Friday, December 17, 2004

Voting With Your Wallet... Buy Blue

I added a button for this organization's web site to the blog. I like the idea. Not so much thinking that it will effect campaign contributions or anything like that, but...

I just don't like the Republicans getting my cash.

That is enough for me.

Tomorrow I plan on posting something about how the liberals are trying to take the Christ out of the Mas and destroy the beloved holiday. A part of this plan, it seems, is that the homosexuals are behind Target banning the Salvation Army...

All bunk, I am sure, but I wanted to toss out a statistic from the site.

Target: $298,000 - 72% to Republicans

Secession Wear... Moving the debate in the wrong direction?

While researching (Heh, I called it researching!) one of my posts for the evening, I saw an ad for Secession T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, etc.

It's funny and I would like one of the T-Shirts for my birthday, but I hope that this is not a mounting movement.

We do need to unify this country. Most of the values of Red America are shared by Blue America. I believe that it is the parties, both parties, harping on a few key issues that has created the feeling that there are irreconcilable differences between Iowa and California... Okay, maybe there are between those two states, but living my whole life in Washington and Oregon I feel there are irreconcilable differences between my states and California, but we both manage to come up Blue.

And that is my point, I suppose.

Unfortunately, we got Skippy the Wonder President saying his obligatory few words about reconciliation and unity after the election, so the Administration's efforts at building bipartisanship in America is complete for the next four years.

It is probably going to be up to the Democrats, to the lefties within the party, to reach out to Red America. We need to explore the issues important in rural America, we need to field candidates that are electable in rural America, we need to redefine the issues and control the message so our beliefs are not corrupted and labeled antagonistic to rural America, and we need to do all of this without sacrificing our principals and morals.

I believe it is possible.

This is one of the main themes that I mean to pursue with Democracy in Distress. At this point, most of my posting has been commenting on news items, but we do need to start organizing. We need to take control of the party, control of the issues, control of the message and we need to learn how to heal this nation.

On a side note, in my evening's running commentary on Comedy Central programming, The Daily Show just ran their Great Moments in Punditry segment where they had children reading transcripts from Scarborough Country on MSNBC. That is about the clearest illustration I have seen recently of the current state of political debate in this country.

Scary stuff. We must demand better from both the media and from our politicians. And from ourselves… Poopy heads.

And yet another final note on a rapidly growing post… Clicking over to the Scarborough Country for the web link, I noticed a clip of Al Franken and Ann Coulter debating whether The Passion of the Christ would be nominated for an Oscar. It turned into a “debate” on if either Mel Gibson’s controversial film or Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 would be nominated.

In the end, there wasn’t much debate. Neither of the talking heads had seen the other camp’s movie.

Could this be a part of the problem? It does illustrate part of the media’s problem, more and more the debate over controversy is being analyzed with out enough attention being paid to the root issues behind the debate. In this case, two movies. In the election, the media ignored the candidates' actual platforms and instead focused on the horse race of the campaigns themselves.

Jesus on Comedy Central

This summer get ready for Passion II: Judgment Day... Not the movie.

Immediately followed by Snoop Dogg. Their producers have a sense of humor. I approve.

Starting Over in Ohio…

In Ohio, the original Supreme Court case filed on Monday challenging the election was thrown out on a technical issue, but it was refiled today.

The group filed the request Monday, the day the Electoral College cast votes for Bush. Chief Justice Thomas Moyer of the state Supreme Court threw out the complaint Thursday, saying the voters improperly included a second election challenge in the complaint.

Anyway, the lead on the AP story regarding the Ohio recount recalls images from Florida in 2000, with “two teams of Republican and Democratic election workers held punch-card ballots up to the light Wednesday and whispered back and forth as they tried to divine the voters' intent from a few hanging chads.”

According to Ohio Law:

Workers must hand-count 3 percent of ballots. If the results match the certified results exactly, all other ballots can be recounted by machine. If the totals are off, all ballots must be counted by hand, adding days or weeks to the process.

What I am unclear on is how the paper-less voting machines effect this process. Still, I suspect that we’ll be waiting for those “days or weeks” to find out the new Ohio totals.

Another interesting tidbit, not a new one, but always a bit disturbing. “Statewide, about 92,000 ballots cast in last month's presidential election failed to record a vote for president, most of them on punch-card systems.” Dosen’t this just automatically raise eyebrows? You cannot tell me that people show up at the polls and say to themselves, “Well, I was going to vote on the Presidency, but since I get to vote with punch cards, I’ll skip that section of the ballot.”

