State Officials In Texas and Iowa Threaten International Monitors With Arrest In Seeking Access To Polling Areas

State officials in Texas and Iowa have succeeded in putting the United States in the company of countries like Iran and North Korea this week after pledging to block access of international observers with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to polling places — even going as far as threatening to arrest the monitors. The actions are in direct violation with our long-standing position vis-a-vis other nations. It is a shameful position that, again, makes our country look like a hypocrites in demanding such monitoring in other countries but not allowing it in our own.

Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general, sent a letter to the 57-member observer mission, warning that “the OSCE’s representatives are not authorized by Texas law to enter a polling place. It may be a criminal offense for OSCE’s representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance.”

Thomas Rymer, a spokesman for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, has said that the group always abides by local election laws. He correctly notes however that the denial of access to polling areas suggested by these officials, and the threats of arrest, contradict our own obligations under international law. Both Texas and Iowa officials have threatened to arrest monitors from the OSCE who come within a certain distance to the polling places. In Texas, it is 100 feet. In Iowa it is an extraordinary 300 feet.

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz insisted that “Iowa law is very specific about who is permitted at polling places, and there is no exception for members of this group.” In the 2008 election, international OSCE election observers were turned away from polling stations in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Texas as well has having problems in areas of Colorado, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Admittedly, these monitors act under generally defined provisions but these states are undermining our ability to take such a position in the future in other countries.

Yet, lawyer and Fox News Anchor Greta Van Susteren has defended the threats against international monitors: “The election is none of their business. We ought to be able to police our own election.” Of course, that is precisely the same argument used in Iran, China, and other countries. It is another example of what is often referred to as “American Exceptionalism” that we are simply unique and above the rules that we apply to other nations.

Even though state law may be clear, it is up to the State Department to make known to the states any clear obligations under international agreements. Notably, these monitors have been in the United States after being invited in by George W. Bush — a correct and admirable decision.

Source: Politico

156 thoughts on “State Officials In Texas and Iowa Threaten International Monitors With Arrest In Seeking Access To Polling Areas

  1. State officials in Texas and Iowa have succeeded in putting the United States in the company of countries like Iran and North Korea …”

    That is their job these daze.

  2. Hey Greta we cannot. Your anti democratic cronies are set up to stop American citizens from voting. What the courts have stopped them from doing by legislation they will do by intimidation.

  3. The downward spiral into fascism desires a cloak of secrecy that simply doesn’t work as well as it did before the Information Age. Given our government’s collective cavalier attitude about international treaties, I really don’t want to hear them whine any more when other countries ignore said treaties to our detriment. You broke it, you bought it.

  4. Also, Greta may have the wallpaper, but much like the other nattering nitwit of newz – Nancy Grace, you’d be hard pressed to prove either of them are lawyers in anything other than a technical sense.

  5. Buh… buh… buh… What if those OSCE observaterrrrrrrrists come in those U.N. black helicopters that are part of Agenda 21?!?

    Way back when “Dr. Strangelove” came out on film, “precious bodily fluid” paranoiacs like Gen. Jack D. Ripper were the laughable lunatic fringe. Now they’re in control of many of the levers of government, and they’re doing their best to throw ’em all into reverse, no matter what the current FORWARD speed is. I’m so glad I got outta the U.S. in time. Good luck, folks back there.

  6. The Washington Post likens Abbott to Putin. He would like to become the governor of Texas, if Perry decides to retire. I guess republicans think the only way they can win is by intimidating minority and young voters. It is especially true in Texas with the rising latino population. I doubt that I will be living here when the republicans in Texas are finally thrown out of office but it will happen because the demographics are not on their side.

  7. The US doesn’t send “observers” to other countries, it sends agitators and thugs to disrupt the electoral process. It happened in Greece, it happened in England, it happened in Nicaragua, Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba, Palestine, Iran (twice), and many other countries.

    When the US “exports democracy”, it removes democracy from – or prevents democracy in – the country being harassed and molested.

  8. Bruce,


    Now is the part of your script where you rant about Obama wanting to take your guns despite the fact he has done nothing of the sort in addressing the issues of gun control.

    No one from either party is interested in repealing the 2nd Amendment and the whole issue is simply a straw man argument playing to the fearfully stupid.

    If you’d like a legitimate reason to criticize Obama, look at his continuation and expansion of Bush Administration polices that erode your other civil rights like those found in the 1st, 4th, 5th and 14th Amendments like the “kill list” program in an effort to both oppress the public and further consolidate power into a unitary executive in contravention of the Separation of Powers Doctrine.

    But no one – I repeat NO ONE – is trying to take your guns from you.

    That’s a false argument based in appealing to fear and playing to the emotions of the Constitutional and legally/politically ignorant for partisan purposes.

    There are far more egregious and real infringements of your civil rights being driven by both the President and the GOP to be concerned about.

  9. Dear Democrat,

    Do you want to know what the desperation of a dying party looks like? It looks like the Republican Party of Texas borrowing tactics from post-Soviet autocrats and South African Apartheid leaders.
    Republicans tried to block voting rights, and we stopped them in the courts. But they’re still attempting acts of intimidation and lies at the polls. And so the group that the U.S. co-created to monitor election fairness has come to Texas.

    The OSCE first monitored elections in the United States in 2004, after the Bush Administration invited them. Yes, the Bush Administration first invited OSCE to America.

    Now Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott is responding to their presence just like any corrupt dictator would. He’s threatening to arrest any election monitors who dare to make sure that our election in Texas is allowing voters fair access to the polls.

    This is insane.

    Republicans in Texas realize that their crazy and harmful positions put them far to the right of most Texans. And so they’re flailing about, obstructing the law, and acting like the dictators and autocrats America has always fought against.

    Just when you think that Texas Republicans can’t get anymore crazed and unhinged, there they go again.

    The choice between radical crazy, and what will be the future of Texas, is clear. We’re glad to have you with us on the side of sanity and progress.

    Gilberto Hinojosa

  10. This is all about publicity. Abbott, as mentioned above, has higher political ambitions. Crapping on the UN and anything international/Europeanish is a political winner with the Limbaugh/Hannity/Beck crowd in Texas. All that matters in Texas for any statewide election is winning the Republican nomination. Thus, this stunt by Abbott is a political winner. I’m sure Abbott is hoping for some kind of confrontation, either with the Obama administration or with OSCE because it would only bring more attention to his actions and thus increase its political value to him.

  11. “Could temporary diplomatic status be conferred, to bypass the patchwork quilt of laws and attitudes?”

    Seems to me that diplomatic immunity is tied to representatives of sovereign nations, not international organizations. So, my uneducated guess is that idea would be a stretch and probably not feasible.

    However, I’m not sure that’s necessary from a legal standpoint. Turley says it is up to the State Department to make known to the states any clear obligations under international agreements.” So, assuming the US has entered into a treaty that provides for this particular group to go into polling places, then federal law (i.e., the treaty) would trump any state law prohibiting their presence in polling places. It’s not clear to me that there is such a treaty, however.

    Even if there were, that wouldn’t prevent a clown like Abbott from making good on his threats to arrest observers in violation of Texas state law. Although they’d win in court eventually, Abbott, as I note above, is interested in the favorable publicity he’d receive from provoking a confrontation. Thus, however unsatisfying because it’s bad for our international image and moral authority whenever trying to persuade other countries to allow same or similar election monitoring, the best course here is exactly what the Obama administration and the OSCE has done–lay low and avoid a confrontation.

    Abbott gets to enhance his reputation among the hard core voters who decide Republican primary elections in Texas while the US takes a hit on its international reputation and ability to influence fair elections abroad. Sad but true.

  12. I plan to go out to vote in South Carolina on Tuesday, even though I have little to no confidence that my vote will actually be recorded as I cast it. I think we could some election monitoring way before election day.

  13. Swarthmore,
    you are correct that the Republican party is desperate. They will seize on any legal or illegal tactic to suppress the vote, not count the vote and to lie about issues and make up issues that don’t exist. Just think how upset the big money guys will be when their Millions are for naught!
    We have discussed the NRA and the Right’s claims that Obama is taking away your guns and they have no evidence of that claim. It is all about selling guns and making people afraid of the boogey man in the White House.

  14. Idealist: The airport security here IS mellower than U.S. Heimat Seicherheit. I got pulled aside once in Vancouver when departing for Europe and asked whether I was carrying more than $10,000 in cash. Luckily for me on that trip, it was my wife who had the euros and Swiss francs. (We now carry large wads of banknotes and pay for everything with legal tender when we’re over there.) Otherwise, no “take off your shoes!” as in the U.S. Australia, where I have also lived, was similarly surveill-y, but polite. I refuse to fly inside the U.S. any more. Not because I have any reason to fear, but I’m an iconoclastic type, the sort of person who would move out of his country over political principles.

    As far as NICE airport security, let me relate a little tale about what happened in Amsterdam last spring. We were on our way back home from Zurich and I was carrying some stuff that’s perfectly legal (no, NOT A’dam hash!) but, shall we say, it was a large amount and in a form that most people don’t usually tote. What it was, I will leave to your imagination, because this is the Internet, after all. It showed up on the scanner, and I showed the gate guards what it was. They had never seen anything like it, and called Customs. Caused a kerfuffle, Customs took its sweet time getting there to clear me, and we missed our plane. My wife was already on board, and they pulled her off, along with our luggage. But the Dutch police — they had plain-clothes detectives in addition to regular guards — were super-polite, and spoke fine English. Je parle Francais e piccolo Italiano, but no Dutch.

    We fussed to our carrier, KLM, even though it was not our fault. KLM was nice enough to put us on a First Class, non-stop flight all the way to Vancouver. And we got to chill in the first-class lounge for an hour. When we went to get on the next jet, the same hoo-hah when they saw what I had. (Again, all legal, and I had carried twice that much on other trips.) They were apologetic, “just doing our job, sir.” But a gate guard guy recognized me from the first time, said in Dutch the equivalent of “he’s cool” and let me on. Very informal and human.

