power and they mean to keep it by any means necessary.  We need to challenge that.

            •  how do you build an outraged response? (none)
              sure as hell by not yelling that they stole the election, because we've got jack and Bush is already president again.  

              you get people talking on the shows about how we need to insure accountability, responsibility next election, etc. etc., you can easily make any republican who objects look like a total douche.

              first order of business! ability to get people on shows. eh?

              There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

              by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:13:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But why not? (none)
                Why shouldn't we yell that the Bush-led GOP has such a disregard for the Constitution that this political party has incorporated election shenanigans into its general campaign strategy.  I remember a few days before the election seeing GOP shills boldly pronounce that "lower voter turnout will favor Bush."  What kind of banana republic are they trying to create in which the GOP is literally and admittedly trying to keep voters from exercising their Constitution right to choose governmental representatives?

                I, for one, will continue to emphasize the stolen election(s), for no other reason but that continued emphasis and pressure may prove helpful in avoiding a repeat performance of 2000, 2002, and 2004.  Although I get where you're coming from, I just don't think that giving in to the comfortable feeling of just going along with the status quo is the right attitude to take.  We've had myriad indications (the torture memos, the Patriot Acts, the GOP's shameful propensity to lie to Congress) that the modern Bush-led GOP has little to no respect for the Constitution.  What is wrong with screaming this truism to the high heavens, irrespective of the corrupt GOP's insistence that the left is "radical" or "shrill."  

        •  The software IS NOT vetted (4.00)
          Pul-ease, see California.  That is the entire issue,  Diebold can't even verify Diebold.  And we had some pretty dangerous voting machine failures here in NC.  So much so that we're having another election.

          How's this?

          Guess who runs the machines in Gaston County, NC?  "The county pays a technician from Diebold to operate its systems on Election Day. That person was in charge of transferring early votes from electronic storage to the counting computer."

          The number of recorded votes and voters from the 2004 Election don't match in more than half of the precincts in Gaston County.

          Does this sound vetted to you?

          "Officials have said 4,438 ballots were lost in Carteret County when touch-screen voting machines failed to record some votes -- a number that could change the winner in the Troxler-Cobb race."

          "The maker of Carteret's push-button voting machines, UniLect Corp., acknowledges it told county officials the machines would hold more than 10,000 votes. The machines actually held 3,005 because the computer software had not been updated."

          From a North Carolina Republican IT Security professional:

          "I personally don't have conclusive evidence that voter fraud was perpetrated, but I can tell you as an Information Security professional that it would have been very, very easy to do. If I had to choose between someone conspiring with exit poll workers nationwide or someone changing values in an Access Database as the cause of the difference between the poll numbers and the "actual" results, I'll go with the easier, more effective option every time. Why choose the hard way when it's more trouble and you're less likely to succeed? Again, I'm staying clear of making specific allegations - I'll leave that to the activists who are gathering data - but I would be much more surprised if the election weren't hacked than to find out that it was."

          "It was too easy, the companies were too partisan and unethical, and there was too much at stake for them NOT to hack it. It looked like Bush was going to lose, and they had this tool available to pull out a victory."

          •  right (3.00)
            you show what i'm talking about- the most egregrious errors were not diebold machines, they were unilect, and the errors were nuts as all let out.


            there's no such easily verifiable evidence with diebold-

            we have motive
            we have possible ability

            what we do not have is evidence they committed the crime. ESPECIALLY not any evidence that the tilting leaned to the millions.

            any nationwide push presumes a conspiracy of quite a lot of people. one Diebold technician per county doesn't sound like alot, but it is when you're screwing an election and have to keep it secret. there is just no way they could maintain silence on such a massive scale. the rewards for speaking out are too great.

            There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

            by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:11:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am tired of this (4.00)
              it really irritates me.

              You just don't understand.

              One person who had the IP addresses for the central tabulators for, say, Triad tabulators nationwide could have both swung the election by 3 million votes and swung the election in several swing states.

              ONE PERSON at ONE of the voting companies.

              Bush wouldn't have to know, the President of the company wouldn't have to know, the guys girlfriend wouldn't have to know.

              Now, it is more likely, if such a thing happened, that it involved more than one person.

              In some cases the tabulators were not remotely accessible.  To hack into those tabulators you might have to have a wireless connection and be in close physical proximity to the machine.  Hacking of this sort would require lots of feet on the ground, a large budget, and an unlikely conspiracy.

              Even Hitchens discards your argument about a large conspiracy in the article, which I cited.


              In fact, its entirely possible that the whole thing could have been done without Bush even knowing about it.  


              Group Captian Mandrake: Very fine, sir, now if I could just have the keys and the code.

              The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

              by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:19:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks, BooMan23, (4.00)
                for continuously explaining to people who apparently know nothing about systems, software, communications, and software maintenance/updates about the hazards of our current voting systems and the ease with which the final tallies could be manipulated [all without a conspiracy, to boot!!] to produce the small margin in favor of Bush.

                Really, these people who keep insisting that it would take millions of people to manipulate the counts across the nation must have this picture in their heads that the voting machines and tabulators are set up exactly the same as their own personal pc.  It's as if they have no knowledge of anything beyond their own pc and it's capabilities.

                I just want to pull my hair out when someone says things like, "it would take a technician in each county to pull this off," or "the election judges would have to be in on it," when it wouldn't.  

                Please keep up the good work--maybe some of what you say will sink in someday.

                Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

                by dfarrah on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:50:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Boo (none)
                I'm sick of it too. The left is fragmented in their response to election theft, looking at different parts of the elephant and denying it's an elephant. And I do mean elephant.

                We have been fucked and will be fucked again by none other than Turd Blossom who smiles down at us from the window of his new White House office right by Ws. If we want to continue our nap that's fine with him. Pax Romana!

          •  also (none)
            the software IS VETTED.  Practically, most counties lack the technical expertise to do this, but that does not mean that noone does it.

            There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

            by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:18:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  vetted? (4.00)
              Vetted before or after they applied the unauthorized updates days before the elections?  Vetted before or after the machines were accessed by Deibold technicians on election day itself?  Vetted when the phone lines connected live to the machine were active even through election day?  Vetted before or after vote tally results were leaking from ES&S corporate before the Secretary of State of Ohio?  Vetted when the machines were running Microsoft Windows unpatched?

              Nope.  No matter what attempts were made, the machines were not really vetted.

              •  my thoughts (none)
                in how many cases were unauthorized updates applied? mainly, Clelands...which was not this election.

                how many technicians would it take to access large numbers of machines on election day? just how large of a conspiracy are you alleging?

                There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

                by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:43:29 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  One (4.00)
                  I am alleging one person with a list of phone numbers or some war dialing software, but I am also pointing out that there were so many other points of entry that to say that the software was "vetted" is absurd.
                  •  Or... (4.00)
                    Or a small handful of people on the development teams at a few Republican operated software companies.  Heck it even could have been one person contracting for several of them at once.
                    •  the developed software (none)
                      was exactly what was vetted. the software would need to be patched- by diebold technicians, in the county in question.

                      There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

                      by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:47:53 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The software could be patched (none)
                        remotely, depending on the capability of the Diebold machines.  And since they have nationwide ATM software capabilities, I'm just betting that when they update or maintenance the software on those machines, they do it remotely rather than send a technician to each and every ATM machine.  

                        Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

                        by dfarrah on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:57:52 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

            •  Vetted?!?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (4.00)
              Do you mean vetted like this?(emphasis mine)

              California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley had a simple question: Had a new electronic voting machine been approved by an independent testing lab?

              State law requires such approval before the device could be used by California voters. It guaranteed the machines counted votes accurately and would work reliably during an election. As the state's top election official, Shelley figured he could get a quick answer
              He figured wrong.

              Wyle Laboratories of El Segundo refused to discuss the status of its testing of the AccuVote-TSx machine made by its client, Diebold Election Systems. The information was proprietary, Wyle said, and could be revealed only to Diebold.

              And so the secretary of state was introduced to the looking-glass world of voting-machine regulation. Over the years, repeated references to "federal testing" by election officials have given the impression that the government oversees the certification of touch-screen voting systems. While there are guidelines for the machines, no federal agency has legal authority to enforce them.

              Instead, state officials rely on what amounts to a privately operated testing system -- a small group of for-profit companies overseen by a private elections group to ensure the integrity of elections increasingly dependent on electronic voting machines.

              No official oversight.

              Neither the testing procedures nor the testing results are considered to be public information, and these testing laboratories have not traditionally been subject to direct oversight by election officials. For years, the testing system was managed by a private center that also accepted donations from voting-equipment manufacturers.

              "I was shocked," Shelley recalled. "Everyone seemed to be in bed with everyone else. You had these so-called independent testing authorities floating out there in an undefined pseudo-public, pseudo-private status whose source of income is the vendors themselves."

              Recent testing by states and university scientists has shown that these labs, called independent testing authorities, or ITAs, are signing off on some software with serious flaws.

              Yeah, I got your "vetting" right here . . .

              The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, they tell us how the media is doing.

              by Thumb on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 09:43:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Kevin Shelley learned his lesson (4.00)
                he was lynched out of office by a smear-mob. Only the wealthy or corrupt can afford the legal costs of defending themselves against the raft of BS charges thrown at him after he stood up to Diebold.
            •  You are asserting a positive (4.00)
              That Diebold's software was vetted.  Give me proof.  Are you going to cite the convicted hacker felons Deibold employs as top programmers as official vetters, or an independent source?

              Diebold doesn't let anybody look at the source. They do however leave access to it unguarded if that makes you feel any better.

              I'll be waiting.

            •  no it's not (none)
              a majority of states received waivers from the inspection requirement of HAVA.

              it's in the Ohio report.

              If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

              by Georgia Logothetis on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:47:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  8 simple steps to rigging an election (4.00)
          Actually in just two can skip down to number 7 on this list.

          Which you can read about in detail here.

          Now while you're thinking about how easy it would be to modify votes after/during the election, keep in mind that these systems can be dialed into. And a SINGLE techniction can change the outcome from a secure location...and  NO ONE would ever know...(paper voting receipts? who needs 'em...)

          Looks like it's a lot easier to cover up than you think...

        •  Reason To Believe (none)
          "I refuse to believe that this much of the country's election machinery is corrupt."

          Who built the machines?  Who programmed the machines?  Who sold them to the states and counties?  Who profited from the sale of the machines?  Who installed the machines?  Who serviced them?  Who tabulated the votes?  Who reported the vote tabulations?  

          Diebold and ES&S.  Owned and operated by Republicans, many of them criminals.

          I refuse to believe that anyone can fail to see that our electoral process has been profoundly compromised.

      •  If you admit that the election (4.00)
        was stolen, you have to start facing the fact that the US is no longer a democracy. It is a lot easier debating the possible demise of the democracy, believe that John Kerry was a lousy candidate and next time the democrats will do better, win the election and we all live happily ever after.

        If the election was stolen for a 2nd time I think it is fair to say that the US is not longer becoming but has become a dictatorship.

        You know you're in trouble, when you've got to ask Dick Cheney to "cheer up" the voters.

        by amsterdam on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 04:52:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And the Repugs count on our not doing that (4.00)
          To realize that we are no longer a democracy but a dressed-up dictatorship is so painful that most of us will fight that knowledge emotionally as well as cognitively.  It just costs too much in psychological terms.  Fantasy becomes much preferable, and we will embrace it until forced to see things otherwise.

          Karl Rove knows that.  He knows the American people do not WANT to believe the corruption of the government we hold as better than any other. We're desperate not to believe that. We will fight that knowledge as long as each of us possibly can.  So it's totalitarianism made easy for Rove and his ilk.  Like taking candy from a baby.  

          On the other hand, maybe we're just patient.

          "...Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed..."  Thomas Jefferson

          •  the longer Americans are in denial (4.00)
            the more time they have to take away whatever democratic tools may be left, to take back your country.
            Just think 5 years back, and consider what state this country is in now. Would you have believed Guantanamo bay, Abu Graib, ten hour lines to cast your vote which than doesn't get counted, patriot act, Sadam bin Laden, phantom WMD, 1450 dead us soldiers, who knows how many dead Iraq civilians, the Geneva conventions declared quaint and obsolete and the person who made that delaration your new GA, a propsal to ammend the constitution to declare some people less equal then others.
            But of course you can decide to just be patient a little longer.    

            You know you're in trouble, when you've got to ask Dick Cheney to "cheer up" the voters.

            by amsterdam on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:54:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Is high tech always the answer? (4.00)
        I live in Canada where all the elections I have ever voted in (I'm 53) have been with a stubby HB pencil and a paper ballot.  I have NEVER waited in line behind even 1 person, and we have higher voter turnouts than the US consistently.  Somehow, the persons responsible seem to be able to sort and count all those identiacl ballots in a couple of hours after the polls close and there is never the confusion seen in the US.  I realize that paper ballots are "so junior high" but they appear to work, are easily counted, preserved, checked and rechecked, if necessary, AND, if you want to avoid having 11 hour lines, you can high a few more elderly people to sit at more polls in the polling station far more cheaply than oredering more voting machines.

        The US has a passion for technology and the "wizard behind the curtain " that may be overkill.

        •  neighbor to the north (none)
          are you trying to help?

          your point too obvious! too true.  too subtle for us!

          Like a good American, I've been thinking that a national ID Card would be a good idea.  

          1st it it would force states to standardize machines and the ID signiture in the machine logs could be used to prevent double voting and facilitate audits and spot checks to prevent hanky panky.

          As a software developer, I can't see any reason why a computer would let you spoil your vote.

          There shouldn't be any such thing as spoilage.  

          BTW, how much spoilage do you have in Canada?

        •  That is exactly what (none)
          we need to do.  Even with a paper trail, the computers are not to be trusted.  How that piece of paper says you voted could very well have nothing to do with how that vote is counted in the machine.  I guess at least there would be something to count, though.

          Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act. - Orwell

          by TracieLynn on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:13:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And the other reason paper ballots are fairer (4.00)
          is that they are cheap.  So no rationing.

          With machines, poor communities will always be deprived when it comes to distribution of an expensive resources.  Not enough machines, badly maintained machines, obsolete machines.

        •  The US has a passion (4.00)
          not for technology, but for multi-million-dollar contracts for Dear Leader's friends/donors.
        •  Low Tech is not the answer either... (none)
          Congressman Nadler at the hearings in Ohio said that it's just as easy for shenanigans to happen with paper ballots.  They can be lost, they can be stuffed....

          John Conyers & Stephanie Tubbs Jones introduced a bill to be the House counterpart to S. 17 entitled 'Voting Opportunity and Technology Enhancement Rights Act' or 'VOTER Act of 2005', the legislation introduced in the Senate by Senator Chris Dodd on behalf of the Senate Democratic Leadership.  I like the reforms they're requesting.  We need to federalize presidential elections...

