If GOP Shuts Down the Government will they Lose Congress in 2014?

Political Kitty warns Angry Bird Congress that they may be Voted Out in 2014 unless they pass the "Build America's Future" Act and end the Sequester Now! Photo Credit: Angry Birds vs Angry Cats by MSeckington 2

Political Kitty warns Angry Bird Congress that they may be Voted Out in 2014 unless they pass the “Build America’s Future” Act and end the Sequester Now! Photo Credit: Angry Birds vs Angry Cats by MSeckington 2 on flickr cc

Robert Reich on the Effects of the Sequester and What President Obama should do Now

Economist Robert B. Reich says our biggest economic problem is not the U.S. Deficit because “the Federal Budget Deficit is down 5% of GDP.” Rather, our “Top Economic Problems” in the U.S. are:

  1. High Unemployment
  2. Falling Wages
  3. Widening Inequality

The Sequester makes the above problems worse by:

  1. Cutting vital safety nets & investments
  2. Lays off more workers
  3. Cuts investments

What is the Solution to the Sequester?

Professor Reich recommends we repeal the sequester with a Reconciliation bill in the Senate (only need 51 votes with a simple majority). Then with a “Build America’s Future Act,” he urges President Obama to “focus on good jobs and prosperity…for the many.”

Build America’s Future Act would:

  1. Close tax loopholes used by the wealthy
  2. End corporate welfare
  3. Impose small (1/10th of 1%)  tax on financial transactions
  4. Reduce the Size of the Military

How revenues from the “Build America’s Future Act” would be used:

1)  Half of the Revenues from this Act would be used to Reduce the size of the deficit

2)  Half of the Revenues from this Act would be used to invest in our Future: education (early childhood to affordable higher education), for infrastructure and basic research & development

3)  Bring back the Glass-Steagall Act

4)  Limit on the size of the biggest banks

President Obama must make it clear to the American public that they made a choice in 2012. Reich says “right-wing” republicans have been blocking the people’s choice from 2012.

Reich says the only way to implement that choice is to pass the “Build America’s Future” Act.

If the Republicans fail to pass the “Build America’s Future” Act and end the Sequester, Reich urges Americans to make 2014 a referendum on it and on them and do whatever was necessary to “take back the House of Representatives.”

Shutting down the government would harm our economy. The negative consequences to our economy could be a tipping point for the 2014 election where Americans will decide it is time to get out the vote to “Throw the Bums Out” responsible for the sequester and cuts to key programs that help Americans.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce tells Republicans to stop a government shutdown by passing a spending bill. They know a government shutdown would adversely affect businesses.

Government Shutdown could spark: “Throw the Bums Out who Tanked the Economy Again!”

The sequester is a terrible substitute for reasoned compromise between Democrats and Republicans to come up with a budget that serves the American people.

The Sequester That Should Be Retired and Resolved

On March 1, 2013 automatic cuts totaling $85 billion dollars across all Federal government programs happened arbitrarily due to the “sequester.” The sequester happened due to Democrats and Republicans inability to come together to create a budget for the American people.

The Center for American Progress Maps the Negative Effects of the Sequester

According to the Center for American Progress, many Americans are directly affected by the Sequester. See the map across the U.S.

1)  650,000+ defense workers “will face a 20 percent cut for the rest of the summer”

2)  Children face being kicked off their Head Start programs

3)  Seniors are losing meal service

4)  Cancer and medical centers face cuts

44 Million Americans Live In Poverty

According to this report, 44 million Americans live in poverty. Yet, right-wing media outlets continue to blame America’s woes on people in poverty. What? This is nuts.

In 2000 before George W. Bush came into the White House, poverty rates were “at an all time low” according to the Census Bureau. However, over the last decade poverty rates have increased.

Abuse rates in government programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are low. However, Fox News makes up its own facts to try and cut this important program that serves the needy and shows positive results.

Robert Reich Reveals Hoax of “Entitlement Reform”

The Bottomline:

Pass the “Build America’s Future” Act

Stop the Sequester Now

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North Carolina GOP-Led Election Boards Take Voter Suppression Tactics on Student Voting to New Heights

Election Cat is Disgusted by the Voter Suppression Tactics Used by North Carolina Republican-Led Elections Boards to Block the Student Vote. Photo Credit: Kitty by candescent Flickr creative commons large

Election Cat is Disgusted by the Voter Suppression Tactics Used by North Carolina Republican-Led Elections Boards to Block the Student Vote. Photo Credit: Kitty by candescent Flickr creative commons large

Students targeted by Republican controlled Board of Elections in North Carolina

North Carolina Republican Governor McCrory installed more Republicans on the State Board of Elections when he took office, and the State Board of Elections subsequently changed local NC County Board of Elections. The result is that many North Carolina local Board of Elections are now Republican-led and they have been consolidating democratic-leaning precincts and removing polling places from colleges. There are 100 local NC Elections Boards.

Wautauga County and Pasquotank County both have colleges within their counties and both County Board of Elections are Republican-led. As soon as the North Carolina Voter ID Law passed–which is the worst voter suppression law since the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act– these two County Elections Boards made changes to their local elections which make it harder for students to register to vote and to locally cast their vote.

Voter Suppression Tactics in Wautauga County combine 3 precincts into one precinct in a college town.

The Wautauga County Board of Elections voted to create a monstrous mega 3-in-1 precinct in Boone NC of 9300 voters in a polling location with only 35 parking spaces outside of the college campus of Appalachian State University.

They plan to combine 3 democratic-leaning precincts into one huge precinct.

This is from a group of people who are constantly talking about “freedom.” It seems they don’t care about making it easier for students to be able to cast a vote.

The only Democrat on the Elections Board, Kathleen Campbell, asked the nonpartisan Elections member of the Board if she knew the previous precinct limit established by the state of NC?

Elections official, Jane Ann Hodges, said that in 1990 North Carolina set 1500-people-per-precinct limits. However, on 8/13/13, the Elections Board made an unprecedented effort to make it more difficult for student voters to cast a vote by exceeding the 1500 person limit per precinct by 7800 people and by eliminating the on-campus voting site at Appalachian State University. These voter suppression tactics are an abuse of power curtailing the freedom and voting rights of students in North Carolina:

According to Michael Biesecker of Associated Press on August 14, 2013:

“The Watauga County Board of Elections voted Monday to eliminate an early voting site and election-day polling precinct on the campus of Appalachian State University.”

In another college area of North Carolina: Pasquotank County Board of Elections Challenges Residency of Students Living in Dorms at North Carolina Colleges

Pasquotank County Republican Party Chair Pete Gilbert challenged Elizabeth City State University senior Montravias King from running for city council. GOP County Chair Gilbert said he plans to challenge other voter registrations of students at the historically black university before upcoming elections.

Mr. King has been a student at Elizabeth State University since 2009, and he planned to run for City Council. He also has been registered to vote since 2009. He served as President for his local NAACP chapter and has been active in registering people to vote in his community. At the Tuesday, August 13th Pasquotank County Board of Elections meeting, GOP County Chair Pete Gilbert challenged student King’s residency. The Republican-led County Elections Board ruled that King’s “on-campus address couldn’t be used to establish local residency.”

Let’s hope the ACLU and the Department of Justice step in to fight against this attack on the civil rights of students in North Carolina. It is an obvious ruse to block the right of students to vote. The Supreme Court’s recent gutting of the 1965 Voting Rights Act by their ruling in June 2013 directly contributed to the brazen voter suppression laws and election changes occurring at lightning speed in North Carolina and in other states previously covered under Section 5 of the VRA. Justice Roberts and those who supported his activist undemocratic ruling know very well that their decision would allow states like North Carolina to block the vote. However, voters in North Carolina are fighting back. They refuse to give up the progress made from the Voting Rights Act.

North Carolina State Senator Ellie Kinnaird Vows to Insure All Citizens have a Voter ID

Former North Carolina State Senator Ellie Kinnaird resigned her seat on August 19, 2013 in order to spend full-time in protecting the vote and enabling all eligible voters to have a voter ID. Previously she fought to prevent the recent North Carolina Voter ID Law from passage.

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92 Year Old Rosa Nell Eaton Fired Up and Fed Up with NC Voter ID Law

Voting Rights Cat is "fired up & fed up and disgusted " with the North Carolina legislature & governor that just passed the most repressive Voter ID law in the U.S. Kitty is not pleased & she came for a visit to the NC State House. Photo Credit: Cat peering into a doll house by Felinest on Flickr cc

Voting Rights Cat is “fired up & fed up and disgusted ” with the North Carolina legislature & governor that just passed the most repressive Voter ID law in the U.S. Kitty is not pleased & she came for a visit to the NC State House to let the Governor & Legislators know her concerns. Photo Credit: Cat peering into a doll house by Felinest on Flickr cc

92 Year Old North Carolina Resident Rosa Nell Eaton Arrested for Protesting North Carolina Voter ID Law

In the above video Ms. Rosa Nell Eaton tells how she first registered to vote in Franklin County, North Carolina:

In 1934 Rosa Nell Eaton asked her mother to take her to the Franklin County Court house. She wanted to prepare for the next year’s election so she could vote and also help others to vote. Her mother took her and her brother in their wagon pulled by a mule to the County Court House.

When they arrived at the County Court House there were 3 white men seated outside and they asked her:

“What do you want little girl?”

The three white men outside the Court House in 1934 then told her:

“Stand up straight against that wall with your eyes looking directly towards me and repeat the Preamble of the U.S. [Constitution].”

Without missing a word she did it.

Then she was given material to fill out. Ms. Eaton said it was very stressful, but she did it. She passed the tests and was able to register to vote. She was only 18 years old finishing high school.

Ms. Eaton continued:

“The Voter ID bill has a desire to make it harder to vote. Here I am at 92 years old doing the same battling.

I have registered over 4,000 citizens in this state and at it again alongside Republican efforts to eliminate and cut early voting, and, to outlaw Sunday’s voting rights alongside the effort to keep college students from voting by inflicting a heavy financial penalty on their parents if they attempt to vote away from home when they are at college.

We need more, not less, public access to the ballot!

This Voter ID will cost the state a lot of millions of dollars.

It is not right. It is disgusting to me and it disturbs me.”

“It’s disgusting” what the Republican leadership of North Carolina are doing to make it harder for citizens to vote.

“At the age of 92 I am fed up and I’m fired up. Fed up, Fired up”

Ms. Eaton was arrested for protesting the Voter ID Bill in North Carolina which passed on July 25, 2013 and which is the most repressive voter suppression Voter ID law in the United States.

ACLU, SCSJ Challenges North Carolina Voter ID Law

Gaming and Rigging the Vote through Voter Suppression Voter ID Laws

The passage of North Carolina’s HB 589 Voter ID bill is a direct assault on the voting rights of all North Carolinians.

The NC Voter ID Law passed on July 25, 2013:

  • Cuts early voting hours
  • Imposes strict voter ID requirements
  • Makes it easier for voter suppression groups to intimidate voters
  • Increases influence of big money in elections
  • Diminishes the right to vote that disproportionately affects minorities, elderly and college students

What will you do to protect the vote for all Americans? This NC Voter ID law could disenfranchise 300,000 citizens who currently do not have government-issued photo ID. Getting this ID is a hidden poll tax because U.S. citizens will have to find a way to get to a location where they can get their “free” voter ID after they  get the proper paper work to prove they are who they say they are. This is obstruction of democracy and an effort to game the vote by making it harder for certain Americans to vote.

What are your thoughts about the Voter Suppression Voter ID laws like the one passed in North Carolina? What do you think should be done to protect the vote?

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North Carolina Voter I.D. Law “Common Sense” Voter Suppression of Minority & Youth Voters

Election Integrity Cat is Floored by the Excessively Repressive North Carolina Voter I.D. Law. Photo Credit: Silly Cat by E Photos on Flickr cc

Election Integrity Cat is Floored by the Excessively Repressive North Carolina Voter I.D. Law. Photo Credit: Silly Cat by E Photos on Flickr cc

State Representative Tom Murry (R. N. Carolina), co-author of the restrictive Voter I.D. Law passed by the North Carolina legislature on July 25th, just 30 days after the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the historic Voting Rights Act, claimed the Voter I.D. Law is just “common sense”. On PBS News Hour, Mr. Murry used the word “common sense” several times to justifiy the voter I.D. law. The implementation of the new voter I.D. card program could cost $800,000.

However, State Representative G. K. Butterfield (D. North Carolina) described the new law as being “shameful”.

Rep. G. K. Butterfield:

“It’s very shameful that our legislature in North Carolina and the governor have decided to make these radical changes in the election laws. There is no need for a voter I.D. law in North Carolina. We have four million people who vote in every presidential election and less than a dozen reports of voter fraud.”

300, 000 North Carolina Voters Lack Government-Issued Photo ID Required by the New Voter I.D. Law

Rep. Butterfield (D-North Carolina) claimed he would fight to overturn the voter I.D. law due to its discriminatory impact on minority voters and its discriminatory intent. Mr. Butterfield said at least 300,000 people in North Carolina do not currently have government issued photo I.D. which would be required to vote under the new law. Even though Mr. Murry said he would help anyone get a “free” photo I.D., Mr. Butterfield said most of the 300,000 people without it would probably not go through the difficult process to get one and would most likely just not vote. This law disproportionately affects, minorities, elderly and students, the very voters who came out big in 2012 and who voted democratic.

The New Voter I.D. Law Eliminates Same-Day Voter Registration and Reduces Early Voting by Seven (7) Days

In addition, the new law would reduce the previous 17 days available for early voting to just 10 days. Rep. Butterfield said the 10 days were not enough in the recent elections that were troubled with long lines at the polls. Also, the new law eliminates Sunday early voting which is a day widely used by minorities to vote.

According to North Carolina voting statistics, 70% of minorities participated in early voting in the last election. Cutting days and hours would disproportionately affect minority voters, especially those that usually vote on Sundays.

Voter Fraud Rare or Non-Existent in North Carolina and in the U.S.

