American Samizdat

Saturday, May 10, 2008. *

I got this from the Prolefeed guy. I'm pretty sure the guy with the gun is an auto insurance agent. Related and hilarious clip here. Is it just me or is the Prolefeed as good as anybody on teevee or in my newspapers? More political stencils here. We can only beat them with stencils you see.

When I asked Chris Potter what happened to Ted Rall I also noted--perhaps a bit too obtusely-- that the Pennsylvania primary results were essentially unverifiable. Perhaps it was really a 52 to 48 race like the exit polls. Perhaps Hillary won by 20 points. Who knows. And who can check. Trust politicians because they would never never ever lie to us, right Chris? Now, as it turns out, they've been having this debate in New Jersey except its happening in a courtroom. Get the background here from Bradblog. Long story short: Sequoia doesn't want you looking inside their machines, or the machines that were used all over Pennsylvania last week and Allegheny County in particular. (I could be wrong about that.) Sequoia had been fighting in court to make sure that their machines couldn't be examined. That this would be an issue in a real democracy is stunning. Then again, I suppose I don't live in a real democracy. Anyway, super hacker Ed Felton is getting a look.

Here's what he's found so far. Remember, Fast "Eddy" Rendell and our Secretary of State said everything worked fine last Tuesday. Compare and contrast with these graphs from Slashdot:

"Princeton Professor, Ed Felton, has posted a series of blog entries in which he shows the printed tapes he obtained from the NJ voting machines don't report the ballots correctly. In response to the first one, Sequoia admitted that the machines had a known software design error that did not correctly record which kind of ballots were cast (republican or democratic primary ballots) but insisted the vote totals were correct. Then, further tapes showed this explanation to be insufficient. In response, State officials insisted that the (poorly printed) tapes were misread by Felton. Again further tapes showed this not to be a sufficient explanation. However all those did not foreclose the optimistic assessment that the errors were benign — that is, the possibility that vote totals might really be correct even though the ballot totals were wrong and the origin of the errors had not been explained. Now he has found (well-printed) tapes that show what appears to be hard proof that it's the vote totals that are wrong, since two different readout methods don't agree. Sequoia has made trade-secret legal threats against those wishing to mount an independent examination of the equipment. One small hat-tip to Sequoia: at least they are reporting enough raw data in different formats that these kinds of errors can come to light — that lesson should be kept in mind when writing future requirements for voting machines."

By the way, if you're playing the home game, this would be evidence of election fraud. But remember, only dirty fucking hippies on the internets think this story matters.

(Review by Joan at Oped here.)

Nuns and students without valid photo ID turned away from the Indiana polls, according to Bradblog. Not an accident and thank you so much my neo Jim Crow Supreme Court. Atrios doesn't get the magnitude of this. It kind of is a grand magnificent conspiracy. Writer at Booman Tribune correctly sees nature of grand magnificent conspiracy in a piece titled: "The Republican War on Voting Rights". Here's a snippet:

The real basic take away here is that if you are going to tip elections, you aren’t going to be able to do it “one vote at a time” as these voter id, anti-voter laws purport to combat.

You do it by rigging the system from the inside - by massive voter roll purges that are designed to purge the very demographics that are most likely to hurt the other party, by challenging districting in order to “make it more fair for people’s votes to be reflective of the district”, by implementing laws that are meant to keep millions of people who are likely to vote for the other party from voting and by stacking the deck in the positions where the voting machines are selected and monitored, where the federal and state election laws are “interpreted”, where the decisions are made with respect to voter registration and how the elections are run and even having cousins in the very media outlets who are calling the races for their candidate-cousins.

Make no mistake - this is a more than just a major partisan initiative. This is an all out assault on the voting rights of millions of potential Democratic voters and therefore, votes. This is a premeditated, long term, wide ranging attack against millions of Americans’ voting rights. But it isn’t just an assault on Democratic voters. It is an assault on the most basic right that a democracy affords.

And it should be referred to accordingly.

Related: Dems failed to pass newest version of Holt bill. The bill required the abnormal two thirds and apparently there is no plan to add it as an attachment. That would mean you really wanted to pass a bill like that of course. Steny Hoyer, the Dems number two, doesn't want to reform the machines because things are going so well now. Kind of like when Biff got the betting results book in Back to the Future II...I always wondered what happens to the people who live in those awful splintered realities. Now I know.

And now: Time for Phil's Quixotic Musing...

I don't suppose the dems could attach something to that $100 billion dollar Iraq spending proposal that would fix our machines and outlaw modern versions of Jim Crow? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

If you're at all interested in the election fraud debate, then please watch this Bob Fitrakis vid above. It answers the question of why doesn't the mainstream/corporate press show more of an interest in the issue. Note the shocking bit about how republican senator Mike DeWine killed the story at the papers. Why would papers care? Because they would need Mike's help in order to expand their monopolies in terms of all kinds of legislation and FCC issues. That's why your daily Post Gazette gives you hard hitting pieces like this or this. Its to distract you from the really important things that are happening, like how the American public has been robbed of its choice for president in two consecutive presidential elections. Features a nice retort to all the "election fraud" denialists like Markos and a great definition of the successful newspaper "editor". Related: This funny Smallville scene between Lex Luther and Chloe, one of Clark's Scooby friends (I'm thinking Velma.), seems fairly realistic. A force of ultimate evil has taken over most of our newsrooms, afterall. Unrealistic part of the scene: she would never get her story about "office espionage" published and if she had kids to feed she probably wouldn't have even complained.

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 6:03 PM
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