Wyden supports filibuster on Alito

Over the weekend, the following email was sent by Erik Sorenson - spokesman for the Oregon Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary:

Late this afternoon, I received word that Senator Wyden would support a filibuster to resist efforts of the Republicans to end the debate on Judge Alito. I must say you all did a marvelous job. Our voices were definitely heard.

In talking with Senator Wyden's office, they received many calls from Oregonians over the last couple days urging the Senator to defend to right to continue debate on the controversial nominee. In fact, there were reports that calls were so numerous that lines to his D.C. office were constantly busy. There is no doubt that Senator Wyden was listening. I only wish I could say that Senator Smith was listening as well.

To say the least, it is commendable that Senator Wyden made such a declaration today. Please take a moment and let him know that you appreciate his courage in standing up for Oregonians.

A one-sentence item was also tucked into this Associated Press story. The Multnomah County Democrats have it on their blog here.

Discuss.

Comments

  • pdxdem (unverified)
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    I am so glad that Wyden is supporting the filibuster. I knew that Smith was going to be worthless as usual on the subject though. This is just one more reason for oregonians need to get rid of Smith.

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    Looks like some triangulation occured around the weekend.

    If you have enough Dems (who hold "at risk" seats) siding with the Republicans that cloture is assured, then it becomes a lot easier for the rest of 'em to do a little base tending. They can filibuster with the assurance that they will be overruled by vote.

    Best of all, they get to look good for the rank and file without risking the invocation of the nuclear option.

    It looks like a win-win situation.........

    You da man, Ron.

  • Alvord (unverified)
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    Good for Wyden. He is doing the right thing.

    Following the blogs over this has been really interesting. There was a spontaneous eruption from the Dem base over the last few days. It wasn't driven by NARAL or any other special interest group. It wasn't even led by Dem politicians though some of them contributed to it. It sprung up from people all over the country talking to each other through the blogs. This phenomenon is bad news for the Democratic establishment echo chamber in Washington DC because they are losing control of how the debate in the democratic party is going to be conducted. I think it is even worse news for republican senators like Gordon Smith who will find it much harder to maintain positive favorability ratings in a blue state where there is an energized and increasingly organized and effective opposition in the democratic base.

  • sasha (unverified)
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    Please please please please please please filibuster Alito. Elections are coming. Republicans are in disarray and they need help.

  • Alvord (unverified)
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    "Please please please please please please filibuster Alito. Elections are coming. Republicans are in disarray and they need help."

    Republicans were putting so much faith in the political benefit they would get over a fight about Alito but it is the Democrats who are getting the benefits of that fight. It looks to me like the old republican mojo is gone.

  • Charlie in Gresham (unverified)
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    WELL STATED PAT.....there will be no filibuster. That's already been assured with 12 Dems and all 55 Repubs firmly opposed to it. Knowing this in advance, it does give the Democratic leadership the opportunity to "free" certain senators like Ron to vote for a filibuster and look good back home.

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    I believe the latest count is seven against the filibuster. There are still some undecideds - though two of them (Lieberman and Inouye) were part of the Gang of 14.

    Of course, 55 Republicans plus just seven is 62.

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    Of course, the filibuster vote is happening RIGHT NOW.

  • pdxdem (unverified)
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    We lost the vote. It is a sad day for our country and for human rights in general. We are all going to suffer now. Alito is going to remove every last freedom we have and turn our country into a fascist state. Welcome to the united fascist states of america!

  • sasha (unverified)
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    Alvord wrote: "Republicans were putting so much faith in the political benefit they would get over a fight about Alito but it is the Democrats who are getting the benefits of that fight. It looks to me like the old republican mojo is gone."

    OK let me see if I understand this correctly: Republicans lose because they won so easily that there wasn't a big fight which they would have eventually won.

    So Democrats, by being weak and ineffectual in their opposition to all things Bush, are the big winners here.

    Especially because it frees some senators like Wyden to score some garbage time points because his base is sooo gullible and stupid they can't figure out when they are getting played.

    Am I close?

  • Alice (unverified)
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    Filibuster is over. Alito's confirmation vote is tomorrow, same day as the State of the Union address!

    Thank you, Sen. Wyden for defending posturing and politics as usual.

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    Especially because it frees some senators like Wyden to score some garbage time points because his base is sooo gullible and stupid they can't figure out when they are getting played.

    Am I close?

    Sasha,

    Let me help clarify. First, a popular and Flordia majority is subverted and ignored and the most incompetent, petulant, spoiled brat monster is installed in office (First Bush II regime). Then an illegitimate super house majority is installed through criminal redistricting in Texas. A bogus Senate majority is also rammed into place with stolen elections in Georgia and Minnesota. Finally, another national popular and Ohio statewide majority is disenfranchised in the 2004 election, scientific exit polls are ignored, an election evening vote switch is completed with the acquiesence of a prostate media and the now runaway criminal Bush cabal seals its fascist coup de etat in America.

