New Civilization News: My Impressions Of Yesterday    
 My Impressions Of Yesterday5 comments
picture7 Jan 2005 @ 09:27, by Richard Carlson

All that is necessary is to lay down, not just the body, but one's heart and the whole of oneself.

---Neville Shulman

Take one step away from yourself---and behold!---the path!

---Abu Said

There comes a time when one asks even of Shakespeare, even of Beethoven, is this all?

---Aldous Huxley

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
When Vice President Dick Cheney, standing on the dais, far left, called her name to ratify President Bush's election, Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio, far right, rose and challenged the vote.

"There was a point where this served a purpose," said Susan Gwinn, chairwoman of the Athens County Democratic Party in Ohio. "But I think we passed that. We need to move on."

The woman speaking to this morning's New York Times is not only chair of the Democratic Party in my county, but also Regional Counsel for that political organization AND Commissioner of the Board of Elections here. She is referring to yesterday's objections in the US Congress to Electoral College representations of the Presidential Election as held in Ohio. If there was a point at which Ms. Gwinn saw a purpose to any question whatsoever regarding her powerful involvement in politics in this town, I don't know when or where it was. And she ain't talkin' about Where to, fearless leader?

Pushing 65 as I am, I no longer have a classroom of my own, but spend my days assisting other teachers. I never missed my own class so much as I did yesterday, trying to follow the developments in Congress on both television and computer and yearning for students to whom to show all this stuff. I was not in a classroom that featured or even was interested in the historic proceedings. My sense was that most Americans didn't know what was going on or that Congress was doing anything besides rolling over for Attorney General nominee Gonzales. I also feel that most citizens here are so hostile or totally asleep about politics they would have done anything to avoid knowing about it. And I believe that is precisely how the hierarchy of power in this country wants it.

Even though the Congress finally was taking up the issue of election irregularities in our nation, particularly in Ohio, finding out about and following it was just as difficult yesterday for this average citizen as it has been through our media since Election Day. We had C-Span on TV and on computer. Depending on where you are and what your cable services are, you may have one or 2 or maybe even 3 C-Span stations spread out through your channels somewhere. On computer there are 3 options for streaming. Of course the Gonzales hearing got top billing, with nominees for Secretary of Education and Agriculture sharing the marquee. On both facilities, C-Span always has been maddening for me in trying to find out what they're showing and where it is. At the time of convening the joint session to consider the Electoral College results, one of C-Span's channels dutifully showed senators marching across a hall to the House chambers. This went on for about half an hour, but at the moment Dick Cheney called that group to order C-Span switched channels entirely to one of the others and instead brought up a Democratic Party Minority Briefing with Nancy Pelosi about this and that. If you weren't alert, you missed Barbara Boxer's objection entirely. And being alert on the computer means you have to keep refreshing to see what they're showing where when. I was trying to watch both at once.

Then when Congress moved back into separate facilities for the required two-hour debate you had to switch back and forth between 2 channels to watch the speeches of your choice. The House was on one channel and the Senate on another. Maybe CNN edited things for viewers; I don't know because I have yet to run into anybody who attempted to watch the thing at all. What's important is that the challenges happened (not since 1877, when Hayes probably stole the election from Tilden) and that our Constitutional system has provisions for screening rotten executives and throwing them out. All I'm hearing is that people want to get rid of the Electoral College, but the beauty of the facility, though admittedly harkening back to aristocracy, is its recognition that the Will of the People can fall asleep and into corruption, crime, torture and downright evil. The Electoral College and Congressional review is a chance to question whether that's happened. Unfortunately nobody questioned it yesterday. To the contrary, over and over Democrats insisted they were not challenging election results, but only a few details that need tweaking. Like Gore, Kerry distanced himself totally, not only leaving town but the country. Senator Edwards has vanished totally---maybe understandably.

The Democrats who spoke in debate, in both houses (as I switched back and forth), spoke in platitudes about the glory of free election and the cornerstone of democracy and all that. And who are we to tell the world how to vote when we can't do it ourselves...which is a good point of course. Ted Kennedy was stirring. So was Hillary. At least they stood up. Dennis Kucinich was thundering, as was Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones, of Cleveland, who was the first to rise in Joint Session before Cheney's glare. John Conyers was magnificent throughout, especially in the briefing that followed overwhelming defeat of the objections, when he referred to the Republican arguments, particularly in the House (did any Republican senators speak at all, preferring the cold shoulder strategy?), as "insulting." He is precisely right. Republicans did not defend the election machinations nor did they argue against evidence of fraud and obstruction of voters (both illegal) but rather brought out the attack dogs against those leaders who would dare to question Republican rule. "Publicity stunt," they snarled. They ridiculed Michael Moore, whom Conyers celebrated at the briefing by reminding us most Americans were unaware totally of the Black Caucus challenge to the 2000 Election until we saw it in Fahrenheit 9/11. There is pretty good coverage of the whole day in this morning's San Francisco Chronicle. [link]

