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Forum Post: question: what do YOU think about the Kerry & Hagel nominations?

Posted 1 year ago on Jan. 7, 2013, 6:24 p.m. EST by bensdad (8977)
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85 Comments

85 Comments


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[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 1 year ago

Neocons afraid Hagel too anti war? huh?

http://www.nationofchange.org/despite-right-wing-opposition-hagel-looks-set-confirmation-1361548609

RW war mongers smoked again.

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Nominating a Republican that voted for the Iraq war would have been something that was 100% unacceptable up until the media started doing their dance.

Now he's an honorable man who Republicans dont trust.

Gimme a fuckin break.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

I have been reminded today that Kerry & Hagel were two of the earliest anti-war advocates. I would have to say I am 100% in favor of Kerry & 75% in favor of Hagel - who is VERY much in favor of cutting the military.
And Hagel is driving the neo-cons crazy


Now for the really tough question - WHEN bush/cheney/powell/rice lied about wmds & yellowcake -
DID YOU BELIEVE THEM?
I confess - I was stupid enough to believe them.

==========================================
When a republiclan opens his mouth - lies fall out ==========================================

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

If you were stupid enough to believe them, and dont take this personally, then your understanding of history is fuckin horrible and you are bound to be played again.

If you werent the age you were, I would say maybe its understandable.

You fuckin believed that line of BULLSHIT?!! Are you fuckin kidding me?

The one preaching all this Democrat bullshit thought going into Iraq was a good fuckin idea?!!

What. the. Fuck.

Now you want Kerry and Hagel?

[-] 1 points by WSmith (5271) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Hagel as a wounded enlisted vet and Kerry as an authentic American statesman can't help but be worlds better in their positions than any of the criminals Cons have appointed.

Tamper-able voting machines should be banned with guns.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

I think the fact that we allow people who voted for the Iraq war to continue to be in government is a crime against humanity.

How do you feel about a republican with a terrible voting record, like Hagel, and a democrat with a terrible voting record, like Kerry?

Pro-spying on Americans without warrant.

Both have voted for wars that cost trillions and killed innocent civilians.

Can't support either of these people. Get me some liberals please. I'm tired of these centrists and right wingers that never question capitalism

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

I am not a single issue voter
Can you NAME anyone you prefer for either job?

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

I could name lots of people. You would probably be better for the job in comparison to Chuck or Kerry.

What are my options? Congressmen? Can I choose my mom?

I'm not a single issue voter either. I can list tons of issues why Kerry and Chuck are terrible. Just go through their voting history and you will see all of their blights.

[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

with all due respect, I feel that OWS will be stronger with more
specific "advocation" for any issue
How many posts have you seen in the last year calling to end the fed?
I did not see one that advocated what it should be replaced with.
Taxes, because they are numbers, lend themselves to specifics, but I would rather hear details rather than blankent statements.


For me, I do not like the Iraq war votes, but I like Kerry;
I like the fact that Hagel was an R who is not a war monger and has so much R resistance. I am concerned about the voting machine issue.
They both risked their lives fighting for our country and they are both the "opposite" of cheney - a chicken hawk war monger who dodged the draft

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

I have posted time and time again on monetary reform. HR 2990 is pretty damn specific.

Also most of the "end the fed" people include what to replace the system with.... however I do not think they provide a solution to any of the problems they list. I think real reform is in Dennis Kucinich's HR 2990. Which is far different and much more left of the ideas of the "end the fed aka Ron Paul movement."

But go ahead and say I'm not specific.

Chuck Hagel voted for the Iraq war, voted to fund it, as well as voted to Spy on Americans among the many other terrible blights on his record.

Being better than someone else in comparison does not make someone GOOD.

Sorry I do not praise anyone who voted for the Iraq war that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

They should be shamed not awarded. They should be ousted from government.

Go ahead and root for a republican. Then you guys can accuse me of being the right wing guy. LOL

We need liberals not centrist democrats and republicans.

How about someone from a socialist or anti-war movement? You know the people that opposed Iraq war from day one. The people that were right to assess the situation instead of believing CIA lies. I think this is very important in a role as important as secretary of defense and state.

