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BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...

Bobert 01 Nov 04 - 08:00 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 01 Nov 04 - 08:02 PM
Bobert 01 Nov 04 - 08:05 PM
Amos 01 Nov 04 - 08:08 PM
Peace 01 Nov 04 - 08:14 PM
Bill D 01 Nov 04 - 08:28 PM
GUEST,Oberon 01 Nov 04 - 08:30 PM
GUEST,Oberon 01 Nov 04 - 08:33 PM
Bill D 01 Nov 04 - 09:02 PM
Peace 01 Nov 04 - 09:10 PM
Charley Noble 01 Nov 04 - 09:21 PM
chris nightbird childs 01 Nov 04 - 09:57 PM
Peace 01 Nov 04 - 09:58 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 01 Nov 04 - 10:12 PM
Ebbie 01 Nov 04 - 10:34 PM
GUEST,Jocko 01 Nov 04 - 10:38 PM
chris nightbird childs 01 Nov 04 - 10:40 PM
GUEST,Oberon 01 Nov 04 - 10:44 PM
Peace 01 Nov 04 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,Idiot 01 Nov 04 - 11:06 PM
chris nightbird childs 01 Nov 04 - 11:09 PM
Bobert 01 Nov 04 - 11:14 PM
Peace 01 Nov 04 - 11:18 PM
Cluin 01 Nov 04 - 11:33 PM
GUEST,Ragnar 01 Nov 04 - 11:37 PM
DougR 01 Nov 04 - 11:38 PM
Peace 01 Nov 04 - 11:40 PM
Ebbie 01 Nov 04 - 11:42 PM
Amos 01 Nov 04 - 11:43 PM
Little Hawk 01 Nov 04 - 11:56 PM
dianavan 01 Nov 04 - 11:58 PM
Ebbie 02 Nov 04 - 12:09 AM
chris nightbird childs 02 Nov 04 - 12:11 AM
Ron Davies 02 Nov 04 - 12:44 AM
CarolC 02 Nov 04 - 01:01 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Nov 04 - 01:03 AM
Stu 02 Nov 04 - 06:49 AM
George Papavgeris 02 Nov 04 - 06:56 AM
Sttaw Legend 02 Nov 04 - 08:13 AM
Bobert 02 Nov 04 - 09:02 AM
GUEST 02 Nov 04 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,marks 02 Nov 04 - 10:37 AM
GUEST 02 Nov 04 - 11:24 AM
pdq 02 Nov 04 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Tweed 02 Nov 04 - 11:43 AM
GUEST 02 Nov 04 - 11:45 AM
GUEST 02 Nov 04 - 11:47 AM
Uncle_DaveO 02 Nov 04 - 11:54 AM
Uncle_DaveO 02 Nov 04 - 12:00 PM
CarolC 02 Nov 04 - 12:01 PM
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Subject: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 08:00 PM

Not that we haven't been touchin' on, okay somethimes touching heavily on, the '04 Presidential Election but I'd just like to go on record of listing my hopes for this election:

1. I hope it is a complete and total clusterf*ck (excuse my rare use of the "f word"). Yes, this is my greatest hope tonight. I hope that the courts are clogged up and I hope that this election ends up in the House or Representatives. And I hope that the deal that comes out of the House is that the un-democratic "winner take all" Electorial College gets a stake thru the heart. It is bad for democracy and it is equally bad for third parties... Even if Bush is awarded another 4 years of screw-ups, if we could get this from this election, then in the future, unless the people get even dumber (you know, like animal cracker stupid, then we won't have any more George Bush's ruling, not governing, America..

2. In the absence of my first hope then I hope that John Kerry wins the presidency with both the popular vote and the Electorui. Yes, I know in the past that I've said that maybe the US needs a ial College votre. Yes, I know I have said that Amnerica needs another 4 years of Bush just to be sure it learns it lesson but I'm stickin with a Kerry victory as my 2nd choice.

3. My third choice would be purdy much a repeat of last time around with not enought of a clusterf*ck to get the election to the House of Representatives but another selection of Bush by the Supremes. I think this would give America the 4 years it needs to decide once and ofr all that having a crook for president ain't the best idea and it will also plant the seeds to overhaul the system at some later date.

