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Dr. Dean's wild ride

MoveOn.org, Meet the Press and blogspace activity have combined to propel Dean beyond every other candidate in the first quarter, in terms of media coverage and campaign contributions.
 http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/TheNote/TheNote.html

As of 4:00pm EDT today, Dean's campaign had received close to $6.7 million dollars -- mainly in Internet contributions from grassroots activists.

"'He'll beat everybody,' Steve Elmendorf, a senior adviser to Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, said of Dr. Dean."

What's interesting about the media coverage is how differently he's perceived. The Democratic Establishment despises him. They see him as so far left that he's no longer a Democrat. The FReepers are jumping with glee at his numbers -- even donating themselves. They want him to win the nomination, as they too believe he stands no chance in the general.

Meanwhile, the activists on the left see him as a conservative. He doesn't support much of the left's social initiatives or economic policies. He's (wearily) pro-death penalty. He's anti-medicinal marijuana. Hard to distinguish from a Republican.

The truth of the matter is that he's largely centrist. It's just that the Democrats have moved so far to the right in response to Bush, they can't see it.

I disagree with Dean on numerous issues. I might identify more with Kucinich than with Dean -- I'm not sure. I disagree with Kucinich on many issues as well. But democracy is about compromise, and I'm compromising. I believe Dean is electable. The MoveOn.org "Second Question" is foretelling. 86% of MoveOn's base would "enthusiastically support" Dean if he were the nominee. Higher than any other candidate.

Dean has broad-appeal. Independents are fed-up with Bush -- they want an option to vote for.

I don't accept the "support Kucinich, to shift all campaigns to the left" argument -- I don't want to shift the campaigns to the left. I want to get rid of Bush. I want an electable candidate. I am willing to compromise on certain issues to rid the country of Bush and the Democratic Establishment.

Another 4 years of Bush will only cement the changes that are already happening -- the K Street Project, the new Washington Establishment, the rightward shift of American politics.

If we can replace Bush with a man we are indifferent to, that can be nothing but a good thing.

ha ha ha. 30.Jun.2003 13:54

: D

"I want an electable candidate."

--first of all, Bu$h was not elected to the pResidency (and Gore sure didn't put up much of a fight).

the powers that be in corporate-fascist 21st century Amerikkka will not allow a "free", un-manipulated pResidential Selection to occur--

especially not when automated voting machine companies (e.g. Diebold) are wholly owned by stockholders from the Republican National Committee.

you are LIVING IN A FUCKING DREAMWORLD if you think that Howard Dean or Dennis Kucinich has a chance of being elected pResident.

the only one who is even remotely acceptable to the Corporate Power Structure is John Kerry--Yale Skull and Bones (vs. GWB Skull and Bones--DO YOU GET IT YET???????????????????????????????)

and even he probably couldn't "win" (assuming that the 'Selection' is conducted--and votes counted-- "fairly").

A "doctor" that supports the death penalty; that's a good one 30.Jun.2003 13:59

Kucinich or Else

How about this for a compromise: Dean/Bush in 2004!

Dean has broad-appeal... 30.Jun.2003 14:15

What a Sucker

PLUS: "The Democratic Establishment despises him. They see him as so far left that he's no longer a Democrat."

Broad appeal AND despised by his own party. Nice trick!

AND: "Dean's campaign had received close to $6.7 million dollars."

Great, he can buy a few "Hummers" (not the Cinton kind) and take advantage of Bush's tax loophole!

huh? 30.Jun.2003 14:28

concerned

"I am willing to compromise on certain issues to rid the country of Bush and the Democratic Establishment"
You want to get rid of the "Democratic Establishment" by supprting a centrist democrat... Yeah, good luck with that one. But I do appreciate people spelling out their thoughts as you have done, just remember your choices are not what others will make. Some people's first priority is to get rid of bush but others may feel like electing a democrat serves no purpose with how shamelessly the democrats have gone along with all of bush's agenda (with the small exception of judicial nominees). And I have to agree with the first comment, and comments posted elsewhere, the democrats will no have no trouble getting a winning number of votes. The question is, how will they, and the rest of the country, stand up to the coup, in whatever form it takes?

Yes, broad appeal 30.Jun.2003 14:38

James

Despised not by his party base, but the establishment. By Terry McAuliffe. By Washington Insiders. By John Kerry. But not by his base.

You all are so disenfranchised though, there's not much point in bothering.

Despite the polls, my guess is that Lieberman, Kerry and Gephardt are not at all electable. Why would anyone vote for Lieberman -- a deep cover Republican -- when you could vote for Bush instead? Why would anyone vote for Gephardt, a man who's never held a conviction in his life? He's a machine -- feed him the poll numbers and he spits out the votes. What is going to energize the base to come out and support Kerry? His wishy-washy anti-war stance? He abandoned his party and beliefs -- along with the other hordes -- when the proles formed a fleeting pro-war majority following 9/11.

Dean is leftist enough to energize the base. And he's centrist enough to entice the independents. His anti-war stance will be remembered by the base in '04, but will not weigh so large on the uncommited pro-war crowd in a year and half. He'll get people out to the polls. Not you, of course. I doubt anyone would energize you. According to your pseduo-cognizant opinion, the elections are all rigged anyway.

I bet you laugh at the extreme right when you read about their fantasies of black helicopters, the New World Order, U.N. operatives controlling 80% of America, the Freemasons and Illuminati. But then you turn around and spout similar craziness.

Well, as usual, the extremists will be pushed to the fringes in '04, marginalized and disenchanted. They'll have no voice, no impact on the election cycle. No mark on the ebb and flow of politcs.

Go ahead and fight the losing battle. But this extremist is throwing away many of his convictions -- small government, an end to the drug war, drastically lower taxes, school vouchers, medicare reform, large reductions in the size and scope of our standing army (Yes, different from your convictions I'm sure. But convictions none the less) -- in voting for Dean. Because the alternative is far, far worse.

