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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 08:44 am:   

Well, I tried the satisfaction of an Oregon chai. Then a nice sausage and egg bagel. But the only thing really getting me through the day is the latest CD by this band:

http://www.afrikabambaataa.com/

Anyone else experiencing INTENSE stress/anxiety??!

JeffV
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Forrest
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 09:25 am:   

Yeah. It's been difficult to work my day job. Everyone is just jonesing for this thing to be over and there's a palpable tension in the air. One of our employees was harassed by a "voter observer" this morning while voting and has filed a complaint with the DA. Nothing huge or illegal happened, but this guy was, apparently, really, really annoying.

I've been listening to Zero 7 to relax:

http://www.zero7.co.uk/

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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 09:48 am:   

Yeah--just tough all over. I just went and got another chai. Comfort drink.

http://www.electoral-vote.com/

Don't freak if you're a Kerry supporter--read the stuff below. Their projections are skewed by a Fox News poll.

JeffV
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rwexler
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 10:29 am:   

I'm too stressed to post anything!
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Chris Roberson
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:08 am:   

I'm just listening to a lot of Billy Bragg, drinking buckets of iced tea, and trying to remember that I am, at heart, an optimist. If I'd not already wrecked my body for the next year with drinking and smoking in Tempe, I'd be tempted to do a bit more of that, as well.
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:22 am:   

My mom is in New Mexico as a volunteer lawyer (observer) - but I don't think she will harrass anyone. I think it is more to watch out for the "challengers" who have been recruited by the Republicans.
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:39 am:   

I'm currently suffering from TBTGMOASATE (Too Busy To Give Much Of A Shit About The Election), which I'm treating by listening to Chevelle and Social Distortion and reading some Nabokov.

- Jeremy
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:43 am:   

Now, Jeremy--exactly how does one listen to Social Distortion and read Nabokov at the same time? Is that Nabokov's famous lost hardboiled detective novel?

JeffV
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:49 am:   

Well, today is the day to care if there ever was one. Tomorrow it might be too late . . .

God forbid.
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:50 am:   

Here are the latest numbers from Zoby by the way, which are interesting:

Bush
252

Kerry
252

Tie
Virginia (13)

Tie
Pennsylvania (21)

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Jeremy Day
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:50 am:   

Well, my body naturally resonates at the frequency of heavy (and some not quite so heavy) metal, so I guess it's not so much listening to the music as it is feeling and experiencing the music. And actually I'm reading The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov, so the somewhat dark tone of these stories goes nicely with the tunes.

To be honest, though, I sometimes have to shut the music off when reading these stories, because it does periodically take all of my concentration to figure out what the hell this gorgeous prose is saying.

- Jeremy
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:55 am:   

Brendan:

It's probably too early for those numbers to mean anything.

JeffV
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:56 am:   

Funny thing about the numbers of Zogby though is he has Kerry winning Colorado and New Mexico and Bush winning Florida.

I sort of thought Colorado was heavily Republican.
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:58 am:   

Jeff -

I don't know - he is not doing it on today's data, but based on his own previous polls and crystal ball. He is usually the closest at forecasting though - probably because he weighs the polls, which other polsters don't.
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 12:03 pm:   

Zogby predicted last week that Kerry would win the election.

JeffV
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 12:05 pm:   

Really?

Well - let's hope that my faith in his predictions is not misplaced.

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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 12:12 pm:   

Yes. On the Jon Stewart Show. He said that was his prediction.

JeffV
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 12:13 pm:   

Last night's episode of The Daily Show was pure comedy gold.

- Jeremy
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 12:15 pm:   

Right now he is saying: "Watch Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. There may be some big surprises!"

Colorado is something I can't figure out. They are voting also on whether or not to implement a district system for electoral votes. Does that mean that if that passes they might break up the electoral votes this year? Anyone know?
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 12:22 pm:   

I don't know.

I'm off to our precinct again. We're making sure everyone we canvassed shows up, seeing if they need rides, etc., and I'm afraid my poor wife is getting a sunburn while I'm sitting here prattling on.

More later.

JeffV
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 12:23 pm:   

(Right now Zogby is saying, "I just scratched my left butt cheek. By the consistency and duration of the itch, I can now tell that Pennsylvania will turn for Kerry.")
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 12:25 pm:   

Hey man - when you're desperate you will listen to anything that sounds mildly hopeful!

Take care,

Brendan
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Anna T
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 01:07 pm:   

Brendan,
The Colorado referendum,if it passes, will change its electoral college distribution to be proportional,ending the winner takes all, effective this election.
Here's an article on the electoral college system, and a lot of other odd rules.
http://www.jsonline.com/news/nat/nov04/271522.asp

This article in today's Seattle Times argues for dumping the electoral college altogether, to make the vote truly democratic--one person, one vote.
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2002078978_peirce02.html

and as for that INTENSE stress/anxiety, ayyyeeyye!
My stomach has felt like it's got rabid rats living in it (and on my flesh) for so long that they've had babies, but today, the babies are now all having their babies, and they're all screaming and clawing.
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Cheryl
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 01:56 pm:   

I'm finding chanting hymns to the Great Old Ones very effective and calming. Having one's soul eaten and creeping insanity are remarkably good at insulating one against anxiety about what might happen as a result of an election in which you don't have a vote.
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 02:25 pm:   

Anna -

Thanks for the info!

I think it would be better without the electoral vote. After all, it was absurd that Gore got 500,000 more votes than Bush and lost.
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 02:43 pm:   

Back now for a bit. Moveon PAC told us to leave the polling place and start re-canvassing by phone. I tell you, our neighborhood is crawling with volunteeers from different PACs, knocking on doors as we speak.

At our precinct, there was an extremely high African American turnout, wildly enthusiastic for Kerry, and hardly a Bush supporter to be found. The Bush supporters we could identify, slunk into the precinct, wouldn't even meet our eyes. Very different body language.

There's a huge Kerry party tonight at Moveon's HQ here in Tallahassee and Michael Moore is supposed to make an appearance. We're hoping to go to that.

Cross your fingers...

JeffV
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 02:45 pm:   

Crossed.
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 02:56 pm:   

Well, I can't claim to be a Michael Moore expert, but he seems like a pompous blowhard.

- Jeremy
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 03:05 pm:   

A delightful pompous blowhard who is very entertaining, Jeremy. At least he's not a pompous blowhole like Richard Novak, for example.

:-)

www.cursor.org

is good for some news...


JeffV
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 03:05 pm:   

or even Robert Novak...
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barth
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 03:46 pm:   

...or kim novak!

zogby's call as of 5pm:

Bush
213 ev's

Kerry
311 ev's

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Anna T
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 05:07 pm:   

Brendon,
I hope your wish is fulfilled re the Electoral College!

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Anna T
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 05:24 pm:   

Hey, Cheryl,
You put it so well about "having one's soul eaten and creeping insanity". Of course, if all us millions looking on COULD vote, it wouldn't be a nail-biter of an election, but in George Tenet's words, a 'slam-dunk'.
In September, The Times of India ran an article on how we COULD all vote, only partly tongue-in-cheek.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/855885.cms
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rwexler
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 05:24 pm:   

I went to a couple of polls in Xenia, OH to help out, which mostly consisted of standing in the rain waving while people drove by. Not sure what use that is, but that's where the local Democratic headquarters sent me. Home now, dry, fed, and trying not to watch the tv till there's something real to report.
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 06:39 pm:   

I know it looks like Bush is leading in Florida, but please know that they have not begun to count any of the Dade County or Broward County votes. These are huge counties that are heavily Democratic. Also, the absentee ballots that are usually Republican in Florida will be more evenly Repub/Democratic this year.

We just got back from the Moveon.org party (deadsville, usa) and the Democratic party (drunksville, usa; a couple of morons were actually cheering Rudolph G., NYC mayor...)

JeffV
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 06:40 pm:   

And Robert's right--they've had to reverse themselves on the exit polls a couple of times already. It's more of the same idiocy from CNN, etc.

Please, Zogby, be right...

JeffV
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Deborah
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 06:45 pm:   

From Oregon (home of Vote-by-Mail)...

At my post office today they had one mail slot marked "Ballots only" and the postal workers looked as if they were in danger of going...well..postal. I think turnout is heavy.
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 06:52 pm:   

Who knows if this means anything.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1342210,00.html

And I assume when Zogby indicates "trending Kerry," they are calculating the Democratic/Republican densities in particular parts of each state and the projected turn out in each of those sub-areas? Or was it just a coin toss?

Jeff
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 09:07 pm:   

Better turn up that afrika bambatta cd--you're gonna need it to drown out the next four years. ;)
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 09:25 pm:   

Couldn't sleep. Shhh Lucius. Shhh.

It looks like it hangs on Ohio.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 09:44 pm:   

I;m gonna treat it like a football game and go to bed in hopes it;ll turn around wtthout me.
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 09:57 pm:   

I hope so.
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Deborah
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 10:23 pm:   

Okay...Writer's Commune in Aruba...who's in?
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 10:46 pm:   

I am....definitely.....
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Kage Baker
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:33 pm:   

My God, my poor country.
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - 11:38 pm:   

So you couldn't sleep either eh Lucius :-)

Anyhow, Ohio is not over. Bush leads by 100,000 votes. 250,000 provisionals have not been counted.

We will see.
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Lawrence A
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 01:18 am:   

I think we should end this with Conrad.

The horror, the horror.

It's over.
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 03:51 am:   

I dunno--is it over? I just woke up and they're saying it'll take 11 days to count and verify the provisional ballots in Ohio.

It is kind of grimly funny, Lawrence, that you'd be the one to punctuate this with Conrad.

JeffV
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 04:37 am:   

It looks like it might take as many as eleven days to decide Ohio. Read this for a little more information.

- Jeremy
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 06:03 am:   

it's over. They've counted 20,000 provisional balllots and Bush has added 7000 votes to his margin.
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 06:05 am:   

Ah well.

Now it's time to isolate those issues we care about the most and pour as much time and money into advocacy for them as possible. For four years.

I'm sure after it recovers from the shock, Moveon.org will have some ideas on this subject, too.

There will be a natural tendency to depression and inactivity, but it's more important than ever to be an activist now

JeffV
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 06:30 am:   

The only good thing I can see about the turnout thus far1 is that, of precincts reporting 100%, Nader got 0%. Not to slam Greens, but that says to me that people who are less Right-wing than Francisco Franco realized they could not afford to toss their vote in the crapper.

1. I know, Lucius, you say it's over. But I'm idiot enough to wait and hope for the impossible.
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 06:46 am:   

I don't think by Ohio law they can count them before 10 days.
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 07:05 am:   

http://vanderworld.blogspot.com/2004/11/disconnect.html

That's true--it might not be over.

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 07:11 am:   

They announce on CNN that 20, 000 provisionals had been counted. that;s all I know. I think Kerry will concede today. Supposed to be an annoucement around one o' clock.
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 07:25 am:   

Lucius: Ever the idealistic optimist. :-)

JeffV
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lucius
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:02 am:   

The glass is half empty.. I don;t know. It looks hopeless. Kerry;s team is meeting to make a decision now. I'm not happy, but there is an opportunity for activism now. By tne end of this term, I think ths fight will be taken to the streets for real.
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:05 am:   

Yeah, that's true, Lucius. Maybe it will take the extremism we're about to experience to wake people up. You'd think they'd be awake by now, but...

Also, we probably should see it this way: it's still another close election. It's not so much that the country has turned further Right as the Right got out voters who hadn't voted much before. (If some of the reports are to be believed.)

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:06 am:   

AP is reporting that Kerry concedes
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:16 am:   

Yeah - it looks that way. He is supposedly calling Bush.
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:18 am:   

Anyone else think the count could be bogus?

After all - it is electronic.

I mean - the exit polls showed people going for Kerry. Who the hell are the Bush supporters? Everyone I know voted for Kerry.
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Deborah
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:18 am:   

Well, I'm renewing my memberships to NARAL, NOW and the ACLU...this sucks.

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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:20 am:   

2005 Prediction:

The US invades Iran.
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:27 am:   

Most of the people that I know voted for Kerry too, which says a lot, since I live in Texas. It's natural that you associate closest with people with similar political beliefs.

And exit polls sound like total shit. I wouldn't have taken one, if given the opportunity. You can make those things say whatever you want them to say. Statistics are generally like that.

- Jeremy
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:30 am:   

Frankly I dont trust the results any more than the polls - at least not in places where they have electric voting machines without a paper trail.
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:37 am:   

Well, if you vote for Kerry and the machine decides that you really wanted to vote for Bush, I don't see a single reason why it wouldn't also spit out a piece of paper saying that you voted for Bush. If you're going to question the electronic machines you should question the system itself (Has it been tested? Who tested it? What did ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) and IEEE think of the machine? Were the votes ever in any way, shape, or form connected to the internet?), not the paper trail.

