Campaign 2006

BREAKING: NSA whistleblower Russ Tice says Obama spied on by NSA; Colin Powell's telecoms tracked by NSA satellite tech

///// UPDATE Friday 2pm Central: Tice got squelched by shady NBC lawyers at the last second according to

Today MSNBC aired an interview with Mr. Tice disclosing “some” of his revelations, thanks to the vigilant activists who tirelessly shared and disseminated Mr. Tice’s revelations and interview audio. Interestingly, at the last minute, MSNBC told Mr. Tice that they would NOT include his revelations on NSA’s targeting of Obama, elected officials, attorneys, judges and activists. Basically, they censored his entire testimony on these stunning allegations!
In a correspondence with Boiling Frogs Post immediately following his censored interview with MSNBC Mr. Tice stated: “When they were placing the ear-phone in my ear with less than ten minutes left till my air time, the producer in New York said that their lawyers were discussing the material, and at this time, they did not want me to mention anything about the NSA wiretaps against all the people and organizations that I mentioned. That is how it went down. I did say on the air that I know it is much worse and would like to talk about that some time.”
- See more at:

The heat is on and the squirrels are getting squirrelly!!! /////


Been waiting to hear more material from Russ Tice, one of the earlier NSA whistleblowers. Fortunately one of our ol' underdogs & Sibel Edmonds got Tice to lay out a lot of new stuff. Tice was a major source for NSA revelations including the 2005 NY Times warrantless wiretapping story.

Named NSA targets by Tice include current Supreme Court Justice Alito, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Clinton, Rep. Henry Waxman, then-Sen. Evan Bayh, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, then-US Rep. Kucinich. And of course President Obama.

Here is a quick clip: via very big on FiredogLake: BREAKING: NSA Whistleblower Russ Tice Alleges NSA Wiretapped Then-Sen. Candidate Barack Obama | MyFDL

In this bombshell episode of the Boiling Frogs Post Podcast Show NSA whistleblower Russ Tice joins us to go on record for the first time with new revelations and the names of official culprits involved in the NSA’s illegal practices. Mr. Tice explains in detail how the National Security Agency targets, sucks-in, stores and analyzes illegally obtained content from the masses in the United States. He contradicts officials and the mainstream media on the status of the NSA’s Utah facility, which is already operating and “On-Line.” He reveals the NSA as a Deep State that targets and wiretaps US political candidates for its own purposes. We discuss the latest controversies involving the NSA, PRISM, Edward Snowden, and the spins and lies that are being floated by the US mainstream and pseudo-alternative media. Do NOT miss this revelatory interview.

Listen to the preview Here - See more at:

DOWNLOAD HERE > - you may want to skip to about 50 minutes to catch the name dropping space spying going on.

bfp_podcast_version.gif"Here's the big one ... this was in summer of 2004, one of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator for Illinois," he said. "You wouldn't happen to know where that guy lives right now would you? It's a big white house in Washington, D.C. That's who they went after, and that's the president of the United States now."

There was a lot of specific references to space-based platforms - that is National Security Agency satellite technology - which was Tice's specialty to which he has now apparently turned The Blowtorch with excellent timing.

The story is getting out now. Bush-era whistleblower: Obama was NSA wiretap victim in 2004 | The Daily Caller. Huffpo did a quick post: Russ Tice, Bush-Era Whistleblower, Claims NSA Ordered Wiretap Of Barack Obama In 2004. Duly flagged on Cryptogon: Russ Tice on Boiling Frogs Podcast

Iran's press service flagged it: PressTV - NSA spied on Obama: Whistleblower

At the Guardian: Procedures used by NSA to target non-US persons: Exhibit A – full document | World news | && Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant | World news |

Vast discretion vested in NSA analysts -- Glenn Greenwald

The vast amount of discretion vested in NSA analysts is also demonstrated by the training and briefings given to them by the agency. In one such briefing from an official with the NSA’s general counsel’s office – a top secret transcript of which was obtained by the Guardian, dated 2008 and then updated for 2013 – NSA analysts are told how much the new Fisa law diluted the prior standards and how much discretion they now have in deciding whose communications to intercept:

“The court gets to look at procedures for saying that there is a reasonable belief for saying that a target is outside of the United States. Once again – a major change from the targeting under Fisa. Under Fisa you had to have probable cause to believe that the target was a foreign power or agent of a foreign power. Here all you need is a reasonable belief that the target is outside of the United States …

“Now, all kinds of information can be used to this end. There’s a list in the targeting procedures: phone directories, finished foreign intelligence, NSA technical analysis of selectors, lead information. Now, you don’t have to check a box in every one of those categories. But you have to look at everything you’ve got and make a judgment. Looking at everything, do you have a reasonable belief that your target is outside the United States? So, cast your search wide. But don’t feel as though you have to have something in every category. In the end, what matters is, ‘Does all that add up to a reasonable belief that your target is outside the United States?’”

So vast is this discretion that NSA analysts even have the authority to surveil communications between their targets and their lawyers, and that information can be not just stored but also disseminated. NSA procedures do not ban such interception, but rather set forth procedures to be followed in the event that the NSA analyst believes they should be “disseminated”.

The decisions about who has their emails and telephone calls intercepted by the NSA is made by the NSA itself, not by the Fisa court, except where the NSA itself concludes the person is a US citizen and/or the communication is exclusively domestic. But even in such cases, the NSA often ends up intercepting those communications of Americans without individualized warrants, and all of this is left to the discretion of the NSA analysts with no real judicial oversight.

Also: FBI Admits That Obeying The Constitution Just Takes Too Much Time | Techdirt

And: Skype Provided Backdoor Access to the NSA Before Microsoft Takeover [NYT]

Plus: Straight Outta Government: GSA Mulls Deal With Rap Genius - (wat?)

And: Obama’s crackdown views leaks as aiding enemies of U.S. | McClatchy

Wowww… busy days people. It's amazing to see a suppressed narrative like the NSA domestic spying apparatus suddenly catch such traction in so many quarters!

The other heinous thing - well one other thing - is the secret TPP treaty. I'm glad reelected Rep. Alan Grayson is going to kick at it. First Congressman Allowed to Read Secret Treaty Says “This ... Hands The Sovereignty of Our Country Over to Corporate Interests” | Zero Hedge

The TPP is nicknamed “NAFTA on steroids.” Now that I’ve read it, I can see why. I can’t tell you what’s in the agreement, because the U.S. Trade Representative calls it classified. But I can tell you two things about it.

1) There is no national security purpose in keeping this text secret.

2) This agreement hands the sovereignty of our country over to corporate interests.

3) What they can’t afford to tell the American public is that [the rest of this sentence is classified].


It is ironic in a way that the government thinks it's alright to have a record of every single call that an American makes, but not alright for an American citizen to know what sovereign powers the government is negotiating away.


Having seen what I’ve seen, I would characterize this as a gross abrogation of American sovereignty. And I would further characterize it as a punch in the face to the middle class of America. I think that’s fair to say from what I’ve seen so far. But I’m not allowed to tell you why!

Also: Warren on Trans-Pacific Partnership: If people knew what was going on, they would stop it | The Raw Story

Alright leaving this here for now. Get tuned in and look around - the truth is out there! SAIC, Booz Allen Hamilton, the grip of your sorts on all our lives is in for its createst challenge yet. The infosec praetorians are overdue for a fall in their space-age egos!

United Defense in Fridley has a cool military-industrial roof

This was just kinda cool. Along the course of the new Northstar commuter rail is the United Defense military industrial complex. It has a lot of scary signs outside, I noticed when hanging at the sweet river park there.


The building has a really interesting looking roof on Google earth. That is all.

I could provide some hyperlinks but you can find out about it ya damn self....

Friday Note Jumble

I put the computer to sleep after I got back late last night, and then it suddenly spun the fans up to maximum and totally locked out. I had way too much shit running, as usual, but I am not impressed with the recent deterioration in the G5's stability. I know there are anomalies in the directory structure on my main HD and I ought to just wipe it and install OS X fresh again, but obviously that's a big hassle.

Anyway I got a mountain of links still sitting around, so let's get into them quickly.

Senator Feingold wants Habeas Corpus hearings. The crappy moral relativism of the Beltway dwellers can't handle Feingold: all principles are just "playing politics." This piece illustrates all kinds of things about how the media makes real issues into cardboard cutouts, using the Feingold Censure situation as an example. ABC's Halperin has the exact same problem.

Fair enough: the Newt World Order: Chunky fascism for mediocre wonks.

Some bizarre entity called Vigil consisting of retired spies and other such cats are roaming about the internet trying to entrap terror cells. PrisonPlanet thinks it's sketchy.

KGB Spy blah blah: No shortage of speculations on this one, from Prisonplanet to others. Just use your google and basically don't believe anything because everything about this reeks of information warfare. MOSNews says he blamed the Kremlin. OK.

Florida 13th district sketchballs: In Katherine "Novak" Harris' old district in the Sarasota area, the Democrat running for Congress narrowly lost, but an improbably high number of people in Sarasota County did not record votes in that race, and hundreds of voters complained that the touchscreen machines were bad. A major investigation of the machines, conducted by the County government under scrutiny, has already shown that they are extremely unreliable and undervoted a lot. This is a huge opportunity to expose these shady machines.

Haaretz finds Syria an improbable assassin of Pierre Gemayel:

The accusation leveled at the Syrians by Saad Hariri, son of assassinated former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, the hints by Prime Minister Fuad Siniora urging the establishment of an international tribunal to try Hariri's killers, and statements by anti-Syrian elements in Lebanon, put Syria at the top of the list of suspects in Tuesday's assassination of Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel.

However pure political and diplomatic logic makes it difficult to see Damascus behind the assassination. The day Gemayel was killed, Syria chalked up one of its most significant diplomatic achievements since its defeat in Lebanon in April 2005: the renewal of full diplomatic relations with Iraq.

