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The Immaculate Concession Part 2

By Wah in News
Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 01:01:56 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

The U.S. Election is finally over. In an uncharacteristically personal concession speech, Albert Gore Jr. has conceded the 2000 U.S. Presidential election to George W. Bush. He even promised not to call back and retract it, hence the part 2. My hope is that we can limit wrap-up commentary to one thread.


I heard that a certain small website had a chance to get the world exclusive, but something or other came up. Regardless , CNN now has some coverage. The BBC has a bit. The text of Gore's speech is over at the Drudge Report.

I would like to take a moment and thank all the Americans that didn't riot. To be serious for a moment, I agree with Mr. Gore that this incident has strengthened our democracy. We took a question of law, and recounts, and chads, and diimples, and intent, and placed it in front of our ultimate judges of law. This was done in an expedient manner, and with the bare minimum of physical confrontation, despite an uprecedented amount of political outcry and protests. When the final decision was reached, the honorable course of action was taken. For that I think we, and Mr. Gore, should be applauded.

Where we go from here is anyone's guess. Our Federal government is divided, our economy is slowing down, and it's Christmas time. It's finally over, the election is done. We can finally sleep peacfully at night.

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Poll
I'm
o happy that Canada won 18%
o moving to Bush 5%
o planning on voting next week 6%
o headed back to the liquor store 38%
o America, that's in France, right? 31%

Votes: 144
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o CNN
o BBC
o text of Gore's speech
o go from here
o Also by Wah


Display: Sort:
The Immaculate Concession Part 2 | 84 comments (74 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
Damn! It too soon.. (2.83 / 12) (#8)
by Nyarlathotep on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 04:18:09 AM EST

Gore may be giving up his legal chalenges, but the People for the Prevention of the Presidency will continue to fight for the rights of every american to live in a country without an executive branch!

Seriously, it is a shame that they have ended this thing. It was quite humorous to see the republicans and democrats go on TV and spew total bullshit. Hell, they even proved that the Supreme court is a bunch of party studges.

Actually, I suppose the democrat site of the court *tried* pretty hard to hide their party allegances, i.e. they played on the requirment that there is immediate harm to issue an injunction, but the republican side of the court did not even pretend to be objective.

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
Uhm (3.00 / 2) (#57)
by Matt Hall on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 07:22:10 PM EST

You clearly don't understand a number of factors involved. There are 7 conservative-appointed judges on the court. There are only 2 moderate-appointed judges, and there are no liberals. And yet, the vote was 5-4. While this does appear to be at least a little partisan, your claim against the conservative justices is ridiculous. I suggest you actually read the majority and minority opinions of the case before you go cutting and pasting the standard liberal line.

The petition presents the following questions: whether the Florida Supreme Court established new standards for resolving Presidential election contests, thereby violating Art. II, §1, cl. 2, of the United States Constitution and failing to comply with 3 U. S. C. §5, and whether the use of standardless manual recounts violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses. With respect to the equal protection question, we find a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

In case you actually care to learn something, though I doubt it, here's the low-down from CNN.

[ Parent ]
strict-constructionism (4.50 / 2) (#77)
by Delirium on Sun Dec 17, 2000 at 04:01:35 AM EST

I don't see the claim against the conservative judges as being any more ridiculous than the claim against the liberal ones (while none were appointed by liberal presidents, it is pretty much undisputed that Stevens and Souter at the very least are liberal judges). Rhenquist et al are strict-constructionists, and typically are very reluctant to apply to the fourteenth amendment's "equal protection" clause to anything short of blatant discrimination. Extending it to apply to marginal cases, such as this one, has been a favorite tool of liberal justices for quite a while. The fact that the two sides voted in the exact opposite direction this time is rather odd.

[ Parent ]
Applauded? (2.95 / 21) (#11)
by gregholmes on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 06:03:03 AM EST

Gore should be applauded for conceding defeat over a month after he lost?

I'm serious here; no matter who you support politically, at no time did he ever have more votes in Florida, despite all his dodges. He is the one who put us through this, and I for one will not applaud. I'll leave the nice noises to those who have to make them.



Lets try this again ... (3.87 / 8) (#14)
by Simon Kinahan on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 07:22:45 AM EST

The issue, surely, is whether Gore lost. Personally I don't give a damn. I'm not an American, and I can't see daylight through the gap between the positions of the two candidates, and it mattered even less once it was clear that whoever had won was going to have no legitimacy unless they bent over backwards to accomodate the other side. There does, however, seen to be genuine room for doubt as to the will of Florida's electorate.

Florida election law is actually quite clear (and I've quoted this at Mr Holmes before, and I'll do it again every time I see an attempt to imply that Gore was wrong to contest the election results). Florida statute 101.5614 section 5 says:

No vote shall be declared invalid or void if there is a clear indication of the intent of the voter as determined by the canvassing board.

ie You must count ballots that show a clear intent to vote (in the cases concerned a clear attempt to punch a hole).

The supreme court found that this offered unequal protection because it left too much up to the canvassing boards in judging voter intent. Fair enough, frankly. Their decision may have been affected by partisanship, but at least its phrased in terms of the law, and sets a demanding precedent for the future. Presumably Florida will have to update its laws - which have been cause of problems in the past, if you check the Voting integrity project this statute has been called into question before.

I am deeply disturbed by the attempts of both political parties in one of the worlds strongest democracies to paint the other as trying to rig the election, or as having behaved dishonourably in some other way, on account of different (and as far as I can tell legitimate) interpretations of the law. This might strike some people as just a bit of political fun and games, but it sets a terrible precedent for future elections and for the rest of the world. "Look at the Americans, they couldn't handle a close election, why should we ?" Its not the process of contesting the result in the courts that reflects badly on America - its the appalling level of public discourse - with unfounded allegations of wrongdoing slung backwards and forwards - that makes you look bad.

It was a very close election, with an ambiguous result, and with two profoundly dull and very moderate candidates. It was contested in the courts. Your guy won. Now get over it and show some good grace.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]

impulse to be 'nice' (2.25 / 8) (#18)
by gregholmes on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 08:48:38 AM EST

Well I am an American, and for some reason I never see any pressure for the other side to be "nice", "non-partisan", "share power", or any such thing. Will Tom Daschle(sp?) and his ilk abandon their positions, appoint those with opposing views, etc.? I doubt it.

Those of my political and philosophical persuasion are regularly accused of wanting to starve people, of racism, and of anything else they can think of. Those on the other side regularly flout every law and norm, and laugh as they get away with it. And the worst part is that twenty-ish people think "they're all like that, it's always been that way" when they aren't all like that and it hasn't always been that way.

So after eight years of this crap, to see the Dems/Media try to actually steal the election is just too much. Yeah, we protested (shocking; Republicans protesting)! We've had enough. Get used to it.



[ Parent ]
Ahem (4.12 / 8) (#26)
by Simon Kinahan on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 10:48:17 AM EST

I do not follow your logic. The accusations leveled at conservatives are part of the rediculous exaggeration (like accusing people of trying to "steal" elections) that seems to fill American political culture at the moment. They do not justify trying to distort the truth yourself. That only makes things worse.

Noone was trying to steal the election. Gore went to court to contest the result - rightly, as far as I can tell. If you disagree, I suggest that rather than repeating unfounded abuse, you go and find the laws that support your view that the original Florida count was uncontestable. Since I managed to find the relevant statutes, and even gave you a URL, I wouldn't imagine this would be too much of a burden.

That it has not always been this way is precisely my point. Your political culture is deteriorating into personal abuse and distortion of both the facts and the law since long before Clinton, and your unfounded claim that Gore tried to steal the election is a part of this culture (what the hell does that mean, anyway ?). So are accusations tha convervatives are all racists, for that matter. The fact tha Democrats engage in the same things does not give you an excuse for this.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
ahem indeed (3.75 / 4) (#39)
by gregholmes on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 12:31:00 PM EST

Thank you for the links, by the way.

There are two separate issues here (at least):

No vote shall be declared invalid or void if there is a clear indication of the intent of the voter as determined by the canvassing board.

Two questions:

  • Does this include absentee ballots?
  • If the opinion of the canvassing board is open to scrutiny (as the left's answer to the first question would indicate) then were the Democrat canvasing boards actually trying to determine intent? Seems statistically unlikely, if the only thing they were correcting for was machine error. Do machines only err in one direction?

The other issue is: what about the other statutes? Deadlines, perhaps? Dodgy recounts or not, Gore still lost by the valid deadline. There was no valid legal basis for throwing out the deadlines.



[ Parent ]
Ballots (5.00 / 1) (#63)
by Simon Kinahan on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 07:18:44 AM EST

The law I quoted applies specifically to machine marked and counted ballots in which the candidates names are not printed on the ballot, like those used in Palm Beach. I assume that absentee ballots are paper ballots marked with an X, so no, it does not apply to them, but there is an equivalent law for hand ballots that says they must not be rejected on the basis that they contain markings other than an X.

The intention of the law appears to be to ensure that machine readability is not used as the standard for judging whether a ballot contains a valid vote, and that human judgement should be employed as the standard instead. In the Supreme Court's opinion that was not a sufficienlty strict standard to ensure equal protection.

Regarding the absentee ballots: well, there was a clear violation of procedure wasn't there ? Republican Party officials were allowed by Republican officials, in several counties, to "fix" problems with voter registration forms that would otherwise have been valid, and there is no evidence Democrats were allowed to do the same. They shouldn't have done that, so its seems perfectly reasonable, given the closeness of the election, for Gore to challenge the validity of those votes. The court, however, found, quite reasonably, that there was no legitimate reason to suspect actual fraud.