- Jeremy
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:43 am:   

Jeremy:

There is no paper trail in many cases.

JeffV
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:43 am:   

My understanding is that the system sucks.
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:46 am:   

Yes, I realize that. My point is that even if there were a paper trail what is there to say that what is on that paper is correct? Would you call up each and every person who voted and ask them to confirm that they voted the way the paper says they voted? That would be about the only way that I can see a paper trail as being helpful.

That is, of course, assuming that the programmers of the electronic machines make the paper trail match what was actually recorded (whether or not what is recorded is what the user actually enters).
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:50 am:   

I'm really not trying to be antagonistic, but what about the system sucks? Only by verbalizing the problems can we later make them better.

- Jeremy
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:50 am:   

You could call up a test sampling of the people and check. If the sampling proved to be wrong then you could go over it more minutely.
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:52 am:   

But then that violates the idea that the voting process is supposed to be confidential.

- Jeremy
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:52 am:   

Nevada is, as far as I know, the only state using electronic voting that provides a paper trail.

Personally, I would prefer to see paper ballots - not the punch kind - but the kind like California where you fill it in with a pencil.
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:57 am:   

I would prefer to fill in a paper ballot with a pencil as well. However, that probably has its detractions as well. For instance, you would run into situations where a mark may cover more than one circle (or area, or something), and it opens the door to simpler kinds of fraud, like ballot stuffing. Unless you had to write (or type) your Social Security Number on the ballot, which again violates the whole faceless voting process.

- Jeremy
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rwexler
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 09:05 am:   

I figured the the thing prints out and the votor can look and make sure it says what it's supposed to say, then they put it in a box.

I don't see anything wrong with the punch cards used here, but there really is no perfect way.

A more perfect way would be to figure out why so many people deny reality, or at least what we think of as reality. Where did people get the idea that Iraq was responsible for Sept. 11, and why is it than no matter how many times it was refuted, so many people still believe it? That's that kind of thing that is making me want to scream.

Robert
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 09:07 am:   

I haven't heard about too many problems with pencil ballots.

Paper ballots also allow for a transparency that is impossible with electronic ballots.

There is a code attached to every ballot and that code corresponds to a reciept that you recieve. If there is a problem later, you can verify that you voted as you did.

This is how the California system works anyhow.
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 09:10 am:   

If Bush really did get that many votes, the country is screwed. It is even if he didn't. With such a large majority in the senate, he can do what he wants.

Bush's future strategy: Keep the country at war; keep the people frightened. Frightened people don't think.
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 09:32 am:   

Well, one way to fight something like that is a slow process of information and indoctrination. Make sure that the issues are highly visible at all times and really pressure paying attention to what is going on. Making people constantly aware of what is wrong and how it can be fixed, while it won't sway any die-hard Democrats or Republicans one way or the other, would help the undecideds. And although the feverish information campaign just prior to the election was all well and good (there were some great concerts), it needs to be happening all the time for it to be really effective.

I sortof think of it as eating healthy all the time to keep your arteries unclogged. All of this pre-election hullabaloo is more like angioplasty, which is far too late a solution.

- Jeremy
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 09:38 am:   

This wasn't about the war. This was the fundamentalist Christian vote turning out in massive quantities. This was about a host of cultural issues. "Jus' so long as them queers can't get married, I'll give up a little freedom." Well, you gave up more than that. Homeland Security will make a perfect front for the secret police, and once those boys are in place, we won't ever get rid of them.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 09:52 am:   

The Supreme Court situation is what terrifies me. Bush is going to get to make a couple of appointments this term, for sure, and with Rehnquist's health failing, Scalia is about half a heartbeat from the Chief Justice's seat. Just wait and see what kind of havoc ensues then...
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 09:54 am:   

Who says they aren't already in place? Also, I don't think you can blame this solely on the fundamentalists (although they are an appealing target). Americans see Bush as the "stronger" man, and Americans fear and mistrust the rest of the world, loving to let authorities think for them... and the rest of the world fears and mistrusts America. Who's next, Pakistan? It won't be North Korea... China wouldn't like that.
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Deborah
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 10:02 am:   

One poll I saw indicated that nearly 60% of Bush supporters said "Moral Values/Issues" was most important in their choice of a candidate. That's yer Fundamentalist Christian right there...no gay marriage, repeal Roe v Wade, etc.

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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 10:15 am:   

I don't consider myself an expert on political demographics, but I have to ask myself: where did all these Christian fundamentalists come from all of a sudden? I mean, before Bush Bill Clinton -- nobody's straight arrow -- was a two term president and just eight years ago he squashed Bob Dole like a bug. Where were the bible-thumpers then?

I have got to believe Bush's winning coalition is a combination of narrow-minded Southerners who refuse to vote for a Yankee Dem and political moderates who were so traumatized by 9/11 they will do anything to keep a homeland security hard-liner in office. Fear maketh conservatives of us all. I just can't believe that the evangelicals are that numerous or powerful to sway an election by themselves. More likely, it's the perfectly rational, reasonable family men and women you know who say all the right things but are too nervous about "changing horses" in wartime who are to blame for this result.
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 10:15 am:   

To bad murder and theft aren't on their list of moral concerns.
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 10:39 am:   

And the news just gets worse.

A boy has lost his frog:

http://www.lostfrog.org/
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 10:41 am:   

Let's not forget that John Kerry is Catholic, which is on the list of bad things right next to queers, dykes, abortions (in any variety for any reason), Athiesm, Arabs (which is correctly pronounced "ay-rabs"), and quite possibly Jews.

I think that Dave is probably pretty close to correct about what happened here. Kerry's anti-Vietnam talk (back in the day) probably didn't help him now, either.

John Stewart pointed out that when Kerry comments that he graduated from Yale, most people think, "That dick went to Yale?"

- Jeremy

PS. Anyone want a Gmail account? If so just drop me a line.
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 10:48 am:   

I think there has been cheating personally.
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rwexler
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 11:01 am:   

Now we know what the bulge in the back of the jacket was. Terry's frog.
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 11:05 am:   

Jeremy:

Gmail accounts right now are like Iraq's currency. I shall taser the next person who asks me if I want a gmail account. :-)

JeffV
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 11:24 am:   

*laugh* A simple "No thanks," or perhaps "Do you want a swift kick to the crotch?" would have been sufficient. No need to threaten with tasers.

- Jeremy
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 11:26 am:   

I'm just in a tasering mood. :-)

JeffV
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 11:52 am:   

Should we be watching the Florida news for a mad squid fanatic who goes on a taser rampage in the name of electoral righteousness?

- Jeremy
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 12:10 pm:   

Ha! Probably not. I have a reputation to uphold.

Re the elections--what I don't like is that the media is already now conveying a certain gravitas upon Bush, as if now that he's actually won an election fair and square, using some of the most negative campaigning in the history of the elections, this conveys upon his "presidentialness". I don't think campaigning on divisiveness and fear conveys a damn thing on him except our scorn. There are absolutely no grounds on which to "heal divisions". I am increasingly becoming disturbed by the way in which the Democratic Party goes along with these empty rituals.

JeffV
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 12:25 pm:   

To be fair, there was a lot of ugliness all around. And last night John Stewart had a Republican (the Reverend Al Sharpton, I think) and a Democrat (whose name I don't recall) on The Daily Show. The Democrat was making an effort to be non-partisan and generally friendly, but Al Sharpton was being a complete partisan asshole.

- Jeremy
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 12:27 pm:   

The spinmeisters at the GOP are already using the "greatest number of votes received in US presidential election history" rap to convey historical legitimacy on the guy.

What can you say in response? If it's true, we may be stuck with it.
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StephenB
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 12:31 pm:   

To quote Bill Hicks:

"Go back to sleep America, your government is in control."

Isn't that the message?
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 12:58 pm:   

Did Bush get the most votes ever? Or is that the most votes ever cast in an election, reguardless of who they were for?

- Jeremy
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 12:59 pm:   

Some words to embolden the soul on a dark, dark day:
Senate Minority Leader...John "This is not over" Kerry
No Senate approval for any vacated Supreme Court Seats (if the Radical Republicans could lower the court by two seats under Andrew Johnson, I think it's certainly fitting to do so now--of course, they'd probably just vote to change the rule for requiring 60 Senators for approval, but still, let's fight the good fight)

Shuffling of the Cabinet & staff, which leads to
Disgruntled exes with axes (and documentation), which leads to
Impeachment?

A man's gotta have dreams...
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 01:01 pm:   

From a friend:

And when it gets depressing, just remember the fine example of Margaret Thatcher:
a) stayed in power longer than any modern Prime Minister,
b) had extraordinary success pushing her conservative agenda,
c) shamelessly pursued bitterly divisive policies,
d) utterly destroyed her party in the process.
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 01:16 pm:   

Al Sharpton is a Democrat.

And is all I can say is the Democratic party needs to get some balls. And no being nicey-nicey to the Bush people.

I am in no mood for being nice to anyone who voted for Bush. If the country needs to be devided, then fine. California, Oregon and Washington can succeed on one side, and New York, Mass etc. on the other.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 01:16 pm:   

I'm not sure which would be worse...an overly-powerful Republican party or a crumbled GOP that leaves America with a one-party system. Without meaningful opposition, does anyone doubt the Dems would be as horrendous as the GOP?
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 01:18 pm:   

Divided that is :-( grrr.
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 01:20 pm:   

I doubt it.

I am not impressed with the Democratic leadership - but they are a world away from the Right Wing camp.

I dont buy for a second the "it doesnt make a difference" argument.
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 01:50 pm:   

Or, Senate Minority Leader John Kerry.
Investigative reporting discovers malfeasance on the part of Diebolt in Florida.
Impeachment.

Why yes, the crocodiles are rather large out here deep in De Nile. Why do you ask?
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 01:51 pm:   

From an article in the San Francisco Chronicle today, by Mark Morford.

JeffV

It simply boggles the mind: We've already had four years of some of the most appalling and abusive foreign and domestic policy in American history, some of the most well-documented atrocities ever wrought on the American populace and it's all combined with the biggest and most violently botched and grossly mismanaged war since Vietnam, and still much of the nation still insists in living in a giant vat of utter blind faith, still insists on believing the man in the White House couldn't possibly be treating them like a dog treats a fire hydrant.

Inexplicable? Not really. People want to believe. They want to trust their leaders, even against all screaming, neon-lit evidence and stack upon stack of flagrant, impeachment-grade lie. They simply cannot allow that Dubya might really be an utter boob and that they are being treated like an abused, beaten housewife who keeps coming back for more, insisting her drunk husband didn't mean it, that she probably had it coming, that the cuts and bruises and blood and broken bones are all for her own good.

And this election, it might be all be very amusing, in a Mel Gibsony, blood-drenched hamburger-of-Christ sorta way, were it not so sad and dangerous. It might all be tolerable and cute, in a violence-engorged, sexist, video-gamey sorta way, were it not so lopsided and wrong.

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Nancy Jane Moore
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 02:44 pm:   

My stomach seems to be tied in a permanent knot. Sitting up and listening to returns put it there, but the aftermath is not making it go away.

I don't know if there was major voter fraud or if the American people are just that stupid -- I could make a case for either one, unfortunately.

Leaving the country is an attractive thought, but at the moment I'm damned if I want to give up my country to these evil people and their dupes and fellow travelers. I may get disheartened if the Senate Democrats roll over and play dead like they did when they had their pathetic little majority in 2001. We'll eventually be rid of Bush, but it'll take 20 or 30 years to be rid of the judges he appoints.

I figure the secret police are already in place. Just think about the "no fly" list, which is keeping perfectly respectable people from flying because they have names similar to those on a watch list. Not to mention keeping US citizens in jail without access to counsel or formal filing of charges. Or prosecuting as a terrorist a lawyer who was aggressively representing her client. Things like that make me wonder what's going on that we haven't yet heard about. Maybe some agent somewhere is reading this discussion board, instead of learning a foreign language and going through all that intelligence material the FBI hasn't gotten around to.

Me, I've been thinking about leaving Washington, DC, because I'm kind of tired of living in a company town where the company is our government. I can't pick up the paper to read the funnies without having to wade through all kinds of political coverage, both serious and silly, even when there isn't an election on. I still might leave. But there's something to be said for living in a town where 90 percent of the voters picked Kerry. 90 percent. At least my neighbors are all as miserable as I am.

Nancy
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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 07:47 pm:   

Hey Jeff: I've been interested to see a number of people disgusted with the election results discuss leaving the United States. What puzzles me the most is where do they think they're going to go if they leave? Unfortunately, in the early 21st century, you literally cannot run away from the United States. There is nowhere to hide. I live on the opposite side of the world, about as far from Washington DC as it's possible to get, yet Washington's actions materially affect my physical and economic well-being, and my children's future.