Syria is also on the way to achieving a semi-official stamp of approval from Washington as able to calm things down in Iraq. Syria could have been on the verge of an important political success in Lebanon - the possible fall of Fuad Siniora's government, which would mean Syria could increase the power of its supporters in the government by means of the Hezbollah ultimatum. If that came about, the international tribunal on the murder of Rafik Hariri would be delayed, or at least be of a sort convenient for the Syrians.

Check out the Israeli Peace Now and their West Bank settlement and outpost reports. For example Hill 777. See also a speech at the Rabin memorial this year. More on Peace Now's work exposing the theft of Palestinian privately owned land for West Bank settlements.

FoxNews Financial Guy: We End the War "By Bombing Tehran, Not by Getting it so Some Iraqi Woman Doesn't Have to Wear a Burqa Anymore":

You could send in 100,000 troops as long as we're treating them like sacrificial lambs, Neil. And we've asked these troops to win a war without bombing a [inaudible], you know, without hitting a mosque. Everything we've done has been to, you know, boost our image on the, you know, Muslim street. That's not why we went to war in the first place.

The market wants us to end the insurgency and the war. You do that by bombing Tehran, not by getting it so some Iraqi woman doesn't have to wear a burqa anymore.

We haven't put fear in the hearts of militant Islam. That's why we went to war. To win the war against militant Islam.

Murderous psychos. Anyway. Also before the war started they didn't have to wear burqas. Hm.

When will Israel attack Iran??! Israeli PM Olmert is in a pretty confusing spot right now, making both dove and hawk noises: Iraq war was good for Israel: Olmert. The ironically named 'Rootless Cosmopolitan' Tony Karon looks critically and realistically at how Israeli domestic politics could force a war between the U.S. and Iran soon. This article is yet another example of how Jewish folks have plenty of articulate criticisms of the Israeli establishment that are never voiced on American cable TV:

But the most dangerous element of the equation, I believe, is the hysteria being cultivated by the Israelis. Hersh mentions that Israel is telling the U.S. they have human intelligence on Iran developing trigger devices for a nuclear bomb, but U.S. intelligence is unable to verify these claims. More worrying, however, is the public campaign being waged by Israeli leaders. Olmert warns American Jewish leader that Israel has come to a “pivotal moment” at which its survival depends on confronting Iran. Bibi Netanyahu (the Newt Gingrich of Israeli politics; a discredited crank who manages to grab headlines only by uttering alarmist rubbish) warns darkly that its 1938 all over again. (Memo to Mark Foley: You ought to try this, it could be a surefire route to political rehabilitation…)

This fevered scaremongering is all about Israeli domestic politics, as Aluf Benn explains.

Karon had a good article in TIME about how Iraq's Violence Spins Beyond Anyone's Control. This also connects to the wise words from one Dr. Leon Hadar of CATO: When will Israel attack Iran?

And... finally. According to most press reports, the Baker-Hamilton Commission is going to issue a report before the end of the year which will recommend U.S. engagement with Iran and perhaps the re-start of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process (meaning more U.S. pressure on Israel).

So... when you take all the above items into consideration I would say that Israel has a "window of opprtunity" of about two months to attack Iran's nuclear sites. Such an attack will certainly be good news for the neocons and their allies, since it would sabotage any possible U.S. efforts to engage Iran and to end the Iraq mess. An Israeli attack will also probably ignite a U.S. confrontation with Iran.

Baker vs. Olmert = AIPAC vs. realists? Yeah things are complicated in the mideast, and we may have a situation where Israel's leadership are at loggerheads with James Baker, simply because detente between Syria, Iran and the U.S. over Iraq will result in more political pressure on Israel. Kurt Nimmo on this situation. AIPAC-style establishment rightwingers have disliked Baker since he has been very anti-West Bank settlement especially during the first Bush Administration. Nimmo:

On the subject of Greater Israel, a topic near and dear to the Israeli government and their neocon helpers, Baker induces dread. As the Jerusalem Post notes, back in 1989, Baker told AIPAC that “now is the time to lay aside once and for all the unrealistic vision of a Greater Israel. Israeli interests in the West Bank and Gaza, security and otherwise, can be accommodated in a settlement based on [UN Security Council] Resolution 242. Forswear annexation; stop settlement activity; allow schools to reopen; reach out to the Palestinian as neighbors who deserve political rights.”

No doubt AIPAC members were sent reeling.

....It should be obvious Israel’s Mossad engineered the assassination of Pierre Gemayel in Lebanon as a response to the Baker Boys and the emerging recommendations of the Iraq Study Group. It was, in effect, a stone thrown to kill two birds—one, to sully Syria and thus make any accommodation proposed by Baker and Hamilton untenable and second to ratchet up ethnic and religious animosity in Lebanon, a process well underway in the wake of Pierre Gemayel’s timely murder.

Nimmo also observes another neocon, the ex-Larouchite Joshua Muravchik demanding Iran's decimation. Also he notes Michael Ledeen says everyone against the neo-cons is an antisemite.

However, for Ledeen, the problem is “our leaders may be so demoralized that we could just surrender in Iraq and Afghanistan, as the realists and the antisemites desire. But that would only delay the reckoning, and ensure that the war will be far bloodier.”

Too bad so many Jews think neocons are idiots.

Random: I looked a bit at "Zionism in the Age of the Dictators," a 1983 book reviewing connections between dictatorships and Zionist political movements, including the hardline Stern Gang. One of those awkward things. Also looking back at the Lebanon war, it's worth looking at How Washington Goaded Israel into War. This was from back in August, but relevant still as dumb hawks keep circling.

Speaking of mean, dumb hawks, Daniel Pipes says:

Iraq's plight is neither a coalition responsibility nor a particular danger to the West.... Civil war in Iraq, in short, would be a humanitarian tragedy but not a strategic one.

What a racist - including an ugly cartoon. Anyway.

Bizarre comparison of Vietnam == Iraq - forgetting the whole implanted French Catholic thing, from a Marine Corps University prof. Did the US foment more sectarian violence in Iraq intentionally? Conspiratorials think that sectarian violence was the goal. US fights Sadr: where does that fit into this?

Syria is wild card in dueling meetings on Iraq. Al Jazeera English gets a positive review on but American cable providers decline to hook up audiences.


Random Russian 9/11 conspiracy: one of those conspiracy theories about 9/11 is that Uday Hussein and Vladimir Putin had 9/11 foreknowledge, and there were reports in late summer 2001 in the Russian establishment paper Pravda that an economic attack in the U.S. was expected to be staged by some mysterious international group with "trillions" in assets. Ok whatever. Stuff on that here and here. Also New World Order Blah Blah Blah.

Infowars: "As Long As You're Not Doing Anything Wrong, You Have Nothing To Worry About".

Campaign 2006: More ads than news

NY Times blog on campaigns:

A new study shows that Midwestern television viewers saw two and a half times more political ads about campaigns than received news information about them during their local news broadcasts.

Out this week from the Midwest News Index at the University of Wisconsin’s MediaLab, the research also offered a breakdown of what news coverage covered: campaign strategy (including reporting on ads) and polling far outweighed policy issues. No surprise there. This segment of research focused on the last month of the campaign season.

Political coverage was studied in Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis-St.Paul, Cleveland, Columbus, Madison and Milwaukee, on the affiliates of ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS. The research found that an average of nearly 9 ads were broadcast, taking up almost 5 minutes or half, of all the commercials in a 30-minute local newscast. A little more than 40 percent of election coverage was concentrated in the final week before Election Day.

Fux0red. The Best democracy money can Buy.

More faux centrism, Antiwar politics in the Democratic Party

Antiwar people such as have a healthy skepticism of the Democratic agenda. See their blog for latest and throw em a few bucks to keep the agenda going. In their view, there is still an interventionist core in the Democratic Party that still wants to run amok over Iran and everything else, and the neo-cons are quietly changing their colors to get into the Democratic influence game. People like's leading lights try to be nonpartisan and strictly anti-interventionist. But they see Democratic Leadership Council corporatist "centrists" as always trying to flank the Republicans with ignorant-hawk buzzword politics on the Right.

With blatherings from Will Marshall and his ilk to consider, they have a damn good point:

(1) Make it clear it repudiates the rejectionist claim that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish State and condemns terrorism against Israel just as it does terrorism against any other state. Europeans in particular have long advanced an implicit and unique exception for anti-Israeli terrorists on grounds that they have a "right to resistance" against Israeli occupation of territories obtained since 1967. But both Hamas and Hezbollah are operating from territories Israeli has unilaterally abandoned; and both explicitly reject Israel's existence within boundaries established in the Israeli War of Independence in 1948. This is about Israeli sovereignty, not Israeli occupations, and terrorist acts against Israel should be opposed just as strongly as terrorist acts against, say, France.

[Yes of course Israel 'abandoned' the West Bank. Durr...]

Basically the DLC types have been trying for years to match think-tank Hawk buzzwords ("clear hold build," "drain swamps", "defeat jihadism" etc) because they think that any alternative beyond the loose parameters of the neocon Project for a New American Century cannot possibly win elections. Which looked electorally true until this year, in part because they never even tried anything new after September 11. And you will never ever hear the DLC suggest that West Bank settlements are bad for America. Ah, delicious moral clarity.

Still, I think Antiwar folks give the Dems too little credit right now. All the newly elected members of Congress are perfectly aware how horribly this war has gone, and that will color their perspective on interventions permanently, regardless of hawkish posturing on the parts of Pelosi, Rep. Jane Harmon and others.

The true antiwar folks, who are not just "leftists", (that is naive pigeonholing), well, they are not going to put up with a bunch more BS and fake-intelligence fueled wars for empire, no matter which party is involved. "National Security" has been a good frame for Republicans until now, but with this election it's totally feasible for a new alternative National Security frame to get put together. Basically we need a real progressive yet hands-off foreign policy that stabilizes the world, not radicalizes it.

The Antiwar people need to get real with a platform that delivers the goods. Then they need to get the core of the Democratic Party to get on board with a platform that delivers prosperity, hard power and soft power to the American people in one sweet package. In time for 2008.

This WaPo guy named Mallaby thinks Dems should act like Republicans. Clever.

With Gates coming into Defense it is high time to look at Iran-Contra, Revisited.

