Tag Archives: election 2008

Why VideoTheVote.Org is So Important

Want to know what it’s like to be a disenfranchised voter? I can tell you–it kinda sucks. How do I know? Back in February of 2008 I was one.

See, I’m a registered independent. My vote in the Democrat primaries this year was not counted and it wasn’t because I’m not a Democrat–it was because the state of California added an extra hoop that I had to jump through in order to have my vote counted as an indy voter and I didn’t see the hoop, so I didn’t jump through it.

Want to see proof that I missed the hoop? Go here: tv.thepete.com/…feels-like

That’s a video of me failing to jump through the hoop accompanied by an explanation of how it happened.

All this was possible because I brought with me one of those still cameras that shoots video when I went to vote. I didn’t check the laws before I did it, either. I only pulled it out and started recording once I was safely ensconced in my "booth" where no one could see me and my camera could see only what I was voting. It was an invasion of no one’s privacy but my own. But why would I do such a thing?

Back in 2004, and before then in 2000, I had no problem voting for the guy I wanted to vote for. The catch was that loads of people DID have trouble voting. I became concerned that maybe I was too confident in the system–like I was just assuming that I’d notice it if something went wrong.

So, in 2008, I brought my camera along and I’m glad I did. Because the next day, when news came out that there was that extra hoop for us indy voters to jump through I immediately searched my own memory to see if I remember that extra hoop. I couldn’t remember one. So, I pulled up the video and voila–I saw it.

VideotTheVote.org is a website that will serve as a clearing house for videos like this during the 2008 election. So, when you vote, bring a camera!! Take video and then upload it to VideoTheVote.org and then go check out other folks’ vote videos at VtV’s YouTube page here: www.youtube.com/…deothevote

This is so important that you do this. Sure, some places don’t allow video cameras inside the polling places by law, but that’s absurd to me. As long as you shoot your own voting and don’t catch anyone else on camera, I don’t know why they should care one way or another.

BE AWARE: you still may get caught and suffer legal repercussions but, to me, the risk is worth it. This is our democracy we’re talking about here and each of our votes (regardless of who we vote for) is important.

Once again, that’s VideoTheVote.Org!

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Killing the unborn is wrong. Waiting 18 years and sending them to Iraq is Right: McCain ’08

Compliments of ThePete and johnmccainisyournewlogo.com

That’s what I call a late-term abortion!

I just love the Republican “culture of life” that sends American young
men and women into harms way to kill and be killed. How can you be pro-
life and pro-war at the same time?

If you are only interested in protecting American lives then I think
you’re being pretty lame. That said, why aren’t you pro-Cancer-
research? Cancer is a MUCH bigger threat to American life than
terrorism.

Democracy in Danger: USMSM Ignoring, Other Sources Not

The US Mainstream Media (USMSM) is sadly blowing off stories of voting irregularities. I just trolled CNN.com a few minutes ago and saw almost nothing regarding reports of vote-problems. Luckily, loads of online sources seem to be covering this story. Let’s hope it continues and let’s also hope CNN.com decides to do more than just offer their “voter problem” page (here: politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/category/voter-problems/ ). Talk about treating a problem improperly. What they do by putting all the stories about voting problems on one page and nowhere else is, essentially, ghetto-izing news about our democracy failing us.

If you think a few votes here and a few votes there are no big deal, you clearly don’t recall how tight the Bush wins were in 2000 and 2004. Also, a handful of reports can often be the tip of the iceberg. Not everyone is going to notice or be sure that they just had a problem voting. This is why it’s so important that election irregularities stay on the front page of EVERY news source on the planet (yes, the planet, since the guy running the USA tends to bomb a lot). If you know of election stories that aren’t being covered, why not start your own blog and post about it? Or email your favorite news sources and ask them why they aren’t covering these stories? It’s just our democracy in the balance.

All this said, plenty of stories are reaching the ‘net on non-USMSM sites. Here’s a nice round up for you:

Phony Flier Gives Va. Dems Wrong Election Date
In Virginia, a phony flier purporting to come from the state election board has circulated to prevent Democrats from voting on Election Day. The flier tells Democrats and independents to vote on November 5th, the day after the election.

www.democracynow.org/2008/10/29/headlines#4

How are we not supposed to blame the Republicans for something like this? (Mind you, I’m a registered independent.)

Report: Sequoia Voting Machine Prone to Hacking
a new Princeton University report… …says a machine made by the California-based Sequoia Voting Systems can be hacked in about seven minutes.

www.democracynow.org/2008/10/29/headlines#5

NICE! Sequoia were the blokes said to be behind the “hanging-chads” from 2000.

Your Last Chance to Pull That Big Red Lever
This Tuesday is supposed to be New Yorkers’ last chance to use the old-fashioned voting machines! That is, if everything goes as planned. New York state is already behind in the attempt to switch to newer voting technology in accordance with the Help America Vote Act. According to City Limits, “Using New York state’s old-fashioned lever machines is difficult for people who aren’t able to see the choices or flip the levers.”

idealistnyc.wordpress.com/2008/10/29/your-last-chance-to-pull-that-big-red-lever/

I was unaware of this–and I’m a New Yorker now. Sheesh. I should say that I think the argument using disabled voters as the excuse to switch entirely to electronic “ballot marking devices” (or BMDs) is a weak one since disabled voters are a fraction of the people who vote. Also, forcing them to use BMDs isn’t fair to them, either. Can’t we just create a job where someone is in charge of helping disabled folks vote?