Dean on Free Trade?? 30.Jun.2003 15:03

Curious

I was mildly interested in this Dean guy, until I heard that he was pro-NAFTA. Anyone know more about his stance on corporate globalization, "free trade", and the FTAA? I guess I could compromise a little here and there, but if this guy supports bold-faced attacks on workers, poor folks, and the environment all over the world, then there is no way I can support him, even it's him vs. Bush.

Who knows where he stands on this stuff? Mysteriously, this "issue" is not one that is listed on his website.

Yes, he's pro-NAFTA 30.Jun.2003 15:13

James

Dean is basically a fiscal conservative and social liberal. ("Third-way Democrat").

Dean basically shares my opinion of free trade, though: It's generally a good idea, but we probably have a moral responsibility to guarantee certain environmental and human rights conditions are being met in countries w/ which we share free trade agreements. (I don't really care whether free trade adversely affects American workers -- I have about zero nationalism. I do, however, care about workers in general being treated fairly -- despite their nationality. Free trade leads to efficient production of goods and services. Some people are better at certain things than others. But since the U.S. economy is so large, we can extract certain concessions from countries which would like us to drop our trade barriers -- like environmental protections and human rights)

If you disagree with that line of reasoning, I understand you probably wouldn't want to compromise on it.

"Q: What are your thoughts about U.S. trade policy. Was NAFTA a bad idea?

Dean: No, NAFTA is a very good idea. But we should not enter into any more free trade agreements without labor and environmental standards. Those jobs that export pay on average 16 percent more than jobs that don't export. The problem is if you move your factory to China or Mexico, you do not have to comply with or pay for preservation of the environment that you have to pay for in the United States. Clearly, you don't want to be dumping chemicals in rivers here, which we used to. So, clearly, if we allow Mexico to do that that's several billions of dollars that they don't have to pay that we do to produce a product is an unfair subsidy. If you had the same kind of labor standards and environmental standards - I'm not saying the same wages - you would have a much more level playing field and we wouldn't be seeing the hollowing out of our industrial base."

(From the second page of this link:  http://rutlandherald.nybor.com/deanspeaks/)


to 'James'-- 30.Jun.2003 19:47

skeptic

"According to your pseduo [sic]-cognizant opinion, the elections are all rigged anyway."

--on what to you mount this baseless assertion?

there was election fraud in Florida 2000, along with mass intimidation and obstruction of voters.

Gore had won by count of the popular vote.

RE: sElection 2002, voter turnout numbers and several election results were extremely questionable. Increased adoption of automated voting machines--and stock ownership of the companies who promote, sell, and service them--are another major issue.

[you can do the research yourself by using an Internet search engine--Greg Palast's website, books, articles and programs are a place to start]

RE: sElection 2004, who's to say they won't be suspended entirely? Why have them anyway, when most Democrats and Republicans (your e.g. Lieberman) are INDISTINGUISHABLE . . .


There is a very good chance... 30.Jun.2003 20:06

Ed Harley

...that the United States of America cannot be saved by any elected official.

Umm 30.Jun.2003 23:42

James

No doubt it was wrong for the Supreme Court to involve itself in the Florida elections. (Which is, according to the Constitution, a state's right).

But the real problem wasn't "mass intimidation and obstruction of voters". It was that the votes were so close.

Gore winning the popular vote but losing the election is not really a big deal. We vote on an electoral college system -- would you prefer the government arbitrarily decide to install the president based on the popular vote, when it's not the law of the land?

There were a lot of issues in Florida '00. The military ballots, the confusing ballots, the faulty voting machines -- and maybe some disenfranchisement.

Automated vote counting machines are NOT much of an issue, despite what some would try to make of it. They're no more vulnerable to tampering than previous systems. The Nebraska (I believe it was Nebraska) issues with Chuck Hagel (and accompanying exit polls) are suspicious. But not enough so that I'd be willing to make a claim of voter fraud.

Anyway, I hear a lot of red herrings tossed around about Bush: Skull and Bones, voter fraud, nepotism, etc. Whatever. I prefer to attack the man on the issues. I don't hear cries from the left about the election of the progressive John F. Kennedy, who was elected with 0.1% of the popular vote. His father -- who was the 5th richest man in America at the time, thanks to bootlegging gin -- had hired men with the exact same names as all of Kennedy's opponents to run as independents (to confuse voters and filter votes away from his opponents). It almost certainly gave Kennedy the edge he needed in a few states. You hear that a lot from the right though. The left is fond of pointing to the progressive Andrew Jackson's stolen election, however -- in which he won both the popular vote AND the electoral college, but had the vote overturned in the House of Representatives.

My point is that each side is constantly making charges of voter fraud. I seriously doubt any such widespread fraud exists. I think there's definitely some agressive "get out the vote" campaigns. There are some select instances of intimidation -- such as posting fliers in low-income, predominantly black neighborhoods asking everyone to get out and vote, but make sure you have no warrants, your rent is paid and you have no child support due first. But I've seen no evidence of anything widespread.

It was a travesty that the Supreme Court became involved in the process in '00. (Though Gore is partly to blame for his ridiculous selected-counties recount plan). But voting largely works in this country. And hopefully that will be proved in '04.

James: What Do You Call This? 01.Jul.2003 00:08

No Fraud...Uh huh


I guess 01.Jul.2003 01:02

James

...I call it a crying shame. A reason to reform voting. But not voter fraud.

Further, I think it's a good reason NOT to deny felons the right to vote. They're citizens too, and I see no reason why they shouldn't have their voices heard. And as Palast, Moore, Rall and others have been screaming about, such laws can lead to outcomes such as this.

Yet -- as I see it anyway -- it doesn't rise to the level of voter fraud.

I was as pissed off as anyone in '00. I think Gore was robbed. But you have to look at the situation objectively. If it had gone the other way, the right would be screaming voter fraud. The whole problem was just that the vote was so close.

