2006/12/10

Walk the Line!


Now that the Democrats have taken back the Congress, there is some light at the end of the tunnel, but never underestimate the power of the Republicans to dynamite said tunnel and bring the darkness back. The Democrats must walk the fine line of investigating the huge amount of corruption and possible treasonous activities, without appearing to be obsessed with it. In two short years the 2008 elections will be here and the Dems have a good chance to strengthen their small majorities and recapture the White House, creating a platform to restore many of the environmental, social, and regulatory items that have been stripped away in the past 10 years.
The investigations are sure to lead to Iraq where one third of rebuilding contracts are under criminal investigation, according to U.S. Special Inspector General Stuart Bowen, who is in charge of auditing Iraq's faltering reconstruction since 2004.
The pipelines that are meant to take the oil north have been blown up, so the only way to export it is by road. "That leaves it vulnerable to smuggling," he said, as truckers sell their cargoes on the black market.
Mr Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (Sigir), cites Iraqi figures showing that the "virtual pandemic" of corruption costs the country $4 billion a year, with a lot of the money going straight to the Iraqi government's enemies. A U.S. government report has concluded that oil smuggling abetted by corrupt Iraqi officials is netting insurgents $100 million a year, making them financially self-sustaining.
Mr Bowen's office has found that the insurgents and militias have also been abetted by US incompetence. A culture of waste, incompetence and fraud may be one legacy the occupiers have passed on to Iraq's new leaders. Mr Bowen's office found that nearly $9 billion in Iraqi oil revenues could not be accounted for. The cash was flown into the country in shrink-wrapped bundles on military transport planes and handed over by the ton to Iraqi ministries by the Coalition Provisional Authority run by Paul Bremer, a veteran diplomat. But it also fuelled a cycle of corruption left over from Saddam Hussein's rule. A potentially far more serious problem has been the way the US government decided to give out reconstruction contracts. It split the economy into sectors and shared them out among nine big US corporations. The no-bid contracts were set up on a cost-plus basis that guaranteed a profit margin calculated as a percentage of costs, creating huge incentives to pad the costs and therefore the profits. In the rush to get work started the contracts were signed early in 2004. In many cases work did not get under way until the year was nearly over with the contractors racking up huge bills on wages, hotel bills and restaurants. Just as the Republican Congress shirked its oversight responsibilities of the White House, Bush’s cronies have been placed in charge of protecting our tax dollars instead of responsible caretakers. Inspector Bowen campaigned for George Bush in Texas and was one of the small army of Republican lawyers called in to Florida in 2000 to oversee the vote recounts on Mr Bush's behalf. When he started the job in March 2004, few expected he would do anything to embarrass the administration However, Mr. Bowen has emerged as the scourge of the big corporations who are among the Republican party's biggest donors. An attempt was made earlier this year to strip his mandate, but the Democrat victory last month seems to have kept him intact, showing the importance of true oversight in our government.
Predictions for 2008 political season here in Dec. 2006. Hillary will beat out fellow Dem candidate retired General Wesley Clark from Arkansas for the Nomination, and then announce him as her running mate, alleviating a lot of concern amongst people that don’t think a woman should be commandeer in-chief. Clark, a former commander of NATO forces in Bosnia, should help down South, and Hillary will go on to take the White House. The Republicans will put up Guiliani, Romney, and others, with John McCain taking the nomination. It will be close, but Hillary will hold her own against the flip-flopping ex-Maverick, who sold out and thoroughly browned his nose up in W’s derriere. 2008 should prove to be an exciting and pivotal year in America’s future. If the Dems don’t step up to the plate and get some hits, the U.S. will rapidly continue its slide into mediocrity and diminished capacity. Good night and good luck.

2006/11/19

Too late to wash off the blood- Neocons....

