Saturday, August 12, 2006

“WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ RECOUNT” Greg Palast

“WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ RECOUNT” Greg Palast:
First: The exit poll of 80,000 voters by the Instituto de Mercadotecnia y Opinion showed that AMLO bested Calderon by 35.1% to 34.0%.

Second: The precinct-by-precinct returns were quite otherworldly. I used to teach statistics and what I saw in Mexico would have stumped my brightest students.

Mexico dataHere’s the conundrum: The nation’s tens of thousands of polling stations report to the capital in random order after the polls close. Therefore, statistically, you’d expect the results to remain roughly unchanged as vote totals come in. As expected, AMLO was ahead of the right-wing candidate Calderon all night by an unchanging margin — until after midnight. Suddenly, precincts began reporting wins for Calderon of five to one, the ten to one, then as polling nearly ended, of one-hundred to one.
Palast is one of the best and most courageous investigative reporters left on the planet. He explains here how the incumbent party fixed the election even though it used paper balloting. He goes on to hint at how the Republicans plan to steal the 2006 and 2008 elections here in the good old U.S.A. His book, Armed Madhouse, is an excellent source of maddening information concerning the rise of fascism here and in other "democracies" that is the greatest threat to humankind and the earth ever. Read it and get angry enough to do something before it's too late.

I Have To Agree

My Way News - Brothers Emerge as Focus of Plot Probe:
"'The debacle of Iraq and now the failure to do more to secure an immediate end to the attacks on civilians in the Middle East not only increases the risk to ordinary people in that region, it is also ammunition to extremists who threaten us all,' said the letter, which was signed by three of four Muslim members of Parliament and 38 Muslim groups, including the influential Muslim Council of Britain."

Friday, August 11, 2006

And Now The Good News

My Way News - Poll: Bush May Be Hurting Republicans:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans determined to win in November are up against a troublesome trend - growing opposition to President Bush.

An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted this week found the president's approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president's decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.
It's that last part about the South that surprises. Just proves you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Fearmongering Increases Disproportionately In Election Year

The London Plot - New York Times:
"It comes like a punch to the gut, at times like these, when our leaders blatantly use the nation’s trauma for political gain. We never get used to this. It never feels like business as usual."

But it is starting to feel like business as usual, at least where BushCo is concerned.

Terror Warning in India

U.S. Issues Terror Warning in India - New York Times:
"NEW DELHI (AP) -- The U.S. Embassy in India's capital warned Friday that foreign militants, possibly al-Qaida members, may be planning to carry out bombings in two major Indian cities in the coming days."

Looks like things are heating up all over.

Pakistan Link

Pakistan Link In British Terror Plot, 'Key Person' In Case Held In Pakistan; Pregnant Woman Among Suspects - CBS News

Court Kills Recount In Democratic Nation

Recounting Our Way to Democracy - New York Times:
"Our tribunals — unlike those in the United States — have been traditionally subordinated to political power. Mexico has a history of corrupt elections where the will of the people has been subverted by the wealthy and powerful. Grievances have now accumulated in the national consciousness, and this time we are not walking away from the problem. The citizens gathered with me in peaceful protest in the Z√≥calo, the capital’s grand central plaza, speak loudly and clearly: Enough is enough." (emphasis mine)

"Unlike" the U.S.? The reporter must not be up on current events here. The rest of the paragraph seems all too familiar.

Stirring The Hornets' Nest

My Way News - Egeland: Mideast Anger Worst in 20 Years:
"GENEVA (AP) - U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said Friday the anger on all sides in the Middle East is the greatest he has seen in two decades of trying to help the troubled region make peace."

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Glenn Greenwald Answers The Fear Mongers With Clarity

War Room - Salon.com

If I was running for office, I'd want Glenn at my side.

Civl Liberties Old Fashioned

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Anti-terror critics just don't get it, says Reid:
"The home secretary yesterday gave the thinktank Demos his strongest hint yet that a new round of anti-terror legislation is on the way this autumn by warning that traditional civil liberty arguments were not so much wrong as just made for another age."In the U.K., the fear mongers have a subtler approach to curtailing civil liberties than they do here in America. Read the article and see for yourself. Oh, those pesky judges!