Now, there could be something to this. What are the demographics of these precincts? I have a feeling that there could have been a higher percentage of abstentions in blue collar neighborhoods, where people are too disgusted with the process to vote for either of the candidates. Unfortunately, I fear the flaw with this theory is that disenfranchised blue collar people tend to abstain by not voting at all.

And finally…

It seems that workers for Triad, the vendor for some of the vote counting software used in Ohio, showed up at precincts and tinkered with the voting machines before the recount. The company says that this is just the standard procedure…

Brett Rapp, president of Xenia, Ohio-based TRIAD, said it's standard procedure to prepare the machines for a recount so they only tally the presidential race. He said company representatives have worked on computers in every county that uses TRIAD software.

However, “a sworn statement from Sherole Eaton, [Hocking] county's deputy director of elections,” makes these visits sound a little more concerning. In this AP article, the parts of the statement reported sound fairly ambiguous, but I have heard more extensive reports on this statement, and the incident she reports definitely sounds a bit more sinister.

Something is being done about this…

Rep. John Conyers D-Mich., a senior Democrat on the House Judiciary, urged the FBI to investigate possible election tampering in Hocking County involving an employee of TRIAD Governmental Systems Inc., the company that wrote the voting software used in 41 of Ohio's 88 counties.

I suppose we’ll have to wait and see if anything comes of this. It cannot be allowed to stop with just one Representitive urging an investigation.

Not this year, not any year.

Investigate the Vote
Ohio Voters Refile Election Challenge
Hanging Chads Make Reappearance in Ohio

Is the Fork Stuck In Christine Gregoire Yet?

The elusive couple dozen votes seem to be beyond reach for the Washington Democrat in that state’s newest sport, the eternal recount. Today, a judge sided with the Republicans, saying that several hundred ballots from the Seattle area that were mistakenly not counted in the first two counts could not be included in the new count. There is a very possible chance that this will toss the keys for the Olympia Goveneror’s Mansion over to Republican Dino Rossi.

[Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stephanie ]Arend granted the GOP a temporary restraining order to stop elections workers from taking the newly discovered ballots out of their outer envelopes, which bear the voter's signature. County elections officials had said ballots would not be separated from their security envelopes until the lawsuit was decided.

Jack Oxford is one of the voters whose ballots Arend said should not be counted.

"She said, 'Jack, your vote doesn't count,'" said Oxford, 50, an electrical field supervisor from Enumclaw. "I'm very upset, very distressed."

Still, King County (the state’s most liberal) and Spokane County have not finished their counts yet, and the Democrats do plan on appealing the decision to the State Supreme court.

Time will tell…

Isn’t the foundation of our democracy the principal that every vote counts? Oh, how quaint of me.

Judge blocks count of newly discovered ballots in governor's race
Judge Blocks Count of New Wash. Ballots

In the completely unrelated to anything on this site category…

While I was writing tonight’s entries, I just saw an old acquaintance from high school performing on Comedy Central. He was sporting a nasty looking shiner too.

He’s huge now. I used to drive him around and hang out with his foster sister. I think I might accidentally have broken her heart. High school crushes are nasty like that.

I used to play some music, too. Now I am just an unemployed Dad who kills time by recycling politics on the Internet.

Life is funny.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Happy Birthday, Bill of Rights

On Dec 15, 1791 the Bill of Rights was ratified and became a part of the US Constitution.

A specific shout out to the first one of these...

Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Note
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Thank you to Virginia and a big ol' screw you to Massachusetts (March 2, 1939), Georgia (March 18, 1939), and Connecticut (April 19, 1939).

Okay, I seem to remember an interesting story behind those late dates for the last three there but it is late, it is past my bedtime, and I am going to bed.

The godofthebasement Speaks...

He really must hate America... He posted the following rant as a comment on the blog awhile back, but I thought it was time to elevate his words. I know who he is. He does answer prayers if offered the proper sacrifice...

In honor of Ohio, I thought I would give up this burnt offering...

Well I guess I'll start since I don't feel like doing any more real work this afternoon.

Follow the conspiracy trail:Several counties in Florida, Ohio, and Texas have followed this pattern:

First: Electronic voting machines had votes registered before the polls opened. Official explanation: Each individual machine has an internal counter for total votes ever cast on the machine, that count has no effect on results of this election. My call: Plausible, but still a technical glitch that needs to be fixed before electronic voting can be trusted.