In the most recent election four million (4,000,000) North Carolina voters voted in the Presidential 2012 election. According to this Here & Now NPR report and interview with North Carolina Governor Mike McCrory there were only 2 cases of voter fraud in North Carolina in the last 10 years. Yet, the main excuse for the voter I.D. law by Governor McCrory and the supporters of this voter suppression law is to prevent so-called “voter fraud” which is basically nonexistent in the U.S. and North Carolina.

The North Carolina state chapter of the NAACP said the new voter I.D. law is a poll tax dressed up in new clothes.

Governor McCrory claims everyone should have a photo I.D. today, because you would need one if you go to the White House or fly on an airplane or need “services.” He also refers to 34 other states having some form of voter I.D. law. 

Governor McCrory said to Here and Now reporter host Jeremy Hobson:

McCrory:

We’re requiring the same identification that you need to get almost any government services, including food stamps, including a tattoo in North Carolina, including Sudafed in North Carolina, you have to show a government-issued ID.

This is a circular argument that suits Governor McCrory. He fails to think about the 92 year old elderly minority voter whose driver’s license has expired and who has no way to get to a DMV 100 miles away to get a “free” government-issued photo I.D.

Governor McCrory says he will help people get their free government-issued I.D. by 2016 when the law goes into full effect, just in time for the 2016 Presidential Election. McCrory also never explains how difficult it is to actually get a government-issued photo I.D. What other documents does the resident need to prove they are eligible for a “free” government photo I.D. card? How will those people get off work to go to a DMV or other location that could be hours away from where they live? If they don’t drive, how can they even get to a DMV, especially if they live in a rural area with no public transportation? Governor McCrory tries to make it sound as if it is the most natural thing for everyone to have a photo I.D.

The fact is that many people do not have government issued photo I.D. cards because they are poor, or elderly or out of state students. However, Governor McCrory is far removed from understanding the real lives of these people.

North Carolina New Restrictive Voter I.D. Law Rejects Student College I.D.s

Instead of encouraging eligible U.S. students to vote, North Carolina politicians are putting new hurdles in front of students attending college in their state. College I.D.s are unacceptable under the restrictive North Carolina Voter I.D. Law.

Also, the new law does not accept out of state drivers licenses as proof of a government issued photo I.D.! That means that students who go to school in North Carolina have to get a different North Carolina photo I.D. because their out of state licenses are not accepted.

6 Arrested in Voting Right Sit-In – NC Speaker’s Office

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Supreme Court Decision on Voting Rights Act a Blow to Civil Rights

Election Integrity cat is upset by Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court's recent decision to undermine the Voting Rights Act. This cat sees that Texas is up to no good by trying to pass its poll tax type Voter ID Laws that would make it hard for most people to obtain documents for Voter

Election Integrity cat is upset by Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court’s recent decision to undermine the Voting Rights Act. This cat sees that Texas is up to no good by trying to pass its poll tax type Voter ID Laws that would make it hard for most people to obtain documents for Voter ID. Photo Credit: Cat in the Box by admiller on flickr cc

The U.S. Supreme Court in a 5 to 4 Decision, split along party lines, undermined the heart of the Voting Rights Act which has helped protect voters from discrimination since its passage in 1965.

The Roberts Court said that the information was outdated in Section 4 which outlines the methodology of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Instead of urging Congress to update Section 4, while still keeping Section 4 and 5 in full force, the Roberts Court decided to effectively stop Section 5 preclearance for current states (with a troubling history of discriminatory practices at the polls) by saying Section 4 is “outdated”.  Justice Roberts basically said, Congress must redo Section 4 in order to make the Section 5 Preclearance in effect again.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg Dissent calls out the “hubris” of the Roberts Majority on the Voting Rights Act

In a scathing and passionate dissenting opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said:

“Demand for a record of violations equivalent to the one earlier made would expose Congress to a catch-22. If the statute was working, there would be less evidence of discrimination, so opponents might argue that Congress should not be allowed to renew the statute. In contrast, if the statute was not working, there would be plenty of evidence of discrimination, but scant reason to renew a failed regulatory regime.”

“Congress approached the 2006 reauthorization of the VRA with great care and seriousness. The same cannot be said of the Court’s opinion today. The Court makes no genuine attempt to engage with the massive legislative record that Congress assembled. Instead, it relies on increases in voter registration and turnout as if that were the whole story. See supra, at 18–19. Without even identifying a standard of review, the Court dismissively brushes off arguments based on “data from the record,” and declines to enter the “debat[e about] what [the] record shows”…One would expect more from an opinion striking at the heart of the Nation’s signal piece of civil-rights legislation.”

Justice Ginsberg then cited recent examples of outright discrimination against minorities attempted since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. This shows how important it is to keep the VRA in full force:

  • “In 1995, Mississippi sought to reenact a dual voter registration system, ‘which was initially enacted in 1892 to disenfranchise Black voters,’ and for that reason was struck down by a federal court in 1987.”
  • “In 2006, the court found that Texas’ attempt to redraw a congressional district to reduce the strength of Latino voters bore ‘the mark of intentional discrimination that could give rise to an equal protection violation,’ and ordered the district redrawn in compliance with the VRA…In response, Texas sought to undermine this Court’s order by curtailing early voting in the district, but was blocked by an action to enforce the §5 pre-clearance requirement.”

Justice Roberts History of Efforts to Roll Back the Voting Rights Act

During Justice Roberts 2005 nomination proceedings before the Senate, there was evidence that John Roberts was and is no friend of civil rights and voter protections. As reported by Democracy Now:

Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy said Thursday the documents made public so far indicate Roberts holds a “rather cramped view of the Voting Rights Act.” Aides to Kennedy distributed materials that Roberts drafted while at the Justice Department and White House counsel’s office during the Reagan administration. The documents show Roberts expressing criticism of an extension of the voting rights act, support for a court ruling narrowing the civil rights requirements on colleges, and doubts about a law to combat discrimination in housing.

The Democracy Now program in 2005 revealed more details about John Roberts negative attitude towards the Voting Rights Act and his express desire to limit its ability to protect voters:

RALPH NEAS (President of People for the American Way): Good morning. From 1981 to 1993, the Reagan and Bush administrations did everything possible to turn back the clock on civil rights protections for women, for minorities, for people with disabilities and older Americans. It looks more and more with every passing day and with every passing revelation that John Roberts was at the epicenter of all of these efforts during the 1980s and early 1990s. The American people have a right to know precisely what his role was.

AMY GOODMAN: Looking at an A.P. piece, you know, these articles are coming out as these thousands of documents have been released, so the White House says they’re not going to release any when he was — any more under Kenneth Starr, when he was Deputy Solicitor General in the first Bush administration. But it says — and this refers to Reverend Jesse Jackson talking about the 1965 Voting Rights Act, “Congress was considering an extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act against the backdrop of the Supreme Court ruling that held proof of intent was needed to demonstrate someone’s rights had been violated.” Following up on Juan’s point, “House democrats sought legislation to change so election results would be sufficient. In a draft opinion article he sent to a county commissioner in San Antonio, Roberts wrote, ‘The proposal would not simply extend the existing and effective Voting Rights Act, but would dramatically change it. It’s not broken, so there’s no need to fix it.’” In other documents, Roberts, then working in the White House, wrote that legislation designed to overturn a different Supreme Court ruling would radically expand the civil rights laws to areas never before considered covered. He recommended against it. In a third, he wrote the administration could go slowly on housing legislation without fearing political damage…

An article in Mother Jones, “Chief Justice Roberts’ Long War Against the Voting Rights Act,” clearly reveals that Justice Roberts has been a “critic of the Voting Rights Act for 30 years.” While in his 20s, John Roberts worked for the Reagan Administration in its “crusade against the Voting Rights Act.”

Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court was deeply involved in the Reagan administration’s efforts to undercut the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act. Memos in the 1980s from John Roberts when he worked as a lawyer in the Reagan administration’s Justice Department, reveal Roberts recommendations on how to curtail the VRA. His efforts at that time failed. However, he has been patient all these decades since the 1980s. Now as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he fulfilled his previously thwarted goal under Reagan — to stop the Voting Rights Act from being effective.

Justice Ginsberg in her dissent calls out the “hubris” of the Supreme Court she sits on lead by Justice Roberts. In addition, she says the Court was wrong in undercutting Congress’ reauthorization in 2006 of the Voting Rights Act.

High Court Strikes Down Key Provision of Voting Rights Act

How will history view this decision? Was the decision tainted by partisan politics? Yes, absolutely. And, as can be seen by Justice Roberts work in the Reagan administration in the 1980s, it is clear he has wanted to roll back the Voting Rights Act for over 3 decades.

Can Congress Design a New Voting Rights Act Provision?

The Roberts Court decision will make it harder to stop discriminatory laws that primarily Red states have passed or are trying to pass that set up various roadblocks for Americans to cast a vote.

The Roberts Court’s decision also put up a roadblock to the recent reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 2006 by Congress for another 25 years (until 2031). In 2006 Republicans and Democrats came together to reauthorize this landmark civil rights act. George W. Bush applauded the unanimous decision of Congress and the Senate to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act. Yet, it is clear from Justice Roberts that he was looking for the opportunity to make it difficult to implement the preclearance rule of Section 5 of the VRA.

The issue now goes back to Congress. Will Republicans and Democrats be able to rise above their partisan ideologies to come together to protect the vote of all Americans? What could happen now with our next elections?

Beware of ALEC and its Voter Suppression Tactics & Laws

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) promotes template legislation to Block the Vote through various means:

1)  Strict Voter ID Laws that require voters to spend a lot of time and money to get the proper documents to get Voter ID cards or to show they are citizens eligible to vote.

2)  Onerous efforts to prevent students from voting in the city and state where they go to school. One state now has pending legislation to force families to pay taxes if their child wants to vote at a college town outside the family home.

It is clear that Congress has an opportunity to expand protections for voters in not only the current states covered under Section 5 of the VRA, but in other states as well. The fact that Texas is poised to pass heinous Voter Suppression Voter ID laws is clear that the Voting Rights Act is still a necessary instrument to protect the right to vote for all people from unnecessary obstructions.

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The Scandal about Misleading Talking Points on Benghazi

Political Cat disagreed with the misleading talkings points of the Red visitor.Photo Credit: Cat and Red Haired Toy by admiller on flickr cc

Political Cat disagreed with the misleading talkings points of the Red visitor and wanted to set things straight. Photo Credit: Cat and Red Haired Toy by admiller on flickr cc

2016 is only 4 years away yet some talking point folks are busy busy creating misleading talking points for the public about emails from the State Department

Here is a link to an article, “GOP Sources Altered Benghazi E-Mails To Suggest A Cover-Up, Reporter Confirms,” from ThinkProgress.org that explains that Condolezza Rice used misleading talking points about State Department emails on Benghazi. How come the press didn’t question this at the time? What happened there?

Will Washington D.C. Politicians Outgrow Dirty Tricks?

What would happen if there was a moratorium on dirty tricks in politics?

It would be a great day for all Americans!

Instead of some folks spending time pointing fingers at each other to get political points through twisting facts beyond recognition, folks of all parties might decide it is time to wisely use taxpayer money to get to work to:

  • Create jobs
  • Protect the environment
  • Fix infrastructure throughout the U.S.
  • Launch a bold program to replace oil with new forms of clean & green energy sources
  • Improve health care
  • Protect Social security
  • Protect Medicare
  • Get rid of waste, fraud & abuse responsibly
  • Recognize where government can be useful
  • Create best practices to promote economic growth in ways that also protect workers and the environment
  • Improve educational opportunities for every child

This is just a partial list of what Congress could actually positively do if the people there decided to listen to each other and work together. Government only works when we hold our representatives accountable.

If you are tired of the fighting in Washington and want them to end the sequester by responsibly creating a meaningful budget for all, then please add your thoughts and comments to get the discussion going.

What can be done to get Washington D.C. moving again to work for the American people and really help solve our nation’s problems and think outside the box? 

Various People and Cats Think Outside the Box

This Cat Thinks Outside the Box

Think Out Of The Box

John Cleese on Creativity

Posted in congress, Middle East, national security, News | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Boston Marathan Suspect in Custody

Who is this young man apprehended in Watertown, Massachusetts today?

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is a suspect together with his now deceased 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, in the horrific terrorist bombing at the finish line of the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon.

What happened to this young 19 year old man and his older brother that they both destroyed their lives, killed 2 young woman and an 8-year old boy and critically injured over 180 people? For what purpose?

What moved these young people to harm innocent children and adults at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013? What could have prevented them from doing such an unthinkable act that forever changed the people of Boston and the world?

What can be done to prevent other young people from taking this terrible path?

Prayers go out to the families of those affected by the Boston Marathon Bombing. May we find ways to forever end this type of senseless terrorism.

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Who Wrote the “Monsanto Protection Act Rider” into HR 933, Section 735?

Smart Kitty says No GE Frankenfish for me please! Photo Cute Cat with Beautiful Green Eyes by epSos.de on flickr cc

Smart Kitty says No GE Frankenfish for me please! Photo Cute Cat with Beautiful Green Eyes by epSos.de on flickr cc

HR 933 is a bill to keep the government running. However, in legalese below you will see gobbledygook terms that may mean next to nothing on the surface. However, Monsanto got some people in Congress to enable them to have a free pass to make people, animals and our land sick without fear of a lawsuit!

This Cat wants Congress to protect her right to have safe non-GMO fish. She says repeal the "Monsanto Protection Racket" Rider in Section 735 of H.R. 933. Photo Credit: cat vs fish by ultimcodex on Flickr cc

This Cat wants Congress to protect her right to have safe non-GMO fish. She says repeal the “Monsanto Protection Racket” Rider in Section 735 of H.R. 933. Photo Credit: cat vs fish by ultimcodex on Flickr cc

Obama Gives Monsanto Get Out of Jail Free Card

Monsanto Protection Act Causing Backlash

General Electric is also creating a Frankenfish according to the following news report. (Please note: Correction as of 4/4/2013:  General Electric is not creating the Frankenfish. A company named Aqua Bounty Technologies in Waltham, MA creates GE (genetically engineered) fish.)