I do not quite follow what you're saying about machines erring in only one direction. The canvassing boards in the counties that used the machine countable ballots in question found ballots that contained an intent to vote, but had not registered with the machines, for both major candidates, and added these to their counts. Since those counties are Democrat-voting in general, there were more Gore votes than Bush votes amongst the ballots that had not registered with the machines, just as there were amongst those that did. Not suprising, really.

If I read you correctly, you seem to be assuming that the canvassing boards were attempting to commit electoral fraud, and using the law as an excuse, and working back from that conclusion to what "must" have happened. Thats extraordinarily presumptious. Do you have any evidence at all to support such a dire accusation ?

Regading the deadline: Section 102.112(1) of Florida's election law sets a deadline for returns at 5pm 7 days after the election. That was the one Ms Harris originally tried to enforce - I put the Democrat claim that she was trying to fiddle the election in the same category as the Republican claims of electoral fraud by Democrat canvassing boards. Its not clear from simply reading the law which of these statutes takes precedence, so you're wrong when you say there was no basis for disregarding it - there's a clear conflict between the two laws under circumstances where Democrat and Republican observers are arguing over every single ballot. Given the Florida supreme court extended the dealine, presumably they did so on the basis that the need to determine voter intent took precedence.

Beyond that, the whole reason for having a deadline in the first place is to ensure there is time to contest the election result before the state has to appoint its presidential electors and avoid the undemocratic nightmare of the legislature having to appoint presidential electors itself. Once again, you cannot fault Gore for contesting the result after the deadline, as well as trying to change some canvassing board decisions before it. It was his right to do so, and there was legitimate room for doubt about the result. He lost. Fair enough.

Whats deeply wrong is the constant attempts on both sides to infer the other tried to fiddle election. The worst you can accuse anyone of, with any reason, is trying to apply only the laws that benefitted their side, rather than apply the law impartially. Insofar as I understand it, thats how the US government works: rather than depending on impartiality, you rely on different peoples partisanship to cancel one another out.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]

... the clear intent ... (none / 0) (#75)
by htom on Sat Dec 16, 2000 at 02:14:55 PM EST

The major problem seems to be determining "the clear intent" of the voter vs "the intent" of the voter.

When I was an election judge, this was simple. We looked at the ballot (all five of us), and if ALL of us agreed that it was a vote for A (or B or C or ...) then it was, and if we did not all agree, it was not clear to us, and it was not a vote at all.

Making the decision of which vote was intended by a majority vote, is playing with, if not actual, fraud. "The clear intent" does not need to be divined or voted upon. (And I understand that unnanimity is a kind of voting, but at least it's unnanimous.)

There were problem ballots. One was a voter who liked to bounce his pen on the ballot; it was covered with hundreds of little black dots. He (we presumed) marked many selections with large, bold "X"s; the question was the races where he had not made those, but had made "bouncy" marks in the boxes. We finally decided that none of those marks were votes. Were we correct? I don't know. That's what we decided.

Another ballot had very tiny, precise, "X", centered in the box; I don't think that they were more than 1/16" (1mm) tall. The scanner had read the ballot as being entirely blank, but we had no problems reading it.

People do strange things to ballots. Try being an election judge, you may enjoy it. You'll learn a lot about how He keeps making better idiots!
Col. Jeff Cooper's First Rule of firearm safety: Always treat every firearm as if it's loaded. Always.
[ Parent ]
I see what you mean .. (none / 0) (#80)
by Simon Kinahan on Sun Dec 17, 2000 at 12:00:05 PM EST

.. but surely, in the circumstances of the last few weeks, the problem with depending on unanimity is that it only takes one dishonest member of the canvassing board trying to reject ballots where, by the view of the other members, the intent is clear, to rule out what legally qualify as votes. While I dislike the supreme court ruling as a whole (it looks to me like partisanship disguised behind pedantic blindness to the actual situation), I do agree that "clear intent" is probably not a good enough standard of vote counting. Unfortunately, its employed by almost all US states, and on the grounds of equal protection cited by the court, the whole election should really be rerun.

Anyway, I though the Florida supreme court mandated recount was actually bein run on the basis that each ballot had to be examined by both a Democrat and a Republican and they both had to agree ?

I can't be an election judge, because as I said ealier, I'm not an American. Ballot counting here in Britain is a little different: everything is counted by hand, and any ballot containing anything other than a single X is ruled out of the initial count. If all the candidates agree, "spoiled" ballots containing extra or alternative markings can be included in the count after the other ballots are finished.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
voting errors (5.00 / 2) (#84)
by htom on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 03:43:18 PM EST

The recount mandated by the Florida Supreme court was of the "undervote", those ballots where either machines or people had previously determined that there was no vote cast. Some of these ballots, especially those so selected by machine, doubtless had votes that could have been discerend by humans (ie, the lady with the tiny x marks.)

But the ruling required that the overvotes not be recounted, even though it's entirely possible that some of those had valid "clear intent" votes (ie, the voter with the dribbling pen; his dribbles might have looked like two or three x's to the machines.)

And it also requires ignoring those ballots that the machines read as having one vote that might not have one at all, for various reasons (again, the dribbling is not an x problem.)

Counting only the "undervote" is a very poor plan for a recount, although doing so only in those counties that Gore chose to request them in probably would have helped Gore far more than a statewide "undervote" recount.

Bush's not asking for recount and opposing them elsewhere is of the same cloth.

Both candidates' teams were trying to /win/ the election through manipulation of the counting process. Neither side seemed especially interested in deterining who had /won/. That's a very different process than winning.

Punching ballots rather than marking them has, at first glance, the appearance of being both permanent and unmistakeable, but as events have shown, neither is necessarily so.

The dishonest judge, throwing away everything but votes for his candidate in an election ruled by a requirement for unaniminty, can be "curbed" by the other judges treating him likewise. In a majority-rules vote, the minority has no recourse.

I do know that the different counties in Florida had differing standards, and some reports here, at least, were that votes were being "found" by 2-1 majorities along party lines.

It is indeed a mess, and simple solutions are likely to be bad ones. It seems to me that a minimally acceptable solution is going to be something like a computer terminal that collects the voter's intents, and then prints a ballot with both his selections and his rejections clearly marked (possibly punched, or perhaps by changing typeface & size) to minimize chances of later changes. The voter then looks over the ballot, and either submits it for counting or asks for a new sheet of paper to be printed, and starts over (perhaps the polling station could read the "bad" ballot and allow him to edit.) The system is going to have to cope with things like "Select 17 of 96 candidates for District Commission", and it is not easy to design well. A cheap implementation of the design is even harder!


Col. Jeff Cooper's First Rule of firearm safety: Always treat every firearm as if it's loaded. Always.
[ Parent ]
just a leetle bit partisan, perhaps? (3.50 / 10) (#15)
by streetlawyer on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 07:29:44 AM EST

at no time did he ever have more votes in Florida, despite all his dodges.

This is logically wrong; either he did have more votes in Florida all the time during the last month, or he didn't, which was the whole purpose of both sides' court cases. If Gore didn't have more votes in Florida, why wouldn't Bush have agreed to his offer of a state-wide recount? Precisely because there seemed a strong chance that he in fact *did* have more votes in Florida. I would say "don't make the mistake of confusing the voting process with the counting process", but it's fairly obvious that you're not muddling these two up by mistake.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

two (2.66 / 9) (#16)
by gregholmes on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 08:38:59 AM EST

There were two state-wide counts of votes, by non-partisan machines (if we must use the p word). One doesn't have to agree to an "offer" by the loser to a third count; that's insane. Particularly when there were already magic "votes" being "found" by human counters (what, machines only make mistakes in one direction? It rather defies probability, to put it kindly).

Anyway, in any dispute there is generally someone right and someone wrong. The fact that they are in a dispute doesn't make them equals, or "partisan". It isn't "partisan" of me to oppose someone trying to rob me.



[ Parent ]
Machine Recounts (3.33 / 9) (#23)
by reshippie on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 09:36:54 AM EST

OK, so I'm biting at the flamebait, but here goes.

The machines are not set up to count punch cards that haven't been punched completely out. That is, if the square was punched, but it didn't come all the way off, it was not counted by machine. Those votes, however, are clearly identified by human eyes.

As for vote being "magically found" it *did* work both ways. In every recount, each candidate gained more votes, because more votes were determined.

Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)
[ Parent ]

non-partisan machines (3.33 / 6) (#30)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 11:10:42 AM EST

First, I'll admit my bias. I don't really like the thought of Albert Gore, Jr. or George W. Bush as president of the US. I voted for Ralph Nader and was quite disappointed by the scare tactics used by the Gore campaign to not "waste" their vote by voting for Ralph Nader. In retrospect, the people who chose note to vote for Ralph Nader but to vote for the "lesser of two evils" were the ones that wasted their votes.

My main point is that while the vote counting machines may have been non-partisan, they were also inadequate to the task at hand. George W. Bush's margin of victory considering all of the votes from all of Florida was lower than the margin of error for the vote-counting machines in the counties that Albert Gore, Jr. requested recounts in.

If George W. Bush has always had more votes in Florida, then he should have had nothing to fear from allowing the hand recounts to go ahead. It is only because he feared that his victory may have been due to an error on the part of the counting machines, that he found it necessary to continually block the hand recounts.

Much of this could have avoided by use of a system with (1) a lower margin of error by the counting machines and/or (2) a system that is less easy to incorrectly vote. Even though a system such as paper and pen ballots with optical scanners would have still had a margin of error larger than George W. Bush's margin of victory, counting paper and pen ballots by hand is far less ambiguous than the punch cards. Not to mention that paper and pen ballots are typically (but not necessarily) far harder to FUBAR than punch cards.