One item specific to Texas: Many users of electronic voting machines that print out a "receipt" found that although they had voted strait Democrat, the machines recorded their presidential vote as "Bush" even though all their other votes registered correctly as Democrat. There are thousands of documented instances of this happening in Texas in this election. Those who noticed the error were able to get their ballot corrected, but what of those who didn't notice? And what about the majority of electronic voting machines that don't print a "receipt?"

Next: While election results are being counted, more votes for Bush are recorded than total votes cast. Official explanation: It's a running total, these numbers change and the final result will add up. My call: Skeptical, see below.

Then: More votes cast for Bush than there are people registered Republican. Official explanation: crossover votes by Democrats and independents for Bush. My call: Plausible on the face, but how many Democrats do they really want us to believe voted for Bush?

Finally: There are counties in Ohio, Florida, Texas, and a few other southern states where BUSH RECIEVED MORE VOTES THAN THERE ARE RESIDENTS IN THE COUNTY! Official explanation: Just a glitch that will be cleaned up. Republican explanation (I'm not making this up, it was said by a Republican PR person on NPR): The Democrats rigged these counties to make the Republicans look bad! My call: Bullshit.

Analysis: Sorry people, I'm not going play nice and roll over like douche-bag Kerry, I'm pissed. The Bush "victory" is a result of widespread election fraud by the Republicans on a nationwide scale. Period. Bush can shove his "mandate" up his...

What is your Bush nickname?

In the new website category...

Plugging it into my browser got nothing, Google got nothing (okay, in the first three or four listings that I managed to view); I cannot believe that this is not out their somewhere...

I did get Modern Humorist's "President Bush would like to give every American citizen a nickname."

I got "Bush Cards: Carefully Stacked Deck - Made in the USA"

And I got a listing for "Ultmate Nickname Generator," though it went 404 on me after it came up once and before I had a chance to play with it.

Anyway, how is that for the first post of my evening session?

This is about as light as it is going to get, folks.

Investigating the 2004 Vote in Ohio: Undermining Public Confidence in the Electoral System Itself

This morning the Ohio election issues seemed to pop up onto the radar.

Of course, the Special Section in the Cleveland Plain Dealer was most helpful, giving pages of news, analysis and opinion… Uh, no. That didn’t happen. All I found on their web site was one staff editorial: "MoveOn.Now: The zealots who refuse to accept Ohio's vote count risk undermining confidence in the system itself"

They caught us. Undermining confidence in the system itself. Seriously, this is exactly what we are trying to do. We are casting our no confidence vote in the system over the last two presidential elections. They seem to think that we are nothing but sore losers, even though most people who are lobbying for investigations into the 2004 election do believe that Bush probably did win this election. The concern is not over the results. The concern is with how these results were achieved.

The Washington Post, in an excellent article outlining these problems in Ohio and Florida, notes:

While some promote conspiratorial theories, most have a straightforward bottom line. "A lot of people left in the four hours I waited," recalled [Tanya] Thivener, the mortgage broker from Columbus. "A lot of them were young black men who were saying over and over: 'We knew this would happen.'

"How," she asked, "is that good for democracy?"

However, this is how these concerns are being portrayed by the editorial staff of the Plain Dealer:

Most Americans, including the vast majority of those who supported John Kerry for president, have grasped the most basic reality of Election Day 2004:

George W. Bush was re-elected. He won roughly 60.7 million votes and carried 31 states with 286 electoral votes. Ohio's 20 Electoral College members formally cast ballots for the president Monday in the Statehouse.

Unfortunately, there is a small, but very vocal, group of Americans who refuse to accept this reality. They argue that what appear to be routine technical glitches and human errors were in fact an elaborate conspiracy to skew the election results. They claim that long lines at a few polling places, the rather unsurprising result of high voter interest, were evidence of a systematic campaign to discourage participation. In short, having failed to get the outcome they wanted at the polls, they have decided to mount an irresponsible campaign aimed at undermining public confidence in the electoral system itself.

Let’s take a look at this. “Routine technical glitches and human errors.” Is this what they are calling the fact that “[i]n one Columbus, Ohio suburb, election officials have acknowledged that electronic voting machines credited Bush with winning 4,258 votes, even though only 638 people voted there?” In another case, “25 electronic machines transferred an unknown number of votes for Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to the Bush column.”