My main gripe was not voter fraud, but Federal involvement in a decidedly State matter. The Supreme Court has absolutely no business in interpreting the state election laws. To wit, SCOTUS abandoned their own long history of jurisprudence in doing so.

All of that aside, I have trouble seeing how it relates to Dean. You won't vote for Dean because the election is rigged anyway? What will you do, then? How will you even prove the election is rigged? If everyone held your opinion, there'd be no reason to stuff the ballots, or fix the vote -- Bush will win handedly. Don't let the failings of a single election year discourage you from voting forever. The whole affair will become a sell-fulfilling prophecy.

It's truly amazing to me how completely unwilling some people are to engage in /real/ debate. Constantly with the circular reasoning and questionable causes.

An Aside: How about this for a voting system?

You goto the polls. Instead of paper balloting, you goto a private booth with a touch-screen computer display. You choose all of your candidates and options. (This is what Florida is currently switching to).

Here's the difference:

As you're in the process of choosing your candidates, the computer generates a 1024-bit RSA public/private key pair. Your personal information -- Name, social security number -- is encryped with the public key. The system then stores the voting results and the associates all of your encrypted personal information with your voting choices, via some unique integer identifier.

The private key pair is encoded via some system such as a PDF417 barcode (See  http://www.idautomation.com/pdf417faq.html), which are much the same as the addressing barcodes used by FedEx. (The circular barcodes). That small PDF417 Barcode is dated and printed out onto a small "voting receipt".

Then, when the state publishes it's voting tallies, it also publishes a complete list of all of the encrypted personal information and their associated voting choices. Concerned citizens could then go to a voting center -- where they could see the actual, published results -- scan their PDF417 "voting receipt" and match up their unique identifier with that in the published voting records. If it matches, you know your vote was not tampered with. (Since the official tallies come from those same published results).

With that system, we no longer need voter registration. When someone votes, your social security number can be recorded as having voted. (Which is no more invasive than what we currently have). Anyone can just walk-up to the polls, enter their personal information and vote. If states really want to prevent felons from voting, they could still do it with an "excluded SSN list." Though I think that's a fundamentally wrong thing to do.

Since we're somewhat on the topic, I'd love for everyone among us to pick away at this idea. What do you all think? Possible? Better? A horrible government invasion into our privacy?

Perhaps I should mention... 01.Jul.2003 01:11

James

With regard to the voting system, for those not already aware -- in public/private key cryptography, or asymmetric cryptography, if a public key encrypts a piece of data, only the matching private key can decrypt the data. Likewise, if a private key encrypts data, only the matching public key can decrypt it.

Thus, the state could not simply decrypt the information with the public key. The only tricky part would be making sure the state did not keep the private key. (This could be overcome by the voter providing his or her own public key to the state voting machine, which would not be a terribly difficult thing to do.)

That's the single greatest drawback of the system. But I think with open code, random auditing of voting machines, etc, it could be made to work.

(Though perhaps with open code and random auditing of voting machines, the whole encryption scheme itself is unnecessary. Maybe, I don't know.)

to 'James'-- 01.Jul.2003 04:40

skeptic

"Don't let the failings of a single election year discourage you from voting forever."

--ok then, what's your interpretation of sElection 2002? (turnout percentages, etc.)

not voter fraud? 01.Jul.2003 12:10

someone

How can the illegal purge of 90,000 citizens from the voting rolls (which Katherine Harris admitted to in court under oath) not be considered election fraud? As for the supreme court involvement, that wasn't fraud so much as a coup d'etat (as well as a complete violation of the constitution since the consitution gives the state the ultimate authority over its elections). Oh, and the whole problem was not that the vote was close. Gore won florida by probably well over 100,000 votes, for some reason, those votes just weren't counted, and that was the whole problem. Maybe because the voting machines in predominantly black counties were not set to notify the voters if their ballot contained an error like those in predominatelywhite counties were. In the counties with the largest black populations as many as 1 in 8 votes were not counted. According to USA Today "Blacks were about four times more likely to cast ballots that recorded no vote, even when income and education was comparable to whites." ( http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/nov01/ballots-usat.htm). Right, and according to Jeb Bush it was just because blacks couldn't figure out to to use the voting machines properly. What happened in florida was not a shame, but a travesty, and the worst thing about it is that because there were no penalties those same criminals are free to continue with their voter fraud (and not even just free, but as we saw in 2002, they were rewarded for their efforts).

As for voting mechanisms, if the united states is interested in democracy it should look to countries that have systems that work and use them. Paper ballots work extremely well in most countries. If computerized mechanisms are somehow seen as advantageous then they should have open code instead of the proprietary code we have now, and random autids would be advisable. But, people still have distrust of computers, and for good reason, they are easy to manipulate if you are already in a position of power (like deciding which machines get audited). Countries with paper systems do an extremely effective job and have no need for anything else, maybe we should learn from them.

Dean is Also Pro-Zionist, does that matter to anyone? 01.Jul.2003 13:42

member of the 'not-a-rent-a-dummy club'

Don't expect Dean to stop giving 8 billion of your tax dollars to fund the world's most dangerous nuclear armed country (after the US). Ya'll know who AIPAC is? They are zionists who believe in apartheid and state terrorism.

source:  http://www.forward.com/issues/2002/02.11.22/news3.html


Governor Howard Dean of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 as a fiscal conservative and social liberal, is making a concerted effort to develop a national Jewish constituency for his candidacy.

In a wide-ranging telephone interview with the Forward, Dean, a physician, reflected at length on his "internationalist" foreign policy, his attachment to Judaism through his wife, who is Jewish, and on how having a Jewish family has informed his views on Israel.

Dean spoke with the Forward shortly after naming Steven Grossman, a former head of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and ex-chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to a top campaign fundraising post. In addition, Dean said he is traveling to Israel for a week at the end of the month with the American Israel Educational Foundation, AIPAC's educational arm, to meet with Israeli officials and Arab leaders.

more on dean 01.Jul.2003 14:06

Eyeontheball Jones

Maybe some good left reporter should ask Dean about Rachel Corrie. His answer would be revealing....

