Torture President Wins
President George W. Bush has been fighting to allow torture to be used against enemy detainees in order to increase American “security.” So-called “maverick” John McCain, together with John Warner and Lindsey Graham, have been leading a fight to support the recent Supreme Court decision against torture. After intense negotiations between the two sides, the torture president won.
Tony Snow, the president's spokesman, agrees:
We got what the president asked for.
Two big points thrust themselves upon me:
- The special CIA program is kept and CIA personnel are protected from prosecution as war criminals; thus they would not need to testify that they followed Bush's illegal orders
- Breeches of the Geneva Convention will be divided into grave and non-grave breeches, where non-grave breeches will be interpreted by the president.
The administration will not say how waterboarding will be categorized. Clarity, indeed.
The media is reporting this as a "compromise." Maybe it is in terms of small, inconsequential items. However, 2 of the best newspapers, The New York Times and the Washington Post, don't think much of this "compromise." Here is what the Washington Post says in an editorial titled "The Abuse Can Continue":
The bad news is that Mr. Bush, as he made clear yesterday, intends to continue using the CIA to secretly detain and abuse certain terrorist suspects. He will do so by issuing his own interpretation of the Geneva Conventions in an executive order and by relying on questionable Justice Department opinions that authorize such practices as exposing prisoners to hypothermia and prolonged sleep deprivation.
Under the compromise agreed to yesterday, Congress would recognize his authority to take these steps and prevent prisoners from appealing them to U.S. courts. The bill would also immunize CIA personnel from prosecution for all but the most serious abuses and protect those who in the past violated U.S. law against war crimes.
Is this what McCain labored so long to achieve? Is this why everybody is calling McCain a hero? Are we doomed to submit to the torture president in his abuse of detainees - and maybe eventually ordinary Americans? Is this the best Republicans can come up with?
Though I am a Democrat, I did believe that McCain, Warner and Graham would stick to their guns. I was wrong. Evidently, party unity was more important to them than being faithful to the Constitution. It's a sad day: a tremendous blow was wielded against our Constitution.
Republicans will scream on top of their lungs that they did this because they worry about security, while Democrats worry about detainees. This is ridiculous. Democrats worry about security too; they want to live just as Republicans do. The defining difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans are willing to use torture to assure security and Democrats are not willing to destroy American principles in the fight with Al Qaeda.
If you are worried about the Constitution, there is no need to despair. Every one of you that cherishes the Constitution and every one of you that deplores America's use of torture, should immediately contact your representative and senators and let them know that you are against the "compromise," that you are against torture of detainees.
The torture president has won this round. But you can change the legislation that will be produced by Congress. Act now!
Posted by Paul Siegel at September 22, 2006 5:41 PM
Paul thanks for the post. Obviously torture versus interogation is subjective to many.
As a Republican I am very surprised by McCain too. However, could that indicate that there were severe restraints put in place?
However, I seem to recall last night on CNN that the details of the authority Bush, and therefore the CIA, will have cannot be released because it will go right into the Al Qaeda training manual? Is this correct or will there be disclosure?
Writing letters at this point seems to have had little to no effect. You could spam these people’s email boxes all day railing against it but they cover their eyes and ears and refuse to hear or see.
This is a sad day for all Americans. Not only because it completely destroys any claim we have to a moral highground but because it lays bear our duplicitous standards.
We as Americans need to think long and hard about just how much more we are willing to take, and if the politicians won’t do something about it we as the people can and should.
I for one am tired of seeing the things my forefathers fought and died for perverted under the current administration.
It’s not torture no matter how you spin it. Just maybe the good guys won one this time.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Just when you think things can’t get any worse with Republican leadership controlling all three branches of government, it does.
I too thought very highly of McCain, Warner and Graham for a brief moment for standing up to the president, but not now.
Once again, the GOP bows as a whole to the despotic wishes of the Supreme Leader.
So, what else is new?
The “techniques” will not be released under executive privilege or some other shield behind which this admin has hidden.
The only matter of record will be that Bush will have to sign an executive order allowing the administration to continue with these practices.
Per Tony Snow today:
Via Atrios (http://atrios.blogspot.com):
Tony Snow: Supremos Don’t Decide Constitutionality
Me: But isn’t it the Supreme Court that’s supposed to decide whether laws are unconstitutional or not?
Tony: No, as a matter of fact the president has an obligation to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. That is an obligation that presidents have enacted through signing statements going back to Jefferson. So, while the Supreme Court can be an arbiter of the Constitution, the fact is the President is the one, the only person who, by the Constitution, is given the responsibility to preserve, protect, and defend that document, so it is perfectly consistent with presidential authority under the Constitution itself.
That was new to me anyway..
This ‘compromise’ just compromised a lot more than meets the eye. This is a sinister development, another in a long series of them regarding our government.
As for McCain—he’s running for president. He’s made it a point of caving to the Christian Taliban at Liberty U., along with other ass-kissing cave-ins to get his sorry-ass elected.
I can’t for the life of me understand this ‘mystic’ he enjoys—he has a 97% pro-fascist corporate vote rating from some ultra conservative think tank. He’s another corporate shill, and his continued caving to this administration shows him up to be the politico I always thought he was. Frankly, I think he’ll make a great president—charming, duplicitous and a fabulous liar. As Groucho Marx said ( as if speaking for the senator from Arizona): ‘Well, those are my principles, and if you don’t like them, well… I have others.’
American principles just got mugged by the gang of three.
God, I’m sink unto death of Washington. If I could flush their proverbial toilet, I’d do it in a heartbeat, just to get rid of the stench.
The country could figure out a government to make the rich and powerful happy later—just enjoy the fresh air for a couple of months.
“Evidently party unity was more important to them than being faithful to the constitution.”
I think in McCain’s case Presidential ambitions were more important than the constitution. Once he folded Warner and Graham had no choice but to go along with the ruse.
All it does is prove once again that you can always count on a republican to drop the ball.
Afghanistan - still don’t have bin laden and taliban is coming back
Iraq - where to begin on that one (note “stay the course” is dropping the ball since they dropped it to begin with)
Axis of Evil - well they really got that game of 3 card monte wrong. Iraq - no weapons. North Korea - nukes. Iran - clandestine nuclear program possibly pursuing nukes.
Of course this is the short list. Now if only the Dems would take them to task on it.
The torture is disgusing, although we all know it went on. Now it will continue, and those that did it before the new legislation are protected from prosecution.
How low we have fallen. It scares me to think that there is/will be more.
Tony Snow can kiss my ass.
Dreggas Dreggas Dreggas you libs just dont get it. First off I honestly believe Usama is a Fosil. When was the last time you saw him on one of those tapes. I said saw him not heard Him. As far as Iraq you read the new u york times and thats your mistake. If you believe the (527) media you will notice the absence of any posative news on Iraq, like 85 % of Iraq is in good shape. As far as the deaths in the Irag war, lets have the drive bye media report all the murders we have in New York, California, Chicago, and Detroit. You would be amazed at how many murders happen in the USA. You libs hate Bush so much that it is fogging up your minds about the reality of things around you. When your man Clinton went to war in Bosnia without going to your United Nations I didnt hear any out cry about that. What threat was Bosnia to the USA. I dont think that they even have an air force.
I’ll keep this simple for you, pull your republican head out of the sand and start looking at the path this admin. has led us down. But do it as an American!!
As an American I am proud of what my President has done to protect us Americans. He confronted terrorism and as a result we fight the enemy over their and not over here. Our economy is the best in the world. our unemployment rate at4.7%. The problem is that if you look at the main stream media(527) and see what they print everything is negative. No posatives at all. Let us not forget that Clinton had 8 years to confront this problem and we all know what he did about it. Maybe there would not have been a 9/11 if Clinton did what a president is suppose to do and that is protect the people of his country.