And the lines? The Washington Post led their piece with the following:

Tanya Thivener's is a tale of two voting precincts in Franklin County. In her city neighborhood, which is vastly Democratic and majority black, the 38-year-old mortgage broker found a line snaking out of the precinct door.

She stood in line for four hours -- one hour in the rain -- and watched dozens of potential voters mutter in disgust and walk away without casting a ballot. Afterward, Thivener hopped in her car and drove to her mother's house, in the vastly Republican and majority white suburb of Harrisburg. How long, she asked, did it take her to vote?

Fifteen minutes, her mother replied.

Undermining confidence in the system itself? Let’s hope so. It seems like there must be something wrong with the system. Unfortunately, most of the mainstream media seems to agree with the Plain Dealer that those of us arguing for a full review of this election are nothing but zealots and sore losers. They show this by the obvious bias and tone of their coverage of these issues. The tone is silence; the bias is that it is not news worthy, at least not as news worthy as the Peterson Death Sentence.

But that is probably just my “endless sour grapes.”

So, what is being done? The Plain Dealer calls for “common-sense solutions.” They even offer some suggestions:

Clearly it would help if groups that register new voters did not deliver thousands of applications at the last minute. Ohio also needs an early voting system to relieve at least some of the pressure on Election Day. And rather than retreating from electronic voting machines, the state needs to find a secure system and back it up with a paper record.

Their first point makes me a bit nervous, should we just not register those voters? But beyond that, the other two are obvious changes that need to happen. In the case of the voting machines, it disturbs me that such an obvious problem with such an obvious solution seemed to be labeled such a non-issue before the election.

As for what is actually happening in Ohio… The Green and Libertarian Parties are having the ballots recounted. On Monday a case was argued before the Ohio Supreme Court calling for the court to “reconsider the election results, accusing Bush's campaign of ‘high-tech vote stealing.’”

From today’s AP article on Ohio:

[T]he challengers noticed Bush generally received more votes in counties that use optical-scan voting machines and questioned whether the machines were calibrated to record votes for Bush.

The challengers also claim there were disparities in vote totals for Democrats, too few voting machines in Democrat-leaning precincts, organized campaigns directing voters to the wrong polling place and confusion over the counting of provisional ballots by voters whose names did not appear in the records at polling places.

Also today, a federal judge ruled against the ACLU, who was arguing that voting rights are denied to those who use punch-card ballots.

From the same AP article mentioned above:

The American Civil Liberties Union argued that the punch-card system is error-prone and ballots are more likely to go uncounted than votes cast in other ways. The group claimed Ohio violated the voting rights of blacks, who predominantly live in punch-card counties.
U.S. District Judge David D. Dowd Jr. disagreed.

"All voters in a county, regardless of race, use the same voting system to cast a ballot, and no one is denied the opportunity to cast a valid vote because of their race," Dowd said in his ruling Tuesday. has a page that makes it easy for people to express their concern about the 2004 election to Congress. Please visit them and let your reps know that the questions about this election must be answered.

Move On: Investigate the Vote

Several Factors Contributed to 'Lost' Voters in Ohio

Ohio Judge Rules Punch-Card Voting Fair

MoveOn.Now: The zealots who refuse to accept Ohio's vote count risk undermining confidence in the system itself
Update: December 15, 2004 - 8:37 PM
Thanks to the Randi Rhodes Website, I have a link to the Curtis Affidavit on Yang Enterprises and vote tampering. This is a scary, must read document.

Unemployment Is Fun…

Fear. That is really the best part of being unemployed, while uncertainty and self-doubt are close seconds…

There are some positive aspects; I have time to work on a monster blog. Or two. There is motivation for self-improvement… Specifically losing weight through poverty dieting (rationing the fridge and pantry contents, a complete ban on fast food) and smoking less (or quitting) since buying both cancer and gas at current prices is out of my budget and my son needs to be driven to school every day.

Nationally, in November the rate was 5.4%. In my state, Oregon, it was 6.4% in October (not seasonally adjusted). These rates are down from their recent high points of 6.3% nationally in June 2003 and, in Oregon, 8.9% in January 2004 (or 9.0% back in January 2003)…

Ouch, maybe January is not a good time to be job-hunting here.

