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Was the 2004 Election Stolen? 1425

jZnat writes, "In June Rolling Stone ran an article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. delving into the statistical improbability that Bush won the 2004 election based on massive amounts of evidence that support a Republican-sponsored election fraud across the country, particularly in Ohio. The GOP used a number of tactics in its fraudulent campaign including ballot-stuffing, denying newly registered voters (particularly in urban and minority precincts) their voting privileges via illegal mailings known as caging lists, inane voter registration requirements, preventing thousands of voters from receiving provisional ballots, under-providing Democrat-majority precincts with voting machines thus creating enormous queues of voters, faulty machines (particularly from Diebold) that skewed results in the GOP's favor, mostly unnoticed ballot-stuffing and fraud in rural areas, and a fixed recount that was paid for by the Green and Libertarian parties that essentially supported the initial fraudulent numbers." From the article: "'Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen,' Lou Harris, the father of modern political polling, told me."
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Was the 2004 Election Stolen?

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  • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:44PM (#16126244) Homepage Journal
    Rehashing a Rolling Stone article from June, that was already covered on /. at the time? Running a dupe a few days or a week later is one thing, but it's been 3 months!
  • Washington State (Score:2, Informative)

    by deanj ( 519759 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:45PM (#16126247)
    If you want to see what a real stolen election looks like, take a close look at what happened in Washingon State when they tried to elect the last governor. They kept recounting until they got the result they desired, and then told everyone to stop.

    THAT'S a stolen election.
  • Re:Moo (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:51PM (#16126280)
    So whats wrong with number 6 []? It's not a link to the onion or something inane like that, it looks like a real newspaper article about a Republican PR company sending out letters claiming that it's affiliated with America Votes, when America Votes has no knowledge of it, and as a non-partisian organization wouldn't have affiliated with a Republican firm or provided a phonenumber to a voice message asking people if they're interested in hitting the streets to get people to vote Republican.
  • by brennz ( 715237 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:54PM (#16126300)
    On top of it, they never mention how US military overseas from Florida specifically (that overwhelmingly vote republican) didn't get their absentee ballots CLE_ID=15597 [] [] [] 1/20/military.ballots/index.html [] [] [] []

  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Informative)

    by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <mindstalker@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:56PM (#16126309) Journal
    He possibly has a subscription so he sees it early, or most likly he has debated this subject before so used his previously canned responce. It doesn't nessesarily make it wrong (though I admit I didn't read it all :)

    Either way, the humor of Ohio and Floridas minority district problems are that they were mostly run by Democrats. Sure these minorities might have been disenfranchised, but it was out of incompitance and not nessesarily some scheme.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:57PM (#16126315)
    Nice straw man, idiot. Possible electoral fraud demands investigation, despite your cretinous opinion that it's all about pouting Bush-haters.
  • Plagiarism (Score:5, Informative)

    by amliebsch ( 724858 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @05:57PM (#16126316) Journal
    Slashdot is now blatantly ripping off, which also had an article headline about Kennedy's Rolling Stone piece staring with Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" [] Too bad Slashdot, in its ridiculous slanting, removed the final word of Salon's headline: "No." Even Mother Jones and NPR repudiated Kennedy's claims. Mother Jones, fer Christ's sake! What's next, Slashdot? How about some articles about World Trade Center demolition conspiracies! And Was Paul Wellstone's Plane Shot Down?
  • by HatchedEggs ( 1002127 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:13PM (#16126402) Homepage Journal
    A big -5 flamebait for the rediculous article about a rediculous topic that a majority of the people in the US have moved past a rediculously long time ago.

    Now theres redundant for you. Stop rehashing uninteresting garbage, and if you really want to go all out I hear there is a new "docu-drama" on a 9/11 conspiracy floating around.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:2, Informative)

    by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:27PM (#16126492)
    To me, the growing ranks of people who believe that with all their heart - growing mostly because of the internet, and sources of information that reinforce what they want to believe - are actually more of a threat to our system of government than anything else.

    It's been a fucking problem since 1993 and the whiney ass titty baby Republicans started spreading false stories about Clinton.

    Who killed Vince Foster?

    It's interesting in all of that time, not a single one of them ever turned out to be true. Most of them boiled down to Mellon-Scaife paying people to bear false witness.
  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:29PM (#16126506)
    *grabs some of your popcorn*

    I'm far more frightened by voter stupidity than election fraud, but would like to see widespread cracking of Diebold machines because that is the only way the public will exert pressure for change.
    Theoretical exploitation of teh mysterious boxes is one thing, but grossly hacking an election would get the attention of the average tard on the street.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:33PM (#16126526)
  • Welcome to SlashKos (Score:2, Informative)

    by ChePibe ( 882378 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:34PM (#16126533)
    Please check your objectivity, nuance, and common sense at the door.

    Now, we all get to read the political rantings in journal form of a slashdotter who finds himself/herself on a political extreme but, by chance, likely happens to coincide with an editor's own position. Oh joy. Particularly when the author of this journal is also the author of gems such as his own take on the Declaration of Independence [].

    SlashKos. Really old opinion pieces from music/culture magazines spun by random journal writers for far-left geeks. Stuff that really, truly doesn't matter, but hopefully will stir up some controversy and ad clicks.

    I find myself on the right politically, but I'm not one to complain about stories that show the left's point of view, even the more extreme left. This however screams to me of "slow news day" and "must do something to get site traffic up" nonsense.

    I realize my post is likely redundant, but some things simply must be said over and over. Why on earth was this posted here, now?