The hundreds of thousands of dead, the tens of thousands of severely maimed Iraqi civilians and American soldiers and contractors, and now the Neocons are running as far away as possible from the Iraq debacle....they're trying to pin the tail on the donkey that is our president, but they bear a heavy burden for promoting this war. The PNAC (Project for a New American Century) was founded in the mid-90's as a group that pomoted U.S. intervention in Iraq and the world at large. As the sole superpower, they thought it was in our best interest to go abroad and impose our freedom and democracy on anyone who would dare to reject it. It was our duty as the good cop of the world to impose American rules on sovereign countries, regardless of whether they posed an imminent threat to us or not. They wrote to and tried handily to get Clinton to invade Iraq, and although Clinton refused, he did give them a lot of bombing and no fly zones over Iraq as a bone to chew on until they got a president that would do their bidding...with the oil boys having their own agenda to go into Iraq (Paul O'Neil and other Republican insiders have confirmed that there were plans to invade Iraq from day one of the administration) the Neocons were the finger on the scale that put us over the top and into the war. Within days of 9/11, they were in perfect concert with the White House and the entire Congress, repeating the lies so frequently, that the media and a lot of Dems feared speaking out. Richard Perle, William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Kenneth Adelman....you were co-conspirators in starting this illegal war and whether you are criminally charged or not, you will pay the price in any Karmic response to your involvement...

James Baker-Statesman or Traitor? Media complicity continues.





It's no secret the close ties between the Bush dynasty and the Saudi Arabian royalty....as part of the Bush inner-circle, James Baker has profited greatly from his relationship with the oil sheiks to the tune of $200 million or more according to Carlyle Group investments. Right now the media is exhibiting its usual shallowness and lack of in-depth reporting, feeding into the Bush administrations plan to override the Democrats. The American public didn't just elect the Democrats as a check to the Bush administration, in order for Poppy Bush's ax-man to come in and set the agenda for our foreign policy. As we speak, Baker's law firm is representing the Saudis against a lawsuit filed by the 9/11 families. I haven't checked, but my guess is that a Lexis Nexis search would show little to no articles on this fact. With all of the lawyers available and with 9/11 being such a catastrophic event to this country, it would seem that a statesman would have the dignity and discretion to politely say no to representing the Saudis. A traitor on the other hand would have no problem profiting further from the collective misery of the 9/11 victim's families.

2006/11/14

The Brain Drain Kidnapping- Military-Catch-22!

The first thing you do when creating a dictator-ship/theocracy-is you control and instigate a brain-drain. Get all of the engineers, scientists, academics, and round them up like a herd of cattle. With over 150 people kidnapped in Baghdad, the end is getting closer for U.S. troops involvement. We constantly hear that the Iraqi government has to stand up, and they have stood up and told our military to take a hands-off approach to reigning in certain militias. 2 weeks ago this mass-kidnapping couldn't have taken place, but now the U.S. policy leaders have given it the okay, through lack of intervention.

2006/11/13

The Senators and I

It was a love-fest Friday night at Senator Durbin's 10th anniversary celebration at Fultons on the River in Chicago. The mood in the room was one of total satisfaction, as Congressional, Aldermanic and other pols were in the house to pay tribute to Durbin, the 3rd most powerful Democrat in the country. When Obama arrived, it was like a rock star entered the room as we all clamored to get close to him. The jazz band was excellent, the bar was open, and the appetizers weren't too shabby either.

2006/11/10

Spare the rod or.....?

Now that they have met their goals of taking the halls of Congress, the Democrats have to figure out how to punish their child, even though they helped enable his bad behavior.

Many principled Dems voted against the war, including our own Senator Durbin, but many others voted for it even though they knew it wasn't a good idea. They did it to save their own hides, fearing the unbreakable unity of the media and the Republicans against dissension. The fear/war monger crowd bullied a now repentant mainstream media, and many seats might have been lost if some Dems stood on principle. Today's majority might not exist, so I guess that once again we're supposed to accept it as the lesser of two evils. But that begs the question....was all of the death, maiming, and tragedy worth the Dems having the Congress. If they would have kept us out of the war with fervent protests and filibustering, and lost their seats, would we be better off as a nation? Probably not, because the now defanged Neocons wouldn't have rested until they got their war, and a bigger Republican presence would have allowed that anyways....
So now what? With voices like Jack Murtha and Joe Biden now having the big megaphone to shout at Bush, they might be able to steer things towards some semblance of sanity. Perhaps a three state solution, with oil revenue sharing, and the U.S. troops redployed to somewhere in the area...perhaps in Northern Iraq with the Kurds who have the best chance at a more progressive, less repressive Democracy....they would be all too happy to have us set up shop and protect them from the Turks. It ain't going to be easy, but at least we can get the ball rolling immediately with higher wages and repealing the upper-brackets tax cuts.....