    To kick off the appalling Second Bush II regime, Bush and his extremist theocratic lunatic billionaires and industry cronies begin packing the Supreme court with like-minded ideologues until soon we have a kangaroo rightist bench that will shovel power over to the Executive faster than you can say endless war on terror. Spineless DLC Dems are now beginning to almost wake up and try to fight back but can not even face the initial, blaring, obvious, disgusting but all too obvious truth: MASSIVE ELECTION FRAUD HAS INSTALLED AN UTTERLY ILLEGITIMATE REGIME IN THIS COUNTRY. There is no right wing majority. Gore won. We know this for a fact. Kerry also won. Those of you who don't know this yet -- please think back on this post a few years from now when it becomes common knowledge that Kerry won, and if you'd like to get a jump start on that reality, please go here.

    In short, DLC Dems such as Wyden and many of the others are just now starting to "get it" but they have been soooo gulible and stupid in facing reality that they haven't even figured out step one, which is that they have been getting played all along by the organized fascist right, now known as the Republican Party, and the DLC that is taking them closer and closer to their (and our) doom, at which point they will all "rapture up" to safety while we will all fry in a ball of flames formerly known as the Earth.

    A little closer? I think that is what you meant to say. In any case, if you are really interested in the "saga so far" plus a peek at the future, there it is.

  • Alvord (unverified)
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    Sasha said - "Am I close?"

    No Sasha you are not close. There is a new player on the field now. The people that came together to stop Alito are energized and are not controlled by the Washington DC democratic consultants or by the traditional democratic special interest groups. That is a real benefit of the attempt to stop Alito and I think it is going to make a real difference. This isn't an ending, it is a beginning.

  • sasha (unverified)
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    Ginny:

    OK, now I understand. You are a comedienne. At least you have me laughing.

    I sure hope your views are representative of your comrades here at BlueOregon. Anybody?

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    I am as serious as Cheney's heart condition.

    If you are afraid or unwilling to face the truth, it's your problem. Keep riding your wave of illegitimacy and stolen elections for all I care. The Graft On Parade (GOP) will continue to sputter, spiral and spew untruths until it drowns in a cesspool of its own propaganda and corruption and be replaced with a popularly elected government some day, and the people will have their country back. Laugh at that.

    Gore/Edwards '08

  • (Show?)

    Sasha and Alice,

    You seem unclear on the concept of reasonable debate, but we forgive you as your posts pretty clearly demonstrate that you never ever allow an idea to enter your head that contradicts whqat you already know.

    This is, of course the norm among people who can be stampeded into voting based on fear and innuendo, and receive the fearful reenforcing info by clinging doggedly to the information providers that got us into this mess.

    Your repeated personal attacks on the persons that you are arguing with are also totally predictable because that's how your accepted authority figures teach you to......er, uh.......think.

    The thing is, though, many of your opponents including myself, actually listen to opinion leaders from all sides of a given question, do what research we can, and then decide our position based on the facts.

    <hr/>

    Here's your first assignment on the road to critical thinking:

    Go back and read Ginny's post without laughing. Try to pretend that you are an open minded adult trying to find out relevant information.

    When your research demonstrates that Ginny got her facts wrong, post WHY she is wrong and include links to support your arguments.

    <hr/>

    If you're unwilling to do that, you're just another Troll under a bridge......

    <hr/>

    BTW: There are plenty of libertarians and Republicans posting comments here on Blue Oregon that abide by these (non-partisan) rules of debate.

    Try it. You might like it. You might learn something. I might learn something

    .

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    oops

    That should turn the "bold" off.

  • Alice (unverified)
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    Pat/Ginny:

    If you are given to conspiracy theories, I will acknowledge that election in Florida 2000 was very close: a statistical dead heat. Nevertheless, we couldn't have a tie: somebody had to win. As much as you hate the outcome, it's difficult to argue with the process that delivered that outcome. I know, I know: Jeb was Governor, and Ms. Harris (the Secretary of State) was a republican. But SoS Bradbury is a Democrat, and very few people have suggested he's manipulating the outcome of our elections (excluding the registration of illegal aliens and keeping Nader off the ballot).

    But do you really believe that Bush/Cheney stole two national elections in a row?. Just because Randy Rhodes (spelling?) says it doesn't make it so. She's an entertainer, not an election observer. You might as say you have proof that Cheney flew the jet that hit the Pentagon via remote control set-up inside his limo. Or that the Mossad was behind 9/11. It's just too far fetched for serious discussion.

    I'm not suggesting you're crazy, but I am concerned by the level of cynicism or paranoia required to entertain the belief that Bush/Cheney stole both national elections. I would suggest you consider discussing these beliefs with a Psychiatrist or other trained professional. about the topic. In my opinion, it says more about you than it does Bush/Cheney or the great partisan divide.

  • sasha (unverified)
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    Alice got it right. Some claims are not worthy of serious discussion, only derision.

    Bush is somehow simultaneously incompetent AND able to engineer the stealing of two national presidential elections?

    I'm still laughing. With derision. Sorry Pat.

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    But do you really believe that Bush/Cheney stole two national elections in a row?

    The winner of a Presidential election gets to sit on top of a trillion dollar organization that makes decisions that will affect the course of history. I think it's naive in the extreme to assume that there is not a strong incentive to subvert the Democratic process in order to manipulate the outcome. The first question that people like Ginny ask is not whether Bush/Cheney stole either election, but rather, does the electoral system in this country make such attempts possible? And what should we do about it if it does?

    Your answer, and Sasha's, appears to be that we should laugh it off as conspiracy theory and then flip the channel to American Idol. Ginny's response, and bear in mind that she's an attorney who monitored the elections in Florida and who has worked on this issue for the last 5 years, is to start asking questions.

