Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why I Will Never Vote Republican, Part II

I had formatting problems posting this piece as one. (Please see Part I.)

Secondly, there is far too much Perv Gate going on within the GOP, especially with the conservative family values and gay bashing wing of the party. I am afraid to turn my TV on because there’s far too much lewd porn on the nightly news. What are our children to think?

Now we the American people know when a conservative politician starts bleating about family values and gay marriage, men and boys should avoid public men’s rooms, especially those in airports and parks. Brothel Madams should put out a boatload of help wanted ads. Pages and interns in DC need to flee home straightaway and mothers of little ones might want to pack a porta potty in the back of their cars.

Republicans excel at hypocrisy, too. Perv Gate is only a small part of their gifts and talents in this realm. Certain Senators in the Great State of Delay Gerrymandered Texas, for example, will bellow No Border Wall Will EVER Be Built in Texas. But then they will high tail it back inside the beltway and vote for a border wall. Senator John Cornyn did exactly this. And while our great Senators will pontificate about our troops and how we must support them, once again, back inside the beltway, they suck up to W. and vote for legislation that does the exact opposite, especially where funding is involved. One would think both Senators really despise our troops. It sure is tough living in a state where both U.S. Senators are derriere kissing rubber stamp sheep for a chicken hawk called W.

The rule of law does not apply to GOP and its buddies, appointees and hacks, either. That said, the rule book will be thrown at a GOP elected official IF one should fail to tell the party one has been very bad and naughty and hanging out in men’s rooms. If the GOP can't manipulate the message and do boatloads of damage control, it knows it is toast.

It is also quite obvious to we the little people that the GOP is above the law. It can do whatever it wants and get away with it. Scooter the Perjurer Libby got a pardon. Gonzo and Rove will too if they are charged with anything. Rove probably won’t be because Rove purged all of the emails and public records including the White House visitor’s log that likely would have incriminated him.

Speaking of Rove and the missing records in the White House visitor’s log, I wonder if male escort and fake reporter Jeff Gannon will follow him back to Texas. Yuck. I shudder at the very thought. We already have too much of a GOP infestation of sleaze down here as it is. DeLay still hangs here and the Texans in D.C. are fleeing back, one by one, though Gonzo might be held up a bit since the Justice Dept. is investigating his testimony to Congress.

Rove is already wreaking havoc on the lives of some Texans by master minding their firing. This is what the bushies do should anyone dare to disagrees with them or expose them for the crooks and liars that they are. As soon as Rove gets back there will no doubt be massive voter caging and purging going on in Texas before 2008, too.

”Attorney Claims Rove Had Role in Her Firing”

Sadly for us, Republicans hate the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. Fascism is far more appealing to them.

Why? Rove can rig the firing of anyone he doesn't like in government for no legitimate reason. Same holds true for voter rolls across the nation. The Bushies can turn federal agencies into political operational arms of the GOP using all methods at their disposal, whether legal, illegal, or unethical with absolutely no accountability to the people.

Gonzo can call the rules governing the Geneva Convention “quaint,” blow them off and he did just that. In the short period of time Gonzo held office as U.S.A.G. he did all he could to shred the Constitution which lies in tatters. Now we can wiretap our citizens at home, including political foes. We can torture the daylights out of anyone we see fit, including political foes, too, no doubt. The DOJ has been gutted now that there is so much work for it to do.

Want to stay current on wire tapping? Check out the report below. Some have said our methods put Stalin and the former East German commies to shame.

Conservatives ought to just love this news. Enjoy the read. It’ll take your mind off of Perv Gate, at least for awhile.

FBI's Nationwide Eavesdropping Network

Now, one may also wish to follow up and stay current on W.s increased powers for domestic wiretapping.

Bush’s Increased Powers for Domestic Wiretapping

Finally, we are far less safe now than we have ever been in our recent history thanks to a GOP White House, Senate and Congress. The spin machines and propaganda arms for the GOP in the mainstream media will try to tell us otherwise. Only a blithering idiot would believe them.

America since 2001: Fascism at its Finest.

Why I Will Never Vote Republican Part I

The reasons are numerous but here are just a few. (See Part II above this post.)

Republicans lie.

News about no WMD and no ties to Al-Qaeda in Iraq is old and stale. We had a rubber-stamping do nothing Congress when this grim fact became reality and our elected leaders failed to hold the President and Vice President accountable. And though the majority of Americans now know for certain our great nation was misled into a human calamity and debacle, the Republicans continue to try to put a happy and delusional spin on our “progress” there. They can’t wait to get their hands on General Petraeus’s report and ship it straightaway to the mythmaking and happy talk department for “reinterpretation” and quick delivery to the propaganda arm over at Fox News.

