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Tuesday, November 30, 2004


D'oh
I'm staying In LA after all (scroll down to 10/28). I'm making plans to move soon.


Book Notes
I read Dan Clowes' Eightball #23. The review says it all. I am visualizing a film adaptation.


Working
I'm working on a post that's a bit difficult. Hope to have it up today. Maybe not.


Sunday, November 28, 2004


Is This Funny?
I heard this recently: Why is John Ashcroft against fucking? Because it might lead to dancing.
UPDATE: Apparently, it's a recycled joke.


Phat Camera!
I got the Fall 2004 issue of MovieMaker magazine. Canon had an insert for its new camera the Canon XL2. I want it! I want it!


Yeah, Yeah, Bush Won. I Got Over It
Will these people?


The Answer Is This: I Don't Know; I Don't Care; What Is Important Is That She Is a Media Whore
I found out this morning by checking my Sitemeter stats that my site pops up for a Google search of the phrase "is ceci connolly a lesbian?"

8:36 AM UPDATE: Connolly and the Fox News Sunday gang are discussing Dan Rather's journalistic ethics. Lord, where is that bolt of lightning?


Friday, November 26, 2004


I Stayed on My Raw Foods Diet for Less Than One Day
I had a big craving for pasta.


Alec Baldwin Is In Da House
Far from being a millstone around progressives' necks, Hollywood people are a credit to this nation. Take, for example, Al Franken. When Rush Limbaugh was running roughshod over the truth and declaring a jihad against anyone who opposed the radical right, who spoke up against him? I remember well. I was waiting for a member of Congress or the mainstream media to step up and take on this lying bully. It took an SNL comedy writer to put Limbaugh in his place.

I always liked Alec Baldwin (even though I chuckled when I watched the film Team America: World Police). For one thing, the only time I heard Greg Palast's name uttered on network television was when Baldwin was on Politically Incorrect and brought up his work on the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of mostly minority voters.

Another thing I like about Baldwin is that he is who he is. He's an urban sophisticate and he doesn't play it down (which he could easily do; the man is an actor and did a good performance of a working class joe in Outside Providence). Let's contrast Baldwin with the phony "working class" who's-looking-out-for-you? routine performed transparently by Bill O'Reilly. One of the tragedies of O'Reilly's recent sex scandal is that few people had quipped about the oddness of a supposed regular joe like O'Reilly asking two women twenty-five years his junior for a threesome (not that there's anything wrong with a threesome--it's just not typical for a guy who acts like he's Mr. Working Class).

Anyhoo, I caught Baldwin on Jon Favreau's show Dinner for Five on IFC yesterday and he had some noteworthy comments when Tracey Ullman mentione the apocryphal claim that Baldwin said he would leave America if Bush were elected in 2000:

BALDWIN: I never said that but what you find with these people in these right-wing fascist media outlets is it sounds like something that they want you to have said--so they promulgate that said it, but I never said it. Never. As a matter of fact, the producer of O'Reilly's show sent a handwritten letter to my home in New York and my home in Long Island and it said, "come on my show and do Bill O'Reilly's show." I said that I'll come on the show if you do me a favor: Do a Lexis search and find the audio clip, the videotape clip, or printed transcript where I made that statement attributed to me and he said, "I can't do that." They need to have that ammunition to marginalize and diminish. That's their thing now is to quash dissent. . . There are different types of people who have an inordinate amount of media access. Corporate executives have that. So when corporate executives try to influence public policy to directly line their pockets and the pockets of their shareholders, no one questions that. But when actors espouse something that's not in their economic interests--I've never tried to line my pockets with what I say--I say, "why don't we do more of X that's going to be for the greater good of people in our society," people always think that's odd.


Baldwin makes a good point. The right has tried to make political hay over the involvement of Hollywood in politics and have tried to stigmatize the Democrats for their ties with Hollywood (e.g., as I'm writing this, James Hirsen of Christopher Ruddy's NewMax is on O'Reilly's show bashing the Hollywood left). We have to do more to highlight the GOP's friends who deserve stigma. For instance, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon has gotten a lot of mileage outof his speaking fees given to people like George H. W. Bush and William Bennett. Former Moonies say that pictures of Moon with former President Bush are used in the recruitment of members to Moon's depraved cult. Why aren't Democrats exploiting Moon and other moral pariahs on the right?

