Saturday, November 08, 2008

France's View Of An Obama Presidency

  Oh Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Time for a look at our country's President-elect, from a foreign country. This time we go to France, by way of Watching America, which posts an article from the French La Provence.

The French Consider
Obama’s Victory

By Nina Montagné
The real revolution in the United States will come not on the day a black president is elected but on the day a president of any color says, ‘God bless the planet,’ instead of, ‘God bless America’!
Translated By Joe Fiorill
5 November 2008
France - La Provence - Original Article (French)
This morning, candidate Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States of America. Many of you have reacted to this historic event and have debated the question of his skin color.
Barack Obama will be, it seems important to point out, the first black president of the United States of America. For the many foreign and minority communities now present in the U.S.A. and around the world, the election is a very important and telling signal of an evolution in mentalities. But did the color of Obama’s skin truly work in his favor? Many La readers have reacted and expressed themselves on this issue.
Many of them think that the fact that Obama is black was very important or even decisive in the race for the White House. Martine56 takes a radical position: “Obama was elected for the color of his skin and not for his platform . . . . His skin pigmentation was constantly emphasized during the electoral campaign.” Chicago1984 adds nuance to this view, calling it “nevertheless important to emphasize his skin color to show the evolution of the mentality of the American population.”
Some La readers opposed intensely this view and were shocked by this title of an Agence France-Presse article posted this morning on La “Obama’s Victory: First black president of the United States.” chuipakon13 levels this criticism: “I find this title horrible. It seems to me that skin color is not a social category . . . . Let’s stop talking about people’s color, religion and sexual preferences and instead talk about their politics!” nfrommars chooses milder words but highlights the media’s irritating obsession with this subject: “Symbols have never solved problems . . . . Let’s judge people for what they are and not for what they represent.”
Other La readers said the issue was not whether the president of the United States was white or black. Chrissaix, for example, says: “The real revolution in the United States will come not on the day a black president is elected but on the day a president of any color says, ‘God bless the planet,’ instead of, ‘God bless America’!” Meanwhile, toupaga focuses on the quite extraordinary aspect of these elections: “There is an incredible paradox in the schizophrenic America that elected Obama, not only because he is black and young but also and above all because he represents a current that is totally opposed to the free-market extremism that dominates the world and, from its base in the United States, has oppressed the least fortunate for the last 30 years.”
Readers such as champollion criticized the general frenzy, which they found excessive and disproportionate: “What I find pretty funny and ultimately pathetic is that the great majority of French people, in particular in the political arena, are suddenly switching from a crude and hypocritical anti-Americanism to a generalized ‘God bless America.’” Finally, YOHANN sets things straight with the last word: “After this night of collective hysteria, time to get to work, Obama!” Indeed, but not before his inauguration on Jan. 20.

  God Bless the planet? I like that one.

Hurricane Paloma Upgraded To Cat 4

  This is a pretty potent storm system which is heading towards Cuba.


The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Paloma could weaken slightly but will likely still be a major hurricane when it makes landfall late Saturday or early Sunday with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph (178 kph).

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Bill Maher Show After The Election

  For those of you who do not get HBO, I give you a few minutes of Real Time with Bill Maher from last night's show. Bill was in a very good mood, it seems.

Employment Losses For October

  The jobs keep disappearing once again.

   The Labor Department said on Friday that we have lost 1.2 million jobs through the month of October, with 240,000 of those jobs lost in October alone. The un-employment rate now stands at 6.5%.  There is more bad news, of course.


The first week of November has been brutal for the job market, with nearly 15,000 announced job cuts from a slew of companies across multiple industries.

Eight companies announced job cuts this week as a means of cost-cutting during desperate times, representing industries as widespread as retail, finance, leisure, pharmaceutical and toy and automobile manufacturing

  Some of those companies who will be slashing their workforce

  Circuit City: roughly 7,300

  Hartford Financial : 500

  GlaxoSmithKline :  1,000 sales persons

  The list includes others such as Mattel, Fidelity Investments of Boston, and La-Z-Boy. Ford Motor Company will be tossing some 2,600 workers out also.

   Christmas might be looking somewhat gloomier for many people this year.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Political Humor: After The Election

The following  late night bits of humor are from Political Humor.

"In fact, starting today, Barack Obama is now going to receive the daily White House intelligence briefing on things like, you know, security and terrorism, stuff like that. It's the same briefing President Bush gets every day, but without the pictures and the color by numbers." --Jay Leno

"Barack Obama promised a new America in which the powerless will have a voice. So, he's already reaching out to Republicans." --Jay Leno

"Rumor is, still a lot of infighting within the McCain campaign, between the Palin people and the McCain people. Now, I don't know if that's true or not, but earlier today, Sarah Palin put McCain's campaign bus on eBay." --Jay Leno

"But Obama is busy putting together his presidential cabinet. McCain, John McCain, Senator McCain is putting together his medicine cabinet. Maalox, Metamucil, Polydent, on and on." --David Letterman

"Now, yesterday, President-elect Barack Obama -- we have to get used to saying that -- spent the day thanking the people who helped him win the election. That's right. Yeah, and actually, Obama's first phone call was to Sarah Palin. He sent her flowers." --Conan O'Brien

  And just for the hell of it... A top 10!

