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The election fraud that almost happened?

This story is pretty far out there, and I’m not inclined to believe it, but it’s worth thinking about the possibility that election tabulation systems in states could be hacked. State governments do get hacked; the South Carolina Department of Revenue was a recent victim and the SC Elections Commission was dumping sensitive security information on the Internet this past election day.

Here the hacker group Anonymous allegedly claims to have stopped Karl Rove’s minions from changing the vote in Ohio to make Obama lose that state. It is also alleged that Rove successfully stole the 2004 election by hacking Ohio.

The reason I find these particular stories implausible is that the individual precinct totals are published and individual precinct workers somewhere might check the the published totals and note a discrepancy at which time the scam is blown. It’s the recording of individual votes where the magic happens (meaning that it’s less likely for fraud to be caught).

Here’s the report from the Thom Hartmann program:

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78 Responses to The election fraud that almost happened?

  1. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG November 20, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    If there is one group more unsavory than birthers, its “anonymous”.

  2. avatar
    Rickey November 20, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    I have no idea if this is true, but I have to say that hacking into an election tabulation system is a more efficient way to commit voter fraud than sending ineligible voters to the polls.

  3. avatar
    Mitch November 20, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    I don’t believe it; I think they got punked.

  4. avatar
    G November 20, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    wow…that is a harsh charge! As there are very few groups that I find as unsavory as the birthers and their similar-minded ilk, I don’t share your opinion on this at all.

    In fact, I’m not at all that threatened nor opposed to loose collections of activist hackers and their hijinks at all. Some of what has transpired under that “anonymous” banner is certainly shameful or even criminal. Most of it however is merely in prank territory … including a lot of their online vandalism. A lot of it can be perceived by some as misguided immaturity, poor taste or even ideological anarchy, but where they arise as an actual threat is usually to target those that are extremely corrupt and deserve to be taken down anyways.

    In many cases, I find myself actually sympathetic to their intentions, even if I do not always agree witht their actions or methods.

    In terms of this particular article and claim – my view is that this simply falls in the “punking” category – similar to a piece of satire from The Onion, except done by someone under the Anonymous banner and directed at Karl Rove and his supporters, simply to make them paranoid…

    So I find the whole thing to be entertaining and worth a good chuckle and kudos to them for simply trying to mess with Karl Rove’s head… hilarious!

    Andrew Vrba, PmG:
    If there is one group more unsavory than birthers, its “anonymous”.

  5. avatar
    James M November 20, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG:
    If there is one group more unsavory than birthers, its “anonymous”.

    Writing all the folk songs and all the bathroom graffiti more than makes up for it.

  6. avatar
    JPotter November 20, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Seem like a very far out claim …. and how would one prove it? But it could explain Rove’s hysterical performance re: Ohio on FAUX ,,,, LOL!

    Why 2004 and 2012, no claim re: 2008? I say it’s leftwing conspiracy fever. Rove as bogeyman.

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    I have updated the article to note why I think the story is implausible.

  8. avatar
    KDLarsen November 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG:
    If there is one group more unsavory than birthers, its “anonymous”.

    Amen to that.

    I didn’t consider it a prank, when they started spamming flashing images on an online support forum for people with epilepsy.
    Nor do I consider it a prank when they threaten to publish personal info they’ve come across during their SQL injection “hacks”.
    Nor do I consider it a prank, when they’re able to goad their wannabe minions into running LOIC to take out websites because they have a mad at them (Swedish government websites, VISA, etc.).
    Nor do I consider it a prank, when they claim that they have placed 400 pounds of explosives in an undisclosed US Government building.

  9. avatar
    john November 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Everyone needs to sign! Please spread FAR and WIDE! Plaster on EVERY blog on the internet. We must have 25,000 signatures.
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/require-barack-obama-allow-public-examination-his-birth-certificate-records-his-college-university/WkkLbngp

    25,000 Signatures will FORCE a formal response from Obama regarding the release of his college records.

    Release of Obama’s College Records will show one of 2 things or both:

    1. That Obama was BORN in KENYA – Obama told his literary agent he was born in Kenya for 16 YEARS until 2007 when started running for President.

    2. That Obama is an Indonesian Citizen by the name of Barry Soetoro.

  10. avatar
    JPotter November 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    john: Everyone needs to sign!

    On that note … it’s time for lunch.

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    You birthers ignore one significant detail, according to Occidental’s record retention policy, Obama’s records, except for transcripts, were destroyed decades ago. Is your birthplace on your college transcript? Mine isn’t.

    john: 25,000 Signatures will FORCE a formal response from Obama regarding the release of his college records.

  12. avatar
    john November 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Obama’s college records most likely exist in archives or on microfiche. Most people are interested in his college application records where personal vital information is stored. I wish the petition also asked for Obama’s passport records. Because Obama went to Pakistan in 1980, people are very interested to know what type of passport he used to get in, was it Indonesian or US. In 1980, US citizens could go to Pakistan (The ban is a myth) but it was somewhat difficult to get into Pakistan without a lot of questions. Most people theorize that Obama used Indonesian passport and declared himself an Indonesian citizen and was able to get into Pakistan with no questions asked.

  13. avatar
    James M November 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    john: 25,000 Signatures will FORCE a formal response from Obama regarding the release of his college records.

    And when that response is, “these records are not available and I do not have them”, what then?

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    The transcripts are stored. The rest was not. The policy is available and your desires cannot create documents out of thin air.

    john: Obama’s college records most likely exist in archives or on microfiche. Most people are interested in his college application records where personal vital information is stored.

  15. avatar
    KDLarsen November 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Not to mention, it won’t force a formal response in any way shape or form. The UFO gang had a petition up, demanding the full disclosure of any alien contact, and even managed to reach the goal. The White House reply was a single line pretty much telling them to get lost.