Published on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
Howard Dean: Hawk in Dove's Clothing?
by Stephen Zunes

Link:  http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0226-04.htm

As the first and most prominent Democratic candidate for president to oppose a U.S. invasion of Iraq, the campaign of former Vermont governor Howard Dean hopes to gain the support of peace and human rights activists within the party. Originally planning to focus on his call for universal health care and fiscal responsibility, Dean's anti-war message has received such an enthusiastic response it has become a major focus of his speeches on the campaign trail.

There is already talk of a repeat of Eugene McCarthy's 1968 campaign, where thousands of anti-war college students campaigning door-to-door in New Hampshire and elsewhere enabled the Minnesota senator to drive incumbent president Lyndon Johnson out of the race.

However, a series of statements by Dean regarding U.S. policy towards Israel and Palestine have raised serious concerns within the peace and human rights community regarding his liberal credentials.

In his major foreign policy address to date, a February 17 speech at Drake University in Iowa, Dean blasted the Bush administration's foreign policy regarding Iraq and several other areas, but - when it came to Israel and Palestine - the former Vermont governor declared that, while the United States should become more engaged, he did not have any fundamental objections with President George W. Bush's policies. Dean called for an end to Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians, but he did not call for a cessation of Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians. Similarly, there was no call for an end of the Israeli occupation, for Israeli compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, or a withdrawal from Israel's illegal settlements in the occupied territories or even a freeze on the construction of new settlements

(SNIP).

update on Diebold-owned Voting Machines 01.Jul.2003 14:08

bev harris

"Black Box Voting -- we found the hack. S.O.S."
 http://www.democraticunderground.com/duforum/DCForumID70/1995.html

Interesting thread over at Democratic Underground for those having any curiosity about this. Seems like something nefarious has been found dealing Diebold voting machines, involving as many as 30 states, and going back to 1998.

I'm going to forward this to all my contacts and suggest that anyone who knows of Bev Harris and the project with which she has preoccupied herself for several years, should do the same.


Bev Harris's Smoking Gun On Diebold Voting Machines


Well, Bev Harris may have done it with some help of the Democratic Underground and BartCop forums. She has been working on something special for 3 weeks or so. The people involved moved the activity off the forums for self preservation. I check BartCop every day for her posts. Looks like something very big broke last night on Democratic Underground.

I found the first post on BartCop this morning. A link goes to the DU post by Bev:

NEWS: Black Box Voting -- we found the hack. S.O.S. , with comments
 http://www.democraticunderground.com/duforum/DCForumID70/1995.html

Forum Name Bartcop Forum
Topic subject Did Bev Harris find the smoking gun on Diebold?

 link to bartcopnation.com

Did Bev Harris find the smoking gun on Diebold?
Posted by GGM on Wed Dec-31-69 03:00 PM

Interesting thread over at Democratic Underground for those having any curiosity about this. Seems like something nefarious has been found, involving as many as 30 states, and going back to 1998.

 http://www.democraticunderground.com/duforum/DCForumID70/1995.html

NEWS: Black Box Voting -- we found the hack. S.O.S.

LAST EDITED ON Jun-29-03 AT 09:42 PM (ET) I will post at least one thread a day on DU. If for some reason you don't see me posting any more, that's a
bad sign.

There are others working on this as well. I will check in with a source who will check in with each of them daily, and we'll make sure no one disappears.

That being said, I am putting anyone who is following this on notice: The files and the proof have been distributed to a network. That network has distributed them to their network. Those people have been invited to distribute to their network.

The milk is spilled, and if anything happens to any one investigating this, everyone at each level of the networks, and their networks, has been notified to consider that a trigger to blow the story open.

Lawyers have been engaged. We are now working with the level of attorneys who protect activists from the government, in high profile cases. We will henceforth be following the advice of counsel.

What was on that Diebold ftp site? I'm told that the identified files are the equivalent of the Pentagon Papers, perhaps worse.

Bev Harris
Black Box Voting
 http://www.blackboxvoting.com

On edit: I was asked to post this so people will know the evidence has been thoroughly seeded, and that any attempt to muzzle those who worked on it
will trigger much more attention on a much bigger scale. the credit. I'm feeling really bad seeing all the "kudos to Bev." They belong to someone else, and I hope those people can receive appropriate credit as soon as possible.

story moving on with updates every day


Another Article on the Zionist Subject vis a vis Gov. Dean 01.Jul.2003 14:10

Joseph Snodgrass III

Link:  link to www.aljazeerah.info).htm


Howard Dean: Sharon's Man?

By Ahmed Nassef

IndyMedia, June 22, 2003

PMC, 25/06/2003



Although often portrayed as progressive, former Vermont governor and Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean falls short on several issues important to progressives, with the Middle East being one of the more glaring.

True, Dean is one of the Democratic presidential hopefuls who opposed the invasion of Iraq (along with Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, conservative Senator Bob Graham, former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley Braun, and Rev. Al Sharpton), but he is closer to a hawk when it comes to Israel/Palestine and US policy toward Iran.

In a major foreign policy speech earlier this year, Dean, while calling for an end to Palestinian violence, did not call for an end to Israeli violence, let alone an end to the illegal Israeli occupation.

And when asked whether his views are closer to the dovish Americans for Peace Now (APN) or the right wing, Sharon-supporting American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), he stated unequivocally in an interview with the Jewish weekly The Forward, "My view is closer to AIPAC's view."

"At one time the Peace Now view was important, but now Israel is under enormous pressure. We have to stop terrorism before peace negotiations," he said.

