The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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Archive for November 17th, 2006

Another Potential Voter Fraud Issue & a Rant

Posted by ALmod on November 17, 2006

How do you know that your votes aren’t counted? Check this out.

I’d like to apologize for my longer-than-expected absence. I had some things to deal with, like my paid-in-full, third-in-line, 60-gig PS3 on reserve that the store confirmed on Wednesday would be available for me to pick up today or tomorrow… I told them then that I would pick it up at lunchtime. I called again this morning to find that they “accidentally” sold my unit to another customer, and now they want to offer me a 20-gig system.

My husband and I have been on the phone with managers all morning, and if I don’t get a 60-gig system in my hands today or tomorrow, some heads are gonna roll at GameStop. Why? I have a feeling that there’s an employee somewhere that has my 60-gig system in his hot little hands right now. The call on Wednesday was suspicious enough. They said that they weren’t getting their expected shipment, but since I was third in line, mine would be there. They then proceeded to offer me an “incentive” (A free used game or DVD valued at $20 or less. Hah!) if I would be willing to wait until the next shipment, which “should” be in time for Christmas, but they don’t have an exact date. Something is amiss.

GameStop owns EB Games, as well. With all the stores they have nationally, someone right now has my PS3. For one, I paid in full, whereas most paid only a $100 deposit. Second, I know that they keep at least two on reserve per store for their employees. If they got a smaller than expected shipment for launch, then they might have bumped that down to one. Third, that’s not an easy situation to screw up, considering that they have a list showing who is supposed to get a console, and that person has to show up with photo ID and a receipt. If they had a smaller than expected shipment, then the units they got went to the presales first– they wouldn’t have been sold to walk-ins. Besides, I was told that mine would be available, which means that they would have had the ones on reserve marked. I’m telling you that there is an employee somewhere with my console, and I’ll be happy to tell them where they can put their used DVD.

UPDATE: I did get the system tonight. Now let me say that I’ve only made a grown man cry on two separate bargaining occasions. One was when a Sears associate tried to sell me an icemaker for $200. The second was when I bought jewelry in Cozumel, Mexico. I suspect that had I seen the manager I was dealing with in person, I would have seen a third. All I know is that when my husband and I walked into the store to claim our unit, the salesperson looked up at my husband in awe and asked, “Are you him?” (My husband was doing the dealing toward the end because I was visiting with an aunt. He was speaking, but I still take credit because he only said what I told him to.)

After that reaction to us walking into the store, I kind of felt sorry for the guy. I think I’ll send him a thank you card or something. Turns out it really was a store screw-up. It was a big screw-up, but an honest one. They were giving out 20-gig system presales further down the list, and they accidentally went to someone further down who actually ordered a 60-gig system. So although I was third in line and guaranteed a system, my unit went to someone who was ninth or tenth in line. Either way, I have to give that district manager credit for pulling off the near impossible and actually finding an available 60-gig system for me. He gets brownie points.

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Posted in Alabama Government | Comments Off on Another Potential Voter Fraud Issue & a Rant

Those Annoying Robocalls

Posted by ALmod on November 17, 2006

You may have heard about the latest nasty campaign tactic just before election day. In case you didn’t, I will fill you in.

In some districts, voters received call after call after call from machines in the week before elections. The call would say something like, “Please stay on the line for important information about Joe Democrat,” followed by a pause. In most circumstances, the voter would slam down the phone at this point. This would happen several times a day with the same call. People would complain to the campaign offices of Joe Democrat only to find that they weren’t making the calls.

These calls were paid for by the NRCC.

Here’s how the call works: The machine calls the voter and begins by stating the name of your opponent. If the voter stays on the line, they hear a scathing attack ad about that candidate. If they slam down the phone after the first sentence, as most people would, they get called back up to 18 times until they hear the entire call. The intention is to make the voter think that the call is coming from your opponent’s campaign, and to make them so mad about the phone harassment that they will not vote for that candidate. And the more you call, the less likely they are to stay on the line to hear the full message and find out who is really paying for the call.

Now if I’m not mistaken, FCC regulations require that the name of the candidate or other entity who is paying for the ad must be stated at the beginning of the call. But the damage is done by the time FCC investigations begin.

Posted in Alabama Government | 1 Comment »

Diebold and HBO

Posted by ALmod on November 17, 2006

I’ve waited a while for things to cool down before I started going on about some things that happened before the election. Mostly, it was too close to the election for me to post it without questioning the timing. The first thing that I want to tackle is a documentary done by HBO regarding the Diebold voting machines.

I’m not a fan of these machines, which are easy enough to hack. But my main beef is that they lack a paper trail– something that you’ll need in the case of a race that it too close to call and needs a recount. (Isn’t that right, Sen. Allen?)

If you haven’t seen it yet, and if you still can, I highly recommend seeing the movie Man of the Year. It actually touches on the subject a bit. If you like Robin Williams, you may even get a laugh or two out of the movie.

But the thing that absolutely makes me want to see this documentary is that Diebold worked so hard to shut it down. Fortunately, the boys at YouTube worked very hard to make it easily available. I recommend watching it when you have the time. Meanwhile, here’s a preview:

I’ve also included the commentary from Lou Dobbs:

Posted in Alabama Government | Comments Off on Diebold and HBO