My fear is the number of Thomas’s out there.
It is time for the Democratic party to take bold and radical action to protest this bastard administration. If they can NOT lead us out of these new dark ages, they should get out of the way. JUST RESIGN AND GET OUT OF THE WAY. We don’t need accomplices, we need fighters. I’m tired of trying to get action through spineless, gutless people who call themselves Democrats. I’m tired of getting form letters back from them, while this country burns and burns. In fact, I’m tired of being the voice of reason, so for Phillip, I extend a hearty F**K YOU. Facism, and nothing short of facism has gripped our country and I’m tired of being nice. I fear this will only be resolved on the streets. The revolution will not take place in the White House, nor in the senate, congress judiciary, and it obviously WON’T be televised. It’s time for the small people of our country to act in ways that can’t be denied. Believe me, I’m not preaching violence! We need to go back to what worked in the sixties, come together on the streets. Assemble in such masses that they can’t whisk us away to foreign prisons, and shout till our voices are undeniable. I’m so sick of this.
Bush has just given every country in the world an excuse to “reinterpret and modify” the Geneva Convention to their liking. Can someone please explain how Saddam Hussein can be tried for crimes against humanity when GB and his band of unfeeling, inhuman zombies are daily committing the same offenses?
It makes not one bit of sense.
God help the soldier who is now fair game for anyone’s interpretation of the Geneva Convention. The world now has carte blanc to commit any atrocity they wish. They can just write a new law to exempt themselves from prosecution.
So Bush/Administration bashing aside where were the Democrat leaders in this debate? I was very surprised to see how far they stood back and let McCain, Warner and Graham lead the charge. Was the strategy to count on infighting? I don’t get the lack of speeches, points, and assertions leading up to this agreement.
Our economy is the best in the world. our unemployment rate at 4.7 percent
Our economy is the worst it has been in 200 years. Reagan (a Republican) wasn’t happy with the fact that unemployment was so high during his administration so he changed how they calculate unemployment. You remember Reagan, he was the president that deregulated the Federal Banking System and collapsed the Savings and Loans. Anyway, rather than count the actual people that can and want to work that cannot find jobs, we now only count the number of people collecting unemployment. Once your unemployment benefits run out you are no longer considered unemployed… AND… if you come out of the military and cannot get a job you are also not considered unemployed.
Lets not even get into under-employment. After a year or two of being unemployed people that were making 100k, 200k, 300k a year are taking jobs making 20k - 50k to support their families, and now mom’s got a job too (selling their possessions on Ebay) and little Tommy’s got a job delivering newspapers (and he just graduated college with a degree in business). By the way Grandpa moved back in because he couldn’t afford the soaring property taxes and lost his home… he’s got a job bagging groceries and working at home depot collecting shopping carts from the lot on Saturdays.
Try reading instead of listening to Republican talking points from Rush Limpballs. Start with two books by Barbara Ehrenreich… “Nickel and Dimed” On (Not) Getting By in America, and “Bait and Switch” The (Futile) pursuit of the American Dream. And maybe then you’ll be ready for Al Franken’s “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them” A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right.
Let us not forget that Clinton had 8 years to confront this problem and we all know what he did about it.
Yes I cannot forget the shrinking deficits and growing surplus, the lowest unemployment ever, the strongest economy in 200 years and the strong relationships with our allies. No, I will never forget that.
What a wonderful site!!!
Via Atrios: http://atrios.blogspot.com
Mr.Snow needs a refresher in his Constiutional Law.
Yes, the President is given the responsibility to preserve, protect, and defend the US Constitution - but he is certainly NOT the only one. Every military person, every lawyer, every judge, every elected offical,every civil servant says the EXACT same pledge.
Yes, the Supreme court is generally an arbitor, but LAWS are generally supposed to come from CONGRESS, NOT the PRESIDENT.
I just want to put terrorism into context for everyone out there. Worst case senerio a 9/11 type even every year. As in 3-5k deaths.
Are we in agreeance with this number. So if a 9/11 style event were to happen every year aproximatly 3% of the yearly traffic fatalities anually would result. It is also 3% of Medical malpractice fatalities every year.
So we are spending 300+ billion a year to reduce upwards of 5k deaths a year when we could spend 300+ billion to reduce at lets say 10% traffic fatalities a year upwards of 12K deaths a year. These numbers do not include serious or even moderate injuries. Kinda puts things in a little bit of prospective. We are affraid of death from a terrorist when we are much more likely to die driving to work in the morning!
Pat, what you’re saying is complete nonsense. The worst economy in 200 years? You obviously have not studied American history at all and get all your news from left-wing blogs.
And if Reagan manipulated the unemployment figures, then compare Clinton’s numbers to Bush’s. They track pretty closely with Bush’s. High numbers early in their administration which came down to the current levels at roughly the same time in the 8 year term.
Obviously you went to the school of Bill O’Reilly…. just make up fact when there is no evidence.
So where’s your evidence, Pat, for your totally fictional and ridiculous assertions?
The worst economy in 200 years? Care to prove your point? Okay, for starters compare the economy today with, say, the economy during the Great Depression. It has to be worse now, right, since this is the worst economy ever? Don’t pretend to know what you’re talking about when you’re just blowing hot air.
You’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. And the facts are that during Clinton’s administration the unemployment rate at its lowest was 3.9 and at its highest 7.5. During Bush’s term, the rate at its lowest was 4.2 and at its highest 6.3. As for unemployment rates in a western economy, both presidents had VERY good numbers. But I’m sure that a partisan like yourself never looked any of this up before stating your “facts” and are probably not too interested in the facts when they get in the way of your talking points.
“So Bush/Administration bashing aside where were the Democrat leaders in this debate? “
An excellent question to be sure. I suspect we will see the Dems duck and cover when this piece of crap legislation hits the floor for a vote. I’m sure the usual suspects will vote against it—Feingold, Kennedy et. al. With the Republicans facing November elections, and a number of them in tight races questioning this bill, it seems to me to be the perfect time to concoct a filibuster. But Reid is probably too busy pretending to do his job—which is much more difficult than actually doing it.
“Tony Snow: Supremos Don’t Decide Constitutionality”
Yeah, in our Brave New World that’s how everything works. Thanks for the heads up, Snowjob.
“Tony Snow can kiss my ass.”
My thoughts exactly.
Tim Crow, re: our “Leaders” in DC World:
“If I could flush their proverbial toilet, I’d do it in a heartbeat, just to get rid of the stench.”
And instead, thanks to another stolen/rigged/ flipped election, everything is sure to remain in the iron fists of the “patriotic” Neocon GOP, the to better serve our Supreme Leader.
“It’s time for the small people of our country to act in ways that can’t be denied. Believe me, I’m not preaching violence! We need to go back to what worked in the sixties, come together on the streets. Assemble in such masses that they can’t whisk us away to foreign prisons, and shout till our voices are undeniable. I’m so sick of this.”
I’ll second that. And let me just suggest that inserting a computer virus into electronic voting machines clearly isn’t that difficult, and can work BOTH ways. Perhaps if we elect Frankenstein to Congress or the Presidency in every state until the dulled senses of the masses are awake enough to understand that American democracy is dead, and there are nothing but monsters in charge…?
“God help the soldier who is now fair game for anyone’s interpretation of the Geneva Convention. The world now has carte blanc to commit any atrocity they wish. They can just write a new law to exempt themselves from prosecution.”
Yes, isn’t it grand how the flag-waving righties “support our troops?”
Chickenhawk Bastards! They are beneath contempt.