2006/11/08

Poppy Bush to the rescue.......again!




Throughout his adult life, George W. Bush has relied on his father's helping hand to get him out of messes (Cocaine use causing missed Medical exams during VietNam war and AWOL from National Guard Unit, Arbusto business failure, Harken Energy insider trading investigation by S.E.C.) or into a no-risk sweetheart deal (300,000 loaned to him and then sold for 12 Million-Texas Rangers baseball deal). Now after plunging Iraq and the region into a Super-Terrorist center of WalMart proportions, and now having the threat of the new Democratic Congress actually Checking and Balancing his ass, W. has called on the old man's proteges. Robert Gates, an ex-CIA chief was named the new Defense Secretary, and he will be working with Poppy's consigliere James Baker of the Iraq Study Group to try and use some hard-headed pragmatism to help extricate ourselves from this debacle with the least amount of instability and death.

Democrats take Senate

AP is calling Virginia for Webb-Dems control both Houses. This blogger hopes Harry lets Durbin be Majority leader, but not holding his breath

2006/11/07

Dems Take House!-Speaker Pelosi

Hello to all......we have become a little more genteel as a nation having elected Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House in U.S. History.....Senate still too close to call
The voting problems have begun.
http://www.truthout.org/V110706.html

2006/11/06

ELECTION PREDICTIONS!!!!!!

Here it goes........as predicted in Feb. 12th 2006 issue of Torch, but with greater numbers
U.S. House of Representatives- Dems gain 29 seats and therefore a majority!
U.S. Senate-Dems gain 6 seats and therefore a majority!

Congressman Waxman immediately sets up investigation by Thursday morning on variety of subjects.....
Impeachment will be rolling off of the tongues, even though they said it wouldn't...I hope

Tax, Lies, and Stock Market Tape!

As the mid-term elections close in on us with the Republicans looking vulnerable, they have fallen back on their tried and true propaganda campaign with one noticeable difference: the Democrats will raise your taxes and you will die because they want to be friends with the terrorists. Let’s leave the terrorist aspect aside, as it is so patently ridiculous, and focus more on the fiscal debate. The aforementioned noticeable difference in this years’ lie-fest is that the Dems were always referred to as the ‘tax and spenders’, but the spend part is conveniently missing. The Republicans or Conservatives as they like to pretend they are, were supposed to be the party that reigned in spending and promoted balanced budgets. Their Contract on America specifically called for balanced budgets. Casual defenders will say that since 9/11, we have to spend whatever it takes to protect ourselves, yet putting aside all of the Iraq war, Homeland Security, Social Security and Medicare spending, these Republicans make the Dems look like penny pinchers. John McCain compared their discretionary and earmark spending to a bunch of drunken sailors on leave. So they’ve proven they can’t control their spending, now let’s look at the tax question. As soon as Bush was appointed in 2000, he claimed that because of the surpluses, we needed tax cuts to give back to the American people, their hard earned money. Of course that meant a pittance of $300 to the middle-class and 80% of the benefits to the top 2% of wage earners. The next year we entered a short-lived recession, and lo and behold, the answer was more tax cuts. So for those of you keeping score: surpluses and strong economy = tax cuts for the rich, recessions and weak economy = tax cuts for the rich. See a pattern? Republicans always were for lower taxes, and it made sense at certain times, like when the tax rate on top earners was 70%+. At those high levels of taxation, there really might be a disincentive for capital investment, and the government did the right thing by lowering them to more reasonable levels in the 30-40% range. Then came Reagan and his supply-siders that claimed tax cuts would energize the economy and pay for themselves. That claim was controversial then, as Reagan’s presidential primary opponent George H. W. Bush called it "voodoo economics". The ‘Starve the Beast’ hypothesis came into fruition after the conservatives realized they didn’t want to promote spending cuts on pork, which legislators and voters liked, and claimed that tax cuts would shrink federal spending by starving it of resources, thus causing cuts in spending. Ever since, tax cutting has been the mantra of conservatism, but there have always been dissenting voices, some of the most prominent from within the conservative camp. One of those dissenters is William A. Niskanen, the chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute, who trained at the University of Chicago, and spent his formative years crunching numbers at the RAND Corporation and then in the Pentagon in the Nixon administration’s Office of Management and Budget. In the Reagan administration, he served as acting chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Niskanen recently analyzed data from 1981 to 2005 and performed a statistical regression that controlled for unemployment. He says there are "no signs that deficits have ever acted as a constraint on spending." "To the contrary: judging by the last twenty-five years, a tax cut of 1 percent of the GDP increases the rate of spending growth by about 0.15 percent of the GDP a year. A comparable tax hike reduces spending growth by the same amount. "

