Sleepover in San Diego? reports that in the special election in California to replace Duke Cunningham, "volunteer pollworkers were allowed to take Diebold voting machines home as much as two weeks before the election." (I am currently waiting for a response to this report from California's elections board. I'll update the moment I have it. [Update: Secretary of State's office points to many statewide safeguards. See next entry for more details.])

Given the known security vulnerabilities and the concrete problems that fraud and/or malfunctions have caused [see pp. 9-15], how could this be allowed to happen?

Most distressing? The workers wouldn't even have had to take the machines home to tamper with them -- it's easy. Newsweek's Steven Levy explains the most recent, and most serious, security flaw:

It requires only a few minutes of pre-election access to a Diebold machine to open the machine and insert a PC card that, if it contained malicious code, could reprogram the machine to give control to the violator. The machine could go dead on Election Day or throw votes to the wrong candidate. Worse, it's even possible for such ballot-tampering software to trick authorized technicians into thinking that everything is working fine, an illusion you couldn't pull off with pre-electronic systems.

The Wall Street Journal quotes a Diebold spokesman as having this response to these outlandish security flaws: "Perfect shouldn't be the death of good."

Perhaps not. But good shouldn't be the death of infinitely better. Is it too much to ask that our election results be as tamper-proof as possible and verifiable on paper?

By Emily Messner |  June 14, 2006; 4:15 PM ET  | Category:  National Politics
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I don't believe those election results.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 14, 2006 06:30 PM

We are really stupid in having entrusted public officials to honor basic fair processes in counting votes.

If there is something worse than a police state, perhaps this is it -- turning elected leadership over to partisan bureaucrats and demented small-time conspirators.

Makes Russia seem upright.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 14, 2006 06:34 PM

Since Luger is a Republican, I guess he knows first hand. I wonder why the Democrats don't push this issue harder.

"Historically, exit polls have been so reliable that they are used in emerging democracies to determine whether or not election fraud has taken place. In the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, for example, this year's parliamentary elections were monitored using exit polls sponsored by international foundations. When the official results of that election did not jibe with the exit poll predictions - predictions that indicated the opposition party was victorious - Eduard A. Shevardnadze, the prime minister, was forced to resign under pressure from the US government. [5]

More recently, exit polls of voters in Ukraine provided information that motivated Republican Senator Richard Lugar to offer a scathing review of the Ukrainian presidential election: "A concerted and forceful program of election-day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or cooperation of governmental authorities." [6]"

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 14, 2006 06:56 PM

Exit polls, the smoking gun.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 14, 2006 06:58 PM

Exit Polls: The November 3rd 12:23 am election-day exit poll results conducted for the National Election Pool (NEP) by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International [2] predicted John Kerry winning the popular vote by 5 million, while the official results gave George W. Bush the win with a popular margin of 3 million. On this basis, there was an 8 million vote (6.5%) difference between the official results and the 12:23 am pre-corrected exit poll predictions.

That old saying should go like this: "Cheaters Always Win." Cause the cheat.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 14, 2006 07:13 PM

Rabid Democratic activists must be very, very careful about their ongoing efforts to routinize their delegitimization of American democracy by allegations that any election that does not go their way is "stolen".

That whole groups are "disenfranchised" by "secret corporate conspiracies", a cabal of Republican programmers, or "racially biased ballots".

It is a tactic that seems likely to bring violence to our elections.

If rich people control the election, if all the machines are "secretly rigged", if voting itself is "racist"....

Then why not just bomb the opposition's headquarters and hopefully kill THEIR cadidate if you are convinced by and others trying to undermine the confidence of the public - that your vote doesn't count?

Worse, this poisonous "stolen election meme" is not dropped after investigations or court rulings are done, but becomes an ongoing "victim grievance" intended to prevent both sides from accepting the election results and working together.

It keeps going. "Remember Florida, and the Commander in Thief" is still on the lips of the fanatics. Another Kennedy reject from Rehab, RFK,Jr., is peddling his "proof" that John Kery is actually the legitimate President based on "new Ohio evidence".

"Stolen elections" are intended on inflaming partisanship further and promoting gridlock. One side seeks "avengement" of the Lost Election - the other side sees them continuing the quest to delegitimize, undercut, sabotage the election winner and cuts them out of having a say in running of government as much as possible.

Posted by: Chris Ford | June 14, 2006 07:16 PM

class action suits to attach the properties of the fraudulent winners,

all you need is a couple of knowledgeable witnesses...

offer a reward.


part of the suit.



Posted by: file civil suits for damages... | June 14, 2006 07:18 PM

is lies saying that it didn't happen...


is very strong evidence that the Democratic process has been stolen from the people by,

voter fraud,

hidden agendae,

control of the media (which we are just breaking out of),

pre emptive strikes, which are illegal, disguised as "defending ourselves from an enemy that doesn't know how to get out of an embargo...." but is dangerous,

yes, there are fanatics out there but most of them are named McVeigh and MacFurd



ergo erratum,

pi ss

Posted by: the only thinng on the lips of fanatics | June 14, 2006 07:28 PM

when dealing with treasonous partnerships in protecting the administration from being

"outed," just because some people knowing ly commit treason doesn't make them innocent...

in fact they should dump all of the treasonous people into the water of guantanomo bay and make them swim for freedom in San Francisco where they will be picked up by people that like t urd burglars





Posted by: it's important to maintain an even temper | June 14, 2006 07:31 PM

when is fraud stealing?

when it's proven.

do that.

take America home.

eliminate evil....speak the truth and allow others that don't to be horeswhipped...



Posted by: stolen election ? | June 14, 2006 07:33 PM

let me feel your fear, and let us pray that you do time for complicity...

knowin g the difference and not acting on it are the same thing sas treason...



Posted by: speak to me heinnie | June 14, 2006 07:40 PM

Chris Ford wrote:

". . . a tactic that seems likely to bring violence to our elections."

You are right about that. Anything less than crystal clear transparency and verifiable outcomes in our elections is a fraud. This ought not be a partisan debate. Theivery is theivery, whichever the clan.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 14, 2006 07:43 PM

when I click on Opinions and Blogs from the Homepage of the Washington Post it switches me to a clip on you from

May 15th, 2006 with an excerpt from this article:

Tommy Tutone's Dark Secret
'Jenny, I Got Your Number ... From the NSA!' *

you used to get over 100 to 200 hits a day,

not saying that your support people are conspiring against you but everyone else has current stuff on that page....

you need to speak to your editor, and your computer support people....I kinda doubt that this is a mistake.


Posted by: Hey Emily, | June 14, 2006 07:47 PM


I had a question and answer session on the WP discussion board a while back with the WP Pollsters. I could not believe that so many people supported Bush, so I was basically asserting that the polls were biased.

Well the WP guy emphatically assured me polls are very accurate, it's how you ask the question that makes for the squirrelliness.

So Chris, tell me, how many ways can you ask a question like: "Who did you vote for?"

If it is a perception problem, then let's clear it up.

However 24 exit polls from the 2004 presidental election did not agree with the voter tally.

Harper's states that the chances of that happening legitimately are 165 million to one.

Hot damn, they are lucky bastards.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 14, 2006 08:01 PM

meme propagation and negative afixative labeling...

Chris, who do you work for? who's paying your bills?

if you work for the United States government,

you don't work for the work for


if you work for a political orgainization, then you need to be upfront about that...

as most of what you write seems a little too stupid to be from anything except Aryan Nation kinda stuff....

it would be nice if you admitted to being a shill.



Posted by: I think the correct question to ask Chris since he seems into | June 14, 2006 08:12 PM

Holy [expletive]! One would HOPE that after the VA records debocle they will seriously rethink this process. And by "rethink" I mean apologize profusely and never ever do it again.
I think this ultimately reflects something MORE troubling than a desire to steal elections. It shows an astounding level of cynicism at the highest levels of government:
1. Your vote doesn't really matter because;
2. The candidates are all amoral hacks who have sold themselves to the special interests but;
3. We'll maintain the illusion that the democratic process is alive and well in the U.S. so;
4. You don't string us up by the thumbs.

I wonder how long it will be before the act of voting becomes as meaningless as children playing store. More so; At least playing store is FUN.

Let them eat cake.
Let them cast votes.

Posted by: NII | June 14, 2006 09:47 PM

Katz - Pre-election polls in Ohio had Bush ahead. What screwed the Democrats into an early false belief they had won Ohio was that the exit polls of daytime voters reflected the "non-working" demographic, while those arriving after work let out tended to favor Bush. Kerry's people never thought the voters would shift with time by District, but they did - and in hindsight it should have been as obvious as pollsters knowing that the Florida panhandle was in a different time zone and still voting when they called Florida in 2000.

Live and learn.

But my larger point is that we have forces at work in America seeking to delegitimize American institutions. They do this for partisan purposes. Trying to convince targeted segments of America that "evil forces" are disenfranchising them from a vote and the whole American system is corrupt. Then convincing people that they best stay riled and angry for years and explore "other alternatives" to the vote is a recipe for destroying the generally high quality American democratic system we have enjoyed for 230 years - and introduce election-day violence.

That is an enormous potential consequence, and the Left encouraging beliefs that will lead us there, is beyond irresponsible.

We do need improvements, but agitprop to target urban blacks, the 18-25 demographic, etc. that America has generally fraudulent elections and the whole process is bad hurts us as a country.

What we should be saying is the system generally works well, but needs some improvements.

1. That we have had too much of people being caught voting several times, enabled by laws that do not call for proof of identification. We need a modern tamper-resistant ID. No ID, no vote allowed.

2. Any voting machine must leave an auditable paper record secure from poll workers. Voters should be able to scan a copy, confirm it is as they voted, and deposit that copy in a locked box that sworn volunteer auditors from the State, not the District, have access to.

3. Uniform Federal law linked to Voting Rights Act covering all rules and criterion for recount, defining what a "voting civil rights" violation is as wel. Rather than leave it to a string of hack politicians made judges by this Party or that making up rules as they go, only to be reversed by higher hacks thinking the opposite. Every voter should know ahead of time if they look, what rules and criteria govern a recount or challenge nationwide - not "the Detroit way" the "Arkansas way" the "Modesto tradition".

4. Imposition of severe penalties for vote fraud at a felony level. No more wrist slaps. Include in that a minimum 20-year ban on voting in all elections, 20 year bar on holding elective or appointive office, and a ban on membership in Parties that voluntarily endorse such a blanket ban.

Posted by: Chris Ford | June 14, 2006 11:35 PM

who do you work for?

what is it that you do for a living?

answer that one...

as far as disenfranchising Americans from what they've worked for...

well, I think that is exactly accurate...

you got a problem with that...

try not making up a history of the United States that doesn't exist...

there is evil here, and you're part of it...

want to talk about it?

they _will_ talk about it in Congress tomorrow...



Posted by: and | June 15, 2006 01:17 AM

here's a little bit of heads up

tomorrow, the Republicans are going to debate the "Democrats," on the "Occupation being Billed as a War on false pretenses,"

and then ask for a vote, to stay the course...

you want to kick some butt put things in the proper perspective:

how about responding to this question:

what would happen if it could be proven that there was a

hidden agenda

uniting and turning a bunch of sleepy tribesmen into a terrorist insurrgency....

which bush and co have done, intentionally I might add, that is turned a bunch of sleepy tribesmen into a "terrorist" insurrgency

was the reason to,
create an enemy after the collapse of the Soviet Union that would justify the continuing military expenditures...and ensure same old same old?

read this:

it was the Republican, and the complicit congresses, and some of the DOD's agendae in go to "war,"

when bush was elected, did he happen to mention this agendae? Did any of them?

are there any legal repurcussions? ramifications? would we currently be in "a coup," if it were proved to be true and would those responsible be executed for treason?

who signed it want to know? LOOK at it online....

. how about responding to this? Ask them to.

the Project For a New American Century, in fact having been the unspoken

the Republican and complicit Congresses reason for derailing the democratic process...

voter fraud anyone?

intervention, billed as a war?

false flag attack?

?war? powers

take a bite out of crime , arrest your president and company...

and let the FBI do their friggin job


Posted by: I posted this on the FIX, so that some folks could think about it overnight... | June 15, 2006 01:21 AM

some people are going to try and force something through based upon the

el Zarqeezi propaganda to have everybody vote on

what was actually a PNAC agenda, and thus pre election strategy for the White House...

which makes it treasonous...

and they want to make sure CONGRESS IS COMPLICIT....

