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Who really won the Florida presidential election last November [2000]?

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy."
- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Transition of Power: President-Elect Bush Meets With Congressional Leaders on Capitol Hill
December 18, 2000, CNN
President-elect Bush met with the House and Senate Republican leadership teams today. And sources in those meetings say that they discussed tax cuts and energy policy. There was a great deal of concern, according to congressional sources, about how the Bush administration will keep the economy moving ahead.

In his meetings with Dick Gephardt, the House Democratic leader, and Tom Daschle, the Senate Democratic leader, they told him that they would try to move expeditiously on the Senate side on his nominations, but also said that their view of bipartisanship is that Bush adopt some items from the Democratic agenda; particularly items that did well in the 106th Congress but didn't quite become law: the minimum wage increase, HMO reform and campaign finance reform. The meetings were described as cordial, but Mr. Bush made it very clear both publicly and privately that he believes that he was elected president because of the things he campaigned on. That's an analysis the Democrats disagree with. They say this election was a tie --

“I told all four that there were going to be some times where we don't agree with each other. But that's OK. If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.”

    Please read the following four articles and you will find that in addition to the Supreme Courts ruling, Bush is the president select primarily because valid "overvotes" were not counted and thousands to tens of thousands of eligible voters were prevented from casting ballots.  Add it all up and you’ll have the same view of the legitimacy of the current executive branch (and the complicity of the legislative branch and corporate media) that the majority of peoples and governments outside of the US have.

“Americans are asking "Why do they hate us?"  They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.”
President Bush's address to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night, September 20, 2001

Bush Unpopular in Europe, Seen As Unilateralist
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
Released: August 15, 2001
Introduction and Summary
George W. Bush is highly unpopular with the publics of the major nations of Western Europe. By wide margins, people in Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy all disapprove of his handling of international policy, and the American president does not inspire much more confidence in these countries than does Russian President Vladimir Putin.

More than seven-in-ten of those in each country say Bush makes decisions based entirely on U.S. interests, and most think he understands less about Europe than other American presidents. In that regard, Bush's foreign policy approval rating runs 40-60 percentage points below former President Bill Clinton's, when judged in retrospect.

SILENCE OF THE MEDIA LAMBS: The Election Story Never Told
Thursday, May 24, 2001
“Here's how the president of the United States was elected: In the months leading up to the November balloting, Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, ordered local elections supervisors to purge 64,000 voters from voter lists on the grounds that they were felons who were not entitled to vote in Florida. As it turns out, these voters weren't felons, or at least, only a very few were. However, the voters on this "scrub list" were, notably, African-American (about 54 percent), while most of the others wrongly barred from voting were white and Hispanic Democrats.”

“Beginning in November, this extraordinary news ran, as it should, on Page 1 of the country's leading paper. Unfortunately, it was in the wrong country: Britain. In the United States, it ran on page zero -- that is, the story was not covered on the news pages. The theft of the presidential race in Florida also was given big television network coverage. But again, it was on the wrong continent: on BBC television, London.”

"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. ...The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. ...We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."
- John Swinton toast to NY Press Club (also here)

Rights Commission's Report on Florida Election
Tuesday, June 5, 2001
“The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights conducted the most extensive investigation to date concerning allegations of irregularities occurring during the November 2000 presidential election in Florida. The investigation, utilizing the Commission's subpoena power, comprised 3 days of hearings, over 30 hours of testimony from over 100 witnesses and a systematic review of more than 118,000 sheets of paper.”

“Perhaps the most dramatic undercount in this election was the nonexistent ballots of the countless unknown eligible voters, who were wrongfully purged from the voter registration rolls, turned away from the polls, and by various other means prevented from exercising the franchise. While statistical data, reinforced by credible anecdotal evidence, point to widespread disenfranchisement and denial of voting rights, it is impossible to determine the extent of the disenfranchisement or to provide an adequate remedy to the persons whose voices were silenced in this historic election by a pattern and practice of injustice, ineptitude and inefficiency.”

