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Will the Pen be mightier than the Chad?

Remember the nightmare of the Hanging Chad in 2000 (or “Chads” if you’re Dennis Leary in this scene).   Here’s a reminder (language NSFW, hey it’s HBO):

I’m pleased to announce that the era of the “Hanging Chad” is behind us.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present you, THE PEN!

The following announcement is the new “paper trail” system that Floridians voted for and were penalized by the DNC in the January 29th primaries to ensure error-proof and transparent elections.  I’m still bleeding from the irony of it all.     

The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office is dedicated to providing Hillsborough County voters with the most reliable means of tracking voter intent.  The new optical scan voting system provides total security for every vote. It is supported by Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson and approved by the Florida Legislature and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.  From encryption of results to complete control of access, the new optical scan voting system ensures your vote is safe and counted.  Please view our video about the new voting system in English or Spanish

I gave the optical scan system a run on the August 26 elections for Circuit Court Judges.  Pretty nifty.  But  will a mistaken pen mark be the new “hanging chad” moment?

Overvoting and Undervoting

The tabulator will reject your ballot if you “overvote,” or select more than one choice in a contest. Tell the Precinct Election Official you want to request another ballot to make a revision.  If you “undervote,” or forget to make a choice in a contest, the tabulator will accept your ballot as is. If no ovals are filled in, the tabulator will reject the ballot and you may mark it.  To learn about other ways to vote in this year’s elections, visit the Early Voting and Request-A-BallotSM page.

So before the machine scans your ballot, check your homework.  If you’re the type to draw outside the lines, start practicing on lotto number sheets like these here: —>

After the RBC Fiasco, I decided that I would write-in Hillary’s name as a protest vote.  But if you are planning to write in Hillary’s name in Florida, PLEASE DON’T DO IT.  I called the Hillsborough County Board of Elections and a kind gentleman instructed me that any Write-In Candidate that requests to be counted by the Electoral College must submit paperwork before a specific date (which Hillary’s campaign did not do).  He also said that any Hillary Clinton write-in vote will be counted as a Barack Obama vote because they belong to the same party.  I urge all PUMA/Clinton Democrats to visit this link to find out your state’s write-in rules:  http://www.writehillaryin.com/Write_In_Facts_by_State.html and/or call your local elections board to find out what are the rules for write-in candidates.  We cannot afford to give Barack Obama more votes just because we wanted to write-in Hillary’s name.

Issues on the ballot include ownership of real estate by foreigners (wonder how that’ll fly with so many Canadian snowbirds),  a gay marriage ban (they put this on the ballot every election – I want equal rights for all!) and other land/tax issues that I really have to research before I make a decision how I’ll vote. 

Also curious, there are more Democrats than Republicans this year in my county.  Maybe Mickey Mouse, Jou Mama and Ima Bore moved to Tampa.  Here are the stats from Hillsborough Board of Elections webiste banner on each page:

Registered Voters as of 10/17/2008   Republican : 232,325   Democratic : 298,714   Other : 165,019   Total : 696,058

Hillsborough County is a major swing county – and as we’ve seen in previous elections, not all Democrats will vote for Democrats, and Republicans won’t just vote “Republican” and those pesky “Other” voters can swing it one way or the other.   If you already have you sample ballots online in your state, leave me a link in the comments section. 

After the jump is the sample ballot for Hillsborough County FL, with bolded names for the 30% solution vote.  Remember to choose your protest strategy wisely. 

Que viva los PUMAs! Continue reading

Pesky Facts vs. Preferred Narratives

For over a week we have been hearing how McPalin rallies resemble lynch mobs screaming for the blood of Teh Precious.  Even His Excellency Paul Krugman said it:

Something very ugly is taking shape on the political scene: as McCain’s chances fade, the crowds at his rallies are, by all accounts, increasingly gripped by insane rage.

There’s one small problem with this media narrative:  IT’S NOT TRUE:

The agent in charge of the Secret Service field office in Scranton said allegations that someone yelled “kill him” when presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s name was mentioned during Tuesday’s Sarah Palin rally are unfounded.

Our friend gqmartinez put up a post at Corrente pointing out that these allegations are unfounded, and the reaction of the resident Obama supporters there is both revealing and disturbing:

Younger people, such as you, know of the JFK and MLK and RFK assassinations in the abstract, as things out of history, events that happened in another time and place of which you have only anecdotal knowledge and no visceral sense of context. Some of us writing here, including Sarah and myself, are old enough to have actually lived through them. We know, not just have heard about it but actually know, what those time sounded like and how it felt, the hatred and the fear and the violence and the sorrow.

Condescend much?  By the way, Robert Kennedy was killed by a Middle-Eastern immigrant who was angry over Kennedy’s support for Israel, not by a conservative Republican upset about the economy.

The point I’m trying to make is the SS found “no evidence” regarding the Scranton incident, only. That single data point got strewn all over the media echo chamber as refutation for ALL the incidents, and I find that suspect.

Except that “single data point” was the basis for all the original stories.  As Lambert quite rightly points out, the number of stories means nothing if they are all derived from the same source.

While most Correntians agreed with gqmartinez, the reaction of the Obama supporters at Corrente is typical of those who slurp the Kool-aid.  They engage in rationlization rather than rational thought:

. . . but there are multiple videos available of crowds chanting, and there is video available of the crowd booing McCain when he asked them to respect Obama.