  16. avatar
    James M November 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    John, at this point the only legal avenue for removal of the president is via impeachment. You don’t actually need a “Kenyan Birth” or “Indonesian Citizenship” for that. All you need is a majority of Congress to accuse the President of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” (which technically do not even have to be specified) and then a majority of the Senate to concur.

    On the first day of the Congressional session, the order of events can go like this:

    . A motion to suspend the rules an clear all business is made, seconded, voted on and passed.
    . A motion to suspend the rules that require reprographics and distribution between the chambers is made, seconded, voted on and passed.
    . A motion to impeach the President for “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” is made, seconded, voted on and passed.

    It is probably time for breakfast at this point.

    . Because of the motion to override the reprographics requirement, the measure is _immediately_ communicated to the Senate.
    . The Senate suspends all pending business and votes on the impeachment measure.

    By lunchtime, the President is escorted out of the White House.

    This scenario is no less plausible than any of the bagger fantasies.

  17. avatar
    Daniel November 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    John:

    You do realize that you’re not guaranteed a positive response, just a response, right?

    You do realize that “pound sand” is a response, right?

  18. avatar
    James M November 20, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    john:
    Obama’s college records most likely exist in archives or on microfiche. Most people are interested in his college application records where personal vital information is stored.

    You need to establish that specific documentation exists, where and how it is stored, and that you have a right to compel its disclosure. Then you may reasonably demand it.

    “Most likely exist” doesn’t even get you close. You are demanding disclosure of a document that you cannot even identify, let alone claim that it exists.

  19. avatar
    Jim November 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    john:
    Obama’s college records most likely exist in archives or on microfiche. Most people are interested in his college application records where personal vital information is stored.I wish the petition also asked for Obama’s passport records.Because Obama went to Pakistan in 1980, people are very interested to know what type of passport he used to get in, was it Indonesian or US.In 1980, US citizens could go to Pakistan (The ban is a myth) but it was somewhat difficult to get into Pakistan without a lot of questions.Most people theorize that Obama used Indonesian passport and declared himself an Indonesian citizen and was able to get into Pakistan with no questions asked.

    Why bother, if they don’t say what you want then you’ll just call them forgeries anyway. And explain to me please, how does a 5 year old go about disclaiming his American citizenship and declaring himself an Indonesian citizen when neither of those things can be done by anyone but the person and not till he’s reached the age of 18? BTW, MOST people believe the President was born in Hawaii and is eligible…including his opponent. So, this is another of your mistaken ideas laid to waste.

  20. avatar
    ASK Esq November 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    john: Release of Obama’s College Records will show one of 2 things or both:
    1. That Obama was BORN in KENYA – Obama told his literary agent he was born in Kenya for 16 YEARS until 2007 when started running for President.
    2. That Obama is an Indonesian Citizen by the name of Barry Soetoro.

    It WILL show one or both of these things, John? How about “I believe, despite there being no evidence to support that belief, that the release will show one or both of these things.” Or, better yet, adding a third option:

    3. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and was always a US citizen from the time of his birth.

    Of course, since, as others have noted, his college application and admission records no longer exist, the point is quite moot.

  21. avatar
    donna November 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    john:

    i signed this petition

    “in this time of despair” President Obama should “do the Hokey Pokey on national television during a special Presidential Address to the nation.”

    there is NO REQUIREMENT -

    January 21, 2012

    Obama says NO to WhiteHouse.gov petition to legalize raw milk at federal level

  22. avatar
    J.D. Reed November 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    John, you got the Pakistani trip year wrong; it was 1981 rather than 1980. And you’ve signed on to the move-the-goalposts strategy that birthers adopted after it was conclusively proved (except to the most delusional) that there was no Pakistan travel band in ’81. The goalposts were moved to, “well, there was no ban, but it was still difficult for an American to get in.” Your implication that a few questions would have intimidated and deterred the young Mr. Obama is sheer conjecture, of which you birthers have an endless supply.
    Why would a university store, even on microfiche, application documents for decades afterward? There would be no conceivable practical future use for them, so storing no matter how efficiently would be a waste of space and manpower.
    And who gives you authority to speak for “most people”? But to indulge you, if most people are in fact interested in Obama’s application papers TODAY, that’s ex post facto. This desire cannot create a practice of storing such records three decades ago, unless you buy into time travel. (Do you?) So how did you determine that such records are most likely stored on microfiche or by some other means in university archives. ?

    John, I fear that this is going to turn into another huge disappointment to your wishful thinking, of which you seem even more inclined than the average birther.

  23. avatar
    misha marinsky November 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    john: 2. That Obama is an Indonesian Citizen by the name of Barry Soetoro.

    That is ridiculous. He attended college under the name Barry Sonnenberg, a German-Jewish man.

    He pulled the “I’m the child of Survivors” scenario. He got reduced tuition, and fresh lox every breakfast.

  24. avatar
    misha marinsky November 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    john: Because Obama went to Pakistan in 1980, people are very interested to know

    Get your facts straight. Glenn Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990, and Mitt Romney strangled a girl in 1987.

    People are very interested to know where they buried the victims. Maybe Rush Limbaugh knows. Maybe he even helped, when he was filled with black market OxyContin.

  25. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG November 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    john:
    Everyone needs to sign! Please spread FAR and WIDE! Plaster on EVERY blog on the internet. We must have 25,000 signatures.
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/require-barack-obama-allow-public-examination-his-birth-certificate-records-his-college-university/WkkLbngp

    25,000 Signatures will FORCE a formal response from Obama regarding the release of his college records.

    Release of Obama’s College Records will show one of 2 things or both:

    1. That Obama was BORN in KENYA – Obama told his literary agent he was born in Kenya for 16 YEARS until 2007 when started running for President.

    2. That Obama is an Indonesian Citizen by the name of Barry Soetoro.

    John, I normally don’t tell the mentally infirm to go play in traffic, but in your case, I make an exception. Now, if someone is careening towards you, honking their horn, it’s code for “Come towards me, I want to hug you!”

