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Current Topic: Elections

Bush, Kerry and a Debate That Isn't
Topic: Elections 9:39 am EDT, Sep 29, 2004

Here is one of the debate rules that have trickled out: The candidates are not allowed to ask each other questions.

According to the agreed-on rules, the presidential debate is more like a joint news conference.

To have a real debate, the contestants should be allowed to question each other directly.

This gives an entirely new meaning to "what questions are you asking yourself?"

Bush, Kerry and a Debate That Isn't

For Ralph Nader, but Not for President
Topic: Elections 9:26 am EDT, Apr 12, 2004

Howard Dean urges you not to vote for Nader this November. Average Americans -- you're either with us/them or against us/them.

(I would point out that virtually everyone's list of Rules includes one to the effect of Rumsfeld's, "Don’t divide the world into 'them' and 'us.'")

Many Democrats admire Ralph Nader's achievements, as I do. But if they truly want George Bush out of the White House, they won't vote for Ralph Nader in November.

Ralph Nader once said that your best teacher is your last mistake. This November, we can elect a president who fights for average Americans.

Believe it or not,
I'm walking on air.
I never thought I could feel so free eee eee.
Flying away on a wing and a prayer.
Who could it be?
Believe it or not it's just me.

For Ralph Nader, but Not for President

Is there a there, there?
Topic: Elections 10:22 pm EDT, Apr  8, 2004

Check out the artwork on his snowboard!

The Kerry plan looks dangerously complicated and dirigiste -- no small thing when the Republicans spend half their time claiming he is really French.

Absent, still, from Mr Kerry's economic thinking is any sense of an overarching, unifying theme.

This pudding has no theme.

The candidate's backers promise that, over the coming weeks, with more economic utterances, such a theme will somehow emerge.

For now, though, Mr Kerry is no Bill Clinton.

You can say that again.

For now, though, Mr Kerry is no Bill Clinton.

Is there a there, there?

Interview with Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian
Topic: Elections 10:17 pm EDT, Apr  8, 2004

"Get out of my namespace!"

Following is a transcript of the interview with President Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan by Philip P. Pan, the Washington Post's Beijing bureau chief, and David E. Hoffman, foreign editor. The interview was conducted at the presidential palace in Taipei on March 29, 2004, with a government translator.

... the "one China" principle ... is totally unacceptable to our people.

I think the fundamental reason why I won ... is because there is a rising Taiwan identity and it has been solidified. I think the Beijing authorities should take heed of this fact and accept the reality.

I have observed a very interesting phenomenon. The Beijing authorities refuse to recognize the existence of the Republic of China. However, they dread that we may one day change our name. I see a great inconsistency in this phenomenon.

What's in a name, really?

The failure of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong has contributed to the rise of Taiwan identity and the rise of Taiwan awareness.

As I have said, solidifying and deepening Taiwan's democracy is our best Theater Missile Defense.

The day before the election, I trod the fine line of death. And that had a great impact on my life philosophy and my attitude toward my political career.

A shot in the arm, a shot in the gut -- what's twelve inches between friends?

Interview with Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian

Pentagon Drops Plan to Test Internet Voting
Topic: Elections 8:48 pm EDT, Apr  4, 2004

From the Washington Post via Yahoo:

The Pentagon has decided to drop a $22 million pilot plan to test Internet voting for 100,000 American military personnel and civilians living overseas after lingering security concerns.

In February, after running into criticism, the program was planned to go forward on an experimental basis.

Now, the Pentagon has decided that even the experiment is over.

Voting for Better Voting
Topic: Elections 10:56 am EST, Mar 28, 2004

Maryland legislators are moving to address a serious defect in the touch-screen voting machines that the state has been introducing over the last several elections. The problem, pointed out by experts studying the system, is that glitches in the machines' programming could be difficult to detect.

Before Maryland proceeds to install its complete new system, legislators should insist on the fundamental safeguards called for in this legislation.

Want to get out the youth vote? Why not offer online voting through the Playstation 2?

Glitches? What glitches?

Voting for Better Voting

A Long, Long Muddle
Topic: Elections 10:02 am EST, Mar 28, 2004

George Bush's vision of the nation's future will undoubtedly be one focus of the presidential campaign. We suggest the debate start with the question of whether Mr. Bush actually has one.


It's the Vision Thing, stupid.

A Long, Long Muddle

Florida as the Next Florida
Topic: Elections 12:33 pm EST, Mar 14, 2004

"Florida now has 'the very best' technology available," Florida's secretary of state declared on CNN. Hours later, results in Bay County showed that with more than 60 percent of precincts reporting, Richard Gephardt, who long before had pulled out of the presidential race, was beating John Kerry by two to one.

There were, no doubt, other mishaps that did not come to light because of the stunning lack of transparency around voting in the state. When a Times editorial writer dropped in on one Palm Beach precinct where there were reports of malfunctioning machines, county officials called the police to remove him.


Florida as the Next Florida

Think You Voted in Maryland? Think Again
Topic: Elections 11:47 am EST, Mar  7, 2004

Last Tuesday I went to the polls ... The good news is that there were no lines. The bad news is that the touch-screen voting machines don't always work.

... I persevered long enough to persuade the technician on duty to check my machine. The technician confirmed that the machine was not presenting whole election contests.

"Once you've pressed 'cast my vote,' that's it. You can't vote again. ... You should have complained before you pressed the button."

Think You Voted in Maryland? Think Again

Diebold Security Bulletin DB04-050
Topic: Elections 12:09 pm EST, Feb 29, 2004

Diebold Security Bulletin DB04-050: Certificate Validation Flaw Could Enable Identity Spoofing (911469)

Title: Certificate Validation Flaw Could Enable Identity Spoofing
Date: November 2, 2004
Impact: Identity spoofing and, in some cases, ability to gain control over a user's system.
Maximum Severity Rating: Critical
Bulletin: DB04-050
Caveats: None
Recommendation: Customers should install the security update immediately.

Is it real, or is it just a conspiracy theory? Ask PAM! She'll know.

Regardless, it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "National Security Update."

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