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Partial Summary of Evidence for Electronic Vote Switching that Swung US Elections from 2002 to 2006

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 08:23 PM
Original message
Partial Summary of Evidence for Electronic Vote Switching that Swung US Elections from 2002 to 2006
With the proliferation of electronic voting machines in the United States, concern over their accuracy increased steeply in 2004, especially with awareness of substantial discrepancies between national exit polls and the official vote count in the 2004 Presidential election. In that election, John Kerry led in the final Edison-Mitofsky national exit polls by 3.0 %, despite the fact that George Bush won the official vote count by 2.5% an exit poll discrepancy (henceforth referred to as red shift, to indicate official vote counts in favor of the Republican candidate, as compared to exit polls) of 5.5%, a result that could happen only one in a million times by chance. The red shift was especially large in the crucial swing states of Florida (4.9%), Ohio (6.7%) and Pennsylvania (6.5%). All in all, 22 states demonstrated red shifts in excess of the statistical margin of error and not a single state demonstrated an exit poll discrepancy in the other direction (blue shift) beyond the statistical margin of error. Consequently, these surprising results generated much concern about the possibility of systemic nation-wide election fraud.

That concern was magnified by the fact that votes were counted electronically in the good majority of precincts throughout the United States in 2004, as well as by the fact that for many of those precincts no paper trail existed to potentially verify the electronically produced official vote count. In essence, voters simply had to accept on faith the assertion that the machines that counted their votes were programmed to ensure the accuracy of the vote counts and that those machines were not subsequently hacked to corrupt the vote counts. However, subsequent events and analyses seriously threw those assertions into question.

With crucial 2008 elections approaching and with methods of voting in most jurisdictions yet to be decided, I believe it is important to be able to argue the point that electronic voting presents more than just a theoretical danger to our democracy. With that in mind, here is a partial accounting of substantial evidence of stolen national elections, mediated by inaccurate (and probably fraudulent) electronic voting machines, from 2002 to 2006:

2002 Senate and Governor race in Georgia

Andrew Gumbel, in Steal this Vote, describes the 2002 Senate and Governor races in Georgia:

On June 10, 2002 six tabulation machines and a touch-screen voting terminal were stolen. The theft was also an extremely serious security breach, because a technically adept hacker who gained access to the tabulation machines and the associated GEMS election management software could effortlessly and undetectably alter the outcome of an election not only in Georgia but anywhere in the United States where Diebold machines were used.

The November 2002 elections in Georgia were screwy in more ways than one. The state had its share of machine malfunctions Most troublesome, however, were the results of the races for governor and U.S. Senate, which suggested wild double-digit swings in favor of the Republican candidates from the final pre-election opinion polls. Sonny Perdue became the first Republican governor to be elected since Reconstruction, thanks to a sixteen point swing away from the Democratic incumbent, Roy Barnes. And Saxby Chambliss, the colorless Republican Senate candidate, pulled off an upset victory against the popular Vietnam War veteran Max Cleland, representing a nine- to twelve-point swing But it wasnt just the opinion polls that were at variance with the result. The voting pattern was also drastically different from Georgias open primary in 74 counties in the Democrat-heavy south of the state, Chambliss improved on his own standing by a whopping 22 points. Were these statistical anomalies, or was something fishier going on? In the absence of a paper backup, or of any hint of transparency from state officials, the question was for the most part unanswerable.

Testimony of Clint Curtis

In October 2000 Clint Curtis was a computer programmer and life-long Republican who worked for the Florida based Yang Enterprises, Inc. (YEI). According to Curtis sworn testimony to House Judiciary Committee Democrats in December 2004, while working for YEI he wrote a prototype for a computer program that would switch votes from one candidate to another, at the request of Republican Congressman Tom Feeney in October of 2000. Believing at the time that the purpose of Feeneys request was to better understand how Democrats might plan to commit election fraud, Curtis complied with the request to write the program and presented it to his employer, Mrs. Li Woan Yang.

According to Curtis sworn affidavit Ms. Yang responded to his presentation of the program by saying You dont understand, in order to get the contract we have to hide the manipulation in the source code. This program is needed to control the vote in south Florida. Curtis testified that he believed that the computer program he wrote, or a similar one, was used in the 2004 presidential election to switch votes.

