nunna joe bidnez (dementedpimento) wrote,
nunna joe bidnez

i said, "hey! what's going on?"

oh my fucking god. i just wrote one of the longest entries i've ever written. livejournal ate it. i don't have the energy to rewrite it.


recommended reading: the conyers report, "preserving democracy: what went wrong in ohio"

i'm burying myself in politics, because, while i care, it's still relatively impersonal. it's easier than confronting the real issues in my life. so, fuck you congress, fuck you and your sacrifice of democracy in the name of partisan politics. i welcome comment on this, pro or con, but please know what you're talking about before you talk (yes, henwy, that comment was targeted at you. read the fucking report before you dismiss it.)

spending most of my time with family lately. has been hard. grief, which i normally swallow, is being constantly dragged out of me like drowned bodies on hooks, through continuous contact with my fellow bereaved family members. doing my duty but it fucking hurts. i'd rather hide, it's what i do best in these situations.

today is the first day of class. calculus was a welcome relief. what is it about math that gives my life sanity and clarity?

living situation is as tight as ever. breaking the lease would cost me more money than seeing it through. buckling down and preparing for hard times. it's bad now, and it's going to get worse before it gets better.

dad bought me a car. he is my hero, even though i suspect his motivations for doing so. he's been very bendy-over-backwards for me since we finally got around to discussing the divorce and his erroneous handling of it, some 10 years later. thank you parental guilt, i've got wheels. anyway, the car: 90's corolla in great condition. thank fucking god, because kashmir's car gets repossessed today.

that's all for now. i'm spent. this was a summary. you should've seen the original.

so now i'm going to go mope around, watch the smokin kids with jealousy and hatred. fucking nicotine, fuck you fuck you fuck you. i hate you burn and die.
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Whine and bitch, whine and bitch.

Lets go one by one:

Voting machine allotment:
This one is pretty funny really. They already stated in the report itself about the distribution:

Machines were allotted based on past turnout in each precinct.

Seems right to me. I guess you could allot machines simply based on sheer number of registered voters but that seems to be a pretty stupid way to run things. AS any statistician can tell you, the best predictor of a person's liklihood to vote, is whether they vote regularly.

Kenyon College:
I was watching the returns the night of the election and I heard the report about the lines and that the officials there said everyone could vote by paper ballot if they wanted since one of the voting machiens has broken down and they couldn't get a replacement. The people in line declined. The anchor, I think I was watching NBC at the time, even said it became a party attitude with people turning it into one giant pep rally. If you're given relief and you decline it, I think it's hard to bitch about it afterwards.

Again, the report sows its own seeds for refutation. Large numbers of people registered at the last minute. Since turnout was almost certainly low in past elections, that would explain the allotment. Just like in the next election the allotment should be higher if the turnout last year was higher.

Voter challenges:
Prior to the election, postcards were mailed to all newly registered voters. A heaping load of them were returned as undeliverable. Thus, barring typos in voter registration, it was believed these were fraudulant registrations. You need to live somewhere in order to vote after all, and while cemetaries usually count for dems, most people consider that a no-no. The remedy wanted was that people would come to city hall or wherever and present proof of residency the week before the election. The court ruled it was too narrow a time window and that was it. Since no one was actually challenged, that was it.

Voter callenges on election day:
This was hilarious and probaly the best strategy move of the election. The repubs claimed they would be fielding challengers, something expressly allowed by the ohio constitution and something the dems have thte righ tto do, and have done in every election. The entire thing was a headfake and almost no challengers showed up. This is backed up by reports in slate, the NYT and god knows how many other news sources in the days after the election. The point was to keep the dems focused on supposed ranks of challengers who never materialized while the true goal was turnout. Stellar. Even given all the sources which claim there were almost no challengers anywhere and that everything went smoothly, it's no surprise the whiners are still harping about how they were snowed.

Red Herrings:
This is what the report is really full of quite frankly. Things like the paperweight garbage. Notice they can't find a single person whose registration was rejected due to such a thing. Nor do they even offer a possible example of how one assesses paperweight to reject a registration. Did they have little scales? Election directors even admited they had no such thing in the report. Pfff. All bullshit.