  26. avatar
    misha marinsky November 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    donna: Obama says NO to WhiteHouse.gov petition to legalize raw milk at federal level

    Raw milk is sold at the Amish stand, around the corner. It’s a good way to get TB, along with other pathogens.

    Here: http://www.readingterminalmarket.org/

  27. avatar
    misha marinsky November 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG: John, I normally don’t tell the mentally infirm to go play in traffic, but in your case, I make an exception.

    Correction: Go play in heavy traffic.

  28. avatar
    JPotter November 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    john: Because Obama went to Pakistan in 1980, people are very interested to know what type of passport he used to get in,

    Nixon went to China. Nixon was (going to be) impeached. I think you’re on to something here. I hear that other Presidents may have traveled to foreign countries. On the taxpayers’ dime!

    Expose them all john! Expose them!

    Wait …. what? Members of the US military went to Pakistan? Recently???? They’ve gone to all kinds of countries? The treason is everywhere! At all levels of gov’t! Grab the canned goods! Save yourselves!

    Katie, bar the door!

    Father Reynolds Wrap, enclose us now in our hour of need, cost us now in Thy protective layers … argh it isn’t tin foil! Crappy aluminum foil! ….
    _______________

    How do you nuts go through life this way?

  29. avatar
    Scientist November 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    john: Because Obama went to Pakistan in 1980, people are very interested to know what type of passport he used to get in, was it Indonesian or US. In 1980, US citizens could go to Pakistan (The ban is a myth) but it was somewhat difficult to get into Pakistan without a lot of questions

    I don’t think the passport office keeps the actual passport with the stamps of countries you visited. Only the application would be on file, as was the case for the President’s mother. Pakistan tracked entries by foreigners (Americans needed a 30-day visa issued at point of entry) but I doubt records from 30 years ago still exist in Islamabad (though you are welcome to inquire at the Pakistani embassy). As for the re-entry into the US, one would almost certainly fly through one or another city in Europe, so the entry record would likely not show arrival from Pakistan.

    Just as a further note, having a foreign passport does not disqualify one from being President. As long as you are a natural born US citiizen you could hold 10 other passports if you wish.

  30. avatar
    JPotter November 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    I’m thinking the only result of the abuse of “We the People” will, if anything, be a much higher signature requirement. This will be taken as a sign of conspiracy….and encouragement …. “We’re getting to Them!”

    However, there will not be any moderation. Rave on, nutters, rave on.

  31. avatar
    predicto November 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    You folks realize that John is just trolling you now, dontcha?

  32. avatar
    BatGuano November 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    john: …. but it was somewhat difficult to get into Pakistan without a lot of questions.

    “how are you doing today?”
    “what is the purpose of your trip?”
    “how long do you plan on staying in pakistan?”
    “that’s a great jacket, where did you get it?”
    “next.”

  33. avatar
    James M November 20, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    predicto:

    You folks realize that John is just trolling you now, dontcha?

    I think he’s serious. Why do you think he’s trolling?

  34. avatar
    Scientist November 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Allen West has conceded. I guess there really weren’t any serious irregularities after all. What a shock! http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/allen-west-concedes-florida-house-race?ref=fpb

  35. avatar
    JPotter November 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Scientist: Allen West has conceded.

    “While many questions remain unanswered, today I am announcing that I will take no further action to contest the outcome of this election,” West says in a statement released this morning.

    Sounds like he got a job offer. Definitely not a true concession!

  36. avatar
    Expelliarmus November 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    Here the hacker group Anonymous allegedly claims to have stopped Karl Rove’s minions from changing the vote in Ohio to make Obama lose that state.

    Actually, we don’t know who made the claim. “Anonymous” is so shadowy and amorphous that anyone can claim be be “Anonymous” — but they do have a web site where they post stuff – and the supposed election conspiracy message is not on it.

    Actually, the letter is not even signed “Anonymous”. It has no signature at all — and was purportedly received by the web site Velvet Revolution – http://www.velvetrevolution.us/newVR/index.php?q=node/41 — they say it came from “The Protectors”, apparently in response to the VR’s offer of a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who rigged a federal election.

    So now you can add “strong motivation to lie” and “open invitation for a hoax” to a long list of reasons to be skeptical.

  37. avatar
    1% Silver Nitrate November 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    James M: All you need is a majority of Congress to accuse the President of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” (which technically do not even have to be specified) and then a majority of the Senate to concur.

    James, the bar for conviction is higher than that.

    US Constitution, Article I, Section 3, Clause 6: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. [snip] And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”

  38. avatar
    Rickey November 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    john:
    US citizens could go to Pakistan (The ban is a myth) but it was somewhat difficult to get into Pakistan without a lot of questions.Most people theorize that Obama used Indonesian passport and declared himself an Indonesian citizen and was able to get into Pakistan with no questions asked.

    Please provide us with evidence for your claim that tourists with a U.S. passport were asked “a lot of questions” but people with an Indonesia passport were allowed to enter Pakistan “with no questions asked.” Do you know this from personal experience, or did you read it on some birther website? Or perhaps it came to you in a dream?

  39. avatar
    Expelliarmus November 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    The reason I find these particular stories implausible is that the individual precinct totals are published and individual precinct workers somewhere might check the the published totals and note a discrepancy at which time the scam is blown.

    It’s more complicated than that. Basically you have these steps in the process:

    * votes are counted at the precinct level, in the presence of officially designated observers from both major parties.
    * tally results are printed out and posted at the precinct
    * results are also transmitted to county election department, which compiles results from all precincts — also with party observers present on election night
    * results are continually transmitted to secretary of state web site, which updates its database as new numbers come in — so any alteration to the vote total for an individual county would be overwritten as soon as the county submitted an updated report
    * all the numbers published on election night are “unofficial”, pending full count and certification of the vote, which is concluded weeks later — the vote certification is of course the result of an audit process

    So basically, if you could hack into the state election reporting web site on election night and make a change to the data — your would have to change a bunch of county level numbers, and they would persist only until that county submitted updated numbers. I suppose if you were a smart hacker, you would only change county numbers for those counties which had already had 100% of precincts reporting – which would be something of a problem, as the largest urban counties with the most precincts (and most voters) would also be the ones least likely to have 100% in.

    Of course, 100% of precincts reporting on election night is never really 100%, because they count the absentee & provisional ballots later. So at best, this vote-changing operation would be able to work a hoax that would persist a few days.

    Vote tabulation fraud is very possible at the local, precinct level — but it would have to start there — because the state & county numbers are going to have to match up with the precinct numbers.

    All of this is complicated by the fact that these days, everything is posted on the web, and partisan web users are continually viewing, copying and downloading results. So you have thousands of web users with cached or saved data on their personal computers, not to mention the many journalists and news outlets who are also following the election.

    I mean… look at all the hoopla about the St. Lucie election reporting in Florida — there is going to be an awful big fuss about anything that even appears to be an anomaly.

  40. avatar
    Expelliarmus November 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    Rickey: I have no idea if this is true, but I have to say that hacking into an election tabulation system is a more efficient way to commit voter fraud than sending ineligible voters to the polls.

    Yes, but the tabulation systems are at the county level. There are 88 counties in Ohio – and each one of them has hundreds or thousands of precincts. You’d have to do a whole lot of hacking. The fact that the tabulation systems apparently are not connected to the internet makes the task more complicated. (That was what the last-minute Husted “patch” was all about — apparently they were trying to streamline the process of downloading the voter tabulation data onto a thumb drive for transmission to the state computers).

  41. avatar
    James M November 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    1% Silver Nitrate: James, the bar for conviction is higher than that.

    US Constitution, Article I, Section 3, Clause 6: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. [snip] And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”

    Fair enough two-thirds, not a simple majority. However my point is that it can be done (a.) without any specific “high crimes and misdemeanors” and (b.) started in the morning and completed by lunchtime.

    Not that it would happen that way, of course, since the politicians would be keen on dragging it out for months, for their own political reasons. But the only _technical_ reason it would necessarily be delayed would be internal rules, such as reprographic and courier requirements, and House and Senate procedures which would have to first be suspended by the House and Senate, not really a high bar.

    Impeachment and removal from office by a unanimous or nearly unanimous House and Senate need not take more than a couple of hours, if that.

  42. avatar
    john November 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Actually, at this point impeachment is not necessary. One Senator and One Congressman is all that is needed to file a written objection with the joint Session of Congress in January. The objection can object to the vote of any one state or object the votes as a whole. The objection must be deposed and Congress is required to debate it. It cannot be ignored. So any Senator and any Congressman has the power to deny Obama over any number of issues a 2nd term not withstanding the election results. Unfortunately any objection still must go through the Senate which is a high hurdle.

    The joint Session of congress is a lot like what happens at a wedding where the minister asks if anyone objects come forward now or forever hold your peace.

  43. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    So if Congress certifies the election, will you hold your peace?

    john: The joint Session of congress is a lot like what happens at a wedding where the minister asks if anyone objects come forward now or forever hold your peace.

  44. avatar
    US Citizen November 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    I used to support Anonymous’ actions.
    Especially when they were messing with the Church of Scientology.
    Hacking Israel? Not so much, but I think they have a bit more brains than the COS.
    What I wish was that Anon would hack the RIAA.
    The RIAA just successfully prosecuted someone for attempting to sell 6 pirated CDs.
    The sentence? 15 years!
    More than some people get for rape or murder.

    Source: http://extratorrent.com/article/2572/cd+pirate+sentenced+to+15+years.html

  45. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    BTW, it appears that one group of votes from St. Lucie got counted twice, but not a large number. It was caught, however.

    Expelliarmus: I mean… look at all the hoopla about the St. Lucie election reporting in Florida — there is going to be an awful big fuss about anything that even appears to be an anomaly.

  46. avatar
    James M November 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    john: Actually, at this point impeachment is not necessary. One Senator and One Congressman is all that is needed to file a written objection with the joint Session of Congress in January.

    Can you name one Congressman or one Senator who can be expected to do any such thing?

  47. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Reminds me of the new Bond movie where somebody plugs something into something that they really should have known better than to do.

    Expelliarmus: The fact that the tabulation systems apparently are not connected to the internet makes the task more complicated.

  48. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    If memory serves me right, the INS form asks what countries you visited, and the country of debarkation. Just flying through Europe wouldn’t obscure the point of origin.

    Scientist: As for the re-entry into the US, one would almost certainly fly through one or another city in Europe, so the entry record would likely not show arrival from Pakistan.

  49. avatar
    1% Silver Nitrate November 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    James M: Fair enough two-thirds, not a simple majority. However my point is that it can be done (a.) without any specific “high crimes and misdemeanors” and (b.) started in the morning and completed by lunchtime. Not that it would happen that way, of course, since the politicians would be keen on dragging it out for months, for their own political reasons. But the only _technical_ reason it would necessarily be delayed would be internal rules, such as reprographic and courier requirements, and House and Senate procedures which would have to first be suspended by the House and Senate, not really a high bar. Impeachment and removal from office by a unanimous or nearly unanimous House and Senate need not take more than a couple of hours, if that.

    It might be a little more complicated than that. The trial would be not solely in the control of the Senate, since the Chief Justice of the United States is constitutionally mandated to be the presiding officer at a presidential impeachment trial. But I agree with you fully that this scenario just ain’t gonna happen. The House & Senate in Congress assembled could hypothetically declare war on Canada & Israel even faster, but that ain’t gonna happen either.

    BTW, I didn’t bring up the two-thirds requirement just to nitpick. I keep coming back to this blog to read intelligent, thoughtful, factual discussion of current inanities. If the discussion is presidential impeachment, I, & I hope others, want to see its requirements correctly presented, that’s all.

  50. avatar
    Horus November 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    john:
    Everyone needs to sign! Please spread FAR and WIDE! Plaster on EVERY blog on the internet. We must have 25,000 signatures.
    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/require-barack-obama-allow-public-examination-his-birth-certificate-records-his-college-university/WkkLbngp

    25,000 Signatures will FORCE a formal response from Obama regarding the release of his college records.

    Release of Obama’s College Records will show one of 2 things or both:

    1. That Obama was BORN in KENYA – Obama told his literary agent he was born in Kenya for 16 YEARS until 2007 when started running for President.

    2. That Obama is an Indonesian Citizen by the name of Barry Soetoro.

    You are truly delusional if you think this will work.
    Over 100,000 people signed the petition to get Obama to legalize weed and that did not work either.
    It’s time for you to accept reality, that Obama WAS born in Hawaii and is the Legitimate President of these United States.
    He won the election in a landslide, both Electoral and Popular Vote, for the Second time!
    Admit you were wrong all along.

  51. avatar
    Dave November 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    About the 2004 and 2012 “stealing Ohio” stories — I think it’s worth noting that over at left-wing website dailykos.com, by fiat of the boss anyone pushing either of these theories is instantly banned. Which tells you what he thinks of it.

    As for John’s petition, I wish people who post those petitions would at a minimum be cognizant of the fact that this is a petition to the White House, i.e. asking the administration to do something. It would have been slightly less silly to petition Obama to release these records, instead of petitioning him to force himself to release them.

    I realize this is the least of the problems with that petition, but it’s a common problem over there. About half the petitions are asking Obama to do something he is Constitutionally barred from doing.

  52. avatar
    G November 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    Strongly agreed, especially on the points I emphasized in bold.

    Look, I understand the points made by a few others here about some really bad behavior that has been done under the banner of “Anonymous”…

    …but as you correctly pointed out, the moniker is extremely shadowy and amorphous by design …that is really part of the intent and their joke – practically anyone who WANTS to portray themselves as “Anonymous” can… there is no true organization to strike down or go against – it is more of a concept banner than a fixed group. Heck, practically anyone who can buy a Guy Fawkes mask can go out there and claim to be Anonymous. Same goes for anyone with just sufficient enough computer skills to even make a claim that they’ve pulled something off…whether they actually have or not.

    Which is why the majority of stuff seems to fall under pranks or protest actions… that seems to be the two categories that most appeal to folks that are attracted to acting out under that banner or one of its affiliated movements (lulzsec, etc). Yeah, here and there specific individuals connected to specific events are tracked down and arrested…but these movements are really just 21st century concepts and not really fixed groups…so they will keep cropping up and doing different things because different individuals feel the desire to act under those monikers.

    Which of course leads to some of the bad stuff mentioned, because the world will always be full of a few jerks who want to do bad things… those are the perps you hope get busted. But realistically, there is probably very little if any real connection between a lot of these different incidents, beyond the concept and banner itself.

    Expelliarmus: Actually, we don’t know who made the claim. “Anonymous” is so shadowy and amorphous that anyone can claim be be “Anonymous” — but they do have a web site where they post stuff – and the supposed election conspiracy message is not on it.
    Actually, the letter is not even signed “Anonymous”. It has no signature at all — and was purportedly received by the web site Velvet Revolution – http://www.velvetrevolution.us/newVR/index.php?q=node/41 — they say it came from “The Protectors”, apparently in response to the VR’s offer of a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who rigged a federal election.
    So now you can add “strong motivation to lie” and “open invitation for a hoax” to a long list of reasons to be skeptical.

  53. avatar
    G November 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    Agreed. Well said.

    Expelliarmus: All of this is complicated by the fact that t hese days, everything is posted on the web, and partisan web users are continually viewing, copying and downloading results. So you have thousands of web users with cached or saved data on their personal computers, not to mention the many journalists and news outlets who are also following the election.
    I mean… look at all the hoopla about the St. Lucie election reporting in Florida — there is going to be an awful big fuss about anything that even appears to be an anomaly.

  54. avatar
    G November 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    Precisely. 2/3 of the Senate…

    …Which is currently 55 Democrats to 45 GOP and lead by Harry Reid.

    So yeah, there is ZERO chance that the senate will go along with any RWNJ witch hunt to impeach Obama…

    …Nor is there any chance in he!! that the GOP would be able to achieve over 66 seats in the senate in 2014 or 2016…

    So bottom line: While impeachment is the best “legal recourse” that these RWNJ have against Obama, there is ZERO actual basis for it and regardless, they simply do NOT have anywhere near the numbers needed to pull it off. It simply is a non-starter.

    But of course the RWNJ crowd is too emotionally stunted in their “magic thinking” stupidity to grasp that…

    1% Silver Nitrate: US Constitution, Article I, Section 3, Clause 6: “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. [snip] And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.”

  55. avatar
    aarrgghh November 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    “Study: Everyone, Everything Linked To Paranoia”

    “Our research shows statistically significant correlations between episodes of paranoia and fast food chains, Time magazine, the growing military-industrial-media complex that holds all Americans hostage, honeybees, my mother, and China,” said an unshaven, disheveled Dr. Adam Crane, lead author of the paper. “During routine tests, we saw that not only was frantic suspicion and extreme distress a symptom of everything being part of one big conspiracy, but it was also a direct response to the fact that everyone in the world, here and in other countries, is watching us right now at this very moment.”

    “Furthermore, our data confirmed this phenomenon goes all the way to the top,” Crane added. “Straight to Obama, Bernanke, the pope, NASA, Jeff Leialoha of Ann Arbor, MI. Everyone.”

  56. avatar
    G November 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    LMAO!!!

    aarrgghh:
    “Study: Everyone, Everything Linked To Paranoia”

  57. avatar
    Paper November 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    I am most interested in what course of action John will suggest in 2017 once the President leaves office. I am sure John will let everyone know how to challenge Obama’s eligibility to be an ex-President.

