Monday, November 29, 2004

Jackson: Ohio Race Not Yet Decided

Things are going fairly well -- considering our democracy was hijacked four years ago by criminals who still have yet to return it, or pay for their crime. At least more and more people are waking up to it. Nationally prominent political figures are beginning to step up to the plate and challenge the fraudulent election results -- and not just those in the Ukraine.

First, as you may remember, Dennis Kucinich issued a statement in which he expressed strong support for an Ohio recount, deeming it "an appropriate response to officials who tried to suppress the vote." Kucinich said he hoped that a recount "will rescue a shred of honesty in the conduct of the 2004 Ohio election."

Then, days later, John Kerry himself released a videotaped statement in which he said, somewhat cryptically, that "regardless of the outcome of this election, once all the votes are counted -- and believe me, they will be counted -- we will continue to challenge this administration...I'm going to fight for national standards for federal elections...it's unacceptable in the United States of America that people still don't have full confidence in the integrity of the voting process." Well, that's better than nothing. Thanks, Mr. President.

And now, Jesse Jackson has come forward and challenged the 2004 election point-blank. The best thing about this, of course, is that the more prominent figures speak out, the more media attention the story gets.

In today's Free Press article, Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman describe a "wildly cheering" Ohio rally crowd hanging on Jackson's every word as he described a "pattern of intentionality" in the vote discrepanies. Emphasizing that the vote "has not yet been certified," Jackson "demanded the removal of Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell from supervising the recount, which Jackson termed a case of 'the fox guarding the chicken house...the owner of the team can't also be the referee.'"

"'We can live with losing an election,' he said. 'We cannot live with fraud and stealing. We need federal supervision of federal elections. Right now we have 50 separate but unequal ways to vote. There can be no safe harbor for a flawed process that leaves people disenfranchised. You can't have public elections on privately-owned machines, especially where one of the owners has vowed to deliver the state for George Bush. You can hack these machines. The playing field is uneven. These numbers will not go away. We as Americans should not be begging a Secretary of State for a fair vote count. We cannot be the home of the thief and the land of the slave...this is not about John Kerry versus George Bush. This is about Medgar Evers and Fannie Lou Hamer and Viola Liuzzo. About Goodman, Cheney and Schwerner, and twenty-seven years in prison for Nelson Mandela. It's about a will to dignity. It's not too much to ask for our vote to count."

According to Fitrakis and Wasserman:

"A broad-based legal team -- now including Jackson's PUSH/Rainbow Coalition as Plaintiff -- is preparing to file an election challenge asking the election results be overturned. Jackson says computer forensic experts must be given full access to electronic voting machines that have provided no paper trail, but which could be electronically analyzed from within.

"New findings indicate that Kerry's margins in 37 (of 88) Ohio counties are suspiciously low when compared to those garnered by Judge Ellen Connally, an unsuccessful Democratic Supreme Court candidate. The calculations focus on standardized county-wide ratios between bottom-of-the-ticket tallies won by Judge Connally versus those won by Kerry in heavily Republican, rural counties. According to a wide range of experts, there appears to be a systematic removal of Kerry votes by hackers who overlooked the Connally votes, which now clearly infers something went wrong. 'It's simply not credible that a vastly underfunded African-American female candidate at the bottom of the ticket could outpoll John Kerry in Butler County,' said Cliff Arneback, a lead attorney for the challenging legal team."

That's a good point, Cliff. In fact, a lot of the events of the last few weeks are simply not credible.

"According to the sworn testimony, a systematic denial of voting machines to inner city precincts resulted in waits of three, five and even eleven hours for thousands of voters, many of whom left in frustration without casting their ballots. Charges of intimidation, misinformation, faulty registration lists and denial of provisional ballots are listed. So are serious questions about the integrity of touch screen machines, many of which were widely reported to have turned Kerry votes into Bush votes. In Warren County, Homeland Security was inexplicably invoked to bar independent observers and the media, leaving the vote count under control of Republicans. In the Franklin County precinct of Gahanna, 4258 votes were registered for Bush where only 628 people voted. In another county, a GOP election official took voting results to his private home for final, unsupervised reporting."

As Jesse Jackson told the Cincinnati Post, "the Ohio race has not yet been decided because of so many irregularities 26 days after the election." As he told the Cincinnati Enquirer, "we want to know how deep this pattern goes. We have been continuing to pursue the outcome of the election with disturbing findings...we want a full investigation of these irregularities."

He also said, in what was apparently a big conference call for the Ohio press, that he had spoken to John Kerry, who reiterated his support for a full invesigation and recount. "Kerry was inclined to believe what he was told," Jackson said of the November 3 concession, "and he was told the election was over. But now we're unearthing information that did not surface at first. I suppose the more information Kerry gets, the more you will hear from him." The Toledo Blade quotes Jackson as insisting, "We must use litigation, legislation, and demonstration. We must not stop until every vote counts. This is not about whether the Democrats or Kerry will stand up. It's about you." (More on Jackson's Ohio jaunt from Cleveland/Akron News Channel 5; also, see Civil Rights Leader Says Court Should Consider Setting Aside Bush's Win, from an NBC affiliate in Columbus. And, of course, Keith Olbermann's take.

Must read: Re-Vote, Not Recount, in Ohio, by Anne Pfeiffer. Also, If The Ukraines Can Demonstrate in the Streets Over a Stolen Election, So Can We, by Rob Kall.

write to me

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Wayne Madsen: Spiffy But Iffy

Also, Oklahoma Not Okay

Everyone's talking about Wayne Madsen's recent article, "Saudi and Enron money helped pay for U.S. rigged election." The main thrust of Madsen's piece is that technicians familiar with Diebold, Sequoia, ES&S, Triad, Unilect, and Danaher Controls voting machines were paid by the Bush campaign to pose as Homeland Security and FBI agents, to hack the systems, and to make Bush win. Madsen further posits that the capital for this project came from two sources -- Five Star Trust (a Houston-based entity of the Saudi Royal Family), and Cook Islands bank accounts which were depositories of siphoned Enron money.

In my view, Madsen paints a scenario which is theoretically plausible. But he seems unable to prove it. He offers no real evidence, and, as MSNBC's Keith Olbermann points out, he relies on words like "apparently" and "reportedly" a bit too much. Madsen asserts that the leak "apparently came from technicians who were promised to be paid a certain amount for their work...but the Bush campaign interlocutors reneged." Fine, Mr. Madsen, but quote them directly, or tell us who told you. Otherwise, we're going to keep an open mind but remain skeptical.

We who believe THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN believe so because of overwhelming evidence, as this website and hundreds of others have faithfully catalogued over the last few weeks. We don't leap to the support of unfounded corroboration, because we don't have to. If we're to be branded as conspiracy theorists -- well, personally I reject the term, but I refer you to Watergate, Iran-Contra, Enron, and scores of other historic events which have drawn the line between "conspiracy theorists" and those who are blindly subsribing to a myth.

Discussing the Madsen article with Spirit from Bush Eye (see comments after yesterday's entry), I had a revelation. There's no denying that there are wild, misguided conspiracy theories in this world. But it's just as misguided to deny that there are also sinister, wide-ranging conspiracies.

So where does that leave us with Wayne Madsen? I'm not dismissing him. I certainly look forward to reading his forthcoming articles. And if he convincingly supports his points with evidence, I'll believe him. And he is absolutely right to investigate the highly suspicious, 100% verified Warren County Election Day lockdown reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer. This is an event which we know took place, which glaringly indicates vote tampering in Ohio, and which is impossible to explain without what many would label a conspiracy theory.

It's also important to note that Madsen has already written a follow-up to his original article. His second piece makes another tremendous, plausible, but unfounded claim -- that a network of retired F.B.I. agents cooperated in the rigging of the vote. But beyond this, Madsen offers a piece of possible evidence which seems entirely checkable:

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

"On October 6, 2004, some two weeks before Equity Financial Trust transferred the money to Five Star Investment Ltd., the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions for Canada listed Equity Financial Trust, along with Bankers Financial and Security Trust, Falcon Financial and Trust, and Unity Virtual Trust Group as 'unauthorized financial institutions.' In fact, the check for $29.6 million, which is marked 'Not to exceed fifty million dollars,' is drawn on the Laurentian Bank of Canada's Toronto branch. Its serial number is 317675450 3 and the bank number is 23-97/1020. The bank instrument is issued by Integrated Payment Systems, Inc. of Englewood, Colorado, and Bank One, NA, Denver, Colorado."

So perhaps in the coming week we will find out whether this check is an authentic document, and if so, whether it portends the specific operations described by Mr. Madsen.

