October 8, 2009 archive

Oh yeah, there’s still this…

We had been talking a lot about computerized voting machines in the Leftopshere in the leadup to the 2004 election. Over at Daily Kos I even made the front page when Meteor Blades promoted my diary urging people to get serious about it.

Then, all of the sudden, just weeks before the election, “people” started popping up everywhere attacking anyone who questioned allowing private contractors to count our votes in secret. And when things didn’t quite add up after the election, things really got nasty.

I spent about a week trying to trace some of the sockpuppets who showed up every time anyone posted on election fraud or the perils of computerized voting. The results of that investigation were inconclusive. The internet can be quite anonymous if you know how and all I discovered was that there was an entire ring of these sockpuppets. I traced one account to Ohio. Who knows.

I also spent days backtracking to find any place where Bev Harris actually discredited herself by making false claims or any other impeachable offense. I COULDN”T FIND IT. What I found instead were just more sockpuppets making unsubstantiated claims, spreading lies and innuendo, and never, even backing any of it up with hard evidence even when that was demanded of them.

Harris did make a mistake which I remember in real time. She announced that she had a big bombshell down in Florida and then, as far as I could tell, never really dropped it. Maybe I missed it. Regardless, this led many to think she made it up. It certainly led me to question her credibility.

It was only when the HBO documentary, Hacking Democracy, came out that I saw that she had in fact caught a big story. Was it wise to wait for a documentary deal to air it? I won’t say. But her story had been big: she caught red handed a bunch of election officials manipulating votes and destroying evidence.

Finally watching that documentary on HBO, and seeing for the first time the evidence that Harris had talked about back in those crazy days following Kerry’s defeat, and thousand and thousands of blog posts claimed didn’t exist, I felt Harris had been utterly vindicated. Imperfect for sure, but here was a person who actually walked the walk. She got off of her ass, left her computer for a while, and went out to fight for our democracy and our country. I still think she’s an American hero.

And then I thought of all the little sleazebags who made sport of attacking her. I mean that kind of hate was usually reserved for Rush Limbaugh. And every time I asked for specific evidence against her, all I got was, “Everybody knows” she’s this or that. Everybody knows. That’s actually what the Daily Kos frontpager “brownsox” said. And I won’ t even mention what kind of vitriol spewed from the lips of rabid dog DHinMI. Turns out no one even needed evidence once “Bev is bad” had become a meme.

And the hate wasn’t reserved for Bev Harris. Before long, anyone who laid claim to the issue of voting integrity became enemy number one at Daily Kos and other Democratic blogs. And after a while, a lot of people just gave up on the issue. I know I did. There is really no issue that gets me more upset. So I had to back off to prevent a coronary. Seriously.

So it is not surprising that I hadn’t seen this video. Maybe some of you missed it as well. If so, watch for a reminder of why your government and your president’s attempts to put the criminal Bush presidency behind us are simply unacceptable.

The entire corrupt Washington establishment is now trying to pretend that the previous eight years was just a difference of opinion. A different philosophy. They want to ignore the treason and war crimes and out and out unconstitutionality of that “presidency” so they can repeat it when necessary. The next time they want a war, or other illegal act, they now have a template to follow. They must protect the template.

And Barack Obama is at best an accomplice after the fact. At worst, he’s just Act II in a game of good cop, bad cop. Either way, it doesn’t matter. He’s guilty.

Now watch Dan Rather’s most important report of his life that, if you’ve been seeing too much orange, you probably missed.



UPDATE: Oh Yeah. Here’s Hacking Democracy.

Trying to catch my breath — Iraqis — can this really be happening?

The Iraqi people and others, in solidarity with the Iraqi people, have filed a lawsuit, in Spain, against four U.S. Presidents and four U.K. Prime Ministers FOR WAR CRIMES, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AND GENOCIDE IN IRAQ.  The suit was filed just one day* prior to a new ruling limiting “universal jurisdiction,” thought to have come about by U.S. pressure on and bowed to by Spain. (WHEW!)

