January 07, 2005

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that a US Senator stood up to protest the Ohio voting irregularities and force a debate in both the Senate and the House. The Democrats filing the objection were California Sen. Barbara Boxer and Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones. It is only the second such objection in US history, the previous occasion being the infamously irregular 1877 election contest between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel J. Tilden. Hayes.

The bad news is that only one Senator objected, and other Democrats still intend to OK the Ohio vote. In any case, Republicans control both chambers so Bush is still likely to be certified the winner of the Nov. 2 vote.

One can only wonder whether Bush will even be told about the delay in certifying his win. He's already said he doesn't bother reading newspapers, and now Chris Nelson, a former Capitol Hill staffer and UPI reporter, has leaked insider details saying that Bush doesn't even want to be told the bad news any more:
There is rising concern amongst senior officials that President Bush does not grasp the increasingly grim reality of the security situation in Iraq because he refuses to listen to that type of information. Our sources say that attempts to brief Bush on various grim realities have been personally rebuffed by the President, who actually says that he does not want to hear “bad news.”

Rather, Bush makes clear that all he wants are progress reports, where they exist, and those facts which seem to support his declared mission in Iraq...building democracy. “That's all he wants to hear about,” we have been told. So “in” are the latest totals on school openings, and “out” are reports from senior US military commanders (and those intelligence experts still on the job) that they see an insurgency becoming increasingly effective, and their projection that “it will just get worse.”

Our sources are firm in that they conclude this “good news only” directive comes from Bush himself; that is, it is not a trap or cocoon thrown around the President by National Security Advisor Rice, Vice President Cheney, and DOD Secretary Rumsfeld. In any event, whether self-imposed, or due to manipulation by irresponsible subordinates, the information/intelligence vacuum at the highest levels of the White House increasingly frightens those officials interested in objective assessment, and not just selling a political message.
Sounds a lot like our "good news only" friends from Iraq The Model, doesn't it? Also reminds me of Australian PM John Howard, whose standard defence when things go wrong is: "Nobody told me."

8 comments:

Soldier's Dad said...

Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones is a congresswoman, not a Senator.

The Senate session lasted just over an hour and ended when the chamber voted 74-1 to uphold Ohio's votes. Boxer was the lone vote.

gandhi said...

Soldiers Dad,

Thanks for the info - I posted the text between my first coffee of the day and going off to hospital to see my Dad. It was only one Senator, not two - my bad.

As you are a regular at ITM, I'm curious how you feel about this - do you agree the voting capers in Ohio and elsewhere deserve investigation? Do you support Boxer's vote against?

Soldier's Dad said...

Ghandi,

I live in Washington state, a reporter compared absentee ballots with the obituaries, big surprise, dead people tended to vote for the democratic candidate.

The Democratic Governor won by 129 votes, at least that many dead people voted.

There has always been over zealous campaign workers on both sides who find a way to cheat.

It is interesting that a Senior Elections Commmission person(democrat) from King County Washington was in Ohio on the day of the elections.

gandhi said...

Also interesting that the GOP losers in Washington immediately called for a recount and said the Dems should support it in the interests of assuring the public that the vote was free and fair...

Nobody in the GOP called for that in 2000, or in Ohio...

So I guess you are saying that you are OK with the idea that most votes in the USA are a cat-fight of political skullduggery?

Neonknight said...

gandhi - A couple of things you are overlooking. Bush won in Ohio by 118,000 votes...after a recount. That is more votes than John Kennedy won by nationwide. It is actually a huge margin. Much bigger than in states that went to Kerry...like Pennsylvania.

The Dem governor in Washington won by 128 votes in a third count that was conducted by hand. The first 2 recounts were won by Rossi (R) They were machine tabulated.

Multiple demonstrations have shown that machine counts are more accurate than hand counts.....

Neonknight said...

Also, the Repubs in Washington have not called for another recount. They have asked for a new election. Their reasoning??? It is just too close to call.

It seems as thought the Dems just kept calling for recounts until they came out a little ahead one time.....and then said STOP. We won!!!! But did they really? I mean they lost the first 2 counts, and only won by 128 on the third.

How do we know the third was any more accurate than the first 2? In fact, as I said earlier, machine counts are demonstrably more accurate.

gandhi said...

Neonnight,

Surely you have heard that a lot of the protest in Ohio revolves around manipulation of voting machines. If not, there are plenty of posts on this blog to educate you.

Personally I have no faith at all in the accurateness of Bush's "winning" margin - in fact, I believe Kerry probably won in Ohio, but the machines were rigged to call it for Bush.

I work in IT security software so I do know just exactly how easy it is for companies like Diebold to manipulate these machines. Bev Harris at www.blackboxvoting.org has a lot more troubling info...

If you are happy to accept this sick farce as "democracty", fine. But please don't try to export it, or pretend that it is a standard the rest of the world should follow.

Glitch said...

gandhi said:

Personally I have no faith at all in the accurateness of Bush's "winning" margin - in fact, I believe Kerry probably won in Ohio, but the machines were rigged to call it for Bush.

I work in IT security software so I do know just exactly how easy it is for companies like Diebold to manipulate these machines. Bev Harris at www.blackboxvoting.org has a lot more troubling info...

If you are happy to accept this sick farce as "democracty", fine. But please don't try to export it, or pretend that it is a standard the rest of the world should follow.


Personally, as usual, you believe what is convenient for you to believe - and what would make you happy. Explain what makes this different than what children under the age of 5 do...it's called fantisizing.

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