Afterthought: Actually, in a way, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon is a film person. He was the mastermind behind the mega-flop Inchon. I guess it shows that the totalitarian mind can't create good art. Think: Socialist Realism.

UPDATE: John Gorenfeld has more on Moon and Inchon--it's an amusing (but disturbing) read.


I'm Going on a Raw Foods Diet
I'll tell you when I go off it.


Thursday, November 25, 2004


I Just Got this From Atrios--Read It
Phony victimhood from the Sectarian Right. Kudos to Dave Johnson for this comprehensive post. Quick note: The group behind the disinformation campaign is the Alliance Defense Fund; one of the founders listed is the late Marlin Maddox. When I monitored the sectarian right's radio programs in the 1990's, Maddox was front and center in the various paranoid Clinton conspiracy theories, e.g., the Clinton Body Count, Foster, Mena. I wish I had been a fly on the wall when Maddox went to his "reward" and had to do some 'splaining to God.

On a similar note: I have a new link: TheocracyWatch.org.

UPDATE: Maddox is mentioned on my post on the "Satanic panic."


Happy Thanksgiving
I will post today and over the weekend.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Great Film
Over the weekend, I went to the LA opening for the film Overnight. After the film, co-director Mark Brian Smith spoke and took questions (the other co-director Tony Montana was ill). This film should be seen by anyone who wants to go into film. It's the story of a modern Coriolanus named Troy Duffy who was a working class bartender/bouncer who hit it big (at least briefly) when he got a deal with Miramax for his film The Boondock Saints. This is a cautionary tale of hubris and a really bad attitude. I give it a thumbs way up.


I Own Rush Limbaugh's Charcoal Grill
I own a lot of cool shit--a lot of it was either free or very cheap. In 1999, I was surfing Ebay looking for some cool King of the Hill stuff (I love the show). Anyhow, I noticed an ad for a promo KOTH grill for sale. It was the grill that Fox sent to media people prior to the debut of the show in 1997. The one for sale had been sent to Limbaugh at the EIB building in New York. Even though the character Hank Hill uses propane, the promo grill was a red Weber portable charcoal grill (that retails for $30). It had a KOTH sticker on it and a KOTH video came along with it. The minimun bid was $50; I was the only bidder. It was mailed to me in the orginal box sent to Limbaugh inside of a larger box. I had the seller write a brief history of the item (for provenance--I watch Antiques Roadshow).


More Rush
Thanks to APJ and others who linked to yesterday's post on Rush Limbaugh's racial hypocricy. Sorry about the sucky title to the post. [UPDATE: I changed the title of the post] I was just thinking that I have never mentioned on the blog that I own Limbaugh's charcoal grill. I'm not kidding. Details later.


Monday, November 22, 2004


Rush Limbaugh Denounces as "Vile" a Gone With The Wind Satire Similar To His Own From Last Year
Last week, I read a post in James Taranto's blog about alleged liberal racism. Taranto cites three allegedly racist editorial cartoons that were originally cited by Rush Limbaugh, a man devoted to racial equality. Here is Limbaugh's main comment about the cartoons: "It is grotesque. It is insulting. It is vile. It is angry. It is childish, and it is typical I think of what the left has become."

Oh Really? Let's discuss the allegedly racist cartoons (each are posted on Limbaugh's web site with his diatribe):

1)The Oliphant cartoon that portrays Rice as a parrot. The only thing that can be considered remotely racist is Limbaugh's allegation that Oliphant exaggerated Rice's/the parrot's facial features. I don't see anything inherently racist here--though perhaps a case could be made (but Limbaugh didn't make one).

2) The Doonesbury/Brown Sugar cartoon. Perhaps this is insensitive, but it's pretty tame stuff to be criticized by someone like Limbaugh.