Few bits from DailyKos: A pledge for reasonable policies from Michael Moore. A brief summary of why Iranians are pissed with the United States. Virtually no Americans know about Mossadeq, yet are still pissed about the Hostage Crisis. Everyone needs to get some history.

Centrists are willing to sell out their political parties. Or not. Do they prefer narrow legislative divisions? I don't know, I think this diary entry leaps at unjustified conclusions. I like maps.

NRCC Robo Calls swing an election with shady tactics?

Ok that's all for now... Hope there's enough material today to mull on. Thanks to all for sticking with us through a pretty spare time on the site.

The power of the netroots

Check out this article about how the Internet has radically changed politics. This article does a good job diffusing the typical bullshit thrown around about the role of these "netroots".

Bloggers and Parties: Can the netroots reshape American democracy? By Henry Farrell

.....The netroots are becoming a power in the Democratic Party, but they aren’t under the control of any one person or clique. And while many netroots bloggers describe themselves as progressive, they are generally not leftists in the conventional sense. Certainly they aren’t committed to any program of fundamental political and economic reform. As Benjamin Wallace-Wells and Bill McKibben have both documented, the netroots aren’t complaining that the Democratic Party isn’t radical enough; they’re complaining that it’s losing elections. Netroots bloggers don’t share a common ideology. If they are united by anything, it is their harsh criticism of the Republican Party, their shared anger at the Democratic Party’s failures, and their rough analysis of how it could do better.

Although the netroots don’t necessarily subscribe to left-wing views, they do have the potential to reshape the terrain of American democracy. For the last 20 years, intellectuals have been bemoaning the American public’s lack of engagement with political life. They have advocated different forms of direct engagement and public deliberation as means to revitalize democracy.

Netroots bloggers and blog readers don’t look much like the idealized citizens that some democratic theorists have been hoping for. They’re unruly; while they certainly engage in vigorous argument, it bears little resemblance to disinterested Habermasian debate, in which the only operative force is the force of the better argument. They are attentive to power as well as reason, and their response to perceived enemies, Republican or Democratic, is far from genteel—someone pilloried by a prominent netroots blog can expect to get hundreds of vitriolic e-mails or comments from the blog’s readers. David Brooks’s complaints likely stem from his own experience being called out by left-wing bloggers and the vituperative messages that have filled his in-box as a result. There are real problems of groupthink among netroots blogs (as there are among blogs more generally, and indeed among opinion journalists, political reporters, political scientists, and virtually every well-connected social group).

But if there is a fault it lies less with the bloggers than with our notions of what a politically engaged public will look like in real life. Theorists of the public sphere who hark back to the idealized coffeehouses of the Enlightenment tend to forget or pass over the spleen, vulgarity, and vigor of 18th-century political debate. Political engagement goes hand in hand with viewpoints that are strongly held and trenchantly expressed.

The current back-and-forth over the netroots obscures what they actually mean for the Democratic Party and for American politics more generally. If they are not simply a philosophy seminar, they are also not simply an interest group or a social movement in the usual senses of those terms. Their goals have more to do with electoral strategies than substantive issues. Nor are they a traditional form of mass populism—as currently constituted, they are a not especially representative minority of the American public (there is an over-representation of white, well-educated, middle-class men, as there is among political bloggers more generally).

What they are is an example of how the Internet can foster new ways of conducting argument and building social cooperation among diverse groups and individuals. In other words, they are the harbinger of structural changes in the relationship between technology and politics. Contrary to the predictions of social scientists like Robert Putnam, the Internet is making people more likely to be politically and socially engaged, not less. As Yochai Benkler has argued, information technology has made it radically easier and cheaper to engage in certain kinds of cooperation.

This has important implications for political parties in general and for the Democratic Party in particular. In the past, much of the political agenda has been set by elites—senior party officials, elected representatives, and a congeries of policy wonks and public intellectuals stationed in think tanks, universities, issue groups, and political journals. While activists have played an important role in politics, especially in the Republican Party, they have usually taken their cues from well-connected leaders such as Grover Norquist and (before recent scandals) Ralph Reed. This is changing. Elites are losing some of their agenda-setting power as a much wider set of actors begins to influence the terms of public argument. A sea change is taking place in American politics. Debates that used to be the preserve of a small, self-perpetuating group of pundits, pollsters, and policymakers are now being opened up to a much wider group.

The netroots are also important in their own right, even if their role in winning or losing elections is sometimes exaggerated. The availability of Internet-based communications and community-building technologies has allowed people from quite different ideological backgrounds to come together, to identify points of common interest, and to build a community of action.

Or else you could just say "Teh Sweet." Anyway...

Their experiences have deepened the netroots’ conviction that there’s something rotten in the Democratic Party. Quasi-corrupt relationships hamper the ability of Democrats to win elections; candidates for office are expected to hire certain well-connected consultants if they want to receive party funding. Party leaders try to eke out narrow wins, focusing their attention only on the most competitive races instead of campaigning aggressively across the country. Elected officials prefer stroking the egos of major donors to grass-roots organizing. Senators mug to pundits’ and newspaper editors’ penchant for bipartisanship by denouncing fellow Democrats as extremists, giving cover to Republicans, and dragging the political center ever further toward the right. These problems cripple the party’s ability to compete successfully, guaranteeing continued Republican hegemony. In response, netroots bloggers want to reform the party’s organizational structures and punish elected officials who weaken the party in pursuit of their personal agendas. They pushed Howard Dean’s candidacy as chairman of the Democratic National Committee in order to change the party’s electoral priorities. The netroots are now encouraging activists to get involved in the party at the local and state level and take it over, just as Goldwaterite conservatives took over the Republican Party a generation ago.


Election aftermath: Faux Centrism, Robocalls, shady Sarasota voting machines, Minnesota Muslims, Zoroastrians and other angles

First of all: Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes was the Dude, hands down. We are poorer without his clever style and incisive work. Thanks for all the stories, Ed.

Senate Democrats Decide on Party Leaders November 14, 2006, Filed at 1:21 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Democrats picked two women for senior posts Tuesday and appointed former U.S. Capitol police chief Terrance Gainer as sergeant at arms. Their choice as majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid, said a top priority is getting a new secretary of defense confirmed.

.....The Capitol, meanwhile, buzzed with the energy of House members-to-be and senators-in-waiting attending freshman orientation.

More than 50 incoming House freshmen spent the day in meetings focused not on big legislative items or the Iraq war but rather on office logistics and ethics -- a key issue after a season of scandal that had, at least in part, led to the election of the new members.

In the Senate, a 10-person freshman class of eight Democrats, one Republican and Democratic-leaning independent Bernard Sanders of Vermont also began orientation.

Democratic Sen.-elect Jon Tester of Montana looked a little overwhelmed on his first day.

''It hasn't soaked in yet,'' he said. ''Maybe it will never soak in.''

The Capitol police weren't quite ready for Tester, a farmer with a throwback flat top haircut and fingers missing on his left hand from an old accident with a meat grinder. They asked him to empty his pockets for inspection.

''Just like at the airport, you put it all through?'' Tester asked.

The officer nodded, then recognized the newcomer and waved him through.

The Talking Head Brigades are totally convinced that a giant swath of newly elected Democrats are "social conservatives", despite the relative lack of evidence. Virginia's Senator-elect Jim Webb is the best example of someone who must be socially conservative, since he was Navy Secretary. They haven't really talked about how concerned Webb is with "economic justice," a phrase that just doesn't really appear in the DLC Centrist handbook.

More realistically, the fresh Democrats are decidedly skeptical of 'free trade' that has crushed manufacturing in places like Ohio – this was a major theme of Ohio Senator-elect Sherrod Brown's campaign platform. We are seeing plenty of evidence that the media is totally convinced this election marks some kind of concrete Centrist Block that now dominates America. Aside from Joe Lieberman's implied threat to bolt the Dems and give the Senate to Republicans, this labeling doesn't wash with the kinds of folks now going to DC.

Maybe gun control. Which was a ridiculous issue to dwell on at this late date, but now basically that's the symbolic marker signifying Senator-elect Jon Tester of Montana as a 'social conservative.' I would say it's more to do with the fact that there are about seven times as many guns as people in Montana.

(A small reflection on the history between Webb and this Gates cat coming into Defense. Will there be 'real' confirmation hearings for SecDef or just softballs?)

The perfect example of this new media narrative of 2006 == Super Centrism is the cover of TIME magazine this week, compared with the November 1994 cover when Newt Gingrich and the gang stomped in (more on the contrast). "Why the center is the new place to be" says good old weathervane Joe Klein, who never met a waffle he didn't like. Oddly, Klein did not exactly stick to this:

Yes, many of the winners tended to be moderates, but that's because this was an election, especially on the House side, waged in moderate districts. In some cases, realism meant supporting the more liberal candidate. In Ohio, Reid and Schumer made a stark decision to force the attractive if inexperienced Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett out of the race and to support Congressman Sherrod Brown, a feisty paleoliberal whose vehement protectionism matched well with Ohio's economic despearation...The common denominator wasn't liberalism or moderation but the ability to win.

OK, fair enough. Would have been nice if the magazine cover reflected that. But I lack the patience to read the whole article. Although I did shake Klein's hand in Iowa once. There was also a story about Keith Ellison in TIME, and refers to Trocadero's as "trendy." Kind of funny to hear TIME describing the Warehouse district at all, but sort of exciting.

The victory party for Minnesota's first African-American congressman, Keith Ellison, took place at a trendy nightclub in Minneapolis's downtown warehouse district. Down the block from a glitzy sex shop, Trocaderos is the kind of place where both gays and straights look to get picked up, either at the bar or on the dance floor. But on this occasion, the floor was packed with enthusiastic supporters of Ellison, who also happens to be the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress.

