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Politics, Assassination, and Debates 511

Here's a really interesting story on The New Science of Character Assassination which lists a bunch of things gore said that the media has used regularly to misrepresent him. Very worthwhile reading to help remember how the press skews things (no, I'm not an exception to the rule: but at least you guys can disagree with me below). Its not exactly about the election, but Does the US Electoral College Still Work?. Lastly for now, the presidential debate commision is looking for feedback. I just personally wanted to note that the submissions are extremely lopsided; virtually nil for any 3rd party candidates (except a few Nader) and only a little more for Bush. We're trying to give the major candidates linkage, so if you find good sources on the net (or want to write one!) submit it!
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Politics, Assassination, and Debates

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  • You definitions only show how meaningless the word "republic" has become. It's mainly a matter of form. Dictatorships almost always call themselves a republic, with a head of state who is (almost? I can't think of any exceptions) always called a "President". But that head of state is not that much different from a monarch: if he's answerable to anybody, it's a small elite or military cadre. In some cases his job is even hereditary.

    The reference to "a body of citizens" is irrelevent except in a dictionary. Many "republics" don't bother with elections, or only go through the motions. By contrast, many monarchies hold elections -- in some cases, even for the monarch!

    (I assume you got this stuff from a dictionary. You shouldn't treat Noah's children as ultimate lexical authorities -- they're records of how people do use words, not absolute arbiters of how people should use words. In point of fact, "republic" is originally just Latin for "the public thing" -- that is, the state.)

    I react negatively to the word "republic" becuase the word is often used to denote a state that restricts the franchise to the "right people". (I've known many conservatives fond of saying "We're a republic, not a democracy.") In the US, this has often been done with voting fees ("poll taxes") and property requirements. There's still an element of this in our voting laws: procedures for registering and voting are full of bureaucratic nonsense. Officially this is to prevent fraud, but in practice this is a direct way of restricting the franchise. During the heyday of the civil rights movement, African Americans always seemed to run afoul of some rule or another. My favorite was the registrar who denied a black his ballot "becaus of pur spuling."

    Which is not to argue against safeguards against popular whimsy. But the Electoral College is not such a safeguard. It's a half-functional relic of an ancient, irrelevent political comprimise. If the founders were alive today, they'd be the first to call for its abolition.


  • At least Gore can explain his

    I've heard Bush explain his just as well. If you are following this election through "Gore colored glasses" (a new phrase I just made up and patented) than of course it's going to look like Gore is explaining everything and Bush is just bumbling. It works the other way around also. Actually objectivly listen to what they say and propose and they are both just about on equal footing, with the only real differences being policy.

    openly gay people allowed into the millitary

    Anyone ask the millitary if they want this? I don't the the nations fighting force is where we should be playing social games. Isn't moral low enough yet?

    Bush's responces have generally been a variation of "well, *I* don't distcriminate against anybody."

    Isn't that the way is should be?

    Funny, I didn't hear any sighs until TV shows increased the volume on the clips by about 500%.

    I heard them during the debates, so did everyone else watching them with me. The news immediatly picked up on it. I haven't heard any of these "enhanced" clips you are talking about. My only poinnt was if you are going to somehow claim Bush was whimpering, I'm going to remind you of how childish Gore also acted.

  • I agree his policy sounds a little radical, but remember the bill will go through committees and both houses before it is final. Unless he takes the Clinton route and circumvents the process by signing executive orders, then the bill will be modified from his origional plan. Sort of an "open source" way of writing laws with many eyes looking it over and changing the radical parts.

    I look at Bush as the only one who will even try to fix the messed up educational system in the country, since Gore is too much in the pockets of the teacher's unions to make and kind of substancial change. He will just throw more of my money around to make the class size lower. This is all well and good, but lower class size does not a good class make :) It takes more than that.

  • Not at all. What is impossible with giving states automony with how they choose to teach, but holding them accountable for the results? That sounds reasonable to me.
    What if I told you to write a program, I don't care what language you write it in, as long as it produced the proper results?


  • I had prof. Urken for a class (Computers & Society) where he discussed voting methods and stuff. He's really good, but he emphasized using different voting methods (not just one) to be able to better visualize the data.
    Lord Omlette
    ICQ# 77863057
  • The fact is that that this level of reporting of democrats is new, and despite the fact that the media STILL has the gloves on it smarts

    Uh, yeah -- 'cause no one has printed anything mean about Clinton in the past decade. Good thing we've kept the kid gloves on...

    I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
    Q.Tell me what the trail was.
  • What if I consider the "people's right to keep and bear arms" a liberty?

    Not trying to start a gun control debate, just saying that both sides would love to squash liberties for political gain.

  • by PackMan97 ( 244419 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @08:42AM (#692361) Homepage
    http://www.fairvote.org/irv/end_majority_rule.htm# append

    1992 Clinton with 43% popular and 69% electoral
    1912 Wilson with 41.8% popular and 82% electoral!!!!
    1860 Lincoln with 39.9% popular and 59% electoral
    1824 Adams with 29.8% popular and 32% electoral

    The Man,
    Actually IRV will appear on the ballot in as an intiative in Alaska in 2002 and Vermont and New Mexico are seriously considering IRV. In those cases very strong Green parties are helping elect Republicans in what would otherwise be heavily Democratic states. If Greens really want change they need to let Bush win Oregon and Washington with a strong turnout for Nader and cost Gore the election. Or even imagine California going to Bush because Nader gets 15% of the vote. I guarentee you residents of those states would strongly consider IRV for the 2004 election. Ditto in states where Libertarians can swing the election. John Q Public needs to be shocked by electing who he likes least. Once that happens the road to election reforms begins.

    BTW - Modern Technology makes IRV and other more 'complicated' counting methods as easy as changing your counting algorithm. It's a shame we don't use modern technology to assist our elections, after all we don't do math on a slide-rule anymore (even though I do own one for nostalgia)! (just wanted to inject some techno stuff since this is /. ) :P

  • Actually, a select few were exaggerations/lies. Most of them are true and in fact a matter of public record. Take the illegal campaign donations for example. The lie about his mom singing to baby Gore the "look for the union lable" song, the andio and video of Gore asking who "these guys" are (they were busts of Washington, Jefferson, etc), the "I didn't know it was a buddist temple" line, etc. This guy just took the "created the internet" (which Gore said, and is in itself a huge exaggeration) and showed how it's blown out of proportion. Well, boo-freaking-hoo. It's just a liberal reporter frustrated that his candidate doesn't have as much support as he would like, so he tried to find a scapegoat. If people were so swayed by the media, then Bush would have the poll numbers of Nader, with all the negative publicity they heap on him.

    As for Bush, sure he sometimes stumbles over words, but that doesn't make one dumb. And the coke thing is completly without evidence. All I'm saying is that the same thing happens on both sides, and whining about it bacause the majority doesn't like your candidate doesn't mean it's only happening to you.

  • Absolutely true. If you don't rank a candidate under this system, your vote is never counted towards that candidate under any circumstances.

    ... which is an important feature I left out.
  • Again, there is this tendency to wear blinders. In order to really see what is going on, you have to look at the Electoral College in context.

    And the context? The States funded the Federal Government before the Income Tax was adopted. In short, each State figured out who they wanted as the Chief Executive, and through the EC sent representatives of their view to Washington DC. Because the decision was by State, and not by overall popular vote, every state had a say proportional to their contribution to the coffers.

    Too bad that when the 16th amendement was passed that the EC wasn't realigned as well.

  • The truth [debates.org] about our so-called democracy. [opensecrets.org]


  • I think Dan Quayle would take issue with just how "new" it is. Maybe new against Democrats.
  • It's mostly people who don't have the amount of money they want. So instead of trying harder, they just vote for the candidate who promises to take the money from "the rich, evil people" and give it to them.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but it's Communism failing all over the world? And isn't the US (with it's evil capitalistics ways) the most powerful country in the world? Coincidence? Not even close.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Electoral college works as prescribed in the Federalist Papers. It was a compromise to preserve a balance of power between the states and the new union. Since states create the rules by which electors are selected and how they should and can vote, it appears that the states still have a say in how the President is elected.

    I do think, however , that the founding fathers envisioned electors as being more independent than they are now. Currently, 48 states prescribe that the electors vote for the candidates that win the popular vote of the state. There leaves little room for elector's excercising their concience.

    Over the past 200 years, 99% of electoral votes went according to the state's popular vote. The two notable exceptions recently occured in '76 when an electory bypasseed Gerald Ford and voted for Reagan and in '88 when an elector chose Bentsen for President and Dukakis as Vice-President.
  • The answer is ALL. If it was 47%, there wouldn't be any % difference between the popular vote results nationwide and the electoral college system. That would render the use of electoral college as an intermediary pretty much useless since they would really be converting the voting units from 'people' to 'electoral college votes.'
  • Yes, I read the articles. He could have correctly said he led the initiative in funding the internet, but he certainly did not 'create' it.

    I think plenty about issues.. I don't like the democratic stance of more rules for more people. Things like hate crime legislation bother me. Are you any more or less murdered if you are white or black? Everyone gave bush grief over his response in the second debate regarding the death penalty when he was answering a question about 'hate crime' legislation. Something along the lines of 'we are putting them to death what more can we do to them?'. He was smiling because he so obviously won the debate point. If texas is ready to administer the appropriate punishment for the crime then obviously they do not need additional rules to further incarcerate someone based on the ability of the judge to 'read the mind' of the convicted.