So those are my top three choices for the outcome of THE ELECTION.

What are yours?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 08:02 PM

i think i'm fed up of hearing about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 08:05 PM

Well stated, jOhn... No pussy footin' wid you, pal... No top three... I like a man of few words... Wish I was that man sometimes... Sometimes not...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Amos
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 08:08 PM

That the race continue too close to predict until the day of votes at which point a groundswell of outrage rise up and swamp the Republicans right out of the land, out of the WHite House and out of the Senate in a landslide before anyone can even doubt it for a second.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Peace
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 08:14 PM

I agree with Amos.

1) My wish for America is that it gets rid of the Electoral College.
2) Kerry decisive victory.
3) Kerry slim victory.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 08:28 PM

my wish is that the ghost of Harry Truman will appear to every voter, waving that newspaper that says "Dewey Wins"...


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: GUEST,Oberon
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 08:30 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: GUEST,Oberon
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 08:33 PM

I think that arrogant asshole they got in charge up there in Canaduh needs to be impeached. Only dumb ass would vote for him.

O


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 09:02 PM

ran up from the TV to post this:

I also think that if the best person the Bush-Cheney campaign can put on CNN for a debate the night before the election is Ralph Reed, then we KNOW what is driving this election!!!!!!

remember "The Christian Coalition" and Pat Robertson? Remember the interviews with this smarmy, condescending, piece of righteousness during the Reagan campaign?

Ralph Reed as a MAJOR spokesman for the Republicans!!!!...........................


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Peace
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 09:10 PM

Oberon, Fuzzy, Ragnar--take your meds ya dumb fuck. Triple the dose and next time ask yer dad to wear a condom.

Canadians don't impeach. There is a non-confidence vote in the House of Commons (basically, if a major piece of legislation is defeated, the government folds). Your lack of knowledge is in complete agreement with your stupidity, ya racist piece of shit.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 09:21 PM

I'm with Amos on this one. I'd love to see a late surge of voters providing a decisive win for Kerry and repudiating the Bush Administration in no uncertain terms. However, what I'd expect to see is deadlock in several major battleground states, where the margin of victory is far less than the initial contested ballots.

Fortunately, I'll be very busy all election day and won't have any time to think about this, or even tune in to Mudcat.

Vote often!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 09:57 PM

I hope Kerry continues to do what he's been doing... KICKING BUSH'S ASS!! We'll see what happens tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Peace
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 09:58 PM

Right On, chris nightbird!


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 10:12 PM

I'm with you jOhn -

Neither of us can vote, on Tuesday, let it ride.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 10:34 PM

Omens de Ebbie:

The BoSox pulled off an amazing feat. (Happy thought)
The Redskins lost the game (Long standing tradition)
Kerry is the taller man.(Frequently the winner)
Kery has a longer name. (Frequently the winner)

Here is an upbeat take on the final day:

Smile


"He thanked Wisconsin for the Green Bay Packers' win over the Washington Redskins Sunday night. The crowd cheered, many aware that a Redskins loss in the team's last home game before the election has predicted an incumbent loss for nearly 70 years. Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl, a Democrat who also owns the Milwaukee Bucks, stood at Kerry's side.

"He was telling me that when it comes to the Milwaukee Bucks, he always goes for the taller player," said Kerry, who is five inches taller than Bush. "And he said the same thing holds for being president of the United States, a taller player."


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: GUEST,Jocko
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 10:38 PM

Amos:

How about a big boat with all of the Democrats in it and a big ass flood to drown all of the EVIL Republicans?

You can stand up on the bow with a long flowing beard flapping in the breeze holding a shepards staff while the lightning crackles and the rain begins.

Jocko


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 10:40 PM

*glub, glub, glub*


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: GUEST,Oberon
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 10:44 PM

Brucie:

So Canaydians are a different race? Guess I don't know much about Canada. That's what I get for minding my own business.

O


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Peace
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 10:54 PM

Oberon, Fuzzy, Idiot, whoever you are at this moment:

Don't guess. You do know nothing about Canada. What you get for being so closed-minded is a tremendous ignorance; however, you are very adept at showing it, so I figure that's in your favour. Not like your stupidity will be a surprise to anyone.

