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MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                     vote2012

Yes, provisional (and other) ballots are still being counted in the presidential election up to and after Thanksgiving.

And it appears likely, according to several sources (including post-election late vote count tabulator David Wasserman , Greg Sargent of the Washington Post and Kos ), that Romney will end up with a rounded 47 percent of the vote.  That is because the vast majority of the late vote count (irrelevant to the outcome, but vital for bragging and irony rights) is coming from Democratic leaning states.

So it appears that the odds are that the man, Mitt Romney, who openly expressed his disdain for 47 percent of United States citizens (including those receiving Social Security and Medicare) will end up with the numerical percentage of the vote that will come to define him politically in years to come: 47 percent.

(Photo: Ho John Lee)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                               2012button

Talk about living in a bubble, Romney who ran his election with the primary goal of making the top .01 percent even richer says Obama bought off the 47 percent of the population that Mitt dismissed as unimportant to him.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

Mitt Romney said Wednesday that his loss to President Obama was due in large part to his rival's strategy of giving "gifts" during his first term to three groups that were pivotal in the results of last week's election: African Americans, Latinos and young voters.

"The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls, specifically the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people," Romney told hundreds of donors during a telephone town hall Wednesday. "In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups."

Romney's frank analysis echoed his secretly taped comments at a May fundraiser, where he told a small group of donors that 47% of the electorate was unlikely to vote for him because they paid no income taxes and were dependent on government. It followed his running mate Paul D. Ryan's assertion that Obama's win stemmed from turnout among "urban" voters.

This, of course, is a meme that plays right into the phrase Romney derisively used in the campaign: "trickle down government."  But plays on the stereotype of black politicians paying "street money" for votes.  The LA Times notes that Romney's assertion was ironically flawed:

(Photo: Women Voters of California)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                FBI IMAGE3 Seal of the FBI
 
Yesterday, BuzzFlash at Truthout laid out the case that Eric Cantor was likely attempting a longshot last minute effort to tip the election for Romney when he contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director at the behest of a rogue FBI agent.  We noted that Cantor was assisting an agent in undermining the agent's chain of command in doing so, based on the agent's charges of anonymous harassing e-mails being sent to a woman who he was sending shirtless photos of himself to.
 
In fact, we noted that the FBI found the behavior of the agent who Cantor championed so inappropriate that they ordered him to cease and desist from involvement in the investigation and is currently conducting an inquiry into his actions.  The agent, furthermore, had no cybersecurity expertise and normally would have had little or no role in the investigation, except that he appeared to have an apparent yen for Jill Kelley and dislike of President Obama that an anonymous FBI spokesman has termed "obsessive."   The latter he obviously shared with Eric Cantor.
 
In the ongoing unfolding of this salacious tale, it is worthy to note information that the Wall Street Journal (owned by Rupert Murdoch) in an article today (November 14): 
 
On Tuesday, people familiar with the case said that at one point in the summer, after the investigation began pointing to larger potential national security issues, Ms. Kelley tried to get the FBI to drop the matter. The people said she made the request because she was worried about the personal information being provided to investigators.
 
(Photo: Wikipedia)
MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT   ericcantor2 Eric Cantor: His October Surprise Failed
 
Amidst the sordid details of the high-ranking CIA sex scandal (that has now spread to an investigation of Jill Kelley, the woman who complained of being harassed by Gen. David Petraeus's mistress (Paula Broadwell), being involved in voluminous and questionable e-mail exchanges with the current commander of forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen), one important political factor has emerged in the last day: Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor appears to have tried to put pressure on the FBI to advance the investigation, with the likely goal of an October surprise scandal that would have potentially harmed Obama's chance of re-election.
 
The Wall Street Journal  and The New York Times provided insight into the Cantor involvement, with the Journal noting in the beginning of a November 12 article:
 
A federal agent who launched the investigation that ultimately led to the resignation of Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus was barred from taking part in the case over the summer due to superiors' concerns that he was personally involved in the case, according to officials familiar with the probe.
 
After being blocked from the case, the agent continued to press the matter, relaying his concerns to a member of Congress, the officials said.
 
New details about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the case suggest that even as the bureau delved into Mr. Petraeus's personal life, the agency had to address conduct by its own agent—who allegedly sent shirtless photos of himself to a woman involved in the case prior to the investigation.
 
The Journal went on to reveal that the "The [shirtless photograph] agent is now under investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility, the internal-affairs arm of the FBI, according to two officials familiar with the matter."
 
(Photo: Wikipedia)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Produce.(Photo: More Good Foundation)As The Hill and some other news outlets have reported, Mitt Romney received fewer votes from members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints than Bush. It wasn't a landslide difference: 80% of the Mormon vote went to Bush in 2004; 78% to Romney in 2012.   But even if the figure is subject to a statistical margin of error (based on exit polling), it does make one wonder why Mitt didn't get closer to 100% of the Mormon vote.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                              jebbush75 Jeb Bush
 
I read this political trivia the other day and was in disbelief for a moment: no Republican presidential campaign has won an election since Roosevelt without a Bush or Nixon on the ticket.  
 
Then I started backtracking and it's true:
 
Nixon was Eisenhower's vice president for eight years
 
Nixon was elected president in 1968
 
Gerald Ford served out Nixon's second term but was not elected to office, losing to Jimmy Carter in 1976
 
Reagan was elected in 1980 with George Herbert Walker Bush as vice president until January 20, 1989
 
George Herbert Walker Bush was elected president in 1988 and inaugurated on January 20, 1989
 
George W. Bush was "elected" president (even if by a 5-4 vote of the Supreme Court) in 2000, serving until 2008
 
(Photo: DonkeyHotey)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                      baldwin2

Personally, I have never given a hoot about whether anyone is gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender. Heck, I don't witness the sexual lives of other people, so why should I care about who a person does what with in terms of their bodies?  It's a private preference issue performed in private.

So the election of Tammy Baldwin to the United States Senate to fill the seat vacated by Democrat Herbert Kohl, a wealthy scion of a retail magnate family, made history on Tuesday because she is not only the first openly lesbian US Senator, she will be the first openly gay US Senator (although there are reportedly at least a couple closeted LGBT senators, just recall Larry "Widestance" Craig).

Baldwin beat a Wisconsin landmark, former long-serving Governor Tommy Thompson to represent the Badger State in the senate.  But her mind wasn't on breaking a barrier, it was on serving the people:

(Photo: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, 07 November 2012 11:40

Revenge of the 47 Percent and a Blow to Jim Crow

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                             jimcrow2

Look at the electoral map and it becomes quite clear that the United States still faces the impediment that Abraham Lincoln warned against: "A house divided cannot stand."

The red states are almost all overwhelmingly white and many of them with large rural swaths.  The blue states generally represent multicultural populations and have significant urban centers.  It's not a generalization to be taken lightly (although it has some exceptions, particularly in the upper Northeast).

As BuzzFlash at Truthout has noted many a time, the Civil War battle for the hearts and minds of white people has never really ended.  In fact, the Southern racial attitudes -- instead of being beaten down over the years – have come to dominate the Republican Party, giving it a populist base that does the bidding of the corporate overseers of the GOP.  

It is a historical fact that Southern plantation owners and then Southern plutocrats after the Civil War exploited poor whites as indentured servants and underpaid workers.  However, they kept the indigent whites in line by appealing to their racial "superiority" over blacks.  Brought to this nation as slaves, blacks have never been fully accepted as US citizens by a large swath of whites (whether they are conscious of their racism or not).  

(Photo: The Delta Blues)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                          bushcount2

BuzzFlash goes back a long way to its founding in May of 2000, so we were around for the full 2000 presidential campaign.

Looking through some article print outs from the 2000 election, we came across this one from the New York Daily News, "Bush Set To Fight An Electoral College Loss" (November 1, 2000): 
 
They're not only thinking the unthinkable, they're planning for it.
 
Quietly, some of George W. Bush's advisers are preparing for the ultimate "what if" scenario: What happens if Bush wins the popular vote for President, but loses the White House because Al Gore's won the majority of electoral votes?…
 
So what if Gore wins such crucial battleground states as Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania and thus captures the magic 270 electoral votes while Bush wins the overall nationwide popular vote?
 
"The one thing we don't do is roll over," says a Bush aide. "We fight."
 
(Photo: Mike Kidson)
 
 

MARK RUFFALO ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                      ruffalo2(Photo of Mark Ruffalo: Water Defense)

Courtesy of WaterDefense.org

Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo released a statement in response to accusations that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) has been fraudulently manipulating lab results of residents whose water had been tested for possible contamination by fracking. State Representative Jesse White called for a federal investigation of the agency after obtaining a deposition filed by a high-ranking DEP official in a lawsuit against Range Resources for allegedly contaminating drinking water supplies in Washington County, PA.  In the deposition, the whistleblower states the DEP lab conducting the water testing would assign a special code to the lab tests of fracking victims, specifically screening out results for toxins that are associated with drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

Mark Ruffalo:

“It seems that what so many of us have suspected is proving to be true. The Pennsylvania's DEP has been playing fast and loose with scientific evidence and in the process has endangered the health and well being of the citizens it is supposed to protect. A full federal investigation should be opened to see the extent of the agency’s corruption and negligence. It is my hope that the victims of fracking, from Washington County to Dimock Township, who have been demonized for fighting to protect their families’ clean water, will be exonerated. It is clear that the gas and oil industry is behaving as if it is above the law...

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