Some friends and I have been wondering if the reason these rates are dropping is that people are being dropped from the rolls, even though they have not found jobs before their benefits ran out. I suppose I can look at the jobs numbers and figure this out. I have the time now. I am sure this is not the case because I am sure the media would be all over this story if this were true… Oh, wait. Scott Peterson verdict.

Now I did start these blogs before my current round of unemployment began, but I have found that they are a good way to stay focused and productive during this period of transition in my life. I am not the only one who has found this to be true, it appears…

I found this blog, Unemployed Kerry Staffer, a few days ago and book marked it as a potential subject for a Democracy in Distress post. I am not sure why. Probably because it combined three of my current interests: politics, blogging and unemployment…

Her site on this subject has received decent media attention. Mine has been read by myself and maybe one or two friends. I write about issues, she writes about “Switch[ing] to a bi-weekly shower schedule.” That is not entirely fair, she has started noodling around on the DNC Chair issue. She has 13 posts, I have more… Both of us suffer from typos and "inferior" web skills.

I suppose a part of my curiosity about this blog is that line in there about expecting to work in the West Wing and ending up working on just getting off of the couch. She is an early 20-something looking for a career in Public Relations, I am an early 30-something looking for a career… I don’t know. Sometimes during these life transition periods one finds one self getting a bit mopy about certain things.

UKS talks about seeing an “infamous, former Kerry coworker who - rumor has it - will soon have a job.” She adds, “I found myself wishing I could push her down and kick her. But there were people around, and I didn't have the energy.”

In another post she writes, “I've started reading the news again. Scanning the news really. And by news, I basically mean I'm looking for any mention that someone I know has gotten a job - so I can remind that employed person that I know them.”

I have a feeling that with her connections and with the media coverage of her site (15 seconds as opposed to minutes, I am sure, but anything helps) that things will probably work out all right for Clare Gannon.

This is probably why I am drawn to the UKS blog. It’s like picking at a scab. In my nervous, maudlin condition right now, I am pretty sure that my blogging efforts will do nothing for my career and I will end up back in some glorified copy clerk job; underemployed but relieved that I am able to cover my kids’ expenses. And I will probably have to give up on finishing my degree and I will probably have to abandon these blogs in order to accomplish this modest goal.

Forgive me, but I do have a bit of the unemployment bitter grumpies this morning.

Unemployed Kerry Staffer

Unemployed Kerry Staffer: Might Not Want to Put Web Skills on Resume

Paying dues in Iowa: Young campaign staffers get grass-roots experience

UPDATE: December 15, 2004 - 7:55 PM

Okay, I put up a post about UKS and she, or he, pops back up above the radar. There on my Wonkette feed on My Yahoo is an update about the identity of the Unemployed Kerry Staffer...

The American Prospect is hot on the trail of the Unemployed Kerry Staffer, even after former KE '04 online organizing boss Tom Matzzie figured out who was behind it.

Over on The American Prospect:

Turns out that you can't believe everything you read in source code. (Fancy that!) I have it on extremely good authority that the Unemployed Kerry Staffer blog, which has been amusing Washingtonians from to The Hotline since launching in late November, is not a solo project by former Howard Dean and DNC communications pro Clare Gannon -- despite what internet whiz and former Kerry director of online organizing Tom Matzzie may have unearthed in the site's tech trail. Alas, though, I have been sworn to secrecy about what else I know, so that's all I can say.

Nearing the literal end of my day, all I can say is that from moment one, I believe that people were hoping that this was going to be a site put up by one of the bigger names in the Kerry/Edwards staff. Unfortunately for those fishing for some snarky dirt, I don't think it is going to work out for them like that.

And The Wonkette's fill-in this week thinks that the UKS is still not funny. I am here to say, unemployment is always funny... 'Cause if you ain't laughin' ya' must be cryin'.


A Green Light For Abuse? You Better Dance!

U.S. Marines fired a pistol in a mock execution involving four young Iraqi looters and shocked another Iraqi detainee with an electric transformer until he "danced," a document made public on Tuesday showed..

And the beat goes on… I mean beatings. There is not even anything really left to say about this issue any more. It makes me proud to be an American.

"The Defense Department has insisted from the outset that abuse, to the extent that it occurs at all, is aberrational," said Jameel Jaffer, an ACLU lawyer. "I think we now have overwhelming evidence that that's not true, but that abuse was widespread and that it was systemic in the sense that it was the result of policies adopted by the Defense Department."