Not the kind of place where any self-respecting Muslim would normally be found. But on this occasion, drably dressed, bearded Muslim men rubbed shoulders with stylish women in revealing outfits, the latter drinking plenty of alcohol. Meanwhile, Muslim women wearing long, shapeless dresses and head-scarves stood around in small groups. I spoke with an elderly, bespectacled imam from Somalia who wore a large woolen shawl over his shoulders and a colorful, pointed cap, embroidered with ancient-looking but unfamiliar shapes and symbols. His limited knowledge of English did not prevent him from repeating the words "peace, peace, peace" over and over again to me.

The reason for this curious gathering is not hard to figure out. Muslim Americans in Minnesota and throughout the nation have been forging a coalition with liberals on issues like those articulated by Congressman-elect Ellison — universal health insurance, tougher environmental regulation, opposition to the Patriot Act and an immediate end to the war in Iraq.

......And now, Muslims from places like Pakistan or Egypt, who might in the past have avoided politics, see the need for allies and guides through the unfamiliar American political landscape. No wonder the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other nationally prominent blacks journeyed to Minnesota to campaign with Keith Ellison.

Still, immigrant Muslims remain devout social conservatives. And in Minneapolis in the days leading up to the celebration Tuesday night, one could hear many of them trying to reconcile their support for Ellison and other liberals on Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor ticket with their unrelenting opposition to abortion and especially homosexuality. It is clearly not easy for them to do so, but as one Muslim American leader born in Afghanistan put it, "the majority of Muslims weigh the alternatives" — and vote against President Bush and the Republicans.

It remains to be seen, of course, whether this coalition will last. But if their anger at the Bush Administration and its policies is any guide, then Muslim Americans — immigrant and African American alike — will not soon break with their new-found liberal allies. In the meantime, many non-Muslim Americans will be troubled by these developments and find in them further evidence of the widespread sentiment that Muslim Americans are not being straight with their fellow citizens, that they are hypocrites. Perhaps they are. But then non-Muslims ought to recognize that "hypocrisy" of the sort on view in Minneapolis last week is akin to the tolerance on which our pluralistic society depends. In fact, just such behavior demonstrates that Muslims are beginning to learn what we all must do to get along in America.

For that matter, we in Minnesota ought to explain to the rest of the world, especially the Middle East, that Ellison was elected from a district with the help and support of the large and established Jewish community in St. Louis Park. I suspect that Conventional Wisdom between Morocco and Qatar would be shocked to learn that those West Metro Jewish folks would select a Muslim to represent them in DC. It makes me proud to be an American.

Sibel Edmonds: Going to happen or not? I am wondering about whether such Deep Politics as the true nature of the Sibel Edmonds scandal will be exposed next year. We had almost forgotten that in October 2002, Sibel Edmonds was featured with Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes, and you can get the video clips in 4 parts: 1 2 3 4. The story mostly focuses on the incompetence of the guys in the FBI translation unit, rather than all the Turkish espionage stuff. But still interesting. Keep an eye on the Sibel Edmonds blogspot site by Lukery in case something happens. We are still going to put a special page together on the case, but not right now..... Basically I am hoping that some Congressperson with security clearance reads Sibel's secret (buried) testimony to the 9/11 Commission into the Congressional record.

Shady voting machines in Sarasota, Florida steal a Congressional race?? In the Florida congressional district formerly held by the 2000 Debacle High Witch Katherine Harris, there were serious errors with electronic voting machines. I am jacking this post from TPMmuckraker cause it's got the goods.

Update: In FL-13, Court Battle Begins As Counting Continues By Paul Kiel - November 14, 2006, 12:56 PM

Lawyers for Democratic House candidate Christine Jennings threw down the gauntlet yesterday, asking a state court to secure electronic voting machines and data used in the election.

The move would preserve the equipment in Florida's Sarasota County for scrutiny by Jennings' legal team. A hearing on the suit is scheduled for this afternoon.

It's just the first step of what is likely to be a litigious aftermath to a close and ugly election (thanks in part to the NRCC's rampant robo calling in the district). The state began a recount and audit of the election yesterday. Once the audit and second recount is completed and the results certified on November 20th, the Jennings campaign has ten days to contest the results of the election if they still show Jennings down. Before the recounting began, she was down 386 votes.

The fight will center around the district's Sarasota County, where the electronic machines did not register a vote in the Congressional race for 18,000 voters (13%) -- what's called an "undervote." That's compared to only 2.53% of voters who did not vote in the race via absentee ballots.

A study by the local paper, The Herald Tribune, found that one in three of Sarasota election officials "had general complaints from voters about having trouble getting votes to record" on the electronic machines for the Congressional race. Since 53% of voters in Sarasota County picked Jennings over the Republican Vern Buchanan, those missed votes would likely have put Jennings in front.

Kendall Coffey, a lawyer for the Jennings campaign, told me yesterday that any court challenge of the results is likely to focus on problems with the electronic machines. He said that the campaign has a wealth of "compelling testimony" from "sources that you simply can't discredit" who had trouble registering a vote for Jennings in the county. That challenge would likely come later in the month, if the recount still shows Jennings down and the state's audit does not turn up any problems. So stay tuned.

13,000 viruses on one Windows PC: A guy uncovers a giant nest of viruses. Nasty.

The Misc file: The end of education arbitrage - IE the link between property values and education funding is cracking. An ugly prospect to behold, especially from here in Minnesota where schools are not as much of a disaster as other states.

Kelley's Iran adventure: The proprietor of one of my favorite sites went to Iran over the election and had an interesting time. He blogged it on the San Antonio paper's site. The one about Zoroastrians was pretty cool:

Two primary impulses drove me towards Yazd. First, I wanted to see the architecture of this old Silk Road city, to walk in Marco Polo's footsteps and see what he saw. My second goal was to see, interact and talk with the last large community of Zoroastrians in Iran (and the world). The major Ateshkah (Fire Temple) of Yazd lies in the Southeast part of town. Here, surrounded by a low-rise brick wall, gardens and reflecting pool (which I was sadly unable to get a good photo from) burns a flame, which the High Priest of the Temple told us, "has been burning for one thousand four hundred years."

"First," he said, his 84-year old voice trembling, "this fire came from the fire temple at Naqsh-i-Rustam where our great Iranian kings are laid to rest."

"Then," he continued, "to Yazd province it went to Agadeh. After that it went to Ardekan and finally found its way here," he told us.

The High Priest, pointing at the furuhad (the winged symbol of Zoroaster, which some say was the first depiction of an angel) atop the building, recited the three main tenets of the Zoroastrian faith. "Each row of feathers has a meaning in our faith, equaling the three central ideas of Zoroastrianism: The first row implores us to think well. The second instructs us to act well. The third and final row compels us to talk well, never to lie. To lie, or to go against any of this commands, is to give in to evil, or Ahriman."

"What," I wondered, "was Iran like 1,500 years ago? Before the Arabs arrived? When fire temples were the center of worship and activity in every city?

"Were the high priests," I thought to myself, as the flames flickered wildly behind the thick observation glass, "as rigid in their interpretation of Zoroastrianism as they are today of Islam?"

The late history of the Sassanians points towards a high priesthood with a firm, if brittle, grip on Mediaval Persian society. It was the era of Magians supremacy, and their faith was rigid. They persecuted Christians and other sects, even the Jews, but they saved their most heated attacks for the Manicheans. Kartir, the high priest to the Sassanian king even found a place on a relief next to his king, at Naqsh-i-Rashjab, about two kilometers from Naqsh-i-Rustam.

I thought about the past and couldn't help but to wonder if there is a tenuous connection between Iran's extremist past and its extremist present? One would think it were possible. But today the Zoroastrians are not only tolerated, but celebrated to a great degree for they are Iran's original "People of the Book.'

Later that afternoon father and I went to see a "Tower a Silence.' The tower lies on top of a small barren hill on the south side of town. It's like a bug round brick well, with a diameter of approximately 50 meters. The high priests would take the body of the deceased up to the tower and lay it out for the vultures to pick clean. The Zoroastrians believe that burying the body is to pollute the earth and cremation is strictly forbidden, as the body will pollute the sacred fire. It is said that if the vultures pick the left side of the face off first the deceased goes immediately to heaven. If it is the right the deceased spends a hundred years in purgatory.

Well there you go. Zoroastrianism is pretty much a sweet and mystic Old Time religion. Anyhow...

Homeless Philadelphia guys tricked into deceiving Maryland black folks about Republican Steele: In a disgusting episode, campaign workers for some shadowy Republican-linked organization provided flyers that claimed two top Republican candidates were actually Democrats, as seen here and here. A homeless guy is furious he was paid to lie to people, and didn't even get back home to Philly to vote in time.

All hail Rahm Emanuel: Still a divisive figure, Rep. Emanuel, the leader of the DCCC, selected some Dems over others in primary races, and now has been credited as the guy that won everything. This is an exaggeration. Emanuel has been criticized for not supporting Clint Curtis, the programmer who was allegedly hired by Congressman Tom Feeney to reprogram voting machines. Curtis ran for Congress in order to raise awareness of this, but he did not get a red cent from the DCCC. Likewise, abandoned a 9/11 Truth candidate whose name I can't remember. Emanuel delivered the goods, but he also set restrictions on the ideological parameters of Democratic campaigns, although in important aspects he broadened the limits beyond idiot DLC-consultant style "centrism". This bears further examination.

Judith Miller against Blogger first amendment freedom: From the mouth of the woman who brought Iraqi Aluminum Tube fantasies into the NY Times via Chalabi's henchmen, bloggers just report rumors way too much:

"I'm worried about bloggers," she said. "(A post) starts as a rumor and within 24 hours it's repeated as fact."

While she advocates a federal shield law to protect mainstream journalists from divulging their sources, she doesn't favor extending that to bloggers who don't follow the standards and ethnics [I assume this should be ethics] of the journalism industry.

Still, she wouldn't restrict a blogger's right to publish online. She said some bloggers have been invaluable in uncovering government flaws.

"I'm glad to welcome them as long as they agree to the standards," she said.

Heinous. (via Atrios). Cram your standards in an aluminum tube and smoke it with your "defector" friends.

That's all for this post. Another coming down the pike in a little bit.

Another fine moment for Cuyahoga County, Ohio: The index of voting system failures in Cleveland from lost memory cards to empty

Posted on the Agonist, this deserves to be copied again.