Fortunately there are a few brave souls left in Washington because an anonymous official leaked the GAO draft copy of the Iraq progress report to the Washington Post. The official feared the White House’s report would be too watered down.

Now, I know only a complete moron would believe any report spun out of the White House Department of Dissemble, Language Distortion and Delusion, but sadly there are few morons and/or patho liars around and a majority of them are our elected GOP officials and the party’s propaganda arms in the mainstream media.

To quote my friend Ken Deifik: The nature of 'fair and balanced' news is that when the truth is painful, the republicans just balance it out with lies. "The house is burning down." "Well, but maybe it's not burning down. We'll just have to wait and see."

As the truth becomes merely part of a delusional equation, more loved ones die or are maimed for life, the Quagmire gets worse and worse, costs more and more, is harder and harder to get out of, because even the GOPs that have turned against the war keep hoping that there's a grain or truth in all the bullshit. –Ken Deifik

If you really want to know what is going on in Iraq, check out the “real” report before it gets messed with. Hopefully Cheney hasn’t shipped the anonymous official down to Gitmo for a little ol’ fashioned torture. LS

From The Washington Post, August 30, 2007
By Karen DeYoung and Thomas E. Ricks

” Report Finds Little Progress On Iraq”

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Do We Need Jimmy Carter To Ensure Fair Elections in Texas?

I recently attended a meeting held by some of Harris County’s precinct officials and election judges, most of whom are extremely hard working and deeply committed volunteers. A subset of this group has formed a committee to investigate voter suppression and integrity concerns in Harris County (Houston area). They toil away relentlessly in a tireless attempt to guarantee equal and fair access to the county’s elections in this Tom Delay gerrymandered state. This is no small feat given the GOP is in charge of about everything here. The challenges the volunteers face are significant and difficult. Fortunately for voting Democrats in Harris County, we have such committed and patriotic defenders of both our state and national Constitutional rights. We had better hope and pray they never give up because as it stands now, our democracy here is hanging on by mere shreds.

Our mayor in Houston is supposed to be a Democrat and yet he failed to give this group’s selected committee members the respect, time and appreciation they deserve for their well founded research, data and findings. In fact, he was more deferential to the GOP county clerk’s people present and wasted 30 minutes of the mere 60 minutes allocated by spinning irrelevant yarns about this that and everything except voting issues.

For this appalling reason I decided to write to the mayor today and to also post my letter to him as a diary. I think it is high time for Texas Democrats to take the fight to the people who are running and very likely messing with our election outcomes, as well as those officials who chose to do nothing to stop the contemptible and downright illegal shenanigans.

Should Harris County, the most populated in Texas, flip blue, the Texas GOP will be in a big world of hurt. It is for this reason alone that I believe the GOP will do everything it can get away with to purge/scrub/cancel voter rolls, provide inadequate, pre-rigged, and/or mal-functioning voting machines to mostly minority and poor district, and engage in beyond the pale voter intimidation. Indeed in Harris County, the election folks have come up with a “potential felons” list with names that will likely be scrubbed from the rolls. What in heaven’s name is a “potential felon?” That could be anyone now that our Constitutional rights have been flushed down the toilet by the crooked. lying and incompetent Bush Administration.

It is time to hold the elections’ folks feet to the fire, as well as those of their supervisors, and the Secretary of State.

What do they do to ensure fair, honest and transparent elections to all Texans? If they won’t give us a straight answer, or refuse to answer at all, let’s call Mr. Jimmy Carter and the U.N. and let them know that Texas is a third world type banana republic.

The Honorable Bill White

Dear Mayor White,

I had the opportunity to hear you speak just prior to the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina at a Young Democrats meeting at Rice University. Although I am no longer a “young” Democrat I was nonetheless fortunate enough to attend. I was extremely impressed by how you encouraged a group of very gifted students, many of whom will become future leaders in a number of fields, to consider careers in public service. I was also impressed by your highly skillful and deeply compassionate approach in planning for the tens of thousands of Katrina victims who were to come to Houston for refuge. I am, to this day, very proud of our city’s generous and heartfelt support for those who had to flee such deadly and appalling conditions with no help whatsoever from our federal agencies. It did not matter what one’s political party affiliation, religious beliefs or race were at the time. As Houstonians we were stood together as one to help those in dire and hopeless circumstances.

Maybe we can do likewise in achieving an open and honest democratic election process for all eligible Houstonians.

As the national election of 2008 looms near, I hope you summon your outstanding leadership skills and fully engage our party’s democratic principles in making certain that all eligible Houstonians can exercise their constitutional right to vote. I am particularly concerned because, since the national elections of 2000 and 2004, volumes have been written by election experts and non-partisan organizations about numerous voting machine malfunctions and overall irregularities. To cover all of the voting abnormalities would require at the least 100 or so pages and to be as brief as possible, I will mention just a few of the facts. I have provided sources below to support the facts I present.