Niskanen then asked at what level taxes neither increase nor decrease spending. The answer: about 19 percent of the GDP. In other words, taxation above that level shrinks government, and taxation below it makes government grow. Thanks to the Bush tax cuts, revenues have been well below 19 percent since 2002 (17.8 percent last year),and not surprisingly, government spending has risen under Bush. "Conservatives who are serious about halting or reversing the Bush-era of big spending should stop defending Bush’s tax cuts. Instead, they should be talking about raising taxes to at least 19 percent of the GDP. Voters will not shrink Big Government until they feel the pinch of its true cost." said Niskanen. The most effective constraint of all is to raise taxes and cut spending, exactly the sort of anti-deficit package that anti-tax conservatives punished the first President Bush and President Clinton for approving, and exactly the sort of package that W. and his anti-tax allies oppose wholeheartedly. The conservatives are in no position to accept or even acknowledge those implications, now that tax cutting has become their only remaining sound bite. Therein lies the irony: by turning a small-government platform into an anti-tax platform, conservatism has effectively gone into business with the Big Government that it claims to oppose. It is not starving the beast. It is fueling the beast’s appetite. And the beast has a credit card, which future generations of kids will pay for. We hear all of the talk of the Dow Jones being at a record high, as an indicator of how well the economy is doing, and this is another charade that the media helps perpetuate. For those that don’t know, the Dow is made up of only 30 companies, while the much broader pictures of the stock market, the S&P 500 (500 companies), and the Nasdaq (3,000 companies) are still well off of their previous highs, especially the Nasdaq. I’m sure all of the families out there that are struggling to pay for school and braces and mortgages, are happy to hear that 30 big industrial companies and their executives are doing so well. Maybe they can get a job landscaping the estates of the CEO’s after they’ve outsourced all of the remaining U.S. jobs.

FLY POL BUZZ

During these troubling political times, it has been especially gratifying to be at a University that sprung from the idealism of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt. The world was looking bleak before F.D.R. replaced Herbert Hoover and his nattering neigh-bobs of negativity. F.D.R. would have none of that, and soon gave his famous speech on reducing and eliminating fear and replacing it with hope and optimism. Now we seem to have the two front-runners for the 2008 Democrats, Hillary and Obama, as the hopes for righting our ship before we hit the melting iceberg. People are already anointing the junior Senator from Illinois as the savior of the party and I’m sure Hillary is taken aback by this neophyte’s star power. But never underestimate the power of the Clintons when they are on political ground. I am struggling with the choice myself after having met them both and being in the convention hall in Boston when Obama became an overnight sensation with his uplifting speech to the delegates and the nation. Being a pragmatist, I find that I am leaning towards Hillary, because of the Bill factor. Just as Bill said that if we elect him we would be getting 2 for the price of one, the same is true the other way around. After 8 years of fear and war and stealing from the middle class, people are longing to go back to blue dresses and bimbos. This column will drop the day before the elections, and as I pointed out a few weeks back, the issues may not matter at all in many races. According to a report by a non-partisan watchdog group, electionline.org, as many as ten states face serious problems with this election. "Machine failures, database delays and foul-ups, inconsistent procedures, new rules and new equipment have some predicting chaos at the polls", the report says. Also widely reported recently in the media, many precincts have the election workers taking home the Diebold voting machines, because they don’t have the resources to store them. People are signing up with zero background checks, and being handed the voting machines to take home and store until the election. Even more troubling is a new report that the Feds are investigating the takeover last year of a leading American manufacturer of electronic voting systems by a small software company that has been linked to the government of President Chávez of Venezuela.