          Provisions of the legislation would:
               - Provide for a uniform Federal write-in/absentee ballot;
               - Require states to provide for a verifiable audit trail; ensure that provisional ballots cast anywhere in a state are counted;
               - Eliminate disparities in the allocation of voting machines and poll workers among a state's precincts;
               - Mandate early voting and election day registration procedures;
               - Protect against improper purging of registration lists in federal elections;
               - Provide for a study regarding making election day a public holiday; ease voter registration requirements; allow voter identification by written affidavit; study eliminating partisan election officials from administering federal elections; enhance training for election officials;
               - Require the use of publicly available open source software in voting machines;
               - Provide uniform standards for vote recounts;
               - Prohibit voting machine companies from engaging in political activities;
               - Enhance legal protections against voter intimidation and threats.

          With respect to investigating this past election...

          USCountVotes proposes to objectively investigate voting patterns through the creation of a database of precinct level election and demographic data for all states.  Their goal is to develop analytical and statistical techniques capable of pinpointing probable errors in vote counts worthy of investigation, regardless of the parties involved.  We need to do this.  More information on this election reform activist group can be found here.

          Their mission statement is...

          Our objective is that by the national election in November 2006, for the first time in American history, it could be possible for candidates to be reliably warned of indications of machine or human-caused vote count errors in time to challenge the results.  With a sound scientific approach and methodology, it may be possible for USCountVotes' project staff to develop statistical evidence in support of legal filings and serve as expert witnesses for candidates, regardless of party affiliation.

          Now wouldn't this be great if we can get this done by 2006?

          "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" - John Kerry

          by goldilocks on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:08:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The System IS the Problem (4.00)
        Our voting system, our electoral system, our two-party system, etc. (with apologies for the inexactness of "the system"...I know this is just a step better than saying "the man," but, hey, this is a blog comment)

        Why didn't Kerry and most other leading Democrats respond the way Maryscott and many others on this site (though notably not its owner) would have liked to see them respond? Because the Democratic Party is deeply a part of this system. And loyalty to the system itself is high on the list of many Democrats' priorities. Put another way, for Kerry and many others, when questions become radical and fundamental enough, not rocking the boat is more important than winning.  Or as Kerry himself put it:  

        [George W. Bush and I] had a good conversation and we talked about the danger of division in our country and the need - the desperate need - for unity, for finding the common ground, coming together. Today, I hope that we can begin the healing. In America it is vital that every vote count, and that every vote be counted. But the outcome should be decided by voters, not a protracted legal process.

        I would not give up this fight if there was a chance that we would prevail. But it is now clear that even when all the provisional ballots are counted, which they will be, there won't be enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio. And therefore, we can not win this election.

        I do want to qualify what I just said.  Many of my fellow Greens feel that the Democratic Party is essentially part of the system.  I part somewhat with that view.  I think that the Democratic Party's relationship to the system is a bit like the Republican Party's relationship to movement conservatism. That is to say, while it could, in principle, change, that relationship is very, very hardwired.  I happen to think that as hard as it is to build a progressive third party, it would be harder still to truly reform the Dems. But for those of you who are committed to truly reforming the Democratic Party, you should never forget how much you need to change.  It's not just about having folks in leadership positions willing to call themselves "Kossacks," or to talk about "the netroots."

        Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. -Adam Michnik.

        by GreenSooner on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:18:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Right on (4.00)
        Okay, during the Florida mess and the SC giving Bush the presidency, most people said, just move on. It was a huge mistake. If they can hack into these machines, they could have done it everywhere. With no outrage nothing was done, I knew that would happen the moment Kerry conceded. IT was one reason I lost a lot of faith in him. Because he should have come out with guns raised not to WIN but to push serious reform, get rid of the machines. But the DNC rolled again. I am so glad to see leadership. IN the end, NOT every vote was counted.
        I know there are still investigations but there were in Florida and what they proved was that Gore was President. But, ask any ignorant American on the street and they will tell you that Bush one Florida in 2000. I believe that if more was done to get the word out, I know hard with a media owned by the RNC contributors, I believe that more people would have questioned the results, or at least would have been open to the idea. Now it just looks like the DNC are acting like bad losers.

        Being a patriot means you have to do more than wave a flag!

        by melthewriter on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:00:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm with maryscott (4.00)

        I chose my screen name for this site because I fervently believe in two "conspiracy theories" that are, I think, so obvious that disbelief ought to be called irrational belief in "coincidence theories."

        To wit, I don't believe 9-11 was pulled off by 19 Arab guys with boxcutters.  I am 90% convinced it was an "inside job," done deliberately to bring about PNAC's "New Pearl Harbor," and 99.99999% convinced that -- at best -- Cheney, Rummy, Gen. Myers and others knew it was coming, and allowed it to happen (which isn't really much less damning, is it?)

        The other "conspiracy" is that Bush and his buds had the motive and means to steal the 2004 presidential election -- in Ohio, Florida, and nationwide.

        If they didn't, why the hell didn't they?  Why would Republicans go to such pains to install Diebold (and other makers') audit-proof touchscreens (and compilers) that can be hacked via remote modem, if they didn't intend to steal elections?

        Folks, Americans are in denial here.  they don't want to look closely at these issues, because the implications are too frightening.

        We should be frightened.

        We should face the truth, "whatever anguish of spirit it might cause us" (Patrick Henry) because the choice is to succumb to totalitarianism.

        We owe ourselves.  We owe our posterity.  The alternative to seeking the truth and fighting to vindicate it is subjection.

        "I did not like fascists when I fought them as a diplomat . . . and I don't like them now in my own country." (Joe Wilson)

        by proudtinfoilhat on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:22:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Scary (none)
          The combination of this post and the large number of 4 ratings is probably the scariest thing I have ever read on Kos.

          The claim here is that it is nearly certain that several high ranking US officials knew that the attacks were coming and chose not to do anything about it. Furthermore, it is claimed that it is very likely that they actually brought it about. The original poster feels that it is so likely in fact that (s)he is willing to insult anyone who doesn't agree on the subject.  

          You have made an extraordinary claim. Belief in such requires extraordinary evidence. You have offered no evidence at all.

          Please, present your evidence or retract your insult of irrationality.

          And if you need anything...there's some ants.

          by Skipbidder on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 01:29:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Why do Liberals ignore '04 vote fraud ? (4.00)
        Answer - Several reasons :

        The fact that liberal elites feel the '04 vote-fraud story to be so threatening or so far out on the periphery of possibility they are obliged to brand those documenting the electoral-fraud case as insane is no doubt a great comfort to Karl Rove - who surely is chuckling and rubbing his sweaty palms in glee as Democrats relegate the mad, pregnant niece raped by the incestuous and pedophilic uncle - that was the 2004 election - to the closet of the unspeakable, to be heaped with all the other scandals, skeletons, and scary monsters (such as the rise to power of the American religious right).

        Why liberal elites find such realities  so palpably disturbing as to require the construction of police lines of taboo protecting polite discourse from such things is an open question - does that arise from a generational naivete born of a sheltered upbringing in a land of milk and twinkies which has not, for many generations, seen the sort of devastation visited on Fallujah, Grozny, Dresden and Nagasaki or the genocidal killing frenzies of the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, or My Lai ? Or from a lack of experience with the merely "normal" civilian of war noted by Charles Bukowski, asking of LA - "What if this city were to be bombed, not with an atom bomb but day in, day out, relentlessly, with ordinary blockbusters" ?

        Recent research has shown more activity in the Amygdalas of Democrats, so perhaps some of this is based in fear. Of politics, Democrats worry while Republicans scheme ? Perhaps.

        But, this much is certain : truth telling most usually carries a blood price, lies pay, and delusion keeps us safe by restraining our urge to peek at the scary monsters we fear lurk under the bed - lest they prove real and bite off our heads.

        Meanwhile, accusations of "tinfoil hattery" serve, as well, as shibboleths of convenience for the bitches of power to gain access, as acolytes, to the inner sanctums of the 33rd degree - the think tanks, boardrooms, institutes, councils, cocktail parties,  bedrooms, and brothels of  received wisdom and consensus that has been well insulated from all responsibility and repercussion, and - just as juicily -  to that secret room deep in the basement  of the golf-course country club that once was the 4th Estate from which are controlled the unleashed, shrieking, flying heads of Zardoz.

        We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. -Mark Twain [Samuel Langhornne Clemens] (1835-1910)

        by Troutfishing on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:42:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  DO NOT AGREE. (none)
      They cheated, and they stole it.

      Bloomberg blows. Let's declare "Dinkins Days" zones!

      by E Vill Judy on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:24:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sandals has made a valid point. (none)
      Don't rate the post based on whether or not you agree; ie, don't be an asshole.  If you have something to say, just hit that reply button and say it.
    •  It's the principle of the thing (none)
      What is our nation based on, if not the right to an accurate vote? Take that away, and what do we have?
    •  What "stolen" means (none)
      Stolen isn't about "more people voted for GWB than voted for Kerry." Sotlen is about Kerry would have won the presidency if Ohio's vote had been straight. The game is defined by its rules, by our laws and Constitution. The Electoral College vote is the game. The "popular vote," by contrast, is just an opinion pole.
    •  Welcome to the People's Republic of the GOP (4.00)
      You comment has just given the GOP permission to do it again.  "Of course they cheated..." (you say) but "I'm not going to do a darned thing about it" will yield immense fraud in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

      This is not just about whether Bush deserves to be in office or not; this is about whether it is okay that the GOP has incorporated election shenanigans like fraud and theft into its campaign strategy.  Your comment conveys the message that it is not only okay, but that these shenanigans will never be meaningfully challenged.

      If you like living in a banana republic, then I guess it's fine to accept the premise that those with the most financial resources and will to act anti-constitutionally should attain and retain despotic powers.  At least allow those of us who never signed up for the "People's Republic of the GOP," to fight this soft coup.

      •  Frist and Co. (4.00)
        Have been making "black history" speeches on the Senate floor and probably will all during February.  How about some not too distant black history?  It's disgusting to see all of the crap pulled in every state to discourage and disenfranchise black voters and then have the gall to put on a dog and pony show about "black history".

        How about really standing up for civil rights? We must because if we don't, we are as guilty as they are.

      •  I did not say (none)
        that I would not do anything about it.

        Complaining- to GOP pundits, on television media- that Bush stole the election- foolishness.

        There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

        by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:20:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hey, Sandals (4.00)
      I guess no one has told you yet, but it's the electoral vote that counts - not the popular vote.
      •  i stand by my principles (none)
        Namely that it is the popular vote that should count. Why do Californians and Texans count for so much less than Iowans?

        Furthermore no Democrat president who lost the popular vote would be sustainable.  You can smell the media circus from here. I wouldn't be confident that the GOP would not stage a virtual civil revolt were Kerry have won the election based on winning Ohio and still losing by 2-3 million votes.  

        Not to mention the crippling inability to get anything down with a hostile GOP Congress, nevermind the WOT.

        And it would be milked for all it was worth. How ineffective the Democrats are. Etc etc. Can't you picture it?

        There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

        by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:25:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do the math ... (none)
          it only takes 10 fraudulent votes per precinct to win the popular vote by a landslide.
          •  and... (none)
            do you have any evidence that there were 10 fradulent votes per precinct? Deliberately fradulent & all tilted towards Bush?

            Just look at WA state's manual recount.  

            There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

            by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:40:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, (none)
              the exit polls, which were in the past considered reliable [until this election, that is], demonstrated an inexplicable shift toward bush.  

              Not that I want to get into any arguments about what happened; I'm waiting to hear from that congressman who demanded all of the polling data from the pollsters and see how it corelates to the precincts, machines used, etc.

              And I'm with deToqueville on this issue [if I spelled his name right]:  Do you have any evidence that votes weren't fraudulently shifted from k to b?

              Bush's presidency is now inextricably yoked to the policies of aggression and subjugation. Mike Whitney

              by dfarrah on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:10:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  If I had that then Kerry would be President today (none)
              I made the statement to demonstrate that it wouldn't take much per precinct to steal an election.  I can't remember who it was that originally made the statement, but since it was mainly Keith Olbermann reporting on the election fraud issue, it must have been someone on his show.  This guest actually stated how many votes this would translate to and while I've forgotten the number. I do remember his statement and how shocked I was at how easy it would be to carry this out with simple computer manipulation.

              It's not who votes that counts. It's who counts the votes. -- Joseph Stalin

    •  can we not (none)
      rate this guy based on the fact that a lot of you disagree with him?  This was very clearly not a troll comment.  It is not there merely to provoke, he's expressing his opinion.
      •  <rant> (none)
        Why are some of you people always so damn obsessed with ratings? Why do you give a rat's arse if somebody else decided to "troll-rate" someone?

        It means nothing. It's just a person's way of expressing their disagreement, anger, frustration, agreement, kudos, etc.

        There are much bigger fish to fry than worrying about whether or not someone gave Sandals posts a 1,2 or whatever.

        While I would tend to agree that its counterproductive to "troll-rate" someone who obviously isn't a troll, I'd also say it's even more counterproductive to sit here and complain about somebody elses's ratings.


        •  because (4.00)
          I really love this community and feel like, since Kos gave it to us and set us up with some rules and allows us to police ourselves, those rules should be respected.  I also think troll rating people purely because you disagree with them freezes open discourse which is what I come here for in the first place.
          •  I restrained myself (4.00)
            from troll-rating sandals, but I finally had to give a 2 to this exasperating nonsense:
            "any nationwide push presumes a conspiracy of quite a lot of people."

            That point has been demolished again and again, by knowledgeable tech types, over all the weeks since the catastrophe. Yet some people either didn't get the memo or decided to ignore it because they were worried that some freeper might think badly of them.

            I'd better stop writing now or I'll go back and change that 2 to a 1. Of course it's moot now, but damn, this kind of stuff pisses me off.

            •  bullshit (none)
              diebold cannot need to send a tech to make unknown system changes via a patch to manipulate vote totals AND have the ability to manipulate nationwide vote totals via phone.  That's stupid.

              There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

              by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:43:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  One must assume (none)
                that you are referring to the Hocking County incident where a Triad, not Diebold, technician was sent after the election had already been stolen (IMHO) to fiddle with a tabulating machine prior to the non-recount. Because, as in all other questions regarding the vote, we simply don't have access to the required details to figure out what actually happened, there's no point in conjecturing all the possible explanations. Or maybe you had another incident in mind.

                Perhaps this particular anecdote -- and a thousand other questions -- will get cleared up if the Cobb campaign's newly filed lawsuit succeeds in generating some subpoenas and some discovery.

                Now, where did I put that recipe file...

        •  tbh (none)
          i lost TU. although i could just post on cheers &

          There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

          by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 09:29:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Frame: 'It's not the vote, it's the LIES.' (4.00)
      The important thing is, if there was voting fraud, and the outcome of the Presidential election is different because of it, then someone should PAY.

      Accountability. Was there vote fraud; if so, who did it, who knew about it and let it happen, who's helped cover up at the time and up to now; and what is to be done with them?

