Voter Hacking

I haven't heard about this until I read Bloggerman:

As of earlyFriday evening, at least 60 viewers and readers had forwarded me cut-and-pastes of -- or links to -- an amazingly intricate conspiracy theory on-line piece that intertwines the Presidential election, Homeland Security, the FBI, $29,000,000 in payoffs, Enron, and the Saudi Royal Family - seemingly everybody except the Visiting Nurse Association of Skaneateles, New York.

Each email has come with the same question: could this possibly be true?

To summarize the story, Wayne Madsen, a former naval officer and now self-styled investigative journalist, has written that “according to informed sources in Washington and Houston,” computer experts were promised phenomenal amounts of cash, laundered via Saudi Arabia and the secret accounts of those who looted Enron, to pose as FBI and Homeland Security agents, infiltrate polling places around the country, and hack into electronic voting systems.

In the "I Wasn't Groped; I Was Just Checked by Airport Security" Department

Yeesh. Well, this will get Bill O'Reilly flying anyway (smirk).

Thanksgiving travelers may be in for a bit of a shock as they plod through security lines at the nation's airports. Passengers chosen for secondary screening or whose clothing appears suspicious or bulky are now subject to frisking--in a pretty intrusive way. In late September, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began allowing security checkpoint screeners to manually pat down women's breasts and the genital and derriere regions of both sexes during searches. The point is to find hidden explosives while machines that might perform the job are still being tested. "I know it's not pleasant," says Rep. John Mica, chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, "but until we get the technology, what are the options?"


The Thanks Part

I probably speak for more than a few of you when I say this has been a tough year to find sufficient thanks to note during Thanksgiving festivities. Personal or global, this has been a notoriously tough year with no easy prospects for improvement.

The "Go Ahead with the Election Even if the Masses Won't Vote" Contingent

What is this with our fierce determination to carry off elections in Iraq in January even if large parts of the population won't be able to vote and about 25% (like Sunis) refuse to vote?

Just because 48% of the population here got fucked over on November 2nd doesn't mean we have to consign Iraq to an indecent election. This dummy presidency the Bush cartel is pushing on Iraq isn't going to be viewed as valid by Iraq or the rest of the world. So why do we need to do it no matter what?

Seriously, if you honestly believe - despite some considerable evidence to the contrary - that we went into Iraq to liberate these people from the evil regime of Saddam, why wouldn't you want them to have a real election? Do they deserve any less? A real election doesn't start off by having as much as 50% of the electorate disenfranchised even before the first ballot is cast. Either directly or indirectly because of our actions in controlling the country, we've disenfranchised that much of the Iraqi population, if not more. So how can 1/30/05 represent a fair vote?


In the Bye, Bye Ashcroft Department

Hilarious. Thanks to Wonkette for the link.

Olbermann on Elections

From Bloggerman:

It was a spectacular irony - a Republican senator using the word “fraud” about the presidential election. More spectacular still, he was visiting his condemnation of apparent election manipulation on the incumbent party. And beyond all that, he and others based their conclusions largely on the incredible disparity between the last exit polls and the vote count itself. Of course, Indiana’s Richard Lugar was talking about the presidential election in the Ukraine. But in so doing, he underscored that once again, the exit polls appear to have fulfilled the time-honored international tradition of the canary in the mine shaft. If only we could have used them in that way here.


So the people in the Ukraine turned out en masse today in sub-zero weather to protest the elections but here, with some evidence of fraud on November 2nd, nobody's concerned. Lovely.

Iraqi Elections

From CNN:

Iraq's interim defense minister was quoted by an Arabic-language newspaper Tuesday as saying he cannot guarantee the safety of candidates or voters in elections scheduled for January 30. Meanwhile, U.S., British and Iraqi troops began a new campaign against insurgents in Babil province near Baghdad, the U.S. military said.
I guess the Iraqis are not supposed to notice what a sham their "liberation" is.


A Bleeping Yacht?

Congress just appropriated money for a presidential yacht, says Atrios.

My God.


The President "Too Special" to Go Through Same Security Measures We Do


Hours after President Bush dove into a fracas to rescue his lead Secret Service agent from a confrontation with Chilean security officials, word surfaced of another security dispute. This time, an elaborate state dinner Sunday night was the casualty.

The dinner planned for Bush and 200 others by Chilean President Ricardo Lagos was reportedly scrapped after Chile was unwilling to accept security measures sought by the U.S. Secret Service, including a demand that all guests pass through metal detectors.
He's just so special.

Denver Protects the "Vote"

From the Denver Post:

"There's no reason that any reasonable person should have any confidence in this election," said Alan Gilbert, a political science professor at the University of Denver. "We voted on machines that were provided by a private company and were not subject to public review. This is a very, very serious thing."
Right on!

The Role of the Media

Eric Alterman (with a co-author) offers an important piece:

Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger recently argued that unfavorable reporting of the war in Iraq was part of a liberal-inspired plot to bring down President Bush during the election campaign. Even such an unarguably major story as the torture scandal at Abu Ghraib prison, Henninger argued, "obviously was intended to burn down the legitimacy of the war in Iraq. I think many people thought the over-the-top Abu Ghraib coverage, amid a war, was the media shouting fire in a crowded theater."

One wonders what role Henninger thinks the media should play during wartime. What's more, according to the Journal editors, merely by reporting the news, the U.S. media demonstrated its "apparent compulsion to overthrow the Bush presidency." Tunnel vision of this sort brings to mind a sketch on the fake news program The Daily Show, in which Rob Corrdry complained, "Facts in Iraq have an anti-Bush agenda."

In reality, judged by almost any remotely objective standard, the incumbent had a pretty easy time of things from the mainstream media during the election campaign, particularly given the circumstances. While sticking relentlessly to Karl Rove's game plan in portraying Sen. Kerry as having been guilty of "flip-flop" after flip-flop, when in many of these cases the words and votes were being ripped out of context, strikingly, the president managed to escape that label despite changing his position on such central issues as the 9/11 Commission, the creation of a Department of Homeland Security, No Child Left Behind, the WMD Commission, plus many more.

Kevin Sites' Blog

Kevin - the journalist taking so much heat after showing the Marine shooting the wounded insurgent - writes powerfully about the experience on his blog. Read it.


Those Lofty Red State Values

From Editor & Publisher:

Much of the post-election analysis in the press has centered on so-called red state values and the alleged "values gap" in America. Perhaps with that in mind, The New York Times on Sunday presented a map and chart ranking states in what it called "random" categories. Many of the results gave lie to some of the post-election chatter concerning superior values in the red states.

For example, the states with the three highest divorce rates are all red (Nevada, Arkansas, Wyoming), while Massachusetts has the lowest rate.

Top three states for readership of Playboy magazine? Again, all red (Iowa, Wyoming, North Dakota), and they all top heathen New York by 2-1 margins.

Suicide rate? Once again, all red (New Mexico, Montana, Nevada), with the lowest rates all-blue (New Jersey, New York, Massaschusetts).

Murder rate? Again, reds in the lead (Mississippi, Maryland, Louisiana), with blues holding two of the three with lowest rates (New Hamphsire, Maine, South Dakota).

The top three states for abortions, however, were blue: New York, Delaware, Washington. Blues also topped the list of readers of The New Yorker and percentage of people holding bachelor's degrees or higher.

In the Why Does This Not Surprise Me? Department

Gee, really? From the BBC:

The head of the CIA has told its employees that they must not "identify with, support or champion opposition" to the Bush administration.

The email to staff by Director Porter Goss, a former Republican congressman, has been seized on by critics.