    Airports can be secure without being thuggish. Just not in the USA! USA! USA!

  15. I think I’ll just go over to getting you people to tell your stories. Far more informative than mine.

    I’ve known that from the beginning, but who dares be first in a straight-laced group. It has been always me in a large group. Can’t stand the tension of the who’s-first wait.

    Now I must ask, was it from Africa?

  16. If the international lookers see the need to look at an election….. They have that right…… We gave it up by joining the UN….

  17. “Who in this country wants to do that?”

    I do. The President doesn’t agree, but I would LOVE to see us ban everything to do with guns.

  18. rcampbell,
    I just have a couple of observations to make about banning something–anything–that people want to own.

    18th Amendment
    War on Drugs

    How well has that worked out?

    We could appoint you to be the gun confiscation czar. You can go back into the hills and coves of the Appalachians to tell the locals you have come to take their guns. You will need to have a will made out, but your family will not need to make funeral arrangements. Your body will never be found.

  19. Bruce 1, November 2, 2012 at 11:23 am

    One of the first things the facist did was disarm the population. Who in this country wants to do that?
    The paint ballers vs. the DU tipped, armor piercing machine guns, drones, carpet bombs, sound weapons, lasers, and gas?

    To name a few.

    Let me know how that works out for you and your gang Bruce.

    DOOD! there are better tactics and strategies than losing by hitting the enemy where they are strongest and you are weakest.

  20. Idealist — if it’s me you’re asking “was it from Africa,” the answer is “no.” All that I say is true, but I know how to spin the truth into a good yarn, because in my previous career I was a newspaper reporter.

    What I was talking about is nothing exotic like elephant tusks or blood diamonds. Just something that someone who does not trust the banking system might fancy. I am not a high roller. I work as a hospital nurse, and my wife used to be a computer programmer for a state university system before we decamped from the U.S. Plain people, but with no debt. We had the foresight to make some smart financial moves before we split. We like to have our assets in forms and places where they cannot be vapourized the way John Corzine and MF Global did with $1.2 billion of its clients supposedly “segregated” assets. Remember, if something you “own” is in electronic form, it can be made to disappear with a few keystrokes. Not that I keep EVERYTHING in a mattress. I’m paranoid, but not dysfunctionally so. I just need one of those foam pads to cover the lumps in the mattress, heh-heh. Figuratively speaking, of course!

  21. The foreigners should go to the polls with a citizen of the state in which the polls are located. Have the citizen hold up a sign that says “I petition my government for redress of grievances of polling and voting fraud!” That will get one squarely in the First Amendment Door. Sue under Title 42 United States Code Section 1983 and sue each cop and each person acting in their official capacity to stiffle this right to inspect and petition the government for redress of grievances. Sue the municipality if they are involved. Seek atty fees under sectin 1988. Go gettem.

  22. JT can you guys at your law school teach a seminar in Section 1983 law? Can you discuss it more often in this column as a remdedy?

  23. Even though many learned folks are calling the election for Obama already based on the Electoral College vote I am not at all confident that it’s sewed up. This election has shaped up to be much, much dirtier than 2000 and I know how that one worked out.

    Monitors not being allowed are the least of the problems. Still, I’d like to see (if optics are everything) President Carter show up at a polling place as part of a monitoring team (he has been a monitor in various countries) and see what happens. That would be some serious optics.

    A couple of bradblog dot com articles:

    “Presidential Election Still Imperiled by Power Outages in 6+ States Where E-Voting is Forced”
    By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2012 2:05pm PT
    [This article was cross-published by Salon.]

    With just 5 days to go until the nation holds its next Presidential Election, power remains out in large swaths of the Eastern Seaboard, according to Google Maps’ special Hurricane Sandy power outage map.

    The outages persist in a number of states which force the majority of their voters to use 100% unverifiable electronic voting machines to cast their votes at the polls on Election Day. If power is out at the polling place on Election Day in those states, voters may not be able to cast their vote at all.

    As we warned before Sandy barreled ashore earlier this week, the ability of voters to vote at all — presuming polling places are not flooded and voters are able to get to them — is imperiled by states such as Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and even Ohio, all of which force all, or some of their voters to vote on systems which simply do not work if they do not have power.

    While most of those states require a small percentage of emergency paper ballots be made available at the precincts, that number is unlikely to be enough in the event that voting machines are unavailable all day at the polls on November 6th. Moreover, battery backups on the electronic touch-screen systems are unreliable at best and, even when working, can only be counted on for a small number of hours. …

    Some other interesting info:

    “• Broward County, FL Early Votes Disappearing?
    “Just one of the many reasons we advise against early voting, unless it’s absolutely necessary: “An analysis of the unofficial totals by early voting location on the Broward Supervisor of Elections website from Saturday, compared to the tallies posted on Sunday, shows that in one location, the E. Pat Larkins Community Center, located on Martin Luther King Blvd. in Pompano Beach, the revised totals showed 1,003 fewer votes. The initial tally reported from the polling place in the heavily black neighborhood showed 2,945 votes, but the revised tally was 1,401. Across the 17 Broward polling locations, 15 saw their vote totals revised, mostly by minute amounts of between 1 and 7 votes. But the three more significant changes, including the addition of 398 votes in Tamarac (a racially mixed community) and adding 99 votes to the totals from Pompano Beach City Hall, whose demographic is majority white.Political consultant David Brown, who is working for three Broward candidates, “said that when he inquired about the numbers, he was told by the elections office that the changes had resulted from a ‘computer glitch.”

    This and other snapshots of early voting problems in the story:

    “War on Democracy: Quick Shots – 11/2/2012
    PA, TN, IA Photo ID Messes; Early/Absentee Votes Lost in FL?; GOP Poll Watcher Lies in WI; CO Skullduggery; Votes Flipping R to D Says GOP; Voter Suppression Billboard Funder Unmasked…”

  24. Bruce,

    I saved you the trouble. I simply looked ahead at your script. Also, don’t mistake me for an Obama supporter because I shot holes in you partisan trollery. I think he aided and abetted treason by no prosecuting Bush and Cheney.

    The bottom line is no body is coming for your precious guns. It’s a moot point. It’s a threat that simply does not exist.

  25. The phrase “American exceptionalism” came to my mind when I read this story in Huffpost a few days ago. Frankly, were I a county supervisor of elections, I would welcome the opportunity to demonstrate to international monitors how democracy can work if we let it.

    All of the outrage is merely jingoist blather by the same people who find nothing at all troublesome about routinely violating the territorial sovereignty of other nations through random drone strikes, a practice which in more rational times we would have described as an act of war.

  26. You make a false equivalence, Bruce.

    There are people at the state and Federal level actively trying to ban abortion or make them prohibitively difficult to obtain. There have been specific attempts to criminalize abortion in Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi and North and South Dakota.

    Literally no one is talking about taking your guns away except for fear mongering ignorant propaganda trolls. Sell you GOP partisan horseshit somewhere else. You peddle propaganda and you do it poorly. Straw men are one of the weakest tactics out there and there is no bigger straw man than “they’re coming to take yer’ guns, Bubba!”

    But people are actually trying to ban abortions, Bruce. The Akins and the Kings and the Mourdocks and the Ryans and the Perrys. People pandering to the religious right and throwing the Constitution under the bus to do so.

    In the end, it is as simple as you once again lie, Bruce. This time it’s by the weak application of the fallacy of false equivalence. But thanks for the reminder that logical fallacies are the favorite tool of propaganda trolls everywhere. It’d be cutely predictable if your lot weren’t such feckless scumbags.

  27. LK,

    You have as usual contributed valuable information without a partisan slant or agenda…… What were you before here, an honest journalist? Just like Elaine M., postings they are worth reading….. I had to reread your post because of the valuable information conveyed….. Thank you…

  28. Bukko Canukko,

    I thought you were verging on Hunter S Thompson at times there. Naw, it was a bad joke as no reality there, searching for a joke. I thought of chat, but you are not the type and assume that even the Dutch would be down on that, but assuredly the Canadians would be. Besides you did not mention a visit to Jemen or Somalia.

    Personally engaged in wondering where to spend my winters. After being in Australiea as you have, wonder why you chose the wettest place in Canada—can’t stand hot dry places I guess. Do you two travel to dry out?

  29. Lotta Katz,

    I’ll double down on AY’s opinion. Always facts. And this time they are facts that really worry me. I can understand why some have trouble sleeping.

    Myself I am really worried, and no anti-conspiracy medicine is gonna help me.

    It started with Diebold voting machines, owned by Romney in Ohio. Now it is the blue northeastern states who will not be able to vote. And Florida continues to be a voting fraud state, if it is not chad it is early ballots disappearing, which are mostly the black Obama supporters, which the Repugs know well. Add the solidly corrupt South former slave states and we will soon have a civil war again.

    Did you see Laser Haas notice that Romney is being exposed for fraud?
    Here is the link again. Comments please. Maybe it is good to have a thief as Prez. He will keep order in the other ones.

    Is there no way to have the election postponed until power is restored? Can the Prez use his power to declare a national emergency threat against the nation as a result of Sandy and call a halt until certain conditions are fulfilled?

  30. South Florida Voters Waiting 4 Hours to Vote Early

    Voters in some parts of Florida are waiting as long as four hours to cast their ballots before early voting ends Saturday night.

    The Miami-Dade County Election Department was reporting early voting wait times in excess of one hour at all 20 of its polling locations. At two locations – the Election Department main office and the North Dade Regional Library – officials were reporting wait times of four hours.