    (let me just add that the majority of americans, proven by polls, favor the death penalty)

    The Democrats believe in equalizing the american people by taxing the rich and giving to the poor. Ask anyone in a former communist nation, government forcing equalization makes everyone except those in government equally poor.

    There's some issues for you. But lets get back to the lying thing. Al Gore is a habitual liar, and lies to try to create 'an affinity the audience'. Well if he's lying about trivial things like union songs, doggie medicine, and visits to texas than what lies is he telling about the policies he'd like to put in place? Is he promising seniors a drug benefit because he plans to implement it or because he's creating 'affinity'?? Same with other issues like school aid or environmentalism. When he say's licensing firearms will not lead to confiscation are we to believe him?

    -- Greg

  • I understand the poll's working tricks, and they have been in use for both sides as long as I can remember (most likely much longer than that). I wholeheartedly agree that they may be invalid, but I can't find ANY polls that support the simply stated "fact" by the article's author that the public supports Gore's policies over Bush's.

    It really doesn't matter what the people of this country think about the issues. It only matter what the media SAYS they think.

    You hit tha nail on the head there. And this is what the author of the article was doing by telling as fact that the majority of American's favor Gore's policies. I was just playing devil's advocate and questioning this baseless "assumption". We may never know where America's preferences are since the election seems to be based on who is dumber and who lies more. The policies seem a secondary consideration.

  • But, the fact remains, my vote does not matter in this election? Why? Because I live in Texas, and Texas is already sending its electoral college votes to Dubya

    Mathematically speaking, your vote is always irrelevant unless the election is decided by exactly one vote. It won't even let you "make your voice heard" because there will be no difference in the reports if Bush or Gore gets 50,123,456 or 50,123,457 votes. And voting for a third party doesn't help either; I'll vote for Harry Browne so maybe he'll get 1,050,442 votes instead of 1,050,441. Big deal.

    It's a bit of a paradox, nobody's vote determines the election but if based on that everybody decided to stay home, the system wouldn't work. So why will I vote? The same reason I run seti@home and distributed.net clients, so that I can feel that at least in a small way I'm doing something constructive. Even though nobody would notice if I didn't, it makes me feel good.

  • Please moderate this up. The media seem to have decided that liberals are "correct" on all the issues, and their only flaws are occasional character lapses. This is obviously not the case for a large number of people. For me, Gore's deceptions and demagoguery on Social Security and tax cuts are much more of a reason to vote against him than his exaggerations about creating the Internet.
  • Actually, it's a great deal worse than you suggest. I often wonder what the founders were thinking of when they invented this monstrosity. My best guess is that they underestimated the importance of the presidency and overestimated America's ability to govern by consensus. This ties in with that other weird institution, the Vice Presidency.

    As originally chartered, the College was totally unworkable. A single vote, with the runner-up getting the VP job. That's fine when there's an obvious person everyone can get behind (old GW for the first two elections), but once the Federalist-Democrat, North-South, Industry-Agriculture, and other catfights started up, it became conspicuously absurd. The last straw was the nasty race between Jefferson and Burr -- who were supposed to be running on the same ticket. Naturally that led to some tweaking.

    Hey, how many people realize that the College was a direct cause of the Civil War? In 1860, the Republicans were a brand new party, and didn't have the resources to put Electors on the ballot in every state. So they concentrated on their strong states, all of which were north of the Mason-Dixon line. But that was enough to elect Abraham Lincoln without a single southerner getting a chance to vote against him. Small wonder they decided that there was no place for them in the Union.

    And here's the final absurdity. When your state chooses Bush or Gore (or Nader or Buchanan or that guy who teachs levitation [natural-law.org]), there's no guarantee that the state Electors will actually honor that choice. Oh there are legal sanctions (usually a small fine for not voting the ticket) and of course the parties try to pick the most loyal people they can. But you still see the odd wildcard voting his or her conscience instead of the ticket. This suggests some interesting possibilities, which I will not share with the more irresponsible Slashdotters!

    The obvious thing is to do what most strong-executive democracies do: direct election, with a runoff if necessary. (The Vice President should be abolished, or at least elected separately. A job that exists for such blatently political purposes is as dangerous as hell.) The idea that states are sovereign entities, and thus deserve a direct role in electing the President is totally out of date. Of course, such a change would upset to many applecarts to happen anytime soon.


  • Does anyone know if there was an actual ammendment that structured things the way they are now?

    No amendment. It is defined in Article II section 1.

    The 'winner take all' is not a constitutional requirement. The states picked that one on their own.

  • I am not an apathetic voter. In fact, I encourage everyone to vote, and look down on those who don't as unpatriotic. But, the fact remains, my vote does not matter in this election? Why? Because I live in Texas, and Texas is already sending its electoral college votes to Dubya (save for a comment from Bush along the lines of 'Who needs those dumb rednecks anyway?').

    The only thing my vote matters to is in the next election, and even then, it's not something democratic, but rather some political party can get money. No power. No voice. Just money.

    Does that strike anyone else as horribly wrong? I can effectively say that I have no voice in government. While I can support groups that want to change the system, changing the system is going to require voting, and I'm sure there are enough people out there who have realized that their vote doesn't matter and so they don't vote at all.

    So what's my vote going to go for this election? I don't know. I was thinking me. Maybe then I will get some money from the government.
  • Yes. I agree security for the POTU and VPOUS is very important. But, do you really think they needed to do this during rush hour so they could attend a partisan fund-raisers....a fund-raiser, BTW, given by a serious Hollywood liberal for the VP of the United States the very day AFTER Gore said he would be not be their lackey (not those terms, precisely, but close enough).

    If it were an official visit to negotiate world peace or something, I wouldn't have any complaints. But, for a fund-raiser at $2,500 a head? Get real. Would I complain if he decided to do it 2:30 PM or after rush hour? No, as it doesn't really impose on the citizens he wants to represent.

    Better planning on his part would have alleviated the anger and frustration of many people just wanting to get home to their families and showed he really cares about them rather than his wallet.
  • Funny, because tomorrow (its late so I can say today) several roads and highways are being shut down for the arrival of President Clinton, who is campaining here for Hillary (I live in NY). This is normal procedure for Presidents and VPs. In 1984 Reagan came and gave a speech at my highschool. I also live in the birth place of IBM and he was here to see IBM but since it was an election year, he gave a speech too. Well they shutdown the same (if not more) highways and roads.

    Interesting. How do you feel about a non-New Yorker coming in and running for senate? What qualifies her to pack her bags, come to NY, and represent you. Does she truly have a better handle on the issues or is she the best the democrats can do having exausted their supply of native democrats? Think about it.

    As for Reagan coming to your HS. Was it a fund-raiser for Republicans or rally speech for all citizens at a time when he was asking businesses to increase production? Was he asking for donations or charging admission?

    But, its not particularly about partisanship (although I freely admit I can't stand Gore), but about common sense. A little more planning and consideration would save a lot grief and garner support from people who might still be swing voters.

    BTW, in Reagan's case, it really didn't matter cause I think there was only region that didn't give their support, the District of Columbia, because the democratic candiate was so weak.

    Frankly, I don't think the democrats had a prayer having been through a percieved weak presidency and high inflation with Carter (I don't necessarily think it was all warranted, however, as Carter inherited a mess to begin with from the Nixon/Ford era).

  • Yes. It would piss me off even if a Republican did it. I don't think its right for any fundraising activities of political parties to get between me, my family, or my dinner. .

    I only agree with inconveniencing people for legitimate purposes such as world peace summits and such where the presense of the P or VP is crucial for the success of the mission. Fundraising doesn't qualify in my book.

  • In an election where there are five parties capable of gaining seats, a win of 50% (popular vote) or more would be difficult at best.
  • by Booker ( 6173 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @08:48AM (#692446) Homepage
    Granted, his own press release isn't the best unbiased source of information, but it says:

    The suit charges that the Commission on Presidential Debates, by using state police power to exclude Nader from entering a separate viewing auditorium at UMass for which he had a transferable ticket of admittance, and by preventing him from appearing at a pre-scheduled interview with Fox News at the debate site, violated federal law and the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act.


  • Ya, and "Wag the Dog"
    And "Primary Colors"
  • Personally, I still like the idea that a state is a somewhat powerful political entity.

    If we removed the electoral college, consider this: if every state were in favor of Bush, 51-49, and California was 100% behind Gore, Gore would win - despite the fact that he had a minority in 49 states.

    Yes, I know it's an extreme example of what could go wrong. But, then, people only tend to focus on the extreme examples of what goes wrong in the status quo :)
  • by phee ( 29089 ) <phee.IsThisThingOn@org> on Thursday October 19, 2000 @08:53AM (#692460)

    I posted that entire essay [slashdot.org], completely redone in HTML by me, AND with WORKING links, yesterday. Took me hours to turn that crappy text into pretty HTML. Suddenly, today, here it is on the front page of /. but all ugly and broken. But I don't care... really I don't... I'm used to being ignored by the proprietors of this site. Notice how Taco doesn't even mention anything like "UserX submitted this essay about..."? It's almost like he just came up with the entire idea himself. I don't even bother submitting interesting stories anymore because they invariably get rejected (even though they suddenly show up weeks later with credit given to someone else who submitted it weeks after I did). Guess I haven't kissed enough ass to be One Of The Cronies yet.