3) The Danziger cartoon. This is the least defensible cartoon (Not surprisingly, because it's the least defensible, it's what shows Limbaugh to be a huge hop-headed hypocrite). The Danziger cartoon has a caricature of Rice paraphrasing the Butterfly McQueen character in Gone With The Wind, saying, "I don't know nuthin' about aluminum tubes." Here's what Limbaugh said about it:

She is barefoot with her legs spread, and she says, "I knows all about aluminum tubes," [sic] and then, "Correction: "I don't know nunthin' about aluminum tubes..." I guess this has to do with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and centrifuges and so forth. I really have no idea, but it doesn't matter. He's got some dumb black woman sitting barefoot obviously in a rocking chair trying to feed aluminum tubes with a bottle, saying, "I knows all about aluminum tubes." Once again: mocking black speech, making fun of it.

Notice that Limbaugh doesn't mention that it parodies words from the Butterfly McQueen character in Gone with the Wind. I know why he didn't: because Limbaugh himself has used the very same line from Gone With the Wind to mock a black female Democrat and he didn't want to remind his listeners about it. Last year, I reported how Limbaugh had a tasteless ad parody of Gone With the Wind featuring the Democratic presidential candidates. When the announcer in the parody said Carol Moseley-Braun's name, a sound-alike of Butterfly McQueen screams, "I don't know nothin' about runnin' for no president!"

What a dick!


Has anyone seen Celsius 41.11: The Temperature at Which the Brain... Begins to Die? Write me if you have.


Been Sick. Will Post Tonight (Hopefully)

Friday, November 19, 2004


Important post tonight
UPDATE: D'oh. I got home late; I'll do it tomorrow--don't worry; it's not time-sensitive. quick note. Prediction: Ohio State 32, Michigan 21

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Another Scaife-Subsidized Vince Foster Conspiracy Theorist Bites the Dust
Reed Irvine is dead at 82.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Are David Bossie's Parents Dead?
I asked that question yesterday (scroll down two posts), but nobody emailed me the answer they got when they called Bossie's toll-free number. In case you haven't called yet, call tomorrow.

On another note, here's another reason to join the Faith and Values Coalition.


Monday, November 15, 2004


Attention Attorneys: Help Me Get David Horowitz Indicted
My first post as a member of HorowitzWatch was one that Horowitz was a hypocrite for wishing that American Taliban member John Walker Lindh be executed. I pointed out that Horowitz himself was a self-admitted traitor who violated the Espionage Act. [Note: the original HorowitzWatch article is not accessible but here's a similar article from SDO).

I knew my constant harping got under Horowitz's skin. Finally, about a year ago, he asked me not to bring it up anymore. I agreed out of principle--it was a long time ago, etc.

The truce is over. Actually, it was over when I read that Horowitz invited the head Swift Boat Liar John O'Neill to speak before his Wednesday Morning Club in September.

After reading the subtitle of Horowitz's paean to the Swift Boat Liars ("The traitor has been vanquished and the Vietnam war is now over for those who fought it"), I have decided to declare war on David. I say we should smoke his lame ass.

In multiple writings (the aforementioned article and the books Radical Son and Destructive Generation) Horowitz admitted to violating the Espionage Act. There is no statute of limitations on violations of the Espionage Act. Could some thoughtful attorneys out there help to bring an indictment against Horowitz?

The benefits:
1. Justice
2. George W. Bush invited Horowitz to his Crawford prop ranch for political advice back in 2002. If Horowitz is indicted (or if there is publicity about a possible indictment), it could lead to some bad publicity for Bush.
3. It would be fun.

Quick Swift Boat Liar Note: Tonight on MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Scarborough and other panelists such as Pat Buchanan were saying that the Swift Boat Liars were the key to the election and portrayed John O'Neill as a hero. I got very angry until I realized that I was about the only person watching it.


The Art of Googlebombing
I found out the the reason for the big spike in hits for this site based on Google searches for "Tammy Bruce" (see previous post). Apparently C-SPAN aired a Florida State speech Bruce gave in which the Fox News Democrat claimed that the party of Trent Lott was better suited to empowering women and minorities.

I'm tremendously heartened that the blogosphere pulled together and did googlebombing that resulted in three revealing sites to pop up in the top ten for a Google search of Bruce's name. They are: 1) of course, my post; 2) Jeff Koopersmith's APJ column; and Bob Somerby's article.

