Dover Bitch

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Spin the perv

Here's the difference between MSNBC and CNN: One of these news outlets seems interested in putting facts on their web page, the other puts GOP spin.

Those are the facts. This guy is sick and the GOP knew it. They were more interested in keeping it quiet than keeping kids safe.

But CNN chooses to put the Hastert-approved spin front and center:

Shocked! SHOCKED! How could he do this to us? We, the GOP leaders, we're the victims!

What a joke. No wonder CNN isn't really America's Most Trusted Name in News. They apparently don't think we can handle the facts. That's why they hire Glenn Beck and Bill Bennett. If it weren't for Jack Cafferty, there wouldn't be a reason to ever watch that network.

Unless you like to be reminded every night at 6 p.m. ET that Mexico wants to reclaim Aztlan.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

You're a moron

Some of DB's favorite quotes from pervert Mark Foley (R-FL):

"I would rather be called a chicken than a moron." -- Jan. 23, 2002

"Mr. Speaker, I rise in outrage over a reported deal to pay the runaway bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, half a million dollars." -- June 17, 2005

"The December bombing of Iraq occurred and the Administration told us it had to be done because Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, was fast approaching. They said we must attack now because if we don't, it would create an international incident.

What about Hanukkah, which was being celebrated at the time of our bombing in Iraq?" -- March 11, 1999

"President Bush recognizes that America faces serious energy shortages, so his administration is putting forward a comprehensive plan to protect consumers from fluctuating fuel costs using 21st-century technology to diversify our clean and affordable energy sources.

But what does Gray Davis do? He hires spin doctors at $30,000 a month paid for by the taxpayers to explain why his State is suffering. I am sure Governor Davis realizes this is an inappropriate use of tax dollars, considering he is sitting on $26 million in campaign cash.

This reminds me of another disaster, Mr. Governor, the Exxon Valdez. That is your administration." -- June 26, 2001

"It used to be that we tracked library books better than we do sex offenders, but this bill will even that score." -- July 25, 2006

"I urge the Senate to take up the House bill that was sent over in messages to help us rid this society of the scourge of child pornography, sexual exploitation, child molestation and finally get tough with the people that commit these heinous crimes against our most vulnerable. We have sent it overwhelmingly by voice vote to the other Chamber.

I urge Senator Frist to bring his Chamber together to pass this vital legislation so we can continue to crack down on these monsters." -- March 16, 2006

UPDATE: Have to add this one about Bill Clinton:

"It's vile. It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction." -- Sept. 12, 1998


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Attack everybody

ThinkProgress reports today:

Fox News chief Roger Ailes said Wednesday that President Clinton's response to Chris Wallace's question about going after bin Laden represents "an assault on all journalists." "If you can't sit there and answer a question from a professional, mild-mannered, respectful reporter like Chris Wallace, then the hatred for journalists is showing," Ailes said.

How interesting. In the annals of television history what example of a politician "assaulting a journalist" could possibly compare with Clinton's recent interview?

The gold standard, of course, was when Vice President George H. W. Bush went after Dan Rather in 1988.

DAN RATHER: I don't want to be argumentative, Mr. Vice President.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH: You do, Dan.

RATHER: No... no, sir, I don't.

BUSH: This is not a great night, because I want to talk about why I want to be president, why those 41 percent of the people are supporting me. And I don't think it's fair...

RATHER: And Mr. Vice President, if these questions are...

BUSH: judge my whole career by a rehash on Iran. How would you like it if I judged your career by those seven minutes when you walked off the set in New York?

RATHER: Well, Mr...

BUSH: ... Would you like that?

RATHER: Mr. Vice President...

BUSH: I have respect for you, but I don't have respect for what you're doing here tonight.

Not only did Bush evade the issue of Iran-Contra, he forever shed his "wimp" image and turned a large part of the nation against "rude" questions from journalists. Even other journalists sided with Bush. Mike Wallace, father of Clinton's target, Chris, said "the style was wrong. Dan lost his cool."

