The NY Times flunks its own Electoral College editorial

by lestro

Every four years, newspapers around the country roll out editorials condemning the electoral college based on specious reasoning that shows an incredible lack of understanding about the nature of our government, the world of the founding fathers and a contempt for the very structure on which this nation is built.

As a rule, editorial boards make their case by completely ignoring the main reasons for the creation of the electoral college as well as the inadvertently spitting on the Great Compromise that helped create the Constitution.

And the NY Times, one of the greatest newspapers in the world, is no exception. Thursday’s editorial “Flunking the Electoral College” not only trots out the same puns we always hear, but repeats the same bullshit reasons for ditching a system that has served our nation well for 200 years.

Calling for its demise shows an incredible lack of thought about the system as a whole and the consequences of such actions. It also shows a total lack of understanding about the role of the College and who controls it.

In essence, the Times is guilty of exactly what they rail against: Flunking the electoral college and supporting a system that would do exactly what they say they are trying to stop. The only difference is that under their new system, they would be sitting prettier… Read more of this post

Sarah Palin knows more about foreign policy that we thought

by twit

Juan Cole makes an interesting point about just how radical Sarah Palin’s politics are:

On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God’s will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts. What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick.

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Because it’s not like it’s important that the voting machines actually work

by lestro

So there still seems to be a few bugs in the software of the new electronic voting machines and no one seems to care:

Flaws in voting machines used by millions of people will not be fixed in time for the presidential election because of a government backlog in testing the machines’ hardware and software, officials say…

As a result, machine manufacturers and state election officials say states and local jurisdictions are forgoing important software modifications meant to address security and performance concerns. In some cases, election officials in need of new equipment have no choice but to buy machines that lack the current innovations and upgrades…

Officials don’t seem to be worried, since it’s not like any of the places that are having problems are, say, incredibly important swing states with big electoral college numbers or anything.

In Ohio, for example…

Dammit.

In Ohio, for example, which requires federal certification, election officials found that in this year’s presidential primary the touch-screen machines used in 43 counties, or by more than three million voters, dropped at least 1,000 votes as memory cards sent data to the central server in each county. The discrepancy was caught and corrected before final tallies were calculated, but election officials say the risk is too high. The newer software being provided by manufacturers fixes the problem, but it has not been certified, and so the state cannot use it.

Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in Ohio, plans to use a type of optical scan machine that lacks safeguards to prevent election officials from tampering with the ballots and affecting tallies, said the Ohio secretary of state, Jennifer L. Brunner. Those safeguards do exist on a later model, she said, but it remains uncertified.

Right. Because it’s not like there were any problems with vote counting in Ohio in 2004 or anything.

The reports were especially disturbing in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush’s victory in the electoral college. Officials there purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency.

A precinct in an evangelical church in Miami County recorded an impossibly high turnout of ninety-eight percent, while a polling place in inner-city Cleveland recorded an equally impossible turnout of only seven percent. In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count.

But the problem this year is contained, right? We learned our lesson from that whole debacle, right?

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Does Johnny Mac even know what job he is applying for?

by lestro

There is a particularly interesting McCain quote in a recent article about the proposal by former Secretaries of State Jim Baker and Warren Christopher to make changes to the 1973 War Powers Act:

In a Republican presidential debate last October, Senator John McCain, the likely Republican presidential candidate, said he would take military action without going to Congress first, “if the situation is that it requires immediate action to ensure the security of the United States of America.”

“That’s what you take your oath to do when you’re inaugurated as president,” Mr. McCain said.

Actually, no, Johnny. The President does not take an oath to protect the United States, but to protect the Constitution.

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Budweiser presents: The 2008 Democratic Convention

by lestro

According the the NY Times, the Dems are lagging on their fundraising efforts for their convention this summer in Denver. Smart money says the problem is that donors are wasting their money on a primary race that is being dragged out by one candidate who has no shot.

But at least the corporations are lining up to help write the platform. Promotional consideration paid for by the following :

Companies that have already donated to the Denver committee and whose logos appear on the committee’s Web site include the Lockheed Martin Corporation, the Ford Motor Company, Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Merck, Lilly, Allstate, Travelers, Lehman Brothers, A.T.& T., Visa, Target and Western Union.

Politicians are like racecars. They’re always gearing up for the next race and they’re both sponsored by hundreds of corporations, all hoping to have their interests advanced by some tool in a crash helmet and a three-piece Teflon suit.

Anyone running for office should be forced to wear the emblem of whatever toxic waste-dumper or puppy-flogger toward which they’re turning a blind eye and deaf ear.

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