      Let's hammer this thing like a nail.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:00:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your statement isn't logically consistent. (4.00)
      If Ohio was stolen, it would cast doubt on the overall vote totals.

      You take the vote totals for granted, but that begs the question - for the vote totals are contested and defy statistical probability and - some say - statisitical possibility.  I have seen no credible explanation from anyone, or from any relevant authority, as to why a 1-3 point average Kerry lead should suddenly flip to a 1-3 point average Bush lead. None.

      Christopher Hitchens' rather late acknowledgement of the wide spectrum of vote-fraud techniques, which seem to have been employed in Ohio, underlines the case that a diffuse, criminal program of fraud shifted large numbers of votes from Kerry to Bush.

      Then, there is the question of the partisan Republican ownership of  voting machines and central vote tabulating machines - and the proven violation, by said owners, of a number of relevant electoral laws in illegally accessing and tampering with those machines both immediately prior to, during, and after the 2004 election....

      The bottom line is : anyone who won't acknowledge that the US 2004 election fell pitifully short of  world electoral standards for clean elections and that the election was, in the end,  a far less credible electoral process than even the 2004 Ukranian election....... anyone refusing to acknowledge this is flirting with delusion.


      Now, when I drew attention to the rather unflattering comparison between the US 2004 and Ukranian 2004 elections, on another forum post Nov. 2, my post was deleted :

      A tale of two elections : compare "This election did not meet
      a considerable number of international standards for democratic elections" with "voting procedures
      being used in the extremely close contest fell short in many ways of the best global practices."  Ukraine 2004 election vs. US 2004 election : Despite virtually identical allegations of vote fraud and vote suppression ( backed up, in the US election, by hard data from the incumbent-friendly partisan controlled electoral system itself ), one election receives widespread international press attention, the other a nearly complete news blackout. In the contested Ukrainian election, a disparity between exit polls and the official election results - which show a "surprise" upset victory for the incumbent - are cited as evidence of fraud and the election, world media reports, did not meet international democratic electoral norms.  These norms include 1) transparency of voting process, 2) equal access to voting equipment, 3) impartial professional administration of voting systems, 4) and a uniform national system : all lacking in the US 2004 election.

      American machine politics of an earlier era are accepted history : does mainstream US media refusal to acknowledge a new era of machine politics indicate a press and punditocracy now compromised by class interest that aligns with the prerogatives of power and wealth ?
       (more inside)

      The post kicked ass and I was - of course - mad when it was deleted. I got in first, quick, mapped out the territory and staked my claim on the talking point. Woo Hoo.  

      And that unflattering comparison between the US 2004 and Ukranian 2004 elections was subsequently made by a wide variety of commentators in the US and the World at large :

      When electoral officials establish, through obstruction, their own prima facie case - according to the electoral laws of their jurisdiction - for electoral fraud - amidst widespread accounts of vote-rigging - and then mainstream media chose to turn a blind eye to those facts, what can one say of that media ?

      Well, one can say - at least - that media still constructs, despite the growing clout of the Net,  popular perceptions of reality, and so pressure on the administrators of popular liberal internet sites - such as Kos or Matt Haughey - can be considerable. Such site administrators have to play the extremely tricky balancing act of  promoting truth and yet also protecting the reputation of, and promoting, their sites.  Nothing can be taken for granted - the resistance of DailyKos to a campaign of smears or the potential of such sites to mature into a worthy counterforce to the susurrating buzz that issues from the engines of the Fourth Estates, those flying heads of Zardoz that we collectively call "the media".

      Unfortunately, those flying heads of Zardoz  egg on the barbarians as they toss babies from spear to spear, burn books, and piss on Democracy....

      And, the flying heads of Zardoz screech out the soundtrack shaping public perceptions of "credibility" :

      : they are the gatekeepers and butchers who wield the USDA Grade "A" Prime certificate of "credibility" that gets stamped occasionally on the hides of timid websites but most often gets affixed, with bows and ribbons, to that plate of payola-encrusted media bromides, chestnuts, distortions, hyperbole, lies, and infotainment served up on a golden platter of corporate bottom-line profit that bears this perfumed pile of stinking diarrheaic crap called "truth" which - beyond the still thin, disdainful and nauseated gourmet ranks of internet and media savvy elites who chose other, less excretory fare -  still, in this latter pre-Singularity age, nonetheless get emitted, squeezed and sprayed out, from crusty old orifices of the traditional mass media, by radio, on TV, in print. The ghost of Walter Lippman - somewhere - spits, rolls his eyes, takes up reading Hegel.

      DailyKos and Metafilter do not exist in a vacuum : and because they do not exist in a vacuum, they are subject to arm-twisting and indirect pressure - via accusations of "tin foil hattery" - should they choose to highlight such verboten news stories as the now rather well documented case that the US 2004 election was rigged and hacked. In this, the fact that both international democratic standards for clean elections and  Ohio electoral law itself declare a prima-facie cause for electoral fraud - in Ohio and in the US at large in '04 - is irrelevant.

      That fact is irrelevant because American public perceptions of reality are constructed now by what has devolved into an almost totally servile Fourth Estate come full circle since the latter days of the 19th Century, when the noted journalist John Swinton was heard to say - at a public gathering of New York's leading figures :

      There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.*

      There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

      The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

      We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.

      (Source: Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979.)

      *The remarks were apparently made by Swinton, then the preeminent New York journalist, probably one night in 1880. Swinton was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying.

      The Wurlitzer comes and goes and comes and goes as an eternally recrudescent poorly toileted blight that sneaks in past plump complacency to cloud our perceptions with it's  smeared excrement and then, in turn and if we are lucky, is driven slouching from the temples of public consensus to sulk i the hills and plot it's return.  

      But, back to the ranch :

      I don't so much think Kos has knuckled under to pressure to suppress or not promote the US 2004 election fraud story - rather, I think it  is far more likely that the growing importance of his site has brought Kos association with people who both have much to offer and who disparage the story as conspiratorial.

      Individual perceptions of "reality" are derived and constructed both individually and from a wider social matrix - and because the American liberal elite has chosen to ignore the '04 fraud story and to tar it's proponents as conspiracy theorists ( as if successful conspiracies were not an eternal staple for study,  by historians, as a natural expression of human avarice ), and so it would be quite natural - for Kos or for anyone really, for all are subject to these pressures - to be influenced by the assocations that ownership of what is, in truth, a powerful new collaborative media forum brings.  

      The fact that liberal elites feel the '04 vote-fraud story to be so threatening or so far out on the periphery of possibility they are obliged to brand those documenting the electoral-fraud case as insane is no doubt a great comfort to Karl Rove - who surely is chuckling and rubbing his sweaty palms in glee as Democrats relegate the mad, pregnant niece raped by the incestuous and pedophilic uncle - that was the 2004 election - to the closet of the unspeakable, to be heaped with all the other scandals, skeletons, and scary monsters (such as the rise to power of the American religious right).

      Why liberal elites find such realities  so palpably disturbing as to require the construction of police lines of taboo protecting polite discourse from such things is an open question - does that arise from a generational naivete born of a sheltered upbringing in a land of milk and twinkies which has not, for many generations, seen the sort of devastation visited on Fallujah, Grozny, Dresden and Nagasaki or the genocidal killing frenzies of the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, or My Lai ? Or from a lack of experience with the merely "normal" civilian of war noted by Charles Bukowski, asking of LA - "What if this city were to be bombed, not with an atom bomb but day in, day out, relentlessly, with ordinary blockbusters" ?

      Recent research has shown more activity in the Amygdalas of Democrats, so perhaps some of this is based in fear. Of politics, Democrats worry while Republicans scheme ? Perhaps.

      Yet, here we are - entrusted by whatever curious twists of fate with truth telling. If we do not take this on, who will ?  Dan Rather ? The New York Times ?


      So here we are, staggering, building mscles to shoulder the load, envisioning the day when we divert the river that flushes out the stables. Eating egg whites, pumping info.  

      [ CUT - to Joseph Campbell :"On the quest, the hero must sacrifice on the path, to let all that is unessential and even much that which *he loves - even to the point of ultimate sacrifice - fall away."

      *He ? Hey, it's a generational thing. Insert a "she" or an "it" at will. Joe won't mind. ]

      We all walk the steep path of truth telling that wends through the mountains of despair to the Shangri La of a better day. We have no choice : knowledge, bought with pain, exacts a heavy price. We know too much, we cannot turn back.  We trudge on, in faith.

      Truth telling : truth telling most usually carries a blood price, and so the stance of such as Kos - those who are truly forging a third-way progressive path leading away from the blasted moral and ethical wastelands of the DNC - does not so much constitute a shibboleth of the bitches of power for access, as acolytes, to the inner sanctums of the 33rd degree as it amounts to a hard edged political stance on ugly tradeoffs necessary to the  imperative of establishing a counterforce to the flying heads of Zardoz  unleashed by the golf-course country club that once was the 4th Estate.

      In this, who is with us ? Who is against ? Judgements are perilious and so - though I might suspect that  Mr. Hitchens  - conveniently late to the party - might have dallied overlong at the ritual basement gang-bang of captive Thai sex-slaves at the Senator's party and that  Hitch - a two edged peril - simply milks profit from a pendulous differential - between knee-jerk Manichean thinking and ground level shades of gray - with the bag balm of his elegant pen - but who am I to judge ? This may - on my part - amount to mere indulgent, scurrilous fantasy.  And - although I might be tempted to wonder if a  few righteous causes, good fights, and a gratitious stomp of Mother Theresa thrown in for  the hell of it  is calculated to grant license - in liberal minds anyway - and shore up sufficient street cred. at the Nation to sustain a frenzy of cracked Phantom of The Opera off-key wurlitzer pounding in praise of PNAC :  I have to wonder what sort of bones and bits of hair, coughed up from a hangover of a DC Bacchanalia turned ugly, the wringwraiths of J. Edgar Hoover have to brandish at Hitchens  should he step out line in the wrong direction.

      But, those would be idle, speculative musings on my part, and Kos is no Hitchens  : and Hitchens himself is merely the piper - unwitting or not - at the edges of a dawn where loofa-wielding parades of hateful,  frothing 101st Fighting Keyboardists, led by a float topped with Ann Coulter, in full metal S&M, sodomizing Bill O' Reilly with a faith-based cattle prod while Toby Keith slugs Jack Daniels and belts out the national anthem.....

      While Hitchens and his kind skulk around the periphery of Pax Americana planting flags between cocktail breaks, and while hungry theocrats chew through the wormy old heart of the Republic, enter :

      The ghost of Christmas future, where Tiny Tim has been kidnapped, shipped to Paraguay, and cloned into penned up herds of Tims, reared on moldy fodder purloined from fallout shelders, by the Council on National Priorities, strictly for profit rather than as sex slaves or killer castrati, to baptised, saved, butchered, stretched with Hamburger Helper, and  laundered through the Brazilian spot-meat market,  and snapped up by McDonalds and  shaped into Leviticus BurgersTM and served up with Coca Cola and Freedom FriesTM, for refreshments to be eaten while watching holographic images of Arnold Schwarzenegger  - strangling Osama Bin Laden and beating the truth out of suspects picked up for improper chewing gum etiquette while Pat Robertson beams, genuflects, and passes the water hose while chanting from Revelation - projected between the singing of hymns at the local drive-in megachurch.

      We are not there yet, and I - as your ghost of Christmas present - show you Kos and also yourself and - as the Ghost of Christmas future - cast a light on that daily procession of  choices both tiny and momentous leading towards that place shown to you, above, or towards a happier future where Tiny Tim gets a prosthetic leg and proper nutrition and so goes on to college, gets a law degree, and enters politics.

      We all - each in our own way - are Kos at Christmas present, and it tends not to be, most often, the great decisions that send us off along those uglier bifurcations, to hell or the madhouse : It is most often the aggregate that counts, our humble day-to-day  decisions, our ongoing infusions of love and care, and our ability to organize our energies into synchronous pulses to shape a better future and destiny for Tiny Tim - so that he might one day be a rising star Congressional aid rather than be rendered down into commercial hamburger and sold with Happy Meals.

      And, Kos - for providing this Samizdat megaphone for you and I and all of us, as we challenge the flying heads of Zardoz  - has led the way along to a happier future for Tim :

      The flying heads of Zardoz are everywhere, they are legion : NPR, Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC, NYT, The Washington Times, Newseek.....So many heads spewing out dreams, hatred and rifles.  

      Here, at least, we can mass force  to cast up nets and catch those loathsome heads to  - one by one - pull them to ground.

      Enough - I go.

      We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. -Mark Twain [Samuel Langhornne Clemens] (1835-1910)

      by Troutfishing on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:56:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  sorry to respond so briefly (none)
        but the essential problem with the comparison is the tiny differential of the US exit polls compared to the Ukraine.  

        There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

        by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:33:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The differential...... (4.00)
          Was as big as necessary. No more, no less.  A large differential would have been far too much even for a corrupt US mass media to ignore. But, the early / final ( contested ) exit poll differential - a 4-6 point spread or so - has been shown to have been anywhere from statistically unlikley to simply impossible.

          Meanwhile :

          Existing Ohio electoral law states that access to voting data shall be open to the public and that any and all attempts to prevent that access are illegal and constitute prima facie evidence of electoral fraud.

          Access to that data was blocked by non other than Kent Blackwell - hence, prima facie evidence for vote fraud.

          So, what's Blackwell HIDING ?  If he were not HIDING something, why would he illegally block access to voting data ?


          On a number of counts, the US 2004 election did not conform to international standards for clean elections. Not the least of which for the partisan control of the electoral apparatus : a big no no on the World scene if not in the backwater of Democracy the US has become.

          The Ukraine - by it's final re-vote, after the one or two botched and rigged elections - had come close enough to meeting those conditions as to receive international approval.

          The US did not even make an effort, and almost no one in the mainstrean media would touch the comparison.

          We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the drove. -Mark Twain [Samuel Langhornne Clemens] (1835-1910)

          by Troutfishing on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 09:00:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Great stuff (none)
        If only for the much neglected Zardoz head!
    •  The question is (4.00)
      How many people came to the polls intending to vote for Gore or Kerry.  In Florida 2000 it was abundantly clear that more people came to the polls and left believing they had voted for Gore.  In Ohio 2004 it may not be as clear, but it is not out of the question that the election in that state was indeed stolen.

      Republicans - putting the lipstick of faith on the pig of big business

    •  sandals (4.00)
      the lead in the popular vote was a marginal 3%: which is about the same percentage as the spoilage (which runs overwhelmingly democratic) of provisional ballots and other irregularities. So the election may well have been stolen but b/c you have been brainwashed unlike the people in the Ukraine you just can't image it happening here.
    •  We elect our president by the (none)
      Electoral College system. Period. If Ohio was stolen, the national election was stolen. And it is apparent that that is the case.
    •  It should be noted (none)
      that about half of GWB's popular vote advantage (about 3 million votes) came from his home state of Texas (1.7 million votes).

      Not to say that a Texan's vote counts less, but this put things more into perspective for me in the depressing days following the election.