Lab test of 6 of these genetically modified Frankenfish salmon have elevated levels of IGH-1 linked to breast, colon and prostate cancer. Tell FDA not to approve of this horrible fish!

Obama Signs ‘Monsanto Protection Act,’ Frankenfish heads to US market

Section 735: The Monsanto Protection Act hidden in legalese:

SEC. 735. In the event that a determination of non-regulated status made pursuant to section 411 of the Plant Protection ActH. R. 933—35 is or has been invalidated or vacated, the Secretary of Agriculture shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon request by a farmer, grower, farm operator, or producer, immediately grant temporary permit(s) or temporary deregulation in part, subject to necessary and appropriate conditions consistent with section 411(a) or 412(c) of the Plant Protection Act, which interim conditions shall authorize the movement, introduction, continued cultivation, commercialization and other specifically enumerated activities and requirements, including measures designed to mitigate or minimize potential adverse environmental effects, if any, relevant to the Secretary’s evaluation of the petition for non-regulated status, while ensuring that growers or other users are able to move, plant, cultivate, introduce into commerce and carry out other authorized activities in a timely manner: Provided, That all such conditions shall be applicable only for the interim period necessary for the Secretary to complete any required analyses or consultations related to the petition for non-regulated status: Provided further, That nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the Secretary’s authority under section 411, 412 and 414 of the Plant Protection Act.

What? Can you believe this? the “Monsanto Protection Act” section 735 of H.R. 933 was passed by both Democrats & Republicans in the House and Senate. However, the big question is why Senate Appropriations Chairwoman, Barbara Mikulski (D – MD) allowed this Frankenstein Anti-democratic section 735 to be included in the Appropriations Bill? Why did President Obama who said everyone should be able to know if their food is genetically modified allow this to happen on his watch?

Follow the Money! Which politicians in Congress get big bucks from corporations like Monsanto to do their bidding? Let’s follow the money to find out who exactly are in the pocket of corporations like Monsanto and who are hired gofers for them.

Why Does Monsanto Have to Have a Sneaky Rider embedded in an Appropriations Bill Passed to Protect It from People Suing Them if People are Harmed from its GMOs? 

Republicans and Democrats are equally guilty for enabling Monsanto to create its genetically modified seeds and organisms without what appears to be any regulations, oversight or ability for possibly harmed parties to sue Monsanto or companies that produce GMO organisms!!! How the heck did this happen?

What Can Be Done to Reverse this Horrible Mistake of the Monsanto Protection Racket Rider in H.R. 933, Section 735 signed by President Obama?

It is time to call President Obama and every single Senator and Congressional representative to tell them to immediately create a bill to reverse Section 735 of H.R. 933. No corporation should be exempt from being sued for harming people. No corporation should be able to write its own laws to do anything it wants, even at the expense of our health and the health of living things through their sole efforts to protect their bottom line profits for their shareholders.

Share your comments on this issue. What do you think should be done to rectify this travesty to justice and protection for our food supply?

Posted in science & technology, Senate and Congress | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Letter to Speaker Boehner and Congress about the Sequester & March 1, 2013

Dear Speaker Boehner and Congress:

What are your goals as Speaker of the House?

No matter what talking points you use or grandstanding you use to try and justify possibly letting the Sequester happen, what do you think people will remember? Do you think they will praise the GOP? Or, do you think the public will blame any possible negative consequences on you, Speaker Boehner, and your colleagues?

What happened to the commitment to create jobs for Americans?

It is time to move away from the fiscal cliff and come to your senses. The Sequester would cause a loss of possibly 1 million jobs or more. Is this what you want to happen?

The Deficit is shrinking.

It has been shrinking since President Obama took office in 2009 and continues to shrink.

Rachel Maddow on the Deficit

Stand on the Side of the American People and American Workers & Families

The American people are concerned about your lack of action to stop the Sequester which will harm our economy, harm many hard working Americans who will be furloughed from their important jobs, and cut important programs that save lives, feed needy families and protect Americans.

You were elected to serve Americans. Please know that the American people are watching what you will do. If our economy tanks because the Sequester wasn’t stopped, the responsibility for economic disaster will be placed squarely at the feet of those who refused to come to the table to compromise for the sake of all Americans.

Please take bold action for all Americans regardless of their political party. Stand up and lead the House to protect our economy and insure that Americans have jobs.

That is why you must take action to Stop the Sequester.

We are counting on you to do the right thing.

Sincerely,

Kitty Reporter

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Hey Congress Remember Jobs and the Economy?

The role of Speaker of the House is to get folks on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation that will help the American people and keep our country moving in the right direction.

Speaker Boehner must stop acting like Wile E. Coyote

 

Someone better send a memo to Speaker Boehner because he does not seem to understand that prime point based on how he blames others for not being able to create compromise and consensus between the Democrats and Republicans in the House. Many people might make the joke of saying “well, it’s like herding cats.” Not so, cats are smarter than what is going in Congress these days.

Time for Congress to Focus on What Really Matters–Jobs, Jobs, Jobs & the Economy

We are finally getting the economy going again and now the gridlock in Congress could harm that momentum. Is this something that perhaps some Republicans want to happen? It’s like saying, “if you don’t want to come to my party, then I’ll just ruin yours.”

You know, the kid who throws a tantrum and pulls the table cloth off the table while doing it. That is what it seems the Majority party in the Congress are doing right now. Their obsession with the debt is getting boring when many economists have warned that we need to continue strengthening the economy at this time instead of weaken it.

George Lakoff said in an article, “Why Ultra-Conservatives Like the Sequester,” on the Reader Supported News:

Paul Krugman, Joe Stiglitz, Robert Reich and other major economists have pointed out that the deficit is not an urgent economic problem and that, to the contrary, the economy would be helped by an increase in public investment and harmed by drastic cuts. The Sequester would hurt the economy, millions of people, and the country as a whole.

Lakoff claims that the right wing of the GOP want to show people that government can’t work so they are deliberately doing things to make it not work. And, they want to hurt the President.

Whose Moral Issues Are Wrapped up with the Sequester?

Lakoff states that that ultra-conservatives think the sequester is a moral issue. If that is why some ultra-conservatives are gleeful about the sequester, I think we need to have a dialogue to understand that it is not very moral to throw people out of work for an orchestrated financial crisis which would occur if these folks continue along the path of believing they are helping this country as they are destroying it. Lemming Logic

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Silly Politicians: Eric Cantor wants to End Overtime for Hourly Workers

I just read a blog about how Rep. Eric Cantor is going to recommend ending the ability of hourly workers to get overtime.

Games Silly Politicians Play

The Daily Kos reports about Mr. Cantor’s very ridiculous waste of time in trying to pass a federal law to end overtime for hourly workers. Why would anyone want to end overtime for hourly workers? It is purely Games Silly Politicians Play.

Doesn’t Eric Cantor have anything better to do than try and find ways to cheat hard-working folks out of pay they deserve for work done beyond working 40 hours/week or on holidays?

Why is Eric Cantor trying to find ways to take money away from people and turn back Fair Labor Standards? Shouldn’t he be trying to find ways to create more jobs and help more people make money than just the top 1%?

Something is wrong with Congress when the GOP majority party in the House keeps looking backwards while trying to walk forward.

This is what walking backwards into the future looks like. Congress better wake up soon to save our economy from the sequester damage

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Michelle Obama Shows How Moms Dance Today

Jimmy Fallon and First Lady Michelle Obama dance in honor of the “Let’s Move” campaign to get America moving.

Enjoy:

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Ohio SOS Jon Husted: Uncertified “Experimental Software Patches” & Provisional Ballot Controversies

Election Protection Cat is working to protect the Ohio election by monitoring all electronic voting machines. Photo Credit: Dewey by angela n on flickr cc

Election Protection Cat is working to protect the Ohio election by monitoring all electronic voting machines. Photo Credit: Dewey by angela n on flickr cc

Is this a deja vu? It seems that current GOP Secretary of State Jon Husted in 2012 is taking a page from former Ohio GOP Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell’s playbook from the disastrous 2004 Ohio election. In the Ohio 2004 Presidential election, votes mysteriously changed in the middle of the night from Kerry to Bush. Thousands of voters in primarily democratic strongholds were forced to cast provisional ballots. Thousands of provisional ballots were never counted in Ohio.

Ohio Provisional Ballots: Will they be Counted in Time or at All?

Did Kenneth Blackwell and Jon Husted compare notes? It seems like the policies of Republican Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell from 2004 were handed down directly to Republican Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted in 2012.

Ari Berman of The Nation, published the article: “Eleventh-Hour GOP Voter Suppression Could Swing Ohio”:

“Once again Husted is playing the voter suppression card, this time at the eleventh hour, in a controversial new directive concerning provisional ballots. In an order to election officials on Friday night, Husted shifted the burden of correctly filling out a provisional ballot from the poll worker to the voter, specifically pertaining to the recording of a voter’s form of ID, which was previously the poll worker’s responsibility. Any provisional ballot with incorrect information will not be counted, Husted maintains. This seemingly innocuous change has the potential to impact the counting of thousands of votes in Ohio and could swing the election in this closely contested battleground.”

Another problem: Ohio provisional ballots don’t have to be counted until 14 days after the election. FOURTEEN DAYS. OK, so if there are 100,000 or more provisional ballots and the election is close and they aren’t counted until 14 days after November 6th, how will that affect the Ohio election?

This is a recipe for another disaster unless the candidates, or at least the Democrats, have the backbone to call for hand-counted ballots through recounts. That’s right. It is time in 2012 to not just give up the election like Kerry did in 2004 despite rampant voter suppression from long lines where voters in Democratic strongholds waited in line in Ohio for as much as 9-11 hours, and outright election fraud. President Obama should take a lesson from how now Senator Al Franken never gave up seeking the truth from his election even though many people said he should. Franken won by a slim margin, but he stuck it out until all votes were properly hand-counted. Bravo Al Franken!

Then There are the Untested Uncertified “Experimental Software Patches” inserted into voting machines in 39 Ohio Counties by Republican SoS Jon Husted

As if the voter suppression tactics of GOP SoS Husted isn’t enough where he cut early voting hours for Ohioans and changed provisional ballot rules, he now has the gall to skirt Ohio state law by deciding to insert “experimental software patches” into ES&S (Election Systems and Software) electronic voting machines in 39 Ohio counties. Why would GOP Ohio SoS Husted decide to suddenly do this? It is totally astounding especially since this software has not been seen by anyone who has the responsibility of testing and certifying the election software. Is Husted deliberately undermining the security of the Ohio vote and voting rights of its citizens?

Here is a report about the possible Man In The Middle attack that occurred during the Ohio 2004 election. Kenneth Blackwell hired Mike Connell of GovTech Solutions and its subcontractor Smartech. The story of what happened in 2004 is still being pieced together. However, what is fact is that Triad GSI, another IT company hired by some Ohio counties in 2004, is on record for switching out hard drives from voting equipment in the midst of the 2004 election–which looked suspiciously like they were covering their tracks for electronic manipulation of ballots. Also, through a lawsuit the computer configuration set up by GovTech and Smartech showed a classic Man In The Middle configuration where someone changed ballot total data coming from the counties to the Ohio Secretary of State website. According to GOP computer security expert Stephen Spoonamore, after looking at the architecture of the way Smartech & GovTech set up the computer connections to the web, it was likely that data was changed.

Is There A Plan to Steal the Ohio Election through Multiple Means?

Now suddenly within a few days before the Nov. 6, 2012 election, GOP Ohio SoS Husted decided to put “experimental software patches” into voting machines. As Harry Hursti showed in the “Hursti Hack.” It is easy to change vote totals through altering software on memory cards or inserting software into electronic voting machines.

In a new article published in The Free Press by Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis, the writers say the “uncertified” software could possibly corrupt votes and have security flaws open to “man in the middle” attacks:

“This uncertified and untested software could easily malfunction and corrupt votes on the central tabulation machines, thus destroying any electronic record of the actual votes by citizens. This “experimental” software, as outlined in the contract, has no security protocols. A “man in the middle” attack, like the one that stole the Ohio election for George W. Bush in 2004, could be directly facilitated by this untested and uncertified software installation.

The Secretary of State’s office has used every legal contortion to avoid the use of science and the possibility of public scrutiny of this possibly illegal software. The Free Press will continue to report on this story as it develops.”

Posted in Politics, Republicans | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Romney’s Odd Hotheaded Comments about Foreign Policy Reveal his Inexperience

Foreign Policy Cat is shocked by Mitt Romney's Missteps on Foreign Policy Issues. Photo Credit: 365 x 19 Cat Posing by david masters on flickr cc

Foreign Policy Cat is shocked by Mitt Romney’s Missteps on Foreign Policy Issues. Photo Credit: 365 x 19 Cat Posing by david masters on flickr cc

Romney’s Negative Political Maneuvering

What was Mitt Romney thinking when he angrily accused President Obama of things that President Obama never said or did? Romney seems to be reading from a script that uses certain hot-button key words meant to rile-up his base. Mitt Romney’s recent inflammatory comments about the Obama’s administration’s response to the attacks on the Libyan and Egyptian U.S. diplomatic missions appeared to be political grandstanding.

Even Republican foreign policy experts were shocked at Romney’s strange attack on President Obama.

On PBS, Nicholas Burns, Former U.S. Ambassador who served both Republican and Democratic administrations said he watched President Obama’s response to the tragic attacks on the U.S. Libyan Consulate and the U.S. Egyptian Embassy. He said President Obama, “in no way shape or form apologized.” …

“I don’t think it was right for Governor Romney to have jumped in before he knew all the facts.”

Mitt Romney’s Foreign Policy Blunder

President Obama stated on September 12, 2012 in response to Romney’s inappropriate comments:

“Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later. And as President, one of the things I’ve learned is that you can’t do that.”

