The new King County Democrats' website is here for now.
Official weblog of the King County Democratic Central Committee
...Their motive for destroying social security is that it puts the lie to their contention that government can't be trusted to do any positive social good. They are wrong and social security proves it. That's why they must create the lie that it won't work even while it's clearly working. As the quotes above prove, they've been crying wolf for decades and yet the program continues to provide millions of old and disabled people a bare minimum of income when they are past their working years and it will continue to be funded, fairly painlessly, for at least another forty years. It's very existence is a slap in the face to the Republican philosophy. That's why they must destroy it. ...
The head of the Army Reserve has sent a sharply worded memo to other military leaders expressing "deepening concern" about the continued readiness of his troops, who have been used heavily in Iraq and Afghanistan, and warning that his branch of 200,000 soldiers "is rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force."
...His pointed remarks represent the latest in a chorus of warnings from military officers and civilian defense specialists that the strains of overseas missions are badly fraying the U.S. Army. The distress has appeared most evident in reservist ranks. Both the Army Reserve and the National Guard last month disclosed significant recruiting slumps.
...Designed to fill key support roles during wartime, the Army Reserve has been heavily taxed by the demands of Iraq and Afghanistan. About 50,000 Reserve members are now on active duty, the majority of them in the United States freeing up other forces for overseas assignments. But many Reserve troops are abroad -- 17,000 total in Iraq and Kuwait, 2,000 in Afghanistan -- serving as military police, truck drivers, engineers, medics and civil affairs specialists.
...Highlighting the dwindling number of Reserve troops available for future deployments, Helmly included computations showing that only 37,515 remain out of 200,366 soldiers in the Army Reserve.
...Let's be clear: At every step of the process, the Democrats followed the letter of Washington law. The state's election statutes are very clear that there are three potential counts of the vote: If, after the general-election tally, a race remains within 1 percent of the total vote, a machine recount occurs automatically. If, after that count, one of the candidates requests it, a manual recount of all ballots occurs. The candidate, however, has to put up a deposit for the costs of the recount, which is reimbursed if the challenge is successful.
Those are the rules. And the most important one is this: Whoever comes out ahead in the final, manual tally is the winner. Period.
And, indeed, Gregoire promised to accept the outcome of the manual recount, even if Rossi won by only a single vote. Rossi, however, refused to match her pledge. That, of course, was the giveaway to what followed.
...Washington Republicans pretty early on resurrected the phony memes of the Florida debacle, particularly those that favored maintaining the original vote outcome giving Rossi the slender victory. This included the outrageous claim that machine recounts are "more accurate" than hand recounts, which turns all established precedents regarding vote counts on its head.
The anti-democratic nature of the party, though, really came to the surface when election officials in King County -- home to more than a third of the state's entire votes -- announced the discovery of several hundred ballots that had been improperly disallowed in the first count.
Now, this is the kind of clear mistake that manual recounts are intended to correct, and ordinarily it would be considered uncontroversial for them to be included in the recounts. Indeed, similar mistakes were uncovered in other counties and the votes, logically, counted.
But King County was one of the few places where the votes trended Gregoire's way, so Republicans -- playing the same kind of cherry-picking tactics they had earlier accused Democrats of using -- decided to contest the counting of those ballots in that county only, by filing a suit to prevent it. So much for having faith in the voters, not lawyers.
What was especially noteworthy was that all of the discoveries of mistakes in King County were mistakes that heavily favored Rossi. That is, what they actually signalled was the possibility that Republican operatives within the elections office had made "mistakes" that gave Rossi an illegitimate win and let him claim an initial victory. But using the reverse offense tactics that became famous in Florida, Republicans took to the airwaves charging that the discovery of these mistakes could only be explained by fraud or incompetence on the part of Democrats. ...