Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sorries All Around

OK, so I've been sick, Mr. NBFH has been sick (I gave what I had to him, unhappy sharing), doggie NBFH has been sick, work is sick as in oy vey, and I just have too f* much on my plate, thus this blog too is suffering, alas alas.

[Sighs, shrugs.]

As they say in Nepali -- "ke garne?"

Which they really do.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Department of Coakley As Collateral Damage (Not to Mention Menino Throwing Coakley to the Wolves, Which I Won't Mention, As I've Mentioned It Before)

Just found this diary by peterboy.

"Scott Brown got the same vote total as McCain, but Coakley got 900k
fewer votes.

Dem turnout and independent turnout just disappeared.

MA Election results
2010 election

1,168,000 brown
1,059,000 coakley
20,000 others
2,247,000 total

2008 election

1,109,000 mccain
1,904,000 obama
100,000 others
3,113,000 total

Brown wins with about the same vote as McCain got.

Where were the 900k or so voters that didnt show up at all and who just a year ago gave Obama the win?

Brown ran identical numbers to McCain, but Coakley drew 900k fewer.

Dems and independents just didn't turn out. It is as Howard Dean tried to say but then didnt have the data to support it--Progressives are mad at Obama for talking tough on Corporations, HMOs, Big Rx, and Wall Street. But then playing kissy face with them.

Too bad progressives failed to notice that actual progressive Martha Coakley don't play that kinda kissy face. But they did not. Scott Brown attracted lots of late money from Wall Streeters wanting Brown to kissyface them.

In her bid to become the first woman elected to the United States Senate from Massachusetts, Ms. Coakley has thrown her support behind the proposed health care overhaul, the issue that has given this special election a national focus. She has said, though, that she supports a public option to encourage competition and reduce costs.

As attorney general, Ms. Coakley investigated subprime lending practices and helped provide relief for Massachusetts homeowners beset by foreclosures. In 2009, Goldman Sachs agreed to pay up to $60 million to end an inquiry by her office into whether the firm helped promote unfair home loans in the state.

Ms. Coakley supports President Obama’s proposal to tax financial institutions to recoup taxpayers’ investments and would vote to end tax cuts that favor wealthy Americans.

However, Ms. Coakley has said she does not support Mr. Obama’s decision to send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, saying instead that Afghan leadership must be strengthened.

On civil liberties issues, Ms. Coakley was the first state attorney general to sue the federal government to overturn a section of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as being between a man and woman. She also opposes the death penalty and advocates civilian trials for terrorism suspects.

Elections have consequences.

Department of Remind Me Again Why Wingers Think Kids Need a Mommy and a Daddy?

Because they sure don't need a Daddy like this.

Daddy waterboards his 4 year old daughter as punishment for her failure to recite the alphabet on command. No, really, I am not making this up. I don't have to. I never have to.

Hat-tip to Bookem/Seattle Tammy.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Bush/Cheney Depression: A Gift That Keeps On Giving, Domestic Violence/Murder Edition

Sudden rise in domestic violence homicides in Massachusetts linked to economic stressors.

Rising economic stress cited in domestic violence increase

The Westford man who shot his wife Monday, critically wounding her, before fatally shooting his daughter and himself is the second to allegedly kill a family member in this suburb in less than a month, and the fatal shootings are the latest in a rash of domestic killings in Massachusetts this year.

Since Jan. 9, at least five women have been killed in domestic violence. Two others were severely wounded in the total of six different incidents.

The violence has alarmed authorities and advocates for women, who point out that women’s groups are reporting dramatic increases in domestic abuse in Massachusetts and across the country.

“I haven’t seen this level of violence - and it’s not just the homicides, it’s the assaults and attempted murders - and I’ve been doing this for over 30 years.’’ said Joanne Tulonen, director of the YWCA/Battered Women’s Resources organization in Leominster, where a domestic dispute led to a knife attack on two women Sunday morning.

There seem to be few common threads in the deadly domestic violence that began Jan. 9 in Westford, where a man allegedly shot his 43-year-old wife before turning the gun on himself. In Spencer the following week, a man facing a foreclosure auction took his own life after shooting and killing his sick wife and their horse, setting fire to their home, and torching his pickup truck.

On Jan. 16, a Fall River man allegedly shot his wife at a Westport restaurant before killing himself. His wife survived. The next day, a 23-year-old Seekonk man and a 20-year-old woman died in an apparent murder-suicide at a motel in North Attleborough after police tried to arrest the man on an outstanding warrant.

A Fitchburg State College freshman, Allison Myrick, 19, of Groton, was stabbed to death Jan. 23, allegedly by her 19-year-old boyfriend, Robert Gulla of Shirley. Gulla stabbed and shot himself, but survived, police said. In Leominster on Sunday morning, a 23-year-old man allegedly slashed the throat of his girlfriend

Women’s advocates said they believe that despite the varying circumstances, at least one underlying cause is an unforgiving economy that has intensified family disputes, inflamed some men’s abusive tendencies, and left some women more reluctant to leave violent relationships.

