Thursday, August 31, 2006

Destruction of Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election Ballots Delayed by Blackwell

It's a start:
With paper ballots from the 2004 presidential election in Ohio scheduled to be destroyed next week, the secretary of state in Columbus, under pressure from critics, said yesterday that he would move to delay the destruction at least for several months.

Since the election, questions have been raised about how votes were tallied in Ohio, a battleground state that helped deliver the election to President Bush over Senator John Kerry.
I agree with, "[...] critics say the ballots should be saved pending an investigation. They also say the secretary of state’s proposal to delay the destruction does not go far enough, and they intend to sue to preserve the ballots."

This gives election activists desparately needed time to launch an investigation and lawsuit. I'm investigating action items to see if there is anything we can do to help out and will update when I get them. If any readers have ideas, please feel free to forward them to me in the comments or to

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ohio Preparing to Destroy 2004 Presidential Election Ballots

First heard on Stephanie Miller this morning, Ohio officials are preparing to destroy the ballots from the 2004 Presidential Election:
Ohio officials will soon begin destroying the paper ballots from the 2004 presidential election despite objections from voter rights groups.

"Soon after the 2004 presidential election, questions emerged about how votes were tallied in Ohio, a battleground state that delivered the presidency to George W. Bush," Ian Urbina writes in a story slated for the New York Times.

"Now, following a routine procedure, state officials are preparing to destroy the paper ballots from the election," writes Urbina.

"Critics say the ballots should be preserved for more study," the article continues.

If this is truly a routine procedure, put in place before the 2004 elections, I can't fault the officials for following procedure. I can, however, fault them for not making the ballots public before this year, I will definitely fault them for not making exception to procedure in this highly suspect and volatile instance - we need those ballots, as they are the only physical proof election protection activists have regarding Ohio's role in the outcome of the 2004 election, especially since none exist for the Diebold voting machines that were used.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bush's On Notice Board

Stephen Colbert loves Bush almost as much as he loves Papa Bear Bill O'Reilly. So much so that Stephen put together an On Notice just for his beloved Commander-in-Thief:

You're On Notice!

Weird thing is, Stephen put this together in April 2001 - before he even had a show.

So eerie, yet explains so much...

New Stem Cell Technique May Not Be Good Enough for Bush

The main objection that critics have had regarding the pursuit of embyonic stem-cell research is that the 150 celled embryo - called a blastocyst - has been destoyed in the past, thereby destroying what is potential life, at least in the eyes of the Bush Administration and "right-to-life" (what a ridiculous phrase) critics.

So one would think that the new technique for harvesting stem-cells - in which a single cell is taken from a a two day old, eight celled blastomere - would be sufficient to silence the critics. This technique has been in use for a decade in testing in vitro embryos for potential birth defects, to no ill health for the embryos implanted in the womb, carried to term and since successfully born and raised.

Gues what? That ain't enough:

[...]Emily Lawrimore, a White House spokeswoman, suggested that the new procedure would not satisfy the objections of Mr. Bush, who vetoed legislation in July that would have expanded federally financed embryonic stem cell research. Though Ms. Lawrimore called it encouraging that scientists were moving away from destroying embryos, she said: "Any use of human embryos for research purposes raises serious ethical questions. This technique does not resolve those concerns."

How is embryonic stem-cell research supposed to happen, if human embryos are not used? By waving a magic wand?

Scientists acknowledge that more research needs to be done to make sure this is a viable method of creating new stem-cell lines. But this is the best - and least destructive - method of furthering this much needed research. Bush and his cabal really need to embrace this technique, less they be seen as obstructionist Neanderthals.

Oh, wait...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Thank You, Bush...

...for admitting the truth - and so forcefully:

[BUSH]: [...] And so my question -- my answer to your question is, is that, imagine a world in which Saddam Hussein was there, stirring up even more trouble in a part of the world that had so much resentment and so much hatred that people came and killed 3,000 of our citizens.