    The ballot in Miami-Dade County is five pages long, front and back, with an estimated completion time of as long as 30 minutes.

    Farther north, in the Tampa Bay area, election officials were reporting shorter wait times at most polling sites, with only a handful exceeding 45 minutes.

    When asked about how voters waiting in lines were reacting to the lines in Hillsborough County, Travis Abercrombie, the public information coordinator for the Hillsborough County Elections Office, said they have “the patience of Job.”

    The early voting window was reduced by Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott from 14 to 8 days, or from 120 to 96 hours.

    The large turnout in some South Florida counties prompted some groups, including the League of Women Voters and the Florida Democratic Party, to call on Scott to extend voting hours, as then-Gov. Charlie Crist did in 2008. But Scott declined, telling reporters at a fundraiser in Newberry, Fla., that early voting would end Saturday night, as scheduled.

    “Once again, Rick Scott has sided against the people of Florida,” said Scott Arceneaux, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party. ”In rejecting calls for an extension of early voting hours, Scott has failed in his constitutionally obligated duty, broken with the history of past Republican governors and reminded Florida voters why they continue to hold a negative opinion of this governor. The people of Florida will not forget his failure to stand up for their right to vote.”
    ABC The Note

  31. LK, I agree with all the republican shenanigans and the hurricane, the election could be rather bumpy for Obama.

  32. Bruce, Scaring women into voting for your opponent is not a very winning strategy. Murdock is running behind now.

  33. Blouise, Elaine, PPP is calling it for Elizabeth Warren. “Elizabeth Warren is likely to be the next Senator from Massachusetts. Our final poll finds her leading Scott Brown 52-46.”

  34. Idealist, My son and his girlfriend got third row seats at the Obama rally last night in Colorado. He sent pictures.

  35. SwM,

    Great for them and you. Are they electors? I mean 3rd row seats is not for just anybody. Smile.

    I am deathly afraid what will happen to America under Romney.

    Is Colorado a swing state? Or why is Obama there?

  36. ID, that’s an interesting article. I wonder if any of his profit from that scheme showed up on his 2002/2003 taxes? That would go far in explaining why he did not release his taxes. (I still find it incredible that he just blew off the release of his tax returns and ‘what is he hiding’ isn’t the question of the day every day.)

  37. Greta, Greta, Greta, you’re disappointing me again. You know how people comment on a fat woman by observing, “She has such a pretty face”? I comment on you by saying, “She had such a good intellect!” You just let yourself go, girl. This quote: “We ought to be able to police our own election.” is symptomatic of your symbolic “Foxy transformation.”

    It’s TRUE that we “ought to be able to police our own election.” But remember, we’ve fallen down on the job a coupla times already. After all, it can also be said that “we ought to be able to police our own police.” Darn Darn DARN!!

  38. The picture in the article on this thread was not accurate. They’ll round up these anti-Americans and ship them to Guantanamo.

  39. Smoking gun for Romney. Should be major headlines. Why not?

    He runs, proof available, a businees based on fraud, and when pressed, predates afterwards his separation as retiring CEO from Bain Capital by 2-3 years, thus disclaiming responsibitly for the exposed fraud.. How is that legal?
    Does filing a revised form constitute evidence of fact?
    Oh yes, somebody must have attested it. Wonder who?

    And he is the Repub candidate. Time for a new party or a party split. Time for the Repugs to bring out the big money to strangle the press. Who in the media has the guts to run with it?

    Rapid escaltion of FBI investigation? Big publicised raid on Bain Capital? Seizure of laptops of key
    Romney advisors as material evidence?

    If we can deal the Repugs a deadly blow, then we have a greater chance to do so to the Dems. Thus we get a five party system and voter attentiveness again from all the five parties. It suddenly is possible.

  40. Lotta,

    I think we must use old metaphors here. He has been the teflon kid the whole campaign. Flip-flops, major items of critique just die out. Media cnntrol by Repugs= You tell me.

  41. After being in Australiea as you have, wonder why you chose the wettest place in Canada—can’t stand hot dry places I guess. Do you two travel to dry out?

    Idealist, assuming you’re still following comments on this thread, we chose Vancouver because we used to live in San Francisco, where my wife still has many friends. She wanted to be as close to S.F. as possible, while still outside the borders of the U.S. We do not think highly of Obama as a politician, considering him the Third Term of George Bush, although I acknowledge he’s a decent guy. We also fear a sudden collapse of the U.S financial system, followed by the rest of the world’s, should there be another sudden, un-squelchable “Lehman moment” that triggers a money-panic.

    I loved Australia, in part because we lived in Melbourne, which is relatively wet. And the Aussies are fun people. Canadians are fine, but a bit boring compared to those madcap ‘Strines. We might move back. We just enjoy travel. It’s a big, wonderful world, and there’s so much I haven’t seen. It’s so great that I have a licence to wipe peoples’ bums, because I can flitter around the planet as a LEGAL immigrant, as long as I adhere to the proper red tape.

  42. P.S. That video of the SWAT clampdown on the house eviction protesters (shades of farmers resisting repossessions in the Depression!) is getting traction on libertarian econoblogs, too. The ugly face of the unfolding police state. Today, cursing and bullying in service of monied interests, tomorrow mass shootings of anyone who dares resist the commands of the men with the guns. More reinforcement for why I expatriated…

  43. Texas & Iowa are fully justified and legally entitled to deny international observers access to polling locations. To object because it makes the U.S. look like a nation of hypocrites – we are !!! Furthermore, it serves no useful purpose to allow international observers validate an election in which dogs, dead people and illegal aliens are encouraged to vote while members of the armed services are disadvantaged from voting. Consider also that the main stream liberal media has deliberately ignored the conclusive evidence that the certified true copy of Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate is an apparent forgery. Furthermore, Barack Obama has gone to great lengths and expense to have all of his documents & records to support his claim of legitimacy and eligibility sealed.

  44. Bukko Canukko,

    Been a patient in a hospice as a rehab patient. Watch the slow demise of my suite mates in the neighboring room as they “departed” in my 3 months there. My wife spent her months at home until the day before. So the value of your job is well known to me. The nurses were indeed special, and each had his/her own profile.
    Only problem was we had a Nurse Ratchett as head of our floor, she was of the old school. My experience of my latest stay in the heart ward a few weeks ago was another world as far as eariier experiences on acute wards. You should have seen the teamwork in those who did my coronary artery x-ray check. BTW, clean as they were ten years ago. It was an undiscovered atrial flutter.

    I know you are not rich, but one is not dumb for that.
    And tsste can’t be bought. Be thankful for what you have learned, for it is you that does the work and develops it. Me, I’m a poor rat, who has had the luck that angels can give, if I believed in them. I am sitting here wondering when my electronic savings will disappear. Here you are not allowed to store gold bullion in a safety deposit box any longer.

    Aussies are really a mystery to me. Other than reading Bruce Chapman’s book “Songlines” and a halfhour chat recently with a young woman tourist from Perth, I have little to offer. The direct way of talking to the point of rudeness, and being callous and uncultured is as most characatures part truth and part fiction. Your views appreciated.

    From those few words it would seem that Swedes are similar to Canadians, although I believe the difference is far larger than being unexciting.

    More later. We can chat until we tire. OK?

  45. SwM,

    Re Florida governor,

    yeah, we knew that. this is the problem with federalism, when no overiding fed law can cut his scrotum (the ugliest word I know) off and give black workers a chance to vote when they are not working. Not to speak of lost votes from solid dem districts. Wow!

  46. Yeah, sabotage Diebold machines. Those are owned by Romney et famille. And he owns Clear Channel.

    What is his business idea? Vertical political conglomerate? From ballots to Prez? Hope it fails.

  47. Latest from Sam Wang. He only uses state polls, not national polls. More accurate when calculating how the state electors are going to go.

    As of November 3, 3:00PM EDT:
    Obama: 323
    Romney: 215
    Meta-margin: Obama +2.98%
    Probability of Obama re-election: Random Drift 98.0%, Bayesian Prediction 99.8%

  48. Raff,
    There is going to be a quiz on Random Drift and Baysean Prediction. Have a #2 pencil and a blank sheet of paper ready. And a large bottle of tranquilizers to use as needed.

  49. SWM and Rafflaw, yes, Scott is the dregs of a bad barrel but Jon Husted of Ohio is running neck and neck for the honors with orders to election officials to fill out provisional ballots in such a way as to make them illegal and thus void. It’s not an error, it’s a plan; he knows exactly what he is doing. There never a good rope around when you need one.

    “Ohio Republican Secretary of State sued over order to discard provisional ballots”

    “Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, whose decision to try to restrict early voting was thrown out first by an Ohio judge, then a federal appeals court and denied a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court, will be back in court again this month after he issued a last-minute directive on provisional ballots that not only contradicts Ohio law but is also in violation of a recent court decision and the opposite of what Husted’s own lawyers said he would do.

    As reported by Judd Legum at ThinkProgress, Husted ordered election officials not to fill out a section of the provisional ballot that verifies what form of identification that the voter produced and that, if it is incorrectly filled out, the ballot will automatically not be counted. However, under the law establishing the provisional balloting procedures, according to the lawsuit filed against Husted on Friday, it is election officials that are supposed to record the type of ID provided, not the voter — and that election officials are supposed to attempt to resolve any questions on the spot.

    Husted has until Monday to respond to the suit, and the court has said that it plans to resolve the issue before provisional ballots are counted on November 17, 2012.

    The Columbus Dispatch reported on Thursday that poll workers — not just observers — trained by the Voter Integrity Project, the Ohio affiliate of the tea party True The Vote project, will be in charge of providing provisional ballots and recording IDs. The Voter Integrity Project advertises that its training goes “beyond” what the Secretary Of State offers to poll workers, even though they technically are supposed to follow only the instructions of the Board of Elections.”