    I come to Slashdot expecting Slashdot. Not SlashKos. For that matter, I'd also be unhappy to see SlashLGF, as well.
  • Re:Cry Cry Cry (Score:4, Informative)

    by Stalyn ( 662 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:37PM (#16126550) Homepage Journal
    George W. Bush was born in Connecticut and went to college in Massachusetts (Yale and Harvard). The whole North vs. South or West-East Coast vs. Mid-West is all cooked up by the political party machines to make you afraid of their opponent. In reality the majority of America is pretty close on a lot of issues. The only really divisive issues are abortion and gay-rights which are of course inflated to appear more important than they really are. Not to say these issues aren't important but they aren't more important than say education and self-defense.

    American politics has become based on fear. Not so much the policies because in the end politicians will only use fear to manipulate the public in order to get (re)elected. But after they get elected they go back to the normal business of corruption and cronyism. In the end it's our fault, we let it happen resulting from our own ignorance and apathy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:37PM (#16126552)
    A grade-school understanding of probability?

    The margin of error on those exit polls is at some confidence level, which is never specified. A "margin of error" is meaningless without the confidence level.

    The best you can say about a poll is something like "it has a margin of error of plus or minus 3% at 95% confidence". In other words, there's a 95% chance that the difference between the poll and the actual, real value is within 3%. But there's a 5% chance that the real result is outside the margin of error.

    Without that confidence level we have no way of knowing if the margin of error isn't for a ridiculous confidence like 50%.

    Plus, while there's likely to be a correlation between exit polls and what people voted, there's no way to rule out a self-selection. Maybe Kerry supporters were more likely to answer the poll. Maybe people were embarrassed to admit they voted for Bush and lied on the exit poll. Maybe the people taking the exit poll rigged the exit poll for Kerry.

    This isn't a random sampling of the actual votes. It's a random sampling of what people say after exiting the polls. While it may be likely to have a high correlation with the actual polling results, it's not impossible for it to be completely off.

    It's far more likely Kennedy has discovered that the sampling method the exit pollers use are heavily flawed than that the election was rigged.

    On a related note, I love the duality of various far-left Democrats, howling at the same time that the current administration is completely incompetent, while at the same time accusing them of managing to conspire to rig the election. If they can't keep secret prisons secret, what's the chance that they'd keep an election conspiracy secret?
  • by bcnstony ( 859124 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:41PM (#16126567)
    If you'd like to educate yourself on what actually happened, I would suggest reading Harper's excellent and insightful None Dare Call it Stolen [], which delves heavily into Representative John Conyers of Michigan's Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio.
  • by SteelFist ( 734281 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @06:45PM (#16126589)
    I think the url is: []
  • by Temsi ( 452609 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:01PM (#16126672) Journal
    This is not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with the "content" of a film.
    This is a matter of the filmmakers sticking to the truth when dealing with a subject matter of this importance.
    This is a matter of the filmmakers not claiming the film is based on the 9/11 Commission Report, when it clearly contradicts it.
    This is a matter of ABC taking responsibility for serving the public trust, which is a qualification for their free use of OUR airwaves. Deliberately misleading and lying to your audience to score political points, is not serving the public interest, nor is it worthy of the public's trust. THAT is why lawmakers raised the licensing issue. (And by the way, you can't revoke a "network's" broadcast license, as it doesn't have one. Only the affiliates have broadcast licenses, so no lawmaker can shut down ABC as a whole, they'd have to go after each individual affiliate - which won't happen).

    Remember the hoopla a few years ago when The Reagans was supposed to air on CBS? Republicans made such a major stink about it that CBS caved and didn't air it (it played on Showtime instead, which is also owned by Viacom). So don't think for a moment that objecting to a TV mini-series is a "leftist" thing to do. The funny thing... The Reagans was more factually accurate than The Path to 9/11.

    I frankly don't see anything in your comment that could be considered an actual argument... more like regurgitation of Limbaugh's or Novak's talking points. But I could be wrong. It could just be your own mis-informed opinion. Somehow I doubt it. Republicans are renowned sheep.

  • Re:Washington State (Score:5, Informative)

    by Beryllium Sphere(tm) ( 193358 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:02PM (#16126675) Homepage Journal
    >They kept recounting until they got the result they desired, and then told everyone to stop.

    They went through precisely the recounts allowed and required by law, under the supervision of a Republican secretary of state. I remember when conservatives were in favor of the rule of law.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:2, Informative)

    by ksheff ( 2406 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:08PM (#16126711) Homepage
    But it's easier to blame the other side for cheating than it is to fix the incompitance.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Informative)

    by spun ( 1352 ) <> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:27PM (#16126821) Journal
    Hey, "master of spin" is a complement. Sort of :-P. You are very good at responding to questions in such a way that it looks as though you have answered them, when in fact you have sidestepped them. Just my opinion, nut I have personally asked you questions before where you have done that. Are you perhaps a lawyer or a politician yourself? Again, it's just my opinion, it sometimes seems as if you care more about appearing to be right than finding out if you are or not.

    As for why this story has been trotted out, perhaps it's important that people do something about vote fraud? Your position seems to be "Everyone does it, there's nothing you can do about it, so don't even bother talking about it." That position seems to be designed to encourage feelings of disenfranchisement, which generally swings the vote to the right. Is that what you are trying to do?

    You acknowledge that a CEO of the major e-voting machine maufacturer made a comment that could easily be taken to mean "I'm going to help the republicans cheat on elections," but you deny that this is what he meant, based on nothing more than your opinion. But you state it as if it were a fact. Even given this, and no counterexamples on the democratic side, you seem to imply that the cheating cancels out. But you don't actually say that, so that if someone calls you on it, you can deny having said that and claim they misinterpreted you. But of coure, that will be so far down the thread that no one will read it, while everyone reads where you first makes the claim. Then they all walk away thinking you have proved something you not only haven't but would probably deny ever saying. At least, that's the way I've seen you operate in the past.

