Thursday, December 02, 2004

Pompous gasbags

I love this post from Digby today. It's too long to copy, so go read it.

Right on Brother.

Let's not forget though that exposing pompous gasbags is a tradition that our great American writers inherited from their European counterparts, including Moliere (Taftuffe, anyone?) and Shakespeare (everyone knows Polonius but check out Measure for Measure for for some real hypocrisy, Jimmy Swaggart-style) and all the way back to Chaucer.

I think this has a lot to do with why so many artists and intellectuals hate Bush. You can't be trained by Vonnegut, Twain, OConner, Shakespeare and Chaucer, and not see through the sancitimonious bullshit of people living in the Bush machine.



Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Eliminate selective service

Wrote a long post on Kos today about eliminating the selective service. Probably won't go anywhere... posts come and go so fast over there.

But think about it: If we're not going to draft NOW, when would we ever draft? If we're not going to use the draft, why have it?

And I don't think we should draft. I think if America were truly under attack, or if another Hitler were trying to dominate the planet, millions of Americans would volunteer for service. In a true military emergency, we wouldn't NEED a draft.

Go to the SSS's website. It's pretty interesting. Their own homepage trumpets the fact that we don't need a draft! Nothing like advertising your own irrelevance.

Kind of like this blog!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Um, hi. Remember me?

I'm the special prosecutor law. I was created after Watergate to end corruption in government. But I was really being abused during the Clinton years to go after members of Clinton's cabinet and make their lives miserable. So guess what? Everyone agreed to let me go away without being reauthorized, so that was that.

And guess what Democrats? It was the best thing you ever did for George W. Bush.

Just think of what I could have done about Halliburton, about Abu Graib, about the secret energy policy, about Enron.

Man. They cut my legs out from under me just when my best days were ahead of me.

Maybe I could ask the leaders of Congress if...

oh, never mind.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Blackwell

I am working on a longer piece that I intend to submit to the Dayton Daily. The gist of it is this:
One election reform that really needs to happen is that election officials should be non-partisan or at the very least prohibited from an active role in a campaign for national office.

I am pretty concerned that decisions regarding voting machines in Columbus, specifically the decision about how many voting machines should be in each precinct, was made by a former executive director of the Franklin County GOP. And his decisions clearly cost Kerry votes, and it seems equally clear that that was his goal.

We have a stolen election in Florida in 2000 that was engineered by Katherine Harris, who ran Bush's campaign in Florida. Now isn't it obvious that there is at least the APPEARANCE of impropriety there?

And here in Ohio, the campaign was directed by Blackwell. Secretary of State. Shouldn't be allowed to happen.

Istook Amendment

What is crazy about this Istook amendment-the one that allows the chairman of the House approppriations committee to examine ANY tax return he or she wants to- is that it is so bold, so outrageous, so clearly intrusive and anti-American, and yet someone had the nerve to insert it into a real piece of legislation. Now, Frist is saying it wasn't Istook after all. Who cares. The point is, this is the kind of thing that the Republican party in Washington will be trying to do in closed rooms for the next two (and probably four) years.

In this case, the press got hold of it (as usual the best reporting on it comes from Josh Marshall) and the Reps are running from it like they are running from a skunk.

There's more of this kind of insanity on its way, thanks to the American voter who put these people in complete control of the government.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Go Bucks

For the record, I am not expecting the Buckeyes to come through today.

But here's hoping for a miracle. GO BUCKS!

NYT today

Bought a hard copy of the Times today at the local upscale market, and yes, sipped a latte with it. (By the way there are a lot of Republicans buying lattes here in Springboro.)

Lots of stuff in it today, including foolishness by David Brooks telling us that Tom Delay is really a pretty nice guy and doesn't really like confrontation! Ah, gee. He's so misunderstood.

Kristoff touting the idea of having transparent campaign contributions made through an independent trust then forwarded anonymously to the campaigns.

Boy, the naivete is running heavy on the oped page today.

But what really caught my eye today was the long discussion of coal plants and how they were making a huge comeback. Cleaner but not "clean enough for some people." (emphasis mine) In other words, those enviro-wackos are still making a big deal out of nothing!

Nowhere in the article was the harvesting of coal discussed as part of its environmental impact.

Ever been to a forest that's been strip mined? I have. Won't forget it.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Kerry moving forward

This is exactly the right thing to do, both politically and morally. Good for you John Kerry.

From his email that went out to supporters today:

...on the first day Congress is in session next year, I will introduce a bill to provide every child in America with health insurance. And, with your help, that legislation will be accompanied by the support of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
There are more than eight million uninsured children in our nation.
That's eight million reasons for us to stay together and fight for a new direction. It is a disgrace that in the wealthiest nation on earth, eight million children go without health insurance.