[ Parent ]

paper and pen is not less ambiguous (2.33 / 6) (#38)
by gregholmes on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 12:16:08 PM EST

counting paper and pen ballots by hand is far less ambiguous than the punch cards

Well, no. And the reason is we live in Clintonian times. People (especially Clintonian people) lie.

Might as well just say it. If machine "error" were the culprit, why would it always be in one direction? How could each Democrat county honestly come up with an extra 50, 300, 500 votes for Gore? Sorry, I wasn't born yesterday.



[ Parent ]
revisionism (3.16 / 6) (#44)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 01:27:04 PM EST

Might as well just say it. If machine "error" were the culprit, why would it always be in one direction? How could each Democrat county honestly come up with an extra 50, 300, 500 votes for Gore? Sorry, I wasn't born yesterday.

Perhaps you are speaking of different recounts than I am. The recounts I have seen reported had more votes for both candidates. The reason for this is the relatively large margin of error for punch card ballot reading machines. It would make sense that in counties where registered voters are predominantly democratic that a recount ends with more votes for the democratic candidate.

Now, if the same situation were occurring in areas with a system of much higher accuracy (like optical scanners for paper and pen ballots), I might be more suspicious than I am now. As for for living in Clintonian times, Republicans are just as corrupt as Democrats. Neither President Reagan nor President Bush was the paradigm of honesty in office. And don't forget Mr. "I am not a crook" President Nixon. The last time we had an honest president was when President Carter was in office, and let's face it, as respectable of a man Jimmy Carter is, he sucked as a president.

[ Parent ]

s/extra/net extra/ (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by gregholmes on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 06:43:37 AM EST

Sigh ... I meant 'net extra votes'. Fortunately this isn't an election, or what I meant wouldn't be relevant ;)

The point still stands ... no, they're not dumb enough just to produce extra Gore votes, but nonetheless it beggars belief that each "'hand recount" would result in a net gain for Gore. Only two possibilities could explain it:

  • Machines in democrat controlled counties were rigged, either against Gore or for Bush;
  • Humans, holding ballots up to the light ... well, lets be charitable and say they used subjective judgement.

I think it is obvious which one Occam's razor favors ...



[ Parent ]
Occam's razor (3.50 / 2) (#64)
by Amorsen on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 07:26:14 AM EST

There's a simpler explanation.

Assume you count votes in a district. The first count shows that 70% voted for A, 30% for B. However your counting machines randomly throw out 5% of all votes.

Now you decide to count with a different method that does not throw out any votes. Of the added votes, 70% are for choice A. Do you find that surprising?


Benny


[ Parent ]
So what evidence is there (none / 0) (#69)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 05:07:28 PM EST

That the rejected ballots meet any particular standard of "random"?



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
Bush has lied PLENTY (3.00 / 4) (#71)
by Lord Kano on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 07:33:53 PM EST

Bush lied at his Press Conference, 11/3/2000 Bush said he paid a fine on the spot and never went to court. As you can see on this document that is clearly a lie. Here is the text from the press conference:

Bush: "I told the guy I had been drinking and what do I need to do? And he said, "Here's the fine." I paid the fine and did my duty...."
Reporter: "Governor, was there any legal proceeding of any kind? Or did you just -- " Bush: "No. I pled -- you know, I said I was wrong and I ..."
Reporter: "In court? "
Bush: No, there was no court. I went to the police station. I said, "I'm wrong."

Bush Lied in Court, 1978 Bush got a court hearing to get his driving suspension lifted early, even though he had not completed a required driver rehabilitation course. He told the hearings officer that he drank only once a month, and just had "an occasional beer." The officer granted his request. But Bush continued drinking for 8 years after that date and has said publicly that he drank too much and had a drinking problem during that time. Presumably Bush was under oath during the hearing, though we haven't been able to pin down that detail. The Bush campaign refuses to comment on this contradiction.

Bush Lied To "The Dallas Morning News", 1998

"Just after the governor's reelection in 1998, [Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne] Slater pressed Bush about whether he had ever been arrested. 'He said, 'After 1968? No.'" Dallas Morning News, 11/03/2000 [Before 1968, Bush was arrested for theft and vandalism in college.]

Bush Lied On 'Meet The Press', 11/21/99

Tim Russert: "If someone came to you and said, 'Governor, I'm sorry, I'm going to go public with some information.' What do you do?"
Bush: "If someone was willing to go public with information that was damaging, you'd have heard about it by now. You've had heard about it now. My background has been scrutinized by all kinds of reporters. Tim, we can talk about this all morning."

Lying Under Oath. Bush & Co. Squelch Investigation of Contributor's Funeral Homes

In a (so far successful) attempt to stop a scandal, Bush perjured himself under oath, according to the sworn testimony of two of his political allies. The situation is amazingly similar to Clinton's Lewinsky problem: a potentially damaging lawuit arose (see below) that threatened to involve him. Just like Clinton, Bush swore an affidavit that he had no involvement in the case, which got him excused from testifying. And just like Clinton, the affidavit was proven false months later by new evidence. In this case, it's the recent sworn testimony of Robert MacNeil, a Bush appointee, that he had discussed the case with Bush at a fundraiser.

This scandal isn't as sexy as Monica's, but perjury is perjury, and this scandal actually involves the governor's job, not his sex life. Texas' state commission on funeral homes (the TFSC) started an investigation of SCI, the world's largest funeral home company (with 3,442 homes, plus 433 cemeteries) after complaints that unlicensed apprenctices were embalming corpses at 2 SCI embalming centers. The commission visited a couple of these, and ended up fining SCI $450,000.

But SCI pulled strings with the commission and with Bush himself. Shortly thereafter, the investigation was shut down and the agency's investigator was fired. She sought to question Bush for her lawsuit, and that's when he swore his admittedly false affidavit. In fact, that affidavit has been proven false twice now.

DETAILS: SCI has long cultivated Bush and his allies. They gave governor Bush $35,000 in the last election and $10K in 1994, gave $100,000 to the George Bush, Sr. library, and hired the ex-president to give a speech last year for $70,000. They also spread money around the Texas legislature and the Texas Attorney General's office.

After the investigation got serious, SCI's boss, Robert Waltrip, called the funeral commission's chairman and told him to "back off." If not, Waltrip said, "I'm going to take this to the governor."

Still, the investigation continued. So Waltrip and his lawyer/lobbyist, Johnnie B. Rogers, went to the governor's office and dropped off a letter demanding a halt to the investigation. Rogers told Newsweek that he and Waltrip were ushered in to see Joe Allbaugh, Bush's chief of staff (who is now Bush's campaign manager.) Rogers goes on to say that Bush Jr. popped his head in and said to Waltrip, "Hey, Bobby, are those people still messing with you?" Waltrip said yeah. Then the governor turned to Rogers and said, "Hey, Johnnie B. Are you taking care of him?" Rogers said "I'm doing my best, Governor."

The problem for Bush is that he swore under oath, in a July 20th 1999 affidavit, that he "had no conversations with [SCI] officials, agents, or represenatives concerning the investigation or any dispute arising from it." If Rogers is telling the truth, than Bush Jr. lied directly under oath. He filed the affidavit in an attempt to avoid testifying in a whistleblower lawsuit concerning this investigation and it's alleged squashing by Bush's administration.

Back in August of 1999, Bush himself admitted that he spoke with Waltrip and Rogers -- in other words, that he lied under oath -- but used Clintonesque denials to claim that it was nothing substantial. Bush told the Associated Press that "It's a 20-second conversation. I had no substantive conversation with the guy. Twenty seconds. That's hardly enough time to even say hello, much less sit down and have a substantive discussion. All I know is it lasted no time. And that hardly constitutes a serious discussion. I did not have any knowledge at all of Waltrip's problem with this case."

Of course, nothing Bush says here contradicts what Rogers said. In fact, his careful explanation of why this is not perjury is incredibly similar to Bill Clinton's weaseling about what the meaning of "is" is. And now MacNeil's sworn statement further confirms Bush's lie.

Whatever Bush said out loud, Waltrip's complaints to the governor got quick results. Eliza May -- the investigator for the funeral services commission -- says that after Waltrip visited the governor, she received phone calls from three senior Bush aides asking if she could wrap up her proble quickly. She says she was also summoned to another meeting in Allbaugh's office, one month after the first one, and found Waltrip already there. The governor's top aide, she says, demanded that she turn over a list of all of the documents that she needed "to close the SCI investigation."

Since then, investigator Eliza May has been fired, 6 or 10 staff members on the commission have been fired or resigned and not been replaced, and the Texas legislature -- led by members receiving substantial contributions from SCI -- passed a bill to reorganize the agency and remove it's head. On August 16, 199, Bush ordered his Comptroller to take over the agency and run it. May -- who, it should be noted, is a Democrat and was even state Democratic Treasurer at one point -- has filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging she was fired because she persisted with the investigation.

Bush simply didn't show up for his scheduled deposition on July 1st, 1999 in the case. (He isn't a defendant in the case, because Governors are immune from lawsuits in Texas, but is being called as a material witness.) He filed his affidavit on July 20th to indicate that he had nothing to add.

Now Robert MacNeil -- who was the chairman of the Texas funeral commission at the time, a Bush appointee -- confirms that he also discussed the case with Bush, at a 1998 Texas fundraiser. In a sworn deposition, MacNeil says that Bush asked him: "Have you and Mr. Waltrip got your problems worked out?" Replied McNeil: "We're still trying to work on that, governor." Bush then said, "Do your job." Bush's campaign says that MacNeil's statement is false. But the language MacNeil says Bush used is almost identical to what he admits saying to Johnnie Rodgers in the governor's office.



[ Parent ]

logic (2.70 / 10) (#19)
by gregholmes on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 08:55:50 AM EST

As to logic, that's kind of the point; He didn't have more votes, and spent over a month trying to somehow change that fact.

He's the one who said his campaign continues. He's the one who tried to implement shifting standards (dimpled chads). His opponent had to appeal his legal actions and file defensive lawsuits; you have to do something when you are under legal attack. And before you even try, "citizens" don't file lawsuits in less than a day. Mom and Pop citizen would't even know how.



[ Parent ]
how do you know? (3.18 / 11) (#20)
by streetlawyer on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 09:02:18 AM EST

He didn't have more votes

How do you know this? On the basis of a single, unchecked machine count.

Luckily, I read in the Times this morning that the Miami Herald plans to request all the state's ballots under the FOIA and publish the results of an audited hand count. The truth will out . . . .

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Okay (3.16 / 6) (#27)
by FlinkDelDinky on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 10:54:58 AM EST

Do you know what standard they are going to use? Will they include the military ballots that the Demecrats tried to throw out.

Is a pregnant chad a vote? If so, why?

[ Parent ]

Hopefully the Miami Herald will fully disclose (3.66 / 6) (#31)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 11:15:24 AM EST

Personally, I would find a diligently researched report that examined all possible counts (individual tallies of ballots with single pregant chads, pregnant chads across the board, dangling chads, dimpled chads, etc.) very interesting.

Legally speaking, the report will not be of any interest. Accademically and politcally such a report will be very interesting. Hopefully, the lesson learned in this entire brouhaha is that punch card ballots suck canal water. I hope more districts move to systems with lower margins of error and that are easier to determine the intent of the voter when doing recounts.

[ Parent ]

Mee too. (3.00 / 2) (#55)
by FlinkDelDinky on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 06:06:42 PM EST

I'd find that intresting too.

As I understand the supreme courts ruling, the states are going to have to unify their voting methods if they're going to allow hand counts.

However, I think congress will act to unify the whole voting system. I even suspect we could end up with a nationally standard ballot.

But the electoral college is here to stay. There's no way to get the small states to give up the power that it gives them. So the votes in congress won't be there to change that part of the constitution.

[ Parent ]

Can't have a single national standard. (4.00 / 1) (#66)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 12:10:51 PM EST

A lot of the suggested improvements for voting (single standard, extended voting day, etc..) would require amendment of the constitution.

Plus, if nothing else a single, national standard would make it easier for voting fraud: Once someone figures out how to rig the system, they could do it anywhere in the country. A variety of systems (all meeting certain minimum standards, perhaps) would limit the damage if one of them was cracked.



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
What good comes of such a count? (3.00 / 6) (#34)
by Dakkon on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 11:40:26 AM EST

Luckily, I read in the Times this morning that the Miami Herald plans to request all the state's ballots under the FOIA and publish the results of an audited hand count. The truth will out . . . .

To what purpose? There can be no possible good that comes out of such a count. What is the motivation for doing this? I'll tell you, the Herald is hoping to prove that Gore should have won. What good does this do? None, all it does is stir up trouble and make it difficult for Bush to do his job. Even if the totals swing the other way, the margin of error will STILL be higher than that of victory. No matter who apparently comes out in the lead. Besides which, aren't we all going to have a good laugh at the expense of the Herald and Gore if Bush still comes out on top?

The most mature and responsible thing the American people can do at this point is to let this matter die and move on with our lives. There is valuable knowledge to be gained from this experience, but it has nothing at all to do with what the true totals are. The knowledge that we should take away from this is that the voting system needs to be reformed. We need to create s certain level of standards in order to prevent this from ever happening again. But at this point we should step up to the plate and support President Elect Bush whether we like him or not. We do not need 4 years of gridlock. We need 4 years of good hard work from the gov't.

IMNSHO
Dakkon

[ Parent ]
Doesn't happen by itself... (3.40 / 5) (#46)
by Trencher on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 02:11:38 PM EST

The most mature and responsible thing the American people can do at this point is to let this matter die and move on with our lives. There is valuable knowledge to be gained from this experience, but it has nothing at all to do with what the true totals are. The knowledge that we should take away from this is that the voting system needs to be reformed. We need to create s certain level of standards in order to prevent this from ever happening again.
Oh, if only it were so simple...

Things like voting system reform don't get themselves done. I'm not willing to trust the "powers that be" to get it done either. For all I know, those powers are perfectly happy with the current standards because it gives them a little flexibility in a close race to push their candidate into office. Much more likely, someone will be given the job, research the matter for a few day, and come up with some convincing statistics indicating that this situation won't be seen again for 225 years. That is not acceptable.

Besides that, there's the matter of the electoral college, which in my opinion is the bigger issue. It is not possible to argue that Gore lost the popular vote nationwide; the population he won just happened to fall in such a way as to give Bush more electoral votes. I understand the reasons given for the creation of the electoral college, and the idea has some merit, but this particular implementation needs some work.

First of all, there's some problem with the candidates not receiving the electoral votes for the individual districts that they won. The electoral votes do not reflect the popular vote as they would were they tallied by district instead of by state. We need a method of sending a clear message to the electorates indicating who we want as out president.

Second, the fact that over half of the electorates are not required to vote as their state election indicated they should is also very troubling. This tells me that any electorate could be swayed with just the right offer of money, power, contributions to their charitable organizaztion, or whatever their weak spot is. It may not happen often (I really don't know the frequency and would love some info) but it can still happen.

These are the issues that need to be addressed. The system is not going to handle them by itself, it needs a bit of a shove. So how do we go about giving it that?


"Arguing online is like the Special Olympics. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you're still a retard." RWR
[ Parent ]
The Electoral college is fine (3.80 / 5) (#48)
by Dakkon on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 03:36:00 PM EST

I understand the reasons given for the creation of the electoral college, and the idea has some merit, but this particular implementation needs some work.

Actually, the EC works just fine doing exactly what it was designed to do.

First of all, there's some problem with the candidates not receiving the electoral votes for the individual districts that they won. The electoral votes do not reflect the popular vote as they would were they tallied by district instead of by state.

Which is as it should be. Let me set up a hypothetical situation for you. Suppose for the moment that Al Gore recieves 100% of the votes in California. Suppose that he also recieves 100% of the votes in New York, Michigan, and Flordia. I'm not entirely sure what the combined electoral total is there but it is over 100. Now suppose also, that George Bush Jr. recieves 100% of the votes in EVERY single other state in the nation. Now, I'm not entirely sure how the popular vote totals would come out, but I suspect that they would still be in favor of Gore. For the sake of the argument, assume that they do. So, Al Gore has recieved more popular votes, but he has only captured 4 states in the entire country.
Who should win?
My answer is Bush. Why? Because Bush has a far more wide spread approval. When looking at the distribution, there is a greater selection of cities/towns/rural areas that support Bush.

I know that situation is near impossible to occur, but something close to it happens every election. Gore recieved the bulk of the votes in California. I've got news for you. Florida wasn't the key in this election. California was. Pull CA out of the picture and Bush handily wins the popular vote even without Florida or their electoral vote. Why shoudl California dictate it's wishes to the rest of the nation? A large percentage of the rest of the nation would prefer to have Bush. At any rate, this is why the Electoral College was created, because just because you win the popular vote, that does not neccesarily mean that you should be President.

As to what we should do about it, well, I have a solution. And this also backs up why there is nothing wrong with the EC. The problem with our voting system lies in the fact that you can win with a plurality. Yes Gore got more popular votes, but he did not get a majority. He had less than 50% of the votes cast in this nation.

The reason this problem exists is because of the way we cast our votes. We cast a single vote for the candidate which we would most like to see win. Or as the cynical put it, the candidate who we think will hurt us the least.

The answer? No, it's not multiple votes, at least not exactly. The answer is approval voting. You cast a yes or no vote for every candidate. Either you approve of a person, or you don't. Lets add a little twist to this. Suppose John McCain had been on the ballot this Nov. Do you think he would have won? I do, and by a landslide.

So, now we have a ballot, that has on it, Gore, Bush, McCain, Nader, and Browne. I vote yes Bush, McCain, and Browne. I vote No, Gore, and Nader. How many Democrats do you think would have voted Yes Gore, Nader, and McCain? I think an afwul lot would have. This changes the criteria for a win. What is required now, is that you get the largest approval. This message accurately reflects who the most people accross the country would like to see get in office, and you needn't have any fear of voting for a third party candidate either. It also allows for (and this may not be a good thing) a party to run more than one candidate.

Now, just in case you don't believe me that this makes sense, you can go here http://www.discover.com/nov_00/featbestman.html and read about how it is mathematically sound. On this page you'll also see another voting method called the "Borda count", which I personally think is better, but I also think most people in the country are too stupid to figure out how it works. Approval voting is simple enough that everyone can understand it.

I think this method has a lot of potential, and I think it would solve the problem rather than just ignoring the problem like trying to change the EC would.

Dakkon

[ Parent ]
EC Must go (none / 0) (#68)
by barole on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 03:00:47 PM EST

I do not understand why people who live in less populated states should have more voting power when it comes to presidential elections. I can see how someone might argue that, but what do you tell to a Californian whose incremental voting power is much less than someone in wyoming?

Why not apply the EC principle to other categories? For example, african americans are a minority in the US. Why not group them together as a big block and weigh that block heavily in the EC. That way, the larger ethnic groups (caucasians) would not be able to force their whims on minorities. This to me would make more sense then grouping into artificial (state) categories.

Better yet, just get rid of the EC.

[ Parent ]

how do I know? (3.37 / 8) (#36)
by gregholmes on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 12:10:16 PM EST

The way everyone has always known who has more votes - they were tabulated according to established laws and rules. There was even a previously established recount procedure for very close elections, and it was followed. As is usual for recounts, the winner still won.



[ Parent ]
uhhh, you're wrong on this one (4.00 / 3) (#53)
by el_guapo on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 05:20:12 PM EST

"How do you know this? On the basis of a single, unchecked machine count" there WAS a statewide recount. Florida law required it. SO: the entire state was counted by machine, and then the ENTIRE state was RECOUNTED by machine. Bush's lead was trimmed a bit by that recount, but he maintained a lead...
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
machine counting (none / 0) (#78)
by Delirium on Sun Dec 17, 2000 at 04:07:37 AM EST

However, a machine count with outdated punch-card machines is not indicative of real vote totals except as a decent approximation. The simple fact that the two machine counts differed by around 1000 votes in their margins, when the margin of victory was less than 1000 votes, should raise some red flags. IMHO unless you can count twice and get reasonably close totals both times you can't say you've counted accurately.

[ Parent ]
SL, are you a closet Democrat per chance? (3.85 / 7) (#29)
by jabber on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 11:01:35 AM EST

Hauling out the "non-partisan" card, and then creatively recounting ballots, in predominantly Democrat counties.. and then counting again, to make sure no bumps were missed.. and then shaking the box of ballots to make the 'loose chads' easier to see..

The whole process was a mockery of the Democracy in which it vailed itself - and the Democrats have been notorious in the recent years, for telling people what they want to hear and for twisting public opinion with rhetoric.

Official disclaimer: Unless stated otherwise, my words are opinion. I am NOT a Political Scientist, not a Washington insider, nor do I spend all my free time reading obscure journals in the hope of being perceived as competent. I just call it as I see it - I try to apply Occam's Razor to the tender foreskin of popular culture. If you have solid information contrary to my opinions, or better yet, items I claim to be facts - by all means, illucidate the matter. If you do not, please, state opinions as such; since opinions presented in an authoritative tone tend to mislead the misinformed.

Gore is clearly a better orator than Bush. Bush seems to be more consistent in his stance on issues. Gore appears more intelligent. Bush appears more sincere.

Let's ask the following: What is the role of the President?

IMO, I feel that the President is, first and foremost, the representative of the country before the rest of the world. He also is the deciding voice on matters of law enforcement - as head of the Executive Branch. He does not make the tax laws, nor does he (the President need not be male obviously, but it's easier to just us 'he') dictate Medicare reform - all he can do is support such action when undertaken by the Congress. He does dictate Foreign Policy IIRC, and as such, we're back to being a representative of the country.

In that capactiy, and for that purpose, I think Gore should have won. He is a much better figure-head than Bush Jr.. He has a more dignified presence, and when dealing with photo-ops, international visits and speaches, I think that's important.

But Gore seems insincere. We have seen the Clinton-Gore team flip-flop and weasel for many years, and looking back at their separate careers, we see that they've done that all along. CNN had a great series of articles on "Being Gore" which outlined his political career - impressive politician, but not exactly a man of his word. Gore lost the election by association, the moment that Clinton tried to argue the definition of 'sex'. If Chelsea blew a frat-boy, it would have been sex.. Clinton got away with it because he knew the law - he hacked the system - he showed people that we are not all equal before The Law. Gore tried to win the election in the same way, and I think that more people than just I noticed the similarity.

I have a hard time respecting Gore. I had a hard time believing that he would do as he said he would. Too many times, he seemed to completely change his stance, at great cost to others, when it benefitted him. As such, on a very subjective and personal level, I don't think he deserved the Honor of being President.

Now, if I had to think about it that way - in addition to the differences between Bush and Gore's qualifications, their platforms, their past policies.... If I had to choose between two options - when even choosing one left me tossing a coin, then I am not at all surprised by the indecisiveness of the election.

But that's not the issue now. The issue now is the recount, and the month of time, effort and frustration that followed. And Gore's insistence on legal maneuvering, the litigation, the variable scope of the recounts, the image of small time beurocrats looking at ballots at all sorts of odd angles to see if a dimple lines up with a coordinate that would mean "Gore" or "Bush" (in the probable hope of furthering their own meager political goals...) The whole spectacle left me disgusted, and more so with Gore - who (to me) came across as a whinny, spoiled brat, threatenning to hold his breath (and ours as well) until he got his way.

I think that through their counter-actions, the Republicans gave Gore just enough rope to hang himself. He didn't just lose this election, he lost the next one, and the next one as well, IMO. Gore took it all the way to the Supreme Court, on the basis of 'pregnant chads'. He lost, not because he changed his mind, but because he ran out of people to sue. If he could have appealed to the Hague, I'm convinced that he would have - it was good for his career, the welfare of the country be damned - an in that vein, I am glad that he lost (not that Bush won). When voter "intent" needs "interpretation", the ballot should be automatically thrown out - and it's nobody's fault but that of the voter, who was too apathetic, or ignorant, to be unambiguous.

A month ago, I ranted about the pointlessness of this Election, and about how it really didn't matter who won, because both viable options were effectively the same. I also made a point of saying that they are all too entrenched in D.C for anything to change any time soon. And it is this that bothers me most. 4 years of Gush or Bore, with a Senate divided down the middle (I guess Lieberman was lucky to have run for Senator as well as VP, huh?) and a House with a scant Rep majority of ~4%, we can pretty much bet that nothing will change. But the sad part is that it's effectively a Cartel.

And the biggest strike against Gore in my opinion, the suits. Suing for Presidency is the final nail in the coffin of popular respect for both the politicians, and the lawyers. And a good thing to. RIP, the whole lot of them. Al Gore, President of the Sue S. A. It's got a ring to it, don't you think?

I do hope that the Miami Herald gets their grubby little paws on the ballots. I hope they recount accurately - with an evenly distributed, and narrow, margin of error. I hope they do so without trying to imagine what the votes might have been thinking when they didn't push hard enough to punch through the paper completely... Maybe all those people just remembered that they'd left their turn-signal on when they parked - who cares?

I hope the recounted numbers don't precipitate more lawsuits, or D.C. to push the UNDO button on the Inauguration. And I sincerely hope that the ancient Indian curse is true - the one about every President elected in a "0" year dying in office. Is that why Gore was trying to hold back laughter during his speach?

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

no: I am indifferent between capitalist parties (3.15 / 13) (#35)
by streetlawyer on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 11:54:48 AM EST

Hauling out the "non-partisan" card, and then creatively recounting ballots, in predominantly Democrat counties.. and then counting again, to make sure no bumps were missed.. and then shaking the box of ballots to make the 'loose chads' easier to see..

I only did the first of these.

Unless stated otherwise, my words are opinion

Unless stated otherwise, your words are shit. For fuck's sake. You haven't even read my post, which corrected a simple logical error. Instead, you've bruised in, made a major mistake before your second comma, and then proceeded to churn out about a thousand words of spam utterly unrelated to the issue. Then you slander the Miami Herald by implication and start talking shit about an "evenly distributed" margin of error; you clearly don't understand the issues. Your final paragraph about what you "hope" is laughable; after wasting our time with this shit, do you honestly expect anyone to care what you hope?

Yeah, I'm being a prick. But I honestly think it's warranted. It is peoples' responsibility to inform themselves. More than that, it's people's responsibility to fucking *think* about important issues. If someone is quite obviously just reproducing second hand boilerplate, they deserve to get a reply that will force them to think.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Thank you for your feedback (3.12 / 8) (#43)
by jabber on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 01:07:31 PM EST

I never said you did ANY of these, nevermind the first of them - It's what the Democrats did.

My comment included my response to a topic raised in lower-level post by you. Judging by your level of hostility, you are not responding to only this one particular post by me, but to something else entirely. Call me (and others) names if you feel the need to do so, point out logical flaws, then harass me about my spelling and grammar - but realize that a discussion board is more of a soap-box than a poduim or pulpit.

How exactly did I 'slander' the Herald? The 'grubby little hands' reference? Aren't these the people who picked through Gary Hart's garbage to find evidence of his affair with Donna Rice? I'm sorry, but if that's their manner of doing investigative reporting, then maybe it'd be better if they didn't get involved in yet another recount. That is my shit/opinion BTW, just so there's no misunderstandings.

As for the "evenly distributed margin of error" comment - take a few steps back and look on the way this whole recount fiasco appears to an outsider.. (Hyperbole warning!) "Let's count all the votes fairly. Ooops, looks like Bush won. Let's recount the counties where Gore should have won, and give some of the 'undecided' votes to Gore. Looks like Bush still won? Let's count dimples and sue someone." The situation just appears slanted - by 'evenly distributed', I mean 'flip a coin' for every non-obvious vote, since it doesn't seem that this was the strategy used so far.

If Gore's people had called for a state-wide recount from the start, I'd have a different OPINION - but there was an obvious tug of war here, and I just HOPE that the Herald isn't subject to political pressures to the point of interpreting voter intent.

It is very possible that I am wrong. I have less time than I would like, for keeping well aware of law and politics. Can you refer me to a reliable, reputable and accessible source of information that will let me educate myself? One that won't require me to take an extended leave of absence while I attend Law School? Please? I would absolutely prefer to be educated and correctly informed than not - even if you must insult me in the process. What you say may be the absolute truth, but I would like a second opinion from a recognised authority before I start singing your praises.

You are completely right. It is people's responsibility to think about important issues. That is what we're all trying to do here - not just learn the facts, but also what we think about them, and how we think things ought to be. Believe it or not, I do take the information you provide into account. It's very interesting to hear what someone with more time to devote to the subject, and an ear closer to the ground in this case, has to say about it all. The only thing I really dislike about your posts is the Holier Than Thou - "I'm an expert so you should all applaud me" attitude with which you clobber everyone else's posts. Very few people here have your degree of sophistication on political and legal subjects. As an authoritative source of information, it would be nice, I hope, hope, hope, if you could be just a little bit gracious about correcting people.

