Four outrageous political stories that will make you scream

Summary:There are days when it just doesn't pay to be a thinking American. When you're a thinking American, some of the idiocy being perpetrated in our country is enough to make you scream.

There are days when it just doesn't pay to be a thinking American. When you're a thinking American, some of the idiocy being perpetrated in our country is enough to make you scream.

Today, I've been trying to decide which of four epic idiocies I was going to pick to write about, when I just decided to present all four to you. I figure misery loves company and if this stuff makes me want to scream, you'll probably feel the same way.

Outrage #1: Remotely hackable voting machines

You may remember Diebold from the controversy a few years ago when it became clear their voting machines were potentially hackable. People got even more up in arms about a potential conflict of interest, when it was revealed that Diebold's then-CEO was a top fundraiser for President Bush.

To escape further scorn, Diebold's election operation changed its name. Yeah. I know. They became Premier Election Solutions. Well, according to an article in Salon, their solutions are seriously problematic.

Apparently, a team from Argonne National Laboratory has been able to demonstrate how a Diebold machine can be remotely manipulated, changing votes without any evidence of tampering.

I'm a little confused by this report, especially since Diebold changed its voting division's name a few years ago, but we'll be watching this one very closely. Argonne does some seriously credible science, so this is a seriously credible outrage.

Outrage #2: 20,000 missing Libyan missiles

This isn't strictly political, but since we decided, as a nation, to involve ourselves in Libyan affairs, it's fair game for the Outrage Express.

According to our colleagues over at CBS News, there may be as many as 20,000 missing surface-to-air missiles. These were stockpiled by the Libyan government, but now, no one knows where they are.

The risks to worldwide security are obvious.

Outrage #3: Florida primary

We finally have proof that Florida politics is nuts, completely separate from whether we're talking about Democrats or Republicans.

Astute students of political theatre will recall the 2008 Presidential elections, where the Florida and Michigan Democratic committees decided to snub their noses at the national primary process and jump their primary dates to the beginning of the line. They, along with voters, were punished by the DNC by reducing the value of each vote from the offending states.

The crime against democracy was obvious.

Lest you think Florida may have learned its lesson, I bring to you Outrage #3, this time the Florida GOP machine. Apparently, Florida's GOP politicos want to jump their primary date from its scheduled date later in the spring all the way up to January 31. Not only are they violating the desires of their own national committee, they could cause havoc to the entire primary process -- along with the election strategies of their own candidates.

Just once -- just once -- I'd like to see my own state of Florida make it through a Presidential election without seeming like we spike the state's water supply with nutjob juice.

Outrage #4: A governor suggests suspending elections

In case you think I'm siding with one party or the other, we're about to jump from GOP idiocy to Democratic idiocy, this time in the person of North Carolina's governor Bev Purdue.

Ms. Purdue apparently thinks our economy is in such a shambles that, perhaps (and this is a verified quote), "we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years."

Now, you and I know that the United States Congress is much more part of the problem than part of the solution. We know that Congress is ineffective, problematic, counter-productive, and that most Congress-critters put their own self-interest above that of America as a whole.

Even so, America is all about elected representation, and for a Democratic Governor to even hint about abolishing elections is a major outrage. It's even more stupid strategically, given how embattled the Dems already are with the loyal opposition's claims of "socialism".

Outrageous outrages

So there you are. Four outrages that'll make you scream. Stay tuned. Given how politics "works" in these United States, I'm sure I'll have a boatload more for you in the coming weeks and months.

Topics: Government

About

In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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