Saturday, November 3, 2012

RANDOM SHOT - Obama urges voters to take "Revenge," Jeeps In China, Voting Machines Fixed For Obama, and More!


Obama urges voters to take "Revenge" on Election Day

When I was in High School, I had a teacher who hated President Richard Nixon. That teacher would call Nixon a crook every chance he had, and one day he explained to us why he absolutely loathed the president.

He told us that Nixon had an "Enemies List" and was extremely vindictive. He said that a man in a position of power as high as the president should not be vindictive.

He said Nixon was out to get those who did not support him. I remember thinking that he was exaggerating how the president does things.

I reasoned that a man so weak and shallow, so ill tempered and disillusioned, so power hungry, could never be President of the United States of America.

Could we ever have a President of the United States who would be so vindictive as to seek, or support, revenge against those who don't support him or his policies?

Napoleon sure, Stalin sure, Mussolini sure, Hitler absolutely, but these were not American presidents. These were tyrants filled with sick ambitions to rule and enslave their people.

Sure they would have a strong, almost sick, desire for revenge one way or another. Heck, that's how they held power. But an American president? An American president wanting or supporting "revenge"?

It couldn't happen here. Or could it?

And revenge over what? Over not supporting a candidate because we don't like his policies? It would be sort of nuts to think it possible!

Granted over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of chatter from Obama's supporters wanting to kill Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. And yes, they have used the word "assassinate" when describing what they want to do to Romney and Ryan.

Well, believe it or not, President Obama suggested on Friday that his supporters take "revenge" by voting against the Republican nominee. He actually used the word "revenge".

During a speech in Springfield, Ohio, Obama worked up his crowd of supporters with his normal let's beat up on the rich stump speech. Then he mentioned Mitt Romney's name, and of course that drew boos from the crowd.

The president's reaction is one that had to surprise everyone there if they realize what they heard, but maybe not. Because when his audience started booing, the president said, "No, no, no -- don't boo, vote! Vote. Voting is the best revenge!"

Days ago when I first read about the death threats against Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, I remember thinking how President Obama could sound so non-partisan - so Presidential - if he would address those who have threaten to kill Romney and Ryan.

I thought, here is his chance to right America and tell those who he has filled with hate to stand down and get a hold of themselves.

Today, the Romney camp claimed Obama's remarks draw a clear distinction between the two men, just four days before Election Day.

"I think it's a terrible message to be sending," Romney senior adviser Kevin Madden said. "The contrast could not be more stark. Governor Romney is out campaigning on a positive message of change while the president is talking about revenge."

The Obama campaign lashed back. No apology, just more attacks.

President Obama is supposedly so intelligent yet he doesn't understand that words have power. And yes, a word like "revenge" coming from his mouth to his supporters should alarm many out there.

I believe the Mitt Romney will be elected President this coming Tuesday. I'm ashamed to say that I think there will be racial riots in the streets of the inner-cities. I'm also ashamed to say that I really believe that Barack Obama has fueled the fire of hatred that some use as an excuse to riot, loot and destroy.

And please, please don't say that what is said in a campaign does not translate into violence.

I was only a kid, a teenager if I remember right, when Robert Kennedy was shot dead during his campaign. I remember it on television as if it were yesterday.

Robert Kennedy's campaign for the presidency was in full gear, and he was the front-running candidate of the Democratic Party.

In the California presidential primary on June 4, Kennedy defeated Eugene McCarthy. And there at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, following a brief victory speech delivered just past midnight on June 5th, Kennedy was shot by an Palestinian named Sirhan Sirhan, who hated Kennedy because he in a campaign speech he had promised jet fighters to Israel. 

Hate motivated the man to kill Robert F. Kennedy. It is the same sort of hate that the Obama campaign has been fueling. Hate based on the lies that the Obama campaign has been pushing for months now.

I know someone out there will write me to say that the hate that Sirhan Sirhan had for Robert Kennedy is much different than the hate that's being drummed up by the Obama campaign. But are you sure?

During this election, both Obama's campaign and his surrogates have fueled the flames of hatred by promoting the ideas of class warfare, a return to racial segregation, a repeal of women's rights, the destruction of Social Security and Medicare, ending programs that feed the poor and keep our air clean, all if Mitt Romney is elected.

All while knowing full well that Mitt Romney has no such plans.

It is supposed to gin up votes, but it also feeds the hatred and incites violence. Words like "revenge" incite those who want an excuse to commit violence.