This is the same rhetoric I’ve been hearing for months now. The economy is stable in numbers only not reality. Smoke and mirrors. The fact that you think this Pres. has made us safer is blind trust. He hasn’t made us safer.
This whole scare tactic that he’s been using that your with us or your not patriotic is absurd.
Even having a debate in Washington over the Geneva Convention is insanity.
The U.S. government debating what’s right or not in the use of tortue shows the world how out of whack this administration is.
What I’m trying to say is even if this president was a Democrat I would want him held accountable for what he’s done.
I’ve been watching politics since the early ‘60’s and this is the worst government we’ve ever had.
Not sure why you gave me the “F**k you” But thanks!!
I don’t disagree with the fact that this nations people have become so apathetic in their ways.
I was around in the 60’s when we took to the streets. I think it would be great to see a 100,000 people on the Washington Mall protesting again. I just don’t see it happening.
Thomas mentions that “85 % of Iraq is in good shape” I think the reason the main stream media ignores it is because it’s unhabited desert. That part is doing great.
“He confronted terrorism and as a result we fight the enemy over their and not over here. Our economy is the best in the world. our unemployment rate at4.7%. The problem is that if you look at the main stream media(527) and see what they print everything is negative”
WOW. A word for word repetition of every single RNC talking point. No questioning, No logical analysis, just route repetition.
I bet if bush yelled “SIT”, Thomas’s ass would hit the floor.
I couldn’t train my dog any better.
Stop stealing my lines—I’m the voice in the Far Left Wilderness. Only I’m allowed to be this bitter.:-)
Oh, by the way, your ‘f*@k you’ will probably garner the wrath of the all-seeing Watchblog Overseer, who will fill the room with his/her rightous wrath regarding Rules For Participation.
Bow and scrap, and mutter some apologies. Lay low for a few days, then come back like nothing ever happened.
Works for me, anyway.
I’m truly amazed (and a little amused, I confess) by waydot’s moment of Tourette’s Syndrome in his “‘f*@k you’” to Philip.
Especially since Philip is on the same ideological team as waydot & was making very similar left-wing anti-adminstration points. All I can say is “Huh?”
Yes, the Supreme court is generally an arbitor, but LAWS are generally supposed to come from CONGRESS, NOT the PRESIDENT.
Bush is what you call an “activist president”. ;-)
Tim, thank you for the response
Your comment is great. Not that I want this, I’m just commenting on strategy. It would seem that with division in the Right on this topic, and some fairly strong diversity in America’s population and their feeling about torture, they could have had a field day. Fillibuster or well timed talking points in front of the media, they (Dems) could have really driven a wedge. Media would have played those sound bites.
My controversial statement would be “what if” Obama jumped out on this topic. Spoke out on torture. Or perhaps in my state of Illinois where my Republicans are having trouble, I’m just subliminally hoping he’ll stick his foot in his mouth! ;)
Edge, the Democrats are seeing their worst nightmare come true with this issue.
With mere weeks before the elections, they were relieved to see a handful of Republican senators running interference for them.
Now they’ll either have to go along with this measure and suffer the rage of their internet-activist base, or fight the Republicans—including McCain—on an issue which will see them easily branded for sticking up for the rights of terrorists.
In either scenario, they’re pretty much screwed and you can bank on the Republicans retaining both the House and the Senate this here. A truly unprecedented accomplishment for a majority party in a midterm election during a president’s second term.
But, they are not sticking up for terrorists. Not from my point of view as a Rep. They are committed human rights and keeping the USA’s behavior above (and a model for) other countries. While I think this is idealistic in today’s world, I understand their point.
I believe McCain shot himself in the foot here. Specifically he was well on his way, or there in many respects, to being viewed in the middle. Now he looks lackluster to me. Where’s da beef?
Phyl, there are some Republicans who’d agree with you and think that the House going Democratic would be a wonderful thing.
The Democrats would then launch on an ill-fated and impossible crusade to impeach Bush for fighting a war they voted for as much as anybody, thus allowing Rove and company a field day of political ads in 07 and 08 which would give the next GOP presidential candidate a free ride to the White House.
But in truth, that’s unnecessary, in my opinion. I see Republicans hanging on to both chambers until at least 2010, and don’t see any potential Democratic candidate defeating either Guliani or McCain in 08.
Your protest in the streets idea wouldn’t be very effective since there are only about ten people in the country who agree with you and they’re all posting on this site as we speak.
“While I think this is idealistic in today’s world, I understand their point.
I believe McCain shot himself in the foot here. Specifically he was well on his way, or there in many respects, to being viewed in the middle. Now he looks lackluster to me. Where’s da beef?”
Another trenchant comment. I think we’re in agreement here.
Unbelievable. How does he do it? By what dark powers? Is there no stopping him? Approval ratings at 40 percent or below and he still steam rolls us and shreds the Constitution? And his approval ratings are going up? How stupid are the American people? Depressing.
You really are quite the conspiracy theorist, aren’t you. You post all the time about stolen elections and recently posted on another topic that the falling gas prices is a big conspiracy by the oil companies. You know what, Adrienne, you’re right! There is a worldwide conspiracy to make you as livid as possible. It started the day you were born. Yes, the sky is falling, Ade. They’re coming to take you away ha ha, they’re coming to take you away. In fact, this post isn’t real. This forum isn’t real. This website isn’t real. Your computer isn’t real. Your entire world is just a fantasy known as the matrix. You’re actually being used as a power source for the machines that took over shortly after President Hillary Clinton surrendered unconditionally to the Iranian/Russian/Chinese alliance after atomic weapons destroyed the entire civilized world in 2012. Wake up, Adrienne, before it’s too late!
You are absolutely correct. There are plenty of jobs in Bush’s economy. Such an abundance in fact, that people get to work 2 or 3 stagnant minimum wage jobs for the price / income of one. The economy is great.
Unemployment numbers are totally useless numbers under any President. They don’t tell you anything meaningful. “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” They don’t count the people who give up and quit looking for jobs. They don’t count the people who lose full time jobs and wind up with part time jobs, or lower paying jobs. They don’t count people on welfare as unemployed. On the other side, they don’t count cash under the table workers. They don’t count sex workers. They don’t count Rush Lardbutt’s drug dealer. They don’t count other small entrepreneurs. So what do they tell you? Nothing - absolutely nothing. They are just opiates for the mass of idiots.
Duane-o is my hero. Great stuff.
The Second Bush Recession will be here soon. The yield curve is deeply inverted right now. It has inverted like this six times since 1970, and each time a slowdown or recession has followed.
Is this the worse economy in 200 years? As of today, no, that does not hold water.
The First Bush Recession was relatively mild, by the standards of slowdowns, ranking @ 7th out of the past 10 recessions in severity.
What is really remarkable has been the weakness of the recovery: weak job creation, weak wage growth, combined with some inflation and an essentially flat stock market.
That does not mean the economy has been bad for everyone, not at all. The Bush economic plan has done exactly what one would expect. Deep tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% have made these past few years even better than usual for the rich, banner years- as if the wealthiest 1% needed the help in the first place! Corporate welfare and favorable taxation of dividends have also resulted in exactly what one would expect. “Growth” has been pretty decent in terms measured by GDP, in terms of profitability, which has flowed through in dividends to wealthy stockholders. Jobs and profits have also been substantially shipped out of the country.
Meanwhile, the economic fall has aleady begun. For anyone paying attention, the yield curve makes it clear.