More Voter Suppression

Voter Suppression in Missouri - New York Times:
The new law’s supporters say its purpose is to deter fraud. But there is little evidence of “imposter voting,” the sort of fraud that ID laws are aimed at, in Missouri or anywhere else. Groups in Missouri that want to suppress voting have a long history of crying fraud, but investigations by the Justice Department and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, among others, have refuted such claims in the past. If the Legislature really wanted to deter fraud, it would have focused its efforts on absentee ballots, which are a notorious source of election fraud — and are not covered by Missouri’s new ID requirements.
Like I said; we need more good people to vote to offset the Right's gerrymandering, fraud and disenfranchisement of the poor.

Fear, Inc.

British Authorities Arrest 21; U.S. Raises Threat Level - New York Times

This is probably a real threat that was, thankfully, thwarted, but watch BushCo milk it for all it's worth in an election year. If the electorate aren't scared out of their wits, they might make clear-headed decisions in November, and that would spell the end for BushCo.

The people arrested so far were all U.K. citizens. Would the local Muslims be so ready to kill and be killed if the Brits, Israelis and Yanks weren't making swiss-cheese of their relatives in the Middle East? That's the big question. And how do you stop your own people from attacking from within?

Just Do It!

Vote — or Else - New York Times:
With participation rates of about 10 percent or less of the eligible electorate in many primaries to 35 percent or so in midterm general elections to 50 percent or 60 percent in presidential contests, the name of the game for parties is turnout — and the key to success is turning out one’s ideological base. Whichever party does a better job getting its base to the polls reaps the rewards of majority status.

And what’s the best way to get your base to show up at the polls? Focus on divisive issues that underscore the differences between the parties.
It's a real shame more people don't vote here, especially since the ones that do don't get counted entirely.

Sharks Revolt

My Way News - Lawyers' Group Attacks Bush Revisions:
HONOLULU (AP) - The American Bar Association on Tuesday approved a resolution condemning President Bush's practice of writing exceptions to legislation he signs into law.

Delegates, representing 410,000 members, at the ABA's annual meeting approved the resolution objecting to any president using bill signing statements as a way of diluting or changing laws rather than using an outright veto.
They have a point. How do you prosecute and defend if there are no rules? And BushCo doesn't like rules.

Cunningham Fallout Continues

Counterintelligence Officials Resign

The Big Easy Isn't

After Long Stress, Newsman in New Orleans Unravels - New York Times:
"The public unraveling of such a well-known local photographer shined light again on the troubled state of mental health in New Orleans, where the struggle to return to normalcy has produced an epidemic of post-traumatic stress and depression and where psychiatric help is extremely limited."

Fear, Inc.

British Authorities Arrest 21; U.S. Raises Threat Level - New York Times

This is probably a real threat that was, thankfully, thwarted, but watch BushCo milk it for all it's worth in an election year. If the electorate aren't scared out of their wits, they might make clear-headed decisions in November, and that would spell the end for BushCo.

The people arrested so far were all U.K. citizens. Would the local Muslims be so ready to kill and be killed if the Brits, Israelis and Yanks weren't making swiss-cheese of their relatives in the Middle East? That's the big question. And how do you stop your own people from attacking from within?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's A Growing Majority

CNN.com - Poll: 60 percent of Americans oppose Iraq war - Aug 9, 2006

BushCo Practices CYA

War Crimes Act Changes Would Reduce Threat Of Prosecution:
The Bush administration has drafted amendments to a war crimes law that would eliminate the risk of prosecution for political appointees, CIA officers and former military personnel for humiliating or degrading war prisoners, according to U.S. officials and a copy of the amendments.
Because, you know, they don't want to go to jail.

No Good Deed Unblemished

My Way News - Summary: Pension Bill Aids Certain Cos.:
SPECIAL INTERESTS: Defense contractors, airlines and a food company are among those singled out for special treatment under a massive pension overhaul bill.

A LIFE RAFT: The legislation has the lofty goal of reinforcing the employer-based pension system that is the retirement lifeblood of some 44 million Americans.