In other news, we can add Oklahoma to the list of states whose voting machines counted backwards on November 2, according to this article from Oklahoma Independent Media Center. The article establishes that all of Oklahoma uses voting machines manufactured by ES&S. (For anyone who missed this before, ES&S Vice President Tom Urosevich is the brother of Bob Urosevich, who runs Diebold.) The article says -- with links added by me:

"The respectable, conservative Tulsa World newspaper reported Nov. 3rd that Kerry was winning in 57 of the states's rural counties, with 70% of the vote counted. Turns out that the famous November 3rd report was probably not supposed to be printed...

"The 'official' State of Oklahoma Election Board vote totals released later show Kerry not winning but losing in all the state's 77 counties, including the 57 rural counties...a simple comparison of total votes for Kerry between the staid establishment mouthpiece...and the so-called 'official' final vote totals at the State Election Board show fewer votes for Kerry in 57 counties than the Tulsa World does.

"Fifty-seven of the 57 counties clearly demonstrate that Sen. Kerry lost 37,982 votes to the ES&S Optech Machines. During the same time period...Bush gained a whopping 393,825 votes."

Today, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Jesse Jackson has been in Ohio this weekend, leading rallies to demand a full investigation. "We want to know how deep this pattern goes," Jackson is quoted as saying. "We have been continuing to pursue the outcome of the election with disturbing findings. We want a full investigation of these irregularities...Kerry was inclined to believe what he was told, and he was told the election was over. But now we're unearthing information that did not surface at first. I suppose the more information Kerry gets, the more you will hear from him." Let's hope so.

As the Ohio recount gathers steam, and the integrity of the Bush victory further crumbles, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the People for the American Way Foundation has filed suit against Ohio Secretary-of-State/Elections-Supervisor/Bush-Re-Election-Chairman Ken Blackwell. They're suing him in an effort to reinstate 8,000 provisional ballots which they claim were wrongly ruled invalid in the all-important Cuyahoga County. So that's another several thousand votes under discussion, in a state where Bush's official lead was, all together now, 136,000 votes. The election was stolen.

There's also yet another good summary of the election fraud saga, this one by Dianne Lobes in the Oregon Register-Guard.

And finally, a Bush assassination attempt in Columbia. Or maybe not.

By the way, in the preceding paragraph, I meant "finally" as in "the last piece of news I'm sharing with you this evening." I didn't mean "finally" as in "at last!" Because I want to make explicit once more that I do not condone any kind of killing, in any way, and that does include the Fuckinidiot. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: VIOLENCE IS WRONG -- impeach, don't assassinate.

More as it happens, right here.

write to me

Saturday, November 27, 2004

We're Going To Do Something

I recently got into an interesting conversation with two people close to me -- both Democrats, both disappointed that Bush "won." One said she was reasonably convinced that the election was stolen, or at least that sufficient intentional manipulation had taken place to call the results seriously into question. The other said he could not believe we would make such a claim. "That's just ridiculous," he said. "I think that's a ridiculous thing to say." I rattled off some of the usual examples of fraud and discrepancy, and credited some of the usual sources. "That's a far-left conspiracy theory," my friend -- who I love and respect -- continued.

He said that he felt there was always a certain amount of skullduggery on both sides, but that the integrity of the results was not in question. I explained that every single discrepancy seems to work in Bush's favor, but he didn't believe it. Then I asked him if he thought the 2000 election had been stolen, or fiddled with, or unconstitutionally hijacked by the Supreme Court. He said no, he didn't. "I think we have the most open and fair democracy in the world," he said. "Our elections are honest."

A lot of people, even liberals, are afraid to consider that American democracy, at least since 2000, is a myth, a lie. "We live in a democracy," they say, over and over again. "Our elections are fair." They have to believe that, in order to go through their lives. They repeat it because they're trying to convince themselves.

I don't blame them one bit. If I could go back to believing it, I would. But in order for me to do that, it would have to be true. And it isn't. And everybody I know who has actually looked into it...has come around to accepting at least the possibility that the election was stolen. You have to do the reading -- which is to be found, yes, on the Internet. There is, on the web, a wild and extreme fringe of all this, and sure, there are a lot of unreliable sources. The Internet also happens to be the place where you can find the true integrity of credible news sources. A credible news source is not owned by a multinational corporation. A credible news source is not beholden to partisan stockholders.

By selling us the myth of 21st century American democracy, the mainstream media is giving us permission to go about our lives, and that's what we want. If our media refused to tell the government's lies, like the media in the Ukraine, the American people might be doing what they should be doing.

What should the American people be doing? The same thing the Ukrainian people are doing. They're taking to the streets and demanding the democracy they were promised. They're refusing to accept the fake election results. They're broadcasting their capacity for revolution. They just got democracy, so they actually value it. They would rather disrupt their own lives, for the sake of truth and freedom, than sit back comfortably and fall into the clutches of tyranny. They are much more American than we are.

And that might be why they've so perceptively evaluated our own electoral disaster. The Moderate Independent reports on a Ukrainian delegation sent to the States to observe the 2004 election. One member said flatly, "It reminds me of the worst examples of suppression and dirty tricks under the former Soviet regimes."

"The Ukrainians also observed Republican volunteers throwing bloody chicken parts on the front porches of Democrats' homes in Maryland, slashing the tires of vans the NAACP planned to use to drive people to the polls in Wisconsin, distributing fliers that wrongly warned voters that they could be arrested at the polls if they had an unpaid parking ticket or overdue library book, and harassing Democratic voters at the polls by challenging their registration status. Other dirty tricks included city water departments in Ohio turning off the water of African Americans on election day and telling them they had to stay home to wait for a repairman so they would not vote, intimidation by police and state troopers in Florida of African Americans who were harassed about their voting status, mostly African Americans being cut off voting lists in Florida just because they had the same name as a felon, calls made to mostly African Americans in Florida telling them their precinct's location had changed and directing them to the wrong precinct and police giving mostly Democratic voters parking tickets even though their cars were legally parked in Ohio."

Yuri Yusogotcha, the head of the Ukrainian delegation, further states that "the American Republican Party has a lot in common with the German Nazi Party of the 1930s. Not just these dirty tactics and fixing of elections, but its use of religion, propaganda, invasion of other countries, organized camps that hold prisoners without being charged, torture policies and so on."

Although the slow pace is distressing, the news is starting to seep through. CNN is now reporting that the Government Accountability Office is going to investigate complaints of systemic problems with the 2004 election. And as the mainstream media slowly awakens to this story, the independent media digs deeper and finds more. Washington investigative journalist Wayne Madsen is claiming -- with support from lots of sources, assuming they're accurate -- that money from such disreputable entities as the Saudi royals and Enron helped pay for the rigging of the U.S. election. (See also Madsen's update.)

The Columbus Dispatch presents another litany of horror stories from the Ohio polls, from swindled voters as well as election officials who watched the election stolen before their eyes. ("There was no way the actual vote could have been as reported," one poll worker has testified.)

For more about the media blackout, there are two must-read articles this week. Kali Autumn Lynn of the Denver Voice points out that "to the rest of America, who get their information from corporate owned media sources, there is nothing missing from the daily news. That's because, if they don't report it, it didn't happen. For most of America, we trust our local papers to report honestly and fairly. But what many of us don't realize is that our local newspapers are not so local after all." The other article, which makes a number of vital points, is Revolution in the Progressive Movement: TV is Our Enemy, from the dependable Bob Fertik.

As the alternative media staggers under the entire burden of the country's most important story, we also have the dawn of a documentary called Electile Dysfunction. At the website, you can watch the trailer.

Another good overview of the whole debacle: How the Grinch Stole the White House, by Alan Waldman.

And at the Democratic Underground forum, there is now another chilling mathematical demonstration of the absurd improbability that the exit poll discrepancies occurred by chance. By these calculations, there is basically a one in 4.5 billion chance that no systemic fraud occurred. Isn't that reassuring? A one in 4.5 billion chance that we are actually living in a democracy.

So then -- why aren't we doing the obvious thing and demanding it? Why do we lack the sensible conviction and self-respect of the men and women marching in the Ukraine? Because most of us don't feel that our immediate lives are being tangibly threatened. A country founded on revolution has become incapable of it.

Fortunately, that's the old guard, dying out, babbling that this is the finest democracy in the world, while we patiently insist that it only used to be. Just as important as this outrage is the determined faith that it can be again. We all know that even if THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN is conclusively proven, the chances are very slight that Bush won't be inaugurated in January. Which means we'll have to figure out where to go from here, what to do. But we're going to do something. There are millions of us. And we are going to make clear that Bush's presidency is illegitimate and unacceptable. We will continue to fight for its legal termination.