“Do you know the two most artistic ways to lie? …It’s not enough to be able to lie with a straight face; anybody with enough gall to raise on a busted flush can do that. The first way to lie artistically is to tell the truth—but not all of it. The second way involves telling the truth, too, but is harder: Tell the exact truth and maybe all of it . . but tell it so unconvincingly that your listener is sure you are lying.”
- From the character Lazarus Long by Robert A. Heinlein in Time Enough For Love

Who really won the Florida presidential election last November?
December 5, 2001
“A consortium of news outlets—including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Tribune Co. (Newsday’s parent company), The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press and CNN—spent nearly a year and $900,000 reexamining every disputed ballot.”

“But as the consortium found when it actually looked at the overvotes, one often could tell what the voter’s intent was. Many of the overvotes involved, for example, a voter punching the hole next to a candidate’s name, and then writing in the same candidate’s name.”

“Since the intent of the voter is clear, these are clearly valid votes under Florida law. And Gore picked up enough of such votes that it almost didn’t matter what standard you used when looking at undervotes—whether you counted every dimple or insisted on a fully punched chad, the consortium found that Gore ended up the winner of virtually any full reexamination of rejected ballots."

Vote of no confidence
John W. Dean, counsel to President Nixon from 1970 to 1973
“I could easily fill another book with what I gleaned from the Election 2000 books that now fill my shelf. But you should know a few bottom-line facts I learned from my reading. For these, the evidence is overwhelming, and the conclusions are inescapable, if not irrefutable:”

* Al Gore, to win in Florida, should not have restrained his Florida team, worrying unnecessarily that the establishment elite would be unhappy with him, for if he had taken the attitude of his opponent -- Bush was prepared to tie up the election indefinitely, if necessary -- he could have prevailed in the Florida recount. He had more actual votes than Bush, not to mention more voters who were disenfranchised by Florida election errors. In truth, he won the Florida vote, but lost the recount.

* Florida Governor Jeb Bush's behind-the-scenes efforts and influence are still not fully known, but his presence was felt everywhere during the recount, assuring his brother's team a win. Jeb Bush's influence helped open doors for George W. Bush, and closed doors for Gore. This part of the story still remains to be told.

* The U.S. Supreme Court's intervention into the Florida recount was pure partisan politics, driven by the court's conservative majority, and their actions resulted in one of the high court's most shameful decisions ever.

Election 2004?

"I know how to lead; I know how to lead. I don't run polls to tell me what to think. The most important and influential job in America must be the president, not the president's pollster. [cheers]. I know you cannot lead by dividing people. I reject the ugly politics of division; I'm a uniter, not a divider."
- George W. Bush, Iowa Straw Poll [Transcript], Ames, Iowa, August 14, 1999

The framers of the Constitution had not prepared their plan of government with political parties in mind. They hoped that the "better sort of citizens" would debate key issues and reach a harmonious consensus regarding how best to legislate for the nation's future. Thomas Jefferson reflected widespread sentiments when he declared in 1789, "If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all."
- © The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, 2001, The Birth of Political Parties 1790s

Political Split Is Pervasive
Sat, Apr 24, 2004
By David Von Drehle, Washington Post Staff Writer
The past decade has been one of the most eventful in American political history, from the Republican takeover of Congress to the presidential impeachment, the resignation of two speakers of the House, the deadlocked presidential election, the 2001 terrorist attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more.

And yet, like a bathroom scale springing back to zero, the electorate keeps returning to near-parity. It's happening again: A little more than six months before Election Day, numerous polls find President Bush in a very tight race with Democratic challenger Sen. John F. Kerry among a sharply divided electorate. A large number of voters -- seven in 10, according to one Pew Research Center poll -- say they have already made up their minds and cannot be swayed.

What explains it? From Congress to the airwaves to the bestseller lists, American politics appears to be hardening into uncompromising camps, increasingly identified with the two parties.

"Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, Liberals and Serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, Whigs and Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still and pursue the same object. The last one of Aristocrats and Democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all."
- Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824. ME 16:73

This split is nurtured by the marketing efforts of the major parties, which increasingly aim pinpoint messages to certain demographic groups, rather than seeking broadly appealing new themes. It is reinforced by technology, geography and strategy. And now it is driving the presidential campaign, and explains why many experts anticipate a particularly bitter and divisive election.
By David Von Drehle, Washington Post Staff Writer Political Split Is Pervasive, Sat, Apr 24, 2004

“I have already intimated to you the danger of Parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on Geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, & warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party, generally.

