Monday, September 19, 2005

Count the vote because voting counts?


"One man, once vote, once."

--Diebold?

The last two presidential elections made it clear to everyone, at least all those who lost, that the intregrity of the actual voting process including counting the votes was less than, well, integritous. (google says it's a word, I'm not so sure.) I get a paper receipt for that Zagnut bar I bought at the Citgo station but not when I vote in a presidential election. Pitiful.

And what's worse is that after recommendations were made to correct this problem after 2000, there was fierce resistance from, guess who, Republicans in power in Florida and Washington. My favorite complaint was the cost of around a billion or two for the nation. A billion. Isn't that like a rounding error on the hundreds of billions being incinerated in the Iraq rat hole or in the mountain of money W is throwing at New Orleans? (Is he trying to fill in the New Orleans "bathtub" with money to bring it above sea level?) Estimates at the low end are that roughly $200,000 will be spent for each person who was displaced by Katrina and yet $4 a person to fix our election machines can't be found. And you wonder why I am perpetually cranky?

The Washington Post today catches everyone up on this issue - page 3 though. "Warning that public confidence in the nation's election system is flagging, a commission headed by former president Jimmy Carter and former secretary of state James A. Baker III today will call for significant changes in how Americans vote, including photo IDs for all voters, verifiable paper trails for electronic voting machines and impartial administration of elections." The Post went to say, "disputes over the counting of provisional ballots, the accuracy of registration lists, long lines at some polling places, timely administration of absentee ballots and questions about the security of some electronic voting machines tarnished the 2004 elections." Commission leaders say the goal of the panel's 87 recommendations -- at an estimated cost of $1.35 billion -- is to make participation easier while also enhancing ballot integrity.

The Brad Blog by way of Capt. Fogg pointed out a story that the Curmudgeon hasn't confirmed, about, what a shock, potential tampering with Diebold voting boxes. Even if the story is not true maybe W and his merry band of corrupt cronies can take $1.35 billion from one of the Iraqi slush funds and fix the problem. If people do not have faith in election outcomes then all the blogging and carping and complaining and reporting is just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. It's a pointless waste of time. (As opposed to a pointed waste of time like a typical day for the DC.) Since politics is packaged about the same as a Zagnut bar shouldn't we all get receipt for both?

BONUS POSTING: Remind me never to drive into the city. Got on highway at 7:00 a.m. got in office at 8:45 a.m. I think my old school roomie (no not Michael Brown but I do wish I was an old roomie of Joe Allbaugh) was right when he mused that traffic was one of the plagues Moses placed on Egypt. On the Curmudgeon too.

BONUS POSTING II: Letterman Top Ten List on questions for new FEMA director. (By way of Andrew Sullivan blog)

6 Comments:

Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Cities are obsolete - why go somewhere else when you can do the same work at home?

I think Truth is obsolete - why stick with actual fact when you can manufacture just what you need? Why bother to make people vote when you can do it for them? Just plug into the matrix and be happy.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Hanging Chad said...

Clearly the difference between Democratic and Republican bloggers shows itself even in confectionary choices. No self respecting Republican would ever use Zagnut in a blog when 100,000.00 bar is on store shelves. Zagnut even sounds foreign. Go dubya.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

chad-

Zagnut is funnier than $100,000 bar. Leave the comedy to professionals.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Bill O'Reilly said...

Poor Behavior

Soon after the horror of Hurricane Katrina, Americans were subjected to another high wind warning when Jesse Jackson and Howard Dean began exploiting the situation for perceived political gain. These guys will never learn. Ardent Bush haters, they had a perfect opening to ask exactly why the president was at least 24 hours late in responding to the chaos. Once the levees breached in New Orleans, the situation became one of national security. I mean no sitting president can allow a major American city to be wiped out. President Bush should have signed an executive order, sent in the Army and regained control. Instead, he allowed a frightened governor and an overwhelmed mayor to continue making mistakes. All of this while hundreds of Americans died in front of a stunned population watching on television.

So Jackson and Dean had some powerful ammunition but, as usual, they used it to shoot themselves. Jackson immediately brought race to the forefront (what a shock) and said blacks were treated like they were on "slave ships."

Dean pointed out that the poor got hammered and that was Bush's fault because of tax cuts for the rich or some such nonsense. Jackson and Dean ran around grabbing cameras and microphones, howling at the moon, booking first-class seats on the cheap-shot express.