David Letterman's Top Ten New Revelations About Sarah Palin
10. Thinks Fox News may still declare her and John McCain the winner.
9. At her wedding instead of "I do," said, "You betcha!"
8. She and Governor Schwarzenegger once exchanged swimsuit-competition posing tips.
7. Prepared for campaign by watching "Legally Blonde 2."
6. Thinks "NAFTA" stands for "Need Another Fifty Thousand for Accessories."
5. Begins every day by reading a passage from the hilarious Late Show Fun Facts book available everywhere.
4. She's a person of interest in five unsolved snow machine hit-and-runs.
3. Abused position as Governor to get free appetizers at Ancorage Applebee's.
2. Already has a new job as Briefcase Babe #12 on "Deal Or No Deal."
1. Her Secret Service code name was "Huh?"

   Have a great weekend everyone!!!

General Motors Losses Billions

  The American auto industry continues its downward plunge into nothingness once again today as GM announced that it had a third quarter loss of some $2.5 Billion due to tighter credit, an awful stock market and other conditions in the United States.


The automaker also has halted talks to acquire rival Chrysler LLC and announced $5 billion in additional cuts, which included trimming its salaried work force, laying off hourly workers and slashing capital spending.

The GM announcement came hours after Ford Motor Co. reported a third-quarter loss of $129 million and announced plans to eliminate more salaried positions and cut other operations.

The financial news also comes one day after Detroit's Big Three automakers asked Congressional leaders for at least $25 billion in aid.

  Might I suggest that the Big Three make some cars that are actually worth driving? How about vehicles with better fuel economy?

   The fact that the Bush Administration is tossing our tax dollars to the auto industry along with the banks and brokerage firms should not sit well with you.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

" Spreading The Wealth " Is Socialist? Try This Then

   We already know the Republican take ( spin ) on this issue. Obama wants to take our hard-earned dollars and give them to the poor and lazy. Yeah right.

   What the Republicans seem to forget is that one of their own once wanted to spread the wealth also.


Published on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 by the Progressive Media Project

Ike Wanted to Spread Wealth, Too

The wealthy of the Eisenhower years paid a hefty share of their income in taxes.

by Chuck Collins and Sam Pizzigati

Nearly 50 years ago, a famous American gave a speech that advocated spreading the wealth.

In some countries, this notable stated, “a few families are fabulously wealthy, contribute far less than they should in taxes, and are indifferent to the poverty of the great masses of the people.” “A country in this situation,” he went on, “is fraught with continual instability.”

Just who made this spread-the-wealth declaration against the dangers societies invite when they let wealth concentrate? The then-president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Ike’s words back in 1960 created no controversy. Americans overwhelmingly shared his spread-the-wealth convictions. Societies that discourage vast accumulations of private wealth, they believed, simply work better.

The U.S. tax code, back then, reflected this consensus. Income more than $400,000 a year — that’s a bit more than $3 million today, after adjusting for inflation — faced a 91 percent tax rate.

The rich of Ike’s day, of course, exploited tax loopholes, just like today’s rich. But even after exploiting loopholes, the wealthy of the Eisenhower years still paid a hefty share of their income in taxes.

In 1955, for instance, America’s 400 highest-income taxpayers averaged about $12 million in income, in today’s dollars. They paid, after loopholes, 51.2 percent of that in tax.

Let’s put these numbers in contemporary perspective. In 2005, our 400 richest taxpayers averaged $214 million and paid federal taxes on that princely sum, after exploiting loopholes, at a mere 18.5 percent rate.

In other words, today’s rich are taking home much more in income than Ike’s rich and paying taxes at a much lower rate.

But here’s the amazing part. Our Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, sees nothing wrong. Any move to raise taxes on the rich, he tells us, would amount to “redistributing money instead of spreading opportunity.” Eisenhower, a Republican himself, would be aghast. Ike would see in our current financial meltdown proof positive that wealth, if left to concentrate, will bring on an “instability” that can endanger an entire nation.

Ike, were he around today, might even chide the target of McCain’s anti-redistributionist fury, Sen. Barack Obama, for taking too timid a tax-the-rich stance. Obama wants to raise the tax rate on America’s highest income bracket from 35 to 39.6 percent.

In the generation before Ronald Reagan’s 1980 election, Ike might point out, America’s top tax rate on the rich never dropped below 70 percent. The rich grumbled, but they survived.

Average Americans, in the meantime, didn’t just survive those tax-the-rich years. They prospered. In the quarter-century right after World War II, America’s typical family income more than doubled, and that’s after taking inflation into account.

Over the last quarter-century, by contrast, average Americans have progressed nowhere fast. Wages today, after inflation, are actually running less than wages in the early 1970s.

What’s the big difference between the years right after World War II and the last quarter-century? In the first era, we encouraged the spreading of wealth. In the second, we’ve let wealth concentrate.