Tell me when you want to stop the pissin' contest that you started. You apologize and you and I call it quits. Otherwise, bite me.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: GUEST,Idiot
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:06 PM

You gonna bomb me with some nuclear tipped mooses?

I


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:09 PM

Hahahaha... funny... just for a second. Mooses? Get out!


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Bobert
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:14 PM

Yo, Idiot, Rag 'er whoever you are at the moment....

Why not find a kiddy site to play in....

There are adults here and they know lots more about lots of stuff than you do.

No offense but, hey, this thread isn't about showing off ones inadequarcies but commenting on ones *thoughts* (I know, strange concept) on the election.

(What election, you ask?)

I rest my case...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Peace
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:18 PM

GUEST Idiot: You seem bombed already. Don't need the moose. LOLOLOL


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Cluin
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:33 PM

I'll be glad to see the back of it. My f##k, but the American campaign seems to go on for years. Which ever way it goes (to Kerry, please), let's hope it's over quickly, more quickly than last time.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: GUEST,Ragnar
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:37 PM

Brucie:
Peace Bro. It was fun tonight.

R


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: DougR
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:38 PM

I hope whoever wins, whether it be Bush or Kerry, wins with a large enough majority that we don't have to go through what we did in 2000.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Peace
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:40 PM

Peace.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:42 PM

For once, DougR, we are in full agreement. I imagine you will agree with me when I say that I just hope the better man wins. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Amos
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:43 PM

I really hope Kerry produces a throbbing sweep in popular votes AND an irresistible upsurge in electoral votes in early voting, producing a lead that never goes away all throught he day.

Peace, man.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:56 PM

That's assuming there IS a better man, Ebbie. Kerry can pronounce "nuclear", of course, but can he whip up a bunch of barbecued burgers like Bush can? Hmmm. Decisions, decisions...

What do I hope? That something happens that makes people get mad enough at the electoral college to get it abolished. It's a phony, undemocratic scam that defeats the whole purpose of having a legitimate election.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: dianavan
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 11:58 PM

I'm sick of thinking about it but here goes anyway -

Kerry will get 1-2% of the Republican vote
Kerry will get 1-2% of the undecided
Kerry will get all of the new voter turn-out (another 1-2%)

He will also get the electoral college.

Is that enough to win?

I hope so.

d


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 12:09 AM

Little Hawk, I'm disappointed in you. Surely someone of your sensibilities is aware that beef (for burgers) takes a LOT more feed and real estate and care and MONEY than do escargot, whose nutrients are also far more concentrated and more readily accesible. So there. Vote Kerry. (Or in your particular case, just keep visualising.) Countin' on you. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 12:11 AM

See ya on the forum after the results... I'm sure everyone will be posting here.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Ron Davies
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 12:44 AM

Topic says "Your Thoughts"--well, OK


It's the most important election in decades.

And the choice is incredibly clear, it seems to me.

It's just about a perfect clash of emotion vs reason.

Bush's entire campaign is based on emotion.

First there's fear--particularly notable since he's been telling people to not be swayed by fear on 2 November.

If they are not swayed by fear, they will toss him out. He and Cheney have been constantly stoking fear, fear that another American city will be hit by terrorists, fear that Kerry won't be aggressive enough in combating terror, fear that marriage will be undermined, and on and on---some Bushites even put out a flyer (was it in West Virginia?) that the Bible would
be banned.

Then there's the religious appeal itself--since it requires the believer to take so much "on faith"---also not susceptible to reasoning through.   Bush has made a big pitch to all 3 of the major religions in the US--and will get a large number of conservatives in all 3----Protestant fundamentalists through his anti-abortion stance and opposition to homosexual marriage, Catholics especially because of the abortion issue, and Orthodox Jews through support for Israel--though they have no idea what President Kerry will do.

It's truly amazing how little Bush supporters know about the issues and the real world----I've read that by a wide margin they even think the rest of the world favors Bush's election-------could hardly be more wrong on that.


Kerry believes in facts, in researching an issue, trying to get as many views as possible, in order to make an informed decision, and even changing his view, if the facts warrant it.

Bush believes in ignoring or denying any fact that doesn't fit his pre-conceived simplistic view of the world.

I really have looked for a Bush supporter who based his support on reason.

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, had a column in the Wall St Journal on what to look for in a candidate today. He's no dodo, obviously, and would be expected to have good solid criteria. I knew he would support Bush.

These are his criteria:

1) Is the candidate likable?
2) Does the candidate have a paranoid streak?---yes, Jack Welch thought this a good trait
3) Can the candidate see around corners? (predict the future)
4) Does the candidate support business?

That's right---in an attempt to justify support for Bush, he could not come up with one trait based on logic or reason (I count a desire for support for business in a candidate as not an objective request, coming from Mr. Welch).

I don't see how anybody who favors reason over emotion in government (do we really want a paranoid president?) could hesitate.

It has to be Kerry over Bush.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 01:01 AM

Hmmm... thoughts.

I'm actually voting for Kerry rather than just against Bush. That surprises me a bit, because I wasn't very impressed with Kerry for a long time. But here's one thing about Kerry that might be very timely for this country. We've had veterans of various wars in the White House, and we've had people who were able to avoid serving in Vietnam in the White House. But if Kerry wins the election, he will be the first Vietnam Vet to serve as president (and quite possibly the last). I think it could be good to have a Vietnam Vet serve as president. Especially one who has been able to both serve in the Vietnam War as well as protest against it.

So if Kerry becomes president, he'll be the first US president who fought in a war that the US didn't win (at least according to the US version of events). And the first of the veterans who came home from war with less than a hero's welcome. He knows things and has experienced things that no president before him knows or has experienced. There's an inherent integrity that comes with the particular blend of all of the things I've listed here. He's got it deep down inside him. If he can allow that to come to the surface and guide him in the way he conducts himself as president, and not allow himself to become blindsided by the politics of the presidency, he might be able to help bring about a lot of healing in this country. Anyway, I've decided to give him a chance.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 01:03 AM

DougR, we agree at least on that. A decisive victory.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Stu
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 06:49 AM

er, what election is this then?


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 06:56 AM

Not being a US citizen and therefore having no vote on this, I can only quote the (translated) lyrics of a Greek song:

"I am afraid of those
That decide for me
Without me"...

I am shit scared of the impact these elections may have for millions (billions?) of people who don't even get to participate in them. Just like some people were scared watching events unfold in Germany in the mid-1930s.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Sttaw Legend
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 08:13 AM

So which one do you think is near the truth?

In the final pre-election New York Times/CBS News poll, Bush was ahead of Kerry with 49 percent to 46 percent.

A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll showed that 49 percent of likely voters polled chose Bush, with 47 percent taking sides with Kerry.

Bush had a slight lead over Kerry, 49 percent to 48 percent, in the latest ABC News tracking poll, which was conducted through telephone interviews.

In the Pew Research Poll, Bush enjoyed a three-point advantage.

The Fox News/Opinion poll indicated that both Bush and Kerry had the support of 46 percent.

A Newsweek poll reported the largest gap between the two presidential candidates. Bush, with a six-percentage points lead, was favored by 50 percent of voters and Kerry by 44 percent.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 09:02 AM

Well, in terms of my thought in general, I haven't changed one bit from my initial post in starting this thread. I'm still for total chaos that is the only way the the US will ake the changes necessary to correct the terribly flawed manner in which we elect the president. Getting rid of the Electorial College or tweeking it to make it more democartic is the first priority, followed closely by figuring out a way to make more Congressional districts competative.

But I would add that I was warching C-SPAN last night. It was showing a live ralley in Cleveland, Ohio and I was really impressed with just how how far Bruce Springsteen has come since I knew him almost 30 years ago. Back then he was so introverted and apathetic it was unreal. So I'm real glad to see him involved, articulate on the issues and giving something back... Good on you, Bruce. Good on you.

I was also impressed with all the sicerety of John Kerry. Not that I'd go back and change my vote, mind you, but this entire crowd appeared to be like real people. I've seen a few clips of Bush rally's and Bush doesn't wade into the crowd. Kerry did. Kerry also seemed to spend actual time with folks, taking 10 or 15 seconds to stop and interact with folks. Bush, from what I've seen on TV, just works a line of folks in the front row and I can't remember him giving anyone any real time. Hey, 10 or 15 seconds may not seem like real time to many but if it is you who he is talking face to face with, it's a big deal. I had that expierence a long time ago with Walter Mondale and can guarentee you, it is a big deal. I was also impressed with all the hugging going on. Sincere or not, it came accross as sincere.

Just observations,

Now, bring on the clusterf*ck...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 10:27 AM

so whats the news so far from across the pond?


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: GUEST,marks
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 10:37 AM

I think it will be so tight that many states will not certify the results until all the absentee ballots are counted. Also, the new voting machines in many areas will generate more than the usual number of lawsuits. Meaning it may be weeks before we know who the actual winner is.
Sorry, but the differences between the major political parties are so small that many people, in effect, toss a coin before voting. That is what is making the pluralities so small, and triggering all the follow on problems.
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 11:24 AM

1. That the media did a bang-up job selling this election to us as "the most important election of our lifetimes".

2. I find it amusing that no one seems to know or care that along with the national campaign ads, we in the so-called 12 battleground states have been inundated with over 2 times the number of campaign ads as 2000--also a "statistical tie"--while the other 38 states have been virtually ignored.

3. That there are a lot of horrid, morally flaccid white men running around getting VERY RICH off the election industry.

4. That the US citizens' votes are getting much more expensive for the US oligarchy to buy--why a single vote already costs $80 in South Dakota!

5. That regardless of whether it is Kerry or Bush, we're still screwed, but not as much as the Muslim world in general and the Iraqi people in particular.

6. As soon as the election is over, Fallujah, the city of mosques with a population of nearly half a million people, will be leveled within two weeks, and it's citizens be killed, maimed, or made refugees.

7. Regardless of who it is, we'll see the draft reinstated by June of next year.

8. Regardless of who it is, if the draft isn't reinstated, it will be because we decided to cut and run, abandoning most of Iraq to chaos, but hang onto the oil fields, withdraw the troops to Kuwait, the US invasion staging ground in the Middle East, and prepare for the invasions of Iran and Syria "to smoke the terrorists out of the their holes" a la Bin Laden and Al Qaida in Afghanistan.

9. That we will not only still be stuck with the electoral college system, but we will also be stuck with the same old oligarchy we've lived under for the past 50 years.

10. That Nader will be proved right about everything, and he won't seem near as crazy as he looked to liberals and sell out progressives before the election. Especially when they'll need his name recognition and backbone to fight the bad guys the liberals and sell out progressives just worked so hard to back in the White House regardless of which group of rich white guys wins the horserace.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: pdq
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 11:26 AM

...this is stuff we all should know but probably don't...


------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Electoral College
------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The United States is the oldest continuously functioning democracy in the world. Its constitution was ratified in 1788 and has been amended only 27 times since then. The first 10 of these amendments, called the Bill of Rights, were approved in 1790. Amending the constitution is (by design) an exceptionally difficult procedure, as described near the end of this page.

The procedure for electing a president is spelled out in Article II. Each state is entitled to a number of electors equal to that state's representation in Congress (Senate + House). Since each state has two senators and at least one Representative, every state has at least three electors. Currently California has the largest number of electors: 55. The electors meet in their respective state capitals in December of each election year to cast their votes for president and vice president. These electors, who together form the electoral college, are the ones who actually elect the president. If no candidate gets a majority of the electoral vote, the House of Representatives elects the president, with each state having one vote. This happened in 1800 and again in 1824.

Each state is free to choose its electors as it wishes. In the 18th Century, America was largely rural and most people were farmers who knew little about politics. In this climate, a direct election of the president would probably have been difficult in any case. In the early days of the nation, electors were chosen due to their wisdom and knowledge of politics, not due to their preference for any particular candidate. Even in the modern world, direct election of a distant president is not always so easy. For example, the European Union does not have a direct election for its president. Instead, a complex system exists in which countries, not citizens, are the key players, exactly like the role of the states in the U.S.

Each state determines how its electors are chosen by state law and the process varies from state to state. In states with primary elections, each presidential candidate usually designates a slate of electors who then appear on the November ballot. The voters are then actually voting for a slate of electors pledged to one candidate or another. In caucus states, the electors may be chosen at the state caucus. Electors are actual human beings, with houses, children, jobs, and very occasionally, their own opinions. In most states, the slate of electors that gets the most votes wins and gets to travel to the state capital in December to vote for president and vice president. In the bitterly contested election in Florida in 2000, George Bush carried the state by 537 votes out of over six million cast, and thus got all 25 of Florida's electoral votes. Since it is the electoral vote, not the popular vote, that actually elects the president, keeping track of it is crucial for people who want to know how the campaign is going. This website is designed to make it easy to track the electoral vote.

Many criticisms have been leveled at this 18th Century system. First, why have electoral votes at all? Why not just elect the president by popular vote? The reason this system has never changed is simple: politics. States with many buffalo and few people, like Wyoming, benefit from it and are not keen on changing it. Since every state gets at least three electors, low-population states have proportionally far more political power than they would have in a direct election system. The number of voters per elector is about four times smaller in the three-elector states than in the most-populous states, as shown in this table. The fact that nearly all the low-population states are heavily Republican adds to the difficulties of changing the system. Direct election of the president would eliminate the current bias in favor of the Republicans.

Getting rid of the electoral college would require a constitutional amendment. Amending the constitution is (by design) an exceptionally difficult process requiring not only 2/3 majorities of both houses of Congress, but also by the legislatures of 3/4 of the states. Even in 1788, the Founding Fathers knew that politicians often made outrageouspromises. They wanted to make sure the constitution, which most Americans regard as sacred, could only be changed when there was a massive consensus in favor of the change. To give a modern example, president George W. Bush has called for a constitutional amendment stating that a marriage shall be a union between exactly one man and one woman. The Founding Fathers well understood that political slogans like this should not find their way into the constitution too easily, so they made the process very difficult. Changing the electoral college system will not be easy.

A second criticism of the electoral college is its winner-take-all character. If Florida's 25 electoral votes had been split 13 for George Bush and 12 for Al Gore, then Al Gore would now be president. There is nothing in the constitution mandating winner-take-all. The manner for choosing electors is regulated by state law. In fact, two states, Maine and Nebraska, do not use winner-take-all. In those states, the winner of each congressional district gets one elector and the winner of the state as a whole gets an additional two. Any state that wanted to adopt this system need only pass a state law to do so. No constitutional amendment is required.

In his book Fixing Elections: The Failure of America's Winner-Take-All Politics Steven Hill argues for Instant Runoff Voting. In this system, each voter would designate a first choice, a second choice, etc. After all the votes have been cast, everyone's first choice is counted. If some candidate has a majority, he or she is elected. If not, the candidate with the fewest number of votes is disqualified and his or her votes redistributed to the voter's second choice candidate. This process is repeated until some candidate has a majority. In 2000 under this system, voters could have designated Ralph Nader as their first choice and Al Gore as their second choice. When the first choice votes were counted and it was discovered, for example, that Nader came in last (not really, since there were even more minor candidates), his votes would then have been given to the second choice candidate. In effect, a voter could have said: "I want Ralph Nader but if I can't have him, I'll settle for Al Gore." With instant runoff voting, this is possible. This system is used in some municipal elections. Again, any state that chose to adopt it need only pass a state law to do so. No constitutional amendment is required.

The third objection to the electoral college is the so-called faithless elector problem. As mentioned above, electors are actual human beings, with all the properties that go along with that. In particular, when they meet in December in their respective state capitals, they sometimes do not vote for the candidate they are officially pledged to. In 1948, for example, Truman elector Preston Parks of Tennessee, voted for Strom Thurmond who was running on the pro-segregation Dixiecrat ticket. In 1960, Nixon elector Henry D. Irwin of Oklahoma voted for Virginia Senator Harry F. Byrd, then an ardent segregationist. In 2000, one of Gore's D.C.'s electors, Barbara Lett-Simmons, cast a blank ballot in protest of the District's lack of congressional representation. None of these faithless electors changed the outcome of their respective elections, but in a close election in the future, it might be possible for a candidate to bribe enough electors to swing the election. At the very least, state law could make voting the wrong way a felony with life in prison as the punishment.