Scott Galupo in an article from The American Conservative stated in his article, “The First Unmistakable Sign of Panic from the Romney Campaign”:

“The Romney campaign’s reaction to the attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya was, as Daniel Larison says, “hasty and stupid.”

Romney’s Preliminary Foreign Policy Team Would Return to NeoCon Days of G. W. Bush

An article by Alex Kane on Alternet, “Mitt Romney’s Dangerous Foreign Policy Team: Nostalgic for Bush, Hellbent on War with Iran” clearly shows that Romney’s foreign policy approach and prospective team would most likely return to an outdated and dangerous cold war mentality:

“The most striking aspect of Romney’s approach to foreign policy is its lack of creativity — its brazen willingness to recycle Bush-era talking points, attitudes, and of course personnel,” said Peter Certo, a researcher at Right Web, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies. “A Romney administration would be a fresh canvas for the neocons to paint on.”

In a recent speech about foreign policy Romney claimed he would utilize military might. It appears that his world view is all about hard power with the idea that the United States should arrogantly utilize its big guns to push its interests.

Balanced Foreign Policy requires Wisdom, Courage and Diplomatic Skills

A healthy relationship with foreign countries and its peoples around the world requires an ability to use wisdom, courage, diplomacy and what is characterized as “smart” power.

Based on Romney’s recent foreign policy statements including his bizarre comments about Russia being the biggest threat to the U.S., it is clear that Romney would take the U.S. back to the 20th Century and a cold war strategy of foreign policy.

We are in the 21st Century and we have new challenges. We need leaders capable of bringing people together and focusing on the importance of dialogue and diplomacy over the outdated idea that “might makes right”.

Posted in Foreign Affairs, national security, President Barack Obama, Republicans | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SMARTech, Boss Rove and the 2004 and 2012 Ohio Elections

Two political election integrity cats just read Boss Rove by Craig Unger and they don't understand how Karl Rove claims he doesn't know about SMARTech which was used in the Ohio 2004 election and is slated to be used in the Ohio 2012 Election. Will the votes mysteriously shift in the middle of the night like they did in 2004 at 11:14 pm when votes went to SMARTech servers in Chatanooga TN? Photo Credit: BC CATS bu John Schanlaub on flickr cc

Two political election integrity cats just read Boss Rove by Craig Unger and they don’t understand how Karl Rove claims he doesn’t know about SMARTech which was used in the Ohio 2004 election and is slated to be used in the Ohio 2012 Election. Will the votes mysteriously shift in the middle of the night like they did in 2004 at 11:14 pm when votes went to SMARTech servers in Chattanooga TN? Photo Credit: BC CATS bu John Schanlaub on flickr cc

DEMOCRACY NOW! interviewed author Craig Unger who wrote the book: Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power

Democracy Now! Interview with Craig Unger, author of Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove's Secret Kingdom of Power

Democracy Now! Interview with Craig Unger, author of Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power

Craig Unger explains how in 2004 former Ohio GOP Secretary of State Ken Blackwell employed SMARTech (owned by Averbeck) together with Michael Connell (New Media Communications and GovTech). Unger said that Michael Connell used SMARTech’s Chattanooga Tennessee computers to host Connell’s websites, many of which were created for the Republican party and related organizations.

Republican-Connected IT company, SMARTech, to be Used in the 2012 Ohio Presidential Election

In 20012 the current Ohio GOP Secretary of State Jon Husted plans to once again use SMARTech for the 2012 Ohio Presidential Election. It would be interesting to know how SOS Husted plans to utilize SMARTech and if he will admit knowledge of the use of SMARTech. Will the computer IT architecture be similar to the one created in 2004 where Stephen Spoonamore claimed the architecture was a classic Man-In-The Middle attack format for the ability to manipulate vote totals.

Craig Unger on New Book, “Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power.” 1 of 2

Craig Unger on New Book, “Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove’s Secret Kingdom of Power.” 2 of 2

Boss Rove, the 2004 Ohio Election and IT firm SMARTech

Democracy Now! Amy Goodman asked Craig Unger about what happened in the Ohio 2004 election and Karl Rove’s connection with that election. Here is a portion of the transcript:

AMY GOODMAN: So now let’s go back to Ohio, in fact, Ohio and SMARTech. This is the one chance you ever had to question Karl Rove about that.

CRAIG UNGER: Exactly. And I met Karl Rove in Alabama, and I asked him. And he said, “SMARTech? What’s that? I’ve never heard of it.”

Well, SMARTech is a high-tech company in Chattanooga. And what you see with Rove’s methodology is he manages to have things happen in his benefit, and there are no fingerprints. But I traced the ownership of SMARTech and its precursors, and the original company was funded by two—its precursor, rather, was funded by two Republicans named Bill DeWitt and Mercer Reynolds. Mercer Reynolds was finance chairman of the Republican Party. In ’04, he raised about a quarter of a billion dollars for the Bush-Cheney campaign. And in the ’80s, they had bailed out George W. Bush in his oil ventures, DeWitt and Reynolds had. So they were very, very close to him.

And this company started off as a very legitimate high-tech company in Chattanooga during the dot-com boom. It later reformed under a different name and different ownership, but by then it had become very much a political operation. So, this was a highly, highly partisan Republican high-tech company. It hosted—its biggest clients included the Bush-Cheney campaign, it included Jeb Bush, it included the Republican National Committee. It streamed live the convention, the Republican convention.

And somehow or other, in 2004, in the state of Ohio, which was the single most crucial state in the Electoral College, when it came to the actual voting, the secretary of state of Ohio, a guy named Ken Blackwell—and the secretary of state’s job is to—part of it is to ensure fair, nonpartisan elections—happened to be co-chair of the Bush campaign. Now, there’s no conflict there. And he gave a contract to host the fail oversight for the Republican—rather, for the votes in 2004, to none other than SMARTech. And this is where things went a little crazy.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: But how was that allowed to happen even? I mean—

CRAIG UNGER: Well, I mean, I think it is a huge conflict of interest on the face of it for the secretary of state of a party to be affiliated with one campaign or the other. And we saw it, of course, in Florida in 2000 with Katherine Harris.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, 2004, election night, tell us the story.

CRAIG UNGER: Right, Well, about at 11:14 p.m., things started to happen, exactly 11:14 p.m. And as the votes came in, it was clear it was going to be an all-nighter in terms of the results. And around 11:00, Florida was called for Bush, and that meant the entire fate of the election hinged on Ohio. So, suddenly—excuse me—the servers for the secretary of state’s computers were flooded with queries.

AMY GOODMAN: Ohio secretary of state.

CRAIG UNGER: Exactly. And they needed to lock into the fail oversight in Chattanooga with SMARTech. And this is where the results went a little crazy. And suddenly, an enormous number of irregular returns came in, and the votes shifted. The exit polls had shown Kerry winning Ohio, and therefore the election. And it looked like he had won the presidential election. I remember that day vividly because I was getting reports from the exit polls, and I went around telling people it looked like Kerry had won. But there was a 6.7 percent difference between the exit polls and the actual results. And as a result, the election ended up going to Bush. And that was the entire story.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: In writing about what happened in Ohio as well as in Alabama, one of the things that you say about Rove is that a case can be made that for the last three decades he’s been putting a systematic attempt to game the American electoral system by whatever means necessary. What kind of vision does Karl Rove have for the Republican Party and for American politics?

CRAIG UNGER: Right. Well, I don’t think he’s an ideologue. I think he’s about winning. And he’s often been compared to a guy named Mark Hanna, who more than a century ago was the political mind behind President William McKinley. He was a senator from Ohio, but he was also a political operative who put McKinley in the White House and forged a realignment. There’s always been this talk of a permanent Republican majority that Rove is trying to forge, and he sees it, the nation, as being entirely Republican. And, in fact, I think that’s Rove’s line, and I don’t buy it.

Ken Blackwell at August 2012 Republican Convention Denies any Knowledge of SMARTech in Interview with Democracy Now

Ken Blackwell claims he didn’t know anything about SMARTech which his office employed in a contract in 2004 for the 2004 Presidential Election even though court documents in a lawsuit show a signed contract between SMARTech and the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.
Partial Transcript from Interview with Ken Blackwell by Democracy Now! producer Mike Burke:

MIKE BURKE: One more question, sir. Last week on our program, we interviewed the journalist Craig Unger, who has a new book about Karl Rove. He dedicates a lot of time in the book to the 2004 election in Ohio.

KEN BLACKWELL: That’s good.

MIKE BURKE: And he raised serious questions about—

KEN BLACKWELL: What kind of questions did he raise?

MIKE BURKE: Well, he had questions about the accuracy of the vote. And he—

KEN BLACKWELL: Look, let me tell you something about—no, no, let me tell you something about 2004. I hear a lot of urban myths about 2004 about voter suppression and long voter lines. And the case study that they use is Franklin County. Franklin County is where Columbus is located, and there were long lines. But there were long lines due to tremendous efforts by both sides to get out the vote and a decision that was made that students at Ohio State University would vote in Columbus as opposed to their home precincts.

But what I think is incumbent upon you to get across to your folks, who view you, is this: that in Ohio, voting machine location is determined by 88 county boards of elections. Each one of those boards of elections have two members—two Democrats and two Republicans. In 2004, the head of the Franklin County Board of Elections was a guy by the named Bill Anthony. He was a labor leader. He was vice chairman of the Franklin County party, Democratic Party. He was a co-chairman of the Kerry campaign, and he was African American. I don’t think that he would have allowed voting machines to deliberately not be placed in African-American communities.

MIKE BURKE: Sir, but is—

KEN BLACKWELL: But it is—no, excuse me, sir—but it is this notion that the secretary of state made a determination, therefore getting long lines that frustrated African-American voters, that was not the case. I haven’t read the book, so I won’t comment on it.

MIKE BURKE: But I’m not asking about the book, in particular, sir.

KEN BLACKWELL: I won’t comment.

MIKE BURKE: But, sir—

KEN BLACKWELL: I won’t comment.

MIKE BURKE: But, sir, he asked about a company called SMARTech.

KEN BLACKWELL: I don’t know anything about SMARTech.

MIKE BURKE: Well—

KEN BLACKWELL: So, that’s—that’s—

MIKE BURKE: My understanding is that Ohio actually had a contract with this company.

KEN BLACKWELL: You know what? Let me tell you something.

MIKE BURKE: Yes.

KEN BLACKWELL: I, in fact, gave you my time.

MIKE BURKE: Right, and—

KEN BLACKWELL: And—excuse me. I gave you my time. In Ohio in 2004, we had a record turnout of African-American voters.

MIKE BURKE: But that’s not my question.

KEN BLACKWELL: Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me.

MIKE BURKE: My question, sir, was about SMARTech.

KEN BLACKWELL: My answer—my answer is this—

MIKE BURKE: Right, but you’re not answering my question.

KEN BLACKWELL: No, my answer is this: Ohio, examined by Ohio newspapers and election authorities, had a good election, a clean election—not a perfect election, but a good and fair election—

MIKE BURKE: But the question—

KEN BLACKWELL: —in 2004.

MIKE BURKE: But the question raised in this book, sir—

KEN BLACKWELL: That is my answer. Over and out.

MIKE BURKE: Sir—

Do you think Karl Rove and Ken Blackwell need to take lie detector tests? How can they possibly deny knowledge of SMARTech with a straight face? Will Ohio election integrity folks check into the status of the use of SMARTech in the 2004 and 2012 elections? Perhaps for the integrity of the vote totals in Ohio it would seem like a pretty good idea. Meaow!

Posted in Karl Rove, Republicans | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ohio Elections In the Spotlight

Election Cat wants to make sure the Ohio Election isn't stolen or rigged. She saw the role SmarTech and Triad played in the 2004 election is can't believe Ohio Sec of State is using them again for 2012 despite concerns that they possibly manipulated electronic voting machine tallies of the election. Photo Credit: Cat out of Bag by AlishaV on flickr cc

Election Cat wants to make sure the Ohio Election isn’t stolen or rigged. She saw the role SmarTech and Triad played in the 2004 election and she can’t believe GOP Ohio Sec of State Jon Husted is using them again for 2012 despite concerns that they possibly manipulated electronic voting machine tallies in the 2004 Presidential election. Photo Credit: Cat out of Bag by AlishaV on flickr cc

The Continuing Saga of Voting in Ohio

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman wrote about the Ohio Election Debacle of 2004 and have been vigilent ever since to insure that Ohio elections are fair and honest. However, in a recent article in Counterpunch, the dynamic election integrity duo wrote an article, “Four Ways Ohio Republicans Are Already Stealing the 2012 Elections,” sounding alarm bells that the Ohio Republican Party operatives may already be stealing the 2012 election.

Fitrakis and Wasserman remind the American public that Republicans used similar multiple strategies in 2000 and 2004 to block the vote and possibly even change the vote tallies through computer manipulation of electronic voting machines.

1.  Purging the Vote

At least 1,250,000 citizens have been purged from Ohio voting rolls since 2009 by the GOP. According to the above article, the purge mostly affects citizens in urban and Democratic leaning counties.

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2.  Republican-Connected Firms Own & Maintain Electronic Voting Machines in Ohio

Those who are eligible to vote in Ohio have another hurdle to insure their votes are properly counted. The voting machines they vote on are owned, operated, programmed and maintained “and will be tallied” by Republican-connected firms, including Diebold (now Premier), ES&S and Triad. The firm, Triad, has a troublesome past in how they mishandled the 2004 election. Will they mishandle the 2012 election using similar tactics? Smartech, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, owned by Averbeck, played a major role in the 2004 Ohio elections.

3.  One-Party Rule in Ohio

The GOP controls “both houses of the Ohio Legislature, the governorship, the secretary of state’s office, and the state supreme court.” Without independent election monitors many voters may be incorrectly asked to show photo ID even though voters can use 17 different types of ID to prove who they are. Will groups like “True the Vote” who have vowed to question people to stop “voter fraud” disenfranchise American citizens in Ohio?