    You may not be a Republican, but you have espoused some very neo-con positions here. Maybe you didn't vote for Bush, maybe you did. I wouldn't put it past you to lie about that to create a more sympathetic climate for yourself. Again, this is all based on your past posts here. Anyone can look them up and see for themselves.
  • by riversky ( 732353 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:28PM (#16126830)
    It is far clearer that the Democrats steal elections in my home State of Washington....It is not statistics but actual votes that were fraudent. Dead people, people voting twice etc...The more people counted and recounted the more the Democrats "found" new votes in Democratic districts won by Democrats. This wasn't the opposition finding new votes or uncounted ones to over turn things for the real winner ( ie Gore) after the winner was declared ( Bush in Flordia and Ohio) but it is a clearly a manufactered election by one party. Ohio, maybe tactics were used, but this was a stolen election in WA in black and white .

    This is like the Democrats of the Chicago era.
  • Re:LIARS (Score:3, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:31PM (#16126847) Homepage Journal
    Citation for parent post: "Claim vs. Fact: Rice's Q&A Testimony Before the 9/11 Commission" []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:32PM (#16126855)
    Or, how about read the counter argument to that article here dy/index_np.html []

    which pretty much says it's a bunch of crap.
  • by The Rizz ( 1319 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:44PM (#16126918)
    Quickest solution to fix the US political system: Instant Runoff Voting.

    Actually, the quickest fix would be Approval Voting []. It's as accurate (in terms of game theory / the 5 criteria of Arrow's Paradox []) as IRV is, and is a hell of a lot easier both in implementation (the method of counting the votes is almost identical to how we do it now), and in explaining to people how it works (i.e. "Put a check next to anyone you think would do a good job. You are not limited to one choice.")

    As for the best solution overall, one of the Condorcet methods [] would be the best — preferrably one of the clone-proof methods, such as CSSD [].

  • by raddan ( 519638 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:46PM (#16126925)
    On top of it, they never mention how US military overseas from Florida specifically (that overwhelmingly vote republican) didn't get their absentee ballots

    You did notice that the whole point of this article was the 2004 election, right? All of your linked articles are about the one in 2000. Fuck, we're like barely literate here.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2006 @07:50PM (#16126947)
    How about Israel? They have socialized Med, are they left-wing extremists?
  • by Keebler71 ( 520908 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @08:08PM (#16127073) Journal
    Not to mention the fact that the story has been pretty much debunked [] already. The number one claim of "proof" that the election was stolen was the dicrepancy between the exit polls and the final polls. The company that did the exit polling did their own investigation (as seen in their 77-page report []) and found that
    • They screwed up.
    • The early numbers released were inaccurate due to bad gender participation weighting factors. (the end-of-day results were actually much closer to the actuals than most people realize)
    • There was no difference in exit poll errors between touch screen and other methods."Some have suggested that the exit poll data could be used as evidence of voter fraud in the 2004 Election by showing error rates were higher in precincts with touch screen and optical scan voting equipment. Our evaluation does not support this hypothesis. In our exit poll sample overall, precincts with touch screen and optical scan voting have essentially the same error rates as those using punch card systems. In the larger urban areas these systems had lower WPEs than punch card precincts."
    • Kerry supporters were more likely to participate and complete an exit poll
    • strong correllation between the age of the poll volunteer and the pollee's willingness to participate
    I haven't given any credence to the notion that the election was stolen since I read this [] piece in the NYtimes. It follows Dem operatives in Ohio on election day in 2004. It documents their intial happiness and as they spend the day trying to get the vote out (for the Dems) and increasing nervousness as they see more and more indications that the Republicans simply had a stronger get-out-the-vote campaign. (Read it all - whatever your political leanings, it is very educational as to the lengths the parties will go to try to swing the vote up to the last second).
  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @08:36PM (#16127198)
    and everyone that bitches about exit polls being lopsided, get a CLUE!

    as a statistician I do have a clue. Considering how dead on accurate the exit polls have been for the entire history of the US electoral process.. this claim of "get over it" is nothing but an unsubstantiated partisan jab based on your own "junk science" conclusion that because you lie about it you can claim theyre wrong and no other evidence, such as a clear track record of accurate predictions for a century or two, is going to shake you of this cognitive dissonance.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Informative)

    by niktemadur ( 793971 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @09:44PM (#16127480)
    Yes, there was a faction within the Democratic Party, known as the Dixiecrats, led by Strom Thurmond, that wanted segregation to remain in place. Thurmond filibustered for 24 hours, by himself in the spotlight, an unwinnable vote to maintain segregation. After his white supremacism was defeated in Congress, Thurmond switched to the Republican Party. Go figure...
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Informative)

    by stinerman ( 812158 ) <nathan.stine@gmail.cTEAom minus caffeine> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @09:45PM (#16127482) Homepage
    things like people believing legitimately long lines or legitimate road construction are actually parts of a carefully coordinated conspiracy to prevent people from voting

    Sir, the facts are that Republican precincts got more voting machines [] than Democratic precincts in Ohio. Voting machines in Ohio are distributed by the Secretary of State (in this case J. Kenneth Blackwell) upon the advice of county BOE chairpersons. That is, the chairperson puts in an order for what they think they need, but the SoS determines what county gets what. You may now draw any conclusions from these facts that you like.
  • Re:Disreali (Score:3, Informative)

    by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @09:51PM (#16127496)
    'There are lies, damn lies - and statistics.' - Disreali

    in which case all election results in every democracy are a lie, since statistics is the science of drawing conclusions from raw data.