It does make it easy for me to come up with content for these pages. Just open up the BBC [this one actually made it to the AP wire] and link to a couple articles, add sarcastic comment, link to the Message Boards, and move on to the next item.

Document Reveals More U.S. Detainee Abuse in Iraq

Portland Blogger Too Poor to Continue...

No, not me... Yet. Maybe check back next week just to make sure.

Local politics affect our day-to-day lives more than any other level of government, but for most people, issues affecting their hometowns are often the most overlooked and ignored. More people are likely to vote for President, Senator, or Governor than they are for City Council candidates or School Board members. Unfortunately, in most cases, the City Council and School Boards are the ones who are going to be making decisions that directly affect what you can or cannot do every day, or what your child can or cannot do every day.

In fact, local government is a major battleground of the Red v. Blue stand off. Look at what has happened to School Boards across the nation. We are living in the 21st Century and the Scopes trial could be a current event in many cities and towns. State Legislatures are falling across the country to the Republicans, even in the bluest of states, reflecting the fact that most geography in the Blue states is actually Red. These bodies have tremendous influence on the debate both up and down the food chain, influencing everything from your taxes to who gets to be President.

Quality local sources of news and information are very important, though, to my knowledge, fairly rare. Municipal and regional issues can often seem very dry, which means you won’t be seeing any in depth coverage on your local broadcast news, and in most parts of the country the quality of journalism on these broadcasts is atrocious. Daily newspapers vary greatly in their bias and competence and most cities these days only have one. It is never wise to rely on one source for information about news and politics. Many larger cities also have weekly alternative papers, but again, the quality varies greatly here too, and the anti-establishment biases may not always be conducive to fair reporting.

So, well researched and well written blogs focusing on local issues may be a niche that is waiting to be filled in most areas, and it may be one that needs to be filled again in Portland.

The Portland Communique, a blog that focuses on local issues in Portland, OR, is probably going the way of the mammoth in the next few weeks.

From what I have seen of this blog, it is a well-written, informative source of information about local issues in my hometown. While democracy is in distress all over the nation, and while it is doing much better in Oregon than it is in other parts of the country (I glance four miles to my left from where I sit now), it would still be a shame to see a resource like this disappear.

Death in the Blogosphere: Christopher Frankonis of the Portland Communique

Portland Communique

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Presidential Medal of Freedom Awarded…

Retired General Tommy Franks, former CIA Director George Tenent and former Iraq administrator L. Paul Bremer were awarded the Medal of Freedom by Bush today.

Bush said Franks "led the forces that fought and won two wars in the defense of the world's security and helped liberate more than 50 million people from two of the worst tyrannies in the world."

Yes, I’ll never forget the tears of joy we, as a nation, shared when the troops came home victorious from Iraq and Afghanistan and freedom reigned in the two brightest Democracies in the Middle East.

Or, as Sidney Blumenthal just said on Air America, “What would they have got if they succeeded?”

The Medal of Freedom, established by President Truman in 1945 to recognize civilians for their efforts during World War II, was reinstated by President Kennedy in 1963 to honor distinguished service.

This sounds like a worthy crew to join this club.

Bush Awards Medal of Freedom to Three

Karl Rove: Bush's Goebbels?

I wanted to take a moment and explain why I mentioned Karl Rove in the headline yesterday. These sorts of dirty tricks are what Mr. Rove seems to be all about. In fact, when I searched Google on his name, the first sentence of the first article that came up was, “He's America's Joseph Goebbels.”

While I would like to stay away from the Bush Administration/NAZI comparisons, when one of the most influential people in the White House started their political career by sabotaging the opening of a campaign office of a Democratic candidate there is definite cause for concern.

In 1970 when he was a protege of Donald Segretti (a convicted Watergate conspirator), Rove snuck into the campaign office of Illinois Democrat Alan Dixon and stole some letterhead. He printed fliers on the letterhead promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing" and distributed the fliers at rock concerts and homeless shelters. Admitting to the incident much later, Rove said, "I was nineteen and I got involved in a political prank."

It’s The Simpsons “Boys will be Boys” defense. From there he went on to such heights as the 1986 bugging incident in the Texas govenors race.

[J]ust before a crucial debate in the election for governor of Texas, Karl Rove announced that his office had been bugged by the Democrats. There was no proof, and it was later alleged he had bugged his own phone for the media coverage that the incident generated, but there was no proof of that, either, and no charges were ever filed.

