Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Read It and Weep

As the film Hacking Democracy and Gregg Palast's tome Armed Madhouse clearly illustrate, America's election process is in deep trouble. Worse, the so-called Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is really a misnomer. Rather than help voters, the act, among other things, establishes a requirement that voter registrations match a computer database (guess which party dominates most of the software?). The software kicks out voter registrations of anyone whose name doesn't match the "database." In one year alone roughly half of California voters registrations were kicked out because of data entry errors by those using the program, not voter fraud. In most cases, the registrations didn't match the database because of typist error. But there is room for other mischief. For example, misspelled names in the database itself or mismatches because maiden names were not used by voters in drivers licenses, but are required in some state voter registrations. It's a system ripe for chaos.

None of this addresses the malicious touch-screen voting machines which have neither paper trails, auditability nor real security. Voters in Roanoke, Virginia, and elsewhere voted for one candidate and had the opposite candidate's name show up in the confirmation screen. Hacking Democracy documents how a group of citizens courageously made an irrefutable case--that most Americans don't even know about.

The selections of 2000 and 2004 are well-documented for the thefts they are. But few seem to care. In 2000, the Democratic party swooped in and pressured Al Gore to give up. Tens of thousands of Democrats were purged wrongfully from voter rolls and falsely labeled felons because individuals had a similar first, or last, name or shared a birthday with a felon on a computerized list. The so-called "undervote" in FL was, in many cases, simply often when ballots had votes for some offices, but not for others. Have you ever done that, when,say, a soil and conversation candidate is unknown to you? That is not supposed to invalidate a ballot. Sometimes voters don't make a decision in one race, but do in all the others.

Books have been written on the debacle that was Ohio in 2004. Here Mark Crispin Miller rebuts the corporate line trying to sew skepticism. His book Fooled Again is another recommended read. Also read works by Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fritakis here. Read their book, What Happened in Ohio? here.Watch Hacking Democracy for compelling footage of misdeeds and organized corruption of the election process there. It's caught on tape.

As proven in Hacking Democracy, in Volusia County, FL, Al Gore had a negative vote total of than 16,000 votes (-16,000), enough by itself to have turned the selection of 2000. Votes were subtracted from, rather than added to, his total. That itself is more than enough to seal the election. But never mind. The fix has been in for some time.

Now comes Allen Raymond, who was in the center of the GOP fix-the-election and campaign dirty tricks activity, shows how compared to today's treachery, Nixon plumbers were just amateurs. Will Pitt (William Rivers Pitt), blogger and journalist par excellence, reviews Raymond's book,How to Rig and Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative,here. You'll want to read this book. And get the Democratic Party to care about this. They are, no doubt, afraid to give credence to any story that would cause voters to be cynical, and thus not show up. The reasoning seems to be we need to rise above this stuff and vote (legally)in even greater numbers. But ignorance is not bliss and it won't make the problem go away.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One Stand-Out Hero: In Dodd We Trust (Again)

There, was that so hard? All it takes is one person willing to support the people over corporations, the rule of law (such as it is) over law breakers, and the Constitution over Constitutional abuse. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) blocked the anti-FISA telcom immunity. At least, that is, he blocked it until 2008. Then we must put up with this whole God-forsaken corrupt Busch-co enterprise again.

Yesterday, prior to Dodd's rescue, only ten Senators opposing immunity voted no on the move to break cloture. That's right, 74 to 10, the Senate capitulated. And Dems are supposed to have ushered in a new era of responsible government? Thus, they moved the Faustian bill to a final vote. Why is this a problem?

Since two weeks after Bush took office, well before 9-11, and completely without justification, telcoms (except for Quest) set up illegal spying on any and all Americans, no warrant required. Or so they try to conn us, after the fact. Now they want to be indemnified. And worse, they expect to be given unprecedented, monopolistic power under the anticipated Kevin Martin hatchet to the FCC. Foxes and Fauxes are indeed guarding the hen house. One hero now stands alone.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Heroes, Here's to You

Ten Senators were heroes today. Ten senators refused to indemnify telcoms from their illegal and unAmerican activities, spying on Americans. For their corruption, these telcoms are posed to received unprecedented power and protection of their fiefdoms, ala the FCC's Kevin Martin, who still doesn't understand that his job is to protect us, not bush's corporate friends.

