Negative attention is still attention

by lestro

Well, the GOP’s 2012 VP nominee-in-waiting, Newt Gingrich, is out waving his arms and and yelling at the top of his lungs, hoping to draw the spotlight of relevance back to himself.

This time, he is attacking the Speaker of the House, his old post, as a “trivial politician” and saying she has disqualified herself from the office she holds.

But I am not quite sure how. Dig:

“She charged that the CIA, deliberately and as a matter of policy, violated the law by lying to Congress,” Gingrich writes in the column. “And with that allegation, Speaker Pelosi disqualified herself from the office she holds.”

“Speaker Pelosi has damaged America’s safety,” Gingrich also writes. “She’s made America less secure by sending a signal to the men and women defending our country that they can’t count on their leaders to defend them.”

The second graph is the same old bullshit song and dance the Republicans have been doing since they ran out of ideas (and hasn’t worked at all in the past two election cycles, by the way), but the first doesn’t even make sense.

I mean, if the CIA did deliberately and a matter of policy lie to Congress – and frankly, it looks like they did. Repeatedly. At the behest of the Bush Administration, which deliberately and as a matter of policy lied not only to Congress but the American people and even each other.  – then Pelosi did her duty (albeit late) in informing the public of said lies.

The problem here is not that she is accusing them of lying, but THAT THEY LIED ABOUT TORTURING PEOPLE.

Read more of this post

This week in hypocritical bullshit

by lestro

The Republican Party and the Republican leadership is full of shit and every day they find new ways to highlight their own hypocrisy and bullshit.

Today, it was over the announcement that the president and his budget team had scrubbed an additional $17 billion from the federal budget as part of the line-by-line examination Candidate Obama promised last year.

The savings for the budget year starting Oct. 1 represent the sum of Mr. Obama’s promised “line by line” scrubbing of the federal budget, and the the proposed cuts amount to about 1.4 percent of the $1.2 trillion deficit that is projected for the fiscal year 2010…

The $17 billion would be saved by ending or reducing 121 federal programs.

True, it’s not a big percentage, but it is something.

Republicans, on the other hand, were snippy and snide about the whole thing:

“While we appreciate the newfound attention to saving taxpayer dollars from this administration, we respectfully suggested that we should do far more,” said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader.

Considering they had eight years to do something, forgive me if I can’t possibly take Boehner seriously in the least.

Sure, the president’s budget is HUUUUUUGE, and we can talk about that, but it sure seems hypocritical for Republicans to be complaining that the president isn’t cutting enough out of a government that their ex-hero, George W. Bush grew at levels we haven’t seen since Reagan and left a giant, bloated useless pile of money-sucking crap.

Where were you last year Johnny, you piece of shit? Where were your small government ways back then when you were holding the purse strings?

No wonder no one takes you seriously.

did I mention “suck it?”

by lestro

It’s a little early to be truly celebrating, I realize, but so far everything the Haters warned about has failed to materialize and just like with their economic programs, the economy has gone in exactly the opposite direction as they predicted.  Funny how that works out.

so, uh, SUCK IT YOU REPUBLICAN FUCKS!

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, a key gauge of the broader market and the benchmark for many investors’ index funds, erased all its 2009 losses just before the close.

Stocks catapulted higher following reports that government stress tests of major banks would offer more cause for cheer than fear about the health of the financial system. Investors also gleaned some hope from signs of improvement in the housing market and the construction industry. And jitters about a swine-flu pandemic seemed to be easing.

The S.&P. 500 jumped 29.72 points, or 3.4 percent, to close at 907.24 points on Monday. This jump finally gave the index a 2009 gain of 0.44 percent after a grinding start to the year.

In contrast, the Nasdaq composite index is up 11.8 percent since the beginning of January, buoyed by gains in technology companies. On Monday, the Nasdaq rose 44.36 points, or 2.6 percent, to 1,763.56.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 214.33 points, or 2.6 percent, to 8,426.74. Still, the Dow remains down nearly 4 percent for the year to date.

Also, this week in my paycheck I noticed my Obama Tax Cut – that’s right, a TAX CUT TO THE MIDDLE CLASS YOU TEA PARTYING MORONS – an extra $15 A WEEK thanks to the fact that I make less than $200,000 per year.

Read more of this post

But the Republicans, of course, disagree.

by lestro

He talked about it during the campaign, but who knew he’d actually do  it?