In his book "Attack the Messenger," Craig Crawford writes about the incident and how it signified a milestone in political history -- the reporter became the enemy. But Crawford also enlightens us to another detail...

"How would you like it if I judged your career by those seven minutes when you walked off the set in New York?"

It was not an offhand remark. It was on a cue card.

Bush's campaign manager, Roger Ailes -- a burly force of nature who would go on to revolutionize television news at the helm of FOX News Channel -- was holding the cue card. And he had to write the card in fist-sized letters.

Longtime CBS camera operator George Christian, who ran the camera on Bush that day, was surprised to see an aide prompting answers with a cue card during a live news interview. "I had never seen that before," Christian said.

Christian said that CBS producers instructed him to place his camera unusually far away from Bush for the interview. Producers expected that the vice president might walk out. They wanted their camera operator to be able to air any walkout live on the broadcast.

Ailes stood next to the camera operator, some thirty feet away from Bush. At the moment he wanted Bush to go on the attack, he held up a poster with a handwritten message. "NOW ASK," the homemade cue card began. It went on to prompt Bush to refer to an incident when Rather walked off his own set.

Never before has there been such a prime example of "hatred for journalists" and it was penned by Ailes, himself. But now that his own stooge has been on the receiving end, here's his big stand for principle.

Not buying it, Roger.


Why are we proud?

President Eisenhower, Nov. 23, 1953

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Schultz, ladies and gentlemen:

For such an award, from such a group, I shall ever be grateful. No matter how unworthy any individual may be, no matter how much he may appreciate his own shortcomings in attaining the ideals in which he himself believes, it is still a moment of the most intense satisfaction when some organization standing as it does-as this one does--for the great human rights, chooses to present its annual emblem to that individual. So I thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, for many years I have been served by able staffs, in war and in peace. I have a staff now of which I am intensely proud. It is composed of individuals who are capable, efficient, and they are dedicated to my welfare and to my success. They are always anxious that I do well, no matter where I appear. And tonight was no exception. I have been briefed and briefed and briefed. I have heard more lectures on civil liberties, the people who have stood for them, the dangers to them; and what I should say than you can imagine.

Now, from the beginning I was aware of one thing--possibly two, I should say. First: any man who has been served by staffs, no matter how dedicated, must learn when to say no.

And secondly: I knew that I was appearing before a body of experts, and I was not going to talk about something of which they knew a lot more than I do.

And so, with your indulgence, I want to tell you about an idea that came to me as I was sitting here this evening. When I saw an array of artists appearing on the stage, there suddenly came back to me an old Fourth of July statement--all the speeches that men used to make on the Fourth of July. Now I am not going to take up your time with the two hours that they used to spend in getting to the only punch line that they had: "I am proud to be an American!"

As you looked at that array of artists, weren't you proud that a man's ability, or a lady's ability, entitled them to appear before such a body as this?

Now, why are we proud? Are we proud because we have the richest acres in the world? I have heard that the Nile Valley is one of the richest places in the world; now it has a great nation, but do you want to give up your citizenship for that of a nation that has merely the richest ground, the richest minerals underneath its soil? I have heard that the European annual production on its acres is about double that of ours, by reason of their devoted work--hand work on their farms.

But we don't want to be citizens of Europe. We don't want to go any place, even if their buildings are older than ours, or their culture is older, or they are more sophisticated. We love America.

Why are we proud? We are proud, first of all, because from the beginning of this Nation, a man can walk upright, no matter who he is, or who she is. He can walk upright and meet his friend—or his enemy; and he does not fear that because that enemy may be in a position of great power that he can be suddenly thrown in jail to rot there without charges and with no recourse to justice. We have the habeas corpus act, and we respect it.

I was raised in a little town of which most of you have never heard. But in the West it is a famous place. It is called Abilene, Kansas. We had as our marshal for a long time a man named Wild Bill Hickok. If you don't know anything about him, read your Westerns more. Now that town had a code, and I was raised as a boy to prize that code.