    Horus:
    It’s time for you to accept reality, that Obama WAS born in Hawaii and is the Legitimate President of these United States.
    He won the election in a landslide, both Electoral and Popular Vote, for the Second time!

  58. avatar
    J.D. Reed November 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    A question for John, or any birther, for that m,atter: who do you think should become president at noon Jan. 20?

  59. avatar
    Daniel November 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    misha marinsky: That is ridiculous. He attended college under the name Barry Sonnenberg, a German-Jewish man.

    He pulled the “I’m the child of Survivors” scenario. He got reduced tuition, and fresh lox every breakfast.

    That is ridiculous. Lox, by definition, isn’t fresh..

  60. avatar
    misha marinsky November 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    Daniel: That is ridiculous. Lox, by definition, isn’t fresh..

    You haven’t been to my home, or – עליה השלום – my mother’s.

  61. avatar
    Thrifty November 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    People have speculated that, but I doubt it. Trolls, whether well fed or not, get bored after a while. John has been way too persistent to fit that bill.

    predicto:
    You folks realize that John is just trolling you now, dontcha?

  62. avatar
    Thrifty November 20, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    The nasty and awful things certain hackers did under the claim of Anonymous, whether they did it in some sort of official capacity as an organization, is irrelevant. Less malicious people calling themselves Anonymous pulling harmless pranks have themselves chosen to wear the same name, and thus deserve the same scorn. As much as I hate to Godwin up an Internet discussion…. Suppose I were to found a political party called the National Socialist Party that was dedicated to liberal and progressive causes, and did not include anti-Semitism or ethnic cleansing of any sort. Well I’ve still taken the tainted name used by Hitler’s infamous empire.

    That’s the thing with Anonymous. They want to call themselves by this special name and act like they’re in some cool secret club…. until someone claiming to be in the same club does something rotten. Then they’re all “Oh, don’t blame US. We’re disorganized and anonymous!”

    Hackers from Anonymous have done some real, quantifiable harm to innocent third parties. Birthers are just clowns who have mostly just wasted the legal system’s resources and ruined the lives of a few other gullible fools (people like Terry Lakin who were complicit in their own undoing).

    G: Look, I understand the points made by a few others here about some really bad behavior that has been done under the banner of “Anonymous”…

    …but as you correctly pointed out, the moniker is extremely shadowy and amorphous by design …that is really part of the intent and their joke – practically anyone who WANTS to portray themselves as “Anonymous” can… there is no true organization to strike down or go against – it is more of a concept banner than a fixed group. Heck, practically anyone who can buy a Guy Fawkes mask can go out there and claim to be Anonymous. Same goes for anyone with just sufficient enough computer skills to even make a claim that they’ve pulled something off…whether they actually have or not.

  63. avatar
    Rickey November 20, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    Expelliarmus: Yes, but the tabulation systems are at the county level. There are 88 counties in Ohio – and each one of them has hundreds or thousands of precincts.You’d have to do a whole lot of hacking. The fact that the tabulation systems apparently are not connected to the internet makes the task more complicated.(That was what the last-minute Husted “patch” was all about — apparently they were trying to streamline the process of downloading the voter tabulation data onto a thumb drive for transmission to the state computers).

    I agree that the final tabulations are close to 100% legitimate. My point is that if large-scale voter fraud is going to be committed in this day and age, it is more likely to be through a cyber crime than by bringing in busloads of ineligible voters, although suppressing the vote certainly borders on fraud.

    There are those who still believe that JFK carried Illinois in 1960 through voter fraud, but he would have won the election even without Illinois.

  64. avatar
    Rickey November 20, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    Paper:
    I am most interested in what course of action John will suggest in 2017 once the President leaves office.I am sure John will let everyone know how to challenge Obama’s eligibility to be an ex-President.

    Orly probably will sue to keep Obama from collecting his Presidential pension.

  65. avatar
    G November 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    Yes, IMHO, you have gone all “Godwin” on this.

    But see, now you’ve fallen for the whole ruse. Their joke is on you. They sort of are a “secret club”…but then again, not really…that’s the whole sick joke – because everyone expects there to be some secret conspiratorial organization. But the whole real point of the name Anonymous is exactly what it sounds like – “anonymous”…as in it could literally be anyone…yes…literally. It is nothing but a meme masquerading as an organization…but there is nothing more to “membership” beyond anyone feeling like they want to be “anonymous” and act out under that banner. So no, it is not a “secret club” at all, when the average bored teenager can easily play along and pretend to be them. There is not even a set agenda, nor specific ideology at play here…just a very broad and vague meme that practically anyone could latch onto for various different reasons.

    So your anger is sort of like blaming the immature jerk who crapped on a cop car on the entire Occupy movement…or saying that ALL protest movements are tarnished, because there is always some anarchist or boorish jack@ss that joins in and tarnishes the broader movement for everyone…

    Or blaming every Christian or every Muslim for the acts of the extremist elements amongst them.

    …Except all of those other examples deal with actual groups with common purpose and actual “members” …Anonymous is way, way more amorphous than that…

    …can it even be categorized as a protest movement? an anarchist movement? a civil rights movement? a terrorist organization? a bunch of vandals? a criminal organization? a fetish group obsessed with hentai tentacle porn? a satirical spoof organization? a group of malicious and dangerous hackers? a modern day techno robin hood? a government’s worst nightmare? a group of bored teenage clowns? a sick and twisted joke? folks with an agenda? folks with no real agenda? a techno-libertarian wet-dream? an expression of internet freedom? a bunch of political and social agendists? a bunch of twisted sickos?

    If you look at the full history of their actions…every one of those mentioned above has been done under the broad banners of “Anonymous” and its various affiliations. There really isn’t that much commonality beyond the brand symbols themselves.