It seems to me that the United States, as a body politic, has become an insane, overly powerful beast rampaging across the world, doing as it pleases. Religious zealots have ceased control of your nation. Americans who want a better world need to do it from the inside. We cannot. We need you to do it.
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 07:59 pm:   

I just watched a bit of Logan's Run. There is a scene where Logan and Jessica, the cute female lead, are walking up the deserted, overgrown steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Jessica looks around and says, "Where do you think all the people went?" My immediate response to this was, "They must have elected Bush in 2004."

- Jeremy
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 08:38 pm:   

Jonathan:

I think some of us could definitely find solace in countries like Canada, and live quite nice lives with our heads buried in the sand.

But that's a kind of cowardice, and I hope/think most of those people who have said so were just letting off steam or joking. (Although for some time I've been on record about wanting to live in the UK at some point, but not for political reasons.)

As I posted to a blog where someone was indicating they were going to leave the US rather than stay: "Here's another choice: Stay and fight until they break or you die." And I'm quite serious, no bravado intended, since by die I mean naturally in our sleep. Although I'm no longer interested in working for the Democratic Party. I'm fairly certain I'll be putting my energy into Moveon, although I'm not quite sure yet. The thing I am sure about is that if we use this election as a call to activism, and we remain both vigilant and active, we will be in much better position in four years to not only regain the White House with something approaching a moral, coherent, sensible leader, but we'll also be able to fill the vacuum if/when the inevitable happens and the wheels fall off of this administration and this party altogether.

Here's the thing. It ain't like we're living in some country where the electricity doesn't work and people are getting shot in the streets. Civil liberties have been curtailed, and we are under assault from our own government, but it's not yet (and hopefully won't become) as bald-faced as you see in some countries oppressed by their own leadership. I think the luxury of being a political refugee should be left to those for whom it isn't a luxury. And things haven't gotten that bad yet.

...although, although, I was driving down the street today in a particularly poor part of town and thinking there's beginning to be very little that separates us from third world countries, including politics...

It's easy to forget that Bush didn't win by a very wide margin--it's only wide if you consider the last election. So I think there's definitely hope. What bothers me is this religious turn the Republican Party has taken. I think George Bush Sr. just paid some lip service to it. I think W is in bed with it for good, and since it's working for him, it'll continue *past* him to the next Republican presidential candidate.

I do have to (gently) take exception to something Cheryl Morgan said on her blog today about how Americans have to take responsibility for the repercussions of their actions in this election. No--only those who voted for this corrupt administration have to. Just as I wouldn't hold all the English responsible for Blair's moral collapse.

As for the idea that no one outside the US can do anything about the US--not true. Europe is a strong enough economic power to set some limits on what the US can and cannot do. I think it is now time for the European Union to define some goals for US containment and work on acting on that. It would certainly bring those of us inside the country who are very concerned about all of this a bit of relief to have a sense that there is *some* sort of counterweight. And it is probably in the national security interests of those countries to do so.

JeffV

P.S. I know some people will read this post and wonder what all the fuss is about. "It's not like this is pre-Nazi Germany or the rise of the Nazi Party or anything. What's the big deal?" I disagree. Without constant vigilance, especially at key times like this, *any* country anywhere can slide into the abyss. And this country, with its polarization and its widening gulf between rich and poor, has already proven itself willing to give up any number of rights given enough b.s. spouted by its leaders. What constantly boggles the mind to me is why the prototypical rugged American, individualist with gun, would want to be seen to be buying into the politics of fear. Hey--I'd rather have the freedoms and stand a higher chance of being blown up. But that's a false decision, really. The fact is, if our leaders really thought this was a war on terror, every container coming into the US would be checked, the Mexico-US border wouldn't be like swiss cheese security-wise, and we wouldn't be attaching pork spending to terrorism bills.
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 2004 - 11:13 pm:   

Here is a good article from Dowd (NY Times). I don't usually like her, but this one works for me:

With the Democratic Party splattered at his feet in little blue puddles, John Kerry told the crushed crowd at Faneuil Hall in Boston about his concession call to President Bush.

"We had a good conversation," the senator said. "And we talked about the danger of division in our country and the need, the desperate need, for unity, for finding the common ground, coming together. Today I hope that we can begin the healing."

Democrat: Heal thyself.

W. doesn't see division as a danger. He sees it as a wingman.

The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule. He doesn't want to heal rifts; he wants to bring any riffraff who disagree to heel.

W. ran a jihad in America so he can fight one in Iraq - drawing a devoted flock of evangelicals, or "values voters," as they call themselves, to the polls by opposing abortion, suffocating stem cell research and supporting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

Mr. Bush, whose administration drummed up fake evidence to trick us into war with Iraq, sticking our troops in an immoral position with no exit strategy, won on "moral issues."

The president says he's "humbled" and wants to reach out to the whole country. What humbug. The Bushes are always gracious until they don't get their way. If W. didn't reach out after the last election, which he barely grabbed, why would he reach out now that he has what Dick Cheney calls a "broad, nationwide victory"?

While Mr. Bush was making his little speech about reaching out, Republicans said they had "the green light" to pursue their conservative agenda, like drilling in Alaska's wilderness and rewriting the tax code.

"He'll be a lot more aggressive in Iraq now," one Bush insider predicts. "He'll raze Falluja if he has to. He feels that the election results endorsed his version of the war." Never mind that the more insurgents American troops kill, the more they create.

Just listen to Dick (Oh, lordy, is this cuckoo clock still vice president?) Cheney, introducing the Man for his victory speech: "This has been a consequential presidency which has revitalized our economy and reasserted a confident American role in the world." Well, it has revitalized the Halliburton segment of the economy, anyhow. And "confident" is not the first word that comes to mind for the foreign policy of a country that has alienated everyone except Fiji.

Vice continued, "Now we move forward to serve and to guard the country we love." Only Dick Cheney can make "to serve and to guard" sound like "to rape and to pillage."

He's creating the sort of "democracy" he likes. One party controls all power in the country. One network serves as state TV. One nation dominates the world as a hyperpower. One firm controls contracts in Iraq.

Just as Zell Miller was so over the top at the G.O.P. convention that he made Mr. Cheney seem reasonable, so several new members of Congress will make W. seem moderate.

Tom Coburn, the new senator from Oklahoma, has advocated the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions and warned that "the gay agenda" would undermine the country. He also characterized his race as a choice between "good and evil" and said he had heard there was "rampant lesbianism" in Oklahoma schools.

Jim DeMint, the new senator from South Carolina, said during his campaign that he supported a state G.O.P. platform plank banning gays from teaching in public schools. He explained, "I would have given the same answer when asked if a single woman who was pregnant and living with her boyfriend should be hired to teach my third-grade children."

John Thune, who toppled Tom Daschle, is an anti-abortion Christian conservative - or "servant leader," as he was hailed in a campaign ad - who supports constitutional amendments banning flag burning and gay marriage.

Seeing the exit polls, the Democrats immediately started talking about values and religion. Their sudden passion for wooing Southern white Christian soldiers may put a crimp in Hillary's 2008 campaign (nothing but a wooden stake would stop it). Meanwhile, the blue puddle is comforting itself with the expectation that this loony bunch will fatally overreach, just as Newt Gingrich did in the 90's.

But with this crowd, it's hard to imagine what would constitute overreaching.

Invading France?

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Kameron Hurley
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 06:20 am:   

<em>Tom Coburn, the new senator from Oklahoma, has advocated the death penalty for doctors who perform abortions and warned that "the gay agenda" would undermine the country. He also characterized his race as a choice between "good and evil" and said he had heard there was "rampant lesbianism" in Oklahoma schools.</em>

Oh, crap. I was so caught up in the big picture that I forgot to monitor this guy. The stuff he said was so out there I thought no sane person would...

Oh, nevermind.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 06:32 am:   

The morning after, a lot of folks are salving their wounds by talking about 1) voter fraud and 2) an invasion of fundamentalist right-wing kooks, either of which stole America from its loyal, right-thinking citizens.

The truth is an awful lot scarier. Those rational, liberal-leaning Clinton centrists who controlled the White House for eight years and gave voice to liberal positions on social issues simply got scared, clammed up and rationalized a rightward drift in the wake of 9/11. It was the "oh sh*t" factor. These folks who pay lip service to liberal ideas are more than willing to back a neocon strongman if they think it will keep terrorists from blowing up their Hummers or junior's prep school.

We have met the enemy and he is us. Now, what are we going to do about it? Emigrate?
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AliceB
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 07:59 am:   

If you're thinking of emigrating, you might find this interesting (from Reuters):

Unhappy Democrats Need to Wait to Get Into Canada

Wed Nov 3, 1:16 PM ET

U.S. National - Reuters

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Disgruntled Democrats seeking a safe Canadian haven after President Bush (news - web sites) won Tuesday's election should not pack their bags just yet.

Canadian officials made clear on Wednesday that any U.S. citizens so fed up with Bush that they want to make a fresh start up north would have to stand in line like any other would-be immigrants -- a wait that can take up to a year.

"You just can't come into Canada and say 'I'm going to stay here'. In other words, there has to be an application. There has to be a reason why the person is coming to Canada," said immigration ministry spokeswoman Maria Iadinardi.

There are anywhere from 600,000 to a million Americans living in Canada, a country that leans more to the left than the United States and has traditionally favored the Democrats over the Republicans.

But recent statistics show a gradual decline in U.S. citizens coming to work in Canada, which has a creaking publicly funded healthcare system and relatively high levels of personal taxation.

Government officials, real estate brokers and Democrat activists said that while some Americans might talk about a move to Canada rather than living with a new Bush administration, they did not expect a mass influx.

"It's one thing to say 'I'm leaving for Canada' and quite another to actually find a job here and wonder about where you're going to live and where the children are going to go to school," said one government official.

Roger King of the Toronto-based Democrats Abroad group said he had heard nothing to back up talk of a possible exodus of party members.

"I imagine most committed Democrats will want to stay in the United States and continue being politically active there," he told Reuters.

Americans seeking to immigrate can apply to become permanent citizens of Canada, a process that often takes a year. Becoming a full citizen takes a further three years.

The other main way to move north on a long-term basis is to find a job, which in all cases requires a work permit. This takes from four to six months to come through.

Official statistics show the number of U.S. workers entering Canada dropped to 15,789 in 2002 from 21,627 in 2000. Early indicators on Wednesday showed little sign of this changing.

A spokesman for Canada's foreign affairs ministry said there had been no increase in the number of hits on the Washington embassy's immigration Web site, while housing brokers said they doubted they would see a surge in U.S. business.

"Canada's always open and welcoming to Americans who want to relocate here, but we don't think it would be a trend or movement," said Gino Romanese of Royal Lepage Residential Real Estate Services in Toronto.

Those wishing to move to Canada could always take a risk and claim refugee status -- the path chosen earlier this year by two U.S. deserters who opposed the war in Iraq (news - web sites).

"Anybody who enters Canada who claims refugee status will be provided with a work permit ... it doesn't matter what country they're from," Iadinardi said.

Refugee cases are handled by special boards, which can take months to decide whether to admit applicants. The rulings can be appealed and opposition politicians complain some people ordered deported have been in Canada for 10 years or more.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 08:19 am:   

Dave:

I'm not sure that's what happened at all. Have to take a good long look at the exit polling data to determine what happened exactly.

JeffV
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 08:24 am:   

Exit polls? According to those Kerry won though, right?
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JV
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 08:28 am:   

I mean the breakdown of important issues, etc. Maybe I'm wrong and it's all useless data.

JeffV
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 08:36 am:   

I don't think it is useless exactly - but I am not sure that Bush really won the majority. If there was fraud, then it is silly to say "Bush won because of Moral Values," etc.

It is a sad day when I have this little faith in the system.

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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 09:06 am:   

The only voter fraud was committed by lip-service liberal voters who threw in with Bush out of greed or fear. Or both.

Exit polls aren't worth the paper they're written on. Everyone must surely understand that now.
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 09:50 am:   

Are there any examples out there of what these exit polls looked like? What was the format and what were the questions asked? And when the question "Why did you vote?" comes up was there the option to say something like, "To prevent a Bush-generated catastrophe?"

Also, even if there was rampant voter fraud, could it possibly have been to the tune of some 3.5 million votes?

- Jeremy
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 10:18 am:   

Jeremy - It would not need to be 3.5 million votes.

Bush would only need to stretch the votes in Florida and Ohio. The winner of those two states was almost guaranteed to win the election.

Dave - I SERIOUSLY doubt there were many people who actually considered themselves liberal who voted for Bush. You seem to forget that Kerry got over 50 million votes.
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 10:21 am:   

And as for exit polls being worthless - I disagree. They are worth what they are worth - It is a source of useful information.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 10:37 am:   

You doubt there are soccer moms and dads who consider themselves liberal-leaning on social issues who voted Republican because they believe Bush is the best man for "homeland security" and national defense? I hope you are right, for the future of the party.