In his affidavit, Curtis also describes a June 2003 meeting with Raymond Lemme, an official from the Florida Inspector Generals Office who was charged with investigating Curtis earlier allegations. Lemme told Curtis that he (Lemme) had tracked the corruption all the way to the top, and that the story would break shortly. But we will probably never know what information Lemme had obtained, for he was found dead in a Valdosta, Georgia, Knights Inn motel room two weeks later, July 1, 2003, his arm slashed twice with a razor blade near his left elbow.

Reports of vote switching from the 2004 national Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS)

On Election Day 2004 the national Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS) received numerous reports from voters from all over the country with the complaint of attempting to vote for one presidential candidate on an electronic voting machine, where their vote was switched to another candidate. An analysis of these reports showed that complaints of electronic vote switching incidents that favored Bush outnumbered those that favored Kerry by a ratio of 12 to 1. Furthermore, complaints from the 13 swing states outnumbered complaints from all the other states by a ratio of 9 to 1. And, 48% of the reports that favored Bush originated from South Florida the part of the country that Clint Curtis noted in his sworn testimony.

Undercounted votes in the 2004 New Mexico Presidential race

An extensive analysis of the 2004 Presidential vote in New Mexico demonstrated serious problems with electronic voting, with much higher undervote rates in Hispanic and Native American precincts than in Anglo precincts. In precincts using direct record electronic (DRE) voting in 2004, Hispanic and Native American precincts demonstrated undervote rates (for President) of 6.3% and 7.6%, respectively, compared to only 2.2% in Anglo precincts. In marked contrast, the average undervote rate was under 2% for each of the three ethnic groups in precincts using paper ballots in 2004, with no substantial difference by ethnic group. And, the undervote rate for governor in New Mexico in 2006, when all precincts used paper ballots, was under 2% for each of the three ethnic groups, again with no substantial difference by ethnic group. It is also important to note that if the DRE precincts in 2004 had had undervote rates comparable to the paper ballot precincts, John Kerry would have won New Mexico in 2004.

Nation-wide red shifts in the 2006 House of Representatives races

The official nation-wide result for House races on Election Day 2006 showed a Democratic margin over their Republican opponents of 7.6%. Comparing that to a nationwide exit poll democratic margin of 11.5%, the difference between the official count and the results predicted by the exit polls was nearly 4%, just a little bit less than the red shift of 5.5% in the 2004 Presidential election.

The 4% red shift in the 2006 mid-terms if that represents election fraud was not nearly enough for Republicans to maintain control in either the House or the Senate. But in 2004, it would have been enough to throw the 2004 Presidential election to George Bush in the nation-wide popular vote, as well as in Ohio, where Bush won his electoral vote victory. As described by Jonathon Simon in Landslide Denied, the 2006 exit poll discrepancy was far beyond the margin of statistical error. And, it is also important to note that the calculated red shift when comparing official 2006 House results with exit polls is almost identical to the calculated red shift when comparing official House results with pre-election polls.

Undercounted votes in the 2006 Florida House District 13 race

If the 4% red shift noted above is due to electronic vote switching, that does not mean that any significant portion of that vote switching would necessarily have been detected. The vote counts in precincts that use DRE machines are determined by secret computer programs that produce vote counts that are unverifiable.

Nevertheless, as explained by Paul Krugman, the election in Florida Congressional District 13, which was won by the Republican candidate by 369 votes, was almost certainly determined by faulty (whether intentional or not) DRE voting machines. In Sarasota County, which used ES & S voting machines, 15% of voters did not register a vote for the House race, compared to 2.2% to 5.3% of voters who did not register a vote for the House race in neighboring counties. That amounted to almost 18,000 ballots that did not register a vote for the House race in Sarasota County. Furthermore, those who failed to cast a vote in the House race were shown by their other votes to strongly favor Democrats.

Why did an excess of 15% of the voters voting on ES & S machines in Sarasota County fail to vote for a House candidate? The answer to that question can be ascertained from an interview of voters by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, which found that one third of voters couldnt find the House race on their ballot, and that 60% said that they did vote for a House candidate, but their vote didnt show up on their summary page.