I have some thoughts about googlebombs. They're tremendous educational tools. Over the weekend, many people who watched C-SPAN got a real education when they did a Google search. Information and the hard right are incompatible (e.g., how many creationists voted for John Kerry?).

Googlebombing has taught me that some people have no sense of shame. Take, for instance, master ratfucker David Bossie. I don't understand people like Bossie. Shit, after the Eric Engberg story on Bossie in 1992, I thought he was history. I know if a national news story like that had been done on me, I would have put the covers over my head and stayed in bed the rest of my life. Not Bossie; he took a small breather and was soon back out there being David Bossie. Now, due to some googlebombing, we own his name; do a Google or Yahoo search and sites and articles exposing Bossie pop up right away. I wonder: Are Bossie's parents dead? If they aren't, is Bossie concerned they will read these sites and articles that expose him? Call Bossie toll-free at (800) 362-4788 and ask him.


Sunday, November 14, 2004


Sitemeter
I've received an inordinate number of hit over the last two days for Google searches of "Tammy Bruce." I already receive a large number of hits because the Googlebomb of this post put my site on the top ten sites for a Google search of Bruce's name. I'd love to hear from someone who came to this site because of a search of Bruce's name; tell me why you went to my site and what you think. I receive a lot of joy when people email me to tell me that they got the straight dope about Bruce and other GOP shills by reading my post.


Friday, November 12, 2004


Posting Over the Weekend
I just saw Dr. James Dobson on Boulderhead and Colmes. He was accusing the left and the mainstream media (MSM to your right-wing bloggers who want to appear to be in the know) of religious bigotry. That's rich. More over the weekend.


Thursday, November 11, 2004


Exclusive: Jerry Falwell Wants Your Help
Tonight I was flipping to the local alternative rock station Star 98.7. I thought I got it but instead got the local Christian talk station at 99.5. It was the Frank Pastore Show (remember him?). I was about to change the station when Pastore announced that Jerry Falwell was starting a new political organization and was going to be interviewed on the show. I had previously read about Falwell's new group the Faith and Values Coalition at Salon and I wanted to hear more.

Short Jerry Falwell: He's starting the Faith and Values Coalition and he's trolling for Christian soldiers.

Help out Falwell. Join the Faith and Values Coalition (I'm not kidding; the more they view you as a live one, the more of Falwell's resources that go down the toilet). Get some swag from Falwell. Also, get a three-month subscription of the National Liberty Journal on Falwell's dime. Also, send a gift subscription to a friend--or an imaginary friend (use the name of your favorite rock performer). Have fun.


Movin' On Up
A Google search of my name in quotation marks used to lead to about 30,000 mentions--that was where it was when I last checked over a week ago. When I checked today, it was 69,700. Why the surge?


Have a great Veteran's Day. I might post later. In the meantime, read this.

Monday, November 08, 2004


Too tired to blog. Probably tomorrow.

Sunday, November 07, 2004


Best Line From a Movie To Serve as Advice to Democrats
"You know what you're problem is? Your all brains--not enough cock and balls." Grandpa Manilow in Road Trip (2000)


Birds of a Feather
You probably heard about the fundamentalist banshee named Frank Pastore who channeled Cotton Mather on the pages of the Los Angeles Times. He's done part-time work as the replacement host of Rush-clone Hugh Hewitt's radio show (if you every listened to Hewitt's show, you know why Roger Ailes calls him "Hugh Fuckwit"). Hewitt is also a blogger.

In case you haven't read Pastore's column and aren't an LA Times subscriber, here it is in full:

"Christian Conservatives Must Not Compromise
Voters reject liberalism, an evil ideology."
By Frank Pastore, Former major league pitcher Frank Pastore is the afternoon host on the Christian talk-radio station KKLA, 99.5 FM.

Christians, in politics as in evangelism, are not against people or the world. But we are against false ideas that hold good people captive. On Tuesday, this nation rejected liberalism, primarily because liberalism has been taken captive by the left. Since 1968, the left has taken millions captive, and we must help those Democrats who truly want to be free to actually break free of this evil ideology.