  50. John Husted ought to be the poster boy for voter fraud, right up there with James O’Keefe, but they still wail about ACORN and claim somebody, anybody, voted illegally. I see that out in Nevada a Republican woman was caught trying to vote twice, at two different polling places. Computer cross check caught her. This kind of thing has Karl Rove’s fingerprints all over it, with Lee Atwater reaching out from the grave to pull Rove’s strings.

  51. Nate Silver’s computer models are continuing to trend blue. His “now-cast” updated at 1:38 AM this morning has Obama 307.2 electoral votes and Romney at 230.8 electoral votes. The now-cast has Obama with a 86.6% chance of winning to Romney 13.4%.

  52. And now I really find myself saying something I would find embarrassing under any other circumstances: Extreme religiosity should naturally exclude ANYONE from becoming President of this country. And all Mormons who describe themselves as Mormons are obviously subscribed to extreme religiosity.

    Why would I say this obviously prejudiced sounding thing? Because the extreme of certain religions represents a system in which people basically get what they deserve. A flood destroys the whole world except for a guy who builds a boat to save himself and his family and a bunch of livestock? Why? Because all those other people deserved to drown, of course. If they drowned, it was their own damn fault. Pharoah sends his army to retrieve the Israelites as they escape. They chase the Israelites into the seabed and then the Red Sea closes over them and drowns them and their horses too. Why? Because all of those people (soldiers, sent into action by their commander in chief) deserved to drown and so did their evil horses. On and on and on and on. All you need to say to justify horror after horror in the half a dozen or so standard religious codes commonly followed by Americans is that the poor, the wrong, the bad, the undeserving, the Canaanites, the whoever-ites, all got starved, ridden with disease, had their first-born killed off, etc. etc. because THEY DESERVED IT.

    If the best person in the history of the whole world — god — could say, “Damn Them; they are bad and I don’t care about them at all,” then why can’t the President of a mere country? That’s the origin of the hatred for the 47%: religion. They are bad, undeserving, damned. And yet they expect food? They expect shelter? And “what not” too?

    Why should they? God wouldn’t give it to them; why should we?

  53. Swarthmore mom,

    The most recent Boston Globe poll that was released last Monday showed that Warren and Brown were tied. I’m hoping the newer poll is correct. It looks like the nor’easter that was originally predicted to hit my area on voting day won’t arrive until later in the week. That’s good news.

  54. “And now I really find myself saying something I would find embarrassing under any other circumstances: Extreme religiosity should naturally exclude ANYONE from becoming President of this country.”

    There’s a problem with that Malisha. It’s prime facie unconstitutional. Article VI, paragraph 3, states that “[t]he Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

    As personally distasteful as I find magical thinking of any sort when applied to governance, such a requirement would not only run afoul of the No Religious Tests clause cited above, but the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment as well. The way to keep zealots out of office is not to vote for zealots. The same goes for crazy people. There is only one antidote for protecting the secular integrity and stability of democracy and that is a well-informed and well-educated constituency.

  55. Elaine,
    Nate Silver at 538 is giving 100% odds of Obama winning Massachusetts. Hopefully there will be some really big coattails to give Warren a boost. Nate gives Warren a 93.6% chance of winning.

  56. Early Voting Experience In North Carolina Bodes Ill For Civility On Election Day
    By Dan Froomkin
    Posted: 11/03/2012

    If Election Day goes anything like the past 17 days of early voting in North Carolina, here’s what you can expect at your local precincts on Tuesday:

    – Belligerent citizens demanding the right to personally inspect the voting process and yelling “shut up” at the top of their lungs when election officials tell them that only official poll observers can do that.

    – Official poll observers who have been improperly trained by the groups they represent and think it’s their job to interrogate voters rather than just watch.

    – Long lines, which means that a lot of people end up waiting outside the designated no-electioneering zones, getting harangued by campaign workers.

    – Shouting matches between Republican and Democratic campaign workers — and sometimes voters standing in line — that can involve name-calling, threatening gestures, and the summoning of law enforcement.

    – A guy driving a tractor-trailer bed filled with effigies of Democratic officials, including President Barack Obama, with nooses around their neck. (Federal officials are looking into that one, which took place at an early voting center in Eastern North Carolina on Thursday.)

    The fact that all these incidents have occurred at a few, tightly supervised early voting centers is giving state officials reason to worry that things could be much worse when regular polling stations open for business.

    “I am hoping that people will have a return of good manners and civility by Tuesday,” said Johnnie McLean, deputy director of the North Carolina election board. Then she quickly acknowledged it’s not likely.

  57. Otteray,

    I never had any doubt that Obama would win Massachusetts–or should I say that I always knew Romney would lose to Obama in the Commonwealth where he once served as governor. That should tell the voters of this country something about the GOP candidate for president.

  58. Roxanne Rubin, Nevada Republican, Arrested For Allegedly Trying To Vote Twice
    The Huffington Post | By Nick Wing
    Posted: 11/03/2012

    Roxanne Rubin, a registered Republican from Henderson, Nev., was arrested Friday on a felony charge of attempting to vote twice in the same election.

    FBI agents took Rubin into custody as she arrived for work at the Riviera hotel-casino, according to the Associated Press. Rubin had roused suspicion on Oct. 29, after casting a vote at her precinct in Henderson, and then allegedly attempting to vote at a different polling site in Las Vegas later that day. Election workers at the second location ran her name through a database, which showed that she had already voted. When confronted by officials, Rubin reportedly claimed that their database was incorrect, and that she had not yet voted. She was ultimately prevented from casting the second vote.

  59. Malisha,

    Fortunately these religious types, and even those who have the same motivations but not grounded in religion (there are those kind too) are less than ten percent here in Sweden. And all other ninety percent are united against this phenomenon.

    Swedes have great arm muscles from closing the door in the faces of Mormon proselytizers.

    This praying to be the exception is the essence of all religions, even taoism, buddhism, and confucianism. Obey your god (and his priests of course) and you will be rewarded in your fight for life. Say these prayers, sacrifice 500 horses, and bow to this statue, and CRUCIFY THESE SUFFERERS and you will be anointed and rewarded by Dog.

    Of course as besserwissers will point out, thosereligions mentioned above do not have gods, but they are nevertheless corrupted by mankind and are offering fortune to those who follow their way. Even if fortune consists of escaping the eternal wheel of reincarnation. That is why I chose to mention them—to taunt besserwissers.

    They cater to RWAs. see link below. I have promoted it after Mikes book review. Wonder if any read it. It explains the whole damn phenonema in secular terms.

    You can nderstand these peculiar phucks who are otherwise unexplainable. And myself I haven’t read to see if there is any cure, but most of Swedes are secular now, so there must be hope.

    All can read it free here on line and find out if they are also a RWA. Nothing to be ashameed of. Handicaps are not to be laughed at. Only corrected where possible.

    Meanwhile vote for the man who goes to church but does not impose it on society. Obama, the white President candidate, for those who remember the video.

  60. 10 Dirty Ways to Swing an Election
    Politicians and their henchmen have lots of ways of messing with voters. Here are their favorites.
    —By Adam Serwer
    Nov. 1, 2012

    America has come a long way from the days of Jim Crow segregation, but our voting system is far from perfect, and even today there are organizations committed to preventing legitimate voters from excercising the franchise. Here are 10 of the most common legal and illegal paths to keeping Americans from the ballot box:

    Voter Caging

    Voter caging is the process of sending mail to the addresses of registered voters with the intent of challenging their votes if the mail goes undelivered and the voter still shows up at the polls. It still happens, but the most famous instance occurred in 1981, when Republicans sent thousands of letters to black and Latino voters in New Jersey, hoping to block as many as possible of these likely Democratic voters from voting. As a result of that stunt, the Republican National Committee entered into a consent decree with the Democratic National Committee agreeing not to engage in voter caging unless a court says it’s okay. They leave it to third-party conservative groups now.

    Lying Flyers

    Dropping flyers with erroneous or deceptive information about voting may not be effective, according to voting law expert Rick Hasen, but it certainly happens a lot. Flyers in Virginia in 2008 told Democrats to vote on the wrong day, while flyers distributed in black neighborhoods in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 2004 told residents they couldn’t vote if anyone in their family had been convicted of a crime. Dirty tricksters are getting with the times, however—the 2008 election saw erreoneous election information distributed through emails to students at George Mason University. “Those things are very hard to investigate,” says Penda D. Hair, co-director of the voting rights group the Advancement Project. “They’re usually anonymous, so we don’t have good data on what the impact is on people.”

    Reprehensible Robocalls

    When a lying flyer just isn’t good enough, there’s always the deceptive robocall to Democratic-leaning districts giving people false election information or urging them to stay home. Last year Paul Schurick, the former campaign manager of the ex-Republican governor of Maryland, Bob Ehrlich, was convicted of ordering 2010 robocalls aimed at black voters implying they could stay home and “relax” because the Democratic candidate, Martin O’Malley, had already won.

  61. Can only say that the bad news from Carolina is not a surprise. Frequenting the McClatchy newspaper (ie liberal) during the campaign for the Wake County school board election made it clear that most commenters to editorial articles were rednecks, no matter what their actual sun exposure happend to be.

    I think it is an epigenetic problem, originating from raising tobacco as a one-cash crop for two hundred years. Runs in the family, so to say.

    Can you imagine? The Koch money was there being dispensed by the Raleigh black millionaire who knows the political ropes. Hope the blacks who voted FOR Obama in 2008 will vote again, and that the KKK Republicans will all get lost in the swamps on their way to the polls.

    And I am from Wake County originally.

    PS A little surprise from 1972 Presidentlal campaign.
    They were predicting then that a situation would develop which would in a few years lead to a four–five party system. Did it happen? A shame that smart people can be so wrong. Reliable source.

