Archives for posts with tag: ES&S

Everybody assumes that Dem turnout will suck out loud this election. And it looks like that could well be true. If so, Democrats have no one but themselves to blame for the succeeeding years of Teapublican rape, pillage and plunder.

But there IS a way for Dems to win. An easy way. A way that can work, and requires less than half an hour’s time from each Dem voter. Here it is:

VOTE. That’s it. If Dems vote in numbers that exceed the current dismal expectations, they will win races. Lots of races.

This is because Repubs are assuming Dems WON’T vote. So their plans are based on crap Dem turnout. Increasing our turnout messes up their plans.

Plus, voting machine hacks are programmed in advance, and are based on projected turnout. If Dems exceed turnout, the hacks fail and Dems can win.

The biggest problem in making this happen? Disengaged, apathetic Dem voters. For example: Ohioans as a rule pretty f***ing pathetic when it comes to doing anything other than bitching and moaning about our government. So Repubs are projected to keep 100% of power in the state for another four years.

Now, ask yourself, “what would happen if just a few thousand extra Dem votes were cast in the Buckeye State?”. Answer: Some of those motherf***ing Repubs would be cast out of office, replaced by Democrats. That, Gentle Reader, would be a very good thing indeed. In Ohio, and across the nation. Add more votes, win more victories.

Come on, let’s give the bastards one in the eye. Let’s confound the pundits and give the Elephants an atomic wedgie. Let’s all vote. The occupants of the House O’ Cranky mailed in our ballots today. Who’s next?

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Yes, that’s right:  Mitt Romney’s son Tagg (short for “Taggart – may or may  not be named after Mr. Taggart from Blazing Saddles) controls the company that controls Hart Intercivic,  manufacturer and operator of the vote-casting and vote-counting  equipment in some key Ohio precincts: http://www.hartintercivic.com/pr/108

For those of you who don’t know, these devices have a long list of security and quality “issues”: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/10/20/romney-family-investment-ties-to-voting-machine-company-that-could-decide-the-election-causes-concern/

Mr. Blunt and Cranky knows a lot more than he is allowed to say about how elections are conducted and the equipment used to conduct them. He can say this much: like any technology, they can be used in an honest or a dishonest manner. And dishonesty is hard to catch with this particular company’s products. So it really matters who is running the boxes.

Li’l Tagg, being the speak-first-think-later chip off the ol’ block that he is, recently threatened the Prexy with physical violence. No doubt he’ll get a pass from the Secret Service due to his connections, but you have to wonder about people who utter such illegal statements. If they do not respect the laws and institutions that have made America a beacon of hope and freedom, it is a fair bet they’ll be willing to break other laws: in young master Romney’s case, the laws against vote tampering and election rigging.

A bit of history: former Senator Chuck Hagel’s first election win was a “stunning upset”. The votes were counted by a company called ES&S: Hagel then owned ES&S. So, the idea that Tagg could swing the election for his daddy is not at all farfetched.

Another bit of history: “Who votes, decides nothing. Who counts the votes, decides everything.” (Joseph Stalin)

Mr. B & C

Most of us have no idea where laws come from, or why they exist. Some folks think that laws are the product of a shadowy conspiracy that is bent on enslaving all free people; others think they are produced by lazy people eager to get cushy government jobs. In reality, laws are written based on a perceived need that a legislator hopes to address.

That need might be headlines for the legislator; it might be a real problem experienced by a constituent; it might be a budget shortfall or civil rights matter; or it might be to curry favor with a funding source, especially when the legislator needs campaign cash or another form of baksheesh.

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is an instructive example. It was largely written by Bob Ney (R-Cellblock Number 9) with help from a vendor who hoped to make a pot of cash after the law was enacted. It was rushed through, and was woefully incomplete when it became law – standards were not adequately defined, the state and local Boards of Election were not given enough money to implement it, and so on. Quite the Charlie-Foxtrot.

However, some needs were met – the legislators got valuable media exposure and campaign contributions, and the vendors raked in big pots full of cash. And did the constituents benefit? In a word, no.  Because HAVA was never needed in the first place.

HAVA was based on the media-hysteria-fueled notion that American Elections were ‘broken’. And why were they supposedly broken? Because a few counties in Florida had problems with their vote-counting devices. Or so it seemed, after the media, campaigns, political types and the courts got done blathering on about the topic. Upon scenting some of that hot air, Ney and Co. decided that they could profit from the hysteria, thence HAVA. Nobody was willing to wait to find out what the root cause of the problem was: that wouldn’t have made the players any money or added to their influence in Washington and the media scrum.

So, after many millions of dollars were spent (and still are being spent – some of the new election systems do not work, you see), it was quietly disclosed that the reason those Florida counties had problems with their ballots was this: some idiot bought the wrong kind of paper to make the ballots. Cost to fix the real problem –a few thousand dollars.

Remember, laws are written to address a perceived need. The need to further fatten D.C. egos and various bank accounts was the one that Ney and his buddies addressed. The need of the citizens to have free and fair elections? Not so much.

Footnote: You might not consider the degradation of the ability to vote, the money that flowed into and out of legislators’ pockets, the unfunded mandates, or the general stench of greed, incompetence and corruption that surrounded the process to be akin to porn: this writer finds the whole mess to be far beyond pornographic.

Mr. B & C