    THe only time statistics can lie is when:

    the conclusions drawn from the data collected are "interpreted" with bias
    the questions used to gather the data are biased.
    the choice of data to use in the analysis is biased.

    a simple yes or no question is not biased, the exit polls are not biased.
  • Re:Moo (Score:5, Informative)

    by niktemadur ( 793971 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:07PM (#16127593)
    I did a little digging on Wikipedia, and came up with this:

    Election Day in the United States is the day when polls most often open for the election of certain public officials. Election Day occurs on the Tuesday following the first Monday of November every year, which is always the Tuesday between November 2 and November 8, inclusively.

    This rule was instituted by the U.S. Congress in 1845, and the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November was chosen to keep the election day from falling on November 1, All Saints' Day, a Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics. Tuesday was chosen to allow voters one day to travel to their polling place, as most residents at the time could not travel on Sunday because of church. The month of November was chosen because it was after the crops were harvested.

    I think it's fair to say that all the reasons stated above for holding elections on a Tuesday, while stellar in their reasoning for the nineteenth century, are now obsolete. Read on...

    Many social activists oppose this date, believing that it decreases voter turnout, since it is part of the workweek. Many advocate making election day a national holiday or allowing voters to cast their ballots over two or more days.

    In response to this, many states have implemented early voting, which allows the voters to cast ballots, in many cases up to two weeks early. Also, all states have some kind of absentee ballot system. The state of Oregon, for example, performs all major elections through mail-in ballots that are sent to voters several weeks before Election Day.

    Although measures have been taken in some places, clearly it's too little at this late stage of the game. If the american public wants to scare the pants off the Washington lobbyists, a good place to start would be to campaign for Election Saturdays. Ironically, it's something that will probably be decided on a Tuesday.
  • Re:Plagiarism (Score:2, Informative)

    by coaxial ( 28297 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:11PM (#16127602) Homepage
    And Was Paul Wellstone's Plane Shot Down?

    2000: Mel Carnahan and John Ashcroft are in a tight race for Senate. Mel Carnahan dies in a plane crash.
    2002: Paul Welstone is in a tight race for Senate against Norm Coleman. Paul Welstone dies in a plane crash.

    Do I have to spell it out for you?

    If these were Republicans, and there was Democrat in the whitehouse, there would no doubt be an investigation at the highest levels of the government. Not that there would be anything to it. Just to manufacture an air of murder and decit. Afterall, how many republican led investigations went into Vince Foster's suicide and the Ron Brown's plane crash? Hell, nothing was too fanciful for the republicans and their noise machine. Vince Foster was murdered because he was having an affair with that bitch dyke Hillary. (Why the supposed lesbian would be having a heterosexual affair is never explained.) The Clintons decorated the national christmas tree with crack pipes. Bill Clinton runs drugs out of an airport in Arkansas. All these were fanciful stories that were legitmized. There aren't.
  • Here in Illinois (Score:5, Informative)

    by slyborg ( 524607 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:21PM (#16127642)
    We had Republican gubernatorial administrations for a quarter century until the most recent. So if, as you claim, there are no legitimate elections here, the Democrats apparently have been cheating for the purpose of bringing in Republican administrations for decades. So you have to admit that they at least are evenhanded in cheating on behalf of everyone.

    As to Democratic corruption, the last Republican governor, George Ryan, was just sentenced to six years in Federal prison for...corruption. The point is not that both sides engage in this type of behavior, but that it can't be condoned or excused because "everybody does it". It needs to be exposed wherever it occurs by whoever engages in it.

    (If you replace "Illinois" with "Chicago" in your post, I think i might be inclined to agree with you, though).
  • by swelke ( 252267 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @11:47PM (#16127749) Homepage Journal
    Like the ABC movie "The Path To 9/11"?? Yeah, threatening to revoke a network's broadcast license because you disagree with the content of their programming isn't censorship.

    It's not that they "disagree" with the content, but that the content is factually incorrect about important (even nation-shaking) events. Either it's factually correct or it's not, but this is absolutely not about "agreement", it is about documented fact (I have not studied said documentation fully enough to know exactly what it says, however). People on a certain side of the political spectrum seem to have trouble distinguishing the two. The number of people who blindly believe that film could very well change the outcome of the midterm election. That just might be adequate to revoke a broadcast license (but since the alleged falsification was in favor of the party currently in power, it will never happen).

    That being said, even lies are quite often protected speech, depending on the circumstances. What might come into play, however, is slander. As best I understand it, slander requires both that the statement be false (and known to the speaker to have been false), and to have been said with malicious intent. If I'm incorrect about that, please someone correct me.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:02AM (#16127798) Homepage Journal
    Six years of Republican rule, and we still have gun control. If this is such an extreme left-wing issue, how come they haven't done something about it?

    Were you in the US two years ago? The Clinton gun ban's sunset clause removed the largest gun control act of a generation.

    In case you don't get what happened, let me sum it up.

    In 1994, when the Clinton administration wanted to pass their gun ban, a congressional majority was not certain. As a compromise measure, they included a clause to make the law only last 10 years. Their thinking was that they'd have control of the congress and white house then so it would be little more than a rubber stamp to make the existing, but temporary, law permanent. Well, in the 1994 election gun rights voters were quite upset with the Democrats so they turned out in droves to vote against them. The Democrats lost the House and the Senate. In his 1995 State of The Union Address, Clinton even admitted that this loss was because of his gun ban.

    Bush winning the 2000 election gave us two of the three branches of government. When the law was about to expire, President Bush (in a brilliant example of politicking) said that if congress passed the extension of the ban, he would sign it. President Bush KNEW that the ban had no chance. But saying that he'd sign it if passed took a huge campaign issue out of Kerry's pocket.