    "The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness."
  • but I am very intolerant (alert! P.C. blacklist word!) of emotional reactions (as yours clearly was) to factual, moral or ethical questions

    Overreact much? First off, I made a glib one-liner, not a political pronouncement, so I can hardly comprehend how someone would see it as an "emotional" reaction.

    Secondly, how can you be "intolerant of emotional reactions to...moral or ethical question"? What other kind of reaction should a person have to a moral or ethical issue?

    You seem to be having a pretty emotional reaction of your own, there, if a one-liner can get you accusing me of supporting every hypocritical NOW statement of the past decade. No offense, but maybe holding me to a different standard than yourself (vis-a-vis emotional reactions) is why you have the common accusation of being hate-filled? You're tolerant of emotional reactions so long as they coincide exactly with yours?

    Believe it or not, one doesn't have to swallow everything from the left in order to see the hypocracy on the right, or vice-versa. I laugh just as hard when NOW does a backflip trying to defend Clinton while criticizing Packwood -- the same kind of laugh that I use when i hear republicans giving out prescription drug plans instead of paying down the debt. It's funny how circumstances can change once inviolable standards of responsibility (whether it be moral or fiscal)...

    I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
    Q.Tell me what the trail was.
  • by Ralph Wiggam ( 22354 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @09:57AM (#692466) Homepage
    Republicans are still completely for personal freedom and a minimum of government...whenever it suits them. Bring up gun regulation or welfare and Republicans scream about "Big Government". But as soon as someone wants to control their own reproductive rights, smoke a joint, or play Quake, then all of the sudden the government should be involved.

  • It doesn't have to be either Republican or Democrat. I wish people would see this.

    I wish EVERYONE would see this.

    It's really easy. Everybody should just vote Harry Browne [harrybrowne.org] (or some other 3rd party).

    If you hate Gore and Bush, don't pick the one you hate "least", simply pick someone else. What happened to good old common sense?

  • How about a link backing this up?

    Does this mean that if 47% of the popular vote was for Bush and
    40% was for Gore (13% for everyone else) that Bush would receive
    47% of the state's electoral votes - or ALL of them?

    I don't know - which is why I am asking - but if the answer is "ALL" something is very wrong...

  • On Gore:

    http://www.courier-journal.com/localnews/2000/00 08/18/000818dem_kgore.html

    He attended private schools and graduated cum laude from Harvard University.

    http://www.uwire.com/content/topnews032100001.ht ml

    According to the Post, Gore earned "one D, one C-minus, two C's, two C-pluses, and one B-minus," during his sophomore year at Harvard. His classmates remember him that year as spending a lot of time "shooting pool, watching television, eating hamburgers, and occasionally smoking marijuana."

    However, his junior year, he earned a B, B-plus and A-minus in three government courses.

    His strong senior thesis on the impact of television on the presidency allowed him to graduate cum laude.

    On Bush

    http://www.sltrib.com/1999/nov/11101999/nation_w /45811.htm

    http://www.american-politics.com/111399MacArthur .html

    Like many Freshmen, BushBaby ended his first semester at Yale with a whopping 75 average. But he learned his lesson, and during the Spring of 1965 he put in grueling hours at the library bringing his GPA up by almost a full point -- for a an impressive 75.8!

    The american politics site actually has an image of Bush's graduation transcript.

    Nader's parents were Lebanese immigrants, not Congressmen or Senators. He got into and graduated from Princeton. From there he got into and graduated from Harvard Law. You can do the math on how smart that makes him - someone without connections ascending through the finest programs in the US. Or course, even then, Nader was a rabble rouser, trying to get Princeton to ban DDT because dead birds were on campus, and rallying against hot dog packaging plans. You can note both of these efforts later proved spot on accurate, although they were not necessarily supported at the time. Heck, DDT nearly wiped out bald eagles in the lower 48.

  • is there anything in the article that is unfair or untrue?

    I didn't follow every link to verify his claims. However, I did notice that he was selective in his examples. For example, his narrative of his sister's death.

    Mr. Agre focused on those who doubt whether he was present during her death. However, most of the articles I have read that cited that speech didn't question whether he was present. They pointed out his statement about being opposed to big tobacco ever since that day. Then they point to his pro-tobacco votes after his sister's death.

    Mr. Agre also ignores the fact that many of his supporters also feel that Gore exaggerates.

    Agre's discussed this in some other articles. It's a tough case to make for this being new, agreed, but perhaps new watersheds are being crossed...

    Since no links were pointed to this discussion, I can't evaluate it. However, I seriously doubt that any new height has been reached. As others have pointed out, the sad but true fact is that the press tends to sterotype candidates. Bush's intellegence, Ford's clumsiness, etc. By focusing on the 'exageration' question, Mr. Agre can truthfully claim that no other candidate has had the same scrutiny as Gore. However, it is not true that other candidates have not had their positions or attributes distorted to a greater degree by the press.

  • Also, it seems to me that the media is picking on whichever candidate is in the lead, in hopes of keeping the race tight and thus keeping the public glued to the media outlets.

    Back when Bush originally had a commanding lead in the polls, the media picked on him regularly, and were relatively mum about Gore's glaring faults. Then when Gore jumped to a substantial lead, the media turned on him in turn, and mostly ignored Bush's glaring faults. (And interestingly, they seemed more interested in criticizing Gore's makeup and mannerisms during the debates, rather than his genuine faults).

    This is nothing but a dog and pony show, more appropriate for People magazine than for informing the public.
  • But, truth be told, the President has very little to do with the economy other than perception. Rather, it is congress and the senate that make the laws (actually bills). The president only signs them into the law.

    But the "perception" you mention has a lot more to do with the way law gets made than you are giving it credit for. Also, the President's veto power, coupled with a narrow majority in Congress and with the rules of the Senate requiring a super-majority for business to move forward give President's a great deal of power. Reagan rammed much of his legislation through a strongly Democratic congress, and Clinton succesfully defanged his Republican opposition.

    Presidents do get random credit or blame for economic conditions as you suggest, but they do deserve it for the legislation that takes place under their watches.

  • So you're saying the US is perfect, and we shouldn't change anything?

    Slashdot is the wrong place to trot out the "a republic not a democracy" bit. Has the smell of elitism.

    But I'm grateful for a chance to quote a joke from my favorite political TV show [rubberturnip.org.uk] (bite me, Sorkin [nbc.com], you feelgood geek):

    "We've done it that way for 350 years!"

    "But is that really an argument?"

    "It has been -- for 350 years!"


  • by Viking Coder ( 102287 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @07:44AM (#692493)
    Real link : Does the electoral college still work? [discover.com]
  • Thank You!!!

    No more of that nerdy news!!!
    This is what I come to this site for, left leaning political discussion that really matters!!!

    Thanks Again!!!!!!!!!
  • Heck, DDT nearly wiped out bald eagles in the lower 48.

    Of course, that turns out to be not quite true. This [junkscience.com] link points out the idiocy of having banned DDT.


  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @07:46AM (#692503)
    The link, from page source, is http://www.discover.com/nov_00/gthere.html?article =featbestman.html [discover.com]
  • I thought you just declare the assasination and the DM makes you roll an agility check or whatever he deems appropriate?

  • I just looked over debates.org [debates.org], and I've got to say: I feel ill.

    Did you know that the presidental debates are brought to you by [debates.org]:
    • Anheuser-Bush
    • US Airways
    • The Century Foundation
    • The Marjorie Kovler Fund
    • 3Com

    ? I sure didn't.

    That's disgusting.

  • I think we should have a runoff election the first Tuesday in December between the top two candidates selected at the national level by popular vote, and dump the electoral college. This could even potentially help third party candidates as all they have to do is garner a larger popular vote than one of the two big parties for an opportunity to win it big.

    More importantly, it eliminated the "lesser of two evils" argument -- if you want to vote for Browne but are worried about the election tipping to Gore (or want to vote for Nader but are worried about the election tipping to Bush), vote for your preferred candidate in the general election and the lesser of two evils in the runoff.

  • No. In the event that no candidate receives the necessary electoral votes, members of the electoral college don't just get to continue voting any old way they like until somebody wins (though, in fact, they could vote any way they like, but they only get to do it once). Instead, the House delegations get to vote until somebody wins. HoR != EC.
  • by Peyna ( 14792 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @07:47AM (#692508) Homepage
    Well, regardless if whether or not the link is broken, I think the obvious answer to this question is that the electoral college system in the United States is indeed outdated.

    If I remember correctly from government class, it was orginally created because those in charge of the government did not trust the common people with little or no education to be able to vote responsibly, so they implented this as a system of being able to override that. This way, the wealthy few were in charge of the rest of the nation. (see previous article with letter by Brin)

    The electoral college is broken. You can win an election without getting a majority because of it. There are many proposed solutions, but this problem has been known of for years. The people in charge don't want it changed, because then they may no longer be in charge.

    Personally, I think the best solution is to get rid of it. If you get the most votes in the election, you win. Period.

    If that doesn't work, divide the electoral votes by congressional district, rather than state. Doesn't give California and New York so much swing anymore since it would be broken down. Or, divide the electoral votes up percentage wise among candidates in each state. (For example, Nader gets 45% of the votes in California, Gore gets 50% and, Bush gets 5%, if CA had 100 electoral votes, Nader would get 45, Gore would get 50, and Bush would get 5) This would mean that those voting for Nader or Bush in CA votes would still have meaning, and not be tossed out the window.