ELECTION DAY TEST LOOMS FOR NEW VOTING DEVICES
Nov. 4 should be the beginning of the end for the city’s lever voting machines, as New York continues its belated effort to comply with the Help America Vote Act.

www.citylimits.org/content/articles/viewarticle.cfm?article_id=3643

This is a decidedly positive view of the same story from IdealistNYC. These guys seem to really only care about these complying with federal law and not with the possibility that these devices work or are at all trustworthy. It’s funny, I’m a total tech-head and I’d never trust technology with my democracy.

More Vote-Flipping in TX by Machines Other Than Those Made by ES&S
Direct Recording Electronic Voting Systems Made by Hart InterCivic and Diebold Also Reportedly Now Flipping Votes From Democratic to Republican in TX…

www.bradblog.com/?p=6584

Previously, I’ve blogged about reports that all the vote switching has occurred on just one kind of machine from just one company–the iVotronic from ES&S (blogged here and here). However, according to BradBlog.com the problems are popping up in voting machines from a number of different companies, so no voter using an electronic/computerized voting machine is safe from this kind of “glitch.”

National groups laud W.Va.’s response to vote switching
A pair of national voting rights groups say other states should follow West Virginia’s lead when it comes to touch-screen voting machines.

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University and Verified Voting are touting Secretary of State Betty Ireland’s decision to urge counties to recalibrate their machines each morning.

wvgazette.com/News/200810290417

While this sounds like good news, it really isn’t. These machines shouldn’t need to be recalibrated EVER. As I blogged last night, my iPhone has a touchscreen, too and I never have to recalibrate it–why is it that American Democracy seems to have a crappier touchscreen than my iPhone?

The Vote Grab: Voting machines are unreliable and inaccurate
As early voting in the US presidential elections gets underway, ES&S iVotronics touch-screen electronic voting machines have been observed in four separate states flipping the votes – mostly from Barack Obama to John McCain but sometimes to third party candidates too. This has already occurred during early voting in the states of West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri and Texas.

blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/the-vote-grab-1.html

This is somewhat old news, but at least they’re covering it. Also, just because it’s old news doesn’t make it untrue. What’s nice about this piece (written by Peter Tatchell) is that it goes into some nice detail into the background of these kinds of problems. This makes it a good primer for anyone who hasn’t been following this stuff for years.

So, while it’s nice to see some print and foreign news sources covering this stuff, it’s still not reaching as many people (or as many Americans) as it needs to. Back in 2004 a bunch of us screamed about it, but were ignored. We all need to scream about this stuff. Regardless of who “wins” on November 4, the win won’t mean a thing to anyone who respects the truth and the will of the American People.

I’m one of those people.

For the latest news on vote switching your best bet is to do a Google news search here:

news.google.com/news?q=vote%20switching

If you see any weirdness at your polling place please one or all of the following (especially the first two items):

Call 877-GOCNN-08 That’s CNN’s voter problem hotline

Call 866-MYVOTE1 That’s an independent hotline run by the guys behind www.infovoter.net/

Go here: www.votersunite.org/electionproblems_submit.asp and describe what you experienced.

Comment here at ThePete.Com or at any other blog covering election irregularities

Blog about it yourself

If you brought a camera with you to vote, take pictures or video and upload it to the VideoTheVote.org.

In the end, it’s up to every American citizen to not just vote, but to do their part in making sure that vote means something.

Democracy in Danger: the Voting Dramacracy Continues

Homer Votes Obama Wow, take a couple days off and the world keeps going without ya! Sheesh! Sadly, this includes voting irregularities. I was really hoping this would stop happening long before election day, but since the reports keep coming in, I can only assume what we’re seeing is the tip of the iceberg.

Why do I feel like our democracy is the Titanic…

Here’s the latest coverage on the ‘net, well, from my favorite sources, anyway:

VIDEOS: Vote Flipping on Touch-Screens in WV
Failure Seen Persisting Even After Election Official ‘Recalibrates’ Failed Machine!

www.bradblog.com/?p=6576

The second video in that post is pretty good, too–shows a guy demoing how flaky the touchscreen really is (though I’m not sure he means to). What ticks me off is how they talk about the screen needing to be “calibrated” after it is moved (this is the excuse given for why it comes up McCain when you touch Obama’s name). I never have to calibrate my iPhone’s touchscreen. Are you telling me democracy has a shittier touchscreen than my iPhone? Weeeeak!

FL Governor Extends Early Voting Hours
ALSO: Broward County Backs off on Strict ‘No Match, No Vote’ Voter Registration Directive…

www.bradblog.com/?p=6583

This is good news! Extended voting hours and backing down on NMNV means more people get to vote. WHEW!

Diebold’s ‘Express’ Voter Registration Computers (Again) Lead to Long Waits in GA’s Early Voting

www.bradblog.com/?p=6581

I love this new emphasis on “express” and how ultimately the systems crash and make everything take longer. Shouldn’t we take our time with our democracy so we make sure to get it right? Look what happened back in 2000? Can we ever be sure who really won? Wouldn’t you like to PROVE to me that your candidate was the man America wanted?

Too bad you can’t.

ES&S Touch-Screens Keep Flipping in WV, Now in At Least 6 Counties
Same ES&S iVotronics Flipping Votes from Democrats to Republicans (and others) in At Least 4 States

www.bradblog.com/?p=6572

So the reports of vote switching that were originally said to be isolated in two different counties in West VA, have now started coming in from SIX counties. That’s a LOT of isolated instances!

