Archive for November, 2004

We Have Hit the Big Time

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

CNN.com - Publisher: ‘Blog’ No. 1 word of the year - Nov 30, 2004

A four-letter term that came to symbolize the difference between old and new media during this year’s presidential campaign tops U.S. dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster’s list of the 10 words of the year.
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Ohio Tally Fit for Ukraine

Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

Ohio Tally Fit for Ukraine

by Juan Gonzalez

It has been a month now and we still don’t have a clear count of the votes for our own presidential race from the state of Ohio.

For those who may have forgotten, Ohio supposedly assured George W. Bush a second term in the White House - only the most important job on the planet.

The morning after the election, we were told Bush was ahead of John Kerry in that state’s unofficial count by 139,000 votes, or 2.5%.

At the time there were 155,000 uncounted provisional ballots and an unknown number of overseas ballots, but Kerry concluded they would not produce enough of a margin to erase his deficit, so he promptly conceded.

At the same time, given the bitter Democratic memories of the 2000 Florida fiasco, he assured his supporters he would fight to have every vote properly counted this time.

Within a few days, other problems began to show up in Ohio’s preliminary tally.

We learned, for example, that an additional 93,000 voters had gone to the polls yet machines had registered no preference of theirs for President. Only a manual recount can tell us for sure what happened to those 93,000 ballots.

Then, red-faced election officials in Franklin County admitted a computer error on Election Night had tallied 4,258 votes for Bush in a precinct where only 638 people voted. That correction alone will drop Bush’s margin by 3,620.

And now Daily News reporter Larry Cohler-Esses and I have uncovered some more unusual vote totals, this time in black neighborhoods of Cleveland. Those results are from the precinct-by-precinct tallies released by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, where Cleveland is located.

In the 4th Ward on Cleveland’s East Side, for example, two fringe presidential candidates did surprisingly well.

In precinct 4F, located at Benedictine High School on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Kerry received 290 votes, Bush 21 and Michael Peroutka, candidate of the ultra-conservative anti-immigrant Constitutional Party, an amazing 215 votes!

That many black votes for Peroutka is about as likely as all those Jewish votes for Buchanan in Florida’s Palm Beach County in 2000.

In precinct 4N, also at Benedictine High School, the tally was Kerry 318, Bush 21, and Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik 163.

Back in 2000, the combined third-party votes in those two precincts - including the Nader vote - was 8. Cuyahoga, like most of Ohio’s 88 counties, uses punch-card balloting.

“That’s terrible, I can’t believe it,” said City Councilman Kenneth Johnson, who has represented the 4th Ward since 1980. “It’s obviously a malfunction with the machines.”

But Peroutka and Badnarik polled unusually well in a few other black precincts. In the 8th Ward’s G precinct at Cory United Methodist Church, for instance, Badnarik tallied 51 votes - nearly three times better than Bush’s 19. And in I precinct at the same church, Peroutka was the choice on 27 ballots, three times more than Bush’s 8. In 2000, independent candidates received 9 votes from both precincts.

The same pattern showed up in 10 Cleveland precincts in which Badnarik and Peroutka received nearly 700 votes between them.

In virtually all those precincts, Kerry’s vote was lower than Al Gore’s in 2000, even though there was a record turnout in the black community this time, and even though blacks voted overwhelmingly for Kerry.

If this same pattern held true in other cities around Ohio, then quite possibly thousands of votes meant for Kerry somehow ended up in the tallies of the two independent candidates. So far, however, precinct-by-precinct results have not been posted by boards of elections in other counties, but by Thursday all official results are due.

On Monday, Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell will certify Ohio’s results and then a manual recount will be requested by the Green and Libertarian parties.

The Badnarik and Peroutka surge was not the only unusual occurrence in Cleveland.

Also unusual was the drop in the Democratic vote in scores of precincts compared to 2000. But more on that next time.

Juan Gonzalez is a reporter for the New York Daily News and co-host of Democracy Now!.

WE CAN STILL ADD 2 DEMOCRATS TO CONGRESS

Monday, November 29th, 2004

Dear Friend,

The Republican Party’s first action after the election — lowering the ethical standards in Congress by rewriting Party rules to allow members under indictment to keep their leadership posts — demonstrates their contempt for the American people and our democracy.

And the outrages don’t end there. Tom DeLay — the GOP Majority Leader and the man the Republican Party is changing the rules for to protect from a possible felony indictment — has also announced his plans to begin an immediate overhaul America’s tax code and our Social Security program to the benefit of multi-millionaires and massive corporations

House Republicans even tried to insert a provision into their spending bill that would allow Members of Congress to examine YOUR tax returns! We Democrats raised hell and the tax snooping measure is going nowhere, but it is nonetheless a stunning reminder of the arrogance of this Republican leadership and their derision for America’s democratic traditions and freedoms.

We urgently need your support to stop the Republican-led Congress from running roughshod over our cherished values and institutions. Please make an emergency online contribution to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) today.