    As for some of the specifics ...

    I know, I know: Jeb was Governor, and Ms. Harris (the Secretary of State) was a republican.

    Ms. Harris was Secretary of State, a Republican, AND Chairman of Bush/Cheney 2000 in Florida. And there is plenty to criticize about the election in Florida.

    For one thing, thousands of your fellow citizens were scrubbed from the election roles prior to the election and not permitted to vote. The State of Florida admitted this when they settled a lawsuit over the issue in April of 2002.

    For another, according to the Washington Post, Al Gore's count in Florida dropped by 16000 votes on election night in a glitch that was thought to have been due to "faulty memory cards":

    "DELAND, Fla., Nov. 11 - Something very strange happened on election night to Deborah Tannenbaum, a Democratic Party official in Volusia County. At 10 p.m., she called the county elections department and learned that Al Gore was leading George W. Bush 83,000 votes to 62,000. But when she checked the county's Web site for an update half an hour later, she found a startling development: Gore's count had dropped by 16,000 votes, while an obscure Socialist candidate had picked up 10,000--all because of a single precinct with only 600 voters."

    - Washington Post Sunday , November 12, 2000 ; Page A22
    

    As Ginny knows, since she is close to this issue, DIEBOLD's internal email, which was entered into the congressional record, reveals that the problem went unfixed for several days, and so far as DIEBOLD was concerned, "the faulty memory card" explanation did not hold water:

    "I need some answers! Our department is being audited by the County. I have been waiting for someone to give me an explanation as to why Precinct 216 gave Al Gore a minus 16022 when it was uploaded. Will someone please explain this so that I have the information to give the auditor instead of standing here "looking dumb". Lana Hires – Volusia County Florida - January 17, 2001 8:07 AM ... "Given that we transfer data in ascii form not binary and given the way the data was 'invalid' the error could not have occured during transmission. Therefore the error could only occur in one of four ways: … [4.] There is always the possiblity that the 'second memory card' or 'second upload' came from an un-authorised source. Tab Iredale - Diebold ES - 18 Jan 2001 13:31"

    Now, whether or not you believe that these problems, which are just a few among many of those that have surfaced about the 2000 election in Floridan, or the problems in Ohio in 2004, influenced the election results is arguably less important than whether or not they reveal the possibility of severe, systemic, problems affecting the integrity of our electoral system in the United States, and whether the equipment that is currently being used is sufficiently secure and bulletproof in the sense that any problems can be caught and remedied.

    I happen to believe that the integrity of our democracy is too important for derision rooted in rank partisanship. Your mileage may vary.

  • another loss coming (unverified)
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    Election Integrity Matters, Did you clear all of that with Dan Rather.

    If I were a lefty I would be woory over the idea of yet another Bush appointee to the high court. Three years could bring another retirement and Bush appointee.

  • NSA wiretapper (unverified)
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    Ginny is onto something here. If you wear an aluminum foil hat, and put it on during T.V. commercials, their mind reading software won't penetrate your brain.

    Those dirty stinkin' Republicans will take all your best ideas and then give them to your boss to take the credit. Capitalism.

    Gotta go now: I think I just saw Sasquatch kissing Elvis.

    Didn't I tell you to never post comments here? Ironically, you could put up the translation of today's Al Qaeda tape, and it would just blend in with the background noise at Blue Oregon.

  • NSA wiretapper (unverified)
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    Guess who's coming to dinner: Ayman Al-Zawahiri or a Blue Oregon regular?

    The American airplanes, in collaboration with their agent of the Jews and the Crusaders, Musharraf, launched an airstrike on Damadola near Peshawar around the Eid al-Adha holiday, during which 18 Muslims -- men, women and children -- died in their fight against Islam, which they call terrorism. Their claim was to target this poor man and four of my brothers. The whole world discovered the lies as the Americans fight Islam and the Muslims. Before I discuss this incident, I have some messages to send out.

    "My first message is to the butcher of Washington, Bush: You are not just defeated and lying about it, but you are, with God's help, a loser. You are bad luck to your people. You brought them disasters and catastrophes, and you will bring them even more disasters.

    "Bush, you failed crusader, know that we are the nation of monotheism, which believes that no one is greater than God. He sent us a prophet and a book that was never edited like the other books before it. A unique book that defies anyone to come up with anything like it.

    "I will meet my death when God wishes. But if my time hasn't come, you and all the Earth's forces can't change it, not even by a second.

    "Bush, do you know where I am? I am among the Muslim masses enjoying their care with God's blessings and sharing with them their holy war against you until we defeat you, God willing.

    "My second message is to the American people who are drowning in illusions. I tell you that Bush and his gangs are shedding your blood and wasting your money in frustrated adventures. The lion of Islam, Sheikh Osama bin Laden, offered you a decent exit from your dilemma, but your leaders, who are keen to accumulate wealth, insist on throwing you in battles and killing your souls in Iraq and Afghanistan and, God willing, on your own land.

    "Your leaders responded that they do not negotiate with terrorists and that they are winning in their war on terrorism. I tell them, O' liars and greedy war merchants, who is pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan, you or us? Whose soldiers are committing suicide out of desperation, you or us?

    "To the American mother I say, if the defense ministry called you to tell you your son is coming back home in a coffin, remember Bush.