It was: meet anyone face to face with whom you disagree. You could not sneak up on him from behind, or do any damage to him, without suffering the penalty of an outraged citizenry. If you met him face to face and took the same risks he did, you could get away with almost anything, as long as the bullet was in the front.

And today, although none of you has the great fortune, I think, of being from Abilene, Kansas, you live after all by that same code in your ideals and in the respect you give to certain qualities. In this country, if someone dislikes you, or accuses you, he must come up in front. He cannot hide behind the shadow. He cannot assassinate you or your character from behind, without suffering the penalties an outraged citizenry will impose.

Now, you know, I must go back for a moment to what I said awhile ago. I picked up my own subject as I came here. The only responsibility I have is to watch some individual in front of me, who has cards after I have used up all my time. I just notice he says go ahead, it's all right.

I would not want to sit down this evening without urging one thing: if we are going to continue to be proud that we are Americans, there must be no weakening of the code by which we have lived; by the right to meet your accuser face to face, if you have one; by your right to go to the church or the synagogue or even the mosque of your own choosing; by your right to speak your mind and be protected in it.

Ladies and gentlemen, the things that make us proud to be Americans are of the soul and of the spirit. They are not the jewels we wear, or the furs we buy, the houses we live in, the standard of living, even, that we have. All these things are wonderful to the esthetic and to the physical senses.

But let us never forget that the deep things that are American are the soul and the spirit. The Statue of Liberty is not tired, and not because it is made of bronze. It is because no matter what happens, here the individual is dignified because he is created in the image of his God.

Let us not forget it.

I am not going to try to be spectacular and ask you all to rise in imitation of the Allegiance to the Flag, and repeat the old Fourth of July statements, as I once did when I was 6 years old in the McKinley campaign. A good Republican won that year. We all said, after the speaker, "I am proud to be an American."

But if I could leave with you one thought, you not only will repeat it every day of your life, but you will say, "I will do my part to make it always true for my children and my grandchildren."

Thank you.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Just say no

"If we weren't fighting the terrorists in Baghdad, we'd be fighting them in Boston, New York, Washington, L.A." -- House Majority Leader John Boehner, on "Hardball," Sept. 27, 2006

No, if we weren't grinding away lives and resources in Baghdad, you know what we'd be doing in Boston, New York, Washington and Los Angeles? We'd be welcoming our troops home and congratulating them for capturing Osama bin Laden and kicking al-Qaeda's ass up and down Afghanistan.

UPDATE: And Saddam would be contained with weapons inspectors making sure we knew he wasn't reconstituting his WMD programs. And the United States would enjoy the respect and cooperation of the entire civilized world.

In short, we'd be safer and stronger.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Lying Duck

What a lying little mallard Chris Wallace is. This is how Wallace describes his interview with Bill Clinton:

We started off fine, talking about the initiatives and his efforts and then I said, because I've gotten a lot of emails, "People want to know why didn't you do more to bring bin Laden to justice? Why didn't you, in your eight years in office, go after al-Qaeda?" And I gotta say, Brian... and you figure he would have been prepared to deal with that... he went off. He just... he wanted to go back to Somalia in '93 and the USS Cole.

He just wanted to go back, eh? Let's look at the actual question Wallace asked:

When we announced that you were going to be on FOX News Sunday, I got a lot of email from viewers, and I got to say I was surprised most of them wanted me to ask you this question. Why didn't you do more to put bin Laden and al-Qaeda out of business when you were President. There's a new book out which I suspect you've read called "The Looming Tower." And it talks about how the fact that when you pulled troops out of Somalia in 1993, bin Laden said 'I have seen the frailty and the weakness and the cowardice of US troops.' Then there was the bombing of the embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole.

Wallace asked him specifically about those events and is acting surprised about the fact that Clinton answered him. As if only an unprepared lunatic would discuss the events Wallace asked about. He actually brought the Cole up a second time halfway through the interview. Perhaps it did surprise him to learn that if you actually ask somebody about the Cole, you might get an answer. Or it might surprise him to learn that there are people who aren't paid shills and when you ask them about something, they won't talk about something entirely different. Some people don't need to dissemble, Chris.