[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

FYI- I just heard that two days after we killed obl, Hagel gave a long speech saying we should get out of Afganistan ASAP.

HR2990 - without DK, will anyone start it up this year?

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

too bad the white house and the pentagon are working to keep between 3,000 and 9,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014. How many private contractor mercenaries do you think will still be there? As many as there are now?

If you read anything about the horrors of the Iraq war, you would not support a single person who voted for it. Sorry, but mistakes like voting for the Iraq war are INTOLERABLE.

Do you know how many people there are that think we should leave Afghanistan now and didn't vote for the war in Iraq and opposed it from day one? And how many are also way better than Republican Chuck Hagel?

But if you want to support a republican and act like he's all that, even though he's jointly responsible for one of those worst blights in American history next to exterminating the native Americans.... i guess you can do what you want.

Also No one in the House or the Senate or the White House has any REAL plans to reform monetary policy. They all are either okay with the current system giving trillions to Wall Street (most of them are funded by Wall Street), or there are a few that share the similar bad ideas of Ron Paul's monetary reform policy.

Chuck is from my state, and he was a terrible representative to the people of Nebraska and America.

[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

And there are a dozen constitutional amendment bills in the works.
Don't you think reversing SCOTUS citizens united & ending corporate personhood would go a long way to severing democracy from capitalism?
That is at the heart of virtually everything OWS wants.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

I'm all about the constitutional amendment ideas you're talking about. I just posted about campaign finance reform like 30 minutes before you posted your comment.

I can oppose Chuck Hagel, mention everything else in my previous comment and support campaign finance reform, laws regulating it, taxing it, constitutional amendments, and even banning it all at the same time.

OWS does not support Chuck Hagel but you're here talking him up like he's sliced bread.

[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

I dont say OWS supports Hagel - I like him - you dont - I posted to get other people's opinions

[-] 3 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Why do you like chuck hagel? I posted this to VQ who has also been propagandizing this republican douche bag.

Chuck Hagel is a "right to work" douche bag. He also opposes labor unions under Federal contracts.

Again I am from the state this guy claimed to represent when he was a senator. I know all about his frauds. Including his 5 million dollar connection to voting machines through ES&S.

He's a wall street hack, and former investment banker.

All the bullshit that passed under Bush, Chuck Hagel voted for it. Like a typical republican.

Deregulating Wall Street - He voted for it

Voted NO on banning "soft money" contributions and restricting issue ads.

Voted no on banning contributions from corporations.

Voted no on campaign finance reform.

Rated 12% by APHA, indicating a anti-public health voting record.

Rated 0% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record.

He's hardcore against women's rights to choose.

Voted no on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes.

Voted no on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore.

Voted YES on increasing penalties for drug offenses

Voted NO on factoring global warming into federal project planning.

Voted YES on Bush Administration Energy Policy

Rated 0% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes.

Voted YES on enlarging NATO

His history of voting on trade laws that help outsourcing has contributed to crushing unionized labor here in the states.

He also supports laws that restrict voting rights.

You really like this guy? If so, then your hypocrisy knows no bounds

Need more reason to understand why chuck is a douche bag? Check out his deplorable voting history. - http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/chuck_hagel.htm

Again why don't you support a real liberal instead of a hack like Chuck?

[-] 2 points by GirlFriday (21785) 1 year ago

Hagel is a douche bag and I am not buying the shpeil.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

thank you. Anyone that even knows the synopsis of Manufacturing Consent knows that is exactly what Hagel is.

Why don't they support a liberal that opposed the wars since day 1 that doesn't have a terrible track record?

[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

I suggest information is valuable, insults are not.
I do not like or dislike Hagel.
I think he will be a force against military spending & the neocons
And that is why he was nominated
[ And I do like the fact that it makes mccain & graham look like the tools of the military industrial complex that we know they are ]

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

I linked his terrible voting record. VERY VALUABLE INFORMATION

Again why not appoint a liberal in the position?

But go ahead and support your anti-union republican.

[-] -2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

I think the white house will leave a token few troops in Afghan (3k?) but continue the destructive drone strikes/seal team missions.

WE will have to protest to stop these misuses of our military.

