The Downing Street Dodge, 2004 voting fraud and hacking reports in Florida, Ohio + military anger at Karl Rove

I have so many damn links piled up for days on end, gotta get rid of them!!

The Downing Street Memo continues to exert a certain effect on things... It's interesting how the New York Times has bent over backwards to soften the way they talk about the memo and its contents. NewsClip Autopsy has a bit about their mastery of deception. Sanjoy Maharajan's "Anatomy of a Coverup" at Zmag has all the gory details about how the news copy obfuscates key points about the memos and their contents, although the text layout gives me a headache and I can't help but skim it. An old grumble about the Winds of War by Jim Kirwan has a link to an interesting "Iraqi Resistance Report"... And this page of war headlines has all kinds of leftie stuff.

Tracking Election Irregularities (HongWiki page): Bev Harris and the crew at Black Box Voting soldier on, and determine that Diebold optical scanner machines can be manipulated with programs on the memory cards. Wow.

The Diebold optical scan system uses a dangerous programming methodology, with an executable program living inside the electronic ballot box. This method is the equivalent of having a little man living in the ballot box, holding an eraser and a pencil. With an executable program in the memory card, no Diebold opti-scan ballot box can be considered "empty" at the start of the election.

The Black Box Voting team proved that the Diebold optical scan program, housed on a chip inside the voting machine, places a call to a program living in the removable memory card during the election. The demonstration also showed that the executable program on the memory card (ballot box) can easily be changed, and that checks and balances, required by FEC standards to catch unauthorized changes, were not implemented by Diebold -- yet the system was certified anyway.

The Diebold system in Leon County, Florida succumbed to multiple attacks.

Meanwhile the people at the Free Press in Columbus, Ohio have published "Did George W Bush Steal America's 2004 Election? Essential Documents." From the introduction:

This volume of documents is meant to provide you, the reader, with evidence necessary to make up your own mind.

Few debates have aroused more polarized ire. But too often the argument has proceeded without documentation. This volume of crucial source materials, from Ohio and elsewhere, is meant to correct that problem.

Amidst a bitterly contested vote count that resulted in unprecedented action by the Congress of the United States, here are some news accounts that followed this election, which was among the most bitterly contested in all US history:

• Despite repeated pre-election calls from officials across the nation and the world, Ohio's Republican Secretary of State, who also served as Ohio's co-chair for the Bush-Cheney campaign, refused to allow non-partisan international and United Nations observers the access they requested to monitor the Ohio vote. While such access is routinely demanded by the U.S. government in third world nations, it was banned in the American heartland.

• A post-election headline from the Akron Beacon Journal cites a critical report by twelve prominent social scientists and statisticians, reporting: "Analysis Points to Election ‘Corruption': Group Says Chance of Exit Polls Being So Wrong in '04 Vote is One-in-959,000."

• Citing "Ohio's Odd Numbers," investigative reporter Christopher Hitchens, a Bush supporter, says in Vanity Fair: "Given what happened in that key state on Election Day 2004, both democracy and common sense cry out for a court-ordered inspection of its new voting machines."

• Paul Krugman of the New York Times writes: "It's election night, and early returns suggest trouble for the incumbent. Then, mysteriously, the vote count stops and observers from the challenger's campaign see employees of a voting-machine company, one wearing a badge that identifies him as a county official, typing instructions at computers with access to the vote-tabulating software.

When the count resumes, the incumbent pulls ahead. The challenger demands an investigation. But there are no ballots to recount, and election officials allied with the incumbent refuse to release data that could shed light on whether there was tampering with the electronic records.

This isn't a paranoid fantasy. It's a true account of a recent election in Riverside County, California..."

• Hundreds of Ohio African-American voters give sworn testimony that they were harassed, intimidated, deprived of voting machines, given faulty ballots, confronted with malfunctioning machines and hit with a staggering range of other problems that deprived them of votes that were destined for John Kerry, votes that might have tipped the Ohio outcome.

• A team of high-powered researchers discover results in three southern Ohio counties where an obscure African-American candidate for the state Supreme Court somehow outpolls John Kerry, a virtually impossible outcome indicating massive vote fraud costing Kerry thousands of votes.