Their rhetoric was so over the top that even though I'm not a Republican, I feel it is my patriotic duty to provide some truth in the matter of the Bush administration vis-à-vis the poor. So here are the facts with apologies to the propagandists.

We'll begin by comparing the halfway point of President Clinton's tenure to the 50-yard line of the Bush administration. In 1996, the poverty level in the USA stood at 13.7 percent. In 2004, the poverty level was 12.7 percent, so Bush beats Clinton here by a full percentage point. To be fair, Clinton did bring the poverty rate down during his administration, while it has been rising slightly since 9/11. But at the halfway point, Bush wins.

As far as entitlement spending on poverty programs is concerned, it isn't even close. In 1996, President Clinton signed a budget that directed 12.2 percent of spending be directed toward the poor. In 2004, Bush's budget kicked 2 percent more than Clinton to poverty programs, an astronomical $329 billion. In fact, President Bush is spending more on poverty entitlement programs and education than any president in history. What say you, Jesse and Howard?

For a country that is often accused by left-wing loons of not caring about the poor, we are certainly putting up a good front. In 2006, almost $368 billion dollars will go for Medicaid, food stamps, family support assistance, supplemental security income, child nutrition programs, earned income tax credits, welfare payments, child-care payments, foster care and adoption assistance, and child health insurance payments to the states. The truth is that the working men and women of this country are providing the tightest safety net in history for the poor. And our private charitable donations rank first in the world as well.

So the next time the poverty propagandists start with the "America ignores the poor" bull, simply walk away. These people are blatantly dishonest and could not care less that America does, indeed, help the less fortunate. The race and class baiters will always ignore the fact that some people simply cannot support themselves no matter what society does. But America provides more opportunity for more people than anywhere else on the planet.

So those are the facts, Max. I'm sorry it took a disaster like Katrina to bring them to the forefront

9:30 AM  
Anonymous BBBetz said...

Kerry blasts Bush on federal response to Hurricane Katrina
By Jonathan Allen


Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) unleashed a furious attack on the Bush administration at a Brown University speech yesterday, upbraiding the president’s response to the hurricane that recently devastated the Gulf Coastand tying it to what he sees as other flaws at the White House.

“This is the Katrina administration,” read prepared remarks posted on 2004 Democratic presidential nominee’s website, www.johnkerry.com. “Katrina is a symbol of all this administration does and doesn't do,” read Kerry’s script, portions of which were included in an e-mail to supporters that ended with a fundraising appeal.

“Michael Brown [Bush’s former emergency-management director] … is to Katrina what [former Iraq administrator] Paul Bremer is to peace in Iraq; what [former CIA Director] George Tenet is to slam-dunk intelligence; what [former Deputy Defense Secretary] Paul Wolfowitz is to parades paved with flowers in Baghdad; what [Vice President] Dick Cheney is to visionary energy policy; what [Defense Secretary] Donald Rumsfeld is to basic war planning; what [House Majority Leader] Tom Delay [R-Texas] is to ethics; and what George Bush is to ‘Mission Accomplished’ and ‘Wanted Dead or Alive.’”

In a brief interview, Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, called Kerry’s pitch for cash “repulsive.”

In a news release, she said, “John Kerry's attacks on President Bush's efforts to assist the victims and rebuild the Gulf Coast don't come as a surprise. Armchair quarterbacking on tough issues has never been a problem for Senator Kerry. The American people have pulled together during a difficult time and Democrats’ efforts to politicize this tragedy are unsavory at best.”

Kerry’s speech is the latest salvo in a political battle over accountability that has pitted the parties against each other in Washington and federal officials against their state and local counterparts in the Gulf region.

While Kerry’s speech may play well with the Democratic base, Sarah Binder, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor at George Washington University, said the senator has a tough challenge to pin blame on Bush.

"We need a gentler war on terror." Famous last words.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

to "Bill O'Reilly"

We'll begin by comparing the halfway point of President Clinton's tenure to the 50-yard line of the Bush administration. In 1996, the poverty level in the USA stood at 13.7 percent. In 2004, the poverty level was 12.7 percent, so Bush beats Clinton here by a full percentage point."

Once again another lie from Bill and you and the right. Poverty rate when Clinton took office was over 15% It went down every year until it was just over 11% when he left office. It has gone up every year under W to where it is today around 12.7%. But hey, statistics are the mother's milk of liars like you and bill o'lielly.

And when Bill gates and I get together our average net worth is $25 billion. Liars. All of you.

1:27 PM  

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