The statistics are also hilarious...only in that they provide no real analysis, but only claim that to them it seems implausable. Well I have no doubt it seems implausable to them. These people are obviously idiots. I'm surprised they can tie their own shoes. Statisticians have taken a look at this and every single time it's been debunked like crazy. It's no surprise they cling to things like this...they have nothing left.

i'm taking note of your objections. i'll re-read the report tonight, and get back to you on the things you avoided. you certainly addressed the most spurious points; whoopy for you.

if it's all so easily dismissed, i wonder why ohio's secretary of state hasn't answered all of the questions which the house judiciary committee addressed to him.
A good reason being it's nothing but spurious points for the most part. It's a crock of bullshit, and I find the most amusing part is that it's the dems themselves which caused the problems in the first place after their push following the 2000 election. The federal government sent funds for everyone to update their voting you have any farging clue how much an electronic voting machine costs compared to one that does punchcards? It was the dems who screamed that punchcards were unreliable after that chad crap, so a huge number of counties dumped them and replaced them. Now the dems are bitching there weren't enough machines or that the optical scan machines are flawed, or that the touchscreen ones are flawed. They simply can't make up their minds because they hee and haw based on whatever they think can push the vote to their advantage.

Not to mention the shift to new technology no doubt specifically HURT their voters as opposed to republican voters. Minorities tend to have less experience with technology in general and I recall some TV investigative report soon after the election showing that the amount of time to use the machines differed based on the county. While everyone knows how to use a punchcard more or less, you plopped down a computer in front of some people who have trouble working a farging ATM machine. No wonder they took twice as long as other voters and no wonder there was a backlog out the wazoo. At least with a punchcard you can mail a very accurate representation of the actual ballot so people can become familiar and practice. WTF do you do with touchscreen? Send them a screenshot of every single screen or a disk where they can practice vote? Not that I'm sure some groups didn't try but it was doomed from the start.

As for why the secretary of state didn't answer the questions, I flip conyers and his toadies the finger too. I suppose it's the same reason bubba didn't voluntarily testify before the paula jones jury before he was forced to. When you know fuckers are out to get you regardless of what you say, you're usually not inclined to dick around with them. Fuck them and if they want you there they can persue the legal channels. Since we all know there ARE NO legal channels here because the judificary committee has not decided to run an investigation, conyers can go circlejerk himself with the NAACP or whoever else is backing him in this.
math has right and wrong answers, maybe that's why.

Another interesting thing is that whoever wrote this report dosen't want you to realize he's talking out both sides of his head. On one level, they feel voting should be free from any restriction. Challenges of almost any sort are a violation of voting rights. You cannot ask someone to verify their registration, cannot challenge tehir signature when it dosen't match what's in the registry, etc. Yet at the same time when things are too lackedasical, like the fact that apparently 9 people out of 393 at one polling place somehow didn't sign the register, that's also horrible horrible fraud.

This would be almost funny if so many idiots didn't embrace it completely.

I personally like the information on the exit polling the best. You can almost hear the petulant whine with the hint of tears in the voice. But, but...the numbers said we would win! waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh. It's not surprising that a document like this provides a one-sided and frankly, ignorant view of the facts. Nowhere do I see it mention the fact that women were heavily oversampled in the exit-polling data. Nowhere do I see it state that even the exit-pollers themselves had a conference call at 4pm saying they knew there was something screwy with their numbers. I also notice they quote people like freeman, who if I recall tried publishing an analysis that was never peer reviewed, and when it was reviewed was shot full of holes. There has been no analysis to date that has stood academic rigor in showing any widespread problem with the vote from a statstiical analysis point of view. The debunking of the berkeley group being the most significant, but I've yet to see one get through with any shred of believability.

Here's another two faced sort of twist...the report writers cite and quote people lauding the accuracy of polls, from whoever this warren guy is. No doubt in an attempt to suggest that the exit-polls were accurate and thus show a kerry victory. Notice he fails to mention that the VAST majority of polls the night before the election from everything from quinniac, real clear, cbs, nbc, etc, all showed bush with a win.

Here's a summary from real clear the week ebfore the election:

RCP Average 10/27 - 11/1 48.9% 46.9% Bush +2.0
GW/Battleground (1000 LV) 10/31 - 11/1 50% 46% Bush +4
Rasmussen (3,000 LV) 10/30 - 11/1 50.2% 48.5% Bush +1.7
TIPP (936 LV) 10/30 - 11/1 46.9% 44.3% Bush +2.6
FOX News (1200 LV) 10/30 - 10/31 46% 48% Kerry +2
CNN/USAT/Gallup (1573 LV) 10/29 - 10/31 49% 47% Bush +2
CBS/NY Times (643 LV) 10/28 - 10/30 50% 47% Bush +3
ARG (1258 LV) 10/28 - 10/30 48% 49% Kerry +1
Newsweek (882 LV) 10/27 - 10/29 51% 45% Bush +6

Notice the average of Bush +2 came within a % point of the actual results. Again, I have no clue if it's because the writers of this report don't understand statistics, or they do and are simply obfuscating for political ends. The more different polls you sample the less error. So while something like the exit-poll might have an error of +/- 3% (just pulling a number out of a hat), each of therse polls has an error of +/- 3% and when you average across, the error reduces by the square of the number of polls. Greater accuracy, see?

I think I'm going to skip the rest about the post election crap. I'm starting to feel a real wave of nausea of having to had gone through this much of it.
Something else about exit polling. Take a look at this. It seems to suggest that automated polls are more accurate. Even the way a person reads the question apparently can influence a response. To have someone in person asking you the question would add even more variability and noise.

i'm sorry. i feel guilty because that's exactly what i'm doing, hiding. it is easier not to talk to anyone on the phone, i just get enough info to make travel arrangements and get off.

that said, feel free to call any time. and i will be in town sat. evening to tues. morning.

re: politics, oh hey, i'm not excited about ohio at all so i'm not going to talk about it. also, i haven't read the reports. but in other news, i did get a subscription to the economist, so now i can be all cool like you and get my news from someplace better than (where i tend to ignore the important articles anyway).

mayo has some anti-smoking campaigns. do you want me to look into it, or are you handling it okay through all the hatred? :)
oh yeah, and math: because it is logical, and life is not.
Hooray, another economist fan
look into it! please! (smoking roommates)x3 = (hardship)^3
sorry life is sucking, but big hug of congrat on teh quiting smoking. i am ~VERY~ proud of you!
i love calculus. math is my favourite. yup, i even got 105% on my final exam. some day i will actually get into accounting, so that i may have a real job. but the way things are looking, even if i did that, i wouldnt make nearly as much money. oh well. k call me.
I'd be careful of thinking that politics is impersonal. When your political cows are sacrificed at the polls, it's closer to being told that you're stupid and wrong than just a mere flip of the coin.

The Ohio problem is the same as the Florida problem. The problem is that Democrats only want to investigate the parts where they'll gain a benefit. If you want to sanitize voting, you've gotta do it all. Do we really want to poke and prod in, say, Chicago? Or the Mississippi Delta? There's a lot of hocus-pocus going on.

My suggestion would be to just forget about it and work on 2008. And this time, I'd recommend a candidate you could vote for, rather than a candidate to catch all the "not the other guy" votes.
fucking do it then. let's demagick all of the hocus pocus. investigate all of it; isn't that the job of the electoral board in each state? to provide fair elections? if elections are going to be run by partisans, there should be representatives from all parties involved at the highest levels.

fair elections apply to blue states too. i'd want to poke and prod anywhere i heard about such a widespread pattern of alleged disenfranchisement.
You can start with the State of Washington, then. The governor is going to be inaugurated while they have 1700 or so more votes than they have valid voters in one heavily Democratic county.

Or, you could do what I do: just assume that the process works reasonably well, and that in any election there will be some degree of flim-flammery--but as long as we have Americans voting for Americans, it's not going to be so bad. I mean, I really disliked Clinton, but I survived 8 years of the smug, pandering, self-important philandering rapist bastard. And I mean "bastard"--I don't think anybody knows who is father really is. But he wasn't so bad, because he was offset by the legislative branch.