    "To the British wife I say, if you got a call telling you your husband is coming back home with his body paralyzed, amputated or charred, remember Blair."

  • (Show?)

    Sheesh, I leave for a few minutes and you guys leave the bold on and also start cooking up looney right wing miracles theories such as that Bush actually won a majority. There no believe more outlandish. Unless, of course, you are faith-based, such as Alice, sasha, NSA Wiretapper, etc. The fact of the matter is that it is established fact that Gore WON the full vote count in Florida under any manner of interpreting the chads, overvotes, undervotes, etc.

    "The newspapers concluded that Gore would have won by 242 if ballots with multiple indentations -- indicating a malfunctioning machine -- were counted. Gore's margin would have swelled to 332 if ballots with indentations only for president were counted. If all indented ballots were thrown out, however, Bush would have won by margins of 407 or 152, depending on whether ballots with hanging chads or only fully punched through chads were counted, the newspapers reported.

    The New York Times' finding suggests that if the faulty overseas votes were disqualified -- costing Bush another 292 net votes -- Gore would have won under three of the four standards for counting ballots.

    Additionally, USA Today reported that Gore lost about 15,000 to 25,000 votes from ballot errors that resulted from confusing ballot designs in some counties.

    In another move that cut into Gore’s tally, Gov. Jeb Bush’s administration improperly purged hundreds of voters – predominately African-American – after falsely identifying them as felons. According to exit polls, Gore carried the African-American vote by a 9-to-1 margin, so the phony felon purge predictably hit him hardest.

    Now, with The New York Times’ findings, it is even clearer that Gore was the choice of Florida voters as well as the U.S. electorate which favored him by more than a half million ballots. Nevertheless, the American people ended up with George W. Bush in the White House."

    Of course, if the vote you are talking about is the 5-4 Supreme Court debacle then, yes, Bush did squeak out a majority there. The point is he did not win a popular or even state wide majority of the votes OF THE PEOPLE. (In case you need a reminder, it's the people -- citizens of America --- who do the electing in this country. But not if Republicans can have their way, I guess. John Bolton, numerous Republican staffers, and all manner of anti-democratic thugs from the GOP flew into Florida on Kenny Boy Lay's charter jet and pretended to be citizens of Florida, threw a tantrum outside the courthouse as votes were being re-counted, and forced the matter into chaos. This led to the Supreme Court case in which Bush was crowned. Any questions class? Gore won 2000.

    (Golly, it's amazing how much time you right wing people take up when we have to explain recent history to you all the time. Can't you read? But maybe that's the plan. You are taking up the time I could be spending reading the final chapters of "Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election" by Mark Crispin Miller. This compendium of facts and analysis sets forth in meticulous and scholarly detail all the requisite elements of fraud and a vast mountain of evidence to support it. If that's not enough for you, try Bob Fritakis' phonebook o' fraud. The truth is, there is a floodtide of evidence on this heist from every corner of the academic and scientific world. Scant and ridiculous evidence supports the outlandish theory that Bush won, my favorite being the absurd "Shy Republican" concept, which would be funny if it weren't so tragically sad that commenters Alice, sasha and NSA wiretapper actually believe in such quack science, whether wittingly or not. Geez, even Sasquatch wouldn't duped as badly as you guys.

    If you believe in science and reason, and you have the intellectual capacity to question something and come to a decision based on reason, you would study this matter. If you actually read the evidence, you would realize that the exit polls were scientifically accurate to within a very small margin of error and they show that Kerry won, both a majority nationwide and a majority in Ohio. The correct exit polls were "adjusted" to match the rigged results derived from central tabulators. Late in the evening the whole system went down for a significant time. When it came back up --- wouldn't you know it!.... the totals swung toward Bush in such a powerful storm of astronomical statistical improbablities it'd blow your tinfoil nor'easters right off your heads.

    Here is a very clear diagram of what happened,

    Here is what you must also believe if you believe Bush won 2004,

    If you insist on a single smoking gun, check here,

    and here is where you could go to begin your journey into the reality-based community, assuming you are pro-reason.

    If you wish to remain willfully ignorant of this evidence, ignore it, and just cower from the truth behind your pathetic name calling & McCarthyism toward me and my fellow patriots here at Blue Oregon, that's an option. Just please realize that unless you can come up with something better than quack theories about shy responders, or that Bush is too dumb to steal the election, then you are no better than a flatearther. And it is you, the Bush believers, who all future generations will collectively deride. But you know, come to think of it, why wait?

    And one more thing, I challenge you to prove that Bush won an electoral majority.

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    OK, folks, no more stuff on election integrity, voting machines, and the like. Take that over to OregonVRC.org or wait for an appropriate topic.

    This thread is about Alito, the filibuster, etc.

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)
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    Ginny: Do you get to decide what constitutes a valid ballot in Florida, or should that task left to (pick two):

    A). The New York Times B). A consortium of newspapers C). State of Florida Election Officials D). The Courts

    You forgot to delete the below quote in your biased editing of the discussion:

    If all indented ballots were thrown out, however, Bush would have won by margins of 407 or 152, depending on whether ballots with hanging chads or only fully punched through chads were counted, the newspapers reported.