    •  Ok I'll bite (4.00)
      So maybe this was a troll, but for all the people who say:
       "more people voted for W.  the lead was too immense" (which I hear a LOT in Ohio)...

      All I have to say is:  What do you base this on?

      • the media?
      • the exit polls?
      • the recount?

      All three of those things bring out SERIOUS questions.  Look at Florida in 2000.  Look at the exit polls.  Look at the companies involved, the voting machine companies, the polling data companies, the media conglomerates, the Secretary of State, the Ohio dems.

      Not a single one of these groups has provided a SINGLE answer.  Even under treat of Congressional subpoena.  None of them have provided explanations other than "get over it".  All I want is a beyond reasonable doubt explanation.  Period.

      •  i'm not talking about just Ohio. (none)
        but Nationwide vote totals.  I do not disagree that the Republicans fucked over the Ohio vote as much as they possibly could.  I believe it is utterly counterproductive to try and overturn the Presidential election when Bush won the popular vote. (is it so hard to believe that Bush's lies and minority intimidation tactics led to more people voting for him? does he have to cheat?)

        There is a heaven, but ill never get there... i keep respawning...

        by Sandals on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:46:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Of course they cheated" (4.00)
      Well how do you know Kerry didn't win Ohio?

      In a state the size of Ohio 119,000 votes ain't much.
      I don't know either but i was sure screaming for an investigation.
      If somebody cheated logic follows that there should be an investigation.

      Not calling them out only makes them more brazen so 2006 shouldn't even be close.

    •  Big deal, it's the electoral college that matters (none)
      Not the popular vote.  Gore taught us that.

      4 wars and 7 depressions ago, Republicons imposed the ownership society: conceived in inequality, and dedicated to making man subservient to the corporation.

      by LionelEHutz on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:59:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More than four dead in Ohio (none)
      In the matter of fraud it does not matter whether one vote was fraudulently added or if a million of them were added.  One does not have to prove that x-number of votes had to be fraudulent to offset the opponent's number.  

      If only one vote is proven fraudulent then whoever is guilty of the fraud goes to jail, but certainly should not be rewarded for his crime, except in this case the criminals were.  

      The reason that the fraud succeeded was not the so-called "genius" of Karl Rove, it was the fact that the media is now the propaganda ministry of the current regime.  

      It amazes me how many reporters are willing to sell American democracy down the tubes at great harm to the majority of the American people to keep from being fired, or to keep whatever cushy arrangements they have acquired.  

      Self-serving is one thing, but the press is behaving in a treasonous fashion, not against the government, but against the people.  It isn't just a shame, it is a CRIME.

  •  Um, yeah (4.00)
    please go ahead and smack that recommend button.  Thanks.

    The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

    by BooMan23 on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:14:10 PM PST

  •  Ohio was (4.00)
    only one state focussed on. Even if it was the only one and even if Kerry would've lost if there was no fraud IT IS STILL WRONG TO FIX AN ELECTION and those who do it should go to jail for a very long time.

    In fact, a case could be made for treason and punishment by death.

    Treason in the form of an attempted coup is no less treason than spying for another country.

  •  Hitchens is one of those annoying English (none)
    contrarians.  They have good command of the English language and they know it.  So they use it to argue every issue and never allow themselves to be pigeonholed on anything.  His act as the erudite scholar is more about image making than it is about real substance.  That said, I do agree that Kissinger should be tried.  
    •  that's true (none)
      I used to admire Hitchens for his independent, contrarian 'tude, but when he decided to back Bush I said, hey, enough is enough.

      With this VF article, I appreciate his point of view, but now I wonder if he's just starting trouble to get attention.

      I can't really trust anyone who says he wouldn't vote for Kerry as president of anything, yet supports Bush.

      •  problems with Hitchens (4.00)
        Hitchens has taken some good stands and some very embarassing ones.  Vis-a-vis Bush foreign policy it would not be too harsh to call him a complete sell-out.

        I know of two articles that deal with him.  The best is called: "Towards a 'Decent Left'?" and it appeared in Z Magazine in July 2002.  It basically shows how Hitchens (and the New Republic types) got a lot of milage (and money) out of willfully and very dishonestly misrepresenting Chomsky's and others on the left's positions in the wake of 9/11.  There is no direct link to it but it can be found at:

        Go to the "search" link on the left and in the author field select "Street" (the author's name it Paul Street) and in the date field select "mid 2002"

        The other article is a meditation on the very phenomenon of "selling-out" (to the right, for money) with Hitchens as its prime example.  This can be found here.

        Hitchens may be a slimy bastard, but insofar as he writes things that serve a useful purpose, we may as well be happy.

        "Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do." -Voltaire

        by Nate Roberts on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:16:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Throw in his defense (none)
          Of Holocaust deniers and the picture really gets ugly.
          •  it is interesting. . . (none)
            . . .that both Hitchens and his arch-nemesis, Chomsky, would both fall under the category of "defenders of holocaust deniers."

            Chomsky, anyway, does not defend the deniers as individuals, nor does he defend their ludicrous theories. . . in fact the only thing he defends is their right of free speech.  It is his view that  allowing them to say what they do openly is the best way to insure that their half-baked theories are firmly rebutted in public forums (instead of slowly spreading and festering below the surface).

            I'm not sure if Chomsky is right, strategically speaking.  But that's his position.  

            What about Hitchens?  

            "Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do." -Voltaire

            by Nate Roberts on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:00:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Chomsky Defends 100% Free Speech (none)
              Chomsky doesn't defend the Holocaust, but he defends the right of free speech for people who want to deny the Holocaust. Right-wingers love to manipulate this into making people believe Chomsky defends the denial of the Holocaust itself. Nothing could be further from the truth. Chomsky has spent his life speaking out against mass murder.

              A similar trick is pulled when liberals vote against a law to make flag burning illegal. While you may not agree with flag burning, people should have the right to perform the flag burning act in a free country. So a vote against the right to burn flags is twisted into a vote for flag burning itself.

        •  Yes, and I believe that he is the only (none)
          person, living or dead, who has trashed Mother Teresa in print.
          •  I wish that were true (none)
            but actually, in India she got trashed (and still gets trashed) regularly by members of the Hindu right-wing "family" of organizations (the Sangh Parivar, which includes the BJP, the VHP, the RSS and numerous other smaller organizations).

            They're also the ones responsible for the demolition of the Barbri Masjid (a very old mosque), for fomenting the 2001 pogrom against Muslims in Gujarat, and for the murder of the missionary Graham Staines and his two sons, as well as the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.

            Nice folks.

            "Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do." -Voltaire

            by Nate Roberts on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:26:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  She was (none)
              extremely conservative politically. I wouldn't want the claim that she got trashed by right-wingers in India to camoflage that fact.

              She didn't get trashed in the US despite richly deserving it.

              And if you need anything...there's some ants.

              by Skipbidder on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 01:49:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Mother Teresa (none)
            is the most overrated person I can think of.

            Have you read the book? Many people are upset at CH for writing it, but so far not a single person I have personally asked about it has actually read it.

            I haven't heard any good responses to his criticisms of her. The only response seems to be that one doesn't say those sorts of things.

            You can see an interview with Hitchens here:

            And if you need anything...there's some ants.

            by Skipbidder on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 01:45:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  BTW, the Ohio vote was stolen (4.00)
    Just look at the exit polls.  They're never wrong.  Can anyone explain to me how Kerry improves upon Gore's perforlance by 7 points in Columbus, cuts Bush's 2000 margin in Cincinnatti by 2/3rds and still loses?  Makes no sense to me.  
    •  asserting that the exit polls are never wrong (none)
      does not an argument make.
    •  correction (none)
      The exit polls were wrong in 2000, too. Of course W. was running then too. Hmmmmm.

      "I hate war."-Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by InternetsRoomer on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:30:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  something that's always bothered me (nevada) (4.00)
      ...and i've never seen mentioned.  

      I agree that exit polls are certainly fallible as are conventional polls.  However, it struck me that Nevada was one of the only close states which seemed to follow the exit polls and the final polls, almost exactly.  The exit polls I saw on Nevada had it 51-49 Bush (as do most late polls i remember), which is how it turned out.  Meanwhile, in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, etc., the actual results were all well-skewed towards Bush as compared to the exit polls and late polls.  At first, I just thought it was a bright spot that at least one state had worked out ok, but then it hit me...  

      Nevada took an early, decisive, public stance to not allow Diebold's or any machine without a paper trail in its polling places.  The question marks about Ohio, Florida and North Carolina's machines are well-documented, but I know little about the other states.  Has anyone ever commented on this?  Is my memory fuzzy and Nevada's exit polls were as inconsistent as all the others?  

      Has anyone done a comparison of exit polls in states which used primarily Diebold or E&S machines vs. states which used ones with paper trails vs. states which primarily used old-fashioned equipment?  What were used in Maine and Minnesota where the results were better than the last polls would indicate and where, if I recall correctly, the exit polls were rather close to the actual results.

      Again, while I understand that exit polls are vulnerable to error, it's been disturbing to see that when the results and the exit polls disagree and the people who create the machines many used to vote haven't even been proven reliable by their parent companies, that most people (well, maybe not here, but in most of the politically aware world) seem to start with the question, 'what went wrong with the exit polls?'
      It would seem basic science that the first question when confronted with two conflicting sets of data should be 'why do these not agree?' and then testing BOTH sides.  

  •  Oh yeah (3.85)
    the Ohio vote and possibly other states as well were stolen.

    More than anything else this one is the worse Bush and the right has done.

  •  Really weird how many Democrats (4.00)
    can't accept the fact that the election was stolen.
    •  I can't accept it (none)
      I need proof.  I'll be reading Hitch's piece with a lot of interest.

      It's complicated.  If an election is stolen, there must be incontrovertible proof, and a solid, clear case built and presented.  If the election in Ohio was stolen, this is what needs to be done, and it isn't done yet.  Until it is, I can't just accept it, especially in public, because we have to deal with political reality.  If we keep hammering on the "stolen election" theme while lacking the proof and the case, we're just heading off into the wilderness and marginalizing ourselves and wasting our energy while Bush is busy taking apart Social Security and prepping to bomb Iran.  

      •  I love you Daria G (4.00)
        but I just can't comprehend any of your points.

        I said very early on that there was no way to get proof except through the forensic investigation of the machines and tabulating software.

        I said that the only way to get it was to assume fraud, scream bloody murder, and rally public outrage and support.

        We did not get access to the machines.

        We could have gotten access.

        But we had no fight.

        So, we have to rely on circumstantial evidence, ALL OF WHICH indicates fraud.

        Are you waiting for proof that Bush stole 58,213 votes?

        Are you saying that if he stole 40,000 then the election was legitimate?

        What are you saying?

        The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

        by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 12:15:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The public outrage part.. (none)
          What I am saying is that I don't think it makes any sense to 1. try and talk the public into being outraged over a possibly stolen election, and then 2. use this outrage as a means to gather the necessary evidence.  

          Step one in that process is insurmountable!  How many months and how many major news stories does it take to convince the public of things that are demonstrably true, such as the lack of WMDs in Iraq?  The country is polarized.  Half support Bush.  A lot just wanted the election to be over with.  A lot aren't that well informed on the issues.  If they were, after all, it wouldn't have been close in the first place.  How in the world could we ever assume fraud and then convince them?  

          Furthermore, a serious attempt at step one in that process means pretty much taking a huge gamble with the integrity and political capital of our entire party at stake.  Oh, and if there were evidence, how long do you think that evidence would last if we tried to ramp up public outrage in order to have access to it?  It's not logical.

          •  We could not disagree more (4.00)
            I am telling you there was only one way to prevent the theft of the Presidency.

            You're not saying I'm wrong, you're saying it was too risky to try.

            I disagree.

            The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

            by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 12:31:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think the disagreement (4.00)
              stems from your willingness and my unwillingness to accept the conclusion even while lacking the necessary proof.
              •  I tell you there is (4.00)
                a racoon in the garage.

                You listen, you hear garbage cans being rolled about and little raccon like noises.

                But you lost the key to the garage.

                I tell you that if you want to get into the garage you have to tell the fire department there is a fire in there and they will knock down the door and let you know one way or the other.

                You refuse to risk getting in trouble for raising a false alarm.

                Proof follows panic.  Courage involves risk of being wrong.

                Callowness involves letting the election go uncontested because you ask the impossible: proof before investigation even in the light of probable cause.

                I love you, but you're just nuts on this issue.

                The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

                by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 12:46:08 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  why not tell the FD (none)
                  there's a raccoon in the garage?

                  the hour of bombast is upon us

                  by bopes on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:32:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry.. (none)
                  The raccoon analogy isn't working for me.. Although if there were one I'd wait for daylight and investigate rather than troubling the fire department about it!

                  It's interesting how we always end up back at "you're afraid to make a public outcry."  I mean, I suppose you could go after me by saying I'm afraid to go jump off a bridge, but jumping off a bridge would also be stupid.

              •  Acceptance vs. Proof (4.00)
                <Quote> stems from your willingness and my unwillingness to accept the conclusion even while lacking the necessary proof. </QUOTE>

                In most things in life, conviction/acceptance precedes proof.
                Conviction/acceptance doesn't spring from proof, conviction/acceptance springs from evidence.  I don't doubt your sincerity, but I honestly don't see how anyone could see what we've seen in Ohio - the documented dirty tricks and maneuvering before election day; the disparity with the exit polls on election day; the mathematically untenable fact that
                virtually all of the "discrepancies" lean the same way; the deliberate corruption of the recount process, refusal to testify and attempts to stifle with the legal system after election day -....I honestly don't see how anyone can look at all of that and not "accept" that all that smoke indicates an inferno.

                Proof is a different matter - but proof is not
                "necessary" for acceptance, evidence is.

                Evidence leads to acceptance leads to proof.  You can't get past step one - fine. If you can't accept it, you can't accept it. We are stuck at step 2.  But let's give up this absurd notion that step 3 is "necessary" to get to step 2.

              •  Daria - what MORE proof do you need??? (4.00)
                Your point of view, to me, seems like "I haven't seen any proof, therefore there must not be much proof". There is TONS of evidence. Comprehensive links below:

                Representative John Conyers, and others, of the House Judiciary Committee followed the voting irregularities very closely. They had multiple hearings, took sworn testimony, went to Ohio, etc. etc. They came up with a 102 PAGE REPORT. The proof that you seek is in the section called Detailed Findings from page 23 to 95. This is just the beginning of the proof, because there still has not been an adequate investigation. In other words, the well-researched proof above is only the tip of the iceburg.

                The Conyers Report:
                Preserving Democracy: What went wrong in Ohio

                And if you want to digest the info a different way, here is Georgia10's summary of election irregularities called
                The Informed Citizen's Guide To The 2004 Election
                At the bottom of the diary are links to Word and PDF files of the Full 57-page report. I can't stress how important it is for everyone to be aware of this report, and the well presented/well documented evidence that it contains.

