The Rising of the Moon

An ongoing synopsis of politics, government and public policy. Those dreary boring things that effect the lives of each and every one of us.

Friday, December 03, 2004


GOP attack dog Sen. Norm Coleman (R? Minn.) this week called for the resignation of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. By inference he also called for the resignation of (new) Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice, Sec. of Defense (still) Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President (for now) Dick Cheney and yes, (so-called) President George W. Bush.

Coleman reasoned that because there are implications of impropriety and wrongdoing in the UN Oil for Food program in Iraq, Annan, as the head of the organization, should step down. Coleman acknowledged the fact that there is nothing to implicate Annan in any wrong doing or that he was in any way aware of any mishandling of the relief program. However, Coleman said in a 12/1 WSJ opinion piece: ". . . I have arrived at this conclusion (asking for Annan's resignation) because the most extensive fraud in the history of the U.N. occurred on his watch. The world will never be able to learn the full extent of the bribes, kickbacks and under-the-table payments that occurred under the U.N.'s collective nose while Annan is in charge."

Of course by this logic Coleman must call for the resignation of those top officials in charge of organizations and departments that not only oversaw the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history, but manufactured false and misleading evidence that led us into an unnecessary and wasteful, lied about shortages of flu vaccine, lied about the benefits of tax cuts, granted no-bid contracts to their friends and associates who have defrauded the U.S. government, and who continue to terrorize the American people with false rumors of terror simple to maintain their positions of power. Who? Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush and a long list of others in the Bush Taliban.

Note: Coleman is the ultimate flip-flopper. Once a bullhorn wielding radical on the left, he recently found faith with the new radical right. He's become a favorite spokesman of the GOP who use him in places where his former left leanings might make him seem more "reasonable." The neocons and religious right seem to love him, though they won't let him into their country clubs.

It should also be noted that it was the United States who was charged with overseeing most of the funds relating to the Oil for Food program before the U.S. attacks on Iraq. Once the Pentagon placed its choice of new Iraqi prime minister (the now discredited felon) Ahmed Chalab, on the ground in Baghdad, he took over administering the program and others like it.

CNN Item:

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Here's a good animation found by Lew and forwarded here by Tamara.
Done by Mark Fiore


This is an interesting item submitted by Kate this morning. It goes into detail about much of the evidence indicating that there really was an attempt by the GOP to steal the November election.

Mass Media In 'Lock Down' Not to Cover Possible Voting Fraud
by Peter Coyote

There is a bumper sticker I saw months ago that sums up the current
state of affairs in our country regarding what is the biggest news
story you'll never see reported in the general media. It said: "IF

On Friday I received a phone call from a good friend who works at CBS.
I've known her for years and she is a producer for some of the news
programs, one well-known one in particular. She tipped me off that the network media is currently in a "lock-down", and that there is to be no TV coverage whatever of the real problems with voting on November 2nd. She said similar "lock-down orders" had been made last year after the invasion of Iraq, but this is worse, and far
scarier. the system is similar to the 'D' notice protocol imposed on English newspapers in time of crisis. She said the majority of their journalists at CBS and elsewhere in NYC are deeply concerned: all of them are worried about losing their jobs in retribution for independent reporting, Dan Rather style or worse [senior presenter publicly reprimanded for publicising controversy over G W Bush's Texas National Guard record - E.].

My source says she's also been forbidden to talk about the restrictions
even on her own time, but she is furious and feels her journalistic and
moral integrity, as what she considers to be watchdog on government,
requires her to spread the word, albeit through third parties,
including myself. She said that journalism and the truth is at
stake. A colleague of hers, an MSNBC producer, said that an anchor by
the name of Keith Olbermann had brought electronic voting problems up
on his show on Friday evening and the axe immediately came down - he
was stood down from his broadcast during a commercial message. He's at
least fighting back and talking about it on his weblog, but she
said that people there are worried that he's likely to be fired (not
for the subject, allegedly, but for disobeying a management