As I stated in my October 20th, Random Shots article, Obama Supporters Threaten To Kill Romney If He Wins Election:

Threats to assassinate President Obama would be dealt with immediately, with Mitt Romney proving just as threatened on the social network - I'm hoping someone takes this serious and doesn't treat it as they did the threats against George W. Bush.

Twitchy first reported on the death threats last Sunday but a deluge of new ones have flooded in since, including the following;

“I swear if Mitt Romney becomes president, I’m gonna be the one to assassinate his ass!!!”

“im telling you if romney gets elected somebody gon have to take a L and A. assassinate romney and ryan or B. obliterate the WH w/ them in it.”

“If Romney becomes president , hella people gonna try to assassinate him.”

“Soo Romney said black folks are free loaders n basically tryna get us back to slavery…..I will personally Assassinate dat mf.”

“If Romney Get Elected Somebody Gotta Assassinate Him” Me Duh Nigha ??”

“If Romney Get Elected Somebody Gotta Assassinate Him.”

“F*ck Romney ima assassinate.”

It is important again to stress that these are not newly created fake accounts, they are owned by people who have made thousands of previous tweets.

While some Twitter users later backed away from their threats, others seemed genuinely serious.
President Obama, his administration, and the liberal media, have needlessly fanned the flames of racial division in American. When it became apparent that economics would not work, the Obama administration has tried to break America along racial, gender and class lines.

Now is the time for the ominous to be addressed. Obama and other Democrat leaders, and yes the culpable mainstream liberal press, should step forward and denounce these threats of violence right now.

If they have any decency at all, they would do so immediately.

So yesterday, when the Romney campaign addressed President Obama's use of the word "revenge" and claimed that Obama's remarks draw a clear distinction between the two men.

President Obama's campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said, "We'll take a lecture from the Romney campaign on positive campaigning when they stop scaring auto workers, pull their cynical Jeep ad off the air and apologize for falsely claiming that Chrysler is moving Jeep production to China. That's their closing argument and there's nothing positive about scare tactics and dishonesty."

Scare tactics and dishonesty? Really! Not hardly!

Please, read on to find out why I say that.


So let's talk about Jeep production to China, was Mitt Romney wrong?

On October 25th, 2012, the Washington Examiner ran the story: 

Jeep, an Obama favorite, looks to shift production to China

In another potential blow for the president's Ohio reelection campaign, Jeep, the rugged brand President Obama once said symbolized American freedom, is considering giving up on the United States and shifting production to China.

Such a move would crash the economy in towns like Toledo, Ohio, where Jeeps are made and supplied, and rob the community of the economic security they thought Obama's auto bailout assured them.

Obama is such a fan of Jeep that he included a picture of himself speaking at the Toledo plant in his newly released second term agenda binder.

In his address to the plant in 2011, Obama said, "I just took a short tour of the plant and watched some of you putting the finishing touches on the Wrangler. Now, as somebody reminded, I need to call it the 'iconic' Wrangler. And that's appropriate because when you think about what Wrangler has always symbolized. It symbolized freedom, adventure, hitting the open road, never looking back."

Well it appears that the taxpayer bailed-out Chrysler is looking back and now considering cutting costs by shifting production of all Jeeps to China, which has a strong desire for Jeeps.

In a Bloomberg interview, Jeep's president said the automaker plans to restore Jeep production in China, suspended in 2009, and is considering making all Jeeps in China. "Fiat SpA, majority owner of Chrysler Group LLC, plans to return Jeep output to China and may eventually make all of its models in that country, according to the head of both automakers' operations in the region," reported the business wire service.

Mike Manley, chief operating officer of Fiat and Chrysler in Asia and president of the Jeep brand, told Bloomberg, "We're reviewing the opportunities within existing capacity" as well as "should we be localizing the entire Jeep portfolio or some of the Jeep portfolio" to China.

Chrysler builds Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley said the firm is in talks with China's Guangzhou Automobile Group Co.

--- end article of October 25th.

Then on October 30th, Chrysler Group LLC Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne came out to say that Jeep sport-utility vehicle production will stay in the U.S. after presidential candidate Mitt Romney suggested output may move to China.

"Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China," Marchionne wrote in a letter to Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler’s employees. "Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand. It is inaccurate to suggest anything different."

It wasn't Romney who got it wrong, talk to Bloomberg News!