                "Blogging doesn't make it so" - Sen. Hayworth (R) AZ 1/6/2005. Oh yeah?

                by bejammin075 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:40:18 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  The reason there isn't more public outrage (4.00)
            is because the voters who were disenfranchised in Ohio were predominantly African-American or low-income. If high-income white voters felt their votes were stolen, it would be a different story. We need to look at all the racial and class aspects that made it so easy for the Republicans to steal the election.
            •  Good Point (4.00)
              In Florida 2000 the story was old people who supposedly disenfranchised themselves (a) because they're stupid old people or (b) because of a stupid ballot design by a Democrat.  Rethugs had the nerve to laugh off the complaints, make fun of old people.  The media wasn't completely on board for that.

              In 2004 they got smarter and picked on blacks - the media couldn't care less.

            •  I agree (none)
              Yes, and just look at the race in Washington to prove your theory.  Also, the fact that Kerry was so quick to surrender was a huge factor.
      •  we're already marginalized! (4.00)
        who gives a fuck if we're viewed as tinfoil-hatters!

        I can't understand this shy reluctance to "look bad".   Who cares?

      •  It's damned hard to prove anything Daria (4.00)
        When you have to fight your own people to get the question investigated. There is massive amounts of evidence out there of widespread vote fraud. But those who mentioned investingating it at DKos were attacked and openly slandered on the front page and on the inside of DK

        Its very hard to come up with incontrivertable (sp?) evidence when your own allies have daggers at your back for suggesting the possibility.

        (This from someone who thinks bush may have won by a few hundred thousand nationally )

        The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

        by cdreid on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:05:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think Daria's waiting to hear (4.00)
        someone come out and 'fess up to having his hand in the cookie jar.  Daria and other Kossacks who coined & used the "fraudsters" label won't be satisfied that the vote was stolen unless they actually find the hand still stuck in their back pocket.  Never mind that when they turn their pockets inside out they find that their wallet is gone.  The hand has to still be there w/ a person attached to it for them to accept.

        This is a big part of the reason why this party, that stands up for good values and policies, can't be cohesive enough to gain the support and momentum that we need.

        "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. --- "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat. "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."

        by dnn on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:41:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've never used the term (none)
          fraudster.  I disagree with some of you, is all.  It really took over the site for a long while, which I found frustrating, especially because there were a lot of superfluous diaries that didn't have any new info and yet took up space on the recommended list.

          I'm just in favor being politically adept and maintaining a degree of skepticism, and find it hard to understand how people can be so certain they're right.  

          •  3 card monte (none)
            hard to understand how people can be so certain they're right

            they scammed us so bad on the WMDs-in-Iraq card that they got us afraid to look under the election-fraud card.

            the hour of bombast is upon us

            by bopes on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:35:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I understand (none)
            but please do me one courtesy.

            What am I so sure I am right about?

            How many votes do YOU think we stolen, discarded, discouraged etc.?

            Does it exceed 58,000 or not?

            Are you saying that it was at least 30,000 but no more?

            What are you saying?

            The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

            by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 11:12:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Proof or Irrelevancy (4.00)
      OK, so the election was stolen.  What are you going to do about it, comfort yourself that you know the real truth?

      To do anything more requires evidence that would permit a court, or if a partisan court, force a court to grant either discovery or subpoena powers for interviewing witnesses.

      Without witnesses you have suspicions but don't know who or how or where or when exactly.  The only way to have a few whistle blowers, given the fact that they have not spontaneously come forward, is to place people under oath or to require the examination of the memos, emails, and other documents involved.

      If you are not willing to insist on this sort of evidence, then you are saying that real consequences are irrelevant to you.  You just want the good feelings of knowing that you are right.

      Oh, yes, I'm getting tired of the gratuitous slams against "the administrators of this site" for taken the position that I just described.  Evidence=action; no evidence=no action.  And the evidence has to convince the average voter, which so far it has not even when the media blackout has been overcome.

      The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

      by TarheelDem on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 04:08:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What kind of action would you suggest (4.00)
        we "fraudsters" take?  

        If you are not willing to insist on this sort of evidence, then you are saying that real consequences are irrelevant to you.  You just want the good feelings of knowing that you are right.

        You say that the insistent ones need to take action to find the evidence.  Well, the only concrete way to find this evidence was with a full recount, no?  So how can we find this evidence when at every turn, we were stonewalled by the BOEs at the instruction of Blackwell?  Much of his commands to the BOEs were illegal violations of OH law, yet nothing has been done.  There were huge amounts of effort and circumstantial evidence that could have led to real proof of election fraud had
        we had the help and power to investigate effectively.

        As far as I know, even today it's not feasible for a regular person to do an audit of the voting records.  It's possible to ask to view them, but you have to ask the BOEs for specific counties and make an appointment.  Then, you have to pay for the time of the BOE employee who is there while you view the records, and you are not allowed to handle the ballots---I'm not even sure if citizens can even handle polling books in all precincts, at this point.  Blackwell even still has some counties (the troublesome ones w/ questionable results and strange BOE behavior) locked down and won't allow voter review of those counties' records.  

        You're asking ants to move a mountain so that we can look for the buried bodied, while the guys w/ the bulldozer (Kerry, DNC, Democratic party) sit at the side watching but doing nothing.

        "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. --- "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat. "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."

        by dnn on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:57:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My Point (none)
          I'm frustrated that Arnebeck made no headway, that the Republican administration of Ohio has become the Republican Party State of Ohio. It is here and nowhere else that there was an absence of will and power to move things forward.

          The fact that there were allegations and circumstantial evidence that could have led to real proof means nothing when the institutions that would hear that evidence stop up their ears.  No amount of money, no amount of Democratic power, short of retaking state government will change that.

          Beating up on Kerry, beating up on Kos won't change that.

          At this point, only the people of Ohio can do something about Ohio.  A change in administrations and especially in the Secretary of State would open the way to retrospective investigation.  And if that happens before statutes of limitation run out, there might be some consequences.

          IANAL, but there might be local things that could be done relative to individual boards of election, that could move things forward.  But they probably must be moved forward from within the county and using local lawyers.

          But to say that just because I read a whole bunch of news reports everyone should come to the conclusions I come to--well, that is not going to happen.

          The catch-22 that Kerry was in was that he could not prove that he was harmed, and without being harmed, he could not have argued successfully for the relief that Arnebeck was asking for.

          Oh yes, ants have a better idea where the bodies are buried than the guy driving the bulldozer.  Ants with picture-phones can sometimes do more than national news networks.

          The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

          by TarheelDem on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 04:28:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  OK...we assume someone leaked (none)
        Valerie Plame's name to the press. We have no proof, but it looks that way. It could be someone just guessed that Valerie Plame was an undercover CIA operative. But most likely her name was leaked since given the circumstantial evidence it would stand to reason. So what do we do?

        We have a full-blown investigation into the fucking matter. That's what you do when the circumstantial evidence points to a possible crime.

        Why is that so hard to grasp?

        •  Not hard for me to grasp (none)
          I'm not saying that you have to have the evidence in order to convince me or some other Kossack.  I'm saying that given the current state of politics, if you don't have overwhelming evidence, you're spitting in the wind.

          We are where we are today because Republican judges in Ohio stonewalled every attempt to bring legal action.  They know that circumstantial evidence is enough to investigate; they decided to stonewall investigation. Full stop.  Don't blame Democrats for this.  Don't event blame Kerry for this; the judge used him as an excuse.

          We have a full-blown investigation in the Plame affair because Democrats in Congress and some brave and loud people in the RWCM made it happen.

          When Democratic legislators in Ohio and local media in Ohio begin to be as tough, things might begin to happen there.

          Not hard for me to grasp.  Not hard for most Kossacks to grasp.  The circumstantial evidence is not the issue, the provability of that evidence is.  Until then, the responsible position is that we suspect but we don't know.

          The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

          by TarheelDem on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 04:37:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You don't know OH (none)
            very well.  I grew up here most of my life---went out of state for college, returned because of husband, staying (for now) because of said husband/job/kids.  IMO, the ppl here are very complacent.  They're see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil people from what I've observed.

            If it's not about sports, preferably the Browns or the Cavs (but only if LeBron is playing), then they're not interested.

            I know that's a huge generalisation, but I'll bet my 25 yrs living in various parts of Northeast OH that the comment is not far off the mark---and NE OH is more progressive than most other parts of this state.  The media here is as bad as "Faux" news.  People here seem to get much of their news from the paper and from local news...forget the internets.

            "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. --- "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat. "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."

            by dnn on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:38:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  If you accept that (4.00)
      it was stolen, it leaves you with a some very troubling options.

      None of them fit in well with continuing life as we knew it before.

      It's like knowing you are probably suffering from a fatal illness but refusing to call the doctor for the final test results.  

      Certainty - the destruction of the last illusion - would mean some pretty terrifying things.

      If you can't affect change in government via political means, what are you left with?

      •  A one Party dictatorship. (4.00)
        •  How does one fight (none)
          a one-party dictatorship?

          Through 'get out the vote"?  Through contributing to 'opposition" politicians, who, if you believe elections will be stolen, wouldn't be elected even if they got 99.9% of the popular vote?

          What are the options available for affecting change?

          Americans, understandably, find thinking in these terms pretty disturbing.  And I would personally want a pretty high level of proof before accepting that we're in this state of being.  But if that proof exists, well - we are going to need some courage.

          •  To Affect Change (4.00)
            You have to have a thorough investigation of potential voter fraud (the circumstantial evidence demands this) and if there was no fraud, then at the very least an analysis of the problems with disenfranchisement so as to be able to improve upon the system.

            The problem is there's no willpower for any of this to happen because it's not getting enough attention. Things like SS deform and Bush's fucked up budget are drawing the attention of those that should be focusing on this. We are getting very close to the Point of No Return as far as passing laws to reform the system by 2006.

            Is this part of the Repub plan? Distract the Dem party while they keep pumping out those Diebold machines until they're so entrenched in the system as to make it near impossible to withdraw them by 06? Then what? Pick and choose the elections they want to win so as to guarantee a 60%/+ majority in the Senate?

            As far as I'm concerned Dean's first course of action should be to bring to the forefront of the national debate the need for election reform. It would certainly help if he had some solid evidence to stand by. And he can't have that without an investigation.

      •  Violence (none)
        Mind you, I'm not advocating it, but this is how violent revolution happens.  When the political system is broken, there's nowhere else to go to get justice.
  •  Recommended (none)
    Thanks for transcribing this, otherwise I never would have seen it. Do you think anything will ever happen with this? Or will it just die a slow, quiet death, just like our democracy?

    "I am your king!" "Well, I didn't vote for you." "You don't vote for kings." - Monty Python

    by Liberaljentaps on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:41:25 PM PST

  •  If it was the other way around (3.92)
    Let us change names and parties. If it was in the Repub precincts that lines were long,  that the maker of the voting machine was a Democrat partisan and the Election supervisor was a Dem Kerry election chairman,  what do you think the Repubs will do?  

    find your local dem group link:

    by timber on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:46:42 PM PST

    •  Place stickers over the Kerry oval and fill in the (4.00)
      Bush oval by hand, as they did in Clermont County, Ohio. Whatever it takes to win the election for the top 1% and most of corporate America.

      The truth of the matter was in the recount.

    •  They would start a civil war (4.00)
      and I admire them for that. I hate wussy Dems who roll over and take it in the ass every f-g time.

      Why do we even care about the "obstructionist" tag????? It's just a Karl Rove-generated frame to keep Dems silent. They will always hate us, they will always spit on us in public - obstructionist or not. It's our responsibility to speak truth to power.

      God, it's high time for Dems to finally take a stand for something. Know your beliefs and f-g fight for them.

      Rant over.

      preemptive action 2005-2008: take down Frist and McCain

      by Joe B on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:04:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hitchens has no credibility left. (4.00)
    He has no credibility left. An serious issue he touches will turn to dust.

    I will only use his article as secondary source instead of main argument. He is a major neo-con propaganda player.

    •  no he's not (none)
      Hitchens does not like crazy fascist dictators like Saddam, he saw the opportunity to back the removal of Saddam.  I've heard hitchens say that Bush has really screwed up the war in Iraq, but he still thinks getting rid of Saddam was good because Saddam was such a fucked up leader.

      Hitchens work on Kissinger, and Chile is enough for me to give him a pass when he sounds like such an ass.  The thing about Hitchens is you can't really put him in any category, he is a weird little drunk Brit who has a strong set of ideals and beliefs.  

      absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

      by jbou on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 12:25:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kissinger and the Neo-Cons (none)
        Many neocons despised Kissinger and actively worked against him during the Ford years (read James Mann's Rise of the Vulcans for more details).  We should not, of course, try to turn Kissinger into a hero, let alone a martyr, because some other folks who hate him are also our enemies (this is one of many mistakes made by the interesting, but deeply flawed, documentary The Power of Nightmares). There's every reason in the world to joing Hitch in calling Kissinger a war criminal. But hatin' on Henry does not acquit Hitchens of neoconservatism.

        Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. -Adam Michnik.

        by GreenSooner on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:40:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree about the credibility (none)
      but I don't think he's a propagandist.  I think he's just a loudmouth.  Of course, loudmouths can be used...
  •  Although unpopular (3.92)
    I am glad you are still following and reporting on the Ohio anomalies, Boo.  

    Why people in this country would not trust an ATM (or the bank for that matter) without proof of statement, and yet accept the results of the 2004 election without question is beyond me.  

    The evidence is too overwhelming to accept the result and not raise even a question of foul play.  All of the anomalies at the polls in Ohio were biased toward the Republicans, and the recount was biased by and for the Republicans, many of whom did not honor the rules set up for the recount.  There is said to have been ballot tampering during recounts, aggressive tactics to keep Democrats from witnessing the recounts, technicians working on the ballot machines and tabulators while under seal of the recount, and drives that were reformatted when the data was still under recount yet not counted.

    Exit polls are used in other countries to determine whether there is evidence of fraud in an election and whether an investigation should be undertaken. Why are the U.S. elections held to a different, lesser standard?  

    The exit polls were not wrong.

    •  We've been taken over folks (4.00)
      Before the election, fantasies were rife of suspended elections. How naive. Power was siezed through surprise... an illegitimate election. Who needs tanks in the streets? Hell we've got democrats insisting we should ignore the out of whack exit polls!
      •  This is what pisses me off (4.00)
        Please, we know that they are not going to change the outcome of this "election" BUT, by bending over and asking for another is doing just what they want. They want to paint the idea they have stolen TWO elections as insane so they can do it a third time.
        This past summer, they tried to build up the idea that they may have to postpone the elections. They rolled out Darth Cheney and Ridge to talk about threats(although we know now there really weren't any) to test the waters. Thank God for the knee jerk reaction from the public and from lawmakers. I still believe they were trying to set the stage for martial law and suspend elections.
        And I can't sit by and say maybe next time. My husband's military, we have a ton of military friends, and their LIVES are at stake! I am sick to death of people saying, "That is too extreme." You live with the idea that your friends could be killed in an illegal occupation and say, "Oh, well, I have no proof they stole the election. Maybe next time Nancy Drew can help."
        I am sorry for the rant, but I am sick to death of the fear in the DNC to be bold.

