Friday, October 17, 2008

Buried Ledes

The following excerpts are from the New York Times:

From October 17:

"The United States Supreme Court on Friday overturned a lower court’s order requiring state officials in Ohio to supply information that would have made it easier to challenge prospective voters. The decision was a setback for Ohio Republicans, who had sued to force the Ohio secretary of state, a Democrat, to provide information about database mismatches to county officials.... A 2002 federal law, the Help America Vote Act, or HAVA, requires states to check voter registration applications against government databases like those for driver’s license records. Names that do not match are flagged. Ohio Republicans sought to require Ms. Brunner to provide information about mismatches to local officials. Those officials could use information to require voters to cast provisional ballots rather than regular ones. They could also allow partisan poll workers to challenge people on the lists."

From October 15:

"Republicans have been angered by reports of voter-registration fraud linked to groups allied with Democrats, like Acorn, a community organizing group with ties to Mr. Obama. This month, the Ohio Republican Party filed a motion seeking to force Ms. Brunner, a Democrat, to hand over the list of all registration applications that had been flagged when checked using the state or federal databases. In court papers, Republicans said they wanted the names to file challenges.... Social Security data indicate that Ohio election officials found more than 200,000 names that did not match this year; state election officials say their analysis of the data indicates that most of these are individual voters, not duplicate registrations. But Ms. Brunner said that problems with the databases could very well be why the names did not match."

From October 16:

"When Mr. McCain invoked Mr. Wurzelbacher in Wednesday’s debate — some version of 'Joe the Plumber' was mentioned two dozen times during the 90 minutes — as a way to criticize Mr. Obama’s tax plan and wealth-sharing argument, Mr. Wurzelbacher suddenly found camera crews outside his home, Katie Couric on the phone, and himself in the full glare of the media spotlight.... Mr. Wurzelbacher is registered to vote in Lucas County (Ohio) under the name Samuel Joseph Worzelbacher. 'We have his named spelled W-O, instead of W-U,' Linda Howe, executive director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, said in a telephone interview. 'Handwriting is sometimes hard to read. He has never corrected it in his registration card.' The records, she said, showed he voted Republican in the March primary."

Friday, October 10, 2008

"I Didn't Do It My Way"

Prior to this election, John McCain enjoyed a well-earned reputation for honesty, integrity, and bipartisanship. I wonder, if he loses this election, if he'll look back on it and regret that he compromised those values so much and took the low road. And I wonder if he might be doing better in the polls if he had stayed true to his own values. Perhaps Americans have realized that "straight talk" has become more a branding exercise than a reality.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Abandon Ship

Items that have been abandoned recently:

- Decades of conservative free market ideology, to the overriding requirement to save the economy from effects of that same ideology

- The Bush administration, in Sarah Palin's readiness to point out its failings

- Trickle-down economics: how many Americans would currently support tax cuts for the rich?

- Neoconservatism: remember that?