New Civilization News: One Month Later    
 One Month Later28 comments
picture2 Dec 2004 @ 10:57, by Richard Carlson

Beginning is not only a kind of action, it is also a frame of mind, a kind of work, an attitude, a consciousness.

---Edward Said

Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood.

---Freeman Teague

Bowing is a very serious practice. You should be prepared to bow, even in your last moment. Even though it is impossible to get ride of our self-centered desires, we have to do it. Our true nature wants us to.

---Shunryu Suzuki

Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851
Leutze, Emanuel Gottlieb

In this case, we need George Washington to be crossing into Delaware County, Ohio. I'm dashing off this entry I'm afraid, while considering I really should stay home from work today to research more thoroughly what's going on in my state currently. Let's see how I can order these events and stories for your convenience.

My last major message had to do with a judge in Delaware County putting a restraining order on the vote recount there. My concern was if the Boards of Election in the other 87 Ohio counties followed this example, the Green and Libertarian parties would have to challenge each one of them in court, which of course would put them both into bankruptcy quick. The Greens took Judge Whitney, the Republican judge who gave the order, to federal court and were preparing for that struggle---which court previously has given Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell a clear road in everthing he's wanted. So is it all over? Yesterday, the Washington Post is reporting, the Democratic Party finally has made its move. The Kerry/Edwards legal representative in Ohio has filed, with Whitney apparently, to join the suit to remove the restraining order and proceed with the recount. I don't think this means Kerry is requesting recount too, at this point anyway, but don't go away. Here are links regarding the Democratic involvement~~~

[link]
[link]

A snide-looking picture of Judge Whitney is at this blog, with the writer's take on his honor's character and ongoing developments~~~

[link]

The individual Ohio counties now have completed their tallying of votes, and that includes those pesky provisional votes, and sent off their certified OK to Blackwell. After he certifies that work, almost certainly for Bush, the recount begins. The LA Times is carrying the Associated Press story...but notice that last sentence~~~

[link]

In case you can't bring it up, it reads, "Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Blackwell's office, said there would be no available breakdown of how many provisionals went to Bush and how many to Kerry." How's that again? They won't tell us who got how many among the provisionals? What's the deal on that? Must we fight for every scrap of information on this election? Carlo LoParo is the guy Blackwell sends out to talk whenever he has something he doesn't want to be questioned about. I did a Google search on Carlo, and I must say this is the first public figure on whom I've tried to find any info at all and come up with zero. No bio available, except "Blackwell's spokesman."

There are several reviews of the Ohio situation online and in the media now. If you want to get caught up or send on something about all this, these are good~~~

Dan Tokaji is associate professor at the college of law at Ohio State, with specialty in election law. His blog moved yesterday to join the college's website, and here he provides a rundown on what's happening as of December 1st~~~

[link]

He also has a featured essay at Findlaw.com on all the things he finds wrong with the election system in our country at the moment. He urges us to address these before we try voting again~~~

[link]

Moritz' main news page links us to all the filings in Ohio contesting the process of election here~~~

[link]

The Nation, who bummed me out by giving up the fight almost as quickly as Kerry appeared to, is starting to pay attention to our struggle...and provides a good review as they play catchup too~~~

[link]

For a look at the new hot site on the Internet and a link to VotersUnite, try this one~~~

[link]

All of which brings us to Jesse Jackson and the weekend. It's not going to be quiet in Columbus. I wish Jesse had as much luck in this country as he does when he goes to Africa or the Middle East to straighten out some foreign policy disaster. But here he comes with a rally on Saturday, and he's bringing Greg Palast with him! Bob Fitrakis will be talking and stirring everybody up, as perhaps also will be Ian Solomon, the associate dean at Yale Law. It's all here at this crucial Ohio site if you want to come~~~

[link]

Reverend Jackson's view on the fishiness of Ohio was in the Chicago Sun-Times the other day~~~

[link]

And to finish off, an editorial yesterday from the Cincinnati Post~~~

[link]

OK, I gotta go to work. Anybody checked whether Steven Freeman has put out Part II of his Exit Poll study? I'll see if I can find it during my lunch hour.