        Being a patriot means you have to do more than wave a flag!

        by melthewriter on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:13:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Encyclopedia Brown (none)
          Where are you when we need you? ;-)
          •  Well... (none)
            not sure what you mean. Of course I have spent all day bent over a laptop on a manuscript that was due in Sunday, lol, so my brain is fried. I did not post to Kos until recently when I finally recovered from the election. Something has to be done, or I worry that I will be running for the border at some point. If another election is stolen, this will no longer be the USA. And I think that is what scares the hell out of people, why they may not want to see what is right before their eyes.

            Being a patriot means you have to do more than wave a flag!

            by melthewriter on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:08:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Heh, early 80's series of books about (none)
              a young teenage boy detective and his chums.

              They gave clues throughout the story, and the challenge was to see if you could figure out the mystery before Encyclopedia Brown could.  He was sort of a boy-genius in that he was a "walking encyclopedia" and could remember all sorts of diverse facts that he had read.

              I loved that series!

              "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. --- "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat. "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."

              by dnn on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:42:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I saw Hitchens speak at a conference (4.00)
    in January.

    He argued that Bush is not a fundamentalist Christian.

    He repeatedly advocated preemptive strikes against Muslims.

    He really framed the issue as good vs. evil.

    He said that he would have been a single-issue voter in the 2004 election, and that basically that issue was blowing up the bad guys. Blowing them up a lot.

    I appreciated his work on Kissinger and Mother Theresa. Until recently, I'd always considered his opinions to be well-founded and interesting, even when they made me uncomfortable. I no longer consider that to be the case.

    For the month or so preceeding the conference, I'd been arguing with a friend of mine (who also went to the conference), trying to defend Hitchens. She just sent me some another email with unpleasantness--his Vanity Fair defense of holocaust-denier David Irving. I'm throwing in the towel. I think that he's gone batty. A shame.

    And if you need anything...there's some ants.

    by Skipbidder on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 11:06:40 PM PST

    •  Hitchens has gone crazy (3.50)
      And actually, he no longer does have a high tolerance for alcohol - I think it finally caught up with him.

      As to the Ohio stuff, well, I guess you just had to get that dig in a kos, didn't you?

      I don't know if the election was stolen, and we'll never be able to prove it. As I wrote about a while back, the point anyway should be about Republican disdain for democracy, not so much about individual acts of fraud or gaming the system. And maybe I'm letting them get away with it, but I think blocking the GOP agenda in Congress would be a very, very good way to not only overcome the fraud, if it existed, but also lay the groundwork for a longer-lasting progressive resurgence in this country.

      And that's all I'm gonna say about that. Time to focus on the positive. Howard Dean sustains my interest much more than an overblown drunken hack like Hitchens.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 11:15:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whoops (none)
        The "get the dig in at kos" was directed at the diarist, not you. Sorry.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 11:15:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes I did (3.66)
          because Hitchens conclusion on this was identical to mine: we have to do everything to get at those machines.

          The Kos administrators couldn't even be convinced to support the shitty recount we did get.

          And oh boy, did we take a lot of shit.

          So, yes, I HAD to get that dig in.

          The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

          by BooMan23 on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 11:22:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The proof of the election was in the recount (4.00)
            ...and my favorite cheating technique was the stickers placed over the Kerry oval with the Bush oval filled in my hand. A creative way to cheat when there is a paper trail.
            •  All under the seal of the recount (4.00)
              Ballot tampering right in front of God and everybody, and yet, nothing was ever done about it.  And there really was little to no mention of those stickers in the press.  Certainly not outside of the state of Ohio.

              My favorite is the technician coming in to fix the machine and surprising the elections clerk who did not even know it needed to be fixed.  He swapped out some parts and asked what the recount numbers were, and told them how he could post a cheat sheet on the wall to make it easier for the poll commissioners to get the correct count.

              •  You mean that you like the stickers and swapping (4.00)
                better than running ballots through a machine over because the numbers don't match up, and then sending out for a new machine when those silly pesky numbers still won't cooperate?

                "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. --- "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat. "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."

                by dnn on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:10:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  re: (4.00)
        As I wrote about a while back, the point anyway should be about Republican disdain for democracy, not so much about individual acts of fraud or gaming the system.

        The grandeur of the GOP's plans for us and the world is built on knowing they gained power through fraud and that they can do it again because no one's called them on it. As far as they know, there is no cost for their evil and no limit to their power so why not go whole hog?

        This is what's wrong with focussing on their disdain and ignoring how they got their illegal power in the first place.

    •  I'm sorry (none)
      You know I really would have preferred to be wrong on this, don't you? I did not enjoy being proved right, in the end.

      He was such a well-spoken, thoughtful, literate speaker-with such a beautiful voice-that the ugly things he said were profoundly jarring, even though I was mostly expecting them.

  •  Think he'll get any Face Time on this?? (none)
    you know when he was flogging Clinton and Gore and supporting the invasion he could get enough air time.

    I saw him one night with former Colleague Eric Alterman on Charlie Rose, and at the end, Charlie asked them about each book they were promoting.

    Eric was promoting "What Liberal Media?" - and Hitch played dumb and said he didn't know whether or not there was a corporate/gop media bias.  But then he almost broke down and said, "well seeing that I have to promote my book on the media circuit, maybe I shouldn't say too much."

    Way to go Hitch

  •  Hitch has become Col Blimp n/t (none)
  •  hmmm (none)
    If Hitchens discovered his mouth was actually an asshole, and wrote an article about the discovery in Vanity Fair, I might read that...

    But then I have lowbrow tastes.

    "Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style." --George Orwell

    by markymarx on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 12:14:34 AM PST

    •  Maybe he realizes he's a mouthpiece for assholes? (none)
      And repenting, maybe? Or too much to dream?

      Hopefully this will keep interest in Ohio voting fraud goes somewhere. Awesome that way, at least.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:11:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  guess hitchens can kiss (none)
    those steady Fox News apppearances goodbye.

    any bets about how long it'll take until they start calling him a drunk on Fox?

  •  So... (2.00)
    ... he says the election was stolen.

    If you believe that, why are you sitting here surfing the internet?

    If you truly believe the election was "stolen", do you have any plans?  If you truly believe it, what are you going to do about it?

    I'd love to see more action and less reaction from the people who believe this.

    Otherwise, your Nobel CauseTM is worth... what?

    Every revolution carries with it the seeds of its own destruction.

    by Page van der Linden on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 12:44:42 AM PST

    •  Ouch (4.00)
      what more can I, or could I have done?

      The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

      by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 12:47:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know... (none)
        ... but there's a lot of complaining, and that's where it stops.  No one does a thing but post comments saying "the election was stolen".

        Every revolution carries with it the seeds of its own destruction.

        by Page van der Linden on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 12:49:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do a lot of things (4.00)
          First of all I dedicated a year of my life to this election only to see our celebration at 7:00PM EST turn into a reenactment of an Auchwitz memorial.

          Secondly, I strongly made the same points in the fall when there was a chance to make a difference.

          And now I am refusing to give up the fight.

          We just blasted Jim Gannon, we just got Dean in as DNC chair, we just enlisted Boxer and Fowler as members.

          We helped galvanize opposition to Rice, Gonzales, and Chertoff.

          The fight on SS is ongoing.

          You want me to quit my keyboard now?

          The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

          by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 12:56:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not referring directly to *you* (none)
            but to everyone who is crying "FRAUD".

            The other issues you mentioned are one thing... but what are people going to do about the "fraud"?

            Every revolution carries with it the seeds of its own destruction.

            by Page van der Linden on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:07:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um, I for one (4.00)
              am still working my ass off on election reform.  It's off this site, because people here got fatigue, but I think it's wrong to imply that those of us so passionate about it just stopped being interested or stopped pushing for change.

              If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

              by Georgia Logothetis on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:50:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  ah, Page. (none)
              that was really uncalled for.  It's so unhelpful, I just can't figure out why good, liberal, intelligent people won't be more forthcoming on the future of the vote.   Whether or not you buy the stolen election idea, and I do, completely, you can at least admit that Diebold and ESS have a system in place with ZERO checks and balances, and absolutley no way to perform a real recount.  So that if they wanted to rig it, they could.  When have we yet overestimated the crimes that BushCo is willing to commit to further their agenda??

              Do you want to know what I am doing about it?  I'm working my ass off for a verifiable vote in 2006.  And time is running out.  We only have A SMALL AMOUNT OF TIME LEFT to get printers on the damned Diebold machines, cause we sure as hell don't have time to replace them with any other system.

              I've also been working my ass off to support Dean's election as DNC chair, and as soon as he is elected, I am going to pester HIS ass off to devote himself to getting a clean vote in 2006.

              I'm giving money and time to DFA, and the DNC, in the hopes that now that we finally have leadership, we can retake the Senate.  But nothing can overcome Diebold, if there is bad intent by those controlling the count.

              So no matter what you believe about 04, you must admit that the opportunity and motive are strong, and we must close the windows for the next vote.  I think you owe Boo an apology, and you might reconsider your attitude toward the rest of us who are working like hell to close those holes.


              by kate mckinnon on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:12:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  what can we do? (4.00)
      I've never felt so powerless in my life.  These people have control of all the systems.  It's impossible to attack them head-on.  I feel like we just have to retreat into our hidey-holes and wait to ambush the fuckers.

      They've made me an insurgent in my own country.

      •  Here's What We Can Do (4.00)
        we can take back the machinery. All this complaining, and no one is suggesting practical steps.  In Maryland, we've got four different bills going in our legislature to make sure there is a paper trail on every vote.  That should be the case in ALL 50 STATES.  So let's start there with our state legislatures - they control and fund the voting process, not the feds.  What is your state legislative rep doing to solve the problem?  If the answer is nothing, there is a good target to aim at right there -- a target we can all reach with a little local organization.  At this level, a little noise and a few committed partisans can go a long way.

          Step two is get rid of the Republican (or Democratic) election officials who fight against paper trails or who contract with Diebold.  These are a mix of elected and appointed offices.  Who our county election officials are matters -- a lot.  This is something that can be solved on a precinct by precinct, county by county, and state by state level.  

           Three, make sure the State's Secretary of State is a Democrat, if at all possible.  Ken Blackwell couldn't have pulled all that sh-t if he weren't in office in Ohio. (And I'm sure he'll be rewarded for it too).  Get him and others like him out of office - ASAP!  It could be that the best campaign contribution we can make is to whoever is running for Secretary of State (or appointing the Sec of State as the case may be) instead of the top of the ticket.

          Stealth stealing of elections can only go on if it's done under the cover of the official process.  If we can control the process, we ensure the validity of the vote.  It's impossible for any official to be against fair voting, so it's a win-win -- if they're against it, they lose, if they're for it, they lose the opportunity to cheat.

          Are you ever going to convince a court, or the whole American public, that Bush isn't really President by continuing to harp on Ohio?  If that is the goal, it will never happen.  He ain't stepping down, and Kerry will never step up. If the goal is to harp on it to help put processes in place that make voter fraud a lot harder to achieve, then fine, forge on.  I think a lot more will be accomplished by pointing out the particular flaws in particular counties in Ohio and then ensuring those flaws get fixed than by a generalized cry that Bush stole the election.  Not enough voting machines allocated to Democratic precincts?  OK, what do we have to do to get them there next time?  (Sometimes I have these dreams that George Soros will just spend 50 million or so to provide the poorer Democratic precincts with top of the line, paper-trail traceable voting machines . . . )

      •  Maybe Dems should start supporting the NRA (none)
        After all, insurgents need guns.

        "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

        by thingamabob on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:14:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You know Page, (4.00)
      your comment seems rather harsh and judgemental and I am wondering why this tone on this subject?  First of all, there was a lot of work done on this site researching all the voter irregularities in Ohio. I like to think that peoples participation on this site (and all the good work done bringing it all together in a concise way) helped to bring it to Congress's attention.  For the first time, in a long time,  we had a Senator stand up and say that there should be attention paid to the voter suppression and irregularities that occurred in Ohio.  We all wrote or called our representatives and we all felt pretty good that we were helping to bring light to this serious situation.  There is no doubt in my mind that Ohio was won by Kerry, and that some Republicans could have stooped to the level of fixing the vote in various ways.  Can it be proved?  You will only know by taking a hard look at it, and the only way to do that is to keep up the pressure.  Booman's diary is one way to do that.  What is the point of looking to the future elections if we cannot stand and fix the past elections? No, I don't mean putting Kerry in the WH, I mean going after voting reform. If the elections have been fixed (even by small and ever so subtle ways), why even vote in the future?  To some of us, this is an extremely important issue.

      You have posted a lot of diaries on global warming. It is also an important issue.  In many ways, global warming resembles the voter irregularities in Ohio.  Neither can be proved conclusively.  There are many scientists who support the theory, but only time will prove them correct, and by then it may be too late to reverse the harm done.  I would say the same of our present election system.  To my knowledge though, no one has asked you what you do to further the cause of global warming besides posting diaries on it, and perhaps you write letters. You also gripe about it-fine, its a good cause, but maybe election reform is as well. Whats the difference between that and what we have done with the elections?  As far as I know, no one here is a elected official, that has powers beyond writing letters.  As a collected voice though, we have more power, and that is what these diaries are about.  So let us have our cause, and go about it the ways we can, and if you disagree-thats ok, thats your choice, but please don't cut someone down for posting a diary on it.  Its our little way of being human and caring.

    •  We all want to carry this forward (none)
      But we also want a solid case.

      'Be the change you want in the world' - don't wait for other people to start something. What are you doing?

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:12:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  let me say, too, (none)
      that I understand your frustration, after seeing how the Ukrainians took to the streets and didn't leave until their election was made right. And I wish that the disenfranchised electorate had that level of reaction here.

      But that sort of reaction takes a lot of groundwork. People in the US simply aren't feeling that intense about things yet. For whatever reasons.

      So, what are you planning, or what do you think would be good to do, to lay that kind of groundwork,  and to have a voting citizenry which is that attentive and that intense?

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:24:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bush loves Ukraine! (none)
        It didn't hurt that Bush supported the re-vote in order to ensure that irregularities were addressed.

        Democracy begins everywhere but home.

        "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

        by thingamabob on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:17:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry Page, I love you, but you get a 2 for that (4.00)
      This is my notion of a "marginal" comment. I share your frustration that we hear a great deal about fraud, yet the same people go to sleep at 1600 Pennsylvania every night as did the last four years. Heck, they don't even wait until night to sleep.

      Still, I have seen an awful lot of work put into real research, dissemination of real anecdotal evidence, and coordination of the information. Not to mention the offline work done to promote a real investigation.