4.  Early Voting

10.6% of the votes cast in Ohio in 2004 were “early votes” “via absentee ballots.” However, at that time a person could only cast an absentee ballot if they were actually “absent.” Meanwhile in-person voting “at the 42 predominantly black inner-city precincts in Columbus voters waited between 3-7 hours to vote.”

Republicans in 2012 tried to allow early-voting for the GOP on week-ends in Republican counties while restricting early voting in Democratic leaning counties. Ohio Secretary of State Husted claimed he was “leveling the playing field” by restricting early voting on all weekends, including the week-end before the November 6 election for everyone. However, there was a backlash from Democrats like State Representative Charleta Tavares. She claimed blocking the vote the weekend before the election was designed to “suppress Democratic voters,” particularly African-American voters who voted “95% for Obama in 2008.”

Threat to Democracy:

What separates the United States from dictatorships is that we pride ourselves on having free, fair, honest and accurate elections. However, if partisan electronic voting companies own the machines, program the machines, maintain the machines and tally the votes, will they do so in a way that upholds the integrity of the vote?

It is worrisome that the same partisan-leaning firms, Smartech and Triad, that botched the Ohio 2004 election are once again major players in managing and counting the votes in Ohio. Here is an article with a summary of the GAO report: “Elections: Federal Efforts to Improve Security and Reliability of Electronic Voting Systems Are Under Way, but Key Activities Need to Be Completed”.

In the important King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case, a detailed computer configuration is included which shows how the 2004 Election in Ohio was hacked by a Man-In-The Middle attack. It shows how computerized votes went to SmarTech’s computers in Chatanooga TN before reaching the former GOP Ohio Sec. of State’s Office, Ken Blackwell’s website where tallies from throughout the state were tabulated in the 2004 Presidential Election.

Here is a letter from lead Attorney Cliff Arnebeck for the King Lincoln Case where he exchanged emails with GOP IT security expert Stephen Spoonamore.

In the letter IT Security Expert Stephen Spoonamore states:

“Yes. They would have had data input capacities. The system might have been set up to log which source generated the data, but probably did not.”

“They [SmarTech] had full access and could change things when and if they wants.”

“SmarTech was a man in the middle. In my opinion they were not designed as a mirror, they were designed specifically to be a man in the middle.”

Stephen Spoonamore, Computer Security Guru, Election Theft with Voting Machines

A Man-In-The-Middle computer attack is when someone can intercept communications and change data through the configuration of the computer architecture. Stephen Spoonamore explained to Arnebeck that SmarTech and now deceased Mike Connell from GovTech Solutions arranged a special type of computer set-up that would be a Man In The Middle setup where electronic information including ballot tallies could be manipulated. Is that what happened in 2004 when suddenly overnight ballots shifted from John Kerry to G. W. Bush?

We must be vigilent and insure that our elections are properly administered and that our votes are properly counted as we cast them, not as others want them to be for their own political purposes. Protect the 2012 Vote.

Let’s Monitor the Vote Counting and the Voting Machines

Homer Simpson Tries to Vote for Obama in Ohio in 2008

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Will Congress Solve Problems Instead of Being Partisan?

Cats and Dogs get along, so why can't Democrats and Republicans? Photo Credit: Buddy and Chubbs by ckay on flickr cc

Cats and Dogs get along without resorting to cat or dog fights, so why can’t Democrats and Republicans? Photo Credit: Buddy and Chubbs by ckay on flickr cc

The American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) June 11, 2012 forum, “Conservatism and the Republican Party” featured Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar at AEI, and Steven Hayward, Public Policy Senior Fellow at AEI providing their views on the topic.

Ornstein said the “litmus test positions” Republicans take to prove they are conservative enough causes gridlock in Washington D.C. He said Republicans feel obliged to hold to these positions once they take them which contributes to an inability to problem-solve together across party lines about key issues confronting Americans today. He addresses these concerns in his new book, “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks.”

Norman Ornstein said of the problem with Republicans like Romney being pressured to take certain positions on immigration as part of the litmus test of whether they are conservative enough:

Mitt Romney is not just the etch-a-sketch guy, but the chameleon.”

Steven Hayward expressed his concern about the Republican majority party in Congress. He said:

“I think the Republican party atrophied in those decades when they were out of power. …The democrats became a more legislative party. They are better at running Congress. There is no question of that. And Republicans have yet to prove that they are any good in governing as a majority.”

Norm Ornstein relayed when President Obama said he was for the framework of the bipartisan Gang of Six Plan on the Budget as a starting point, a senior Republican leadership aide told Politico that if the President was for the plan, that kills it for Republicans because they would then be against it. Ornstein argued that this kind of purely ideological knee jerk reaction by conservatives on issues because President Obama is for something is exactly what needs to change in Washington D.C.

Haywood says, “The quickest way for Obama to kill a deal he doesn’t like is to praise it publicly up front. Maybe I’m being too clever and cynical, I don’t know.”

Ornstein said that we have a population that is aging and living longer. This will require that we will have some increases in entitlements. He said currently we have tax rates that are the lowest level of the GDP since the 1950’s, and the idea that cutting them further will enable us to deal with deficits and debt is just bizarre.

On the Debt Ceiling Debacle

Ornstein said both parties are hypocritical when it comes to extending the debt ceiling because depending on which party is in power, they switch their positions to support the administration that reflects their own party when their party wants to extend the ceiling. He is concerned that repeating the debt-ceiling fiasco of 2011 will possibly further damage our economic standing in the world and could have ripple effects that would harm our economy.

Norm Ornstein recommends some reforms like reforming the filibuster. He thinks moving beyond “tribal politics” is challenging but must be done to effectively tackle problems like health care.

Ornstein said the single largest component of Medicare and Medicaid confronting us is long-term care for the elderly. We fund it largely through Medicaid. He said that cutting Medicaid to the states could have disastrous consequences that would result in insufficient care for our aging parents and friends. He challenges liberals and conservatives to sit down and truly problem solve these issues. Ornstein said that major costs facing the U.S. are related to health care costs.

Ornstein says it is ridiculous that conservatives claim Democrats are socialist when they didn’t even back a single-payer system.

However, Hayward isn’t supportive of reforming the filibuster.

Even though they disagreed about how to achieve the results, both Hayward and Ornstein expressed the need for democrats and republicans to come together to solve our countries problems.

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Voter Suppression via “True the Vote” Voter Intimidation Tactics

Election Integrity cat wants to know what is really going on at the True the Vote Ohio Summit – especially the discussion between former Ohio Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell and the current Ohio Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted. She hopes SOS Husted is less partisan than Blackwell since the 2004 Ohio election was a disaster for insuring an honest fair election for all Ohioans. Photo Credit by Cat by NathanF on flickr cc

“True the Vote” accused of Voter Suppression Tactics

The organization called “True the Vote” sounds like it wants to insure voter protection from the title of the group. However, according to folks who have attended recent events sponsored by True the Vote like the summit August 18, 2012 in Colorado, the attendees of this organization’s events are being schooled in tactics to intimidate and target voters they consider “liberal”. Attendees to these summits learn tactics for questioning voters at the polls, trying to find ways to purge voters from election rolls before an election – especially minorities who may tend to vote democratic.

“True the Vote” wants to appear non-partisan. However, their actions reveal they are out to intimidate voters who do not vote their way, the Republican way.

True the Vote Ohio Summit August 25, 2012

All the speakers they have selected for the True the Vote Summit on August 25, 2012 in Ohio are Republicans according to the press release. Here is a screen shot of their press release:

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted and former Ohio Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell speak together at the Ohio True the Vote Summit August 25, 2012

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted and former Ohio Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell speak together at the Ohio True the Vote Summit August 25, 2012

They claim they are cosponsoring the event with Ohio Voter Protection. However, who exactly are they referring to? There is an organization called Ohio Voter Protection Coalition, but no organization of note called just Ohio Voter Protection. The only speakers scheduled in their press release are all people who are partisan folks on the Republican side of the aisle.

Here is an article by someone who went undercover to find out what goes on at True the Vote events:

Steven Rosenfeld in his article “Going Undercover at the GOP’s Voter Vigilante Project to Disrupt the Nov. Election” said of Katherine Englebrecht and then John Fund, author of a book claiming there is massive voter fraud (even though evidence shows there has been only 10 convicted folks since 2ooo):

Her war stories [Katherine Englebrecht – founder of King Street Patriots of which True the Vote emerged] continued. They were low-rent compared to later speakers, who described a full-throated U.S. Justice Department conspiracy to ignore discrimination against white voters, or Fund telling people that they should enjoy bullying liberals because they were doing God’s work. “Your opposition are cartoon characters. They are. They are fun to beat up. They are fun to humiliate,” he intoned. “You are on the side of the angels. And these people are just frauds, charlatans and liars.”

Joyce Beatty speaks on voter suppression organization efforts in Ohio

Joyce Beatty said “True the Vote” which was investigated by DOJ for voter intimidation in 2010 “are trying to kill the vote.”

Featured Speakers include Former Ohio Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell (2003-2007) and current Ohio Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted (2011 to the present).

Former Ohio GOP Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell has the distinction of overseeing one of the worst election debacles during the 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio. This 2004 Ohio election resulted in the most inept and troubling elections for voters in the history of Ohio elections. For details about the problems with that election, see this earlier post and this report, “Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio”.

Here is an excerpt from the above report executive summary:

Chronology of Events [November 4, 2004]
The Lead Up to the 2004 Ohio Presidential Election In Ohio – In the days leading up to election day 2004, a consensus appeared to have emerged among observers that the state of Ohio would be one of the battleground states that would decide who would be elected the Forty-fourth President of the United States. (See Susan Page, Swing States Lean to Kerry: Democrat Ties Bush Nationally, USA TODAY, Nov. 1, 2004; Anne E. Kornblut, Big Push to the Finish: Bush, Kerry Make Last Stand in Crucial States, BOSTON GLOBE, Nov. 1, 2004; Mike Allen and Lois Romano, A Feverish Pitch in Final Hours, WASH. POST, Oct. 31, 2004.)   Both the Democratic and Republican Presidential campaigns, as well as outside groups, had spent considerable time and resources to win the state, but the day before the election, the Democratic candidate, Senator John Kerry, appeared to have the edge. The Democratic Party also had vastly outperformed its Republican counterparts in registering voters in this key state. (See Ford Fessenden, A Big Increase Of New Voters in Swing States, N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 26, 2004.)

Election Day – Numerous irregularities were reported throughout Ohio. In particular, in predominately Democratic and African-American areas, the voting process was chaotic, taxing and ultimately fruitless for many. The repeated and suspicious challenges of voter eligibility and a lack of inadequate number of voting machines in these areas worked in concert to slow voting to a crawl, with voting lines as long as ten hours.  Voters reported bizarre “glitches” in voting machines where votes for Senator Kerry were registered as votes for the President [GW Bush].    The counting process was similarly chaotic and suspect.

The election was so riddled with problems primarily in democratic strongholds that a special investigative report revealed the horrors voters experienced on election day that November 2004. Here is a partial list:

*  not enough voting machines and broken nonworking voting machines resulting in voters, primarily democrats or minorities, waiting in lines for up to 9 hours

*  voters incorrectly purged from voting rolls

*  voter intimidation at the polls questioning if they were citizens or registered voters

*  voters in democratic areas received notices saying democrats should vote on a different day than the actual election

*  problems with the way the votes were tabulated resulting in questions about the final tally.

*  problems with absentee ballots reaching voters in time for them to cast a ballot.

*  problems with provisional ballots. Very few were ever counted once they were cast.

*  93,000 ballots that had the selection for President missing.

* Electronic DRE machines that switched voter’s votes from Kerry to Bush

Kenneth Blackwell’s administration of the 2004 Ohio General Election was a travesty of justice. As Secretary of State one would think that once in office, that person would dispense with partisan issues and want to insure that all Americans regardless of party affiliation would be encouraged to vote and have their votes properly counted. However, under Kenneth Blackwell, it seems that every dirty trick in the book was used to disenfranchise and discourage American citizens in Ohio from voting on that day or any other day.

Since the current Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted was meeting at the same “True the Vote” Ohio Summit as Blackwell, one wonders what tips they are trading regarding elections. Hopefully, no tips, because any tips Blackwell would trade based on his track record would most likely bode badly for fair elections for people of any political party except Republicans.

Chairman Redfern on Ohio Republican Voter Disenfranchisement

In the final 3 days of the 2008 early election cycle under former Ohio Democratic Secretary of State Judith Bruner, 93,000 people voted from all parties. However, during the 2004 election under former Ohio Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, 15,000 voters in Franklin County in the city of Columbus went home because they were unable to continue waiting in line to cast a ballot.

It is clear that early voting the last 3 days before the official election insures there are less lines and that working people can vote outside of working hours. That is why it makes no sense that Ohio Secretary of State Husted would then eliminate the last 3 days of early voting which includes a necessary week-end that would make it easier for voters to cast a ballot in person, especially if they work on election day. Also, allowing voters to cast a ballot 3 days before the election on November 6, 2012 will free up polls and insure voters will not necessarily have to wait long hours to cast a vote on election day. It seems Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted should rethink his decision if he really cares about the freedom of all Americans to be able to cast a ballot.

Mr. Husted should realize that the Ohio election is being watched carefully by all Americans and people around the world to see if he takes tips from Ken Blackwell or if he charts his own course to truly act in a non-partisan fashion to protect every citizen’s vote. It is time to get beyond the party partisanship and allow Americans to decide who they want for their elected representatives, instead of rigging an election in oh so many dirty trick ways out of the Karl Rove handbook of dirty tricks.

Bill Moyers Essay: Share Your Stories of Voter Suppression

Bill Moyers encourages Americans to stand up and stop voter suppression.

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PA Voter ID Law Could Disenfranchise Over 750,000 Legal Voters

Election cat is on watch to protect the vote. She heard that 750,000 Pennsylvania residents don’t have proper voter id for the 2012 election and she is looking for an honest politician to stop this voter suppression right now! Photo Credit: Spider Cat by rabbot on flickr cc

Are Republicans Undermining the Civil Right for U.S. Citizens to Cast a Vote?

There you have it. The fraud of voter fraud could end up disenfranchising millions of people nationwide from being able to cast a vote in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. In Pennsylvania over 750,000 legal voters could be prevented from casting a vote in the upcoming election because they don’t have proper “voter ID.” This is all in the name of “freedom”.

Pundits continue to demonstrate they have been infected with the “freedom talking point syndrome” where they are impelled to say “freedom” to justify any type of voter ID law or anything else because “freedom” is supposedly a magic talking point in Frank Luntz land.

According to ThinkProgress Alex Brown’s article, “Over 750,000 Pennsylvanians Could Be Disinfrancised by Voter ID Law,”:

“A comparison, carried out by state officials, of registered voters and PennDOT ID databases show that only 92 percent of Pennsylvanis’s 8.2 million voters have an acceptable voter ID. In Philadelphia, where voters will be hardest hit by the new law 18 percent of voters lack proper ID. State officials had previously [mistakenly] estimated that 99 percent of voters had acceptable IDs:”

“What’s truly scary about this report is that it makes my case,” Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner said. “About 10 percent of otherwise eligible Pennsylvanians are disenfranchised by the Voter ID law. That’s not an acceptable number of people to tell that they can’t vote.” Disenfranchised groups, Wagner said, include older residents, students and the poor.

Posted in election integrity, Frank Luntz, language | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Continuing Saga of the Fraud…of “Voter Fraud”

Election Integrity Cat wants to find the smelly fishy voter ID Laws smelling up the Election Process. Photo Credit: Cat Looking for Supper by Felinest on flickr cc

Election Integrity Cat wants to find the smelly fishy voter ID Laws fouling up the Election Process. Photo Credit: Cat Looking for Supper by Felinest on flickr cc

There is a great need to remind Americans of a more factual reality about our election system, a reality that is fact-based instead of a made-up talking point reality out of the brain of Karl Rove, Frank Luntz and company. As Kevin Drum from Mother Jones reports in his article “The Dog That Voted and Other Election Fraud Yarns,” this is “The GOP’s 10-year campaign to gin up voter fraud hysteria – and bring back Jim Crow at the ballot box.”

The Truth about Voter ID is that more Republicans have it than Democrats. Getting the documents to get proper Voter ID is expensive and time consuming and near impossible for those folks who never received a birth certificate, especially people who are minorities from the South.

Karl Rove and others crunched the numbers. The various tactics to win an election for Republicans now include making it more difficult “legally” for Americans who are not Republicans to vote. What better way than to hide behind the false idea that “voter fraud” is the big bad wolf messing up elections and all we have to do is get everyone to show a specific kind of voter id to prove they are really honest to goodness Americans.

Homer Simpson Tries to Vote with an Electronic Voting Machine

These politicians and pundits claim “everyone” should already have photo id. However, they know that many people have lived their lives without photo id, and they have voted without these photo ids for decades. For someone with a car, a bank account, and who owns their own home, getting photo i.d. between jetting overseas is a piece of cake. However, for someone who rents an apartment, uses public transportation and doesn’t have a bank account, photo i.d. is nonexistent. Discrimination via voter id laws eliminates millions of people nationwide from exercising their “freedom” as an American citizen to vote. The fix is in and certain media like Fox News are helping to brainwash people to vote against their own interests.

We are in 2012 and yet it seems people in America are getting more and more stupid. Otherwise, how could so many states pass repressive voter i.d. laws, repressive registration laws and repressive laws that cut back on early voting days? You would think that in the 21st century we would have advanced both technologically and as civilized human beings on this planet. Yet, there are some people misusing technology to hoodwink the public into thinking there is a problem called “voter fraud.”

What is even more astounding is that people actually buy into the hype of “voter fraud.”

Karl Rove, the GOP and “Voter Fraud”?

Remember the story of the boy who cried wolf?  There was a little boy who wanted a lot of attention and he cried wolf to get everyone upset when there was no wolf at all. Is that what is going on with the nonexistent miniscule problem of so-called “voter fraud?”

Yes, precisely that is what is going on. The Brennan Center reveals The Truth About Voter Fraud.

Why is the GOP so intent on Suppressing the Vote for Certain Americans?

League of Women Voters: Motor Voter Act

The GOP have consistently tried to prevent people from having easy access to voting. For example, the Motor/Voter laws that encourage people who get their licenses to also be able to simultaneously register to vote – it’s a good thing right — because government is encouraging voters to participate in the process of governing by registering to vote.

Voter Suppression: Wisconsin GOP To Close 10 Motor Vehicle Divisions in Democratic Strongholds

USA – Vote Rigging and Suppression of Elections By Purging Incorrectly Voter Rolls

However, why is it that the people who primarily oppose Motor/Voter Registration are Republicans? Is there a pattern here? If the GOP like “freedom” then shouldn’t they also want people to be able to exercise their “freedom” by being able to vote?

The Talking Point of “Freedom” invoked by GOP & their Pundits

If you videotape a show from Fox News or from any right wing radio host or from anyone pontificating about the importance of voter ID laws to protect our “freedom,” you will find that the word “freedom” is perhaps used at least once or twice in every sentence spoken by the news pundit or politician. The word “freedom” like the word “uh” or “mm” has become a word uttered at every opportunity by these pundits and politicians. It is is as if they are compelled to say this word or they fear people will not think they are patriotic.

Sh*t Politicians Say

The “Freedom” Talking Point Syndrome Disorder

Perhaps we could call this the “freedom talking point syndrome disorder.” This would be similar to how Rudy Guiliani felt compelled (and perhaps still feels compelled) to insert “911” into every other word he uttered about anything — especially when he was running for President.

Do these politicians think that people are so stupid that they will immediately believe that person just because they utter the word “freedom”?

What are your opinions about the “Freedom talking point disorder” and the virtually non-existent “voter fraud”?

George Carlin Explains Language and Lying Politicians and Words

Posted in Elections, Karl Rove, language, Talking Points Alert | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Blogosphere Wars on Truth about Nonexistent “Voter Fraud”

Election Integrity Cat is stunned by the silly video of Ken Blackwell and Hermain Cain claiming voter id laws insure the vote. Election integrity cat knows this is only a scam to suppress the vote of the elderly, minorities and the youth vote by making it harder for them to register to vote and cast a vote in the upcoming election. Photo Credit:Marcello the cat by akk_russ on flickr cc

Election Integrity Cat is stunned by the silly video of Ken Blackwell and Hermain Cain claiming voter id laws insure the vote. Election integrity cat knows this is only a scam to suppress the vote of the elderly, minorities and the youth vote by making it harder for them to register to vote and cast a vote in the upcoming election. Photo Credit:Marcello the cat by akk_russ on flickr cc

There is an unusual amount of misinformation on various wordpress blogs and around the internet about the dangers of “voter fraud.” Virtually nonexistent “voter fraud” is being used to rig the upcoming 2012 election by suppressing the vote through passage of undemocratic voter ID laws, restrictive registration laws, and restrictive early voting days laws.

GOP Efforts to Curb Early Voting in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin

Why would a state make it harder for working people to vote? No other reason except to try to limit the types of people who might want to go to the polls on a Sunday before the election because it is harder for them to vote on a Tuesday when they are at work. According to a CBS report, many GOP controlled states are cutting back on early voting days.

Many churches promoted early voting to their members the Sunday before an election. However, Florida Governor Rick Scott took this away from voters as did other GOP governors and GOP legislatures in the U.S. for no other reason than to rig the 2012 election. It seems some people’s idea of “freedom” is that they want only their party folks to be eligible or able to get to the polls. That is a weird type of freedom.

Here is a website showing efforts to push back on the Youth Vote via repressive state laws that make it more difficult for college students to cast a vote in the city where they go to school. Is this to “protect” the vote or to “prevent” the vote of those who might vote democratic or independent? The stench from the laws promoted to suppress and repress the vote is getting stronger and stronger. Do you smell it?

This cat smelled the fishy voter id laws and decided to go directly to fishy smell. Photo Credit: cat vs fish by ultimcodex on flickr cc

This cat smelled the fishy voter id laws and decided to go directly to see why they smelled so much. Photo Credit: cat vs fish by ultimcodex on flickr cc

Here is an article on Rachel Maddow’s Blog that shows the extent to which the GOP will call white black and black white. We have here former GOP Ohio Attorney General Ken Blackwell who was involved in a possible Man-in-the-Middle Vote-rigging Scheme to steal the Ohio 2004 election by changing votes in the middle of the night; and former Presidential GOP Candidate, Herman Cain, who seem as if they are participating in an outlandish Saturday Night Live Skit. This must be in the vein of the idea of “creating your own reality.” Well, it is time that we stopped believing in this false reality of “voter fraud” which is just a scam to scam Americans into losing their vote.

BUSTING the ‘Man-in-the-Middle’ of Ohio Vote Rigging

Let’s hope Americans can wake up and smell the rot coming from the legislation packaged by ALEC and others as protecting the vote when in reality it undermines the “freedom” of all Americans to equally exercise their constitutional right to cast a vote and have it properly counted.

Posted in election fraud | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Voter Suppression 101: Eliminating Voters to Game the Vote?

Election Cat wants to shed light on the fraud of voter fraud. Photo Credit: Marcello The Cat by akk_rus on flickr cc

Election Cat wants to shed light on the fraud of voter fraud. Photo Credit: Marcello The Cat by akk_rus on flickr cc

It’s a sad commentary on America when mostly Republican controlled states are racing to pass more and more restrictive voting laws to make it harder for people to register to vote and to actually vote.

Hiding behind a virtually non-existent problem in search of repressive laws, “voter fraud” has continually been invoked by the likes of Karl Rove and fearmongering politicians to scare the public into thinking elections will be safer with voter id and limiting early voting.

An article by Stirling professor of of history and social policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, Alexander Keyssar, in the Harvard Magazine called, “Voter Suppression Returns,” highlights historic periods of voter suppression due to various tactics and laws. The latest series of these attempts to suppress the vote which primarily affect the elderly, the young and minorities who coincidentally tend to vote democratic, has kicked in big time since 2009.

The organization leading the pack in creating rubber-stamped voter i.d. laws that seem to get more and more challenging for voters who do not readily have the type of documents needed to have access to a picture i.d. is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC has been very busy in creating and proliferating template voter id laws. ALEC is also well financed with millions of dollars from the the Koch Brothers and friends.

Voter Fraud is Voter Fraud – Except for Republicans

Follow the Voter Fraud Talking Point Road

Karl Rove gave a speech to the National Republican Lawyers Association (NRLA) in 2006 which paved the road for the ridiculous talking point blitz campaigns taken up by right-wing media outlets and echo chambers around the U.S. to mislead the public into thinking “voter fraud” or “voter impersonation” is a huge issue. When specifically asked about the fact that there are rare cases of “voter fraud”, Republican politicians and pundits play this down, ignore it or side-step the issue by saying the laws are to protect us from “what might be a problem.”

RNC Chair Lies About Voter Fraud

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus outright lies about so-called “voter fraud” in Wisconsin. Priebus was asked why Republicans in Congress voted to dismantle the Election Assistance Commission which would track voter fraud and insure the integrity of the vote. He completely avoided answering the question. How genuine is Priebus about protecting the vote? Priebus personifies dirty tricks in his talking point campaign to disinform the public about what would really protect the vote and insure all people can vote.

Ironically, the National Republican Lawyers Association end up undermining their own premise about widespread voter fraud through their own report according to this Huffington Post article by Debbie Hines: “New Republican Data Shows No Need for Voter ID Laws.”

In 2004 Wisconsin had 3 million votes cast and there were 7 cases of voter fraud. These cases were related to felons who had served their time and thought they were able to now vote or the small amount of 0.0002 percent of the electorate! This is the big voter fraud Priebus is complaining about in order to disenfranchise thousands of voters in Wisconsin through Republican sponsored voter I.D. laws.

The Brennan Center has indicated that the combination of voter i.d. laws and restrictive registration laws and cutting back on early voting days may end up preventing 5 million legal Americans from voting. However, the numbers could be higher.

No Party Preference and No Way to Crosscheck Results

Another interesting point is that some states now register people to vote without having them indicate a party preference. This is disturbing because it makes it more difficult to check if there is funny business with changing the numbers of votes for a particular candidate.

However, Karl Rove boosts about his special data-mined database called “Voter Vault” which rivals any database on individuals. Through voter vault Rove knows all about each voter through microtargeting techniques. Is there an attempt to keep the statistics to only certain folks with access to these special databases and make it more difficult for others to check and crosscheck voting registration and voting statistics to see if the vote is being tampered with?

More Shark Attacks/Year in Florida than Voter Fraud

Why Exit Polls are Key to Insuring the Integrity of the Vote

Exit Polls are an essential part of insuring the integrity of the vote. An exit poll is done when voters have voted. It is an important crosscheck with the later tabulated vote to see if there are any discrepancies. Exit Polls should not only be used to try and foretell the election results before the votes are tabulated, they should also be used to check the tabulated results and be a canary in the election to indicate if hand recounts are in order to insure the integrity of the election.

However, folks like Karl Rove appear to like exit polls only when they can be used for their own purposes. Otherwise, they are vigorously discounted by Rove and others if they indicate differences with their chosen result as happened in Ohio in 2004. Then the fawning media began backtracking and apologizing for exit polls. Also, sometimes exit polls were completely absent in areas where they could have shed light on potential vote manipulation which is more accurately called “election fraud”. An “exit poll” is a check on who voted for whom. That is why when there are discrepancies between the vote totals by computer or scanned devices with the exit polls, it is time to hand-count the ballots to see why there is a discrepancy.

Trouble with the Scott Walker Recall Election

The Exit polls from the Scott Walker Recall Election and the so-called scanned ballot totals were off by 7 points. Why? Was that a symptom of the fact that the scanned ballots were incorrectly tabulated? Was that a symptom that the votes were messed with? Was that a symptom of problems with the exit polls?

Is the 2012 Election Safe?