Similarly, Dean's official campaign position on solving the Palestinian Israeli problem is that "terrorism against Israel must end," but there is no mention of the Israeli violence that has resulted in over 2,391 deaths since September 2000

Last December, Dean told the Jerusalem Post that he unequivocally supported $8 Billion in US loan guarantees for Israel. "I believe that by providing Israel with the loan guarantees...the US will be advancing its own interest," he said. His unconditional support for the loan package, in addition to $4 Billion in outright grants, went further than even some of the most pro-Israel elements in the Bush administration, like Paul Wolfowitz, who wanted to at least include some vague restrictions like pushing Israel to curtail new settlements and accept a timetable to establish a Palestinian state.

On the illegal Israeli settlements, Dean seems to be waffling of late. A pro-Dean blog quotes his campaign as calling for the ultimate removal of only "a number of existing settlements." (The link back to the official site was no longer operational as of this writing.) However, in what may signal a softening of his position to woo progressive voters in the upcoming MoveOn.org Democratic "Primary" vote, Dean called last month for "ultimately dismantling the settlements." So which one is it?

But Dean's alignment with AIPAC and their right-wing politics goes much deeper. Last year, he named Steven Grossman, a former AIPAC head, as his campaign's chief fundraiser. Soon after, he flew to Israel on an AIPAC-sponsored junket.

And in a telling statement about whether a President Dean would act any differently toward Iran than the Bush neocons, Dean also told The Forward, "The United States has to... take a much harder line on Iran and Saudi Arabia because they're funding terrorism."

In fact, Dean thinks President Bush is way too soft on Iran. In a March appearance on CBS' Face The Nation, Dean even claimed that "[President Bush] is beholden to the Saudis and the Iranians," something that would certainly come as a surprise to the current regime leaders in Iran who've been labeled as part of the "axis of evil" by the current US president.

Dean even left open the possibility of preemptive strikes against that country in that interview, adding that "we have to be very, very careful of Iran."

Once again, sounding very much like President Bush, Dean charged during a New Hampshire campaign stop this month that Iran (along with Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Libya) was "funding Palestinian terrorists and fueling terrorism throughout the world."

Apparently, there is another side to this "anti-war" candidate. When combined with his dubious record as governor on issues like welfare "reform" and gun control, it may be prudent for progressives to think twice before casting their vote for Howard Dean.

Attention! 01.Jul.2003 15:21

AutoDem

Ahem! Never mind the above comment, just VOTE FOR DEAN! You don't want to be burdened with the social stigma of being an actual feeling, fighting human being! VOTE FOR DEAN! It's like doing something about it without having to do anything at all! It's too bad that Native Americans didn't have the smarts to VOTE FOR DEAN!, they would have been just fine! Much of history's less pleasant moments could have been avoided if our ancestors had simply VOTED FOR DEAN! Whether it's the Holocaust, Conquistadors, Crusades, Nuclear armament, or everyone's current gripe, global ecocide, ethnicide, and the biggest mass extinction ever, there's just one answer. VOTE FOR DEAN! He may drive an SUV, but he's got some little tykes that have just got to get to soccer practice. Where are your priorities you wackos?! VOTE FOR DEAN!!!!

thanks James 01.Jul.2003 21:27

anon

I've been reading your comments on several threads today and although I disagree with much of what you say (and even sometimes how you say it), I truly appreciate that you take the time to construct a decent debate. I guess I must be a fan of sorts.

Anyway, you mentioned that the political right would be screaming about foul play if Gore had won (which he did despite the concerted cheating efforts for Jeb/Kathleen/etc). That statement makes no sense to me because, although it's true, I think it overlooks a key fact: the Republicans DID cheat and the Democrats DIDN'T. You can't scrub the comparatively wealthy and unconvicted from the voter list like you can the poor and convicted. You can't put up roadblocks in rich white neighborhoods like you can in poor black ones. You can't have shitty voting machines in rich white counties. And so on. The system isn't set up to cheat the rich. But it can cheat the poor (even if it isn't intentionally set up that way).

So, while either side would have been screaming foul play if it had lost Florida, only one side would have had a legitimate gripe. Yeah, yeah, I know the Democrats suck as well, but we're talking about a whole different plane of corruption here. Thoughts on that?

Perhaps 02.Jul.2003 03:34

James

Anon -- thanks. It always comes as somewhat of a shock to me how many people simply flat-out disagree with what I say, sometimes violently so. It's amazing that so many people can get together -- all read the same information -- and then come to wildly different interpretations and opinions. Usually fun, sometimes infuriating.

About the ability of the Right to scream voter fraud, had the election gone the other way --

My question though was how sure we should be that Gore actually won. (Actually, my pain point was that though the entire situation was outrageous, it's difficult to cast blame since the vote was so close).

I tend to believe you (and everyone else in that camp) are right, that Gore did win. But I can't possibly be sure. Yes, the expunging of felons (and non-felons alike) was egregious -- but how can I possibly know how that affected the elections? 8,000 voters who had never commited a felony were expunged -- but how many actually didn't vote? We'll never know. Because being removed from the rolls does not necessarily preclude you from voting -- all you have to do is swear under penalty of perjury that you are not, in fact, a convicted felon -- and you can vote. Add to that the fact that the group is probably only 70-75% Democrat-voting, and you're looking at a small number.

I haven't looked into this much lately -- but to my knowledge, noone has identified a single person who was illegally denied the right to vote. (They've identified those affected by the purge, to be sure, but as far as I know, they all voted after swearing under oath that they were not felons). If I'm actually wrong on this point, I'd be interested in someone pointing it out. But a quick Google search seems to confirm the point.

The law denying felons the right to vote -- common in many states -- is immoral, undemocratic, evil and wrong. But it was the law of the state.

Anyway, it's difficult to say what evidence of voter fraud, in any, the right would have had if the election had gone the other way. Since Bush won, the right wasn't investigating the voting process -- they were just trying to disprove all the claims made by the left. If Bush hadn't won, I bet the pages over at Free Republic would have been lit up with horror stories of precincts in Republican counties closing early, and other claims I can't imagine.

My problem with claims of voter fraud is the problem I have with most conspiracy theories: To my mind, the cost/benefit analysis wouldn't work out to warrant voter fraud.