We will, one day, be free again. Our immediate responsibility is to spread the word.

write to me

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The Great Jesus Pepper

As you know, I'm wary of the increasing theocratic thrust of our "secular" "democracy." Our illegitimate president is a fundamentalist zealot, public schools want to teach creationism, and then there's the lady who thinks she sees the Virgin Mary on her decade-old grilled cheese sandwich. This last item distressed me very deeply, especially when I learned that the sandwich sold for $28,000. This made me angry -- until, moments later, I was rummaging through my refrigerator, and found, to my surprise, the Great Jesus Pepper:

jesus pepper

Let the bidding start. (More Virgin Mary / grilled cheese fun at BQAN -- thanks, Kim, for the link!)

And take a look at this news photo of several important world leaders in Chile last week. Bush is the one whose fly is open.

In Ohio, a federal judge named James G. Carr has ruled that although Cobb and Badnarik have the right to a recount, it can wait until after the vote is certified. (See my entry Electoral Politics and Other Mysteries for information about why it might not matter.)

Judge Carr seems to be a fair man who honestly agrees with Blackwell that the initial count has to be completed before a recount can begin. Unlike some other Ohio judges we've been reading about, Carr is a Clinton appointee who ruled against Blackwell in October during the provisional ballot prelude. In that decision, Judge Carr actually said: "I cannot be confident...that Blackwell will, indeed, fulfill his obligation to this court, Ohio's election officials, and Ohio's voters." So it's hard not to respect the guy.

Incidentally, during the aforementioned fracas, Blackwell told the press he wouldn't mind going to jail. Let's all keep that in mind.

The Washington Post reports that the Kerry campaign is truly on board, in regard to the Ohio recount. "We didn't ask for it," said Kerry legal counsel Dan Hoffheimer, "but since it's apparently going to happen, we want to make sure it gets done right." Meanwhile, one of Blackwell's spokesgoons states that on Election Day, the state of Ohio "did not experience any significant irregularities." In sane circles, that kind of line gets a huge laugh these days.

There are now fourteen Democrats in the House of Representatives demanding an investigation into electronic voting systems.

Have you seen what's happening in Ukraine? Their election was stolen, too, but do you know what thousands of Ukrainian citizens did in response? They took to the streets, rallying nonviolently and demanding that the fraudulent results be overturned. We still don't know what's going to happen there -- or here -- but good for those people who saw their democracy molested and stood up and complained about it. In our own country, revolution seems impossible as long as our lifestyles remain comfortable. But soon we may be relieved of that particular roadblock, as our economy is on the verge of collapse.

Happy Thanksgiving!

write to me

P.S. Have you heard "The Election Was Stolen?" You know -- the song? If not, then what are you waiting for -- the 2008 election? Listen to it now! And if you heard it yesterday -- listen to it again, because I've since uploaded a better mix where you can hear the vocals more clearly. Listen to it several times! Play it for your family at the Thanksgiving dinner table! Write "THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN" on the tablecloth in gravy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

"The Election Was Stolen" MP3!

Note: New mix uploaded 12/15/04.

Stream it, download it, share it with your friends. Open your windows and blare it into the street!



PRESS PLAY TO STREAM. TO DOWNLOAD, RIGHT-CLICK HERE AND "SAVE TARGET."

The lyrics:

THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN -- that’s all there is to it
let’s take a look at the crime and figure out what it took them to do it
the process is supposed to be transparent so we can see through it
and george w. bush is not the president
he may be in the white house now but he’s not its rightful resident
what’s left of the left should call him on the theft and not be so hesitant
to say THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN
okay, THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN

where there used to be a democracy there’s a monarchy of hypocrisy
we’re becoming a theocracy, THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN
like there never was a constitution, they constantly evade retribution
next thing you know it’s the final solution, THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN from you

one to three hundred thousand extra votes in florida rings a bell
ohio election supervised by bush campaign friend ken blackwell
wally o’dell is the diebold head who said when he got the bid
the machines would deliver the election for bush and whadaya know they did

african-americans disenfranchised waiting on line eleven hours or more
does the system work or not, well just ask president gore
welcome to the fascist states where freedoms disappear
you say you want a revolution; let’s just get this one thing clear

THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN and anybody could see it
florida’s blue and ohio too is blue I guarantee it
the statistical anomalies have a cause and fraud would be it
so george w. bush is not the president
he may be in the white house now but he’s not its rightful resident
every media jerk should get to work and not be so hesitant
to show THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN
you know THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN

so it’s another term and another war and another lie and furthermore
he’s not the one we voted for, THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN
do you wanna save the u.s.a., get to the street and start today
make them hear you when you say THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN from you
THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN from me
THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN from us
THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN again

.

write to me

Monday, November 22, 2004

Electoral Politics, and Other Mysteries

Today we have a great article from the tireless Keith Olbermann. He presents a riveting, edge-of-your-seat assessment of the M.I.T. and Berkeley exit poll studies, and demonstrates why December 7 is not necessarily the deadline for the Ohio recount. Quoth the Olbermann:

"George Washington University Constitutional Law professor Jonathan Turley...noted the election process is a little slower -- and has one more major loophole -- than is generally known. It begins on December 7th, the date 'when you essentially certify your electors...it gives a presumption to the legitimacy to your votes. And then, on the 13th, the electors actually vote.'

"But, Turley noted, 'those votes are not opened by Congress until January 6. Now, if there are controversies, such as some disclosure that a state actually went for Kerry (instead of Bush), there is the ability of members of Congress to challenge.' In other words, even after the December 13th Electoral College Vote, in the extremely unlikely scenario that a court overturns the Ohio count, or that the recount discovers 4,000 Gahanna-style machines that each recorded 4,000 votes too many for one candidate, there is still a mechanism to correct the error, honest or otherwise.

"'It requires a written objection from one House member and one senator,' Turley continues. Once that objection is raised, the joint meeting of the two houses is discontinued.' Then both Houses separate again and they vote by majority vote as to whether to accept the slate of electoral votes from that state.'"

We all remember a bit of this process from Fahrenheit 9/11 -- the good men and women of the Congressional Black Caucus, trying in vain to get any one of our nation's hundred Senators to support their challenge of the illegitimate Florida 2000 election results. If it comes down to a replay of that scene, I have two words for you -- Barak Obama. (Other words come to mind, also, such as John Kerry, John Edwards, and Ted Kennedy, but you never know.)

Also, as your mind revels in sweet fantasies of the phony election results being overturned, remember what made that Fahrenheit 9/11 sequence doubly tragic: the fact that Al Gore, as President of the Senate, had to oversee his own political hanging. And remember who is President of the Senate now. I don't know what it is, but I know its name is Cheney.

In the latest from Bob Fitrakis, How the Ohio election was rigged for Bush, we learn more of the heartbreaking specifics of rampant election fraud in the Buckeye State. Fitrakis also quotes pollster extraordinaire John Zogby, who told the Inter Press Service of Stockholm that "something is definitely wrong...we're talking about the free world here."

If you're interested in the details of electronic voting fraud, then you'll love How to Hack the Vote, by Chuck Herrin, CISSP, CISA, MCSE, CEH. That's a lot of alphabet soup after Mr. Herrin's name. He promises, "I've never been part of the 'Tin Foil Hat' conspiracy theory crowd. I'm just a voter who happens to be a Professional IT Auditor." His dead-on opening salvo: "Enron was a conspiracy theory, too. Were their whistleblowers crackpots? Were the people who lost their retirements to those corporate criminals just 'sore losers?'"

In Denver, protesters have already taken to the streets over the legitimacy of electronic voting. And in the world outside the States, nobody likes Bush. There was last week's incident in Chile, of course. And now that Bush's trip to Canada is around the corner, it looks like Bush will not address the Parliament for fear of being heckled. I want that fear to follow him everywhere he goes.

And please take a look at Oliver Willis' beautiful new Brand Democrat campaign.

And finally, like many other people, I got an e-mail today from Jeff Fisher. As per his request, I present Mr. Fisher's e-mail in its entirety:

"To Commissioner Aaronson and everyone I blind copied: Please read this email and forward this to everyone you know.

"Mr. Aaronson is a County Commissioner in Palm Beach, Florida. He is a Democrat who can be reached at (561) 355-2205 or you can email him at BAARONSO@co.palm-beach.fl.us.