  62. PPS Re civility in NC, ie lack thereof…..

    Time for our democratic governmor, Beverly, to call out the National Guard to help the police maintain peace. But can the NG be trusted? Ohio State comes to mind.

    My niece’s husband comes from Crisco land, where they don’t know how to boil. They fry everything in his
    part of eastern NC. Went to UNC and learned how to boil food. Hee Hee.

  63. A friend of mine who is actually a Republican (😳 ) was discussing George W. Bush with me the other day. Even she did not like him, and claims that lots of her fellow Republicans were infuriated at him for messing up the party. (Oh Sure) But I mention this because he has been so silent, so out of sight, so not even acknowledged, recently. No statements except when his daddy sat beside him, seeming to make sure everything went OK. Etc.

    My friend speculated that George W. Bush is suffering from early onset Alzheimers. She says observing his speech patterns in the last two years of his presidency made her think that is possible. Yet the Internet says nothing about it as far as I can tell. Does anybody know anything about this idea? Has it been discussed in any political circles?

  64. Malisha,

    George W. has been busy speaking at a conference in the Cayman Islands.


    ‘Blackout’ imposed as George W. Bush speaks at Cayman Islands investment conference

    By NBC News staff and wire reports
    GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands — Organizers of an investment conference in the Cayman Islands have been forbidden from disclosing any details about a speech by former President George W. Bush in the offshore financial haven, an event spokesman said Thursday.

    The keynote speech by the former president was “totally closed to all journalists,” and conference organizers were banned from discussing any aspect of it even in general terms, spokesman Dan Kneipp said.

    “We’ve got a complete blackout on discussing the Bush details,” Kneipp told The Associated Press.

  65. OMG, if I had made that up for party of a script, even THEN it would not be believable. You don’t even have to EXPLAIN it!!

  66. Ex-President Salih of Yemen was also among the attendees of that Cayman Islands conference. As was twice-convicted fraud Michael Clott of Maryland.

  67. Where the elite get to meet. Caymans. Remember, you read it here. Our advisor fees are cheapest in the fraud racket.

    George? Fill him with alcohol and he can deliver any speech necessary. All he needs is strings and a ventriloquist. But he can’t govern without Cheney and Poppy, and can’t fulfill his NG obligation either.

    Malishs, even if it is not Alzheimers, the Repugs will
    need some excuses for him the next few years.

  68. George W is a walking anti-Romney ad: “Remember what happened last time?” “Read my lips”, as his Poppy said. Well, we sure can. Now.

    Push the wrong button and you get a premature posting.

  69. George might not even speak. He might just be a poster child in his “flight jacket”. They’ll roll him in and out, seated in his fighter jet that he flunked out of flying.

    Now if the Diebold machines in Cleveland can work without power, then we have a chance.
    Climate change anyone? Scct change anyone? “Democracy” change anyone?

  70. Gene H, I know that. My quote was:

    “Extreme religiosity should naturally exclude ANYONE from becoming President of this country.”

    I don’t suggest that membership in any religion should legally prevent anyone from RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. What I meant by “naturally” was that it should be possible for the people of this country, which has free public education, to understand that if they put some kind of magic-thinking-Biblically-disturbed individual into office, he or she will continue to use the bizarre disturbed thinking process they have grown so accustomed to and that will hurt our country.

    The first time this became really obvious to me was when the Democrats ran Joe Lieberman for vice-president on a ticket meant to show folks that “Not all Democrats are moral bankrupts.” The premise that membership in any kind of extreme religion inoculates against immorality was as stupid as thinking that sexual misconduct with a consenting adult was equivalent to moral degeneracy (although it was obviously equivalent to dumbness in the embarrassing extreme).

    I just think that we should know better than to vote for someone who thinks it’s OK to open up the earth and swallow ten brothers who burned the wrong incense.

    I think we should know better than to vote for someone who thinks it’s OK to “punish” 1/3 the world’s population for not believing silly stories, some of which they have never heard.

    Etc. etc. etc.

  71. Elaine:

    “I say that I always knew Romney would lose to Obama in the Commonwealth where he once served as governor. That should tell the voters of this country something about the GOP candidate for president.”

    Not really, Mass. voted for McGovern and Dukakis but they also voted for Reagan Twice. Since 1972 Mass has only voted republican twice. Why should 2012 be any different?

    Romney is not Reagan but Obama is pretty close to Carter and he [Obama] has even had a failure in the desert that in some respects is worse than Carter’s. At least Carter tried to help.

  72. Malisha,

    That’s pretty much what I thought you meant, but thanks for clarifying your position (which happens to coincide with mine). It is important, however, to not take the step of going from what should preclude candidates as a matter of common sense and logic and turning the corner into an unconstitutional test for office. Personally, it’s a huge red flag for me when any candidate for any office mentions his or her religion as it is irrelevant to their function in an office of secular governance and usually pandering of the worst sort.

  73. Gene & Malisha,

    Speaking of religion:

    U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops faces IRS complaint over partisan advocacy
    By Eric W. Dolan
    Sunday, November 4, 2012

    The Washington, D.C.-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has asked the IRS to investigate the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, alleging that numerous bishops had violated federal tax law by engaging in partisan advocacy.

    “As a 501(c)(3) organization, the Conference is barred from any and all political activity, including endorsing candidates for public office. Yet based on the numerous statements and letters made by the bishops as well as the timing of the statements coming so soon before the election, there is ample evidence that the Catholic Bishops are engaged in a concerted and organized effort to make a last ditch effort to persuade members of the Catholic church to vote against President Barack Obama,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan told the IRS on Friday.

    The complaint noted that Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of the Diocese of Peoria has urged his parishioners to vote against President Barack Obama. In a letter sent to area Catholics, Jenky said there was nothing more threatening to religious liberty than President Barack Obama and Democrats in the Senate because they supported a new Health & Human Services Department rule that requires most employers to provide free birth control coverage in their health insurance plans. Earlier this year, Jenky compared Obama to Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.

    In addition, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn recently authored a letter in which he said it was “inconceivable to me how Catholics could support” Obama’s policies. The letter blasts Obama for speaking about “women’s rights in the context of abortion and contraception” while allegedly ignoring Catholics’ objections to those issues.

    And the list goes on: Wisconsin Bishop David Ricken has suggested Democrats support “intrinsic evils,” Alaska Bishop Edward J. Burns has compared Vice President Joe Biden’s support of abortion rights to slavery, and Virginia Bishop Paul S. Loverde has indicated that Catholics could help the Church by voting against Obama.

    The Internal Revenue Code prohibits 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches and charities, from intervening or participating in political campaigns. Citing court rulings, CREW noted that a church or non-profit organization could endanger its tax-exempt status by using “publications and broadcasts to attack some candidates and support others,” even it if hadn’t officially endorsed a candidate.

    However, a spokesperson for the IRS recently said the agency had halted audits of churches engaging in political activity in the last three years. A federal court ordered the IRS to clarify who could authorize the audit of churches in 2009, but the agency has not yet adopted new regulations.

  74. Bron,
    What are you smoking? Doing? Eating? What desert thingy, Do you mean Benghazi is desert? What a laugh. That is pure Romney propaganda assisted by CIA black ops outsourced to SF mil. But you would not understand.

  75. Re IRS and Catholic church bishops, 501c etc.

    Usually the FBI would have raided the places ages ago. So a Fed court says clarify, and bureaucrats get the message. Lie low. The catholics will cut our budget and that means jobs, boys and girls.

  76. Neither did McGovern, Carter, Clinton, Gore, Kerry and Obama.

    Although they have been right 6 out of 11 times. Statistically they are batting a little over 500. Same as flipping a coin.

  77. ID707:

    so the CIA did a black op using al qeada to make Obama look bad?

    you need some O2. A nasal cannula works well and you can carry small canisters in a man bag. Popular in the Nordic countries apparently.

  78. Bron,

    You missed the point of my comment about Romney losing to Obama in Massachusetts. Romney’s a resident of the Commonwealth and served as our governor. Still, he’s expected to lose this state by a wide margin in the presidential election. He’s not a popular candidate in these parts. That should tell voters from other states something about the man.

    What point are you trying to make?

  79. Gene H, I think the problem with the American People failing to recognize the kind of thinking/behavior that goes with religious extremism is that they can only identify it in a foreign context (like Iran having a religious extremist government and doing wrong to Iranian women) and not in their own. It’s like a person who does not wash but who cannot perceive their own body odor. We are leaning more and more toward putting into office some religiously-obsessed lunatic; we have already filled Congress with dozens of such fools. They don’t even fear saying something that betrays them, such as “It is god’s will” to explain a political position they want to promote. It’s shocking that it goes without massive recall initiatives when someone comes out with that crap.

    By the way, wasn’t “It was all god’s will” exactly what George Zimmerman said about his “having to kill” Trayvon Martin?

    Wasn’t “It was Allah’s will” the explanation given by Nidal Hasan after he killed 13 people at Fort Hood?

    We have a lot of real problems with folks doing gods’ work here. We need to concentrate on doing our OWN. You’re right, our position on the way to avoid having a psycho-religious leader should be: DO NOT ELECT HIM!

    And I pray we don’t. :mrgreen:

  80. Elaine:

    No point other than Mass. is a progressive state and has voted left in all but 2 elections.

    The fact that a bunch of progressives dont like a candidate means that they dont like a candidate. It doesnt mean there is something wrong with him.

    Does he beat his wife, is he an alcoholic, has he killed anyone, are his children on drugs and in trouble with the police, has he cheated on his income taxes, molested children? Or does he just not agree that people should keep less of what they earn?

  81. Bron,

    You are on a roll. Continue throwing out the crap and we’ll know you for a fool. Here I wss thinking that the attention you gave me was due to true love and now I wonder….. I just tried to wise you up on Benghazi.

