Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama's Election Too big to steal? + Addendum

There's complacency and there's worry.I go back and forth. Sometimes it seems obvious enough that Obama's lead is too big to steal for which there is plenty of evidence. Real Clear Politics (an invaluable website, it has everything including latest polls, national and state maps and much more )
gives Obama 259 solid electoral votes + 52 leading, vs., 127 solid +30 leaning for McCain with 70 toss up.

I just spoke to a Democratic operative who's pretty good at predictions who feels sure it'll be a landslide, and I also noticed a NYTimes article chortling about the broadcast media having trouble infusing suspense or even interest in their election coverage because there's no doubt in their minds that Obama will win.

And then there's election fraud. I get unremitting email from Mark Crispin Miller's (MCM) invaluable list like the one from which I've excerpted below.

Here Professor Miller is forwarding material from Election Justice News.
( Did they really say MILLIONS of (mostly Democratic) voters have been removed from the polls?)

Researchers have found that in 2004, 9 million mostly Democratic voters were removed from the lists in 13 states which was part of the reason that Bush officially "won" by 3 million votes.

We also learned from MCM's book, Loser Take All that in 2004 Bush got fewer votes from rural areas than he did in 2000 --which stands to reason. (It's interesting also to learn that the evangelical vote both in 2000 and 2004 played much less of a role than it is generally credited with.) So how did Bush win? According to the exit polls which were forced to fudge their numbers to get into line with later official statistics, Bush improbably IMPROVED his numbers in heavily populated urban areas. Such was the transparency of the fraud and the unaccountability of the official numbers.
(Reminds me, if you have 4 or 6 hours to donate on Nov 4, to help with exit polling (most usefully in a toss up or leaning state), feel free to follow up and I can dig out an email calling for volunteers.)

Addendum: So many of us have been racking our brain about COG, Cheney and Bush's plans to stay in office beyond January 20, 2009. And if an attack on Iran is off the table -- not that it's !00% off and won't be until and unless they give up power --then how could they change the political atmosphere sufficiently to pull it off?
All of a sudden it hit me: They steal enough of the election to throw it to the courts, and at a certain moment they say, enough of this nonsense, we'll stay in office. Just like that.
Let's hope this is just another nightmare from the Bush years -- characterized by an attack, a largely successful attack on civil life.

“The use of recriminating about the past is to enforce effective action at the present.”
--Winston Churchill, 1936.
Election Justice News
October 28, 2008

Election Complaints Are Pouring In

With somber concern for our democracy and our country, I send out this edition of Election Justice News. Early voting is well underway in many states, and reports are literally pouring in that portray an organized effort by the GOP to steal yet another election. Taken one at a time, they are easy to discount as mistakes, but the pattern is overwhelming. We're seeing many reports of touchscreen voting machines flipping from Obama to McCain in several states, on different types and brands of voting machines. Millions of eligible voters have been purged from the voter rolls in the last few weeks.
The reports are coming in so fast I can't keep up with it all. Every time I think I have this newsletter ready to go out, another report of vote flipping or voter suppression starts to break. It's enough to really get you down. Compared to 2004, it's a little different because more people are aware of the problems, and a few more reporters are willing to talk about it. But the big news agencies are still busy creating a controversy about ACORN that doesn't exist.
The question now that people are starting to ask is, what are we going to do on November 5th, if it looks like the election was stolen? I still have hope, that the sheer numbers will make it difficult if not impossible to overtake, even with the extensive fraudulent efforts we're seeing. But the reality is, yes it could happen again. The answer to the question of what we do next, is not for me to answer at this time, but it is something that every one of us should start thinking about. There are still some things we can do to try to prevent it from happening. It begins with vigilance, which means that as depressing as it can be, we must pay attention and spread the word, so that people know what's going on. From there we can all take specific steps to try to safeguard our votes.
The influx of reports and proximity to the election are causing us to completely revamp the Election Justice Center website. We are moving everything prior to October into the archives, focusing on this election, and grouping reports by category. Please check the website often for daily updates.
You will find this newsletter to be a bit overwhelming. My advice is to read all the headlines to get a feel for what is happening, and then pick a handful of articles you wish to read in more detail. We must stay informed and we must be vigilant. Read on...
--Gary Beckwith, Editor
Help get the word out - forward this newsletter!
1. Growing Reports of Vote Flipping
We all know those touchscreen voting machines are bad news. Once you cast your vote, it disappears forever into computer "La La Land" where Diebold and ES&S decide what to do with it. You want a recount, or audit? Fuggetaboutit... Well what do you do when you actually see your vote being flipped, right before your eyes on the machine? You'd think that the programmers would at least try to cover up what they're doing and flip the vote after you walk away, but evidently they're not that smart, at least some of the time. The reports are now trickling in of many people clicking on the vote for Obama and seeing it register as a vote for McCain. Not surprisingly, we're still waiting for the first real report of the reverse. If the past is any indication, there won't be many - in 2004 there were thousands of vote flipping incidents reported, and nearly every single one was a person trying to vote for Kerry but seeing their vote flipped to Bush.