Cuyahoga Ohio - No, no, every vote doesn't count, and isn't... as posted: I'm going to dump this file raw - this is a raw extract of the problems that Democratic poll watchers found in a single county - Cuyahoga, in Ohio.

The Ohio Democratic Party organized 500 observers in Cuyahoga.
Unfortunately, before the polls were even closed, the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections went into cover-up mode. Time and time again, when observers pointed out that the BOE pollworkers were violating the law, the BOE pollworkers tried to throw out the observer.
For example, Mr. P.K. an observer in Bedford Heights, Precinct 4A&B saw the pollworkers using the encoder interchangeably between precincts. When the observer told the technicians that this could corrupt the voting data, the EDTs agreed, but then called the Police to have the observer evicted. The Police asked the observer to leave. After the observer left, voter protection called the BOE and asked for him to be reinstated. He reentered the polling place with his supervisor. Later in the afternoon the poll workers approached the observer and his supervisor and asked ”what they were watching”.

They said that the poll workers had inappropriately had a voter use a provisional ballot. The poll workers then called the police again and both the observer and the supervisor were ejected, for having pointed out the errors., These were unquestionably acts of revenge by poll workers who did not want to be corrected..‘

Perhaps most disappointing, the Cuyahoga BOE could not even train its own pollworkers on the Ohio Voter ID law. This law is very clear: a valid Driver’s license is acceptable ID even if it has an old address. This issue was a focus of BOE discussions and even public advertising. But was the BOE able to train its own poll workers? Not exactly.

Here’s a very incomplete list of the problems in Cuyahoga County on Election Day:

Machines Not Working or Missing
E. Cleveland 2F- 1 machine not working (F)
Ward 14 Faith United- 3 of 4 machines not opened (F)
14 K- no machines working (Y)
Ward 2 P- memory cards not working
Ward 1L Euclid- 1 of 4 machines not working (F)
Chamber School 4A,F, H- card problems, lines not moving(F)
Helen S. Brown 4 B & C- 4 of 9 machines not working(F)
Cleveland 4O & 4 R opened at 7 because machines slow to load (L)
Euclid 4- machines up at 7:15 (D)
Cleveland 7 Trinity Commons 1 out of 7 working, long lines (7:15 or so)(C)
St. Martin De Pore Cleveland 9- 3 machines of 6 down at 7:30 (C)
Ward 1 L- one machine down(F)
Allen Binstock- Woodmere A Woodmere City Hall- one of 3 down (F)
Glen Willow- 1 of 4 machines down (F)
Ward 13 E,D- opened 7:15 am- no machines working (Y)
Cleveland 16 J & K 4 of 8 machines not up 7AM- edt broke seals night before and numbers didn’t match
Cleveland Hts 4 J –memory seals missing (C)
Cle Hts Alcazar 1L – delayed opening voter access card not working (as of 7:45) (D)
Canterbury Cle Hts 2A/2B- no machines working, as of 7:30 running out of opti scan ballots (C)—see Lee Fisher’s email
Boulevard, Cle Hts 4M- only one of 4 machines working (C)
Maple Hts 5 C- no memory encoder (D)
Solon 5A- 2 machines missing (D)
Cleveland M, and O- one machine down as of 8 am, no EDT and some machine trouble (Y)
Cleveland 13 J- Reserve Sq. – opened at 7:30, and even after that only one machine working. Voters leaving (Y)
Cleveland 6Jand I- screens went black after voting started, EDTs were struggling with the problem (L)
Oakwood 6:50- only one of 4 machines working even with EDT on site- no one knew how to set them up. Working OK by 7:30 but still not enough machines for number of voters. Pollworkers didn’t know what to do about provisional ballots- our observer helped.(L) 12:30 pm- still problems, 25 people in line, 1 hour wait (precinct 2A?) techs keep calling add day for additional machines. 4A- as of 11 or so no replacement machine (L-p.18)
S. Euclid Roland School 4E- 1 machine down, only one encoder card for 2 machines, long lines (25 people) at 7:30 am
Warrensville Hts Westwood School 3A as of 7:24 no machines working, no EDT, using optiscan (L)
Circle Vista Apartments, 9 P & O, only 2 machines working in 1 precinct and one machine in the other, developing lines at 7:00 am
Cleve 13A, encoders not working
Cleveland 6 J & I, power surge shut down machines, all machines have low batteries, need to use stickers whenever they reboot, running out of stickers
Louis Pasteur, 8N, paper not feeding properly, machines stopped during voting
Cleveland Ward 10, M, voter tried to vote, machines not working, no optical, so voter went to 9F (got reported by 9F observer) (M)
Cleve Hts 1J, Edgehill- 2 machines working, 30-45 min wait, no one to fix it(M)
Cleveland 2P Supervisor and access cards-machines not responding to access code
Only one in four working as of 7:20am.; workers were given conflicting information regarding stubs (G)
Mt. Auburn 4K: ; Presiding Judge would not allow observer to work; One machine down, One pollworker missing. (G)
Robert Fulton Ward 4 Q memory card won’t fit machine(G)
Cleve 5 J and C – only one machine working/precinct (G)
Bedford Heights 3C- power cord missing = one machine in four down (G)
Ward 2P One machine down but it is the one for handicap voters(G)
Cleve 1P One machine still not working at 7:30am, apparently stuck while loading(G)
Canterbury – machines not working and provisional ballots treated inappropriately but resolved by 8am (C)
St. Albans Cleve Hts 1D, 1J voting provisonallly at 8am because machines are not working(C)
Cleve Hts. 1E and 3G Alcazar-no machines working; reported to BOE at 7:45am(C)
Ward 10 M, Polling place closed 7:48 (M)
Cleve P- no memory cards recognized(G)
Bedford Heights 1A- only 2 cards for 4 machines(G)
Cleve 1R-tamper seal broken; waiting for next machine(G)
Cleve 1 D and E- at 7:45am neither machine had memory card to transfer assignment sheet. (G)
Franklin 3- long line; lots of tech issues (G)
Cleveland A2, machine froze during voting, voter left without voting (M)
Maple Hts 6A, long lines, ½ hr waits at 8:14, voters leaving in disgust, not enough machines, some broken down (M)
Cleveland 6 U,O,H, 3 out of 10 machines not working (reported at 8:15, solved at 8:35) (M)
Cleveland 20K machine problems (M)
Cleveland 11E Voter Akev Sakid didn’t get to vote 440-915-3391 because of problems (M)
Lakewood 4E, only one machine working (M)
Parma Ward 1, D and B, machines down, long lines (M)
Lakewood Precinct 3, Westerly Apts, long lines for a while (M)
Cleveland 18L- voter left card in machine, no resolution (M)
Cleveland 4D, 2 machines down, one tampered with, lines earlier (M)
Cleveland 7, I & C, machines not working (M)
Cleveland P, machine tampered with , not in use, so only 3 working (M)
Cleveland 10-K Poll workers are saying they don’t have enough machines, worried they won’t be able to handle push later on, at 10:15 am (M)
Cleveland 9E Had 4 machines, but can insert tape into 1 so only 3 working, 30-40 minutes wait (M)
Cleveland John Dunn 5G, problems with machines in morning, 1 machine stopped communicating with printer, another machine not working, one non working machine still had votes on it but couldn’t print backup. (M)
Roxboro School- techs from diebold came to fix machine, it refused to work
Ward 13 A, St. Martin Depoure (sp?) No machines were working until 8:25 a.m. because poll location given wrong encoder card (memory cards did not work). Until 8:25 a.m., voters cast optical scan ballots and our observers made sure poll workers wrote “regular ballot” on the optical scan ballots. (YB)
Lynhurst – Turning people away from the pools, because ran out of optical scan ballots. (YB)
Ward 20, Precinct J, L – Poll workers confused and slow. 3 of 5 machines not working in precinct J. 2 of 4 machines not working in precinct L. (YB)
Ward 16, Precincts P, Q and R – BOE Technician showed up. Memory cards were in the wrong machines. He opened machines, broke seal and switched some memory cards into their correct machine (5 total). BOE was called before all memory cards were switched and technician left. (YB)
Cleve 8am Ward 4H- 2 of 5 machines not working(G)
Cleve Hts W2-no machines working at 8:50am(G)
Cleve Hts.(Voter reported at 8:58am) W1 pct.1 Since 6:30am, the cards and readers do not work. They are handing out provisional votes or “optical scan regular ballots”. 10 people are in line but many have already left. This voter will fill out a declaration. (G)
Cleveland Hts 2 A and B no machines working. This call came at 9:11am. (G)
At 7:10am in Cleve 20J and L only 5 of nine machines worked; follow up at 7:23am: two of the machines fixed but 2 others determined to be permanently disabled, leaving only 7 of 9 machines working. (M)
Bedford Hts.. Ward 2. At 10:30am three of the eleven machines were not working (C ) .
Warr. Hts, Westville School 3A- no machines, no EDT, as of 7:24 no machines working, using opti scan (L)
Solon Advent Lutheran Church-5 A,B,C D all machines down, 7:17 (L)
Highland Heights 2D, 1Bdown and turning people away 7:17 (L)
Parma 2D- one of four machines paper log jammed (L)
Warrensville 1B polls opened late due to machine malfunction, took one hour to vote. Machines functioning at 8:28 call. (L)
John Dewey School 6A,5A,3C Warrensville Hts, 20 min wait- machine down, no response from BOE 8:44 (L)
Oakwood village, City Hall 2A overwhelmed, poll workers need reinforcements, too many voters, not enough machines, one voter left (9:40 am) (L-p.8)
Senior Citizens Center 4A- machines broken all morning, called last night, called today, still waiting for replacement, 6-7 people in line at 9:30 am.
Woodmere, line too long, people left- did get it fixed later in morning (L)
Clarksville Library A= 18 minute line, B=10 min. line at 10:30—just not enough machines
Westwood School- BOE brought in 4 machines to replace 5 that didn’t work with printers (all defective), couldn’t print zero report. Used optiscan, and those are being put in provisional envelope (L. p. 12- also noted under provisional problems) 12:23 still using optical scan ballots to move the line (L)
Precinct: 2 F
Location: Anthrop Towers, East Cleveland
Issue: Voting machine inoperative. Technician cannot get the machine operable. 3 out of 4 machines operable.
Reported to BOE:
Precinct: 14
Location: Faith United Methodist
Issue: Voting machines inoperative. 3 out of 4 machines inoperable.
Reported to BOE:
1. Precinct: 2 P
Location: Faith United Methodist
Issue: Memory cards not working.
Reported to BOE: Yes
3. Precinct: 4 A, F, H
Location: Chambers School
Issue: Difficulty with memory cards. Resulting in long lines.
Reported to BOE: Yes
5. Precinct: 4 B, C
Location: Helen S. Brown
Issue: 2 machines are completely inoperable and 2 other machines working intermittently.
Reported - Yes EP:
Reported to BOE: Christy at 6:56 AM. Will try to get a tech down here ASAP
6. Precinct: 4 A, B, C, E, F
Location: Euclid
Issue: Machines operating eratically. There is a 20 minute line . Technicians onsite are trying to keep the machines up and running.
Reported - Yes EP:
Reported to BOE: Christy 7:18 AM. Will dispatch a supervisor.
7. Precinct: 2 B
Location: Lakeside Baptist Church, 12600 Euclid Ave.
Issue: One mach inoperable and the onsite technician was unable tot resolve the issue. Request was made to BOE for a technician supervisor.
Reported - Yes EP: 10:10 AM.
Reported to BOE: Not reported.
8. Precinct: 2 A.
Location: United Methodist Church 6630 Smith Road, Brookpark
Issue: 4 machines up and running . Needs 6. 25 people in line. Wait time about 30 minutes.
Reported - Yes EP: 10:10 AM
Reported to BOE: not reported
8. Precinct: 3 G, E
Location: New Covenant Lutheran Church
Issue: 2 machines down all day. Called in. No line now. This morning a 15 minute line. Worried about length of lines this afternoon. Need additional machines.
Reported - Yes EP: 12:00 PM.
Reported to BOE: not reported
9. 11 C Precinct:
Location: Bedford Heights Aurora Road Upper Intermediate School
Issue: only 2 working machines, there is a 30 – 45 minute wait
Reported - Yes EP:
Reported to BOE: reported at 1:00 PM
10. Precinct: 11 C
Location: Beth Israel Church 18100
Issue: machines not set up 20 minute to a 1 hour wait. 30 to 40 people left. Initially no machine available for the precincts provisional ballots. Poll workers were tearing off the top section.
Reported - Yes EP:
Reported to BOE:
11. Precinct: 2 D
Location: Fairfax
Issue: Problems with memory cards
Reported - Yes EP:
Reported to BOE:
12. Precinct: 1 H
Location: Coventry
Issue: 89 people could not vote due to machine problems and cast a paper vote. The workers tore stubs off and put them in envelopes
Reported - Yes EP:
Reported to BOE:
12. Precinct: P
Location: Fuch s MizachiPocky SchoolUniversity Heights
Issue: older presiding judge was lost.
Reported - Yes EP:
Reported to BOE:
13.Precinct: 11 C
Location: Temple Emanuel
Issue: plder presiding judge, delay in opening polls delayed by 20 .
Reported - Yes EP:
Reported to BOE:
14. Precint: 4A, B
Location: Solon Road, Bedford Heights
Issue: Observer corrected the poll workers that had incorrectly used the encryption card form one precinct to another in violation of policies. The workers then told observer to leave and had the police remove the wokrker. The BOE was called and the observer was let back in.
14. Precinct: 4 C
Location: First Baptist Church, Bedford
Issues: Voting a provisional ballot , the workers had the voters signing the incorrect book.
Precinct: L
Location: Hampton Recreation BuildingBeachwood
Issue: refused to accept a utility bill as identification
Reported - Yes EP:
Reported to BOE:issues
Machine /operator problem
Ward 11 D,C,P- running late, struggle to get zero reports(F)
Cleveland 13 S,T,U—trouble loading paper and canister problems (Y)
Maple hts High School 5 A,B,C,D- voters allowed to vote in wrong precincts
Cleveland O-9, voter asked for assistance using machine, pollworkers refused to help, didn’t get to vote (filled out incident report) (M p. 7 11:47)
In Cleve 20 L technician switched memory cards. (M)
Brooklawn Elem, Cleveland ward 19, Precinct F and E: subs problem---“A and B stubs go here”---tearing off stubs and putting in envelope---p -59 shown , not sufficient; poll worker called BOE---told to take off B stub, leave A. (S)(2:25)
Howard Precinct V: no scan ballots; does have provisionals. (S)
Bedford/Bedford Heights: confusion re stubs, which sign/retain---will have observers complete incident report. (S)(3:52)
Brooklawn Elem, Cleveland ward 19, Precinct F and E: subs problem---“A and B stubs go here”---tearing off stubs and putting in envelope---p -59 shown , not sufficient; poll worker called BOE---told to take off B stub, leave A. (S)(2:25)
Howard Precinct V: no scan ballots; does have provisionals. (S)
Bedford/Bedford Heights: confusion re stubs, which sign/retain---will have observers complete incident report. (S)(3:52)
Opened late because of building access problem/other access problems
Paul Lawrence Dunbar- Cleveland 14, C,D,E, Q- no keys, no access to bldg (F)(Y) E& C opened at 7pm, D&Q opened at 7:10 (Y)
Cleve M- just got running at 7:15am(G)
Ward 17, Precincts L, M & N – School Lot small and every spot filled. Police ticketed voters parking on the street between 7-9 a.m. Sign also indicates no parking between 3-6 p.m. RESOLUTION – City relaxing enforcement of no parking zone near voting location. (YB)
Ward 14, Precinct D - Only 5 people listed in pool book.(YB)
Warrensville Hts 7A&B, moved St. Judes to Parish center across driveway, no signs out, church is condemned, plenty of people out, not hard to find, no flags to post, some voters confused, problem, but not devastating (L)
Warrensville 1B, took 1 hour to vote, polls opened late (L, p. 6)
FRANK FINK’S DATA: Precinct: 11 D , P, C
Location: Chambers School
Issue: Running well behind. All poll except one is new. Having difficulty getting up and running. Trouble getting people to work.
Supervisor: Reported to BOE: By at 6:40 AM
1. Precinct: 2E
Location: My. Nebo Baptist Church Annex, 12713 Superior, Cleveland
Issue: All poll judges cancel at the last minute except one. The one who did show became ill and returned home. As 7:14, one functional machine. One voter had to leave and cast a paper ballot. Others waited and no one was turned away. Unknown wait time. As of 11:10 AM, up and running per Kevin, despite reports that the site was totally down.