I guess to the Sippy-Kup Kidz booing Obama is the same as shouting “Kill him.”  Of course Obama supporters think that “fairy tale” is racist and calling him “arrogant” or “presumptuous” is just another way of saying he is “uppity.”

Although it was off-topic, I was totally blown away by this comment in the thread at Corrente:

The phrase “taken into a room and only one of them comes out” is coarse and crude indeed but it is used all the time in regard to men and no one bats an eye. It certainly doesn’t mean “kill” in any way. In the macho mind the use with Hillary was an expression of equality – I know, but they’re weird in many ways – and could be seen as a sign of progress.

Welcome to Topsy-Turvyland!  As a man who watches sports and violent movies, I’ve never heard that phrase used in a nice way before.  The original and most often used version is “Two men enter, one man leaves” which comes from “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” and it refers to a deathmatch between two people. 

Lambert’s response was more succinct: “Denialism.”


The reality:

 . . . here is a real district attorney’s complaint documenting an unprovoked assault by an enraged Democrat against a McCain volunteer in midtown Manhattan: “Defendant grabbed the sign [informant] was holding, broke the wood stick that was attached to it, and then struck informant in informant’s face thereby causing informant to sustain redness, swelling, and bruising to informant’s face and further causing informant to sustain substantial pain.”

The Clampdown: Coming To Your Neighborhood

According to FOX News’ anchor and attorney, Megyn Kelly, the GOP said that Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner should “fork over the list,” and Jen said no, she didn’t want to prepare the list. Apparently the SOS had better things to do with her time than to make sure voter registrations were not fraudulent. An Ohio Federal Court said she had to, but today the US Supreme Court said she didn’t.

So these registered Ohioans get to cast a real ballot and vote, not just a provisional ballot. The problem is that 200,000 of 666,000 who have registered since January 1, 2008, do not match.

From Ohio’s WBNS 10TV, October 17:

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, faced a deadline of Friday to set up a system to provide local officials with names of newly registered voters whose driver’s license numbers or Social Security numbers on voter registration forms don’t match records in other government databases.

Ohio Republicans contended the information for counties would help prevent fraud. Brunner said the GOP is trying to disenfranchise voters.

The US Supreme Court ruled procedurally that they did not have jurisdiction over this matter and now time is running out.

One by one, as we see our curbs of freedom abated even BEFORE a potential Obama presidency, what will come to pass if this pretender assumes the throne? Be afraid, be very afraid. Take action. Speak up and speak out!

. . . and for every hung up person in the whole wide universe, and we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing. —Bob Dylan, 1964

UPDATE: The Cleveland Plain Dealer Politics Blog, in their updates, quotes both Brunner and the McCain campaign.

Brunner was elated with the ruling. “That’s it,” she said, noting that Republicans could not take their argument any further than the highest court in the country.

Brunner said the high court’s ruling shows that the state Republican party had no right to file the suit to begin with last week in an Ohio federal court.

“There was no private right of action here,” she said.

However, sounds like the Repubs aren’t done with this.

John McCain’s campaign, responding to the court decision, suggested Brunner cannot be trusted to make nonpartisan decisions in this election.

“Today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court does not address violations of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) by Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner,” McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said. “Rather, the court ruled that Congress had likely not authorized private individuals or political parties to bring suit under the section of HAVA requiring voter registration verification through data-matching. It remains our belief that American citizens should be guaranteed that their legitimate votes are not wiped away by illegally cast ballots. What is no longer in question is the partisan nature of Jennifer Brunner’s efforts to minimize the level of fairness and transparency in this election.”

How Dare You Question Dear Leader?

What The Heck Did I Do?

What The Heck Did I Do?

Poor Joe The Plumber. All he wanted to do was make an informed decision in this year’s election. So, he asked Barack Obama whether or not Obama’s proposed tax plan would affect him if he should buy a business that makes $250,000 – $280,000 a year. It’s a normal question for today’s taxpayer worried about the rising costs of living. Everyone’s freaking out about taxes these days – even my hubby, who is scared spitless by McCain’s proposal to tax health benefits paid by his company.

Unfortunately, Obama was without his teleprompter, and said something that triggered massive alarms throughout the land. Here is the whole interview without all of the editorial commentary that’s been added to it. The key moment is at 4:46.

Whooooops! Continue reading

Friday: Jocularity! Jocularity!

The economy is in serious trouble and we’re looking forward to a Japanese style ‘recovery’.  The times desperately call for an FDR or a Hillary Clinton.  The DNC has given us Barack Obama.  Thanks for nothing, Howard Dean.  It goes without saying that none of us want 4 more years of Republican style economics so I hope John McCain gets religion.

After the stock markets closed yesterday, the two candidates, and Madame President Clinton, went to the Al Smith Dinner to roast one another.  As expected, Senator Obama’s roast was all about, er, Senator Obama.  He poked fun of his famed humility and the fact that he wasn’t really born in a manger.  No, the truth is, he was born on Krypton and his father is Jorel.  (Does he have the birth certificate???)  Well, you can guess the rest.  Yawwwwwwn.

John McCain, on the other hand, appears to be painfully aware of the actual dynamics of this year’s campaign and his own underdog status.  His roast was funny, sarcastic and a not very subtle indictment of the media.  The last bit about setting unreasonably high expectations skewered Obama and the pundits alike.  Hillary seemed to enjoy herself more during McCain’s speech.  Why not?  She’s not going to have to worry about managing the economy next year.

So, for the Friday Funnies, here is McCain’s roast:

McCain roast, part 1

McCain roast, part 2