"we're all on the same team,"

even if we don't know what that means...

it's a lower form of fraud, trying to trick the people who don't know what's going on into saying....

"I'm all for it,"

because they don't want to be unpatriotic...

that's not what they're being asked to do,

what they're being asked to do is back


once stained, they will be blackmailed on their complicity....

pretty simple eh?

been going on for thousands of years, it's like shooting someone and them handing an innocent person the gun....

"now you're involved,"

"no one will ever believe you,"

yeah right....

kiss me...I'll take you down...let me be the one....


Posted by: yah see... | June 15, 2006 01:27 AM

A sampling of the Exit Poll Results for the 2004 election

National Exit Poll

Kerry 51%
Bush 48%


Kerry 50%
Bush 49%


Kerry 49%
Bush 48%

New Mexico

Kerry 52%
Bush 48%


Kerry 53%
Bush 47%

For more, got to:

And I did not particularly like Kerry, but I do like my thumbs.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 15, 2006 06:35 AM

It's the new way to sit on or stuff the ballot box.

The rumor about LBJ sitting on ballot boxes and giving JFK TX during the 60 election is just another form of this process.

I guess the dem's don't want to make a fuss so they can get in on the action if they manage to take over.

Ok, a bit glib, but not too glib.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 15, 2006 06:44 AM

Mr. Ford:

Diebolt uses MicroSoft OS software and we all know how secure that is.

Did you get their most recent 12 new CRITICAL secure updates yesterday??

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 15, 2006 08:05 AM


You wrote:

"But my larger point is that we have forces at work in America seeking to delegitimize American institutions. They do this for partisan purposes. Trying to convince targeted segments of America that "evil forces" are disenfranchising them from a vote and the whole American system is corrupt. Then convincing people that they best stay riled and angry for years and explore "other alternatives" to the vote is a recipe for destroying the generally high quality American democratic system we have enjoyed for 230 years - and introduce election-day violence."

That's exactly what the Right has done. Glad you're coming around.

Posted by: smafdy | June 15, 2006 08:12 AM

As with government employees and many professionals who are requires to avoid even the appearance of conflicts of interest, it is incumbant upon a democracy to avoid any question of an election result. It is the responsibility of every level of government to ensure elections are held in free and open conditions. You would think after Florida we would have learned.

Diebold or any electronic voting system has six major flaws when compared with a paper balloting system:
1) Voter confidence: When someonce casts an electronic vote there is no way to verify the data, when it is counted, will be what the voter put in. Whether through hacking or data corruption or data loss, electronic votes are not verifiable by the voter after their vote is cast. By this I mean a voter cannot be sure that what the person who totals the votes sees is what the voter entered, unlike a paper ballot. We all remember the cross-eyed judge in Florida trying to determine whether the hanging chad was hanging enough to count as a vote. Many laughed but the thing to understand is that the ballot he was looking at is the exact ballot a voter cast. No one will be looking at your fingerprints on an electronic voting machine.
2) Security: Electronic voting systems not only gather the votes, they compile the votes and transmit them, in bulk, to other electronic systems which compile the votes. As any 9 year old knows, electronic data is easily corruptable and hackable. Any system that brings in questions of validity to the vote should be rejected, no matter what the other benefits are. Speed of tallying a vote should not be more important than the accuracy of the vote.
3) Vote maintenance: Since electronic voting machines are also the vote counting machines, a breakdown in a machine can mean a loss of hundreds of votes, forever. It also means a voting booth has just been removed leading to longer lines. Paper ballots can also have problems leading to longer lines, such as running out of ballots, but the loss of votes takes negligence (boxes of ballots falling off of trucks), not the loss of a voting booth.
4) Speed: Electronic voting machines actually slow down the vote but speed up the count. When comparing a paper system with an electronic system, the number of voting booths is dependent on the number of physical booths compared to the number of electronic machines respectively. If lines get long, booths can be added when paper is used but with electronic voting additional machines are needed, which is typically unlikely. So electronic voting speeds up the tabulation when the voting is over but can slow down the voting itself. Long lines are known to lead to frustration with people leaving the line and even disenfranchisement if the lines last longer than the voting period.
5) Expense: The cost of voting machines is much higher than the cost of paper ballots.
6) Open vote tabulation: With paper ballots, votes are counted, ballot by ballot, by two people, typically the electoral judges, who as we all saw in Florida, look at the ballot and agree on the vote cast and mark it down. The vote goes straight from the voter to the judges. But electronic vote tabulation adds a middle step, the electronic storage of the vote. By electronically storing the vote, the vote goes from the voter's finger pressing a screen to electronic information which the voter cannot see, then to a display the judge can read. The paper ballot equivalent would be for the paper ballots to be electronically read and then tossed away before the judges can see the vote. In actual paper balloting, the paper IS electronicaly read, but the ballots are never thrown away. That allowed Florida to hand count the ballots. For electronic voting machines to come close to paper in reliability, they need to print out a paper ballot that can be collected and used if a challenge is made to the vote.

In summary, the only benefit of electronic voting is reducing the amount of time it takes to tabulate and certify the vote. That benefit is small compared with the degraded voter confidence, their potential to slow the voting process, their high cost and their lack of a mechanism to challenge the machine's data.

Posted by: Sully | June 15, 2006 10:08 AM

Emily, just yesterday a major newspaper had an article that centered on a Pew Research poll showing that America's image in the world had gone down even more since the re-election of George W. Bush in 2004. Recall also that a major foregn newspaper led with this headline the day after Bush's re-election victory: HOW COULD 59 MILLION AMERICANS BE SO DUMB?

Well, maybe they really weren't. An exhaustive research study done by an independent research group was recently detailed in Rolling Stone magazine that gives hard evidence that the republicans stole Ohio giving Bush the election. It details numerous instances of ballot stuffing, voter intimidation selective voter improvement initiatives reserved for affluent republican districts, all laid at the feet of Kenneth Blackwell, a Bush sycophant who happens to be Secretary of State in Ohio.

Then there is that little inexplicable problem of the actual election results not matching the polling of people who came out of the voting booths. Something sinister went on in Ohio just as it did in Florida in the year 2000. Either that or, the headline in that foreign newspaper has a point.

Posted by: Jaxas | June 15, 2006 10:38 AM

My question is why we're even having this debate. Common sense dictates that any voting machine, electronic or otherwise, needs to have a verifiable way to make sure the vote tallies are accurate and that no fraud occurs. If the Diebold machines fail to do such, then they need to be modified or replaced.
Can anybody argue against this? Problem is, there's too much politicking and propoganda surrounding the issue. I personally think the 'Republicans stole the 2004 election through computer vote hacking' accusation is so much Leftist propoganda. Instead of facing facts that John Kerry was a weak candidate that lost, the Democratic political machine would rather create fantasy scenarios that deflect their own culpability in running weak candidates such as John Kerry in recent elections.

Posted by: ErrinF | June 15, 2006 03:37 PM


Kennedy's piece in Rolling Stone about the "stealing" of the 2004 election in Ohio is nothing more than a hatchet job intended to derail Kenneth Blackwell's run for the Ohio statehouse. Nothing Kennedy states in that article can be backed up with actual evidence.

Kenneth Blackwell scares the bejesus out of the democrats because he has the audacity to be black and republican.

Posted by: D. | June 15, 2006 04:27 PM

Did no one else interpret a threat in Ford's response?

Ford also used the canard that the polling numbers "changed" over the day. The final exit poll results at 12:23 AM STILL gave Kerry Ohio. this claim needs to be backed up with data, which I certainly can't find.

I think this is of interest.

It all adds up - the way the voter polls were purged even knowing the statistical matches were poor, the lack of access to machines in Democratic districts, the hugely lopsided number of people who reported their vote switched to Bush, the "wrong" exit polls that oddly were correct in the past and remain correct in the rest of the world, the targeting of provisional ballots to Democratic precincts - it just keeps adding up. any one of these things could be chance. Put them all together and it spells a pattern of corruption.

The ports debacle should have taught us that when we use our voices we can change Congress. So why the hell aren't we using it demaning that Congress address a system of fair elections?

You know, the volunteer pollworkers are overwhelmingly little old ladies. My mother was one when whe was still sprite enough to do so. And I wouldn't have put it past her to promise to drive the ballot box somewhere, have someone put it in her trunk, and totally forget it was there. It certainly would have been a breeze for a techinician to tamper with a "fancy" machine right under her nose under the guise of "maintaining" it. Its open season in American for someone who wants to steal elections.

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 15, 2006 05:52 PM

One can interpret a threat in just about all of Chris Ford's responses. Don't worry, though... he's only a danger to himself. : )

Posted by: ErrinF | June 15, 2006 07:45 PM

Kenneth Blackwell scares the bejesus out of the democrats because he has the audacity to be black and republican.

Yes, of course! It is the color of his skin that upsets people. If he were caucasian and republican no one would CARE that he is a conniving FRAUD. That's why people love Karl Rove to pieces.
Is that how that works bubbie? Or are you just trying to change the subject?

Posted by: NII | June 15, 2006 09:21 PM

"Patriot" 1957 believes my commenting on present efforts to undermine confidence in American elections as "invariably stolen" may be "threatening".

A word to the wise, Cochise....

We are there already. Jesse Jackson assembled a mob of black thugs and protestors to intimidate the "chad counters" of Dade County in 2000. Cuban exiles, hearing Jesse was trying to sawy the recount with a black mob, assembled a counter-mob at the vote count. Available police were not enough to keep the "stolen election' activists from the "good election" ones. People were pushed through windows. Supposedly armed blacks and Cubans waited on the periphery to protect their own if the intimidation turned to lethal riot (with the Cuban-Americans far better armed). This was a very near miss, averted only by quick thinking by the police plus their ability to back Jesse's mob out of the Recount Headquarters.

We are there.

Be very careful.

As D. said, on his way to or from the Kennedy Wing of the Mayo Clinic Detox facility, RFK Jr. was out to delegitimize both Bush's election and well as try and salvage his reputation with Hollywood moneybags and the Greenies after opposing any Windmills-to-Energy in his Cape Cod neighborhood.

Even if the sabotaging of public confidence in our election process continues non-violent and allays "Patriot" 1957's fears of conservatives building mobs like Jesse Jackson has done - the public generally gets sick of whiners that claim their defeats are really victories. Same for crybaby Lefties as for a football team that claims their 0-10 season is only due to referees "stealing" games with bad calls.

Posted by: Chris Ford | June 15, 2006 09:58 PM

There needs to be a simple rule followed across the board in all government service, including elected officials and their appointees. The appearance of conflict of interest IS conflict of interest. No more "Well, I brought it home with me but I didn't do anything wrong, or yes I accepted that free trip to Cancun but that would never influence my votes on legislation"

In most places government workers must follow strict rules that regulate behavior and interactions with contractors. In some places government workers of a certain grade or higher must sign financial disclosure statements to ensure that all potential conflicts of interest are documented and if something is discovered and the interest was not disclosed, the employee is up the creek without a paddle.

So how is it that these elections offices can be so free and easy with their procedures? Is anyone paying a price for these questionable activities?

Posted by: DK | June 15, 2006 10:16 PM

I see Ford's threats. Yet I also recall that the "mob" violence that people turned to Mussolini to stop was actually agitated by guess who... Mussolini.

Makes you wonder, no?

Posted by: patriot 1957 | June 15, 2006 10:43 PM

I meant to post this comment on the latest thread, instead of the last one:

It would be interesting for the Post to go through the FOIL process to get procurement documents from state or local election offices related to the contracts with this company. There should be a statement of requirements and a statement of work associated with the contract(s).

If they exist, they ought to be very specific and tightly written to safeguard the public trust in the voting process. The proposal from the company should contain descriptions of how their product and services will meet the requirements set forth in the Request For Proposals or Invitation For Bid. I would think that in such a complex procurement, with so much on the line that the procurements went through a Request for Proposals process where total value of the proposal in terms of quality and functionality of product are balenced along with price considerations as opposed to an Invitation For Bid which is based solely on price.

I'd be interested to know just how tightly the specs were written by the elections offices entrusted to provide the public with a fair and uncorrupt vote.