Bloomberg News reported on Oct. 22 that Chrysler’s majority owner Fiat SpA (F) planned to resume Jeep output in China and may eventually make all of the brand’s models there. The report stated that potential production in China would be in addition to output at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio.

Chrysler hasn’t built Jeeps in China, the world’s largest auto market, since before Turin, Italy-based Fiat took control of the U.S. automaker in 2009 after a U.S.-backed bankruptcy.

Production in China would allow Fiat and Chrysler to sell Jeeps that avoid Chinese government tariffs on imported vehicles.

When Mitt Romney told a crowd in Ohio last week that he had read a report saying Jeep was "thinking of moving all production to China," there is a defensible explanation for what he said.

A Bloomberg story published the previous Monday had stated that Fiat, which owns Chrysler, "plans to return Jeep output to China and may eventually make all of its models in that country."

A line was added to the Bloomberg story after it was published stating that Mike Manley, chief operating officer of Fiat and Chrysler in Asia, was referring to "adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China."

After finding out the correction, the Romney campaign made a good  point when they said, "if Chrysler adds jobs in China, that amounts to jobs the automaker is not creating here at home in the United States.

Now as for why this story struck home with me?

Well, just as a matter of full disclosure, I bought brand new CJ-5 Jeep back in 1979 during the "Other Great Depression" when Jimmy Carter was president.  
Ah, the days the Democrats want to forget! The days of the Carter Administration and the last time the economy was really in the toilet.

Think I'm kidding? How about double-digit unemployment as in 16% nationally, double-digit inflation rate as in 14%, and yes let's not forget the double-digit Interest Rates.

Yup, I remember going into the American Motors Corporation (AMC) Jeep lot and finding one that I wanted.  I then sat down with the Dealer and got a great Interest Rate for those days, I got 17%!

Yes, even though my credit rating was excellent, that's what I got - and that was great.

You see, Democrats bet on you and I not having a very good memories. They don't want you to remember that Interest Rates under that last President to use the same economic policies as Obama - was actually Jimmy Carter. And yes, that was truly America's last Depression!

Under Carter, the Interest Rate was 21%!

My CJ-5 Jeep was made before AMC partnered with France's Renault to help finance their manufacturing operations - all to obtain much-needed capital and a source for sub-compact vehicles.

Just a few years later in 1983, Renault had a controlling interest in AMC. Production was discontinued for all AMC cars except the all-wheel-drive Eagles.

In 1987, Renault sold AMC to Chrysler. The AMC and Renault brands were then discontinued in America. The Jeep/Eagle division of Chrysler Corporation was formed from the remains of AMC after Chrysler's 1987 buyout. The Jeep was marketed primarily by former AMC dealers for a long time.

Of course, that was around the time that those yo-yos at 60Minutes nearly killed Jeep because of a fictional story they ran about the odds of Jeeps rolling over. Fact is that 60 Minutes put a lot of people out of work because their story - a story where they fudged the figures - almost halted production of Jeep altogether.

And of course, that's when Chrysler bought out AMC in 1987, shortly after the Jeep CJ-7 was replaced with the AMC-designed Jeep Wrangler (or the YJ) - a wider wheelbase Jeep. 

Then Chrysler merged with Daimler-Benz in 1998 to form DaimlerChrysler. DaimlerChrysler eventually sold most of their interest in Chrysler to a private equity company in 2007. Chrysler and the Jeep division now operate under the name Chrysler Group LLC.

Jeeps have been built under licence by various manufacturers around the world including Mahindra in India, EBRO in Spain, and several in South America. Mitsubishi built more than 30 different Jeep models in Japan between 1953 and 1998. Most of them were based on the CJ-3B model of the original Willys-Kaiser design.

Toledo, Ohio has been the headquarters of the Jeep marque since its inception, and the city has always been proud of this heritage. Although no longer produced in the same Toledo Complex as the World War II originals, two streets in the vicinity of the old plant are named Willys Parkway and Jeep Parkway.

So are Jeeps being produced in China? Well, yes they are!

American Motors Corporation set up the first automobile-manufacturing joint venture in the People's Republic of China back in January  of 1984.

The result was Beijing Jeep Corporation, Ltd., in partnership with Beijing Automobile Industry Corporation, to produce the Jeep Cherokee (XJ) in Beijing.

And yes, manufacturing of Jeeps in China has continued after Chrysler's buyout of AMC back in 1987.