Exit polls are anecdotal and have misled us for the past two elections now. You're right; they're worth what they're worth...
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 11:41 am:   

I am not saying such a person does not exist - but I seriously doubt many such people voted for Bush. The vast majority of people who are liberal leaning on social issues dont think Bush is making the country more secure. The people who by in large voted for him are the ones who are not liberal leaning. They are the people who are frightened of gay marriage, and who are against a woman's right to choose.

Most liberal leaning soccer mom's would not give up a woman's right to choose for faux security. I am pretty sure of this.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 12:03 pm:   

Well, if we are thirsting for good news, word from Washington is that John Ashcroft may step down for health reasons before January.
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 12:13 pm:   

Yeah I saw that. But maybe Bush can find someone even worse?
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Deborah
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 12:27 pm:   

I'll speak for the liberal-leaning soccer moms (of whom I suppose I'm one and with whom I commune at my son's school)...besides the War on Women they are trying to wage, the other thing that scares me about the GOP is the possible reinstatement of the draft. My son is only 9, but if the draft gets in place it's going to be damned hard to get rid of and let me say it clearly, They can't have my kid.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 01:08 pm:   

My prediction: the draft is going to be the tipping point when the GOP's military ambitions overwhelm their political savvy. That's when discontent is going to translate into votes at the polls. And, fortunately, Deborah, it won't take 9 years, either.
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Deborah
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 01:17 pm:   

I hope you're right, Dave, I really do.

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JV
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 01:54 pm:   

Here's a letter to the editor I sent in today to the local paper in response to a Republican preaching reconciliation. We should at least, as a preliminary step, challenge this notion that capitulation is a sign of grace or of nobility. Lying down on the street so somebody can run you over isn't noble. It's a sign of poor survival instincts.

JeffV

In Thursday’s edition, Larry M. Hall wrote in to say it’s time for us all to move forward, heal the country, and get behind President Bush. However, nothing in Bush’s behavior since being re-elected indicates that he is moving in any way whatsoever to heal the rift by doing anything to appeal to the 55 million people who voted against him. His agenda for a second term is filled once again with extremist social and religious positions. In short, healing the rift has to occur through actions on the president’s part as well as actions on the part of the electorate. As long as Bush continues to support radical extremist ideologies, he will continue to run into constant staunch opposition. Make no mistake about it—Bush won this election by accentuating and working to actively increase differences of opinion between factions, and by promulgating the politics of fear. Fear of gay marriage. Fear of shadowy terrorists. Fear, fear, and more fear. It was a masterful if extremely harmful way to win an election. It marked him as so far right that one would think he would now try to come back more toward the center—in recognition of the core centrist values shared by all Americans, rather than the crackpot extremism and radicalism of the far right. So while it’s all well and good for Mr. Hall to ask for reconciliation, I would reply that you don’t reconcile with someone who by his actions continually punches you in the face even if he says that by doing so he is healing a divide. Punching 55 million people in the face is, in essence, what Bush is doing with his newly unveiled agenda for America.
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Deborah
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 01:59 pm:   

Well done Jeff.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 03:16 pm:   

Grover Norquist gave some quote to the Washington Post about how the two parties can get along once the Democrats accept their minority status. I chalk a certain amount of this up to the gloating of the perenially downtrodden. (I'm an expert on this, having many Red Sox fan friends...)

Hopefully, once the euphoria wears off, people can get serious about cooperation and reconciliation.

For what it's worth, pundits are guessing that some of Bush's administrative and cabinet appointments this term could be somewhat more centrist. I hope so, so we can get beyond the partisan rancor and perhaps accomplish some worthwhile things over the next four years.
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Nancy Jane
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 03:25 pm:   

I'm with Jeff. Bush's idea of "cooperation and reconciliation" is my way or the highway. If I had any senators (and I don't, since I live in the nation's capital, where 550,000 American citizens have taxation galore but no representation), I'd want them to refuse to cooperate with any Bush initiatives. Four years of legislative paralysis would be a big improvement over anything Bush has in mind. If the Senate Democrats can't block stuff with a vote, they should filibuster nonstop.

Nancy
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 03:59 pm:   

What the fuck are you smoking, Dave? Mark Jacobson, a NY journalist and author, and I are toying with the idea of starting an internet magazine in reaction to the good election news. There ain't gonna be no reconciliation. This is war. War against the Bubbas and the Jesus-heads and Mel-Gibson loving Middle America. My slogan? Four years or less. I'm betting that Bush won't stay clean for four years.
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Bob K.
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 05:07 pm:   

Not to jump on you too hard, Dave -- you're a good guy, to judge from your many posts -- but there's no accommodation with this bigoted, ignorant administration. Screw their "heal-the-divide" sanctimonious condescension!
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JV
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 05:10 pm:   

The latest thing Bush said is "I am willing to work with everyone who supports our initiatives."

?!?!?!?!!?

That's supposed to be "compromise"?!?!

JeffV
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JV
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 05:11 pm:   

Lucius:
I hope you do start a magazine. Hell, I'll send money.
JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 05:21 pm:   

I'll let you know, Jeff...

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Jeremy Day
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 06:02 pm:   

I could probably donate some web design and coding, if you're interested. It sounds like a very worthy cause.

- Jeremy
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 06:31 pm:   

Thanks, jeremy. This is in its infant stages, obviously, but I'll keep you posted,
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2004 - 11:32 pm:   

Good letter Jeff. I agree. As Krugman said in today's NY Times: No Surrender.
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JV
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 06:50 am:   

This is worth reading:

OUR FINEST HOUR
http://lawandpolitics.blogspot.com/2004_11_01_lawandpolitics_archive.html#109954 994680333868
__________

I don’t know about you, but there’s been a battle raging in my head over the past 24 hours between two very different voices. The first voice is full of rage and sadness. It’s trying to convince me of what it calls cold reality – that America is cruel, that America is dumb, and that I should give up on America. The second voice tells me to get up, shake it off, and continue to have hope. It tells me to keep fighting for America. And the second one is winning.

I know some of you have opted for the former and given up. Believe me, I understand how you feel. This was crushing. People poured their heart and soul into this campaign. This president simply could not have been any worse. And still, he won. Believe me, I know exactly how dejected you are. I know how cruel and foreign Red America must seem. But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I believe that things aren’t nearly as bleak as they appear. So before I tell you why you shouldn’t give up, let me tell you with a straight face why the election wasn’t nearly as bad as it seemed.

To begin, all this is whining and gnashing of teeth about the death of the Democratic Party is absurd. It doesn’t hold up against the numbers. First, John Kerry got 48% of the popular vote, just 3% less than Bush. In ‘72, McGovern got beat by 22%. In ‘84, Mondale got beat by 18%. In ‘88, Dukakis got beat by 8%. In 1992, Bush I got beat by 6%, and in ‘96 Dole got beat by 8%. This was a very close election by historical standards. Second, if John Kerry won Ohio, he would be president right now. And he lost Ohio by two points (more on that in a second). Third, the Democrats came a hair away from winning in Alaska, Kentucky, South Dakota, Florida, and North Carolina. It picked up a seat in Colorado. These could have easily gone the other way. And that’s not even counting the gross malapportionment that favors rural Red states in both the Senate and Electoral College. As for the House, if the illegal redistricting in Texas hadn’t occurred, it would have remained virtually even.

Here’s the point. The 50/50 split of America remains – the Republicans didn’t break through and gain some sort of permanent majority, and the Democrats aren’t in imminent danger of becoming a permanent popular minority. The map in 2004 looks almost exactly the same as it did in 2000 – the few states that were in the margin of error remained within the margin of error. The challenge isn’t to start from scratch – we just need a couple of points. This is not 1972, and Kerry showed a lot of guts. I wish he were going to be Minority Leader.

The second thing that is annoying me is all the whining about how the Democrats are getting killed because they’re not reaching out on “values.” Now, I’ve written about this several times. And yes, this is correct, but not for the reasons people are saying. It’s not that the Democrats need to adopt values, it’s that they need to understand that their existing policies are more consistent with religious values than Republican ones. It’s a matter of narrative and issue framing, not adopting new policies. (They do need some new policies - we'll get to that in the weeks to come.)

Before we riddle ourselves with guilt about not having values, I want you to take a step back and think about something. And think about it long and hard. The reasons the Democrats lost the South (the land o’ “values”) is because they supported civil rights. Period. Here’s a map of the 1960 election; the 1964 election; and the 1968 election (Wallace the independent was a segregationist). The civil rights bills passed in 1964 and 1965. I post – you decide. What’s worse – the civil rights bills were 100% unambiguously correct and Christian by any reading of the Bible.

Fast forward to 2004. The Democrats (and a few Republicans) stood up (against self-interest in many cases) to prevent discrimination and hatred from being included in the Constitution. And it got them beat. The Republicans ruthlessly demonized an “Other,” and the media is calling it “moral values.” Here’s what I’m talking about:

When voters were asked which of several issues mattered most in deciding their vote, roughly equal numbers picked the Bush campaign’s main issues of moral values (22 percent) and terrorism (19 percent), as picked the Kerry campaign’s main issues of economy/jobs (20 percent) and Iraq (15 percent).



That’s amazing. Discriminating against gay people is more important than the war in Iraq. In Ohio, where gay marriage was purposely put on the ballot, 25% of the voters were evangelical “born-agains,” and they voted 3 to 1 for Bush. I read somewhere that the level of gay-bashing in Ohio flew under the mainstream media’s radar, but was extremely intense - and it drove these people to the polls.

Look, people can say Kerry should have done this or that, or that the Dems need to do this or that. It’s pretty simple – the Democrats got beat because they took a stand that was 100% unambiguously correct and completely consistent with any notion of Christian love and tolerance. The term “values” as it is being used in the media is simply a deceptive label. You could just as easily call it “demonizing an extreme minority whose lives don’t harm anyone.” And what’s most obscene is that these people use Jesus Christ – whose message of love is damn near Buddhist in its simplicity and beauty – to validate their cruel, contingent social norms. I went to Sunday School for eighteen years, and the anti-gay campaign in Ohio resembled nothing that I ever read in the Gospels. In fact, Jesus quite consciously sought out the most marginalized members of his contemporary society and showed them love and warmth and tolerance. The values warriors would be better off spending more time contemplating the Bible's big themes of love, and spending less time trying to twist and construe a couple of scattered translations of ancient Hebrew to validate hate (and I don't think that's the wrong word to use this year - it was a strategy of stirring up hate).

Look, I’m sounding more bitter than I wanted to, but we need to keep this stuff in mind while the media idiot chorus explains to us what happened. The Democrats lost because they chose (bravely, I say) to stand up for what’s right and to stand up for values in the face of “anti-values.” Republicans won by appealing to humanity’s worst base emotions – fear and resentment. This year, they aimed for a visceral disgust, different only in degree from some of the 20th century’s more grotesque examples of demonizing an “Other” to gain political power. And once our new Court is in place, expect criminal sodomy to become a campaign issue in GOP primaries.

So why not give up? For one, we really have made a lot of progress. Josh Marshall beat me to this post, so I’ll just concur with his. Lasting political movements take time. And with the help of blogs and the Internet, the roots have spread quickly in just a couple of years. Just think of what all has blossomed up in the past two years alone – Air America Radio, America Coming Together, Moveon.org, the Center for American Progress, Media Matters, Democracy for America, the New Democratic Network, and a slew of great blogs. We’re twenty years behind on building the sort of infrastructure necessary to compete in the digital media age. But they’re just roots. We have to keep fighting. You have to keep giving money, and volunteering, and spreading good arguments.

But second, we just can’t give up. There are too many valuable causes that need defending - that must be defended. We have to protect the environment. We have to push back on the fiscal insanity. We have to fight back against discrimination. We have to stay on the press. We have to demand accountability. We have to fight and show why our policies are the most humane, and the most moral. It’s about more than the Democratic Party. It’s about helping those people and causes who don't have the benefit of money or influence. It's about shaping an America that we would be proud to leave to our kids.

We got knocked down last night. So we have to get back up. Courage and strength aren’t determined by the resolve you show when you’re winning. They’re determined by how your react to hardship. Yes, the Democrats need to re-package their policies, but I swear, they don’t need to change policies that drastically. They do, however, need new ways to sell them. This election is in some respects an opportunity for pragmatic progressives to insert ideas into the national party's heads (and I love him, but for the love of God don't make Howard Dean DNC Chair). The powers-that-be will be shopping around for compelling messages. And over the next week or so, I for one am going to try to post a lengthy roadmap of where I hope the party should go. And yes, “values” will be the unifying theme.