President Barack Obama will flesh out a proposal included in his February budget blueprint seeking to curb the practice of parking foreign earnings in offshore tax havens indefinitely.  By some estimates, $700 billion or more in U.S. corporate earnings have accumulated in overseas accounts in recent years.

The plan to be announced Monday will go further. It aims to change the legal treatment of offshore subsidiaries and structures that companies have used to avoid not only U.S. taxes, but taxes in other developed countries as well. In addition, the administration will strive to tighten rules that have encouraged thousands of Americans to open offshore bank accounts in an effort to duck U.S. taxes.

The plan would increase information reporting and tax withholding as well as penalties, and make it harder for foreign account-holders to win cases in court. The administration promised new enforcement tools to crack down on tax-haven abuse.

For too long companies claiming to be “American” have avoided paying taxes and that has to stop.

But the Republicans, of course, disagree.

Read more of this post

They’re kidding, right?

by lestro

So apparently, the Republicans today released their budget proposal, which is very funny.

Almost as funny as this:

“Two nights ago, the president said we haven’t seen a budget yet of the Republicans,” said House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio). “Well, it’s not true, because here it is Mr. President.” He waved a thin document called “The Republican Road to Recovery” that describes the GOP proposal.

That’s funny because Boehner is trying to do a bit of a Ha-Ha on the pres, making it out as though the president is out of touch and didn’t know the Republicans had a proposal, when the truth is, THEY DIDN’T WHEN HE SAID IT.

How dumb do these guys think we are? oh, right:

Republican lawmakers refused to offer details of how much their alternative budget proposal would cost or how much it would increase the deficit, saying they would release overall numbers next week. Instead, they provided a general outline of proposals that included cutting overall government spending except for defense, banning any additional spending for bailouts of financial companies and a huge income tax cut that would make the maximum tax rate 25% instead of 36% as under current law.

They’re joking, right?

First of all, to complain about the president’s budget and then provide no specifics in what you are touting as the Republican counter-proposal is just fucking dumb.

But beyond that, at a time when government revenues are dropping and spending is increasing to fix the fucking messes created over the past eight years by Boehner and his buddies (who had no problem running up huge deficits and borrowing, borrowing, borrowing when Bush (who never once saw a spending bill he didn’t like) was in office), their plan is to cut taxes for the wealthy AGAIN, putting even more of the tax burden on the backs of the middle class?

Even Michael “Humpty” Steele is more together and sane than this.

Read more of this post

lie lie lie half-truth distortion distortion lie lie lie…

by lestro

Notice Gov. Bobby Jindal not answer the question at all:

I live in a volatile seismic area and was troubled by your comment that funding volcano-monitoring is “wasteful.” What makes some spending superfluous? Caitlin Kidder, KENT, WASH.

I listed several examples. It wasn’t just volcano-monitoring. It was $300 million in new cars, a billion dollars for the Census–the list goes on and on. Here’s my point: Why were they in a temporary, targeted stimulus bill? Somebody’s going to have to explain to me how these items were critical to saving our economy.

let’s go back and review that part of his speech, shall we?

While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a “magnetic levitation” line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called “volcano monitoring.”

“something called”? like he’s never heard of a volcano?

it’s obscene, as Jon Stewart pointed out, that a guy whose state got the biggest natural disaster ass-whipping in our nation’s history would so purposefully minimize and belittle another area trying to protect itself from a similar happening.

Just because the Republicans – yes, you too Bobby – didn’t pay any attention at all to the three days worth of warning signs about a Category 5 hurricane bearing down on New Orleans doesn’t mean that some of us wouldn’t like a bit of warning if, say, the top of a mountain were to blow off covering a region more heavily populated than New Orleans with 500 feet of mud, rock and lava.

Read more of this post

The zombie GOP

by twit

comes out to play at CPAC:

“We’re alive,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN), who emceed the evening session, said. “We’re not going anywhere. Remember this is ground zero for the conservative movement.”

RNC Chairman Michael Steele competes with Bachmann to see who can make the most cringe-worthy statements:

“Tonight, we tell America: we know the past, we know we did wrong. My bad. But we go forward in appreciation of the values that brought us to this point.”

according to CNN, Rep. Michelle Bachmann (yes, that Michelle Bachmann) wins:

As he concluded his remarks, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann — the event’s moderator — told Steele he was “da man.”

“Michael Steele! You be da man! You be da man,” she said.

although an alleged “you be da man” video is inconclusive at best

So perhaps Steele wins this round, considering the video shows him ending his speech with “Let’s get busy…  Let’s get out there and fight for those things that we believe in,” which considering the retch-inducing manner that Steele recently invoked a hip-hop costume for the ‘new GOP,’ it is quite the cringe-worthy double entendre to make…

but that was at the end of the day!

