Wednesday, January 5

Our hearts have been broken (again) by the machine.

"I'm sorry ma'am, but the mailboxes of every, single Democratic Senator are full for the night. I don't know what to tell you. [click]" That was the response I received from one of the operators working the Capitol's switchboard this afternoon. One can only hope that all the messages are from twice-heartbroken progressives that want nothing more than to preserve what tiny slivers of democracy we have left in this country. Then again, it could be Republican phone-jamming. The overwhelming evidence of disenfranchisement of minority voters in Ohio is staggering, perhaps even more so than the debacle we all saw in Florida back in 2000. How can we parade around the world claiming to be this superpower, this bastion of democratic ideals that other nations should model themselves after if we can't even come up with a way to hold decent and fair elections at home? I still can't figure out what the repercussions would be if a Senator chose to stand in line with Congressman John Conyers and the rest of the Congressional Black Caucus tomorrow morning when they reject and protest the electors from Ohio. Might they lose political capital? Might members of the GOP have "naked pictures of Democratic Senators golfing with Satan?" (Randi Rhodes) This is their chance to stand the fuck up (pardon) and be recognized as the true party of the Constitution. Earlier today, Conyers confidently stated that, "the Senate [would] not be embarrassed this time around." As there is no debate allowed in the joint session, only ONE member of the Senate is needed to investigate the situation and ultimately bring it to a place where the matter CAN be debated and discussed. Methinks more than one Senator will grow a pair tomorrow morning.
We need to be fighting the fight to win, instead of always throwing blind punches in a losing battle. Speaking of fighting the fight to lose, I just received my thank you letter from John Kerry. Nearly 3 million people received the same email. Here are a few choice cuts: No American citizen should wake up the morning after the election and worry their vote wasn't counted. No citizen should be denied at the polls if they are eligible to vote. And, as the greatest, wealthiest nation on earth, our citizens should never be forced to vote on old, unaccountable and non transparent voting machines from companies controlled by partisan activists.
Tomorrow, members of Congress will meet to certify the results of the 2004 presidential election. I will not be taking part in a formal protest of the Ohio Electors.
A recent report from Representative John Conyers (D-Michigan) reveals very troubling questions that have not yet been answered by Ohio election officials. I commend the Democratic National Committee for its announcement this week that the DNC will be investing resources and reaching out to non-partisan academics in a long term study of Ohio voting irregularities. I am only sorry that we haven't seen the same from Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell and GOP officials.
I guess this means Senator Kerry will be one of the proud members to stand up tomorrow. WRONG. Our former candidate wont even be present for this session, which, until the mess of 2000, had just been a formality. He's having a grand old time with King Abdullah II of Jordan this week, discussing political and peacemaking developments taking place in the region.
It's hard to feel good about this. It's hard to accept that MY candidate is laying low, and taking it up the A like this. No one expects the election to be overturned in favor of John Kerry, but it will diminish any sort of capital President Bush claims to have earned this time around. It will force talks on election reform and voter fraud into the fray.

"Let Congress choose the President this time around." That's what Randi Rhodes kept repeating on her show today. She's right. George W. Bush should be forced to serve another four years under the existing cloud of political illegitimacy, as the only two-term President to be elected by a branch of government, and not the will of the people. "We follow the notion of keeping hope alive."-----John Conyers 1/5/05 The Randi Rhodes Show

In other news...
The Senate is meeting tomorrow to confirm the nomination of Alberto Gonzales as our next Attorney General. I'm all for Latino empowerment, but not when it's in favor of some rat-bastard that's been one of Bush's cronies since he took office as the Governor of Texas. This is the guy that got Bush out of jury duty in order to keep his DUI a secret. This is the guy who briefed Governor Bush on the pending execution of Terry Washington, excluding the minor detail that the prisoner was mentally retarded. This is the guy that rendered parts of the Geneva Convention obsolete, AND approved a memo sent from the U.S. Justice Department that condoned certain types of torture. For Christ's sake, this is the guy that vetted Bernard Kerik.

That press release came from the Hispanic Alliance for Progress Institute (HAP), which is actually a conservative non-profit formed by former President George H.W. Bush and former Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan Jr.

If any of you out there are brown and proud like me, PLEASE call Audrey Mullen of the HAP at 202-270-2772, and urge her to stop supporting filth like Gonzales in our name.

Thank you, and goodnight.

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