“The story behind the story is the economy,’’ said Suzanne Dubus, executive director of the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, a domestic violence organization in Newburyport. “Bad economic times do not create batterers, but they do exacerbate problems. And women who are lying in the dark at night, thinking about leaving, they have no idea how they’ll support themselves and their kids on their own.’’

Monday, February 01, 2010

Black Box Voting: Rage Against the (Diebold) Machine(s)?

So Coakley won the hand count?

I didn't know that.

A little something from Black Box voting re: Coakley vs Brown in MA.

This article is about our right to know, not about Martha Coakley or Scott Brown. And lest you think something here favors a Democrat, just you wait, I'm still working on anomalies in the NY-23 election that are just plain hard to 'splain. As Richard Hayes Phillips says when people tell him to forget it, "I'm a historian, I've got all the time in the world." NY-23 still has history to be written. My public records are starting to arrive. But that's another story.

Back to Massachusetts, I think you have a right to know that Coakley won the hand counts there.

That's right.

According to preliminary media results by municipality, Democrat Martha Coakley won Massachusetts overall in its hand counted locations,* with 51.12% of the vote (32,247 hand counted votes) to Brown's 30,136, which garnered him 47.77% of hand counted votes. Margin: 3.35% lead for Coakley.

Massachusetts has 71 hand count locations, 91 ES&S locations, and 187 Diebold locations, with two I call the mystery municipalities (Northbridge and Milton) apparently using optical scanners, not sure what kind.


The greatest margin between the candidates was with ES&S machines -- 53.64% for Brown, 45.31% for Coakley, a margin for Brown of 8.33%. It looks like ES&S counted a total of 620,388 votes, with 332,812 going to Brown and 281,118 going to Coakley. Taken overall, the difference -- 8.33% Brown (ES&S) added to 3.35% Coakley (Hand Count) shows an 11.68% difference between the ES&S and the Hand Counts. Of course, as Mark Twain used to say, there are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics. These statistics don't prove anything, and probably shouldn't be discussed without a grain of salt handy before examining more detailed demographics.

As a point of reference, however, in the Maine gay marriage issue recently there was no significant overall difference between machine count and hand count locations.


Diebold's results are 51.42% for Brown, with 791,272 Republican votes counted by Diebold, vs. 47.61% for Coakley, with 732,633 Democratic votes counted by Diebold, for a spread of 3.81% favoring Brown.


It's always interesting to watch hand counts beat machine count results to the newspaper.

In the Massachusetts special senate election, results from six of 71 hand count locations were reported about 2 1/2 hours after the polls closed, with the remaining 65 hand count locations in right away. The slower hand count results represent 8.45% of all hand count locations.

These latecoming hand-counted results favored Coakley very heavily (she got 55.68% of these, earning 4,610 votes to Brown's 42.9%, representing 3,552, a 12.78% margin) Whether the reports came to the media late or the media posted them late is unclear.


ES&S had 12 of its 91 locations reported at least 2 1/2 hours after polls closed, a total of 13.2% of all its locations (as compared with just 8.45% of slower reporting hand count locations). So ES&S certainly wasn't faster than hand counts, overall!

These slow-arriving votes represented 88,288 of ES&S's 620,388 votes. Overall Brown got 46,257, for 52.39% of the late-arriving ES&S votes, and Coakley got 41,238, for 46.71%, yielding a margin of 5.68% of the late-arriving votes going to Brown, for a net gain of 5,019 votes to Brown.

North Attleboro and Paxton appear to be the last locations in the state to be reported, and they are both ES&S. North Attleboro brought in 10,881
very late votes, 71.48% of them going to Brown; Paxton brought in 2,036 votes, 65.37% going to Brown.


Yes, I know they're supposed to be called Premier machines now, and ES&S bought the company so it's now all one big monopoly family, and then the whole kit and kaboodle in New England -- Premier and ES&S -- is programmed by the juicy little LHS Associates guys. But I like to just call them Diebold, that familiar name which we all know and love.

Twenty-four of Diebold's 187 locations wandered in late, smoking cigarettes and wearing a bathrobe. That's 12.83% of all its locations. Apparently it was faster to hand count 8,497 ballots, as they did promptly in Newburyport, or 7,339 ballots, as they hand counted in public for all to see in Milton, than to push a button and wait five minutes for the machine to spit out a Diebold results report in Pelham where they had 725 votes. East Brookfield's 899 Diebold votes must have run out of gas somewhere; they weren't reported for hours.

All in all, a total of 170,594 Diebold votes took a long time to stumble in the door, These votes -- surprise! -- favored Coakley. She got 86,214 of them, for 50.54%, and Brown got 82,911 tardy Diebold votes, for 48.60%, putting Coakley on the plus side of the late arrivers by a 1.94% margin, for a net gain of 3,303 slow-moving votes.

They'd called the election by the time the 170,594 tardy Diebold votes showed up. Coakley had conceded. And of course, there are many ways to look at this if you don't trust voting machines, and why should you? It's hard to know who was fooling around, or if anybody was.