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April 29th, 2008
The US Supreme Court ruled on April 28th that voter ID laws are constitutional despite the fact that they disenfranchise at least 11 million eligible voters, expand restrictions on felony voting to millions of people who have unpaid parking tickets or minor moving violations that haven’t been taken care of, or have lost their auto insurance for some reason. It also amounts to an onerous poll tax for millions more Americans whose crime is simply being poor, elderly or disabled.
The justices split on the decision along entirely political lines, not surprising because these laws that require voters to produce a photo ID with a future expiration date primarily affect traditional Democratic Party voters. Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the majority opinion, citing the usual Republican fear of voter fraud as the state interest. Yet according to a survey by the Center for Policy Alternatives, voter fraud is extremely rare. From 2002 to 2005, an Ohio survey showed a total of 52 people convicted of any type of voter fraud, while just a tad less than 200,000,000 votes were cast in general elections by Ohio voters.
That’s half of one ten-thousandth of 1 percent. This is not a big issue.Analysis, Constitution, Corruption, Government Lawsuits, Republicans, Voting Rights | Comment (0)
April 23rd, 2008
Hillary Clinton edged out Barack Obama in Pennsylvania’s Democratic Primary Tuesday (April 22) by ~9.5 percentage points. This was more than ten percent less than the lead Clinton held according to pollsters just a few weeks ago, which is both a result of Obama’s impressive ground game and an indication of voter backlash against Hillary’s increasingly negative campaign tactics.
This slim margin doesn’t significantly change the overall pledged delegate margin and doesn’t put Clinton in the lead. Unless she bows out on May 6 after the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, her only hope is still to stage a superdelegate coup by convincing them to vote against Democratic voters at the August convention. Which isn’t likely, given the number of superdelegates endorsing Obama.
On Tuesday 29 North Carolina state legislators endorsed Obama, who is expected to win the state by a considerable margin on May 6th. Early voting in North Carolina began last week. Indiana polling is all over the map, indicating that it’s entirely unreliable at this point. It is expected that the small gains from Pennsylvania for Clinton will be erased after the next primaries. Neither candidate will have enough pledged delegates to take the nomination on the first ballot.
The polls haven’t proven to be very accurate so far in the primary season, and there are some widely divergent results from Indiana – some have Obama ahead by 5, some have Clinton ahead by 10. Either way, she will still get through the process behind Obama. And unless her dirty tricks department can somehow find a way to crush Obama on a triviality (or she can stage the SD coup), she won’t get the nomination.
So the only remaining question in my mind for this ugly race is… How low will she go?Filed under Barack Obama, Campaigns, Hillary Clinton, Party Primaries, Presidential Candidates, Slime Machine | Comment (0)
April 21st, 2008
As the New York Times reports that the nation’s largest health insurer claims that the Economy Has Dented Its Prospects, some highlights of McCain’s This Week appearance with George Stephanolpoulos this past weekend are worthy of a look-see. The subject of health insurance came up with a clip from Elizabeth Edwards, who said:
The truth is, a health care policy that covers everything but cancer doesn’t exactly do me a lot of good. And John McCain and I have something in common – neither one of us would be covered by his health care policy.
Of course, McCain sees no reason to change how health coverage is [not]done in this country because he says government health care is terrible. He should know, since he has enjoyed taxpayer-sponsored government health care all his life, never had to buy a policy and never got turned down for getting or being sick. Here’s the video…
Links:Health Care, Hypocrisy, Media, Party Primaries, Presidential Candidates, Universal Care | Comment (0)
April 17th, 2008
The ABC Democratic Debate in Philly on Wednesday night (April 16) was by all accounts a travesty of petty distractions and blatant pandering. Who’s not so bright idea was it to have George Stephanopolis as a moderator for a Clinton? Gag me…
Luckily, the event was blocked out here in North Carolina, where early voting opened today and the crowds are already considerable. I checked my sites today on the state BoE website, where the banner now displays a running total of registrations. Democrats are running nearly 2 to 1 over Republicans, with a million and a quarter Independents.
