January 29th, 2006

(no subject)

Exclusive: Direct Talks: U.S. Officials and Iraqi Insurgents

So, we actually DO negotiate with terrorists after all, no? There are a lot of family members and loved ones of many dead hostages and service members who are deserving of some explaining, and I hope that this supports more steadfast interest in impeaching the head chimp in chief by those that can. Wait a tick...

Documents show US military in Iraq detain wives
Jesus General has more.

Hands up, who wonders why this war will NEVER be won?
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    Margaret On The Guillotine - Morrissey

Good Stuff From Americablog:

Bush thinks we're "over-insured"
But the core premise of the policies the president is about to lay out is that Americans are over-insured when it comes to health insurance. Over-insured. Got too much insurance.

These aren't my words. These are the words used by the conservative policy-wonks who came up with the president's proposals. Just hop over to Google and start googling the phrase 'over insured' along with 'health' and 'conservative'. This what they think; and what the president thinks. It's why he's behind these ideas.

So the president thinks the problem is that people have too much health insurance. People are over-insured.

See also:

I swear, you give them enough rope and they hang themselves EVERY TIME

Absentee voter fraud untouched by ID law
Most frequent form of cheating may be eased by recent rules
Bunnis Williams left nothing to chance.

Determined to win a fifth term on Valdosta's City Council in 2001, Williams falsified voters' applications for absentee ballots. He filled out some ballots himself. Then, records show, he mailed them in — unwittingly including his fingerprints and sealing his fate as a convicted felon.

Williams pleaded guilty in 2003 in a case that epitomizes the most common form of election fraud in Georgia: the manipulation of absentee ballots.

The case underscores what's missing in a new state law requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification at the polls.

The law is designed to ensure voters are who they say they are. It does nothing, however, to address widespread irregularities in absentee voting, the subject of more allegations filed with the State Election Board than all other abuses combined. Since the beginning of 2004, 16 of 27 cases brought before the board involved absentee balloting.

If anything, critics say, the new measure may enable more fraud.

Okay, where to start dissecing this one. I suppose the original complaints against voter fraud by the sponsors of this law have more egg on their faces than on their country ham biscuits. In such a dogged effort to revamp the process aimed at deterring fraud, you'd have thought this would have been a hell of a lot more well reasoned. Particularly when your adversaries are screaming "Disenfranchisement! Racism!" at you, and rightly so. So what becomes the new rhetoric?
"There's a huge distinction as we have gone to electronic ballot boxes in Georgia, without a paper trail, which concerns some of us," Perdue said during a news conference Thursday. With absentee ballots, "you have a signature record, a paper trail that can be tracked back."

The new law's chief sponsor, Sen. Cecil Staton (R-Macon), said he wanted to close loopholes that regulating absentee balloting would not address.

"I think it's quite disingenuous to say that all the fraud is in the absentee ballots," Staton said. "How can we say that when the system we previously had allowed for virtually no way to catch it?"

House Speaker Glenn Richardson said he told critics to draft separate legislation if they wanted to address absentee balloting.

"All they did was come back with proposals to put back the law as it existed before we changed it," said Richardson (R-Hiram). "That's no solution."

What 'huge distinction', Sonny? Other than the difference between paper and electronic technology? I recall last year that three different people at my polling place identified me before I was allowed to cast my vote - I want to clarify, three different people IN PERSON.

On to Cecil Stanton, the asshat responsible for initiating this bullshit in the first place. Who the fuck said that all fraud is in the absentee ballots, and if in fact there were even a modicum of truth involved in this as theory, shouldn't that have been considered before proposed legislation was submitted as a final draft, or did no thought go into that little bit of trivia whatsoever? Clearly he is unaware of the contradicion in this one statement quoted in the AJC alone. Spinning it won't help, just ask Sue Burmeister. The fact remains that there has historically been more instance of fraud (or at least the potential for it) with the absentee ballot, yet it was glossed over by the state GOP pushing for this law. Look at the shining examples within the party of election fraud, is that not one more bit of strength to support the suspicion that this is just another scheme for political gain on the part of the Georgia GOP?

Glenn Richardson leaves it up to the Dems in the house to make necessary addendums in the interest of preventing absentee ballot fraud, even though that is the cornerstone majority of fraudulence within the entire system. You're the guys pushing for he reform, but you want to leave the most important case to your political adversaries. There was no solution in changing the law in the first place, you fucking dumbass - THAT'S why they made no changes in favor or this proposal.
David Worley, a Democratic appointee to the State Election Board, said the bill was "designed to correct a problem that doesn't exist."

"There have been no cases that have come to the State Election Board of people trying to vote and claiming to be someone else," he said. "At every regular meeting of the State Election Board, there have always been cases involving allegations of absentee ballot fraud."

Well then - I think that's pretty damning evidence, no?
Democrats have accused the General Assembly's Republican majority of pushing the voter ID law for political gain, not to prevent fraud. They have complained bitterly that the law will hurt minority voters, the poor and others who don't possess acceptable identification.

By not addressing absentee voting, "it says to me they're not interested in cleaning up voter fraud, period," said Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor.

Votes cast in person are secure, Cox contends, but "there's very little, if any, control over the process when the ballots have left the elections office."
Thank you, Cathy Cox. You of all people would know. This was nothing more than a weak attempt towards even more regressive politics in this state.


GOP lawmakers: Bush should disclose Abramoff contacts
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, who appeared with Thune on "Fox News Sunday,", said all White House correspondence, phone calls and meetings with Abramoff "absolutely" should be released.

"I think this president is a man of unimpeachable integrity," Pence said. "The American people have profound confidence in him. And as Abraham Lincoln said, `Give the people the facts and republican governance perhaps will be saved."'

Sure, let's go with that. </stunned>

Religious Groups Get Chunk of AIDS Money
President Bush's $15 billion effort to fight AIDS has handed out nearly one-quarter of its grants to religious groups, and officials are aggressively pursuing new church partners that often emphasize disease prevention through abstinence and fidelity over condom use.

Award recipients include a Christian relief organization famous for its televised appeals to feed hungry children, a well-known Catholic charity and a group run by the son of evangelist Billy Graham, according to the State Department.

Open Thread

Toowuk amongst y'selves, I'll give you a topic: This Christian Right is neethah, discuss...

No, really - comment with anything you feel like, that's the entire point of an open thread, to get discussions going with one another.

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