  • by rjung2k ( 576317 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:02AM (#16127799) Homepage
    "I agree that the polarization is getting worse, but I don't think the Internet is to blame."

    Here's the cause (IMO): Tentacles of Rage: The Republican propaganda mill, [] Harpers, September 2004
  • Hey! The neocons can run a war just fine! They're making plenty of money!

    In related news, we've apparently completely lost the Anbar province, the entire western third of Iraqi, to 'al-Qaeda in Iraq'.(1) We no longer are bothering to even try to control Anbar, and apparently can't according to some recently leaked classified reports, so no longer have to drive across that damn desert anymore, and, hell, they didn't even have any oil.

    And the north, of course, is happily in the hands of the Kurds, where they're having lots of fun advertising on TV and infiltrating across to Turkey and blowing up them up. I'm hoping it will be Turkey/Kurdistan trying for a 1980 Lebanon/Israel, where Turkey invades(2) and controls them for a few decades, and experiences even more and more terrorist working with native Turkey Kurds. They'll have their work cut out for them, because Lebanon is back in the game, baby, and they're not about to let their title get taken away sitting down!

    And Iran is stepping in to control the remainer of the country. Luckily, they have experience at running oil wells, so that should work out nicely. Perhaps in a few years, they could remain themselves Iranq or Ira? The Kurds, of course, are 'Kurdistan', leaving 'Iraq' for the west, if they want it.

    See, we should be entirely out of Iraq really soon, because soon the Iraqis will be able to fight the war all by themselves. Is it a civil war if there are three sides? Maybe a trivil war?

    1) You know, the organization that didn't even exist until two years ago. Luckily, right now they're just killing us over there, and I'm sure they won't come over here, because...well..I forget, but I'm sure there's a good reason they won't. Probably they're scared of flying, what with all those airplanes flying into buildings. (And most soldiers are poor, anyway, so does it really matter if they die?)

    2) We could complain, but seem to recall us invading a country just a few years ago because they supported terrorists, although I forget the name.(3) Starts with an A. Man am I glad that war was over, although it sucks we lost and the Taliban are back in charge. It probably wasn't that important, though. I mean, what did the Taliban ever do to anyone? They did blow up those giant Buddhas, but, frankly, those statues didn't look anything like Buddha anyway.

    3) Not that we could complain if they just invaded for no reason at all. They could always assert that Kurdistan is hiding, for example, a black hole and a slingshot to launch it at them.

  • by internic ( 453511 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:22AM (#16127867)
    Another other issue that everyone conveniently ignores, of course, is counting error. Simply put, the likely error in any given count of N random items (as long as N is sufficiently large) is 1/sqrt(N). With a really close election, you simply can't know who the true winner is.

    While in many instances you can think of counting as having a poissonian distributed "counting error" (the uncertainty of which goes like sqrt(N), not 1/sqrt(N)), one actually has to justify whether such a model applies before using. It doesn't seem clear that it does apply in this case. If what were concerned with is the number of recorded votes for a particular candidate (arising from a number of actual votes for a candidate), then what we'd be interested in is the number of errors. If there's a constant error rate (meaning voting errors are a poissonian stochastic process), then the mean number of errors would be proportional to N rather than sqrt(N), but the important point is that the proportionality constant could be arbitrarily small, depending on the reliability of the voting method. Now it's true that the standard deviation of the number of errors would be equal to sqrt(N), but that really isn't relevant to the question at hand. In short, there's no a priori estimate of the number of voting errors without some model for how those errors occur, and there's no reason to think it should go as sqrt(N).

    Now, if you were viewing voting totals as a poll of populous at large, then assuming the sample was large but still small compared to the total population, you might image that the vote total would approximate the will of the populous with a sqrt(N) counting error; however, this reasoning is invalid for two reasons: the proportional of the population is not that small (though still, perhaps, smaller than we'd like), and the sample of people that turnout to vote is not random, and therefore not represenative. In any case, the vote is not a poll but is supposed to reflect the will of the people who actually votes, so again this sqrt(N) counter error is not relevent.

    I think there is some sense in determining what the error rates are on voting systems (perhaps this is already done) and what things are, statistically, too close to call, but you simply can't say that was the case in Washington or anywhere else without more evidence.

  • Re:Moo (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul ( 629286 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:58AM (#16128000) Journal
    I wouldn't asy the story is bogus outright, but I don't trust *any* of the political parties. My relatives are election judges ( the members themselves are fairly fluid as to their political affiliation voting for regan, then bush I, clinton, Dole, Bush II, and then Kerry) who were discusted with what they saw in 2004 by both parties. It was all local grass root partisan crap. Each Parties Observers kept challenging everything, the local party lawers were called in several times. It was weird stuff, In Wisconson, where its legal to register and vote at the same time, One party's operatives brought in a busload of people from a mental institiution who tried to use had writen birthday cards to establish residency, identification, and age. The other party, in apparent retaliation went to a retirement home and picke up a buch of people, most of which had already registered and voted at the same polling place. it was a mad house, in the southern Wisconson, Northern Illinois area. I wouldn't be suprised if it was repeated elsewhere, but I really couldn't blame any party more than the other. You'd thin that on a local level politics would be more civil, but you'd be wrong. I hate them both. Don't blame me, I voted for Kronos.
  • Re:Moo (Score:5, Informative)

    by JoGlo ( 1000705 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:49AM (#16128159)
    I think that the treatment of the Australian voting system has been a little simplistic, as there are other factors at work, as well as compulsory voting.