      You work tirelessly to collate information and instruct people here and I feel a little guilty in taking you to task, but, for the love of mike, please don't denigrate these efforts! It would probably be a lot easier for the fraud theorists if folks like you were a little more supportive.

      As for believing it when you see it---haven't you seen enough already to believe it? Or do you disbelieve it because you think fraud means an order was given from the top to a legion of evildoers who carried it out? Fraud can occur even if it's no more than a few individuals that fell through the cracks. What most people here have said is NOT "Oh my God, there's a huge conspiracy!", but simply "The numbers can't add up in any way that supports a statistically acceptable record of a free vote. This means there must be some other explanation."

      And no one is asking that you "help" in any way other than moral support. Those who can are doing something. If there's any way that I, as a Canadian can help, by God I will. I'm just not sure that my "help" would be perceived as such.

      "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

      by thingamabob on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:09:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The key to Hitchins (4.00)
    is he gets a bug up his ass about something then takes off after it. He went after Mother Theresa for being a phony, Kissinger a war criminal, the demigoguery of Michael Moore and the stupidity of Ronald Reagan. And he's a fervent supporter of the war in Iraq. When he attacks our enemies he's our friend, and if it's our friends, he's our enemy. Bottom line he's an iconoclast who really likes to get his teeth in somebody's ass.
  •  Christopher Hitchens must give wingnuts fits (4.00)
    He is for the imperialism of the Bush administration and provides another 'liberal' beard to the policy.... and just when he is about to get his golden ticket on CNN-MSGOP-Fox News then he goes and writes an obit for Ronald Reagan that makes the wingnuts cry out for him to be strung up by his ears. He attacks the antiwar movement as basically being in favor of terrorism by proxy... and then goes on a tear about what a wretch Henry Kissenger is. He viciously (and drunkenly, unfortunately) attacks Juan Cole as the professor is trying to lecture on current events in US/middle east policy... and then he starts to bring up how Ohio's numbers don't quite add up based on all these other variables.

    I think it could be that Christopher has finally figured out that although he loves the War on Terror, he doesn't really much love the fact he could go down like a rock with the Bush adminisration if he hangs on to them too tightly and they implode. I am sure he recognizes that they really don't have much a plan for adapting to any changes that may occur... and if Hitch is anything... he's very much into self-preservation.

    I would'nt be shocked if he was writing essays on how Bush screwed the whole thing up by next summer... just whistling past the piles of his old writings giving it all a green light.

    War is a racket. - General Smedley Butler

    by LeftHandedMan on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:20:48 AM PST

  •  Four dead in Ohio (4.00)
    Kent State is the other famous insult to the Republic delivered in Ohio.  Now, with the'04 election, Ohio's name will be forever linked with that stolen election as is Florida with the stolen election of 2000. Because of the peculiarities of the electoral college and our current political landscape, these two critical swing states arein the gunsights of America's latest abusers.
  •  I'll say it again and again and again and again: (4.00)
    VOTER REFORM SHOULD BE THE DEMOCRATS PRIMARY CONCERN.  Nothing could be more vital than knowing WITHOUT A DOUBT that your vote was counted.

    Dean needs to get on this ASAP.

  •  voting reform and paper trails are a vital issue (none)
    going forward. Everyone agrees with that, and thanks for publishing Hitchens' views. Doesn't mean he's correct (or sober), but it's nice to get the stuff out there. Send him the link to georgia10's white paper.

    The diary would have been stronger without the gratuitous comment in caps about administrators. There's no going back, only forward, and waging unwinnable wars is a waste of resource.

    "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 Feb 09, 2005 at 04:39:50 AM PST

  •  My rant (4.00)
    If we were to look closely at any of those states in which Kerry and/or Democratic candidates narrowly lost, I believe we would find similar evidence of fraud and manipulation.  

    Whether or not there was finagling with the voting machines and the result, the open and blatant GOP efforts at voter suppression is prima facie evidence of their disdain of the democratic process.

    New Mexico, anyone?

    Please visit my webby, A friend said, "I feel like I've entered a slick modern museum of cool stuff."

    by stumpy on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 04:52:34 AM PST

  •  Hitchens = Stopped Clock (4.00) in "even a stopped clock is right twice a day."

    This article is certainly rhetorically valuable ("even the neoconservative Christopher Hitchens believes...") but let's not use it as an excuse to take Hitch seriously.  Just like Andrew Sullivan, whose commitment to avoiding being stoned to death in a future theocracy leads him to say something reasonable every six months or so, Hitchens will occasionally mumble something that one might plausible agree with.  Still doesn't mean we need to like him.

    Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. -Adam Michnik.

    by GreenSooner on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:53:08 AM PST

    •  Very True (none)
      He has to do something to prop up his lefty bona fides every now and then, so why not do it concerning an issue that will at this point make no difference?  He could easily have done a story taking on the Swift Boat liars, or trying to find out the truth about Bush's TANG service that would have come out before the election.

      This is just renewing his ticket on the Right Wing Gravy Train to the next Scaife-sponsored confab held at place Hitch couldn't afford to go otherwise.

      "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

      by JJB on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:15:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mountains of proof - see links above (4.00)
    Every time this topic comes up, there are people like "We shouldn't be screeming our heads off, because we don't have any proof and we'll just look like conspriacy theorists/sore losers" etc. This point of view is stems from an unawareness of the huge amount of irregularities that have been already been documented - the "low hanging apples" of election fraud evidence.

    If your point of view is that there isn't proof, please see my post above with links to the 102 page report from Rep John Conyers, and the 57 page report from Georgia10.

    If you can digest all that info and still don't think something went wrong with the election...I just don't know what to say.

    "Blogging doesn't make it so" - Sen. Hayworth (R) AZ 1/6/2005. Oh yeah?

    by bejammin075 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 05:53:18 AM PST

  •  No 'vast electoral conspiracy' required (4.00)
    Just to revisit what others have said (and seems lost on some people here), electronic voting machines and -- more importantly, I think -- tabulating machines can be fairly easily hacked. This does not require any kind of 'vast conspriracy'. One person with the key information and good access could do hundreds of machines in minutes. If there is no reliable audit trail and a real review of the votes, no one will ever find out.

    I am not an expert on Diebold and other machines, but I have read a bit on them, and I understand all the underlying technology. Given access to the voting or tabulating machines, it is fairly trivial for one person with the right programs to change millions of votes, undetectable unless someone actually sits down and reviews all the numbers from top to bottom.

    I don't know what happened in the election, but continually pointing to Bush's 'big popular vote advantage' is silly for the reasons stated above. Personally, I think the exit polls were right, and that BushCo pumped the numbers in a selection of populous states. It's seems preposterous that both the exit polls were wrong and that every election mishap just coincidentally broke Bush's way. But we don't seem to have a real audit trails or audit process, so I suspect we'll never know.

    I wish democracy was as important here as in the Ukraine.

    •  That argument always comes up (4.00)
      I made a very detailed scenario for the election manipulation with practically noone involved. It was at the stale-end of a very long 'election irregularities' thread.  I would repost if, if it weren't a faux pas.

      If I may go anecdotal for a moment, recall the story of poor W on election eve., when Karen Hughes had to break the bad news to him that he was losing. It was after this that Karl Rove says something like 'not so fast, I gotta crunch some numbers'.  He goes to work nn his laptop, and emerges later in the evening to tell W not to worry, he has Ohio.
      If he had gathered the phone numbers for access, he would be in a position to fabricate the almost plausible results reported. As in the scenario linked to, the fix goes in after the voting is done, but before the reporting.

  •  Gee, Thanks Hitch (none)
    Too little too late.

    Now if he'd done a story eviscerating the Swift Boat liars that came out before Election Day, maybe I'd be able to work up a few positive thoughts about him.

    "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

    by JJB on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:11:29 AM PST

  •  Yeah, so? (none)
    Chris Hitchens also thinks he's still a liberal. He's wrong on both counts.

    "Je ne regrette rien" -- Edith Piaf
    Now let's take our country back!

    by musing85 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:25:51 AM PST

  •  Remember Watergate? (4.00)
    If people had said, "too little too late" after Nixon won that election, Ronald Reagan would have been president after Nixon and we probably would've been facing the same degree of machine politics during the 1980s that we are facing today.  The fact is, if we wish to preserve democracy, then we have to do our jobs as citizens, activists and elected leaders.  If we don't care, and this is not hyperbole, then we should sit back and wait for the next rigged election.  

    Alot of Americans have no idea what it is like to watch national freedoms get stolen in dictatorships (it's just like this - but they think it involves aliens in storm trooper costumes) - or they are so complacent that they simply have not got the time to sit down and look past all the spin in their daily lives.  Worse still, it's probably a bit of both.

    Additionally, there are people who have some idea of the details, but - even though they have generally and historically been progressive - refuse now to believe the details - just like Republicans do - not because they are Republicans - but because to accept those facts would mean they would have to do and say things differently than they are doing them and saying them now.  And that kind of change would disrupt their lives as they live them now.  And that might make them feel less secure about life, job, friends, family, etc.  So they join the media chorus, because it sounds reasonable and requires less of them and makes them feel better.

    "As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness." Justice William O. Douglas
  •  Well... (none)
    I'm of the view that anything that bashes the Bush administration and that paints them as scheming for me...
  •  BTW, when will (none)
    all the evidence that was filed in response to the motion for sanctions against the Ohio attorneys be disseminated to the public, since it's now a part of the public record and all?

    the hour of bombast is upon us

    by bopes on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:43:12 AM PST

  •  I would like some ideas (4.00)
    on what we can do next. We already have brave folks working the legal channels with challenges, but that will probably be stalled indefinitely by those who control the system. Unless we help.

    Can't we organize a mass protest? Maybe something on the Mall like in the 60's. Can't we march? Can't we all organize together in one large nonviolent mass? We need media attention, more media attention, and even more media attention.

    Anybody else want to do something physical in addition to the investigations, letters and hope?

    "I hate war."-Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by InternetsRoomer on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:48:50 AM PST

    •  YES (none)
      But not just in DC... I want it to be countrywide because so many of us can't make it to DC... so can we organize a countrywide, in every city protest?  I'm there... and lord knows, we've got plenty to protest about.  Hell, we should make it monthly.  
      Monthly protests in every major city.  One theme per month- the war, women's rights, voting irregularities, Media inattention, and so on and so on.  

      I have NO experience in organizing such a thing, but will do my best to help out.  
      What do we think?

      "Revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment...but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzag toward a more decent society."

      by saint on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:57:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  think it should be a larger crowd (none)
        all together so that more folks pay attention. I just don't think the multi-city thing gets through to the media enough. Spread too thin.

        I live in Atlanta and, while we have many liberals in the downtown area, it would still be tough to get enough people together to make a dent in national media coverage.

        I would have a REALLY hard time getting to DC as well, but I would find a way if I knew I would be surrounded by tens of thousands of my fellow tinfoil hatters.

        "I hate war."-Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by InternetsRoomer on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 09:59:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It doesn't matter if the election was stolen (4.00)
    The point is that the system is broken: exit polls radically disagreed with final tallies. The voting machinary proved unreliable, voters waited prohibitive lengths of time to vote, etc.

    People went into and came out of an election unsure if their vote would be counted. That in itself is enough of a problem.

    Of course it DOES matter if the election is stolen. My point is that there are two issues. The foremost is that regardless of the validity of the outcome, voters do not have the confidence in the voting system that is essential for a functioning civil democratic society.


  •  Thanks much for this diary... (none)
    I can tell you put a lot of work into it, and I'm glad to know about the article.

    I have to give Hitchens credit.  Yes, he and I disagree on most issues, but at least he's an independent thinker and not a puppet.  This piece will alienate a lot of his recent allies, but that still didn't scare him away from publishing it.

  •  might be stolen, but I DOUBT IT (none)
    I voted in Columbus Ohio, on a touch screen, and I will be very pissed if there is actually voter fraud evidence. But I doubt there was massive fraud comitted by the Bush campaign. We all had to wait in long lines because of the sheer number of new voters. The GAO is still conducting an investigation, and I am hopeful they will come up with something here.

    John Kerry 2008, the leader of the youth of America.

    by desiunion on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:13:49 AM PST

    •  Not. True. (none)
      Yes, there were long lines.  This was in part due to new voters.  An increase that was anticipated well in advance.  An increase that Blackwell responded to by providing fewer machines.

      The GOP strategy seemed to be to use every trick in the book and hope that people would chalk any irregularities up to run-of-the-mill election problems.

  •  I read the article (none)
    Great to get more attention paid to the irregularities, but Hitchens sure is a jackass.  I mean, really. How anyone can go around attacking Kissenger while supporting Bush's war is utterly beyond me.
    •  it's easy (none)
      Bad as Bush is, and collosal mistake that his war is, he doesn't have nearly the blood on his hands that Kissenger does. If there is a hell, I'm sure Bush will end up there, but Kissenger really, really is going to hell.

      Granted, I realize this is a bit like saying Charlie Manson isn't nearly as bad as John Wayne Gacy, but still...

      ...Freedom is on the march. Straight to the gas chamber. this is infidelica...

      by snookybeh on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:21:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even if that were true (none)
        That's not what Hitchens is saying.  He's not saying that Bush isn't as bad as Kissenger.   He's saying Bush was right on the war.
        •  not my point (none)
          the question was, "How anyone can go around attacking Kissenger while supporting Bush's war is utterly beyond me." And my answer was, as much blood as Bush has on his hands, Kissenger has way lots more. I was answering the rhetorical question with a rhetorical comment, it wasn't specific to Hitchens.

          ...Freedom is on the march. Straight to the gas chamber. this is infidelica...

          by snookybeh on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 03:29:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Personally... (none)
    I really was VERY upset over the outcome of the election, suspicious of the Ohio vote and convinced that something was not at all right.  Since then, as I have watched what has happened since the election, I am just a little bit OK with Bush having won, because he really does have a HUGE mess on his hands and I think people are starting to wise up to his games.  

    If he FINALLY gets called on the carpet for even one of the multitude of sins he has committed in his quest for power and fame, I will be thrilled.  Be it this one or any other.

    Closed minds should come with closed mouths.

    by Pennsylvanian on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 07:37:58 AM PST

  •  It would be nice to see (none)
    Hitchens on Hardball with Chris Matthews or even
    O'Reilly's infotainment program. Matthews and Hutchins are both so obnoxious they really are
    quite the thing to watch because they are both so...filled with themselves. But at least it might help bring out the truth.
  •  Snitchens (none)
    Hate to burst your bubble, but Snitch has gone utterly bonkers. I'll give the piece a read, but the guy has zero cred in my book, since he started huffing neocon gasoline along with his Two Buck Chuck. That said, yes, he's certainly one of the most erudite writers of his day, and he has tragically abandoned a tremendous legacy as a truth-teller and all-around smartarse. But tinfoil's still tinfoil.

    "Senators, you polish a turd/Here in the city we got a word for those who'd bed their beloved Big Bird and make a mockery of our freedoms/It's Hey, MF" -L Reed

    by Septic Tank on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:01:09 AM PST

  •  If Hitchens believes that (none)
    then he should say Bush should be impeached.  Now is that in the article?  This is Hitch trying to play Lefty again.  I'm not biting.