Now, North Carolina likes to split its tickets. We consistently go for Democratic state government and my locality is solidly Dem. But for as long as I’ve lived here – yes, I’m ashamed to say I lived through the last throes of the Jesse Helms empire – NC has gong solidly Republican for President and Senate. Except when John Edwards finally took the pig farmer down, but he didn’t stay long and we ended up with Liz Dole. But from what I’ve seen, this year our millions of bitter small town and rural people just might go Dem well beyond the margin of error that allows elections to be stolen. And the Dem who will make that happen is Barack Obama. He’s going to sweep our primary, then he’s going to take the state.
Anyway, here’s a video of what Barack Obama said today in Raleigh, where he proved that Pennsylvania isn’t the only state that counts right now. Hillary and ABC have given him a significant talking point he can hammer from now ’til November – what’s wrong with American Political Discourse (and the mainstream media) in this country. Just more reasons for change!Filed under Analysis, Barack Obama, Campaigns, Debates, Hillary Clinton, Media, Party Primaries, Propaganda, Slime Machine | Comment (0)
April 13th, 2008
…and the Dems now look like fools.
Speaking about the people of rural Pennsylvania – site of the next primary battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Obama said on Friday…
“…it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Aside from the fact that this statement is 100% true of small town and rural people as a general demographic – as one sociological reason that rural dwellers so often vote against their own best interests after being swayed by propaganda fluff from so many GOP “values candidates” who don’t practice what they preach – Clinton’s smear team was poised and ready to make as much hay as possible about how “elitist” Obama has revealed himself to be.Analysis, Barack Obama, Campaigns, Class War, Hillary Clinton, Hypocrisy, Presidential Candidates, Religion, Slime Machine | Comments (2)
April 10th, 2008
…all the respect it deserves
In the wake of China’s crackdown on civilians and Buddhist monks and priests in Tibet, its links to Myanmar’s military rulers and genocidal juntas in Sudan’s Darfur region, this year’s Olympic Torch Run is meeting with anti-PRC protests along its route. Protests last week in London and Paris turned violent and were met with crackdowns of their own. The flame arrived in San Francisco Wednesday morning, a city with the largest number of Chinese residents in the US, and it was met with protesters.
The Dalai Lama told reporters outside Tokyo on Wednesday that he supports China’s hosting of the Summer Olympic Games, but insisted no one has a right to tell protesters “to shut up.”
The torch run seems a particularly good target for protest of China’s dismal record on human rights. The run was invented for the 1936 games in Berlin by Carl Diem, leader of the German Olympic Committee as a favorable propaganda vehicle for Hitler’s Third Reich.
So don’t be fooled by right-wing denunciations of the ongoing protests as the torch makes its way across the globe. It is a spectacle that never occurred in ancient Greece, but was invented to serve Adolph Hitler and announce him to the world he was about to throw into massive, murderous turmoil with his dreams of conquest and hatred of ethnic minorities and Jews. Linking the torch run to its notorious beginnings is apropos as a vehicle of protest against China’s brutal policies and involvement in ethnic and religious violence across the globe.
REMINDER: Don’t forget, kiddies – This is Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, brought to you again this year by the David Horowitz Freedom Center!Filed under China, Foreign Policy, History, Marketing, Propaganda, Protests | Comments (2)
April 7th, 2008
…finally catch up to him.
Clinton loyalist and Hillary’s chief political strategist Mark Penn stepped down from his position on Sunday night due to conflicting interests through his PR firm Burson-Marsteller. Clinton campaign loyalists are breathing a sigh of relief, though there is some doubt that the damage Penn did by crafting Clinton’s weak campaign strategies can be rectified in time to allow Mrs. Clinton a realistic shot at the Democratic nomination over her rival Barack Obama.