Read more of this post

The President fumbles again

by lestro

This commerce secretary position is proving to be a challenging one for President Obama.

First, Bill Richardson had to pull out because of a federal investigation and now the second choice is pulling out because of “irresolvable conflicts” between his views and the administration.

Which I suppose isn’t surprising considering he’s a Republican and the president is not, and commerce is one of those great yawning chasms between the two parties.

But I have to say, I am very impressed with this statement and the decision by Sen. Judd Gregg to withdraw. I think it shows a level of maturity and understanding that one can’t help but think has been long-missing from our politics.

“It has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census, there are irresolvable conflicts for me,” Mr. Gregg said in a statement. “Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.” […]

“Obviously the President requires a team that is fully supportive of all his initiatives,” Mr. Gregg said in a statement. “I greatly admire President Obama and know our country will benefit from his leadership, but at this time I must withdraw my name from consideration for this position.”

That’s incredible, to give up a cabinet seat because he realizes his views don’t jibe with what the president wants to do. I would think a member of opposite party might want to use such a position to affect policy, but for this dude to simply back off and go back to the senate is somewhat remarkable in my mind.

Read more of this post

Let them filibuster

by lestro

Tonight, President Obama will take to the airwaves for his first “primetime” press conference as president. He will speak from Elk Hart, Ind., a particularly hard-hit area of a state that’s been particularly hard-hit by the ongoing economic crisis/recession.

The president will, presumably, make the case as to why the massive stimulus package, currently being held up in Congress by a bankrupt minority with no ideas, should be passed.

Here’s hoping the president dares the Republicans, whose only idea to stimulate the economy is the same bullshit battle cry of tax cuts they have been pushing for decades (despite no indication that tax cuts have EVER spurred the economy or created jobs), to filibuster the bill.  I hope he makes those bastards stand up there and explain themselves before a nation that everyday sees news reports about continuing job losses, underwhelming earnings reports and giant corporate bailouts.

Let the Republicans in the Senate explain how tax cuts create jobs, despite never having worked before; or how Obama’s tax cuts aren’t big enough despite the fact that are technically larger than anything Bush did; or how they oppose giving money to the states to prevent the states from having to cut back on essential services and jobs; or why they are opposed to spending, even though the spending creates jobs by rebuilding the country’s crumbling infrastructure.

Let them explain why their 42-person  minority thinks it is speaking for America, especially since the presidents approval rating hovers above 60 percent while theirs, well, doesn’t.

Read more of this post

Am I missing the joke?

by lestro

I mean, this is funny and all, but I don’t get it:

“As a black, Roman Catholic conservative from Washington D.C. and Maryland, I know how to lose elections,” said Michael S. Steele today in Virginia. His audience, a gathering of House Republicans, knows all too well, too. But now, he said, as the new chairman of the Republican National Committee, “I’m in the business of winning elections.”

He somehow thinks that joining the RNC as its leader puts him in the business of winning elections? Haven’t they gotten HOUSED in the past couple of major election cycles? Like, beaten so badly people are wondering if the Republicans can come back?

How is that the business of winning elections?

Then again, swinging bullshit like this, maybe Steele is in the right place:

“Now my mom was a sharecropper’s daughter, with a fifth grade education,” he said. Referring to Democrats, he went on, “If my mom knew how to balance the budget, I’m sure the rest of the folks out here on the other side should know how to do that as well.”

Because any idiot can tell you the last president to balance a budget was Clinton and that the two largest periods EVER in debt growth and deficit spending occurred during the reign of George W. Bush and his hero, Ronnie Reagan, who also left the country floundering toward a recession thanks to spending money like drunken monkeys and cutting revenues at the same time.

Read more of this post

The President said it

by lestro

and I hope they hold him to it.

Yesterday in his interview with Matt Lauer (which was actually quite an enjoyable pre-Super Bowl interview, with questions ranging from domestic and foreign policy to the game to family and back again; though still no word on the dog…), President Obama made a point of saying the stimulus package must be, well, a stimulus package and nothing more:

But Obama acknowledged Republicans’ concerns and said he was eager to incorporate their suggestions “because they had some good ideas,” adding “we’re going to be trimming out things that are not relevant to putting people back to work right now.”