Ike wouldn’t be happy. We shouldn’t be either.

Distributed by the Progressive Media Project.

Chuck Collins directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies. Sam Pizzigati, an institute associate fellow, edits Too Much, an online weekly on excess and inequality.

Obama's White House Chief of Staff:Rep. Rahm Emanuel


"Democratic officials" tell the Associated Press that Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., has accepted President-elect Obama's invitation to be the next White House chief of staff.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Keith Olbermann's Worst Person's Award For Wednesday

  This is just to damned funny as Keith takes aim at three persons who had comments on Obama's win last night.

Sarah Palin Spent More Than $150,000 For Clothes

  I know that the election is over and that the Obama supporters just flat out kicked McCain/Palin's asses. Let it be known, that I am not above rubbing the shit in when necessary. Oh hell, even when not necessary.


NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.

  It would appear that Palin cares about nothing but herself. this nut-job would take anything as long as she doesn't have to pay for it.

  Oh yes. A few more bits of information from Newsweek.

   On the Sunday night before the last debate, McCain's core group of advisers—Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis, adman Fred Davis, strategist Greg Strimple, pollster Bill McInturff and strategy director Sarah Simmons—met to decide whether to tell McCain that the race was effectively over, that he no longer had a chance to win. The consensus in the room was no, not yet, not while he still had "a pulse."

McCain also was reluctant to use Obama's incendiary pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as a campaign issue. The Republican had set firm boundaries: no Jeremiah Wright; no attacking Michelle Obama; no attacking Obama for not serving in the military. McCain balked at an ad using images of children that suggested that Obama might not protect them from terrorism. Schmidt vetoed ads suggesting that Obama was soft on crime (no Willie Hortons). And before word even got to McCain, Schmidt and Salter scuttled a "celebrity" ad of Obama dancing with talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres (the sight of a black man dancing with a lesbian was deemed too provocative).

McCain Ass Gets Whipped!

  That is the only way to put it.


If 2004 was a "mandate", this was a complete @$$ kicking.

by clammyc    Wed Nov 05, 2008

In 2004, there was talk about how "the people have spoken" and how this was a "clear mandate" that gave Bush "political capital".  However, that was the second straight questionable election which hung on one state which resulted in under 300 electoral votes, a questionable 3% popular vote spread, then this year's results can only be called one thing:

A total, complete and utter ass kicking - a rejection of conservative policies, republican "values" as well as politics of fear and hate.  A landslide, if you will.

There is no other way to spin this, although all too many are trying to call this a call for bipartisanship and compromise and even Harry Reid said this is not a mandate for one political party.

While Reid may be (sort of) right - he is very wrong on a more basic level.

This is a rejection of the "center-right" meme.  This is a rejection of supply side economics.  This is a rejection of the policies that have helped Big Oil, Wall Street, cronies and those who don't need (or deserve) it.  This is a call for change, as wel all know.  This is a call for basic affordable healthcare for all.  This is a call for an end to the aggressive and stupid foreign policy.  This is a call to help, not hurt, the middle class.  This is an overwhelming cry to get this country back on track here at home as well as abroad.  This is a call to better educate our children, fix our infrastructure and most importantly, toss out the failed conservative agenda that has plagued us for the past 30+ years.

This was a call to take our country back.  And while this is the first in a long series of potentially painful steps, make no mistake:

The country has spoken.

Loud and clear.

This was more than a "mandate for change".  This was an electoral bloodbath.  A new beginning for new policies and a new agenda.  This was a drubbing.  An all out smackdown - a rout.

Our guy(s) won, and they won big.  Very big.

But their guy (and "lady") lost.  Their ideology lost.  Their fearmongering and hatemongering lost.  Their lying and selfish behavior lost.


We can be gracious - we SHOULD be gracious (for the most part, since some deserve what they deserve), but don't ever let them forget how decisive this victory was.

And more important, precisely what this decisive victory was all about.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

2008 Election : Obama Wins!!!!

  This says it all.


    YES WE CAN!   YES WE DID!!!!

44TH President Of The United States? Barack Obama

  I know that the polling is not finished yet, but many of these states will be going Obama's way.

   DEMOCRAT Barack Obama is your next President! 30 years of trickle down economics and de-regulated criminal activity has come to an end.

Congratulation President Elect Barack Hussein Steve Obama!!

 Congratulations America!!

Election Night Humor

  From DailyKos


Election Results 2008: Obama wins Ohio

   NBC News has projected that Obama will win in Ohio, which has been a key battleground state. This is great after also winning Pennsylvania earlier.

Election Results 2008: Obama Wins Pennsylvania

  CNN projects that Obama will will Pennsylvania! Great news from that state!

  Electoral Votes

  Obama: 102

   McCain:  34

Election Results 2008

  From CNN

CNN projects that Sen. Barack Obama will win Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington. Sen. John McCain will win Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee, CNN projects

  Electoral Votes

   Obama: 77


Election Night: Who Will Be our New President?