    You can’t even read what I wrote, but you are not alone with that.

    The CIA got the job, from Poppy Bush if no other, and they farmed it out to Special Forces. Al Quaeda was in no way involved.

    I could give you a rundown on how 5 men could take that compound in less than 15 minutes, but won’t waste my time. You are not military although your mind is closed like many of theirs are.

    They were there for over 3 hours, why? To make a show so the world’s press woke up. And Romney had an attack to present the press 2 minutes after Hillary gave the first bulletin. How could they be so fast. Because it was arranged for them.

    So you are blind, but we knew that. You never get any support here so why do you hang around? Oh yeah, you do get attention. Many of us have that need to, so you are not alone on that. Good luck comprehending the world as it is. And Romney would steal your mom’s bloomers if he could get a good price for them.

    What is he paid for killing ACA? Or putting people out of work by draining the companies of capital?

    Good luch when they come for you.

  82. ID707:

    ok you showed me the light with your brilliant insights. So why would the CIA do that? They all from Yale and dont like a Harvard man?

  83. Rafflaw,

    I hope you are right, because the two of them are dupes of the Bush/Cheney duo. One idiot plus one evil mastermind equals terror for us and the world.

    We are regarded by the people of the world as the biggest threat. Not muslim extremists.

    Pardon me for barging in.

  84. Bron,

    The world is very simple. A power place conveys lots of just that—-power.

    Most of the CIA did not go to Yale, although some have done well because of the association, like Poppy Bush.

    And he was head of the CIA and had his control strengthened later as President. A handful can
    control many thousands of career people. Read Ishmael Jone’s book. Amazon will supply it.

    Or try Rush Baker’s “Bush Family of Secrets”. A harder row to hoe, but more rewarding as to the national scene. Nixon was set up for a fall by the CIA and Bush Sr. and their Watergate purposefully fumbled breakin, with two guys in the Whitehouse ready to take the fall to fix Nixon. They play dirty, and deadly, my friend, as do the Koch Bros.

    I don’t know your financial position but I can imagine that you are shilling for folks who would smash you as an insect if they are so inclined.

    Unfortunately, Obama might drone you, but that is yet unconfirmed. The Repugs we know what they can and will do.

  85. id707:

    I am not shilling for anyone. I dont like what is going on here anymore than the more left wing on the blog.

    I keep trying to tell them the way to foch the Kochs is to make a totally free market with no government intervention and better access to the court system for those hurt by bad actors.

    Government is the reason we have this mess. It makes it easier for large companies to compete and to stamp out competition and to gain special favors from Washington. I am guessing you will find some left wing politicians who take money from the Kochs.

    The rich will always get in bed with government no matter their political persuasion. Instead of taking away the access for the rich, all progressives want to do is make them pay more for that access. People like me want the rich the hell out of government, let them stand on their own 2 feet like the rest of us do. We want to take away their access, if they want a say then they can contribute to a candidate or pass fliers out door to door. No lobbying, no special favors, etc.

  86. “Instead of taking away the access for the rich, all progressives want to do is make them pay more for that access.”

    Complete and utter horseshit, Bron.

    If you were all for taking the special access of the wealthy, then you’d know many if not most progressives (in the modern sense of the term) want to put an end to both campaign finance as it is currently done and with lobbying the way it is currently done. Being that those are the primary ways money infects the system, either that makes you a progressive or someone in search of an answer that doesn’t exist: namely that businessmen good, government bad – never mind that graft is a crime it takes two to commit. Your Randist dogma is blinding you once again and this time it has made you claim to be for the same mechanism for reducing corruption as those nasty progressives you clearly don’t understand. That is one of the more ridiculous claims you’ve ever made.

  87. Gene H:

    you are never going to limit access to government by trying to pass a law on campaign finance reform. You need to get government out of business altogether.

    Progressives will never put limits on business because they need the contributions. Same for conservatives although some of them are catching on. Progressives however cannot entertain that government might be bad when it gets too big and it is way too big.

    The idea that government can make the lame walk, cure the sick, make the blind see, raise people out of poverty is pretty ridiculous too. All that is and has been done by the private sector.

  88. Malisha-

    Although I am an atheist, I pray every night that the American people will unwittingly elect 535 Quakers to the United States Congress.

    Swarthmore mom-

    I voted for President last Wednesday. I will give you a hint- her name isn’t Barack Obama.

  89. There is no end to how blind your ideology makes you Bron.

    “Progressives will never put limits on business because they need the contributions.”

    There are no progressives in government, Bron. Hell, there practically aren’t even any liberals in government.

    “Same for conservatives although some of them are catching on.”

    They’re the one leading the charge into fascism. Caught on? It was their idea.

    “Progressives however cannot entertain that government might be bad when it gets too big and it is way too big.”

    And size has nothing to do with functionality, a point Libertarians are completely oblivious to. Progressives don’t want bigger government for the sake of bigger government. That’s a lie as big and bold and completely stupid as the “they want to take your guns, Bubba!” argument. Progressives want government that works for all the people, not just the wealthy. Of all the misconceptions you refuse to lose, Bron, that “big government” fixation is one of the more odious. Government needs to be responsive to the citizens, functional and the right size to do the job whatever that job may be. Only a fool builds machines to a size metric with the idea that bigger is always better. “Does it work? If not, how can we make it work?” – those are the relevant questions. Not “how big is it”. Size may allow more chance for error because of complexity, but size is not the primary driver of error. That’s just math. If you’re going to base your analysis on size? It’s going to be junk. And therein is the perfect exemplar of what is wrong with your ideas. You can identify problems, but your causal analysis is weak and the precepts of your Objectivist dogma are downright dangerously wrong providing a dual source of error in your analysis and your proposed solutions.

  90. Henman, Since this is the second time you have said this too me, I will respond. Since you are in a swing state, Romney, Ryan, Rove and the Koch Bros. thank you for your de facto vote. Hope you have a few million socked away.

  91. Bron,

    “The fact that a bunch of progressives dont like a candidate means that they dont like a candidate. It doesnt mean there is something wrong with him.”

    Massachusetts may be a progressive state. Still, the residents of this state have elected a number of Republican governors–including Mitt Romney, Bill Weld, and Paul Celluci.

    Speaking for myself and some other people that I know, we have learned that Romney is a man whose word cannot be trusted. Is there something wrong with him? I happen to think so. What do you know about the Republican presidential candidate?

  92. Gne:

    I am talking about conservatives are figuring out that it is time to get government out of business altogether.

    Responsive is fine. I would take government the size it was in the 1960’s.

    Size is the problem because government is inefficient. Even large corporations are hard to turn.

    Government is not a machine. A machine needs to be the size and complexity it needs to do a job. Government is something that needs to be restrained to the smallest possible size to protect the life, liberty and property of individuals.

    Take it up with Madison, Locke and Jefferson. I think Pufendorf and Grotius are on board too, but since I havent read them yet I cant say for sure.

    “…fundamental truths are necessarily simple. If they are not, then that’s proof you have the wrong concepts and principles, because the purpose of concepts and principles is to simplify.”

    Think about that the next time you want to speak of complexity.

    You will feel better when you stop believing the world is like a storm tossed sea with people as your only anchors.

  93. Elaine:

    “we have learned that Romney is a man whose word cannot be trusted.”

    that is old news. Romney sucks pretty bad, in fact he sucks so bad the only reason I am voting for him is that I think he sucks less than Obama and the other candidates dont have a chance.

    He is a pragmatist with no real philosophical underpinning, I dont consider Mormonism to be any sort of religion/philosophy worth much if anything, however I consider Obama a nihilist and of the 2 I will take a pragmatist any day of the week.

    I think Romney can be controlled, I dont think Obama can be.

  94. Swarthmore mom-

    Also, on Wednesday, I went to Walgreens and got inoculated against unwarranted guilt. If Obama loses, it will be because of his failures, not mine. Romney, Ryan, Rove, and the Koch brothers will be far happier with Barack Obama than with Jill Stein. Read the Green Party platform and see what you could have voted for.

  95. Actually, government is a machine, Bron. It’s just not one you understand as well as you should and that you do not recognize it as such is really a bit surprising. Your lack of understanding aside, government – not just ours but any form – is very much a construct. Conscious decision making goes into planning both form and function as much as if the engineers of government were designing planetary gears. One system links to others creating work flows and dependencies like in any physically mechanical system. Madison and Jefferson both knew this. Locke? Maybe, maybe not but since he wasn’t a Founder what he ultimately thought on the matter would be irrelevant – the same goes for Pufendorf and Grotius. The very language that Madison and Jefferson (a mechanical engineer in his own right) betrays that they viewed government as a construct in that they built a system they themselves described as checks and balances. If you doubt this, ask any of the other lawyers here. I won’t put words in their mouths but I would readily bet that both raff and mespo agree with the government/machine analogy as would most with the training. There’s a common misconception about the study and practice of law. On one level, it is a service provided to citizens. This is the day to day practice of law, civil and criminal, private and public. But the study of law, jurisprudence, is also the study of social engineering. And like any engineering, you can build wondrous works of great benefit or calamitous drives of destruction. But government is most decidedly a machine. It has inputs and produces work outputs in the forms of both services and goods. Just like a machine, it has metrics relevant to analysis of functionality and metrics interesting but only minimally linked to analysis or linked not at all and simply interesting either intrinsically or otherwise. Size is not a primary metric for analysis of functionality. What link it has is to analysis of efficiency, which is a separate issue to whether or not it gets the specific task done it was assigned to do.

  96. HenMan,

    Damn. I wish I had gotten one of those shots before my divorce.😀 I recovered anyway, but the shot sure would have made it an easier ride.