    What part of "Bush would have won" is not dispositive? More importantly, Bush did win. This subject in only being debated in the most backwater mud blogs of delusional lefty group think. Bush won. Get over it. The more you drag on and on, the more damage you do to the Democratic Party. "We wuz robbed, TWICE" is the fat-stupid-and-lazy of electoral strategies. Move on, as they say.

  • Karl (unverified)
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    I've got to agree with Alvord. I think it's wonderful to see some senators get some spine. And Pat, why is it that you think that it was a win for Ron that Alito won? I have to thank sasha, NSA wiretapper and Alice. You guys sure get my juices flowing. You energize me.

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    It was disappointing to see the party come so late to the party, so to speak. But as others have mentioned, it was extremely gratifying to watch the netroots jump into action. I had to keep laughing while listening to Sam Brownback berate the Democrats for kowtowing to "special interest groups." PFAW, NARAL, NOW, NAACP--they had bupkus to do with what happened yesterday. The only people who deserve credit for FINALLY taking a principled stand are Kerry, Kennedy, and the individuals who picked up a phone or a fax machine and did something for the good of the body politic.

    The bloated, consultancy-based DLC has been sniping at Howard Dean for having so little cash on hand. What they don't want to mention is that the amount raised smashed prior records, that it heavily funded Corzine and Kaine, and (most importantly) that it finally began reestablishing small-group networks at the local level. The DLC still thinks you can win elections with top-down strategizing and massive ad buys. The GOP figured out a good 20 years ago that trickle-down campaigning doesn't work, that priming the pump at the smallest levels does. (And yet they still cling to supply side econ theory!)

    The Alito filibustrette is another sledgehammer to the party powermakers: you are losing your control. Roll with it, or reap the whirlwind.

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    Karl,

    It was a win for Ron (and a bunch of other Dems), that they were able to cast a vote designed to placate outraged local activists, while remaining assured of the fact that enough fellow Dems voted the other way, thus ensuring that the Repubs wouldn't need to use the nuclear option to get their boy on the court.

  • Charlie in Gresham (unverified)
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    I have absolutely no patience with anyone referring to the left wing as communists OR the right wing as facists. In my mind, anyone who uses such bomb throwing phrases in their political debates has no credibility and deserves to be ignored by all.

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    I have absolutely no patience with anyone referring to the left wing as communists OR the right wing as facists. In my mind, anyone who uses such bomb throwing phrases in their political debates has no credibility and deserves to be ignored by all.

    People on the left are communists, people on the right are fascists, and you've got a problem with others who use bomb-throwing phrases? lol.

  • NSGN (unverified)
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    Kari, etc... I respectfully disagree that election reform is irrelevant to the matter of Alito. Sadly, our checks and balances have largely disappeared in America, partly because the Bushies rigged the 2000 and 2004 elections, got and kept control of the executive branch and then used that springboard to erode the integrity of the legislative branch (massive redistricting, smear campaigns, the suspicious deaths of Mel Carnahan, Paul Wellstone and Wellstone's family) and now it looks like the judicial branch has also been hobbled by the appointments of Roberts and Alito. Because the legislative branch had already been compromised, the judicial branch was vulnerable. But, really, it all started with Bush stealing the 2000 election and Americans letting it happen, just as they will let Alito happen and then we'll wake up one day in a truly fascist state where corporations act with impunity and a woman cannot choose whether or not she wants to have or not have her baby (thank God I'm infertile, but at least I made my own choice about that!) and we'll rub our eyes, like ,"wha happened?" And it will be our own darned fault for NOT getting in a snit about election fraud. However, I do agree that everyone who blogs here should get behind Oregon Voter Rights Coalition, Truth In Voting (out of Eugene) and the Alliance for Democracy.

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    What was that blue, a brain fart?

    Charlie argues against using loaded terminology (which I may or may not agree with), but you then seem to accuse him of employing those terms himself.

    I had a quick look around, but failed to find posts where Charlie uses the tactics that he's decrying.

    Please reread.

  • Alice (unverified)
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    NSGN: you have crossed the line, my dear.

    How can you level a "murder by plane crash" accuasation with such casual disregard for the facts? You undermine your own credibility when you make such an outrageous allegation. You insult the families of the pilot and all who perished on those planes.

    Perhaps Republicans are responsible for all weather related aircraft crashes? Or are you just blaming them for every airplane crash that involves a democratic politician? Did they kill JFK Jr. too? Because they knew he might run for the Presidency some day.

    For the record, both Mel Carnahan and Paul Wellstone died in twin engine aircraft which crashed (separately) in bad weather.

    On the Wellstone accident, the NTSB found that a combination of pilot error, and bad weather contributed to the accidents.

    Click here for the NTSB's "Human Performance Report" if you're not sitting in your bunker, waiting for the End Times

    It's sad that I even feel compelled to address this baseless charge, but half the B/O audience would take it as gospel without contravening evidence. Oh yeah, those Republicans kill people all the time: they're that hungry for power.

    Click here for the Factual Report (a summary) on Wellstone's accident.

    On the Carnahan accident, the NTSB found that the Pilot (Mel Carnahan's son, Roger "Randy" Carnahan) was primarily to blame:

    The pilot's failure to control the airplane while maneuvering because of spatial disorientation. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the airplane's primary attitude indicator and the adverse weather conditions, including turbulence.