In the weeks and months to come, we will hear the voices of well-meaning people beseeching the victor to compromise with the vanquished. This would be a mistake. Conservatives must not compromise with the left. Good people holding false ideas are won over only if we defeat what is false with the truth.

The left must be defeated in the realm of ideas, just as it was on Tuesday at the ballot box. The left hates the ballot box and loves its courtrooms, which is why it hopes to continue to advance its agenda through the courts. This must end.

The left bewitches with its potions and elixirs, served daily in its strongholds of academe, Hollywood and old media. It vomits upon the morals, values and traditions we hold sacred: God, family and country. As we learned Tuesday, it is clear the left holds the majority of Americans, the majority of us, in contempt.

Simply, a majority of Americans have rejected John Kerry and John Edwards and the left because they are wrong. They are wrong because there are not two Americas. We are one nation under a God they reject. We remain indivisible despite their attempts to divide Americans through their relentless warfare against class, ethnic and religious unity.

We still believe that liberty and justice is for all. In 1946, there were those on the left who believed the Germans and the Japanese were incapable of democracy and liberty. Today, many doubt democracy can be birthed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Like their forebears, they too will be proved wrong.

The nation has now resoundingly rejected the left and its agenda. We do not want to become European. We do not want to become socialist. We do not want to become secular. We are exceptional. We are unique. And we are the greatest force for good in the world, despite what the left, the terrorists or the United Nations may claim. It is for these reasons that we remain the last great hope in the world for freedom.

We continue to be that shining city set on a hill. And we fully accept the responsibility; we are proud to be the envy of the world.


Exclusive: Bob Eubanks Forgives Michael Moore
I was going over my notes and found some posts that had gone by the wayside during the campaign. One is the news that Bob Eubanks has forgiven Michael Moore. If you'll remember, in Moore's first film, Roger and Me, he interviewed Eubanks about the economic situation in Flint, Michigan. In clearly what was a moment not intended to be shown in the film, Eubanks joked to Moore: "You know why Jewish girls don't get AIDS? They only marry assholes, the don't screw 'em!"

It was a bit of a cheap shot by Moore to include it in the film and Eubanks was seething because of it. However, this fall, Eubanks was interviewed on the soft rock station KOST-FM 103.5 and said that he forgave Moore.

Disclosure: I would not have listened to KOST except that it is piped into my workplace. This leads me to the following rant about KOST:

An Open Letter to KOST-FM 103.5 in Los Angeles

Dear KOST,

Okay, I realize that there is a market for soft rock. However, keep in mind that some of us don't voluntarily listen to it. Here are some small things you can do to make our listening experience more pleasurable:

1. Lay off the Christopher Cross. It makes sense that Cross did "Arthur's Theme" because the film Arthur is a like Cross's music in that both have not aged well at all. Please, I'm begging you.

2. I realize that Alanis is considered alternative rock, but there are some Alanis songs that wouldn't offend regular whitebread listeners to KOST. Examples: "Thank U" and "Unsent."

3. You claim to be a soft rock station--that's fair enough. What the deal with the Faith Hill songs? That's country and western. Please discontinue.

4. I love Dido but you are overplaying her music.

5. If you surveyed your voluntary listeners, I bet they would let you know that songs by Air Supply wouldn't be missed.

That's my two cents.

Sincerely,

Scoobie


Saturday, November 06, 2004


Googlebomb Time
The guys at Corrente suggested this and people have emailed me to do it. Bloggers: link the words "Bush mandate" to the following URL: http://www.mandate.com

The results will look like this: Bush mandate


Synchronicity
I was thinking that someone should make t-shirts and bumper stickers that read "Don't Blame Me, I voted for Kerry" (after the 1992 election, I saw plenty of "Don't Blame Me, I voted for Bush" bumper stickers in Ohio). When I was reading a hilarious article on A La Gauche, I saw a Google ad for a place that sells DBMIVFK bumper stickers, caps, and t-shirts. I will scrape my pennies together and get a shirt.


The Case For Stoning Pat Robertson To Death
I agree with Paul Krugman's latest column that George W. Bush is a radical who, along with prominent members of the sectarian right, want "to break down the barriers between church and state."