While Tom DeLay tries to spy on your tax returns and destroy Social Security, a Texas grand jury is considering whether to indict him for illegal fundraising practices. Three of his political colleagues are already under indictment for illegally funneling corporate campaign contributions to state legislative races in connection with DeLay’s infamous Texas redistricting scheme. DeLay may be next and, under the old Republican Party rules, he would have to step down from his position as Majority Leader.

The Republican Party first adopted these rules in 1993 in a shameless publicity stunt to promote themselves as owners of the moral high ground. But what do they do when they actually need to enforce the rules? They scrap them so DeLay — their master fundraiser — can stay in power even if he’s indicted. That’s Republican morality for you.

The Republican Party apparently believes accused criminals are good enough to lead the American people. Well, I don’t and I doubt you do either. America deserves and desperately needs better leadership in Congress. Winning both of the House races still up for grabs — to be decided in run-offs in Louisiana on December 4 — is the first step in that direction.

We need your strongest support right away to make a final push to get a winning Democratic majority to the polls. Please help by making an online contribution to the DCCC.

By helping to victory our Democratic candidates in these tightly contested Louisiana run-offs — Charlie Melancon and Willie Mount - we will send a strong rebuke to Tom DeLay and the Republican leadership. And we will put two more Democrats in Washington who will stand up and fight as George W. Bush tries to impose his radical right-wing agenda on America.

Our candidates need the help of every loyal Democrat to pull out a victory against their extremist challengers who are financed by the deep pockets of the GOP. Republican Party operatives are already in Louisiana using their usual dirty tricks and underhanded campaign tactics, hoping to deliver President Bush and Tom DeLay another victory.

Don’t let them steal these elections! Contribute now to help us win the run-offs and show Tom DeLay and his gang that we won’t stand for this kind of corruption.

Tom DeLay thinks he can get away with anything — including picking up two more seats for his morally bankrupt majority. Will you join me in proving him wrong?

To victory!

Jim Bonham
Executive Director
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

P.S. This is not the first time Tom DeLay has been accused of crossing the line. The House Ethics Committee has rebuked him multiple times. The upcoming Louisiana run-offs are our chance to tell DeLay and his cronies what we think of their dirty tricks and their radical right-wing agenda. Please help us take both of these tightly-contested races by generously supporting our Democratic candidates today.

Please forward this email to your friends and family.

Do Your Holiday Shopping with SoonerThought!

Monday, November 29th, 2004

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As you can see, we have it all here–everything for everyone on your list. Hope you will help us out with a purchase.

Happy Holidays!

Alex, Jake and Greg
The SoonerThought Guys

Joe McCarthy Would Be So Proud of These Students

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

A Liberal Professor Fights a Label
A faculty member accused of bias takes on students and a conservative group

By JENNIFER JACOBSON

Oneida J. Meranto did something this semester that she had never done in her career. She tape-recorded her lecture.

The reason: self-protection. Last winter two students filed grievances accusing the associate professor of political science at Metropolitan State College of Denver of having a liberal bias and intimidating conservative students.

Although college officials found as recently as October that she had done nothing wrong, she received death threats and dozens of hateful e-mail messages. She was too frightened to walk to her car alone, so students escorted her.
Should she be accused of bias again, she wanted a record of what she had said.

Sure enough, two days after she taped her lecture, another student filed a grievance against the tenured professor.
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Plurality Say Iraq Was A Mistake

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

National > Americans Show Clear Concerns on Bush Agenda” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/23/national/23poll.html?oref=login&th”>The New York Times > National > Americans Show Clear Concerns on Bush Agenda

EXCERPT:

At a time when the White House has portrayed Mr. Bush’s 3.5-million-vote victory as a mandate, the poll found that Americans are at best ambivalent about Mr. Bush’s plans to reshape Social Security, rewrite the tax code, cut taxes and appoint conservative judges to the bench. There is continuing disapproval of Mr. Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq, with a plurality now saying it was a mistake to invade in the first place.

While Democrats, not surprisingly, were the staunchest opponents of many elements of Mr. Bush’s second-term agenda, the concerns extended across party lines in some cases. Nearly two-thirds of all respondents - including 51 percent of Republicans - said it was more important to reduce deficits than to cut taxes, a central element of Mr. Bush’s economic agenda.

Fraud Uncovered in Okla Election

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

by Bob Nichols

An original TW/AP November 3, 2004 article shows higher vote counts in 57 counties for Presidential Candidate John Kerry than the Official State Election Board Results.

The address for the State Election Board results Adobe file is:

http://www.state.ok.us/~elections/04gen_co.pdf

Look on page 3 and 4. Skip page 1 and 2, those are straight party voting results, a state subsidized analysis for the benefit of political parties.

This is of the utmost importance and I request that you get it to competent state authorities for immediate criminal and civil action or whatever is required. This is not OK behavior. People must go to jail for these actions. They have to pay. This is what we get when we privatized the counting of election results. As the TV Salsa Commercial says “Get a rope!”

