Economic and political analysis-Window on culture-Media criticism

Monday, November 03, 2008

100th post comes on Election Eve

* * * 100th Post * * *
Wow! I was surprised to see that I'd been writing here for over two years, on an almost weekly basis. I want to thank any of my readers who've put up with a fair amount of substandard writing as I expand my writing repertoire to the political arena.

For the first time, I can admit that I used no spell check for the first eighteen months or so. My thinking was that it would force me to open a dictionary, and I did. Other than that, I've treated my power blogging as a learning mechanism, as well as a tool to develop journalistic skills. It has helped me to stay alert and involved in the world around me. The price has been tons of time and hard work, but looking back the effort was definitely worth it.

I've been posting at OpEdNews.com, a good site run by Rob Kall. My most recent entry there was "State Capitalism Fails." Typically, I'd submit my posts as an article, but that process can take a few days.

The election is coming so soon. I'm sure it'll dominate the entirety of the news stream, so I figured I didn't have a couple days. Plus, this blog is not about reporting major events that are well covered, but rather to explore issues that the corporate media won't cover.

In the midst of this election frenzy I do have to admit I'd rather not be focused on politics, but I believe politics are simply too important not to be covered. Like many others, I made the mistake of believing that the dubious outcome of the 2000 Election wouldn't matter as much as it did.

I just entered a vote prediction contest run by the Washington Post (available here.)

The contest has expired but I did have some fun playing with the interactive map. The link for my prediction, titled "A TIE", should be here:
<p><strong>><a href='http://projects.washingtonpost.com/2008/pick-your-president/'>2008 Election Contest: Pick Your President</a></strong> - Predict the winner of the 2008 presidential election.</p>

I turned the states red or blue based on my most conservative analysis, slanting to McCain. This reflects my opinion that the actual results will likely differ from pre- and exit polls in hotly contested regions. There've been numerous precedents for that divergence; I've been writing about electronic voting as one huge source of problems and likely manipulation for several years now. Hillary's surprise victory over Obama in the New Hampshire primary might be harbinger of what is to come.

Here is some of my abbreviated commentary explaining my electoral map choices--I admit the logic is twisted and incomplete:
"Indiana and Virginia are traditional Republican bastions. Massive disenfranchisement and caging and electronic voting malfunction will move hundreds of thousands of votes off the rolls in key districts, especially where minorities and FTVs (First Time Voters) make up a large constituency.
Ohio didn't go for Obama in the primary.
Florida will see huge numbers of Republicans along the I-4 corridor go to McCain.
Colorado and Missouri will have problems with their electornic voting systems, a common theme in the post-HAVA (Help American Vote Act of 2002) years."

Now if we are in fact tied, honestly I don't know what could happen. It's worth remembering that rather than elect our President directly, we go through an electoral system that might allow for results that don't reflect the popular will.

I've been influenced on account of a good article by Greg Palast on tricks that could cut down on the number of ballots counted at truthout.org. I recommend that readers go to bradblog for more information on electronic voting returns.

Whatever happens, I hope we don't see a quick capitulation on election night from Obama.

What follows is a comment I made on an article by Eric Nelson posted in OpedNews.com:
Bradley effect an excuse?
Appreciate the presentation of an alternative to the Bradley effect as a means of explaining divergence between polls and real voting. I share the author's inclination to disbelieve that people would tell pollsters that they'd vote for Obama then do the opposite.
A good poll would include some statistical rebalancing for the consequences of lying. The Bradley effect may simply be the term chosen to describe the impact of lying (at least about a candidate whi happens to be black), but not to induct this portion, however small, from any poll results would be a mistake.
While we can question whether polls include modifiers for lying, we can also question why they differ so much from the actual vote totals. The results on electronic voting machines have made them circumspect, and thus more paranoia--rightfully deserved in my opinion--has entered the politics and voting arena.
Before we discard the poorly named Bradley effect we do need to question the accuracy of polls in general. Also, if the results are within the margin of error, the results can be legitimate. If however, we see results outside that range, coupled with large-scale disenfranchisement and other problems, we can bet the GOP vote-stealing machine is back at work, as it was in 2000 in Florida and 2004 in Ohio. Bradblog has a lot of good info on blackboxvoting, as does Bev Harris .org site of that name.
If Obama loses, analysts might attribute it to the Bradley effect when in effect the differences in the results could be the product of flagrant vote fraud, a far less palpable (and far more problematic) phenomena than racism.

If Obama loses, it will not be because of the Bradley effect but the deliberate voter marginalization practices employed by the Republicans.

As I said in my diary entry on OpEdNews.com, the sheer numbers of registered Democrats makes a Republican win implausible, especially if people are inclined to vote against banker-friendly Bush-era policies in this age of great economic uncertainty.

Labels: ,


  • At 4:54 PM, Blogger jbpeebles said…

    I just made a comment on bradblog.com, which has arranged a broad array of unfiltered news sources outside of the tainted mainstream. Over the years, they've become a go-to site on elections issues.

    Oh, and by the way Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room brought up the tie vote scenario yesterday evening. I was glad to spotlight this issue. They explained that the House of Representative would vote in the event of an Electoral tie--1 vote for each state.

    Baring some further controversy, the current Democratic/Republican lineup in the states would favor Obama.

    Here's my post from bradblog:
    The Election is already starting to look like a major voter disenfranchisement project.

    I've asked the question before--how can the Republicans win against more Democrats? Cheat, that's how. We saw all this in 2004, for anyone who cared to look at the widespread claims of voter caging and disenfranchisement, including the removal of ballots after the election in Cuyahoga County, resulting in the felony convictions of election board employees.

    Bradblog has massed a powerful position on voting rights issues in the past four years. I'm glad to see its powerful array of unfiltered and truthful reporting on vote fraud.

    Of course there are powerful forces at work. The forces of democracy--and the people--aren't behind them. Instead they look to coopt the voting system through black box voting and other techniques designed to disenfranchise minorities.

    A small group of old white men is likely behind the corruption. As America represents more minorities, the primarily white GOP will have to resort to ever bolder cheating in order to win a national election.
    ~end post~

    A little conspiratorial, but the disenfranchisement at this point is driven by GOP contractors purging the voter rolls and rigging electronic voting systems. (See the HBO special Hacking Democracy for more.)
    All this emerged from the mostly GOP-sponsored HAVA Act, the equivalent of No Child Left Behind-style federalization for voters.


Post a Comment

<< Home