"This to inform you all that the press has been suppressing the news regarding the recount in New Hampshire, Ohio and the efforts we are making leading to the possible recount of Florida's certified votes. Ask Mr. Aaronson to lead the charge in Palm Beach County, as he is famous for fighting for Democracy even when the odds are stacked up against it or him. Mr. Aaronson is well respected and treated as a hero in the Boca Raton area and he is very good friends with Congressman Robert Wexler and State Senator Ron Klein.

"The night of Nov. 19, 2004 my website was hacked into and I couldn't access it. The website http://www.JeffFisherforCongress.com was altered three times over the next 18 hours by those hackers. The homepage was 90% unusable regarding navigation to other web pages.

"We also have discovered that the Election Fraud 2004 Yahoo group through its moderator has been posting messages to the net. However, since November 16, 2004 none of those messages have reached the Internet after being posted.

"Election Fraud 2004 acts like a town center for people who want to post suspicious incidents and information regarding this past General Election.

"Update to this message: 1:30 p.m. November 20, 2004, the Yahoo group, Election Fraud 2004, posted messages finally came through the Internet. Whomever had the capability and technology to stop the messages from going from the Yahoo server to the net withheld it for three plus days. That is how they can stop the news from reaching the people in a timely fashion.

"Update to this message: 3:30 p.m. November 20, 2004, the website is up and running with the help of David Toppings from Arizona. Thank you. America thanks Mr. Toppings.

"That is the act of a group of people who are trying to suppress the truth. I can't prove who they are but let the assumptions begin. I will find another way to get the message out. I have just begun to fight for this nation. If you know anything about the book Dune, then you will understand 'the sleeper has awakened.'

"Jeff Fisher
"561-889-2165

"P.S. They have hacked into Bev Harris's computer recently at Black Box Voting and several people that I have been consulting with in the states of Washington, North Carolina, New York, California and Minnesota. As of today I am getting information that blog sites are getting hacked into also.

"Remember, the Watergate break-in was done by a few and it took time for that to unfold. This time we have the Internet and if 'We the People' spread the word they won't be able to stop all of us.

"Email message from a professor at Wake Forest University: 'Is the FBI investigation something that seems like it will take a number of months or could they potentially have some "official" information prior to the final nationwide certification of the election?'

"My answer to the professor at Wake Forest University:

"Regarding the FBI: The possibilities [before the Electoral College meets] are still up in the air. The reason for any hope lies with information that Russ Baker from The Nation told us yesterday that he thought it was important, but he didn't have the time or resources to investigate. In addition, Eve Conant of Newsweek has received copies of documents from the 'sender' that confirmed my earlier statements regarding my meeting with the sender, when I saw some of the documents regarding the 2000 and 2002 election. The information that Eve Conant received backs up the sender's statement that it was going to happen in multiple states during the 2004 General Election. The information Russ Baker revealed to us on November 19, 2004 was that the 'sender' gave him a copy of several hundred names and corresponding Social Security numbers that the 'sender' claimed were used in the 2000 election to cast votes. Today, November 20, 2004 we learned that this appears to have happened in Precinct 16 in Kansas City, Missouri during the 2004 General Election."

There you have it, folks. More very soon.

write to me

Sunday, November 21, 2004

No Soup For You

Hey! So on Tuesday night, the Bush twins and their Secret Service goons showed up at Freeman's, a Manhattan restaurant so hip nobody can find it. They asked to be seated at a table, and the maitre'd told them the dining room was full. Jenna and Barbara asked how long the wait would be, and the maitre'd said, "Four years." Whereupon everyone in the restaurant cheered and applauded and did a round of shots.

The story, which I have to confess delights me, is from Gawker (which firmly attests to its authenticity), by way of Saint Michael.

Musing about Friday's video message from John Kerry, Keith Olbermann notes that "the phrasing of the start of the relevant passage -- 'Regardless of the outcome of this election' -- is...tense-free...he could be describing an election long-since decided, or one whose outcome is still in doubt." Why, yes he could.

Kerry's not the only one practicing that kind of careful phrasing these days. Steven Rosenfeld of Free Press reports that the results of the Ohio presidential race are likely to be challenged before the Ohio Supreme Court this week, and he quotes lawyer Cliff Arnebeck, of the Ohio Honest Elections Campaign: "The objective is to get to the truth. What’s critically important, whether it's President Bush or Senator Kerry, whoever's actually been elected, is to know you won by an honest election. So it's in the interest of both sides as American citizens to know the truth and have this answered."

The Green and -- gasp! -- Libertarian candidates we've come to love, Cobb and Badnarik, are stressing the importance of beginning the Ohio recount immediately, so as to finish it before the Electoral College goes to choose our next president on December 13. Blackwell's office has declared its intention to certify the Ohio tally on December 6; lawyers for Cobb and Badnarik hold that this "timeframe will not allow for a meaningful recount and will undermine our clients' rights under applicable law, including Ohio recount law."

And Bob Fertik quotes a doctor who's demonstrated how Kerry lost at least 6,032 votes in Cleveland alone, and why there's a very real possibility that the Ohio recount will determine that Kerry actually won the state and therefore the Presidency.

Even if the Ohio recount does determine this, it's not clear what would happen. Some have predicted civil war. I certainly hope not. But I also hope that the fear of fallout doesn't deter our country from allowing its citizens to democratically elect a President.

See also Lawyers to challenge election in Ohio, by Julie Carr Smyth of the Plain Dealer.

Reflecting on the top story in America -- which still isn't making the news -- Anthony Wade mourns the death of truth in the American media.

Here's a very scholarly review of the increasing evidence of fraud from the Yurica Report.

And take a look at the fuckinidiot trying to push his way past Clinton at the Clinton Library opening last week. Fuckinidiot.

write to me

Friday, November 19, 2004

Kerry Warns of a "Right-Wing Assault"

John Kerry, who we would be calling President-elect John Kerry if we lived in a democracy, is walking tall again, and it's nice to have him back. First of all, he's donating his leftover campaign money to Democratic candidates in 2005 and 2006 elections. Secondly, he's released a videotaped statement on his official website, along with a petition in which he asks us to co-sponsor his bill to provide healthcare to every American child.

In his statement, Kerry comes off tired, but strong. He thanks his supporters who "countered the attacks from big news organizations," mentioning Fox and Sinclair by name, and then he gets to this:

"Despite the words of cooperation and moderate-sounding promises, this administration is planning a right-wing assault on values and ideals that we hold most deeply. Healthy debate and diverse opinion are being eliminated from the State Department and CIA, and the cabinet is being remade to rubber stamp policies that will undermine Social Security, balloon the deficit, avoid real reforms in healthcare and education, weaken homeland security, and walk away from critical allies around the world.

"...Regardless of the outcome of this election, once all the votes are counted -- and believe me, they will be counted -- we will continue to challenge this administration. This is not a time for Democrats to retreat, and accommodate extremists on critical principles. It is a time to stand firm. I'm going to fight for national standards for federal elections...it's unacceptable in the United States of America that people still don't have full confidence in the integrity of the voting process."

More evidence of voter suppression has surfaced, courtesy of Lawgeek. Swing by his site to see his scan of an actual letter, sent by Republican ground-gamers, in an effort to convince Democratic voters that their registrations were illegal. Sickening.

In another excellent piece of writing, the visionary Mark Crispin Miller writes, "Bush & company’s theft of the election was a crime so obvious that it requires more effort to deny than to affirm." Right on. That's become my attitude too -- prove that it wasn't stolen. Explain the dramatic discrepancies some other way. That was Professor Michael Hout's plan -- he was going to prove that the Florida anomalies were due to the Dixiecrat factor. But you know what he found? They weren't. Professor Hout didn't think the election was stolen. Then he looked into the facts, and guess what -- now he does.

"This rip-off," Miller continues, "was as flagrant as the L.A. cops’ assault on Rodney King, Kerry’s stellar soldiering in Vietnam, or Bush’s lousy record in the Texas Air National Guard, and yet this national calamity is being dismissed as a delusion." Not if we can help it.

Keith Olbermann, who continues to be the reason we can't despise the entire mainstream media, continues to report on the details. Randi Rhodes says that for his efforts, Olbermann has been receiving death threats from conservative bloggers. In today's piece, he discusses the many academic studies which have investigated the exit polls and election results. He concludes that "only the summary produced by Professor Michael Hout and the Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team is intelligible."

The dedication of the Clinton Library took place yesterday in Little Rock, and was attended by a who's-who of American politics, including Kerry, Carter, and Bushes senior and junior. There's a nice, if lengthy, overview in the Washington Post.