Election Unspun Oct 28 – Vote Switching At Voting Machines
In Nashville Tennessee, Patricia Earnhardt, attempted to early vote. On her electronic touch screen voting machine, she tried to vote for Barack Obama – but her vote didn’t register. Earnhardt requested the help of a poll worker, who tried to high light the Obama button but nothing happened. Finally, the machine chose selected Green Party Candidate Cynthia McKinney, whose name was located 5 rows below Obama’s. A poll worker helped her start the process over and her vote finally registered Barack Obama.

www.fsrn.org/content/election-unspun-oct-28-vote-switching-voting-machines/3635

I think the above story is important because it illustrates how much extra effort some voters have to go to in order to actually vote. Of course, since these are still touchscreen voting machines, we still have to worry about whether the vote itself will actually be counted by the machine (it call tell us one thing and then do another, in theory).

Voting Rights Watch: One company’s machine behind vote-switching reported in early balloting across the South

southernstudies.org/facingsouth/2008/10/voting-rights-watch-one-companys.asp

BradBlog.com reported it earlier this week, and SouthernStudies.org is now reporting that the iVotronic machine from ES&S continues to be the culprit in every case of vote switching reported across the American southeast.

Wondering what all this “election irregularity” stuff is? Wondering why I and so many other folks are worried about this election? Well, Lisa Rein (my good friend and SIL) has written a great primer that covers a great deal of the controversy. Check that post out here:

Voting Irregularities Starting Already – This Year, We’re All Detectives

www.onlisareinsradar.com/archives/002836.php

Going to blog about VideoTheVote.org soon–I promise. Why wait for me? Go check it out for yourself!

George W. Promise I’d Win in 2008 if I Only Played Along: McCain ’08

Compliments of ThePete and johnmccainisyournewlogo.com

Are you like me? Would you have actually voted for McCain in 2000 had
he won the Repub primary if Bush hadn’t? Do you wonder what happened
to that John McCain who ran 8 years ago? I do. I miss that man–he was
a leader with integrity and honor. So what happened?

It seems to me that he made a deal with Bush. “Support me in
everything, vote with me 90% of the time, support the war, vote
against the toture ban, support me in the 2004 debates, as a huge
storm hits New Orleans you are to put celebrating my birthday with me
above any concerns for Katrina victims (McCain brought a cake). Do all
of this and I’ll give you all of my psycho amoral campaign guys so you
can definitely get elected in 2008.”

To which McCain responded, “Yes, Godfather…and may your first child
be a masculine child…”

“Thank you. Now kiss the ring… And pull my finger! Heh-heh-heh!”

All right, so that may not be exactly how the exchange went, but you
have to admit the change from 1999 McCain (honor, real patriotism) to
2008 McCain (says whatever is required to get elected) is pretty
extreme.

Democracy In Peril: The Ongoing Dramacracy

Ahh, this is FUN. I LOVE it when my greatest fears about my democracy come true!

Wait. No, I don’t. This sucks.

I want to just blog about my custom toys and draw comics and write novels.

But nooooo, the government has to go and be all corrupt and whatnot! OK, so, here’s a nice little round up of election irregularity news from around the web, most notably that first link–yep, that’s CNN.com covering voter purging! Amazing! But let’s get to the links:

Some voters ‘purged’ from voter rolls

www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/26/voter.suppression/index.html

(It’s funny, this article’s headline refers to “some” voters being purged but if you read the article, tens of thousands in various states could lose their ability to vote.)

WIDESPREAD TOUCH SCREEN VOTE FLIPPING!!

www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/26/112912/81/554/642200

(I hate linking to (let alone Digging) a post at DailyKos–they might as well be called “DailyBias” or “DailyDemocratMouthpiece”. I’ve heard so many bad things about them shutting people down for dissenting with the Democrat POV–but if they’re covering voter probs, what can you do?)

Election Developments & Problems in FL, GA, VA, IN, OH, NM, TN, WV

www.bradblog.com/?p=6561

(LOADS of great info here on all sorts of bizarre crap, including a Florida Elections Supervisor saying: “No one could have anticipated that this election would be so historic and draw as much attention as it has,” Seriously? Because the news has been saying that for months, lady!)

11,000 Absentee Ballots Not Mailed Out in Colorado

www.democracynow.org/2008/10/27/headlines#6

(Sequoia Voting Systems failed to deliver half of the absentee ballots they were supposed to deliver to the post office, as a result 10k+ people may not vote.)

Justice Department Pressed by Bush to Contest 200,000 Ohio Voters

www.democracynow.org/2008/10/27/headlines#8

From DN’s headline story for this:

The White House has asked the Department of Justice to look into whether 200,000 new Ohio voters must reconfirm their registration information before the Nov. 4 election because their records don’t precisely match other government databases.

Here’s another one from BradBlog.com:
‘AWOL’ Obama/DNC Attorneys Found! Turns Out They Were Working in Secret, Reports Alternet

www.bradblog.com/?p=6571

Here’s an excerpt from the post:

We’ve had to report on Democrats in PA being sued by the NAACP, because neither the DNC nor the Obama campaign was willing to stand up for voters to demand that emergency paper ballots be made available to voters in PA before every machine in a precinct breaks down, as decreed a month ago from PA’s Democratic Sec. of the Commonwealth.

We haven’t even had time to report that the Republicans have attempted to intervene in the case, to take the side of the PA Democrats to keep paper ballots from being given to voters.

Yeah, that’s pretty bizarre, huh?

Can you think of a reason why voters who want to vote with paper ballots should be kept from voting with paper ballots?

Meanwhile, here’s a headline and link to that Alternet.org story Brad blogged about:

Democrats Describe Efforts to Limit Voting Machines Problems

www.alternet.org/democracy/104635/democrats_describe_efforts_to_limit_voting_machines_problems/

It goes into what the Dems are supposedly doing to protect the vote, but the article admits:

Whether these resources and responses will satisfy election integrity activists is an open question. That e-voting problems continue to surface undermines their confidence. One big difference between the activist community and DNC is the activists want to end the use of troubling technologies altogether whereas the DNC wants to ensure the election machinery, however flawed, works as best as it can for the public — because the voting systems in place are the systems that will be used in 2008.