Hagel might help limit our damage.

This might help you understand the issues.

http://www.nationofchange.org/hagel-defense-1357748457

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

You were against him before you found all that ancient questionable right wing neocon smear campaign. So you ain't kiddin me.

Union, & womens rights ain't gonna be a problem. We're gonna decide based on the nominees defense positions. In this case the people who want to invade Iran and stay in Afghan are against him.

So yeah I would support a better nominee but we don't have a better nominee, THis is the one. And the neocon war mongers hate him.

That's a good thing.

[-] -2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Just so you know I didn't make any thing up regarding Hagel

http://www.care2.com/causes/5-facts-you-should-know-about-chuck-hagel.html

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

just look at you working for a republican.

Why not support a socialist or someone who did not vote for the Iraq war. There were a ton of people who knew the information about Iraq was bogus and knew Iraq had no capability of attacking the USA. Hagel chose to disregard truth and voted for a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people, and it cost trillions of tax dollars that put social programs at risk.

Anyone who voted for the war in Iraq cannot be trusted to analyze information.

Also please stop stalking my comments.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

When a socialist is nominated & your neocons attack 'em I will support them.

Truth is I don't like any of the existing pols in power.

But such is life. Gotta embrace all steps forward no matter how small. If Hagel irks neocons, I support him.

He has the right enemies.

[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

(face palm)

[Deleted]

[-] 3 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

You're a fuckin moron then.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

You just tow the neocon line, they hate Hagel, you hate hagel, They hate Social Security, You hate social Security, They hate Pres Obama you hate Pres Obama.

You are simply a puppet for them to master

[Deleted]

[-] 3 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Actually more Dems hate Hagel, but that doesnt matter, because most of your blind followers cant think for yourselves.

Obama is nominating a fuckin REPUBLICAN and you dumb fucks are all for it. Screwing the next generations as usual, eh?

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Does this help you with your Hagel hangup? This is from justforeignpolicy.org they are anti war group.

http://www.juancole.com/2013/01/reasons-secretary-defense.html

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Well as long as Juan Cole says its a good move, then Im all about it!!

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

LOL. Well alright then

[-] -2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Party affiliation don't matter. (I thought you said they were the same?).

What matters is each individuals position on the issues.

Best measure: Always support those hated by the neocons.

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Man you are easy to manipulate.

"If Hagel irks neocons, I support him."

You are officially too dumb to fail.

[-] -2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

You're a neocon shill!!! Fuck you.

[-] 2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

^paid by investments

[-] -2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

And you are Paid for by Clark, Lytle, Geduldig, Cranford right wing lobbying at your service.

http://richardkentgates.com/docs/CLGF-msnbc.pdf

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Here is about 100 reasons why Chuck Hagel is really just an anti-union republican clown

http://www.ontheissues.org/senate/chuck_hagel.htm

[Deleted]

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Chuck Hagel helped create the war on terror you dumb ass.

He voted for all those Bush era policies.

I support real liberals that opposed the wars from day one, because they have been right since day one, and they are not anti-union like Chuck is.

Chuck wants to reduce labor unions under federal contracts.

[Deleted]

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Maybe you didn't research the other options. You probably don't even know their names.

Now stop stalking my comments you delusional old man

[-] -2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

I don't need to research to know that there are many many better nominees!

That is a useless point. Of course there are better. Our govt is bought and paid for by the right wing 1% corp oligarchs.

Now back to reality, whoops there goes gravity. we have a nominee and the right wing war mongering neocons are squealin like stuck pigs!

Thats all. So I like that! And support the nominee because of that.

You can't support that because your right wing neocon paymasters have given you marching orders. "smear Hagel!!!" LOL

[Deleted]

[-] 3 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

You support a republican with a terrible history instead of democrats with a better history that also oppose the war.

Then you accuse me of being a republican? You have lost your mind.

Again you don't even know their names because you haven't looked into this. You're going off headlines.

Please take your delusions and stop stalking my comments on the forum.

[-] -2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

I NEVER said you were a republican. Party affiliation is irrelevant.

You are a right wing, neocon shill. The memo you linked was from the right wing lobby group that hires you. Right? Isn't that true?

