BIG Voting Machines News!

I have just learned that the DNC - Democratic National Committee - has passed, unanimously, a resolution asking for voter-verified paper audit trails on all electronic voting machines before the 2004 election. This is a big victory! They also asked for full funding of HAVA, the law that helps pay for new voting equipment, passed by COngress after the Florida vote was stolen.

The national Democratic Party is now on record on this issue. Will the Republicans support this or try to block it? If they try to block it - why?


More On That Report

As promised. From the introduction to this report on tort reform and the Right: (This is a PDF document. I should have it up in HTML in the next few days.)

”…in addition to the expected corporate-front organizations like the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) and Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA), the “tort reform” movement is ideologically associated with a network of organizations, such as the Washington Legal Foundation, the Cato Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council, which are part of what they themselves call the “conservative movement.” This web of “movement” organizations receives general operating support, project grants, and strategic guidance from a core group of ideological far-right-wing foundations that has been working for nearly thirty years to alter public attitudes and move the national agenda to the right.

This web of right-wing organizations funds and supports many other voices that speak on behalf of tort reform and other issues. The people who write the books are funded. The people who write the op-ed pieces are funded. The people who speak on radio and cable TV shows are funded. The people speaking to public interest organizations are funded. Even the people who initially write many of the templates for letters to the editor are funded. In addition to funding these individuals, the right-wing organizations provide them with institutional bases and access to publishers and media.”

"The Right Wing Media Slime Machine"

Paul Krugman, in 'Slime and Defend' writes about "The right-wing media slime machine, which tries to assassinate the character of anyone who opposes the right's goals...".

This writes about it, too. (Caution - big PDF file.) More later.


He Says: It's Because I Was Right

My empathy goes away.

Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/01/2003 | McNabb: No apology wanted:
"McNabb said his biggest concern was the thoughts of families and kids who watched Limbaugh's remarks.

'My worries were not about what was said, but about the people who were watching,' McNabb said. 'What about the people in the African-American homes, the kids, the parents, when they hear something like that on national TV, on ESPN, what do they think?'

Limbaugh tackled the subject again today on his radio talk show.

'All this has become the tempest that it is because I must have been right about something,' Limbaugh said. 'If I wasn't right, there wouldn't be this cacophony of outrage that has sprung up in the sports writer community.'"
That's right, Rush. Black people being outraged only proves that you are right. What else could it mean?

And his listeners all show smug smiles and nod.

Chart THIS

U.S. Military Deaths in the Conquest of Iraq


I can't help but feel some empathy for Rush after reading this.

Update - And this.

What Have They Been Doing?

This article, Mercury News | CIA leak called `serious' points out that the CIA first asked the Justice Department to investigate the "outing" of CIA agent Plame. In July.
: "Senior intelligence officials said Monday that the CIA filed what they termed a ``crime report'' with the Justice Department in late July, shortly after syndicated columnist Robert Novak, citing two unnamed administration sources, identified Wilson's wife by name. The CIA report pointed to a ``possible violation of federal criminal law involving the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.''"
As you read about this story, remember, the CIA first asked the Justice Department to look into this in July. So in the months since July the Bush administration did nothing, not even asking staffers to preserve documents. What kind of investigation do you think this Justice Department is conducting?

Hating Davis

Here's an e-mail I sent to my wife, for the kid in her office who "hates Davis" because his tuition went up:

For those who don't know about California, the budget requires a 2/3 vote in the legislature to pass. The Republicans have just enough votes to block any tax increases, so the budget was balanced almost entirely with spending cuts. The Democrats wanted to raise taxes on upper incomes and corporations and the Republicans refused to allow any tax increases, even to pay for education. So they cut the state college budgets, which required tuition increases. (The Republicans even tried to eliminate 100,000 kids from Kindergarten.) You can look this up, it is what happened.

Repeat - Governor Davis tried to STOP the spending cuts that led to the tuition increases. The Republicans forced this to happen. Arnold says he will cut more spending if elected. He says the government spends too much. The only alternative to the government spending is raising tuition and other fees that regular people pay.

Cutting spending means increasing tuition, and other fees that regular people pay.

