Ohio Attornies Set To Challenge Election

Win by a Thousand Cuts

By Paul Rosenberg, Random Lengths News

Article republished from Altweeklies.com.

"Fraud is a crime and use of your office to suppress the votes of a protected class [such as minorities and students] is a crime," Arnebeck stated. But the crimes aren't isolated.

A multi-faceted pattern of voter suppression--culminating in a shortage of voting machines in inner city precincts--may have given Bush an illegitimate election victory in Ohio and, thus, the nation. On November 19, a trio of public interest attorneys who announced their intention to contest the election before the Ohio State Supreme Court. If successful, they could overturn Bush's election.

It's a long shot--particularly given the politics of Ohio's Supreme Court, which has been corrupted by illegal corporate campaign contributions over the past four years, according to Common Cause attorney Cliff Arnebeck, also a national leader of the Alliance for Democracy, who is on the forefront of both battles.

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What Is Liberalism?--An Excellent Historical Summary

There is an excellent historical summary of liberalism in the Dictionary of the History of Ideas. It is historically specific, and does not deal with pre-modern liberalism, which can be found in the Hebrew prophets, the Gospels and numerous aspects of Greek tought beginning with the pre-Socratics. Instead, it focuses on the development of key aspects of modern liberalism, particularly the expanding notions of civil and political rights. The given reason for this exclusive focus is the central role that individual freedom plays in modern liberalism, which was absent from its earlier antecedents--or any other ancient philosophy.  I will cite a few key features of the essay in hopes of enticing people to read it in full--and even study it.

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UPDATED: On Social Spending, Conservatives ARE Liberal

While the "liberal" brand name has been intensely demonized over the past few decades, liberal policies and ideas have maintained considerable appeal--even among self-identified conservatives. Here are a series of charts showing levels of support for national spending to address major problems or needs. While support drops off from left to right, the level of support among even extreme conservatives is such that only for welfare does a solid majority support cutting spending. "Welfare," too, has been demonized, as can be seen by the dramatically higher support for assistance to the poor.

All charts are based on data from the General Social Survey (GSS), 1992-2002. They run from extreme liberal on the left to ectreme conservative on the right. The dates were chosen to provide a large data set across the allegedly most conservative era since the GSS began, in 1972.

Let's start with the environment.  Not a surprise, really. But an important reminder about a hegemonic liberal value, no? And just look at the levels of support:

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Getting Behind the "Stolen Election" Anger

I think a lot of the anger around "stolen election" issue is a function of displacement. (General yells at the colonel, colonel yells at the major... private kicks the dog).

Many of us during the campaign were frustrated with Kerry's restraint. "Just wait," we were told on countless occassions. "Kerry's a  prosecutor," or "Kerry's an incredible closer." (Left unstated in this last claim was the fact that Kerry too often fails to build a lead and define the campaign early, despite having openings to do so.)  We even heard about him turning his Swift Boat into the fire, and letting rip.

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Ohio--A Peak From The Legal Trenches

I've just posted a story story at the Random Lengths News blog, Random Notes, based on an interview with Pat Nave, the former city attorney for the Port of Los Angeles. He's in Toledo for the duration as an unpaid volunteer working on voter suppression.  

An excerpt follows in the extended entry.

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Voter Suppression Roundup Story--Spread It Around

I've just finished a voter suppression roundup story, which is posted on the Altweeklies.com site.  (They advertise here.) It's called "Down to the Wire: Voter Suppression Is Alive In the Heartland" and is a followup to a more broadly descriptive piece, Cheated at the Ballot Box: Voter Suppression and the 2004 Election, also on the site.  

If you think it's worthwhile, I hope you'll help me get it out there--particularly via alternative weeklies, who normally buy material from the site.

Story description & what you can do to spread the word in the extended entry.

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PIPA POLL: Bush Supporters Still Believe Iraq Lies

It's not just Bush who's living in a bubble, according to a report released Thursday. A majority of those who support him are fundamentally misinformed about key justifications for going to war against Iraq, and other important factors in his foreign policy. A new report from PIPA (the Project on Policy Alternatives) titled, Bush Supporters Still Believe Iraq Had WMD or Major Program,Supported al Qaeda, has the following lead findings:

Even after the final report of Charles Duelfer to Congress saying that Iraq did not have a significant WMD program, 72% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%). Fifty-six percent assume that most experts believe Iraq had actual WMD and 57% also assume, incorrectly, that Duelfer concluded Iraq had at least a major WMD program. Kerry supporters hold opposite beliefs on all these points.

Similarly, 75% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda, and 63% believe that clear evidence of this support has been found. Sixty percent of Bush supporters assume that this is also the conclusion of most experts, and 55% assume, incorrectly, that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Here again, large majorities of Kerry supporters have exactly opposite perceptions.

The report is based on polls conducted in September and October.

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Operation 'Fool Me Once' Political Site of the Day

Operation "Fool Me Once" has just been selected "Political Site of the Day" by AboutPolitics.com, which has been highlighting political sites since 1995.  

We're in the last push of persuading editorial boards that endorsed Bush in 2004 to repent of their folly. So far, those who have seen the light include Bush's local paper,The Iconoclast, the Seattle Times, the Oregonian , the Atlanta Journal Constitution , theAlbuquerque Tribune, the Bradenton Herald, the Boulder Daily Camera, and the Columbia Daily Tribune (MO).

Please visit our site, and help add to this list!

Bradenton Herald Says "Fool Me Once..."

The Bradenton Herald's endorsement of John Kerry reads like it cribbed its notes from Operation "Fool Me Once" which originated on DailyKos, in a diary by Cyberactor.  There's still time to help other papers see the light as well. It takes a lot of guts to admit being so wrong on a such an important decision, and Bradenton Herald has made it easier for others to follow suit. Their editorial begins:

When the Herald recommended the election of George W. Bush as president of the United States four years ago, we lauded his record in Texas as a consensus builder and expressed confidence in his ability to unite the country after four years of bitter partisanship. We liked his slogan, "A uniter, not a divider," and criticized opponent Al Gore's role as point man for Democrats' mean-spiritedness.

How poorly we understood George W. Bush in 2000. We could not imagine the possibility that, just four years later, Bush would have done just what we feared of Gore - that the United States would barely be on speaking terms with some of its staunchest allies, and that America would be reviled around the world as a bullying, imperialist superpower. How far we have fallen from the bright fiscal forecast in 2000, with surpluses that offered the promise of debt paydown now replaced with a staggering $500 billion annual deficit and the national debt projected to exceed $9 trillion by 2010.

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Voter Suppression and the 2004 Election--CONTEXT

I have a new story up on the Altweeklies.com website:Cheated at the Ballot Box -- Voter Suppression and the 2004 Election. It provides  an overview of the voter suppression efforts of the GOP in a structural and historical frame. While the issue is well-known in the blogosphere, press coverage has mostly been spotty and episodic. This piece is intended to help folks get their bearings, so they can better understand specific stories.

A major chunk of the article follows in the extended entry.

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