This Spirit, unfortunately, is inseperable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human Mind. It exists under different shapes in all Governments, more or less stifled, controuled, or repressed; but in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention, which in different ages & countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.”
- George Washington, The Farewell Address, Transcript of the Final Manuscript, United States 19th September 1796

"Of what importance is all that, if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the Party, is supreme over them regardless of whether they are owners or workers. All that is unessential; our socialism goes far deeper. It establishes a relationship of the individual to the State, the national community. Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings."
Adolf Hitler, letter to Herman Rauschning

America's Image Further Erodes, Europeans Want Weaker Ties
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
Released: March 18, 2003
Anti-war sentiment and disapproval of President Bush's international policies continue to erode America's image among the publics of its allies. U.S. favorability ratings have plummeted in the past six months in countries actively opposing war ­ France, Germany and Russia ­ as well as in countries that are part of the "coalition of the willing." In Great Britain, favorable views of the U.S. have declined from 75% to 48% since mid-2002.

In Poland, positive views of the U.S. have fallen to 50% from nearly 80% six months ago; in Italy, the proportion of respondents holding favorable views of the United States has declined by half over the same period (from 70% to 34%). In Spain, fewer than one-in-five (14%) have a favorable opinion of the United States. Views of the U.S. in Russia, which had taken a dramatically positive turn after Sept. 11, 2001, are now more negative than they were prior to the terrorist attacks.

Among possible coalition countries, majorities oppose joining the U.S. to take action against Iraq to end Saddam Hussein's rule. Even in Great Britain, a 51% majority opposes war. Among the unwilling allies, there is also virtually no potential support for a U.S.- led military effort.

"Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one."
- Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Modern History Sourcebook:
Benito Mussolini:
What is Fascism, 1932
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) over the course of his lifetime went from Socialism - he was editor of Avanti, a socialist newspaper - to the leadership of a new political movement called "fascism" [after "fasces", the symbol of bound sticks used a totem of power in ancient Rome].

In 1932 Mussolini wrote (with the help of Giovanni Gentile) and entry for the Italian Encyclopedia on the definition of fascism.

Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. It thus repudiates the doctrine of Pacifism -- born of a renunciation of the struggle and an act of cowardice in the face of sacrifice. War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have courage to meet it. All other trials are substitutes, which never really put men into the position where they have to make the great decision -- the alternative of life or death....

"And I know this, I know this, this country is hungry for a new style of campaigning. A campaign that is positive and hopeful and optimistic, a campaign based upon ideas and a positive agenda, and a campaign that attracts new faces and new voices. America wants a candidate, America wants a candidate who will appeal to our better angels not our darker impulses, and that is exactly the kind of campaign I intend to bring all across the great country called America." [cheers].
- George W. Bush, Iowa Straw Poll [Transcript], Ames, Iowa, August 14, 1999

Taking Aim at 2004 - Time Magazine
Can Bush win a second term running on a platform of tanks and tax cuts? An inside look at the campaign playbook
Sunday, Apr. 27, 2003
The symbolism was unmistakable. as Bush talked about tax cuts last week in Lima, Ohio, he was flanked by the guns of two M-1 Abrams tanks. The week before, while pushing those same tax cuts in St. Louis, Mo., he stood in front of a $48 million F-18 fighter jet. As the first statue of Saddam fell in Baghdad three weeks ago, the White House was putting into motion a plan that would allow the President to pivot from his focus abroad to mending fences at home. Bush's "hardware in the heartland" tour follows the battle plan for his re-election effort: from now until November 2004, he will blend martial images with rhetoric about tax cuts and never let the nation forget that we're at war both abroad and at home. "Sure, he talked about his domestic agenda," says a White House official of the St. Louis event, "but there were F-18s in the background." Yes, Bush will focus on kitchen-table concerns, but there will always be the shadow of guns just behind him.

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