   I'm just getting off of work, so I am a little bit behind with what's happening with the vote count.

   I do have this though.

   The results thus far in Kentucky have John McCain ahead of Obama 8,750 to 4042. That would be McCain with 67% to Obama's  31%.

   From Indiana, it is Obama ahead with 24,129 votes to McCain's 23,141. Obama with 50% to McCain's 48%. Close race in that state.

Election Day! VOTE!!!

  Do yourself and this country a favor. Go out and VOTE!!


Monday, November 03, 2008

2008 Election Eve

   I'm sitting here at my computer in Mitch McConnell county, yes it makes me sick to admit that, just killing time waiting to get to bed. Waiting for tomorrow. Waiting to see if the American people have come to their senses yet. Waiting to see if the majority of us are finally tired of George Bush and his policy's. Waiting to see if we are tired of that old Republican grouch, John McCain and his lies and his theatrics. I was once a Republican but after George Bush it was easy to drop out of the party. Now with John McCain in the running, it is even easier to never want to be a Republican again. I quit the GOP in 2000, and I could not be happier that I did. Their stench is nauseating.

  With that in mind... I found...

Power to the pooties (election eve edition)

by aimzzz @ Kos
Mon Nov 03, 2008

So, here we are, phonebanking from the living room.  Time for a little break...

Last Saturday, triciawyse posted this pootie pic.  
My pooties now will reveal the deeper message embedded in the image:


Let me be perfectly clear...
we could just scoop out the box, but the stench would still remain.
America, we gotta change the litter

                             VOTE NOVEMBER 4TH!!

Make Sure Your Vote Is Counted!

  The following are a few more ways to make sure that you do not get fucked at the polls tomorrow.

      From DKos

I just received this article from Truthout. The McCain campaign is mixed up with a firm in Ohio currently in court on this issue.

I became aware of how bad current voting machine problems through an email from Black Box Voting.

Below I highlight 3 types of problems reported with the machines: straight party voting, vote flipping, and undercounting, which includes some Diebold machines that give you 150 seconds before you're ejected from the voting machine.

If you encounter any of these problems or any kind of voter suppression tomorrow, call the Obama hotline at 1-877-US-4-OBAMA or the Election Protection Hotline at: 1-866-OUR-VOTE

If you go to the Election Protection website you can find out how to report problems using Twitter.

In the case below, note how straight party voting consistently undercounts Democratic votes in a number of states.

THE PROBLEM: "Straight party voting" on voting machines is revealing a bad pattern of miscounting and omitting your vote, especially if you are a Democrat.

Most recently (Oct. 2008), a firm called Automated Election Services was found to have mis-coded the system in heavily Democratic Santa Fe County, New Mexico such that straight party voters would not have the presidential vote counted.

Straight party voting is allowed in 15 states. Basically, it means that you can take a shortcut to actually looking at who you are voting for and instead just select a party preference. Then the voting machine makes your candidate choices, supposedly for the party you requested.

Additional details follow, but first: PROTECT THE COUNT

  1. NEVER CHOOSE THE STRAIGHT PARTY VOTE OPTION, because it alerts the computer as to your party preference and allows software code to trigger whatever function the programmer has designed.
  1. SEND THIS INFORMATION OUT TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN, blog it, root n' toot it out there to get the word out.
  1. ESPECIALLY GET THE WORD OUT TO PEOPLE IN THE FOLLOWING STATES, which have straight party voting options:
- Alabama - Indiana - Iowa - Kentucky - Michigan - New Mexico - North Carolina - Oklahoma - Pennsylvania - Rhode Island - South Carolina - Texas - Utah - West Virginia - Wisconsin

(Missouri and New Hampshire had straight party voting in earlier years, but have cancelled the straight party option for the Nov. 2008 election; however, the Straight Party software is still on Missouri and New Hampshire election management computers.)

  1. DEMAND COMPLETE AND CAREFUL TESTING OF THE STRAIGHT PARTY OPTION IN LOGIC & ACCURACY TESTS. Bring copies of the citations in this article to buttress your case for why this is needed, if you have to. Witnesses for L&A tests in the straight party option states should specifically watch for and note whether (a) the tests were done and (b) the results were accurate.
  1. LOOK FOR UNDERVOTES(high profile races with lower-than-average number of votes cast) and flag them, post them, bring them to the attention of others for additional scrutiny.

Undervotes may reveal straight-party programming fraud after the fact, but can never be reconstructed to know who the voter would have voted for. Such programming malfeasance, when found, disenfranchises voters.


October 2008: In Santa Fe, New Mexico the machines were NOT counting straight party ballots correctly, and now it turns out that voting machines have been caught giving straight party votes to the other party's candidates, omitting the counts for some straight party votes, and generally creating mischief.


California citizen Judy Alter discovered a high number of undervotes in the New Mexico presidential race in 2004. She traced these back to straight party votes that skipped counting the presidential race.

...snip...According to Alter, most of the biggest exit poll shifts occurred in the straight party states.