The most important factor is the decline of real estate. Much of the recovery has been funded by refinancing and debt. Unfortunately, the downhill momentum of the housing markets will not be saved by Federal Funds Rate cuts this time. It is too late, and the Fed could not raise rates fast enough during the recovery, and it cannot lower them fast enough either…
But let us call it as it is. This Republican economy has been precisely what the Republican President, Senate, House, and Supreme Court wanted to create. If you belong to the right group, it has been a terrific run.
Sadly, the vast majority of us do not belong to that small group. Too bad, so sad. The Republicans have waged class warfare, and not surprisingly, the rich have won. The poor pay for the misdeeds of the rich. What makes the coming downturn so unfortunate is that, this time, there will be many more poor joining the ranks.
A slightly more useful measure would be federal deficits as a percentage of gross domestic product but of course that also misses much of the black market.
Ray, some people have always had crappy jobs—one, two, three or even more. It’s not the government’s job, however, to give us high-paying jobs any more that it’s their job to wipe our bums and tuck into our beds at night.
For six years, I worked at miserably-paying salaried jobs while struggling to build up my now very comfortable business. Education, hard-work and common sense is rewarded in this country like nowhere else and I see no signs of that changing.
In the meantime, even our society’s biggest losers are walking around in designer-clothes and going home to play X-box on their plasma Tv’s.
Or trade deficit as percentage of gross domestic product. Compare Bush to Clinton by any of those measures…
There are a lot of plasma TVs in poor neighborhoods. Rush Lardbutt’s drug dealer has one.
Phx8, how long have we listened to these stories about the coming implosion of the economy as the result of deficits and the rest of it? Of the terrible plight of our “underclass”, who for the most part enjoy a standard of living that would be considered fabulously wealthy in most of the world?
All through the eighties, we heard about how the disater was coming any minute now, how Japan was about to eclipse the US economy, how the energy crisis and AIDS and each recession, and Ronald Reagan were going to make us a third world country?
If there was a Democratic President right now, the left would be singing hymns about the condition of the American economy.
Of coarse some people have crappy jobs. My point is that there appear to be more now. But what difference? You have no way to say that the ecconomy is doing great? I think that the two measures I indicated above would indicate otherwise. Other measures of interest would include how many PHDs especially in Science and engineering are we turning out compared to China and India.
Ray, I actually know the answer to that question.
We turn out two PhDs in science and engineering for each one that India, China, the EU, Russia, Japan and Israel do. Not that PhDs in science and engineering really make much money, but that’s not your point…
I went back into the market when the DJIA was at 7000. Today, for the first time, I pulled out, and put everything into money markets.
Maybe I should go back in? Tell me why. Tell me why Republican policies will work, tell me why the bond markets are so wrong. Six out of six times, since 1970, an inverted yield curve has accurately predicted recession.
My oh my, it must be wonderful to be poor in this country, since the poor in this country are not as miserable as the poor in other countries.
What is up with that?
But of course, there will always be the poor. What makes the current economic situation so discomforting is that a lot of the middle class are about to join the poor.
To continue… I am not a deficit hawk. It makes sense for the Federal Reserve to use monetary policy to stimulate the economy by raising interest rates, and brake it by lowering them. By the same token, it makes sense for the President and Congress to use fiscal policy to stimulate the economy with increased spending & lower taxes, as well as to brake the economy by cutting spending and raising taxes.
The problem is that the Bush economic program… well… there really is no program. It is simply cutting taxes, and increasing spending, with no apparent legislative domestic agenda for the spending spree. There seems to be no attempt to smooth the oscillations of the economic cycle. With tax cuts and rampant spending left in place, the results are, once again, exactly what one would expect.
Debts and deficits have manifested themselves in nearly every aspect of the economy, with the notable exception of large corporations.
Today, the economy receives almost no mention at all. I have never seen a majority party so utterly uninterested in… in… well, in doing anything, anything at all.
Oh. One thing. The Republican Congress is doing something to make sure The Torture President does not get impeached. They must be very proud.
“But let us call it as it is. This Republican economy has been precisely what the Republican President, Senate, House, and Supreme Court wanted to create. If you belong to the right group, it has been a terrific run.”
I couldn’t agree more!! This has become a economy for the “Haves” as opposed to the “Have nots”.
The way I see it this all started with NAFTA. This brainstorm of Reagan’s that Clinton got left with has been used in a criminal way and has left our country more and more dependent on imports and sucked the very lifeblood of our workforce dry.
The scariest part is how it’s been abused since this boob for a president has been in power.
Not to be a turd in your punch bowl, but I was:
RE: your article on July 13, 2006:
“A Tribute to Lindsey Graham”
And, among my responses were:
“Just to be clear we’re talking about the same Lindsey Graham that voiced “disappointment” in the SCOTUS decision:
And the same Graham that tells us, ⦣x20AC;œThe Death Tax destroys family farms and small businesses,⦣x20AC;
He also tells us, “A constitutional amendment is the only effective way to cut off the growing trend among judges to create a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.⦣x20AC;
And he believes, “The President made the case that a vibrant democracy in Iraq is the antidote to terrorism”
I just want to be sure we’re talking about the same Lindsey Graham.”
Well, and McCain has obviously sold out to the religious right!
But, none of this is why we Dems should be pissed off. We should be pissed off because we have no voice and we’ve lost our voice. Maybe we Dems do need to VOID the whole Democratic Party to get our footing back and deliver a new message.
What I see now is Dem candidates focusing on the economy. It’s not the economy! Yeah, that’s a problem, but it’s the f***ing war! Maybe we are witnessing the end of the Democratic Party.
I hope we use whatever means nessessary to get information out of these maggots that want to harm the USA. They want us dead, I say let’s bomb there whole country with a couple of nukes and see how quick they change there tune. These terrorist are a bunch of cowards, wearing mask, no uniform, hiding around women and children, out there doing things to bring down America. Reminds me of ya’ll libs, traitors punks that you are.
jh- Proud American
Now that was a really intelligent statement. Jeez!!
Posted by: jeff at September 23, 2006 03:40 AM
Ever tried thinking beyond the ten foot square in front of your television?
Real patriots do it every day.
Thank you Ready for bringing this back to the original context. I also have someone serving in Iraq. He was due to be shipped home this month. But that has been put on hold indefinately due to the leaking of information to Al Quida. All that were to be shipped home can’t leave because they were threatened with the possibility of being hit with missles. This is my nephews 2 tour over there. His service contract was up in July, but since his last term in Iraq started in Sept., they made him stay till it was finished, now we have no idea when he is going to get to come home. So much for “85%” of that God forsaken country being in wonderful shape. Get realistic and talk to someone who is actually there. Bush and incompent Co. has made it harder for everyone who is serving our country to ever come home alive. But what the hell do you expect from someone who has never served and completed any time in the real armed forces. I don’t mean going thru basics and having daddy buy you out of doing any real time. I have said it before if Bush and Co and most members of congress had anyone in the armed forces, we WOULD NOT be there right now and probably not have even gotten into this stupid war. As far as the thread to the later part of the blog. Did most of you ever stop to think and it has been brought up before numerous times, that the unemployment rate isn’t an accurate indicator of the actual piss poor job this president has done. How many people are out of work and can’t collect anymore benifits because they have none left to collect. You have to make so much to build it back up again, and if you can’t get a job to do that well guess what you can’t collect. If you do manage to get a job, it is usually a part time job, because very few companies do not offer full time any more so they don’t have to pay benifits, and on top of that it usually doesn’t pay more than minimum wage and it takes forever to get your unemployment built back up. I am to the point of I hope everyone in Congress who votes to go along with this joke of a bill gets their asses booted out into the real world. (dem and repug) alike. I’d like to see their asses sent out to these countries that they really turned against us and see how long they’d last. I’d also like to see them get their bills paid on the piddling ass salaries most of us make. It would be really nice if they gave up the benifit package that they would get also and see what the real world is like. Bet your ass things would change in a hurry.
Dear “ready to revolt etc etc”,
Hmm. So you think that the terrorists were following the conventions and now they might not? Umm, isn’t that basicaly the deminition of terrorists, their torture, beheading, killing civlians, etc etc?
Lets not be silly here. We all know the difference between real torture and coerced iterrogation. Torture is the world radicalized left wingers attach to Bush to smear him and to inflame his supporters. It has little bearing to reality.
How admirable by the way, all this service going on your family. And in Iraq too! What a conicidence for this discussion! That certainly gives you the moral authority edge doesn’t it Mr “ready to revolt”???
Now once you get those nice terrorists and insurgants that slaughter the innocent, behead, blast women and children, blow up airplanes, blow up buildings and generally violate all “rules of war”…once you get them to sign the Geneva Convention you seem to think they signed and change their evil ways…you will be famous!
In an anonymous way of course, Mr. Ready to Revolt.
Now lets watch those democrats in the Senate vote for Coerced Interrogation. Which by the way, I and many in the democratic party are FOR!
You may now go back to empressing us with how many family memebers you can anonymously claim are serving in the military giving you moral authority to spout nonsense.
Oh, one other thing. I guess I am really off topic. When I grew up I always thought of us as the good guys. We didn’t torture, the Vietamese did that. The Germans were evil and they used propaganda to lure the masses into allowing heineous crimes. Why the hell would we allow the same?
As far as the deaths in the Irag war, lets have the drive bye media report all the murders we have in New York, California, Chicago, and Detroit. You would be amazed at how many murders happen in the USA.
If Iraq is no more dangerous than the US, than I guess they don’t need a massive foreign army occupying their country. Let’s bring the troops home so the Iraqis can enjoy their peaceful existence without us. ;)
When your man Clinton went to war in Bosnia without going to your United Nations I didnt hear any out cry about that.
You weren’t listening.
As for the main issue… As much I disagree with the torture policy, I hope Democrats soft-pedal this one. Their first priority has to be taking over the House or Senate. If they fail, then Bush and friends will emboldened to do things that make this look like child’s play.
Look, the Dems will not take over the House or Senate. Wish they would but they won’t. They can’t figure out how to talk about terrorism. My views don’t relate to the average voter so I can’t either.
Oh, the economy is just hunkydory stupendous great wonderful…domestic corporate profits are up 72% since 2001 and family income is down 0.5%…but who really cares about families…
Hmmmmm…thought “family values” was the Republican schtick…guess it was just “corporate” values…
I can barely believe that we’re even having a discussion of how far the U.S. can torture people…whatever happened to our ideals, our Constitution, our nation’s “rule of law”??? We’ve sunk to the level of the terrorists…actually, worse, because we used to actually be a nation which upheld human rights.
Our country is gone…we’re fighting to get it back. Bush has managed to hoodwink the masses and they’ve proved their stupidity and because of them we’re no better than any other terrorist nation.
The Democrats HAVE to speak out against Bush’s “guns against ideology” falsehood of a “war”…if they don’t they are supporting this “war”.
Most of the people I know think that terrorism can’t be fought with armies. At least, not in the long run. I think that describes the Democratic mindset, if there is such a thing. Maybe if the buffoon currently residing in the White House had not chosen to manipulate the intelligence in order to close the deal on invading Iraq, we could be spending the extra HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS spent on the useless war on actually going after the terrorist leadership! Not just the cannon fodder attracted to Iraq like moths to a flame for their chance to die in glory fighting “the great satan”. Maybe if I had not been lied to about “nucular mushroom clouds”, about “yellow cake uranium”, and other such bullshit, I would TRUST the aforementioned buffoon. Perhaps we could have caught o.b.l. (had we stayed in Afghanistan, where the Taliban ruled the country with Al Queda). Maybe we could have identified the individual training camps, hidden away in the mountains of WHATEVER country. And snuck in under the cover of dark and blown their asses to a million little bleeding pieces!!!
You neocons out there think that because I’m a rabid liberal Democrat that I’m soft on terror? WRONG!The problem for you guys and your Idol is that not only am I(and most people like me) not soft on terror, I am not soft on assholes. Like the ones who would like our country to seize people, cart them away in secret, abuse or torture them, and then accept no accountability.
Assholes have, throughout history, relied on the fact that fear quells outrage. There are plenty of things that scare me. Terrorism is not one of them. I’m much more afraid of those who would try to use fear to stop people from questioning them, their right to rule as they see fit.
That really gets me angry. And Im sick and tired of trying to reason with assholes who would use fear as a weapon to subvert a great country and constitution. One talking point spouter recently declared that the Supreme Court’s job was not to tell anyone if something wasn’t constitutional!!! Huh?!?
I finally got so upset that I contacted my Senator and implored him to do all that he could to fight this. Not because I would vote against him in the next election. But because this is a moral issue. You cannot prattle on about morality whilst running a government that stands for torture and secrecy!!
My outrage only grows… it seems to be quelling my fear of the assholes!!
Yes, I know that this is somewhat polarizing…. forgive me, I simply unable to take any more of the self-righteous crap I hear every day.
People on this blog talk on and on about “islamofascists”. Do any of these people have the vaguest idea of what fascism actually is? (I’ll give you a hint; it has something to do with right wing states that are closely allied with big business and that do not tolerate dissent. this describes US much better than it does THEM. SHHHH, don’t let this become common knowledge, we could look like ASSHOLES)
Please, PLEASE fellow Americans, where is your outrage? Please contact your conrgessmen and senators, NOW. Don’t wait, do it now. Don’t let’s become a country of assholes.
AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!
This is the scariest thing that has happened. Where has COlin Powell been? and now that he has shown up and mentioned that this bill further confirms to the world that we are on the wrong track, etc—-where has he gone? HE popped up and now he disappreared? I hate to sound paranoid, but what does this admin have on his that has turned him into such a wuss?
The fact that the president is wanting to not only torture detainees with full immunity and past immunity and future immunity not only for the CIA operatives, but for his entire administration is the scariest thing I have ever heard. I feel like we are in a Kafke world. or a bad program of Saturday night live. Can you IMAIGNE how this administration would respond to ANY OTHER COUNTRY in the world suggtesting they have such power? We would be sending bombs to them within 24 hours.
BUT—-the worst part of all of this is how helpless and hopeless I feel. IS this how he dems feel? is that why they are so lifeless and dead? where is the national peace march that could rally everyone together before the elections and show all of us thinking we are alone in our outrage that there are others out there who are just as outraged? why isn’t there marches and demonstrations planned and planned—-???
he poor pay for the misdeeds of the rich. What makes the coming downturn so unfortunate is that, this time, there will be many more poor joining the ranks.
Posted by: Phx8@aol.com at September 23, 2006 12:52 AM
Yet the poor still vote for them Phx8, praise Jesus!! Hallelujah brothers and sisters! From the perspective on this side of the Atlantic, the shining city on a hill is fading rapidly into a mere glint of the sun off the corrugated roof of a shany in a third world tin pot dictatorship. Viva la commandante. For shame.
Apologies, should have read shanty, not shany in last sentence.
Run on a pro-torture platform, all you Republicans. I won’t vote for any Democrat who goes along with this bill. And if the country is hoodwinked into voting in pro-torture politicians… well, that’s just the living hell we’ll have to live with.
This country is kaput! It is unfathomable to me that we are actually debating the right to torture and what is torture! Waterboarding, nakedness, making detainees observe, participate, or subjugate themselves to pornographic acts, beatings, electrodes to supersensitive body parts, anal penetration with objects… it’s all documented and much of it has been recorded in photos or video tapes. Someone is pushing for this to legal?