Reported - Yes EP: reported at 5:550 AM
Reported to BOE: Yes, the said replacements would be dispatched.
Problems due to lack of staffing
Mt. Nebo Baptist in Cleveland 2E- opened at 7:10—no BOE staff at first, now short handed (F)
Canterbury- no R poll worker , EDT won’t open till there is (D) (see other Canterbury problems)
Solon 2A/5A- no presiding judges (C)
Cleveland Ward 11 C, P, D: opened 20 min late, Precinct D- missing 2 judges, everyone is new, long lines (M)
Ward 11 U Cleveland, opened 15 min late, only 3 workers, confused, not yet voting at 7:12 (M)
Franklin 3- Presiding Judge missing- opened but long line; lots of tech issues (G)
Only one judge in Cleveland 11D, slow lines (M)
East Cleveland Mt. Nebo 2E- no voting machines working all day. (M)
Chambers Elementary 4A,F,H opened 45 minutes late, had problems at least until 8:30 (M)
Lakeside Baptist 2A 1 machine down (M)
Helen Brown Senior Center 4B&E, problems with codes until 9:30 am (M)
Prospect Elementary 4 D & F, opened 30 min late (M)
MLK CMC Center 3D & I, 5 of 8 machines not working, 3 never worked, huge lines (M)
St. John’s Lutheran Church,Ward 11 Precinct I, no workers showed up to set up the night before, only one worker showed in the morning, later others showed up,not up and running till 7 am.
Ward 12, Precincts C, F - Insufficient election officials (2 poll workers short in each precinct), one precinct does not have a presiding judge. (YB)
Ward 17, Precincts E, F – Insufficient election officials. No presiding judges showed up and no poll workers showed in precinct E. A poll worker from F substituted for E. (YB)
Maple Heights Fire Station #1, contentious poll workers arguing, delayed opening by 10 min. (L) 2 gentlemen from BOE ejected someone from the fire station, other people in polling place are upset about it
Staffing problems (no info re: whether this resulted in delayed opening or other problems)
Cleve Hts 4J- Forest Hills—no EDT (C)
Solon 5B- no presiding judge (D)
Granger School 12 (C) short 2 poll workers
Ward 18 E, A, F- only one presiding judge for all 3 precincts (Y)
Cleveland 14 W Max Hayes- no presiding judge (Y)
Cleveland 20 D-missing 1 worker (Y)
E-missing 2 workers (Y)
J- No presiding judge (Y)
K- no worker (Y)
Cleveland 13W no. P5 couldn’t open machines for short time (G)
One EDT for 4 precincts (G)
Cleveland 6A- only one Republican judge showed up (M)
Cleveland A2, only one poll worker (M)
Cleveland 6H- no presiding judge (M)
Cleve Ward 4 8am – Presiding Judge just left(G)

Parma Ward 9 J-only two judges out of four at 6:30am (Elks Lodge)(M)
Lakewood W2J 3 out of 4 judges missing(M)
Lakewood W2P- 2 out of 4 judges missing at 7am(M)
Cleve 20 J and L- West Park Slovenian- Presiding Judge did not arrive and the other three seemed confused. (M)
Cleveland Hts. 5E and J: Hope Evangelical on N. Taylor: Presiding Judge says the observer is not able to interact with the voters.(C)
Granger School, Maple Hts, 2 poll workers missing , BOE sent only one
Opened Late – no reason given
Grantwood Golf Course, 38855 Aurora Rd, Solon opened 20 minutes late. This information provided to M by Regional Field Organizer, Dems. Says he got this info from Candidate.
Cleve 5F and 5M-delayed precinct openings of approximately one half hour.(G)
Observer not allowed to work or hassled
Huron Apts, E. Cleve- observer not allowed in (F)
Parma 4A,I, F- observer not allowed in till poll opened (F)