Cutting spending means cutting services that regular people use - like police and fire and health care and road repair and even having enough people at the DMV to keep the lines from getting really long.

Cutting spending means laying of government workers, which means even more people looking for work.

Arnold and McClintock, the Republican candidates, are calling for spending cuts. Much of the state's budget goes to education. There are limits on how much they can cut K-12 so those cuts will be from the colleges. If Republicans get in office this kid's tuition is going to skyrocket!

If you support a candidate who wants to "cut spending" please find out WHAT spending they mean!

Hates Davis

My wife was telling me about a young guy at work who is going to vote for Arnold because he "hates Davis."

Why does he hate Davis? Because his tuition went up.

For those who don't know about California, the budget requires a 2/3 vote to pass. The Republicans have just enough votes to block any tax increases, so the budget was balanced almost entirely with cuts. Cuts to state colleges required tuition increases. (The Republicans even tried to eliminate 100,000 kids from Kindergarten.) Also, Arnold and McClintock, the Republican candidates, are calling for budget cuts. Much of the budget is education. There are limits on how much they can cut K-12 so those cuts will be from the colleges. If Republicans get in office this kid's tuition is going to skyrocket!

THIS is how our media informs our citizens.

Poor, Persecuted Right Wingnuts

This just came in my e-mail, from Heritage Foundation's TownHall.com. (Just to show how closely linked they are -- TowhHall.org is the Republican National Committee.)
To: Conservative Friends

From: Human Events

Re: Liberals are Waging War...against Christianity!

Yours FREE when you subscribe to Human Events

Dear Fellow Conservative,

Open your eyes -- it’s happening right now...Christians are increasingly being driven from public life, denied their First Amendment rights, and even actively discriminated against for their beliefs.

In Persecution, a relentless exposé of political correctness run amok, bestselling author David Limbaugh rips apart the liberal hypocrisy that condones selective mistreatment of Christians in the mainstream media, Hollywood, our schools and universities, and throughout our public life.

In the name of “diversity,” “tolerance,” “multiculturalism,” and “sex education,” the social engineers actively indoctrinate hatred of Christianity as ignorant, repressive, and offensive - caring not at all about the beliefs of most parents whose tax dollars support the public schools.

Yes, those poor, persecuted right wingnuts. "Liberals" (Jews) are killing Christ (Bush).


What I've Been Doing

This is what I've been doing. More later. (Warning - big PDF file.)

Why Did They Wait?

Two months ago the CIA agent was named by "two senior Bush administration officials." THAT was the time for administration outrage. But not a word, and certainly no action.

Yesterday, only in response to press attention, the Bush administration launched an internal investigation. Brad DeLong has this to say:
"The moment for an internal investigation was two months ago. The moral and ethical measure of these statesmen has already been taken. "

What The Right Is Saying

Just to keep tabs - here's a right-wing blogger's postings about the Plame scandal. Prepare yourself - it seems that smearing Wilson (the agent's husband) as being anti-war makes everything OK. Almost the whole post is smears against the agent's husband, as if that has ANYthing to do with ANYthing. (When you read this remember that her husband was a Reagan appointee.)

Note also that there's a tone of smearing the CIA. What's that all about? Somehow the CIA has become the enemy of the right, similar to how they feel about the UN? Remember - ANYone who opposes The Party is subject to the treatment.

Yes, I'm Back

I'm back. And soon I'll be showing you what I have been doing.

What The Press Is Concerned About

Almost all mainstream news coverage of this Valeria Plame scandal has been in terms of the POLITICS of the story! I hear that "the Democrats see a political opportunity." I hear that it "threatens Bush." Even a BBC report I heard yesterday said that Democrats are speakling up "because they smell blood."

What about the danger to the country? What about right and wrong? What about the danger this woman and every contact she has had for decades was exposed to? These do not seem to be the concerns of our mainstream press. WE do not seem to be the concerns of our mainstream press.