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28 comments

2 Dec 2004 @ 11:44 by jstarrs : Thanks for keeping this going, Jazz
I read the Jesse Jackson article before and was astounded (well, not really) to see that the guy overlooking the count was also the Ohio election manager for Bush - as with Janet Reno (?) before?
Unbelievable!  



2 Dec 2004 @ 16:19 by jazzolog : Unexplained Exit Poll Author
Here it is lunchtime, and I'm searching Dr. Freeman who promised a Part II to his study that is drawing more attention all the time. His own site is here [link] and if you click for the paper itself, you'll find he's revised it several times---including that 2 1/2 million to one figure, which is what we all quoted originally. The study seems more complex than when I first saw it 3 weeks ago, but still the Part II is nowhere in view. I know many schools are taking Winter Breaks now, but I should have thought he'd surface somewhere to talk about the exit poll discrepancies.  


2 Dec 2004 @ 18:55 by dempstress : Sounds to me
like you guys should be applying to twin Ohio with Uzbekistan, and go for the full-on re-election scenario. Seems to be working for them.  


2 Dec 2004 @ 18:59 by jstarrs : Unfortunately...
Uzbekistan seems to be slightly quicker on the up-take than the US.
Or less in 'control'....  



3 Dec 2004 @ 11:56 by jazzolog : This Is It!
A federal court hearing in Columbus this afternoon at 2:30 could determine whether a monitored recount will be held in Ohio, or whether a precedent will have been established at our state level for each county to refuse to do it. [link] The plaintiffs in the case, which now may or may not include the Kerry legal team, maintain a recount can show that George Bush did not win Ohio, and therefore is not the President-elect. Keith Obermann explains and expands on the story to suggest now the media has something to report on in the case. [link] I presume if the federal judge upholds the state court's restraining order on recount in Delaware County, there will be no recourse but to appeal to the Supreme Court. Kerry's money and expertise will be essential in such an action---providing the highest court agrees to hear the case. Further complicating that situation of course is the Chief Justice's condition---and what if he dies or retires? Who would appoint a new judge? If anyone within convenient commute to that U.S. Courthouse can get over there today...and inside (is it a public hearing?) I'd appreciate an email this evening. Otherwise we'll be up there for the Rally tomorrow! [link]  


3 Dec 2004 @ 12:29 by dempstress : Go Jazzo!
And fingers crossed  


3 Dec 2004 @ 13:18 by jmarc : nice painting
Just curious what made you think of it. This "Washington crossing the delaware" phrase showed up 3 different times within an hour for me the other day, in totally unconnected ways, and so i posted it in the chats as a sort of record. Synchronicities interest me greatly, though sometimes they may be forced, hence the question.

Interestingly enough, casualties were very low when he attacked the Hessians that Christmas morn'. Only two deaths for the continental army, and they froze to death. Probably didn't keep moving, huh?
Washingtons troops took about 600 hessian prisoners from that foray. Not sure if he shipped them to cuba yet, further research is needed...  



3 Dec 2004 @ 16:19 by jazzolog : All About Delaware
My suggestion was that we may need a revolutionary army to march across Delaware County here in Ohio this time, rather than boating the River. I wrote more about the problem the recount faces in that county at this entry [link] the other day. The idea of the painting and the phrase was not mine, I hate to confess. I saw the Crossing the Delaware theme connected to the county in Ohio at one of the dozens of websites I visited in my hasty research yesterday morning. I'm darned if I can find it again now, but if I do I'll certainly credit and reference it. If anyone else discovers it, please post here.  


4 Dec 2004 @ 09:09 by jazzolog : We Win But We Lose
I woke up a little over an hour ago to try to find any results of the Federal Court hearing in Columbus yesterday. Incredibly no news service has picked it up yet, but there is a press release at Green Party candidate David Cobb's site~~~

December 3, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact
Federal Judge Rules That Ohio Recount Will Go Forward in All Counties
Cobb campaign is confident that a full and complete recount will take place

Ohio — Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb today expressed his satisfaction with a ruling by a federal judge taking jurisdiction over a Delaware County, Ohio lawsuit and denying the county's attempt to stop the recount of presidential ballots in that county.