Among the most telling details of all this is Clinton's openness and honesty. He's making his entire presidential record available to the public, years before it's legally required. Compare this with the first Bush, who to this day is blocking the public release of records which now legally belong to us.

And by the way, get ready for a war with Iran.

Have a good weekend, everyone, and don't forget to sign Kerry's petition. I'll write more tonight or tomorrow.

write to me

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Adventure Runs High in Ohio and Florida

A lot has happened today, much of it very encouraging.

Let's start with Florida. A research team from U.C. Berkeley has just added considerable weight to the Florida fraud argument. This morning, all we had was this press release, which promised that the researchers would "formally disclose" their findings that "irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000 - 260,000 or more excess votes to...Bush in Florida."

And now, we have so much more. There's the report itself, this summary of the group's findings, and even more related data. These people seem to have established conclusively that the final tally in Florida was inaccurate to the tune of tens or hundreds of thousands of votes.

Our friend Betty Vasquez of the Moderate Independent reports that according to the study, "in Broward County alone...Bush appears to have received approximately 72,000 excess votes." She also gives us a compelling portrait of the study's dominant force, Professor Michael Hout, a U.C. Berkeley sociology professor. Hout apparently entered this fray as "a skeptic;" his original intention had been to prove that Bush's decisive victories in heavily Democratic Florida counties was due to the much-discussed "Dixiecrat" factor. Hout was surprised to discover, through research, that this just wasn't the case.

Buzzflash quotes Professor Hout as saying that "the three counties where the voting anomalies were most prevalent were also the most heavily Democratic counties, not the [conservative] Dixiecrat counties you’ve all heard about before, but the more heavily Democratic counties that used e-vote technology, including Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties in order of magnitude." According to Vasquez, Hout said, "The results of the analysis showed so dramatically a problem...that’s why I’m not a skeptic now. Something went awry with the voting in Florida."

Meanwhile, but still in Florida, the amazing adventures of Bev Harris continue. While academics discover election fraud mathematically, one courageous woman wrestles a garbage bag full of ballots away from a terrified state employee, as the police rush in. I strongly recommend the entirety of Thom Hartmann's latest article, "Stinking Evidence" of Possible Election Fraud Found in Florida -- perhaps the most gripping account yet of the Volusia County intrigue. (Also, if you haven't seen it yet, definitely go to Votergate and watch the 30-minute film.) Why, Hartmann asks Harris, are all those officials so concerned? "We found anomalies indicative of fraud" is her simple answer. "The pattern was very clear," she told Hartmann. "The anomalies favored George W. Bush. Every single time."

We go now from the Sunshine State to the Buckeye State. Addressing some of the concerns expressed in the Harvey Wasserman article from yesterday, Common Cause has created this petition, headlined "Keep Ohio Recount Non-Partisan: Ask Secretary Blackwell to Step Aside." If you're so inclined, stop by and sign it.

We go now from Common Cause to Common Dreams, where Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman dazzle today with a new article, Hearings on Ohio Voting Put 2004 Election in Doubt. Reporting on the "highly-charged, jam-packed hearings," they find that

"...the unavoidable conclusion is that this year's election in Ohio was deeply flawed, that thousands of Ohioans were denied their right to vote, and that the ultimate vote count is very much in doubt.

"Most importantly, the testimony has revealed a widespread and concerted effort on the part of Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to deny primarily African-American and young voters the right to cast their ballots within a reasonable time. By depriving precincts of adequate numbers of functioning voting machines, Blackwell created waits of three to eleven hours, driving tens of thousands of likely Democratic voters away from the polls and very likely affecting the outcome of the Ohio vote count, which in turn decided the national election.

"...Additional testimony also called into question the validity of the actual vote counts. There are thus serious doubts that the final official tally in Ohio, due December 1 to Blackwell’s office, will have any validity. Blackwell will certify the vote count on December 3.

"While Blackwell supervised the Ohio vote he also served as co-chair of the Ohio Bush-Cheney re-election campaign, a clear conflict of interest that casts further doubt on how the Ohio election and vote counts have been conducted."

Fitrakis and Wasserman also discuss Blackwell's absurdist drivel from the Washington Times, and helpfully point out that the Washington Times is owned by Reverend Sun Myung Moon, whose "extreme right wing Unification Church has long-standing ties to the Bush Family and the Central Intelligence Agency." Oh, great. And they also provide some very compelling quotes from the testimonies and affadavits collected during the Ohio hearings.

After I read one such testimony, quoted by Daily Kos, I had to get up and pace the room.

"An election watcher went over to Pickaway County in Ohio to see what was going on there. She asked to see the polling books, which was her right by law. These books show the signatures of all those who are authorized to vote at the polling precinct...When the poll watcher flipped open the books, she saw that lots of people had been allowed to vote but had not signed the books. This struck her as very odd, of course, since by law people have to sign in to verify that they are authorized to vote.

"Soon, the board of elections head in Pickaway came by, took the books away from her, threatened her with arrest. When the woman responded that the elections supervisor was breaking the law, the supervisor rezponded that Ken Blackwell had just told her to take the books away from the watcher. A couple phone calls had been placed, apparently.

"All the panel during the Ohio hearings was shocked by this story. These books are out there, and the signatures cannot be faked. The panel took the testimony and promised to follow up."

Did you pace the room?

For those who are wondering, Kerry's chances of eclipsing Bush's tally in Ohio have improved somewhat, now that we know for sure that the vast majority of Ohio's provisional ballots are valid. As we've known for two weeks, they weren't enough, anyway; that's why Kerry conceded. But now that we know, we may find we have a little bit less to prove.

Mainstream Democrats, at long last, are starting to get behind the recount efforts in Ohio. For example, the Ohio Democratic Party is filing a lawsuit, hoping to force Blackwell to impose uniform rules for provisional ballot counting. The beautiful thing is that the case they're citing in their argument is Bush v. Gore.

Although John Kerry and the ghost of his campaign remain cautiously noncommittal, Dennis Kucinich has now issued a statement. "I strongly support the request for a recount in Ohio," he says, calling it "an appropriate response to officials who tried to suppress the vote." Now, this is good stuff! Kucinich isn't a fringe figure, like Nader. He's a mainstream Democrat with a heart of gold, and he issued a statement saying that OFFICIALS TRIED TO SUPPRESS THE VOTE. Huge. Closing the show, Kucinich expressed hope that a recount "will rescue a shred of honesty in the conduct of the 2004 Ohio election."

Green Party candidate and recount catalyst David Cobb, less emotional than Kucinich, added with flat brilliance that "our elections should be administered by an independent non-partisan commission, and not by the state chairs of the Republican presidential campaign."

Yeah, I think that sounds good.

In other news, Howard Dean rips the media at Yale.

write to me

Voters, Crooks, or God?

In this Washington Times editorial, Ohio Secretary of State (and Bush's new best friend) J. Kenneth Blackwell establishes himself as either a lying lunatic or a master satirist. "The electoral system in Ohio worked well on November 2," is his hilarious opening line. From there it gets even more Swiftian: "Every eligible voter who wanted to vote had the opportunity to vote. There was no widespread fraud, and there was no disenfranchisement."

I know...it's hard to stop laughing. Don't hurt yourself. Remember to breathe. You can laugh yourself to death over statements like Blackwell's.

Speaking of Ohio...today, in a passionate and finely-written Free Press article, Harvey Wasserman warns that "the upcoming Ohio recount is fraught with danger. The Republicans battled successfully to prevent the state's voting machines from including paper trails that can be reasonably recounted. These 'black boxes' will require extreme sophistication to be properly evaluated. Unless intensely supervised down to the last detail, the Republicans who control these machines will turn this recount into a 'proof' that the election 'went smoothly.'" A chilling thought.

Need cheering up? Well, The New Hampshire recount begins today! Writing for Guerilla News Network, Russ Baker says that if the recount shows "significant inaccuracies generated by the Accuvote equipment and software, it could trigger recounts elsewhere -– recounts that could, theoretically, reverse the election." Nader is sure that voting machines in New Hampshire, and elsewhere, gave Bush an automatic advantage of 5%-15%. He is also sure that New Hampshire's paper trail will prove this. Under very little right-wing scrutiny, in a New England state which has long been a Democratic stronghold, Nader today launches the first attack in what could become the definitive battle of his later career.

Visit Invisible Ida to see the actual data on which Nader based his decision to champion a New Hampshire recount.

Kerry's people are beginning to change their tune, ever so slightly. Kerry spokesman David Wade, who insisted, a week ago, that "the outcome of the election is not in doubt," now tells the upstate New York North County News that "although unlikely, there is a recount effort being waged that could unseat...Bush."