Posted by: DK | June 15, 2006 11:05 PM

watching the debates today...

it was pointed out that it wasn't a debate,

it was an attempt to push a resolution through that was basically an endorsement of the president and had no merit other than that....

one of the democrats characterized the setting that they had to work within as being

Kremlin like, with the party line being given by the Republicans...

and them not having a voice in what was actually resolved, voted on....

frankly I had no idea that there were _no_ good Republicans...

what a disappointment....

but then Nancy Pelosi did try and drag Jefferson out of a sticky situation, that might get others indicted....

I'm not Republican or Democrat...and I don't care who was trying to say that slaves needed slavery...

you, my good friends, are the ones being held in slavery by the tyranny of propaganda and fear....

terrorists my friggin a sssssssss there have been over 12 MILLION people that have come into the United States ILLEGALLY in the last five years....

any one of them could have been terrorists,

but they weren't and your friggin president wasn't concerned because he wasn't friggin watchin....

he was busy shaggin your brain and filling it full of doody....

and you all haven't been able to think right since....

electoral fraud anyone?


what a friggin surprise, send them to hell and let gawd sor t their a sses out....

justice done...


Posted by: watching the debates today... | June 16, 2006 01:25 AM

pull your lips up to my a hole and I'll fill you up air of a better quality than you usually spew....

it least it'll have some male content init..

why don't you legitimize your actions by enlisting and goin g over...

pimp my s hit boy...I'll give it to you for free swine...

bytheway, this isn't a personal attack it is an apt description of you so that any one reading will be able to discern the apropos beingness of your

shell casing, once you are shucked out of it....

that means exposed dawg..


Posted by: be very careful? | June 16, 2006 01:31 AM


The dude

With no name

who posts... this...

I've told you once, and I'll tell you again - your weird affectation of splitting ideas into single-line, stream-of-conciousness half-baked sentences is nothing but irritating.

Not to say that your points are not valid and/or poignant and/or appropriate - they are simply not read by me, and I assume by most raeders of the forums on which you post.

If you are going to spend the time acquiring and presenting the ingredients, you might as well bake the cake. No one wants to eat the raw ingredients - but they do want cake.

I do not read your posts. I do not scan your posts. I pass them by, because they suck stylistically. They are irritating. (It'd be okay if they were outrageous, inflammitory, or revolutionary, but they're not - they're simply irritating).

Please do yourself and everyone else a favor and write prose. It'll help yopu get your point across.

Even che has begun to post links to his favorite articles without posting the entire article within his otherwise mute contributions.

An example: As I type this, I can see one "stanza" of your most recent post at the top of my screen. It says:

"bytheway, this isn't a personal attack it is an apt description of you so that ANY ONE READING will be able to discern the apropos beingness of your"... (emphasis added).

Well, guess what - no one is reading.

Please do yourself and everyone else a favor and communicate effectively.

Your consideration is appreciated.

Posted by: smafdy | June 16, 2006 07:49 AM


Posted by: VOODOOBAR | June 16, 2006 08:22 AM

I have no problem putting my real name to this post. Whether fraud has happened or not, what is critical is the fact that ordinary people now suspect the validity of our voting process. Electronic voting can easily be hacked and election workers have no business taking home machines that should be under secure seal until voting takes place. Paper validation of votes must always be available for verification. To paraphrase what Joseph Stalin's not how the people vote it's who counts those votes. Honest elections are the cornerstone of democracy. I said that!

Posted by: Mary Ann Martorana | June 16, 2006 08:40 AM

Sorry D. but I am not buying your theory that the Rolling Stone piece by Kennedy is a hatchet job on Kenneth Blackwell. Blackwell is among a slew of Clarence Thomas like black conservatives that serve as House slaves for the republicans.

Posted by: Jaxas | June 16, 2006 10:59 AM

I have to agree with VOODOOBAR's comment that this is something that needs better coverage in the press and not just the blogosphere. With elections coming up, conspiracy theories being voiced in Ohio, conspiracy theories surrounding Diebold machines, problems in MD in 2004 with electronic voting and in other states, it is incoumbant on the Post to provide facts and analysis as a public service. It would also shine a light on an issue which of many people are unaware. For example, I live in MD and had no knowledge of voting machine problems in 2004 until I stumbled upon it while googling the subject for this blog.

As a wise physist once said, politicians are like elementary particles, they act differently when being observed. Maybe some observation from the Post, on the front page, would cause those who are preparing for the 2006 vote to get it right as the light of public scrutiny is cast on them.

Posted by: Sully | June 16, 2006 11:00 AM


Absolutely off topic of this debate, but...

So to better understand you, if a person who happens to be a "minority" but adheres to a philosophy other than that espoused by the Democratic party, he/she is to be considered inauthentic or a sell-out? Interesting.

And here I thought that all the racists were supposed to be republicans. huh, go figure.

Posted by: D. | June 16, 2006 11:18 AM

"Blackwell is among a slew of Clarence Thomas like black conservatives that serve as House slaves for the republicans."

Yes of course, old bean. We all know those brown chappies are completely unable to form their own opinions or act as autonomous beings. Good thing they have ole massa to keep them in line.

What frickin year is it? My calendar says 2006 but I begin to wonder.

Posted by: NII | June 16, 2006 11:24 AM

hey smafdy,

yes, the

dude who posts like this is annoying

but sometimes he's entertaining.

dude... dont post long ones, sometimes that "masses rise up and crush the impirialist racist corporate money grubbing running dog
stuff gets tiring. Do try to make a point now and then , otherwise yr dogma gets tiring.

Posted by: drew | June 16, 2006 12:20 PM

If this is true, the Republican Partisan County Clerk violated the law and she should be arrested and prosecuted for election tampering. The election results for Cunningham's seat should be invalidated and the election re-run under the watchful eye of the California State Attorney General. If this is true, then it will be concrete proof that Republican confidence for the fall elections is likely the result of a plan to steal the election. It sounds silly given that the Republican Party spent 11 million dollars in an attempt to keep Cunningham's seat in Republican hands but it's also entirely believable that in the waning days of the campaign the realized that they were going to loose and implemented plan "B," take home the Diebolds for some underhanded electronic tampering and guarantee victory by stealing the election. Given everything that Republicans have done over the last 6 years, where they're concerned nothing is out of the real of possibility.

Posted by: Robert In West Hollywood | June 16, 2006 01:03 PM


Me? Did I say that? Dogmatic? Moi? Damn, I'd better get my medication checked. (is there a function of this site that would let me look up my old posts? I'd sure like to compile a greatest hits album).

If I actually wrote, "masses rise up and crush the impirialist racist corporate money grubbing running dog...", it was hyperbole, cliche, or the like (of course, the hyperbole must have supported the underlying dogma). The term "running dog" should be the give-away.

As for "No name", it's sort'a like it must feel for porcupines to have sex - once the pain outweighs the pleasure, they go their separate ways. Not many porcupines around, now are there?

Get the point?

Posted by: smafdy | June 16, 2006 02:08 PM


This debate is getting sillier by the minute. Chck out the Big Mother democracy down East.With a billion plus population , some 600 million eligible voters, and over 300 million actually going through this sham of an exercise - they switched to electronic machines long time ago. And they don't have such things as 24X7 power or water.Not that they produce flawless results, what with booth capturing, rigging and every conceivable mischief from all parties, every election.

What is freightening is the rapid easternization of the western democracies, thanks to the few eastern gurus that crowd the Washington corridors with their bagfuls of tricks for sale. It wouldn't be long before we see rigging, booth capturing, and perhaps sudden death or disappearence of candidates before the polls in the good old US of A.

This goes to prove a point. When you misplace the Moral Compass, you have to wander around in circles on every issue, domestic or international, for decades, before you locate your bearings.

Just think.. If we had a Presidency of sorts in US as in Iraq ( and why the hell not, if it works for lesser-patriots of Iraq, it should for hyper-patriots at home) instead of an almighty president, (whom HE visits on occasion), and a spineless congress to cheer him - Hillary as the Prez (Jeez guys, give the lady a chance, your mother was a lady remember), Dean as one associate Prez, Edwards as another associate Prez !! George could retain his CinC post, if he is ready, willing and capable of front line duties with the rest of the commanders in Iraq and Afganisthan. And as for Cheney - send him away as US ambassador to Somalia or some place where they don't have functioning phone lines or scheduled flights out of the abandoned land.

This silly trick could even work, but then, if it didn't , who would notice the difference????


Posted by: Rajesh Iyer | June 16, 2006 02:57 PM

cells, but unlike you

I don't look for approval.

your response and your little pc gorilla are as

younger people listening to jazz...

you like the blues, doesn't make you effective...

if a couple of people with IQ's in the low 80's control the world...

well you get the current administration,

I'm okay with you not liking me, I'm not afflicted with your low ability to understand the mechanics

of it.

okay butwheat?


Posted by: sorry to trouble your brain | June 16, 2006 04:11 PM

your mother, yah did ?

Posted by: you can't even understand | June 16, 2006 04:23 PM

Smafdy - I understood your point about the poster who writes in incoherent sentence fragments perfectly. Posters should try to raise an articulate, relatively suucinct point, and be identifiable, rather than shift signature by each post.

If I don't understand a poster, or it looks like they are SPAMMING a blog with community college reject poetry, or suffer from aphasia*, I move on past those posts to those who are coherent..

(Aphasia - inability to understand, speak, even write in complete sentences due to cognitive disease or secondary brain tumors.)

Posted by: Chris Ford | June 16, 2006 08:32 PM

Did anyone watch the "debate" yesterday in Congress?

does this title:

House Approves Iraq War Resolution
Lawmakers Reject Deadline for Troop Withdrawal

By Jonathan Weisman and Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, June 17, 2006

characterize what happened?

or does this one:

Complicit Congress of Republicans back President on their PNAC Agendae

you tell me....

did you see anything but empty appeal to emotion on the Republican side yesterday?


Posted by: hello but thead... | June 16, 2006 09:01 PM

I don't think they want to be associated with the criminally insane..

but thanks for your support...

as I said, the hot air coming out of my but tcrack surpasses anything coming between your lips unless it's georges wee nie...which you seem to wet continuously with your spew..


he he he..

piece a cake but twad...

Posted by: dear sweetpod... | June 16, 2006 09:04 PM

the poster who writes in incoherent sentence fragments perfectly...

cognitive therapy

Posted by: this is what I do | June 16, 2006 09:07 PM

if a couple of people with IQ's in the low 80's control the world...

well you get the current administration,

Posted by: or more succinctly... | June 16, 2006 09:10 PM

that was very good Rajesh.

expressions of morbid fascination.

Posted by: and more to the point, true... | June 17, 2006 12:18 AM

D. I have great respect for the philosophy of conservatism. I even share many of the views espoused by legitimate conservatives.

Kenneth Blackwell is not a traditional conservative. He is part of a cabal of religious zealots who have little interest in the "philosophy" of conservatism. He is far more interested in establishing a government that hews to the born-again philosophy that has as a major tenet Biblical inerrancy.

Blackwell believes George W. Bush came into office as an act of Divine Providence in these last days. He believes Bush is destined to bring about some of the things described in the Book of Revelation that will ultimately usher in the Rapture and the return of Christ to reign over the earth.

Bush is surrounded by people who think in these terms. This fellow Zinmeister that he just hired to replace the policy advisor who resigned in the face of grand larceny charges is another born again with a rep for spouting out end of days hokum.

These people have no philosophy other than this extreme religious view and that Bush is their last best hope for imposing that view. That is why they will do anything--anything--to keep his type of "conservative" in office.

If you want the country to keep drifting into madness and chaos, just keep listening to the Kenneth Blackwells and Karl Roves and George W. Bushs. Any fool can see that they don't believe in government and democracy. But they do believe in their little black book and their favorite chapter in that book is Revelations.

Posted by: Jaxas | June 17, 2006 11:00 AM


Soon the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy will rule the world! NYAHAHAHA!

Posted by: Robur LeConq | June 18, 2006 01:32 AM

they've already infested the inner cambrium of the lower life forms...

how else did we get a monkey and a couple of stiffs running the country....not a male hormone amongst them...old ladies with executive power and a lot of on the knees sucking off of olde money...

you got money? we got suck...the neo cons love to do that...

got a country you need controlled, we get a cut we'll let you use our youth....'cause none of our kids go...

that the right tone? recognize yourself? take it out of your can you talk?


Posted by: yes, | June 18, 2006 03:39 AM

Hey, AND TO THE POINT chap..