    Before you blame the dirty tricks squad for tampering with their equipment, please note the plane was owned by Roger Carnahan's law firm, and there was a back-up "attitude indicator" which was likely functioning properly. Click here for the Factual Report on Carnahan's accident

    Click here for the full NTSB findings

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)
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    That filibuster was more like a fili-bump. Ga-GUNK! (sound of hitting a speed-bump at 40 miles an hour)

    Judge Alito (looking frightened) asks: "Did you feel something, Senator Specter?"

    Sen. Specter replies (nonchalantly): "Don't worry about that Judge Alito, that was just a fili-bump: the Democrats started laying those in the halls of Congress to try and slow the Republican advance." Ga-GUNK!(sound of hiting another speed-bump). "There's another one."

    Judge Alito asks: "Is it working"? Ga-GUNK!

    Sen. Specter (smiling): "Not worth a damn, Justice Alito...but it seems to help to calm their base down." Ga-GUNK! "Here we are at the Supreme Court, I'll look forward to seeing you at tonight's State of the Union."

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    OK, folks, no more stuff on election integrity, voting machines, and the like. Take that over to OregonVRC.org or wait for an appropriate topic.

    AAAAHHH Daaaaaad! I wanted to stay up and play with the Trolls! But okaaay. As long as we can set something perfectly straight here. Gore won the electoral majority in Florida in 2000 and this is an established fact. I regret at the time I posted my reply to sasha I did not take the time to list out some of the more recent analyses that will help clarify the facts.

    Here is a very readable discussion that will help you find your way RinR: One of the most interesting points you make in the book is that the focus on undervotes (ballots containing no vote for president)—the hanging, dimpled and otherwise pregnant chads—was misplaced. Instead, you explain that a study by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, which looked at all the ballots that were initially rejected on election night 2000, revealed a surprise: most of these uncounted votes were in fact discarded because they were over-votes, instances of two votes for president on one ballot. What do you think the NORC study tells us about the election?

    LdHS: It’s an embarrassing outcome for George Bush because it showed that Gore had gotten more votes. Everybody had thought that the chads were where all the bad ballots were, but it turned out that the ones that were the most decisive were write-in ballots where people would check Gore and write Gore in, and the machine kicked those out. There were 175,000 votes overall that were so-called “spoiled ballots.” About two-thirds of the spoiled ballots were over-votes; many or most of them would have been write-in over-votes, where people had punched and written in a candidate’s name. And nobody looked at this, not even the Florida Supreme Court in the last decision it made requiring a statewide recount. Nobody had thought about it except Judge Terry Lewis, who was overseeing the statewide recount when it was halted by the U.S. Supreme Court. The write-in over-votes have really not gotten much attention. Those votes are not ambiguous. When you see Gore picked and then Gore written in, there’s not a question in your mind who this person was voting for. When you go through those, they’re unambiguous: Bush got some of those votes, but they were overwhelmingly for Gore. For example, in an analysis of the 2.7 million votes that had been cast in Florida’s eight largest counties, The Washington Post found that Gore’s name was punched on 46,000 of the over-vote ballots it, while Bush’s name was marked on only 17,000.

    RinR: For your research, you merged this set of data with detailed profiles of Florida’s electoral precincts. What did you find?

    LdHS: One of the things I found that hadn’t been reported anywhere is, if you look at where those votes occurred, they were in predominantly black precincts. And (when you look at) the history of black voting in Florida, these are people that have been disenfranchised, intimidated. In the history of the early 20th century, black votes would be thrown out on technicalities, like they would use an X instead of a check mark. So you can understand why African Americans would be so careful, checking off Gore’s name on the list of candidates and also writing Gore’s name in the space for write-in votes. But because of the way the vote-counting machines work, this had the opposite effect: the machines threw out their ballots.

    RinR: One of the reasons, you argue, that the most popular candidate ended up losing the election is because so many Americans favored partisan rhetoric over an unbiased search for truth during the recounts in 2000. How do you explain this?

    <h2>LdHS: As far as I can tell, it’s the way societies work. One of the things we’ve learned with public opinion research, the most fundamental finding of public opinion research of the past 50 years is that the masses follow the elites.</h2>

    .... and the same thing has occured in 2004. Mass acquiesence in the quack science touted by the media that Bush won has led to the abject failure on the part of otherwise reasonable Americans to question the reported result and look at the actual facts. Sadly, just about every inconceivably horrendous policy direction our country has taken including a botched, illegal war; a looting of our treasury through debt and cronyism, and the castration of our news media, can be traced to the first and foremost Crime of the Century --- Florida 2000

    More links and discussion

    Nice introduction on 2000

    Good archive here

    Spoiled ballots, disenfranchised black voters, registration data base purges that went wrong

    Math on the spoiled ballots

    Great post on the Daily Kos

    ...and to a lesser degree, the follow-up, catastrophic crime against democracy that was more akin to just a routine extortion by that time, Ohio 2004.

    The truth about 2004 in a nutshell

    Anyone who actually reads these analyses and who believes in rational debate as opposed to the ad hominem, irrational dismissals by alice, sasha, NSA wiretapper, etc. should pause for a moment and actually think about it. Do you really believe that a majority of voters in this country actually voted for Bush? What is your root source for coming to this conclusion? Or did someone just "say so" and you figure --- "Well, they're the experts, so they must know."