Table of Contents
1. Growing Reports of Vote Flipping
2. More Problems with E-Voting Systems
3. Massive Voter Purging and Suppression
5. Polls Show McCain "Win" Would Point To Fraud
6. Diebold Whistleblowers tell how previous elections were stolen
7. The Red Herring Attacks on ACORN
8. Multimedia: Videos and Movies Cover Election Fraud
9. All books and films on election issues marked down!
10. More Ways To Stay Informed

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Karl Rove, RFK Jr. Mark Crispin Miller: This Election Can Still Be Stolen -- or, Is in Process of Being Stolen

Karl Rove didn’t exactly say that the election can be or will be stolen from Obama on Nov 4, but, in the light of his track record, his remarks in an October 16, 2008 op ed for the Wall Street Journal: “Obama Hasn’t Closed the Sale,” could be read as a coded message that plans to steal the vote in the key states are well in hand. In his op ed he cites the key states that are necessary if McCain is going to win.

Karl Rove writes that

McCain is...narrowing his travels almost exclusively to Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Colorado and Nevada. If he carries those states, while losing only Iowa and New Mexico from the GOP's 2004 total, Mr. McCain will carry 274 Electoral College votes and the White House. It's threading the needle, but it's come to that.

Besides the well known techniques of stealing and changing votes by means of hacking/controlling electronic voting machines, there is the less well reported (or non reported in most mainstream media) technique of caging, or purging, arbitrarily removing likely Democratic voters from the rolls by Republican operatives. Some estimates of purged likely Democratic voters in the November 4, election as high as 3 million nationwide.

In the PBS TV program, “Washington Week in Review” for October 17, 2008, the relevant discussion focused on the non issue of ACORN voter fraud while the panelists said nothing about the widespread election fraud by means of widespread caging, electronic vote manipulation and other means.

Nor are states and localities which don’t use electronic voting machines immune from voter fraud by operatives in key positions. For example, in an extraordinary article, ten days after the February 5, 2008 Democratic presidential primary election in New York State, the New York Times revealed that in about 80 of the city’s 6,000+ election districts, Senator Obama didn’t receive even one vote, not even in heavily black districts in Manhattan’s Harlem or Brooklyn’s Bed Sty; districts controlled by Congresspeople supporting Hillary Clinton (see NYT, “Unofficial Tallies in City Understated Obama Vote,” by Sam Roberts, 2.16.08 )

The Times never saw fit to follow up on this remarkable story, but the article indirectly pointed to the means by which election results are changed. Well placed political operatives apparently control the central tabulators, and can thus change the tallies to their liking.

Since there is no nationwide system of regulated independent oversight and control over the central tabulators – which was apparently the mechanism behind Bush officially winning the popular vote in 2004 and the electoral vote in several states -- U.S. election results are as unreliable as far as reflecting the people’s preferences as in any Banana Republic. We can blame John Kerry for much of our current helplessness when it comes to election fraud due to his acceptance without investigation of the official results of the vote in Ohio. Had he contested the official results, his struggle would undoubtedly have brought to light some of the abuses that are prevalent today; abuses which could rob Obama of the presidency as it did Kerry and Gore before him.

Years later, in a private conversation with Mark Crispin Miller, John Kerry admitted that he knew that the election was stolen. When Professor Miller, an author, and an activist on election fraud, went public with this conversation, Kerry’s spokesperson denied it.

With regard to voter purging, “caging,” removing Democratic voters from the voter rolls, see

ROLLING STONE: IT'S ALREADY STOLEN, an Investigation by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast

- Republican Secretaries of State of swing-state Colorado have quietly purged one in six names from their voter rolls.
Over several months, the GOP politicos in Colorado stonewalled every attempt by Rolling Stone to get an answer to the massive purge - ten times the average state's rate of removal.
- While Obama dreams of riding to the White House on a wave of new voters, more then 2.7 million have had their registrations REJECTED under new procedures signed into law by George Bush.