"We are very pleased that the judge recognized our right to a recount and that the recount will go forward in each and every county in Ohio," said Cobb.

The judge also provisionally granted the motion by the Kerry-Edwards campaign to intervene in the lawsuit in defense of the position of Cobb and Libertarian Michael Badnarik.

Although the judge did not agree with Cobb that the recount should proceed on an expedited basis, the Cobb campaign is confident that a full and complete recount will take place.

For more information about the Cobb-LaMarche campaign and its recount efforts in Ohio and New Mexico, see [link] Information about the Green Party can be found at [link]

[link]

While more and more media are picking up the story of a recount in Ohio, it's depressing to me that I still have to seek out a dozen different sites to piece together what's going on. Occasionally one or another will do a summary, but there's no one site to look to any hour of any day.

OK, unless Blackwell appeals the Federal Court decision and pushes the whole election into the Supreme Court again, we appear secure on a recount. So we win. But we don't. In a typically provocative essay at ConsortiumNews.com Robert Parry explains~~~

"George W. Bush’s political allies appear to be slow-rolling a requested recount in Ohio, leaving so little time that even if widespread voting fraud is discovered, the finding will come too late to derail Bush’s second term.

"Though balloting occurred on Nov. 2, more than a month ago, Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell still hasn’t certified an official vote, a move now expected on Monday, Dec. 6. Since Blackwell also has battled requests from third-party candidates for an expedited recount, a review of Ohio’s vote now won’t begin until Dec. 13, at the earliest, according to Blackwell’s office. [See Boston Globe, Dec. 1, 2004]

"But the Dec. 13 date is the same day the electors of the Electoral College meet to formally select the President of the United States. So even if the recount uncovers enough fraud to reveal John Kerry as the rightful winner in Ohio, it would be too late to change that outcome."

[link]

Since the judge chose not to hurry up Blackwell or begin the recount early (even though the individual county Boards of Election have finished and certified their work) there seems to be no chance the audit will reverse the result and halt a Bush second term. Nor have the Greens, Libertarians, or Democrats stated explicitly such an outcome is their main purpose.

There is one lingering chance, and that is the second development from yesterday~~~

A Press Release from Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Fourteenth District, Michigan, Ranking Member of Committee on the Judiciary, and Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus

* * *

In response to information obtained as part of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic staff's ongoing investigation of election irregularities in the 2004 election, Congressman John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee along with Representatives Jerrold Nadler, Melvin Watt, Sheila Jackson Lee, Maxine Waters, William Delahunt, Robert Wexler, Tammy Baldwin, Anthony Weiner and Linda Sanchez, wrote to Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell requesting that he respond to reports of election irregularities in the state of Ohio.

The Members wrote to Blackwell:

"Collectively, we are concerned that these complaints constitute a troubled portrait of a one-two punch that may well have altered and suppressed votes, particularly minority and Democratic votes. First, it appears there were substantial irregularities in vote tallies. It is unclear whether these apparent errors were the result of machine malfunctions or fraud.

Second, it appears that a series of actions of government and non-government officials may have worked to frustrate minority voters. Consistent and widespread reports indicate a lack of voting machines in urban, minority and Democratic areas, and a surplus of such machines in Republican, white and rural areas. As a result, minority voters were discouraged from voting by lines that were in excess of eight hours long. Many of these voters were also apparently victims of a campaign of deception, where flyers and calls would direct them to the wrong polling place. Once at that polling place, after waiting for hours in line, many of these voters were provided provisional ballots after learning they were at the wrong location. These ballots were not counted in many jurisdictions because of a directive issued by some election officials, such as yourself.

We're sure you agree with us that regardless of the outcome of the election, it is imperative that we examine any and all factors that may have led to voting irregularities and any failure of votes to be properly counted."