This is a man that defines the concept of the ends justifying the means, and to him, the ends are the political success of his canidate. Now that his canidate is going into the 5th year of his presidancy, it would seem that there would no longer be a role for this Senior Advisor to the President. But the Bush Administration sees their leadership role from the perspective of being in a permanent campaign. Having to constantly defend their record, this makes sense. Unfortunarely, “Rove, running a permanent campaign, doesn't grasp his limitations, and at the very least this means a greater risk to American lives.”

What this means to me is that when a CIA agent who does not tow the party line is suddenly investigated on “allegations that he had sex with a female informer and stole money used to pay informers,” I start getting really nervous. As I said yesterday, an anonymous plaintif in a wrongful termination lawsuit against the CIA has more credibility than the Bush Administration does with me at this point. Much of my confidence in the Administration is eroded by the high profile of Rove in the White House.

And when Bush starts talking about spending political capital, I start wondering what Rove has in mind.

Rove’s tactics get really scary if the Administration dares use such measures when it comes to foreign policy. Especially when we are at war.

Today, I noticed this nice headline, “White House mum on El Baradei eavesdropping report.” It seems that there are allegations that “the United States has monitored telephone calls between El Baradei and Iranian diplomats, seeking ammunition to oust him.”

There is a big difference between bugging your own office in a gubernatorial race and using similar tactics to take out the head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency. These are the sorts of actions that, if they are happening often enough and severely enough, tend to get Coalitions of the Willing riled up for a military intervention.

If the essay is correct that Rove’s mentor was a Watergate conspirator who went to jail for distributing illegal campaign material, could we see Karl taking a long look at his shower options in the future? I would guess not. I doubt that we’ll see a Republican Congress take on the president. I doubt that any investigation would carry enough weight to make the GOP turn against the Administration. For Clinton, it took lying about receiving oral sex to get an impeachment trial rolling. However, for a Chief Executive of their own party, Bush would probably need to be caught red handed drowning Christian Orphans from Mississippi in the Lincoln Bedroom to even be investigated by the Republicans in Congress. Since it would be hard to take down Rove without taking down the President, he is probably safe.

For more information on this gentleman, who was once heard shouting "We will fuck him like he's never been fucked before," a man who even GWB calls a “turd blossom,” please explore the following articles. The above quotes came from them, though I cannot say that I have read each one in depth.

White House mum on El Baradei eavesdropping report

Exposing Karl Rove

The brains behind Bush

Karl Rove: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

And Rove Gets to Keep His Job… A Green Light For Abuse?

Monday, December 13, 2004

Big Day in Ohio

Lot's of porn in today's posts. Not much about Ohio. Supposedly, this was a big day there with a lot going down regarding the election. I am sure you are sick of hearing all about the hearings and court filings after hours of endless news coverage on these events, but I was going to write about them any way.

I admit, I didn't look very hard, but since I had no mention of these events appear in any of the news sites I scanned today, I never got around to posting about Ohio's big day.

Maybe I will tomorrow. Now it is bedtime.

I'll sign off with this...

Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming, we're finally on our own this summer I hear the drumming, four dead in Ohio... four dead in Ohio.

A Small, Subpoena-Less Step: Senate Democrats to Investigate Bush Administration

Wow, I actually got this one off one of the politics feeds I have on "My Yahoo."

Senate Dems Plan Investigatory Hearings

This is actually the best news that I have heard in a while. This will essentially be an indepandant investigation lacking actual Senate support, and supoena power, but at least the Democrats are girding up their loins and actually saying, essentially, "This stinks and we are going to poke it with a stick and see if we can get it to ooze."

I fully expect the networks to put their full attention on these hearings when they get started now that the Peterson Matter is resolved... Ah, oops. I forgot about the appeals. And Jacko. And...

Your New [Confirmation Pending] AG...

This is the first that I have heard of this... Even some conservatives do not like him.

[Alberto] Gonzales is extremely close to Bush, but some conservative groups have expressed skepticism about his anti-abortion bonafides. 

When he was a Texas Supreme Court justice, he wasn't staunch enough, in the view of some conservatives, in upholding state laws requiring pregnant teenage girls to notify their parents before obtaining an abortion.

But even better is his stepson... The above quote came from this article.

Gonzales's stepson quit job at Hustler to be "prudent."

Here's to raising the tone in D.C.

