Voting Problems in WV… *Updated

October 22, 2008 at 11:21 pm (Crazy Shit, Politics) (, , , , )

Nothing new here, just a bunch of old school politics that just can’t seem to be routed from the WV political scene.

The Charleston Gazette lead with the story about voters in two counties casting early ballots on voting machines having those votes cast to “McCain” when they touched “Obama” on the screen. More early voters have come forward to attest to this problem. Naturally, our good WV government says, “Everything’s okay, my little lemmings, just follow the others over the cliff.” (The evening paper – The Daily Mail – stuffed the story to page 5.)  * More voting problems reported in Martinsburg!  IF THE MACHINE YOU USE PICKS THE WRONG CANDIDATE, ASK FOR ASSISTANCE. DON’T GIVE UP UNTIL YOUR VOTE IS CAST CORRECTLY!

Of course, the biggest brouhaha is because the two counties this has happened in are Republican counties and the ones in charge of the election are Republican.  However, it shouldn’t matter what county it is, who is in charge, or what political party they are affliated with, everyone should be outraged. What if it were the other way around? Would you McCain supporters want your vote switched to Obama? Certainly not.

But, to say I’m shocked, I just can’t bring myself to say yes. West Virginia has been and perhaps always will be associated with some of the most corrupt politicians this side of New Jersey. For $20 and a pint of whiskey, votes can be bought. Hell, in this economy, $20 would probably do it. Our former governor, Arch Moore (father of current Congressional Representative Shelley Moore Capito), was found guilty of accepting graft and sent off to the Federal Pen for a sojourn. (He was a Republican, by the way.)

An associate of my old boss was also investigated, indicted, and plead guilty to a whole rash of vote tampering, corruption mongering charges and is currently doing time on Uncle Sam’s dime. (He was a Democrat, by the way.)

One would think that our government would attempt to bolster the image of our vastly underrated Appalachian state. Attempt in some way to erase the negative stereotype of toothless, ignorant hillbillies with one leg shorter than the other married to their cousin, spitting out babies, living on welfare in a trailer park in squalor, accepting a 20 and a pint to vote one way or the other.

West Virginia, per capita, has given more of her sons and daughters in the pursuit of freedom and the protection of the American way, than any other state in the union, yet allow those very freedoms to be trampled upon. For once, West Virginia, STAND UP FOR YOURSELVES AND STAND UP FOR YOUR FREEDOMS! HOLD YOUR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE THAT EVERY VOTE IS CAST CORRECTLY AND EVERY VOTE IS COUNTED AS IT WERE CAST! 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re blue, red, black, or white, STAND UP WEST VIRGINIA!

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Sunday Shorts

October 5, 2008 at 1:07 pm (Cats, Nate, Politics) (, , , , , , )

*  Read an article in the Washington Post about Michelle Obama. It was pretty interesting, not all of it was muck flattery, but a decent piece of journalism about who she is and her relationship with Barak. The main idea I got from the article, which was condensed from the forthcoming biography of Michelle, was “ambition.” Both she and Barak were characterized as such. I hope they, Michelle and Barak, remember what Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about ambition, that it is a good servant but a poor master.

*  I also read an interview with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in The Wall Street Journal. Ummm, it was okay. Pretty short, but it made some pretty good points about how much better the Taliban can pay Pakistan’s military than the government can. Zardari seems to be moving progressively toward raising the funds to provide for his military so the Taliban doesn’t pay them better, improving relations with India, and assisting the U.S. in rooting out the Islamic militants, unwilling to be specific on that point, and dismissive about irritated relations with our government over attacks, but generally seemed to be a very sad, tired man who knows his head is on the chopping block, and what happened to his wife is probably going to happen to him. He just hopes he can get them, before they get him.

*  The WP and the WSJ  both have articles about the EU trying to bolster confidence in their financial markets. The WP  has a nice photo of Sarkozy and Merkel. At least he’s not trying to hug her or squeeze her. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, its when Dubya squeezed Merkel’s shoulders at the G8 Summit in Russia a few years back. Made big headlines then. Angela is a really interesting person. She was born in Hamburg but raised in East Germany. She’s a physicist and speaks fluent Russian. She and Putin must have gotten along well because he also speaks fluent German. Just thought that was interesting.

*  Mudflats, the Alaska journalist and blogger has a great piece up about the duel rallies held at the same time and blocks apart in Anchorage, Alaska. She also has continuing updates about the Troopergate (I hate calling it that!) and the Branchflower Report that is due out on October 10th. She has the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of the people in charge of deciding whether or not to release the report publicly and many are involved in an e-mail/call-in campaign to make sure it is released. The report is set to be completed even though Todd Palin and state employees, at the behest of the Attorney General of Alaska, Talis Colberg, ignored lawful subpoenas to give sworn testimony on this matter.

If sources are correct, Governor Palin was the first to say, “Hold me accountable!” and after becoming the Vice-Presidential nominee, the McCain camp swooped in and said, “Nah.” So much for all that government reform – accountabillty bullshit. That’s actually the only reason I liked Sarah Palin at all.

If you have nothing to hide and have done nothing wrong, then why not cooperate and get it over with?  Why not cooperate to exonerate yourself? Yeah.

*  The WP and Rolling Stone both have articles on John McCain. The focus of the WP article was the time that Senator McCain spent in Hanoi as a POW. The RS article gives an entire background of McCain, starting with prep school through the present. It includes a quote from retired Colonel John Dramesi, also a POW in Vietnam – “McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man,” Dramesi says today, “But he’s still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in.” Dramesi’s story is still spoken today among Air Force initiates and his story is quite compelling.

In short, you probably could not find two more opposite articles regarding John McCain. I read them both. The RS article is very long (10 pages on the Web), but I would suggest reading it, along with the WP article, just to get both sides of it.  Its very compelling. Very.

*  On the home front, Luna tried to incenerate herself in the oven earlier. What I figure is that one of the cats had been playing with the bottom drawer, or broiler of the oven, which was open about two inches. With their crafty paws, it wouldn’t take much to open it. After I opened the oven door a crack and turned it on, I came back to find the drawer opened even further. WTF? So, I closed it. Luna must have been in the broiler when I turned the oven on and when the flames in the oven poofed out, well, Luna came crashing out of the broiler door, opening it even further.

Luna must have hidden because it was a few minutes later than she tore deranged into the computer room, her coat singed and her long white eyebrow whiskers melted. If I had closed the broiler door when I turned the oven on, Luna would be dead. The thought tears at my heart, and I’m just so very thankful that I didn’t. Quite possibly when she squeezed out of the space of the broiler door it put the fire out and she escaped with a lot of singed fur but no burns. I’ll be checking the oven now before turning it on, just in case.

Her brother, Jirachi, is on another round of antibiotics and seems to be improving. He’s so spoiled, its unreal. We have coddled and babied him so much that he’s just a little rotten monster. He’s adorable. Rotten, but adorable. He does have decent manners though. Instead of jumping up on the counter or the table, although I’m not sure with his small size that he can, he just climbs up my clothes to obtain whatever it is that he wants. What actually happens is me dancing around yelling, “Ow! Ow! Ow! Get off!”

Rotten little puss likes to blog with me. He’s lain here the entire time, purring his face off. Its after 1, and I have a lot to accomplish before I pick up the Natester, who went to his first college football game yesterday. He said he had a really good time.

Have a lovely Sunday.

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