Here are a few sites to check out for more on voter irregularities:

bradblog.com

votersunite.org

More to come! (Sadly)

Because White Male Presidents Represent 232 Years of Tradition: McCain ’08

Compliments of ThePete and johnmccainisyournewlogo.com

Don’t you think it’s time to give the white man four years off? I
mean, we’ve survived George W. Bush, haven’t we? How much worse could
the black guy be?

Nothing Says Change Like a 72 Year-Old White Guy McCain ’08

Compliments of ThePete and johnmccainisyournewlogo.com.

No offense to my dad, but Caucasian men in their 70s are not exactly
known for bring change to entire countries. Especially rich ones with
7 homes.

Vote Switching In More States

Not sure what "vote switching" is? The video clip above comes from a documentary called "Stealing America" and I snagged it from YouTube (here: www.youtube.com/watch ). It demonstrates the vote switching that occurred in the 2004 presidential election. See the end of this post for more info on "Stealing America."

Yep, Vote Switching is reportedly happening again and while all of the votes have been Democrat-to-Republican switches, it’s important to note that this is an AMERICAN issue–not a Dem or Repub issue.

If you’re a Republican, don’t you want to know for sure that McCain won fair and square? If you don’t want this, you should really take a second look at your morals since a fair democracy should be what everyone wants.

Aaaanyway…

BradBlog.com is reporting (here: www.bradblog.com/ ) on more instances of vote switching from Texas, Tennessee and Missouri on top of the so-called "isolated" cases in West Virginia.

From the BB post:

This is just getting worse and worse. Now it’s happening in Texas. (And in MO, if you read to the end of the article). And the vaunted "thousands of attorneys" from the Obama campaign and the DNC are still nowhere to be found.

With every incident so far reported of touch-screen vote-flipping during early voting in this year’s general election — from county to county in WV and in Nashville, TN) — it’s been the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machine that has failed, flipping votes from one candidate to another not chosen by the voter. In most every instances (see update below), it’s been an attempted Democratic vote, flipped to a Republican, or another party.

Yep, it’s the same type/brand of machine that’s messing up–the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machine. The BB post also says something interesting about electronic voting in general:

…no voter should ever cast a vote on a touch-screen machine unless they are forced to. There is absolutely no way that any vote ever cast on a touch-screen machine — with or without a so-called paper trail — can ever be shown as having been recorded accurately.

Brad is right–you have to have blind faith in technology and if you’ve used a PC or a Mac you know that even the best machines are still fallible. Why we can’t take our time by voting with pencil and paper is beyond me. This isn’t a pizza, we’re ordering–it’s a president.

The same post at BradBlog goes on to explain what to do if you see your vote switch:

* Call poll supervisors to observe the problem
* Fill out a problem report
* Refuse to vote on that machine
* Request that the machine be taken out of service
* Get a serial number of the machine if possible (may be unlikely in many cases)
* Tell other voters not to vote on that machine
* Call county/town election office
* Call local reporters
* Call voter problem hotlines (eg. 866-MYVOTE1 and 866-OUR-VOTE)
* Contact bloggers and Election Integrity websites.
* Raise holy hell.

Brad also mentions that the supposed legions of Democratic lawyers ready to defend Obama voters are nowhere to be found.

So, the Democrats are falling down on the job again.

If you didn’t follow this stuff back in 2004, this is a direct replay of those events–obvious irregularities ignored by almost everyone–including those Dems who would directly benefit from pursuing the truth.

Of course, every American benefits from knowing the truth.

The video clip at the top of this post comes from a documentary covering the irregularities surrounding recent elections. The movie is called "Stealing America" and is now on DVD and can also be watched entirely online at my website here:
thepete.com/…tch-it-now

Or check it out at the official site: stealingamericathemovie.org/

Also, when you go to the polls to vote, be smart and bring your camera. If something goes wrong, snap a picture or shoot some video. I’ll be posting more on this soon. Don’t want to wait? Check out VideoTheVote.org/

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ACORN "Epidemic" Overblown: Relax Republicans!

utterli-image
So, we’ve all heard how the ACORN voter registration "scandal" is a practical epidemic according to Republicans, including Senator John McCain who said it could represent a threat to the "very fabric of our democracy."

The catch?

It isn’t.

At all.

Period.

Full stop.

The end.

ACORN allowed their employees to fake registrations for thousands of voter registration forms. The concern, according to Republicans is that people will show up and vote more than once, using these fake names.

Forget that some of the names were as ridiculous as Mickey Mouse–forget that other names were the team members of the Dallas Cowboys–the thing that is important to pay attention to is that people showing up to vote with another name NEVER ACTUALLY HAPPENS. The number of cases in the last four years voter fraud has actually been prosecuted is 120.

On October 17, 2008, Michael Crispin Miller, author of LOSER TAKE ALL: ELECTION FRAUD AND THE SUBVERSION OF DEMOCRACY 2000-2008, gave an interview to PBS’ Bill Moyers (transcript here: www.pbs.org/…ript4.html ). Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: It never happens. Let’s just talk statistically about this, okay? As of 2007 the Department of Justice had prosecuted – are you ready for this? This number? 120 cases of voter fraud.