She said at this point the only way to air the subject is if electors
in problem states start talking about it and make a big enough stink
about it to our elected officials, the FEC, and attract
attention in the international media - then our own media won't have
any choice but to cover the controversy. Yes, this is really happening
in the good old "democratic" free press of the US of A. The only place
you'll find voting fraud talked about right now is on the internet
(unfortunately) and on AirAmerica Radio (with its negligible listening
figures). Even PBR won't touch the story. Everyone - this is
serious. I can't emphasize it any more strongly. If
there was ever a time to speak up and take action it is NOW. If you are
feeling sick to your stomach (like me) about the possibility of 4 more
years under Bush and the future of our country, and yet you
feel helpless, here's your opportunity to take action.
Imagine if you saw a loved one drowning: what do you do? Well, our
country's democracy is drowning and she needs us. In a
recent email, I used the F-word - FRAUD - and mentioned I felt strongly
that there is a lot of mounting evidence of an unclean election. I say
that not only as a result of my own observations out in the field
as a poll watcher in the key battleground state of Ohio,
where coach loads of Bush supporters were brought in from up country. I
say it with confidence in a range of reports that have been circulating
around the country, from various voting precincts, involving
irregularities and problems with the voting machines, numbers not
matching up with the exit polls or actual numbers of registered voters
in various precincts. I've been busy researching this issue
and compiling for you below some details of these reports and where you
can get more info: To believe that Bush won the election, you must also

  1. That the exit polls were WRONG. Remember, they have been
    used since 1992 and are considered generally reliable.

  2. That Zogby's 5pm election day calls for Kerry winning OH and FL
    were WRONG. But Zogby was within a less than 0.5 % point margin of
    error in the 2000 final poll and in previous polls for other elections,
    including 2002 mid-terms.

  3. That Harris Poll last-minute polling for Kerry was WRONG. They
    were also within a 1% margin of error in their 2000 final poll.

  4. The Incumbent Rule 1 (that undecideds primarily break at the end
    for the challenger) was WRONG.

  5. The 50% Rule was WRONG (that an incumbent doesn't do better than
    his final polling)

  6. The Approval Rating Rule was WRONG (that an incumbent with less
    than 50% approval will most likely lose the election)

  7. That journalist Greg Palast was WRONG when he said that even
    before the election, 1 million votes were stolen from Kerry across
    three states, including FL. He was the first reporter to break the fact
    that 90,000 Florida African-Americans were disenfranchised in the 2000

  8. That it was just a COINCIDENCE that the exit polls were CORRECT
    where there WAS a PAPER TRAIL and INCORRECT (+5% for Bush) where there

  9. That the surge in new young voters had NO positive effect for
    Kerry, even though it was the largest number of youth voters aged 18-29
    ever - a huge jump from 2000 - and polling showed they were over 55% in
    favor of Kerry

  10. That Kerry did WORSE than Gore against an opponent who LOST the
    support of SCORES of Republican newspapers who were for Bush in 2000

  11. That Bush did better than an 18 national poll average which
    showed him tied with Kerry at 47. In other words, you believe Bush got
    80% of the undecided vote to end up with a 51-48 majority - when all
    professional pollsters agree that the undecided vote goes at least 2:1
    to the challenger

  12. That voting machines made by Republican-donating companies, with
    no paper trail and with no software publication, which have been proven
    by scores of computer scientists to be vulnerable in scores of ways,
    were NOT adjusted unfairly in any way. If you think that last point is
    alarmist, here are just a few examples (from a host of reports I could
    have cited):

  • The City of Gahanna in Ohio discovered a discrepancy that gave
    4,000 votes to George Bush. After media scrutiny, city officials have
    admitted to an electronic "glitch" that caused the problem.

  • In Broward County, FL, errors in software code caused a
    referendum on gambling to be completely overturned. The error caused
    totals to count backwards after reaching a ceiling of 32,500 votes. The
    problem existed in the 2002 election as well, but the issue was not
    resolved by the manufacturer of the electronic voting machine. Yes,
    another Republican contributor.

  • In North Carolina, a Craven County district logged 11,283 more
    votes than voters and actually overturned the results of a regional


This must be the "capital" W was talking about when he declared victory in November's election. All the pork hidden in his spending bill. I find the cutbacks in the Pell Grants particularly interesting, since his administration so vehemently denied them during the presidential debates.

By Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.

This is one in a series of weekly syndicated columns written by Governor Howard Dean.

Immediately after Election Day, President Bush promised that he would use his political capital to bring unity back to America. Less than a month later, he is about to sign a spending bill which voids all those nice words and promises. It is not what the President says that matters, it is what he does that counts.

These are a few things which the spending bill contains:
Pell grants will become unavailable for 85,000 students that were receiving them and another 1.2 million students will have their Pell Grant funding decreased. On the other hand, the bill appropriates $2 million to buy a presidential yacht.

Farmers lose over $400 million of soil conservation money. On the other hand, the bill funds the American Cotton Museum in Texas.


Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Promoted from the blog MyDD

FL proposes 11-day election, no precincts, weekends
by Winger

Great news on the voting reform front. The Miami Herald reports:
Florida's election supervisors, impressed by the success of early voting, proposed dramatic reforms Tuesday that would eliminate Election Day, replace it with an 11-day election season and do away with precincts.

The association of the state's 67 chief elections officials voted in concept at its annual winter meeting in Orlando to informally present the idea to the Legislature and to start rallying support for what its members concede would be a sea change in how Floridians vote.

''I think the voters spoke loud and clear in the general election of 2004 that they want other options than to be limited to 12 hours on a Tuesday to vote,'' said Bill Cowles, Orange County supervisor of elections and president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. ``We should seize upon the opportunity in 2005 to make the changes so we can try it in 2006.''

In the scheme of things, the long 100-year (25-election) view, getting the system fixed is more important than proving fraud in 2004. I'm willing (and interested) in a short-term tactic over the next month to investigate fraud/suppression, but we mustn't let that lead to missed opportunities to fix the entire system, once and for all. The most important thing about the fraud issue is to ensure that it's absolutely impossible to happen ever again.



This is elevated from the comments to an earlier post about FISHY EXIT POLLS
The following from Michelle:

I heard a guy on MPR a couple of weeks ago who was an exit poll designer.
He said the discrepancy was most likely due to a design error in the model
of the exit poll, which placed too much emphasis on a younger voter turn
out, a turn out that would likely favor Kerry. The young voter turn out was
quite a bit smaller than the exit poll model had predicted -- thus
explaining why Kerry was always favored in the exit poll and Bush always had
the advantage in the actual vote. I don't know if this is correct or not,
but it sounded (sadly) plausible. I have also heard that although Kerry
conceded, it is not legally binding, and he and his team of lawyers are
working fast and furiously behind the scenes to see if they can assemble a
legitimate case of enough voter fraud to turn the election. They would wait
to announce it until after the holidays, choosing wisely not to open
themselves to claims of "disrupting the nation while it is engaged at war,"
with all the big Fallujah battles. I don't know. But it seems a smart way
to work, if true.

The part about "concession" is true. There's nothing in the Constitution about concessions. However, what Kerry's very quick concession did do was take the eyes and noses of CorpMedia off of the vote count and the election itself. It's all done as far as they're concerned.

As far as the exit polls. This still doesn't explain why the polls were so dramatically off in only specific counties. And these were counties with the newest kinds of voting machines, none of which have paper trails. If the model, emphasizing the word "the" in the singular, it would have been consistently off across the board. And it wasn't. In most areas it was spot on, but those areas were not hotly contested.


This was promoted from email sent in by Kay, who received it from a friend of hers. It's apparently from Joe Blundo, a Columbus Dispatch columnist.

Canada busy sending back Bush-dodgers The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The re-election of President Bush is prompting the exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray and agree with Bill O'Reilly. Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night. "I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. "He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn't have any, he left. Didn't even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?" In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields. Not real effective," he said. "The liberals still got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk." Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves. "A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions," an Ontario border patrolman said. "I found one carload without a drop of drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet, though." When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about the Bush administration establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer and watch NASCAR. In the days since the election, liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers. "If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age," an official said. Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan Sarandon movies. "I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them," an Ottawa resident said. "How many art-history majors does one country need?" In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and Canada, Vice President Dick Cheney met with the Canadian ambassador and pledged that the administration would take steps to reassure liberals, a source close to Cheney said. "We're going to have some Peter, Paul &Mary concerts. And we might put some endangered species on postage stamps. The president is determined to reach out." (Joe Blundo is a Columbus Dispatch columnist)

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Minnesota Govenor Tim Pawlenty is now talking about calling a special session of the Minn. legislator to deal with the bonding bill that didn't get passed during the last legislative session.

Wait a minute, is he talking about the bonding bill that the Republicans brought down? Sure enough. The Democrats voted in favor of the bill which would have moved it into conference committee. But it was the Republicans who voted it down, killing it for the session. At the time Republican Pawlenty refused to do anything about it despite repeated calls for a special session from Democratic leaders. But now, only a month short of the start of a new session Pawlenty is calling for a special session. What's up? Well Pawlenty has a new bonding bill, only half the size of the last one. And Pawlenty's reasoning for calling the special session now? "Oh," he says, " it will be easier to pass the bill, now." Yeah, because right now he also has a dozen more Republicans in his pocket than he will have when the new legislature convenes the first week of January 2005. Remember that little election of a couple weeks ago? The Republicans suffered a net loss of 13 seats. Gee Govenor, considering that so much of the bonding build concerns heavy construction, things like roads and bridges, why didn't you call the special session months earlier when there was still time to let contracts for bid and get started on them. Rushing to pass the bonding bill now isn't going to help at all when we have to wait for "road construction season," which is months away. Oh, by the way. The special session will cost $25,000 to $30,000 per day. Hmmm all that extra money for something that should happen in January and should have happened in the regular session of the Republican controlled house.