Look, I know it hurts right now. And it’s hard to stay motivated in times like these. But these are the times where motivation is most needed. And if future victories come, and I'm confident they can, the motivation and resolve that we show right now will have been the source. In times like these, read Churchill:

Therefore, in casting up this dread balancesheet and contemplating our dangers with a disillusioned eye, I see great reason for intense vigilance and exertion, but none whatever for panic or despair. . . . If we can stand up, . . . all . . . may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, . . . including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age. . . . Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the [blogosphere] last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."



Don't give up on me, and I won't give up on you.

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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 06:52 am:   

Let me clarify.

I don't mean to say that people with strong beliefs in the liberal agenda (myself among them) should abandon those beliefs. Far from it. I advocate resisting all the kooky right-wing initiatives (Social Security privatization, faith-based initiatives, etc.) currently being floated. As I said before, the Supreme Court appointment process in particular has got to be aggressively policed.

My point is that the business of government is one of compromise. All this holy war talk notwithstanding, there is day-to-day business that the government is going to have to carry on (for example, approving operating budgets for government agencies and a hundred thousand other below-the-radar things that keep the country running). It's been pretty common knowledge that the partisan rancor on Capitol Hill has kept Republicans and Democrats from getting together on even that type of stuff. My personal favorite was the news story about the environmental bills that never got voted on because Sens. Inhofe and Jeffords refused to sit in the same room (Washington Post, Oct. 18, 2004). Ideological divides -- even bitter ones -- on major policy questions are expected; I certainly could not imagine the next four years not being characterized by them. And that's a healthy thing I expect to take part in.

But there's still a country to run and, at some level, GOP and Dem legislators and administrators are going to have to reach a detente on how to keep agencies and departments functioning. By "reconciliation," I mean the GOP and Democrats setting aside fringe ideology to forge a moderate approach to work out those things. Of course, I don't mean that we should start toting pro-life banners or agitating for prayer in schools.

Believe it or not, Lucius, you can count on me for a contribution to the mag, as well. Provided, of course, that the folks on Capitol Hill can keep my paychecks coming...

Articulate, impassioned dissent is going to be mandatory over the next four years. A four-year sit-down strike is just not the way to go, in my view.
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concerned citizen
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 06:53 am:   

So I've been thinking to myself . . . how would one go about mobilizing the millions of people who voted against Bush who work here in NYC? If you could just get several hundred thousand of them to link arms, packed in like sardines surrounding Wall Street, we could shut it down. Make like Ghandi and passive resist their ass to shut down the market. Send a message.
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JV
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 07:07 am:   

Yeah--good question, concerned citizen. New York and California have huge economies that are vital to the US, for one thing.

Re the long letter above--in case there's any confusion, it's the transcript from the link in the same post. It's not something I wrote.

JeffV
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Nancy Jane
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 07:15 am:   

Here's how we look across the Atlantic:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/frontpages/
Scroll down to see Thursday's front page.

Nancy
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Brendan
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 07:16 am:   

Yes, the majority of the money is in CA and NY. That is why these citizens should threaten to succeed unless George steps down :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 07:33 am:   

The death of the democratic party is BS. All Kerry needed to do was to flip one state. But I hope the Dems have the sense not to run a northern liberal for a while.

And Dave, I'm hoping that Republican excesses are so outrageous, they shut dowm the fucking govt. It worked to get rid of Gingrich....
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Brendan
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 07:37 am:   

Yes. I agree. The Democrats need someone with a nice Southern twange. I personally relish listening to guys with Southern twangs talk about how lame Bush is.

For those of you who like Ted Rall:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ucru/20041105/cm_ucru/guiltydisgu stedamerican&cid=127&ncid=1935
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 07:55 am:   

And Lucius, you see how viable a long-term solution govt gridlock is. Half a dozen years later, we're right back in the soup with a new cast of villains.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 08:08 am:   

Well, maybe that's the way it has to go, man. Bumpitty Bump. From gridlock to gridlock. You seem to think this is merely a blip. Maybe it is. But I think it;s the end of the Enlightenment.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 08:42 am:   

I wish I could say it was a blip. I'm not convinced of that, either. The US population is graying, and, as it gets closer to the grave, it gets more religious, more conservative, more right wing. There's no Baby Boom to bail us out this time.

I would not say the next four years is a blip. But what I would say is that liberals and their legislators have got to figure out a way to muddle through these next four years while the Democratic party retools itself to the new realities in America. It's got to figure out a way to reach out and embrace some of the centrist Republicans, either with exceptionally charismatic candidates, or issues that resonate with them (the draft, perhaps?). And its got to figure out how to run a campaign.

Clearly, the old reliable Plan A for the Dems (hold a big concert and "energize" the kids!) no longer works with today's demographics. Whatever work the party has to do is going to be more profound, more basic.

Oh, yeah, there's trouble coming, all right. Maybe I'm naive, but I figure if we can survive 1.5 terms of Nixon and 2 terms of Reagan, we should be able to survive Bush 43. But we may find ourselves having to cuddle up with some strange bedfellows to get the government back. Don't hog the blankets...
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Kage Baker
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 08:55 am:   

Anybody else looking around and realizing that we're all trapped on the Pequod?
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Brendan
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 10:49 am:   

Well - one thing is sure: Bush is dangerous. As for surviving Reagan: We barely did. Remember, that was the era of mass nuclear buildup. We still don't know if we will survive him, as he left a legacy of sleeping nuclear arms.
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al duncan
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 11:10 am:   

Jeff, I think the point about values in that post is absolutely the key issue. I just posted a response over on an F&SF thread that I don't want to reiterate here, but it seems to me that the Democrats completely failed to articulate the underlying ethic of liberalism and, more importantly, failed to challenge the "morality" of the Reactionary Right.

Lucius, if you do start up a mag, I may not be a US citizen but I'm with Jeff and Jeremy and Dave. If you need financial support, just tell us all where to send it. Because I think you're right; you guys are looking at a civil war - psychological (so far) but a war nonetheless - and that means it's not just a national issue. I mean, up until recently I would have raised an eyebrow at the "rise of fascism" argument, but more and more it seems to me that the Straussian strategies of the neo-cons are honestly just fascism by another name. And it's not just Kerry talking about reconciliation and co-operation, but European leaders also. The French Prime Minister, for fuck's sake.

So, nah. Reconciliation and co-operation are just complicity and collaboration as long as Bush has Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and their ilk setting the agenda.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 11:45 am:   

I could not agree more with the essay JV posted...we have the right values; we just need to find a strategy to cut through the fog and convey the rightness of those values. Instead of counter-punching against Republicans peddling non-issues (Swift boat nonsense, Mary Cheney lesbian "outing" twaddle), find ways to SET the agenda and be forceful and unabashed about advancing our ideals.

I think we've got to do what we can to keep the wheels turning. I'm not as appalled by the idea of people of diverging political views working together as some here are. I just don't see that as inconsistent with believing in, and advancing, strong minority views. If and when we retake the majority, we're going to expect a good-faith opposition to work alongside us, so we need to be prepared to do the same.

How quickly do you think we can get Barrack Obama ready for a presidential run?
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Brendan
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 11:53 am:   

Actually, I sort of wish Kerry had picked a Black running mate. I don't know why these guys never do.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 11:57 am:   

If I was Barrack Obama, I wouldn't accept rides in any small planes. Any big planes, either.
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 12:45 pm:   

Anyone have some server space to donate to Lucius's webzine? If no one can donate a little space, I know of some relatively inexpensive places to get hosting. Anything with PHP (or, maybe, ASP) would be ideal. If you want to have a public message a webzine is about the best way to go. And I think that there is a large enough network of bloggers and enthusiasts around here to really get the message out there.

One good, public news story could put readership through the roof. Just look at what happened with JibJab.

- Jeremy
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Minz
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 04:14 pm:   

I have personal webspace through my Comcast hi-speed. I've never used it, don't remember how much it is (10+ megs I think, probably more now). I'd be honored. If this is a serious proposal, email me and I'll look up the particulars.
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Bob K.
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 07:14 pm:   

Maybe you should let me do it. We've got the space and bandwidth, and I've got the code written for the content management tools. I could create a backend for role-based accounts and then let you guys play. If you guys will maintain the site and donate editing (I don't have much time), I'll provide the infrastructure and improve it according to your needs. You'd need someone like Luis to do the design. I always subcontract the front-end stuff.

Bob
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 08:35 pm:   

Heh. The backend stuff is the fun stuff. But I'd be happy to do the front end. Lucius, did you have any sort of names in mind?

- Jeremy

PS. Lucius, if you do have some names in mind, you may want to buy the domains before mentioning them. I would hope that no one here would steal them, but you never can be too certain.
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JV
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 08:41 pm:   

Before we all go jumping the gun--I might be wrong, but when Lucius first mentioned this possibility, my first thought was that he'd have all of that stuff dealt with like you would with a regular, professional mag. And that he might just need investors. I'd rather keep this thread for continued political discussion and let Lucius start a thread on his board if he wants to get into serious discussion of a web mag--just because otherwise, the offers/advice/whatever will get lost in amongst the other stuff, and it'd be more helpful to Lucius to have it on his board. (If he disagrees, by all means continue here.)

But perhaps before we build a 24-7, thousand-hour prison for Lucius, we should wait to hear more details from him, whenever he's able to provide them. :-)

JeffV
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Bob K.
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 09:29 pm:   

I take Lucius at his word -- he's just starting to mull this over -- though Mark Jacobson may have some people in mind to put the site together for all I know.

Anyway, back to politics. After the election, I had this recurrent nagging memory of Laura and George being interviewed by Larry King. They had sappy, beatific looks on their faces, and they struck me as looking exactly like members of the 700 Club at a Bible sitdown.

When I read the following second-hand quote from the editorial by Lance Dickie of the Seattle Times (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2002082370_lance05.html), I had an epiphany:

"Patricia O'Connell Killen, professor of religion at Pacific Lutheran University, raises a key point. The wedge issues in no way affect people's pocketbooks. Being against gay marriage is an identity marker among kindred souls that does not involve excessive personal burden, expense or change of behavior — unlike, say, confronting poverty or protecting the environment."

Juxtaposing this and the King interview in my head, I realized that the Bush partisans who aren't wealthy and don't stand to gain by Bush's reelection had been televangelized, Jim Bakkered, Jimmy Swaggarted. The Democrats didn't lose so much because they played the game poorly, though I think they did. They lost because they didn't play the same game at all. Just like all those suckers who put themselves in debt sending their weekly checks to Jim Bakker, the poor will keep taking it in the backside as long as they get their religious impulse addressed. And George is the perfect tool to deliver the sermon, because he's not a shyster. Shallow, vindictive, and ignorant yes, but a true believer -- which is why I'm not as optimistic as Lucius that scandal will find him and stick, and I despair that reason will have any effect.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 10:33 pm:   

All you guys, thanks. Let me see if this is doobale and I'll get back to you.
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Brendan
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 11:26 pm:   

Lucius -

Yes - personally I have always suspected assassination in those two plane crashes (2000, 2002) that deprived the Democrats of two senators. Of course some would say I am paranoid.

Speaking of paranoid: Does anyone else think it possible that Arafat could have been poisoned? My wife thought I was crazy for saying that. But why not? Are poisons that out of date for use in assassinations? I sort of doubt it.
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barth
Posted on Saturday, November 06, 2004 - 05:25 am:   

jeff,

i just wanted to voice a big "right on" to your essay upstream. while i disagree that the democrats put out a message that was "100% unambiguously correct," i do think that the current hand-wringing about morality and values is near pathetic. as lucius said, this election was decided by a couple hundred thousand votes. that's no mandate for the lyin' king.

the real story of this election, told in 15 or 20 years, is going to be the magnificent heights of denial that americans sailed to, post-9/11. faced with a parade of whistle-blowers from within the administration, evidence of incompetence at best and treachery at worst, an illigitimate war conducted by men who profit by it, a bloody occupation, and evidence of a white house sanctioned institutionalization of sexual torture, america chose to re-elect this president. why? because gay marriage is scarier and abortion is gross? no, because the electorate's slim majority couldn't bear to admit that it waved flags and sang hymns while this corrupt regime lined their pockets with an oil-war.

it's an epic tragedy that kerry just couldn't force america to see bush's actual "values" and "morals." but what german in 1939 could have told nazi germany to wake up, look past the patriotic spin, and face reality?

unlike nazi germany, 48% of america today voted to oust a corrupt regime. so i agree with you that the left needs to stop whining and whipping itself. indeed, there's plenty to build on. but if anything validates a mandate of bush's paltry 51% majority, it's the democrats penchance for publicly evacuating their own missions.
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ben peek
Posted on Saturday, November 06, 2004 - 06:44 pm:   

brendan: i don't reckon poison. i just think he's old.
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Brendan
Posted on Saturday, November 06, 2004 - 11:14 pm:   

Maybe so. Still, people don't usually slip into comas without a cause.
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JV
Posted on Sunday, November 07, 2004 - 07:55 am:   

You'll remember my short letter to the editor posted above? It ran today, and I'm beginning to get some lovely fan mail. One positive email and then these two wonderful missives...