BILL MOYERS: Over what period?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Over, well, this is, like four years. Okay? 120 cases. And there were 82 convictions. Now, I think the republic will probably withstand that attack, right? We’re talking about voter fraud that’s being perpetrated in the tens. And I can tell you, moreover, that not one of those cases of fraud actually involved a person showing up to vote improperly. They were other kinds of fraud. You know, election judges breaking the law and so on.

So, any time someone brings up ACORN or even voter fraud, ask them for names and dates. If they talk about voter suppression, election fraud or voter caging, then we’re talking. There is a lot of evidence of that, according to Miller and, well, me. I’ve been researching election irregularities since 2002 (2000, really). But I’m not credentialed–I’m just a guy with an Internet connection and a blog.

For more from NYU professor Michael Crispin Miller, check out that "Bill Moyers Journal" transcript or check out the interview he gave Amy Goodman on Democracy Now on October 22, 2008–you can watch or listen to the show or read the transcript here: www.democracynow.org/…0/22/votes

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Barry O’Bama’s Looking for a Good Deal on Votes!

Back on October 14, 2008, Democracy Now included a clip of part of a speech Barack Obama was giving at some damn campaign stop, I don’t know–but he said something that kind of intrigued me. Here’s a quote from the transcript of the headlines from that day on Democracy Now’s show (get the original here: www.democracynow.org/2008/10/14/headlines#4 ):

…today I’m calling on Congress to pass a plan so that the IRS will mail out the first round of those tax cuts as soon as possible. We should get you a rebate in your pockets to deal with heating your homes this winter, making sure that—making sure that you can afford the new coat for your child or maybe even a new computer to help them in school.

Really? You want to pass an economic stimulus bill that will put money in our pockets BEFORE the winter?? Dude–when George W. Bush bought our votes back in 2000 (remember that extra $300?), we had to wait until after he got inaugurated to get our payments!

Truth be told, I didn’t actually vote for him but got a “thanks for your vote” check anyway. Ah well–he should have paid us all a lot more for what he would put us through, but I digress.

Obama making this promise to us to put money “in our pockets” feels like pandering–he wants to pay us now for our votes, rather than wait for us to vote and then pay us.

What’s wrong with paying us for our votes?

These days: nothing.

That’s right, I said it. Our lives are based around money so much as it is–we want to vote for the candidate that will allow us to be the most prosperous and tax us the least, right?

This is why we hear so much about “tax cuts for the middle class” or “letting businesses thrive.” It’s because we all want to make money. When our candidates run for office the one who spends the most generally wins because he or she can spend more money on running ads that make them look good (or ads that make their opponent look bad).

So, why bother with any of this campaigning and these speeches? Why not just put the presidency up for auction and let the highest bidder get it? Then the money they use to buy the office can be divided up and spread amongst each American “voter.”

Seems like we’re practically already there. And since I haven’t heard anything about McCain wanting to give me a check before winter hits (hell, I’m an Angeleno in NYC, winter’s already here, bitch!) I’m not sure what else I’m supposed to do.

So, here’s my vote for sale!!

What’s that, Senator O’Bama? You want to give me up to $1000 before the winter comes? Well, my vote is…

SOLD to the man in the dark skin!

All joking aside, this is no joke. Our system is so very much manipulated by money it’s practically hypocritical that we bother caring who is even running. We need to be more like the UK–they have caps on time and money spent on the campaign. How you spend your money is NOT a form a self-expression when it comes to politics. It’s a form of country-manipulation.

Sadly, it’s the system we’ve got and if we don’t vote for the black man this time around, we get yet another white man–and they’ve all done so well for us in 232 years!! HOW many wars? HOW many economic depressions, recessions and crashes? HOW many American soldiers and innocent foreigners dead for corporate greed and conquest–aka wars?.

Sorry, I just knew I couldn’t go out on a joke. :(

More on Voting Irregularities

utterli-image
Yesterday, I posted on some problems people were having in West Virginia when they tried to vote Obama only to watch their votes switch to McCain (read my post here: thepete.com/…es-in-w-va ) but who else is talking about voting problems today?

CNN.com may be covering Florida’s attempts to get things right this time around (here: www.cnn.com/…index.html ) but generally, the mainstream media seems to be ignoring the issue of voting problems. Even CNN.com looked like it had a video about the story up, but after looking at their Florida story, I went back to watch the video but it was gone. I even went to their video page and couldn’t find it. Meanwhile, here are some other sites that are posting about voting problems:

"Voters in W.Va. Say Electronic Voting Machines Switched their Obama Votes to McCain"
www.huffingtonpost.com/…36332.html

WV Voting Machines Switch Votes from Obama to McCain
www.democracynow.org/…/headlines

Attention Voters: Here’s What You Have to Do to Make Sure You Get to Vote
www.alternet.org/…t_to_vote/

This next headline is my favorite:

Voting Machines Switch Votes; Officials Blame Voters
blog.wired.com/…chine.html

Yeah, because touchscreen voting machines ARE SO TRICKY. Don’t insult our intelligence and suggest that people are rock-stupid enough to not be able to touch a box on a screen.

Here’s a cool, interactive map that shows you just how hackable each state’s vote is:
dvice.com/…/index.php

Hear of any voting irregularities? Post about them! Blog ‘em, Tweet ‘em, Utter ‘em, comment here about ‘em–just make sure you bring them up!

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Dem Votes Switch to Repub Candidates in W. VA

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Yep, it’s already happening. Thanks to the honestly brilliant idea of early voting, a handful of West Virginian voters have reported seeing their votes switch from Obama to McCain. It’s happened in two different West VA counties and the elections in that state are run by Republicans.

In the last two presidential elections there have been numerous reports and abundant evidence of election irregularities and even downright fraud. Now, an October 18, 2008 article at WVGazette.com (here: wvgazette.com/…0810180251 ), reports that it’s happening again.