    "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

    by Armando on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:02:49 AM PST

    •  True (4.00)
      and it's my fault for making the diary too much about Hitch.  But if someone as clearly drunk and biased against Kerry can see a duck, why is there so much dissent on the left that we are looking at a goose?  

      The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

      by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:01:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who cares about Hitch?!!! (4.00)
      What I care about is my country's democracy in tatters and voters who stood 10 hours in the rain and still had their votes stolen from them.  That's the bottom line.  I've got  a degree in math.  I believe the statisticians.

      So what am I going to do?  I'm not going to rehash the old arguments.  I'm going to run out and buy Vanity Fair and raise their circulation numbers by 1, and then I'm going to advise everyone I know to do the same.  I encourage all other Kossacks who care that this election might have been stolen to do the same.  Perhaps the MSM will get off their sorry butts and actually start doing their job if they think there's something in it for them.

      •  Good idea (none)
        but fair warning: the current VF issue is the loathsome "Hollywood" issue.  Every year they do a hollywood issue around Oscar time, and it is all about how wonderfully handsome or beautiful and virtuous filmstars are.  It sucks.

        Don't judge the worth of VF by this month's issue.  Think of it as the PBS pledge week.

        The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

        by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 01:37:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Somebody (none)
    up Hitchen's medication, his mutiple political personality disorder is out of control.

    Whose side will he be on tomorrow.

    Or is he just a whore. Noooo. That can't be it.

  •  one other thing about Hitch... (none)
    Hitchens will be forever tainted to me because of the way he betrayed Sidney Blumenthal, a man whom he called his "cousin." He signed an affidavit that essentially accused Blumenthal of perjury in his testimony to the Clinton impeachment trial managers, regarding Monica Lewinsky.

    There was nothing to Hitchen's allegations, as would be proven, and one can only attribute them to Hitchen's irrational hatred of Clinton. His betrayal of and subsequent animosity towards a man who was, up to that very point, one of his closest friends is inexplicable.

    ...Freedom is on the march. Straight to the gas chamber. this is infidelica...

    by snookybeh on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:15:54 AM PST

  •  FYI - Ohio recount may be on again (4.00)
    The Greens have filed papers for a judge to evaluate whether a REAL  recount should be done in Ohio.


  •  Stolen Election In Ohio (none)
    OK so reasonable people agree it was stolen. What is needed is a whistleblower at Diebold or someone who has knowledge of the heist. Where are the Seymour Hersh's of the world?
    How else can anyhting be done about it?
    •  Support the growing statistical analysis (4.00)
      USCountVotes is compiling a massive database of every vote in every precinct in every county in the country. They will use this for exhaustive statistical analysis of the voting irregularities. They have already produced lots of compelling evidence of "electoral anomalies". The more numbers they crunch, the greater the tidal wave of proof they build. Support them with a donation.
  •  Keep it clean and follow the numbers (4.00)
    First comment: Let's keep on the high moral ground. We're in the right here; there's no need to stoop to nastiness and name-calling. We can win this on the facts alone.

    Second comment: Let's not speculate on who, how, or why. Just as Deep Throat said "Follow the money", we should "follow the numbers". The statistics alone provide the proof. People don't appreciate the statistics only because they don't understand statistics well enough to understand their significance. We all have a natural cynicism about the misuse to which statistics can be put, but that doesn't mean that statistics are never to be trusted. Properly done, statistics really does work. If you understand the way the numbers work, you can look at the numbers and see the smoking gun. If you don't understand statistics, you can't see it. But it's there. The statistical evidence is overwhelming and growing daily.

  •  leave Hitchens out of it (4.00)
    And remember what the point is.
    The point is, this last election was funky.
    Funky all the way around.  
    Did we loose
    Did we loose based solely on Kerry's campaign? Lack of fight?  Lack of message? Even because of Theresa?  
    Nope, not solely.
    The effort NEEDS to be made and NEEDS to be made now so that we never, NEVER have to question election results ever again.
    If we are to be a democracy (lord help me for saying it), a 'beacon of democracy' at that, then we better have the BEST, most infallible system available to elect our officials.
    Otherwise we are a complete farce.  
    We shouldn't forget what happened and we should fight for our votes.  EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM.

    "Revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment...but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzag toward a more decent society."

    by saint on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 08:41:42 AM PST

  •  it was, without a doubt (none)
    I sent a huge spread sheet full of "anomolies" to party officials, some of which I think they used in their suits
  •  Hitch's cause is publicity for Hitch. (none)
    Why does Hitchens have any more credibility than Ann Coulter, Hannity, or Limbaugh?

    In the last couple years, he has attacked Chomsky, Zinn, Studs Terkel, Juan Cole, Michael Moore-- people with unquestioned commitment to progressive values and to peace.  He has signed on with Wolfowitz and the neo-con vision of perpetual war.

    Incredibly, he has deluded himself into believing that our war against the most secular Arab country is somehow a war against theocracy. It is an impossible position to defend, so he tries to pass off his twisty arguments with windbag effusions and upper class british put-downs).

    I think that the Rethugs filched Ohio votes too.   However, I do not welcome Hitchens to the cause.  Hitch couldnt care less about Ohio, his cause is Hitchens...and war.

    •  Problems with "Hitch" (none)
      From the diary:

      However, Hitchens has never come to grips with some of the inherent problems with the way the Bush administration chose to solve that problem.  The largest shortcoming was the basic dishonesty the Bush team used about motives.

      This may be true, ie, Hitchens "has problems," however Ive watched numerous debates regarding the war and have read a few Hitchens-penned articles regarding the war and have never seen him express a negative opinion about the Iraq invasion, with the exception of some weak criticism of the way Bushco didn't prepare for the war properly.

      I too have a problem inviting people I don't trust to the table on the side of a legitimate issue, ie, election problems in OH. Hitchens might be right here but he is not the first one I look to for guidance.

      That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. ~Teddy Roosevelt

      by assyrian64 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 09:30:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  look, there are 2 great big greasy floating turds (none)
    in the toilet bowl of recent US history, and they are the elections of 2000 and 2004. They will continue to float there, embarrassingly, despite all attempts to flush them down or sanize them, until ... until ...

    Sorry, i can't finish this analogy off. I'll confess, I just wanted to use the phrase "great big greasy floating turds in th toilet bowl of recent US history." Well, but I'm glad I got it off my chest, anyway.

    the hour of bombast is upon us

    by bopes on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 09:21:47 AM PST

  •  Quick Point (none)
    "Why does Hitchens have any more credibility than Ann Coulter, Hannity, or Limbaugh?"

    My mother could walk into a chemistry lab and say she's managed to split the atom while reading the TV Guide and she'd have more credibility than Ann Coulter.

    "Since when is being liberal a BAD thing?"

    by Red Red Worm on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 09:54:18 AM PST

  •  Till the Day I Die (none)
    I will believe we were "had" again in Ohio and Florida. Just look at the wacky wingnut behavior of Ken Blackwell and Co., they are as quilty as can be.

    If you look at Florida 2000 and 2004 in large numbers, our precients showed that Dem voters moved to give Bush votes in odd totals. I am a dummy sometimes in life,.........but I am not stupid.

    Something stinks......and it is not just Bush alone. There is fraud going on, and if we just let the system just go on....we are doomed...without fairness and accuracy we do not have a Democracy!!!

    "These guys are biggest bunch of lying crooks I have ever seen" John Kerry

    by alnc on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 09:59:18 AM PST

  •  If Hitchens says the Ohio vote was stolen (none)
    then I am convinced the voting was strictly by the book.

    That guy is about as trustworthy as carny barker. Without the charm.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:35:37 AM PST

  •  It's the electoral college (none)
    that counts!!! How could you forget this?
  •  Paper ballots should be the only way (none)
    to vote. After all the voting we've done on machines, I can't think of any advantage that machines have over paper. Paper is so simple, cheap, reliable, verifiable...

    "Blogging doesn't make it so" - Sen. Hayworth (R) AZ 1/6/2005. Oh yeah?

    by bejammin075 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:37:28 AM PST

  •  Gee... (4.00)
    ...and all of us Kosacks who had the same info in November and December couldn't even get on the front page until "Armando's Challenge" in January.

    ...Just think what might have been if we had had some support from the Candidate, or the Blog owners, or the Democratic Leadership (is there such a thing?) or even our fellow democrats.

    ...this election was black-water rotten, George Bush was re(s)elected and nobody cared.

    ...Man am I tired of this!

    "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything" - Joseph Stalin

    by Blue Shark on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:39:27 AM PST

  •  Bitter? (4.00)
    Yes, I am. Everytime this issue is raised - and for chrissake, it MUST be raised - the snark patrol comes in and does a "Nathanael" (John 1:46) about the academic credentials of the mathematicians or the journalistic cred of so and so. NONE of that changes the core issue. More and more professors say the numbers simply don't work, it's well known the GOP owns the machines, the machines can't be audited, every significant "anomaly" favored Bush, and Karen Hughes - believing the earlier f'ing Exit Polls - pulled young Bushie aside and told him, "you pwobably don't get to pway pwesadent anymore." Finally, if control of the presidency of the U.S. coupled with this outrageous opportunity doesn't equal MOTIVE, then I'm Marie of Romania. Hello, god damn it, Hello!

    That said, I'm glad that Hitchens was able to wring enough Tanqueray out of his liver to buy a vowel if not a clue. How about the front page of this blog and every news outlet in the U.S?  Oh no, I forgot, it can't happen here!

  •  Support the truth! (none)
    Buy the issue of Vanity Fair. Money talks. If they sell a lot of copies, they and others may see a market for telling what is going on. Don't just settle for reading it here.

    Put your money where your mouth is!

  •  Look at those numbers! (none)
    Boy, if you want to up your Mojo ratings quickly just post a redundant, screeching, and self-righteous reply in a fraud diary and you're set for years...
  •  I don't buy it (none)
    not only that, but it's waaaaay too late and merely frustating to read this kind of thing at this point.
    •  There was something (none)
      going on there. It needs to be looked into and hopefully fixed. It's too late to get President Mandate out, but if this stuff is true (as I beleive it is) it has to be investigated. At the very least, exposing a crime like this will take some of the arrogence out of the commander-in thief and the self-rightious assholes who are constantly claiming moral superiority over us. If we ignore it, it will happen again and again. I'd like to be able to elect our next president.
  •  Whether one believes (4.00)
    that the election was stolen or not is immaterial in all practical ways at this point.  The Chimp has been inaugurated and he's not going anywhere, any time soon.  I doubt anything will bring about an overturning of the 2004 election.

    However, with an eye to the future, everyone -- all of us, every single individual who believes in the concept of one person, one vote -- should follow grannyhelen's advice and sign on with Hillary and her Count Every Vote Act.

    Go here and add your name:

    This is the way forward.  If we can't change the past, we can at least try to change what happens next.

  •  What would happen if Ohio was stolen (none)
    and this came to light in some way - maybe someone talking or some strong evidence.  Then what???? Seriously.  Does Kerry become President? Does Bush step aside? Is there anything in our laws to deal with this?  I have been wondering this for a while and if anyone knows, could you share? Thanks,
    •  I'll give it a shot (none)
      Let's say that the hacker came forth, provided the evidence to Dan Rather, and could demonstrate exactly how many votes he stole and that his activities alone changed the outcome of the election.

      So, there is no dispute, in this hypothetical situation.

      Now, based on the constitution, there is no mechanism for replacing Bush other than impeachment.  Impeachment is supposed to be for high crimes and misdemeanors, but it can be used for any reason.  Even if Bush didn't know anything about the plot, impeachment could be used to remove him.  Or he could resign.

      As for Kerry, there is no mechanism to put him in office.  But it could be done like this.

      Kerry resigns as Senator.
      A Massachusetts house member resigns their post.
      The Massachusetts Governor appoints Kerry to fill the house seat.
      The House elects Kerry as Speaker.
      Bush resigns.
      Cheney resigns.
      Kerry take office.

      Other than that, Congress could pass emergency legislation providing for Kerry to assume office.  If challenged, the Supreme Court could uphold it as an exceptional circumstance, and say the law does not create a precedent.

      The Oval Office: Because there are no corners, there is nowhere to make the President sit when he has shamed the nation.

      by BooMan23 on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:55:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  For the current "This Week in Fascism" (none)
        This is what I presented in "This Week in Fascism"
    I am doing a special "nightmare scenarios" edition and am asking everyone to bring their own.
    Just a reminder that I probably recommended this Diary: Hint! Hint!
    Also since I rarely have time for Cheers and Jeers or to post comments my mojo level is very low.

         BooMan23 let us know that Christopher Hitchens thinks the OHIO VOTE WAS STOLEN. In the latest Vanity Fair there is an editorial on voter fraud in Ohio and how the election may have been stolen. I didn't take the time to read the whole thing, sorry.

    "It's about the accountability, stupid." Thomas Davis 2005

    by Tomtech on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 09:10:47 PM PST

  •  "fraudniks" - can you use another term? (none)
    How about "people who believe the 2004 election was fraudulent."

    Or "critcs."

    Or "election-critics."

    People don't call themselves "fraudniks."

  •  BooMan23 (none)
    Sorry I missed this diary, it's a good one, some very nice writing.  Someone just posted a link to it on DU so, a couple of days later, I finally get here.  I went through and passed out alot of well-deserved 4s and one Super 0.  

    I don't frequent Kos as much as I used to, since I got really turned off by some of the jerks who hold sway here.  There are some contributers who I will never read ONE SINGLE WORD OF.  Except to amuse myself with how they are beginning to squirm a bit as Election Theft 2004 slowly works its way into the mainstream.

    Love your scenario for what happens when it's finally proven that * stole yet another election!!!  Keep up the good work, BooMan.

  •  Prosecution (none)
    Been following this very closely but have a few questions.  Is there any formal investigation into the lockdown during the count due to "terrorist threats"?  Who's looking into this?
    How about those 3000+ people who voted this time around all had registered on the same day in 1977, never voted before & all voted in this election.  Anyone checking this out?  Is anyone out there talking to Blackwell or other election officials or officials who own these voting machines?  Is anyone compelling them to answer any questions.  I heard the Kerry campaign filed papers to have voting machines seized.  Is that still ongoing?  Aside from sending cash to the Ohio lawyers contesting the vote, is there anything we can all do to help them like writing letters or petitions?  So is this all a dead issue or are there things conserned voters can do NOW?  The only way to get people to talk is by threat of prosecution.  There are persons out there who know something.  No doubt.  How to put pressure on is what I'm asking.  This has been haunting me since Nov 3.  True Kerry will never be President in this term but the people responsible for this crime need to come to the light of day.  The only way to stop this is to expose what happened.  I check daily with free press, Cobb website, truth out.  Any suggestions of other places to look to keep up to speed?
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