"So they put on an election; they have a bunch of hoopla in order to legitimize the ascendancy of who they've already selected to run the country anyway. They spend millions of dollars. They admitted in congressional hearings to spending 10 million dollars to influence the election in Chile.... So why would they only do that in Chile and make sure their outcome was right in Chile and not do it here? Why would you think that they would only do it in another country and not here? When this is the country that really counts" - John Judge
"Now comes the revolution." - Richard Viguerie, conservative strategist.
It would seem that conservatives are the only Americans who can talk of revolution in today's United States without censure. But this revolution is nothing new. Rather, Bush's claim of victory means instead the furtherance of the Right's permanent revolution. The know-nothing cadres of Falwell and Limbaugh, waving their Little Good Books, have been at this for a generation. (Don't kid yourself about Bill Clinton. He didn't roll them back. Rather, he entrenched their gains while providing its base with the appearance of an opposition; one which inflamed them beyond reason.)
How dark and frightful are these times? Even traditional establishment figures are scared by the prospect of the unbound American Taliban. Lawrence Martin writes in today's Globe and Mail that "America has moved outside the box" of the Western consensus, and "is now in a new, potentially toxic territory."
For your consideration, here at the end of the world:
You must see this graphic display of how the variable accuracy of Tuesday's exit polls correlated to the use of paper ballots and touch-screen voting.
Here's an interesting statistical analysis of where George Bush's eight million new votes came from. The finding: states relying upon electronic voting machines, particularly Diebold equipment, had a significantly higher percentage increase in Bush voters than the national average.
Florida again beggers the imagination. Look at these anomolous results from counties using optical-scanners. Three examples:
Franklin County: 77.3% of voters registered Democrats. Only 15.9% registered GOP. Yet 58.5% of the votes cast went to Bush.
Holmes County: 72.7% of voters registered Democrats. Only 21.3% registered GOP. Yet 77% of the votes cast went to Bush.
Calhoun County: 82.4% of voters registered Democrats. Only 11.9% registered GOP. Yet 63.4% of the votes cast went to Bush.
An important story this morning from Greg Palast on the theft of Ohio:
Although the exit polls show that most voters in Ohio punched cards for Kerry-Edwards, thousands of these votes were simply not recorded. This was predictable and it was predicted.
We saw this in Florida in 2000. Exit polls showed Gore with a plurality of at least 50,000, but it didn't match the official count. That's because the official, Secretary of State Katherine Harris, excluded 179,855 spoiled votes. In Florida, as in Ohio, most of these votes lost were cast on punch cards where the hole wasn't punched throughcompletely—leaving a "hanging chad,"—or was punched extra times. Whose cards were discarded? Expert statisticians investigating spoilage for the government calculated that 54 percent of the ballots thrown in the dumpster were cast by black folks.
First and foremost, Kerry was had by chads. But the Democrat wasn't punched out by punch cards alone. There were also the "challenges." That's a polite word for the Republican Party of Ohio's use of an old Ku Klux Klan technique: the attempt to block thousands of voters of color at the polls. In Ohio, Wisconsin and Florida, the GOP laid plans for poll workers to ambush citizens under arcane laws—almost never used—allowing party-designated poll watchers to finger individual voters and demand they be denied a ballot. The Ohio courts were horrified and federal law prohibits targeting of voters where race is a factor in the challenge. But our Supreme Court was prepared to let Republicans stand in the voting booth door.
A Moscow headline, larded with likely unintended irony: "Russian Observer Shocked by US Election Procedures":
A Russian parliamentarian taking part in international monitoring of the U.S. presidential elections has said that the elections were held in violation of U.S. law and that that he was shocked after seeing how the elections were held.
"In my opinion there are possibilities to forge the elections results and these possibilities are caused by serious, as we see it, violations of the electoral law,” the MP said in a telephone interview.
Ostrovsky also noted that all Americans who he talked to had said they did not like voting by computer. "Often people simply do not understand how to vote and nobody really tries to explain it to them," the observer said.
Author Mark Crispin Miller writes in today's Salon:
First of all, this election was definitely rigged. I have no doubt about it. It's a statistical impossibility that Bush got 8 million more votes than he got last time. In 2000, he got 15 million votes from right-wing Christians, and there are approximately 19 million of them in the country. They were eager to get the other 4 million. That was pretty much Karl Rove's strategy to get Bush elected.
But given Bush's low popularity ratings and the enormous number of new voters -- who skewed Democratic -- there is no way in the world that Bush got 8 million more votes this time. I think it had a lot to do with the electronic voting machines. Those machines are completely untrustworthy, and that's why the Republicans use them. Then there's the fact that the immediate claim of Ohio was not contested by the news media -- when Andrew Card came out and claimed the state, not only were the votes in Ohio not counted, they weren't even all cast.
And here is a joint venture worth noting:
NEW YORK, Nov. 3 /BSNewswire/ -- Diebold, ChoicePoint and Sproul - in a new partnership between government and business involving unprecedented interagency cooperation between the RNC/PNAC, the Patent Office, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security - and funded in part by venture capital from Microsoft's capital-markets division - have announced plans to form a joint venture to leverage core software patents and other intellectual property for the purpose of maintaining America's strategic edge at providing "the best democracy money can buy."
I didn't think I would see a funnier headline today than "Bush Wins; Healing Begins" on the front page of the Toronto Sun, but here it is: "Bloggers blamed for misleading poll information." Associated Press conducted the exit polls for America's news giants, but apparently bloggers are at fault for disseminating the "misleading" results. Again, and likely forever, the integrity of the unaudited, Republican-controlled e-vote goes unchallenged. Because goodness, golly gee: that sounds like "conspiracy theory," and ya gotta have a screw loose to buy into that hooey.
The eyes, they just keep rolling along.