Do we understand that if, for some almost inconceivable reason, the politicians yesterday had voted in both Houses to uphold the objections to the Ohio election, Ohio's electoral votes would have been thrown out? Do we know what that would have meant for this nation and the world for at least the next 4 years? Do we yet understand what the even worse failure in Congress meant in 2000, when Florida was in question? "Get over it," say Republicans. What is it we are "getting over"? Defeat? I don't think so. Democrats, independents, and we minorities know all about how to do that. Maybe it's the final vestige of political freedom we are to "get over." And where is it we are "moving on" to? Later during the debate, my schedule demanded I resort to the car radio for coverage. Ha! American radio. Sports, rock, country, the holy gospel...and finally Rush Linbaugh. There he was, and at least Congressional proceedings were being discussed. He was playing Barbara Boxer's speech of objection, and interrupting it with ridicule. She was talking about the spread of democracy through the world. Rush guffawed, "The spread of Liberalism, you mean! The spread of Socialism!" Ah Captain, my captain...

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7 Jan 2005 @ 09:58 by jazzolog : Frisco's Front Page
For posterity, this is the Chronicle account~~~

Boxer halts official tally to protest Ohio vote
She and representative from Cleveland force Congress to discuss election problems
- Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau
Friday, January 7, 2005

Washington -- California Sen. Barbara Boxer, expressing regret for failing to act after the contested 2000 presidential election, delayed George Bush's formal re-election for almost four hours Thursday in a nearly unprecedented protest of election day irregularities.

Boxer and fellow Democrat Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Cleveland, relying on widespread reports of voting problems on Nov. 2, stopped the count of Electoral College votes with a formal objection to the Ohio results. Their protest, which they said wasn't aimed at overturning Bush's victory over Democratic Sen. John Kerry, triggered a debate in the House and Senate on election reform.

"This was a hard decision, but I feel really good about this decision," said Boxer, the feisty liberal senator who easily won re-election in November to her fourth term. "We cannot keep turning our eyes away from a flawed system, particularly as we have people dying in Iraq every day to bring democracy to those people."

Boxer's move, which Capitol wags quickly dubbed "Boxer's Rebellion," made many of her Democratic colleagues uncomfortable and drew biting criticism from Republicans, particularly in the House.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas said the effort to delay Bush's victory was shameful and showed that the Democratic Party is dominated by conspiracy theorists he dubbed the party's "X-Files" wing.

"Many observers will discard today's events as a partisan waste of time,'' DeLay said. "But it is much worse than that."

Several Republicans ridiculed Boxer and protesting Democratic House members as being influenced by conspiracy theories about the November election on the Internet as well as filmmaker Michael Moore's controversial documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11." Moore's film includes a scene from the formal tally of the 2000 Electoral College vote, when several Democratic House members objected to the results of Bush's narrow victory over Democratic Vice President Al Gore in Florida. Their effort failed to stop the count because no senator would join them as required by law.

"Get over it,'' Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla., told the Democrats on Thursday. "The very people who refuse to move on are the people from and their hero, Michael Moore.''

Boxer admitted that the questions raised about the 2000 election -- although not Moore's movie -- influenced her decision to join Tubbs Jones' objection on Thursday. She said she regrets not filing a similar protest after Gore lost to Bush in 2000.

"I was asked by Al Gore not to do so. Frankly, looking back, I wished I would have. It was not about Al Gore. It was about the voters,'' she said.

Boxer had been pressured by constituents in San Francisco and elsewhere and by liberal groups to file the objection to Ohio's results. She said a letter from Tubbs Jones on Tuesday finally made her decide to sign the objection. The letter listed such problems in Ohio as voters being forced to stand in line at some precincts for 10 or 12 hours, some voters being told that the election would be held on Nov. 3, not on Nov. 2, the actual election day, and the lack of a paper trail for votes cast in electronic machines.

"We have spent our lives fighting for things were believe in,'' Boxer told reporters. "Now we must add a new fight, the fight for electoral justice. Every citizen should be guaranteed that their vote counts.''