Today, some Democrats are upset that Kerry apparently still has around $15 million in unspent campaign funds. How many votes might that have earned, they wonder, if he had spent it before November 2? Is he hoarding it for a 2008 presidential run? I have no idea, but if the current recounts gain enough momentum to elicit Kerry's involvement, we might be glad he saved a little campaign money.

In a thorough account of the election mess in today's Orlando Weekly News, Adam Waldman asserts that "Bush beat 99 to 1 mathematical odds in winning the election." The New Zealand Scoop publishes, for the first time, complete exit poll results which seem to validate Dr. Freeman's findings that the odds of the exit polls' statistical anomalies occurring by chance are 250,000,000...to one.

I just don't see how that makes sense, unless...oh my...wait a minute...oh, okay, I understand now. The election was stolen.

That's a reasonable explanation, I think, but it's not the only one. Some explain the discrepancies by saying that it was actually God -- that's right, operator, God -- who stepped in to push the election toward Bush. In this hysterical article from Beliefnet, we get to hear Mission America's Jim Rogers yelp that on Election Day "America cried out and He heard from Heaven and answered our prayers. PRAISE GOD!" Fascinating political analysis, Jim. Even more certain to turn the stomach is "evangelical leader and presidential adviser" Charles Colson, a very sick man, who says that Bush's victory "was Providence. Anybody looking at the 2000 election would have to say it was a miraculous deliverance, and I think people felt it again this year."

Um, yes. That's right. It's funny -- Colson and I almost agree on this. He and I are both saying, essentially, that it was something other than the will of the American people that put Bush in office, both times. Colson thinks it was God, and this is where we part. But the larger point is that Colson and his ilk, in statements like these, admit their low regard for the basic principles of American democracy, as expressed in our Constitution and its amendments.

I know I keep saying that I'll get back into the religion issue soon. I will. I've been putting it off, because there's so much to it, and new election fraud information keeps flooding in. But in my research lately, I've been hot on the trail of a religious/political figure from decades ago. This politician was very successful in convincing his constituents that he was a pious Christian whose decisions were God's will. He rallied the faithful, filled them with fear, and used language and techniques strikingly similar to those of George W. Bush.

His name, of course, was Adolph Hitler. Now, don't get me wrong, here -- I'm not trying to say that Bush is as bad as Hitler. I know he's not. I don't think he could ever be as bad as Hitler, partly because he's just not smart enough. And there are, of course, enormous differences between these two "Christians." For example, Hitler slaughtered 13,000,000 innocent people, while Bush has only slaughtered 100,000. I know what you're going to say -- it's only been four years. Give him time. But even if his illegal presidency continues for another complete term, and even if he quadruples the death toll of his first term, he still falls short of Hitler's example by 12,500,000. As a murderous dictator, Bush isn't in Hitler's league at all. In terms of the quantity of murders, Bush is more comparable to Saddam Hussein.

There are other key differences between Bush and Hitler. As the reliably incendiary Randi Rhodes has pointed out, Hitler was elected. I will have more on this soon. In the meantime, here is a fascinating and eerily familiar look at Hitler's professed love of Christ and Christianity.

Meanwhile, there are more optical scan problems in Indiana, and thousands of missing votes in North Carolina.

And Fairvote reminds us of 156 Electoral College members throughout history who have independently chosen not to vote for their party's candidate.

write to me

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

A Bedtime Story

Many times, First Android Laura Bush has compared her husband to George Washington, noting that both could be referred to as "George W." (There the similarities end, of course, as Washington was elected President of the United States.) Anyway, I fell asleep thinking of the Father of our Country, and of Mrs. Bush's nerve, and dreamed the following contribution to our national folklore.

A Little George Bush Adventure

President Bush – by which, of course, I mean George Herbert Walker Bush, the democratically-elected 41st President of the United States – always took pains to inspire in his children a great scorn for the truth. "Truth," said he to George Jr., "is a useless thing. It's for vegetarians and hippies. Any fool can tell the truth, but a lie - especially a financially successful lie – is golden."

"So it's good to lie, Pa?" asked the young George, after several minutes of dull stammering. Words did not come easily to him, and he was busy playing. He loved to wait quietly for the little doves to land on the fence around the ranch, so he could shoot them.

"That’s right," said his father, kicking a homeless woman in the face. "Remember, son, you're a Republican."

One day, Mr. Bush decided to give his son a present. "The perfect gift for a young child!" he said excitedly when he thought of it. "An axe!" He knew his son would love it, as George Jr. adored violence.

Well, Little George Bush was very excited about his new toy. He took it everywhere with him, hacking away at plants, trees, houses, animals, and minorities. He carried it around so much that pretty soon, the neighbors began referring to him as "that insane little shit with an axe."

One evening, some Saudi Arabian terrorists came over for dinner, to thank Papa Bush for all the money and weapons. He thanked them for the oil, and they decided to plant an olive tree outside the house. Because the olive branch is an eternal symbol of peace, everyone had a good laugh.

When the tree grew, though, it didn't take long for Little Bush to hack it down. By now, his arsenal had grown; in addition to the original axe – which was little more than a hatchet – he had two more. Each was bigger, sharper, and deadlier than the other. He called them his "axes of evil."

Well, when his father discovered that his fundamentalist friends' gift had been demolished, he demanded an explanation.

"Father," said George W., "I cannot tell the truth. I had nothing to do with it."

Mr. Bush smiled, with a thousand points of light in his eye. He understood. "I'm so proud of you, son," he said. "Now come on. I want to teach you and Jeb how to steal things."

THE END

(See "The Fable of George Washington and the Cherry Tree," from The Life of Washington, by Mason Locke Weems, 1809.)

Kerry Acknowledges Ohio Recount

Does John Kerry know something we don't? In an Associated Press item published today (Kerry Says He's Not Ruling Out Another Run), we learn that "in his first extensive interview since his Nov. 2 defeat, Kerry was asked by the Fox News affiliate in Boston about running again in 2008 and reminded the questioner that Ohio is still counting votes from 2004." Italics mine.

Our friend Keith Olbermann, still in fine form despite the thrashing he's been getting in the right-wing media, observes that "generally speaking, mainstream [media] silence seems to be passing" in regard to the Ohio recount. He debunks some of the more outrageous recent claims by Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly at Fox.

A fair journalist, Olbermann also contributes to the recent challenges to Jeff Fisher's credibility. (See also the new Thom Hartmann article I mentioned yesterday.) Olbermann illustrates that Fisher may have exaggerated his alliance with Ralph Nader. "Not to dismiss [Fisher] or his claims," Olbermann writes, "but the show’s contact with him was not encouraging. He spoke vaguely of sources and whispered a lot." But then Olbermann reminds us that Deep Throat whispered a lot too.

My own assessment is that two things are possible. One is that Fisher feels he was robbed in his own Congressional race in Florida, and feels passionately about this, but doesn't quite have conclusive evidence of fraud, despite his claims. The other is that Fisher does have evidence, and is terrified. Remember, we know that he has already gone to the FBI, so it is very likely that he has been instructed not to reveal certain things to the press and the public. To me, the increasing reports of a whispery, nervous Jeff Fisher point as much to his vindication as his discredit. We shall see.

Over at Daily Kos, you'll find this series of posts, and ensuing epic message thread. Over a period of days, "jsmdlawyer" has done some interesting math. "Folks, it's not over," he begins. "I don't think the Kerry folks think it's over either. If I'm right, and if it comes out the way I think it might, it will be the greatest stealth campaign in the history of the world, quite frankly."

The lawyer goes into great detail about a number of possible recount scenarios for Ohio, using different percentages of provisional and spoiled ballots. He points out how Kerry could win Ohio by 25,000 votes, how he could win it by 9,000 votes, and how he could lose it by 5,000. "WE ARE STILL IN THE GAME," he insists, and he's right. Read his posts, and the discussion which follows them, and know that our voices are not alone in the darkness.

Moving from Ohio (the Florida of 2004) to Florida (the other Florida of 2004), there is a long update ("Volusia County on lockdown"), dated yesterday, on the Black Box Voting homepage. The whole thing is so gripping and substantive, I won't quote it at all. Just go read it, if you have time. It's an edge-of-your-seat documentary account of the battle over those ballots found in the garbage in Florida. It makes a number of things clear, including -- 1) Bev Harris is so brave and so important, 2) Florida election officials are definitely nervous and are behaving as though they have a lot to hide, and 3) Black Box Voting and Votergate got the whole thing on film.