If Congress wanted to keep the electoral college but make it fairer, there is a simple (but unlikely) solution: increase the size of the House of Representatives. There is nothing in the constitution mandating a particular size except that each member must represent at least 30,000 people (which puts an upper limit on the House of about 10,000 members). In fact, the House has been expanded repeatedly in the past as the nation grew. The most recent expansion was in 1911, when the U.S. population was about 93 million, so a representative had 212,000 constituents. With the current population of 293 million, a representative has 674,000 constituents. To bring this number back to its 1911 value, the House should be expanded to 1370 members. Since a state's electoral vote is equal to its congressional representation, with 1370 House members, the effect of the 100 senators would be much smaller and the electoral votes would be almost proportional to population. To increase the size of the House, Congress would merely have to pass a law; the states would not be involved at all.

Even without any changes, the system does offer some flexibility. In New York State, for example, there is a Liberal Party and a Conservative Party, and both are on the ballot at every election. The Liberal Party usually nominates the same person as the Democrats and the Conservative Party usually nominates the same person as the Republicans. As long as each party gets enough votes, it retains its status as a recognized party and gets on the ballot automatically at the next election. It has been suggested that if Ralph Nader were to choose the Kerry electors as his electors in each state he gets on the ballot, then people could express their support for him, and provide impetus to his movement, but a vote for Nader would (literally) be a vote for Kerry. This would no doubt encourage many people to vote for him knowing that such a vote would not help George Bush."


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: GUEST,Tweed
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 11:43 AM

Don't be an asshole! Click HERE!!


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 11:45 AM

There are two main problems with US elections: 1) that we don't regulate the financing of them with non-partisan government oversight, and 2) that the winner take all system hasn't been reformed to allow for some form of proportional representation.

I'm not convinced that scrapping the electoral college and simply going with the winner of the majority popular vote takes all system is a cure.

I do think we could keep some form of the electoral college to protect the interests of smaller states, and balance the power of the regions better, while reforming the electoral college into some sort of proportional representation system to select the president and vice president through our electoral college representatives, not our Congressional representatives. I also think the electoral college representatives would have to be bound to vote according to the popular vote, which they aren't right now.

The other major reform has to be some sort of institution with a reputation like the League of Women Voters, to be appointed as the regulators of election financing. All donations should go into a single pot and be distributed, and campaign advertising should be regulated too. This election year, Americans saw twice as many campaign advertisements as in 2000. Where is it all going to end? Where is all this money in elections leading the nation? Those are the questions we need to be asking, but not asking of our fat cat politicians who are making a financial killing out of their "public service".


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 11:47 AM

Oh yeah, one more thing: to get rid of the corrupt incumbency system, make all terms equal, four years, and limit the US House and Senate to two terms, just like the presidency. That alone would clear out a lot of the Congressional dead wood and sweep a lot of shit down into the sewers where it belongs.


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 11:54 AM

I'm eager to find who wins. To that end, I have made a note on January 1, 2005 on the calendar to check to find out who the winner is. We might know by then.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 12:00 PM

Bobert, you said, among other things:

Yes, this is my greatest hope tonight. I hope that the courts are clogged up and I hope that this election ends up in the House or Representatives.

Bobert, I think you are thoroughly confused here.

If it ends in the House, Bush wins. That's that. Later in your post you seem to indicate that's not what you want, so you'd better not hope to have it in the House, which is Republican.

The House does not have the power to do anything about the Electoral College, even if that is desirable, and even if they wanted to.

A tie in the Electoral College is a win for Bush, pure and simple. Well, maybe not so pure.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: THE ELECTION... Your thoughts...
From: CarolC
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 12:01 PM

Ok, pdq, if the electoral college is so important to states like Wyoming, why is it that neither of the candidates really cares about Wyoming's paltry handful of electors, and are focusing all of their attention on states that have enough electors to actually make a difference in their ability to get elected (states like Ohio and Florida). Let's be honest here. The electoral college doen't protect states with small populations any more than an election process that usees the popular vote to determine the winner. With the electoral college only a very small handful of states (the "battleground states") have any real voice at all. The rest are essentially ignored, while roughly half of the voters in the US are disenfranchised.


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