The move was just the first challenge to a state's full slate of electoral votes since 1877. A similar objection to a single vote was made in 1969.

Kerry, traveling in the Middle East, has conceded defeat and wasn't even in the Capitol for Thursday's events.

The objection stopped the counting of Electoral College votes in a usually perfunctory quadrennial joint session of Congress. Final returns showed that Bush won Ohio by 118,000 votes and that the state provided the electoral votes to put the Bush-Cheney ticket over the top.

Republicans scoffed at the objection. Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, assailed Boxer and Tubbs Jones for "wild, incoherent, completely unsubstantiated charges.''

"I find it almost impossible to believe that we're standing on the floor of the Senate discussing whether George Bush actually won the state of Ohio,'' he added.

DeWine was one of only two Republican senators to speak during the debate in the Senate. But a procession of Democrats took to the floor, saying more changes are needed to federal election requirements to ensure that every vote is counted. None, however, voted to sustain Boxer's objection, which would have further delayed the counting of the electoral votes. Boxer was on the losing end of a 74-1 vote.

In the House, which debated the full two hours as called for by the objection, Tubbs Jones said the new Congress should make election reform a top issue.

"Surely in this Congress we can take a few minutes and step back to debate election irregularities,'' she said. "If we can help overturn an election in Ukraine, why can't we take a few minutes to debate our own election irregularities?''

The House voted 267 to 31 to reject the objection. Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee of Oakland, Sam Farr of Carmel and Lynn Woolsey of Petaluma were among those who voted to sustain the objection.

The process of counting states' electoral votes by alphabetical order started ordinarily enough at 1 p.m. in the crowded House chamber. Vice President Dick Cheney, who is president of the Senate, entered with senators and pages carrying two handsome mahogany boxes. Inside the boxes were sealed envelopes containing the electoral votes of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The counting started. "Mr. President, the certificate of the electoral vote of the State of California seems to be regular in form and authentic, and it appears therefrom that John F. Kerry of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts received 55 votes for president and John Edwards of North Carolina received 55 votes for vice president,'' California's declaration read.

But the process stopped at 1:21 p.m. when Boxer and Tubbs Jones rose to object to Ohio's vote. They were joined by about a dozen House members who rose in support, including Lee.

"I seek to object that they were not in all known circumstances regularly given,'' Tubbs Jones said of Ohio's votes.

Senators then trooped back to their side of the Capitol for their debate.

After both sides resoundingly rejected the protest, the joint session resumed at 5:08 p.m., this time with only a handful of members on hand. Counting of the ballots resumed at 5:11 p.m., three hours and 50 minutes after it was stalled, and at 5:19 p.m. Cheney announced the result everyone knew was coming.

Bush won 286 votes out of the 538-vote total, 16 more than the 270 needed. Kerry received 251, and one vote was cast for Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina for president by a Minnesota elector. Cheney won 286 votes for vice president, to Edwards' 252.

An election protest
The Constitution requires Congress, in a joint session of the House and Senate, to open the formal Electoral College votes for president and vice president and ratify the results.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, objected to the results of Ohio's 20 electoral votes, relying on federal law, 3 U.S. Code Section 15, which sets out the procedure to protest the vote of any state's slate of electors.

-- When the results of the Electoral College vote are being read, the president of the Senate "shall call for objections, if any."

-- An objection must be presented in writing and "signed by at least one senator and one member of the House of Representatives."

-- If the objection is received as proper, the Electoral College tally is stopped, and the House and Senate meet separately to consider the protest.

-- Section 17 of the code limits debate on an objection to two hours and specifies that House members and senators may speak only once and for not more than five minutes each.

-- The law requires a vote on the objection. If the objection is rejected, the challenged Electoral College votes are counted.

Page A - 1

©2005 San Francisco Chronicle  

7 Jan 2005 @ 15:16 by jmarc : Rush is passe'
although he really was something in his prime. I've been a bit infatuated with Laura Ingraham since i hooked up with WTNT out of D.C. She's always got an alert mind and she's got a good voice. .  

7 Jan 2005 @ 19:13 by Quinty @ : Thanks for your good work on this..

When I heard shortly before one yesterday that Boxer would stand up with Tubbs Jones to object I flipped the set on to watch. When the dramatic moment came I moved to CSPAN's chanel featuring the Senate. First De Wine - oh lord, pardon me Richard, but what a squint eyed monotone idiot that poor soul is - passionately scolded the Senate over the lack of need for the proceedings. And blamed it all on partisanship. Then a variety of Democrats stood - each had five minutes - and while none, that I saw (I flipped occasionally to the House side) claimed that Bush had lost the election many spoke of the need for more election reforms. Ånd at least two or three bi-partisan bills are in the works to create a paper trail, eliminate long lines, and other abuses. How far any of these bills will go with a Republican leadership is up for grabs though. When the Democrats finished the other Ohio senator (Oh Richard, another dim light. Oy vey!) rose to speak about how Bush won the election and other such matters, without raising the topic of reform. And then that other great man, Senator Lott from Mississippi, who lost his leadership position by blatant racism (ah, Nixon's southern strategy) rose to display his leadership qualities by condemning the Democrats for wasting the Senate's time and other similiar matters. I think I would have voted No too, when the resolution came up for the vote. Since the issue was not Bush's victory in the election. But the deafness on the part of the Republicans regarding abuses wasn't at all reassuring. They insisted the question was on Bush's victory. The progressive Demo's clearly concentrated on necessary reforms. You have followed this and know much more about it than I do so I will defer without argument. But essentially yesterday struck me as a good day for democracy.

About the news media. Oh god! I enjoy having a glass or two of wine before dinner in the evenings and will flip on CNN for some news. Yes, I know, it's all 'infotainment." When Scot Peterson got the death sentence one would have thought nothing had happened anywhere else in the world. It was all non-stop Scot P. Now it has all been non-stop Tsunami. An important story, but a few other matters of worldwide import should perhaps receive more than fifteen seconds? And cable never reports in depth what happens in the Congress. Thank god for CSPAN. I wouldn't know anything at all about our Congress, the personalities, how it works, or even - what - is - happening - if I didn't see it for myself. And issues which effect the country and the world are routinely debated in the House and Senate: one would never know any of that from our cable news channels. Infotainment indeed!

Rush Limbough, Coulter, O'Reilly? Oh my god, screaming, bullying, blindly opinionated maniacs attempting to be "righter than thou." The PC of the far right, and if Hitler ever comes back into fashion, don't be surprised if Coulter (who believes Joe McCarthy was maligned by - the liberals") et al are first in line to buy arm bands.


8 Jan 2005 @ 12:21 by jazzolog : A Zepp Essay
I'm delighted my little rant yesterday about the chairperson of the Democratic Party in this part of Ohio caught the ear of one of the best online writers, Bryan Zepp. My god, if you have The New York Times interviewing you, wouldn't it be cool to say something extraordinary and dynamic?

The Washington Generals
Gosh. Will they ever win a game?
© 2005 Bryan Zepp Jamieson

The Democratic Party has sold out. It has become the Washington Generals to the GOP's Harlem Globetrotters.

The Democrats know the GOP stole the 2000 election, and they seem to have concluded that if they just agreed to GOP demands to eliminate the paper trail, the GOP wouldn't steal the 2004 election. Idiots.

After a long and determined effort to get one senator, just one, to object to the certification of the electoral college vote based on the wide spread failures and irregularities in the Ohio vote, a total of one – count ‘em, one – Democrat did so. Credit where credit is due: Barbara Boxer has more courage than the rest of the Democrats in the Senate combined, and more character than the whole sorry lot in the Senate, even if you don’t bring down the curve by counting Dick Cheney.

And what sort of rationale do the timid, timorous, weak, sniveling Democrats offer for this display of craven acquiescence? One of my readers, RC in Ohio, quoted his county chair, one Susan Gwinn, who said this to the NY Times: "There was a point where this served a purpose. But I think we passed that. We need to move on."

Move on to what, exactly, Sue? Move on to pretending American elections are still honest? Move on to pretending that there are still two parties in America? Move on to pretending that the constitution and freedom still mean a damned thing?

What, exactly, is she moving on toward?

RC had an idea. We have apparently moved on to the point where the "Will of the People can fall asleep and into corruption, crime, torture and downright evil."

I don’t know about the "Will of the People" but the Democratic Party sure has slid into the role of Pancho Sanchez with nary a wince. One hundred thousand dead in Iraq, including nearly a thousand US troops (at the time), and the Democrats KNOW that Putsch lied about why we went to Iraq, lied about why we’re still there, and is lying about just about everything else under the sun. The man is a pathological liar, supported by a cold and vicious pack of neo-fascists who are contemptuous of Democracy, America, and Americans.

And what was the Democratic Party’s response to this nightmare? The best the Democratic Party could cough up was a worn out old hairball of a Senator who once made his mark opposing a futile and unjust war, but who now lacks the courage to protest an even more futile and unjust war. No wonder he rolled over for the GOP without a whimper.