Understanding The Motive

This might help you understand what's behind the "Valerie Plame CIA employee" scandal - as well as why so many are afraid to go up against The Party. From Why Are These Men Laughing? by Ron Suskind, Esquire, January, 2003:
"Eventually, I met with Rove. I arrived at his office a few minutes early, just in time to witness the Rove Treatment, which, like LBJ's famous browbeating style, is becoming legend but is seldom reported. Rove's assistant, Susan Ralston, said he'd be just a minute. She's very nice, witty and polite. Over her shoulder was a small back room where a few young men were toiling away. I squeezed into a chair near the open door to Rove's modest chamber, my back against his doorframe.

Inside, Rove was talking to an aide about some political stratagem in some state that had gone awry and a political operative who had displeased him. I paid it no mind and reviewed a jotted list of questions I hoped to ask. But after a moment, it was like ignoring a tornado flinging parked cars. 'We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!' As a reporter, you get around -- curse words, anger, passionate intensity are not notable events -- but the ferocity, the bellicosity, the violent imputations were, well, shocking. This went on without a break for a minute or two. "
You cross The Party, they will fuck you. Doesn't matter if it involves outing an undercover CIA agent who is working on tracking down weapons of mass destruction. It doesn't matter if it means burning every organization or individual that provided her with cover over the years, and exposing every informant she had and risking their execution, exposing the agent herself and every other undercover operative she was ever seen meeting with (not to mention anyone ELSE she was ever seen meeting with) to great danger. And never mind the weapons of mass destruction she was tracking down. This is much more important - this is about fucking you for crossing The Party.

And now that The Party is threatened - for almost the first time in many years - with having to face some consequences for its actions, the hardball really starts. You think you have seen smears? You think you have seen lying?


Californians - Take A Look At Garrett Gruener for Governor

If you're in California, take a look at Garrett Gruener for Governor. He should be getting more exposure in this election! (I am acquainted with Garrett from a previous job.)



So it's going to be another cover-up. White House Rejects Independent Counsel for Leak:
"The White House on Monday rejected Democratic demands that an independent counsel be appointed to find out who leaked secret information apparently aimed at discrediting a vocal critic of prewar intelligence on Iraq."
There is no law.

Party Over Country

Bush Aides Say They'll Cooperate With Probe Into Intelligence Leak (washingtonpost.com):
"But the aides said Bush has no plans to ask his staff members whether they played a role in revealing the name of an undercover officer who is married to former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, one of the most visible critics of Bush's handling of intelligence about Iraq."
Party over country. Every single f*&king time.


Party Over Country

There have been some who doubted that the Bush administration operates to benefit The Party rather than the country. The latest news in the scandal over the "outing" of a covert CIA agent will show them they have been wrong about that. This story, Bush Administration Is Focus of Inquiry (washingtonpost.com) reveals that "two top White House officials" outed an undercover agent whose job was to stop weapons of mass destruction from coming into the U.S. They did this because her husband had embarrassed Bush by revealing that his claim that Iraq was close to having nukes was a lie.:
"Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife. Wilson had just revealed that the CIA had sent him to Niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. Wilson's account touched off a political fracas over Bush's use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking Iraq.

"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak.

Sources familiar with the conversations said the leakers were seeking to undercut Wilson's credibility. "
The investigation -- if The Party doesn't block it -- might reveal how many of her foreign contacts have been imprisoned or executed as a result of this leak. It might reveal how many WMD purchases occurred because of this leak.

However, The Party controls the White House, the Congress, the Justice Department, much of the Federal Court System, and almost all other agencies of our government that might otherwise be able to bring some oversight and accountability -- and the press has mostly ignored what has been going on -- and they have been successful at blocking every investigation, even things as big as investigations of intelligence failures that led to 9/11. Let me repeat that: The Party has successfully blocked every inquiry into possibly unethical or criminal or other embarrassing activities. They have operated with absolute impunity. Even things as small as an inquiry into who met with Cheney's energy task force (remember how they forced public the records of Hillary's health care task force?) Even investigations of Bush's insider trading at Harken Oil, and the cover-up by his father's SEC. Even of their involvement with Enron. Even of the no-bid contracts awarded to contributors and cronies. Even of Cheney's continuing ties to Haliburton. Even of their hiring of felons, convicted of crimes of subverting our government. This list could go on and on...

Party over country. This time, absolute proof.