Nothing more morbid really than participating, supposrting and tolerating a string of inept administrations that can do nothing for Common-American_Good , never mind loftier issues like Global Peace or Global Warming.

That smart British Scientist, Hawkin is damn right. If Americans continue to rock on their butt anylonger, by 2012 the heat of MOABs,F-16s added on to the nasty old SRVs would hasten global warming and leave us all in a rapid spate of Flooding by Ice cap melts, Tsunamis, Hurricanes, Volcanic Eruptionos and Earthquakes ( Where I sit I have beem rocked twice just in the last month, folks).

That chap Hitler was right in some of his reservations about the kind of democracies we revertoday. He asked - how can common folks with IQs bordering around fifty elect Uncommon Leaders with triple digit IQs..

Like the old man said - People deserve the
governments they get.Thanks to this BY THE PEOPLE thing, some 51% of them in the last count, we wouldn't be chatting, blogging, pubbing or laughing at each other much longer, I guess.

Nothing fascinating in what I said. Just a simple matter of everlasting shame for our forsaken species....


Posted by: Rajesh Iyer | June 18, 2006 01:53 PM

These electronic voting machines do appear to have some problems. See article below

I would think they would be quite simple. Press the button count the vote. NOT.

BAKERSFIELD -- The company whose voter access cards led to last week's election fiasco apologized to Kern County Tuesday.

Diebolt Vice President Steven Moreland took full responsibility for the snafu.

The company makes the electronic voting machines and voter access cards.
Click here to find out more!
The mishap led to long lines and voters were turned away from the polls.

Moreland said they didn't know the enhanced security measure on their voting machines would reject old voter access cards.

"In no way should this reflect on your election staff," said Moreland. "The staff you have here is extremely professional, very talented, and passionate about their job there is no way could they have fore seen the circumstance happening because we did not know about it or communicate it internally."

Next week, the board will meet to discuss whether to strop County Clerk Ann Barnett of her duties with the election department.

Now the basic American way of holding an election is a lot like playing a World Series Game. No matter what happens or how bad the weather, the game is played.

Same with US Elections. As long as you can't provide someone paid you to vote a certain why, no matter what happens at the polls, no matter how FUBAR things get, the vote goes on and we are stuck with the outcome.

Something has to change.


Posted by: Richard Katz | June 18, 2006 02:24 PM

"Blackwell is among a slew of Clarence Thomas like black conservatives that serve as House slaves for the republicans."

the point of this statement is:

NEPOTISM and CRONYISM is how the capitol works.....

the term "house slave," refers to one who works for a group that uses the group that he or she has come from, but because _they_ the house slave are treated differently, they say that _they_ are not like "the others," and so they may act as_if the others "deserve," "are that way," "are of a different class/sort," IF asked to participate in freeing the other slaves, the "house slave," would most likely side with the MASSA, as they owed what they got in life to the MASSA's patronage....moving up quickly, get it?

It's all about favors for favors. IF a person adheres to what the person who gets them there wants then you have Washington, "Business as Usual,"

Yes of course, old bean. We all know those brown chappies are completely unable to form their own opinions or act as autonomous beings.

The point is that the "brown chappies," that rely upon pleasing the MASSA as a way of getting ahead, ignore the other portion of their history and pass judicial decisions, legislation that is not helpful to the masses but is to the MASSAs'

I mean what has George Bush been doing? Put a bill in front of him that benefits Olde Monies, and he signs without reading....he's paying off the favor of having been elected in the first place...and setting up for getting payment when he's not president...quid pro quo

So when a man in power, turns his back on his people, you could use the term "house slave," to evoke a poignancy and a literal reminder of a period not long ago when it was legal to own other people as long as they were black....and in Louisiana "Black," was 1/32 of African heritage....if it could be could simply put a collar on a free man and claim to have recaptured your slave...

That Clarence Thomas has escaped his midwestern roots doesn't mean anyone else from his community has been lifted up....he sets a different tone than does

Anthony A. Williams, DC Mayor, even though they know each other well

Good thing they have ole massa to keep them in line.

MASSA in this case is "Olde Monies," and that keeps a lot of people in line....

What frickin year is it? My calendar says 2006 but I begin to wonder.

Perhaps I read you wrong. When something is appropos, well it just is...

Saying it's out of step with reality, when it's not, is disingenuous...

Perhaps you need to read some Tom Sawyer, or drive over to some DC neighborhoods that are predominately black and wonder how LA, DC, East St. Louis, Detroit, and other cities that have "issues," need to stay that way....if we're making progress.

Why is it a rite of passage to do jail time in DC if you're a black male? Why is prison attire de riguere'? Why has enculturation of an enforced brutality become acceptable?

Yes olde bean, the truth shall set you free, trying using it.


Posted by: you know I don't get this... | June 18, 2006 02:57 PM

Thomas Sowell and Colin Powell should be Secretary of State and President. With these, we could sleep well at night.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 18, 2006 03:05 PM

Here is another article on the Kern County election/Diebolt disaster.

Let's assume:

"It was a human error, their part, and our part, whatever" said Supervisor Sandy Brockman with the Election Division. "It was identified and corrected."

This computer technology is not up to the task and quite expensive:

What's the matter with paper????

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 18, 2006 03:38 PM

you know I don't get this...

ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

derse uzala...


Posted by: that guys a fricking genius.... | June 19, 2006 12:22 AM

Lets review.....Florida 2000, Katherine Harris is Secratary of State, AND the Chairman of the Bush for President comittee in Fla. In a contested vote count where ALL the votes were never counted....Bush wins.
Ohio 2004....Kenneth Blackwell is Secratary of State AND Chairman of the Bush for President comittee in Ohio. In a contested vote counts where reports of fraud and intimidation are prevelant, Bush wins! Anybody sense a pattern here? How is it not a conflict of interest for the state official in charge of providing fair elections also being in charge of the presidents re-election campaign? How can you have any objectivity? Also, If you decriers bothered to read RFK jr's Rolling Stone article, it is exhaustivly footnoted that gives truthful backup to each point he makes. It is truly MUST reading for anyone concerned with our election process. It is broken and badly needs fixing!

Posted by: paulmer9 | June 19, 2006 08:55 AM

On the plantation: "Thomas Sowell and Colin Powell should be Secretary of State and President. With these, we could sleep well at night."

There was a time when I would have agreed with you. Even when Powell was obviously on the outs I was glad there was ONE voice of sanity in the BA.

But he stayed too long the old soldier following orders instead of his conscience. He mistakenly believed he owed his allegiance to the Commander in Chief and not to the Constitution. He owed it to himself and the country to come clean before the last election instead of leaving it to his deputy. Imagine what would have happened if he want on Meet the Press the Sunday before the election and spilled the beans.

In the Army you follow rules, to the death. But if those rules are illegal or immoral, you must have the moral courage to refuse to follow them. Alas, he apparently did not.

Back to elections -
People the Senate refused the ports deal not because they thought it was the right thing to do, but because they were FLOODED with constituent mail on this issue and saw the writing on the wall. People don't change because they see the light, they change because they feel the heat.

If you want fair elections, if you don't want obviously tampered Diebold machines, if you don't think the person who counts the votes should be the campaign chair of one of the candidates, by all means TELL YOUR CONGRESSMAN (OR WOMAN). And get your friends, family and neighbors telling them too. What we learned from the ports debacle is that when we speak in sufficient numbers, OUR VOICES ARE HEARD.

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 19, 2006 12:00 PM


Wouldn't hold your breath on this one. I've always felt the reason he never went for a Presidential run is because he has skeletons in his closet. His relationship with My Lai is not tangential. It suggests, at best, gross incompetence in leadership and, at worst, complicity.

Sowell? What electorate would vote for him?

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 19, 2006 12:35 PM

regarding voter fraud in OHIO,

Blackwell was asked to step down from investigating himself

and he _refused_

you figure it out...

I wrote him an email asking if perhaps it was a case of dishonesty.....I logged into his website....

maybe you could do that?


The thing about Katherine Harris, in her current candidacy run....Jeb is staying way away from her...

perhaps, she has a story to tell of complicity, if she loses....if not, mebbe Jeb is just staying away in_case he gets asked to run for President in '08

that would be a surprise 'eh?

that mebbe why they want to keep the electoral fraud a murmur and why the WaPo isn't covering it as a story...

my oh my, that would be a story wouldn't it?

how would they handle the changes put in place by a fraudulent about all of a sudden being able to change Iraq policy, if they could prove purposeful fraud, why they may be able to indict the whole white house crewe or shall we say Great Satan and Co....cooooool


Posted by: actually... | June 19, 2006 01:08 PM

patriot1957 wrote:

"What we learned from the ports debacle is that when we speak in sufficient numbers, OUR VOICES ARE HEARD."

At this point, there is no resolution to the promised divestiture of U.S. ports by Dubai Ports.

As to Colin Powell's character, I would merely add that I believe in the power of redemption. Powell at his core is a decent and tolerant man with a good memory, and who is both humble and self confident in his maturity. I would pick him for leadership ahead of any younger narcissist any day.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 19, 2006 01:31 PM

I agree with you completely that Powell is a decent and humble man. Not there with the self-confidence thing, though.

He knows exactly what went on in the run-up to war. He took an oath to defend the Constitution, yet he stays silent, his silence directly or indirectly supporting the continuation of an administration that daily defiles the Constitution and the very nature of what it means to be an American.

Silence implies consent. Does he agree with the actions of the BA? Most of us think not. Yet he is silent. So is it a character flaw, misplaced loyalty (to the Commander in Chief instead of the Constitution), lack of self confidence, or skeletons in his closet? I'd sure like to know. But his ongoing silence has lost my endorsement of him.

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 19, 2006 06:26 PM

patriot1957 wrote:

". . . yet he stays silent . . ."

Loyalty, for most of humanity's social history, was considered a reciprocal virtue. Perversely, top-to-bottom manipulation of the conventional social rules is the present-day norm, with true individual loyalty within the ranks turned into a vulnerability, even a cause for public mockery.

Just compare faults and flaws on a scale you subjectively rank as you think in proper order. Sexual infidelity, alcoholism, cronyism, incuriousity, overriding Oedipal fixation, insider trading, etc. -- put against a simple excess of loyalty while functioning in appointed office. Some perspective is appropriate before laying down a measuring rod.

The truth is, we had our last good and popular American oligarchs with John and Bobby Kennedy, and both these were assassinated, abhorently against the desires of ordinary American people then enthusiastic for their leadership. Quality of leadership has run out in this society ever since then. We must go back to the well with solid leaders, both for better and for worse, who are real people validated as such at the retail level, and not the products of wholesale money-driven national politics.

History always has it surprises, and America has found its way out of darkness before. There will without doubt be some young people with courage. Perhaps the Colin Powell elders of the world will give them a boost at the right moment.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 19, 2006 08:30 PM

"History always has it surprises, and America has found its way out of darkness before."

Well, I certainly hope there's something around the corner for us. At present we are in line to be the first generation of Americans too scared to stand up for the Constitution. I wonder what the guys at the Battle of the Bulge would think if they knew their grandkids were going to respond to the next enemy attack by rolling over and giving away the very freedoms they were dying for because they were afraid.

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 19, 2006 08:49 PM

pat ,

If we are talking constitution in this country ,it wasnt very pretty after the battle of the buldge or before. Blacks and minorities were in pretty bad shape even though the constitution clearly said otherwise. The internment of germans, italians , japanese, the confiscating of there property and busineses also wasnt very nice. Back in ww2, we fought a greater evil, but we also had alot going wrong in our own backyard. Its about the same today, we are still fighting a greater evil, and we still have our demons to fight . But at least now we dont intern muslims and take there businesses. But then again we still racially profile and embarass ourselves by telling Dubai Ports that because they look like the bad guys they cant be trusted, regardless that they have been servicing american warships for many years with no problems. Racism ?, you bet, alive and well and protected this time by those left of center.

Posted by: drew | June 19, 2006 11:17 PM

borne of a mouth used to other things:

Drew lies and says: "Racism ?, you bet"

Not racism, calling someone on being a two faced liar...

17 pilots impacted the WTC, 7 of them were UAE...'re a simple person aren't you, either that or a straigt up liar...

opportunist that wouldn't know the truth if it came out of your mouth, 'cause you've not tasted it before...

.either you're young and stupid or old and really stupid.