The Real Issue – Election Fraud – Changing the Vote by Electronic Means

Posted in election integrity, Karl Rove, Politics, Talking Points Alert | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bill Moyers Program on the Bank Follies and Jamie Dimon

Watchcat is concerned about big banks getting $76 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars. Photo credit: Alert Musubi by Chika on flickr cc

Watchcat is concerned about big banks getting $76 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars. Photo credit: Alert Musubi by Chika on flickr cc

The Rude Awakening that Bankers are Acting Like the Mafia

Bill Moyers interviewed Matt Taibbi, contributing editor of “Rolling Stone” and Yves Smith, creator of the finance and economics blog, Naked Capitalism, about what is really going on with big banks like JP Morgan Chase, Wall Street and Government.

Yves Smith wrote, ECONned: How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism. Matt Taibbi recently authored, “The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia.”

Matt Taibbi and Yves Smith on Banks, Government and Jamie Dimon’s Testimony

Bill Moyers pointed out that a recent article by Bloomberg News, “Dear Mr. Dimon Is Your Bank Getting Corporate Welfare?” revealed that

“JP Morgan Chase receives a government subsidy worth about $14 billion dollars a year [of U.S. taxpayer funds] according to research published by the International Monetary Fund and our own analysis of bank balance sheets.

The money helps the bank pay big salaries and bonuses. More important, it distorts markets, fueling crises such as the recent subprime-lending disaster and the sovereign-debt debacle that is now threatening to destroy the euro and sink the global economy.”

Demos’ Nomi Prins on Jamie Dimon’s Testimony Before Congress: Dimon’s Role in the $2 Billion plus loss at JP Morgan Chase

The banks are the biggest drain on government resources yet they turn around and fleece the taxpayers who keep them afloat. While big banks get 0.0% interest from the Federal Reserve, the banks like Citicard and JP Morgan Chase turn around and charge their customers 5% to 30% interest for credit cards, loans and other financial instruments. Why should banks get away with this scam at the expense to taxpayers? Who do these people think they are?

Senator Bernie Sanders Discusses CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon’s, Testimony Before Congress

The Bloomberg article continues:

“To estimate the dollar value of the subsidy in the U.S., we multiplied it by the debt and deposits of 18 of the country’s largest banks, including JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. The result: about $76 billion a year. The number is roughly equivalent to the banks’ total profits over the past 12 months, or more than the federal government spends every year on education.

JPMorgan’s share of the subsidy is $14 billion a year, or about 77 percent of its net income for the past four quarters. In other words, U.S. taxpayers helped foot the bill for the multibillion-dollar trading loss that is the focus of today’s hearing.”

The Wall Street Casino

The System is Broken and It Needs to Be Restructured

Wall Street and the big banks have profited from the recession while average people are struggling with increases in their credit cards, no interest on their savings, and tremendous job losses due primarily to the major banks dealing in highly exotic and risky derivatives and other financial instruments.

Jamie Dimon continues to tell Congress that the banks can regulate themselves, but it is clear that the $2 billion dollar loss Chase recently admitted and is still counting is the tip of the iceberg regarding the large banks abuse of their client’s money. It seems the large banks are worse than any casino because the money at their fingertips is far greater than any casino’s bank. However, the banks frequently engage in ridiculously risky trades that could drive down the entire economy with the domino effects as we have seen from the mortgage backed securities scandals.

It is time to reign in the wild wild west abuses of the large banks and to pass meaningful financial reforms that will put our economic system back in balance so that the divide between rich and poor narrows to benefit more people instead of only the top 1%.

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Update on Repressive Voter ID Laws in U.S.

Election integrity cat is shocked by Karl Rove's voter fraud fraud and the rush to pass voter suppression laws in mostly Republican-controlled states in the U.S. Democracy is under attack by the party that yells loudest about "freedom." Photo credit: cat by jwright4701 on flickr cc

Election integrity cat is shocked by Karl Rove’s voter fraud fraud and the rush to pass voter suppression laws in mostly Republican-controlled states in the U.S. Democracy is under attack by the party that yells loudest about “freedom.” Photo credit: cat by jwright4701 on flickr cc

The Fraud of Voter Fraud continues…

The Brennan Center for Justice reports that more states have passed and implemented unnecessary voter ID laws.

This map shows where there are voter ID laws and the type of ID required.

Where have all these various voter ID laws come from? The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) helped create template legislation in primarily Republican-controlled states that hid behind “voter fraud”. This article by Andrew Cohen, “How Voter ID Laws are Being Used to Disenfranchise Minorities and the Poor,” reveals the real agenda behind voter ID laws that are supposedly to help the “safety” of elections. Yeah, the safety of only having those people Karl Rove and his buddies want to vote. Remember, there are some who even admitted they don’t want everyone to vote. Cohen wrote in his article:

“The Republican lawmakers who are leading the fight for the restrictive legislation say they are doing so in the name of stopping election fraud — and, really, who’s in favor of election fraud? But the larger purpose and effect of the laws is to disenfranchise Hispanic voters, other minorities, and the poor — most of whom, let’s also be clear, vote for Democrats.”

Even though ALEC claimed it was disbanding their “voter ID task force” the reality is that the train has already left the station. The template legislation is out and available and claiming the “voter ID task force” is no longer in operation is just a public relations ruse to lull people into thinking ALEC is out of the voter suppression business. The template laws are still in the process of being pushed through various states, especially before the 2012 election.

Paul Weyrich – “I don’t want everybody to vote” (Goo Goo government)

Michigan GOP joins push to raise obstacles to voting

Recently Michigan passed horrible voter ID laws and restrictive registration laws. The Speaker of the Michigan State House lied when he claimed there was a 2/3rds majority – 73 lawmakers – but the vote passed with 66 votes — that enabled the voter ID laws to go immediately into effect. This is a miscarriage of justice and shows the hubris of those who are ramming through repressive voter ID laws as fast as they can before the 2012 Election.

The AARP claims the “Voter Photo ID Laws Hit Older Americans Hard.”

Voter ID Requirement as of May 2012:

  • Requires a photo ID: Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi*, South Carolina*, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin**
  • Requests a photo ID: Alabama*, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Puerto Rico, South Dakota
  • Requires a non-photo ID: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode, Island, Utah, Virginia*, Washington
  • Does not require an ID: California, D.C., Guan, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, U.S. Virgin Islands,
*Will require Department of Justice approval
**Court has barred enforcement; states is appealing decision
Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures, Election Boards

For more about ALEC, the Center for Media and Democracy created the website ALEC Exposed.

John Nichols said in his article, “ALEC Exposed: Rigging Elections”:

“ALEC’s goal is to influence not just state politics but also the 2012 presidential race, to “give the electoral edge to their preferred candidates,” as Cristina Francisco McGuire of the Progressive States Network pointed out in March. “It’s no coincidence that they are waging the fiercest of these battles in states that are also the likeliest battleground states in 2012, where suppressing the youth vote could have a dramatic impact,” she wrote. The one class of voters that ALEC seeks to protect with resolutions and model legislation – overseas military voters – happens to be likely to vote Republican.”

The Mark of Rove All Over “Voter Fraud” Fraud:

After Karl Rove gave speeches about so-called “voter fraud” in 2006 around the time the attorney purges began. The attorney purges targeted states attorneys general who supposedly weren’t targeting democratic “voter fraud” fast enough. These purges bloomed into a full blown scandal extraordinaire reminiscent of the Red Communist conspiracy witchhunts lead by Republican, Joseph McCarthy. Rove’s call to arms about non-existent “voter fraud” goaded conservatives to take up the charge to implement voter ID laws. And so the election follies of voter suppression get ramped up by the talking point of “voter fraud” which basically does not exist.

However, Karl Rove doesn’t allow facts to get in the way of a talking point that can scare people. Karl Rove will just keep saying that talking point over and over and over again until the lie of “voter fraud” seems plausible, even when numerous studies have proven that voter suppression is more rampant than voter fraud.

Sean Parnell, president of the Center for Competitive Politics and “a key member of the Corporate Executive Committee for ALEC’s Public Safety and Elections Task Force” began focusing on voter ID efforts after Rove’s 2006 emphasis on “voter fraud.”

The Mark of Rove regarding “voter fraud” and repressive voter ID laws now has a huge line connecting the dots back to Karl Rove, including his behind-the-scenes efforts to purge attorneys general in 2006-2007.

Exposing the Lies of Voter Fraud and Repealing Repressive Voter ID Laws to Protect the Integrity of the Vote in 2012

What has happened with the swift passage of antidemocratic voter ID laws and other voter suppression laws is a crime against civil rights and democracy in the United States. The question is whether the people who can change the situation will do anything about it before the 2012 election.

Education of the people is needed to help them clearly understand that “voter fraud” is a fraud and what is most important is enabling every eligible citizen, young and old, rich or poor, black or white, democratic or republican, to be able to cast their vote and have their vote properly counted.

Right now the way things are going in the states it is a dream come true for the King of “voter fraud,” Karl Rove. It is time for the people of America to wake up and fight back against this seizure of power through voter ID laws that could possibly prevent 5 million or more legal U.S. citizens the right to vote in the November 2012 Presidential Election.

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The Fraud of Voter Fraud: A Fairytale

Election integrity cat and dog know that voter fraud is a great big hoax to pass horrible laws across the U.S. to suppress the vote of minorities, young people, elderly, Indpendents and Democrats. Photo Credit: JR with Jerry by elsie esq. on fickr cc

Election integrity cat and dog know that voter fraud is a great big hoax to pass horrible laws across the U.S. to suppress the vote of minorities, young people, elderly, Indpendents and Democrats. Photo Credit: JR with Jerry by elsie esq. on fickr cc

Once upon a time Karl Rove decided he had to find a way to narrow the margin between democratic and republican voters forever and ever because he had a big big dream. He wanted to make sure that there would be a Republican majority in power always…

Little Karl thought night and day, day and night about what he would do to win the election for his best pal, G. W. Bush in 2000.

It dawned on Karl that he was able to win his own election as College Republican president in his college days by constantly changing the rules of the election. Nicholas Lehman wrote an article called “The Controller: Karl Rove is working to get George Bush reelected, but he has bigger plans” about Karl Rove’s big goals.

Karl was able to change the rules so much that when there was a tie between him and his opponent, fellow Republican, Robert Edgeworth, the person who broke the tie was George Herbert Walker Bush. George H. W. Bush was the Republican National Chairman (RNC) in 1973 and therefore the person tapped to look into the College Republican election called the “Lake of the Ozarks Affair.”

Here is the excerpt from Nicholas Lehman’s article about Karl Rove, “The Controller”:

A campaign for the College Republican chairmanship was a serious matter; Rove left his job as executive director in order to spend five months, without pay, campaigning full time. (Rove was consumed with College Republicans for so many years that he didn’t spend much time actually going to college; he never graduated.) Rove and his chief assistant, Lee Atwater, later another famous hardball-playing Republican strategist, drove across the South lining up delegate support. Meanwhile, Terry Dolan and Bob Edgeworth decided to form a ticket, with Edgeworth as chair and Dolan as vice-chair. So it became a two-man race: Edgeworth versus Rove.

The national convention was in June, in the mountain resort of Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. All through the late spring, Edgeworth and Dolan were hearing stories about the Rove forces staging credentials challenges at state and regional conventions, using some technical pretext. Shortly after the Midwest regional convention, for example, according to Edgeworth, the Rove forces, in order to justify the unseating of the Edgeworth delegates on procedural grounds, produced a version of the Midwestern College Republicans’ constitution which differed significantly from the constitution that the Edgeworth forces were using. The net result of all the challenges was that a number of states sent two competing delegates to Lake of the Ozarks, one pledged to Edgeworth, the other to Rove, each claiming to be legitimate. Then the meeting of the credentials committee, before the convention itself, turned into a donnybrook. Edgeworth told me that when the Southern regional chair of the College Republicans, who was officially uncommitted, cast his first pro-Edgeworth vote in one of the credentials disputes, a Rove person left the room for a minute. After he returned, another Rove person announced that a different person was actually the Southern regional chair, and proposed and passed a resolution to have Southern Regional Chair No. 1 thrown out. It went on like that until morning, with the person running Rove’s convention operations, John Zemaitis, an ostensibly above-the-fray Republican figure from Illinois, secreted in a room at a Holiday Inn in Jefferson City, thirty miles away. “It was so raw,” one venerable College Republican figure told me, shaking his head wonderingly at the memory. In the end, there were two votes, conducted by two convention chairs, and two winners—Rove and Edgeworth, each of whom delivered an acceptance speech. After the convention broke up, both Edgeworth and Rove appealed to the Republican National Committee, each contending that he was the new College Republican chairman.

The R.N.C. had a relatively unseasoned chairman: George Herbert Walker Bush, a man thought to be on the downhill slope of a once promising political career. Bush was a former member of the United States House of Representatives who had lost two successive Senate races in Texas, in 1964 and 1970, and then accepted an assignment that did not seem very stature-enhancing, as the public face of the R.N.C. during the Watergate scandal. During the summer of 1973, while Bush’s staff was conducting an inquiry into the Lake of the Ozarks affair, Terry Dolan, promoting the Edgeworth cause, leaked to the Washington Post a tape recording in which Rove and another College Republican are heard recounting at a training weekend some amusing stories about minor campaign espionage they had engaged in during various campaigns. The Post published a story about the tape under the headline “gop probes official as teacher of tricks.”

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/05/12/030512fa_fact_lemann#ixzz1yTqJIbKm

Karl Rove and Voter Fraud – A True Love Affair for Political Gain

Here is Karl giving a presentation to a group of Republican lawyers in 2006. He reveals his big idea which he has been implementing all along. He claims voter fraud – the idea that people illegally register to vote or impersonate other people in order to vote – is a huge huge problem. Who will know differently? Karl Rove is actually promoting his own conspiracy theory about voter fraud in order to create an illusion that there is a problem where there is no problem. In “The Controller” Lehman talks about “the Mark of Karl Rove.”