Alter provides evidence from the absentee and early voting reports from Sequoia optical scan machines (paper ballots) that the straight party option for minor party candidates omitted votes. Two votes for straight Green party showed no votes for Cobb (the 2004 Green Party presidential candidate) next to his name.

According to articles archived on Voters Unite straight party votes have been caught miscounting straight party votes in Wisconsin and Alabama as well.

ES&S Optical scan system: In Medford, Wisconsin, ES&S ballot scanners failed to count straight-party votes at all. About 27 percent of all votes cast in Medford during the Nov. 2004 election were not counted by voting system computers.

ES&S optical scan system: In Baldwin County, Alabama, the ballot programming for straight ticket voting went awry in November 2006 by identifying one Republican as a Democrat.

It's not just ES&S: The following overly cryptic Diebold Product Advisory does not reveal what the "issues" are that cause unexpected results from certain straight party voting programming methods. (snip)


In North and South Carolina voters a straight party ticket does not include any vote for president. Yes, it's the law there. Voters need to also vote separately for president.


Instead of creating two different systems, voting machine vendors put the straight party software into ALL voting computers, and just turn it "off" in states that don't allow straight party voting.

Both kinds of straight party voting -- with the presidential race included and with presidential votes omitted -- are actually on the election management computer that programs the ballots. It's up to the programmer to to choose whether to use straight party voting and, if so, whether it will register a vote for president or not. While it's true that systems like the Diebold GEMS Election Management system provide a drop-down menu where election programmers can choose their state system, they can also opt to choose some other state's system, or the generic "US" system (whatever that is), thereby enabling a giant OOPS excuse if caught.

Now, I put this information in a diary the other day, and someone accused this of being a hoax so that people wouldn't vote straight Democrat. Black Box Voting is a legit organization, and just check out their website if you find this too weird to be true.

Probably the most common problem we've heard about is vote flipping: you vote for one candidate but the machine registers another one. Again, the Democratic vote is always under counted. Here are some problems reported from early voting.

Here's an interesting one, in this section of Tennessee the votes are being taken from Obama and registered to McKinney. That's a new one, isn't it.

Summary: This was the ES&S iVotronic, same voting machine caught flipping votes in two West Virginia counties. Votes peeled off to the other major party candidate, or to any smaller party candidate have the same effect: Disenfranchisement for the voter and political disadvantage for the candidate the voter was trying to vote for. You can find all counties with iVotronics by skimming through the state sections at Black Box Voting. If you will vote on a DRE, bring a cell phone camera and start capturing the screen, discreetly, BEFORE you see any votes flip. Prove it, this is important.

Sent by e-mail to Black Box Voting, from David Earnhardt, producer of the film UNCOUNTED - Oct. 20 2008

Vote Flipping in Davidson County, Tennessee

" My wife, Patricia Earnhardt, had an early voting experience here in Nashville, Tennessee, where she saw her vote momentarily flip from Barack Obama to Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney. She voted on a ouch-screen paperless machine. Here is her story:

"A poll worker directed me to a touch screen voting machine & instructedme how t o use it. I touched "Obama" for president & nothing lit up. I
touched 2 or 3 more times & still nothing lit up. I called the poll worker back over to tell him I was having a problem. He said I just needed to touch it more lightly. I tried it 2 or 3 more times more lightly with the poll worker watching & still nothing lit up. The poll worker then touched it for me twice — nothing lit up. The third time he touched the Obama button, the Cynthia McKinney space lit up! The McKinney button was located five rows below the Obama button. The poll worker just kind of laughed and cancelled the vote. He hit the Obama button again & it finally lit up. I continued on to cast the rest of my votes. After completing the process & reviewing my votes, I went to the VOTE page, hit the VOTE button & nothing happened. Again after several tries, I called the poll worker over & he finally got the machine to register my votes. Hurray — I voted! — or did I? I left the polling place feeling uncertain." Patricia Earnhardt -
Friday, Oct. 17 - Howard School Building - Nashville, Tennessee

More typical is this story from West Virginia:

Voters allege ballot trouble
More say machines changing their votes

WINFIELD - Three Putnam County voters say electronic voting machines changed their votes from Democrats to Republicans when they cast early ballots last week.

This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for "Barack Obama" kept flipping to "John McCain."

In both counties, Republicans are responsible for overseeing elections. Both county clerks said the problem is isolated.

They also blamed voters for not being more careful.

"People make mistakes more than machines," said Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright.

Shelba Ketchum, a 69-year-old nurse retired from Thomas Memorial Hospital, described what happened Friday at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield.

"I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican," she said. "I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines.

"I asked them for a printout of my votes," Ketchum said. "But they said it was in the machine and I could not get it. I did not feel right when I left the courthouse. My son felt the same way.

"I heard from some other people; they also had trouble. But no one in there knew how to fix it," said Ketchum, who is not related to Menis Ketchum, a Democratic Supreme Court candidate.

Ketchum's son, Chris, said he had the same problem. And Bobbi Oates of Scott Depot said her vote for incumbent Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller was switched to GOP opponent Jay Wolfe.