Professional (with advanced degrees) statisticians, computer scientists and mathematicians have documented data proving that much was amiss in both the 2000 and 2004 in terms of machine reliability, especially in terms of security, exit poll data, pre and post electoral processes. This vast group of professionals is certainly not the “conspiracy theorists” the Republican Party will routinely summon when caught trying to achieve certain outcomes. News reports from various battle ground states, in particular, have documented evidence of voter suppression, intimidation, the willful placement of fewer and/or mal-functioning machines in minority, poor and mostly Democratic precincts and questionable vote counting processes (e.g. Ohio 2004 when the Secretary of State locked down a particular precinct when votes were being tallied due to “homeland security concerns.” Ohio’s Secretary of State, by the way, Ken Blackwell, was also chair of one of Bush’s reelection campaigns in Ohio.)

In Texas where Democrats are supposedly a minority, what safeguards do we have at our disposal to ensure open, fair and transparent elections? What guarantees are in place to convince me as a Houstonian that our elections, controlled by a most unforthcoming and unresponsive GOP County Clerk and Secretary of State, are accurate? These folks also count the votes after all. How do I know provisional and absentee ballots are not being tossed into dumpsters as Black Box discovered was the case in certain precincts in Florida in 2000 and in 2004?

Of particular concern are the voter rolls and what is being done to them prior to an election? Are our county officials involved in “caging” whereby specific populations are targeted? Guess who these populations might be? I think you know. Caging consists of sending a targeted group “do not forward” notifications to their homes. The notification is returned to the county clerk’s office if someone has moved including those serving in the military and has been shipped to Iraq or Afghanistan; or if one has had the misfortune to become homeless. The outcome for these people, who should have every right to vote if eligible, and most are, will be one of complete disenfranchisement. Their names will be “cancelled” from the rolls. When they show up to vote, they will be denied the right.

How, when and who decides whose name to cancel from the rolls? Who precisely is sent notifications? What is the process and what laws govern such a practice?

Should you think the concept of “caging” is a figment of my imagination, an investigative reporter, forensic economist and author, Mr. Greg Palast, has discovered such lists from 2004 whose contents have been turned over to Representative John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

Caging by the way is a federal felony. Maybe our election officials could use a gentle reminder of this fact.

What assurances do I have as a voter in Harris County that voter caging is not taking place right here and now, as it did in Florida, New Mexico and Ohio in both 2000 and 2004? Indeed, the White House has turned the present U.S. Justice Department into yet another political arm of the GOP. And the firing of 9 U.S. attorneys for purely partisan reasons is further evidence of the GOP’s long term goal to ensure a permanent Republican majority. What “firewall” is in place to protect our electoral process in Texas from such criminal and un-American acts?

What assurances do I have as a voter that there will be sufficient machines in my precinct that are fully functional and with intact and secured seals? There is no paper trail so how am I to know that my vote isn’t flipped to the wrong candidate? How do I know that it is even counted? What oversight and accountability processes are in place before, during and when the votes are being counted to ensure the integrity of our election and democratic process for all eligible residents in Harris County? This is the 21st century after all. It should not be technologically or practically impossible or even difficult to guarantee completely accurate and transparent election processes.

Given the historical difficulty the Harris County Democratic election judges and precinct officials have had in communicating with the County Clerk’s and Secretary of State’s offices, I can only imagine the worst. It seems that our state’s election officials have forgotten that their job is to serve the voting public and not the sole interests of their party and their party’s financial backers. If these officials insist they do serve ALL Texans why do they fail to return Democrats’ phone calls in a timely fashion, if at all?

Surely we won’t have “homeland security” issues in the 3rd or 5th wards in Houston during the election of 2008? Or will we?

Summoning election lawyers after an election is a waste of time. Transparency, oversight and accountability need to be put into place now.

As a Texas Democrat I and many others like me have had it with elected “Democratic” officials who behave as a Republican would. I trust that you, Sir, do not fall into this category. But I must respectfully caution that many of us may think otherwise if our electoral process here is not placed under much, much tighter scrutiny, public transparency and oversight. Those running our elections and managing the voter rolls must be held accountable. They are required to answer voters’ questions and address our concerns. This is what they get paid to do.

We deeply appreciate anything that you can do to expedite such a process immediately.

Surely we will not be forced to call former President Mr. Jimmy Carter and the U.N. in order to achieve open and fair elections in Texas!

Sources on electronic voting data:
Election Archive UCV Analysis

Background of voting irregularities and suppression since 2004:

Brad Blog

On voter caging:

Mr. Greg Palast, Armed Madhouse

Background info on Florida 2000 election (Palast and the BBC)

BBC Newsnight