Here is the Press Release:








For immediate release

Date: 7 October 2009

MADRID: Today the Spanish Senate, acting to confirm a decision already taken under pressure from powerful governments accused of grave crimes, will limit Spain’s laws of universal jurisdiction. Yesterday, ahead of the change of law,* a legal case was filed at the Audiencia Nacional against four United States presidents and four United Kingdom prime ministers for commissioning, condoning and/or perpetuating multiple war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Iraq.

This case, naming George H W Bush, William J Clinton, George W Bush, Barack H Obama, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Anthony Blair and Gordon Brown, is brought by Iraqis and others who stand in solidarity with the Iraqi people and in defence of their rights and international law.

Iraq: 19 years of intended destruction

next . . .  

Independent voters and Digby

Digby over at Hullabaloo is considered one of the better bloggers.  So, imagine my surprise when I read this article about Independents.  There are quite a few quotes I am going to deconstruct out of it, so, no teasers.  

Seriously, go read the article first, then continue on with me…

Four at Four

  1. The AP reports Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner makes time to talk to Wall Street bankers even on his busiest days.

    When Wall Street bankers call, Geithner picks up the phone. According to records of his appointment calendars obtained by a FOIA request, Geithner talks to bankers “immediately after hanging up with President Barack Obama and before heading up to Capitol Hill, between phone calls with senators and after talking with the Federal Reserve chairman”.

    The excutives of Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs can get a hold of Geithner almost whenever they want and “sometimes several times a day” unlike members of Congress. For example:

    In the first seven months of Geithner’s tenure, his calendars reflect at least 80 contacts with [Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd] Blankfein, [JPMorgan CEO Jamie] Dimon, Citigroup Chairman Richard Parsons or Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit.

    Geithner had more contacts with Citigroup than he did with Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the lawmaker leading the effort to approve Geithner’s overhaul of the financial system. Geithner’s contacts with Blankfein alone outnumber his contacts with Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

    Geithner’s world view is entirely warped by Wall Street self-interest.

Four at Four continues with the Taliban saying they are not a threat to the West, the disappearance of an Iranian nuclear scientist, and a tropical fish famine.

Only a Sucker Takes The First Offer

Simulposted at Daily Kos

We are in a Health Care Negotiation.

This negotiation has vast implications on two fronts. One obviously being obtaining decent health care.

The other being a negotiation of the new parameters and dynamics of political power in America.

Who rules America? Is it the Ruling Class and their Corporate arms in the Insurance, Financial and Energy industries, with their war chests and armies of lobbyists?

Or is it The People of America?

The battle/negotiation over health care is the first of many battles in this war for power in country. A war that will very much determine the future of our country…and the planet.

Medicaid is No Public Option

The news broke late yesterday afternoon that the Senate Finance Committee sought to broker a compromise measure regarding the Public Option.  Giving each individual state a choice of whether or not to provide a public option appeals to fiscal conservatives and red state legislators whose most coherent reservation regarding health care reform is a concern over cost.  Still, these kind of messy federal/state mandates reinforce substantial inequality.  A Medicaid-style measure like this would mean that those who lived in most well-funded blue states would have superior health care coverage, while those who lived in most, if not all red states would have their health care costs still largely dictated by private carriers, many of which hold near-monopolies in individual states.  If the aim of reform is to level the playing field for every American, this falls well short of the stated objective.  

Today’s Politico contains a brief, but noteworthy column written by Ben Smith, which underscores the controversy regarding Medicaid reform.  

The Medicaid expansion would, in a stroke, add 11 million people to the program’s ranks by raising the income cap, and one key negotiating point at the moment is the share of that cost the federal government will pick up.

The income cap, however, is only one facet to increasing eligibility.  Many states, particularly red states, do not extend coverage to single adults at all, no matter how dire their need.  Coverage is often provided only to adults with children and sometimes Medicaid coverage is granted to children only, leaving their parents with nothing.  As a result of this, many adults are forced to file for SSI disability to obtain Medicaid coverage, since doing on is the only means by which they might attain any health care coverage at all.  However, this removes individuals from the workforce, reduces tax dollars paid into the tax system as condition of employment, and places a drain upon the never-ample General Fund out of which all Medicaid expenses are paid.  Removing these strict qualifying factors might costs more in the short term, but the long term consequences are much more detrimental.  Someone pays the cost when a person goes bankrupt from enormous medical bills or visits the Emergency Room without insurance, having no means to pay at all.  Still, to simplify this unnecessarily as another annoying example of the red state/blue state divide would not be a fair telling of the truth.    