The conflict came to a head last week when Penn met with the Columbian ambassador the the U.S. in his role as Burson-Marsteller chief executive overseeing a PR campaign to help secure passage of a “fast-track” bilateral trade treaty with the US. In her role as Senator from New York, Clinton is officially opposed to the treaty along with other members of the Democratic Party leadership. Penn’s PR firm also represents clients such as the country’s largest mortgage lender Countrywide Financial, and the Blackwater Worldwide mercenary outfit blamed for many civilian deaths in Iraq.Campaigns, Diplomacy, Hillary Clinton, Hypocrisy, Marketing, Party Primaries, Presidential Candidates | Comment (0)
April 4th, 2008
Congressman John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee has forwarded a formal request for answers from Attorney General Michael Mukasey about his assertion in a speech last week in San Francisco that a phone call from an Al Queda safe house in Afghanistan to someone in the U.S. was not monitored prior to 9-11.
The full text of the letter is below the fold:9-11, al Quaeda, Balance of Power, Bush, Intelligence, Policy | Comment (0)
April 3rd, 2008
Our ever-vigilant U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey committed a major faux-pas last week when trying to work up some crocodile tears during a speech touting “necessary” domestic spying in San Francisco. Attempting to blame a lack of power-to-spy for the 3,000 American fatalities on September 11, 2001, Mukasey revealed…
Officials “shouldn’t need a warrant when somebody with a phone in Iraq picks up a phone and calls somebody in the United States because that’s the call that we really want to know about. And before 9-11, that’s the call we didn’t know about. We knew that there was a call from someplace that was known to be a safe house in Afghanistan and we knew that it came to the United States. We didn’t know precisely where it went.”
Holy Moley, Batman!!! Did the AG just tell us something nobody in the BushCo administration bothered to tell the 9-11 Commission during its investigation? That US officials KNEW of a call from an Al Queda “safe house” in Afghanistan to someone in the United States, but didn’t listen in because they were scared of breaking the law?
Is Mukasey trying to tell us that US intelligence agencies – including NSA who monitors virtually ALL telecommunications, and the CIA who knows where Al Queda’s “safe houses” are – have no understanding of the FISA law that has been on the books since 1978? What in the world DO they teach these spooks at training camp?9-11, al Quaeda, Appointees, Hypocrisy, Intelligence, Propaganda | Comment (1)
April 1st, 2008
Oooohhh, scary! Don Zirkel, an 80-year old church deacon was arrested last weekend in the food court of Smith Haven shopping mall in Lake Grove, where he was drinking coffee with his 77-year old wife. His offense was that he was wearing a t-shirt that had the death tolls of American military and Iraqis in the war, saying “Enough.”
He’d been passing out protest pamphlets when mall security told him to stop and to turn his t-shirt inside out. He stopped passing out the pamphlets, but didn’t turn his t-shirt inside out before stopping at the food court. So the mall security goons placed him under “civilian arrest” and called police. When they arrived and Zirkel refused to stop drinking his coffee they picked him up, put him in a wheelchair, and wheeled him out. He was arrested for criminal trespassing and resisting arrest.
“Eighty years, and I have never been arrested before for fighting injustice,” said Zirkel. During those 80 years he had served in the U.S. Army, edited The Tablet, the Diocese of Brooklyn’s newspaper, and worked for the state Division of Human Rights under Governor Mario Cuomo.
A PR company representing Simon Property Group, owners of the mall, said in a statement to the press -
…In keeping with our Code of Conduct, it is our corporate policy not to allow protests or demonstrations of any kind to take place on mall property regardless of the topic.
Unfortunately for Simon, there were two opposing protest groups at the mall that day, vocally sparring with each other – one anti-war, one pro-war. Zirkel said he wore the shirt to show his support for the anti-war protesters. None of the protesters in either of the two groups were arrested.
Maybe they were young and fit, and the mall security goons were afraid of enforcing policy on them. I’m sure an 80-year old looked like a much safer target…
Links:Anti-War, Humor, Protests | Comments (4)