Posted by: with the typical candor.. | June 20, 2006 12:50 AM

Drew wrote:
"But then again we still racially profile and embarass ourselves by telling Dubai Ports that because they look like the bad guys they cant be trusted, regardless that they have been servicing american warships for many years with no problems."

There may be some who reacted to the ports deal with racism, but my own reaction was surprise, surprise that non-Americans of any nation were handling the ports of this nation. It was not common knowledge that Americans were not running our own ports. It made me wonder what we as a nation owned or controlled and why in a post-911 world it was not being addressed. Then I see a lack of security applied to our nations ports and it added up to something very wrong in the way we secure our ports. I think this new realization was what erupted into Congress actually fearing the people. But, did you know that today DPW IS running the ports? Bush is hoping people forget and Congress is happy with DPW's promise to sell it to an American company. That has not yet happened nor is there any sign it will.

Add to it the way our government handles illegal immigration, detaining illegals when caught then releasing them to appear in court later ... NOT. They also ignore the underground illegal document industry that allows so many illegals to apply for American jobs and was used by a 911 hijacker to get a drivers license. And the government has all the tools it needs to prevent illegals from obtaining those jobs which is the lure to come here in the first place. They KNOW who may be an illegal because employers provide all employee's SS#s, addresses, etc which the IRS can verify. Yet this ability to track down illegals sits idle.

It all adds up to total frustration, especially when one hears the president constantly talking about a post-911 world that requires the constitution be put on hold for our own safety. Yes racism may be at play for some people, but it is not the only factor raising the attention of the American people to this issue. I would call it "shock and awe" at the way the president is ignoring the nation's security which he constantly says he is providing.

Posted by: Sully | June 20, 2006 08:56 AM

For uncensored news please bookmark the following sites:

Breaking news!!!

African-American Voters Scrubbed by Secret GOP Hit List

by Greg Palast
As reported for Democracy Now!

Palast, who first reported this story for BBC Television Newsnight (UK) and Democracy Now! (USA), is author of the New York Times bestseller, Armed Madhouse.

The Republican National Committee has a special offer for African-American soldiers: Go to Baghdad, lose your vote.

A confidential campaign directed by GOP party chiefs in October 2004 sought to challenge the ballots of tens of thousands of voters in the last presidential election, virtually all of them cast by residents of Black-majority precincts.
Files from the secret vote-blocking campaign were obtained by BBC Television Newsnight, London. They were attached to emails accidentally sent by Republican operatives to a non-party website.

One group of voters wrongly identified by the Republicans as registering to vote from false addresses: servicemen and women sent overseas.

For Greg Palast's discussion with broadcaster Amy Goodman on the Black soldier purge of 2004, go to


Here's how the scheme worked: The RNC mailed these voters letters in envelopes marked, "Do not forward", to be returned to the sender. These letters were mailed to servicemen and women, some stationed overseas, to their US home addresses. The letters then returned to the Bush-Cheney campaign as "undeliverable."

The lists of soldiers of "undeliverable" letters were transmitted from state headquarters, in this case Florida, to the RNC in Washington. The party could then challenge the voters' registration and thereby prevent their absentee ballot being counted.

One target list was comprised exclusively of voters registered at the Jacksonville, Florida, Naval Air Station. Jacksonville is third largest naval installation in the US, best known as home of the Blue Angels fighting squandron.

[See this scrub sheet at ]

Our team contacted the homes of several on the caging list, such as Randall Prausa, a serviceman, whose wife said he had been ordered overseas.

A soldier returning home in time to vote in November 2004 could also be challenged on the basis of the returned envelope. Soldiers challenged would be required to vote by "provisional" ballot.

Over one million provisional ballots cast in the 2004 race were never counted; over half a million absentee ballots were also rejected. The extraordinary rise in the number of rejected ballots was the result of the widespread multi-state voter challenge campaign by the Republican Party. The operation, of which the purge of Black soldiers was a small part, was the first mass challenge to voting America had seen in two decades.

The BBC obtained several dozen confidential emails sent by the Republican's national Research Director and Deputy Communications chief, Tim Griffin to GOP Florida campaign chairman Brett Doster and other party leaders. Attached were spreadsheets marked, "Caging.xls." Each of these contained several hundred to a few thousand voters and their addresses.

A check of the demographics of the addresses on the "caging lists," as the GOP leaders called them indicated that most were in African-American majority zip codes.

Ion Sanco, the non-partisan elections supervisor of Leon County (Tallahassee) when shown the lists by this reporter said: "The only thing I can think of - African American voters listed like this - these might be individuals that will be challenged if they attempted to vote on Election Day."

These GOP caging lists were obtained by the same BBC team that first exposed the wrongful purge of African-American "felon" voters in 2000 by then-Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Eliminating the voting rights of those voters -- 94,000 were targeted -- likely caused Al Gore's defeat in that race.

The Republican National Committee in Washington refused our several requests to respond to the BBC discovery. However, in Tallahassee, the Florida Bush campaign's spokespeople offered several explanations for the list.

Joseph Agostini, speaking for the GOP, suggested the lists were of potential donors to the Bush campaign. Oddly, the supposed donor list included residents of the Sulzbacher Center a shelter for homeless families.

Another spokesperson for the Bush campaign, Mindy Tucker Fletcher, ultimately changed the official response, acknowledging that these were voters, "we mailed to, where the letter came back - bad addresses."

The party has refused to say why it would mark soldiers as having "bad addresses" subject to challenge when they had been assigned abroad.

The apparent challenge campaign was not inexpensive. The GOP mailed the letters first class, at a total cost likely exceeding millions of dollars, so that the addresses would be returned to "cage" workers.

"This is not a challenge list," insisted the Republican spokesmistress. However, she modified that assertion by adding, "That's not what it's set up to be."
Setting up such a challenge list would be a crime under federal law. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlaws mass challenges of voters where race is a factor in choosing the targeted group.

While the party insisted the lists were not created for the purpose to challenge Black voters, the GOP ultimately offered no other explanation for the mailings. However, Tucker Fletcher asserted Republicans could still employ the list to deny ballots to those they considered suspect voters. When asked if Republicans would use the list to block voters, Tucker Fletcher replied, "Where it's stated in the law, yeah."

It is not possible at this time to determine how many on the potential blacklist were ultimately challenged and lost their vote. Soldiers sending in their ballot from abroad would not know their vote was lost because of a challenge.


For the full story of caging lists and voter purges of 2004, plus the documents, read Greg Palast's New York Times bestseller, ARMED MADHOUSE: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, Armed Madhouse: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, the Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left and other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War.

Posted by: che | June 20, 2006 10:56 AM

What madness!! When will the public DEMAND that DIEBOLD voting machines not be used in ANY election. Go back to the 2004 election where the close vote in Ohio got Bush elected (for once) and the President of Diebold (an Ohio Corp.) boldly stated for the press that "if they use Deibold voting machines in Ohio I can garuntee a Bush victory." He and the CFO also gave large amounts of money to the Bush campaign. In Ca. when Black Box voting demanded the state look inside the Deibold machines by a unbiased expert, the company complained loudly and wanted to ship NEW machines to be checked as it "wouldn't be fair to check the ones that had been used in the last elections." Is it any wonder that Ohio took over from Florida as the most corrupt political state in the nation.

Posted by: coach88 | June 20, 2006 02:18 PM

typical candor wrote ; "17 pilots impacted the WTC, 7 of them were UAE...'re a simple person aren't you, either that or a straigt up liar..."

- I think its common knowledge that 2 of the 19 hijackers were from the UAE. But regardless, going buy yr logic I should really call the police if I see a young black man walking in the street. In 1999, although blacks comprised 13% of the population , they made up 50% of the prison population. What did ml king say ? something about judging a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin ?

anyway, re election scandals, back in 2000
it was discovered that 68,000 voters were registered in NY and Florida. 68% were registered democrates, 12% republicans.
Remember John Daley and his wonderful "democratic machine of the 50's and 60's. No one could buy a vote like John(except maybe boss Tweed). My point is really this:
If there's a problem lets fix it but this continual theme of" a conspiracy by them evil religious right wing republicans" really clouds the issue. Voting fraud doesnt fall on Party lines.


There is a cost to democracy. People who take part in an election should have legitamite addresses and know how to vote i.e going to the right polling place. Look at the flip side, any Joe shmo can register 10-100 times with a bad address and not present id and go around voting on election day. In Ohio "Mary Poppins" showed up as an eligible voter. Voting should be fair but there are rules and if we dont follow them
you get anarchy. You know the ole' saying "vote early and vote often", well people having been doing that for the past 100


I dont know if americans are really ready to pay for real security, Securing the ports and our borders is a very expensive proposition. The amount of container ships coming into the most consuming nation in the world is astronomical. The border between canda and the US is 4,000 miles, there are 1,000 agents patrolling. There are 10,000 border agents patrolling half the distance w/Mexico. I know, If B didnt go to Iraq , we would be able to spend to do all this, but thats another argument for another blog.

Posted by: drew | June 20, 2006 04:56 PM

drew wrote:
"I know, If B didnt go to Iraq , we would be able to spend to do all this, but thats another argument for another blog."

Well, its sort of the whole point ... this country was attacked and 90% of the effort since that attack has been to invade and occupy Iraq, a country and people that had zero to do with the attack. In the meantime Bush ignores OBL, he ignores our insecure ports, he ignores anything that is not Iraq related (Katrina, the economy, etc...) and overall is so fixated on Iraq that nothing else is important. Not illegal immigration, not document fraud that has allowed millions of illegals, any of which could be part of a sleeper cell, to obtains jobs in the US, not fixing the CIA & FBI, not even making our troops in Iraq safe by supplying the armor they are requesting. This president will go down in history as the president who has violated his oath of office more than any other, even more than Nixon. Its just too bad we Americans take so long for the realities to sink in, to take hold and become obvious to us. I remember people at the time calling those who applauded Nixon's resignation Communists. It will take time, but 20 years from now many will wonder what we were doing while Bush lied us into a war, why we did nothing when the lie was exposed, why we let him continue to make mistake after mistake, ruin the economy, stay in Iraq as more and more Americans and Iraqis died, and allowed him to violate his oath to protect the constitution. Many will wonder why we did not impeach him. His crime, his willful breaking of the FISA law and violation of the 4th ammendment to the constitution.

Posted by: Sully | June 20, 2006 10:49 PM

Drew wrote:
"I know, If B didnt go to Iraq , we would be able to spend to do all this, but thats another argument for another blog."

Well, that's the point isn't it?


Listening to the recent house debate on Iraq in the House was incredibly frustrating. The repubs are very good at phrasing things as simplistically as possible - maddening when you see them mischaracterizing an important stance by the dems, but I'm sure its effective when it comes to convincing the masses.

The dems are even more frustrating on the other hand because I don't get the impression that they got together before the debate on the house floor and discussed a strategy to establish any continuity of their message.

They should be saying:

1) Our strategy is one of defining criteria for success in Iraq and planning for how to achieve that success followed by an orderly withdrawel of troops.

2)The Republican plan does not account for any definition of success or progress, there is no plan for extrication of troops, and they seem to be saying that we have to stay on there forever since they refuse to say what milestones will indicate when the Iraqis will be able handle their own affairs.

3) There is nothing wrong with seeking to define a set of circumstances where we would be wise to withdraw from Iraq. This is not a matter of "cutting and running" or "waving a white flag" it is a matter of having a real plan for success and goals to shoot for. In business and also I think, in the military, SMART goals are used -Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Based. The Dems would be better off explaining their position in these terms rather than floundering around the way they have been doing. If they could simply come together and define their message clearly, they could reveal the Republican stance for what it really is - A bunch of bully-boy talk with no substance - they offer no plan whatsoever - and the only reason they thought they could get away with making their very old and very lame arguments was that Zarqawi was recently killed.

In reality we have already accomplished much of what the BA said we were going in to do - Regime change, Create a democracy, Establish the new democratic government, Train security forces. It shouldn't be that hard to set some specific, measureable, and realistic goals with a timeframe associated with them, then plan an orderly withdrawel e.g. pull troops out of the more peaceful provinces, establish the "over the horizon" presence like Murtha is proposing, and keep air power in the region to support Iraqi security force operations, continue training Iraqi forces in nearby countries. there are many possible ways to reduce our presence in the country. Why are the republicans so resistant to doing that?

I don't know who I'm more frustrated with in this whole business - the Dems or the Repubs. I know I'm madder with the Repubs -but the Dems better get their act together real soon.