Whatever happens, I think Bev Harris has already become a hero of American democracy. Whatever lies ahead, let's never forget that while our public servants were screwing us left and right, one private citizen -- a grandmother, who chose to spend her retirement savings fighting election fraud -- stood up to protect the work of the Constitution's framers. Her work is already a miracle, whether or not we get the Kerry miracle we voted for.

Just in case that miracle doesn't happen -- and I believe we should protect the possibility of a miracle, while always preparing for the possibility of no miracle -- plans to protest the second illegal Bush Inauguration are already brewing. Check out counter-inaugural.org. As the date draws closer, this blog will of course be a source for protest information and inspiration.

A couple of months ago, a Texas grand jury indicted three of Tom DeLay's political associates (Texans for a Republican Majority) on charges of using a political action committee to illegally collect corporate donations toward legislative races in Texas. It now looks likely that DeLay himself will be indictied, and that's why the Associated Press reports today that "House Republicans proposed changing their rules...to allow members indicted by state grand juries to remain in a leadership post."

So that's good. The Republicans are now changing the rules, so that indicted criminals can still be federal legislators. The AP says that "several leaders predicted [the rule change] would win approval at a closed meeting today...as House Republicans return to Washington feeling indebted to DeLay for the slightly enhanced majority they won in this month's elections. DeLay led an aggressive redistricting effort in Texas last year that resulted in five Democratic House members retiring or losing reelection."

The New York Times reports today that Bush's new CIA chief, Porter Goss, has issued an agency-wide memorandum instructing all agency employees to "support the administration and its policies in our work...as agency employees we do not identify with, support or champion opposition to the administration or its policies." The CIA is purging from its ranks all those who are seen as less than loyal to the Bush crime family. In other words, CIA members who questioned whether Iraq had WMD, who questioned whether 9/11 was a massive intelligence failure, who questioned whether there was a Saddam-9/11 connection -- in short, anyone in the CIA who has a fucking clue -- is being kicked to the curb. The truth isn't what you see, it's what I say. This is Bush's message. It is the message of all dictators.

And that's what he is, and everyone in the world knows it, except for a few million deluded Americans. Bush will be going to Canada on November 30, and there is reason to believe that if he weren't protected by diplomatic immunity, Canada would love to have him tried as a war criminal.

Canada knows a spade when it sees one.

write to me

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Evening Roundup

Okay, anybody who wants to question whether bloggers are a legitimate new media has only to look at fallujapictures.blogspot.com. America's mainstream media continues to paint a rosy picture of the situation in Fallujah, but one heroic blogger has managed to compile a huge number of heartbreaking images, mostly from the international media. There are combat pictures and aftermath pictures. There are hospital pictures, and also pictures of American soldiers who have been killed. More than anything, these pictures confirm that Bush is leading a massacre of the innocent. They remind us that it is impossible to blame any Iraqi who hates our country. I looked at all of them, because I wanted to see the truth about the occupation. I recommend that you look, too, but keep in mind that many of these images are highly graphic and deeply upsetting. And if you're under eighteen, blah blah blah.

Since I've been concentrating so much on the crimes and coverups of the media, I want to direct all interested parties to the indispensible and important Media Matters, a "not-for-profit progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media." Today, Media Matters reports on how the conservative media is already trashing Keith Olbermann for his coverage of irregularities in the presidential election.

And finally tonight, an intriguing bit of Florida news from the Black Box Voting forum:

"The word is [Bev Harris] was in a 2hr meeting with the Supervisor of Elections this morning along with members of a new group, the Florida Fair Elections Coalition.

"After the meeting, our founder came back to the office with bags of trash from the SOE because they found tapes from the op-scan machines thrown away that do not match the posted election results. Take a wild guess at whose favor the *extra* votes were in?

"They went back to another meeting to show what was found."

If you go to the forum, check out the ensuing discussion thread, which presents some interesting theories as to the evidence Jeff Fisher may or may not have.

write to me

Saying So

The American Revolution would never have happened without an eighteenth-century liberal blogger named Thomas Paine.

It's depressing that right-wingers (who presumably do want to live in a democracy) believe the media lie that the 2004 election was smooth and fair. But it's even more depressing that so many liberals believe it. You can see them everywhere -- especially on TV -- reverting to the defeatist slouch they remember from the eighties. It's so important to them to go on with their lives like nothing happened, they're willing to sacrifice the truth. And they don't even like Bush.

Do you believe the election was stolen? Do you believe there's at least a good chance that it was? Have you had conversations with people who think you're crazy? Or does everyone you know agree? Or are you still in the closet? I've obviously been pretty vocal online, but now in actual reality I've come out as a believer in democracy, too. On the arm of my coat:



I encourage you to engage people in this debate. Write to people. Create a website. Write down your views and put them up on lampposts. The American Revolution would never have happened without an eighteenth-century liberal blogger named Thomas Paine. The media isn't doing it, so we have to. Get the truth out there.

Is it not scandalous that most Americans have no idea the handcounts are even happening? That's outrageous, and yet it's true, because most people rely on television news channels which spew right-wing propaganda almost exclusively. Here and there, in the print media, you might find somewhat savvier shills, trying to intelligently debunk the fraud allegations. And always failing. This is because they cannot be intelligently debunked. Every attempt undermines a specific factor, ignoring twenty others. In Thom Hartmann's latest piece, he acknowledges the minor errors in his earlier, highly influential article (since corrected). And guess what -- it's no big deal.

The only slightly depressing revelation in the new Hartmann piece: He tells us that "[Jeff Fisher] continues to insist that he has proof, and has now turned it over to the FBI, but has been unable to provide me with what I would consider credible evidence." This doesn't necessarily mean Fisher can't prove it, but it would have been a good sign if he had fully convinced Hartmann. Maybe he has more than he was able to "provide" to a reporter.

Speaking of Fisher, he now reports on his website that "Ralph Nader's media spokesman...officially announced that...Nader will be consulting with Jeff Fisher and Jan Schneider regarding the investigation of voter fraud and a statewide recount for the state of Florida."

Are you thinking, who the hell is Jan Schneider? Well, says Fisher: "Jan Schneider was the Democratic candidate for Florida's 13th Congressional District in 2002 and 2004 vs former Florida Secretary of State, Katherine Harris." Ah! So that makes sense then. Give 'em hell, Schneider.

Yesterday, David Shuster published the election math he referred to last week. Shuster seems to prove that Kerry cannot take Ohio from Bush based solely on provisional and spolied ballots, but we already knew about the provisionals -- that's why he conceded -- and weren't counting on the spoiled ones. And Shuster doesn't mention absentee ballots. Responding to Shuster, Bob Fertik asks, "what if another precint turns up like the one in Franklin County where an initial tally of 4,000 votes for Bush turns into 800? One more precinct like that, and we could be swearing in President Kerry."

But listen -- I don't want to create the impression that election fraud is the only thing going on in the world today, because it's really not. For example, the bloody occupation continues in Iraq, where the American military continues to commit war crimes and acts of terrorism. And at home, aspiring fascist Bill Frist is doing his best to see that Republicans control everything that happens in Congress.

And the revolving door of Bush's cabinet continues to spin. Condy "I-Believe-It-Was-'Bin-Laden-Determined-To-Strike-In-U.S.'" Rice is getting Colin's job. In fact, you know what? To celebrate Condoleezza's promotion, let's have another good cry over the Presidential Daily Briefing from August 6, 2001. The one George W. Bush and his Republican administration ignored. Courtesy of Yes Bush Can, the Bush supporters who got better informed and then became Kerry supporters, here is the first page and here is the second page.

So it's not just that they stole two elections. It's how bad they are at the job we never hired them to do. And it isn't just civil liberties at home. It's also about national security, of which Bush offers none. These criminals in office failed -- even before they slaughtered tens of thousands of innocents in Afghanistan and Iraq. They didn't protect us. They didn't protect us! Given this, and the Bush/GOP dynasty of training the Taliban and bending over for mideast oil money, they participated in the murder of thousands in New York City.

That's why they cannot remain in office. The fact that they were not elected by the people, but seized office in a coup, only vindicates us.

The current recounts and handcounts are the first and best attempt at justice. It's a longshot. But it's one of many recourses. A populist fist is forming in America, patiently gathering its determination to defeat Bush. This will be a democracy again.

Come on. Smile!

write to me

Monday, November 15, 2004

RECOUNT IN OHIO!