For those interested in more information about the current state of election fraud, a great deal of timely information can be found at Mark Crispin Miller’s blog/listserve at

See also his book on election fraud in the George W. Bush era: Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy 2000-2008.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

E.L. Doctorow: Two mayoral terms are enough for Michael Bloomberg

I had forgotten what a pleasure it was to read such clear and pointed prose from a master writer. Also I have to compliment the NY Daily News for including some leftist views. I guess they realize it's also good business.
Here's a line from Doctorow's op ed that caught my eye:

[McCain], in his cynical choice of a running mate displayed a contempt for the citizenry that verges on nihilism...

Yes, we've seen plenty of nihilism over the last 8 years. Readers will be familiar with the argument in this space that it's been all nihilism all the time, with the 9/11 terror attacks as exhibit #1.
And on the same theme:
Is it fair to place a municipal matter in a national setting? I think it is. The imperial arrogance of the White House - its secrecy, its mendacity, its subversion of the Constitution - has created a culture of faux democracy.

Just two points that Doctorow leaves out, the first not mentioned anywhere I've seen so far: Bloomberg's distaste, shall we say, for public education. The biggest disaster of a third term will be the consolidation of his public school depradations. He and Chancellor Joel Klein have done everything they could under the circumstances to undermine public education, with their brutal testing and grading programs, their arbitrary decisions, their constant reorgainizations. As part of their attack, they have shut out input from parents, and have it would seem deliberately thrown millions and tens of millions (and more?) down the toilet in no bid contracts to outside consultants. Who knows how many more crimes would be revealed by those who have been their victims?
The other obvious point which Doctorow didn't have time to mention is the natural corruption that seeps in willy nilly to virtually all regimes that go on at length.


NY Daily News
Why two terms is enough for Mayor Mike Bloomberg

Sunday, October 12th 2008, 4:00 AM

Mayor Bloomberg wants another term. He's been a good mayor and perhaps we should give it to him. Not that he's asking us: We've been snookered - we who have in two mass participatory plebiscites expressed our wishes for a two-term limit. He's done an end-around to the City Council.

It's hard to believe Council members would vote against a measure that would allow them to extend their own terms of office. All they have to do is raise their hands when the appropriate bill is introduced and, presto, from 26 to 50 "ayes" will have superseded the emphatic votes of a city's population.

Of course there will be a campaign and presumably the voters will then decide if Bloomberg should be elected for a third term. On the other hand, no one who runs against him will have $80 million of discretionary income to run with. So that's a problem.

The mayor has intended to have another four years in office for some time. His rationale now is the economic crisis that has cut like a scythe across the land and, incidentally, frightened many influential people in this city into backing his move. They will say, correctly, that he is possessed of a superb business mind, that he understands the complexities of city government, and that if anyone can see the city through this economic crisis, he can. They will also say that he has been a good and fair mayor, and that he has run the city wisely and well. I am happy to agree. He has made one or two mistakes - his Police Department's arrest of some 1,800 protesters, and of people just standing around, during the Republican convention of 2004, seemed a graceless effort to quash peaceable dissent. And then there was the proposed football stadium in Manhattan. Over all, though, he has done well, and with a calm and friendly personal style that is a marked improvement over the dispiriting authoritarian tendencies of his predecessor.

But after eight years of a national administration's monumental indifference to the rule of law, this is not the time to chip away another chunk of the tablets of our democracy. Is it fair to place a municipal matter in a national setting? I think it is. The imperial arrogance of the White House - its secrecy, its mendacity, its subversion of the Constitution - has created a culture of faux democracy.

Surely no honest public figure who loves this country would want to further that culture. However reasonable and practical it would seem to give Bloomberg his wish for another term, in the context of a national election, in which the Republican candidate has, in his cynical choice of a running mate displayed a contempt for the citizenry that verges on nihilism, the mayor of our greatest city has the opportunity to proclaim his belief in the primacy of the electorate by accepting the will of the people and stepping down.

When politicians leave office, they set about writing their memoirs. If the mayor opted for this I would be happy to recommend a top editor to see him through the process. But that would not offer him the opportunity as a private citizen to put to use his considerable knowledge of the workings of our city.