God help us and forgive us all.
I’ve been trying to tell you folks not to trust Graham.
I’ve told you about how he originally said he wanted to CENSOR Bush for the wiretaps, and then changed his mind, instead suggesting the PRESIDENT have a minimum of 45 days instead of 3 to seek a warrant, IF the Attorney General thinks its necessary.
Why are you so disappointed in McCain, Warner and Graham? They stuck with the Party. No one can honestly tell me that was a surprise.
This “compromise” was a no brainer.
I hope that most of you folks will put your hand to letters and e-mails. I’ve already written all of them, especial Graham :-( since he is from SC. where I now live. :-(
A lot of great comments. Hard to believe our country has come to this. It was not that long ago we objected to other countries violating Human Rights. Now we know where we really stand, and what we have come to represent. What a shameful episode. Bush has shamed our country, deeply dishonored us, and Republicans have cooperated.
NEWS FLASH OBL MAY BE DEAD old age does what bush can’t. In other news three more U.S troops die in Iraq today
I pray to God you are wrong about the elections. I fear you are right on when it comes to the Republican’s future use of impeachment if it happens.
For those of you praising our great economy, I invite you to come and live in my area for awhile. Our leader’s (Bob Ney included) idea of bringing jobs into our area, is to fill these towns with as many $5.15 an hour jobs as possible, and then call it a victory. Or, bring in very well paying Factories that hire very few and then temp out the rest of the positions for a whopping $6.00 an hour. Isn’t that swell? My sister graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree and went to work at the local hospital-$8.00 an hour, handling over four million dollars per month. Why? Because around here, you only get paid what the standard wage is for the area that you live in. I am now a 41 year old junior in college living on child support and student loans (thank God for the loans). I worked up until this past winter and then stopped. I made absolutely no money, had to be away from my children and had no energy whatsoever left over to study or breathe. People wonder why so many stay on welfare around here also. It’s because the alternative is to work for a wage that will get them evicted soon, their electric shut off and no money left over to repair the car they need to work at their ill-paying jobs. I sure as hell don’t blame them for doing what they have to do to make sure their families are taken care of. I’m sure if they had the chance to work at a decent waged job, most would jump at the chance. That’s why every time I hear Bush bragging about the great economy, it makes me sick. What makes me sicker, is that right this very moment I’m looking for work for when I get my finals over with. I know I will work my ass off for basically nothing at the expense of my family.
Ah yes. Again the astonishing level of hypocracy from the right wing-nuts. Bush and most likely the ridiculiously optimistic trolls posting here actually call themselves Christian! I am no Biblical scholar but I do not recall Christ giving permission to water-board anyone in the Sermon on the Mount. Gee, maybe,just maybe,torture might be one of those things you go to hell for. Correct me if I am wrong.
Phyl, thank God for the American Dream eh?
Maybe torture might be one of those things you go to Hell for…… ouch!
I guess our fearless leader would rather ask permission now than for forgiveness later.
Did God tell him it was o.k.?
Would Jesus grant pemission to torture?
I am somehow reminded of a bumper sticker a dear friend of mine, now dead, had on her car. It read “god bless the whole world-no exceptions!”
I’m not Christian, but maybe we could all use to live with a little more new testament morality.
If it wasn’t for the guys at the bottom of the totum pole that has to pay the price for this folly, it might not be so bad, but, guess who pays the price? I feel the fear of ever Mother and Father that has a son or daughter in the armed forces of The United States of American.
God help them all.
“You really are quite the conspiracy theorist, aren’t you.”
No. Consiracys as a rule don’t have as much proof as what people have been gathering on electronic voting machines, the companies and the owners of those companies. And besides, the majority of people in this country seem to share the same concerns as I have myself.
“You post all the time about stolen elections”
Yeah, the topic seems pretty important, what with the way things have been going lately — you know, our having our constitution torn to shreds by a bunch of Idiots. No, let me amend that — make that Torture-Loving Idiots.
Don’t want to follow your example, by not mentioning anything that has to do with the topic of this thread.
“and recently posted on another topic that the falling gas prices is a big conspiracy by the oil companies.”
No. That’s a lie. So I guess that makes you a liar, right?
“You know what, Adrienne, you’re right!”
Yes, that probably has a lot to do with the fact that I do my homework before opening my mouth, or putting my fingers to a keyboard. Unlike you — who simply attacks people because you don’t agree with them, never adds a damn thing but trolling comments to this blog, and with nary a link to back up a word you say.
“There is a worldwide conspiracy to make you as livid as possible. It started the day you were born. Yes, the sky is falling, Ade. They’re coming to take you away ha ha, they’re coming to take you away. In fact, this post isn’t real. This forum isn’t real. This website isn’t real. Your computer isn’t real. Your entire world is just a fantasy known as the matrix. You’re actually being used as a power source for the machines that took over shortly after President Hillary Clinton surrendered unconditionally to the Iranian/Russian/Chinese alliance after atomic weapons destroyed the entire civilized world in 2012. Wake up, Adrienne, before it’s too late!”
You are trolling, nothing more, nothing less. I know this, and so does everyone else reading here — because you didn’t make the least attempt to to stick to the topic but went right for a personal attack. And by the way, your advocation of and for torture in order to remain a Borg-like Bushie means that in the future, everytime you try to spew out that Far Right Evangelical Christian Nonsense you’ve previously always tried so hard to sell in this blog, you will be fooling no one. We will all know that it’s crap. Because, you see, Christians — the real kind, not the FAKE kind — are completely against things like torture and murder of human beings. Always. All the time.
That’s because in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told his followers these things:
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.
You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.
Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.
If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.
Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.
By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
So by their fruits you will know them.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’
Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’
Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”
“Duane-o is my hero. Great stuff.”
My mom once told me: “Oh Adrienne, you’ll find that there is a lid for every garbage can…”
Damn, but that woman has been so right, so often.
“Adrienne, I love your fire. I love that you will fight even if against all odds. I wish the democratic candidates would do this (of course they would never get elected).”
Thanks so much micky. That is extremely kind of you to say, and I appreciate it a great deal. Yes, I too wish the Dems would fight with everything they’ve got — but unfortunately, after their very poor showing leading up to this election, I’m beginning to think they no longer know how to fight for what we need from them.
“I’ve read watchblog for over 2 years. Posted once.”
Well, now you’ve posted a few more times, so don’t hesitate to post some more. I’ll be looking for your comments! ;^)
where is the national peace march that could rally everyone together before the elections and show all of us thinking we are alone in our outrage that there are others out there who are just as outraged? why isn’t there marches and demonstrations planned and planned—-???
The World Can’t Wait to Drive Out The Bush Regime - October 5th
Paul in Euroland,
Thanks, I’m very flattered! :^x
Asolutely, and isn’t it sad.
Duane-o, I happen to agree with Adrianne on the stolen election, here is something that was sent to me with some links that I checked out, I don’t know whether they will show up or not.
Published on Saturday, November 6, 2004 by CommonDreams.org
Evidence Mounts That The Vote Was Hacked
by Thom Hartmann
When I spoke with Jeff Fisher this morning (Saturday, November 06, 2004), the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida’s 16th District said he was waiting for the FBI to show up. Fisher has evidence, he says, not only that the Florida election was hacked, but of who hacked it and how. And not just this year, he said, but that these same people had previously hacked the Democratic primary race in 2002 so that Jeb Bush would not have to run against Janet Reno, who presented a real threat to Jeb, but instead against Bill McBride, who Jeb beat.
“It was practice for a national effort,” Fisher told me.
And some believe evidence is accumulating that the national effort happened on November 2, 2004.