For everybody who can, write a news story or letter to the editor about this fraudulent election for your newspaper. Pick out your county results if you live in one of the 57 counties. If not, why not pick Roger Mills County. Lets draw a lot of attention to Roger Mills County.

Bob Nichols
Project Censored Award Winner

Bush Twins Refused Service at Chic Hangout

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Gawker Stalker: Bungalow 8, NYC’s Best Crack Den

EXCERPT:

[At] Freemans, tuesday night the 16th of Nov. the Bush twins , along with 2 massive secret service men, tried to have dinner. They were told by the maitre’d that they were full and would be for the next 4 years. upon hearing, the entire restaurant cheered and did a round of shots… it was amazing!!! [Ed: We’re hearing that this is actually true.]

Absolute Power Erupts

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Absolute Power Erupts” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/21/opinion/21dowd.html?oref=login&8hpib”>The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Absolute Power Erupts

By MAUREEN DOWD

They’re fragile and frazzled, depressed and self-doubting.

Trapped in their blue bell jar, drowning in unfulfilled dreams, Democrats are the “Desperate Housewives” of politics.

The image of Republicans as the Daddy party and Democrats as the Mommy party came roaring back in 2004, with a chesty President Bush and Dick Cheney prevailing by making the case that they could protect America from vicious terrorists and uxorious gays better than the Brahmin they painted as a sissy. In politics, as on TV, political correctness is out and retro is in. Hillary’s bid to be president suddenly appears more wobbly, and the class of new senators looks like a throwback - with half a dozen white male conservative Republicans front and center.
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Shhh, Don’t Say ‘Poverty’

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Shhh, Don’t Say ‘Poverty’” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/22/opinion/22herbert.html?th”>The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Shhh, Don’t Say ‘Poverty’

By BOB HERBERT

Former Senator Phil Gramm, a Republican from Texas who was known for his orneriness, once said, “We’re the only nation in the world where all our poor people are fat.”

That particular example of compassionate conservatism came to mind as I looked over a report from the Department of Agriculture showing that more than 12 million American families continue to struggle, and not always successfully, to feed themselves.

The 12 million families represent 11.2 percent of all U.S. households. “At some time during the year,” the report said, “these households were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food for all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources.”

Of the 12 million families that worried about putting food on the table, 3.9 million had members who actually went hungry at some point last year. “The other two-thirds … obtained enough food to avoid hunger using a variety of coping strategies,” the report said, “such as eating less varied diets, participating in federal food assistance programs, or getting emergency food from community food pantries or emergency kitchens.”

These are dismal statistics for a country as well-to-do as the United States. But we don’t hear much about them because hunger is associated with poverty, and poverty is not even close to becoming part of our national conversation. Swift boats, yes. Sex scenes on “Monday Night Football,” most definitely. The struggle of millions of Americans to feed themselves? Oh no. Let’s not go there.

What does that tell you about American values?
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God Bless John F. Kennedy

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

A SoonerThought Editorial

JFK–a conundrum to many–handsome, suave, smart, energetic, progressive; also very physically ill, a womanizer and a bit of a scoundrel. Yet he consistently polls as the top or one of the top presidents in history.

His unfullfilled promise, to this writer, equates years of American boys coming home in body bags from a misguided war in Southeast Asia. It stands as the beginning of the American distrust of government. JFK’s murder not only brought us war and decades of strife, it brought us Watergate, riots in urban areas, and malaise at home. The ripple effect from the shots fired in Dealey Plaza that winter day in 1963 cannot be dismissed.

Who did it?

Well, it almost seems pointless now. Those behind the murder are long dead or have certainly enacted enough of their agenda to be satisfied. However, those of us who thirst for justice continue to ask why.

I believe that elements of the CIA, with the assent of the FBI and aid from the Mafia, killed our beloved president. He stood in the way of their dreams of empire, and he threatened to smash the CIA “into a thousand pieces” after they misled JFK about Cuba. The assassins were saving their boss’ asses, and ensuring American expansion in the name of anti-communism for decades to come.

I do not believe LBJ was in on it, but it is widely known that he was suspicious and knew the Warren Commission was a whitewash. He also suffered the guilt of being the accidental recipient of a bloodstained presidency.

Oswald? A patsy–he fired, but probably missed. The assassins? One in the book depository, one in the storm grate under the street, and one on the knoll.

I could write volumes (as others have) on facts to back up those theories. But today, perhaps we should just think of the man–the great man–who never heard the final gunshot that was heard around the world.

Disgusting, Despicable and Cruel

Sunday, November 21st, 2004

We should boycott this company and flood it with messages of disapproval. I have tried to find their website but had no luck so far–Editor

CNN.com - Kennedy assassination recreated in video game - Nov 21, 2004

A new video game to be released on Monday allows players to simulate the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

The release of “JFK Reloaded” is timed to coincide with the 41st anniversary of Kennedy’s murder in Dallas and was designed to demonstrate a lone gunman was able to kill the president.
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