So here is my suggestion: By virtue of his successful tenure, and of the good will and the respect he has earned, he has the power to convene the great sources of private wealth in this city, along with its enormous intellectual resources, to create a synergetic social organization designed to solve problems and fund the solutions on the model of President Bill Clinton's Global Initiative - a Bloomberg Municipal Initiative, combining ideas and investment to lift the boroughs' struggling populations, and to do for the city's social services, its educational needs, and its infrastructure, what the city may, for a while, be unable to do for itself.

If the mayor has in mind a future in politics, nothing is more likely to give him a national platform. And there will always be time to write his memoirs.

Doctorow is the author of "Ragtime," "Billy Bathgate" and "The March," among other novels. He lives in Manhattan.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

$700 Billion Debacle: It's Obama, Dummy!

Once again it appears that in a matter of days Treasury Secretary Paulson will have the effectively unfettered authority to dole out billions to those who shouldn’t get it while doing little or nothing to aid the current credit crunch.

Journalist Chris Floyd puts the Democrats’ position succinctly:

Nothing -- absolutely nothing -- could be politically safer than opposing George W. Bush. And yet the entire Democratic leadership, Barack Obama included, lined up to support a cockamamie plan proposed by this scorned and shriveled figure, a plan that was transparently nothing more than an audacious raid on the Treasury by Big Money hoods and yet another authoritarian power grab by a gang of murderous, torturing, warmongering toadies. This was the plan and these were the people that the Democrats decided to fight for.
(Thanks to Xymphora for the pointer.)

Once again, the question: why is this happening? Why are the Democrats voting for Bush/Cheney/Paulson’s plan which will have the effect of further destabilizing the national and international economy when all their constituents (200-1, I've heard) are telling them not to bail out Wall Street?

Thanks to Dennis Kucinich on Democracy Now (9/29) we have the answer: It’s Obama. It almost makes you wish Hillary won. We would have expected it from her. The only question is whether FISA was a bigger betrayal. On the bright side we’re learning something. We’re learning the depths to which Obama will go to please and reassure his corporate sponsors.

Here’s the relevant exchange on Democracy Now:

AMY GOODMAN: Congressman Kucinich, can you explain how it is that the Democrats are in charge, yet the Democrats back down on their demand to give bankruptcy judges authority to alter the terms of mortgages for homeowners facing foreclosure, that Democrats also failed in their attempt to steer a portion of any government profits from the package to affordable housing programs?

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, I mean, those are two of the most glaring deficiencies in this bill. And I would maintain there was never any intention to—you know, well, many members of Congress had the intention of helping people who were in foreclosure. You know, this—Wall Street doesn’t want to do that. Wall Street wants to grab whatever change they can and equity that’s left in these properties. So—

AMY GOODMAN: Right, but the Democrats are in charge of this.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Right. You know, I’ll tell you something that we were told in our caucus. We were told that our presidential candidate, when the negotiations started at the White House, said that he didn’t want this in this bill. Now, that’s what we were told.

AMY GOODMAN: You were told that Barack Obama did not want this in the bill?

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: That he didn’t want the bankruptcy provisions in the bill. Now, you know, that’s what we were told. And I don’t understand why he would say that, if he did say that. And I think that there is a—the fact that we didn’t put bankruptcy provisions in, that actually we removed any hope for judges to do any loan modifications or any forbearance. There’s no moratorium on mortgage foreclosures in here. So, who’s getting—who’s really getting helped by this bill? This is a bailout, pure and simple, of Wall Street interests who have been involved in speculation.

And I don’t, for the life of me, understand why this is going to do anything to address the underlying problems in the economy, which actually had to do with the recklessness. This is what the president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas said, that—and, you know, I might have the actual quote here. Listen to this quote: he said, “The seizures and convulsions we’ve experienced in the debt and equity markets have been the consequences of a sustained orgy of excess and reckless behavior, not a too tight monetary policy.” This is the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank president, Richard Fisher.

So, you know, we’re getting stampeded here to vote for something that doesn’t help homeowners, that doesn’t do anything about foreclosures, that doesn’t help those people who have been in bankruptcy and are looking for a way out. As a matter of fact, it made sure they can’t get out. So, who’s this for? It’s for speculators. It’s to play a game that provides some temporary help in the market, and, you know, you might see an uptick today if this passes the House. On the other hand, if it doesn’t, we need to be ready to find a way for Wall Street to address its problems without having to tap the increasingly diminishing resources of the federal taxpayers.

Read the entire Kucinich interview at: