Friday, January 07, 2005

Yahoo! News - Military Doctor Closes Online War Diary

Yahoo! News - Military Doctor Closes Online War Diary: "PHILADELPHIA - A military doctor whose Web site chronicled the bloody aftermath of the suicide bombing of a mess tent in Iraq (news - web sites) has shut down the site after being told his postings violated Army regulations.

In an e-mail from Iraq on Tuesday, Maj. Michael Cohen, a doctor with the 67th Combat Support Hospital unit, said he received a written warning but was not told which Army regulations were being violated.
A short notice replaced the account on Cohen's site,
'Levels above me have ordered, yes ORDERED, me to shut down this website. They cite that the information contained in these pages violates several Army Regulations. I certainly disagree with this,' it said.
On his Web log, Cohen had described the chaotic scene after the Dec. 21 mess hall bombing in which 22 people died. He reported that eventually there were more wounded than emergency room beds.
Lt. Col. Steven Boylan, a spokesman for coalition forces in Iraq, said he could not confirm the investigation into Cohen's blog. He said the Pentagon (news - web sites) allows blogs that do not disrupt unit discipline, make statements on behalf of commanders or the Army, or reveal details that could aid attackers.
'Sometimes a blog might contain subtle nuances from which you can put together a complete picture of our operations, which insurgents can use to attack us,' Boylan said. " > The Tonight Show with Jay Leno > Mike On Tonight > The Tonight Show with Jay Leno > Mike is on Leno Tonight

Senator Boxer's Statement On Objection To The Certification Of Ohio¹s Electoral Votes

January 6, 2005

For most of us in the Senate and the House, we have spent our lives fighting for things we believe in. ­ Always fighting to make our nation better.

We have fought for social justice. We have fought for economic justice. We have fought for environmental justice. We have fought for criminal justice.

Now we must add a new fight. ­ The fight for electoral justice.

Every citizen of this country who is registered to vote should be guaranteed that their vote matters. That their vote is counted, and that in the voting booth of their community, their vote has as much weight as the vote of any Senator, any Congressperson, any President, any cabinet member, or any CEO of any Fortune 500 Corporation.

I am sure that every one of my colleagues, ­Democrat, Republican, and Independent ­ agrees with that statement. That in the voting booth, every one is equal.

So now it seems to me that under the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees the right to vote, we must ask: Why did voters in Ohio wait hours in the rain to vote? Why were voters at Kenyan College, for example, made to wait in line until nearly 4 a.m. to vote, because there were only two machines for 1300 voters? Why did poor and predominantly African-American communities have disproportionately long waits?

Why in Franklin County did election officials only use 2,798 machines when they said they needed 5,000? Why did they hold back 68 machines in warehouses? Why were 42 of those machines in pre-dominantly African-American districts?

Why did, in Columbus area alone, an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 voters leave polling places, out of frustration, without having voted? How many more never bothered to vote after they heard about this?

Why is it when 638 people voted at a precinct in Franklin County, a voting machine awarded 4,258 extra votes to George Bush. Thankfully, they fixed it, ­but how many other votes did the computers get wrong?

Why did Franklin County officials reduce the number of electronic voting machines in downtown precincts, while adding them in the suburbs? This also led to long lines.

In Cleveland, why were there thousands of provisional ballots disqualified after poll workers gave faulty instructions to voters?

Because of this, and voting irregularities in so many other places, I am joining with Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones to cast the light of truth on a flawed system, which must be fixed now.

Our democracy is the centerpiece of who we are as a nation. And it is the fondest hope of all Americans that we can help bring democracy to every corner of the world.

As we try to do that, and as we are shedding the blood of our military to this end, we must realize that we lose so much credibility when our own electoral system needs so much improvement.

Yet, in the past four years, this Congress has not done everything it should to give confidence to all of our people their votes matter.

After passing the Help America Vote Act, nothing more was done.

A year ago, Senators Graham, Clinton and I introduced legislation that would have required that electronic voting systems provide a paper record to verify a vote. That paper trail would be stored in a secure ballot box and invaluable in case of a recount.

There is no reason why the Senate should not have taken up and passed that bill. At the very least, a hearing should have been held. But it never happened.

Before I close, I want to thank my colleague from the House, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Her letter to me asking for my intervention was substantive and compelling.

As I wrote to her, I was particularly moved by her point that it is virtually impossible to get official House consideration of the whole issue of election reform, including these irregularities.

The Congresswoman has tremendous respect in her state of Ohio, which is at the center of this fight.

Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a judge for 10 years. She was a prosecutor for 8 years. She was inducted into the Women¹s Hall of Fame in 2002.

I am proud to stand with her in filing this objection.

Congress Certifies Bush's Win After Protest

Politics News Article |

Thu Jan 6, 2005 06:01 PM ET
By Joanne Kenen

The U.S. Congress on Thursday formally certified President Bush as the victor of the November elections after two Democrats symbolically stalled the event in protest at alleged voting irregularities in Ohio.

California Sen. Barbara Boxer and Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, formally lodged objections because of Ohio, although they said they recognized Bush had won and were not trying to overturn the results.

They said their goal was to force lawmakers to heed problems that had been particularly evident in Democratic-leaning minority and urban neighborhoods and to consider the need for more voting reforms including standard election rules in all states.

'This objection does not have at its root the hope or even the hint of overturning or challenging the victory of the president,' Tubbs Jones said. Boxer called it a matter of 'electoral justice.'

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Democratic Underground

Democratic Underground: "Democrats to Force Debate on Ohio Results

WASHINGTON - A small group of Democrats agreed Thursday to force House and Senate debates on Election Day problems in Ohio before letting Congress certify President Bush (news - web sites)'s win over Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) in November.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., signed a challenge mounted by House Democrats to Ohio's 20 electoral votes, which put Bush over the top. By law, a challenge signed by members of the House and Senate requires both chambers to meet separately for up to two hours to consider it. Lawmakers are allowed to speak for no more than five minutes each.

While Bush's victory is not in jeopardy, the Democratic challenge will force Congress to interrupt tallying the Electoral College (news - web sites) vote, which is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. EST Thursday. It would be only the second time since 1877 that the House and Senate were forced into separate meetings to consider electoral votes.

'I have concluded that objecting to the electoral votes from Ohio is the only immediate way to bring these issues to light by allowing you to have a two-hour debate to let the American people know the facts surrounding Ohio's election,' Boxer wrote in a letter to Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (news, bio, voting record), D-Ohio, a leader of the Democratic effort.

More... "

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

House members plead for election discussion

Thursday, January 6, 2005

Twenty-four members from the House signed a letter issued to the full House and Senate this afternoon in a last-minute bid to encourage the Senate to open discussion on the electoral vote tally Thursday.

The members signing were:
John Conyers, Jr, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Jim McDermott, Maxine Waters, Lynn Woolsey, Bernard Sanders, Eleanor H. Norton, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Donald Payne, Anthony Weiner, Diane Watson, Barbara Lee, Elijah Cummings, Robert Wexler, Juanita Millender-McDonald, Jos E. Serrano, Major Owens, Danny K. Davis, Dennis J. Kucinich, Sheila Jackson Lee, William Clay, Jr. and Barney Frank.

2005 - 109th Congress: Senator's Phone & Fax Numbers

Stolen Election
Thursday, January 6th all congress people
(Senators & House of Representatives)
will meet to accept/certify/ratify (or not)
the Electoral College votes for President!

(CSPAN2 will begin televising this event on the 3rd day of the
109th Congress at 1 pm Eastern (10 am Pacific in my area,
as far as I can tell.) (Check or call your TV Channel.
Time and channel may be different.)
Be sure to Watch!

(The price of admission is a phone call or fax to each of your
Representatives and Senators before Thursday!)

Find your state Senator's phone and fax numbers listed below.
Find your Representative's numbers in your phone book under
Government Pages - United States Government - Congress.)