• Up until 11pm Eastern time on election night, exit polls show John Kerry comfortably leading George Bush in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Mexico, giving him a clear victory in the Electoral College, and a projected national margin of some 1.5 million votes. These same exit polls had just served as the basis for overturning an election in Ukraine, and are viewed worldwide as a bedrock of reliability. But after midnight the vote count mysteriously turns, and by morning George W. Bush is declared the victor.

There is far far more…enough, indeed, to result in massive court filings, unprecedented Congressional action and a library full of documents leading to bitter controversy over the 2004 election, especially in Ohio.

In this volume, we have attempted to present many of the most crucial of those documents.

Do they prove that George W. Bush stole the U.S. presidential election of 2004?

Should John Kerry rather than Bush have been certified by the Electoral College on January 6, 2005?

Historians will be debating that for centuries. What follows are some of the core documents they will use in that debate:

The most hotly contested evidence comes most importantly from Ohio, whose 20 electoral votes decided the election. But it also comes from other key swing states—-especially Florida and New Mexico—-where exit polls and other evidence raise questions about the officially certified vote tallies in favor of Bush.

Let's not forget that the certification of Ohio's electors was halted by Democratic senators back in January...

Campaign 2008: The Hillary business continues in an effort to discredit before a likely 2008 run. BBC noted this funny sentence:

While Klein says his references to lesbianism in the book illustrate how "Hillary's politics were shaped by the culture of radical feminism and lesbianism at Wellesley College in the 1960s", the woman herself has altered her stance on one of America's key feminist issues: abortion.

I didn't realize that lesbianism was an ideological orthodoxy. Do they have a little red book?? Klein got on Air America and he admits to quite a lot of errors, including the messing up the name of Hillary's chief of staff and various other hack mistakes. Bill Richardson is an interesting possible candidate and he is being annoyingly coy about it. From back on June 8, a Richardson trip to New Hampshire:

MANCHESTER - Wondering if Bill Richardson is running for president? It depends on which language you speak.

"I want to be very clear about this presidential stuff," Richardson, the Democratic governor of New Mexico, said at yesterday's New Hampshire Latino Summit. "No, I will not run for president."

Then, switching to Spanish, he told the heavily Hispanic crowd, "Segura que si, voy a ser candidato!"

Rough translation: You bet I am!

It was a light-hearted response to a question that is bound to follow Richardson for the next few years. But the bilingual answer also underscored a point Richardson made several times yesterday, as he met with members of New Hampshire's Hispanic community and other state business and political leaders.

Leaked government documents: From the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) meetings going on, some dude scanned in internal goodies. (via Boingboing)

The Military, Karl Hate and Recruiting:

Hey, the MinuteMen started a branch in Texas (and they've got a funny movie coming up). And China widely has a more popular global image than the United States. Such are two effects of the present political crisis, and now Karl Rove is attempting to mint some anti-liberal hate currency because they can't figure out real solutions. The military is under pressure and Rove insults all serving liberals. Recruitment is down, which might be a pressure point. Some thoughts about anti-recruitment action on the Left by Michael Neumann on Counterpunch:

Worst of all, the very concept of political action has been attenuated to the vanishing point. By now, many leftists have only the faintest idea of what it is to do something. They see two options, non-violent protest and violent protest, never suspecting that both of these are closer to speech than to action. 'Support' has come to mean equally little: like protest, it has to do with uttering words. ....

...Of course, leftists are quite aware of the recruitment crisis in today's armed forces. But awareness isn't enough - excitement would be more appropriate. This is not just a weakness in the system which sustains the war effort. It is a fatal weakness.

Recruitment is essential: no troops, no war. Recruitment happens, and has to happen, all over the country. All over the country, right where they live, people can do much to make recruitment less effective. Parents of high school kids (and veterans' groups) are already working on this. Every high school, every university, every place where recruiters go, is an ideal battleground, because the anti-war forces, far more than the recruiters, are on home ground.

Recruiters are vulnerable to student protest, to one-on-one confrontations, to anti-war parents and to all those adults who can support them. Anti-recruiters, who make the case against joining up to potential recruits, can circulate on the ground; others can use online services to reach fighting age computer users. Posters can go up all over cities and towns across the country, perhaps with pictures of some of the wounded Bush likes to hide.