It's an extraordinary crime for a politician to commit -- not only could it spell political doom, if found out; it would most likely mean jail time. Even if we high-ball the affect of any fraud -- what benefit could the right-wing conspiracy have hoped to gain by blocking (through intimidation, through improper voting machines, or purging valid voters) 50,000 votes before the election? Weeks before? Months before? How could they possibly have known the election would fall so close? Just a fraction of a percent?

I don't see how any politican would be willing to risk so much for such a small number of votes. That doesn't mean any of that didn't happen. I just don't think it was an organized campaign of fraud. (Though as I said above, I tend to believe Gore won.)

The legal manueverings afterward were sickening in their own right. SCOTUS should not have involved itself, but Gore and the Florida Supreme Cout also shouldn't have provided the opening.

To the point on Dean's Israel/Palestine position -- This is perhaps the only thing which could ultimately lead me to change my support for Dean. Indeed, in my head I waiver back and forth on Dean, and that wobbling largely pivots on this issue. I can't defend the position, obviously -- all I can say is that at least he seems interested in engaging the issue.

I don't really expect to change anyone's mind here on Dean. I don't pretend he's progressive -- and I'm not sure where the media got that idea. But I take issue with Kucinich on just as many points, and don't believe he's electable. And I take issue with Nader on a huge number of points. So even putting electability aside, I still wouldn't vote for him. That leaves me the libertarian nominee -- whom I might prefer, but isn't electable. Or Dean, who I flutter between not liking and being indifferent to -- but is electable (IMHO, despite the news media and pundits and establishment).

Dean also has an air of openness, which is a stark contrast to Bush's secrecy.

Anyway, like I said, I don't want to try and change anyone's opinion. I'm sure it's a lost cause.

'James'-- 02.Jul.2003 08:29

skeptic

"To my mind, the cost/benefit analysis wouldn't work out to warrant voter fraud . . . It's an extraordinary crime for a politician to commit -- not only could it spell political doom, if found out; it would most likely mean jail time . . . "

--how is this different from the innumerable other lies that Bu$h & Co. have told, especially since 9.11.01? Enron, WMDs, anyone?

at the time of those attacks, several major news media outlets--including BBC and Time Magazine--were about to break a major investigative story on the Bu$h family and sElection 2000 (which was still quite controversial at that point). . .

regarding the specific perfidy of voter fraud--Jeb Bu$h, governor of the American state of Florida, is on record as threatening the country of Nicaragua (!!) if Daniel Ortega won the 2001 election. What US governor--besides one with his particular family operational connections --would/could dare, or *bother*, make such an outrageous statement [which if anything, belongs in the realm of foreign policy to be appropriately handled by the State Department]--in a paid La Prensa advertisement, no less?
 http://www.flonnet.com/fl1824/18240600.htm
 http://www.nicanet.org/pubs/hotline1029_2001.html
 http://www.yachana.org/reports/nica2001/monitor.html
 http://www.hcir.org/nicaragua.htm


Don White of CISPES "saw up-close and personally the pervasive, inappropriate and interventionist interference in the electoral process by the United States. It was so blatant that former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Costa Rica's Arias, in press conferences, deplored the influences of 'outside forces' attempting to influence the elections and many Nicaraguans were outraged by the U.S. corruption of the electoral process."
 http://www.change-links.org/Anti.htm

meanwhile, Nicaragua's ex-president Arnoldo Aleman - a longtime US favorite - absconded with $100 million in public funds during his term.
 http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemID=13833

Jeb Bush also appointed an admitted embezzler as the State of Florida's "technology czar" who among other things will oversaw the new voting systems.
 http://www.legitgov.org/linksPbuddies.html
"Roy Cales, 39, a self-educated former stagehand with a somewhat rocky past, isn't your typical technology guru. With embezzlement charges and a personal bankruptcy behind him, the affable Cales takes tough questions in stride and defies the nerdish stereotype that plagues many tech types."
 http://web.tallahasseedemocrat.com/content/tallahassee/2001/07/01/local/0701.loc.cales.htm

in charge of a $600-million budget, Cales was arrested in August 2001 on grand theft and fraud charges--falsifying a letter to get a Tallahassee bank to lend him $35,000 in 1996.
 http://www.sptimes.com/News/083101/State/State_s_technology_ch.shtml


"I don't want to try and change anyone's opinion. I'm sure it's a lost cause"

--sounds pretty lazy and defeatist to me, *especially* when there is so much out there to be told RE: 9.11.01 et al . . . the full story of pResidential sElection 2000 has yet to be told--when it is, my opinion on it will become fully formed.

Dean to get Whacked like a Pinata 02.Jul.2003 09:23

Howard Fineman

Should Dean fear his early success?

From insurgent to frontrunner, he now faces new risks
Will Howard Dean's early success in the Democratic presidential sweepstakes set him up to peak too soon?

By Howard Fineman
SPECIAL TO MSNBC.COM

WASHINGTON, July 2 — The son of a patrician Republican, he comes from a long line of investment bankers. At Yale, he was deep into beer, not politics, and later quit drinking altogether because he couldn't handle alcohol. People think he's arrogant, and spoiled, and he doesn't like to be crossed — especially by reporters. He knows how to raise money, but tends to be underestimated. The Democratic establishment is afraid of him, but he relishes that fact.

NO I'M NOT talking about George Walker Bush (Yale '68), son of George Herbert Walker Bush. I'm talking about the man he could face in the fall of 2004, Howard Brush Dean III (Yale '71), son of the late Howard Brush Dean Jr.

This feels like Groundhog Day: Here I am writing about Howard Dean again for about the sixth time (in Newsweek or here on the Web) this year. But there is a valid reason: The guy is and will remain a central character — perhaps the central character — in the Democratic presidential campaign of 2004.