[link]

The allegations in the letter include:
- a lockdown of the election administration building in Warren County on election night,

- discrepancies between the number of voters who signed in and the number of votes cast in certain Perry County precincts, and peculiarities in that county's registration lists,

- an apparently anomolous result in Butler County, in which the Democratic Supreme Court candidates received more votes than the Kerry-Edwards ticket,

- an unusually high number of votes for third-party presidential candidates in certain precincts in Cuyahoga County, which uses punch card ballots,

- a high percentage of ballots in which no valid presidential vote was cast (as high as 25%) within certain Montgomery County precincts, another county that uses the punch card ballot,

- the mistaken addition of 3893 votes to Bush's total in one Franklin County precinct where electronic voting machines are used, which was quickly detected and corrected,

- the addition of some 19,000 votes in Miami County after all precincts had supposedly reported,
- allegations that some voters using Mahoning County's touchscreen machines tried to vote for Kerry and had the votes come up for Bush instead,

- machine shortages in Franklin County,

- provisional ballots that weren't counted, and

- Blackwell's directive, eventually rescinded, that registration forms on less than 80-lb. paper weight wouldn't be accepted.

[link]

Today's Washington Post is carrying this story (but at the bottom of the item) and reports good ol' spokesman Carlo LoParo answered a question about what Blackwell is going to do, with "We certainly answer our mail." [link]

The complete letter from Conyers is at Truthout, along with news that he will hold a "briefing" on Wednesday at 10 AM at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington. This of course is not a House Judiciary Committee hearing, because a Republican heads that group. Nevertheless, Representative Conyers' timing on this initial investigation may provide the last glimmer of hope for producing evidence of wrongdoing.

[link]

At this point the catalog of problems voters encountered in Ohio is significant, but no one seems to think there's anything to indict either the Republican Party or George Bush. Election fraud and dirty tricks are not new to American history. Somebody like Boss Tweed may be overthrown and possibly Blackwell could be undone. Talk of election and finance reform and new legislation may go on again for another 4 years. But fraud does not reverse an election after the results are certified. And the United States does not hold a new election easily at any level. Impeachment is an option...but surely the uncovering of a conspiracy to hack the computers is the only crime, regarding the election anyway, big enough to bring that on. While every computer expert on the Internet seems to be saying there's nothing simpler to do and to cover up, it's small consolation.

We'll be headed for the Rally in Columbus in a few hours, and I need to get back to bed for more zzzz's. The Symposium after the Rally is looking more exciting all the time...with both Jesse Jackson and Greg Palast holding forth. It will be streamed on Pacifica, so coordinate your clocks and tune in. [link] I'll see you later!

 



4 Dec 2004 @ 12:57 by jmarc : you can't really
put that many people in a boat and cross stormy waters without most of them ending up in the drink.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Actually Fundamentalist Republicans walk across this kind of water (with muscled and monetary backing of course).

---jazz  



4 Dec 2004 @ 15:16 by vaxen : streamed on...
pacifica? isn't that kind of like 'pissed on?' well at least it is getting you old duffers out into the general mayhem, again, and i'm sure that makes you feel 'like' you are contributing something of worth. it is a time that really requires bullets, knives, guns...words are a penny a million.

###################################

I know you're being affectionate about both my age (nearly 65) and the duffer quality---although I don't play golf. "Duffer" also indicates cheap, inefficient and ineffectual. I hope not. I've never shot a gun (and hadn't picked one up until the play I was in last June) nor know how to fight with a knife. I do box and like to wrestle. Warren Zevon's wonderful song reminds me to stick with lawyers. As for pissing, I hope your prostate is OK.

---jazz  



4 Dec 2004 @ 17:42 by dempstress : Oh,
give it a rest, babe.  


4 Dec 2004 @ 20:30 by Quinty @68.226.90.181 : About crossing the Delaware


If "faith based" decision making trumps "reality based" decision making, then why haven't the Bushies captured Osama bin Laden yet? I still like what Molly Ivins once said: "If God spoke through George Bush he could pronounce nuclear."