"I touched the one I wanted, Rockefeller, and the machine put a checkmark on the Republican instead," Oates said of her experience Thursday.

These stories ALWAYS involve undercounting the Obama vote, always.

Remember in Ohio where voters had to wait hours to vote, which made some of them go home. Well, I'm suspecting a version of this is beginning with some Diebold machines (surprise, surprise), where they will kick you off if there is no activity for 150 seconds, and force you to cast a provisional ballot. Get enough people thinking about their votes, and you have a recipe for chaos. Here's more:


USA - Diebold/Premier says too late to fix a new voting machine 2-minute warning and "time-out" feature which can kick voters off the machine, forcing them to accept a provisional ballot. "At least 15" voters were booted off the machine in Johnson County, Kansas recently, and Diebold/Premier says this is due to a software "upgrade" which sets a timer on voter inactivity. According to the company, the machines receiving the upgrade are used in 34 states and 1,700 jurisdictions.*

*This seems inflated, though. Unless the optical scan machines are also outfitted with a 2-minute warning, which doesn't make sense, it would seem that this should only apply to the DRE states and locations.


A study on DRE allocation from Ohio indicates that it takes an average of four to nine minutes per voter to cast an average-length ballot, and ballots in many locations will be longer than average this fall. Each additional ballot question can add 30 seconds to the time a voter must monopolize the DRE.

Diebold's 2-minute timeout kicks in when the voter does not make a selection quickly enough. (Welcome to 21st Century literacy tests: Speed reading.)

According to a Sept. 10 Kansas City Star Article, Johnson County upgraded touchscreen voting machines with a new software release from Diebold subsidiary Premier Election Solutions Inc. Buried in the release notes was a mention of a new "time out" feature that makes the voting machine eject a voter card if there has been no activity for 150 seconds. The machine emits a warning sound at 120 seconds.

Additional Tools:Black Box Voting has a tool kit you can use, for one. It's very informative, so read the whole thing.

153.1 Million Americans Registered To Vote


An estimated 153.1 million Americans have registered to vote, an increase of 10.1 million that sets the stage for a likely large turnout on Election Day, a non-partisan study reported Sunday.

American University's Center for the Study of the American Electorate estimated 73.5% of citizens 18 or older have registered, compared with the previous high of 72.1% set in 1964.

Curtis Gans, director of the center, said that the registration gains "could lead to a turnout of as many as 135 million" voters or about 65% of eligible citizens. That would be the highest since 67% of citizens 18 and over voted in 1960, he said.

  Of course, Democrats added the most new voters with 2.9 million, while the Republicans lost 1.5 million voters.

The study estimated those figures based on registration in 19 of the 28 states and the District of Columbia that register voters by party.

    Remember,Democrats and Republicans, that you vote on November 4th no matter some of those robo-calls may be telling you!

                                            VOTE !!

UPDATED: If you need to know when your polling locations close in your state, then check out SwingStateProject for a map of the state's and the closing times. Quick and convenient to look up!

Polling: Gallup's Final Election Poll


The final Gallup 2008 pre-election poll -- based on Oct. 31-Nov. 2 Gallup Poll Daily tracking -- shows Barack Obama with a 53% to 42% advantage over John McCain among likely voters. When undecided voters are allocated proportionately to the two candidates to better approximate the actual vote, the estimate becomes 55% for Obama to 44% for McCain.

The trend data clearly show Obama ending the campaign with an upward movement in support, with eight to 11 percentage point leads among likely voters in Gallup's last four reports of data extending back to Oct. 28. Obama's final leads among both registered voters and likely voters are the largest of the campaign.

                                 VOTE NOVEMBER 4TH!!

Robo-calls On Where/When To Vote

  I got one of those robo-calls from the Republicans letting me know where to vote at. Of course, the location that was given to me was wrong. I was also told that Democrats are to vote on November 5th. Once again, wrong information,

    Remember people. WE all vote on November 4th!!

     With that in mind, watch this video.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

An Uplifting Obama Web Ad


Politics: Bill Maher's Finale Before The Election

  This was an awesome show, to sat the least, so I am posting the final segment. If you wish to view some clips of the show, then go here to DailyKos.

Stand in those long lines, in that pouring rain, or whatever. On Tuesday, November 4th, we can vote for some real change in America and just maybe we can change this country's direction. Forget about race and color.

It is up to you and I.


Voting Rules For Swing-States

  Just in case you happen to reside in one of those swing-states, the Obama Campaign Website has posted videos dealing with the things that you may need to bring with you in order to vote without any problems.

  One thing to remember for ANY STATE is that you VOTE on NOVEMBER 4TH, not on the 5th, which some Republican emails have been telling Democratic voters.

  Go.Vote. and let's put these Republicans so far in a hole that God Himself won't be able to find them!

And Then, On The 5th Of November...

   DailyKos   ( Edited for length )

They're even starting to openly cry at the Whitehouse., so you know things are looking good for our side.

I'm not dancing on the five yard line here, I'm just saying we need to start thinking about what happens when Democrats are finally on the hook for everything!