Apparent hugely inaccurate vote count in the 2006 Florida House District 24 race

In the 2006 U.S. House election in Floridas 24th District, Tom Feeney defeated Clint Curtis by 16% of the vote, despite election eve polls that showed Feeney and Curtis to be in a statistical dead heat. An investigation into that election using door-to-door canvassing to interview voters demonstrated that Curtis received 12 to 24% more votes in every precinct canvassed than stated in the official election results. Sworn affidavits were used to document Curtis votes. In other words, Curtis research team was able to garner substantially more sworn affidavits far more than needed to swing the election from voters attesting that they voted for him than actual votes as counted by the electronic voting machines in the election.

What does this all mean?

It is very important to note that electronic vote switching on individual voting machines is by no means the only mechanism that Republicans have used to steal elections in recent years. Other mechanisms include miscounting of votes by central tabulators, voter registration fraud (i.e. illegal purging of voters), and the use of dirty tricks to suppress voter turnout. This post covers only electronic vote switching by individual voting machines.

Though electronic vote switching on individual voting machines is not the only mechanism for stealing elections it is certainly a very important one. Having to trust that electronic voting machines will count our votes accurately and fairly, even when there is no means of verifying whether they have done so, is not something that should be tolerated in a democracy period. Even so, with the future of our democracy on the line, it is very important, I believe, to be able to point to demonstrable evidence, beyond the potential for election fraud, that crucial national elections in our country actually have been stolen with the aid of electronic voting machines. The above noted thoroughly documented instances, though only a partial list, make a very strong case for that assertion. And it is worth noting that all documented instances of this type during the 21st Century have favored the Republican candidate.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. k/r n/t
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Wiley50 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. K&R for a very strong and well-written summary
hope folks will help get this one front page
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Thank you Wiley
It's there now. :)
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Ellipsis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. I love it when you make these compilations.
A well deserved K&R

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Thank you much btmlndfrmr
I love doing compilations because it helps me to put things in perspective.
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bjobotts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #10
23. You really did put it into perspective and it's scary.
I believe that unless a state can produce an actual ballot that can be verified then they must hold another vote if there is a big discrepancy between pre voting and exit polls. Last second "turn arounds" need to be independently validated. A shame that Republicans feel the need to steal elections to win. I've been paranoid every since learning that the person who designed the computer systems for .gov swears he will never work for a democrat. I disagree totally with privatizing our voting systems especially since the machines used to count votes cannot be checked or validated by neutral parties. Where there is too much opportunity for unchecked corruption to take place, it usually does.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. Those are all very good points
Our vote counts must be verifiable.

Privatization of voting in a democracy is an oxymoron. It's ridiculous. Especially when all the voting machine companies are owned by indivisuals with strong ties to the Republican Party. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. Don't forget those OHIO punch cards and the Kerry-Bush vote-switching
This goes a long way towards explaining the "red shift" in Ohio.

"In a subset of 166,953 votes, one of every 34 Ohio voters, the Kerry-Bush margin
shifts 6.15% when the population is sorted by outcomes of wrong-precinct voting."

The 2004 Ohio Presidential Election: Cuyahoga County Analysis
How Kerry Votes Were Switched to Bush Votes

In 2004, the Ohio Presidential voting results do not accurately reflect voter intentions. In Cuyahoga County, the election was flawed and the design appears to have been manipulated. At locations with several ballot orders in use, many votes were cast by voters crossing precincts, hence counted other than as intended. At precincts with the highest Kerry support, the percentage of uncounted votes is inexplicably high. The obvious inferenceintentional manipulation produced concentrated undercounting, cross-voting, and vote-switching in areas of highest Kerry supportcannot be ignored in the face of the evidence and statistics. The possibilty that ballots were switched to different precincts, post-voting to effect vote-switching, must also be considered.

Many individual ballots resulted in a vote-switch, a two-vote margin difference from the intended result. Switched-votes cast for Kerry and counted for Bush had twice the impact as their actual occurence, by each subtracting one from Kerry and adding one to Bush. Bush and Kerry votes also went uncounted as non-votes or were miscounted as minor candidate votes. A high percentage of all Cuyahoga County votes were cast at locations with multiple ballot orders. The manner in which precincts and ballot orders were combined increased the probability of a Kerry cross-vote being recorded as a Bush vote. Quantitative analyses of candidate votes and of non-vote percentages evidence the cross-voting and the patterns of cross-voting and vote-switching.
Highlights of the article are available in a PowerPoint.