May the Rapture come soon!  



5 Dec 2004 @ 10:49 by jazzolog : Now Here's Our Plan
I once saw a cartoon in which two guys are chained about halfway up a dungeon wall. One turns to the other and says, "Now here's my plan..." I guess that's why we go to rallies and demonstrations and such: to get inspiration from what the concerned and likeminded have to say, and to see how many of us are out there. Only about 400 in Columbus yesterday, which is not good but maybe OK considering how fast the thing was thrown together, Christmas shopping, and the freezing windchill outside the Statehouse. "Welcome to the Ukraine!" were the first words out of hostess' Susan Truitt's mouth, and the terrible cold certainly felt like it. However, at last we're getting coverage (ABC, CBS, and the Washington Post are among those carrying an Associated Press story [link] ) and both the rally and the symposium afterwards were broadcast live. You may access the streams here [link] although I haven't personally tried the Quicktime downloads yet.

What I wanted to find out is what good is any of this if the Ohio recount, which could turn the entire US Presidential election around, is going to conclude after the Electoral College has met and sent its results to Congress. John Bonifaz had the answer. He is General Counsel of the National Voting Rights Institute ( [link] ) which is one of several groups getting involved in Ohio's case. Yesterday, in a stirring rally address, he promised that if the results of the Recount are different from those certified by Secretary of State Blackwell, a new list of electors will be chosen to represent this state. Those electors will convene and create a new tally of what the voters of Ohio intended. That result will be presented to Congress personally when reconvened the second week of January 2005 to recognize the President-elect of the United States and call for his Inauguration.

It will take a Constitutional scholar and American historian of greater capabilities than I to research whether all of that is legal and correct, or whether anything like this ever has been tried by this republic or any other. Of course there's a big IF in this...and also other attorneys have not finished petitioning the State Court with suits seeking to prove the entire election here was flawed and needs to be rerun. Well, if the Ukraine can do it, why not Ohio?  



5 Dec 2004 @ 12:50 by jstarrs : Vax?
IMHO, you manifest the same intolerance & arrogance as those you claim to be fighting.
There has to be many methods, right?
Is the pen mightier than the sword?
You say tomayto, he say tomarto.
You putting your money where your mouth is?
What guns, knives & other deadly paraphenalia you been so using?
Or you just spinning words like us all?  



6 Dec 2004 @ 09:21 by jazzolog : Beckerman's Blog
Ray Beckerman is a New York attorney (with Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP, 99 Park Ave (Ste 1600), New York, NY 10016) who worked the Election Hotline for 3 days here in Ohio, including Election Day. He is a source of and key witness to reports that "the only precincts with long lines, in which people waited as long as 10 hours to vote were in Black precincts or precincts near college campuses. Moreover, he reports that in Youngstown, Ohio touch screen voting machines that registered a vote for Bush whenever a voter pressed the John Kerry tab." [link]

Mr. Beckerman has set up an extraordinary blog on election fraud at this URL [link] . Featured there is a vast Calendar of Events for this week that includes hearings, picketing, demonstrations and sit-ins all over the nation. There may be one near you!

Particularly important to us in Ohio is the sit-in at the office of Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, which begins immediately and will continue during business hours through the week. Ray Beckerman also has verification that Selby County can't participate in an Ohio Recount because its Board of Election threw away all its tabulation records "to reduce paperwork and confusion." And don't miss the witty entry from "Warren", who must have flown into freezing Columbus from tropical California especially for the weekend rally.  



6 Dec 2004 @ 10:55 by vaxen : Was...
just playing around with jazzolog...a bit, Jeff, however the way that people are going about the 'reclaimation' won't do a thing except freeze their tushies.

Bushiekins and the neo cons are already passing laws and do you see the war in Iraq abating? No! It's full stream ahead, which tells me that what I know to be the truth IS the truth. That this election was rigged with the consent of the 'other side' and that charging windmills can be fun for those who do not play 'gulf.' Oh, I meant to say 'golf.'