    So NO, a real organization or club has actual rules or commonality of purpose to its membership. HINT: you don’t have a “secret club” or even a “club” at all if anyone can go to a store and buy a common mask or anyone can go online and claim to be part of it…

    You.Just.Have.Random.People.Acting.Anonymously…

    No, the answer is to denounce the actual individual bad acts and try to identify and go after those specific individuals…and for others to denounce those specific acts as well.

    But if you fall in the trap of blanket generalizing, especially on something that is really at this level of anyone random access, you might as well just pout and condemn all of humanity for sucking…because there will always be some sucky people.

    Heck, if you’ve fallen into that trap, then you might as well blame the Batman films or comic books or pop culture or “modern society” all because some crazy psycho claims he’s dressed up as The Joker and kills a bunch of innocent people at the latest Batman movie premiere, hiding behind that as his personal sick reason and excuse…

    My main point here is that I only care to reference the so-called “Anonymous” in regards to this specific prank referenced in this blog title. To get distracted and go off on all these other much different and unrelated bad actions that have been done under that ficticious organization is really to fall for the ruse and get distracted off on an emotional wild goose chase that goes nowhere….as there really isn’t an actual “organization” behind a lot of this stuff. The probability is much greater here that there is little if any real connection or correlation between all those other things and whoever used the moniker to pull this little punking prank on Karl Rove and whatever gullible punditry fall for it.

    Thrifty: As much as I hate to Godwin up an Internet discussion….

    Thrifty: That’s the thing with Anonymous. They want to call themselves by this special name and act like they’re in some cool secret club…. until someone claiming to be in the same club does something rotten. Then they’re all “Oh, don’t blame US. We’re disorganized and anonymous!”
    Hackers from Anonymous have done some real, quantifiable harm to innocent third parties.
    Birthers are just clowns who have mostly just wasted the legal system’s resources and ruined the lives of a few other gullible fools (people like Terry Lakin who were complicit in their own undoing).

  66. avatar
    G November 20, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    Except by your own standards, you’ve somehow lost sight that not all Birthers have been harmless clowns. There are Birthers that have gone off the rails and actually HARMED, ABUSED or KILLED people…and several have been arrested for bad behavior (to put it mildly)

    James Von Brunn, Charles Dyer, Walt Fitzpatrick, Darren Huff, Joseph Sean McVey, Stephen McDaniel, Wayde Lynn Kurt….

    …plus you have supposed Birther pastors such as Wiley Drake and James Manning sometimes using their pulpit to pray for the President’s death…

    …not to mention all the other potentially unstable “lone wolfs” amongst that crowd and the other ODS RWNJ movements…

    So yeah…I consider this group to be much more contemptable. For one, I can actually identify at least one common and consistent theme to their self-identification as a group (ODS)…along with quite a few common threads of overlapping bigotry, ideology and paranoia that link them all together.

    I sure can’t do that with the so-called “Anonymous” as a whole…nor can I point out any of their awful acts that match up with actual murder, attempted physical harm, calls for assassination and yes, even acts of rape…

    So no, I don’t like wasting my time here putting up an unnecessary defense for some mere discombobulated internet meme pretending to be a sinister secret cabal….

    …but in comparing that hot mess of not really connected actions to the actual dangerous and vile real physical acts that have taken place in ODS circles…and claiming that the Birthers and their ilk are all “harmless” or less odious than these random acts of clowns pretending to be part of some not-really existent organization…THAT I find I bit offensive to the memories of the poor victims of folks like Von Brunn, Dyer, McDaniel…and to what the Secret Service has to deal with day in and day out…

    Thrifty: Birthers are just clowns who have mostly just wasted the legal system’s resources and ruined the lives of a few other gullible fools (people like Terry Lakin who were complicit in their own undoing).

  67. avatar
    G November 21, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    Really apples and oranges here. All the examples you keep making deal with things that would be actual organizations. So-called “Anonymous” isn’t really that…it only pretends to be. It is just a meme with a face to it…and the Guy Fawkes mask and the question mark and the name are all by intent…

    Look, if you could find and arrest and even “remove” every single person who has been “part of” or associated with this so called “Anonymous”, you wouldn’t really have shut down anything. Anyone else can just come along and pick up the meme and run with it. And who knows what those people will do under that banner, as there has been no real consistent common purpose. It is merely the concept, not the actual people that are what that really is all about.

    That is completely different from any actual organization, political party, religion, cult or group. Round up and lock up even a good portion of most of their leadership, let alone rounding up the members, and you’ve crippled and crushed a real organization or group…

    Thrifty: Suppose I were to found a political party called the National Socialist Party that was dedicated to liberal and progressive causes, and did not include anti-Semitism or ethnic cleansing of any sort.

  68. avatar
    Keith November 21, 2012 at 12:42 am #

    G:
    wow…that is a harsh charge!As there are very few groups that I find as unsavory as the birthers and their similar-minded ilk, I don’t share your opinion on this at all.

    In fact, I’m not at all that threatened nor opposed to loose collections of activist hackers and their hijinks at all.Some of what has transpired under that “anonymous” banner is certainly shameful or even criminal.Most of it however is merely in prank territory … including a lot of their online vandalism.A lot of it can be perceived by some as misguided immaturity, poor taste or even ideological anarchy, but where they arise as an actual threat is usually to target those that are extremely corrupt and deserve to be taken down anyways.

    In many cases, I find myself actually sympathetic to their intentions, even if I do not always agree witht their actions or methods.

    In terms of this particular article and claim – my view is that this simply falls in the “punking” category – similar to a piece of satire from The Onion, except done by someone under the Anonymous banner and directed at Karl Rove and his supporters, simply to make them paranoid…

    So I find the whole thing to be entertaining and worth a good chuckle and kudos to them for simply trying to mess with Karl Rove’s head… hilarious!

    I could not agree with you more. This is a stunningly right-on analysis. If Rove ignores it, he’s giving the thing breathing room; if he responds by denying it, he is opening himself up to ridicule and the old ‘of course he would say that, wouldn’t he?’.

