Sunday, December 19, 2004

Interesting Vote Facts/

I've been out with the flu compounded by holiday stress, but the following article roused me sufficiently from my torpor to pass it along to those still faithfully visiting this site.

20 Amazing Facts about Voting in the USAA BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
by Angry Girl,

1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.

2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.

3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.

4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.

6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.

7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush's vice-presidential candidates.

8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.

9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

11. Diebold is based in Ohio.

12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as senior managers and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.

13. Jeff Dean, Diebold's Senior Vice-President and senior programmer on Diebold's central compiler code, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree.

14. Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a "high degree of sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.

15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.>

16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold's claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (See the movie here .)

17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.

18. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.

19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President's brother.

20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida -- again always favoring Bush -- have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.

Friday, December 10, 2004

A bleak Christmas for an Army amputee

This comes a day after the publicity about Rumsfeld's cavalier response to the Army soldier who asked him why the troops were not getting the armor that they need.

I think that we should be responding by contacting those listed at the end of the article.

And Merry Xmas to you too Secretary Scrooge Rumsfeld.

Postscript: Markos at provides evidence that the lack of protective equipment cannot be blamed on insufficient manufacturing capacity:

Bush, Rummie lie about armor
by kos
Fri Dec 10th, 2004 at 18:47:04 PDT

The press is suddenly showing some spine on the issue. Shocking.
The Bush administration moved swiftly to quell criticism from troops Thursday by outlining plans to protect all military vehicles used in Iraq. But two companies under contract to the Pentagon said their offers to boost production went unheeded [...]

Former Republican congressman Matt Salmon of Arizona, a spokesman for ArmorWorks in Tempe, Ariz., said his company will finish a $30 million contract with the Pentagon this month to make 1,500 armor kits for Humvees. "We are at 50% capacity, and we could do a lot more," he said. "They are aware of it."

Armor Holdings of Jacksonville told the Army last month it could add armor to as many as 550 trucks a month, up from 450, said Robert Mecredy of its aerospace and defense group. "We're prepared to build 50 to 100 vehicles more per month," he said.
This all comes only a day after Rumsfeld claimed it wasn't an issue about money, but about "physics". In other words, there was no humanly possible way to increase production of vehicle armor.
I'm sure it wasn't about money, and it sure as hell wasn't about physics. So what was the reason for this borderline criminal neglect for our soldiers' safety?

What else? Rank incompetence.

Senator Norm Coleman, Republican tool par excellence

Senator Coleman, it should be noted, beat former Vice President Walter Mondale in an election to succeed Senator Paul Wellstone after Wellstone was killed in an airplane accident

Senator Coleman, thus far has been more of an embarassment than an asset to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Seems ol Norm last week called for the resignation of Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN, over the Oil for food scandal currently being investigated by the Volcker Commission. Norm got 5 US representatives to join him in his denunciation, one of whom said Mr. Annan should be jailed immediately (so much for innocent until proven guilty, eh?). Of course, no mention of the fact that one of the biggest corporations to profit under the Oil for Food program was Halliburton. But never mind.

Yesterday came word from the Bush Administration throughthe mouth of former Missouri Senator John Danforth (who's mostfamous act prior to this was shepherding the nomination of that horrid US Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas through the Senate back in '91). Danforth is the US Ambassador to the UN. Here is what Danforth had to say to Reuters:

"We are expressing confidence in the secretary-general and his continuing
in office," Danforth said, "No one to my knowledge has cast doubt on the
personal integrity of the secretary-general. No one."

"We are not suggesting or pushing for the resignation of
the secretary-general," said Danforth, adding that he was speaking forthe White
House and the State Department.

Sen. Coleman has just had his rear end carved up and handed to him by his own Administration. He is considered to be, by Danforth's words: "No one." Coleman has demonstrated how easily he is bought by his party. Wellstone, it should be remembered, had the principles and the guts to stand up to everyone, including his own party. Let us hope that Minnesota voters throw this bastard out.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The absent candidate

I listened to the press conference last Friday where Paul Berendt announced that the Democrats had gathered enough money to pay for a manual recount. Present at the podium were Berendt, and Booth Gardner and Gary Locke. Where was Chris Gregoire? Why was she playing the shy violet? What's the deal? This was HER recount. She had said she wasn't going to play unless ALL the votes were counted. She should have been up there taking responsibility for the whole thing. But once again, she will not step up to the plate. If the recount fails, she will have less than nothing to show for it. A most lackluster performance.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

42 votes

May I refer all and sundry to my Sept. 17, 2004 piece? Ms. Gregoire became yet another example of the fate that awaits a politician who starts to believe her own press releases. That's like drinking the kool aid. I'm afraid we are in for another month of hand wringing. But I would point out that if the shoe were reversed, I would fully expect the Rossi camp to be clamoring as loudly if not louder still for a hand recount. Only thing is that they would have no trouble posting the deposit.