A few pork-ish items have already been pulled from the House bill, though that didn’t stop every single Republican from refusing bipartisanship (which has been the Republican way for about a decade now) and casting a lockstep ideological vote that only emphasizes the hypocrisy they now face, considering their last eight years.

More remains to be pulled from the bill, which is currently approaching $900 billion. But not one Republican? 

That’s not to say that the items the Dems are trying to stuff in aren’t important, just that they should be discussed elsewhere than in this particular piece of legislation.

Democrats need to be grown-ups and make this bill about the economy.

Republicans just need to grow up and learn to compromise and to back off ideas that have done nothing but fail for 30 years (i.e., tax cuts and obstructionism)…

America the purple

by twit

via Mark Newman, Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan, “a cartogram, a map in which the sizes of states are rescaled according to their population.”

Here is what the normal [county-level election returns] map looks like if you [use red, blue, and shades of purple in between to indicate percentages of votes]:

And here’s what the cartogram looks like:

As this map makes clear, large portions of the country are quite evenly divided, appearing in various shades of purple, although a number of strongly Democratic (blue) areas are visible too, mostly in the larger cities. There are also some strongly Republican areas, but most of them have relatively small populations and hence appear quite small on this map.

Read more of this post

It’s easier to be happy when you are rich and ignore reality

by lestro

That’s our lesson today kids, brought to you by the letter “R”

The pollsters were in the field asking about happiness this month, a period when economic news was gloomy for everybody and presidential campaign news seemed especially baleful for Republicans. Yet they found 37 percent of Republicans are “very happy,” compared with 25 percent of Democrats; 51 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats are “pretty happy”; and 9 percent of Republicans are “not too happy,” compared with 20 percent of Democrats.

The partisan happiness gap — unbroken for nearly four decades — is impervious to electoral ups and downs. It has something to do with worldview.

Right, because a world view in which you refuse to let facts get in the way of belief is like the Land of Make Believe (plus, the party leader is an obvious puppet…) where everything goes your way and reality never gets in the way of a good story.

But seriously, says Lehane, if Republicans are more happy, it’s because they care less.

“The typical Republican is happy coming home to a 62-inch television, pulling out a fine bottle of cognac or Scotch, putting his feet on the table and enjoying the fruits of his labor, but not caring what’s going on in the world outside their living room . . . and their gated community.”

Government-funded researchers identified the happiness gap in 1972. Since then, the Democrats have been comparatively more bummed out not just during the tenures of GOP presidents Ford, Reagan, Bush and Bush. They were noticeably less joyful than Republicans even during the GOP fiasco of Watergate, and during the Democratic Carter and Clinton administrations.

Not to mention the money. It’s a lot easier to be happy when you are loaded.

What’s the Republicans’ secret to feeling groovy?

“They have more money,” Paul Taylor, director of the Pew Social & Demographic Trends project, writes in the new report. “They have more friends. They are more religious. They are healthier. They are more likely to be married. They like their communities better. They like their jobs more. They are more satisfied with their family life. They like the weather better.”

Read more of this post

Why is the Republican Party so racist?

by twit

via TPM, from the Press Enterprise on October 16, 2008:

The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps — instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill featuring Obama’s face on a donkey’s body, labeled “United States Food Stamps.”

The GOP newsletter, which was sent to about 200 members and associates of the group by e-mail and regular mail last week, is drawing harsh criticism from members of the political group, elected leaders, party officials and others as racist.

But wait, there’s more…

Read more of this post

McCain means no more special interest giveaways

by lestro

Both campaigns are responding to this weekend’s fiscal crisis.

The Obama camp is reminding folks that John McCain has supported the president’s economic policies since they failed the first time around as Reagan’s economic policies and cost the current president’s dear old dad the big job.

(For the record, George H. W. Bush was not a party ideologue and actually tried to fix the economy instead of further pushing the country along the Reaganomic, trickle-down path, which he himself had dubbed “voodoo economics” in his campaign against the Gipper. Since Reagan’s spend spend spend ways had finally caught up, Bush was forced to raise taxes to help balance the budget, a unforgivable no-no among party ideologues.)

Meanwhile, the McCain camp is making sure that everyone knows that now that his friends are taken care of, there will be no more help for anyone:

The McCain-Palin campaign quickly released a new advertisement this morning, titled “Crisis” that focused on the troubled economy, citing foreclosures and job losses. It also repeated the candidate’s pronouncement that there would be no “special interest giveaways,” were the Republicans elected, as the site of Lehman Brothers in downtown Manhattan flashed upon the screen. In the ad, he promised to shore up protections for voters’ savings.