Jeff

frank moore:
reading your letter reminds me of a monkey zoo i visitied as a young child. there was this one monkey that would zip around the cage and throw things at people then zip over to its other monkey friends in an effort to get them to join in. the monkey would scream loudly trying to rally the other monkeys to join in. i watched completely fascinated for quite a long time until it finally exausted itself and failing to rally its friends curled up in a corner to recoup. the only thing i can figure is that this monkey was not happy in the cage with the others or it just took great joy in throwing shit at people.

And, from someone anonymous, which is always nice:

The lunatic uber-liberal lug nuts were stunned Wednesday morning that Kerry didn’t carry this election. Yeah, it is hard to imagine Kerry and Edwards not solidly connecting with Middle America. With all the support for him from

· Has-been Jurassic rock stars,
· Gold-toothed gangsta rappers,
· Bleached-blond MTV male thugs,
· Bisexual lip-syncing tarts,
· A chunky female country singer,
· Hollywood, with its swing clubs and Hustler superstores,
· Famous people who are famous for being famous,
· Prancing and screaming gay activists,
· PETA’s naked anti-hunting and anti-beef-eating protestors who wouldn’t hurt a bird but are cool with aborting a baby,
· A Europe-lauding Wall Street billionaire,
· Blathering liberal talking pinheads,
· Rosie and her anti-traditional family ilk,
· Pro-partial-birth-abortion monsters,
· America-hating European and UN leaders and …
· The all-American regular guy, communist Michael “the manatee” Moore
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Brendan
Posted on Sunday, November 07, 2004 - 08:05 am:   

The first one was just stupid. The second was both stupid and amusing.
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Anna T
Posted on Sunday, November 07, 2004 - 01:16 pm:   

Dave,
You mentioned that "Grover Norquist gave some quote to the Washington Post about how the two parties can get along once the Democrats accept their minority status." However, in September, his piece "The Democratic Party is Toast" started by saying, "The modern Democratic Party cannot survive the reelection of President George W. Bush and another four years of Republican control of both Congress and the White House.No brag. Just fact. "
The article is interesting reading, to say the least.
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2004/0409.norquist.html
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Jeremy Day
Posted on Sunday, November 07, 2004 - 03:07 pm:   

I know that this is a bit off-topic (okay, a lot off topic), but if you're still looking for a way to blow off some post-election stress and anxiety, you should go see The Incredibles. Right now.

- Jeremy
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 08:20 am:   

Anna, my very non-professional, man-on-the-street opinion is that Grover Norquist is a flaming a-hole even by GOP standards. Karl Rove was on Tim Russert Sunday and even he seemed somewhat embarrassed and taken aback by Norquist's comments. What do you expect from a guy whose life's work is naming highway rest stops and smalltown municipal buildings after Ronald Reagan?
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 08:36 am:   

Jeff, the second of your fan letters seems at first just a dismissive bolus of cliche spewed up by someone who refuses to look beyond labels at the real constituency of the Democratic party. Unfortunately, I found myself wondering after this election whether that failure to connect with the real base might not also be a problem shared by the party itself. After all, it must be terribly difficult for wealthy easterners and career wonks to imagine themselves into the conditions and mindsets of America's real Democracy.

The thing your letter-writer misses is the same thing the Democratic party has been missing, and which, I think, cost them this election. That is, there is no necessary connection between a Democratic constituency and any concepts of social tolerance or political fair play. Most of the thorough-going Democratic voters I've met have been just as prejudiced and just as narrow-minded as the most froth-lipped neo-con culture warrior. They're just unwilling to become victims themselves of the political process. People want their voices heard, but one of the things those voices seem to be saying is, "Shut these other assholes up!"

I like to have faith in democratic and republican principles (note the small initial letters), but America has always interpreted political equality in the terms, "You are no better than I am." Unless we can somehow change the syntax of that to "I am no better than you are," we'll always end up struggling for dominance. Maybe that's human nature, but I hope not. At any rate, I think it's perhaps time the Democratic party took a little walk among its real base and canvassed some opinions on things other than class and the economy. And they might want to bring some smelling salts.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 10:30 am:   

One thing is the advancing age of the population, coupled with a demographic increase in the Hispanic population, means that the dems are going to need to get in touch with issues of faith and religion. It might help them to find a candidate who can talk about religious matters without looking completely disingenuous or like they want to upchuck or break out laughing.
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Anna T
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 12:51 pm:   

Dave,
I agree with you on Norquist, but was just responding to your comment on him with this piece, which because of gerrymandering, has much truth to it. Because of gerrymandering and the power of encumbancy, very few of the elections were even real elections in this last election. They were re-annointings. And the attitude he has is shared by many.

As to the letters Jeff got, I think that anyone who reacts to them with by jeering has the right mindset for the next election to go the same way as this last. Elections are won not on facts of what the world is like, but on the perceptions of people who are motivated enough to vote. And anger is the biggest motivator in many elections. This piece in today's Chattanoogan makes good reading.
http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_58336.asp

and as for the veering towards faith, this is indeed a reaction that many 'pundits' are urging the Dems to go toward.
Here's three views on it.
"Reinventing themselves is the Democrats' next task"
http://www.sacbee.com/content/politics/story/11346773p-12261403c.html

No, it wasn't God
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/comment/story/0,14259,1345385,00.html

Personal morality beats social justice at the polls
http://www.baptiststandard.com/postnuke/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display& pid=2548

Personally, I am disgusted by this view. There are many Americans who don't want the remaining tattered walls separating Church and State to be torn down. And in this world, it is even more important to realise the implications of turning America into a theocracy. If the American government says that it is pushing democracy, but talks theocracy for itself--Christian theocracy, mind you--then this IS a war of Christianity against Islam. This is a slap in the face to all Muslims who also wish to live in a democratic, non-theocratic state, and even to the little state of Israel, whose secularists have been increasingly sidelined by the theocrats who have siezed their very-less-than-perfect democracy. And the message it gives to the fundamentalist Hindus in India is the same. Secularists are extreme, though rule by "God" is not. This is an explosively foolhardy way to go for the nation that calls itself the world's leader, even as the rulers of the nation that will soon be, look on in glee. They have learnt many lessons since 9/11, not the least being that a nation that forgets what its constitution stood for and that so easily forgets what justice is, is a nation that has lost every power except hardware. With the gift to the world of the Doctrine of Pre-Emption, America did one thing very effectively over these past three years. It made sure that the New American Century was the past century, because with its acts, its glory, power, and creds are the past. The Democrats put no daylight between themselves and this terrible doctrine. They were silent when they should have scrutinised and questioned the excuses for waging war. Their attitude to "justice" is the most tragic disgrace. By acting as they have, they proved themselves as craven in the campaign as they did during the term of the Bush administration.
But that was a compulsive aside.
The main thing is that those letters to Jeff should be respected for what they say, and learnt from. For however much the result of this election hurts, it is suicidal to a party to view the voters as stupid.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 01:31 pm:   

I agree that it would be wrong for the Dems to pander to the religious right or to move toward a theocracy.

But, Anna, as you say, it's all about perception. And, clearly, the Democratic Party has got to find a way to foster the perception that its core values overlap with the values embraced by religious people (not necessarily the "religious right"). There was a lot of discussion of this in the wake of the election, stressing the basic morality of fundamental liberal positions as a way of capturing centrist voters to whom GOP "moral values" posturing appeals. It's not about tearing down the church/state divide; it's about building perceptions in middle America that the Democrats and their agenda will advance those "moral values" that the Republicans claim to have a lock on. In short: better communicating the liberal message and cutting through GOP static and interference.
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Anna T
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 05:00 pm:   

Dave, I agree with you that the Democrats need to communicate, but first they have to find what they believe in again. Around the world, many electorates lately that have gone right or voted, and I quote, "wrong-minded" have done so because the elites continued to not assess their own positions, but to blame their defeats on the lack of ability of the electorate to understand, thus the lesson learned is to "communicate better" and "to connect". A recipe for another stunning defeat. Those stupid voters! Here's a quote from a letter I just received from another Indian friend of mine:
"The snobbish approach of intelligentsia is the reason for growth of religious fundamentalism in many countries, including India. I remember when many years back a friend of mine in Bombay University told me that when two intellectuals talked about the psychology of the common mass in India and their ignorance, she always felt that they were indulged in intellectual masturbation. Probably, that got reflected very well in the American election, where almost all centres of academic excellence voted for the democrats, but the 'rustic' America decided to reject 'enlightenment'."

The Democrats have increasingly lost their base and now have no recognisable core beliefs. Clinton got elected because he connected personally with voters as a guy who worked his way up from where they live, but the policies he pushed were taken from the vibrant Republican intelligentsia. In this election, we were served up a shrill negativist from the Northeast whose wife obviously didn't want him to win (and he was viewed seriously as a presidential contender! Why?); a Humphrey-style union Democrat when the union strength is at its lowest level since the union movement began, and when the greatest manifestation of union strength was the dockyard strike that cost the US dearly, all for a few overpaid, underworked men, and finally, the winner: a man whose thirty-year career in the Senate was distinguished by only one feature: his ability to raise money for his next campaign. The Swift Boat creeps had been following him for years, yet the Party machine ran him as the Vet Hero, wiping out both his record in the Senate (perfect fuel for the other side to discount it, too) and in going for the AWOL president, the party also gave the message that the last four years were less important, not crucially important.

Michael Moore lost more votes than he gained for the Dems, and if they don't know that, they haven't learned a thing. A guy who goes around the world calling America dumb is dumb if he thinks Americans are going to thank him for it. And as for "stupid white men", they voted. George Soros is another ally that is doing the Dems no good.

So yes, by all means, connect with America again, but first find out what the party believes in again. Democratic Party membership is at its lowest since, I think, the 20s. It can no longer be called, "The party for us" and the Republicans, "The party for the rich." The biggest source of funds to the Democrats are indeed, the trial lawyers, and litigation is a pox on America that has spread around the world, to its detriment. If I had my druthers, I'd show "Mr Smith goes to Washington" to get some soul back. A party that comes out strong for the conservative values of honesty in government, the end of government by special access and lobbyist support, mutual respect for individuals (and stops thinking of individuals as not individuals, but as segments--which box do you belong in so we can target you--Kerry's own website reeked of this), balanced budgets, and a libertarian approach to especially small business, while reviving some of the best of the socialism of the New Deal in health care, could bring some choice into voting again. A party that for instance, continues to protect the interests of the teachers' unions against the interests of children's good education just feeds more votes into the right wing, and serves to strengthen the fundamentalist religious vote.

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Lucius
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 08:14 pm:   

You act like the Democrats got their ass handed them, whereas they lost a close election when running an absolutely horrid candidate. Four more years of Bush will do wonders toward smartening up the electorate.
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Nancy Jane Moore
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 08:30 pm:   

There's another factor that ought to be examined. Bob Herbert says in his column in Monday's NY Times that 70 percent of the people who voted for Bush thought Saddam was tied to Al Qaeda; 30 percent thought we had found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; and 30 percent thought most of the world supported the war in Iraq.

Now you can put that down to stupidity, but I think it's more complex. Bush lied about those things over and over. He never really backed off of the original lies, even when the facts were thrown in his face. And most of the media coverage took his statements at face value. A few responsible publications would include in a news story that the 9/11 Commission found no connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda or that no one has found any WMD, but they did it in the classic journalistic style that assumes if you quote both sides you've given a balanced story. When one side is constantly lying, quoting both sides doesn't give you real balance.

I find it particularly troublesome that the whole country knew that Bill Clinton lied about his sex life, but a signficiant percentage of voters didn't know that Bush lied about the Iraq War.

Nancy
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Anna T
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 09:10 pm:   

Lucius, and Nancy,
I absolutely agree with both of you. I agree, Lucius about the closeness of the result, and the quality of the candidate, but am mighty worried by the Democrats' response come '02 with candidates, and '04(possibly without reason to be). The only surprise about the result in the election as far as I'm concerned is that anyone is surprised. I thought the result would be an even worse trouncing. And as for the next four years showing, that is what Nancy is talking about. I consider the media highly culpable in the extent of Americans' misconceptions, both before the war and after. That is why some large amount of Factcheck needs to be made prominent, and the media brought to task on why the hell they still act as they do, when a lie versus a fact is not two sides of a balanced story.
By the way, Lucius, I'd like to help your effort, too, in any way you want help.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 03:32 am:   

Lucius: "You act like the Democrats got their ass handed them, whereas they lost a close election when running an absolutely horrid candidate."

I agree with a couple of newspaper columnists who say the Dems should begin to draw from lower in the party stack--tap some state officials, mayors, and the like, people who have been largely shut out of a centralized and centralizing political process.