And you have taken the neocon position on Hagel. I ain't made that up.

And of course you have always provided cover for any current republican. So I don't have to make anything up.

Reality is juuuuust fine. Ha haha ha!

[-] 2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Hey dumb ass, the anti war people voted AGAINST the wars....hahahah....man you are fuckin dumb.

Or is this your game?

[-] 2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Repeat again please. God you're dumb.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Literally just about any democrat would have been better than hagel. But go ahead and keep pushing your number 1 republican that opposes women's rights and wants to limit union labor under federal contracts.

[-] 3 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

The mascot is so dumb he must be faking it!!

Did he procreate?

[-] -2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

The neocons know he is a threat to their war mongering agenda, and that is why you are squealin like a stuck pig.

I would support any nominee that the right wing war mongering neocons attack.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

I've posted on this site more than most people about how dumb it would be to attack Iran. If you type in Iran in the search a bunch of posts from me will pop up.

Now stop trolling me. I don't like Chuck because he's against women's rights, and he's anti-union among many other reasons. There are a ton of anti-war liberals that could fill that position. Choosing Chuck over them is ridiculous.

[Deleted]

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Stop stalking my comments you delusional old man

Obviously you didn't research the other options. You probably don't even know their names. I'll tell you this much, they were democrats and you're supporting the republican.

All over the forum all fucking day.

I don't go seek you out. Stop stalking me on this forum with your paranoid delusional story line you've made up about me. .

[Deleted]

[-] 3 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Any democrat that opposed the war from day one would be a bigger threat to the warmonger agenda. But go ahead and root for a republican that is anti-union and supports illegal wire taps, and so much other shit. As well as he is someone dumb enough to believe bad intelligence even though it was known the Iraqi military was not capable of attacking the USA. Sorry that's too big of a mistake to make and it cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. He can't be trusted to make decisions.

[-] -2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

"delusional"? LOL So you didn't push that right wing lobby crap?

I didn't make that up. And I ain't forcing you to take the same position as the neocons on Hagel. That's all you.

Don't blame me for your right wingedness!

[Deleted]

[-] 2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Glad to see you linking to RKG site after acting like a total asshole to him months.

Fuck you. Get off our fuckin site.

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

I don't think any "right wing lobby group" has suggested putting in a socialist who opposed the wars since day one.

They're saying it should be a warmonger. Way different than what I'm saying.

You are a real piece of work do you know that. You live in a weird delusional world where you have this crack pot theory and story-line about me.

[Deleted]

[-] 3 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Stop stalking me on this forum with your paranoid delusional story line you've made up about me.

You're becoming an old man who stalks people on your computer all day. I don't really care what you think.

You've proven to be nothing but a distraction. Maybe that's your goal. You've done it well all over this forum with bullshit posts that you bump up yourself.

[-] 0 points by aville (-678) 1 year ago

it ws monica that sucked,.........just ask bill, and hillary.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Aaaaaaaaaaaah ha ha ha ha ha ha haa ha ha ha!

You're a racist piece of shit!

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

You're the one supporting a guy who voted for the Iraq war and is complicit in union busting by supporting Right to Union Bust legislation

Maybe you should research people before you pretend like they're great.

Chuck Hagel is a "right to work" douche bag. He also opposes labor unions under Federal contracts.

Again I am from the state this guy claimed to represent when he was a senator. I know all about his frauds. Including his 5 million dollar connection to voting machines through ES&S.

He's a wall street hack, and former investment banker.

All the bullshit that passed under Bush, Chuck Hagel voted for it. Like a typical republican.

Deregulating Wall Street - He voted for it

Voted NO on banning "soft money" contributions and restricting issue ads.

Voted no on banning contributions from corporations.

Voted no on campaign finance reform.

Rated 12% by APHA, indicating a anti-public health voting record.

Rated 0% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record.

He's hardcore against women's rights to choose.

Voted no on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes.

Voted no on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore.

Voted YES on increasing penalties for drug offenses

Voted NO on factoring global warming into federal project planning.

Voted YES on Bush Administration Energy Policy

Rated 0% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes.

Voted YES on enlarging NATO

His history of voting on trade laws that help outsourcing has contributed to crushing unionized labor here in the states.

He also supports laws that restrict voting rights.

Overall he's a typical republican douchebag.

Fuck you for propagandizing his name all over this forum.

But of course you'd rather support a republican like Chuck Hagel instead of Michele Flournoy, a female democrat who could have been nominated instead. I actually do not support either of these people because they are establishment hacks, but I'm just saying you're choosing a republican because the news is telling you about it.

Please STOP STALKING MY COMMENTS

[-] 2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Please top post this post. This needs to be seen for these mental midgets.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Well I agree all the items you listed make him a horrible republican (Like most of them) Of course he won't be responsible for any of that stuff.

The point is he is a 'war as last resort' anti 'war on terror' guy. That is what I support. The neocons hate him, That is what I support.

"Flourney"? She wasn't nominated. I am unfamiliar with her. Party affiliation is not relevant to me.

I can be against Hagel on regards to all those votes you listed but support his anti military action.

Don;t be so simplistic. The duopoly controls the peoples govt! Agitate against all war. Support any nomination the war mongering neocons object to.

Until the 3rd party emerges with real power we must deal with the devil we have.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

ha and you want to trust a guy that couldn't figure out the Iraq war was just a corporate scheme? Even when tons of people were saying IRAQ HAS NO WAY OF ATTACKING US and evidence backed that.

But go ahead and keep rooting for your anti-union republican. You call me a neocon.... You're a joke. And a hypocrite to the core.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

The neocons hate Hagel because he believes in limited military action. He will work to demilitarize the planet that the neocon agenda has created.

He supports leaving Afghan NOW!, He supports declaring the 'war on terror over'. Hagel does not support Iran sanctions.

Neocons hate that, and Hagel You are towing the neocon line.

'sok I ain't surprised.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Again there are a fuck ton of LIBERALS that have opposed the wars since day one and would piss off neocons even more than Hagel.

Why you would choose to support an anti-union republican over anti-war liberals is pure hypocrisy.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

There are NO liberals being nominated you idiot. The President is barely a moderate.

However, Hagel is hated by the neocons because he supports demilitarization.

Neocons hate him, You hate him, I support him. We'll just have to watch he doesn't de unionize the military. huh? LOL

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

You completely disregard the other options he could have gone with for his nomination.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Who cares who "he could have nominated"

I don't deal with fantasies. Hagel IS the nominee, and the nominee is hated by the war mongering right wing neocons.

THAT is the reality. And you are ignoring that because YOU are towing the neocon line.

[-] 2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

He stupid, you are falling for the divide and conquer bullshit again.

A few Republicans make some noise, a few Democrats make some noise, about 500 of em keep their mouths shut to stay in the club,, and you...

You do what you are told. As usual.

Thank god we have had past revolutionaries with bigger balls than you do. What a chickenshit. A little chicken hawk squeaking on the internet.

Fuckin fake ass fraud.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Aaaaaaah ha ha ha ha. You are melting down. Obviously the silly name calling can mean only one thing.

YOU have lost.

LOSER!!!

[-] -1 points by aville (-678) 1 year ago

kerry is a liberal,.........

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Allegedly. You racist piece of shit.

[-] 0 points by aville (-678) 1 year ago

he's a teddy kennedy wannabe.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Fuck you. Klan boy.

[-] 0 points by highlander (-163) 1 year ago

Not much. Just some talking heads. Brenner might, might, be halfway decent as CIA director. Hagel, what experience does he have?

[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

Hagel had some "right" wing votes in the past and was on the "wrong" side. but I am considering him today to today's job . Sec Def
He is a multiple purple heart combat veteran - so unlike the Rs chicken hawks he knows what war is. He was one of the first people to propose getting out of Afgan ASAP [ 2 days after we got obl ]
And the neocons hate him. I think Obama - Kerry - Hagel will form a major block against military expansion and adventurism. IMHO
Obama wants to sharply cut the military and Hagel has the hatchet.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

You're only saying that because the MSM put it in your brain. Otherwise you'd be supporting a liberal that opposed the wars since day 1 that could have done the job.

You are a victim of Manufacturing Consent in regards to this issue.