Wallace also tries to frame the interview as though Clinton has some sort of paranoia:

He says this is all basically an effort by right-wing critics to diminish his administration and that George W. Bush isn't held to the same account. That he did a heck of a lot better job in the two-to-three months after the Cole than George Bush did in the eight months that he had after the Cole as president before 9/11 happened.

What does Wallace mean by "He says this is all?" What is "this?" It sounds like Clinton is freaking about a conspiracy when he was talking specifically about the "context" of the questions coming out of Wallace's smirky little grill. Here's the first thing out of Clinton's mouth on the subject:

OK, let's talk about it. I will answer all of those things on the merits, but I want to talk about the context of which this... arises. I'm being asked this on the FOX network... ABC just had a right-wing conservative on "The Path to 9/11" falsely claim that it was falsely based on the 9/11 Commission Report with three things asserted against me that are directly contradicted by the 9/11 Commission Report. I think it's very interesting that all the conservative Republicans who now say that I didn't do enough, claimed that I was obsessed with bin Laden.

As if Clinton weren't justified in wondering why out of his entire media tour only FOX was asking him why he failed to capture bin Laden? The same FOX network that falsely reported that the ratings for "The Path to 9/11" were excellent.

Finally, Wallace tosses out this line of crap:

And the interesting thing is that I was mindful of the 15 minutes and the 50-50 rule and I kept on trying to bring him back. He wanted to get into it and we ended up doing 22 minutes.

I guess that's why he said this towards the end of the interview:

I know we're over but can I ask you two political questions. Let's talk some politics.

He certainly was mindful of it all. But he's lying when he says that it was Clinton who was taking the interview off the topic of the Clinton Global Initiative. He's just flat-out lying.

These jokers at FOX News cannot even report the truth about a completely-recorded situation they themselves were in only a day before. It's hard to understand why any Democrat -- except maybe Joe Lieberman -- would ever agree to spend half a second talking to the stooges at FOX.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Friends of friends

Joe Scarborough, on the Left hating Bush along with Chavez and Ahmedinejad:

But regardless of how much you hate George Bush, I must warn you again that your anger over Katrina, WMD's, Joe Wilson, NSA wiretaps, yellowcake uranium, Iraq, Sam Alito and the 2000 Florida recount does not change the fact that Iran has been the epicenter of international terrorism since 1979. Theirs is a brutal theocracy that detests Western freedoms, disdains women's rights, punishes free speech, hates our allies and sees America as their mortal enemy.

That has nothing to do with George Bush. They hated America long before Dubya gave up the strong stuff. They took our hostages when Jimmy Carter was president. They started their nuclear program when Bill Clinton was president. They will keep trying to destroy the Great Satan when Hillary Clinton is president.

Tyrants running Venezuela and Iran may hate George W. Bush as much as you do. But they hate you just as much. It's one time when the enemy of your enemy is not your friend.

Don't give in to hate.

Yeah, thanks for the warning. Actually, what this forth-generation American would like you to do is warn Rush Limbaugh, whom you played on your show tonight, that just because Chavez hates Bush that doesn't mean DB gives a crap about Chavez. And the fact that Ahmedinejad hates Bush doesn't mean our anger about the direction of this country is illegitimate.

Let's get one thing straight, Joe. Your list of gripes there doesn't cover half of it. It's actually missing the biggest source of outrage of all.

As an American, DB has strong opinions about a number of important topics. How to treat people around the world. How to treat people here in America. How to treat the environment. How to provide educational resources to America's youth. How our privacy should be respected. How our Constitution should be respected. How our personal medical decisions should be respected. How our religious views should be respected. How our taxes should be spent. How and when it is necessary to use force. Etc., etc., etc...

The problem isn't that people like DB are in the minority in Washington D.C., Joe. We're completely cemented out of our representative government. I don't think you have any idea what that feels like. There is not a single issue, even a core American issue like whether or not to torture somebody, that is open to any kind of debate in which DB's values can be considered.