On the other hand I sympathize for the guys who have to work as recruiters because it is really quite a horrible job. However, by that very statement we run into a classic fallacy deployed against the left, "Supporting the Troops == Supporting the War", in this case, they will try to imply that "Opposing the War == Opposing recruiting == Opposing the troops". But we can't let them get away with blaming noisy liberals for a lack of recruits. There's a lack of recruits because the war has gone to hell, everyone knows it, and no one wants to go. Bob Herbert is saying this may very well lead to the draft... The normally hilarious 'Jesus General' makes a depressingly serious comment, and cites this little set of pictures. Apparently Rove's nasty recent comments were fully coordinated with the White House, and nasty talking points got released before he even started the rant.

They'd like to blame the failure of the war on the antiwar voices, much as Vietnam got reframed in people's heads over the last year with the silly argument that leftist protesters caused national will to implode. In truth, the worthless political strategy caused the expression of national will via violence to fall apart. And that's

happening again. But the recruiters don't deserve a pass, and they don't deserve to know my brother's grade point average.

Well what do you know, now there's a blog for "Taking the Fight to Karl: American Service Men and Women Mad at Karl Rove". Including the memorable post, "Active Iraq Soldier: Karl, Come over _here_ and say that, Chickenhawk":

I'm writing you from [Location Withheld] Iraq, about 35 miles NW of Baghdad.. And I'm too tired to give Karl the verbal beating he deserves for his insults. I'm too tired because we're jsut a bit shorthanded over here, fighting his war for him. A war taht has made nearly every country in the world fear and distrust America, a war fought for a knowing lie dreamed up by Karl and his buddies, none of whom have ever heard a shot fired in anger, or helped pick up the parts of another human being after an IED blast.

I enlisted after the war beganm and after I'd gotten my degree. I could easily have stayed home and watched the war on TV, and Karl does. I do not support this war in the slightest, but I will not sit at home and lecture others on their insufficient patriotism when the nation is in need. I joined because I believe in giving back some measure of service and devotion to my country.

To hear a man like Karl insinuate that only conservatives are really patriotic is a knife in the back to every man and woman in Iraq who serves here. At least a third of us voted against Bush and pals. The number increases every day that we stay here, forced to make bricks without straw for months on end.

We've been here for 6 months. We're going to be here for at least 6 more. And next week we're moving to a more 'active' sector because the unit there is rotating home and the are is still too hot to entrust to the IA or IP, most of whom are still not fit to guard a traffic light, despite two years of efforts on our part. For some of us, this is our second tour through Iraq. My unit, [Withheld] was the tip of the spear in OIF I. At least half of us are combat veterans of a major battle and liberals. Can any of your gang say that, Karl?

Never insult me and my fellow liberals again, Karl. Watching a fat, hateful thing like you that has never faced any greater danger in your life than a long golf shot denigrate every liberal who has put on a uniform is more demoralizing than ten thousand speeches that uphold America's highest ideals from Sen. Biden or Byrd.

[Name Withheld]

And lots more... On Thursday the Supreme Court is supposedly meeting to look at the Valerie Plame case. Something exciting may happen. There is terrible nastiness happening at PBS now (look at that GOPBS logo!). I saw Moyers on the Daily Show recently. Depressing. Moyers is fighting hard in this.

Tech: Google to launch online video playback on Monday, using my favorite open-source media player VLC. Or so they say. Also check out combining RSS and BitTorrent. Well it's an old story. But worth thinking about. The Onion 2056. Good stuff at What is Outfoxed (not the anti-Fox flick)? The Avian Flu blog.

More politics: DemBloggers still has great streaming media including some great Rumsfeld moments (WMV required but it works on the Mac) Hijacking Catastrophe is frickin sweet.

Random culture: via BoingBoing Rare Bollywood LP covers. An amazing act of sarcasm for the Kansas School Board:

We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it. We have several lengthy volumes explaining all details of His power. Also, you may be surprised to hear that there are over 10 million of us, and growing. We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence. What these people don’t understand is that He built the world to make us think the earth is older than it really is. ..... But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage. We have numerous texts that describe in detail how this can be possible and the reasons why He does this. He is of course invisible and can pass through normal matter with ease.

The horror of Jared Fogle.

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