    1. To win, a candidate must muster at least 50% + 1 of the number on his or her electoral role to secure the seat.

    2. The vote is a SINGLE, TRANSFERRABLE VOTE, which means that for a ovte to be valind (and ocunted) it must list the voter's preferences from 1 to the last person on the ballot paper. Any missed candidates will render the vote invalid.

    3. After the initial count, if no silgle candidate hass the magic 50% +1, the person with the least number of votes is eliminated, and the vote preferences are allocated to the other candidates, based on that person's voter's second preferences. This process, eliminating the bottom candidate, and allocating those votes based on next highets preference, goes on until one candidate has the mandatory 50% +1 vote.

    4. Voting rolls are not within the control of any political party - the voting rolls are maintained by a federal department, which does not include political appointees (well, not officially), and there is open scrutiny of the rolls at all times.

    5. The candidates in the election are all able to provide scrutineers to the count(so apart from so-called "drover's dog" electorates ("If it wore the right political colors, even a drover's dog could get elected in this constituency, there are scrutineers at all counting ststions).

    6. Party advertising is not allowed inside the polling stations - party people can distribute their stuff outside, but not inside. 7. In federal and stae elections, people don't directly vote for the Prime Minister or state Premier, but that office is held by the leader of the majority party in the state or federal parliament. so, voting tends to be on party lines, and the chances of a good candidate of the "wrong" political persuasion getting up against a bad candidate of the "right" political persuasion is always very poor.

    8. As a corrollory to 7., if you live in a marginal seat (one that changes election to election, or which may change with a smallish swing), your vote is worth commensurately more than if you live in a "safe" seat.

    Hope that clears it up a bit.

  • by Dr_Ish ( 639005 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:02AM (#16128197) Homepage
    I have posted this before, but I will post it again. Election theft is easy. However, beware of the 'obvious' targets. People like to yell about the voting machines. This is a distractor. The machines have a bunch of problems, but cheating at that level is simply inefficient. What works better is to go for the tabulators. Take a look at []. There I have run and photographed some studies on tabulator software and found out things that were beyond scarey. Sure, suppress the vote, initimidate voters, but if the ultimate counter cannot be trusted, neither can the outcome of the election. Should there be an election 'surprise' in November, this could well be the reason why. When will it be time for that armed insurrection? Dr_Ish [Just asking questions and causing trouble, as usual -- see you all in the Cuban 'holiday camp']
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:4, Informative)

    by DavidTC ( 10147 ) <<moc.xobreven> ... .vidavsxd54sals>> on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:04AM (#16128206) Homepage

    I shouldn't do that, but let's dissect this troll.

    Like making 100,000 on a 1,000 cattle futures investment (where can I get a deal like that!);

    Stupidest. Conspiracy. Ever. First of all, the cattles future market was insane at that time. Hillary did, indeed, make that much money. In fact, she had to have made that money, you can't just magically get money out of a futures market. What she shouldn't have been able to do is trade on margin like she did. But a) she didn't break that rule, her broker did, and b) that rule is to keep problem from happening when people can't cover losses, which Hillary Clinton certanly could have done. Of course, all this was in 1979.

    egregiously firing the WH travel office staff w/o any justification whatever;

    Um, you mean the White House Travel staff that is the personal staff of the president, and traditionally gets replaced at each new administration? The travel staff that was already under investigation for misdeed done under a previous administration?

    supposedly lost law firm billing records miraculously showing up in the WH living quarters year later;

    You mean the billing records nothing? (Why you think it's amazing that personal records of the president would be in the presidental living quarters is a bit beyond me.)

    Webster Hubble in jail;

    Okay, now I'm confused. You think he shouldn't be? He defrauded people and evaded taxes! I understand, though if you're saying it sucked that the Clintons misjudged him as trustworthy. (OTOH, don't start 'Clinton was friends with criminals'. You know the expression about what people in glass houses shouldn't do.)

    Craig Livingstone(!);

    Yup. Filegate sucked, and the Clintons might have been involved. And now I must point out 'glass houses' again with the fact the current president is wiretapping whoever he wants to.

    a president lying in front of a grand jury about a stupid affair w/ an intern during the same timeframe as our embassies and barracks are bombed in the ME and Africa by the folks who would eventually take down the WTC;

    Yes, because logically if he'd been telling the truth,, wait, he'd still been questioned. Well, surely if he hadn't been doing anything illegal he wouldn't have been, wait, he wasn't doing anything illegal before testifying. What was the claim again? The president was distracted by people making random and eventually disproven accusations against him? Well, that's hardly his fault, is it? You can complaing about The Lie, but The Lie is not a cause of the distraction.

    illegally obtaining FBI records of the majority of republican lawmakers to dig up embarrasing dirt (unreal, and you guys piss and moan about wiretapping a few arabs with terrorist ties. the fucking gall!).

    Yes, because we know for a fact that's all Bush is doing, because the process is so open.

    Maybe if your buddy Bill had been more concerned about national security as opposed to getting his cock sucked 3000 people wouldn't have died.

    Are we talking about the same Bill here? Because the Bill I know did do something about national security...he arrested the WTC bombers, for one thing. He repeatedly went after bin Laden, although at the time that was called 'wagging the dog' to try to distract everyone from his multiple murders or whatever. He warned the next president, he even made a plan for the invasion of Afganistan.

    And interesting universe you live in where a blowjob is too time consuming, especially when you consider that Bush has now put in more vacation time than any two term president in history, and still has two years to go.

    Maybe if Al Fucking Gore hadn't contested the election the GWB administration would have been put together in the normal timeframe, and we'd have been a couple of months up on the disaster of a National Security policy that w

  • not so much (Score:2, Informative)

    by Scudsucker ( 17617 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:12AM (#16128223) Homepage Journal
    The linked article goes through a bunch of Kennedy's claims and casts them into doubt.

