You are hereElections
Or less corrupt.
Watch this Oldie but Goodie:
"Those in Congress who voted to authorize the war on Iraq decided that Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, who claimed that the invasion and occupation would be good for Iraq and the United States, were somehow more credible than the broad consensus of scholars familiar with the country who correctly predicted it would be a disaster for both. This is why I believe Hillary Clinton does not have the wisdom or judgement to be president." —Stephen Zunes
Read about a law suit against Hillary Clinton by a man put on a watch list by her after her guards roughed him up for silently protesting by turning his back.
Hillary's $2,777 PER MINUTE speaking contracts demand a 'presidential' teleprompter, let her cancel 'for any reason whatsoever' and she's the only one allowed on stage
Venezuela's Maduro Inaugurated
by Stephen Lendman
Latin American and other heads of state attended Maduro's inaugural ceremony. Earlier he accused opposition forces of triggering post-election violence.
"We have stopped a coup in its first stage," he said. "They are beaten, but they are coming back with a new attack." On Thursday, he flew to Lima.
Two scenes of terror this week, only one terrorism investigation: The Real Terrorists are the Corporate Execs Who’ve Bought the
By Dave Lindorff
The way I see it, we had two acts of terrorism in the US this week. The first took place at the end of the historic Boston Marathon, when two bombs went off near the finish line, killing three and seriously injuring dozens of runners and spectators. The second happened a couple days later in the town of West, Texas, where a fertilizer plant blew up, incinerating or otherwise killing at least 15, and injuring at least 150 people, and probably more as the search for the dead and the injured continues.
by Stephen Lendman
Venezuela's spirit of democracy lives. Celebratory fireworks followed Maduro's win. They were more subdued than last October. Chavez won then by 11 points.
Sunday's results were much closer than expected. Polls had Maduro way ahead. With 99.2% of the vote counted, his victory margin was 1.6%.
by Stephen Lendman
On Sunday, April 14, PSUV's Nicolas Maduro (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) faces opposition Rountable of Democratic Unity (MUD) candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski.
Most Venezuelans deplore him. They do so for good reason. He represents oligarch power, ties to Washington, and returning Venezuela to its ugly past.
Mid-April Venezuelan Presidential Elections Scheduled
by Stephen Lendman
Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE) President Tibisay Lucena announced Sunday, April 14. Acting President Nicolas Maduro carries Chavez's torch.
He'll do it responsibly. Millions of Venezuelans depend on him. He won't them down. It won't be easy. He faces enormous obstacles. So did Chavez.
Vatican Changing of the Guard
by Stephen Lendman
In April 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI. At the time he said:
"Dear brothers and sisters. After the great Pope John Paul II, the Cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the lord."
By Linn Washington, Jr.
America’s corporate news media love highlighting David-besting-Goliath stories…except apparently, when the fallen Goliath is major media mogul Rupert Murdoch – the billionaire owner of America’s caustic FOX News and other entities.
By Kourosh Zaibari
Venezuelan Leadership Up for Grabs?
by Stephen Lendman
New reports about Chavez's health raise concerns. He's struggling to recover from complicated cancer surgery. Previous articles explained. More on his current status below.
On October 7, Venezuelans overwhelmingly reelected him. They want no one else leading them. He transformed national politics responsibly. He established participatory democracy and social justice.
Venezuelans Vote Again
by Stephen Lendman
In America, money power controls elections. People have no say. Each party replicates the other. Venezuela is different.
Voters take full advantage. They choose real democrats over fake ones. It shows in how Venezuelans are governed.
I took a walk up the hill yesterday.
It was a little muddy for sneakers.
I could feel the chill
Coming up through my soles.
At the top I turned
And was surprised to see
By Dave Lindorff
One little-noted but important result of the November election in the US that returned President Barack Obama to the White House for another four years is that the right-wing Israeli government and the Zionist lobbying organization AIPAC (for American Israel Public Affairs Committee) took a surprising drubbing and emerge a much weaker political influence going forward in US politics.
Money Party Wins US Election
by Stephen Lendman
The same party wins every time. Duopoly power rules. America is a one party state with two wings. Each replicates the other. On major issues mattering most, not a dime's worth of difference separates them.
The late Gore Vidal explained it as well as anyone. Some of his best comments included:
By Dave Lindorff
Okay, the etch-a-sketch vulture capitalist who would have given us four years of that smarmy missionionary-at-your-door smile, was thankfully sent packing by the voters, and Barack Obama gets four more years in the White House.
Today is election day here in these United States of America and this contest is- we have been told- the most important election of our lifetime and yet an estimated 90 million eligible voters will not vote at all.
Why is that?
Obama Votes for Romney
by Stephen Lendman
"Well, he might have," said Mark Crispin Miller on his blog site. He doesn't know. Nor do other voters. Corporate owned, programmed and manipulated electronic voting machines control things.
It is estimated that 90 million eligible votes will sit out this election. While there are small handfuls that articulate principled stances against voting, the overwhelming majority is part of an epidemic of indifference or self-imposed impotence.
Vote Independent or Stay Home
by Stephen Lendman
Voting for Obama or Romney is like choosing between death by hanging or firing squad. Either way you're dead.
The same goes for choosing Republicans or Democrats. Each party replicates the other. On issues mattering most, not a dime's worth of difference separates them.
TCBH! Election Issue, Part I:
I’m Voting Third Party This Year
By Dave Lindorff
I, for one, can’t do it.
Hi. You're beautiful. And I don't give a damn who you're voting for.
You don't give a damn who I'm voting for?
I swear on the Fourth Amendment.
We don't have that amendment anymore.
You know that?
Yes. What's the catch? Which hack are you hocking?
None of them. I'm serious.
For real? What planet are you from? Scratch that. Will you marry me and what planet are you from?
I'm not entirely sure.
I'm not sure what planet I'm from, and of course I'll marry you. Now I do want to ask you one thing.
I knew it! I want a prenuptial agreement.
No. No. I want to tell you something about me and ask you if you can understand it. I want to know if you can understand why I'm not voting for Obama.
But I don't care why.
OK, let me guess. He's less evil than Romney but less evil is still evil, and you don't want to be evil, and you just haven't managed to grasp that the more evil candidate is even more evil?
Good guess, but … completely wrong. You have to remember here that I'm not a blithering idiot. I know it's hard, but try. In fact, I'm willing to suggest that lesser evilism is a truism, requiring exactly zero cerebral exertion to comprehend. The more evil candidate will do more evil. Got it. But I'm still not voting for the less evil one.
OK, I have another guess.
You want the more evil candidate to win because you imagine it will create the sort of mass resistance that will turn the country completely around, whereas the less evil guy will just keep boiling us slowly like frogs.
Now that's slander.
How can it be slander when it's a guess?
Of the frogs, I mean. If you heat a pot the frog jumps out, and if you drop him in an already boiling pot he cooks. It's all backwards because frogs are just not as stupid as humans. We like to imagine . . .
So you DO want to make Romney president!
No. I do not want to make Romney president. Not to create mass resistance. Not to make it easier for President Hillary to put the final nail in our national coffin four years hence. Not because I'm mad at Obama and he hurt my wittle feelings. Not for any reason.
OK, I've got it.
You've got it?
Yeah, you're not going to vote at all because that way you're sending a message to the whole corrupt system that it sucks and you don't.
Um, we've got almost 100 million people trying that, and it hasn't sent anybody so much as a postcard yet.
All right. Let me think.
By all means. I'm not the thought police.
I can see that.
OK. This is it. You believe that Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson or some other hopeless candidate is our last true hope. You think they can win, or could theoretically win, or might begin to build a party that could theoretically someday win, or something like that.
That's five guesses.
We don't waste time in swing states.
Well, they're all wrong. They're so far off Diebold couldn't count them. They're not in the same ballpark. Those guesses are about as close to right as …
OK, so this isn't fair, because the answer is some crazy thing having to do with that other planet you're from or something. It's not fair unless it's something I know about.
You know about it.
Yeah, well, I call.
Are we playing poker?
Yeah, and I call. What have you got?
What are we playing for?
Beer? Are you, or are you not, better off than you were four beers ago?
All right. Here's the deal.
It's too late to deal. I call.
All right. All right. You know how we're always supposed to vote for the lesser evil candidate, but then four years later they're both more evil?