Let's see if bringing some players up from the minors can freshen things up. I just don't see a wealthy east-coaster getting the votes, and it's getting harder and harder to find a popular Dem in the South who's capable of taking the presidency.
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 06:49 am:   

I agree with Lucius. Kerry was never my favourite for the job. As a matter of fact, in the primaries he was my least favourite. And 51 percent is really not much of a lead.

The truth is simply the Democrats need an exciting candidate with balls.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 08:17 am:   

I would modify Brendan's formulation by saying "an exciting candidate with balls and savvy." Let's not forget, Bill Clinton didn't exactly spew hellfire and brimstone policy-wise. He just understood how to connect with people and make them feel empowered. He was not much as a reformer, but he was a hell of a campaigner.

In retrospect, Kerry did come off as stiff and effete, not a man of the people. Having a rich, foreign-born wife didn't help.
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Minz
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 09:51 am:   

I'm liking Bill Richardson. He can genuinely sell "Aw shucks, I'm one of y'all" but he also happens to have ambassador experience, Sec of Dept of Energy, not to mention up for the Nobel Peace Prize four times. And most important, he's a governor, not a senator. Let's start selling Bill.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 10:26 am:   

Doesn't he have an Hispanic background, also?
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 10:49 am:   

He is Chicano.

I would not call him incredibly dynamic though.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 12:20 pm:   

He was on the short-list for Kerry's veep.

Given that pollsters have pointed out that the two demographic segments where Kerry really struck out were Hispanics and married women, Richardson might not have been a bad choice. Edwards failed to deliver one of those groups, as hoped. Maybe Richardson could have delivered the other.
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Minz
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 01:47 pm:   

And Bush is Dynamic? All he needs a slogan, and he needs to stick to it regardless of facts. Have we learned nothing? :-)
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Anna T
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 02:51 pm:   

Minz,
Richardson looks best to me, too. And I agree with you on getting behind him, especially because there's serious backing for Hillary that could waste the energy of the party and warp the DNC, which needs to be shaken up anyway.
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Anna T
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 03:03 pm:   

Though I wish it could be Joe Biden. I know that he is tarnished, and a Senator, too. But I think he's the best senator today. Too bad that his plagiarism killed his chances long ago. Saint JFK's remembered words were themselves, rip-offs.
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 06:16 pm:   

Another nice response. Where to begin re the misconceptions...

Jeff

>I see in today's Tallahassee Democrat, Editorial section that there is
>indeed
>another person who feels you and your wife are on the wrong track as well.
>Good job David Fountain whoever you are.
>
>Yes, you are right about my position on Church and State. God should
>be
>back
>in the school's 100%. Not necessarily Jesus, though I'm a Christian, but
>God
>(Old Testament). Prayer should be back in schools as well. Creationism
>should be taught as well as Darwinism, or none at all. We are a country
>founded
>on those principles by our Founding Fathers and the Constitution. It's
>only a
>select few Supreme Court justices in the last century that gave their
>personal
>interpretation of what they felt the founding fathers meant (more like
>their
>personal agenda). You ought to know that Jeff if you know history.
>
>War is War Jeff. You have to give more specifics (and I'm sure you
>will)
>on
>torture. I don't believe in everything Bush has done, but I didn't believe
>in
>100% of what Kerry was preaching. If you are talking about American lives
>being lost, or innocent Iraq citizens caught in the crossfire of war, then
>that
>is sad, but it's not even a percentage of what Saddam Hussein did to his
>own
>people. I believe there is a link between al Qaeda and Iraq. Weapons of
>mass
>destruction will be found (probably buried or most likely in Syria where
>the
>Batth party flourishes). Hussein already used them once in his 8 year war
>with
>Iran. It's not as if he never had them!!!!!!
>
>It's a new world we live in Jeff. Terrorist are not like Communist.
>You
>can
>talk and reason with a Communist, form treaties, etc. Terrorist's aren't a
>specific government, though governments do support them. They are willing
>to
>die for a cause thinking that Allah has 8 virgins waiting for them when
>they
>pass through the next world. It's insane to thing that any God would
>approve of
>what they are doing, but anyone can be brainwashed. You have to deal with
>them in a whole different way, and I support the president in keeping them
>outside of our borders and away from us.
>
>Might as well get everything out. I'm in favor of the Death Penalty.
>I'm against Abortion except in the case of rape, incest, or if the life of the
>mother is in danger. Roe vs. Wade should be overturned, but while it is
>still law
>I don't think my tax dollars should be paying for them. If a woman
>wants
>to
>be able to choose for herself, fine.......She has to face God one day.
>
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Brendan
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - 11:35 pm:   

No Joe Biden sucks. He voted for the war like Kerry, and in the end that is a large part of why Kerry was damaged goods from the beginning. Once again, Bill Richardson would have made a good vice presidential candidate, but not presidential. I am from New Mexico. What attracts New Mexicans to vote for their governor will probably not attract the rest of the country - in my opinion.

New Mexicans are by no means Southerners, nor do they have the good ol boy thing like in Texas.
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Anna T
Posted on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - 03:15 am:   

Brendan,
So true re the war. Who do you think would be a good choice?
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Brendan
Posted on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - 03:19 pm:   

Right now I don't see one. I think someone needs to emerge out of the ashes. Probably someone we are not thinking of. All the people we are thinking of are "old school Democrats". In my opinion we need people who represent today's conditions rather then yesterday's. No more moving to the center. No more pandering to warmongers and liers.

Someone might emerge, but I don't think we should expect them to so soon.

One thing is for sure: Hilary and the old school Democrats are out. It is in large part their fault that Bush is where he is - because they all backed his war, and essentially are opportunists.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 04:19 am:   

Brendan, I agree with your assessment. Sadly, I've heard "the old way of thinking is out" too many times from the Dems, and nothing much has changed except style of campaigning. So long as the party core controls nominations, the Dems will find the "old ways" a strange attractor. The solution, as always, is more grassroots activism. Will we see that with masses of registered Dems? I certainly hope so. Anyway, it beats the hell out of sitting around with our thumbs up our asses, then bitching about choices on election day.
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 04:40 am:   

Neal - Well, in the nomination process for the Democratic nominee, I was very disappointed in the leadership. I was also very disappointed that in the nominations people voted for Kerry under the flag of "anybody but Bush". Democrats totally failed to see that many voters would not vote for someone soley because he was not Bush. They seemed to totally ignore that in a general election likeablility is a major factor - and in my opinion every other nominee was more "likeable" than Kerry. Even Al Sharpton for Christ's sake.

So as far as I am concerned, they should all be thrown out: Hillary, Kerry, Terry McCaulif (sp?) etc.

I am sick of getting burned by their lack of insight. Bush was beatable, and it is not just the voters' fault that he was not beaten.
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 04:41 am:   

I mean "every other candidate was more likeable"
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 05:59 am:   

Brendan: "Democrats totally failed to see that many voters would not vote for someone soley because he was not Bush."

Or as it turned out with Kerry's largely negative positions and dance toward the "middle," he was not quite Bush. I wonder how many voters chose Bush because he was forthright (even if wrong-headed) in his moral crusade, as some kind of reaction against relativism.

This is a hard call because different pundits and different polls have (revealed?) pointed to different voter motivations. What seems to have motivated many Americans was opposition to behaviors, policies, and practices, on both sides of the divide, Dems and GOP. Abortion rights, gay marriage, impulsive first-strike wars, restrictions of civil liberties, unwillingness to restrict civil liberties. I'm not sure how to sort this all out, and I'm not convinced it can be sorted out.

But my point is that the thing Bush had going most for him (besides being incumbent during a war) was that he seemed to stand for something positive, even if that "something" was abhorrant to many Americans. The Dems need to stop engaging in parries with the occasional riposte, and start trading thrusts. They need positive principles, and they need to sell them.

I keep hearing idiots telling me the Dems are "out of touch" with middle America, that they need to "move toward the middle," which means "move toward the far right." Bullshit. If Bush and his gang can sell Americans the slow erosion of their own civil rights, the adequacy of bald-faced lies as pretext for war, and government meddling into private lives as "traditional values," then the Dems can sure as hell sell Americans a version of health care that doesn't leave hundreds of thousands of Americans dying of preventable and curable diseases. They can sell liberty WITH security. They can sell international respect WITH autonomy.

They just have to thrust, and they have to find someone with spine to do the thrusting.
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 06:12 am:   

Neal - I agree. I think that the Democrats need to basically fight the battle on their terms, rather than the Republicans. Instead of having some kind of a macho contest with the Republicans, they need to actually show why they are different. Kerry spent way too much time saying "I will kill the terrorists wherever they are" instead of conveying his own message - because lets face it, the terrorist message belongs to the Republicans.
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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 07:20 am:   

Right, Brendan. And by the way, have you noticed how much more successful Bush became once he dropped all that "compassionate conservative" horseshit and just started putting boots up asses? Maybe there's a message in that for the Dems. Instead of playing pat-a-cake with all and sundry, just pick a set of principles people can understand without a collegiate dictionary, and put those principles in front of the people until they start liking it. And to those who oppose the principles, do what the GOP does: tell them to get bent!

I'm not saying dumb down politics. I'm saying stop finessing the message into a beige pudding. People have every right to assume, if you cannot make your message clear to them, maybe you don't understand it yourself. Kerry wasted a lot of juice during the debates by telling America his campaign had perfectly workable plans for this, that, and the other. He should have boiled those plans down, cast them into bullets, and fired them point-blank into America. Do NOT tell Americans they can go and look it up for themselves; spell it out for them while they wait. We all know when a politician says on television, "You can look it up for yourself," he is LYING, and he is lying because he knows over ninety percent of us will never take the ten to twenty minutes required to look up what we've been invited to look up, and the other ten percent marginalize themselves the moment they open their mouths. How do you get a lie past the American people? Tell them it's not a lie, and that they can look it up anytime they want.

I'm not sure if this latest election is an indication that America is moving back toward herrenvolk politics. I hope not. I don't want to see an increase in exclusionary populism, especially when the marginal groups become easier and easier to exclude--and I mean that as no insult to homosexuals, many of whom have perfectly good first-hand evidence of how quickly they can become locked outside the house.

But there is something positive, I think, in this shift toward populism. It reawakens a focus on national character, and it gives us a chance to reintroduce political and ethical principles with renewed force. Similarly, with populism comes a new confidence among citizens in their own ability to steer their nation, for good or ill. I think we need this right now; I think we've been letting our parties and our rulers determine the course of our politics for too long. If the Dems are sharp, they will take the reins of this resurgence, and they will do so by introducing fresh faces, small-town heroes, and outsiders to the traditional political establishment. They need to bring some talent up from the minors, and they need to do it right now.

What they DON'T need to do is move toward the middle. Middle means nothing. It means "closer to my own views." It means "that non-place in politics that makes me immune to all the charges people fling at others." Many Americans enjoy deluding themselves that they are in some way "moderates," which only means that they have no real principles for which they would sacrifice, or that they don't care to endorse the party squabbling they nevertheless endorse each time they vote. Where I live, "moderate" falls somewhere between Ronald Reagan and Benito Mussolini, and that is no kind of middle to strive for.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 08:46 am:   

Not to cry over spilt milk, but it looks as if there are credible concerns about the election's integrity:


Dear Fellow Democrats:


Our San Diego County Democratic Party office has been flooded with calls and emails from concerned/angry/frustrated people who are seeking something to do about the many voter fraud reports that are being written about on the Internet and talked about on Air America talk radio.


Below is a compilation of voter fraud reports for you to read and research and to judge for yourself.


Following that is a list of actions you can take.


If we are truly hoping for justice and a means of preserving our precious democracy, we must act now.


Thank you,


Jess Durfee

Chair

San Diego County Democratic Party


__________________________________


Source: Unknown (but seems to be from mainstream journalists working on

the sly)


Since the US presidential election, accounts of voter fraud and

malfunctioning voting machines have flooded into local US newspapers, to

public-interest groups, to universities, and to weblogs.


This letter is an overview of those reports.


The stories are summarized here, with links to the original publications.

After seeing this evidence - and there is more still to be rounded up -

you will most probably suspect that Bush did not win the election.


Many accounts of election tampering are included, but a broad search has

still to be done. The following is only what has been learned in the few

days since the election. Clearly, an investigation is needed.


The following is a compilation of the initial research of one group of

concerned US journalists.


It seems that there is enough evidence in the following to suggest that

the electorate may have actually chosen Kerry for President. It cannot be

known for sure unless there is a recount.


Bush has not yet been chosen by the Electoral College. The Electors meet

and vote on Dec. 13. Questions need to be raised about the results

(immediately and loudly) to get an investigation launched before that

date.


So far, the mainstream media in not picking up the story. Remember that

they moved very slowly after the anomalies of 2000 US election.