As far as knives and guns and other lovely toys is concerned I'll keep that info under me hat for now. After all, do you have a 'NEED' to know?

As for jazzolog and his krewe? I wish them all the best, of course, in a losing battle. The 'Don-key' is the symbol for the Demo-pubs for a reason you know...  



6 Dec 2004 @ 11:57 by jazzolog : What I Like Knowing
is that I've done all I can think of doing on a constructive, positive and creative side. I am hard on the crew of liberals with whom I'm in contact in this Ohio mess---and they complain about me...as many do at NCN as well. Many are young and think that hugs and chants are enough to turn this world around. We're headed for court where facts and strategies are essential---something conservatives know and accomplish very well. More later...  


6 Dec 2004 @ 13:12 by vaxen : Good show...
mate. Being hard now will enable them to live longer later...maybe. Good luck and, no, no prostate problems here. Been doing kegel and other, more 'tantrik' things, for years. Hope all is extremely well with you on all fronts jazzie. Happy holidays. See ya in court.  


6 Dec 2004 @ 13:18 by jstarrs : Cool, best for both methods...
Vax's & Jazz's.
Strength to you both.
May all beings have peace.
Or at least fair elections.  



6 Dec 2004 @ 22:39 by dempstress : Terrible.....but so funny!
This news must have reached the US by now....but did you hear what happened at Paris' Charles de Gaul airport? It was decided to undertake an exercise to test the ability of sniffer dogs to detect plastic explosives. A quantity of explosive was put into a randomly selected suitcase, and lo! The dog did find it fine. They then went off to get a second dog and the suitcase.....vanished, apparetly duly processed by a baggage handler not aware of the exercise. Said dark blue suitcase could now be in any one of 90 destinations, as that was the number of flights still scheduled to take off. It cannot explode, being without detonator, and no shaking or even fire will set it off.......but somewhere, some poor, innocent, unsuspecting sod has a quantity of plastic explosive in his suitcase. Let's hope that if it is found then the story has spread ahead and reached the appropriate authorities before s/he is banged up for the crime. Let's hope further that, sod's law being what it is, they didn't choose the suitcase of an aspiring terrorist to plant the stuff........  


7 Dec 2004 @ 09:52 by jazzolog : Politics And Baseball
Actually that's the title I was going to give to Keith Olbermann's essay he wrote the other day, just previous to the one that follows. It's a delight and I was going to send it out, but ran out of time and steam; be sure to read it later at his blog. You ever leave a game at the bottom of the 8th inning because you wanted to beat the crowd and figured it was all over? And then you hear the whole place going wild on the radio on the way home, and they're into extra innings and you just missed the game of the century. Ah Yogi, could it be this Election is one of those games? I've got to make room for Keith's entry from last night, which sums up so well the developing events of the last couple days here in Ohio and in Washington---plus his continued scrutiny of Wayne Madsen's latest bombshell~~~

• December 6, 2004 | 7:25 p.m. ET
Certified and/or certifiable (Keith Olbermann)

SECAUCUS - Exactly one month to the day before Congress will open the votes of the Electoral College, the Secretary of State of Ohio certified the state’s vote this afternoon, that moment in time which separates the Re-Count Exhibition Season from the Re-Count Regular Season.

Exactly per his legally-supported schedule, Kenneth Blackwell this afternoon made the November 2 vote official. With provisionals, absentees, and corrections, it turned out to be not a 136,000 vote margin for President Bush, but rather one of 119,000. The certification was almost immediately greeted by two protests, the prospect of a third, and the details of a fourth.

Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb today scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon in Columbus at which the re-count request from he and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Michael Badnarik will be formalized.

Still delayed, a long, long, long-shot bid - spearheaded by attorney Cliff Arnebeck - to have an Ohio Supreme Court Justice contest the actual election — holding off making the first count official until voting irregularities are reviewed. Mr. Arnebeck told us this afternoon that it now may be Wednesday before his suit is filed.