HIDDEN HELP: The provisions designed to help specific companies or industries aren't always obvious: Often the obtuse legislative language does not name the targeted benefactor. Some of these companies get special breaks in complying with the laws on pensions.
Did you think this Congress would pass a bill that helped workers without adding loop holes and giveaways for big business? Shame on you.

The Blogs Have It

Dems Shy Away From Lieberman, Party Leaders Give Full Support To Ned Lamont After Conn. Primary Win - CBS News:
Final primary returns showed Lamont defeating Lieberman 52 percent to 48 percent.

Lamont enjoyed a lot of positive buzz among bloggers.
So take that, MSM! We're here and we matter! And we're coming after your boy, George in '08!

Terrorism Grows In The World

India Fears Terrorism May Attract Its Muslims - New York Times:
NEW DELHI, Aug. 8 — The bomb attacks last month on seven Mumbai commuter trains did more than raise Indian hackles against Pakistan for failing to rein in terrorist groups operating on its soil.

They also underscored a gathering threat for India: a small but increasingly deadly cadre of young and often educated Indian Muslims who are being drawn directly into terrorist operations.

The scale and coordination of the July 11 attacks, a senior Indian government official said, suggest that at least one terrorist cell, made up of fewer than a dozen local people and probably directed and financed by militants based in Pakistan, carried out the bombings, which killed 183 people.
Gee, isn't Pakistan our "ally" against terror? They seem to play the game like Saudi Arabia, another "ally." Must be some of those repressive governments that just love us to death.

Another Incumbent Gets The Message

Democratic Congresswoman Loses Georgia Runoff for Re-election - New York Times

Lamont Wins! Progressives Unite!

Lieberman to Stay in Race After Defeat - New York TimesIt's the first time something to celebrate has happened on the political scene in years. Let's hope it's a trend with legs.

Who Loves 'Ya, Baby?

Anti-U.S. Feeling Leaves Arab Reformers Isolated - New York Times:
DAMASCUS, Syria, Aug. 8 — Moderate reformers across the Arab world say American support for Israel’s battle with Hezbollah has put them on the defensive, tarring them by association and boosting Islamist parties.

[...]

The very people whom the United States wanted to encourage to promote democracy from Bahrain to Casablanca instead feel trapped by a policy that they now ridicule more or less as “destroying the region in order to save it.”
Hey, it's the same policy they used to save the forests by cutting down the trees. What's all the whining about, we still have friends in the region, don't we?
Indeed, many of those reformers who have been working for change in their own societies — often isolated, harassed by state security, or marginalized to begin with — say American policy either strangles nascent reform movements or props up repressive governments that remain Washington’s best allies in the region.
See? The repressives love us!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ney Says Nay

Ohio Congressman Will Not Seek Re-Election - New York Times:
"COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Rep. Bob Ney, enmeshed in a congressional corruption scandal, abruptly abandoned his race for re-election Monday after months of prodding from Republican leaders worried about losing his seat this fall."

What happened to all the cases concerning corruption, anyway? You'd think some of them would be making some progress by now, wouldn't you?

Her Lips Are Moving

My Way News - Rice: Iraq Isn't Becoming Another Iran:
"WASHINGTON (AP) - Iraq is not on track to become another Iran despite the disconcerting images last week of Iraqis burning U.S. flags and chanting 'Death to America,' Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday."

If she says it's not, it is! And it must be even worse than we thought.

Having A Fit Over Oil

Oil Field in Alaska Shuts Down, and Prices Shoot Up - New York Times

Actually, I've ordered a Honda Fit to replace our old Accord. If you're wondering whether Americans are ready for fuel-efficient, smaller and lighter cars, consider this: I'll be waiting until October to get mine due to high demand and short supply. Try to find a Fit or Yarus or whatever on any lot that hasn't already been sold. Just try.

BTW, I like the Fit because it has lots of space inside (four-door hatchback with high roofline) and gets high mileage both in city and highway driving. If Honda sold a hatchback Civic here (other than the Si), I might have picked that, but this is the closest I could get.

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