One of Bush's friends on the sectarian right is the Reverend Pat Robertson. Robertson makes no bones about wanting to shove his sectarian views down the throats of all Americans; Robertson has made a long career out of using the Bible as a weapon. For instance, Robertson agreed with Jerry Falwell that their Skygod lifted His veil of protection from America because of groups like People for the American Way, the ACLU, and--of course--the queers. If Robertson had his way,the INS would build a wall around this country to keep out "demonic" religions--namely, the religion of Gandhi (Wow, I better hide my yoga mat, Ganesha statue, and my OM incense holder).

If Robertson wants to impose his medieval agenda on those who don't hold his views, that's bad enough. What's worse is that Robertson doesn't uphold the standards he wants to impose on people who don't even believe his archaic mumbo-jumdo. By Roberson's own logic (note: perhaps "logic" is not the right word to use to describe Pat Robertson's thinking), he should be stoned to death.

Here's the backstory: Last January, Robertson said God told him 1) Bush would be re-elected in November; and 2) the Bush victory would be "a blow-out." Well, it looks as if the first part of Robertson's alleged "word of knowledge" from the Almighty is correct (though perhaps if all the ballots were counted, there would be a different result). The second part of Robertson's prophesy is clearly false: The generally criteria for a landslide or blow-out is winning by ten points (Bush the Elder's 54-46 victory against Dukakis is considered close to a blow-out) . This was a 51-48 election. It was close electorally (had a hundred thousand or so Ohio ballots gone the other way, it would have been a Kerry victory).

In the Bible, Moses said that any prophet who makes a false statement should be put to death (note: I didn't get this tidbit because I'm a regular Bible-reader; I got it from a Chick tract--see addendum). I'm not usually the person to cast the first stone, but in case Robertson wants to come clean and take his punishment, I have a cinder block with his name on it.


Addendum: The Chick tract that tells about punishment for false prophesy is "Gladys" which is the sequel to "The Nervous Witch" (my advice is to read "The Nervous Witch" before "Gladys"). "Gladys" is one of my favorite Chick tracts.

More Chick news: Chick has two new tracts that bitchslap Islam: The first is "The Little Bride" which addresses the Prophet Mohammed's alleged nine year-old bride. The second is "Squatters" in which Chick also has some more harsh words for his favorite bete noire, the Catholic Church.


Will have some long posts today and tomorrow.

Friday, November 05, 2004


Was The Election Stolen Again?
I think it's very important to read the previous post. One thing I can say about Greg Palast is that I have yet to find a critic of Palast's work who has found any problems with Palast's work. The right prefers to ignore Palast and hope he goes away. Note: over the past two years, I noticed on my Sitemeter stats that many web searchers have come to my site based on searches such as "Greg Palast Debunked" or "dirt on Greg Palast." Sorry to disappoint these people but Palast is the real deal.


Read it for Yourself
Greg Palast:

Kerry Won.
Here are the Facts.
TomPaine.com
Friday, November 5, 2004

by Greg Palast

I know you don't want to hear it. You can't face one more hung chad. But I don't have a choice. As a journalist examining that messy sausage called American democracy, it's my job to tell you who got the most votes in the deciding states. Tuesday, in Ohio and New Mexico, it was John Kerry.

Most voters in Ohio thought they were voting for Kerry. At 1:05 a.m. Wednesday morning, CNN's exit poll showed Kerry beating Bush among Ohio women by 53 percent to 47 percent. The exit polls were later combined with—and therefore contaminated by—the tabulated results, ultimately becoming a mirror of the apparent actual vote. Kerry also defeated Bush among Ohio's male voters 51 percent to 49 percent. Unless a third gender voted in Ohio, Kerry took the state.

So what's going on here? Answer: the exit polls are accurate. Pollsters ask, "Who did you vote for?" Unfortunately, they don't ask the crucial, question, "Was your vote counted?" The voters don't know.

Here's why. Although the exit polls show that most voters in Ohio punched cards for Kerry-Edwards, thousands of these votes were simply not recorded. This was predictable and it was predicted. [See TomPaine.com, "An Election Spoiled Rotten," November 1.]

Once again, at the heart of the Ohio uncounted vote game are, I'm sorry to report, hanging chads and pregnant chads, plus some other ballot tricks old and new.

The election in Ohio was not decided by the voters but by something called "spoilage." Typically in the United States, about 3 percent of the vote is voided, just thrown away, not recorded. When the bobble-head boobs on the tube tell you Ohio or any state was won by 51 percent to 49 percent, don't you believe it ... it has never happened in the United States, because the total never reaches a neat 100 percent. The television totals simply subtract out the spoiled vote.

Whose Votes Are Discarded?

And not all votes spoil equally. Most of those votes, say every official report, come from African-American and minority precincts. (To learn more, click here.)

We saw this in Florida in 2000. Exit polls showed Gore with a plurality of at least 50,000, but it didn't match the official count. That's because the official, Secretary of State Katherine Harris, excluded 179,855 spoiled votes. In Florida, as in Ohio, most of these votes lost were cast on punch cards where the hole wasn't punched through completely—leaving a 'hanging chad,'—or was punched extra times. Whose cards were discarded? Expert statisticians investigating spoilage for the government calculated that 54 percent of the ballots thrown in the dumpster were cast by black folks. (To read the report from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, click here .)

And here's the key: Florida is terribly typical. The majority of ballots thrown out (there will be nearly 2 million tossed out from Tuesday's election) will have been cast by African American and other minority citizens.

So here we go again. Or, here we don't go again. Because unlike last time, Democrats aren't even asking Ohio to count these cards with the not-quite-punched holes (called "undervotes" in the voting biz). Nor are they demanding we look at the "overvotes" where voter intent may be discerned.

Ohio is one of the last states in America to still use the vote-spoiling punch-card machines. And the Secretary of State of Ohio, J. Kenneth Blackwell, wrote before the election, “the possibility of a close election with punch cards as the state’s primary voting device invites a Florida-like calamity.”

But this week, Blackwell, a rabidly partisan Republican, has warmed up to the result of sticking with machines that have a habit of eating Democratic votes. When asked if he feared being this year's Katherine Harris, Blackwell noted that Ms. Fix-it's efforts landed her a seat in Congress.

Exactly how many votes were lost to spoilage this time? Blackwell's office, notably, won't say, though the law requires it be reported. Hmm. But we know that last time, the total of Ohio votes discarded reached a democracy-damaging 1.96 percent. The machines produced their typical loss—that's 110,000 votes—overwhelmingly Democratic.

The Impact Of Challenges

First and foremost, Kerry was had by chads. But the Democrat wasn't punched out by punch cards alone. There were also the 'challenges.' That's a polite word for the Republican Party of Ohio's use of an old Ku Klux Klan technique: the attempt to block thousands of voters of color at the polls. In Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida, the GOP laid plans for poll workers to ambush citizens under arcane laws—almost never used—allowing party-designated poll watchers to finger individual voters and demand they be denied a ballot. The Ohio courts were horrified and federal law prohibits targeting of voters where race is a factor in the challenge. But our Supreme Court was prepared to let Republicans stand in the voting booth door.

In the end, the challenges were not overwhelming, but they were there. Many apparently resulted in voters getting these funky "provisional" ballots—a kind of voting placebo—which may or may not be counted. Blackwell estimates there were 175,000; Democrats say 250,000. Pick your number. But as challenges were aimed at minorities, no one doubts these are, again, overwhelmingly Democratic. Count them up, add in the spoiled punch cards (easy to tally with the human eye in a recount), and the totals begin to match the exit polls; and, golly, you've got yourself a new president. Remember, Bush won by 136,483 votes in Ohio.

Enchanted State's Enchanted Vote

Now, on to New Mexico, where a Kerry plurality—if all votes are counted—is more obvious still. Before the election, in TomPaine.com, I wrote, "John Kerry is down by several thousand votes in New Mexico, though not one ballot has yet been counted."

How did that happen? It's the spoilage, stupid; and the provisional ballots.

CNN said George Bush took New Mexico by 11,620 votes. Again, the network total added up to that miraculous, and non-existent, '100 percent' of ballots cast.

New Mexico reported in the last race a spoilage rate of 2.68 percent, votes lost almost entirely in Hispanic, Native American and poor precincts—Democratic turf. From Tuesday's vote, assuming the same ballot-loss rate, we can expect to see 18,000 ballots in the spoilage bin.

Spoilage has a very Democratic look in New Mexico. Hispanic voters in the Enchanted State, who voted more than two to one for Kerry, are five times as likely to have their vote spoil as a white voter. Counting these uncounted votes would easily overtake the Bush 'plurality.'

Already, the election-bending effects of spoilage are popping up in the election stats, exactly where we'd expect them: in heavily Hispanic areas controlled by Republican elections officials. Chaves County, in the "Little Texas" area of New Mexico, has a 44 percent Hispanic population, plus African Americans and Native Americans, yet George Bush "won" there 68 percent to 31 percent.

I spoke with Chaves' Republican county clerk before the election, and he told me that this huge spoilage rate among Hispanics simply indicated that such people simply can't make up their minds on the choice of candidate for president. Oddly, these brown people drive across the desert to register their indecision in a voting booth.

Now, let's add in the effect on the New Mexico tally of provisional ballots.

"They were handing them out like candy," Albuquerque journalist Renee Blake reported of provisional ballots. About 20,000 were given out. Who got them?

Santiago Juarez who ran the "Faithful Citizenship" program for the Catholic Archdiocese in New Mexico, told me that "his" voters, poor Hispanics, whom he identified as solid Kerry supporters, were handed the iffy provisional ballots. Hispanics were given provbisional ballots, rather than the countable kind "almost religiously," he said, at polling stations when there was the least question about a voter's identification. Some voters, Santiago said, were simply turned away.

Your Kerry Victory Party

So we can call Ohio and New Mexico for John Kerry—if we count all the votes.

But that won't happen. Despite the Democratic Party's pledge, the leadership this time gave in to racial disenfranchisement once again. Why? No doubt, the Democrats know darn well that counting all the spoiled and provisional ballots will require the cooperation of Ohio's Secretary of State, Blackwell. He will ultimately decide which spoiled and provisional ballots get tallied. Blackwell, hankering to step into Kate Harris' political pumps, is unlikely to permit anything close to a full count. Also, Democratic leadership knows darn well the media would punish the party for demanding a full count.


Read the rest


Thursday, November 04, 2004


Things Could Have Gone Better, But. . .
I was watching CNN--they polled people about their feelings about the election results. About half were enthused or optimistic and the other half were pessimistic or afraid. I'm optimistic, not about Bush's ability to lead, but about the opportunities that are out there. Things could have gone better. We had a bit of bad luck the other day and fell just short in some important races; it should be the cause for concern--but not fear. It is also the reason for optimism. I am writing three long posts that will address what to do now--two serious, one humorous. Stay tuned over the next few days.

Quick link: Every Democrat should read this article.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Anyone Who Believes Bush's Talk of Conciliation Is A Fool
More later


Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Things don't look good right now. It seems very likely that George W. Bush will win. Should we give him legitimacy? Bill Clinton won two undisputed elections and his enemies gave him no legitmacy. I have never put the word "president" in front of George W. Bush's name and I see no reason to start now. If anyone thinks that's wrong, they didn't listen to talk radio during the 1990's. It's not as if I'm accusing him of being a serial killer or anything.


Vote AND GOTV!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, November 01, 2004


Some Good News
John LeBoutillier--writing in NewsMax, a rag run by Scaife lackey Christopher Ruddy--predicts a Kerry victory.
Note: today's LA Times reported that Ruddy and NewsMax got Carlton Sherwood's Stolen Honor broadcast on a cable network over the weekend. Typical Ruddy.


The Suspense Is Killing Me!!!!
Just go out and vote. volunteer to work a phone bank--got to Moveon.org for more details.


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Tell Your Undecided Friends
The film Bush's Brain in on the Sundance Channel tonight at 10:10 EST.


On Fox News This Morning
Senator Orrin Hatch just said that bin Laden "would prefer John Kerry as the president of the United States."


Phat TV
I just watched the first episode of Comedy Central's Drawn Together.


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