I think we all know how the Bush administration will view this legislation. That is to say, they won't view it at all. Not from 100 paces with sunglasses on.

My congressman is a coward.

Following Josh Marshall's instructions, I contacted Mike Turner's office. I politely asked how he voted on the Delay issue, allowing party leaders to keep their posts even if they are under indictment.

The Dayton office had to call the DC office and get back to me. I was told it was a private vote and the congressman doesn't have to say how he voted. I started to get snippy. Well of course he can say if he wants to. He can just announce, I voted this way or that. Right? I was told again that he doesn't have to do that. Regaining my composure, I simply asked if he was refusing to say how he voted. And I was told that was correct.

Congressman Mike Turner. Coward.

Again, back to Josh Marshall.

Marshall today on his blog published the transcript of Delay's press conference proclaiming himself as pure as God's fingers, to paraphrase John Proctor in The Crucible. And Delay claims that the indictments are partisan.

Clear case of the Republicans counting on the public's lack of knowledge of basic civics. A prosecutor, no matter how partisan, can't bring an indictment on his or her own. A grand jury does that. And grand juries are not partisan. They hear evidence and decide if a case should go forward. Then it goes to trial.
That's an indictment, Tom.

Now is Mr. DeLay implying that these grand juries are stacked with liberal democrats out to get him?

And they accuse US of conspiracy theories?

Wild speculation on the Internets continues.

Still think it's just a bunch of bloggers freaking out?

Consider:

Today the University of California's Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team released a statistical study - the sole method available to monitor the accuracy of e- voting - reporting irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods - what the team says can be deemed a "smoke alarm." Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance - the probability is less than 0.1 percent.

and this:

Tomorrow the first recount begins--in New Hampshire, of all places, a state George Bush didn't even win. But in those areas where he did well, sometimes the numbers look decidedly odd. In this case, the person who got the ball rolling was one Ida Briggs, a longtime Michigan software designer and database developer who did a statistical analysis of some election results, and found them perplexing enough to trigger concerns in her mind about the efficacy of the electronic vote tabulation system used.
What she found were striking anomalies--mostly in precincts using paper ballots that were then input via the optical scanning machines manufactured by the controversial vendor Diebold, of North Canton, Ohio. In general, according to Briggs, the "Diebold precincts" showed larger and more frequent deviations from expected voting trends than precincts relying strictly on hand counts, and even than those using an optical-scan counting system from another manufacturer. Creating trend patterns by looking at the 2000 and 2004 elections, she found rural, typically conservative precincts that hand-counted ballots as voting more for Kerry than they did for Gore, while larger, urban precincts using Diebold's AccuVote machines often did the opposite. Of the precincts where Kerry did less well than expected, according to Briggs, 73 percent used optical-scan technology and 62 percent used Diebold machines. Fully 92 percent of all out-of-trend votes were optically scanned. New Hampshire has 301 precincts; 126 of them use Diebold's AccuVote technology.
(link to Common Dreams; originally in The Nation)


And then there's this account of Bev Harris' attempt to obtain the receipts of optical scanner printouts in Florida (really, you have to hit the link and read the whole thing... even the wildest conspiracy theorist couldn't come up with this one):


Published on Thursday, November 18, 2004 by CommonDreams.org
'Stinking Evidence' of Possible Election Fraud Found in Florida
by Thom Hartmann

And then things got even odder.
"We were sitting there comparing the real [signed, original] tapes with the [later printout] ones that were given us," Bev said, "and finding things missing and finding things not matching, when one of the elections employees took a bin full of things that looked like garbage - that looked like polling tapes, actually - and passed by and disappeared out the back of the building."


It's probably nothing. I'm sure all of us are just jumping to conclusions. I'm sure somebody, somewhere can find examples of vote tabulation that skew results wildly and unexplainably in John Kerry's favor. It's just that the librul media won't publish them.

See, I heard here in Ohio that ACT was registering people like Dick Tracy to vote.

Both sides do it. I'm sure they do.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Attention mainstream press: Here's how to do it

Josh Marshall is doing exactly what good journalists should be doing. He is documenting who voted to save Tom Delay's butt and who voted against it in the GOP conference. It was a voice vote from what I understand, with no one on the record. Talkingpointsmemo asked readers to call their congressman and find out how he or she voted. I plan to call Mike Turner tomorrow.

I also plan to write the Dayton Daily News, which has been brave enough to report on voting irregularities, by the way, and see if they can get Turner and Boehner on the record as to how they voted.

I'm guessing they voted to save Delay. Duh.

But I think this is making some congresspeople pretty uncomfortable, either way. They are either publicizing a vote against their Boss (he won't be pleased), or they are telling the world they don't have the guts to vote against their Boss.

Good journalism. This is information the people have a right to know. If there were a Pulitzer for blogging, Marshall would win it, hands down.