    Sure does, until you read the rebuttal [] that puts the smackdown on Manjoo.
  • Re:Plagiarism (Score:5, Informative)

    by Scudsucker ( 17617 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:17AM (#16128238) Homepage Journal
    Too bad Slashdot, in its ridiculous slanting, removed the final word of Salon's headline: "No." Even Mother Jones and NPR repudiated Kennedy's claims.

    Too bad you missed the rebuttal [] supporting Kennedy and showing that the naysayers are the ones who are full of it.
  • Re:BFD (Score:2, Informative)

    by Scudsucker ( 17617 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:49AM (#16128312) Homepage Journal
    I might also point out that our Electoral College, as antiquated as it seems to some, has one great feature that (to me) redeems all of its faults: it tends to limit the scope of fraud (and the motivation to commit fraud) to a small subset of closely contested states.

    Not if the staticians are correct, it isn't. Accoring to the exit polls, Kerry won by a landslide.
  • by doom ( 14564 ) <> on Monday September 18, 2006 @02:56AM (#16128336) Homepage Journal
    Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:26 PM I've been reading the Freeman and Bleifuss book, Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? []

    I have to say that I think the situation is even worse than I thought it was... after the 2004 election, I had the impression that the people who wanted to believe that it was legit at least had some wiggle room, because it seemed like there was some disagreement about the meaning of the exit polls: there was that study at Berkeley that found a discrepancy, but then the MIT study chimed in saying there wasn't, so who do you believe?

    The thing is, the MIT guys later admitted that they screwed up: they used the "corrected" data, not the originally reported exit poll results. The media never reported that development, and I missed it myself...

    Freeman and Bleifuss do a very thorough analysis of the various theories that have been presented to cover the discrepancy, and none of them seem to hold up. It's difficult to see how anyone could read this book and not conclude that phrasing the title as a question was excessively polite...

    And it's impossible to see how you can come away from this situation without seeing that we badly need reform of the electoral system -- a paper trail that can actually be recounted would be a nice start, eh? Even if you don't believe the 2004 election was "stolen", how do you know the next one isn't going to be?

    And anyone who speaks out against that point, is speaking out against Democracy itself, and needs to take a good long look in the mirror to think about what kind of world they want to live in.

    (The "corrected" data by the way, is by definition "corrected" so that the discrepancy goes away. So what good is it? Why do people call it "corrected" and not, oh, say, "fudged"?)

  • Bzzt! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Scudsucker ( 17617 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @03:06AM (#16128355) Homepage Journal
    Sorry, but your "debunking" was counter-debunked [], on Salon as well. Turns out Manjoo was just using the right-wing's classic tricks of distraction and red herrings.
  • Re:Moo (Score:2, Informative)

    by EugeneK ( 50783 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @03:47AM (#16128446) Homepage Journal
    since felons lose their right to vote...

    Only in four states [] do felons permanently lose the right to vote.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:4, Informative)

    by FredThompson ( 183335 ) <> on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:16AM (#16128506)
    Yes, Italy most certainly is a very socialist, left-wing country.

    They have a crushingly burdomesome social welfare system which rewards people to STOP working. They also have a very active Communist party. Yup, Commie, hammer and sickle on a red flag. Take a look at who holds the highest political offices in Italy. Income and business taxes in Italy are about twice that of the United States.

    I've been in Italy for 3-4 months every year for the past 10 years, seen this with my own eyes. Every manufacturer I represent from Italy is trying to move to the U.S. because Europe is so stagnant and the welfare systems crush all incentives. Never mind their fears of the Muslim invasion (8x the birth rate of the "native" population) and the EU regulating virtually everything. Great Britain isn't that much better, actually.

    Sorry, bud, those most certainly ARE very socialist, left-wing, countries who have crippled their economies. Granted, they're not all as bad as the French who decided it's illegal to fire unproductive workers or the Germans who have all but destroyed their industry with welfare programs and now farm out huge amounts of manufacturing to Czech and Polish factories. They've chosen to be socialist and destroy incentive to produce.

    Do those countries have jack-booted secret police in the Stalinist model? No.

    How your post got modded to 5 is beyond me, unless whoever modded you up has as little familiarity with economics as you do.
  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:33AM (#16128530)
    "Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." - John Maynard Keynes
  • by fymidos ( 512362 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @07:32AM (#16128886) Journal
    >Kerry supporters were more likely to participate and complete an exit poll

    This is not a problem for a survey. In exit polls, voters are chosen in a random way, (say every 5th that comes out the door), it's not up to them. And if someone diclines to answer, it is noted, and counted in the statistical error:
    from 100 ppl, 40 voted for A, 30 voted for B, 20 for C and 10 refused, so you have a 40% +- 10% for A. You can further narrow down the error, but the point is that whether A's are more likely to participate is of no importance in a correct survey:
    If there were such errors the survey methodology was wrong.

    >strong correllation between the age of the poll volunteer and the pollee's willingness to participate

    Again, no problem with that if you corectly analyze the data.

    There is however, one way for such a survey to be wrong:
    If a huge number of B voters, decide to vote in, say, the last hour of the vote, which is clearly a possibility, as they are worried by earlier exit polls that show that A>B. Even so, if the survey continues untill the end of the process, the final data will be correct.
  • Re: Third Parties (Score:2, Informative)

    by Gnostic Ronin ( 980129 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @07:55AM (#16128953)
    Actaully, the system is pretty stacked against 3rd parties. First off, it's pretty tough to get into the Pres debates if you're not a Dem or Rep. Greens and Libertarians are on the ballot in all 50 states, yet their candidates for president are shut out from the mainstream campaigning. They can't get into the debates, and other than CSPAN, they don't get coverage for their convention. Heck, they're not covered by the press period. Unless they have a big war-chest, they aren't likely to get adverts in the media. To make a long story short, unless you go looking for third party candidates, chances are pretty good that you'll never have heard of them. And unless a candidate can get his name out there in the minds of voters, he can't win.

