Friday, January 20, 2006

2004 Ohio Precinct-Level Exit Poll Data Show Virtually Irrefutable Evidence of Vote Miscount

There is significant controversy about whether the 2004 presidential election was conducted fairly and its votes counted correctly. According to results of the major national election exit poll conducted for the National Election Pool by Edison/Mitofsky (E/M), Kerry won Ohio's pivotal vote, though the official tally gave the state, and thus the presidency, to Bush. The conduct of Ohio's election was formally debated by Congress in January 2005.
The National Election Data Archive (NEDA) is the first mathematical team to release a valid scientific analysis of the precinct-level 2004 Ohio presidential exit poll data "The Gun is Smoking: 2004 Ohio Precinct-level Exit Poll Data Show Virtually Irrefutable Evidence of Vote Miscount" available at NEDA's analysis provides significant evidence of an outcome-altering vote miscount.
The analysis is based on the most accurate statistical method yet devised for determining whether exit poll error, random variations, or vote count manipulation cause the discrepancies between exit polls and official vote tallies. This analysis method was made public recently by NEDA in "Vote Miscounts or Exit Poll Error? New Mathematical Function for Analyzing Exit Poll Discrepancy" available at
Exit Polls were conducted in 49 of Ohio’s 11,360 precincts. At least 40% of Ohio's polled precincts show statistically significant differences between Kerry’s exit poll percent and official vote count percent. 35% of these exit polls overestimated the Kerry official vote share. This is five times the number expected. Three of the most glaring examples are:
1. In E/M precinct 27, with an estimated 100 respondents, Kerry’s official vote count was 29% less than his exit poll share, creating a 58% difference between Kerry and Bush exit poll and official vote margins. There is less than a one in 867,205,500 chance of this occurring due to chance.
2. In E/M precinct 25, with an estimated 62 respondents, Kerry’s official vote count was 28% less than his exit poll share, creating a 56% difference between Kerry and Bush exit poll and official vote margins. There is less than a one in 234,800 chance of this occurring due to chance.
3. In E/M precinct 48, with an estimated 100 respondents, Kerry's official vote was 16% less than his exit poll share, creating a 32% difference between Kerry and Bush exit poll and official vote margins. There is less than a one in 17,800 chance of this occurring due to chance.

White House Won't Release Details Of Abramoff Visits

According to Press Secretary Scott McClellan, Abramoff had "a few" such meetings. But the spokesman won't say when or with whom. Nor will he say which interests Abramoff was representing -- or how he got access to the White House.
Abramoff pleaded guilty two weeks ago to mail fraud and tax evasion charges in an influence-peddling scandal that's involved a dozen-plus members of Congress.
Abramoff was also a top fundraiser for Bush's re-election campaign -- and attended two holiday receptions at the White House.
Earlier McClellan promised a "thorough" report on the lobbyist's meetings with White House staff. But now he says he won't go beyond previous comments.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Justice Department to declare warrantless wiretaps legal

In a detailed 40-page legal memorandum [PDF] set for release this evening the Bush Justice Department will defend the President's warrantless wiretap program as legal. A copy of the document was leaked to RAW STORY.
"The NSA activities are supported by the President’s well-recognized inherent constitutional authority as Commander in Chief and sole organ for the Nation in foreign affairs to conduct warrantless surveillance of enemy forces for intelligence purposes to detect and disrupt armed attacks on the United States," Justice Department lawyers write, referring to the President's order to wiretap Americans' calls overseas.
It adds, "The President has the chief responsibility under the Constitution to protect America from attack, and the Constitution gives the President the authority necessary to fulfill that solemn responsibility."

The Detroit Draft Riot of 1863

A Thrilling Narrative From the Lips of the Sufferers
of the Late Detroit Riot, March 6, 1863,
with the Hair Breadth Escapes of Men, Women and Children, and
Destruction of Colored Men's Property, Not Less Than $15,000

20th Anniversary of the first PC virus.

On January 19, 1986, the first PC virus — Brain — was detected. It was virtually harmless, and the Pakistani creators claim that it was only intended to protect their copyrights. (They did, after all, include their own address and phone number in the machine code.) In the past 20 years, though, both creating viruses and destroying them have become billion-dollar industries. [from]

USDA Only Pretended to Do Probes

The Agriculture Department has pretended to investigate anticompetitive behavior among stockyards and meat companies since 1999, but in hundreds of cases hasn't actually filed complaints, says an audit released Wednesday.
Senior officials blocked investigations from being referred to department lawyers, who can file complaints or refer cases to the Justice Department, according to the audit by the agency's inspector general.
In the meantime, employees were told to create the appearance of a high rate of enforcement by logging routine letters and reviews of public data as investigations, the inspector general said.