But the protests are not just from the fringes any more. Citing the long lines, shortages of ballots, voting machine meltdowns, and spoiled ballots, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe announced his party would spend "whatever it takes" to conduct what it calls "a comprehensive investigative study" of the vote in Ohio, one to be completed some time next year.

But just as McAuliffe insisted that the study was not intended "to contest the results of the 2004 election,” a slightly different message was coming from what remains of the Kerry-Edwards campaign in Ohio. Kerry's lead electoral attorney there, Daniel Hoffheimer, echoed the McAuliffe tone, noting "neither the pending Ohio recount nor this investigation is designed to challenge the popular vote in Ohio.”

But in another moment of perplexing tantalization from the Kerry camp, Hoffheimer also said, “while the election of the Bush-Cheney ticket by the Electoral College is all but certain..."

Well that’s enough to drive the remaining Kerry faithful right out of their capsules. File it next to “regardless of the outcome of this election,” and the debate over whether the campaign in Ohio should “join” or “participate in” the Glibs’ recount.

Meantime, what happens when the losing party in the election wants to investigate the election, but has no standing nor political capital to conduct actual hearings in, say, the House of Representatives? It hosts a "forum" — a friendly little informal gathering of members of the House Judiciary Committee in the Rayburn Office Building, Wednesday morning.

John Conyers and as many as dozen of the other 15 Democrats on Judiciary, who say they want to "discuss any issues and concerns regarding the numerous voting irregularities that have been reported in Ohio during the 2004 election."

Conyers has invited a special guest — none other than Warren Mitofsky [link] , the head of Mitofsky International, one of the two companies that conducted exit polling for the television networks. Conyers has written to Mitofsky, asking him to release any of the so-called "raw data" from November 2, the materials constituting the exit polls that fired such controversy, particularly on the internet, and show up to Wednesday's little gathering.

Conyers' office told us Mr. Mitofsky has yet to R.S.V.P.

Interestingly, in the letter to Mitofsky, Conyers is not at all informal. He says Mitofsky can best serve truth right now “by testifying at a hearing we will be holding…”

If you’d like somebody to testify on behalf of the proposition that you’re not nuts for reading about, nor asking, questions, try the Public Editor’s column [link] in Sunday’s edition of the Portland paper, The Oregonian. There, Mike Arrietta-Walden says the foremost complaint received from readers, is about his newspaper’s spotty coverage of voting irregularities. It’s very possible that a lot of the reader feedback was encouraged by websites, but that’s par for the course, as Mediaweek’s piece on the number of Brent Bozell-generated form letters received by the Federal Communications Commission.

What matters most, perhaps, is that while Arrietta-Walden notes the geographical distance between Portland and most of the election hot spots dictated the paper would have to rely on wire services, he still sees his newspaper (and others) as asleep at the switch: “That coverage, especially from national newspapers, has not been extensive and deep, but The Oregonian hasn't taken full advantage of what coverage there was. The lukewarm interest shown by many newspapers partly stems from the fact that leaders of the Kerry campaign and experts with several nonpartisan election watchdogs have repeatedly said that the errors detected would not amount to a reversal of the election. Journalists have moved on to other, pressing stories of the day.”

Arrietta-Walden is also cautionary about the wisdom of letting the blogs drive the net. He didn’t mention Wayne Madsen by name, but he might well have.

When Mr. Madsen’s internet piece positing a $29,000,000 payoff to “fix” the election made the rounds, I wrote here [link] that the journalism didn’t live up to many minimum standards, and the logic, even fewer (somebody promised to pay off people to rig the election computers, gave at least some of them the full history of how the money was to be laundered — and then didn’t ante up?).

Mr. Madsen followed up with another piece in which he claimed to have an actual copy of the check. A single election-fixing check for $29.6 million. One-stop shopping for the political scandal of the millennium.

Now, he is back with an even longer, more intricate story that drags in NASA, Lockheed Martin, Brazilian computer maintenance technicians, Nigerian scammers, and a reputed affidavit that fingers a Florida congressman.