    A second problem, though I'm not sure that the parties themselves are to blame, is the meme that says voting for a third party is throwing your vote away. Apparently because they can't win.

  • by whitroth ( 9367 ) <> on Monday September 18, 2006 @08:24AM (#16129083) Homepage
    Of course both elections were *stolen*, and if you think I shuold shut up, then I suppose you think that the Germans who objected in 1932 and 1936 should have shut up and "supported their government", too.

    Yes, it *is* almost that bad, though perhaps fascist Italy under Mussolini is a more appropriate comparison (and no, Mussolini didn't make the trains to run on time).

    Oh, and while we're at it, those who want me to shut up can arrange for the public repudiation by everyone on the right of ever snide comment, "joke", and attack on FREELY ELECTED President Bill Clinton for the last six years, and a vow to never make them again.

    No? Then *YOU* *SHUT* *UP*.

  • Re:Yes/No/Maybe (Score:5, Informative)

    by ceejayoz ( 567949 ) <> on Monday September 18, 2006 @09:16AM (#16129354) Homepage Journal
    the Germans who have all but destroyed their industry with welfare programs and now farm out huge amounts of manufacturing to Czech and Polish factories

    Um, it's called outsourcing, the US is a world leader at it, and it's hardly a socialist practice - quite the opposite, really.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, 2006 @09:17AM (#16129358)
  • by Gildogg ( 631041 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @09:18AM (#16129364)
    As a resident of Ohio and an active registered voter I can say that what this article suggests is more true than you would think. Just in my little city of about 25,000 people we had issues with Republicans "fixing the vote". Posting people outside of polling locations, harassing minorities, voting locations which previously had several machines being under staffed and not having as many machines as in the past. All of this stuff did happen, I was there, I witnessed it. It is pathetic to me that a man that lost the election in both 2000 and 2004 has persisted to be allowed to hold the presidency and screw up this country.
  • by paranode ( 671698 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @09:24AM (#16129409)
    Yeah he 'stole' it... I mean, this map right here just proves that Bush had no support! e2004/countymap.htm []

    Doesn't really help the Dems that they cry that the election was stolen every election year now. Especially given that there's at least as much conspiracy surrounding the Dems actively registering illegal immigrants to sway the vote in their direction.

    I'm no fan of Bush, but this election stealing conspiracy is getting almost as tired as the 9/11 'inside job' stuff. Oops I probably sturred up the Slashdot believers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18, 2006 @10:12AM (#16129754)
    Hey, re-read the byline - the article was by ROBERT F Kennedy, Jr, not JFK Jr.
  • by Medievalist ( 16032 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @11:25AM (#16130353)
    It amazes me how the Bush administration can spout rhetoric in total opposition to its actions, and people will still buy in.

    In case you haven't noticed, there have been several "State's Rights" issues during the Bush Interregnum. In all these cases, the Bush administration has come down solidly in favor of increased federal authority.

    In one of the more egregious cases, the Federal Government is in favor [] of redrawing the boundaries of the state of Delaware so that a large foreign-owned oil company [] can construct a LNG pier serving the state of New Jersey. In that case, the Bush administration is actually championing the "rights" of British Petroleum, with collusion from corrupt New Jersey authorities, to override the demonstrated will of the citizenry of the US state of Delaware.

    When will US conservatives realize they've been betrayed by a pack of radical facists [], who favor any corporation from any nation over the rights of any individual anywhere?
  • Bullshit (Score:2, Informative)

    by pudge ( 3605 ) * <slashdot@pudg[ ]et ['e.n' in gap]> on Monday September 18, 2006 @12:34PM (#16130961) Homepage Journal
    RFK Jr.'s article is utter bullshit.

    If you actually examine his claims [], they simply do not hold up.

    Here's the executive summary: "[RFK Jr.] claims 357,000 legal voters were denied the right to vote, or did not have their legal vote counted. He has no actual data to justify the inclusion of at least 347,000 of the 357,000, and his claim that this is mostly the fault -- let alone the intent -- of Republicans is, to be kind, specious."
  • Re:For serious? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Monday September 18, 2006 @01:31PM (#16131493) Homepage Journal
    Or perhaps you're referring to the scads of Clinton administration officials convicted for malfeasance or corruption in the performance of their official duties. Or even indicted?/I>

    I'm referring to the ones who fled the country to avoid indictment.

    Let's take a look at some information that was compiled by a liberal [] source. The Progressive Review [].

      - The only president ever impeached on grounds of personal malfeasance
      - Most number of convictions and guilty pleas by friends and associates
      - Most number of cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation
      - Most number of witnesses to flee country or refuse to testify
      - Most number of witnesses to die suddenly
      - First president sued for sexual harassment.
      - First president accused of rape.
      - First first lady to come under criminal investigation
      - Largest criminal plea agreement in an illegal campaign contribution case
      - First president to establish a legal defense fund.
      - Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions
      - Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions from abroad

      - Number of Starr-Ray investigation convictions or guilty pleas to date (including one governor, one associate attorney general and two Clinton business partners): 15
      - Number of Clinton Cabinet members who came under criminal investigation: 5
      - Number of Reagan cabinet members who came under criminal investigation: 4
      - Number of top officials jailed in the Teapot Dome Scandal: 3

    I could go on, but there's really no point to it. It's never been about the law, it's always been about the politics with you people.


To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard