Thursday, November 30, 2006
Back to the Ballot: Only "paper BALLOTS for every vote cast" will do, argues leftish Brad Friedman--allying with Instapundit but splitting with the New York Times and liberal Rep. Rush Holt, who support a fancy compromise called "voter-verified paper trails"--which apparently attempt to make a backup record of votes that are actually recorded on touch-screen machines. Friedman:
A so-called "voter-verified paper trail" on Sarasota's touch-screen systems would not have solved the problem [of 18,000 suspiciously non-existent votes] in Florida. ... Paper trails, such as they are used with DRE/Touch-Screen systems do not work. Voters don't verify them, elections officials don't count them, they are not accurate, they can be gamed, they jam the printers which leads to voters being turned away without being able to vote...among just a few of the reasons.
The National Institute of Science and Technology is shifting Friedman's way, and he senses victory. ... [So we just abandon touch-screen machines like 8-track players?--ed More like BMW's fancy I-Drive, which lets you adjust the radio by calling up a computer screen. Impressive, but it's easier and safer to just turn a knob. You are sounding more and more like Bob Packwood's diary-ed Watch it. Henneberger's hiring, you know.] 11:05 P.M.
The Hayden Scenario: Even '60s antiwar leader Tom Hayden is apparently opposed to a quick Murtha-like pullback, seeming to endorse a Sunni-Sadr anti-Malicki backroom alliance that would result in
an immediate public decision to embrace withdrawal within a political solution, perhaps requiring one or two years to carry out. [E.A.]
It looks as if the big difference between Hayden and James Baker is whether or not to have an explicit timetable. ...
P.S.: Two aspects of Hayden's sketchy scenario reek of possible wishful thinking:
1) That Sadr would support "restoration of Baathist professionals and military leaders in Sunni areas, ... the fair distribution of oil revenues, etc." and
2) that Al Qaeda's role would be diminished because "it is unlikely that a continuing jihad would be supported by many Iraqis if the occupiers were withdrawing and lights were turning on."
Wouldn't Sunnis want to keep Al Qaeda around--not to fight the withdrawing U.S. "occupiers," but to fight Shiite sectarians? The recent WaPo story on Anbar province suggests as much. ...
The [Marine] report describes Iraq's Sunni minority as "embroiled in a daily fight for survival," fearful of "pogroms" by the Shiite majority and increasingly dependent on al-Qaeda in Iraq as its only hope against growing Iranian dominance across the capital.
True or not, the memo says, "from the Sunni perspective, their greatest fears have been realized: Iran controls Baghdad and Anbaris have been marginalized." Moreover, most Sunnis now believe it would be unwise to count on or help U.S. forces because they are seen as likely to leave the country before imposing stability. [E.A.]