Inspired by an awesome FARK thread:
Inspired by an awesome FARK thread:
I skipped the presidential debate, but I think I might watch the VP debate. If Caribou Barbie really is as bad as rumors say, there could be lulz.
From: Joe Biden
To: Barack Obama
Subject: Changes to your positions on key issues
I’ve been taking a look at your web site. There are some changes you need to make if we’re ever going to win this thing.
Thanks in advance for your speedy compliance.
First we had an election landslide against the Republicans, in which the Iraq war was the #1 concern of voters.
Then we had an Iraq Study Group. It was described by the mainstream media as “bipartisan”. Here’s what “bipartisan” actually means:
So, not exactly a bunch of pinko French-speaking peaceniks. Everyone seemed to expect that their report would recommend deeper engagement. Bush said that the report would give the country an “opportunity to find common ground”. But when the actual report was read, it said that the Iraq war is an ongoing disaster and that we should try to pull out:
The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no path that can guarantee success [...]
Our most important recommendations call for new and enhanced diplomatic and political efforts in Iraq and the region, and a change in the primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq that will enable the United States to begin to move its combat forces out of Iraq responsibly. We believe that these two recommendations are equally important and reinforce one another.
And the result? The neocons turn on Baker and denounce him, and Bush opts for more troops for the long term fight. Allegedly sane Republican John McCain calls for more troops as well, in Afghanistan too.
Senior military staff are skeptical. There’s also the problem of where to get the actual troops, since the army is described as being at breaking point and in need of additional assistance from the National Guard and Reserves (who, remember, were supposed to be a strategic reserve to deal with crises within the USA).
But the big question I’m left wondering is: what would it take to get Bush and crew to listen? I can understand them ignoring intelligence reports, ignoring testimony from Iraqi defectors, ignoring millions of protesters marching in the streets, and so on. It’s harder to imagine how they can widen their ignorance until they’re even prepared to ignore and denounce their own people.
In Alaska, a school board election ended in a draw. There was a recount—still a draw. Hence, state law required that it be settled by lot. So, they tossed a coin to decide who won the election.
That’s not the weird bit; the weird bit is that the dead candidate won.
So they had the foresight to put in rules about what to do if two candidates got exactly the same number of votes—but forgot to mention anything about requiring that candidates be alive?
It’s US election day, and you don’t need to be The Amazing Kreskin to predict how things are going to go: badly.
Barring a miracle, we’re going to end up with another statistical dead heat, with Kang and Kodos splitting the popular vote and electoral college vote almost 50/50. Unfortunately, there are a lot of black box voting machines in marginal areas—with no tamper-proof audit trail and no way to re-count the votes. So in a close finish, we’re going to be left with literally no way to determine who actually got the most votes, or who actually won closely-fought states with electronic voting machines.
Yes, it’s going to be worse than 2000. In 2000, at least there were ballots that could be examined to determine who the voters really intended to vote for. The fact that the Supreme Court wouldn’t let that be done and instead handed the keys to the White House to Bush was regrettable, and it wasn’t exactly surprising that the corporate media decided to bury the actual vote results when they were finally tabulated by independent journalists. Nevertheless, there was at least the sense that we knew what was going on. This time, we’ll never know. No matter who wins, the other side will have entirely justifiable grounds for considering them fraudulently elected.
Election officials love all-electronic voting machines, precisely because there’s no way to do a recount. Recounts are boring, embarrassing, and can be disrupted by rioting partisans. If there’s nothing to be done but read the computer’s totals off the screen again, the supervisors are guaranteed that they’ll be at home in bed by midnight. So what if it means the results are meaningless? That’s somebody else’s problem.
But let’s look on the bright side. As a result of Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo Bay and the Iraq war, most people in the world hate America as a political entity, but love American people. If it were possible to re-elect the people who approved the torture, there’s a distinct danger that Americans would do so, and suddenly being American would be about as socially uplifting as being (say) a white South African in the 1980s.
So, when the polls fail to reach a conclusion, I say celebrate—it means you’re off the hook for another four years.
It could be worse, we could be Iraqi civilians.
I mean, imagine how they must feel about the election results.
Item 1: The Republicans in Florida paid Database Technologies (DBT) to produce a list of felons who could be prevented from voting in the Presidential election. Only one county checked the accuracy of the list it was given; they found it was 95% wrong. It turns out that DBT did not verify the information by phone, even though they were paid to do so. DBT say that Clayton Roberts, Republican head of elections, “…wanted there to be more names than were actually verified as being a convicted felon.” It’s estimated that the Democrats lost 22,000 votes because of the inaccuracy of the database.
Item 2: California Public Utilities Commission has analyzed data on power plant activity, and determined that plants were deliberately shut down during periods of power shortage, to increase prices.