New Mexico Election Data with a Statistical Summary and a Non-Voter Analysis.

In New Mexico, why does the Sequoia and Danther E-voting equipment
fail to count so many votes? On average, 2.62% of voters did not vote
per these machines, compared to 0.46% non-votes in the Op-Scan counties.

* United Voters of New Mexico - Statistical Analysis of Voting Results -
* Some Observations of New Mexico Election Data with links to spreadsheets -
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. My recollection of the ballot order rotation problem in Cuyahoga County
I don't remember the details, but I did look at this problem extensively. The most obvious evidence of the problem was when Kerry votes were shifted to one of the 3rd party candidates, since one would expect those candidates to get very few votes. There were a hand full of precincts where one or more of those candidates got far more votes than expected and it was obvious that those votes came from Kerry. That cost Kerry about a thousand votes I believe.

The issue of Kerry votes going to Bush was obviously much more difficult to evaluate, since Bush was expected to get far more votes than the 3rd party candidates. In order to make estimates of how many votes Kerry lost in that manner, I had to compare with Fingerhut votes in 2004 or votes for Governor in 2002. Doing it that way, I originally calculated that Kerry lost a total of about 17 thousand votes in Cuyahoga County from ballot order rotation confusion. However, I then did a similar analysis while controlling for polling place. In other words, I compared precincts from the same polling place, some precincts which (based on ballot order) had the potential to throw Kerry votes to Bush, and some which didn't. When controlling for polling place, instead of estimating a net loss to Kerry of about 17,000 votes from ballot order rotation problems it came out to about 7 thousand.

Does that sound about right?

Anyhhow, it is definitely a problem that needs to be addressed, and it should not be too difficult to address it now that the problem has been identified. Kerry may also have lost votes in other counties due to the same problem, but I didn't have the data to look at that.
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babydollhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
7. kick because we Must Not Rest
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
8. No one will ever convince me that our election results haven't been manipulated. K&R
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
9. Read through McAuliffe's book - NO MENTION of election fraud or voting machine fraud
or significant preparation to counter election fraud for 2002 and 2004.

Remember when he promised after 2000 election hearings that the DNC's Office of Voter Integrity would work to counter the GOPs tactics?
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. The DLC never acknowledged Gore's win saying his shift to populism and away
from Clinton's corporate agenda is what did him in. Yeah right! It wasn't the 97,000 disenfranchised Af Am voters in FL in 2000? (or other rovian dirty tricks) I believe there is a faction in the Dem Party who want control at any cost. Look at Carville's role in getting Kerry to concede quickly in '04. Exposing election fraud would also end their control as well, just saying...
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #11
24. Yep - instead of saying ELECTION FRAUD, they say Gore lost because he didn't use Clinton
and ran the worst campaign.

Instead of saying ELECTION FRAUD, they say Kerry lost because he was too liberal and ran the worst campaign.

They set the perception in the Dem party to be that ONLY CLINTON CAN WIN FOR US.

Pretty damn dangerous to turn the Dem party into a vehicle that could only be driven by Clinton. No wonder they want Dean out. If Hillary gets the nomination, how fast do you think she'll have Dean pushed out?
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
12. If there is election fraud/tampering, there are real live human beings committing these Federal
They were bought; they can be found and turned---i.e, spill who HIRED THEM---with the weight of the Feds and/or Congress upon them, I'd bet.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
13. Thanks for organizing this resource, TfC. Truth is on our side. K & R n/t
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. Thank you Hope -- I believe that's the key -- truth is on our side
And as we all know, truth has a very strong liberal bias :hi:
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
14. K&R
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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
15. This is excellent!!!
Thank you for putting this together. K&R!!!
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Larry Ogg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
the fact that elections are stolen at the poles through election fraud or the role that the mainstream media is playing, i.e. distortion and omission of truthful facts, being complicit with the all out political biased lies and deception. The informed voter has much to consider, will their vote even be counted is only one thing. But what about the voters who believe what they hear and see on the mainstream media? Their votes are stolen (in their minds) before they arrive at the poles. I guess its a positive thing to conceder that more are becoming informed and it might be more difficult for the Republicans to get close enough to steal the elections at the poles. But there is a third thing that scares me and that is, not when but rather is congress going to do anything about it. To sum it up, whats worse the uninformed voter, the corporately owned mass media that has deceived us all, the corporately owned voting machine, or the corporately owned Congress that has sold us all out?