No observers allowed Cle Hts 2H (D)
Cleveland 11 C, D, P, 2 pollworkers complained to BOE, told observers not to call BOE and not to talk to poll workers or voters. (M)
Cleveland 10-D , Q,R,S- observer walked outside, Sally Floukewicz from BOE told her not to talk to ANYONE. (M p.7, 10:59)
Firestation #1, Maple Heights Gary @ BOE told observer he was not allowed to interact, only to observe (L, p. 6)
Cleveland 20J and 20L, BOE told judges not to talk to observer (L)
Voter-Precinct Issues
Address that voter gave did not show up on BOE website (G and W)
Lakewood 2Q, police officer sending voters to wrong precinct (was corrected 9:20) (M)
Firestation #1 Maple Heights- lots of voters at precinct B, not many at precinct D, voters are impatient (L)
Brookpark United Methodist- a lot of name changes, addresses don’t match.(L)
Long Lines
Lee Road Library 2J very long lines at 8am(C)
Cleveland Hts. Noble Rd Library- lines are 75 minutes; worst at 4N and 4H and 4D and 4L. One line for sign in, one line for card; some people are leaving after signing in(C)
Bedford Glendale School 4A and B- lines are too long and voters are leaving(C)
Cleveland Hts Grace Lutheran Church 2K long lines at 8:30am(C)
Lee Rd Library- 8am-2I long lines(C)
Cleve. Hts. 2K Lutheran Church on Cedar, long lines(C)
Cleve Hts. 2K, 3C and 2D are waiting 40 minutes to vote. (C)
Precinct 20 J&L, very long line from 10 until after 12; 45 min. long, 2 people left without voting (S)
Provisional Ballot Problems
Cleveland 11 C,D,P giving out provisional ballots to people in line to speed voting up (M)
Cleveland 10M, person voted provisional ballot—presiding judge said board of elections told him/her that observer couldn’t talk to voters after voting(M)
Woman moved out of precinct, brought ID, given provisional ballot, issues ballot not given to her. Registered co-worker made to vote provisionally, also not given issues ballot. Voter had moved within precinct, pollworker told voter to use provisional ballot (M)
Ward 20-21, Gunning Recreational – Report that a large number of provisional ballots being cast (i.e. people not in poll books, possibly sent to wrong polling place by BOE). RESOLUTION – Supervisor checked and was told only 3-4 provisional ballots cast in each precinct.(YB)
Bedford Hts. 2A At 8:52am a provisional ballot was cast. After the voter left, the worker discovered the voter could have voted by regular ballot. Since the voter had left, Dora told the observer that the information should be written on the provisional ballot. (G)
At 9:11am, a call from Columbus stated that in Cleveland 20M and P there is a list of people who must vote provisionally. (G)
From a call from Columbus at 9:11am, one of the Presiding Judges called and asked “Am I supposed to sign the provisional vote or is the BOE worker?” (G)

Ridgewood Elem. School, Lyndhurst (W1DorE)- giving people provisional ballots and not explaining what they are. This information provided to M by Paul Mernacheck, Regional Field Organizer, Dems. Says he got this info from Candidate Roger Gundy.
Westwood School- BOE brought in 4 machines to replace 5 that didn’t work with printers (all defective), couldn’t print zero report. Used optiscan, and those are being put in provisional envelope (L. p. 12- also noted under provisional problems)(L-p. 19 12:23- presiding judge filled out pink sheets, said no need to record SSN, checked ID and said that’s ok. 20 min. line.
Shaker Hts DD, O: Additional electors list, lots of provisional ballots being issued.(L)
Cleveland 19M- poll judge challenging all provisional ballots
3-I: six people listed as required to do provisionals---all did---did not give reasons. (S) (12:30)
3-I: six people listed as required to do provisionals---all did---did not give reasons. (S) (12:30)
Absentee Ballot Issues
Bedford 2A. Poll worker accepted absentee ballot. The 9:20 am follow up is that that absentee ballot will not be accepted and the vote won’t count. (G)
Parma 4 H no absentee voter list in supply box-- seemed too many people marked Absentee, voters said they never requested absentee ballots (L)
Precinct Ballot Issues
Presbyterian Church, 5312 Mayfield Rd. (not sure of Ward or pct): Giving ballots from the wrong precinct to voters. This information provided to M by Paul Mernacheck, Regional Field Organizer, Dems. Says he got this info from Candidate Roger Goudy.
Euclid 1-D: voter sent card but not in poll book. (S)(11:00)
Parma, Pleasant View Elementary, 770 Malibew, 7-D,7-F, 7-I and 7-J: refusing to take sample democratic ballots into voting booth. Called to BOE.
ID Issues
Forest Hills 3E- Carl Rottenberg’s driver’s license was being written down. (C)
Bedford 2A (bellweather, High School, 481 Northfield). Voter asked for PROOF of DOB. Voter left. (C) .
Fairfax, CH 2E,F Anne Billington, voter, was not told to sign the book.
She voted but is concerned that it might not count (C).
Precinct: L
Location: Hampton Recreation BuildingBeachwood
Issue: refused to accept a utility bill as identification
Reported - Yes EP:
Reported to BOE:issues
Mayfield Village City/Community Hall: Keelin O’Neil states signs of Katz campaign pulled and destroyed; Alan paid permit fee; all others removed.(S)
TSX Assignment Sheet Problems
Cleveland 3 N and #J, no TXS assignment sheets, no one seems to know what observer is talking about (L- p. 10-approx 10 am)
Cleveland, 2O, 3N, 2G, 3J- no one in whole polling place (L)
3J, 3N, one EDT for all chips, that person did not record which chip went into which machine, observer convinced poll workers to record which chip number ws from which machine. No chip numbers on security log, no TSX sheets. (L-16, 10:30)
Shaker Hts community Bldg (?L-p.17) voter passed out and knocked over machine, machine now out of order, people had voted prior to it being knocked over.
Shaker Hts community Bldg. (? L-p.17) family got card from BOE, not in book and not on list of additional electors
Mayfield Hts destroyed all lawn signs at polling places, said need $100 permit (L)
Problems Resolved
Ward 10 precinct 7, open and functioning, all problems resolved 8:21 am (M)
New Covenent Lutheran 3F and 2G, problems earlier, now fixed at 10:15 (M)
Carla reported that Elsie Day (470-1729) reported that the access cards were being reincripted for another precinct. This apparently is OK, according to Carla.
Bedford Heights-Service Building-Ward 4 A and B: sending voters from one precinct to another, at least one vote voided; since corrected. (S) (Between 12:30-1:00


Land of the free, Cleveland

Election Day 2006 Special Updates

It's a Real Big Deal. Everyone should vote, even if they don't think the candidates are perfect. I am going to go door-knocking early in the morning, then probably hit DFL gatherings in Minneapolis and the central DFL rally in downtown St. Paul.

Find your voting place - in Minnesota:
Use the search box. Be advised that the Secretary of State's website does not have all the methods for same-day registration. Shocking that a Republican might forget those details.

Vote for the more progressive Democratic candidate - or you're screwed in the long run! Anyone can make an argument that "this system is fixed, it's between a giant douche and a turd sandwich," but real decisions are going to get made and our nation is going to fall apart if that stuff doesn't start working better. So vote responsibly. And drag your friends out.

Report election fraud and suspicious happenings - record anything with a video camera (and put it on YouTube). Check out this HBO documentary about electronic voting machines "Hacking Democracy" that has just been posted on Google Video in full and find out exactly how to hack an electronic voting machine - just put negative numbers on the memory card for Gore, and no one will know! (See for more on the machines) A general view of The Odds without fraud from the independent Scoop. How to tape robocalls. Ian Welsh on the Agonist says:

There are a number of organizations working to fight vote fraud this Tuesday. The one I recommend calling if you have problems is Election Protection because they have live operators who can help on the spot, and they have lawyers in every state ready to head out to the polls if necessary.
Election Protection: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (People for the American Way)
If you’re not sure where your polling place is, call: 1-866-MYVOTE-1

The problem with vote fraud is simple – once the numbers come out no one wants to investigate. Even when we know beyond a reasonable doubt that there was fraud, it’s very hard to reverse.
What You Can Do
Audio, visual or video evidence is the smoking gun. If people are being hassled by off duty cops, record it. If the machine is causing problems, record it. Take pictures if there are excessively long line ups and upload them on election day, as soon as you can. Get them to your favourite bloggers and we’ll flog them. Slap up a diary at Kos, stick them in a diary here at the Agonist and we’ll front page them and get them out. If you have video, get it onto YouTube.
What Campaigns Should Do
Rule 1: If it looks like there is widespread vote fraud, state that there is aggressively, accuse them of everything they have done, and do it on the record through the day. Election days are oddly news free for most of the day, as everyone is waiting for numbers to come in. This will be particularly true this year since there are few exit polls. You can make a story. Do so.
Rule 2: Connect the dots for the media. Campaigns that commit vote fraud usually have a history of shady dealings. Make sure you have a timeline and a story about all the shady things they’ve done in the past, so this isn’t a one time thing, but part of a pattern.
Rule 3: Never concede, declare victory if it’s evenly slightly close. If you concede, it’s over. Period. If you declare victory the story stays alive and you have a better chance of getting a real recount. “All the votes deserve to be counted” does not work, we’ve seen that multiple times. Declare victory.
Finally – Republicans will be declaring Democrats are committing widespread voter fraud. They are already setting up their narrative for it. They will be attempting to set up a “everyone does it, not just us” narrative. Remember that the best defense is a good offense. Take all the ammunition you have, if your campaign is subject to voter fraud, and hit them hard with it.