GregHolmes' post was obviously an opinion. Was your correction of the minutia in his logic even needed to add any sort of value? Or was it just an opportunity to show everyone how big your brain is?

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Gah (2.57 / 7) (#45)
by Trencher on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 01:48:20 PM EST

I just HATE 300-word posts that don't say a thing.


"Arguing online is like the Special Olympics. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you're still a retard." RWR
[ Parent ]
Someone (3.80 / 5) (#50)
by Khedak on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 04:59:45 PM EST

Someone rated this comment below 1 for some reason. That rating is for spam, not for commentary you disagree with. Vote 1 if you must, but 0 is not intended for that purpose. I don't agree with this post either, but I don't see how it can rate below zero when a response to it rates 4.33, except that they're abusing their powers.

[ Parent ]
The Real Loser Is K5 (2.33 / 3) (#54)
by kagaku_ninja on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 06:03:16 PM EST

This confirms the issues raised in previous topics re: whether the K5 moderation scheme is broken. I've been watching intelligent posts fluctuate from 5.0 down to 2.X. I also noticed that by posting an opinion (rated to 2.0), I've lost too much mojo to rate posts at 0 (not that I've felt the need today...)

[ Parent ]
Why didn't Bush agree to the recounts? (2.83 / 6) (#40)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 12:44:53 PM EST

Let's see if I can explain this using small words:

  1. Gore wanted the "undervotes" counted - but only those from heavily democratic counties. These are ballots that had no machine-readable vote for president.
  2. The legal standard in Florida is that the local elected officials get to try to "discern" (i.e., "guess") what the undervoted ballot actually meant.

Hmmm... Democract officials "discerning" the hidden votes on blank pieces of paper. Who do you think they would have given those votes to?



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
And by the way... (2.66 / 3) (#41)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 12:47:29 PM EST

I didn't vote for Bush.



People who think "clown" is an insult have never met any.
[ Parent ]
Re: Why didn't Bush agree to the recounts? (2.00 / 3) (#52)
by Perpetual Newbie on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 05:19:26 PM EST

On the first note, in a nationally televised address, Gore asked for the entire state of Florida's ballots to be recounted. Bush wouldn't deal. On the second, reports I have seen about the ballot counting involve each ballot being examined by a Republican and Democrat chained together, and if a change is determined the ballot is then examined by a Republican lawyer and a Democratic lawyer.

[ Parent ]
Statewide recount (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by Potsy on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 01:13:42 AM EST

Gore only called for the statewide recount after it was too late to do so. It was pure posturing.

Florida law allows anyone to request a hand recount in any county, as long as the request is made within 3 days after the election. Gore's speech came long after that 3 day deadline had passed, so what he was asking could not legally be done. He knew it, too. He just said it so that people like you would come back later and say, "They wanted to do a full recount, but the Repubicans said no. See what a bunch of assholes they are?"

I really wish at least one of the parties had called for a manual recount in all of Florida's counties before the 3 day deadline. Which ever one did it first could have siezed the moral highground, and said "We want every vote to count. Our opponents, on the other hand..." Too bad neither party had the balls to do that.

[ Parent ]

Lost what? (3.14 / 7) (#33)
by analog on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 11:34:38 AM EST

Pardon me, but in a Presidential election, two sets of votes happen; the popular vote, and the Electoral vote. The Electoral vote won't happen for a few days yet, and Gore won the other one. I think it's been pretty clear since the day of the election that his chances of winning the Electoral vote have been somewhere between zero and none, but at least try to keep some perspective while you gloat.

I should also point out that if you think Bush wouldn't have done the same thing had the situations been reversed you're living in fantasyland. Remember, this is the guy who has been constantly using the phrase "will of the American people" when the American people clearly voted for the other guy, and it's only a technical quirk in how the process works that gave the election to him. Contrary to what the screaming zealots on either side claim, no party has a monopoly on hypocrisy.

[ Parent ]

Flawed (2.16 / 12) (#12)
by Nickus on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 06:32:04 AM EST

I wouldn't say that it has strengthen the democracy in USA. Rather it has shown how flawed it is if they can't even manage a simple election. Yes, simple. You vote and you count and you sum up. Even third-world countries can do that :-).



Due to budget cuts, light at end of tunnel will be out. --Unknown
Broken? maybe just a little frayed at the edges (3.25 / 4) (#17)
by tetsuo on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 08:42:38 AM EST

Even though I didn't like the postponing of the coronation for the new kin^H^H^Hpresident, I think the fact that people can protest and express displeasure (admittedly some did it in a much less than mature manner), that they can challenge claims in a tight race, is a pretty good indication that the system is working and isn't flawed. In the end, those that have been entrusted with interpreting the law did so, and Gore conceded in the face of.

Perhaps (groan) it's not so much the system to blame as the sensationialist media American Culture has created; every crackpot who wanted to rant, wether legally correct or no, was given a soapbox and 15 minutes. But that could be cold-medicine-caused cynicsm poking through.


[ Parent ]
Electors (2.80 / 5) (#21)
by Nickus on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 09:31:52 AM EST

But what if three electors change side on 18th of December and suddenly Al Gore is the president. If this was a media cirkus, what do you people think would happen then?

Due to budget cuts, light at end of tunnel will be out. --Unknown
[ Parent ]
I'd love to see it (2.80 / 5) (#24)
by reshippie on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 09:41:18 AM EST

It would be the funniest thing to ever happen in American politics. Too bad it isn't going to happen. Besides, do we really want to see the media catastrophe that would erupt?

I wonder what Gore would do if the EC chose him as the President? Has conceded the election, but according to the US Constitution he would be the rightful President.



Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)
[ Parent ]

Re: Electors (2.50 / 4) (#25)
by galen on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 09:55:38 AM EST

But what if three electors change side on 18th of December and suddenly Al Gore is the president? If this was a media circus, what do you people think would happen then?

This could happen without any electors "changing sides"; all it would take is for a handful of electors to abstain.

If an elector changed sides, Congress could refuse to honor the vote, but if an elector abstained, then it would be much more difficult for them to do so.

As for the circus, America always loves a show.
Time flies like an arrow. Time arrows with a stopwatch.
[ Parent ]

broken? (3.00 / 3) (#28)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 10:58:01 AM EST

In this contest the margin of error of the machines used to count votes was higher than the margin of victory in a key state (Florida) of millions of voters. This 'broken' system took just over a month to peacefully decide the rules used to determine the winner of the election through the existing legal system. How is that broken? I would contend that the system is broken in other ways (such as the shutout of non-demopublican politcal parties). But the way the dispute between Albert Gore, Jr. and George W. Bush was handled vindicates the rule of law in the US.

[ Parent ]
Maybe (4.00 / 4) (#37)
by Khedak on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 12:11:08 PM EST

But the way the dispute between Albert Gore, Jr. and George W. Bush was handled vindicates the rule of law in the US.

If you think that every decision made by every court in this whole process was the correct one, then yes, that does seem vindicating for the United States' democratic election system. But to me it seems that important questions were not asked until after the election, and parties on both sides tried their best to skew the results of the election in favor of their own side. We have only the word of the popular news media to believe that everything has occured in a 'kosher' fashion. There's not really any way that U.S. citizens can hold accountable the people responsible for much of the election hassle, since many of them are appointees. Now, after 36 days, we're told it's over, and we're supposed to breath a sigh of relief. I'm not relieved: I think serious reform is needed in the election process, at the least, and I'd be wary of claims that the Rule of Law has been vindicated and needs no change.

With a margin of error so small, and the proceedings being handled in so many different courts and offices, I don't see why we're supposed to accept that the correct decision was made. We're really in the dark as far as the truth is concerned, and I think it's plain to see that in this case the winner was determined by who had the most money, the most judges for their party on the bench, and the most clever lawyers and other officials on their side. This doesn't mean Gore should be president: He conceded, and what's more his people attempted the same exact kinds of deception that Bush's people attempted (pressure to throw out unfavorable ballots, complain when favorable ballots are thrown out, use of rehtoric to obtain popular support without basis in fact.)Who knows if we'll ever know what really happened in Florida? It's scandalous, and I for one do not accept that our system is satisfactory in light of what has happened.

[ Parent ]
maybe I'm being too pragmatic (3.25 / 4) (#42)
by Anonymous 242 on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 01:03:20 PM EST

me: But the way the dispute between Albert Gore, Jr. and George W. Bush was handled vindicates the rule of law in the US.
Khedak: If you think that every decision made by every court in this whole process was the correct one, then yes, that does seem vindicating for the United States' democratic election system.

Actually, I think that Albert Gore, Jr. got royally screwed by the US Supreme Court. The issue is not whether any particular ruling by the any particular court. The issue is that ruling were made that both parties involved are willing to accept. There were no riots and though there continues to be heated disagreement, the issue has been resolved in a peaceful manner. The US has a president-elect seen as legitimate by the people of the US. You personally may disagree with the legitamacy of the president-elect, but the vast majority of US citizens will accept and acknowledge George W. Bush as having the same right to be president as any other president-elect.

Khedak: But to me it seems that important questions were not asked until after the election, and parties on both sides tried their best to skew the results of the election in favor of their own side. We have only the word of the popular news media to believe that everything has occured in a 'kosher' fashion. There's not really any way that U.S. citizens can hold accountable the people responsible for much of the election hassle, since many of them are appointees.

In other words, welcome back to the status quo. Its been a nice trip, but now we're back to business as usual for better or for worse.

Khedak: Who knows if we'll ever know what really happened in Florida? It's scandalous, and I for one do not accept that our system is satisfactory in light of what has happened.

If it took this particular election snafu to create doubt in your mind about the way the US government runs, you are either very young or just had your rose color glasses lifted. In the governing of any organization as large as the US, there will always be room for corruption and scandal. Corruption and scandal are endemic to politcal organizations. The best one can hope for is to keep such to a minimal amount and to make equal potential for all comers.