What friends? Why, the top-level Fannie and Freddie lobbyists he has working for him, of course. Now that their business has been saved by the government, screw these other folks.

Read more of this post

Poverty is not funny

by twit

Obama responds to the attempts by Republicans to ridicule his experience as a community organizer:

The LA Times has a round up of more reactions to this new GOP attack.

Read more of this post

But Fred said the economy is doing great

by twit

How could this be?

McClatchy reports on September 5, 2008:

Employers shed jobs in August for the eighth consecutive month, and the unemployment rate shot up to a higher-than-expected rate of 6.1 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The jobs numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics point to continued slow growth. On top of this week’s Wall Street volatility, the continuing housing crisis and weak retail sales, many economists are again suggesting the U.S. economy may be on the brink of recession.

“The spike in the unemployment rate to 6.1% and the eighth month of continued job losses confirm that recessionary conditions persist in the labor market. Working families are in real trouble,” said Jared Bernstein, EPI senior economist for the liberal Economic Policy Institute.

But Fred Thompson said

Read more of this post

The exorcism of voodoo economics

by lestro

Why do Republicans seem to think that they best know how to run the economy when every indicator says otherwise?

The stark contrast between the whiz-bang Clinton years and the dreary Bush years is familiar because it is so recent. But while it is extreme, it is not atypical. Data for the whole period from 1948 to 2007, during which Republicans occupied the White House for 34 years and Democrats for 26, show average annual growth of real gross national product of 1.64 percent per capita under Republican presidents versus 2.78 percent under Democrats.

That 1.14-point difference, if maintained for eight years, would yield 9.33 percent more income per person, which is a lot more than almost anyone can expect from a tax cut.

But it’s not just growth. The whole idea of “trickle down” (or as George H.W. Bush famously dubbed it, “voodoo economics”) has been proven a sham both in practice and now on paper:

Professor Bartels unearths a stunning statistical regularity: Over the entire 60-year period, income inequality trended substantially upward under Republican presidents but slightly downward under Democrats, thus accounting for the widening income gaps over all.

Or in more basic terms:

It shows that when Democrats were in the White House, lower-income families experienced slightly faster income growth than higher-income families — which means that incomes were equalizing.

In stark contrast, it also shows much faster income growth for the better-off when Republicans were in the White House — thus widening the gap in income.

Read more of this post

on God’s vote

by lestro

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and again after Hurricane Katrina, the right-wing evangelical fundamentalist establishment leaders said – both times – that each one was the result of God’s wrath  because of the acceptance of homosexuals as human beings.

Then they attacked the center and left for “blaming America first” for the September 11 attacks, when non-Republicans the country over said, “whoa, whoa, whoa.  Why did they attack us?  They say it’s because of our foreign policy? hmm. maybe we should look at that…” (by the way, the President immediately and quietly met a handful of Al Qaida’s demands, like, say, pulling troops out of Saudi Arabia…)

They won a presidential election doing that.

When Hurricane Katrina hit, most people realized that it could not be blamed on Democrats (though I am sure they tried to find a way…), but it didn’t stop the right wing from blaming the gays and the loose morals of the left.

They lost the Senate and the House doing that.

But really, if God does control the weather (and why wouldn’t he, really? After all, if he is omnipotent enough to answer that prayer about a winning season for the Red Sox or help you find your car keys, certainly he’s omnipotent enough to wing a few storms around), I don’t think he is voting Republican this year.

Twice this year, hurricanes have completely disrupted major McCain events, but the weather has completely favored Obama events.

Think about it. Back in July, on Obama’s World Tour, while he was speaking on a gorgeous day in Berlin, John McCain had to cancel his big photo op and front page grab on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico because a hurricane rolled through.

Now, after Obama held an outdoor rally in front of 84,000 people on a beautiful summer night in Denver, all the talk is about Hurricane Gustav and its potential Category 5 impact on the Louisiana coast almost three years to the day that Katrina laid bare once and for all the incompetence of the Bush Administration.

I mean, I may not be one to believe that an all-powerful being gets His jollies punishing those He is supposed to love and favor.

But if I did, I would certainly not find it surprising at all that the God who teaches “love thy neighbor” (and built his name on forgiveness and opposes adultery and divorce and talks about “thou shalt not kill” and the “meek” inheriting the earth and all that) would be trying to slow the run of a warmongering lifelong military man who sings ‘bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb iran’ and divorced the seriously injured wife that waited for him while he was a POW for a woman he calls a cunt.