Live-Blogging the election - I am probably not going to post much if any stuff tomorrow, but a lot of people are. DailyKos would be a big internet Dem activist spot and here is where you would get links to all user-submitted content tagged with Minnesota tags like MN-SEN , MN-GOV MN-03 etc. Here is a huge table showing what races have been called everywhere. Check for the local.

Updates rolling into as well. Websites such as and are also pursuing all news of voting anomalies, fake robo-calls and voter suppression, as well as

Shady Biznass: The CryptoBush era ends today, so win this one for Hunter

A wrapup on all the stuff that I've got sitting on the computer right now. "Who cares?" you say. Good question. Certainly a subtext of politics these days is how the blogs are all talk and no action. Well no one on our side has had any power nationally for pretty much 6 years, so we were never really going to get things moving until now.

As for me, well, I just don't know if campaign work is what I want to do. It is very hard but I respect it - on either side it is a grueling thing, and probably even worse in other states. Tomorrow I'm going to help door-knock for the DFL much of the day, then go check out some things going on in Minneapolis and St. Paul. One of those days where you go out and try to find out what is really going on. Going to take a lot of pictures and catch The Process.

For me, in this new and somewhat better phase that damn well better start tomorrow, well, writing on the website is going to have to take second priority to working enough to make rent, and also engaging with politics in a way that is actually productive, rather than just screaming at the wind in the usual way. That would definitely be a good thing.

For all the bitching, though, there have been a lot of useful principles and information collected during the CryptoBush years. Now we have whole new ways of developing political awareness and momentum, and a kind of 'digital collective memory' that makes it impossible for the shady patterns of power that have dominated modern America from continuing their reign.

We're gonna win big this time, for Hunter, for all the people that are disgusted with truthiness and want the damned truth.

Pentagon gaining quasi-PSY OPS organization to fight Information operations/wars at the American information public sphere etc:

NY Times: Pentagon Widens Its Battle to Shape News of Iraq War


Published: November 3, 2006

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 — The Pentagon is reorganizing its public affairs operation in an attempt to influence news coverage, amid internal frustration at the tone and substance of reporting on Iraq and on Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

The expanded office, which was first described by department officials in an informal press briefing on Monday, features a “rapid response unit” to react to news reports. It is also stepping up efforts to arrange appearances by department officials on talk radio and cable television, and to recruit “surrogates” who are not on the department’s payroll to defend its policies.

A dozen new staff members have started to work behind a newly installed wall in the Pentagon’s press office.

Officials involved say the new effort, which was conceived by Assistant Secretary of Defense Dorrance Smith, is not primarily a response to negative coverage but rather is aimed at more aggressively challenging articles and broadcasts deemed inaccurate and at making better use of podcasts, blogs and other new outlets.

“This is about the Department of Defense keeping the American people better informed about the nature of its operations, its activities, and its policies,” said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. “We would have to do this even if we were not nation at war.”

But officials also concede that much of the effort so far has focused on disputing stories about the war in Iraq and about Mr. Rumsfeld that they deem to be inaccurate. Pentagon officials in recent months have issued a flood of letters to the editor taking issue with accounts of Mr. Rumsfeld’s role in setting Iraq strategy, the content of his speeches and other matters of fact and interpretation in newspapers and magazine articles.

More on that. related: U.S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons - AP Wire: U.S. war prisons legal vacuum for 14,000.WaPo: Bush Wants "Terrorists" Thrown Deeper Into Black Hole. Pentagon Will "Catapult the Propaganda" Via U.S. Media: Military, government indoctrination wing formally declares psychological warfare on the American people!! [w000000!]

Criminalizing exposing the truth about Iraq. The only metric that really matters on Iraq.

Also the use of Position papers and fear of dictatorship, all from UK has become a surveillance society.

Looking back at 2004 shadiness: looks at how the exit polls were leading to a Kerry victory. Voting machines going to get more federal scrutiny next year. Diebold's actual voting machine business is not profitable at all: they should sell it! Check!! What they are looking for.

Poll wanderings: Polls are just nuts. Consider all these polls from just the last week and how the gayMethPreacherGate collided with KerryBigMouthFeignOutrageGate. This Gallup poll looked perhaps too good for Democrats. Netroots wouldn't support Rahm Emanuel for speaker.

God wants you to kill the Arabs: how to rationalize religion into politics in spooky ways.

Blogs and Monks: not so different.

“There has never been an American army as violent and murderous as the one in Iraq”: Pulitzer-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh slams Bush at McGill address

Robocalls dirty tricks: AKA RoboSpoofing. How to tape robocalls. The DCCC is tracking the dirty tricks issue, as is keith Olbermann and TPM. Ian Welsh in the Agonist on this;

Republicans and Republican proxies have flooded key battleground areas with calls and robocalls to Democrats and independents. The calls are long, tedious and appear to come from the Democratic candidate in the state. They tend to come in at around 2am to 3am. And if you hang up, they call again, and again, and again... The goal, of course, is to suppress turnout - to make people so pissed that they don't vote.

I am copying his handy list of shady tricks:

  • Finding out you're not on the voters list, voting with a provisional ballot which in most cases will never be counted
  • Not enough machines delivered to Democratic leaning precincts
  • Off duty police intimidting blacks and hispanics
  • Many people arriving at the wrong polling station because they got a phone call giving them the wrong location
  • Scrutineers demanding multiple pieces of ID even when not required by law
  • Republican districts reporting their votes last, after closed door counting sessions
  • Overvotes: cases where more people vote than are registed to vote in the riding
  • Posters and fliers in Democratic areas listing the wrong polling place or saying that more ID is required than is needed by law
  • Districts where machines are inoperative for hours
  • Cases where the machines register the Republican instead of the Democrat, no matter what you pick
  • And much more


Neoconservatives backstab Bush Administration: in a great moment, Vanity Fair leaked excerpts of leading neoconservatives bitching at the Bush people for fucking up the war. This is funny - via Wonkette:

Michael Ledeen, American Enterprise Institute freedom scholar: "Ask yourself who the most powerful people in the White House are. They are women who are in love with the president: Laura [Bush], Condi, Harriet Miers, and Karen Hughes."

Also they have a plan for a comeback: Bomb Iran and Lieberman for President. Yep, it's dumb. More on running for cover and here.

Florida is nuts: Katherine Harris says all kinds of crazy shit.

The Faux Kerry Insult fracas: It was just weird. A roundup of 9/11 exploitation gestures from Bush.

Save the Israeli and Palestinian moderates: read this, and about humanitarian collapse and destabilization.

How Journalists Lost the Connecticut Senate Race. Army Times: 'Time for Rumsfeld to go' (full text). Hotline's saturday update on the Campaign. McLaughlin Group favors a Senator Webb 3 to 2, even Blankley's with Webb!

Afghanistan is going to fall apart: read this interview with NPR reporter Sarah Chayes, which portrays the reality of ongoing Pakistani support for the Taliban, including news that the border near Quetta is totally open, and that is where most of the Taliban leadership is hanging out.

Random from DailyKos: History of wars and elections: worth glancing at. Breaking down the Fortress GOP. The kids are gonna be right-wing? Rove's armies of the night. NY Times is all anti-Republican now. It is a battle for Total Governance. How Conservatives Exploit Our Five Core Concerns. Runaway Nukes: Bush Not First Republican President to Betray US.

Fitz moves to contain CIA leak court case: He doesn't want the whole thing to be examined - just the parts he can nail Libby with. There has to be another legal strategy to keep hitting them.

Mike Stark keeps getting his ass kicked: In the madness of the Allen/Webb race, one law student/blogger, Mike Stark got tackled and then arrested at another event. But with all this video these days we can clearly the Allen guys were acting way too aggressive, as they tend to do.

The Press Corpse: ABC political director Halperin begs Hugh Hewitt to love him: Hugh Hewitt is a bloviating conservative radio show host and blogger, and Mark Halperin, the director of ABC's political news coverage, went on Hewitt's show and begged Hewitt to confirm that Halperin is not a secret liberal, and this extended into a smooch fest with letters of fealty exchanged. What the fuck? Would someone like Kos expect a news director to promise not to be liberal and get all these lovey letters out of him? That's ridiculous.

Iraq continues disintegration: The Bushies bought a little quiet with Saddam-verdict-based curfews around Iraq, but of course the real situation hasn't changed at all. Even the great mighty Bechtel pulling out after 3 rough years of rebuilding work.

Open Source Intelligence: Going to have to check this out later and this too, and here, here. So why did the guy running this site, Robert Steele, a veteran of the American intel community and an author of serious books about intelligence reform, endorse the full blown "synthetic terror" conspiracy theory? His Amazon reviews are pretty sweet.

Karen Weldon and the Serbs, another corrupt foreign lobbying relationship. Productivity going down.

Paranoia Alternative Universe etc: watch Wayne Madsen interviewed on a Portland community TV show Outside the Box. Official website @ Actually pretty funny. The late Sherman Skolnick on a conspiracy involving the Clintons and everyone back in the day. Not that I'm a believer, but its a funny one starring Vince Foster and Rahm Emanuel. The late great Skolnick's page. They are going to require clearance from Homeland Security to even leave America??! Gore Vidal on 9/11 and stuff (video). Bush admits demolitions? Rockefeller Predicted "Event" To Trigger War Eleven Months Before 9/11. Former World Bank Chief Economist Predicts Global Crash. The NAFTA Superhighway!! XFiles' Lone Gunmen and 9/11. Cloakanddagger summarizes their favorite 9/11 conspiracies. A German intelligence officer Andreas von Bülow says Cloak and Dagger is on the right track?! What about the AIPAC case, and secret balconies? It all reads too silly to me... Fake 9/11 phone calls??

Nerd out: Spyware company Zango under pressure - their spyware opens doors for hackers. Best game levels of all time. Funny Borat story. Apparently there are five women to every man in Beirut these days and things are steamy. All the nerds gotta go. liberal gear.

Well that's all the links I got for this political era. It's my friend's birthday tomorrow.

After the deal is sealed, Fuck it man. I'm going bowling.

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