One further comment, I know youre an optimist and believe we are going to win back our country, I would just like to say, if that is possible, it will be because of people like you Time for change, and I look forward to your essay
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Thank you so much Larry
It's all so disconcerting. All those things you mention are so seriously bad:

1. Election fraud
2. Our lying irresponsible corporate media
3. Uninformed voters
4. Congress beholding to our corporations

But here's where I see hope: If only we can correct # 2, the rest will follow. Voters will be more informed, they will elect better Congresspersons, who will deal with election fraud and further attack the monopoly of our corporate media to dissipate their power. These are all related, so once the momentum gets going it could create a vicious cycle -- in either a good or bad direction.

Perhaps I don't see our Democratic Congresspersons as quite as bad as you do. I think that we have many that are quite good, and others who have basically good intentions but who are not quite brave enough to do what has to be done. Perhaps they reason that they must first make sure that they stay in office, and then worry about serving their constituents -- or something to that effect.

Anyhow, I don't know how optimistic I am exactly. My feeling is this though, and I'm sure I've heard this quoted a number of times in different ways, though I can't recall who said it: Once we stop trying we start to die. I believe that. So, no matter how bleak things look, we should all try to do our little part, and that will keep us alive while at the same time we all help to make this a better world.
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Nunyabiz Donating Member (504 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. I have been saying that for 5 years now
We absolutely MUST take back our Media.
We need to totally destroy Faux Noise and turn to the rest of the media and say start singing the truth or you're next.
Until "We the People" do this then nothing will change, these treasonous war criminals will get away with mass murder, future elections will still be rigged, nothing of any consequence will ever change.

Sadly at least 50% of the American public knows what these criminals are doing yet we all sit on our collective asses and do nothing.
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renate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
17. I wonder whether it might be more effective, despite being conciliatory...
... (which I have no interest in being, unless it serves our purposes) to present the facts not as a "Dammit! Republicans keep stealing the vote!" kind of thing--which, however true, will generally result in the news media promptly ignoring the data--but instead talk about it as "OMG! Machines screw up--next on 20/20.".

(I'm NOT saying that anything in your post is in anyway tin-foil-hatted. Just the opposite. It's very much just-the-facts. But will the general public listen? I think they're a lot more interested in a story that's presented in a general-interest "guys, you will NOT believe this--public officials screw up AGAIN" way rather than in a "the vote was stolen" context.)

On the other hand, reality does indeed have a liberal bias. So, never mind. I'm just trying to figure out how this truly, mind-bogglingly unbelievable story has been basically ignored by everybody but Keith Olbermann and the people who made that HBO movie, and all I can come up with is that the motives of people who have an agenda are automatically suspect, even if the facts support their case.

Super good collection of data, very clearly written. :applause:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Thank you renate -- I think I know how you feel about this
On the one hand, there are a lot of good honest people, including many of our Congresspersons IMO, who just feel that they can't say what needs to be said because they'll get castigated for it. Like when Dick Durbin dared to speak about the abyssmal treatment of our prisoners at Guantanamo. They're afraid that if they speak the truth they'll be pounced on -- and they're right about that.

But this is how I feel about it, right or wrong. I feel that we (including our elected representatives) need to really push the envelop with our corporate media. And if they pounce on us for doing that -- which they will -- then we need to be ready for them. Congress needs to move on impeachment. They will be castigated by the media for that, but I say fuck them. I honestly believe that once our Democratic Congresspeople start standing up to the media (which they are already doing, but they need to do much more of it IMO) the people will see through the corporate babble heads and they will richly reward those who stand up to them. I could be wrong, but that's my opinion.
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understandinglife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
21. Recommended.
:hi: and :thumbsup:

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. Thank you ul
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
26. I'm in Ohio, and there is no way Bush won in 2004
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. I don't believe he won NC, either. There were so many GOPs who bought Kerry-Edwards signs
that we couldn't keep them in stock at Dem HQ.
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jimlup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
28. Book list?
Thanks, This is a well written and readable summary. Can you provide a useful book list? No hurry but I'm interested in some further exploration on my own.
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