    Please understand this ---- the experts have proven that Bush has never won an electoral majority in this country ---- never. Think for a minute about the foundation of your beliefs. Are they "faith-based" or grounded in facts? If you have a hard time looking at the question objectively, or even looking at the question at all, ask yourself "why"? Most likely it is because the reality you might uncover is so upsetting that you just "don't want to go there".

    Well, folks, we're there. We have a full blown electoral crisis on our hands. Our democracy is gone --- the one that says "We the People" get to elect our representatives and our President --- is gone. It's gone insofar as National and key Senate races are concerned. If we're not careful in addressing and stopping this crisis, we will lose our vote completely when all elections in this country are privatized.

    Think about it. And when you've figured out for yourself which candidate actually won the electoral majority in 2000 and 2004, don't remain silent. Tell the world.

    As for W. Bruce Anderholt II's little pop quiz:

    Ginny: Do you get to decide what constitutes a valid ballot in Florida, or should that task left to (pick two):

    A). The New York Times B). A consortium of newspapers C). State of Florida Election Officials D). The Courts

    I'm partial to actually counting and verifying the votes of American citizens to determine the winner. Why isn't that in your multiple choice list? If we had in fact done so in 2000, this entire black, embarrassing stain on our nation --- this appalling, anti-democratic coup by a right-wing extremist regime --- could never have occurred in the first place. Or, if that heist did succeed, we could have stopped the hemoraging in 2004, and had a chance to put things right again. But we needed our vote in order to do that. We had already lost it with the passage of HAVA and the unchecked crusade by theocratic right wing billionaires to hijack more than 80% of the vote counting in this country via proprietary trade secret software. Again, you need to read in order to learn. I can't link to the whole blogosphere on that, but http://www.OregonVRC.org is a good place to start.

    Now, as for Kari's other request about discussing this matter at OregonVRC.org: Unfortunately, we do not have a discussion forum on that website currently. As an alternative to Kari's suggestion, I propose that we have a weekly election reform oriented thread on the Blue Oregon in order to discuss this crisis, and how it affects our politics here in Oregon and the Northwest. I volunteer to provide a guest column or two from the members of our coalition on a regular basis. We'll see if Kari and his team would like to host that sort of discussion. It's for him to decide and I will defer to whatever he thinks best. This issue is clearly at the very core of our efforts to rescuscitate our democracy and put the people back in charge, so I think blogging about it frequently would provide valuable learning opportunities.

    Finally, a quick follow up on my use of the term "fascist" to describe this radical element of the Republican Party. The description is frighteningly apropos, and I will use it in any instance in which I wish to point out the combination of Industrial and Government power, headed up by a strong arm leader in a one party state. That is what fascism is. Pardon me but I use the term in the academic, technical sense, because I am a student of political science "A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."

    Look familiar? We're headed in that direction.

    If you don't like it, sorry, but I will not self censor. Morevover, you can try to associate the American "left" (which is really just the American radical middle) with "communism" if you'd like, but the labeling is so completely inapplicable that it would just make you look silly, so go ahead.

    So, my point is, packing the SC with right wing ideologues like Alito is all part and parcel with the hijacking of the 2000 & 2004 elections by the Bush crime cartel. The fact that Wyden has been slow to acknowledge this is sad, but he has much, much, company among his fellow DLC-wingers. And maybe he hasn't acknowledged it? Hard to say. Obviously we are in a crisis at this point, if last night's prostrate supplication to Bush as the "Democratic response" is any indication. What a colossal disaster --- It was far more jarring and appalling to watch that feeble, condescending bromide from Kaine than the actual SOTU itself!

    Kaine to America: "There is a better way.....Republican-Lite!" Please, please stop this insanity.

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    By the way, the link for the dialogue I quoted above is right here. It is an interview of Lance DeHaven Smith, an FSU Professor and expert on Flordia elections. His new book is Battleground Florida

    http://www.research.fsu.edu/researchr/winter2005/features/battlefield.html

    Sorry for the omission.

  • Alice (unverified)
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    Can we register illegal aliens to vote under the U.S. Constitution? Hurry, only 5 seconds left: it's not a multiple choice question.

    I would love to see Oregon send a test case to the U.S. Supreme Court. With a little luck, it would be a 8-1 decision (Ginsberg dissenting), and Chief Justice Roberts would assign the majority opinion to Justice Alito. We'll soon learn who the extremist justices are...

  • htmlfixer (unverified)
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    What was that blue, a brain fart?

    Yep. It was a big old brain fart. Sorry, Charlie.

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)
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    Notice the Republicans aren't providing a bunch of hyperlinks and revisionist vote count methods for why Gregoire stole the gubernatorial election in Washington State. No talk of Democrats crashing the other guy's airplanes, no suggestion that the Washington State courts are controlled by fascists, or "Queen Christine" t-shirts.

    Y'all need to learn how to take your beatings like a man. You can only point to your scars for so long, and then people lose interest.

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    Notice the Republicans aren't providing a bunch of hyperlinks and revisionist vote count methods for why Gregoire stole the gubernatorial election in Washington State. No talk of Democrats crashing the other guy's airplanes, no suggestion that the Washington State courts are controlled by fascists, or "Queen Christine" t-shirts.