Dean has come so far so fast that the serio-comic question inside the Beltway right now is whether this formerly obscure insurgent has insurged too fast. The theory goes that he is a frontrunner now, and that, as such, he will be whacked like a pinata and that all manner of pink-wrapped liberal candy will fall out and voters will recoil in horror. At least that's what the spinners are saying.

But that ignores a central fact: Democratic primary voters, not the guys at The Palm, pick the nominee, and the voters may actually like the fact that Dean opposed the war in Iraq and campaigned in support of court-ordered "civil unions" in Vermont. And it ignores the fact that on virtually every other issue Dean isn't so much a flaming liberal as he is a flame-retardant moderate. Yes, were he the nominee, Dean might lose — big time — to Bush. But primary voters don't think in those terms; at least I don't sense that they will in '04. They are mad as hell and want someone to embody their anger.

The greater risk to Dean, it seems to me, is that he will react badly — very badly — to all the attention. He says he is pre-disastered, that he was hardened by the vicious attacks directed at him in Vermont in 2000, when he was defending the "civil union" legislation. But having some yahoo call you names at a parade is a little different from what the national "oppo" guys may have in mind — not to mention Karl Rove in the Bible Belt, if it comes to that.

And Dean is a prickly sort, whose sense of humor (I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt here) isn't the soothing surface-level sort that lubricates the life of politics. When challenged — let alone made fun of — he can go blank or gets angry. No one likes to joke at their own expense, unless they tell it on themselves. Dean doesn't even seem to like that. Can he lighten up? We'll see.

Surge of cash pressures Dean

Another risk Dean faces is that, in our Web-surfing, broadband society, he may simply become old news — and an old story. I know that his savvy campaign managers are aware of this problem. They know they need to start "unpacking" the Dean story before others do it for them — or before everyone gets bored. The model, of course, is J.K. Rowling. We're watching Harry Potter grow up before our eyes. Dean is going to have to do the same thing to keep us interested.

In the past, insurgents have hit the big time just as the voting starts in Iowa and New Hampshire. Indeed, they were made by the notoriety they achieved in those events. Dean has reached that point a full half-year earlier in the cycle than did past insurgents such as George McGovern, Gary Hart or (on the GOP side) Pat Buchanan.

As voters/surfers/readers take a closer look at Dean, they will discover how similar, in many ways, he and Bush are. It's as though we're headed for a campus-wide election at Yale in the late '60s, with a soundtrack by, say, Neil Young and the Drifters. (Don't forget: John Kerry and Joe Lieberman are '60s-era Yalies, too, and that Dick Cheney was one for two years, before flunking out.)

When I saw Dean in Minneapolis he alluded to this theme. "Actually," he said, "George Bush and I have one thing in common. We're both short." Talk about low blows! (Dean isn't diminutive but he is at best 5'8; Bush is about 5'10 but is one of those people who is a little shorter in real life than you expect him to be.)

Here's my not necessarily complete little list of other similarities:

LINEAGE: Investment banking is in their blood, big time, going back several generations; both have roots in the old-line suburbs of New York (Bush in Fairfield County, Conn., Dean on the North Shore of Long Island. Both families were patrician Republican and, in many ways, remain so. Both went to prep school. At the time, Dean's (St. George's) actually was socially tonier than the more meritocratic Andover.
NO NAM: Bush somehow got into the Air National Guard so that he could protect the air space over Houston; Dean got a 1Y classification for a fused vertebrae — though the infirmity didn't prevent him from spending the year after Yale skiing like a banshee down the slopes of Aspen.

BEER: Dean wasn't a frat guy but that didn't stop him from drinking, big time, by his own testimony and that of his friends. Both men acknowledge that they couldn't modulate their consumption, and that those difficulties forced them to quit — Dean in 1981 (when he got married), Bush in 1986 (when he turned 40 and dad was getting ready to run for president).

ENERGY: Both men radiate an intense hum of impatient energy, which alcohol may have once calmed — energy now focused on winning races.

WRITING NEW MONEY RULES: Bush tapped the banquet-room circuit as no one else before him had done, and then boldly eschewed public financing in the GOP primaries; Dean has perfected a whole new route of money raising on the Internet.

COMBATIVENESS: Neither suffers fools or feels the pain of opponents who get in their way. They both seem to believe in the value of a good knockdown pitch.

ARROGANCE: Both these guys seem to think that it is somehow their God-given right to run things. It's the result of everything else you can say about them.

TENDENCY TO BE UNDERESTIMATED: This one speaks for itself.

Howard Fineman is Newsweek's chief political correspondent and an NBC News analyst.


close, and not worth it? 02.Jul.2003 11:28

anon

Hi James.

Willie Nelson just endorsed Kucinich. Now he's got the Democratic nod!!! Dean is out. ;)

Anyway, yeah, the vote was close, but, 90 thousand voters were scrubbed. Kathleen Harris was going to get sued by the NAACP (I think that's the org) but she signed a paper ADMITTING that, yes, she was guilty of deliberately running an overly broad scrub but that hey somebody else made her do it. The scrub list had far more than 8 thousand peope who were not convicted felons. And it was mostly black. Pollsters would have known far in advance that it could have been a close race and statisticians have estimated (and would have been able to estimate) that the scrubbed list cost Gore many thousands of votes.

As far as registered votes being denied the right to vote, I heard a couple on NPR. It's the truth, but is small in my mind compared to the scrub list. After all, it probably happens every where and with every election.

"The law denying felons the right to vote -- common in many states -- is immoral, undemocratic, evil and wrong. But it was the law of the state."

The point is that most of the 90 thousand were not felons in Florida, or felons at all, and that they were denied their voting rights. Florida law does not prohibit them from voting. I don't think you've checked out Palast's work all that closely. If you're interested, do so.

So, would a politician risk getting caught? Politicians steal from us all the time, and for things far less important to their agenda than who sits in the White House. And what happens when they get caught? Last time I checked, Kathleen Harris was doing just fine.

let's try to make sure we get the history right 02.Jul.2003 13:08

someone

Ever since the day of the election disinformation and misinformation has been spread around like crazy with the credible stories mysteriously disapearing. But this is our history; let's see if we can get it straight. I'm going to repeat what I remember and it may not all be right (I don't have time to do the thorough analysis).