January 4, 2005
This morning I received an e-mail from Gary Beckwith of
regarding Congressman John Conyers' investigation into voting irregularities in Ohio.

Recap of e-mail:
Last week Congressman Conyers stated he will contest the Ohio electors, because of "numerous unexplained irregularities in the Ohio presidential vote, many of which
appear to violate both federal and state law."

If only one Senator agrees to contest the vote, we will see something
that has never happened before in the history of our country.

It is vital we all contact our Senators and Representatives to show our
support and encourage them to contest the election.

This is not about Kerry vs. Bush.
It is not about Democrat vs. Republican.
This is about the civil rights of all U.S. Citizens.

109th Congress
44 Democratic Senators
1 Independent Senator
Washington DC - Capital Hill Operators: Phone #: 1-800-839-5276 (24 hours)
Individual Phone #s: 9 - 5 (Eastern)
New Senators: 2 fax #s not available.

Democrats: Sorted by State

State Name Phone Fax___

AR Lincoln, Blanche 202 224 4843 202 228 1371

AR Pryor, Mark 202 224 2353 202 228 0908

CA Boxer, Barbara 202 224 3553 415 956 6701 (ask to have it faxed to DC)

CA Feinstein, Diane 202 224 3841 202 228 3954

CO Salazar, Ken 202 224 5852

CT Dodd, Christopher 202 224 2823 202 224 1083

CT Lieberman, Joseph 202 224 4041 202 224 9750

DE Biden, Joseph 202 224 5042 202 224 0139

DE Carper, Thomas 202 224 2441 202 228 2190

FL Nelson, Bill 202 224 5274 202 228 2183

HI Akaka, Daniel 202 224 6361 202 224 2126

HI Inouye, Daniel 202 224 3934 202 224 6747

IA Harkin, Tom 202 224 3254 202 224 9369

IL Durbin, Richard 202 224 2152 202 228 0400

IL Obama, Barak 202 224 2853

IN Bayh, Evan 202 224 5623 202 228 1377

LA Landrieu, Mary 202 224 5824 202 224 9735

MA Kennedy, Edward 202 224 4543 202 224 2417

MA Kerry, John 202 224 2742 202 224 8525

MD Mikulski, Barbara 202 224 4654 202 224 8858

MD Sarbanes, Paul 202 224 4524 202 224 1651

MI Levin Carl, 202 224 6221 202 224 1388

MI Stabenow, Debbie 202 224 4822 202 228 0325

MN Dayton, Mark 202 224 3244 202 228 2186

MT Baucus, Max 202 224 2651 202 228 3687

ND Conrad, Kent 202 224 2043 202 224 7776

ND Dorgan, Byron 202 224 2551 202 224 1193

NE Nelson, Ben 202 224 6551 202 228 0012

NJ Corzine, Jon 202 224 4744 202 228 2197
NJ Lautenberg, Frank 202 224 3224 202 228 4054

NM Bingaman, Jeff 202 224 5521 202 224 2852

NV Reid, Harry 202 224 3542 202 224 7327

NY Clinton, Hillary 202 224 4451 202 228 0282

NY Schumer, Charles 202 224 6542 202 228 4562

OR Wyden, Ron 202 224 5244 202 228 2717

RI Reed, Jack 202 224 4642 202 224 4680

SD Johnson, Tim 202 224 5842 202 228 5765

VT Leahy, Patrick 202 224 4242 202 224 3479

WA Cantwell, Maria 202 224 3441 202 228 0514

WA Murray, Patty 202 224 2621 202 224 0238

WI Feingold, Russell 202 224 5323 202 224 2725

WI Kohl, Herb 202 224 5653 202 224 9787

WV Byrd, Robert 202 224 3954 202 228 0002

WV Rockefeller, John 202 224 6472 202 224 7665

VT Jeffords, James 202 224 5141 202 228 0776

Michael Moore's e-mail to U.S. Senators

Tuesday, January 4th, 2005

Dear Members of the U.S. Senate,

Welcome back! The 109th session of Congress has just
begun. I'm watching you on C-SPAN right now and you
all look so snap-happy and clean-faced. It's like the first
day of school all over again, isn't it?

I have a favor to ask of you. Something isn't right
with the vote from Ohio. Seems a lot of people
didn't get to vote. And those who did, thousands of
theirs weren't counted.

Does that seem right to you? I'm just asking.
Forget about partisan politics for a moment and ask
yourself if there is a more basic right, in a democracy,
than the right of the people to vote AND have ALL their
votes counted.

Now, I know a lot of you wish this little problem of
Ohio would just go away. And many of you who wish
this are Democrats. You just want to move on (no pun
intended!). I can't say I blame you. It's rough to
lose two elections in a row when the first one you
actually won and the second one you should have won.
And it seems this time around, about 3 million more
Americans preferred to continue the war in Iraq and
give the rich more tax breaks than those who didn't.
No sense living in denial about that.

But something isn't right in Ohio and more than a
dozen members of the House of Representatives
believe it is worth investigating.

So on Thursday at 1:00pm, Rep. John Conyers of
Detroit will rise and object to the vote count in
Ohio. According to the laws of this land, he will
not be allowed to speak unless at least one of you
-- one member of the United States Senate -- agrees
to let him have the floor.

A very embarrassing moment during the last session
of Congress occurred in the first week when none of
you would allow the members of Congress who were
black to have the floor to object to the Florida
vote count. Remember that? You thought no one would
ever notice, didn't you? You certainly lucked out
that night when the networks decided not to show how
you shut down every single member of the
Congressional Black Caucus.

No such luck this year. Everyone now knows about
that moment of shame. Thank you? You're welcome.

But this Thursday, at 1:00pm (Eastern), you will have a chance
to redeem yourself.

Congressman Conyers and a dozen other members of
Congress have some serious questions about how the
Republican secretary of state in Ohio (who was also
the state's co-chair of Bush's reelection campaign)
conducted the election on November 2. The list of
possible offenses of how voters were denied access
to the polls and how over a hundred thousand of
their votes have yet to be counted is more than
worthy of your consideration. It may not change the
outcome, but you have a supreme responsibility to
make sure that EVERY vote is counted. Who amongst
you would disagree with that?

If you would like to read more about the specific
charges, I ask that you read these two links:
"Senators Should Object to Ohio Vote" -by Jesse
Jackson and "Ten Preliminary Reasons Why the Bush
Vote Does Not Compute, and Why Congress Must
Investigate Rather Than Certify the Electoral
College". I am asking everyone on my mailing list to
send you a letter joining me in this call to you to
do your job and investigate what happened before you
certify the vote.

It only takes one member of the House and one member
of the Senate to stop the acceptance of the
Electoral College vote and force a legitimate debate
and investigation. Do you know why this provision is
set in stone in our nation's laws? I mean, why would
we allow just two officials in a body of 535 members
to throw a wrench into the works? The law exists
because nothing is more sacred than the integrity of
the ballot box and if there is ANY possibility of
fraud or incompetence, then it MUST be addressed.
Because if we don't have the vote, what are we left

C'mon Senators! Especially you Democrats. Here is
your one shining moment of courage. Will you allow
the gavel to come down on our black members of
Congress once again? Or will you stand up for their
right to object?

We will all be watching.
Michael Moore

Monday, January 03, 2005

Dialing In For Democracy - January 3rd is Critical!

e-mail from Thom Hartmann

Jeff Taylor is one of Vermont's three electors - representatives elected by the citizens of Vermont to vote for President of the United States. He and his two peers have joined the electors of several other states in signing resolutions asking their state's congressional delegation to protest the Ohio slate of electors.

"If they can have fair elections in Kiev," Taylor told me, "why not in Cleveland?"

Here's what troubles Taylor:

If you flip a coin a hundred times, odds are that around fifty times it will come up heads and fifty times tails. In reality, it may be 49-51 or even 47-53, but it will always pretty much evenly split. That's the nature of random events, including random errors and mistakes.

So if the tens of thousands of election "irregularities" being reported all across the nation - but particularly in Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, and North Carolina - showed "irregularities" worked randomly to the benefit of both parties, it would be easy to say that we have a broken, but not a stolen or hacked, election system. But that was not the case.

In nearly every case now documented, producing odds not of 50:50 but, according to credible statisticians, sometimes rising to 1:250,000,000, "irregularities" seem always to favor George W. Bush or other Republican candidates. These include:

machine errors
misplaced machines
unmailed absentee ballots
certification of more votes than registered voters in some areas, and dramatically low voter turnouts in other areas
modem-connected voting machines and tabulators
different standards for provisional ballot recounts in different areas
phony companies registering voters and then tearing up the registrations of people who checked one party but not the other
voting machines defaulting to a particular candidate or 'jumping' by recording a vote for one candidate when another's button was pushed
exit polls not corresponding with reported votes
voting elections officials creating what look like phony election machine poll tapes and tossing original, signed tabulations in the garbage.
And while the vast majority of the "irregularities" in 2004 are breaking to the benefit of George W. Bush, they also did so in 2000, and for Republicans generally in 2002.

It's time to start using the "F" word. George W. Bush was made President of the United States in 2000 by fraud, and apparently has done it again.

First, 2000.

As The New York Times reported on November 12, 2001, in an article titled "Examining The Vote: The Overview" by Ford Fessenden and John M. Broder, a media consortium was pulled together to actually count every questionable ballot in the 2000 Florida election.

The media consortium included The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Tribune Company, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, The St. Petersburg Times, The Palm Beach Post and CNN. The group hired the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago in January to examine the ballots. The research group employed teams of three workers they called coders to examine each undervoted ballot and mark down what they saw in detail. Three coders provided a bulwark against inaccuracy or bias in the coding. For overvotes, one coder was used because there was seldom disagreement among examiners in a trial run using three coders.

The data produced by the ballot review allows scrutiny of the disputed Florida vote under a large number of situations and using a variety of different standards that might have applied in a hand recount, including the appearance of a dimple, a chad dangling by one or more corners and a cleanly punched card.

The result clearly demonstrated that Al Gore won the 2000 Florida vote. But the Supreme Court, in the lawsuit initiated by George W. Bush against Al Gore now known as Bush v. Gore, ruled that "irreparable harm" might be done to candidate Bush if such a recount was performed in Florida by Florida authorities. Justice Antonin Scalia, in his concurring majority opinion in Bush v. Gore, wrote that "The counting of votes that are of questionable legality does in my view threaten irreparable harm to petitioner [George W. Bush], and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election."

And Scalia was right, if "irreparable harm" means that counting all the votes may lead to the petitioner [Bush] "losing an election." When the Consortium examined all the ballots statewide, noted the Times, "The findings indicate that Mr. Gore might have eked out a victory if he had pursued in court a course like the one he publicly advocated when he called on the state to 'count all the votes.'"

(To his eternal credit, Justice John Paul Stevens dissented, writing that: "Counting every legally cast vote cannot constitute irreparable harm. On the other hand, there is a danger that a stay may cause irreparable harm to the respondents [Gore]- and, more importantly, the public at large- because of the risk that 'the entry of the stay would be tantamount to a decision on the merits in favor of the applicants [Bush].'")

Further, "In a finding rich with irony," note the Times writers, "a statewide recount -- could have produced enough votes to tilt the election his [Gore's] way, no matter what standard was chosen to judge voter intent."

Count the dimpled chads or not. Count the overvotes or not. Count the pregnant chads or not. No matter WHAT standard was chosen - Gore won Florida in 2000.

And that doesn't begin to examine the true fraud that occurred in Florida when Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris, according to the NAACP and Greg Palast's reporting on the BBC, illegally removed tens of thousands of African American voters from the voter rolls - a crime that is still in the courts and has yet to be prosecuted. (An amazing documentary of this is the DVD "Unprecedented".) Or, as I reported in an article commissioned by in July of 2003, many computer irregularities across the nation also drew into question the legitimacy of the 2000 and 2002 elections.

And now, in 2004, we are again visited by a Stalinesque fusion of cronies funding and controlling the election apparatus, national media intimidated into silence, and a populace so preoccupied with daily survival concerns - and uneasy about being identified as "troublemakers" by a new, highly centralized state security apparatus - that they don't have the means or time to react.

Yet react we must.

Congressman John Conyers has conducted hearings in Ohio, which uncovered sufficient evidence to call into question - at least in the mind of the Congressman himself and many associated with him - the validity of the Ohio vote.

The Electoral College was modeled after a form of governance used by the British before the Norman invasion in 1066, as documented in The History of England As Well Ecclesiastical As Civil by Paul de Rapin Thoyras, one of the two books that Thomas Jefferson repeatedly cited as the most important histories every written.

It's been out of print for two centuries, but in my copy, printed in London in 1728, Thoyras writes, presaging language later re-used in the U.S. Constitution, "Now in order to preserve a perfect Union, it was necessary some way of communication and intercourse between them [the people in remote locations and their government] shou'd be established. This was done by the means of a Wittena-Gemot or Assembly of Wise Men, who were the Representatives of the whole Nation. This Method the Saxons brought with them from Germany, where all publick affairs were transacted in such like conventions...[including their] Presidents." (Italics from the original.)

And now our wise elders - Electors like Jeff Taylor - are telling us they believe our elections may have been corrupted.

Section II, Article 2 of the Constitution, amended by the Twelfth Amendment in 1804, create and define the Electoral College, modeled by the Framers after the Saxon Wittena-Gemot. Each state chooses its own electors any way it wants, although all today do so by election of the people.

Electors have already met in the various states to vote, but that vote will not be opened until Thursday, January 6th. If Conyers' protest is matched by the protest of at least one single senator, then the House and Senate retire to their respective chambers for a maximum of two hours to debate the legitimacy of the Ohio (and, possibly, other) electoral slates. After two hours, with a maximum of 5 minutes for any member to speak, a vote is taken. If both the House and the Senate vote by majority to sustain the challenge, then the presidential vote goes to the House of Representatives, where each state has a single vote.

Given that Republicans control both the House and Senate, and a majority of states were "red" in this past election, even if a senator joins Conyers it won't change the outcome of this election, unless between now and Thursday such massive, credible evidence of election-changing vote fraud is presented that even Republicans will agree that the election was stolen. Given how often Republicans in the House and Senate have placed the interest of their party's power above the needs and interests of democracy or the nation in the past few decades, it's extremely unlikely that a challenge will result in a change in the election.

But - vitally - it will put the issues of vote fraud in America on the table in a way that even the mainstream media can no longer ignore. And it may lead to getting private, Republican-affiliated corporations out of handling our votes in secret, and to other electoral reforms such as IRV and public financing of elections. It could be a huge step in pulling us back from the brink of the Stalinist state the Bush administration seems determined to lead us into.

Rallies are being held in Columbus, Ohio and Washington, DC, and news stories of them are easily found on this and other progressive news sites. But for those who can't travel, perhaps the most important step you can take today is to call your two senators at 1-800-839-5276 and ask them to join Conyers in his protest of the Ohio electors. This is particularly important if you live in California, West Virginia, Minnesota, Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, Michigan, Maryland, Illinois, or Maine, as those state have senators who may be more inclined to join Conyers than most.

Make your call now. It's one of the last ways we still have available to access our elected representatives without a Republican corporation in the middle.

Thom Hartmann (thom at is a Project Censored Award-winning best-selling author and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk show. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection," "We The People," "The Edison Gene", and "What Would Jefferson Do?."