Posted by: DK | June 20, 2006 11:02 PM

Ha, I didn't see your post before I made mine Sully. I guess we were thinking along the same lines.

I would just like to revise what I said slightly. In terms of what we have accomplished - we have wasted so many opportunities to effectively rebuild much of the country - specifically their infrastructure - that may be our biggest failing so far and its not so much a military failing, though I'm sure its impacted by the insurgency situation.

The mismanagement of those funds is appalling (9 billion missing ????). Perhaps we and the Iraqis would be better off if that effort took place in a different atmosphere (without our military presence) and other contractors besides US contractors got involved more.

Posted by: DK | June 20, 2006 11:14 PM

break ranks....theirs going to be a few people doing time besides Cunning ham

there is an "all out," effort to hold the line on exposure to the public that the Iraq

occupation has been foisted on them,

for reasons not explained before hand...

enriching the defense department and complicit congress....pork comes in military flavors too...

ask dick


Posted by: if the democrats and republicans | June 20, 2006 11:44 PM

If B didnt go to Iraq ?

It would have been nice if someone had gone into north korea before they went atomic.
Here's a dirt poor country but now it has about six nuclear devides and is working on a launching mechanism. I think you need to take out regimes that present a threat. The argument that sadam didnt have nukes and coudnt build them ignores the reality of
what is out there. NK may yet prove to be
exhibit A on what happens when a nut job gets a nuke.

Leaving Iraq: I dont know how large the Iraqi security force needs to be before we leave but they certainly s/b more then half way there. I dont think there is anyone who wants to see our troops out of Iraq more then republicans and Bush. The Iraq situation is the main reason they could/will suffer large political losses. But the exit stratedgy has to be correct, the overriding concerns/b to establish a foundation for a democratic(or as close as you can get) Iraq. The dems seem to understand this but those left of the dems seem to keep pulling the dems to flat out withdraw at all costs. To the credit of
John q public, many americans dont belive in cutting and running. The Dems know this so they are kinda stuck on what exactley to do.

Posted by: drew | June 20, 2006 11:47 PM

drew wrote:
"...but those left of the dems seem to keep pulling the dems to flat out withdraw at all costs. To the credit of
John q public, many americans dont belive in cutting and running."

I really get tired of this 12-tear old republican mentality. "Cutting and running" is a term the republicans use to belittle the idea of pulling out of Iraq in any way but the president's way. It is a way to cut off debate, to bully those who have real ideas of what our next steps in Iraq should be. The republicans call any redeployment in Iraq a mistake, yet their track record so far has been nothing but mistakes. To pomposly talk as though they know what they are doing after getting it wrong in every instance is the mark of the school yard bully. Its time to stand up to this bully and tell the republicans they are wrong. They were wrong to cherry pick intelligence to launch a war with Iraq they have longed for. They were wrong to build Gitmo and they were wrong to allow torture and violate Geneva. They were wrong to not send in enough troops in Iraq. They were wrong to not provide enough armor and properly prepare for their war. They were wrong to attack Wilson's accurate report on Niger yellowcake and attack his wife, Valerie Plame out of pure vengence. They were wrong to pull troops out of Afganistan which is now seeing a Taliban comeback. They were wrong to say the war would pay for itself. They were wrong to cut taxes as the deficit rose through the roof due to their irresponsible war spending. They were wrong to violate the 4th ammendment and break the FISA law. They were wrong in putting Goss in at CIA where most people knew he'd create havoc. They are wrong to say 3 and a half years after "mission accomplished" to say we are still at war when we are not, its an occupation. They were wrong to ignore North Korea as they broke UN seals and began building bombs and they are very wrong not to look at China as the real problem when it comes to North Korea.

And now, today, these same people say they are absolutely right in their running of the Iraq occupation and anyone disagreeing is giving comfort to the enemy, is helping terrorists and cutting and running. These republicans are nothing but bullies who feel they can do what they want, reward who they choose, ignore laws and anyone who disagrees with them. It is time for the American people to say enough is enough, vote republicans out of office in the House and Senate this fall and put people in those positions who will honor our constitution, honor the American people, and use intelligence and common sense to complete the Iraq occupation and bring our good soldiers home.

Posted by: Sully | June 21, 2006 07:27 AM

Drew, the more you talk the deeper you dig yourself in a hole.

9-11 changed everything, right?

It changed that our ports were unprotected? No. It changed that our borders were unprotected? No. It changed that al Qaeda had the sympathy of many with deep pockets and the means to provide and launder money and services? Well, it did that briefly until we undid it by invading Iraq. It motivated us to disassemble Al Qaeda? No, we built them a terrorist spewing machine. It made us "take out" The Taliban? Better read the news about Afghanistan. It made us more serious about dealing with nuclear threats from North Korea? No, in fact both China and North Korea asked us to talk and we refused (while proclaiming that China didn't want us to talk). It put us on a path to deal with Iran? No, it spurred Iran on to go faster - only now are we beginnig to address this error. It made us realize the danger to our national security posed by our dependence on foreign oil for our transportation and foreign banks for our debt? Get a clue. The longest journey begins with a single step, but you have to be willing to take the first step even if the destintion isn't in sight yet, and so far we're no where near the trailhead on energy or debt.

Tell me Drew, what did 9-11 change except that you are less free and less safe and that the US has joined Nazi Germany, imperial Japan, the North Vietnamese and the others in history who pillage and torture at will.

No, we MUST not stay this course. We must set a new one. One that stops the bleeding of our national treasure into Iraq and minimizes the damage there while attending to the real national security threats on our plate.

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 21, 2006 11:25 AM


You discuss the question, what has 9/11 changed?

One can view the events of 9/11 either as a beginning of something new or a latest culmination of something old. Similarly, one can view traceless electronic voting as the beginning or as culmination of the naked aggression of our presumptive masters.

We have been manipulated into an overfunded and misdirected system of governmental control, principally focused on harmless and debt-saturated citizens who are not going anywhere, and who are necessarily very focused each day on home, car, safety and opportunities for the kids, growing over-crowdedness in every aspect of ordinary life, and being locked out of the simple pleasures in living because the wealth and privilege cards have already been dealt.

Ordinary folks have long since given up on any practical support from the institutions they finance with their taxes; are they supposed to expect nothing back from their taxes unless it be the evil socialism warned against in 8th-grade social sciences? And, if you do survive to be old and without investment income and dependent upon the cheap housing and low utility rates in New Orleans or lower Mississippi, then your ticket for any kind of a life has been officially cancelled, even if you don't subscribe to cable TV to get your messages.

To add more injury to injury, even the pedestrian function of voting now goes into perfectly avoidable but inescapeable and unaccountable "just trust me" black holes.

Believe it, a serious problem this society will face (that might wake up some corporate oligarchs, although they probably will adapt and/or actually join them) will be the emigration of its most talented to a gated society that puts knowledge ahead of powers that be, and doesn't trash constitutionally articulated values for a diverse common society with every incremental move handed down by supreme court and executive mandate.

With present trends, the rights we have left will hardly be worth having. The very bright ones have figured this out. Talent is not static. It will be emigration of talent to concern ourselves with as much as immigration.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 21, 2006 01:12 PM

Thanks for refocusing this back to the issue at hand...elections

So, how do we raise the masses when we can't even get their attention?

How do we get them to take to the streets to protest caging and Diebold? How do we get them to understand that their vote didn't count?

But I'm not sure I understand the "gated society" paragraph? Are you predicting an Ayn Rand style John Galt separation of society? Or that the best talent will leave the country altoghter and cause a Vienna effect - Vienna was the capital of progress and enlightment in the medical world until they kicked the Jews out and allowed politics to trump science and their world leadership went straight into the dumper from whence it has yet to recover after 70 years.

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 21, 2006 01:37 PM

drew says:

John q public, many americans dont belive in cutting and running. The Dems know this so they are kinda stuck on what exactley to do.

that's bogus....John Q. Public doesn't have time to follow what's really going on because they're working two jobs retail, and so's the wife....when they both used to work one job at blue collar wages, or had a job working for a computer company that outsourced their job...

you're a friend of the complicit congress, that except for your writing style mimics John M.'s remarks....perhaps you're his son, or once embarassed he's taken to changing his feel more like the teenage PC Gorilla though...

whatever, you're spewing complicit congress cliches...

just like your "gay marriages will infect straight marriages" mindset...

primitive, superstitious, tribesman is what you sound like in all of your uncooked retorts....

Posted by: dear drew, or completely cluesless but talking anyway... | June 21, 2006 01:42 PM

patriot1957 wrote:

"Are you predicting an Ayn Rand style John Galt separation of society? Or that the best talent will leave the country altoghter . . ."


Both effects, but the primary one being the best talent leaving the country. As to any "Vienna" effect, I can only say I'm not a determinist, so I don't see the linkage except as a past historical accident (apparently due to bad geographical proximity as much as anything).

As recently stated in an interview with futurist Toffler, wealth is changing so that the definition of capitalism will need to be revised. It is now so much more intangible and based on assets of knowledge.

Brazen thuggery in both elected and non-elected politics, plus decimation of individual rights and judicial protections, is what most of us Americans will be left behind to experience. Here is where history enlightens us to clearly anticipate bold moves in simple caricature, like panels from a comic books.

BTW, I heard a grand movie version of Atlas Shrugged is in the works, for release within two years.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 21, 2006 02:16 PM

HYPOCRITE, n. One who, professing virtues that he does not respect, secures the advantage of seeming to be what he despises.

this would pretty much sum up complicit congress....

Posted by: the president, and executive branch w/complicit congress...debating? what a larf | June 21, 2006 02:24 PM

I have a voter registration card.

It has the Voter Registration Office's address, telephone number and website address.

Let me suggest we all write, call and/or email them, as concerned citizens (and encourage our friends and family) to find out if the are using the Diebolt machines. If yes, then insist they be replaced because they are not very reliable or secure and you are concerned about the accuracy of your vote. Use the WP article on this matter as evidence.

Insist. And if no action is taken, then lets all start petitions, at the local level, to remove those people who are buying these machines from the voter registration process.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 21, 2006 02:54 PM

I just send emails to the secretary of state and the elections office.

I asked:

Without confidence in the integrity of the voting process, how can we have confidence in our democracy?

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 21, 2006 03:07 PM

And we need to have the Voter's Rights Act renewed on the National Level or we need to raise hell.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 21, 2006 03:11 PM

"And we need to have the Voter's Rights Act renewed on the National Level or we need to raise hell."

That or vote this fall, and bring your friends and relatives to vote as well. Make it a party! A party to bid the republicans so long and good riddence.

Posted by: Sully | June 21, 2006 04:04 PM

So the Republicans call the Democratic stragey for setting timelines to get out of Iraq "CUT & RUN", with the ceveat that doing so would be disastrous for the U.S. and Iraq.

So Now I hear the Democrats will be bringing out a new slogan of their own:


I'm just wondering what the republicans think will happen when they finally "win" the Iraqi War and american troops have left, whenever that happens?

Posted by: Cassini | June 21, 2006 04:46 PM

even if the Americans _won_ that they would be leaving...

given the premise that we are there as a part of an economic intervention to prevent oil futures from being unpredictable,

by our leaders investors?

second largest oil reserves in the world...

we have standing troops in Saudi, Turkey and Kuwiatt

we destroyed Iraq in Desert Storm for 2.1 Billion dollars after we invited them to attack Kuwiatt...

why would we be leaving?

it's not in the monied's best interest...

monied in this case would be Brits, Saudis, UAE's, others and the oil invested Yanks...where's bushes money come from?

standard oil/Exxon you say? oh, what a friggin surprise.


Posted by: what makes you think that | June 21, 2006 05:16 PM

you said:

"How do we get them to take to the streets to protest caging and Diebold?"

you talk frankly.

it's called breaking the bubble of complacency.

before Michael Moore and Jon Stewart,

America was in a vacuum...

freedome is a process not an event, once the garden is planted it must be weeded at regular intrevals.

we've never really gotten rid of the caste system,

after WWII, the Leave it to Beaver Years were the result of the GI BILL and the creation of the MIDDLE CLASS.

with outsourcing, downsizing, illegal immigration, goodbye Leave it to Beaver Years....hello eradication of middle class and the return of serfdom.


Posted by: dear patriot1957 | June 21, 2006 05:24 PM

how's gurumayi?