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Brenner at CIA is a bit too enamored with drones. Hagel has made the right enemies in the war mongers.

http://truth-out.org/video/item/13784-chuck-hagel-faces-tough-confirmation-from-senate-hawks-for-rejecting-party-line-on-israel-iran

[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

TEN YEARS AGO:
Published on Friday, January 31, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
"If You Want To Win An Election, Just Control The Voting Machines"
by Thom Hartmann

Maybe Nebraska Republican Chuck Hagel honestly won two US Senate elections. Maybe it's true that the citizens of Georgia simply decided that incumbent Democratic Senator Max Cleland, a wildly popular war veteran who lost three limbs in Vietnam, was, as his successful Republican challenger suggested in his campaign ads, too unpatriotic to remain in the Senate. Maybe George W. Bush, Alabama's new Republican governor Bob Riley, and a small but congressionally decisive handful of other long-shot Republican candidates really did win those states where conventional wisdom and straw polls showed them losing in the last few election cycles. Perhaps, after a half-century of fine-tuning exit polling to such a science that it's now sometimes used to verify how clean elections are in Third World countries, it really did suddenly become inaccurate in the United States in the past six years and just won't work here anymore. Perhaps it's just a coincidence that the sudden rise of inaccurate exit polls happened around the same time corporate-programmed, computer-controlled, modem-capable voting machines began recording and tabulating ballots.

But if any of this is true, there's not much of a paper trail from the voters' hand to prove it.

You'd think in an open democracy that the government - answerable to all its citizens rather than a handful of corporate officers and stockholders - would program, repair, and control the voting machines. You'd think the computers that handle our cherished ballots would be open and their software and programming available for public scrutiny. You'd think there would be a paper trail of the vote, which could be followed and audited if a there was evidence of voting fraud or if exit polls disagreed with computerized vote counts.

You'd be wrong. The respected Washington, DC publication The Hill (www.thehill.com/news/012903/hagel.aspx) has confirmed that former conservative radio talk-show host and now Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel was the head of, and continues to own part interest in, the company that owns the company that installed, programmed, and largely ran the voting machines that were used by most of the citizens of Nebraska.

Back when Hagel first ran there for the U.S. Senate in 1996, his company's computer-controlled voting machines showed he'd won stunning upsets in both the primaries and the general election. The Washington Post (1/13/1997) said Hagel's "Senate victory against an incumbent Democratic governor was the major Republican upset in the November election." According to Bev Harris of www.blackboxvoting.org, Hagel won virtually every demographic group, including many largely Black communities that had never before voted Republican. Hagel was the first Republican in 24 years to win a Senate seat in Nebraska.

Six years later Hagel ran again, this time against Democrat Charlie Matulka in 2002, and won in a landslide. As his hagel.senate.gov website says, Hagel "was re-elected to his second term in the United States Senate on November 5, 2002 with 83% of the vote. That represents the biggest political victory in the history of Nebraska." What Hagel's website fails to disclose is that about 80 percent of those votes were counted by computer-controlled voting machines put in place by the company affiliated with Hagel. Built by that company. Programmed by that company.

In Georgia, Democratic incumbent and war-hero Max Cleland was defeated by Saxby Chambliss, who'd avoided service in Vietnam with a "medical deferment" but ran his campaign on the theme that he was more patriotic than Cleland. While many in Georgia expected a big win by Cleland, the computerized voting machines said that Chambliss had won.

Between them, Hagel and Chambliss' victories sealed Republican control of the Senate. Odds are both won fair and square, the American way, using huge piles of corporate money to carpet-bomb voters with television advertising. "The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which all other rights are protected," wrote Thomas Paine over 200 years ago. "To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery.." That slavery, according to Hagel's last opponent Charlie Matulka, is at our doorstep. "They can take over our country without firing a shot," Matulka said, "just by taking over our election systems."

Taking over our election systems? Is that really possible in the USA? Bev Harris of www.talion.com and www.blackboxvoting.org has looked into the situation in depth and thinks Matulka may be on to something. The company tied to Hagel even threatened her with legal action when she went public about his company having built the machines that counted his landslide votes. (Her response was to put the law firm's threat letter on her website and send a press release to 4000 editors, inviting them to check it out.