Talk about disingenuous.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Down for the Count

Sorry, was so tired I couldn't keep my head up today.


So you think the Democrats should move further to the right? You want to end up like bigoted clerics like this: from the blog "It Effects You"

What do you call a gay Republican? A Democrat.

  • Filed under: General — ross @ 8:59 pm

I just finished reading through the transcript for this morning's (Sunday 28, Nov.) Meet the Press. Jerry Falwell was there as part of a round table, so I expected some good quotes from always quotable evangelical. There were any number I could have used, but I chose this exchange:

MR. RUSSERT: On "Desperate Housewives," Newsweek says that the creator of "Desperate Housewives" is a conservative, gay Republican.

DR. FALWELL: Well, the fact that he's a gay Republican means he should join the Democratic Party.

Hear that, Ken Mehlman? Hear that, Matt Drudge? Hear that, every other gay Republican out there? Notice there's no flexibility here. No willingness to accept or even consider other views. No room for discussion, acceptance or understanding. If you're gay - or likely even someone who believes in gay rights - there is simply no room for you at this Republican table.

Moderate Republicans (hard to believe there are any left) need to either take their party back or come to our side.

Go not right, but further to the left, to the base. Welcome those who have been shunned elsewhere.


Atrios at Eschaton has an interesting bit on now racist radical clerics are still jumping on the "values," bandwagon supposedly launched during the 2004 elections. However, as noted in the NY Times article by Frank Rich the actual percentage of those citing "values," as their motivation for voting for Bush was only 22 percent. What's important to note is that number is down from the 2000 (35 percent) and 1996 elections (40 percent). To me that's a clear indication that "values" as a principle issue in voting is in decline. The less voters care about values the more they vote for Bush.

So why is it now that we get to hear racist right wing radical clerics like Dobson or Fallwell positioning themselves as leaders directing American voting trends? Because once again CorpMedia falls for it. "Values," it's a simple word they can stuff into a headline without explanation, or thought.

Sunday, November 28, 2004


Blue Lemur and the Washington post are carrying an interesting story about Red State values.

Apparently at the top of the list is discrimination and segregation. Alabama's constitution still supports discrimination.
Alabama voters have refused to approve a constitutional amendment to erase wording requiring separate schools for “white and colored children” and to eliminate references to the poll taxes once imposed to disenfranchise blacks on Nov. 2. Here’s an excerpt from Sunday’s story in the Washington Post.
Now do you really want to move further to the right and be more like the GOP?

The Party of Bigotry, Hatred and Fear


Well Ben Stein has done it again. On this morning's installment of CBS Sunday Morning (11/28/04), he stood up for current Bush administration policy advocating the dismantling of the Social Security.
According to Stein (entertainer turned socioeconomic pundit), it's your own fault if you don't have enough to retire in luxuary. If you find yourself without the funds for a beautiful retirement home, a boat on the lake and the cash to travel you must have made serious errors in judgement with your investments and savings. Stein claimed that it was a simple matter to lay out a plan for savings, sock it into your 401k and then stick to it so you ended up with at least seven times what you need to live on each year. Wait a minute. Don't you have to have money to save in order to save it? What about all those people who have a hard enough time making ends meet on a weekly or monthly basis? Those at the lower end of the income scale (unlike Stein, Bush and Cheney and their upper 2 percent cronies) have to use a much larger portion of their income just to survive. There isn't anything left over to spend. And this isn't a matter of giving up their second home in the Caymen Islands or cutting back on vacation travel. This is milk, and bread and rent that they're paying for.
What Stein is doing is advocating investments over the basic savings inherent in the guarantees of Social Security. He uses the hollow argument of "choice," to defend a desire to release more personal funds into investments and away from Social Security. Sure, he and his ilk have the funds and wherewithal to do what they like. Most of the rest of us don't. Social Security gone (the Bush Taliban is working on it now) and the investment class will be sitting pretty while the rest of the country descends into a feudal state of lords and serfs.

What to do?
How about a note to CBS Sunday Morning demanding that their be more balanced, and present a counterpoint to the administration's on-camera editorials.

CBS News Sunday Morning home page