1) Katherine Harris admitted to purging 94,000 voters illegally. She claimed that she was under orders to do so (Jeb Bush would have been her supervisor) and that the process began before she took that position. Of these 94,000 at least 97% were innocent of committing a felony in Florida. This in and of itself constitutes voter fraud, but does not prove that Gore would have won since there is no record (that I can find) of how many of these people tried to vote (at least some did as they were listed as plaintiffs in the NAACP lawsuit). Note: I cam across something saying 1100 with 90% being Gore votes but I'm not sure where this number came from (same place as the 8,000 number?). Certainly that would be enough to have cost Gore the election, but not the worst of what happened, just the best documented.

2) The voter scrub list consisted of almost entirely democrats and half of the list were blacks and other minorities. Florida's voter rolls are one of the few states that track both race and party affiliation with the registration. Choicepoint admitted that race was used as a "match criteria" for the illegal name removal.

3) DBT, the division of ChoicePoint that created the felon lists was paid $2.3 million/year to do so, replacing the previous company that was paid $5700/year. ChoicePoint was also declared by Forbes to be the winner in the war against terrorism as the government is rewarding them with many lucrative contracts to track data on citizens.

4) Under court orders to restore these illegally purged voters Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush claimed that they could not restore these people's right to vote before the 2002 election in which Jeb won re-election as governor (the first ever to do so in Florida) and Katherine Harris was elected to congress. 2002 featured numerous voting outages and computer problems that dwarfed the 2000 elections in everything but national importance. Katherine Harris was secretary of State until Aug 5, 2002, only 3 months before the 2002 elections.

5) Statistical anomalies from the 2000 presidential election show that blacks were much more likely to have their votes not counted (numbers range from 4 times more likely to 10 times more likely). Jeb Bush shrugged this off saying it was not his fault if "come people" didn't know how to operate the machines properly (or something to that effect, I'll find the quote later) and Ted Koppel's "investigation" also concluded that Blacks were not well educated and mdae mistakes that white's hadn't made. In the counties with the highest number of blacks and other minotrities 1 in 8 votes was not counted; in the whitest counties only 1 in 100 was not counted.

6) In Gadsden County, one of the counties with a large black and minority population, 1 in 8 votes was not counted in the 2000 election but after replacing their white election chief with a black one in the 2002 elections only 1 in 500 votes was not counted.

7) One type of voting machine (the optical machines) in heavy use in Florida can be set to notify users if their ballots contained stray marks that would invalidate them. Reports from Florida and some investigation (namely from Greg Palast) turned up that this feature was turned off in the counties with large numbers of uncounted votes (that is, black counties) and turned on in counties with small numbers of uncounted votes (that is white counties).

8) There were approximately 175,000 uncounted votes that came primarily from counties with black and minority populations. This is where Gore really lost out, but it is difficult to know by how much. Accounts from people involved in "categorizing" these votes have stated that they are overwhelmingly easy to decipher the intent, and the intent was to vote for Gore.

Ok, some thoughts. Jame, you throw the cost/benefit thing around a lot and I think it's mistaken in many cases because we are not always talking about rational people and we are certainly not always talking about ethical people. Besides, it's naοve to think that these people are acting in a way that they themselves see as irrational. We have to take it a step further than that. But, as other have pointed out, the many ways in which the 2000 and 2002 elections were rigged benefitted those doing the rigging trememendously. So what was their thinking? Well, they knew that they could get away with it, so jail time never factored in to the equation (remember, the Bushes have never gone to jail for any of their felonies). Afterall, if they had failed no one would have cared (if Gore had won tennessee for example). It's difficult to speculate what would have happened if Gore had gotten a slim margin more votes in Florida. One reason is because those running the election had no intention of seeing that happen, no matter how many votes Gore got, Bush was going to be announced the winner. Two, assuming for some irrational reason Gore had been annouced the winner than yes we would have seen the republicans tie up the court system; and they wouldn't have had to do it for long because the Florida legislature was willing to certify that the electoral votes go to Bush anyhow (let's not forget that). Also, you stated, "how would they know it would be close" and my thought is that obviously they didn't think it would be close, and hence the massive number of steps taken well ahead of time. It wasn't about tipping the scales a little; it was about delivering florida to the republicans at any and all costs. That's why ChoicePoint was given the contract in 1999. This wasn't some out of the blue let's steal a few votes here and there. This was we must win this state whatever it takes and we cannot and will not get caught. One could see that as the overwhelming ideology of polititians and ceo's these days. They know there are no penalties so they do whatever will get them more money and power. Who was the last CEO to go to prison? Who was the last politician?

Now James does have a good point that if there had not been voter fraud would people still be claiming it if the vote was close. PErhaps, but I won't waste time with what appears to me to be merely an academic execrcise. Afterall, Katherine Harris admitted to illegally purging voters. Even if it hadn't cost Gore the election (although I think it did) it is still voter fraud so any argument about what might have happened seems a little to theoretical. It only makes sense for a person who doesn't believe that Katherine Harris' admission to illegally purging voters does not consitute fraud, and frankly I have a really hard time wrapping my mind around that rationale.

In any case, I hate to keep bringing this up in these threads (maybe I should write an article about voter fraud in 2000 and 2002) to discuss there. I just strongly believe at the moment that the democrats are going to win big in 2004 (not that a lot can't happen to change that) and the thing we need to be watching for are the things we've seen in the last 2 elections with regard to the control of the voting process (who can vote, how they vote, who counts the votes, how the votes are counted, etc.). The republicans and their supporters (the wealthy elite anyway) are doing to well to give up power now; they are going to put up a fight and they don't see rigging an election as wrong. As Tom Delay said, "If you want to play in our revolution, you have to live by our rules."