Ten heroes, the list gets shorter and shorter. Here they are. Read it and weep. The rest have signed away freedom. Rad-cons can talk all they want about freedom and liberty, but they don't know the meaning of it.

Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Dodd (D-CT)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Wyden (D-OR)

Huckster Huckabee's Got Some "Splainin" to Do.

I will a more comprehensive statement on the blatantly theocratic candidacy of Mike Huckabee for President. I'm working on it.

Meanwhile, take a look at the ever shrinking brain of Huck:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Usurpation: Bush's Illegal Signing Statements

George W. Bush has written 1100 signing statements, nearly twice the 600 by all previous presidents combined. This imperial presidency exceeds Dick Cheney's post Nixonian wildest dreams.

Cheney has workedd for 30 years to restore the imperial presidency, says Charlie Savage of the Boston Glove, one of the main reporters of the abusive signing statements.

Here's the footage from Olbermann's Countdown. As legal scholar Jonathan Turley says, these statments attempt to provide legal cover for illegalities.

Hear From One Who Waterboarded

Here's the story over at ABC's Brian Ross's Blotter.

Of interest is this:

Kiriakou says he did not know that the interrogation of Zubaydah was being secretly recorded by the CIA and had no idea the tapes had been destroyed.

There's much more....

Read it here.

Larry Johnson Asks: What Destroyed Torture Tapes?

Read my blog article over at here.

The Good News Bear(ers) of Pablum

The so-called MSM feeds us a steady diet of "good news" pablum. Here's one commentator's introduction to a discussion of this problem:

When Kuwait was liberated in 1991 — a strange concept, Kuwait having been free neither before being invaded by Iraq nor since — its citizens lined up in the streets of their capital and waved thousands of American flags as troops drove by. “Did you ever stop to wonder,” a man called John Rendon proudly asked during a speech to a government agency, “how the people of Kuwait City, after being held hostage for seven long and painful months, were able to get hand-held American and, for that matter, the flags of other coalition countries?” He answered his own question: “That was one of my jobs then.”

Read more here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Huck Unhinged

As quickly as his wing-nut candidacy is rising, Mike Huckabee is coming apart at the seams. Witness the latest revelation about Huckabee's views:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure and said homosexuality could "pose a dangerous public health risk."

As a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions submitted to him by The Associated Press. Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested that Hollywood celebrities fund AIDS research from their own pockets, rather than federal health agencies.

"If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague," Huckabee wrote.

Huck's knowledge flies in the face of everything that's known about how AIDS is spread. Even in 1992. The man is clearly too ignorant to be president. But then, ignorance is just what we have in the office of national CEO. So maybe Huck is about as enlightened as the current office holder. Finally, his "solution" for who should pay for AIDS research is just so typical.

Read the entire article here.

Friday, December 07, 2007


Keith Olbermann did it again this past Thursday. As special comments begin to add up to a body of work, which will be compiled in his soon-to-be-released book) Olbermann continues to amaze with his courage and backbone. Democrats take note.

Here's the video.

Here's is his latest commentary.

To Congress: Reject Bush's Selective Fix on the Mortgage Problem

Here's an excellent article about Bush's trial balloon concerning mortgage crisis relief. It's not what meets the eye. Read about it here.

Update: I should have added this respone by "PM" at RK.