The federal inquiry is focusing on the Venezuelan owners of the software company
Smartmatic Corporation, and is being conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the same agency that reviewed the Dubai ports deal earlier this year. According to the Miami Herald, "Smartmatic was a little-known firm with no experience in voting technology before it was chosen by the Venezuelan authorities to replace the country's elections machinery ahead of a contentious referendum that confirmed Mr. Chávez as president in August 2004. With the $120 million from its initial contracts with Venezuela, Smartmatic then bought the much larger and more established Sequoia Voting Systems, which now has voting equipment installed in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The role of the young Venezuelan engineers who founded Smartmatic have become less visible in public documents as the company has been restructured into an elaborate web of offshore companies and foreign trusts. "The government should know who owns our voting machines - that is a national-security concern," said Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York, who asked the Bush administration in May to review the Sequoia takeover. "There seems to have been an obvious effort to obscure the ownership of the company," Ms. Maloney said. Since the political fallout over the Dubai ports deal, members of Congress from both parties have sought to strengthen CFIUS reviews to include other national security issues. Opposition members of Venezuela's electoral council said they were excluded from the bidding process, which concluded in February 2004 with the selection of Smartmatic and a partner, Bizta, over companies with ample experience to replace a system built by another American firm, Election Systems and Software. At the time, Smartmatic was a technology start-up that operated in the United States from a small house in Boca Raton, Florida, in a one-room office. Its chief officers were two 30-year-old Venezuelan engineers, Antonio Mugica and Alfredo Anzola. Company documents first reported in 2004 by The Miami Herald show that Bizta, which was then virtually a shell company, had received $200,000 from an investment fund controlled by the Venezuelan Finance Ministry in return for 3 million shares in the firm. More recent corporate documents show that before and after Smartmatic's purchase of Sequoia from a British-owned firm, the company was reorganized in an array of holding companies based in Delaware, the Netherlands, and Curaçao. The firm's ownership was further shielded in two Curaçao trusts. After a municipal primary election in Chicago in March, in which Sequoia voting machines were blamed for delays and irregularities, Smartmatic's new president, Jack A. Blaine, acknowledged in a public hearing that Smartmatic workers had been flown up from Venezuela to help with the vote. Some problems with the election were later blamed on a software component that was developed in Venezuela to transmit the results of voting to a central computer system.
So this is what it’s come down to: our voting process and therefore our democracy has been reduced to a hackable, take-home, Venezuelan manipulated joke. Look for there to be several congressional voting debacles that lead to total re-votes instead of recounts, due to the Republican led (see Bob Ney) mandate that there be no paper trail to these machines. What would Eleanor and Franklin think of all of this vote manipulation and suppression of the last five years? We have nothing to fear except those who would steal our liberty, and stealing it they are.

2006/10/27

The Senators and I

It was a love-fest Friday night at Senator Durbin's 10th anniversary celebration at Fultons on the River in Chicago.