I'm not one to start proposing that the US is the be-all-and-end-all example of democracy in actions. The US has plenty of flaws. The US is a police state to an extent unrealized by most of the native population. However, one must also acknowledge that US citizens have more freedom and more say in the governing of the US than in many other countries. Is the system perfect? No. Do some things need to be changed? Yes. Is the system broken beyond repair? Certainly not.

Keep this in context, two candidates received virtually the same percentage of votes (a nationwide margin of victory in the popular vote of only 300,000 out of two hundred and how many millions?). Their differences were worked out peacefully and in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Now if you want to start critizing the real ways in which the system needs to be changed (such as lower barriers of entry into the presidential and vice-presidential debates, Nader/LaDuke got shafted to no small extent on that one) be my guest. The US system could certainly use many improvements in many different areas. But the system works and the people of the US are getting the president they chose through the processes that the people of the US have put together.

[ Parent ]

I agree with you (3.00 / 3) (#51)
by Khedak on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 05:18:18 PM EST

Everything you said about the status quo, about the need to shift away from the Demopublican party's monopoly on politics, and it would be hopelessly naive to think that this was some sort of change from the usual state of affairs (though I do not, as you supposed, think this is the case). Also, the United States is a police state, and although we have many more freedoms than citizens of other countries, there is a small percentage of people with the most money and power who control a disproportionate (well, proportionate in terms of money) amount of the government and the populace.

That all said, you then proceed to berate me for questioning the election system because as you put it:

Keep this in context, two candidates received virtually the same percentage of votes (a nationwide margin of victory in the popular vote of only 300,000 out of two hundred and how many millions?). Their differences were worked out peacefully and in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

That may be so, but most of the things mentioned in the first paragraph happen "peacefully and in accordance with local, state and federal laws" (police brutality being a noted exception). So if you recognize that our laws and our government in general have serious flaws, then why do you insist that because the election was carried out according to those laws, we should be satisfied? I'm not just saying the election laws need to be revised, I'm saying there's fundamentally wrong with our government and power structure (particularly accountability of rich special interests in the government and the violation of basic human rights through censorship, police brutality, the war on drugs, etc.) and that this election was demonstrative of that fact as much as the Rodney King beating, trial, riots, and re-trial (for example). Saying we should be satisfied becaused the people 'got who they want' may be true, just as much as people 'get what they want' when they read a tabloid. That doesn't make the election or the tabloid particularly virtuous or vindicating of the parties responsible for them.

[ Parent ]
Maybe I'm too pessimistic (2.00 / 1) (#65)
by Anonymous 242 on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 11:07:09 AM EST

So if you recognize that our laws and our government in general have serious flaws, then why do you insist that because the election was carried out according to those laws, we should be satisfied?

Given what I understand of history and given what I understand of human nature, even with the serious flaws in the governmental and societal systems of the US, I consider the current status quo to be on par with as good as it things are going to get for the common person. Certainly some things could stand to be changed, but the changes that might come about will not have any effect on an order of magnitude. For example opening up the political landscape to more political parties would only bring about incremental change in the level of choice of politicians for voters to vote for.

Throughout history, society has almost always been run by a few people with power and money. This is just the way we are. We the people have always been satisfied with the Weekly World News and the National Enquirer instead of the likes the Christian Science Monitor or Mother Jones. Revolutions typically turn more on the price of bread and tea than on the idea of true freedom. There are exceptions, but even the American Revolution was led by an oligarchy of rich people. The masses simply followed.

[ Parent ]

MLP-age (2.83 / 6) (#13)
by ksandstr on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 06:43:06 AM EST

There's a worthy article on pigdog.org regarding the election...



Fin.
Hmm. (2.75 / 4) (#22)
by Dolgan on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 09:36:36 AM EST

Excellent. Why don't you submit and we'll see how it holds up?

I can't say there's a big chance I'll vote it up. I prefer to read articles on k5, by k5ers. But hey. Your story might still get posted if more people don't mind linking to a nifty opinion piece that could have been written by a k5er. Who knows?

[ Parent ]

Pathetic (2.57 / 7) (#47)
by kagaku_ninja on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 02:44:38 PM EST

Gore demonstrated exactly why he lost the election to an unqualified yahoo, with a fraction of Gore's political experience.

That was one of the most bland and boring speeches I have had the misfortune to listen to in a long time (perhaps the fact that I rarely watch TV has something to do with this...)

There was no fire, no passion. No sense that this man, he is the one. The one who can lead our entire country.

Gore just had the election stolen from him by a flawed vote count (either deliberate, or due to incompetance; I leave that to others to decide). His response was to roll over, to repeat mindless platitudes about our great country. His speech was the safe way out: appeal for unity and invoke the Myth of America.

Welcome to the dustbin of history. Say hello to Dukakkis and Quayle. The only consolations I have about this sorry affair are that we had a lawful transfer of power, and that Bush will be unable to implement any legislation that is too right of center.

and Bush's was amazing? (none / 0) (#79)
by Delirium on Sun Dec 17, 2000 at 04:24:39 AM EST

While I have to agree that Gore's speech was pretty boring, did you really think Bush's speech an hour later was any more interesting? It was painfully obvious that he read it in its entirety off the two teleprompters on either side of the camera (in fact when he read a fairly long Jefferson quote he didn't even look down to refer to the quote he was reading as people usually do, just kept talking at the audience; he could've at least *pretended* to not be reading his entire speech a little better). Not to mention that it was pretty boring material in the first place.

[ Parent ]
Political Definition (4.00 / 12) (#49)
by Malicose on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 04:26:26 PM EST

al·go·rithm [also al·gore·ithm]

a procedure used in mathematical computation which is repeated until a desired outcome is obtained; a calculated set of instructions used to manufacture results


What burns me (2.50 / 10) (#56)
by metachimp on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 07:10:53 PM EST

About all this is that those of us who watched on in bewilderment as the Republicans tried everything they could to discredit Clinton, with everything from Whitewater( still, NO EVIDENCE OF WRONGDOING) to the impeachment fiasco, are now supposed to suddenly forget all that and reach for unity with the Republicans. Why? What have they done for us lately? It's the Republicans who started all this partisan crap to begin with, and now we're supposed to forget about the last 6 years as if it never happened? Wrong-o.

Republicans hated Clinton, this much is very clear. They hate Hillary Clinton even more, which I just can't get. The question on my mind is, what, exactly, did he do that was so wrong? There isn't an answer to this. Why?

It boils down to this: the Republicans were mad because they didn't have control of the White House, and falling in line with their rich tradition of dirty tricks, which goes all the way back to Nixon and beyond they tried everything they could to discredit Clinton, even though he was elected by decisive majorities each time.

Makes me wonder just who the sore losers have been in this whole adventure.

George W. is president by a thin majority of electoral votes, the Supreme Court totally blew their credibility, all over a president who has a better chance of winning a gold medal in women's gymnastics than getting elected to a second term.

Re: What burns me (3.83 / 6) (#58)
by Malicose on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 07:41:10 PM EST

You seem to have missed the point of Clinton's impeachment: he deliberately, willfully gave false and misleading testimony under oath. This little crime of perjury should be taken very seriously when it comes from the leader of our nation! There's a very good chance Clinton will be charged for committing other transgressions as soon as he's out of the Oval Office.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps, but... (2.33 / 3) (#70)
by metachimp on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 05:22:11 PM EST

A case of minor perjury pales in comparison to stuff like the October Surprise, Iran-Contra, Savings and Loan bailout. Do you honestly believe that the buck stopped where it supposedly did in those events? Lying under oath is indeed a punishable offense, but nevertheless, impeachment was quite reckless, and it ultimately backfired.

[ Parent ]
UNFAIR RATING ALERT! 1.00 - Really? (1.00 / 5) (#74)
by unfar_rating_alert! on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 09:38:29 PM EST

This comment was provided by unfair_rating_alert!, a troll account created strictly to look for intelligent comments rated at the lowest numbers possible. You may not agree with the contents of the previous post, however, if you're fair you should agree that it didn't deserve a 1.00 rating. To preserve the integrity of this troll account, while under the guise of unfair_rating_alert!, I will not rate comments. Since I never post content under this account nor will I post submissions to the queue, it would be improper to rate a comment rated unfairly -- I encourage YOU, the reader, to resolve this problem yourself.

[ Parent ]
Bush lied under oath too! (3.50 / 4) (#72)
by Lord Kano on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 07:49:01 PM EST

Lying Under Oath. Bush & Co. Squelch Investigation of Contributor's Funeral Homes

In a (so far successful) attempt to stop a scandal, Bush perjured himself under oath, according to the sworn testimony of two of his political allies. The situation is amazingly similar to Clinton's Lewinsky problem: a potentially damaging lawuit arose (see below) that threatened to involve him. Just like Clinton, Bush swore an affidavit that he had no involvement in the case, which got him excused from testifying. And just like Clinton, the affidavit was proven false months later by new evidence. In this case, it's the recent sworn testimony of Robert MacNeil, a Bush appointee, that he had discussed the case with Bush at a fundraiser.

This scandal isn't as sexy as Monica's, but perjury is perjury, and this scandal actually involves the governor's job, not his sex life. Texas' state commission on funeral homes (the TFSC) started an investigation of SCI, the world's largest funeral home company (with 3,442 homes, plus 433 cemeteries) after complaints that unlicensed apprenctices were embalming corpses at 2 SCI embalming centers. The commission visited a couple of these, and ended up fining SCI $450,000.

But SCI pulled strings with the commission and with Bush himself. Shortly thereafter, the investigation was shut down and the agency's investigator was fired. She sought to question Bush for her lawsuit, and that's when he swore his admittedly false affidavit. In fact, that affidavit has been proven false twice now.