The people in charge of the Republican Party control every aspect of the government. They came to D.C. with legislation already written. They had plans already approved. Our input is irrelevant. They only care about their "base." There is, quite frankly, nothing DB can say to the GOP to have any influence in the direction of this country anymore. Period.

Do you have any idea how that feels? No, you can't. And so you have no idea why someone like DB can have so much anger at Bush. Forget about stealing an election. He stole our voices. He stole our country.

Over 59 million people voted for John Kerry in 2004. On the night he won the election, Bush promised us he would "do all I can do to deserve your trust." Has the federal government tried to accomplish anything since then that would be an honest effort to reflect the values of those 59 million Americans? It's hard to even imagine that we'll ever have a say in anything again. If we ever do, by then the country and planet will be unrecognizable.

DB is not alone. There are millions who don't understand how we woke up one day to find out that we no longer had any voice in America. And while the GOP Senators and White House compromise on torture, with no input from the opposition party, blowhards like Ann Coulter, who say we should be killed for even saying anything, and theocrats like Jerry Falwell, who say we are to blame for 9/11, are celebrated at parties with the Attorney General and White House Press Secretary.

So screw Chavez. Screw Ahmedinejad. Screw Limbaugh, Gonzales, Snow and Coulter. Screw Osama bin Laden, who should've been rotting in hell for the last three years. Screw anybody who thinks it's just splendid that tens of millions of Americans don't have any say in what happens to this country.

And screw the people who are running it into the ground.

But thanks again for the warning, Joe.

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Branson Day

DB declares today "Branson Day" because Richard Branson really stepped up in the battle against global warming.

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Worst Ad of the Year

While DB was in Connecticut last week, this ad for Nancy Johnson appeared during the Webb-Allen debate on "Meet the Press."

It is the most stunningly dishonest, fear-mongering and loathsome political ad this blogger has seen all year. Even worse than the sophomoric Vernon Robinson ads.

Absolutely shameless. And the real problem is that the people in the room with DB, intelligent CT residents, were not all aware of the blatant falsehoods Johnson is putting out there.

Johnson, we try to keep it civil around here, but you're a piece of crap.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thanks, Connecticut

DB was off in Connecticut last week, where the hospitality was great and the allergies greater. At least the trip ended before the U.N. took over everything in the NYC area and screwed up all the traffic and flights.

Here's a thought for the day:

Even though there's terrible violence and instability in Iraq, the president can "imagine" how much worse it would be if we were to change course. So we need to keep our troops in harm's way and continue throwing money away. We must do this because it is imperitive that we maintain the fragile situation that is as close to peace as we could ever hope to have.

Even though Lebanon was being bombed back to the 18th Century, Israelis were being killed by rockets and the entire conflict was likely to end in a matter of weeks, Bush could not call for a cease-fire. The people who were going to be killed in those last few days had to die. The president could not take the zero-risk position of uttering a few words on their behalf because it would not be a "real" or "lasting" peace and there was no way we could settle for maintaining a fragile situation that is as close to peace as we could ever hope to have.

Why was this administration unwilling to say one sentence in the hopes of attaining a fragile and imperfect form of peace in the Israel-Lebanon conflict, but at the same time, willing to spend billions of dollars and risk American lives for exactly that in Iraq?

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Down under

Australian Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane on Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth:"

"There are three places I do not go for advice on climate change," fumed Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, dismissing the film in which Gore singles out Australia as trailing the rest of the world on climate change.

"One of them is to unsuccessful candidates for the US presidency who cannot even convince their own people that they are right. The second place is the movie," he said, adding that the third was the Australian opposition.

Votes for Al Gore in 2000: 51,003,926
Population of Australia: 20,555,300

What a dumbass. Plus, attacking the messenger(s) and refusing to even see the film are such intellectually courageous positions to take, aren't they?