"How come the 'Kerry's winning' part of the election night exit polling is presumed to have been wrong, or tampered with, but the 'Moral Values' part of the same polling is graded flawless, and marks the dawn of a new American century?" -- Keith Olbermann

"THE OHIO RECOUNT IS GOING FORWARD!" is the triumphant cry of the day. And this Truthout press release ("Recount in Ohio a Sure Thing") quotes Blair Bobier, Media Director for the Cobb-LaMarche campaign: "Thanks to the thousands of people who have contributed to this effort, we can say with certainty that there will be a recount in Ohio."

Another emerging hero, Keith Olbermann, agrees that "a presidential vote recount in Ohio seems inevitable." He acknowledges that whether or not there is a formal media blackout, there's not much on TV about this. But he predicts that "the coverage is going to go through the roof as the news spreads that Nader has gotten his recount in New Hampshire, and that the Greens and Libertarians are actually going to get their Ohio recount."

What a thought. Days from now, will this be an issue even Fox has to talk about? Will we get to see the bloated, gloating right-wing machine suddenly snap to the defensive? Olbermann thinks that "when reporters discover...that 70% of Ohio’s votes were done with punch cards and as Florida proved in 2000, in court, a lot of those punch cards...'turn over,' I suspect there will be long-form television on the process."

Even as recounts brew, the loudest media voices persist in pretending that the 2004 election was smooth and fair. In fact -- if you want to get really pissed off, consider the fact that Diebold's stock has gone way up.

That's right. Diebold is doing great. They're making a ton of money after playing a crucial role in a hijacked election -- just as Diebold chief executive Walden O'Dell promised they would. How it is possible? Because Fox and CNN keep telling people those Diebold machines worked just fine.

And earlier today, a man set himself on fire outside the White House.

write to me

A Short Play

(As the lights come up, we discover our hero, Noah, sitting in the Manhattan apartment he shares with the woman and the cat of his dreams. He busily types at the computer, while writing in a notebook and talking on the phone.)

NOAH (into the phone): Of course...Mr. Clinton, I have nothing but the highest esteem for you and your career, but you have to understand, it's just a policy of mine. I don't contribute dust-jacket blurbs if I haven't read the book. Now...oh. Oh, you wanted to talk to Amanda. Um, can I take a message? (writing) Uh-huh...okay. Bye.

(He hangs up, irritated. Suddenly, who should come walking in but Scott Hiaasen of the Cleveland Plain Dealer!)

HIAASEN: Excuse me...it was unlocked, so...

NOAH: So you just walked in?

HIAASEN: Yeah, pretty much. Listen, I love your blog. It's not only witty and insightful, sometimes it's downright incendiary!

NOAH: Why are you talking like that?

HIAASEN: That's you talking, your majesty. There you go again. What I have to say is -- they've started to count the provisional ballots in Ohio!

NOAH: Oh, right! Because it's been eleven days!

HIAASEN: Actually, it's been thirteen.

NOAH: So run the specifics by me again. I say that as if you had run them by me at some previous time.

HIAASEN: Well, Noah, unofficial totals show Bush leading Kerry by 136,000 votes. But 155,000 provisional ballots still have to be reviewed.

NOAH: How long is this going to take?

HIAASEN: At least till the middle of next week.

NOAH: So I assume the whole process is going by smoothly and discreetly, with no real scrutiny from the outside.

HIAASEN: Well, not from the media, of course --

NOAH: It's a big week in the Peterson case.

HIAASEN: But representatives of the Democratic and Republican parties are monitoring the provisional ballot review in Cuyahoga County, and lawyers from the Kerry campaign have said they want to know about any voting irregularities in the state.

NOAH: And what about Cobb and Badnarik?

HIAASEN: Well, as you know, Noah, they have said they will demand a recount of all the ballots in Ohio -- which could include a review of 92,672 "spoiled" ballots that recorded no vote for president. And that could easily take until the end of the month or longer.

NOAH: So -- forgive me, but -- to me, looking at these numbers, it seems that...oh, I don't know how to put this...Kerry can still win?

HIAASEN: I have to go.

(Hiaasen runs out of the apartment.)

NOAH: Was it something I said?

(Noah shrugs and goes back to his writing. The phone rings as the lights fade.)

Most of what Hiaasen says in this fictional work is from this article.

Week Three Begins

"KERRY WON OHIO," declares the headline of the latest from Greg Palast. "JUST COUNT THE BALLOTS AT THE BACK OF THE BUS." Palast is sure that "over 155,000 Ohio voters were shunted to...second-class [provisional] ballots. The election-shifting bulge in provisional ballots (more than 3% of the electorate) was the direct result of the national Republican strategy that targeted African-American precincts for mass challenges on election day."

Apparently, despite the impossibly shilly story being told by CNN and other trusted names in fake news, we still really don't know who won New Mexico. This comes not from "online conspiracy theorists" but from New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron. AlterNet quotes Ms. Vigil-Giron: "The GOP is ignorant to the election process...there aren't instant results that give a state immediately. I'm surprised the media in other states called the election...it was not based on anything but exit polls. Unless they have a crystal ball to see the provisional ballots, the election isn't over." She also told Reuters, "I will not be declaring a winner until November 23." Even if New Mexico winds up going to Kerry, that alone would not change the electoral outcome, but still. It's of trivial interest, mostly, but if it were discovered that election fraud took Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada from Kerry, he would be the winner, with or without Florida and Ohio.

And speaking of Ohio, the recount is brewing. Reflecting for Tom Paine on what he calls "The Perfect Election Day Crime," Steven Rosenfeld sheds some light on the specifics of the impending count. He says that Common Cause's Cliff Arnebeck (the Columbus attorney who is counsel for the Alliance for Democracy) asserted that "the voting rights concerns would be one element of the Ohio vote that could be examined in a recount...but all Ohio’s ballots would be recounted, including the provisional ballots, absentee ballots, spoiled ballots and votes by the paperless computer machines. Moreover, during a full statewide recount, any issue relating to voter fraud conceivable could be raised...This is where the politics could get very intense and possibly reopen the question of who won Ohio."

On Saturday, the public hearings took place in Ohio, and thousands of testimonies were collected from voters who felt their Election Day experiences called the election's integrity into question. (See The Plain Dealer: Ohio voters tell of Election Day troubles at hearing.)

Bev Harris' Black Box Voting, which finally updated its site this weekend, now reports that fraud investigations and/or audits are now underway in Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, Nevada, and specific counties in Georgia and Arizona. Yet another state adds its name to the list of crime scenes: The Salt Lake Tribune: 33,000 Utah ballots lost in shuffle. And a "CBS insider" tells Portland Indymedia that at least some of the television media has decreed a very real "lock down" on vote fraud stories.

Today's must-read is this article from Zogby pollster Colin Shea:

"Either the raw data from two critical battleground states is completely erroneous, or something has gone horribly awry in our electoral system -- again.

"For the GOP to claim now that we must take anything on faith, let alone astonishingly suspicious results in a hard-fought and extraordinarily bitter election, is pure fantasy. It does not even merit discussion.

"The facts as I see them now defy all logical explanations save one -- massive and systematic vote fraud. We cannot accept the result of the 2004 presidential election as legitimate until these discrepancies are rigorously and completely explained.

"Until then, George Bush is still, and will remain, the 'Accidental President' of 2000. One of his many enduring and shameful legacies will be that of seizing power through two illegitimate elections conducted on his brother's watch, and engineering a fundamental corruption at the very heart of the greatest democracy the world has known."

I can never get enough of that kind of talk! That's why I was happy to find another great compendium of "stolen election" articles from the last two weeks.

In other news -- one should never think something's true just because CNN reports it, but apparently Colin Powell has resigned.

Also, according to the Houston Chronicle, and many other sources:

"The White House has ordered the new CIA director, Porter Goss, to purge the agency of officers thought to have been disloyal to President Bush or of leaking damaging information to the media about the conduct of the war in Iraq and the hunt for Osama bin Laden, according to knowledgeable sources.

"...[According to] a former senior CIA official who maintains close ties to the agency and to the White House...'Goss was given instructions ... to get rid of those soft leakers and liberal Democrats. The CIA is looked on by the White House as a hotbed of liberals and people who have been obstructing the president's agenda.'"

Good, George. Get those "obstructionists" out of there, and restore the CIA to the way it was in the good old days, when Bush I was in charge. Or when the CIA killed Kennedy. Whoa! Was that some kind of conspiracy theory? The deeper into this mess we get, the more we learn about what those words really mean. Something gets labeled a conspiracy theory when corruption in power is scared of the truth.

And the city of Fallujah lies in ruins.

Looking for a library of amusing and terrifying video clips? Well I happen to have one right here. The link is from Amanda.

More soon...

write to me