The State of Florida, for example, publishes a county-by-county record of votes cast and people registered to vote by party affiliation. Net denizen Kathy Dopp compiled the official state information into a table, available at http://ustogether.org/Florida_Election.htm, and noticed something startling.
Florida Secretary of State Presidential Results by County 11/02/2004 (.pdf)
Florida Secretary of State County Registration by Party 2/9/2004 (.pdf)
While the heavily scrutinized touch-screen voting machines seemed to produce results in which the registered Democrat/Republican ratios largely matched the Kerry/Bush vote, in Florida’s counties using results from optically scanned paper ballots - fed into a central tabulator PC and thus vulnerable to hacking - the results seem to contain substantial anomalies.
In Baker County, for example, with 12,887 registered voters, 69.3% of them Democrats and 24.3% of them Republicans, the vote was only 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush, the opposite of what is seen everywhere else in the country where registered Democrats largely voted for Kerry.
In Dixie County, with 4,988 registered voters, 77.5% of them Democrats and a mere 15% registered as Republicans, only 1,959 people voted for Kerry, but 4,433 voted for Bush.
The pattern repeats over and over again - but only in the counties where optical scanners were used. Franklin County, 77.3% registered Democrats, went 58.5% for Bush. Holmes County, 72.7% registered Democrats, went 77.25% for Bush.
Yet in the touch-screen counties, where investigators may have been more vigorously looking for such anomalies, high percentages of registered Democrats generally equaled high percentages of votes for Kerry. (I had earlier reported that county size was a variable - this turns out not to be the case. Just the use of touch-screens versus optical scanners.)
More visual analysis of the results can be seen at http://us together.org/election04/FloridaDataStats.htm, and www.rubberbug.com/temp/Florida2004chart.htm. Note the trend line - the only variable that determines a swing toward Bush was the use of optical scan machines.
One possible explanation for this is the “Dixiecrat” theory, that in Florida white voters (particularly the rural ones) have been registered as Democrats for years, but voting Republican since Reagan. Looking at the 2000 statistics, also available on Dopp’s site, there are similar anomalies, although the trends are not as strong as in 2004. But some suggest the 2000 election may have been questionable in Florida, too.
One of the people involved in Dopp’s analysis noted that it may be possible to determine the validity of the “rural Democrat” theory by comparing Florida’s white rural counties to those of Pennsylvania, another swing state but one that went for Kerry, as the exit polls there predicted. Interestingly, the Pennsylvania analysis, available at http://ustogether.org/election04/PA_vote_patt.htm, doesn’t show the same kind of swings as does Florida, lending credence to the possibility of problems in Florida.
Even more significantly, Dopp had first run the analysis while filtering out smaller (rural) counties, and still found that the only variable that accounted for a swing toward Republican voting was the use of optical-scan machines, whereas counties with touch-screen machines generally didn’t swing - regardless of size.
Others offer similar insights, based on other data. A professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, noted that in Florida the vote to raise the minimum wage was approved by 72%, although Kerry got 48%. “The correlation between voting for the minimum wage increase and voting for Kerry isn’t likely to be perfect,” he noted, “but one would normally expect that the gap - of 1.5 million votes - to be far smaller than it was.”
While all of this may or may not be evidence of vote tampering, it again brings the nation back to the question of why several states using electronic voting machines or scanners programmed by private, for-profit corporations and often connected to modems produced votes inconsistent with exit poll numbers.
Those exit poll results have been a problem for reporters ever since Election Day.
Election night, I’d been doing live election coverage for WDEV, one of the radio stations that carries my syndicated show, and, just after midnight, during the 12:20 a.m. Associated Press Radio News feed, I was startled to hear the reporter detail how Karen Hughes had earlier sat George W. Bush down to inform him that he’d lost the election. The exit polls were clear: Kerry was winning in a landslide. “Bush took the news stoically,” noted the AP report.
But then the computers reported something different. In several pivotal states.
Conservatives see a conspiracy here: They think the exit polls were rigged.
Dick Morris, the infamous political consultant to the first Clinton campaign who became a Republican consultant and Fox News regular, wrote an article for The Hill, the publication read by every political junkie in Washington, DC, in which he made a couple of brilliant points.
“Exit Polls are almost never wrong,” Morris wrote. “They eliminate the two major potential fallacies in survey research by correctly separating actual voters from those who pretend they will cast ballots but never do and by substituting actual observation for guesswork in judging the relative turnout of different parts of the state.”
He added: “So, according to ABC-TVs exit polls, for example, Kerry was slated to carry Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa, all of which Bush carried. The only swing state the network had going to Bush was West Virginia, which the president won by 10 points.”
Yet a few hours after the exit polls were showing a clear Kerry sweep, as the computerized vote numbers began to come in from the various states the election was called for Bush.
How could this happen?
On the CNBC TV show “Topic A With Tina Brown,” several months ago, Howard Dean had filled in for Tina Brown as guest host. His guest was Bev Harris, the Seattle grandmother who started www.blackboxvoting.org from her living room. Bev pointed out that regardless of how votes were tabulated (other than hand counts, only done in odd places like small towns in Vermont), the real “counting” is done by computers. Be they Diebold Opti-Scan machines, which read paper ballots filled in by pencil or ink in the voter’s hand, or the scanners that read punch cards, or the machines that simply record a touch of the screen, in all cases the final tally is sent to a “central tabulator” machine.
That central tabulator computer is a Windows-based PC.
“In a voting system,” Harris explained to Dean on national television, “you have all the different voting machines at all the different polling places, sometimes, as in a county like mine, there’s a thousand polling places in a single county. All those machines feed into the one machine so it can add up all the votes. So, of course, if you were going to do something you shouldn’t to a voting machine, would it be more convenient to do it to each of the 4000 machines, or just come in here and deal with all of them at once?”
Dean nodded in rhetorical agreement, and Harris continued. “What surprises people is that the central tabulator is just a PC, like what you and I use. It’s just a regular computer.”
“So,” Dean said, “anybody who can hack into a PC can hack into a central tabulator?”
Harris nodded affirmation, and pointed out how Diebold uses a program called GEMS, which fills the screen of the PC and effectively turns it into the central tabulator system. “This is the official program that the County Supervisor sees,” she said, pointing to a PC that was sitting between them loaded with Diebold’s software.
Bev then had Dean open the GEMS program to see the results of a test election. They went to the screen titled “Election Summary Report” and waited a moment while the PC “adds up all the votes from all the various precincts,” and then saw that in this faux election Howard Dean had 1000 votes, Lex Luthor had 500, and Tiger Woods had none. Dean was winning.
“Of course, you can’t tamper with this software,” Harris noted. Diebold wrote a pretty good program.
But, it’s running on a Windows PC.
So Harris had Dean close the Diebold GEMS software, go back to the normal Windows PC desktop, click on the “My Computer” icon, choose “Local Disk C:,” open the folder titled GEMS, and open the sub-folder “LocalDB” which, Harris noted, “stands for local database, that’s where they keep the votes.” Harris then had Dean double-click on a file in that folder titled “Central Tabulator Votes,” which caused the PC to open the vote count in a database program like Excel.
In the “Sum of the Candidates” row of numbers, she found that in one precinct Dean had received 800 votes and Lex Luthor had gotten 400.
“Let’s just flip those,” Harris said, as Dean cut and pasted the numbers from one cell into the other. “And,” she added magnanimously, “let’s give 100 votes to Tiger.”
They closed the database, went back into the official GEMS software “the legitimate way, you’re the county supervisor and you’re checking on the progress of your election.”