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Worth reading

Too busy to blog today, but here's two interesting and depressing items worthy of attention:

Top military leaders insist new U.S. strategy is desperately needed in Iraq:

Though it's far more difficult today because of lost opportunities, Zinni said, if the administration acted fast, a better outcome could be pulled out of the flames. To get Iraq right, he said, would take five to seven years, "and it means a much more comprehensive and well-planned set of programs to build political, economic, social and security institutions."

Even retired Army Col. Larry Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to Gen. Colin Powell at the State Department in President Bush's first term and now an outspoken critic of the administration's policies in Iraq, said there's still a way to succeed.

"First, you have to think big," Wilkerson said. "Not stupid big, the way Cheney and Bush and Rumsfeld do, but smart big the way Teddy Roosevelt used to do."


Most of the officers, however, agreed that the administration has relied too heavily on the military and shortchanged economic and political efforts in Iraq.

And then there's You wouldn’t catch me dead in Iraq. I won't pull a quote from it because the whole thing is just so disturbing. Don't read it if you feel like getting happy.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Futurist Bush

Who knows what historians will say?

"But I read three histories of George Washington last year. The first President of the United States is still being analyzed by historians, which oughtta say to this president and future president: "Do what you think is right and eventually historians will figure out whether it made sense or not." -- George W. Bush, Aug. 29, 2006

The preznit do.

"If we don't uphold our duty to support those who are desirous to live in liberty, 50 years from now, history will look back on our time with unforgiving clarity and demand to know why we did not act. I'm not going to allow that to happen." -- George W. Bush, on Iraq, Sept. 5, 2006


Saturday, September 02, 2006

JFK on secrets

jurassicpork has posted a YouTube video in which JFK delivers the speech DB yearns to hear from anyone with authority today. The images in the video detract from the speech, which really needs no augmentation.

Give the speech a listen.

UPDATE: Might as well add Harry Truman's sentiments to this post.

UPDATE II: Here's an excerpt from JFK's speech, addressing the media:

It is the unprecedented nature of this challenge that also gives rise to your second obligation--an obligation which I share. And that is our obligation to inform and alert the American people--to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need, and understand them as well--the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program and the choices that we face.

No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I .am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.

I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers--I welcome it. This Administration intends to be candid about its errors; for, as a wise man once said: "An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it." We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors; and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.

Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed-and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian law-maker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment--the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution--not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants"--but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.

This means greater coverage and analysis of international news--for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security--and we intend to do it.


Big week in election law

Of course, the biggest and scariest election news this week came from California, where a San Diego judge decided that the courts have no authority to stop the federal governement -- the House, specifically -- from swearing in anybody they think deserves a seat, regardless of the certitude of a State election for that seat.

This conclusion is disturbing, to say the least. By this logic, Denny Hastert and his party members in Congress could swear in anybody they see fit, even if a Democrat wins in a landslide. Politically, that could probably never happen, but what kind of democracy allows representatives from other districts, counties and states to override the wishes of a community to pick their own representative?

It may come as news to the voters of America that their Courts are powerles to "revise even the most arbitrary and unfair action of the legislative department…." The Court could have (as it was requested to do) assessed the Constitutionality of the premature action by the House given Roudebush v. Hartke, a US Supreme Court case stating that states have the right to perform the count, so therefore they have the right to perform a recount as well. But here again, the early swearing in was the defendants end-around this US Supreme Court case, as well as its end around democracy, the San Diego Superior Court, the rights of the contestants, and the requirement that all parts of the Constitution be upheld, not just Art. I, sec. 5.

Whether or not an appeal from this particular case is the vehicle, the contestants will fight on harder than ever before, because it is now clear that there are powerful forces in our country willing to exercise raw power to terminate elections.

Given the undeniable nature of the power grab that took place in San Diego's 50th Congressional District, the entire nature of the debate about the question of whether any elections officials might ever take advantage of less open methods of modifying or terminating election results via the opportunity of secret vote counting provided by electronic voting machines seems clearer than ever before.

Unless the people reassert their right, consistent with the 92% result in the recent Zogby poll, to supervise elections and obtain information regarding them, democracy itself will be lost.