You know how last time the lesser evil candidate was for taxing the rich and ending wars and fixing NAFTA and restoring the rule of law and protecting civil liberties and tackling climate change and passing the Employee Free Choice Act, and this time the lesser evil candidate is for cutting Social Security and Medicare and spying without warrants and letting the CIA and Special Forces kill people every day and expanding NAFTA to the whole damn world and establishing an assassination program for men women and children and imprisoning people forever without charge or trial and drilling more oil?
Well, yeah, when you put it that way.
No, I'm not putting it that way. Remember, I'm agreeing that the more evil guy is more evil. We've been there, done that, right?
Right, so … ?
OK, so if we vote for the lesser evil guy every time but then the two choices are both more evil, there must be something else we should be doing. And I have an idea what it is. And we can't do it if we're doing lesser evil voting. So, I don't want Obama to win. I don't want Romney to win. I don't imagine that Stein or Anderson can win. I don't think the outcome of the election can send a message. I'm not interested in the outcome at all, because I'm more interested in whether the people of this country are doing this other thing I have in mind, and it just so happens that the only way they can do it is if they are the kind of people who vote for Stein or Anderson.
So, you want Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson?
No. I voted for Stein. Anderson is great too. I don't give a rat's derriere whether they get 1% or 20%, except as a side effect. I'm not interested in them, although I like them both. I'm interested in the millions of people who are going to vote or not vote and in what kind of people they are.
Who cares what kind of people they are if Romney ruins their country.
He can't. He can't do it if they're the kind of people I have in mind. And either Obama or Romney will do it, perhaps at slightly different speeds, if people allow them to.
I don't understand.
OK, well, let me try to explain. It's hard to put into a sound byte. Change comes from broad-based popular movements that impact the entire culture. This is how we got civil and political rights, how we got workplace rights and environmental protections -- such as they are. Everything worth achieving has been achieved by educating, organizing, inspiring, and pressuring the government, and not by picking the right portion of the government to reelect, cheer for, and withhold all criticism from. Now, you can say you want to vote for the lesser evil person while simultaneously protesting him, but it doesn't work that way. Most people's minds and most popular organizations devote themselves to lesser evilism on a permanent basis, not just the week of an election. Obama in 2009 told the big environmentalist groups not to talk about climate change, and most of them haven't mentioned it since, even in the midst of a hurricane. One group mentioned it and declared that the tar sands pipeline would be Obama's test, but the price for failing the test is having that group and its members vote for Obama's reelection a little less cheerfully. Obama told the unions and advocacy groups not to say "single-payer healthcare" and they obeyed, forbidding mention of it at their rallies, asking instead for a mysterious "public option" that was then of course denied them. You'd think it would be hard for people to sell out this way, especially in non-election years, but they help themselves along by the art of selective information consumption. Most -- not all, but most -- Obama voters have managed not to know about drone wars or kill lists or the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And, of course, it's extra hard to engage in serious activism while unaware what's going on. By activism I mean educating, organizing, rallying, marching, lobbying, reporting, editorializing, inspiring, blockading, boycotting, interrupting, mocking, replacing, and nonviolently resisting evil policies in the thousands and thousands of ways available to nonviolent activists. Someone said to me yesterday: "But Martin Luther King Jr. didn't start a third party." Of course he didn't. Neither am I. I wouldn't have wanted him to. I wouldn't want you to. But he also didn't sell out to an existing party. He didn't endorse and campaign for candidates. He didn't tell anyone that voting was the only tool available, because -- of course -- voting comes far down the list of tools that have proven effective through history. And when the voting system is as corrupted as ours is now, the only way to render it even more useless is to promise half the candidates that you will strive to annoy them throughout their terms but never ever vote against them (unless it's in a non-swing-state and in small enough numbers not to matter), and if they'll let you come to meetings at the White House you'll see what you can do about not annoying them either. Latinos threatened not to vote for Obama and won some immigration reforms. Labor unions threatened to bend over, and Obama kicked their ass. Is this beginning to make sense?
So, you think activism is more important than elections and you really mean it? So when elections get in the way of activism you want people to change their electoral behavior in whatever way will make them better activists, regardless of what happens in the election?
Exactly! Is that marriage thing still on the table?
Uh huh. You know what I was thinking?
Remember when the peace movement was big several years ago? I mean, not super big, but big enough to be noticed?
And then the Democrats came into Congress and into the White House, and it dried up, right?
Well, what if it hadn't? What if it had kept growing? What if everything that went into electing Obama the first time had gone into the peace movement? What if the Nobel Committee in its infinite wisdom had given a peace prize to the peace movement? What if the peace movement had a billion dollars and a gazillion volunteer hours to work with? Wouldn't that have been worth more than having Obama instead of McCain? Wouldn't that have made both McCain and Obama better or replaced them with better people and led to a choice anyway of the lesser evil candidate who would have been even less evil? Or if it didn't, but the movement continued to grow, wouldn't it stand a chance of turning things dramatically around in the coming years, unlike Dr. 47% or Captain Drone Warrior if left to their own devices?
You actually understand this! Now I have to ask what planet you are from.
No, let me ask you something.
Did you call this "Swing State Pickup Lines" because "Why Can't You Morons Get This Stuff Through Your Thick Skulls" sounded less attractive?
By Sam Husseini
Earlier this year President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law. It allows for the indefinite detention without trial for any U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism.
Some might have thought that there would be wide-spread revolt among people who voted for Obama against legalized indefinite detention. And there was some protest, mostly led by Chris Hedges (who did not vote for Obama), with some legal victories against the law.
Part I of this series suggested that there may well have been massive vote flipping for candidate Mitt Romney in the Republican primaries (Rigged Elections for Romney (10/22/12) The article and the initial research analysis were received broadly. In addition, highly motivated citizens across the country and a team of high school students contacted the authors for help replicating the research in their states. The researchers, Francois et al., point out that this can be done with their open source techniques.
The basic argument is straightforward. If you look at precinct level voting data arranged from the smallest to the largest precincts, you will see Romney's gains increasing substantially as the cumulative vote increases. For example, Ohio and Wisconsin show this clearly as do eleven other states presented here. This extraordinary vote gain from smallest to largest precincts is so out of line, that the probability that this would happen by chance alone is often less than 1 out of a number represented by 1 preceded by 100 zeros and a decimal point, a value beneath the statistical package’s lower limits. As a result, the researchers termed the suspected vote flipping for Romney the “amazing anomaly.” (The Amazing Statistical Anomaly)
Mike Elk of In These Times discusses this new / old twist on "democracy".
Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Engineer: Christiane Brown.
Music by Duke Ellington.
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You and I are getting ready to tape a debate on the question of whether to vote for Obama (in "swing states"). It will air on Lila Garrett's "Connect the Dots" show on KPFK next Monday. I'm looking forward to it, if for no other reason, because I think our public discourse lacks much serious debate between people who respect each other's intentions. I have nothing but respect for you and believe you mean nothing but the best in advocating votes for Obama. You honestly believe I was catastrophically wrong to vote for Jill Stein in Virginia, as I've done, and I honestly believe you are horrendously misguided to be expending your valuable energy trying to get others to vote for Obama. And yet we'll be friends through this and regardless of whether one or both of us ever change our minds.
An hour debate will also be a refreshing change from the usual sound byte simplification of the media, and yet not necessarily sufficient. So, let me tell you a couple of stories.
By Robert E. Prasch
Those following the political blogosphere are, no doubt, aware of vitriol being directed at some long-respected progressive voices who have concluded that it is time to vote third party. Fatigued by being again, as they were in 1996, 2000, and 2004, asked to vote for the “lesser of two evils,” they are tired of the “same old song and dance.” And it is old. Some readers may remember the bumper stickers beseeching us to vote for the Neo-liberal pro-Iraq War Senator John Kerry over the Neo-liberal pro-Iraq War George W. Bush: “Kerry Sucks Less.”
The November election is not a battle between Republicans and Democrats. It is not a battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It is a battle between the corporate state and us. And if we do not immediately engage in this battle we are finished, as climate scientists have made clear. I will defy corporate power in small and large ways. I will invest my energy now solely in acts of resistance, in civil disobedience and in defiance. Those who rebel are our only hope. And for this reason I will vote next month for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, although I could as easily vote for Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party. I will step outside the system. Voting for the “lesser evil”—or failing to vote at all—is part of the corporate agenda to crush what is left of our anemic democracy. And those who continue to participate in the vaudeville of a two-party process, who refuse to confront in every way possible the structures of corporate power, assure our mutual destruction.