    Of course not. They buried the story as quickly as possible and have continued to actively supress debate or discussion about this issue in the corporate media. John Conyers had to hold another hearing in a basement broom closet on this matter as well, just as occurred with the supressed Downing Street memo investigation. It's not a "revisionist vote count" --- it's a demand for votes to be counted in the first place! They weren't. There are still over 100,000 votes in Ohio that haven't been counted...even once. The Washington State gubernatorial race bears no resemblance whatsoever to the 2004 presidential debacle --- the analogy is wholly inapplicable. There, we had a recount and court oversight, neither candidate conceded or declared victory, and despite a bit of partisan manuevering, the process involved careful counting and recounting of paper ballots of record. I would have been satisfied with the result if Rossi had prevailed after the recount, because I would have had a basis for confidence that the votes had been counted. We have none for the 2004 presidential election. Only the spin of the corporate media and the appalling action by Mitofsky in "adjusting" the exit polls (scientifically accurate to within a very small margin of error) to "match" the machine tallied results. You know what? That reeks. On top of that we have the statistically impossible vote flip that occured on election night while the computer servers were "down". It reeks!

    Now, I'd just like to ask a favor here, Bruce, if you are still reading. Please pretend everything was just exactly the same for 2000 and 2004, except that the person with a D "won" and the R "lost." And then go and actually READ the materials I linked to. Once you have done that, please tell me honestly that you and other R's would not have screamed bloody murder about the elections using the soapbox of rightwing corporate media. Can you? Because if you deny that, then we can get a flavor of your credibility in this discussion and whether you have a footing in reality. You know very well that if the shoe were on the other foot, this would be a debate raging in the faux news networks, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and now (sadly) PBS, day and night, probably to this day.

    As for your other comments --- of course I wouldn't hint at something as ridiculous as fascist control of Washington's State courts because there isn't a shred of evidence or reason for me to say that. As for the Bush regime, there is are numerous alarming similarities with fascism (which, remember, is a political system in which Industry and government are combined under an all powerful executive branch, imbued with militant nationalism and often including a state sanctioned church): Big Pharma writing health care legislation and regulation through bought n' sold Congressmen, Extractive industries writing energy and pollution legislation in secret with no oversight, imperialistic military adventures, massive gutting of social spending and tax cuts for wealthy industrialists, and on and on. Are you denying that Bush's unelected corporate cronies are essentially writing our laws and getting massive corporate welfare payoffs for there campain support? Please.

    Then there's the vast concession of overarching power to the executive, the fostering of fear, and the radical supression of freedoms, unchecked wiretapping, jackboot authoritarianism such as ejecting and arresting an SOTU observer for wearing a T-Shirt with a number written on it. I could write and give links for another 10 minutes here on the parallels. Again, if you won't even observe this situation with an open mind, that would be a futile effort I'm afraid. If so, you are not alone. You've got Reinhard on your side, not to mention the robber baron rich like the Exxon billionaire CEOs who are looting our country and renegging on their pension contracts.

    But there are many who might be just ordinary Americans, not benefitting at all from Bush's disastrous reign, who also won't look at the issue of the stolen elections at all because "it can't happen here" right?

    It can and it did.

    Y'all need to learn how to take your beatings like a man. You can only point to your scars for so long, and then people lose interest.

    This theory might have some application if it were in fact true that more votes were cast for Bush than for Kerry. This has never been proven to be true, however it has been proven to be statistically impossible. Without proof that Bush won, what you are asking for actually is that we accept the violent rape of our democratic principles without complaint. This I will never do. And I will keep pointing to this appalling crime against our country and our democracy until justice is served and the true history of this violation is told. Of course, if you are actually one of the rapists, or belong to the same party or religion as the rapist, you might believe it's just fine if the popular vote has been subverted by massive fraud, that a mafia-like cabal has virtually sealed its grip on all branches of government and the media, and that the strong arm leader is "ok" because some people actually did vote for him, or he's from your party, or he's someone you could have a beer with, or because the media plutocrats like him to be in power because preemptive war for no reason is very profitable for media parent company GE, then it doesn't surprise me at all that you'd think We the People should just lie down and "take it."

    It's still a rape of democracy. If Americans "lose interest" in this, they will have lost interest in our entire .

    I hope Bruce and all Americans will open their eyes to the seriousness of this matter, and please read the scientific analyses that have been linked in my post above to learn more about the ramshackle mess our election system is in, and how are votes are routinely being ignored, and they were ignored or flipped in 2004. It's only getting worse as a small number of GOP-connected election machine companies are completely taking over the vote counting in this country using secret, unchecked software. If you don't believe me, go find out for yourself: http://www.whoscounting.net

    Thank you.

  • Alice (unverified)
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    Fewer commas and more paragraphs would help. Shorter sentences would be more effective.

    Try deep breathing every time you use the word fascist, corrupt, or rapist.

    Close your eyes and think of a serene place that makes you feel safe and relaxed and imagine yourself in that place. Imagine what the air smells like, and what it sounds like, and how it feels to be in that safe place. Take a deep breath and exhale.

    Feels better, doesn't it?

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    W Bruce sed: "Notice the Republicans aren't providing a bunch of hyperlinks and revisionist vote count methods for why Gregoire stole the gubernatorial election in Washington State."

    <h2>I guess you never troll with the trolls in comments at Horse's Ass, the biggest left-leaning blog in WA. They STILL can't stop crying about how Gregoire stole the election, despite getting a blistering spankdown from a Republican judge in a handpicked blood-red part of the state.</h2>
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