DETAILS: SCI has long cultivated Bush and his allies. They gave governor Bush $35,000 in the last election and $10K in 1994, gave $100,000 to the George Bush, Sr. library, and hired the ex-president to give a speech last year for $70,000. They also spread money around the Texas legislature and the Texas Attorney General's office.

After the investigation got serious, SCI's boss, Robert Waltrip, called the funeral commission's chairman and told him to "back off." If not, Waltrip said, "I'm going to take this to the governor."

Still, the investigation continued. So Waltrip and his lawyer/lobbyist, Johnnie B. Rogers, went to the governor's office and dropped off a letter demanding a halt to the investigation. Rogers told Newsweek that he and Waltrip were ushered in to see Joe Allbaugh, Bush's chief of staff (who is now Bush's campaign manager.) Rogers goes on to say that Bush Jr. popped his head in and said to Waltrip, "Hey, Bobby, are those people still messing with you?" Waltrip said yeah. Then the governor turned to Rogers and said, "Hey, Johnnie B. Are you taking care of him?" Rogers said "I'm doing my best, Governor."

The problem for Bush is that he swore under oath, in a July 20th 1999 affidavit, that he "had no conversations with [SCI] officials, agents, or represenatives concerning the investigation or any dispute arising from it." If Rogers is telling the truth, than Bush Jr. lied directly under oath. He filed the affidavit in an attempt to avoid testifying in a whistleblower lawsuit concerning this investigation and it's alleged squashing by Bush's administration.

Back in August of 1999, Bush himself admitted that he spoke with Waltrip and Rogers -- in other words, that he lied under oath -- but used Clintonesque denials to claim that it was nothing substantial. Bush told the Associated Press that "It's a 20-second conversation. I had no substantive conversation with the guy. Twenty seconds. That's hardly enough time to even say hello, much less sit down and have a substantive discussion. All I know is it lasted no time. And that hardly constitutes a serious discussion. I did not have any knowledge at all of Waltrip's problem with this case."

Of course, nothing Bush says here contradicts what Rogers said. In fact, his careful explanation of why this is not perjury is incredibly similar to Bill Clinton's weaseling about what the meaning of "is" is. And now MacNeil's sworn statement further confirms Bush's lie.

Whatever Bush said out loud, Waltrip's complaints to the governor got quick results. Eliza May -- the investigator for the funeral services commission -- says that after Waltrip visited the governor, she received phone calls from three senior Bush aides asking if she could wrap up her proble quickly. She says she was also summoned to another meeting in Allbaugh's office, one month after the first one, and found Waltrip already there. The governor's top aide, she says, demanded that she turn over a list of all of the documents that she needed "to close the SCI investigation."

Since then, investigator Eliza May has been fired, 6 or 10 staff members on the commission have been fired or resigned and not been replaced, and the Texas legislature -- led by members receiving substantial contributions from SCI -- passed a bill to reorganize the agency and remove it's head. On August 16, 199, Bush ordered his Comptroller to take over the agency and run it. May -- who, it should be noted, is a Democrat and was even state Democratic Treasurer at one point -- has filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging she was fired because she persisted with the investigation.

Bush simply didn't show up for his scheduled deposition on July 1st, 1999 in the case. (He isn't a defendant in the case, because Governors are immune from lawsuits in Texas, but is being called as a material witness.) He filed his affidavit on July 20th to indicate that he had nothing to add.

Now Robert MacNeil -- who was the chairman of the Texas funeral commission at the time, a Bush appointee -- confirms that he also discussed the case with Bush, at a 1998 Texas fundraiser. In a sworn deposition, MacNeil says that Bush asked him: "Have you and Mr. Waltrip got your problems worked out?" Replied McNeil: "We're still trying to work on that, governor." Bush then said, "Do your job." Bush's campaign says that MacNeil's statement is false. But the language MacNeil says Bush used is almost identical to what he admits saying to Johnnie Rodgers in the governor's office.



Bush lied at his Press Conference, 11/3/2000 Bush said he paid a fine on the spot and never went to court. As you can see on this document that is clearly a lie. Here is the text from the press conference:

Bush: "I told the guy I had been drinking and what do I need to do? And he said, "Here's the fine." I paid the fine and did my duty...."
Reporter: "Governor, was there any legal proceeding of any kind? Or did you just -- " Bush: "No. I pled -- you know, I said I was wrong and I ..."
Reporter: "In court? "
Bush: No, there was no court. I went to the police station. I said, "I'm wrong."

Bush Lied in Court, 1978 Bush got a court hearing to get his driving suspension lifted early, even though he had not completed a required driver rehabilitation course. He told the hearings officer that he drank only once a month, and just had "an occasional beer." The officer granted his request. But Bush continued drinking for 8 years after that date and has said publicly that he drank too much and had a drinking problem during that time. Presumably Bush was under oath during the hearing, though we haven't been able to pin down that detail. The Bush campaign refuses to comment on this contradiction.

Bush Lied To "The Dallas Morning News", 1998

"Just after the governor's reelection in 1998, [Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne] Slater pressed Bush about whether he had ever been arrested. 'He said, 'After 1968? No.'" Dallas Morning News, 11/03/2000 [Before 1968, Bush was arrested for theft and vandalism in college.]

Bush Lied On 'Meet The Press', 11/21/99

Tim Russert: "If someone came to you and said, 'Governor, I'm sorry, I'm going to go public with some information.' What do you do?"
Bush: "If someone was willing to go public with information that was damaging, you'd have heard about it by now. You've had heard about it now. My background has been scrutinized by all kinds of reporters. Tim, we can talk about this all morning."



[ Parent ]

A Key Difference (3.00 / 3) (#73)
by Malicose on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 09:22:58 PM EST

If the findings of your singular source, www.realchange.org, are completely factual--I believe some come from biased sources--then there has obviously been some not-so-perfect events in Bush's past. One key difference between Bush and Clinton/Gore is that Bush's purported perjury did not take place while he was President/VP of the United States of America. He didn't lie to the millions and millions of people on camera like Clinton did with the whole Lewinsky business. I realize that this doesn't make anything he did less wrong, but I do think he will bring back the integrity of the White House. Here's hoping for a great next four years!

[ Parent ]
Because ... (4.00 / 1) (#59)
by aphrael on Thu Dec 14, 2000 at 10:31:49 PM EST

are now supposed to suddenly forget all that and reach for unity with the Republicans. Why?

Because the good of the country is more important than our own partisan interests; because the other side has some good ideas, just as we have some good ideas; and because if we don't learn how to work together, then we'll just continue in a bitter, divided, partisan vein ... and the longer we remain divided, the harder it will be to reach across the divide and find common ground in the future.

[ Parent ]

Yeah, right. (1.00 / 2) (#61)
by Will Sargent on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 06:19:55 AM EST

Someone should have told that to the Republicans when they were trying to impeach Clinton.

Seriously, did you see ANYTHING bi-partisan in Newt Gingrich threatening to shut down Government unless he got his way?
----
I'm pickle. I'm stealing your pregnant.
[ Parent ]

Impeachment, government shutdown (1.00 / 1) (#67)
by aphrael on Fri Dec 15, 2000 at 01:17:34 PM EST

Well, no ... but the fact that they were sore losers doesn't justify us doing the same.

[ Parent ]
Honor (none / 0) (#81)
by slaytanic killer on Sun Dec 17, 2000 at 01:03:55 PM EST

They hate Hillary Clinton even more, which I just can't get.

Because they respect Bill. He is smarter than they are and can outmaneuver them without as much effort. Hillary however, is not as good at politics, whatever her other skills may be.

It is that Machiavellian; they know all the maneuvering and treat it from a distance. And if you doubt my knowledge about this, I know personally for a fact that the FBI can be used to imprison local political opponents in America. By showering one with 20 extreme counts of misconduct, and forcing him to plead guilty on just a minor count (think legal fees), you can trash his life, his name through the media, and scare others into keeping their toes on the line.

Now unfortunately, I am posting this under the wrong name. It is not quite honourable enough, and we all know that the people in federal politics are honourable men. Perhaps my case would be strong, if I chose a more honourable mask.

[ Parent ]
David Grohl for President (1.50 / 2) (#76)
by vb.warrior on Sat Dec 16, 2000 at 03:38:02 PM EST

Why you ask. Well lets face it David, with his tours with Nirvana and the Foo's probably has a better grasp of Foreign affairs than Bush v2.

Jon

Congratulations America! (1.00 / 1) (#82)
by PenguinWrangler on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 10:07:36 AM EST

You have elected a dangerous alcoholic coke-addled execution happy fuckwit for your president, and in your mangling of the democratic process (remember kiddies, all the votes have NOT been counted) have given the rest of the world a damn good laugh. The next time America tries to lay down the law on Democracy the rest of the world will laugh in your face. A boom four years for political satirists, then, but a crap four years for America and possibly the rest of the world... Remember K5ers, Bush is a man who considers the internet BAD - what was that about turning children's hearts dark again? Still, don't they say Presidents elected in a year ending in zero have assasination attempts on them? Maybe you'll get lucky.
That said, here in the UK our next election choice is going to be between Tony "The Smiler*" Blair, and William "14 pints a day I'm not a racist but..." Hague
What happened to charisma and principles in politics?



*"The Smiler" in Transmetropolitan is based heavily on Tony Blair....
"Information wants to be paid"
Another view of the fuckwit president (none / 0) (#83)
by PenguinWrangler on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 10:10:22 AM EST

See TV Go Home (15th December) for another UK view of your president-elect... See what I said about satirists?

"Information wants to be paid"
The Immaculate Concession Part 2 | 84 comments (74 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
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