"I suspect they're getting ready to do this all across all the states," Matulka said in a January 30, 2003 interview. "God help us if Bush gets his touch screens all across the country," he added, "because they leave no paper trail. These corporations are taking over America, and they just about have control of our voting machines."

In the meantime, exit-polling organizations have quietly gone out of business, and the news arms of the huge multinational corporations that own our networks are suggesting the days of exit polls are over. Virtually none were reported in 2002, creating an odd and unsettling silence that caused unease for the many American voters who had come to view exit polls as proof of the integrity of their election systems.

Prior to 1886 - when, law schools incorrectly tell law students, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations are "persons" with equal protection and other "human rights" - it was illegal in most states for corporations to involve themselves in politics at all, much less to service the core mechanism of politics. And during the era of Teddy Roosevelt, who said, "There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains," numerous additional laws were passed to restrain corporations from involvement in politics.

Wisconsin, for example, had a law that explicitly stated: "No corporation doing business in this state shall pay or contribute, or offer consent or agree to pay or contribute, directly or indirectly, any money, property, free service of its officers or employees or thing of value to any political party, organization, committee or individual for any political purpose whatsoever, or for the purpose of influencing legislation of any kind, or to promote or defeat the candidacy of any person for nomination, appointment or election to any political office."

The penalty for violating that law was dissolution of the corporation, and "any officer, employee, agent or attorney or other representative of any corporation, acting for and in behalf of such corporation" would be subject to "imprisonment in the state prison for a period of not less than one nor more than five years" and a substantial fine.

However, the recent political trend has moved us in the opposite direction, with governments answerable to "We, The People" turning over administration of our commons to corporations answerable only to CEOs, boards, and stockholders. The result is the enrichment of corporations and the appearance that democracy in America has started to resemble its parody in banana republics.

On most levels, privatization is only a "small sin" against democracy. Turning a nation's or community's water, septic, roadway, prisons, airwaves, or health care commons over to private corporations has so far demonstrably degraded the quality of life for average citizens and enriched a few of the most powerful campaign contributors. But it hasn't been the end of democracy (although some wonder about what the FCC is preparing to do - but that's a separate story).

Many citizens believe, however, that turning the programming and maintenance of voting over to private, for-profit corporations, answerable only to their owners, officers, and stockholders, puts democracy itself at peril.

When Bev Harris and The Hill's Alexander Bolton pressed the Chief Counsel and Director of the Senate Ethics Committee, the man responsible for ensuring that FEC disclosures are complete, asking him why he'd not questioned Hagel's 1995, 1996, and 2001 failures to disclose the details of his ownership in the company that owned the voting machine company when he ran for the Senate, the Director reportedly met with Hagel's office on Friday, January 25, 2003 and Monday, January 27, 2003. After the second meeting, on the afternoon of January 27th, the Director of the Senate Ethics Committee resigned his job.

Meanwhile, back in Nebraska, Charlie Matulka had requested a hand count of the vote in the election he lost to Hagel. He just learned his request was denied because, he said, Nebraska has a just-passed law that prohibits government-employee election workers from looking at the ballots, even in a recount. The only machines permitted to count votes in Nebraska, he said, are those made and programmed by the corporation formerly run by Hagel. "If you want to win the election," he finally said, "just control the machines."

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Hagel represents a threat to the right wing war mongerers plans for un ending 'war on terror'.

I would accept any steps that annoy the war mongers. I see Hagel as a small success in the effort to demilitarize US presence around the world.

[+] -4 points by aville (-678) 1 year ago

They both stink,........... as does obama.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (5271) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

UNFAIR!

How could anyone compare to the "Heroic Greats" of the last four RepubliCon ~ Shock-Doctrine New-World-Order Class-Warfare Corporate-Giveaway Democracy-Hating Fascist-Regime ~ Administrations: Nixon-Agnew, Raygun-Bush, Bush-Quayle and Cheney-Bush. Impossible! No Comparison!

In an America not so cruelly shackled by Big$, they'd have served life in Federal Prison, if they were able to win a fair election in the first place!!