There's an interesting battle going on in Alabama, where "Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Robert Vance Jr. ordered voter registrars in Alabama counties to register ex-felons until 'the Alabama Legislature passes, and the governor signs into law, legislation specifically identifying which felonies involve moral turpitude.' "

"Now I feel like somebody," the Dothan man said of being able to vote again. "I am a citizen and can really make a difference. I feel like a whole person now."

Rev. Kenneth Glasgow, state coordinator for the Alabama Alliance to Restore the Vote, said this decision is monumental – he called it the new Civil Rights movement.

It didn't take long for a circuit judge to order a stay on that ruling "until after the Nov. 7 general election and until the Alabama Supreme Court has a chance to review the issue."

This will be interesting to watch. Other interesting news about voters' rights... Two victories over voter supression.

On Aug. 28, a federal court, ruling in League of Women Voters of Florida v. Cobb blocked a Florida law that "requires third-party voter registration groups to meet new artificially short deadlines for the return of forms, and imposes hefty fines under a strict liability scheme."

And yesterday, a federal district judge blocked a similar Ohio law from taking effect.

A federal court in Cleveland blocked enforcement of an Ohio state law enacted earlier this year that would have imposed crippling requirements on voter registration groups. The plaintiffs, civic and religious organizations and voting rights groups that have been working in Ohio through many election cycles without government interference, say that the law had dramatically curtailed their efforts to help eligible voters get on the rolls.

"This is a win for democracy, and coming on the heels of the similar decision in Florida on Monday, the beginning of a national trend of courts rejecting unreasonable barriers to voter registration," stated Wendy Weiser, deputy director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and co-counsel to the plaintiffs in both the Ohio and Florida cases.

Ohio's notorious Secretary of State Ken Black well is also getting sued now (King Lincoln Bronzville Neighborhood Association v. Blackwell, PDF) for civil rights violations.

Ohio State's Moritz College of Law has good roundups of Florida and Ohio's situations.

It's hard to keep up with all these issues when we're fighting two wars, our leaders are questioning our patriotism and thousands are mourning the one-year anniversary of their government leaving them on their own during an epic natural disaster.

UPDATE: Oh yeah, it could always be worse.


Balancing competing agendas

Not a big surprise, but always refreshing to hear it from an insider... LAist Interview: Daniel Hernandez:

Why did you move from the Los Angeles Times to the LA Weekly? How are the jobs similar and different?

I owe The Times lots. They taught me so much. They gave me freedom and room to work, and pushed me to push myself. Everyday the people there amazed me, their talent and drive. But The Times has a very clear, very rigid tradition on how to report the news.

Shortly after I got there, I started having these long, tortured thought sessions with myself about my participation in the MSM. I saw how the people and places the paper chose to cover were automatically political decisions because for every thing you chose to cover there is something you chose to not cover. I started realizing that the mainstream style on reporting the news that most papers employ is not really concerned with depicting the truth, but concerned primarily with balancing lots of competing agendas and offending the least amount of interests as possible.

I saw how so much was looked at from certain assumptions and subtexts, and a very narrow cultural view. When I raised questions about such things, I was told we were writing for a "mainstream reader," which I quickly figured out is basically a euphemism for a middle-aged, middle-class white registered Democrat homeowner in the Valley. From where I stand today, I had very little in common with this "mainstream reader" and I didn't care to be in this person's service. I wanted to talk across to people, not up or down to people. I had to get out. So I thought, why not experiment? Try different forms? Laurie Ochoa and the editors at the LA Weekly said, 'Go ahead, abandon rote objectivity and embrace the subjective lens through which we all see the world—Just report it all out.' It was ON.

The jobs are basically the same: go out there, report the story, think about it a lot, write, turn it in, get edited, learn from it, and start all over. It's been a real challenge. The Weekly is more challenging. At The Times I was just challenging the institutional and cultural barriers of an ultimately very conservative place. That was exhausting, and not very fulfilling. At the Weekly, there's all this freedom, and that means you have to be more careful and more thoughtful.

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