Republican governors haven’t been the only ones raising doubts.

Tennessee Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen has been an outspoken foe of the plan, and a senior Republican aide notes that two more left-leaning Democrats are also raising complaints.  According to the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland “warned on a recent visit to Washington that the ‘the states with our financial challenges right now, are not in a position to accept additional Medicaid responsibilities.’

“Strickland said that he wants a health care package that is inclusive and provides for all citizens’, but he adds that if Medicaid is expanded, he hopes to see the Federal Government assume the greater portion of the costs, if not the total costs.'”

And New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch last week refused to sign a letter than other Democratic governors sent to congressional leaders urging passage of a health care bill this year, because it failed to “address concerns regarding potential cost shifting to the states,” according to a spokesman for the governor quoted by the media.

States do have to adhere to balanced budgets and in times of economic famine like these cannot resort to deficit spending.  However, budget priorities are often disproportionately skewed away from social services and relegated to other matters, which are just as wasteful, if not more so than any pork barrel project pushed by a House or Senate member.  Before Republicans and Democrats criticize Washington for its excesses or its financial demands, they would be wise to start first in their own backyards.  Citing specific instances of pork barrel projects is a rhetoric device which borders on cliche, so I will spare you another retelling of it.  Needless to say, room could be made even in a much reduced year of tax revenue.  The obscene amount of tax breaks and concessions made to foreign automakers in order to entice them to build auto manufacturing plants is a good place to start.  Those states who have never made an attempt to reform their image as little more than an endless supply of cheap labor have shortchanged themselves in ways they seem incapable of comprehending.      

A more streamlined approach would, in my opinion, be best.  Each state sets its own criteria regarding Medicaid in accordance to how the program was set up in the 1960’s and I have no doubt that similarly messy compromises would likely typify the efforts the states willing to institute a public option.  Most red states would opt out altogether, of course.  I will note that a complete reliance on the superior wisdom and judgment of the Federal Government might be naive, but I have rarely seen any state government be more efficient.  What I have seen is a multitude of red states whose efficiency and collective wisdom resembles a Banana Republic combined with a slap-stick comedy routine.  That they are the ones who are so quick to  shoot barbs at Washington, DC, strikes me as biting the hand that feeds you.  Many of these states would have nothing if it hadn’t been for the generosity of Capitol Hill and many of their universities would find themselves without needed funding if they couldn’t achieve Federal Government grants.  So it is here that I’m afraid I can’t muster much sympathy for those Governors who rarely pay more than ten percent of the cost of Medicaid anyway.  The real lesson to be learned here is that long-term gain is much more important than the facade of short-term cost reduction.  

Senator Bruce Tarr S2028

I hate to be rude and crude but in reference to S2028, in my cold dead arm.

roman polanski: that sucker needs to go right to jail

I just read this:


Thinking about this man’s defense of Roman Polanski made me flip me top. This man really needs to learn something. The minister of culture in France should resign and Polanski should to go to jail. Who do these people think they are?

Did he get the IDs of these “boys” to make sure they were 18? No? Then resign.

The liars’ last stand

The Federal Reserve Bank of the United States is slowly being forced to acknowledge that, like other parts of America’s ruling elite, its operations are based on falsehood and deception. The cloak of secrecy that it desperately wishes to preserve has masked decades of deception of the marketplace: deception regarding market manipulation; deception regarding industry and institutional favoritism; deception regarding political expediency, and, most importantly, deception regarding anti-democratic economic policy.