PLEASE:

When you go to vote, whether it’s early or not, please look very carefully at your vote. Whether you’ve got punchcards, ink-a-vote, computers or the old lever-machines, things can go wrong! (I found out the hard way back during the primaries: tv.thepete.com/…feels-like )

I know it sounds stupid, but you must make sure you vote for whom you mean to vote for and if you see something go wrong, DO NOT HESITATE. Please let a balloting place volunteer know ASAP what happened.

DON’T stop there! Report it to your friends, family and post it on the ‘net. Let me know or go to BradBlog.com and comment there. Or blog about it yourself! Open a Twitter account or an Utterli.com account or a Kwippy.com account and TALK ABOUT IT!

THIS ISN’T ABOUT DEMOCRAT VS. REPUBLICAN!

This is about YOUR VOTE COUNTING–REGARDLESS OF WHO YOU VOTE FOR.

Please don’t give into the BS rhetoric. Yes, these are Dem votes in West Virginia, but as real Patriotic Americans, we should want EVERY American vote counted accurately.

Election Resources Online:

BradBlog.com/
GregPalast.com/
bbvforums.org/

WHEN POSTING ON TWITTER PLEASE USE HASHTAGS. Hashtags are bits of text preceded by "#" that will identify your posts to search engines that are looking for election irregularity posts on Twitter and other microblogging sites. NotMyGal.com has posted the best hashtags to use when reporting voting problems:

* #votereport
* #EP{two-letter state code} – e.g. EPNY for New York, EPOH for Ohio (for serious legal issues only)
* #machine – use this tag to signal a problem with a voting machine
* #registration – use this tag to signal problems with the registration process, people being turned away for paperwok reasons
* #wait:time – use this tag to signal a long wait. Add a colon and the wait time in minutes – e.g. #wait:30 for half an hour, #wait:120 for two hours

Check out more on these hashtags and more about fighting this very serious issue in the "Saving Democracy with Twitter" post at NotMyGal.com here: is.gd/4oiS

Please pass this information on to every American you know. Some states have already started voting and it’s important that we all know to be aware that this is possible and has happened.

Also, it’s my understanding that "Stealing America", a documentary about election irregularities will be available in it’s entirety for free starting tomorrow at StealingAmericaTheMovie.Org. Don’t quote me on that–I’m waiting to hear back from the director. Please watch and learn how these irregularities have happened before. Thank you!

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2008 Debate #3 (FINAL) Wrap-Up #debate08

Wow–this was a little surprising tonight. I feel like things were pretty damn fun this time out. The ninety minutes really seemed to fly by. I do think the first two debates set the bar pretty low, however. Neither were very exciting and zingers were very rare. The same goes for this one on the zingers front (in fact there were none), but because the moderator kept things moving this was a lot more lively.

I did prefer this format to the other two, also. The podiums of the first prezy debate were all “official” and whatever, but there’s an air of stiffness you get with them, as well. The “town hall” style debate we had last time was more loose and freeform, but it also gave McCain a chance to wander around like a lost Alzheimer’s patient and Obama a chance to sit like he was a sleezy lounge singer in between sets.

Tonight’s format was just about perfect. Both of the candidates had the opportunity to look relaxed when they wanted to and look like upright guys when they needed to. I think the format was also very conducive to having an actual debate, too.

And now to the winner.

One thing that was both the same and different from previous debates was Obama. He definitely won this one as he has the other two. However, before it was just on points. There were very few critical things that Obama did to make me, as an independent voter, feel more strongly about voting for him. In the previous debates I felt the same going out as I did going in–about both candidates. But I had already decided to vote against McCain and Senator John makes me dislike him every time he opens his mouth.

The bizarre thing about McCain is that I totally would have voted for him in 2000. He seemed to me to be a good man and a good leader. Then he became Bush’s lapdog and never came back. Nothing tonight made me go back to my old feelings about him, either.

Obama on the other hand (for the first time) really addressed a lot of the questions the McCain campaign had brought up and essentially shot down the potential damage those questions could bring. It was great to see the whole Ayers issue addressed with both of them right there. McCain could have continued to take issue, but he really couldn’t have. The same with ACORN and that stupid health insurance fine for small businesses McCain brought up again this time. I was glad he did because this time Obama did more than just blow him off like he did last time. It turns out small businesses will get a pass on the fine while big businesses (who can afford, it won’t).

All in all, Obama actually made me like him more. I still wish we had more options. I’m an independent and until I see three or more parties have a serious shot of having their candidates win, I won’t be happy.

Now, before anyone accuses me of being some sort of liberal hippie-type, here’s how I fall on all the big issues:

I’m an anti-gun-control, pro-choice, anti-abortion, anti-war, small government, pacifist who enjoys violent movies, and caring about people who need caring for. I also feel there have been enough white men running things. Is that independent enough for you?
Sure, you could go check out CNN.com‘s coverage of the third and final Presidential debate of the 2008 campaign, but for some good -n- balanced coverage of the debates check out CSPAN.org and to see what us bloggers and other Internet types thought of the debates, check out C-SPAN’s debate hub here: debatehub.c-span.org

Or you could just keep your dial tuned to ThePete.Com for all of my coverage of the debates, which you can check out here: thepete.com/tag/debate08/

Oh yeah and watch FactCheck.org for a nice deconstruction of the debate that goes after each candidates failures to be accurate.

Obama, Race, the Polls Already Suggest an Upset

utterli-imageSo, I’m just getting back from the Algonquin Salon (an open mic TheWife sings at a lot) tonight and I pull up CNN.com to check for any breaking news. The screencap attached to this post is what I saw. The headline links to an article (here: www.cnn.com/…index.html ) that talks about the "Bradley Effect" and the "Wilder Effect."

That’s so stupid–you can’t have two "Effects" for the same result! Silly CNN!

Regardless, my concern is a bit more serious than that. The idea behind this (these) effect(s) is that exit polls found that both Tom Bradley and Douglas Wilder doing better than they did in the actual elections. Bradley lost in his bid for the governorship of California while the polls said he would win and Wilder won but by a hair’s width, not the double-digit lead his exit polls gave him.

Now, to me this kind of thing already sounds familiar. However, the excuse for the exit polls being wrong now is racism–people too embarrassed to admit they are racist lie and say they did vote for the black guy.

Back in 2000 and in 2004 the excuse was that the exit polls were just wrong.

See, in both the 2000 and 2004 elections, the assumption was that Gore would win certain states. John Zogby was on the Daily Show before the election saying John Kerry would win.

We know how both elections turned out.

I’m worried CNN.com has just delivered the excuse for a McCain win.

I’m worried we’ll see exit polls that give Obama a lead, possibly even a healthy one, but that we’ll see McCain miraculously pull ahead in certain "battleground states".

When the question is asked by the press and the public: "Why were the exit polls so off from the election itself?" the answer will be racism.

No one will bother to look at all of the voting irregularities uncovered in the 2000 and 2004 elections. No one will bother to point out the blatant security issues in all electronic ballot machines. No one will bother to point out that very little has been done to fix the system as a whole.

Or worse: plenty of us will bother (as we have in the past) and no one in the media or in the government will bother to listen (as has happened in the past).

I really hope that I am wrong. Not just because I want Obama to win, but because I want the will of the people to be done in this country. Seeing the groundwork of a perfect excuse being laid really scares me.

How perfect is this groundwork?

Ignoring race, this would be the THIRD time in a row the exit polls for a presidential race would be wrong.

The THIRD TIME.

Of course, this time, we would have the excuse of racism and that will be enough to keep those of us with legitimate concerns on the margins.

Lovely. I can’t wait.

Want to learn more about election irregularities? Check out StealingAmericaTheMovie.org/ or just check out the clip on exit polls here: stealingamericathemovie.org/theft.html

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McCain Shocked at Racism Charge and I’m Not Pt 2

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The pic attached to this post is a screencap from an article on CNN.com that I blogged about yesterday (article here: www.cnn.com/…index.html blog here: thepete.com/…m-not-pt-1 ). I wanted to revisit this story because it illustrates the use of the Straw Man Argument. This is something I blogged about the day before last (here: thepete.com/…ic-defense ).

If you notice in the screencap, Democratic Congressman John Lewis explains how he sees McCalin rallies becoming fertile ground for new racism. He explains how George Wallace never had to "throw a bomb" or "fire a gun" but that he did create "the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks." Lewis feels that McCain and Palin are creating a similar atmosphere at their rallies.

Now, let’s take a look at what Senator John McCain (presidential candidate, if you hadn’t noticed) said to defend himself against Lewis’ statements:

"Congressman John Lewis’ comments represent a character attack against Gov. Sarah Palin and me that is shocking and beyond the pale," he said in a Saturday afternoon statement released by his campaign.

"The notion that legitimate criticism of Sen. Obama’s record and positions could be compared to Gov. George Wallace, his segregationist policies and the violence he provoked is unacceptable and has no place in this campaign. I am saddened that John Lewis, a man I’ve always admired, would make such a brazen and baseless attack on my character and the character of the thousands of hardworking Americans who come to our events to cheer for the kind of reform that will put America on the right track."

Did you see what he did? In amongst a bunch of other things that sound true enough, McCain lies by suggesting that Lewis was comparing "legitimate criticism of Sen. Obama’s record and positions" with the hateful stuff George Wallace did. This is another use of the Straw Man Argument–where McCain sets up something that he can easily knock down (like a little man made of straw).

It’s true–comparing legitimate criticism of Obama to George Wallace’s racism is not right and is not fair. Anyone would agree with that.

But that’s not what Lewis was doing. Lewis was saying that the atmosphere of racism is created at these rallies.

Like Palin did the other day in "defending" against accusations no one had made (as I blogged about here: thepete.com/…ic-defense ), McCain is dodging the issue and shows Lewis the same disrespect he claims Lewis is showing him.

Of course, McCain is a powerful white politician who is well known for claiming the mantle of American Hero at every turn, while Lewis actually is an American hero spending his entire life fighting racism.

You might want to try addressing his issues directly and refrain from the disrespect.

To be fair, Senator John, you have made efforts to address the growing racism at your rallies. In that same CNN article, Barack Obama is quoted as saying: "But John Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked just last night,"

The thing is that you’re not doing enough, John. You seem to only let white people into your rallies. Do you want to be President of the United States of America, John? Or just President of the United States of White People?

I suppose that IS where you find all the money.

But the ultimate point here is that once again we see that McCain is no longer an American Hero, but a man who embodies an awful lot of bad things that politicians have become known for. Using the Straw Man Argument, he distracts from what is really going on. As I mentioned in my Palin post from the other day, sadly, most politicians use this technique.

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McCain Shocked at Racism Charge and I’m Not Pt 1

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In an October 11, 2008 article at CNN (here: www.cnn.com/…index.html ), Senator John said that comments made about McCalin rallies were "shocking and beyond the pale,"

But what were those comments and who said them?

Democratic Congressman John Lewis is a civil rights leader and has been active in the civil rights movement for his entire life. He addressed the same crowd that heard the "I Have a Dream" speech (yes, the one from Martin Luther King Jr.) and he recently admitted to being reminded of a much more racist time in American history.

That CNN article quotes Lewis as saying:

What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse," Lewis said in a statement.

"George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama," wrote the Democrat.

McCain says those charges are "shocking" and "beyond the pale."

Right.

Is it really that shocking to imagine racism coming from a crowd of white people? Seriously–how many non-white faces do you see at any McCain rally?? That alone says that the McCain/Palin ticket is not seeking out any sort of real balance in the support they are getting. It’s just white people.

So, the idea that a black activist, who has been fighting racism his entire life, would see racism come from a long succession of carefully selected white crowds at McCalin rallies might be shocking is just sad.

Come on, Senator John, what happened to you? You used to be a decent man.

Now you’re playing off an American Hero’s criticism of you as though he’s playing politics. And even if Lewis is playing politics the way you react is with RESPECT, JOHN. RESPECT.

Playing the "shocked" card disrespects a great man and the great people whose votes you are courting.

Be humble, John.

Be graceful.

Ah screw it, you’re losing, McCain–you might as well keep digging your political grave.

Watch for part 2 of this post which will talk about McCain’s use of the Straw Man Argument in defending against Lewis’ attack.
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Concerned Your Vote Won’t Count? You Should Be.

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Well, maybe YOU shouldn’t be, but that guy next to you? Or that woman over there by the door? Yeah, they maybe should be concerned. What if *you* are that woman by the door? What if you are the guy sitting next to the person reading this post? Well, you might want to be concerned about your vote counting. Or, I should say "you should be concerned about your vote being counted".

See, not everyone will be immediately impacted by this. Plenty of folks will actually have their vote counted. However, many won’t.

It turns out that a few different states are going through voter purges. This is basically when the state’s election officials decide that they should "reduce voter fraud" by trimming down the voter rolls (the list of voters in that state). The thing is, there isn’t a federally standardized way of doing this. As a result, some state officials seem to be using questionable tactics to remove people.

Now, I’m not advocating that there should be a federally sanctioned way to do this, but maybe a federal oversight committee might be a good idea, to make sure this process isn’t being abused.

Back in 2004, according to journalist Greg Palast (his site: gregpalast.com/ ), Republicans would send registered mail letters to low-income areas in certain states asking for registered voters to confirm their addresses. If they never heard back from these people, their names were challenged and many were removed.

This means that anyone who doesn’t take the time to sign for registered mail, or sees the Republican party return address and blows it off, or is serving overseas, or is on vacation, or whatever, could have had their vote challenged.

Now, it’s happening again–right now, in fact. CBSNews.com is reporting (here: www.cbsnews.com/…0682.shtml ) on a new study from the non-partisan public policy and law institute, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law:

calls the nationwide process "chaotic," "shrouded in secrecy", "riddled with inaccuracies", "prone to error" and "vulnerable to manipulation."

"What’s wrong with the process is it’s happening in secret. It’s happening with no accountability," Michael Waldman, the center’s executive director, told CBS News.

Nice, huh?
Continue reading

FactCheck.org Takes On Prez Debate #2

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FactCheck.org has released their report on last night’s debate. Check out a summary of their findings along with their entire analysis here: www.factcheck.org/…_no_2.html

As usual, according to the report, it seems like both McCain and Obama showed their stripes as politicians, each making several factual errors and oversimplifying themselves into corners.

Sadly, We The People are the ones who lose when the candidates concentrate more on winning than informing the public.

Here are a few things in the FC.o report that I found interesting:

Blaming each others parties for the economic crisis. From the summary: "Both candidates oversimplified the causes of the financial crisis. McCain blamed it on Democrats who resisted tighter regulation of federal mortgage agencies. Obama blamed it on financial deregulation backed by Republicans. We find both are right, with plenty of blame left over for others, from home buyers to the chairman of the Federal Reserve."

Nice to see someone admitting the current economic crisis might be a little more complicated than either party is admitting.

Now, we’ve all heard of candidates getting their opponent’s policies wrong, but check out this excerpt: "McCain misstated his own health care plan, saying he’d give a $5,000 tax credit to ‘every American’ His plan actually would provide only $2,500 per individual, or $5,000 for couples and families. He also misstated Obama’s health care plan, claiming it would levy fines on ‘small businesses’ that fail to provide health insurance. Actually, Obama’s plan exempts ‘small businesses.’"

Yep, McCain screwed up HIS OWN health care plan AND Obama’s. Well done, Senator! Yes, everyone makes mistakes, but if you’re going to get your own plan wrong during a debate, you might not be the right person to take on much bigger challenges than remembering your own crap. I mean, talk about Reaganomics! ;)

It wasn’t all McCain’s McMistakes, either–Obama made a few and here’s one I liked as I’m a big fan of avoiding nuclear for any and all reasons: "Obama said, ‘I favor nuclear power.’ That’s a stronger statement than we’ve heard him make before. As recently as last December, he said, ‘I am not a nuclear energy proponent.’"

Hey, Barry, you might want to make up your mind there, since we’re kind of in the middle of an energy crisis (whether we want to admit it or not). As much as I hate Nuclear it is among the handful of things we will likely be forced to adopt in order to solve this crisis. I hope we can just go with wind and solar–but I’m off-topic.

The FactCheck.org report goes into a LOT more detail. Hit the link at the top of this post to read the whole thing.

Ah, politics. It’s a shame that this whole thing will be over in less than a month!

HA! Who am I kidding? Unless Obama gets a (literally) certifiable landslide our wonderfully flawed voting system will keep us busy for a while.

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