This joint venture is now part of Daimler-Chrysler and Daimler-Chrysler China Invest Corporation. The original 1984 XJ model was updated and called the "Jeep 2500" toward the end of its production that ended after 2005.

As for my 1979 CJ-5 Jeep? Well, it was my primary vehicle for 30 years. Then about 4 years ago, I gave it to my nephew with the stipulation that he cannot sell it.

He agreed. And yes, today he climbs rocks and crosses rivers with her just as I did back when!

Lies and Half-Truths from the Obama Campaign

On Fox News website, writer Liz Peek who is a Fox News.com contributor and a a financial columnist who also writes for The Fiscal Times, wrote a really good article about the myths of the Obama campaign.

She asks if we "remember when the Supreme Court decision allowing corporate political spending was going to undermine Democrats, uh, that is, democracy? Or how Republican super PACs would give Governor Romney an insurmountable spending advantage?"

She refreshes our memory that as it turns out, the "Obama campaign has raised more money than the GOP candidate – a staggering amount of almost $1 billion dollars – even while as recently as August Obama was e-mailing supporters warning them that Romney was outspending Democrats."

The Obama campaign doesn't want to mention how Obama has run 20,000 more campaign ads than Romney. And friends, 20,000 campaign ads just to attack your opponent and never say what you really going to do in the next four years if your re-elected takes a lot of money.

But wait, that's not the only myth that Liz Peek wants to remind us of. She states that another myth key to Barack Obama’s campaign is that Mitt Romney wants to go back to the “policies that got us into trouble in the first place.”

And since Liz Peek is a financial columnist, it is important for folks to listen when she asks "what are those injurious Republican policies?"

Her answer, "Presumably the president refers to the deregulation of financial institutions that liberals blame for the recession. But, it was Bill Clinton who repealed Glass-Steagall. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley bill, which undid that long-standing law, passed the Senate 90-8, with Vice President Biden among the many Democrats supporting the measure. By contrast, George Bush was a regulation nut. It was during his administration that the country adopted the oppressive Sarbanes-Oxley legislation."

And thought those are facts, she knows that some will still believe the Obama lie and not the truth of what took place.

The truth, as Liz Peek puts it, is that "the financial crisis did not stem from deregulation. Instead, it was caused by the government encouraging too much money to slosh into real estate and into subprime mortgages backed by Fannie and Freddie, on the misguided notion that home ownership created upward mobility."

The excess investment into property blew prices sky-high and encouraged speculation. The ensuing bubble was fed by the emergence of securitization, which made available unprecedented amounts of money. Many rungs led up this rickety ladder – poor credit analysis, incompetent ratings agencies, undisciplined mortgage brokers – but allowing banks and securities firms to invade each others’ turf was not among them."

Of course the Democrats, especially the Obama campaign, doesn't want you to remember that even the ultra-liberal New York Times had to admit that George W. Bush went to the Democrats who controlled Congress on 17 different occasions to address the impending crisis.

In her article, I give Liz Peek a great big thank you for telling folks that "another Obama myth is that the president 'saved' GM while Romney wanted to let the auto companies go bankrupt."

She points out the fact that, "People forget that GM did go bankrupt, and that taxpayers are still on the hook for $42 billion in monies funneled to GM and its financial arm Ally Capital – more than half the TARP funds that are still outstanding.

Obama upended traditional (and legal) bankruptcy proceedings in order to rig the outcome heavily in favor of the UAW – payback for the $400 million in contributions from organized labor that fueled his 2008 campaign.

For the UAW, each one percent ownership interest in GM cost $629 million; taxpayers paid $834 million and secured bondholders, the top of the credit chain, paid $2.7 billion for one percent of the company."

She also asks a great question, "Romney’s push was for a legal and legitimate sorting out of the company’s debts, a restructuring that would ensure the company’s competitiveness going forward, more harmonious labor relations and investment in energy-saving and innovative technology. Does that sound like a prescription for killing the autos?"

Liz Peek states the Obama campaign's latest bit is to spread more of the same, just more bullshit. And yes, save your letters to her, she calls it myths - "bullshit" is my opinion of what the Obama campaign has been trying to pass for the truth.

She writes about Obama campaign's myths, which I call his campaign lies because that's what they are, saying, "President Obama’s newest campaign ad is stuffed with myths, including how he fostered 'American-made energy'.

Even fourth-graders know that Obama’s every impulse has been to squash the use of fossil fuels. He stifled investment in oil and gas by slowing lease sales on federal lands, proposed cap and trade regulations (which thankfully went nowhere) that would crimp hydrocarbon development, pushed to eliminate tax breaks for oil and gas producers that are meant to stimulate drilling, and adopted regulations that virtually prohibit construction of new coal-fired power plants.

He is convinced that high-cost green energy is the future and that fossil fuels are relics of an unhealthy and permissive past. For a campaign supposedly looking Forward!, energy policy has been remarkably embedded in past (and discredited notions) of how we are running out of oil."

And though she didn't say it, I will, what about his trying to kill the Keystone XL oil pipeline to suck up to his Environmentalist big money donors. It killed the prospect of 500,000 jobs, oil Independence, and lower prices at the pumps - all which Foreign Oil rich Islamic countries don't want us to have!

My respect for Liz Peek goes far because she is reminding Americans of the truth while others in the media aren't.

Here's what she had to say about trade, "Mr. Obama also touts his success in promoting exports. Sales of goods and services overseas have indeed increased, as reliably as the temperature climbs on a sunny day. Global growth is being driven by rising consumption in emerging economies like China and Brazil; we, as the world’s second largest exporter, have benefited."

It is interesting to note, however, that while exports increased 72% during George W. Bush’s eight years in office, despite a recession early in his term that drove exports slightly lower, the amount of goods and services we ship outside our boundaries has advanced only 20% in the four years Mr. Obama has been president.

We assume that export growth in the final months of this year will hum along at 5%, as it did earlier in 2012; they most recently turned down. Mr. Obama’s tenure began with a slump, to be sure. But he has not moved the needle here.

The Obama campaign teeters on many myths and distractions. Unhappily, there is no excuse for Mr. Obama’s failure to lead this country, his inability to work across the aisle, his refusal to tackle our fiscal challenges or his disdain for private enterprise. There are no heroes here."

Reading what Liz Peek has to say is wonderful because we need to know that there are financial experts out there who validate what we all see happening around us.

And no, I'm not saying that we need this validation - but instead that it is just good to have. It sort of like having a friend near by when you know damn well that some con man is trying to shaft you but he's making the deal sound so good. Even though you know he's a con man, there is that thought in your head that says, "You think I could be wrong about him?"

Here our friend, like Liz Peek, saying, "Nope, it's all a myth. He really is a con man. And yes, he's trying his best to make you believe lies and half-truths to buy what he's selling."

What Obama is selling is the very same thing that he got away with selling in 2008, just bullshit all to just get elected!
We don't need Masters, nor Slaves!

Abraham Lincoln said, "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy."

Too bad Obama does not believe the same.

Our government should work for us eye to eye as a service to we the people. Not as our slave, but more as our hired hand. It should not even attempt to think itself our master.


Claims increase of machines switching votes from Romney to Obama!

Imagine going to vote for your presidential candidate and pushing the button on a touch-screen voting machine -- but the "X" marks his opponent instead.

That is what some voters in Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and Ohio have reported.

Fox News received several complaints from voters who say they voted on touch-screen voting machines -- only when they tried to select Mitt Romney, the machine indicated they had chosen President Obama.

The voters in question realized the error and were able to cast ballots for their actual choice.

"I don't know if it happened to anybody else or not, but this is the first time in all the years that we voted that this has ever happened to me," said Marion, Ohio, voter Joan Stevens.

Stevens said that when she voted, it took her three tries before the machine accepted her choice to vote for Romney.

"I went to vote and I got right in the middle of Romney's name," Stevens told Fox News, saying that she was certain to put her finger directly on her choice for the White House.

She said that the first time she pushed "Romney," the machine marked "Obama."

So she pushed Romney again. Obama came up again. Then it happened a third time.

"Maybe you make a mistake once, but not three times," she told Fox News.

Marion County Board of Elections Director Sophie Rogers, though, said: "My personal opinion is that she hit it too hard."

"We've noticed people just punch on them. She might not have hit the square that she wanted," Rogers said.

Rogers insists there are no problems with the touch-screen machines in Marion County and that after learning of Stevens' complaint she took the machine out of circulation and had it reexamined and recalibrated. She says there was nothing wrong with the machine to begin with.

But in response to the growing number of complaints, the Republican National Committee has sent a letter to election officials in six states -- Ohio, Nevada, Kansas, North Carolina, Missouri and Colorado -- demanding tighter controls on touch-screen machines.

The RNC wants the machines to be re-tested, more technicians added to fix any problems, and verbal reminders given by election workers telling voters to double check their ballots.

Multiple voters from several states wrote Fox News to report problems similar to what Stevens reported.

One voter asked: "I wonder how many voters just hit the 'Cast Ballot' without reading the machine?"

"How can we be sure our votes are not being stolen electronically?" asked another.

One expert warns it can happen.

"Vote jumping complaints have arisen in every election that uses touch-screen voting machines, with the complaints going both ways," said Barbara Simons, author of the new book "Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?"

Simons, an expert on electronic voting who is on the Board of Advisors of the U.S. Election Commission, said there is good reason for people not to trust the older touch-screen machines.

She said, "This phenomenon can occur when a machine goes out of calibration. The need to re-calibrate frequently is an important reason for discarding these aging, unreliable, and inaccurate machines and replacing them with paper ballots."

Frequently recalibrating the machines is one of the RNC demands.

But election officials insist that the machines are practically foolproof. They say any problems are due to human error, and that tinkering with machines is almost impossible.

"It is nearly technically impossible to pre-program the voting machines in Nevada to vote for a specified candidate," said Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller, in a statement to Fox News.

He said machines are tested by each of the state's 17 counties individually.

"While it is possible for a voter to inadvertently select a candidate, it is not possible for the machine to automatically select a candidate."

Miller notes that similar allegations were investigated in his state during the 2010 election, with the assistance of the FBI. Authorities found that claims that machines "were pre-programmed, malfunctioning or in any way preventing any voter from casting a ballot for the candidate of their choice were without merit."

Miller, a Democrat, brands the Republican demand to election officials as "based upon rumor, hearsay, or unconfirmed media reports," as well as "irresponsible" and "unfortunate."

He said his office has "not received any direct, first-hand complaints from voters."

In Ohio, touch-screen machines, for example, are being used in Lorain County with no reported "switched votes" or operational issues.

"We haven't had any problems with the touch screens this year and everything is going well," Lorain County Board of Elections Director Paul Adams told Fox News.

His county has used touch-screen machines since 2005.

Adams, a veteran election official, said that in his county, machines are not electronically designed to be able to change choices, and there is no way for anybody to rig a machine or pre-program its choices for one candidate or a slate.

"We have heard of these issues in some of the other counties. We had sporadic issues a few years ago, and since then we have upgraded our software and our board has replaced most of our touch-screen unit screens if there were any problems with them. And since we've done that about a year and a half ago, we haven't had any major issues."

Lorain County did replace 400 of its 1,200 touch screen machines last year.

Adams also notes that there is what is called "a paper trial," like a receipt, where voters can see their choices printed out. He also says that anybody who has a problem voting should immediately tell elections officials.

While Fox News spent the day at the County Board of Elections, where early voting was taking place, election workers were doing just that.

One woman's long fingernails blocked her selection, until she moved the angle of her fingers to get it right.

An elderly man did not realize that he did not cast a vote for president, so a worker did exactly what Adam advises. She walked the voter through the process.

"I pushed the button!" the man declared.

"You might have accidentally hit it twice. Just lightly tap it, real light," advised the worker.

She also showed the voter the paper evidence of his votes to confirm them.

"Are you satisfied?"

"Yes, thank you very much," the voter replied.

Nevertheless, Joan, who said she finally was able to cast a correct vote after three attempts, advises fellow voters to confirm their choices.

"Be very careful when you vote. I don't care who you vote for, just double-check."



Bloomberg blasted for going forward with NYC Marathon plans as city reels from Sandy

Mayor Michael Bloomberg came under fire Friday for pressing ahead with this weekend's New York Marathon in a city still reeling from Superstorm Sandy, with some New Yorkers saying that holding the race would be insensitive and divert police, generators and other resources when many are still suffering.

Joan Wacks, whose Staten Island waterfront condo was swamped with 4 feet of water, predicted authorities will still be recovering bodies when the estimated 40,000 runners from around the world hit the streets for the 26.2-mile race Sunday, and she called the mayor "tone deaf."

"He is clueless without a paddle to the reality of what everyone else is dealing with," she said. "If there are any resources being put toward the marathon, that's wrong. I'm sorry, that's wrong."

At a news conference, Bloomberg defended his decision as a way to raise money for the stricken city and boost morale less than a week after Sandy flooded neighborhoods, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands homes and businesses and killed at least 39 people.

Bloomberg said New York "has to show that we are here and we are going to recover" and "give people something to cheer about in what has been a very dismal week for a lot of people."