Bush Administration Wants Google's Search Records

The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google Inc. to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases.
The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors. The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.
In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Justice Department lawyers revealed that Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for the records, which include a request for one million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.
The Mountain View-based search engine opposes releasing the information on a variety of grounds, saying it would violate the privacy rights of its users and reveal company trade secrets, according to court documents.
Nicole Wong, an associate general counsel for Google, said the company will fight the government's effort ``vigorously.''
``Google is not a party to this lawsuit, and the demand for the information is overreaching,'' Wong said.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Paying Students To Spy On Professors

An alumni group is offering students up to $100 per class to supply tapes and notes exposing University of California, Los Angeles professors who allegedly express extreme left-wing political views.
The year-old Bruin Alumni Association on its Web site says it is concerned about professors who use lecture time to press positions against President Bush, the military and multinational corporations, among other things.
The site includes a list of what the group calls the college's 30 most radical professors.

Bush ignored explicit warnings in 2002 about mine safety

The tragic news about the death of 12 mine workers this week has brought up all sorts of questions about the Bush administration's record protecting mine workers. Back in 2002, I was working for the House Appropriations Committee. At the time, you may recall there was a big mining accident in Western Pennsylvania. President Bush held a big photo-op to pretend like he cared - but he never responded to the fact sheet that House Democrats put out questioning why he had made so many cuts to mine safety programs. You can view this fact sheet in Microsoft Word right here (I still have it from my time at the Appropriations Committee) It was released to the media and the administration on August 5, 2002 - the same day Bush did his big photo-op.

Scripps Howard Drops Fumento in Latest Paid Pundit Scandal

Scripps Howard News Service (SHNS) announced Friday that it severed its relationship with Michael Fumento -- a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute -- for not disclosing he had taken payments in 1999 from agribusiness giant Monsanto. The payments were revealed by BusinessWeek Online, which also broke a similar story revealing columnist Doug Bandow receiving payments. Copley News Service subsequently dropped Bandow.
In a statement released Friday, SHNS Editor and General Manager Peter Copeland said Fumento "did not tell SHNS editors, and therefore we did not tell our readers, that in 1999 Hudson received a $60,000 grant from Monsanto." Copeland added: "Our policy is that he should have disclosed that information. We apologize to our readers."

US Blocks Spain-Venezuela Arms Deal

The Bush administration said Friday it blocked a planned sale of Spanish military aircraft to Venezuela because of possible harm to regional stability. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has condemned the U.S. move as an act of imperialism.
The United States had the authority to prevent Spain from transferring the aircraft to Venezuela, because they contained U.S. equipment or technology

Army Orders Soldiers to Shed Dragon Skin or Lose SGLI Death Benefits

Two deploying soldiers and a concerned mother reported Friday afternoon that the U.S. Army appears to be singling out soldiers who have purchased Pinnacle's Dragon Skin Body Armor for special treatment. The soldiers, who are currently staging for combat operations from a secret location, reported that their commander told them if they were wearing Pinnacle Dragon Skin and were killed their beneficiaries might not receive the death benefits from their $400,000 SGLI life insurance policies. The soldiers were ordered to leave their privately purchased body armor at home or face the possibility of both losing their life insurance benefit and facing disciplinary action.

Army Dropped Abuse Probe, Records Show

The Army closed a criminal investigation of abuse allegations by an Iraqi detainee last year, finding no reason to believe his claims, even though no Americans involved in the case were questioned, according to Pentagon records made public Thursday.
Internal Army documents about the Iraqi's capture on Jan. 4, 2004, and his subsequent interrogation at an unspecified facility at or near Baghdad International Airport were not reviewed, the records show, because investigators were told they had been lost in a computer malfunction.