2006/10/11

Opening Post from Fly

Hello, I am Kevin Flynn and this is the beginning of my blog. The overriding emphasis on these threads will hopefully be intellectually honest arguments that don't regress into name calling matches and hyperbolic rhetoric. I hope to accentuate the similarities so called conservatives and liberals share, and respectfully argue the issues that don't find common ground. Going into the mid-term elections, there is a lot at stake in the political world. I will work to keep you abreast of the Congressional races in bothe the House and the Senate, and to offer ideas and methods by which you can help get people elected that truly represent your values. Other current events and world affairs will be discussed here also, as they play a major role in shaping politician's attitudes. Thanks and let's get thinking

In God We Trust....

With the ever-increasing failings of men evident around the globe these days, I was considering leaving the agnostic camp and heading back into God’s world. A recovering, lapsed-Catholic, I fell out of touch with God at a fairly early age, as my parents no longer enforced the Catholic school attending, church going rules that were in place for my five older siblings. Also, Elton John’s song Levon said that the New York Times proclaimed God is dead, so I guess I took it literally. In place of Catholic school, I attended Catechism classes and learned all about the Church’s history including the sanitized story of the Crusades. Wow, what glorious heroes all of these soldiers of the various Popes, on their beautiful horses, were. Of course there are two sides to every story, but no matter how you slice it, the Crusades represent to the Muslim world a devastation of their culture by the various soldiers of the various Popes. Soon after 9/11, our dim-witted leader used the word Crusade to describe our fight against terrorism, and war enabler Colin Powell used it while coaxing Pakistani General / (President to Friends) Pervez Musharraff to join the coalition of the willing. Similar to his “bring it on” rhetoric, this serves as another wonderful example of a diplomatic-free zone around this White House. In order to fight this permanent ‘war on terror’, we need allies, and starting a holy war with a billion Muslims doesn’t seem too beneficial, unless of course you’re an arms dealer, and oh yeah, poppy Bush is one, so carry on! There is a group here on campus that goes by Campus Crusade for Christ or something of that nature, and I wonder if they are aware of what the Crusades represent to many of our fellow students. What would Jesus think of all of the death and suffering brought in his name? Maybe they just don’t care. Sort of like the Republican leadership didn’t care if their carefully gay Florida Congressman Foley had a sweet spot for teenage boys that had the misfortune to be Congressional pages in proximity to him. If this scandal has a familiar ring, look to the Catholic Church for the bell. The Congressional Republican leadership was acting like the Catholic hierarchy, which played shell games with men accused of sexually abusing children. They might not be heeding the teachings of the Apostles, but they’re using the cover up and spin the child abuse doctrine. Denny, step down already and enjoy the profits from your Prairie Parkway land scheme you helped facilitate. Get out while you can still pretend to have some dignity rather than being thrown out on your ass. So what happened to the morally superior Republicans? Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and they have enjoyed absolute power in this country. When holding power becomes more important than protecting children, and when politicians try to dismantle the constitution and inject prayer into schools and the public square, and tell women what to do with their bodies, this sounds a lot more like a Taliban society than a true democracy. The fundamentalists which are now the “Democracy” we brought to Iraq, are supporters of Hezbollah and Iran, and will impose a harsh new law on the land that strips women of the secular freedom they had with Saddam and will force them to be covered and silent. The Iraqis might have had a dictator with Saddam, but as long as they didn’t speak or act out against the Man, they were able to live somewhat normal, modern lives with electricity, phones, running water, big televisions, and women were allowed to work in the professions and wear whatever they wanted. Now, all of those things are shattered, and religious fanatics are taking over.



Barack Obama was ahead of the curve on this as he called for Democrats to embrace their spiritual inner-beings, and not be afraid to talk values. In his Universal Values speech Obama said:
“In the months and years to come, I am hopeful we can bridge these gaps and overcome the prejudices each of us brings to this debate. I believe that Americans want this. No matter how religious they may or may not be, people are tired of seeing faith used as a tool to attack and divide.
Americans are looking for a deeper, fuller conversation about religion in this country. They might not change their positions on certain issues, but they are willing to listen and learn from those who are willing to speak in reasonable terms — those who know of the central and awesome place that God holds in the lives of so many, and who refuse to treat faith as simply another political issue with which to score points.”
Well said sir, and while you’re all working that out, I’ll be heading back to Camp Agnostic until the return of Jesus. He is supposed to be back soon, isn’t he?
Email flypolbuzz@yahoo.com with comments

Issues? We don't need no stinking issues!