  97. Bron,

    Pragmatist? Is that the term used to describe a person who will change his position on any issue of importance at any time depending upon what audience he is speaking to? Romney has no philiosophical underpinnings? By that do you mean he is a man without principles?

    As I asked you previously–what do you know about mitt Romney? Who do you think can comtrol him? The Koch brothers, perchance?

  98. eLAINE:

    That is what I would call a pragmatist.

    As far as control, I think he would bow to the people if they pushed.

  99. Elaine,

    One of the many random encounters that caused me to deactivate my FB account was over that very issue. A friend of a friend said something along the lines of “I can’t get a grasp on what Romney thinks about that issue.” To which I said, “Well that would make two of you who don’t know where he’s coming from. Romney’s mind is made up like a windsock. It changes whatever way the money is blowing.” Which of course merited the reply of “I could kick your ass.”

    It’s amazing how many American’s seem to think “I could kick your ass” is a cogent reply.

    Needless to say, much hilarity ensued.

  100. government is no more a machine than someone using directions [constitution] to put a bike together.

    Give me a break.

  101. I seek only the truth by which no man was ever harmed, but your choice to remain ignorant in the light of contrary information is your choice, Bron. It harms no one but yourself. Government is a construct – a machine – and it is whether you believe it is or not. A map is not a territory any more than a blueprint is a machine. Government is the bicycle, not the instructions. Your failure to grasp this certainly explains a lot of your other odious misconceptions about government though.

  102. Bron,

    Back again. We agree that both parties, for reasons of money which enables them to hold office, are prostituting their services to the business community.

    But getting government out (“You need to get government out of business altogether.”), I wonder if you mean out of regulating the business’ effect on the economic situation (house loans, consumer loans etc), and on the environmental effects, which ultimately and quite lethally effect our health—just to take two examples. Is that what you would do? I would not.

    I think that you need some help in enlightenment and do not feel that you need to be nailed up on GeneH’s cross.

    Now repeat after me: “Government is just like a good uncle, who protects me from exploiting businesses which would claim to provide products, but in fact charge me and my world so high a price, that if uncle did not stop them, they would soon own me and the world”.

    Try that in front of the morning mirror for a week and we will see if you feel a little better next week. Bood luck with your bettering!

  103. GeneH and others who read my previous comment just prior to this one.

    I must retract my statement about GeneH’s crucifying cross, that was written after his initial insults to Bron, and before I had read the rest of his comments to him.
    He, for the rest, seemed inclined to use factual arguments instead of abuse.

    And now I will comment on one of GeneH’s analogies: government as as machine—-but first a quote:

    “Government is a construct – a machine – and it is whether you believe it is or not. A map is not a territory any more than a blueprint is a machine. Government is the bicycle, not the instructions. Your failure to grasp this certainly explains a lot of your other odious misconceptions about government though.”

    I would put another view on government, and all human based organizations for that matter.
    Govenment, and its organizations, if we address it, has laws which empower it, describe its intended functions, and is further described by founding documents and detailed instructions on how it shall function, to the detail that seems requisite according to current norms.

    All fine and good. This description does to some extent even include certain human factors type HR.

    But it DOES NOT include or perhaps conceals the organizations and empowerments which can be perverted.

    For example:
    Creating an IG function that is subject to control by those who it is intended to do IG functions on; which eliminates its functioning for the well-being of the citensry, and for the organization itself.

    It does NOT allow for the inevitable tendency of bureaucracy to grow. (other than highly visible and ineffectual Potemkin control constructions).

    It does NOT account for the organization’s need to corrupt, simply mislabel or even falsify the metrics it provides for Congressional oversight. Why should it do that, it needs to hide its own ineffectuallity or inefficiency. This allows for calling a contact a recruited agent, allows for falsified body counts, allows calling officers in training, destined for domestic service, to be reported to Congress as undercover agents in place—in response to the quite specific agreements that the billions being heaved at CIA post 9/11 were to be exclusively used to increase the number of undercover officers of the CIA.

    Simply put, bureaucracy has self-serving instructions. If these exist on paper then their true and perverted meaning is well-cocealed in bureaucratese.

    For example. creating multi-layer management structures, where automatically each manager requires an organization to manage or we have no need of him. Multi-layers diffuses the acountability for decisions and minimizes the career risks taken in making decisions. But in the case of the CIA, this was not enough, they even routinely said no to essentially riskfree operation clearly and previously defined as riskfree in training manuals.

    Bureaucracy requires the building of turf or function boundaries. Multiple organizations in the same (law enforcement) areas lead to needed opeations not being done due to blockage for turf ownership reasons, etc etc.

    This was long. I can not write concisely.
    But the problem is much larger than this attempt to describe it.

    I did not describe the leadership problem, the lobbying’s effects on mission accomplishment, the Congressional meddling even down to the district level, etc etc.

    A bicycle stands there, AND includes instruction and has a clear goal of which most agree upon.
    But the riders (bureaucrats) can still screw up and ride it into the ditch, leaving it to be a scrap heap to be led by hand, never reaching the place it was intended to be rapidly ridden to.

    Now I hope someone has a solution to this problem.
    But please don’t say: all we need are some honest men. Honest men seldom survive these jungles.
    Even an effective CIA chief can be shown to becoming worn our by the bureaucrats under him.

    How do the buraaucrats drag their feet on even explicit Presidential orders with deadlines and periodic reporting included (declass docs)?
    Don’t know, but they do.

  104. Gene H:

    you have not convinced me. Why do you think it is a machine? A machine has a very limited meaning. Just because something is man made doesnt mean it is a machine.

    And what about a corporation? Is that a machine? Or a school, is that a machine? Is society a machine?

  105. Active-duty service members disenfranchised by Fla. voter purge
    By Jake Miller
    CBS News/ November 3, 2012

    Tampa-area resident and Navy captain Peter Kehring has spent more than 30 years in the U.S. military. But due to Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott’s recent purge of voter rolls, Kehring will not be able to cast a vote on Election Day, reports Tampa CBS affiliate WTSP.

    Florida state law requires county election supervisors to regularly update voter rolls to remove felons, deceased individuals, and those who have moved out of the county. Voters who miss two consecutive general elections (2008 and 2010, for example) are sent a letter warning them they will be removed from eligibility unless they contact county officials.

    Kehring, who has been serving in the military abroad for the last five years, never got his letter.

    And he’s not alone: Kehring is among 30 active and reserve service members in the Tampa area who have contacted the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office, according to WTSP.

    Unfortunately, Kehring notified the county officials too late: October 8 was the last day Florida residents can register to vote before the November general election.

    Kehring was not pleased. “It’s not just a right that I’ve earned by being an American,” he said. “I’ve (been) trying to protect our country and I really believe it’s a right I’m being denied.”

    He wants legislators to amend the law to prevent service members from being wrongly disenfranchised.

  106. Is True the Vote Intimidating Minority Voters From Going to the Polls?
    Nov. 2, 2012

    Teresa Sharp, a homemaker and grandmother, has lived in Hamilton County, Ohio, for nearly 30 years. A former poll worker and a Democrat, she says she has voted in every election since she was 18.

    “Voting to me is, like, sacred, like my children,” she said. “It lets me at least have an opinion about how I want to live in America.”

    Sharp is keenly aware that her vote counts. Hamilton County, which includes Cincinnati, is hotly contested in a swing state that could decide this extraordinarily close presidential race. So naturally, Sharp was surprised when she received a letter in the mail that said, “You are hereby notified that your right to vote has been challenged by a qualified elector under RC 3503.243505.19.”

    “Nobody’s ever challenged me, especially my right to vote,” Sharp said. “I’m confused. I’m concerned and pretty darn mad.”

    Her husband, Herbert, her sons, Christopher and Herbert Jr., her daughters, Aseneth and Eleanor, and her elderly aunt, all residents at the same family home in Hamilton County, also received a similar letter.

    “I thought to myself that there’s somebody out here trying to scare people into not voting,” she said.

    The letter came from the county board of elections, and was prompted by an official challenge submitted by a member of The Ohio Voter Integrity Project, a local affiliate of a grassroots organization called True the Vote. The organization believes that voter fraud is a sweeping national epidemic and has enlisted and trained an army of citizen volunteers to challenge voters in the name of what they call “voter integrity.”

    Their promotional and recruitment videos talk about “willful, fraudulent behavior,” and, “people voting who are not who they said they were.” They said they address the important need to keep elections free and fair for all citizens.

    The goals sound admirable, and even patriotic, but Sharp and other Democrats say True the Vote is less about voter integrity than voter suppression, and is specifically meant to intimidate minorities, low-income people and students who might vote for President Obama.

    “I was like, ‘Whoa, why are they targeting my family? What did we do?'” said Sharp.

    While it is legal in 46 states for any citizen to challenge another citizen’s right to vote, election officials said, it very rarely happens.

    But this election cycle, the challenge against Sharp was among 1,077 citizen challenges received by the Hamilton County Board of Elections alone. The challenge against Sharp incorrectly cited her property as a vacant lot, but after a hearing Hamilton County election officials threw it out.

    Attempts to reach Marlene Kocher, the member of the local Integrity Project who challenged Sharp, were not successful. Other True the Vote volunteers declined to speak with us on camera.

  107. Editorial
    Voter Harassment, Circa 2012
    Published: September 21, 2012

    This is how voter intimidation worked in 1966: White teenagers in Americus, Ga., harassed black citizens in line to vote, and the police refused to intervene. Black plantation workers in Mississippi had to vote in plantation stores, overseen by their bosses. Black voters in Choctaw County, Ala., had to hand their ballots directly to white election officials for inspection.

    This is how it works today: In an ostensible hunt for voter fraud, a Tea Party group, True the Vote, descends on a largely minority precinct and combs the registration records for the slightest misspelling or address error. It uses this information to challenge voters at the polls, and though almost every challenge is baseless, the arguments and delays frustrate those in line and reduce turnout.