  69. avatar
    MalaclypseTheYounger November 21, 2012 at 1:25 am #

    G: But see, now you’ve fallen for the whole ruse. Their joke is on you. They sort of are a “secret club”…but then again, not really…that’s the whole sick joke – because everyone expects there to be some secret conspiratorial organization. But the whole real point of the name Anonymous is exactly what it sounds like – “anonymous”…as in it could literally be anyone…yes…literally. It is nothing but a meme masquerading as an organization…but there is nothing more to “membership” beyond anyone feeling like they want to be “anonymous” and act out under that banner. So no, it is not a “secret club” at all, when the average bored teenager can easily play along and pretend to be them. There is not even a set agenda, nor specific ideology at play here…just a very broad and vague meme that practically anyone could latch onto for various different reasons.

    I founded anonymous in 1975. Well actually, what I did was morph the old Bavarian Illuminati into ‘the Discordians’ (all Hail Eris!), and then that fecking Justin Case decided to stick his nose in and people stopped doing their own thing so we I had to morph it again into ‘Anonymous’ when computers got to be actually useful (hail Billsteve!).

    Or not.

  70. avatar
    Rickey November 21, 2012 at 1:49 am #

    john:
    Actually, at this point impeachment is not necessary.One Senator and One Congressman is all that is needed to file a written objection with the joint Session of Congress in January.

    The only members of the House who are crazy enough to do that lost their bids for re-election (Michele Bachmann is crazy, but not that crazy), so they aren’t going to be around to object.

    I hope you realize that objections were filed in 2004. It took both the House and the Senate about 30 minutes to reject the objections.

  71. avatar
    The Magic M November 21, 2012 at 4:33 am #

    G:

    …Nor is there any chance in he!! that the GOP would be able to achieve over 66 seats in the senate in 2014 or 2016…

    But it will still make a good argument to get the crazy to the voting booth in those years.

    john: So any Senator and any Congressman has the power to deny Obama over any number of issues a 2nd term not withstanding the election results.

    No, ” any Senator and any Congressman ” only has the power to raise an objection, not to have that objection accepted by Congress.

    Did you flunk both civics class and basic logic? She must have been a pretty girl. ;)

  72. avatar
    Thrifty November 21, 2012 at 4:58 am #

    The thing is that it becomes an organization implicitly when they decide to slap a label on themselves. If I just wanted to use the Internet to screw around with people, I could do that without saying “Hey look at me! I’m part of Anonymous!”. But these guys freely choose to associate with the group, for better or for worse, by wearing that badge. That is, until that label starts to carry some liability with it, then they say “don’t blame me!”. No I don’t blame a harmless prankster for some other jerks who hacked Visa in support of Julian Assange, but by saying “I am Anonymous”, they have metaphorically lied down with dogs. So they shouldn’t be surprised that guys like me have a low opinion of them.

    G: Really apples and oranges here. All the examples you keep making deal with things that would be actual organizations. So-called “Anonymous” isn’t really that…it only pretends to be. It is just a meme with a face to it…and the Guy Fawkes mask and the question mark and the name are all by intent…

  73. avatar
    Bernard November 21, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    I find it hard to believe that Rove “fixed” the Ohio election. But, if I were Rove, I’d be delighted with the accusation because it means that some candidate would be willing to pay me a million hoping that I would work such magic on his own election campaign.

  74. avatar
    Thomas Brown November 21, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Predicted response to Obama school records petition:

    “Your concerns are duly noted, and we will give them all the consideration they deserve. That is to say, none. And by the way, if your name is John, you are dumber than shoe leather.”

  75. avatar
    G November 21, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    See, but you are still stuck in the fallacy mindset of treating this as an actual “group”, when it is really just a meme for whoever wants to latch onto it.

    You could have just as easily flipped your statement to say If I just wanted to use the Internet to screw around with people, I could do that by saying “Hey look at me! I’m part of Anonymous!”. to deflect blame from yourself for some malicious action or to help damage a mere meme that you are intent to see tarnished…

    …Which is exactly what the mindset of some people are.

    With a mere concept or a meme, it is simply what an individual wants to treat it as. You emotionally are clinging to examples of bad behavior and therefore simply want everyone else to view an entire meme as a hard and fast negative.

    I see very little difference here between your attitude and those of conservatives who were raised to think of all people to the left of them as “evil” or “commies” and who insist on seeing terms and ideas of “liberal” and “progressive” as always being some bad, bad thing that must be opposed… all because others like them pushed them to think that way or because they can point to some chain-link email shared examples of a few liberals that said or did bad things or were “mean” to them…

    Thrifty: If I just wanted to use the Internet to screw around with people, I could do that without saying “Hey look at me! I’m part of Anonymous!”. But these guys freely choose to associate with the group, for better or for worse, by wearing that badge. That is, until that label starts to carry some liability with it, then they say “don’t blame me!”.

  76. avatar
    Rickey November 23, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Bernard:
    I find it hard to believe that Rove “fixed” the Ohio election.But, if I were Rove, I’d be delighted with the accusation because it means that some candidate would be willing to pay me a million hoping that I would work such magic on his own election campaign.

    In 2004 Senator Barbara Boxer and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs filed an objection to the counting of Ohio’s electoral votes, citing “irregularities” in the voting – which had more to do with disenfranchisement than cooking the books. It took the House and Senate four hours to reject the objections. The vote in the Senate was 74-1 and the vote in the House was 267-31.

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/01/06/electoral.vote/

  77. avatar
    donna November 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    politifact pants on fire

    “In one county alone in Ohio, President Obama received 106,258 votes. But there were only 98,213 eligible voters.”

    Distorted data with a dose of ridiculousness

    http://www.politifact.com/ohio/statements/2012/nov/19/we-people-petition/online-petition-claims-obama-got-more-votes-one-co/