Because as near as I can tell from the Bible, He hates those things.

Bubba-licious

by lestro

Yesterday was an amazing day in the history of the United States of America. Yesterday we witnessed something that was almost beyond words, a stirring, amazing scene that reminds us of the possibilities and hope of this country; Something that defies history and flies in the face of common wisdom; Something momentous and generation defining; Something many of us never thought we’d see in our lifetime.

Yeah, the Democrats nominated a black guy as their candidate, but that doesn’t surprise me one bit, as it has been the only rational option for more than a year now.

What I am talking about is the even more amazing, more groundbreaking, more alert-the-media surprise moment of history: Bubba passed the torch. And sounded like he meant it.

Wednesday night saw an emotional and stirring Democratic Convention that featured Hillary Clinton herself moving for the acceptance by acclamation the nomination of Barack Obama (a move that sent Pelosi scrambling to the podium so fast you’d think they offered free botox to the first one at the mic, launched the O’Jay’s “Love Train” from the speakers (love that Philly Soul!) and set off a massive, hand-holding celebration that put her words from the night before into reality), John Kerry reminding the Democrats why he lost, vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden giving an emotional telling of his amazing life’s story, a plea to the middle class and openly attacking the Republicans, followed by a surprise appearance by the candidate himself, who ad libbed a few shout-outs to the other speakers.

But the night belonged to Bubba. The former president and Democratic Top Dog took the stage to Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop,” (his campaign theme that not only carried him to the White House, but convinced the band to get back together) garnered a hero’s welcome that had him asking the jubilant and adoring crowd to settle so they wouldn’t take all his time and then delivered the kind of talk that made his name: a brilliant, soaring bit of oratory that not only framed the entire election, but answered almost every question the Clintons raised but Hillary failed to answer the night before.

Read more of this post

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?

Read more of this post

“Republican leaders just sent out a notice looking for a bullhorn”

by twit

No, not as an energy conservation measure…

The Politico reports many things about this hot first day of August on the esteemed floor of our nation’s Capitol, including this:

Update 5: The scene on the floor is kind of crazy. …

Update 6: Republicans are literally hugging each other on the House floor. …

Update 7: Rep Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) just pretended to be a Democrat. …

Update 8: It’s over.

Right at the stroke of five Georgia Rep. Tom Price announced that House Republicans were ending their impromptu protest on the floor of the chamber, ending a five-plus hour rebellion with a round of “God Bless America.”

The assembled tourists, aides and members in the chamber gave Price and his compatriots a standing ovation.

They left the chamber to shouts of “USA! USA! USA!”

as well they should.

When the weak act strong…

by the squid

https://i0.wp.com/www.booksshouldbefree.com/images/big/45.jpgCongratulations to Senator Obama on sealing the Democratic nomination, he can finally exhale. However, he now needs to make the most important decision of his entire campaign – selecting a Vice President.

Sun Tzu implored strategists: When you are weak, act strong, when you are strong, act weak.

Senator Obama is now strong, but he has a very, very soft underbelly: experience. This is not said to undermine his historic win, as Obama has just beaten his most difficult rival.

However, it is important to remember what happened when Obama ran for his Senate seat in Illinois.

Read more of this post

The Clintons begin work for the GOP

by twit

Thank goodness Bill and Hillary have shot their credibility to shit, but this video is still a tripped out exploration of the kind of damage that the Clinton campaign has managed to accomplish.

Via McClatchy on June 4, 2008:

Read more of this post

Oh thank heaven

by loadz

First time I saw this, it said you killed kitties when you masturbated.

http://borealdreams.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/pop-life.jpg

Finally I can beat off guilt free.

Read more of this post

pick a day, pick a message

by twit

Hillary Clinton has been asked to explain the contradiction within her idea that Barack Obama would be a great Vice President and her constant refrain that he lacks enough experience to be Commander-in-Chief:

From The Hill on March 10, 2008:

Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s chief spokesman, said during a conference call with reporters that Clinton would not pick a running mate who has not met the “national security threshold” — as Clinton’s military advisers and Wolfson put it on the call — but that it is possible Obama could meet that threshold by this summer’s Democratic convention.

A March 9, 2008 report via MSNBC supplies some context to what Clinton means when she talks about “experience,” at least when it comes to her campaign:

Again and again, the senator was portrayed as a manager who valued loyalty and familiarity over experience and expertise.

Read more of this post