Here are the accounts of election tampering from four states, plus reports

on multi-state problems.


(Please note: some of the newspaper links may expire soon. You may want to

print out the stories so that later on, you don't have to buy them from

the newspapers' archives.)


FLORIDA:


The most troubling news has come out of Florida. Throughout most of the

state, new electronic voting machines were in use. These machines - many

manufactured by a company called Diebold - are controversial because they

don't leave a paper trail.


There is no way to double-check the results.


The final Florida tallies on Diebold machines from Tuesday are literally

unbelievable.


In 29 counties where Diebold machines (an optical scanner) were used to

count the ballots, large majorities of voters were registered Democrats.

But the final results gave all the counties to Bush, sometimes by huge

margins.


The individual county data shows how unlikely the machine results were.


For instance:


In Calhoun County, 82% of registered voters are Democrats. But Diebold

machines said 63% of the county voted for Bush.


In Lafayette County, 83% of voters are Democrats, but Diebold said 74% of

the county voted for Bush.


In Liberty County, 88% of voters are Democrats, but Diebold said 64% voted

for Bush.


In Washington County, 67% of voters are Democrats, but Diebold said 71%

voted for Bush.


This same pattern appears in the results for 29 COUNTIES in Florida. In

every one of those counties, the Diebold Optical Scanner produced the

results.


The Optical Scanner has been called the voting machine that is most

susceptible to tampering.


Many of you have been watching elections closely for years. Do you believe

that in 29 Florida counties in which Democrats were in the majority - in

some cases with 4 out of 5 registered voters being Democrats - they all

voted strongly for Bush?


Here are the links.


You can find the voter registration/final result data here:


http://ustogether.org/Florida_Election.htm


You can find a story analyzing these results here:


http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1106-30.htm


You can read about electronic voting machines - an untested phenomenon in

American elections, here:


http://wwwmoderateindependent.com/v2i21thoreau.htm


THE OTHER PROBLEM IN FLORIDA:


In 6 counties - again, they were all using electronic machines - more

votes for President were recorded than there were actual voters in the

counties.


Altogether, these six counties reported 188,885 more votes for President

than there are voters living there.


Right now, no one knows whether those extra 188,000 votes were cast for

Bush or for Kerry. But Bush won the state of Florida by a 5% margin -

contrary to what all the polls were showing only days earlier.


In Glades County: 2,443 votes for Bush / 1,718 votes for Kerry / 27 votes

for Other. Those add up to 4,188. But the machines recorded the official

turnout as 3,446. That adds up to 742 more votes than voters.


In Highlands County: 25,874 for Bush / 15,346 for Kerry / 271 for Other.

Official Turnout: 33,996. That adds up to 7,495 more votes than voters.


In Miami-Dade County: 358,613 for Bush / 406,099 for Kerry / 3,841 for

Other. Official Turnout 716,574. That adds up to 51,979 more votes than

voters.


In Osceola County: 43,108 for Bush / 38,617 for Kerry / 453 for Other.

Official Turnout 63589. That adds up to 18,589 more votes than voters.


In Palm Beach County: 211,894 for Bush / 327,698 for Kerry / 3,243 for

Other. Official Turnout: 452,061. That adds up to 90,774 more votes than

voters.


In Volusia County: 111,544 for Bush / 115,319 for Kerry / 1,495 for Other.

Official Turnout: 209,052. That adds up to 19,306 more votes than voters.


Use this link to get to the data:


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/11/5/18466/2846


STILL MORE PROBLEMS IN FLORIDA


This account comes from partisans. Four Kerry volunteers working in

Broward County sent a letter detailing election tampering to one newspaper

reporter. All four signed it and included their email addresses.


They report a wide, disturbing range of problems, from voters saying their

electronic machines malfunctioned, poll workers denied them assistance, to

police putting up roadblocks on the routes to polling places, and so on.


The entire text of the letter, along with the signatures, appears at the

bottom of this letter.


OHIO


In Ohio, there were problems in four counties and one city.


In Howard County, a judge ruled on Election Day that everyone standing in

line to vote at 7:30 p.m. had to eventually be allowed inside.


The order said the ruling was good for the day of Nov. 2. (You can view

the order at the website below.) But maybe it didn't occur to the judge

that everybody might not make it inside by midnight.


At the stroke of midnight, when the calendar legally clicked over to Nov.

3, Republican Ken Blackwell, the secretary of state, told all the waiting

voters to go home. His workers gave them paper ballots (i.e., provisional

ballots), told them to fill them out and bring them back later.


It was an improvised move that undercut the intent of the judge's ruling

and created chaos. Many people in Howard County still haven't turned in

those ballots because they don't know where to take them or what the

deadline is.


The only kind of ballot in a federal election that people can legally take

home, fill out and turn in later is an absentee ballot, and those are

marked as such. They're marked with clear rules concerning deadlines,

postmarking, and so on.


So an uncounted number of people in Howard County - estimated in the

thousands - couldn't get in and were turned away with what may be ruled an

illegal procedure. The vast majority of those votes were expected to go to

Kerry based on the heavily Democratic population of Howard County.


The Democrats have filed a lawsuit. You can click on the Ohio State

University law school website to read about it. (Reassemble the following

long link, if it is broken by your email browser.)


http://216.239.39.104/search?q%3Dcache:pKbOJwHH7OMJ:moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionla w/analysis/110304b.htm%2BOhio%2B7:30%2Belection%2BBlackwell%2Bwaiting%2Bline&hl% 3Den&start%3D4&lr%3Dlang_en


Meanwhile, in Warren County, election officials locked the doors to the

County building and refused to allow bi-partisan observers to watch the

vote-count. They also denied access to the AP reporter (it is standard

procedure for the AP to observe vote-counting in counties all over the

country.)


The Sheriff of the county said he did it for "homeland security" reasons.

He never explained or specified what the security concerns were.


Here is the link to the story in the Cincinnati Enquirer:


http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/11/05/loc_warrenvote05.html


Meanwhile, in a Columbus suburb called Gahanna, the same problem showed up

with electronic machines that we saw in Florida: more votes were cast than

there were voters to cast them. In this case, however, the problem was

investigated and the extra 3,893 votes were shown to have been erroneously

tallied for Bush.


Here is the link to the story on the Ohio Network News:


http://wwwonnnews.com/Global/story.asp?S%3D2524952


Meanwhile, in Mahoning and Mercer Counties, electronic machines again

malfunctioned, but the effect that had on the vote count is not clear. The

machines had to be re-set, and at one point showed votes of "negative 25

million," according to the head of the local board of elections.


Here is the story from the local Youngstown paper, called the Vindicator:


http://wwwvindy.com/basic/news/281829446390855.php


INDIANA


In Laporte County, electronic voting machines once again appear to have

failed.


They tallied results for 22,200 voters, even though there are 79,000

registered voters in LaPorte County. Assuming the county actually had a

65% turnout rate (comparable to others in the area and its own track

record), that means 29,000 votes were not counted.


Here is the link to the story in the Michigan City News-Dispatch:


http://www.michigancityin.com/articles/2004/11/04/news/news02.txt


NEW HAMPSHIRE


This is one of several states where original exit polls (interviews with

voters as they are leaving) do not jive with the results produced by

electronic voting machines.


An administrator at Bev Harris's group, called BlackBoxVoting (more on

this below) has said that they are urging Ralph Nader to press for a

recount in New Hampshire. Nader was on the ballot there, so he is in a

good position to ask for a re-count.


You can read about Harris and her work at www.blackboxvoting.org/ <http://www.blackboxvoting.org/>

http://www.blackboxvoting.org/


SIX STATES


In at least six states, there was a large difference between how people

said they'd voted, and how officials said they'd voted.


In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Hampshire and New

Mexico, there was a large discrepancy between what voters said in the

original exit polls, and the final results claimed by election officials.


In each of those six states, electronic voting machines were used in some

or most of the counties.


In contrast, in states where paper ballots were the primary method of

voting, there was little or no discrepancy between original exit polls and

official results.


To see an easily viewable graph of this data, go to:


http://www.therandirhodesshow.com/todays_show.html


That graph was originally compiled by a website affiliated with The Raw

Story, which often gets quoted in the major dailies. It is regarded as a

reputable site.


You can see their original posting here:


http://www.bluelemur.com/index.php?p%3D388


MORE ON EXIT POLLS


These are routinely conducted in elections by major news organizations.

Accounts are surfacing that both the Associated Press and CNN (and perhaps

others) later CHANGED their exit polling data to more closely resemble the

official results.


None of the news organizations is believed to have offered an explanation.

They may try to justify it on statistical grounds.


Here are two accounts. The first is very brief, the second is in-depth:


http://www.buzzflash.com/analysis/04/11/ana04025.html


http://globalresearch.ca/articles/KEE411A.html


MORE ON ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES


Here is an except from the Moderate Independent website about Bev Harris's

work. She is a freelance journalist who has been documenting how

unreliable the machines are, and how vulnerable they are to tampering.


Bev Harris, author of Black Box Voting

http://blackboxvoting.org/

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Neal Stanifer
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 09:21 am:   

Jeff, this is some scary stuff! I'm glad you included Ohio in this, so no one will wag fingers at Florida again. It seems, if these accounts are true, that electronic voting machines weren't ready for prime time. How completely unlike America to float non-beta products and let consumers clean up the shards afterwards.

Looking for a conspiracy in this would be a waste of time. It seems more a convergence of incompetence and impatience in most cases. Still, if even parts of this are verifiable (and damn quickly), we have a serious issue on our hands.
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EricS
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 12:00 pm:   

thanks for posting the analysis of electronic machines.

I normally don't give much credence to conspiracy theories, but (1) given all the tampering that went on with voter registration and (2) the difference between exit polls and reported numbers, I think that there was a good chance that some of the voting was rigged.

I was pleased to hear Garrison Kieler make a similar remark (disguised as a joke) soon after the election.
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rwexler
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 01:42 pm:   

Green Party is calling for a recount in Ohio.

http://www.politicalstrategy.org/archives/000795.php
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 02:51 pm:   

Everything we are saying is true Neal - But then again, if Jeff's post is accurate (probably is) then maybe Kerry did win after all.

I personally could not believe the results for Florida when I saw them.

Of course it was Kerry and the Democratic Party's responsibility to stop that sort of lame tampering instead of caving in and doing the "honorable thing".
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Brendan
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 02:52 pm:   

If the elections are fixed it doesn't matter who the Democrats have. The Republicans will always win.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

JV
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 02:59 pm:   

At the very least, we need massive voting process reform, reform that removes most or all doubt of tampering or incompetence. I mean, this news has left a hollowness in the pit of my stomach. I would much prefer to know that the election was fair and Bush won than that it was rigged. It would be beyond heinous. It would mean we live in a country almost beyond repair.

JeffV
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Brendan
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 03:04 pm:   

Jeff - I had this fear before the elections. That Diebold are strong supporters of Bush has never been a secret.

The CEO publicly stated some time ago that he "would do whatever it takes" to get Bush elected.

The only state that uses electronic machines that have a paper trail is Nevada - the rest don't.
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JT
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2004 - 06:15 am:   

Anybody post this yet?

http://www.moveon.org/investigatethevote/
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nancy Jane
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2004 - 07:57 am:   

This morning's (Nov. 12) papers have two takes on this issue:

The NY Times has a couple of articles on the subject. The headlines suggest that there was no fraud and that rumors of same come from over-eager bloggers. However, the actual stories are a bit more balanced. I still got the impression that the Times is trying to discourage questioning of the results. (www.nytimes.com -- it's on the first page but you'll have to register if you want to read the whole story)

Donna Britt, a columnist for the Washington Post, says it's outrageous that more people aren't outraged. If we're going to tell people their votes are important, we should be making damn sure they're counted properly, she says. However, Cynthia L. Webb's Filter column is, like the Times articles, primarily aimed at debunking the blogosphere. (www.washingtonpost.com. You'll find Britt's column by clicking on today's columnists and scrolling down; Webb's is part of the "online extras section. And you'll have to register here, too.)

Sure seems to me like there's a lot of mainstream interest in making sure all these rumors of voter fraud are quashed, which makes me think that in a few years we'll probably get some studies showing that there was, indeed, a lot of machine failure and outright fraud. By then, of course, it will be too late to do anything.

I suspect that what the "civilized" press -- and much of the mainstream Democratic Party -- took from the election of 2000 was that it's better to have quick and clear results, even if they're wrong, than to have a period of unrest while we doublecheck things. Me, I think the country could do with more unrest, even if it makes our stomachs churn and our blood pressure shoot up. It's not that I'm particularly into chaos these days -- actually I prefer peace and quiet -- but that I think there's too much at stake here for us to keep pretending everything's hunky-dory.

The best take on the subject of electronic voting is still Bruce Schneier's: http://www.schneier.com/blog/

Nancy

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