    So get rid of it, or divide them evenly, pretty much the same result.

  • This election does matter for high-tech people. Gore would continue to bloat up the federal administration and increase it's effect on high-tech endeavours. Ever read what he did when 'inventing' the internet? He did not want it opened to research, much less public usage.
    I've worked in a country with too much direction of high-tech research (Japan). MITI throttles all industrial research in Japan. Al Gore's minions pouring over high tech is the last thing we need here. SDI pushed forward, like Bush wants would do far more to creating high-tech jobs than any of Al Gore's programs.
  • I think your confusing communism with socialism. Socialism is a belief that the government should try to make sure that everyone has a fair chance at the neccesities such as health care and education. Communism is an economic system whereby the government controls most if not all of the nations industry. Sweden with one of the highest standards of living in the world is a socialist country. China with one of the lowest is a communist country.
  • It's suddenly dawning on you that the media does this? Welcome to political reality. Once the media gets its teeth on a vision of a politician, that's his/her image forever. Any reinforcement is noted, while contrary evidence is ignored. Gerald Ford was probably one of the most athletic Presidents, yet a couple of missteps and he bacame known as a stumblebum. Dan Quayle did a bad intro of himself to the press and forever after he was tarred with the brush of being a complete moron. Bush is now seen as a word-slurring dimwit frat-boy, contradictory evidence notwithstanding. Gore is just geting his turn in the barrel. I think what bugs you is that it's now happening to a candidate you favor.

    Good thing /. isn't claiming to be impartial at the top of the story, either. But the article linked from the Daily Howler makes some excellent points; The Republican press is definitely printing out and out lies. There's no way to look at it other than irresponsible. Not, mind you, that the Democrat press is going to be all halos.

    As an aside, examine the other comments in parallel with mine (IE, the one you're reading now), numbers 54 and 63. They both agree with comment 25 which I am replying to (which is a well-constructed piece of text if ever I have seen one) and they both contain a number of misspellings. Were I to use the tactics of the press I could liken them to Dan Quayle, and score some conversational points against them and their argument, even though it is completely irrelevant to their points.

    Whoops! I just did that very thing, without actually doing so - And this is exactly what is happening to Vice President Gore. And by the way, the long, long list of things that Quayle said that were in fact completely boneheaded even when taken in context seem to justify his treatment by the press. Similarly (but only just slightly) I have very little faith in Bush's ability to chair the nation.

    I do think it's ironic to call it "The New Science" when it's clearly only an extension of something that's as old as press coverage of politics. But I still find it unacceptable when grown adults who know themselves to have a broad audience of people who will treat their word as trustworthy knowingly commit acts of slander. They know what they're saying is inaccurate to the point of fabrication, but they persist. I don't exactly think that's appropriate, and this particular piece getting a hilight on a forum which contains a significant number (or even percentage!) of educated, literate voters seems right to me.

  • Public speaking ability != intelligence. How about if we get you up on a debate platform in front of the whole world and see you smooth the words flow?

    Read his policy statements. You do know how to read, right? Or does only smooth talking impress you?


  • by PackMan97 ( 244419 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @07:48AM (#692520) Homepage
    Anyone interested in the Electoral College and alternate voting and/or election methods should check out The Center for Voting and Democracy [fairvote.org] The have a lot of great information on alternative voting methods including those listed in the Discover article, but in much more detail.
  • One requirement to vote was that you were required to own Real Property. Since they uneducated seldomly owne property, they were not a large factor in election results.

    Sometimes I think that wasn't a bad idea... :)


  • and BTW the only reason human drugs are more expensive then pet drugs is that they must pass much more stringent tests involving many years of trials

    Nope.. They're usually the same drugs, made by the same company on the same equipment in the same factory. There is no difference between the Prozac prescribed by your doctor and the Prozac prescribed for your dog, except that the drug company charges 10 times as much for it, because you have no choice but to pay them.
  • I have always believed that the electoral college was created in an era when communication was slow at best. It was needed then... now I am not so sure.
  • by dodecahedron ( 231077 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @07:53AM (#692536)
    Here's a really interesting story on The New Science of Character Assassination which lists a bunch of things gore said that the media has used regularly to misrepresent him.

    It's suddenly dawning on you that the media does this? Welcome to political reality. Once the media gets its teeth on a vision of a politician, that's his/her image forever. Any reinforcement is noted, while contrary evidence is ignored. Gerald Ford was probably one of the most athletic Presidents, yet a couple of missteps and he bacame known as a stumblebum. Dan Quayle did a bad intro of himself to the press and forever after he was tarred with the brush of being a complete moron. Bush is now seen as a word-slurring dimwit frat-boy, contradictory evidence notwithstanding. Gore is just geting his turn in the barrel. I think what bugs you is that it's now happening to a candidate you favor.

  • by ekidder ( 121911 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @09:28AM (#692537) Homepage
    From: http://www.nara.gov/fedreg/elctcoll/ec-boxsc.html
    (with the winner of the election listed first)
    We find:
    1824 -
    Electoral Votes:
    Adams: 84
    Jackson: 99 (!!)
    Crawford: 41
    Clay: 37

    Popular Votes:
    Adams: 108,740
    Jackson: 153,544 (!!)

    John Q. Adams received fewer electoral votes and fewer popular votes than Andrew Jackson, but won the election in the House of Representatives, with 13 state delegations voting for John Q. Adams, 7 voting for Jackson and 3 voting for Crawford. (from the notes entry for that year; no candidate received a majority of votes)

    1860 -
    Electoral Votes:
    Lincoln: 180
    Breckinridge: 72
    Bell: 39
    Douglas: 12

    Popular Votes:
    Lincoln: 1,866,452
    Breckinridge: 847,953

    1912 -
    Electoral Votes:
    Wilson: 435
    Roosevelt: 88
    Taft: 8

    Popular Votes:
    Wilson: 6,293,454
    Roosevelt: 3,484,980
    Taft: 3,483,922

    1992 -
    Electoral Votes:
    Clinton: 370
    Bush: 168

    Popular Votes:
    Clinton: 44,908,254
    Bush: 39,102,343
    Perot: 19,741,065

    In addition, if we delve deeper, we find:
    1876 -
    Electoral Votes:
    Hayes: 185
    Tilden: 184

    Popular Votes:
    Hayes: 4,036,298
    Tilden: 4,300,590

    1888 -
    Electoral Votes:
    Harrison: 233
    Cleveland: 168

    Popular Votes:
    Harrison: 5,439,853
    Cleveland: 5,540,309

    1880, 1884, 1960, 1968, 1976 were very close years (1-2% difference in the front runners' popular votes)
  • Uh, if you're going to post this, why not post something balanced, or at least post something comparable about the dirty tricks of the other side? Both major parties constantly participate in this kind of crap. The Republicans are harping on Gore's misstatements, the Dems are harping on Bush's misstatements. It's been going on for a long time, and both sides are guilty. How long did we have to hear about Qualye's "potatoe"?
  • by Kevin T. ( 25654 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @11:50AM (#692551) Homepage

    It seems that the conservatives on /. are complaining, rather loudly, that Taco, Hemos, and the gang are running stories that are pro-Gore.

    Interestingly, the "pro-Gore" article run today is more "anti-anti-Gore," but that's beside the point.

    The point is that Taco tells us I just personally wanted to note that the submissions are extremely lopsided; virtually nil for any 3rd party candidates (except a few Nader) and only a little more for Bush. We're trying to give the major candidates linkage, so if you find good sources on the net (or want to write one!) submit it!, and the reaction has been to complain about how sneaky Taco is for not posting Bush articles.

    It's a frigging BBS, fellas. He can't post articles that you don't submit. Furthermore -- just as a disclaimer before you start submitting -- he can't post articles that aren't interesting and don't have some smidgen of integrity.

    Taco makes mistakes a lot. Like when he tells us that an article questions the functionality of the Electoral College, when it's really question the functionality of a plurality-wins popular vote system in the primary and November elections. But by God, man, his heart's in the right place, and he's trying to pull for you.

    Well, there goes my karma. I'll see you on the other side, where my user name will be T. Nivek.

  • Is that like those Slashot articles on a paticular product actually being a cleverly disguised advertisement? Better tune my tinfoil hat. :)
  • by Ronin Developer ( 67677 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @09:35AM (#692564)
    Now, I am truly saddened. Every so often I read the kind of misguided propoganda as touted in "The New Science of Character Assassination" and realize that supposedly intelligent people believe it.

    What's worse is seing /. linking to this sort of so-called information, proclaiming it as gospel, and then taking the time to say "We're tying to give the major candidates linkgage, so if you find good sources on the net (or want to write one!) submit it".

    What consititutes a "good" source? From the ramblings of CmdrTaco, it would seem that only links to put Gore in a good light and Bush (or Republicans in general) in a bad light are "good".

    So much for objective coverage.

    I look to /. to provide me with up-to-date information on a variety of subjects. Sometimes, I take the time to post. Other times I don't because I have nothing meaningful to contribute.

    But, when such an important decision is pending such as the election of a new president, I find myself disgusted by the liberal and leftist views expressed by the primary moderators of this forum.

    A conservative by choice, I and many other "conservatives" don't necessarily think the ideals of the democrats are necessarily bad or evil. We are not all right-wingers or bible thumpers, believe it or not.