Enough evidence has accumulated to confirm that the Federal Reserve has acted to repeatedly make good the losses of an unstable and unsound financial industry. It has upheld a system that privatizes profits and socializes losses, always in favor of moneyed interests. It did this during the Latin American debt crisis, the S&L scandal, the dot com stock bubble, and now during the real estate bubble. The problem facing the Fed is that each rescue of the plutocracy from its excesses has been progressively more costly to the US economy. We are now in a situation where such massive public deficits are needed to make good Wall Street’s latest losses that the global reserve currency status of the US Dollar is under attack.

Because liars rule our nation, there have been no regulatory reforms passed in the year since the crisis started. There have been no prosecutions for fraudulent lending. There has not even been a formal investigation of what went wrong. All we have are bland assurances that remedies will be forthcoming. Meanwhile, fat bonuses are being paid on Wall Street out of huge, unaffordable, taxpayer-subsidized Federal-Reserve liquidity injections.

American voters may tolerate the leadership of fools and liars who mortgage our future and debase our currency, but foreign governments and investors are far less accommodating. Truth and justice will return to America under foreign auspices when the liars’ last stand fails to halt the slide of the dollar and America sinks under the weight of its unsustainable debts. Our new owners will clean house, and the current “stewards” of our economy will be reviled as frauds, flunkies, and incompetents by those who write the history of America’s imperial decline.

Obama, Bernanke, Geithner, Summers, and the whole sick Washington establishment crew believe that they can lie their way out of this debacle. They can’t. This is the end of the road for a government of lies.

Vote Neo-Con NOW! A Trifecta of Rantage

Crossposted from the Irreverent Ranting Halls of The Wild Wild Left

Wow. Some days I have nothing. Today I have at least two, maybe three things I want to write about. I will try & spin them into this one. If that doesn’t work, you will never read these lines. Heh. I’ll have to edit them out.

First let me lead in with something excellent. I WORSHIP this man. I even can forgive him for doing those Aruba commercials, he is so good. Besides Aruba is dreamy. His analysis of the two party system is PRICELESS.

That brings me to RANT ONE:

All the pretty little pundits are calling odds on the 2010 midterms. Will we {gasp) keep the majority of seats, or will we (moan, gnash of teeth) lose seats broadly like we did in 1994?

I say: FUCK IT! Lets all vote for the craziest wing-nut motherfuckers out there, every goddamned rapture sucking corporate vampire there is. Let them impeach Obama and crown Palin Queen.

Lets knock the legs out from under David for once and for all and see how Goliath does unfettered. Lets see how they like their Giant Champion when he stomps through town smashing their 401k’s and how much “individual responsibility” they take when he eliminates Social Security and Medicare. Lets see how the Cheney’s of the Country like it when their daughters like Mary have their children stripped from their “lesbianic” homes and go to jail for child endangerment, and their other daughters are forced to bear rapists’ seeds.

Let them inherit the economy, the wars, the fucktitude. Lets just stock up on potable water and canned goods and ammo and let them burn it down. All hail martial law and door to door searches!

Every taboo is meant to be broken, so think of it as dirty pleasure:


I’m just warming up. On to the Health Care Question.

Docudharma Times Thursday October 8

Thursday’s Headlines:

Areas Hit Hard by Swine Flu in Spring See Little Now

Robert Fisk: Genocide forgotten: Armenians horrified by treaty with Turkey

Civilian, Military Officials at Odds Over Resources Needed for Afghan Mission

Awaiting a puff of moon dust

Mitterrand faces calls to quit over ‘boys’ for sex claim

Berlusconi’s legal immunity stripped by Italy’s top court

Mystery as Iran nuclear scientist disappears

Saudi man gets 1,000 lashes for talking sex on television

Kabul blast outside India embassy

Taliban say they’re no threat to other countries

Capitalist crunch hits Cuban cigar sales

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

A Transition through Poetry XXXII

Art Link

Islands in the Storm

In Passing

Every year or so

I stop for a moment

grieve about the people

I met and befriended

as much as I knew how

My existence has flicked

from thought to precious thought

from spacetime to spacetime

those friends have become

painful fond memories

My life journey required

that I had to move on

though I could have settled

for the bittersweetness

and shared more time with them

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–December 19, 2006

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