Electoral College

Posted by: on Jan 6, 2005 | No Comments


The normally perfunctory ceremony of counting and certifying Electoral College votes was delayed for about four hours as Democrats unsuccessfully challenged Ohio’s votes for Bush.
Bush received 286 electoral votes, 16 more than the 270 he needed to win re-election. Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, received 251 votes. One Democratic elector cast a vote not for Kerry but for former Sen. John Edwards, his vice presidential running mate.
In the vice presidential race, Vice President Dick Cheney received 286 electoral votes and Edwards received 252.
Alleging widespread “irregularities” on Election Day, a group of Democrats in Congress objected earlier Thursday to the counting of Ohio’s 20 electoral votes.
The challenge was defeated 267-31 by the House and 74-1 by the Senate, clearing the way for the joint session to count the votes from the remaining states.
The move was not designed to overturn Bush’s re-election, said Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones and California Sen. Barbara Boxer, who filed the objection.
The objecting Democrats, all of whom are House members except Boxer, said they wanted to draw attention to the need for aggressive election reform in the wake of what they said were widespread voter problems.
In a letter to congressional leaders Wednesday, members of the group said they would take the action because a new report by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee found “numerous, serious election irregularities,” particularly in Ohio, that led to “a significant disenfranchisement of voters.”
“How can we possibly tell millions of Americans who registered to vote, who came to the polls in record numbers, particularly our young people … to simply get over it and move on?” Tubbs Jones said at a press conference with Boxer.
Thursday’s joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate to count electoral votes is specified in the U.S. Constitution. Cheney, in his role as president of the Senate, presided over the session.
The results from each state, read in alphabetical order, were ticked through quickly until Ohio was called, and a clerk read the objection filed by Boxer and Tubbs Jones.
Then, as required by congressional rules in the event that at least one member of each house objects to the vote, Cheney ordered the lawmakers back to their respective chambers for two hours of debate on the merits of the challenge and to vote on it.
It was only the second such challenge since the current rules for counting electoral votes were established in 1877. The last was in 1969 and concerned a so-called “faithless elector,” according to congressional researchers.
Four years ago, after the disputed election results in Florida, members of the Congressional Black Caucus attempted to block Florida’s electoral votes from being counted.
In a scene recalled in Michael Moore’s movie “Fahrenheit 9/11,” lawmaker after lawmaker was gaveled down by Vice President Al Gore because no senator would support the objections, as the rules require.
House Democrats involved in this year’s protest worked for weeks to enlist the support of a senator in their party, and Boxer agreed to join the effort Wednesday.
“This is my opening shot to be able to focus the light of truth on these terrible problems in the electoral system,” Boxer told the joint press conference with Tubbs Jones.
“While we have men and women dying to bring democracy abroad, we’ve got to make it the best it can be here at home, and that’s why I’m doing this.”

Look, the point here is it’s a improvement over 2000.
Did fraud exist in the general election of 2004? In Ohio? With it’s 20 electoral votes, which would of tipped the election? Yes and yes, to name a small few — but damning — examples.
Democracy was fun, wasn’t it?

Mmmmmmm… Torture

Posted by: on Jan 6, 2005 | No Comments

I really want to rant about this ridiculous debate over whether Torturo Gonzales should be confirmed.
The answer, of course, is no. This is a man who was more interested in the “legal opinions” of torture as the Abu Ghraib horror broke than the fact that, you know, people were being tortured.
His belief that the President is above the law should also raise eyebrows, which natch endears him to Dear Leader, but is nary of any interest to Americans. If he had epic tits, or lip synched, or had an adorable white baby consumed by the tsunamis, just then America might take notice.
NYT: (bold mine)

Mr. Gonzales’s role in seeking a legal opinion on the definition of torture and the legal limits on the force that could be used on terrorist suspects in captivity is expected to be a central issue in the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings scheduled to begin on Thursday on Mr. Gonzales’s nomination to be attorney general.
The request by Mr. Gonzales produced the much-debated Justice Department memorandum of Aug. 1, 2002, which defined torture narrowly and said that Mr. Bush could circumvent domestic and international prohibitions against torture in the name of national security.