    I'm conservative by choice yet support a woman's right to choose. But, as a working member of society who has bills to pay and children to feed, I don't believe in the high cost of government that would result if Gore's "vision" is implemented. I want the ability to use it to provide a better future for my family.

    I believe that we need to clean up the environment.

    I believe we need new, renewable, energy sources.

    I'm a Gulf War veteran and a former naval officer. I left service BECAUSE of the downsizing of the military under Clinton's watch and the subsequent demoralizatoin. Yes, congress ( a republican one) has had much to do with this.

    The cold-war was over, efforts needed to be done to bolster or economy. They did at the expense of the miltary. The military OP-tempo is 400% that of what it was both before and immediately after the Gulf War. Navy ships that were four months at sea and one year in port were now 6 in/ 6 out. That is not smarter utilization of our fleet, its stupidity.

    But, truth be told, the President has very little to do with the economy other than perception. Rather, it is congress and the senate that make the laws (actually bills). The president only signs them into the law. The more the president signs the more he takes credit for. If the economy goes well and grows, he looks like a savior. If it goes bad, we remove him from office.

    The president is a figure head. He/she is supposed to represent the ideals of America and be presidential. Character plays a big part here. So, do you want a habitual "Bender of the truth" or a straight shooter (pun intended).

    Do you want Hollywood dictating the policy of the country or the people? Do you want judges dictating social policy rather than enforcing law?
    Do we want to vote for somebody simply because of their particular stand on abortion (BTW, check the facts, Gore IS NOT "pro-choice". In the past, he has said otherwise. He just changes his views depending upon whatever the populists say he should represent).

    Yes, these are big statements. This is a big election. You may not agree with my views nor I yours. But, get the facts before voting. The answers may suprise you. If you are a journalist, report fairly. To say the media is pro-democrate, look at CNN.com. The have extensive coverage of Gore in the "Democracy in America" section. Little, if any information regarding Bush. The polls are two days old as they were following the previous debate. Why? Because the public said Bush won... a view contrary to theirs.

    What would I like to see? How about a one bill/one law law that prevents "riders". Each bill should be voted on its merit and not on what is attached. Too much good legislation has been defeated because of the current system.

  • Dan Quayle, probably one of the worst VP's we ever had... even worse than Spiro T. Agnew.

    And where's that parasite from?

    Indiana, of course! That state should be forcibly expelled from the Union:

  • by GeekOfSpades ( 216481 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @07:57AM (#692569) Homepage
    If I remember correctly from government class, it was orginally created because those in charge of the government did not trust the common people with little or no education to be able to vote responsibly, so they implented this as a system of being able to override that.

    Sorry, that's incorrect. No doubt thats what you were taught though. The EC was created back before cars and phones. So?

    The framers believed that the no candidate would be able to hold a truely national campaign, and that come election day (after george wasn't running anymore) they'd get 13 different candidates with votes (on from each state.) That's not a majority by any means, and would probably be very damaging if the winner got 23% of the vote, and those were all from New York.

    It wasn't that the framers thought the voter were uneducated, but rather knew that _no one_ would even know about candidates on the other side of the country. Thus by voting for a delegate, you could be sure he would vote for who you probably would have voted for. Compex and imperfect, but remember the days it was done in.

    Not to say it's not outdated, but realize it did make sense at one point.
  • by Mike Hicks ( 244 ) <hick0088@tc.umn.edu> on Thursday October 19, 2000 @10:33AM (#692570) Homepage Journal
    Is there any chance that the voting methods in this country can be changed? The Borda count seems like a pretty good idea (though you do need to know your candidates). At least that way, most people at least get a candidate that they don't absolutely despise (hopefully, it's somebody that most people are at least neutral about, and maybe somewhat positive about).

    Anyway, I'm curious -- does anyone know exactly where it has been defined that we need to vote the way we do? For the Presidential race in particular, are the voting methods defined in the states, at the federal level, or is it a combination? Can a state just go say, ``we're going to use Approval or Borda voting''?

  • Actually--

    Right now, the electoral college is broken because, except in 2 or so states, the person that gets the majority in the state gets ALL of the votes from that state. For small states like RI, where the voting population will tend to be constant across the board, this is reasonable, but in states like TX and CA, I would expect various districts to have different voting pattenrs, and therefore, would be problematic.

    I do agree that some of the ideas in the discover article are good. However, I don't see that changing. The only thing that can probably be changed reasonable without causing too much problem would be to allow each district in each state to cast the majority vote based on that district's popular winner, and not aggregate to the state level. It can still lead to situations where the majority winner may not be the electoral college winner, but it's certainly makes it easier for third party candidates to get electoral college votes and gives the individual voter a better feel for how much his or her vote counts.

  • I also don't give one tenth of one shit about someone's grades in school. I had lousy grades, but I consider myself to be a pretty sharp individual. So why would I care if Gore graduated at all? I didn't.

    First of all, I would claim it is obvious you want someone reasonably intelligent in the White House.

    Grades can be a good predictor of someone's intelligence. If someone went to Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, and got good grades, you would be assured he was intelligent. If someone went to Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, and was a C student, you can be pretty sure that person either did not care about grades, or was not highly intelligent. In any case, the person was not highly attentive to his coursework. Anyone with the background of Bush or Gore was easily capable of being a B student if he applied himself. A C student was simply overmatched at the Ivy League, or didn't give a shit about academics. I am not certain I want either of those in the White House.

    Besides, what is the assurance that someone who did poorly in school, poorly in industry, was bailed out by Daddy time and time again, and drank his life away for forty years, would not just turn and collapse at some inopportune moment ? Come on, I've known alcoholics, and sometimes they just go back on the bottle. Is that really what you want when some terrorist drives plastic explosives into an american destroyer in Yemen ? Sorry general, but the president is drunk again. We are trying hard to sober him up right now. We'll get back to you.

  • Slashdot is inherently Republican-unfriendly. I would estimate that most of the readership is either Democrat/Green/radical left wing pinko commie bastard, or radical right/Libertarian.

    Please don't associate Libertarians with the radical right, or even the right for that matter. When I think of the radical right I think of the fire and brimstone, bible-thumping we-must-legislate-moral-character types, and that's certainly not an accurate portrayal of libertarians.

    Libertarians tend to draw from the left on social matters, and the right on fiscal matters, and so are neither left nor right. We're coming from a different philosophical angle and really don't fit anywhere on a left-right scale.

    I agree that both the readership and editorial staff of Slashdot is hostile to Republicans (and usually libertarians also), but I would rather they be open about that than try to hide under the pretense of objectivity like the major media does. I don't think it's possible to be truly objective. I think we 'media consumers' should lower our expectations for objectivity and learn to think more critically, think for ourselves, and stop accepting at face value everything the talking heads shovel down our throats. I think that's already starting to happen. I know many people who are distrustful of television news and newspapers, with good reason IMHO.

    Jeez, that sure turned into a rant pretty quickly, didn't it? I'm sorry, I can't help it sometimes. The media pisses me off.

  • Many people think having 2 parties is bad but since they need to battle over who's more middle of the road we'll never elect a Hilter or Mussolini (both came to power democratically)

    Not true. Both were appointed as head-of-government in parliamentary deals that were never ratified by open elections. Remember, in a parliamentary democracy (which both Germany and Italy were), you can have a change of government without an election. Not a shining example of indirect election as a safeguard against tyranny!

    Hitler did run for President before he was appointed Chancellor. He lost. Later, when the President died, he appointed himself instead of holding an election for a successor. Probably illegal, but nobody was in a position to tell him that.

    The big strength of the US constitution is the system of checks and balances -- somebody to say, "Sorry Adolf, you're exceeding your authority." This is different from parliamentary systems, which combine executive, legislative, and sometimes even judicial power in a single body. The separation of powers doctrine is completely separate from our kludgy and dangerously unpredicatable system for electing the head of the executive branch.


  • If someone went to Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, and got good grades, you would be assured he was intelligent.

    Perhaps. You're just as likely to get someone who communicated like this:

    How are auditory stimuli influenced by contextual cues such as other stimuli ?

    Good point. But in considering communication one should consider one's target audience. My brief home page is certainly not written for /.

    Our educational system serves more to enforce the division of social classes than it does to help humanity. Which is why people with degrees are so insistent that they are smarter than everyone else, and always are the first to defend the status quo.

    No one was discussing the issue of intelligence for someone without a degree. Record in school cannot be used as an indication of intelligence for someone that did not attend school, obviously. But it can be used to compare people who went through similar educational experiences at similar times in life, like Bush, Gore, and Nader. At least one of those did well as an undergraduate, and it wasn't Bush or Gore.
  • The Electoral College pretty much means that your vote is meaningless if the majority of the people in your state disagree with you. Because of this a number of people don't vote because they do not feel that their vote really counts. I live in Georgia, a decidely conservative state politically. I tend to lean towards the more liberal side and would vote for the Libertarian Party if thought it would make any bit of difference. But I already know that it will not.

    And really it is not worth my time to travel to the polls and vote when I know that even if I decide to take, in my opinion, the lesser of the two evils. it still won't matter because a majority of my neighbors are going to vote the republican party line.

    Its really quite depressing that the land of the free where we take such pride in allowing our citizens to vote for who they choose. Has such a system that a lot of people are just not going to vote because they feel disillusioned by our system of voting.

  • If I were in their place today I still wouldn't trust them. By going for a pure majority, the candidates only have to pander to the majority of voters who share similar backgrounds. With an electoral college, they have to address regions with heterogeneous opinions and concerns. They could ignore all minorities in their policies and only address the concerns of the %51 of the population that matters, leaving the bottom %49 with the short end of the stick.
  • Now, to be fair...

    Reagan wasn't aiding our enemies in direct opposition to congress. He was aiding our marginal allies (which was what was forbidden by congress) by selling arms to our enemies...(at least that is how the allegations go) which might have broken a law other then just plain common sense.

  • Was passed. It was called the "Line Item Veto"... but was ruled unconstitutional as soon as President Clinton tried to use it.

  • by Mononoke ( 88668 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @09:39AM (#692609) Homepage Journal
    he says: 'I took the initiative in creating the internet'...

    So he misphrased it. Here's what he did do:

    Vice President Gore's active role in National Information Infrastructure policy can be traced to his days as a Senator. In 1986 he introduced legislation to enable the Office of Science and Technology Policy to provide Congress with an analysis of U.S. networking needs. As a result, in 1988 he introduced the National High Performance Computing and Communications Act that was signed by President Bush into Public Law 102-194 in 1991. His commitment within the current Administration is a continuation of these efforts.

    Introducing legislation is often known (in Congress-ese) as 'taking the initiative.'

    Heck, Bush is probably still anxiously waiting to meet the leader of Fredonia. I live in the state he supposedly "leads." If the rest of the nation knew just how little real power is in the hands of a Texas governor, they'd understand why he was good enough for that job, and not nearly qualified enough for a real job.


  • Oh Puhleeeeeeze. The "Character" article is a cheezy, obviously left-wing, spin-doctored, joke. Frankly I'm surprised Taco included a link to it. It's not journalism or news - it's propaganda.

    Let us consider the New York Times story in detail. Written by Alison Mitchell, it describes Al Gore's abject apology for two trivial and much-exaggerated errors in the first debate as "the culmination of a skillful and sustained 18-month campaign by Republicans to portray the vice president as flawed and untrustworthy".

    Seriously - Mr. Gore doesn't need a shred of help from Republicans to appear any more flawed and untrustworthy than he already appears.

  • by Benjamin Shniper ( 24107 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @09:40AM (#692612) Homepage
    Hippies.. They want to save the earth but they just smoke pot and smell bad.
    - Eric Cartman

    Hello, we techies aren't a bunch of pot-smoking save the earth hippies!

    God, you'd think we were all RMSs. I know techies to be more equally divided politically, perhaps more libertarians, like myself.

    Here we see some balance to Bush's mistakes of grammar, (Mid-western oriented) pronunciation, and nonsensical quotes.

    As you can see, there are a bunch of illogical, absurd, and funny statements which make it clear why he may have failed vanderbilt and considers coddled journalistic... anyway...

    http://www.copie.com/politics/goreisms. htm [copie.com]


    Note: I have switched my vote to Gore. After all, he did take the initiative in creating the internet.

  • Instant runoffs don't quite work like that, or at least the way I understand it. Here's my understanding of the system:

    As you said, each voter ranks the candidates by preference. Then you use the following algorithm:

    1) Tally up the top preference on everyone's ballots.

    2) If someone has > 50% of the votes, they are declared the winner.

    3) Otherwise, drop the lowest scoring candidate from the race. All ballots with that candidate as their top choice move on to their next choice.

    4) Go to (1) and retally the top preferences from the remaining candidates. Continue until a majority is reached.

    Thus the "1%ers" -- fringe candidates exit the process first, one at a time, and their votes go to their voters' second choices. Note that this system will produce a majority in every case, because in a worst-case scenario, all but two candidates will be eliminated, one at a time, and one of them will have >50% of the vote.

    Many people cast their votes for the "lessor of two evils"; they might want to vote for an independent candidate, but when they get into the booth, they will cast a vote for one major party candidate for the sole reason that they are afraid of the other major party candidate being elected.

    Instant runoffs would encourage people to vote for their desired candidate, instead of against an unacceptable major party candidate.

  • actually, the idea that voters on one side of the country wouldn't know what was up on the other has been exploited in prior elections. In 1820 (I think -- sorry I don't have an almanac handy), one of the major political parties of the day planned to field not one candidate but several, based in different geographic regions of the country. So in Georgia, they might say, "Joe, he's our man!"; in Maine, "Bob, he's our man!"; etc. This was, IMHO, a totally brilliant plan : each of the candidates could be tailored to a particular region, could garner large majorities of the vote unburdened by national concerns. It was also, obviously, a total bastard plan, since the eventual idea was to have the party candidates all meet, decide on which candidate would be the "true" candidate, and cede their delegates to that one candidate. Alas, none of this worked, because of squabbling internal to the party.

    Presumably you couldn't do this today, since people would figure out pretty quickly what was up. (Imagine if the "democratic" candidate for Pres. was Bill Bradley in the Northeast, and Gore elsewhere? Or if the Republican were McCain in the NE and Bush elsewhere?) But I thought it was an interesting idea.

    Note, also, that the intent of the EC was also in part to force the winning candidate to have appeal which subsumed geographic lines -- if you went by a straight popular vote, overwhelming majorities in only a few states could decide the election.

  • At least Gore can point to things he's done that have actually improved things. Prescription drugs, you say? How about pharmaceutical price gouging hearings that Gore conducted in 1978? Education? Co-sponsored the bill creating the Department of Education. Environment? Do you really need me to run down the list?

    Thats funny, most of what I heard from Gore is how prescription drug prices are too expensive, how the school system is falling apart, and how 'big oil' is taking advantage of american citizens. Obviously on the first two he's done nothing to improve the situation because they are still problems. The last one is thanks to his environmental agenda, as the Clinton/Gore administration have actively worked to lower domestic oil exploration and refining, thus increasing US dependency on forign oil. Not only does this 'feel good' environmental policy increase our worldwide vulnerability but it also takes land away from otherwise innocent american citizens. How many ranchers / farmers / landowners have been kicked off their land or restricted in it's use because of all the new 'federally protected' land the government has usurped? Plenty.

    What are we thinking, using their tax money to keep people from dying of hunger, exposure, and disease! God forbid the government should exhibit a social conscience!

    Do you see a person on the street and think that you have more right to their money then they have? After all either they or their relatives worked hard and/or smart to earn that money. You did nothing to deserve that money.. How is it that you (or anyone else for that matter) have more of a right to it than the person who busted their ass earning it? Instead of the democrat solution of 'throwing money at the problem' perhaps we should instead get to the root of why people are homeless, out of work, or whatever.

    How far of a strech is it that if the government should have a 'social conscience' about protecting poor people that it should also use that same conscience to protect childeren from internet pornography, or protect US citizens from crypto-weilding terrorists? Not far. The constiution does not outline providing for the less fortunate of society for good reason.. It's a slippery slope to go from providing a helping hand to ruling with an iron fist in the name of protecting it's citizenry.

    I do not believe that Al Gore is a liar

    I suppose if you believe hard enough in santa no amount of proving the thermodynamic imposibility of delivering presents to everyone in the world will change your mind either.

    -- Greg
  • but the situation could be even worse (though arguably more unlikely) in a straight popular vote. that is, by pulling huge majorities in a geographically limited area, a candidate could capture the presidency while completely ignoring the concerns of a large chunk of the country. the electoral college system isn't perfect, but it does manage to strike a minimal balance between representation by geography and representation by population.
  • maybe I'm a little bitter right now from the *definite* pro-gore slant of the previous slashdot articles (not just David Brin's screed either)...

    Before everyone starts complaining about how Bush is assasinating Gore, keep in mind that Character assasination is performed by both sides, not just the GOP. The Gore compagin has been assasinating Bush's character since last year. How did they do this you might ask?
    Bush's college/graduate school record is much better than Gore's. In fact, Gore never graduated from Vanderbilt.

    The following Op-Ed appeared in the Boston Globe on september 7th. Before flaming this post (or the opposite), please take the time to read it.


    JENNIFER C. BRACERAS Jennifer C. Braceras is an attorney and research fellow at Harvard Law School. Her column appears regularly in the Globe.

    When will the liberal media stop treating left-wing ideology as a
    proxy for intelligence? For months the press has questioned the
    intellect of Republican candidate George W. Bush, while describing Al
    Gore as "serious," "intellectual" - even "wonkish."

    The basis for the media's unfair attacks on Bush's intelligence is his
    30-year-old Yale College transcript (purloined last fall and published by The New Yorker). Yet The Washington Post's subsequent revelation of Gore's
    unimpressive academic record has done little to alter the media's false
    portrayal of Gore as "the smartest kid in the class." It is a record
    that is worth reviewing, if only to debunk the myth of Gore as a serious

    Gore's undergraduate transcript from Harvard is riddled with C's,
    including a C-minus in introductory economics, a D in one science
    course, and a C-plus in another. "In his sophomore year at Harvard,"
    the Post reported, "Gore's grades were lower than any semester
    recorded on Bush's transcript from Yale." Moreover, Gore's graduate
    school record - consistently glossed over by the press - is nothing
    short of shameful. In 1971, Gore enrolled in Vanderbilt Divinity
    School where, according to Bill Turque, author of "Inventing Al
    Gore," he received F's in five of the eight classes he took over the
    course of three semesters. Not surprisingly, Gore did not receive a
    degree from the divinity school. Nor did Gore graduate from
    Vanderbilt Law School, where he enrolled for a brief time and
    received his fair share of C's. (Bush went on to earn an MBA from

    But whereas the liberal press has described Bush's college days as
    a time of misspent youth, media accounts of Gore's undergraduate
    years are grossly fawning. (The New York Times: "As Mr. Bush was
    frolicking around Yale, a young man named Al Gore was studying at
    Harvard"; "Harvard nurtured the part of [Gore] that is in love with
    the world of ideas." The New Republic: "At Harvard, Gore set himself
    formidable intellectual challenges.")

    And then there is the laughable October issue of Psychology Today.
    As part of a cover story20 entitled, "Gore and Bush on the Couch," the
    magazine reports the results of a spurious "analysis" of 10 of the
    candidates speeches and/or interviews. The authors claim that the
    study "verifies" the popular stereotype that "Bush is not as deep a
    thinker as Gore."

    Two pages later, readers will be shocked - shocked! - to learn
    that the magazine's (no doubt scientific) study of the candidates'
    facial gestures reveals that Gore is the "more serious, constrained,
    controlled, weighty, ponderous, [and] dominant of the two
    candidates." More ponderous, perhaps . . . but, please, spare me the pop

    Biased reporters, however, are not the only ones to blame. Indeed,
    the vice president himself has cultivated this genius persona (one of
    many). Thus, he did not correct PBS News anchor Gwen Ifill when she
    referred to him as a graduate of Vanderbilt Law School. Even more
    significant was the line in Gore's convention acceptance speech in
    which he stated, "I know my own imperfections. I know that sometimes
    people say I'm too serious, that I talk too much substance and
    policy." Poor Al, he's just too smart for the job.

    Of course, the stereotyping of conservative candidates as dumb and
    liberal candidates as "brilliant" is nothing new. During the 1950s,
    the media lionized Democrat Adlai Stevenson as an intellectual,
    while ridiculing Republican Dwight Eisenhower as an ineffectual
    simpleton. Back the n, the members of the press knew full well that
    Stevenson attended Harvard Law School and, yet, had not received a
    degree. But the media gave Stevenson a pass. (Sound familiar?) Had
    resourceful journalists investigated, they might have learned (as we
    now know from Stevenson's biographer John Bartlow Martin) that
    Harvard Law School Dean Erwin Griswold had hidden Stevenson's transcript
    in a locked cabinet in his office. What was he hiding? Stevenson, the
    so-called "thinking man's candidate," had, in fact, flunked out of Harvard Law.

    In the end, neither intellect nor academic performance is an
    especially importan criterion by which to judge our presidents.
    Ronald Reagan and Harry Truman were no scholars, but they rank amon g
    the best presidents in our country's history. And what about many
    liberals' favorite president - Franklin Roosevelt? Social, popular,
    and famously unserious as an undergraduate at Harvard, FDR had an
    undistinguished academic record. Yet, later in life, Roosevelt's
    charisma and his ability to persuade, compromise, and lead helped him
    to become a "reformer with results."

    This election is not an I.Q. test; it is about which candidate has
    better judgment. And that is why, despite the media's love affair
    with the celluloid image of Al Gore the policy-wonk, it is the
    affable, authentic, and sensible Bush who would make the better

    9/7/00 BOSTONG A15

  • Boy this is so incorrect it is scary. To say every person who voted for Perot would have chosen to vote for Bush is wrong. I voted for Perot and would have voted for Clinton over Bush. Now, this does not dismiss you very valid point though. I believe the primary system strips us of the better candidates. Instead, I believe we should have a National Primary in March of the election year with the top four candidates (regardless of party) being the official candidates who will then have a 100% public financed campaign. Then we have run-off elections until a clear absolute 50.1+% of the electorate vote for one candidate. This isn't fully fleshed out as it has been an idea I just came up with last week after feeling like I got ripped off because I never had a chance to vote for either McCain or Bradley. 3% of the nation selected Bush and Gore (this is an unproven percentage and should not be taken as a literal factual number...it is meant to emphasize the fact that a low number of the electorate actually choose the two front runners).
  • What is really new about this is that the wrongs of certain democrats in office have become SO egregious that even the liberal (in the sense of generosity, not freedom) media can no longer turn a blind eye.

    Mr. Agre only finds this to be "new" because when it was Iran Contra, or Quail's bungling, the media was "just reporting the facts" in his distorted world view. (That is not to say that they weren't, but to say that the same thing seems different to him.)

    The fact is that that this level of reporting of democrats is new, and despite the fact that the media STILL has the gloves on it smarts.


  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @08:06AM (#692639)
    This was reported on NPR a week or so ago.

    To some extent, the corporation involvement is there to help make sure that the debate is well covered, for example, USAir was helping to fly in reporters, while A-B had free food and drink at a nearby bar for the second debate for the media. (Needless to say, the costs for the candidates to be there is out of their campaign funds). Most likely, performing this service helps them with tax breaks on the money they spend for it. Some of those companies do also see it as a necessary public service, as without debates, the election process is skewed.

    Is this bad? I don't think so -- the amount of effort and money needed to run the debates is large in order for them to be effective. Yes, they are probably looking for some favors down the road, but none of these companies screams out as one that needs legislation to be passed for them. And I doubt you'll be able to find a private citizen's group or NPO that will be able to handle the size and cost of these debates that is unbiased as possible.

  • Here's what I wrote about this yesterday: [slashdot.org]

    Uh huh. And when Dan Quayle, admittedly not the most articulate politician ever but a competent and reasonably thoughtful Senator, was universally described in the media as a drooling moron, was that a right-wing plot also? When fabricated story after story, like "I enjoyed visiting Latin America. I wish I spoke Latin." was presented as fact, where was Philip Agre?

    The problem here is the Jay Leno / David Letterman mentality of repeating anything as long as it continues to get a laugh. It's unfunny when they do it and shameful when journalists do it.

    No, J. Edgar Hoover was not gay or a transvestite. A single filmmaker quoted a single source who claims to have once seen a picture of Hoover in a dress. Where's Philip Agre on that one?


  • /. never promised to be an objective witness to anything. /. is unashamedly partisan on lots of issues. To a very great extent, /. is still CmdrTaco and Hemos's personal website, no matter how popular or well funded it is. If the links that they find most interesting about the presidential elections tend to be unsympathetic to Bush, then that's the way they feel and that's what they post. Don't confuse /. with a real news source - it's still a very personal creation.
  • If his Father really did have to save his biscuits repeatedly in the past, though, that worries me. I want a President who can stand on his own merits.

    A reasonable attacking site is

  • by sethg ( 15187 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @12:54PM (#692697) Homepage
    I would like to see a Presidential debate where each candidate could bring a laptop computer and consult it during the debate. "Well, I downloaded Senator Bedfellow's platform last night, and it clearly says here ... on the other hand, if you look at the 2002 Federal budget, on this line...."
  • by Xenu ( 21845 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @08:25AM (#692719)
    The electoral college is broken. You can win an election without getting a majority because of it.

    It's not a bug, it's a feature.

    In case people have forgotten, the United States is a union of partially sovereign states, not a homogenuous government. The interests of large and small states must be balanced. That is why we have a Senate, good for small states, and House of Representatives, good for large states. The electoral system gives political power to small states, who would otherwise be ignored in a system based on a direct popular vote. A candidate must do more than appeal to a simple majority, he must appeal to a geographically diverse group of voters.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 19, 2000 @08:26AM (#692723)
    Phil Agre is absolutely right about this. We all have heard a zillion times and read in the papers the claim that "Gore says he invented the internet" when in fact it's easy to check the CNN transcript of the original interview [cnn.com] and see that he said no such thing. But the correction rarely appears in the papers, only the lies.

    According to the Daily Howler [dailyhowler.com] the "Gore invented the internet" story was popularized by Wired [wired.com] writer Declan McCullagh in this [wired.com] story. Declan finally gives Gore some credit, 19 months later, here. [wired.com] But by then, practically every journalist in the US had piled on, many of them exaggerating the story. And Declan is still ducking responsibility for the stories he & wired spread; you can read Phil Agre's dissection. [somewhere.com]

    To his credit, Newt Gingerich tried to set the record straight on 9/1/2000 when he took part in a colloquium for the American Political Science Association. The panel was broadcast live on C-SPAN. Speaking about the 1996 Telecommunications Bill, Gingrich at one point said this:
    GINGRICH: In all fairness, it's something Gore had worked on a long time. Gore is not the Father of the Internet, but in all fairness Gore is the person who, in the Congress, most systematically worked to make sure that we got to an Internet, and the truth is - and I worked with him starting in 1978 when I got there, we were both part of a 'futures group' - the fact is, in the Clinton administration the world we had talked about in the '80s began to actually happen. You can see it in your own life, between the Internet, the computer, the cell phone.
    Remember: this is Newt Gingerich speaking. You can't dismiss his remarks as another case of liberal bias. But I'll bet ya never saw that story in the news!

    And while I'm debunking, here's a line from a story that appeard in the Boston Globe 4/11/2000:
    starting in 1994, Gore has added two years to his journalistic experience, upping the figures from the five years he once claimed to seven.
    The truth is, Gore worked five years for the Nashville Tennessean, and prior to that he spent two years as a reporter in the U.S. army. Two plus five equals seven. But the Globe never saw fit to retract their lie.

    So Phil Agre is absolutely right: the RNC has gotten away with an amazing campaign of character assassination. Now it's time to tell the truth.
  • by revscat ( 35618 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @08:21AM (#692749) Journal

    Uh, if you're going to post this, why not post something balanced, or at least post something comparable about the dirty tricks of the other side? Both major parties constantly participate in this kind of crap. The Republicans are harping on Gore's misstatements, the Dems are harping on Bush's misstatements. It's been going on for a long time, and both sides are guilty. How long did we have to hear about Qualye's "potatoe"?

    Because the media's stance against Gore and for Bush has been extremely prevalent and incredibly consistent. This seems to me to be a perfect example of an "Emperor Wears No Clothes" kind of event: the media is by and large conservative, not liberal, and this campaign season only serves to prove this. Yes, there have been attacks from both sides. But by and large Bush has gotten off the hook on several major issues (such as the death penalty and other problems with the Texas judicial system, irregularities in his financial history [where did that jet come from again, Dubya?], and the powerlessness of the Texas governorship.) The conventional wisdom is that Gore is a liar, facts be damned, and this portrait keeps getting reinforced by the media. Meanwhile, GWB's own misstatements and/or lies get almost wholly ignored.

    The "I invented the Internet" meme is a perfect example. Gore never said this, and taken contextually what he did say was wholly correct. But it has been repeated ad nauseum by pundits, reporters, and partisans until the general population believes that he did say this. Meanwhile, Bush's statement "...insurance - that's a Washington term" gets little if any discussion. This is amazing because that statement to me is absolutely incredible in its banality. Time and time again Bush says something that is just out and out moronic: "The woman who knew that I had dyslexia--I never interviewed her." Nevertheless, the media treats him like a god worthy of admiration, not someone's who intelligence should be seriously and thoroughly questioned.

    This wouldn't bother me so much except that the gaffe count seems to be so lopsided. Gore makes misstatements that are, upon further investigation, honest mistakes. Ex: Travelling to Texas with the FEMA director; he mistook the exact date. But Gore's mistakes are much fewer than Bush's, and they are at least in grammatically correct English. But Bush... His list of moronic statements has its own lengthy page [msn.com] dedicated to them. Are these generally questioned? No. Instead we hear about what his policy advisors have cooked up with regarding prescription drugs whatever politically moderate group they happen to be courting this week.

    Questioning Bush's intelligence is something that has gotten way, way too little attention, IMHO.

    The following quote from E2 [everything2.com] sums this up perfectly:

    "And throughout it all, the United States: Rich, prosperous, myopic, magnificient in aggregate and petty in specifics, unwilling -- always, always -- to accord respect to the mind. To good fortune, to luck, to rugged individualism, to faith in God, to patriotism, to beauty, to spunk or pluck or grit or git, but never to complex intellegence and complex thought."
    -- from Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress

    - Rev.
  • by Booker ( 6173 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @08:28AM (#692752) Homepage
    Nader is suing over this... I'm not sure of the details, but I saw it on his site...

    Also, did you know he was denied access to the debates, not only as a debater, but as a viewer? Twice, he had valid tickets to enter the premises, and twice, he was denied access by the debate commission, with police threatening arrest. Tell me there was any reason other than his political affiliation... I imagine that will go to court as well.

    Oh, and get your Nader Funky Beats here [votenader.org]. :-)


  • by The Man ( 684 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @08:22AM (#692753) Homepage
    Getting rid of the electoral college is of mimimal importance. I believe it has happened only once - over 100 years ago - that a candidate won the popular vote and lost the electoral vote. That's not to say it mightn't happen again this year, but historically it appears that the possibility is overhyped. It just doesn't happen.

    Even if the process were changed to direct popular vote, there is still the problem of people voting for the candidates they think can win (lesser of evils) rather than the candidates they actually believe would do the best job. The solution, which has been presented numerous times, is an "instant runoff," in which every voter ranks the candidates by preference. The first-preference votes are counted, and if no candidate has a majority, the second-preference votes are added in. This process continues until one candidate has a majority, which, while not mathematically guaranteed, will almost certainly happen. This process would encourage voting for third party candidates - or not, if voters actually prefer the Republicrats. Either way, it gives voters greater voice and freedom - by essentially giving them 3 or 4 or 8 votes instead of merely 1.

    This, of course, will never happen. The Republicrats have far too much control over the electoral process to ever allow it. But we can dream, eh?

  • by nathanh ( 1214 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @04:26PM (#692761) Homepage

    Ok, I'm Australian, and I find the American political system perhaps slightly more boring than even our own dodgy political system. But I have been interested in what appears to be, even to the casual international observer, character assassination of everyone but Bush.

    For example, Ralph Nader is known even over here in Australia (at least if you've had more than a rudimentary education). He's clearly a smart guy, yet it seems he's getting the sharp end of the stick at every turn. Why?

    And Al Gore. We've all seen the 100s of posts in his defence disproving his "gaffes", pointing out that they're not gaffes but blatant lies and misrepresentations by the media. So why do the lies and misrepresentations continue?

    I say it's for entertainment. It's clearly a bad news-day/week/month and the media is playing your election up for all it's worth. If they were honest and portrayed the candidates in a fair and unbiased light then you'd have no contest. It'd be like a boxing match between Tyson and Pee-Wee Herman (and that fully exhausts my knowledge of American celebrities). Your Tyson is of course Al Gore. Not only is Al Gore obviously smarter than his #1 competitor, he also has more experience, he did better at school, he looks better on TV, he has more hair, his teeth are much shinier and whiter, and he's taller than everyone else too. What more do you Americans want from a President?

    Nobody would watch the debates if the media had portrayed the candidates fairly. So in an attempt to boost TV ratings and newspaper sales, your media is doing a snow-job on Bush and a smear-campaign on Gore and ignoring all the other candidates (because you can't have a fair and unbiassed election if there are more than two choices! everybody knows this).

    Your presidents are picked by TV. I think you lot should know this by now. The TV conglomerates not only pick the winner they force it to happen through media attention and persuasion. Who cares who becomes president when there's a buck to be made! I think you should all vote Rupert Murdoch for president and acknowledge who the real leader of your country is, once and for all!

  • by Mononoke ( 88668 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @08:33AM (#692792) Homepage Journal
    That will leave us wyth about seven wyrds...

    Shyt, Pyss, Fyck, Cynt, Cycksycker, Motherfycker, and Tyts?


  • by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @08:34AM (#692795) Homepage
    It already did. 1876 -- The Republican ticket of Hayes and Wheeler got 4,034,311 popular votes and 185 EC votes; the Democratic ticket of Tilden and Hendricks got 4,288,546 popular votes -- barely more -- but only 184 EC votes.

    Ditto in 1888, Harrison and Morton vs Cleveland and Thurman (again, Republicans with fewer popular votes but more ECs -- 47.82%/233 vs 48.62%/168).

    One also gets wildly disproportionate counts -- like Landon and Knox in '36 losing with 36.54% popular, but only 8 EC votes out of 531... and Mondale got 40.56% popular but only 13 out of 538. Ouch.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 19, 2000 @08:34AM (#692827)
    While Nader and Buchanan were bitching about not getting to schmooze right next to Shrub and Deadwood, Libertarian Party candidate Harry Browne actually DID something about it:
    http://clubs.lycos.com/live/Events/Transcripts/h arry_browne_tscript.asp

    In other news, the Libertarian Party also announced the winner of the second presidential debate to be moderator Jim Lehrer, who had a hard time finding the differences between Bush and Gore:
    http://clubs.lycos.com/live/Events/Transcripts/h arry_browne_tscript.asp

    You want somebody willing to address the issues? Browne takes a stance on an issue that Bush and Gore seem to dance around and ignore-- gay marriage:
    http://www.planetout.com/pno/news/feature.html?s ernum=67

    If nothing else, read the debate transcript. It's positively superb.

  • by finkployd ( 12902 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @09:04AM (#692833) Homepage
    From the "character" link:
    the people support Al Gore's policies, but the polls are shifting toward George W. Bush because the media is filled with false attacks on Al Gore's character.

    Not that this sounds ANYTHING like sore-loser whining, but it's also blatently false, according to nearly every Reuters/Zogby poll.

    While some of Bush's policies are opposed by almost half the population (vouchers and gore's upping minumium wage are favored), these polls clearly show Bush's policies favored. Some examples of headlines:

    Bush's Star Wars Anti-Ballistic Shield Favored

    Majority Opposed to Selling High-Tech Weapons to China

    More Autonomy for States to Set School Standards

    Accountability Narrowly Beat Out Smaller Class Size

    State Rights Favored Over Federal Regulations on Health Care

    Teaching Certification Based on Teacher's Ability Favored

    Half Favor Bush's Social Security Investment Plan

    Bush-Cheney's Military Build-Up Narrowly Approved

    More Than Fifty Percent Favor Bush-Cheney's Homeless Plan

    Yes, I know these are just polls (although pretty well-respect polls) and are subject to inconsistancies and could be way off, but I have yet to see a major poll say that Gore's policies are favored.

    Taco, I respect your right to have you opinion, and to publish it on your own website (which I enjoy), however by not doing your own research and posting your opinion supported by false articles and sloppy reporting, you are only destryoing your own credibility. Stop buying everything spoon fed to you about how bad Bush is and how great Gore is, and do your own research.


Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!