You know, I've heard this theory about everything was just fine until we arrived, and kind of "we're going to stir up the hornet's nest" theory. It just doesn't hold water, as far as I'm concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.

Q What did Iraq have to do with that?

[BUSH]: What did Iraq have to do with what?

Q The attack on the World Trade Center?

[BUSH]: Nothing

Santorum's Got It All Wrong...'s not man-on-dog we have to worry about. It's dog-on-turtle:

In this photo released by Kellie Copeland-Burnup via the Post and Courier, Willy, a tortoise, belonging to Kellie, walks past the family dog Sunday, Aug. 21, 2006, in Ridgeville, S.C. After a month on the lam, the 40-pound tortoise with a 2-foot-wide, gold-colored shell is back in the wading pool at his owner's home. Kellie reported the tortoise escaped about July 1. A local emergency medical services technician spotted Willy on Sunday along a rural road about five miles away. During six weeks on the run, Willy averaged .005 mph, well short of a new land speed record. (AP Photo/Kellie Copeland-Burnup via the Post and Courier)

Maybe Ricky had better begin investigations into this unnatural union of mammal and reptile.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Marine Reservists - Not Returning Willingly

From Reuters today: Marine Corps to start involuntary troop recalls.

The most telling line from the article: "But the number of Marines volunteering outside their active-duty service requirement has been steadily declining for two years, according to Stratton, who said could not offer an explanation."

I certainly couldn't give a definite answer, as I'm not a Marine reservist, but maybe those who haven't volunteered to return aren't enamoured with the Occupation of Iraq. There is the possibility that they find it as illegal and immoral as many of us anti-war activists.

The scariest part of the article: "The Marine Corps' authority to involuntarily recall Marines for jobs in the 'Global War on Terror' -- a war whose parameters remain largely undefined -- has no expiration date.

'The authority is until GWOT is over with,' Stratton said. 'Until we're told to do otherwise, we'll use it.'"

Can the draft be far behind?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Bush Signed the Who and the What?

This morning I read something that made my head do a triple-whiplash: Bush signed into law the Federal Pension Protection Act. What made me snort Wheaties out of my nose? The provisions that allow retirement benefits to be transferred to domestic partners after one dies.

Either Bush's Fundamentalist heart softened a tiny bit towards same-sex unions or he hadn't yet had his coffee when this bill crossed his desk.

I'm betting on the latter...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

NSA Eavesdropping is Bad, MMM'K?

Bless U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor from Michigan. She has ruled that the NSA eavesdropping program is unconstitutional:
[Taylor] further declared that the program "violates the separation of powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth amendments to the United States Constitution, the FISA and Title III."

She went on to say that "the president of the United States ... has undisputedly violated the Fourth in failing to procure judicial orders."
I think we need to send her a big candy heart and a bunch of flowers.

(The complete ruling can be found here.)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Start Singing, Grandpa Joe

As y'all know by now, Ned Lamont won the Democratic nomination for Senate in Connecticut's primary yesterday. He won it fair and square, beating DINO Joe Lieberman with 52% of the vote.

But, because Grandpa Joe makes like a Carly Simon song, thinking this election is all about him, he's decided to stay in the fight and run as an independent.

Joe, Joe, Joe. You'll sit back and allow Bush and Fox News to run all over you, then lead you around by their very short leash. But when the Democratic voters - you know, the political party you claimed as yours so many years ago, the people you've sworn to serve many times over - legally and fairly decide that you no longer represent their views or best interests, you decide that a little overtime is order, even if no one else is playing the same game as you.

Stop whining, Joe. Stop stomping your feet about how it would be "irresponsible and inconsistent with my principles" to quit 'cause you don't like the outcome. Grow up, Grandpa Joe. Retire and spend the rest of your days as the Fox News buttmonkey, a position you clearly prefer to that of actually representing your state.

Oh well. At least he won't call himself a Democrat any more...