Homeless Iraq Vets... This is Going to Get Ugly

Homeless Iraq vets showing up at shelters

Data from the Department of Veterans Affairs shows that as of last July, nearly 28,000 veterans from Iraq sought health care from the VA. One out of every five was diagnosed with a mental disorder, according to the VA. An Army study in the New England Journal of Medicine in July showed that 17 percent of service members returning from Iraq met screening criteria for major depression, generalized anxiety disorder or PTSD.

I first started hearing about this a couple days ago and have been meaning to look into it. I don't know if it was that I was too busy or that I just can bring myself to look, but I found this link on the 3WA message board tonight, and this article is the first one I've actually read on this subject.

Unfortunately, I am not surprised by this. I am surprised that it does catch me so off guard.

Maybe I bought more of the Bush Campaign rhetoric than I realized. Or I was just hoping against all hope that they wouldn't fuck these kids over.

Is Skippy the Wonder Bush the Antichrist? Holy Shit I Miss Seattle...

I am too tired and too burned out to deal with reading this article right now, but man... Fuck. I have to swear at this shit.

Okay, a brief scan makes me think that this may have been more of a irresponsible headline than a real weird article, but still...

Here is a quote...

Miller classifies Bush Christians as modern Pharisees—the allegedly proud, rigid, legalistic hypocrites John the Baptist called "a generation of vipers." "The worst condemnation that Jesus has for anybody, I mean the worst, is for Pharisees," says Miller. "If you asked Jerry Falwell who the Pharisees are in our society, they can't point anybody out." There are no mirrors in Bush's church.

Too deep for me right now. It is bed time. Read it here. Talk about it here

And Rumsfeld Gets to Keep His Job… A Green Light For Abuse?

The New York-based campaign group Human Rights Watch says it has uncovered evidence that three more prisoners have died in US detention in Afghanistan.

In a damning open letter to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, it says the US is continuing to fail to investigate abuses or punish the guilty.

And the beat goes on… I mean beatings. There is not even anything really left to say about this issue any more. It makes me proud to be an American.

What it calls the "government's failure to hold its personnel accountable for serious abuses has spawned a culture of impunity among some personnel".

Its letter to Donald Rumsfeld says there are fewer complaints now relating to the main US detention centre at Bagram airbase north of Kabul.

However, allegations of "abuse and arbitrary detention" continue to emerge from what are known as "forward operating bases" - smaller posts normally in frontline areas.

It does make it easy for me to come up with content for these pages. Just open up the BBC and link to a couple articles, add sarcastic comment, link to the Message Boards, and move on to the next item.

And Rove Gets to Keep His Job… A Green Light For Abuse?

A former CIA officer is suing his employers for retaliating against him for his alleged refusal to falsify reports on weapons of mass destruction.

In a complaint published on Wednesday, the unnamed operative said he was warned by a colleague that management wanted to "get him" for his actions.
And the beat goes on… I mean the lies and deceit and fraud. There is not even anything really left to say about this issue any more. It makes me proud to be an American.

The plaintiff maintains that he had attempted to report intelligence on weapons of mass destruction in 2001 and 2002, but was thwarted by his superiors who then insisted on his falsifying his reports.

When he refused to do this, investigations were allegedly made against him into allegations that he had sex with a female informer and stole money used to pay informers.

It does make it easy for me to come up with content for these pages. Just open up the BBC and link to a couple articles, add sarcastic comment, link to the Message Boards, and move on to the next item.

Seriously, though. Somehow after the last four years I find myself in a position where an anonymous plaintif in a case claiming that he was fired for refusing to claim that Iraq posessed WMD is more credible than the Bush Administration.

What has been going on over at the CIA is just plain scary, unfortunately it is barely covered by the mainstream media. And really, why should it be when there are real life, important issues like Scott Peterson and Jacko demanding attention?

If CNN reported this story this morning, I did not notice. But I could not help but to notice a large percentage of their air time this morning was spent on Michael Jackson’s porno mags. I wanted not to notice this. I wanted not to hear the debate on the fingerprints on these magazines. I did not want to hear someone on my TV saying that having Jacko’s prints and a 12 year old boys prints on the same magazine proves nothing, since it does not prove that they were looking at the magazine at the same time. Wrong on so many levels.

Oh MY GOSH-DARN! I just devoted nearly 50% of my air time to Jacko.

I am going to hell.