    The thing that’s different from the days of overt discrimination is the phony pretext of combating voter fraud. Voter identity fraud is all but nonexistent, but the assertion that it might exist is used as an excuse to reduce the political rights of minorities, the poor, students, older Americans and other groups that tend to vote Democratic.

    In The Times on Monday, Stephanie Saul described how the plan works. True the Vote grew out of a Tea Party group in Texas, the King Street Patriots, with the assistance of Americans for Prosperity, a group founded by the Koch brothers that works to elect conservative Republicans. It has developed its own software to check voter registration lists against driver’s license and property records. Those kinds of database matches are notoriously unreliable because names and addresses are often slightly different in various databases, but the group uses this technique to challenge more voters.

    In 2009 and 2010, for example, the group focused on the Houston Congressional district represented by Sheila Jackson Lee, a black Democrat. After poring over the records for five months, True the Vote came up with a list of 500 names it considered suspicious and challenged them with election authorities. Officials put these voters on “suspense,” requiring additional proof of address, but in most cases voters had simply changed addresses. That didn’t stop the group from sending dozens of white “poll watchers” to precincts in the district during the 2010 elections, deliberately creating friction with black voters.

    On the day of the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, the group used inaccurate lists to slow down student voting at Lawrence University in Appleton with intrusive identity checks. Three election “observers,” including one from True the Vote, were so disruptive that a clerk gave them two warnings, but the ploy was effective: many students gave up waiting in line and didn’t vote.

    True the Vote, now active in 30 states, hopes to train hundreds of thousands of poll watchers to make the experience of voting like “driving and seeing the police following you,” as one of the group’s leaders put it. (Not surprisingly, the group is also active in the voter ID movement, with similar goals.) These activities “present a real danger to the fair administration of elections and to the fundamental freedom to vote,” as a recent report by Common Cause and Demos put it.

    The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits intimidation or interference in the act of voting, but the penalties are fairly light. Many states have tougher laws, but they won’t work unless law enforcement officials use them to crack down on the illegal activities — handed down from Jim Crow days — of True the Vote and similar groups.

  108. “And what about a corporation? Is that a machine? Or a school, is that a machine? Is society a machine?”

    Yes. And yes. All of our societal constructs are machines. They have inputs, perform work to a specific goal or set of goals and have outputs. Society itself though is more organic and less directed as it is composed of smaller tribal subunits that compete based on differing interests. But that is a natural dynamic. More analogous to natural selection than machinery. There is nothing natural about social constructs like governments, corporations or schools. They are designed, they have specific purpose(s) and they perform work. No pride of lions ever founded a government or built a school. A machine is an apparatus (the complex structure of a particular organization or system) using power and having several parts, each with a definite function and together performing a particular task. That is not an analogy but a perfect one to one description of how these societal constructs operate.

  109. gENE h:

    the animal kingdom has plenty of examples of complex social structures and of animals working together in a system.

  110. Bron,

    And almost none of them are engineered. They may be built but they are not designed (which is key term to the definition of engineered). Self-organizing behavior is apparent in societies as well as the natural world, but a hammer is not a carpenter. Just so, our social constructs are not society. They are tools of society, purpose designed and built just like that hammer. That being said, some animals are also tool users, but tool use (and creation) is one of the hallmark behaviors of higher intelligences. And when I say tool use in animals, let me be clear, I don’t mean found tools like otters using rocks to open molluscs. I mean where something natural has been taken and transformed specifically for utility like a primate using a stripped stick to dig out termites from a log.

  111. I want to return to the question of leadership in the running of our machines that we create.

    I have previously said to Bron that a position of power gives and requires the use of power. And the power of leadership of organizations often don’t stop at the organizational limit upwards, but extend into the realm of politics. And this is where societal effects are appreciated and decided on that basis.

    Let’s take the recent example here of “stop and frisk” laws implementation in NYC. We can regard it in two ways at least: bottom up or top down. Let’s begin with bottom up, the part we saw primarily exposed.

    We had a cop on the beat who had his “quota” of stops to turn in as written reports each time period. This was enforced by his performance reviewing officer and the example of the fate of other officers with low performance and their job assignments and promotion possibilities. And as we go in the hiearchy, we see the lieutenants who have their quotas and who competing for promotion will try to produce over quota results, thus perverting the original norms.

    This continues up the organization where the review and producution discussions will produce new novel methods or situations to increase the resutlts of the process and hopefully make the polititicians who approve budgets, perks, reward, salarý increases, etc will ge happy and generous.

    Well, what does the politician do. Bloomberg says that he promised law and order, primarily to corporations and merchants who suffer from crime and those dependent on NYS providing a nice experience to tourists.

    At this point I will withdraw for lack of facts. I am sure that MikeS could hop in and dissect these interworkings based on his NYC experience from the positions he held. So those with equivalent knowledge can please take over if you wish.

    BTW, I am sure that Bloomberg had help of his legal counsel as to the likelihood of challenge on various grounds, even Constitutional, and received a green light. Which means that potentially your local mayor can speak to his police chief with confidence after requisite ordinance approval by the city council.

    Such are our constitutional shield against “unreasonable search and seizure” worth in these times of wars on terrorism, thievery and on narcotic users. Importers of narcotics like H W Bush, get of course a blind eye to their alleged** narcotic activities.

    **Recent video posted here.

  112. Things in Politico That Don’t Make Me Want to Guzzle Antifreeze, White-People-Mandate Edition
    By Charles P. Pierce

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — In case you have misplaced you magic pundit decoder ring, the latest one-word euphemism for “Where The White Folk At?” is “demographics.” If the president wins, it will be because of “demographics,” which increasingly means, in Republican weaselspeak, that, despite the best efforts of our governors and secretaries of state, the wrong people are voting again. Or, as they put it around Casa Romney, The Help are revolting. Your Republican party may be a tribe of a single skin tone, but it is a tribe of many codes.

    As is usually the case, Politico whittled the problem right down to the nub, and then hit itself between the eyes repeatedly with the nub.

    If President Barack Obama wins, he will be the popular choice of Hispanics, African-Americans, single women and highly educated urban whites. That’s what the polling has consistently shown in the final days of the campaign. It looks more likely than not that he will lose independents, and it’s possible he will get a lower percentage of white voters than George W. Bush got of Hispanic voters in 2000.

    A broad mandate this is not.

    Bartender, a double Prestone, and make it snappy, my good man.

    Apparently, only people who look like John Harris and Jim VandeHei can be said to make up a “mandate.” (Remember, by the way, that this is the publication that got rid of Joe Williams for making the unremarkable statement that Willard Romney is more comfortable around white people. It is equally unremarkable to say that this also would seem to be the case with his former employers.) This is now part of the campaign dialogue. The panel with my man Chuck Todd chewed it over this morning, and only a very cynical person would suggest that this is the respectable objective-journalist parallel to the fact that the Republicans have been making things quite plain of late as to their belief that some people deserve the franchise, and that Certain People do not. Why, just yesterday, Romney was talking about how, if you voted for him, you “shouldn’t expect” a check from the government.

    All of this would be a nifty little sociological discussion if it weren’t taking place within a country in which a substantial block of the population, and its elected representatives, have worked to delegitmize the president based on his race. And you’d have to be blind, deaf, or sensible enough not to be watching cable television news, not to see that “demographics” isn’t already halfway to being the primary explanation, behind the superstorm, behind a Romney loss. And it’s certainly not surprising to note that, once that becomes a legitimate part of the post-election narrative, the permanent sense of victimization on the part of the “demographics” so beloved by the editors of Politico will be more intense, and not less.

    Of course, should Romney win, and the other parts of the “demographics” start shouting about voter-suppression and the mysterious coincidence of how the incompetence of local election officials always seems to occur in precincts where Certain People vote, the same people will completely ignore them, and tell them that it’s time for them to line up behind our new president because that’s the way we do things in America.

    Just another day in the World’s Greatest Democracy.

  113. Thanks for the reminder of Charles P. Pierce. He probably has at least 3 other blogs waiting to be enjoyed. I barely have the time/intelligence to read all the links posted here, much less know where they stand politically. It was therefore interesting to see that he disses Politico—a site linked often here.

    Anyone object to that.?

    Thanks to ElaineM for keeping this thread going.
    Or has it been replaced by another “election news” thread?

    Anyone else see a little gonzojournalism there?

  114. New Evidence Shows Poll Watching Efforts Target Minority Precincts
    By Dan Froomkin
    Posted: 11/05/2012

    Poll watchers from groups ostensibly targeting voter fraud are headed primarily to minority voting precincts on Election Day, lending support to the argument that their real goal is to suppress the African-American and Latino vote.

    A partial list of precincts targeted by a Pittsburgh Tea Party group working on behalf of the Republican Party shows that nearly 80 percent of the voters in those precincts are African-American, compared to 13 percent countywide, according to civil rights and union groups who on Monday called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.

    An Ohio political blog is reporting that forms submitted to election officials by Tea Party spin-off group True the Vote in Franklin County — which includes Columbus — show poll watchers heading to 28 precincts, where most voters are African-American. Overall, the county electorate is 20 percent African-American.

    “We’ve been concerned from the beginning that the efforts of True the Vote and aligned groups were going to be targeted largely in communities of color,” said Eric Marshall, manager of legal mobilization for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “We’ve seen in the past where these kinds of tactics can lead to intimidation and harassment of voters.”

    A potentially even greater concern now is that the groups will use the voter challenge process “for the express purpose of creating lines and confusion,” Marshall said.

    Prohibitively long lines, particularly where Democrats are in the majority, are a net plus for Republicans; extraordinarily long lines for early voting in South Florida resulted from Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s rollback of early voting days there.

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