Americablog is one of the most liberal blogs around. Here is what its main editor, Jon Aravosis said:

I can deal with someone who was cheated by their mortgage broker, banker, or whomever. Someone who was literally lied to about how much their mortgage was going to cost them now, in two years, in five years, in ten years. But what I can't deal with are all of these heart-tugging news broadcast and Joe and Suzie who simply wanted the American dream for their children, so they risked their entire family's livelihood on a gamble that they could sell a house they couldn't afford before the "real" mortgage rate kicked in. Sorry, Charlie, but those people knew what they were doing. They gambled. They lost. I had the same choice they did, and I said "no," things were simply too expensive. So now they get a bail out and I get nothing because they wanted money for nothing?

I (KathyinBlacksburg)couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Oh, Puleez...

It seems Mr. Bush is today stepping up the feined rhetoric and war drumbeat once again. Today, he told Iran to "come clean..." This he says just a day after he was revealed to be a major dissembler on Iran's lack of threat to the US. Check it out here.

The Spin is Spun

The Roanoke Times headline writer tagged the Associated Press story on the NIE revelation that Iran poses no immediate or mid-term threat to the US (at least until about 2015) as a “setback.” Most reasonable folks would see such news as a good thing. But not many in the bellicose, salivating press. And certainly not those who've drunk the hegemonic Kool Aid. Indeed some media outlets tried to up the ante by pitching the threat deadline at 2009. This ignores that there's a huge difference between enriching uranium and weaponizing it. It really is disgusting to observe the spinners and provocateurs still lusting for war. Meanwhile, those who heard the latest unclassified version of the NIE Report here results and thought “I told you so” (that Iran didn’t have a current nuclear weapons program), waited for the other administration shoe to drop. Surely, the administration had yet to pounce on some vague language to justify its disingenuous fear-mongering concerning Iran. Surely, it had an Act Two. Surely, the administration hadn’t drawn on its best Dana Perino spin. Nor had the Decider weighed in. That was about to change.

Then came Bush’s Tuesday press conference to illustrate how far down the rabbit hole we’ve gone. Says the selected president:

"I view this report as a warning signal that they had the program, they halted the program," Bush said. "The reason why it's a warning signal is they could restart it."

But of course. Even as Iran was no threat to us, Bush fear-mongered. Has he no shame?

Seymour Hersh reports that Bush knew of the contents and even briefed Ehud Olmert on the contents two days before Bush claimed he was briefed on it. Read it here.
And the "resident" Quick Draw McGraw claimed that he didn’t’ know any of the facts of the NIE until last week!!!!! Read more here. However, it is now clear that Bush knew he was misleading even as he beat the drums for war with Iran. Read the excellent commentaries here and here.

As a predictable touch, Bush also laid claim to a victory, of sorts, when he asserted that his approach is working. As if...

One thing is clear, it is long past time to open impeachment hearings. It doesn’t matter that this is late in the process. What matters is that future miscreants who try to abuse power need to know Congress does its job. So, Congress, how bout doing it? And if it doesn’t, then it aids and abets abuse of power, and much more. It's the principle of the thing.

Media Watch: No Wonder We are in Trouble

The top Yahoo "news" search in 2007 was for Britney Spears. And if that's not pathetic enough, let's ponder what people weren't reading about while they were reading everything they could get their hands on (I mean read) about the hapless latest of the crash-and-burn celebrities.

Let's see what else was going on while this celeb was telling Americans that we should just trust our president. The administration was:

--misleading Americans about WMD.
--fabricating links between Saddam and 9-11.
--Abu Grahib and torture in general.
--Ending habeas corpus.
--Spying on Americans for no reason and without a warrant.
--Record numbers of signing statements.
--Rigging prosecutions of fake voter registration cases by the Bush administration.
--Setting up the mechanisms to steal yet another election.
--lying to Americans about the threat Iran actually poses (or doesn't).
--expanding the list of our enemies to "justify" more wars.

All the while, many Americans still follow Britney's suggestion to just trust the president, the above shows we should not. And the Bush-beholding MSM continues serving us up more and more disgusting Britney film footage, encouraging paparazzi to stalk her, and loading up the airwaves with irrelevancies, so were are in the dark about the next scandal most won't know about.