We are so thoroughly fucked.

“Stop Hurting America”

Posted by: on Jan 6, 2005 | No Comments

CNN’s Crossfire is dead. Tucker’s been whining about his poor treatment at CNN for some time, so this was expected, but Crossfire had devolved into a circus over the past few years mixing all the worst elements of political hackery and facts-free punditry. It hasn’t always been that way, and it was one of the last places this side of Neptune you could find a partisan Democrat who had a bigger voice than writing angry letters from his Montana cabin. It’d be nice to have a show where useful debate took place on the air, as Crossfire once longed to be, but I don’t really see this happening outside of Air America holding a winning $500M Powerball ticket.
And no, Jon Stewart didn’t kill Crossfire. It sucked enough on its own. Didn’t hurt tho.
Poking through the blog world today, I picked up that CNN’s Capital Gang, which no one watches anyway, is also slated for exile. The good news here being these were the two permanent homes of “Douche Bag of Freedom” Bob Novak. As Novak recovered from hip replacement last month, Stewart noted on The Daily Show, “He didn’t break it. It tried to ESCAPE!”
So, good riddance Crossfire. Thankfully, Tucker’s bowtie continues to be adorable.

I Love Egg

Posted by: on Jan 5, 2005 | One Comment

Friend at work sent me a link saying “my countrymen are exceptionally weird. I’m mesmerized and very disturbed.”

Sony Ericsson K700i

Posted by: on Jan 4, 2005 | No Comments

So, I finally gave up Sprint PCS after, what, 8 years?
I will say this about Sprint: their service is probably less shitty than most others, and they were first in the game to really provide decent nationwide coverage without invented ass-ramming charges such as “home regions.”
Anyway, that was then. It’s highly competitive right now, so it’s a wash as to what’s better, and coverage is pretty good no matter where you are. (Of course, all this will change as all the providers merge into one… ugh.) I won’t go into the CDMA vs. GSM/GPRS argument right now, but in short, CDMA is the superior technology. Slightly.
But Sprint’s phones blow. Big time. Crap Korean phones, few Nokias, and only one Sony Ericsson — ever — which you had to call a special number to acquire. No Bluetooth unless you bought the $600 Treo (and then another $100 card) or got that secret SE phone mentioned above.
Sick of drooling over all the cool gee-whiz-bang shit other people had, I bought an unlocked SE K700i. (No carriers in the states sell this yet, anyway.) This is the way normal sane people (read: Europeans) buy phones. Buy phone, then buy service. The two aren’t connected as they are here. So I had my pick for service: T-Mobile, Cingular, some smaller ones. And when I travel, I can just pick up a local SIM card and pop it in. Bitchin’.
So I took my ass over to Cingular, just because it was there, not because I heavily researched the various providers, and because I have a friend who works there who I must work on myself to receive some sort of discount on my $108 monthly bill. Anyway, the process was surprisingly painless.
So, setting up the various data inside the phone is somewhat of a pain in the ass and involved much Googling: GPRS settings and Bluetooth dialing from my Powerbook. I still haven’t figured out how to set up sending pictures via email yet, but I don’t have my MEdia Net (or whatever the fuck it’s called) stuff set up completely yet, I don’t believe. Word on the net is I may have to call Cingular and use a bit of subterfuge to get some needed services enabled. We shall see.
So, anyway, I’ve been playing with the phone for just a few hours, and the following things are totally rocking my pussy:

  • Bluetooth! I had this before, but it’s much smoother/faster on than my old T608. iSync works. Remote Desktop! Will have to play with Sailing Clicker too.
  • FM Radio.
  • I can finally use normal SMS. Up yours Sprint.
  • Camera and video. I had a camera with a Samsung A600, and ended up missing it with my T608.
  • Speakerphone
  • 41MB onboard. Huge for a phone.

Anyway, so far, quite pleased. Kicked your locked phone to the curb…
UPDATE: Use Sony Ericsson’s configuration service here to simplify things. It sends configs directly to the phone, and you just select “Yes” to import. Worked beautifully for setting up GPRS, WAP, MMS for my phone and Cingular.