Christian Coalition Legislative Agenda for 2006

The Best Blonde Joke Ever

The Plot to Overthrow FDR

Corporate Interest Plot to Overthrow US Government. Approximately 72-years ago, the predecessor to the House Un-American Affairs Committee, known as the McCormack-Dickstein Committee, investigated claims made by Marine Corps General Smedley Butler that a vast right-wing conspiracy funded by the American Liberty League (Wiki) (funded by US Steel, Goodyear, DuPont, Morgan-Stanley, Chase-Manhattan, Remington Arms, and others) with backing from some of America's wealthiest citizens (such as Al Smith and Irene DuPont) and various Wall Street interests (1930s American Business seemed to be pro-fascism as a hedge against communists and socialists to protect their own wealth in the face of the Great Depression). Their goal was to overthrow Franklin Delano Roosevelt and install a military dictatorship in order to stop FDR's New Deal and its "redistribution of wealth" and to enact fascist policies to protect the economy and their investments.
Butler's cooperation was solicited by promising him a 500,000 man army and playing on his loyalty to his troops (they maintained that WW1 soldiers were due a bonus - they insisted it be paid in gold).
The cover story was to be that Roosevelt had fallen ill, with Gerald C. MacGuire giving Major General Smedley Darlington Butler assurances that:
"You know the American people will swallow that. We have got the newspapers. We will start a campaign that the President's health is failing. Everyone can tell that by looking at him, and the dumb American people will fall for it in a second..."
Butler, having allies in Congress and the Press, decided to testify. The American press, including the New York Times and Time Magazine, largely ignored the matter, as did the American populace. Despite ample corroborating evidence, no indictments ever resulted from the hearings, and the Congressional Record was scrubbed of any embarassing statements and references to the business elite, with no full and complete transcripts existing to this day. Transcripts and PFS of the committees findings can be found here. [from]

Transcript: Former Vice President Gore's Speech on Constitutional Issues

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Disaffected!, an anti-advergame

Ian Bogost and Persuasive Games have just released Disaffected!, a parodical critique of working life at FedEx Kinko’s, a source of frustration from its patrons. It's part of a new series of persuasive games the developers call anti- advergames (games that challenge players to rethink their relationship with consumption and encourage corporate critique.)
"The player controls one or more employees behind the counter at a typical copy store. As each level starts, customers enter the store through the front doors and line up behind the cashiers at the counters. The player must try to find and deliver each customer's order. Obstacles include confused employees, employees who refuse to work, employees who move orders around indiscriminately so the player cannot find them."
The game is available for free download, for Mac and Windows.

The Root of All Evil?

Richard Dawkins' new programme on Channel 4 in the UK, where the noted scholar says we must abandon all religion to advance human kind. RD notes that he is technically an agnostic, but his bold show suggests that declared atheism is the correct political stand. Reminds me of the recent NPR piece on what Penn believes. Are popular-media pieces of this sort a bellweather for a new anti-theism? [from]

Detainees Found Not Guilty Yet Still at Gitmo, Go to Supremem Court

Attorneys for the detained Uighurs, Muslim natives of western China who oppose their country's Communist rule, are scheduled to petition the court as early as today. They seek a break in the impasse created when U.S. District Judge James Robertson ruled last month that the Bush administration's "Kafka-esque" detention of the Uighurs was illegal but he simultaneously determined that the court lacked the power to overrule the president and free them.
"That ruling doesn't simply hit innocent men now in their fifth year of imprisonment," said Sabin Willett, one of the Uighurs' attorneys. "It goes to whether we have a judicial branch at all. This is that rare question so vital that the Supreme Court should immediately intervene to answer."
Lawyers for the nine Chinese detainees plan to urge the Supreme Court to step into the void, arguing in draft legal documents they provided to The Washington Post that the high court and the public have a major stake when the federal judiciary decides it cannot stop the president from continuing to break the law.
...The attorneys for the detainees are asking the high court to let their clients skip the year-long process of first appealing to the federal appeals court for the District of Columbia and resolve the conundrum of a ruling without relief and what they call the "absurdity" of illegal imprisonment without end.
Lawyers working on behalf of the Uighurs argue that Robertson's decision effectively "proclaims an Executive with unchecked power . . . to seize and perpetually imprison persons from around the globe."
"The prospect of innocent men detained indefinitely, and of an Executive wielding powers beyond those granted to it by the Constitution . . . is simply intolerable," they wrote.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Bush Authorized Domestic Spying Before 9/11

The National Security Agency advised President Bush in early 2001 that it had been eavesdropping on Americans during the course of its work monitoring suspected terrorists and foreigners believed to have ties to terrorist groups, according to a declassified document.
The NSA's vast data-mining activities began shortly after Bush was sworn in as president and the document contradicts his assertion that the 9/11 attacks prompted him to take the unprecedented step of signing a secret executive order authorizing the NSA to monitor a select number of American citizens thought to have ties to terrorist groups.

In its "Transition 2001" report, the NSA said that the ever-changing world of global communication means that "American communication and targeted adversary communication will coexist."

"Make no mistake, NSA can and will perform its missions consistent with the Fourth Amendment and all applicable laws," the document says.

However, it adds that "senior leadership must understand that the NSA's mission will demand a 'powerful, permanent presence' on global telecommunications networks that host both 'protected' communications of Americans and the communications of adversaries the agency wants to target."

MLK: Beyond Vietnam (MP3) 4 April 1967

Text. Excerpt:
True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.