The Democrats replaced the ineffectual and meek Tom Daschle with an equally ineffectual and meek Harry Reid. The only difference is that Daschle wasn’t prepared to cave in to the religiously insane blob squad and ban abortion. Reid is.

The Democratic Leadership Council wants to maintain a course of being "Republican Lite" which amounts to class warfare against Americans without the race baiting and gay bashing that is the hallmark of the neofascist GOP. That’s like getting to choose between Hitler and Franco. The DLC keeps insisting that the only way to win elections is by pretending to be just like the other guys.

There was an Ipsos-Reid/CNN poll out yesterday. It asked respondents about various elements of Putsch’s policies.

Now, you might expect that a President who supposedly just won reelection to a second term would do fairly well in such a poll, and historically, presidents in such a position usually have pretty good numbers, running from 60% approval on up. In only one category, the war in Iraq and on terror, did the poll give him positive numbers. Sort of. 50% approved, 48% disapproved. That was his BEST return. On the economy, which is supposed to be a strong point for him, he trailed, 51-47. On health care, the environment and education, he trailed by a whopping 13 points.

Does anyone believe for one instant that this widely despised clown really won the election fair and square just two months ago? Sure, the economy has the blind staggers, Putsch is promoting economic policies designed to cheat working people, and Iraq is a hideous clusterfuck. But that was all true back on the day of the election. Nothing has changed.

Yet here’s a poll, from notoriously Putsch-friendly Ipsos, showing him with the lowest approval ratings ever given a president prior to the inauguration.

Are the Democrats screaming about this, or at least pointing out, when the Republicans start babbling about their "mandate to rule," that they are, in fact, widely hated and mistrusted?

Nope. Not a peep.

Granted, some of it is America’s disgraceful mass media. CNN, with a perfectly straight face, claimed that Republicans were "flabbergasted" by the vote by Boxer to have two hours’ debate on the voting in Ohio. As if they were actually really surprised, and had heard nothing of the campaign by people all over the country to get a senator to support house members this time. Maybe CNN didn’t cover the 2000 election. And of course, CNN – and the other networks – carried little or nothing of the debate.

Mustn’t get the American children to wondering if George is really all that popular, you know. Media "access" depends on pleasing their corporate masters.

The Democrats seem determined to become pale shadows of the GOP, and join the Whigs, the Free Soilers, and hundreds of lesser parties as historical footnotes. Already, two major groups – Progressive Democrats of America, and Reform Democrats – have formed, and thousands of people are flocking to these groups, which are prepared to fight back against the neo-fascists of both major parties and their corporate masters. And take America back from those corporations that have so twisted America into a sad parody of itself.

In the meantime, unless there is major reform of the election process, including adoption of the Oregon plan and Clean Campaign reform, don’t expect me to discuss the coming campaigns. I won’t cover them for the same reason I don’t cover pro wrestling matches. It’s why bookies didn’t accept bets on how the Soviet elections would go. American elections will be as much a sham and a farce as the Iraqi elections that Putsch is promoting in the face of all reason and sanity.

Does anyone really CARE what the stats are for any of the players for the Washington Generals?  

10 Jan 2005 @ 21:08 by jazzolog : The Future Of Democracy
Ray Beckerman is a New York attorney who volunteered, came here and monitored voting activities in Ohio on Election Day. This is what he has to say today~~~

January 10, 2005
The future of this blog

As you all know by now, the battle for American democracy was lost on January 6th. Despite a mountain of irrefutable evidence of intentional 'irregularity', the votes of the pretending Ohio electors were accepted that day by the Congress of the United States, thus completing the coup d'etat that had been started by 5 members of the United States Supreme Court in 2000.

Only 1 Senator, and only 31 Members of the House of Representatives, honored their oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

What I have decided to do at this point in time is continue the blog insofar as it relates to the Ohio election fraud of 2004, which for me means marshalling and collecting evidence, and reporting things relating to evidence, investigation, litigation, and prosecution of the Ohio election abuses.

If the guilty are brought to justice, it will indicate that democracy still smolders in our legal system.

If they are not, it will indicate that democracy in America remains alive only in the hearts of its people.


Posted by Ray Beckerman @ 10:56 AM

What follows at Mr. Beckerman's blog is this~~~

"Evidence of Fraud and Disenfranchisement in Ohio, 2004 : A Partial List"

Take a look.  

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