The problem is that the amazing check for $29.6 million, whose authenticity was the cornerstone of Madsen’s first two stories, not only turns out to be a fraud, but now, its fraudulence becomes one of the cornerstone’s of Madsen’s newest story. As he told the Pacifica radio station (KPFT) in Houston Sunday, “Yeah, it turns out that the $29 million check, although a valuable clue, was a fake. But it looks like the people who released the check did so as a way to say ‘hey, look here, don’t look at the check, look who’s behind it, look around it, follow the money that these people have been involved with…’”

Once again, if any part of Mr. Madsen’s writing on the election is proved and valid, I’ll not only repeat my offer to pay his way for him to pick up his Pulitzer Prize — I’ll physically carry him there myself. There could very well be facts — even important facts — hiding in there somewhere.

But to turn on a dime and write that a document is real, and hard evidence of a crime, and then come back and admit that it’s fake, but still hard evidence of a crime, is an intellectual leap of faith worthy of Evel Knievel. It violates every precept of good journalism, to say nothing of good investigation. I won’t even ask about logic.

Shoot e-mail to KOlbermann@msnbc.com
[link]  



7 Dec 2004 @ 15:44 by vaxen :
Texas to Florida: White House-linked clandestine operation paid for "vote switching" software - LINK [link] - An exhaustive investigation has turned up a link between current Florida Republican Representative Tom Feeney, a customized Windows-based program to suppress Democratic votes on touch screen voting machines, a Florida computer services company with whom Feeney worked as a general counsel and registered lobbyist while he was Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, and top level officials of the Bush administration. - According to a notarized affidavit signed by Clint Curtis, while he was employed by the NASA Kennedy Space Center contractor, Yang Enterprises, Inc., during 2000, Feeney solicited him to write a program to "control the vote."  


7 Dec 2004 @ 15:46 by martha : Well Jazzy now
that Ohio has certified Bush's win where are you going to turn your energies...politically I mean?  


7 Dec 2004 @ 15:57 by jazzolog : Thanx Vax And Good Morning Martha
Thanks for putting up the Madsen link, which contains the new material Olbermann is commenting on. And Martha, you must be quilting away night and day: we're just revving up our political engines here in Ohio.

See also Ming's Log for more variations on the Madsen vote rigging story. BradBlog, which Ming features, is worth bookmarking if you're getting into this stuff. He updates all the time. At the moment though, it's getting so many clicks that you may have to wait to access. [link]  



8 Dec 2004 @ 09:26 by jazzolog : BradBlog And BlackBox
Try saying that 3 times fast. All right: where are we this morning? The dust certainly hasn't cleared over the Clint Curtis affidavit, but there are some voices of reason being raised. Some background and clarification is here~~~ [link]

One is from Bev Harris, who has 5---or is it 6?---questions about this software he supposedly developed to alter electronic voting machine tallies. Her Black Box Voting front page is about a mile long now, but at this point her "disinformation" charge is pretty close to the top. [link]

The BradBlog has responded to Ms. Harris, while at the same time setting up a new site just about this topic! As I mentioned yesterday the original was getting so many clicks the server was on the verge of collapse. When Brad (Friedman is his last name) couldn't get into himself, he decided he had to make the move...and so here's the new one~~~ [link] .

Perhaps we'll know more of what we have after the John Conyers meeting (I'm hesitating to call it a hearing) this morning in Washington. I understand it will be televised live by C-Span, and Brad is saying maybe NBC too. Major network coverage like that would be amazing...so I'm tending to doubt it. But at this point nothing will surprise me.  



16 Dec 2004 @ 18:31 by Quinty @68.226.90.181 : Truthout
You check Truthout, don't you, for information about the election scandals?

#########

Yeah, but it's not always as hot as a couple others. See more recent updates here [link] and so sorry to Paul and any others still interested in our little revolution on these shores: I know my Log has become very disorganized and it's hard to find stuff and keep up.

---Richard  



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