Posted by: hello Cassini | June 21, 2006 06:07 PM

"I'm just wondering what the republicans think will happen when they finally "win" the Iraqi War and american troops have left, whenever that happens?"

It won't matter to the Republicans, or at least those who continue to support this nonsense, because they will blame any bad thing that happens five seconds after the last U.S. soldier leaves on:
1. Terrorists.
2. The Iraqi government.
3. The un-American, soldier hating Democrats/Liberals/Hippies who FORCED them to withdraw (boo-hoo).
4. The next president (if he is a Democrat).

It's all a game to the folks in power. "Yeah we lied, rushed into a situation we weren't prepared to handle and large numbers of people continue to die as a result. Whatever dude, the value of my Northrop-Grumman, Raytheon & Haliburton stocks quintupled as a result, allowing me to buy a new fleet of yachts, so what do I care?"
Trust me, if this goes on until 2008 (I can't say I would be surprised) and a Democrat gets in the White House, the same group that is now saying we must "Stay the course," will be pointing its greasy fingers at the president and demanding we get out of Iraq.

Posted by: NIW | June 21, 2006 10:26 PM

Can never make electronics 100% fool proof, let alone tamper resistant. Even if encrypted, there are back doors (especially the database) which crackers/hackers love to exploit.

As much as a computer lover that I am, I still prefer the old punch cards (and how folks can't bother to check the ballot to ensure it's punched is beyond me). Main part was for punches with a tear off strip for verification.

But, alas, the 2000 election showed us that even something that simple won't work. Now we have a new gadget, only to be able to be tampered with from afar (as soon as it's networked it's nothing to either hack into a database, or even tap into the line itself [and few localities will budget for real network security].

Those are the breaks of rushing off to fix something without a good study; and letting politicians decide what machines to use.


Posted by: SandyK | June 21, 2006 10:27 PM

Sully wrote:

"These republicans are nothing but bullies who feel they can do what they want, reward who they choose, ignore laws and anyone who disagrees with them. It is time for the American people to say enough is enough, vote republicans out of office in the House and Senate this fall ..."

Damn straight Sully!

I'm as tired as you of the tactics they use which are I believe an insult to the intelligence of the American People. We deserve better than the simplistic BS they are attempting to spoon feed us. I guess they figure if they season their manure with enough sugar and spices in the form of "patriotic" rhetoric and playing to insecurities about supposedly giving up, that people won't realize that they're being fed manure.

I've got to believe that the American People aren't falling for it any more. Even if you're a republican, don't care for the Dems, or tend to lean to the right, you've got to at least demand that our representatives come up with more thought provoking ideas and realistic responses to the situations that are currently facing us than what we're hearing from the republican leadership.

As for the democrats,they've got to stop playing prevent defense and get some guts. They are way too afraid of being labeled "spineless quitters" or being told they want to "cut and run". They simply need to shut themselves up in their offices for an evening or two with no distractions and write out some reasoned responses to those obviously shallow ploys. Then they have to have faith in their reasoning and the wisdom of the American People. Tell the world that discussing an exit strategy does not equal cutting and running. What are the Republicans waiting for? There will never be an unconditional surrender from the insurgents. If we believe that the Iraqi security forces are not yet ready to handle things on their own, at least tell us how we will know when they are. Then set that condition as a milestone and work toward it. If this administration and its congressional allies refuse to do that, my conclusion is that they must want to maintain a presence there forever. In the past I've heard reports of our forces constructing permanent military bases in Iraq. Is that true? If so, why? If we plan to turn those bases over to Iraqi security forces after we leave then let's say so. If we truely are developing an Iraqi security force competent enough to take over the security of the country after we leave, then how would it be giving insurgents an advantage to know about a schedule for our departure, especially if we maintain an "over the horizon" capability and air power in the area that can be available to cooperate in operations with Iraqis?

Actually, I'm mystified. It seems like just a few weeks ago the news was that Bush was losing his support in Congress and that his base was crumbling. Suddenly over the last week or two Congress is backing him up as unquestioningly as ever. I swear when I watch CSPAN and see the republicans giving their speeches I can practically see the strings moving.

Americans want to believe in their government. I believe for the most part that this is a moderately conservative country, with the greatest exceptions being in the major urban centers. In 2004 Americans decided to back their President in a time of conflict, even as much of the ugly truth was starting to come out about the conduct surrounding the War in Iraq. Since that time much of the criticisms that were surfacing about the Bush Administration have proven to be true.
As November approaches we have an opportunity show our dissatisfaction and re-establish a healthy level of checks and balences back into our government. For these reasons make your voice heard through e-mails to Senators and Congressmen. Demand more substance, more explanations, and more attention to the interests of the people. Demand that congress stand up to the Bush Administration on their evasion of congressional and judicial oversight as well as their unprincipled stand on torture. Demand that they hold the BA accountable for their actions.

In November vote out the republicans and take away their majority grip on Congress. They have long since ceased to deserve it!

Posted by: DK | June 21, 2006 11:08 PM

"In 2004 Americans decided to back their President in a time of conflict."

I read the RFK piece and I'm no longer certain that statement is true. In fact, I'm increasingly certain it is not true and that a plurality of voters intended to vote for Kerry.

"In November vote out the republicans and take away their majority grip on Congress."

That's pretty hard to do when they control the ballot boxes. I have given up about election reform at the federal level. We must do this at the state level. New Mexico just did it. We must demand a paper trail at the state level because the REpublicans will never allow the next election to be honest if they get a say in it.

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 22, 2006 01:22 AM

voter fraud in Ohio,

it had to do with Blackwell,

turning people away, illegal orders,

a level "10" terrorist threat that meant that they had to count "behind closed doors,"

and other things besides Diebolds inadequacies, as well as Abramoff and Bob Ney...

whatever, it reeks that Blackwell is investigating himself, he was a major implicated individual in the story.


Posted by: I read the Rolling Stone story about | June 22, 2006 01:25 AM

More letters protest harassment of SEP petitioners in Illinois
22 June 2006

On June 12, officials from the Urbana Free Library ordered Socialist Equality Party (US) petitioners to leave the front of the library where they were collecting signatures to place SEP candidate Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot for state senate in Illinois' 52nd District. This was part of a campaign of harassment against SEP petitioners that has included a similar ban on petitioning at the Champaign Public Library, and an incident on June 19, in which an SEP campaign worker was threatened by a Champaign police officer while petitioning on a busy street corner near the University of Illinois.

The WSWS calls on our readers to step up their emails to the mayors of Champaign and Urbana demanding that the ban on SEP petitioners at the public libraries be immediately lifted and all threats and harassing actions be halted.

Champaign Mayor Jerry Schweighart can be emailed at Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing can be emailed at

Please send copies of all emails to the WSWS.

Below we reprint some of the letters sent to the mayors' offices so far.

Dear Mr. Schweighart and Ms. Prussing,

This letter is in regards to the supposed legal right of the government to prevent American citizens from requesting signatures for a petition on public property. Specifically, I am referring to your policy of preventing petitioners for Socialist Equality Party candidate Joe Parnarauskis from obtaining signatures on the public grounds surrounding a public library.

It does not take a law degree to realize that something extremely petty, abusive and disrespectful of the American people is going on here. Not to mention the fact that the standpoint you are supporting is blatantly unconstitutional.

The fact that you call on one of the lawyers in your cadre to seek "anything" that even resembles the right of the government to prevent people from petitioning on public grounds, says much about your moral fiber. It is, therefore, not surprising that your lawyer (Deputy City Attorney Trisha Crowley) seeks to equate acquiring signatures for a petition with sales techniques and advertising--what the American election process has descended to.

And this is exactly the situation that the Socialist Equality Party is running against. Hopefully, your constituents will be aware of this. The world certainly is.

Sincerely Yours,

John Russey

American citizen living in Belgium

20 June 2006

* * *

I write to express my revulsion at the undemocratic and unprincipled manner your officials have attempted to prevent the Socialist Equality Party from gathering signatures to challenge the two-party system in the coming elections.

Andrew Linder

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

20 June 2006

* * *

Dear Mayors Schweighart and Prussing,

Outside my local public library, there are almost always a few petitioners waiting to collect signatures, and to engage citizens in their campaigns of interest. These campaigns may focus on any of a wide variety of environmental and political issues. When I see these petitioners, equipped with their flyers and brochures, sometimes I stop to inquire about their issues; sometimes I do not. But in either case I'm always aware that there's something admirable and important in these petitioners' having and exercising their right to take their issues to the public. Though on a local and modest level, in a very real sense it's democracy in action.

If such activity is a vital element of democracy, then suppression of this activity must be seen as dangerous and antidemocratic. It would of course not be terribly difficult for library or local city officials to contrive one or another pretext, to block these petitioners from exercising their constitutionally protected rights to try to win public support for their views. But were they to do so, it would reflect a decay of democracy; a kind of local-scale defeat of a grand principle.

Now in your area, the Socialist Equality Party is attempting to gain ballot status for Mr. Joe Parnarauskis for the office of state senator in Illinois' 52nd District. With dismay and alarm, I have read that your public library officials have tried to stop SEP petitioners from gathering signatures on library property, portraying their stance as a matter of concern for public health and safety. Furthermore the Champaign Deputy City Attorney Trisha Crowley has claimed that it would take until "the middle of next week" to study the First Amendment aspects of this situation--even while the deadline for submitting petitions is June 26! In other words, city officials want to "study the issue" until it's too late to make any difference!

If I read about such a thing occurring in a foreign country, I'd think to myself, "Well, that's what happens when democratic rights are not seriously respected by local officials. You get shenanigans, pretexts, and transparently absurd excuses offered--and the public winds up being denied potentially valuable alternatives!"

I urge you both to recognize that the main issue here is not, for example, concern for "public health and safety." Rather, it is the constitutionally-protected right of third-party candidates to bring their ideas before the public, without any harassment or impediment from local officials. Please use your power to handle this matter as though democratic rights in your area depended upon it--because they do.

Respectfully yours,

Richard Mynick

Berkeley, California

20 June 2006

* * *

Dear Mayor Schweighart and Mayor Prussing,

I am not a little bit shocked and disgusted by your cities' blocking of the SEP in its efforts to obtain signatures in order to advance the candidacy of Socialist Equality Party ("SEP") candidate Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot for state senate in Illinois' 52nd District.

These efforts are blatantly undemocratic and must cease.

Be assured that these occurrences are being closely monitored by many outside of the district, both nationally and globally.

The eyes of the world are upon your cities and we intend to make sure that the right of Mr. Parnarauskis and his representatives toward collection of signatures is honored and not blocked.


Stu Zimny

Albuquerque, New Mexico

20 June 2006

Posted by: che | June 22, 2006 07:20 AM

DK wrote:
"As for the democrats,they've got to stop playing prevent defense and get some guts. They are way too afraid of being labeled "spineless quitters" or being told they want to "cut and run"."

Well here is yet another problem. Where are you getting your information from to come to this conclusion? The MSM? Are they getting it from their own analysis of what the democrats are doing, or are they hearing it from administration officials and respouting it?

I listened to CSPAN today as the Iraq deployment was being debated and the democrats won the debate hands down because they simply told the truth. They gave evidence for their positions, while the republicans quoted Bush and past presidents and used American history for their argument and ignored any reality. But tonight I'm sure you will hear how the democrats were disorganized and the republicans spoke with a single voice. Gezzzzz people, think for yourselves and stop letting 2 minute news analysis written by Karl Rove lead you by the nose. Harry Reid today gave a cronology of what has happened in Iraq since the invasion and why failures occurred and continue to occur and why an open commitment by US forces is yet another mistake. I doubt you will hear that on the news tonight, it was a long speech, but it was truthful and spoke to reality, unlike the republicans talking about freedom, democracy, not "cutting and running", fighting terrorists, and many other 12-year-old-mentality soundbites they use to make their moronic supporters feel like they are in the right.

If you want to know what the democrats are doing, listen to them, read their web site, read their speeches, and understand that the republicans run the floors of the House and Senate and a lot of what the democrats want to do they cannot because they are shut out by the republicans. If you instead decide to listen to the democrats through the MSM filter, you are not staying informed. Think for yourself and question this administration, or just sit up straight and open your republican soundbite book to page 666 and repeat after me: 'the democrats are spineless weenies who are afraid of war and like to tax your estates'.

Posted by: Sully | June 22, 2006 01:34 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with Sully.

The only problems the Democrats have is that they're not conniving enough to find their own Frank Luntz and Karl Rove.

It was stupid for Harry Reid to say "Democrats don't want to stay the course". What he should have said is "Democrats respect our troops too much to stay this disastrous course." or Democrats see our unprotected ports and borders, our failure to contain nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea, our failure to take out either the Taliban or al Qaeda, the rise of terrorism and anti-US antipathy in the world and the scandalous waste of our troops and resources in a poorly planned war in Iraq and say - who on earth would possibly want to stay this course?"

They should respond to accusatons that Dems will be there at the first shot but not the last with: George Bush wanted OBL dead or alive, and within a year didn't think about him much any more. That's really seeing it though to the end, NOT"

Its about words, and Democrats need to find them.

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 22, 2006 03:58 PM

Let me go a step further.

The only TV ads democrats should need is a clip of Bush saying "I don't think about Bin Laden", with a voice over - "this is the course the President is asking you to stay", and maybe a shot of a newspaper headline of "3 million cross borders illegally last year" with a voice over of "do you know how many of them were terrorists? Neither does George Bush, yet they're still coming", and maybe a shot of a story of the ABC smuggling of uranium into the country twice with a voice over "in spite of your protests and Congress' reassurances, a middle eastern terrorist nation that laundered the 9-11 money is still managing our ports. Do you know if this was the only nuclear material successfully smuggled into our ports? George Bush doesn't know either"

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 22, 2006 04:35 PM


I guess you are saying that what is needed is a media blitz by the dems to bring their positions and ideas to the forefront of America, meaning the TV. Maybe so. Its too bad people have stopped reading the paper and only watch 30 minutes of news at night and think they know what is going on, especially when half that news is interviews of administration officials carrying Karl Rove's talking points (or all of the news on Fox).

Maybe when more savvy dems get their political machines cranked up, like MoveOn, then maybe we'll see more of the democrat's message. But the problem as I see it is that when a democrat stands in front of a microphone to voice an opinion, unless its a top democrat, the press doesnt show up or doesn't report it since it isn't "newsworthy". So much for serving the public. And why every MSM reporter has to analyze what Hillary says in a context of a 2008 run I don't understand. She could say anything, and the MSM will tell you why it will get her more or less votes in 2008, instead of reporting the specifics or what she is saying. Sigh...

Posted by: Sully | June 22, 2006 04:51 PM


Unfortunately you can't base strategy on wishful thinking. I agree with you completely that its a shame that people (and it seems MSM) pay more attention to the organization, teamwork, and continuity than the content of messages, but at the same time I recognize that that is the world we are living in. All I am saying is that the Dems need to find a way to marry their more thoughtful, and I feel more responsible approach to a more disciplined process to yield greater continuity and succinctness of message that still contains the essentials of what needs to be said. Actually in spite of my obvious frustration, maybe this early summer debate on Iraq will be a blessing in disguise for the Dems. It is helping them to develop an effective and tested message that can be used this fall when most people will really start paying attention. At least I hope that is what will happen.

Posted by: DK | June 22, 2006 05:07 PM

you should drop the blind partisanship and advance principle s and ideas?

case in point: there was a Republican congress person, from Oklahoma, that said to give the money earmarked for the Alaskan "Bridge to Nowhere," to New Orleans to help w/repairs...

he stood up on his own and requested that pork be used for something besides pork.

He was voted down because of comity, "pork for pork,"

but he was Republican.

Labels are dangerous, investigate...kneejerk is for idiots...and trainable personalities...

Right now, it's all about destroying the trained mindset that goes with kneejerk patriotism.

Posted by: don't you think that | June 22, 2006 06:09 PM

in the WWF of political jousting,

is bogus....

Whether you're for "the Undertaker," or "the Rock," you're still being played.


did Kerry take a dive in '04, I'm sure he did.

Posted by: partisanship | June 22, 2006 06:12 PM

the war in iraq is event based...

being for honesty is a lifestyle.

IF you examine the bush family lifestyle, you know what they stand for...

and it isn't for you.


Posted by: being for or against | June 22, 2006 06:21 PM

Poster of Many Names,

All good points. I believe that the congress person you are talking about is Senator Tom Coburn from OK - He's a considered a renegade even more volatile than McCain used to be considered.

Right now to stand for honesty and induce change I have come to believe that pushing for as many Democrats as possible in '06 is important. I think its vitally important to restore the checks and balences back into our government. Certainly everyone should investigate in individual races who is the best, most capable, most honest and so forth. But in the big picture we need to restore checks and balence.

Posted by: DK | June 22, 2006 08:59 PM

WE need to restore checks and balances.

in an US vs THEM world

someone has to be evil...but evil is an action not an entity.


and it doesn't care about labels.


just like anyone can have the flu, and anyone can be selfish

Posted by: I agree | June 22, 2006 11:05 PM

Events of tonight noted.

OBL survived to regain his network and continue to threaten us because of the failed course that we are asked to stay.

Its time to send them back to the bench and bring in the relief.

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 22, 2006 11:23 PM

Ms Messner:

'Sup? You okay? Hope so. Got any new debate topics? This one's gettin' a little moldy (not that it isn't of the utmost importance - it's just that our fearless leader and his corhort have provided us with so many choice topics, we have to keep up with the news cycle). Time for something new.

Posted by: smafdy | June 23, 2006 12:10 AM

Emily, are you working on a Pultizer debate article??!! This entry is getting l-o-n-g on the tooth and we're starving for a new entree. :D


Posted by: SandyK | June 23, 2006 01:04 AM

Here is the response letter which does not answer my question whether they are using Diebolt Machines.

Also note in the letter that only 1% of the machines have auditable paper trails and that is because of a pilot program.

They are bench marking with Ohio????

A lot of horse hockey if read carefully.

Dear Mr. Katz,

The Secretary has requested that I respond to your email which was
forwarded to our office for a response. As you know, the Elections
Division of the Secretary of State's Office is responsible for
coordinating statewide elections and certifying election results, as
well as qualifying candidates for certain public offices within our state.

Accuracy, reliability and accessibility to the ballot for every
voter, including those with disabilities, are all essential requirements
for our election platform. In addition, public confidence in the
integrity of the elections process, and voters' confidence in the
accuracy of their individual ballot, is an extremely important goal. The
equipment comprising our voting system has been used successfully
in more than one thousand elections since its debut in 2002. Three
separate independent studies have shown
that we have extremely high levels of confidence in the accuracy
and security of our statewide voting system -- confidence levels that
are much higher than with our previous, antiquated mechanical and
paper-based systems.

However, we take seriously the concerns of those who have reservations
about our touch screen voting platform, and our goal is to boost the
confidence levels of our voters even higher. That is why, for
almost two years, staff of our Elections Division, as well as experts for Election Systems, which partners
with us on these matters, have been studying emerging voter-verification
technology and participating on national panels to assess needs and
recommend the best options for the future. Our staff has traveled to
Nevada, Maryland and Ohio to evaluate these technologies first hand.

The Secretary recently expressed her support for the addition of a voter
verifiable paper audit trail as an enhancement to our existing
electronic voting platform. Her announcement was driven by two
developments in the field of elections. First, the voting equipment
industry has made considerable progress in designing new devices that
can produce a voter verifiable paper audit trail reliably, securely and
accurately. Second, and most importantly, the work of a special panel
of the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) to adopt new national
voting systems standards, including standards for voter verifiable
printing devices, is now complete. These new standards will provide a
valuable roadmap to election officials and to the voting equipment
industry for how such devices should function in real world election
settings. Our office has been extremely active in this endeavor, and
the director of the state Elections Division has been
serving on the EAC Standards Board which is a group tasked with
reviewing and providing comment on these very important new standards.

The Secretary of States Office recently worked to conduct a
pilot this November in one precinct in each of three counties utilizing
voting equipment which produces a voter verifiable paper audit trail.
This legislation is a critical first step in toward the full
implementation of voter verifiable paper audit trails technology.

Data from academic researchers at the Cal Tech-MIT Voting Technology
Project shows that, with the deployment of our statewide electronic
voting platform, our state moved from second worst in the nation in voting
error rates in 2000 to second best in that measurement in 2004. In
fact, our gain in voting accuracy was the highest in the nation.
We take great pride in that improvement and want to insure that it is
preserved in future elections. We are also mindful of the need to
retain the excellent accessibility features of our current platform that
benefits the visually impaired, blind and disabled.

We recognize that some critics of modern voting equipment oppose the use
of any electronic computing device in any aspect of the elections
process. These advocates insist that American elections should return
to a 19th-Century system of hand-marked paper ballots, and that only a
manual count of such ballots can be trusted. We vigorously and
respectfully disagree. Not only would a hand-marked paper ballot system
be far less accurate, (as shown by numerous scientific studies),
inaccessible to those with disabilities, and require days, if not weeks,
to complete the counting of votes; generations of election history make
it clear that such an approach would be, by far, the most vulnerable to
fraud. As countless examples in our nation's history have shown, paper
ballots can be, without any specialized or technical knowledge, easily
altered, stolen, destroyed or added to the ballot box. Such a step
backward would open the door to the kind of routine manipulation of
elections so common a century ago.

Again, we appreciate your interest in this important issue and hope that
this information serves to alleviate the concerns expressed in your
correspondence. If the Office of the Secretary of State can provide you
with further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you,

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 23, 2006 07:11 AM

Way to go Richard! Ohio has responded to your concern with what I would call classic debate techniques. For example, consider the following sentence:

"We recognize that some critics of modern voting equipment oppose the use
of any electronic computing device in any aspect of the elections
process. These advocates insist that American elections should return
to a 19th-Century system of hand-marked paper ballots,..."

Instead of addressing your concern they reframe the question. They then argue against it. But did you argue for that in your letter? Probably not.

I also thought this was interesting:

"Our staff has traveled to
Nevada, Maryland and Ohio to evaluate these technologies first hand.
The Secretary recently expressed her support for the addition of a voter
verifiable paper audit trail as an enhancement to our existing
electronic voting platform."

You see, in March Maryland voted to scrap voting machines that did not provide a paper ballot/receipt as verification of each vote. Diebold has been working fevorishly in MD to stop legislators from dumping their product and plan to provide paper in their machines. Makes one wonder why paper is being added to an electronic system meant to replace paper, but there you go. Its not about accuracy, or how we vote, or preventing fraud or accessibility, its about Diebold and their profits. I thought the bit about the disabled having better access to voting was better with a touch screen Diebold machine than with a paper ballot. One thing to note as you read and re-read the letter is that no references are provided to back up any of the claims. What you have received is a form letter to respond to the many letters of concern like your own. Don't take it lying down.

Posted by: Sully | June 23, 2006 09:32 AM

Harping on old elections doesn't help. It's like arguing the calls from referees after the game has been over for 2 years. It's interesting in baseball, but in politics it goes nowhere, as those in power don't wish to renege their seats.

Only thing folks can do now is see the future, and make sure wrongs don't happen then -- not gnaw on yesterday's dry bones, instead.


Posted by: SandyK | June 23, 2006 12:57 PM

Harping on old elections or "evil machines" eventually amounts to crybabyism.

The Left seeks to deligitimize democracy when it doesn't go their way.

If the lose, it's either the machines or a conspiracy.

If they can't prove that, they rush to the courts on referendums they lose to have a leftist activist judge void the will of the people, or instruct the levers of gov't they still control to ignore referendum results. California and the 9th Circuit is infamous for that.

For all their wailing about new machines "stealing elections" - Democrats seem curiously comfortable stealing elections the old fashioned way:

1. The Old Cook County Cemetery Gambit.
2. Assuming that any felon or illegal who is not helped to vote Democratic is "disenfranchiesed" - no matter what the silly laws say about their eligibility.
3. Creating mythical voters - like the 260 homeless and out of state Democrats no one could find after the Seattle elections in 2004 listing their addresses as the King Country Municipal Center.
4. Insisting that voters having to show ID amounts to "racial discrimination" - especially against those piling in church buses and going from poll to poll.

Posted by: Chris Ford | June 23, 2006 11:40 PM

Though I don't agree on everything you mentioned, Chris, I do agree on the point that it's an either/or affair. If Gore won and the Republicans asked for a recount and all, the Dems would be saying the same stuff. It's politics, and whatever side loses cries like babies.


Posted by: SandyK | June 27, 2006 02:42 AM

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