Before I get into the best case scenario, let's first look at worst - which of course would be that somehow, someway, McCain manages to pull an upset against all logical odds.

What the fuck would we do then?

Before packing our bags for Brazil and/or Fiji, I'm thinking we hit LAWSUIT City.  I'm think right now the only way for this scenario to play out is through ongoing voter suppression, caging, but most importantly massive election fraud and vote tally recalibration at the machine level, either in stand-alone voting machines or more likely - at the tabulators.

There's nothing can do after the fact for people who've been blocked from voting, but for votes that have been flipped - the party is only just starting on Nov 5th.

We may learn quite a bit about this tomorrow at the Deposition for Mike Connell, a virulent anti-abortion partisan who was instrumental in setting up the Ohio Tabulator systems which may very well have stolen the 2004 election from John Kerry.

Interview with Stephan Spoonamore, a cybersecurity export (and Republican) who has closely examined the activities of Connell and his rabid pro-life associates.

Statements from Spoonamore's Deposition in the ongoing Ohio Election Case.

In the case of Ohio 2004, the only purpose I can conceive for sending all county vote tabulations to a GOP managed Man-in-the-Middle site in Chattanooga BEFORE sending the results onward to the Sec. of State, would be to hack the vote at the MIM. 

IN REGARD TO THE DIEBOLD SYSTEMS, Formerly Global, DESI and now called Premier. 

In my opinion, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY to make a secure touch screen voting system. None. Secure systems are predicated on establishing securely the identity of every user of the system. Voting is predicated on being anonymous. It is impossible to have a system that does both. 

It is possible to design relatively secure optical scan machines, but even these can be hacked in even the best of cases. In the case of optical scan you have the ability to recount manually the paper ballot itself, and the ability to spot check the machines for errors against a sample of hand recounting.  

Do not kid yourselves, the vote can be hacked: the vote WILL. BE. HACKED!

On November 5th, we need to be ready for this.  Ready for strange and curious election results which seemingly have no basis in reality or fact.  This year, I believe these attacks are almost certain to come - and with McCain trailing so far in so many states the attempt will either completely fail because not enough states will be involved in the tabulation flip or it will succeed and be blaringly obvious to everyone!

We can't let the media talk us into some B.S. "Bradley Effect" mindfuck.  "Oh yeah, it was all the closet racists who lost it for Obama..."  Like HELL, sure America has racists and even good people who just aren't yet comfortable with the idea of a Black President - but not enough to flip 7 or 8 States! We're gonna need boots on the ground, voters, poll workers and observers in key polling districts (minority and heavily democratic in red/purple zones) with Election Protection on SPEED DIAL in states that McCain HAS TO WIN such as Missouri, Florida, Georgia, Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania.


Burn that number into the back of your eyelids people.

We're going to need to lobby the FRAK out of Congress to challenge the results in the Senate, then have them subpeona Spoonamore and Connell to testify with expert opinions on what did or didn't happen on November 4th.  If necessary Congress may have to fix this by rejecting the results. It could get very messy, but we have to stay the course. 

Our way of life depends on it.

And we still have to prepared for all this to fail and for the eventuality of a (shiver) President John McCain and Vice President (gak) Sarah Palin.  (You Betcha. Also) Madre de Dios!

If that horror does happen - we have to remember that we still have a Democratic Congress with very likely either 58 or 59 Democratic Senators.  It's going to be rough road, but we've been on it for sometime so we know all the curves.  We know the house will pass some great legislation only to have it buried by Senate Republicans - and Lieberman.  We know that McCain will probably follow in many of Bush's footsteps with Iraq, deepen the chasm with Iran, continue to ignore bin Laden and al Qaeda, continue to play Daddy Warbucks with his corporate cronies as we slip-slide our way into a deeper depression, and fully open the spigot that is spewing American jobs into China, Taiwan and India like a Firehose.  Still, McCain might actually get a couple things right if the Wild winds of Crazy Horse  Maverick-ness happen to blow the right way. I'm not sure what those will be - No one is, NOT EVEN McCAIN - but we need to be ready to help make sure there more of those moments, rather than less. 

It's gonna suck donkey balls, but we need to realize that this massive Amazing organization the Obama has built doesn't need to wither away.  WE CAN STILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE, but continuing to organize, by lobbying and petitioning Congress, targeting those few swing Republican Votes in the Senate to help break their blockade, to rally reluctant Democrats to stand firm and hold the line instead of wimping out - like usual...

And on the other hand if Obama Wins -

All the ABOVE STILL APPLIES.      ( Read More )

John McCain Is Unacceptable

   Read the following as it comes from an overseas diarist over at DailyKos. I am not posting the entire because it is lengthy. Just a few excerpts.

Nothing has exposed the moral bankruptcy of John McCain, his intellectual crassness and the inherent intolerance afflicting the Party he heads, as the fierce candidacy waged by Obama. The hollow emptiness of Conservatism as a movement or ideological fulcrum has been uncovered for the world to see—herpes riddled arse, gonorrhea infested scrotal region, flies a-buzzing and all that. You cannot spin it away, you cannot explain it away. A good number of these people are sick in the head. When Colin Powell, a four star General, endorsed the candidacy of Barack Obama, far-right Republican operatives and ideologues densely attributed it to race, insisting that the General, who chose to serve his country at a time of painful racial disparity, would naturally favour the black guy over the white guy irrespective of position or substance. What vulgarity, what loutishness, what stupidity. The decision to exploit racial division and suspicion amongst black and white is particularly reprehensible. John McCain, a man who carries the historical blemish on his record of having voted against honouring the civil rights hero, MLK, has turned a blind eye to the race-based whistles his campaign has been sending out. His Party has sent out fliers insisting that Barack Obama is "not who [Americans] think he is", an attempt to feed the obvious lies and despicable smears that Obama is a closet Muslim terrorist intent on destroying America. There have been incidents of McCain supporters, among them some unsalvageable racists, yelling, "Nigger" at his rallies. A McCain supporter, in the bid to incite what can only be described as an all out race war, lied that a bad, big, black man had attacked, assaulted her and carved a ‘B’ on her forehead. Without adequate verification, John McCain "reached" out to her. Turned out it was a lie. McCain supporters have called Obama every name in the book from "socialist" to "baby killer", and that America even considers putting a product of such an ultra-hate afflicted movement in the White House is astounding to us. As the astute diarist, billmon, said on the 10th of October:

I've been following politics for going on 35 years now, and I don't think I've ever heard a Republican candidate publicly refer to his Democratic opponent as a "socialist" -- not even while hiding behind a cardboard cutout like "Joe the Plumber". This from a man who told the entire nation on Wednesday night that he believes an obscure nonprofit group is "perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy." Likewise, I don't think there's ever been an American vice presidential candidate who explicitly referred to entire regions of the United States as "pro-American" -- with the clear implication that other regions are something less than "pro-American."

  On McCain's constant claim that being in the military makes him more suitable to be President,

    What John McCain should have done was to take a forceful stand against the deplorable position his Party has chosen to walk. Then, only then, could we TRULY call him maverick. Right now, he’s just sick. He’s nothing but a desperate and pathetic old man trying to win an election. John McCain is not an honourable man; John McCain is a filthy piece of shit. The fact that one serves in the miliraty doesn’t automatically confer on one patent right to the word "honourable". As we understand it, Richard Nixon joined the United States Navy and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander during World War II. But there was hardly anything honourable about Watergate. Idi Amin of Uganda was a soldier but hardly honourable. That you wore, or wear, the uniform is an honourable thing in itself, but at the end of the day that is where it stops.

  Let us not forget about Sarah Palin.

Empirically, this reflects fatally on McCain’s judgment. This shows McCain to be a man incapable of complex considerations, a man with incuriosity rivalled only by Bush’s stupidity. The sheer thoughtlessness of McCain’s first executive decision provides a window into the kind of decisions he would take as President of the United States. The rashness of it all is astounding.
This is basis to believe that a President McCain is capable of simultaneously starting wars with Russia, China, North Korea and Zanzibar (for good measure).  How a 72 year old man earth can select a woman who is so unsubtly unprepared to be VP will be one of the questions people will ponder for generations to come.  Can anybody seriously go to bed peacefully knowing that Sarah Palin may be sitting in the Oval Office negotiating nuclear defence systems with Putin and Medvedev? Or tackling the sitting-bomb that is Pakistan? Or taking constructive steps about global warming? Does she even have a vision?

The Editorial page of the Guardian today says it best:

Though we lack the vote, this is our election too. Such statements outrage many Americans and inspire others. But the rest of the world has not just lived this election. Our life chances and societies will also be shaped by what happens next Tuesday. The world has an interest in the outcome because, in spite of everything, America remains the world's pre-eminent military, political, financial and cultural power. America's standing in the world has been damaged during the Bush years. He has inflicted massive direct harm to many parts of the world through his military actions, has set back the quality of life on our planet by his indifference to climate change, international cooperation and the rule of law. He has been anti-Americanism's best recruiting sergeant and al-Qaida's too.

The world may not have the vote on Tuesday. But it certainly has a candidate. That candidate is Senator Barack Obama. If the world could vote on November 4, Mr Obama would win by a landslide. Polling shows him preferred in Egypt by two to one, in Poland by three to one, in Canada by five to one, in Brazil by six to one, in Britain by seven to one, in France by 11 to one and in Kenya by more than 17 to one.

He is not just the preferred choice of liberal Europeans. He is also the choice of the rest of the world, of all races and creeds - and of young people in particular. No buses crammed with lawyers would be needed to validate the accuracy of these votes. He commands this support, not only because he is not George Bush but because he personifies so much of what the world still admires about America. Americans ought to think about that. The world longs, perhaps unrealistically but palpably nevertheless, for a new America. Only Mr Obama can provide that.

   Read the entire article HERE

    As you can see, it isn't only those of us here in America who want change. The rest of the world wants it also.

                               VOTE     November 4th!!