As the screen displayed the official voter tabulation, Harris said, “And you can see now that Howard Dean has only 500 votes, Lex Luthor has 900, and Tiger Woods has 100.” Dean, the winner, was now the loser.
Harris sat up a bit straighter, smiled, and said, “We just edited an election, and it took us 90 seconds.”
On live national television. (You can see the clip on www.votergate.tv.) And they had left no tracks whatsoever, Harris said, noting that it would be nearly impossible for the election software - or a County election official - to know that the vote database had been altered.
Which brings us back to Morris and those pesky exit polls that had Karen Hughes telling George W. Bush that he’d lost the election in a landslide.
Morris’s conspiracy theory is that the exit polls “were sabotage” to cause people in the western states to not bother voting for Bush, since the networks would call the election based on the exit polls for Kerry. But the networks didn’t do that, and had never intended to.
According to congressional candidate Fisher, it makes far more sense that the exit polls were right - they weren’t done on Diebold PCs - and that the vote itself was hacked.
And not only for the presidential candidate - Jeff Fisher thinks this hit him and pretty much every other Democratic candidate for national office in the most-hacked swing states.
So far, the only national “mainstream” media to come close to this story was Keith Olbermann on his show Friday night, November 5th, when he noted that it was curious that all the voting machine irregularities so far uncovered seem to favor Bush. In the meantime, the Washington Post and other media are now going through single-bullet-theory-like contortions to explain how the exit polls had failed.
But I agree with Fox’s Dick Morris on this one, at least in large part. Wrapping up his story for The Hill, Morris wrote in his final paragraph, “This was no mere mistake. Exit polls cannot be as wrong across the board as they were on election night. I suspect foul play.”
Here’s a couple more fun links about electronic voting machine vulnerabilities, if anyone’s interested:
Clinton Curtis Testimony (In case you question this guy’s credibility, watch the whole thing; he’s a programmer who worked for NASA, Exxon-Mobile, he even exposed a guy who was attempting to sell anti-tank missle chips to China, etc…)
Princeton Study (Do I need to explain their credibility?)
Nothing to see here folks, please move along!
(Warning: if you click on these links, there is a high probability of you then someday being called a “Moonbat” and being told to take off your “Tin foil hat.” Knowledge is a dangerous thing these days.)
Nicely done, Sherri and Liberal Demon.
But of course, Duane-o doesn’t really care whether our concerns are reality based, or whether we are right or wrong. He only attacks and uses words like “conspiracy theory” to paint liberals as a bunch of nut cases. It’s just the sort of accusation one can faithfully rely upon from those who are trolling.
Facts and real debate aren’t important to a troll. Only stirring up anger with the most incendiary invective they can cobble together in few minutes in front of their computer. Such people are too lazy and filled with malice to concern themselves with fact checking, or reading in depth, or assembling enough points for an intelligent debate.
Too true. Far too true.
I have seen supposedly fiscal conservatives defend Bush’s economic policies.
I have seen supposedly security-conscious conservatives argue that 9/11 was Clinton’s fault (He put them in their place rather well on Fox, didn’t he!)
I have seen conservatives argue for “staying the course” in Iraq in order to “win” the war on terror. The intelligence report that just came out is putting the LIE to that, finally.
It is labels that matter to these twits, not ideology or budgets or trade or foreign policy…These are what I call -
“Gucci-bag republicans.” In the 80’s, there was a fad phoenonmenon of teen girls buying Gucci purses because they said: “Gucci.” They were all alike and were made out of cheap plastic and vinyl and other short-lived and in-effective materials and assembly techniques. All these girls wanted was the “Gucci” label. These new republicans have violated every rule, tennet and value of the Reagan-era republican party. All they have left is the label “republican” …but they walk and talk in lock-step like a bunch of lemmings running head long off a cliff!!!!
The thing that really gets me on the voting issue is how non-partisan it should be. As Americans there should at least be some issues that aren’t turned into a pissing contest, and voting should be toward the top of that list. I wouldn’t want even the appearance of impropriety tainting the election of either myself (not that I’d ever run for anything) or anyone I supported. Were George Soros to create voting machines, the sound of exploding right-wing heads would be deafening; and I would agree with them.
That was actually the first thing that turned me off completely to George W. Bush. Real leaders, and this includes Al Gore to an extent, would not have allowed themselves to be granted the presidency in that manner. The two of them should’ve called off their lawyers, gotten together on national television, apologized to the public, immediately created a bipartisan national voting system with all the proper checks and balances and then held another vote; thereby showing responsibility and accountability to the American people. Instead, here we are with another tainted election behind us, and the issue is worsening rather than getting better. Where the hell are the Democrats on this issue? Where are the Republicans even? Unwavering loyalty to party often translates into disloyalty to country; it seems we’ve really gotten to the point where winning is everything and the ends justify the means.
I personally don’t care who wins as long as they are duly elected and that the results of that election can be transparently verified. Anything less would-and did of course-only serve to create divisiveness and undermine the very core of our Democratic elections and America’s faith in our leaders (what was left of it anyway). The fact that I see people not caring about this, and supporting the crooked system (so long as it’s their guy winning) just further illuminates the complete and utter failure of our leadership and our educational system when it comes to teaching people about the founding principles of this nation.
Liberal Demon, I agree completely. It shouldn’t be a partisan issue at all. The totally untrustworthy and unaccountable state of our elections should actually be viewed as both a national, and international, embarrassment.
The question then becomes: What to do about it? I watch the testimony by Mr. Curtis, see Stephanie Tubbs Jones sitting there listening to that and the gasps of barely-supressed outrage that manifests so often, and wonder what happened after that. No follow-up? No media coverage? There are murmurs of investigation, but nothing more.
We’re about to enter another election cycle, and the Democrats are just going to let these shenanigans continue? Are they trying to allow a one-party state to emerge? Why aren’t they out in droves, boycotting government and the elections until this problem is resolved?
So confusing, all of it…I never in my (admittedly short) life thought I’d see anything like this happening in this country, no matter how screwed up things obviously were.
You’ve heard the expression: The squeaky wheel gets the grease?
Well, I’m a squeeky wheel! :^) My solution has been to pester my Senators and Representatives all the time about this issue. I think if they hear from enough of us, and often enough, they’ll start to realize how important this is and understand that they need to take serious action. And believe me, more and more people ARE writing to their Congresspeople about it. When and if it can build the outcry to a critical mass, something is likely to be done.
We are also starting to hear more about this topic on television — especially from Lou Dobbs, who has been doing regular segments on the need for election reform. This I consider a very important development — especially since you can see Dobbs’ disgust and outrage when he discusses all the many problems with the woman who has been gathering the info and presenting these segments. People are now finally getting the message on a fairly regular basis. Computer professionals are also discussing this issue, and doing more and more research — which is keeping this in the news.
If you’ve got a minute, go check out the link I put up in the center column article “HAVA Series Part Five” — it’s not too late to take some ACTION for THIS election.
The Netroots has been driving this issue all along — so if this is important to you, you might want to become a regular reader and petition signer. There are many sites to choose from — I make it a habit to read Bragblog.com, Velvet Revolution.com, and Blackboxvoting.org frequently.
My solution has been to pester my Senators and Representatives all the time about this issue. I think if they hear from enough of us, and often enough, they’ll start to realize how important this is and understand that they need to take serious action.
I guess the aspect of all this that really perturbs me is that they don’t already realize how important this is. I don’t think that it should take any pestering from citizens to get our legislators to place this as their number one priority. The four years between Al Gore and John Kerry conceding defeat should have given them ample time to say “We’re not gonna take this [expletive] anymore.” Yet here we are, 2006, and still demanding action.
One party has no brains, the other no balls; and both have their heads stuck way too far up their own asses to see this.