"You have to keep going and doing things," he said. "You can grieve and you can cry and you can laugh, and that's what human beings are good at."

He noted that his predecessor, Rudolph Giuliani, went ahead with the New York Marathon two months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"If you go back to 9/11, Rudy made the right decision in those days to run the marathon and pull people together," Bloomberg said.

One of the world's pre-eminent road races, the New York Marathon generates an estimated $340 million into the city. This time, the marathon's sponsors and organizers have dubbed it the "Race to Recover" and intend to use the event to raise money for the city to deal with the crisis. New York Road Runners, the race organizer, will donate $1 million and said sponsors have pledged more than $1.5 million.

"It's hard in these moments to know what's best to do," NYRR president Mary Wittenberg said. "The city believes this is best to do right now."

The course runs from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on hard-hit Staten Island to Central Park, sending runners through all five boroughs. The course will not be changed, since there was little damage along the route.

Earlier this week, the mayor gave assurances the race wouldn't siphon off resources from the storm recovery, noting electricity is expected to be restored to all of Manhattan by race day, freeing up "an enormous number of police."

New Yorker Michael Sofronas used to run the marathon and has been a race volunteer for four years, serving as an interpreter for foreign runners. But he said he won't volunteer this year.

"I'm also really very aghast at the fact that we've just gone through the Sandy hurricane and I believe that the people should not be diverted to the marathon. They should focus on the people in need," he said. "It's all about money, money from everybody. The sponsors, the runners."

A Swede who arrived in New York this week to run in the marathon sided with the mayor.

"It doesn't feel good, coming to New York," said Maria Eriksson, 27. "But the marathon has been planned for such a long time. And besides, it brings so much money to the city. That should help. What help would it be to cancel?"

But John Esposito, a Staten Islander helping his elderly parents clean out their flooded home, said: "They brought giant generators to power the marathon tents while we've got thousands of people without power. ... How about putting one of these generators here? Have some compassion."

But wait, the story doesn't end quite yet!

Angry New Yorkers Win And The Marathon Is Canceled

In wake of Anger over Mayor's initial decision to hold it

The New York City Marathon was canceled on Friday by Mayor Michael Bloomberg after mounting criticism that this was not the time for a race while the region is still recovering from Superstorm Sandy.

With people in storm-ravaged areas still shivering without electricity and the death toll in New York City at more than 40, many residents recoiled at the prospect of police officers being assigned to protect Sunday's race.

An estimated 40,000 runners from around the world had been expected to take part in the 26.2-mile event. The race had been scheduled to start in Staten Island, one of the hardest-hit areas by this week's storm.

A few hours after Bloomberg insisted the race would be held, he reversed his decision when top city officials lined up against him.

"We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it," the mayor said in a statement. "We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event -- even one as meaningful as this -- to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track."

The nationally televised race that winds through the city's five boroughs and ends in Central Park has been held annually since 1970 -- it was held in 2001, about two months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The cancellation means there won't be another NYC Marathon until next year.

Bloomberg called the marathon an "integral part of New York City's life for 40 years" and "an event tens of thousands of New Yorkers participate in and millions more watch."

He still insisted that holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, but understood the level of friction.

"It is clear it that it has become the source of controversy and division," Bloomberg said. "The marathon has always brought our city together and inspired us with stories of courage and determination."

Mary Wittenberg, president of the organizing New York Road Runners, said it was the right move.

"It's clear today the best thing for New York and the best thing for the marathon for the future is unfortunately to move on, and this isn't the year or the time to run it," she said in a statement.

"It's crushing and it's really difficult. It's one of the toughest decisions we ever made, but we really believe it's the right thing for New York," she said.

For her to say that "It's one of the toughest decisions we ever made," shows how truly out of touch the big wheels at the Mayor's office are with what's going on in his own city.

Canceling the New York City Marathon that would have diverted needed resources from victims and those in crisis is a no brainer.

How could any of those Bozos in the Mayor's office sleep at night knowing that they have needed equipment and manpower being used in crowd control when your city is still digging out of the biggest disaster to hit New York since 9/11/2001?

Ignorant, apathetic, out of touch, or maybe just dumb as a box of rocks? Any way you look at it, new management is needed at City Hall!

And yes, in the meanwhile, my heart goes out to those poor folks effected by Hurricane Sandy and the foolishness that they have for leadership.


Story by Tom Correa

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