It seems that the sentiment of the electorate has turned decidedly against incumbents and the Republican leadership. One recent national poll had close to 70% of respondents saying that Congressional incumbents don’t deserve re-election. On nearly every issue except perhaps terrorism, which the Republicans have used to scare the bejesus out of all the easily shaken masses, the Dems are way out in front. Whether it is social security, health care, stem-cell research or the economy, the issues all point to what should be a successful mid-term election cycle for the Dems, along with historical trends that help the party out of power gain seats. So should the Dems start planning for their new Chairmanships on all of the committees, and picking out the bigger and better offices that come with being back in the Majority? Does the party that gets the most votes still win in America, or have we become a banana republic that let’s a small group of men and women rig the brave new world of electronic voting machines? Repeated studies have shown that touch-screen machines, which provide voters with no paper record of their ballots, are highly susceptible to tampering. According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the leading federal watchdog agency, the machines are “eminently hackable”. It takes only a few minutes to open the machines and insert a PC card containing malicious code that will switch votes from one candidate to another. As demonstrated last year in Leon County, Florida, computer security expert Herbert Thompson cracked into an electronic machine in under sixty seconds, altering the internal code and changing the vote count. ''Every board of elections has staff members with the technological ability to fix the election,'' says Ion Sancho, supervisor of the election board in Leon County. ''Even one corrupt staffer can throw an election. Without paper records, it could happen under my nose and there is no way I'd find out about it.'' And happened it has. Anyone that takes the time to read Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s piece in Rolling Stone a few months back, will see that there were way too many mathematical and statistical aberrations in the 2004 election for them to just have been coincidences. There were the obvious corruptions like counties with only 3,000 total registered voters casting 30,000 votes for Bush, and many thousands of voters purged illegally from the voter lists. And then there were the exit polls. Exit polling has become nearly an exact science when you figure in the margins of error, and all of the exit polls showed Kerry with a decisive victory. Of course people will dispute the science of exit polling, but then again people dispute the science of evolution and think that man has only been around for a few thousands years and were planted in a garden by God. With the Republican Secretary of State of Ohio Kenneth Blackwell serving double duty as co-chair of Bush’s re-election campaign, the fix was in big time. To make matters worse, Blackwell received more than $10,000 from Diebold executives, and the CEO of Diebold was on record as saying they will deliver Ohio to Bush. The Diebold voting machines are easily compromised, as the access panel door on their AccuVote-TS voting machine, the door that protects the memory card that stores the votes, and is the main barrier to the injection of a virus, can be opened with a standard key that is widely available on the Internet. Chris Tengi, a technical staff member at Princeton’s Computer Science Department asked to look at the key that came with the voting machine. He noticed an alphanumeric code printed on the key, and remarked that he had a key at home with the same code on it. The next day he brought in his key and surprise, surprise, it opened the voting machine. He said the key had opened either a file cabinet or the access panel on an old VAX computer. A little research revealed that the exact same key is used widely in office furniture, electronic equipment, jukeboxes, and hotel mini-bars. It's a standard part, and like most standard parts it's easily purchased on the Internet. The researchers bought several keys from an office furniture key shop – and they opened the voting machine too. They also ordered another key on EBay from a jukebox supply shop, and numerous other sources.
The bottom line is that we always hear from W. how we are spreading democracy to other nations to help them come out from under the rocks of their oppressive leaders and governments. At the same time, the Republicans and this administration are allowing our democracy here at home to become more and more degraded and subverted, so that the will of the people is no longer required. Sure, the Democrats have the issues on their side this election cycle, but the question is, do issues or the voters even matter any more? Has our democracy been reduced so much in importance, that the key that opens a hotel mini-bar can break it?
Email comments or hate mail to flypobuzz@yahoo.com

2006/09/01