“There are many cases where Rove is suspected of having engineered a brutal bit of political business without leaving any fingerprints…”

Rove, Voter Fraud and the Attorney Firing Scandals – We will Remember, We Will Remember, We Will Remember

The Set-up: Get Someone to Write Something you Want them To Say, Then you Repeat That, Then You Get Crazy Legislation to Prevent Non-Existent Voter Fraud

This idea of scaring people about voter fraud catches on big time with an organization called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). This organization creates template voter id legislation for many states across the U.S. This organization gets millions of dollars from folks like the Koch Brothers.

RNC Chair Lies About Voter Fraud

In 2004 Wisconsin had 3 million votes cast. There were 7 cases of voter fraud cast by felons who thought they could vote when they couldn’t vote, or 0.0002% of the voters. However, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus greatly exaggerated the voter fraud problem. Does Reince Preibus have a  Pinocchio problem? Mmmm.

The Brennan Center estimates the new voter i.d. laws could disenfranchise 5 million voters in 2012.

These voter I.D. laws would make it much more difficult for people to legally vote because it will be:

  1. Harder to register to vote,
  2. Harder to get state approved voter ids,
  3. Limit days that people could go to the polls for early voting, like the Saturday and Sunday before election day when people have time off from work.

Governor Rick Scott of Florida hides behind the fear of “voter fraud.” He wants to do massive voter roll purges of so-called “non-citizens.” Thousands upon thousands of voters could be pushed off the rolls under the lie that it’s all to “prevent voter fraud.” States already trying to do this include Florida. Governor Rick Scott of Florida wanted to purge citizens he claimed were non-citizens due to an outdated database used for the list to purge. Most of the 180,000 people on the list were Hispanic, Independents and Democratic according to the Miami Herald article, “Hispanics, NPAs more likely to face voter purge than whites, GOP.”

GOP Voter Suppression

After the Attorney Firing Scandals, Karl Rove resigned from the G. W. Bush administration. Karl left the limelight to prepare for another day when he would continue to scare people about non-existent voter fraud.

Today in 2012 many Republican controlled states have passed horrible voter id laws and other laws to limit days of early voting, and laws that make it harder for organizations like the nonpartisan Women’s League of Voters to register people to vote.

What will the American people do now? Will they fight back to stop the voter roll purges? Will they repeal the voter I.D. laws? Will they realize that there is absolutely no truth in the big bad wolf of “voter fraud?”

It is time to stand up to the fraud about voter fraud and end the fractured fairytale that suppressive voter I.D. laws should be passed because of “voter fraud”. Once and for all, voter fraud is the real fraud mostly started by Karl Rove as a conspiracy to scare voters and as a flimsy excuse to pass horrible repressive laws that restrict the ability of average Americans to register to vote and to actually cast a vote.

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Is Scott Brown Afraid to Debate Elizabeth Warren?

Election cats were shocked that Scott Brown said he would only debate Elizabeth Warren if former Senator Edward Kennedy's widow, Victoria Kennedy, doesn't endorse a candidate for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat. What? Photo Credit: bc-cats-by-john-schanlaub-on-flickr-cc.jpg

Election cats were shocked that Scott Brown said he would only debate Elizabeth Warren if former Senator Edward Kennedy’s widow, Victoria Kennedy, doesn’t endorse a candidate for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate seat. What? Photo Credit: bc-cats-by-john-schanlaub-on-flickr-cc.jpg

Scott Brown Makes Unreasonable Demands for Conditions of Debating Elizabeth Warren

Rachel Maddow tonight explained that Scott Brown would only debate Elizabeth Warren if MSNBC doesn’t host the debate and – are you ready for this:  if Ted Kennedy’s widow, Victoria Kennedy, doesn’t endorse a candidate!

Scott Brown’s Credibility Gap with Reality and Civility

Who the heck does Scott Brown think he is telling former Senator Ted Kennedy’s wife that she shouldn’t endorse anyone for the Senate seat that her husband held for decades?

The Boston Globe reported on 6/19/2012 that:

“Senator Scott Brown today rejected a  debate proposed by Victoria Reggie Kennedy, after the widow of Senator Edward M. Kennedy refused his precondition that she not endorse a candidate in his reelection campaign against Democrat Elizabeth Warren.”

Victoria Kennedy said she would not agree to Brown’s demands that she remain neutral in exchange for his participation in a debate hosted by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston for the U.S. Senate.

A letter from Lisa McBirney, the CEO of the Kennedy Institute, and Christopher Hogan, chief of staff in the chancellor’s office at University of Massachusetts Boston to Brown and Warren stated:

“Given the goodwill and understanding of the nonpartisan mission of the institute that Senator Brown has thus far shown, it seems inconsistent that he would now attempt to restrict the activities of Mrs. Kennedy as a condition of accepting a debate that is co-sponsored by an organization with which she is affiliated.”

“This non-endorsement pledge is unprecedented and is not being required of any other persons or entities,” they wrote. “To us, such a pledge seems inappropriate when a non-media sponsor issues a debate invitation.”

Scott Brown Dictates Unreasonable Conditions for his Participation in a Debate with Elizabeth Warren

Scott Brown’s absurd conditions for debating Elizabeth Warren demonstrates that he really doesn’t want to debate her. Otherwise, he would have the courtesy to meet with her to schedule a debate, and he wouldn’t try to bar specific media from participating in the forum, or ask Senator Kennedy’s widow not to endorse anyone for her husband’s former U.S. Senate seat.

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Mitt Romney’s Plan is that He Won’t Tell You His Plan

Political Dog said to News Kitty, "Did you hear about when Romney strapped his dog Seamus to the top of his station wagon for 12 hours?" Photo Credit: Dog and Cat by sskennel on flickr cc

Political Dog said to News Kitty, “Did you hear about when Romney strapped his dog Seamus to the top of his station wagon for 12 hours?” Photo Credit: Dog and Cat by sskennel on flickr cc

The Plans Mitt Keeps Secret

The United States needs real leadership, not just a multi-million dollar slick ad campaign with Karl Rove-like tactics to sell you a candidate.

Mitt Romney Refuses to Reveal Details of his “Plans” on Health Care, Taxes and Education

Mitt Romney wants to be President and he attacks President Obama on everything, but Romney refuses to tell people exactly what he would do differently if elected. Romney does admit that he won’t tell the public his plans because they might not like what he wants to do. And if Americans aren’t thrilled with his “plans” for health care reform, which would mean severely cutting medicaid for example, then they might decide voting for him would be worse for them, their family and for America.

Mitt Romney and his “I Won’t Tell you My Plan” or pick whatever you want because I’ve been on both sides of the issues – all the time:

Romney’s plan is that he doesn’t want to risk letting voters know what he would do if he got in office because they would be upset by it. Romney speaks in vague generalities so people believe whatever they want. I hope voters are wise enough to see through Romney’s election game and realize that voting for him would be like falling through a black hole in space. No one knows what really is on the other side.

Mitt Romney and Karl Rove Use Misleading Talking Points

One of the people leading the charge on accumulating millions of dollars for unsavory and misleading attack ads for their opponents is Karl Rove of Crossroads GPS. Rove, a frequent commentator on Fox News deliberately creates his own version of reality which is based on half-truths and Rovian facts.

A Rovian so-called “fact” could be defined as a set of hot button talking points designed to manipulate the viewer through deceptive language and annoying anchoring or erasing hand gesture techniques.

Continuing with Mitt Romney’s Lack of Clear Plans

Do you want to vote for someone who flip flops on what he will do for Americans?

Do you want to vote for someone who only blames his opponent and who if elected would return to the same failed policies that brought on the 2008 Recession under G. W. Bush?

Freeze Dog sympathizes with Romney's Irish Setter, Seamus, who had to ride for 12 hours in a kennel while the poor dog wasn't feeling well. Photo Credit: Freeze Dog and Kitty by joshme17 on flickr cc

Freeze Dog sympathizes with Romney’s Irish Setter, Seamus, who had to ride for 12 hours in a kennel on top of the family station wagon while the poor dog wasn’t feeling well. Photo Credit: Freeze Dog and Kitty by joshme17 on flickr cc

Do you want to vote for someone who strapped his Irish Setter, Seamus, to the top of his station wagon for 12 hours when he traveled from Boston to Ontario? The dog after traveling many hours in a kennel on top of the station wagon going 60 mph, started leaking brown liquid all over the car. The poor dog had gastrointestinal problems.  Romney pulled off the highway, hosed off the mess and his sick dog with water, and then got back on the road to drive for many many grueling hours with his dog still in his kennel on top of the station wagon.

If Romney treats his beloved dog this way when the dog was sick, how would he treat real folks who need health care?

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post said in his recent article, “Romney’s health care plan – or lack thereof”:

On Tuesday, Mitt Romney gave a speech in Orlando outlining his plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. Normally, the rest of this post would go into mind-numbingly granular detail on Romney’s plan. But as of now, there aren’t enough details to go into.



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Radioactive Buckyballs from Fukushima Hitting Southern California

Science cat is concerned about the nuclear radiation buckyballs irradiating California's water, soil and air. She wants the EPA and NOAA to start monitoring the situation immediately for the health and safety of cats and all living things on the planet. Photo Credit: Flickrballs by sister72 on flickr cc

Science cat is concerned about the radioactive buckyballs from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant irradiating California’s water, soil and air. She wants the EPA and NOAA to start monitoring the situation immediately for the health and safety of cats and all living things on the planet. Photo Credit: Flickrballs by sister72 on flickr cc

Radiation monitoring stations in Santa Monica and Los Angeles have picked up radiation in the air 5.3 times normal yet the state and federal governments stopped receiving funds to test air, water, soil and food – especially dairy products – for radioactive fallout or radionuclides from Fukushima Japan since December 2011 or before.

Fukushima Radiative Ocean Radiation Hits Hawaii

Michael Collins of Ventura County Reporter published an article on 6/7/2012 entitled, A Radioactive Nightmare: As fallout from Fukushima heads our way, the government turns a blind eye.” Michael Collins news article can also be found on RSN (www.ReaderSupportedNews.org).

How come California and the U.S. government stopped monitoring for radiation from the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster? According to a report by University of California Davis, water used to cool down the molten nuclear cores of the three Fukushima plants formed nanosphere “buckyballs” which look like a soccer ball. The shape of these buckyballs enables it to carry the radioactive elements long distances. The balls are named after Buckminster Fuller, the man who created the geodesic dome which was similar in design to the fullerene, also called a Buckminsterfullerene.

So this is what a radioactive buckyball from Fukushima might look like. Photo credit:  Soccer Ball by vitroid on flickr cc

So this is what a radioactive buckyball from Fukushima might look like. Photo credit: Soccer Ball by vitroid on flickr cc

Thankfully Collins reported that Radiation Station Santa Monica began transmitting live radiation readings four days after the March 11, 2011 meltdowns in Fukushima. The station provides live readings for the Los Angeles Basin 24 hours, 7 days/week.

1000 Tons of Radioactive Water Used to Cool Fukushima’s Radioactive Cores Dumped Daily into the Pacific Ocean

Tokyo Electric Power Company, the owner of the Fukushima reactors damaged in the Japan’s March 11, 2011 Tsunami, recently revealed they daily “dump at least 1000 tons of highly radioactive water used to cool the melted cores and spent fuel ponds” into the ocean.

Collins said in his article, “The American government has done nothing to monitor the Pacific ocean for over half a year, even though a Texas-sized sea of Japanese earthquake debris is already washing up on outlying Alaskan islands and is suspected to have already hit the West Coast, including California.”

The EPA says it does not have jurisdiction to monitor “marine radiation.” NOAA said it is working with EPA. However, NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, stopped testing for radiation from Fukushima in the summer of 2011 after it claimed there wasn’t any radiation to be detected. Why aren’t they monitoring now since radiation has been detected in California?

Fukushima hits California: Radioactive Kelp 4/11/12

Here is a link to the University of California Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Air Monitoring Station.

EPA Needs to Keep It’s Radiation Monitors in Better Working Condition

NTI’s Global Security Newswire reports that an “Audit Confirms EPA Radiation Monitors Broken During Fukushima Crisis.”

According to the article by Douglas P. Guarniro, the EPA’s Inspector General Report of April 19, 2012, entitled: “Weaknesses in the EPA Management of the Radiation Network System Demand Attention,” details problems with EPA’s “RadNet” monitoring system, especially at the crucial time when Fukushima nuclear plants released huge amounts of radiation into the air and water on March 11, 2011 and the aftermath of the nuclear plant crisis:

RadNet consists of 124 stations scattered throughout U.S. territories and 40 deployable air monitors that can be sent to take readings anywhere, according to the IG report. Monitoring stations collect air, precipitation, drinking water and milk samples for analysis of radioactivity, although the audit focused on the stationary air monitors.

At the time of the Fukushima crisis, “this critical infrastructure asset” was impaired because many monitors were broken, while others had not undergone filter changes in so long that they could not be used to accurately detect real-time radiation levels, the IG report says.

“On March 11, 2011, at the time of the Japan nuclear incident, 25 of the 124 installed RadNet monitors, or 20 percent, were out of service for an average of 130 days,” the report says. “In addition, six of the 12 RadNet monitors we sampled (50 percent) had gone over eight weeks without a filter change, and two of those for over 300 days,” the report adds, noting that EPA policy calls on operators to change the filters twice per week.

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Uncounted: The Movie is a Must See for All Voters

This election integrity cat wants everyone to see UNCOUNTED The Movie so we can all protect the vote. Photo credit: How Much is that Kitty in the Window? by comedynose on flickr cc

This election integrity cat wants everyone to see UNCOUNTED The Movie so we can all protect the vote. Photo credit: How Much is that Kitty in the Window? by comedynose on flickr cc

“Uncounted: The New Math of Elections” will open your eyes as a voter in America. Everyone should see this movie, especially the candidates running in the elections so they know that if they call for a recount, it is in the best interest of the voters. There is no such thing as sour grapes when it comes to making sure everyone’s vote is properly counted.

Voters will thank the candidate who is willing to stand up and ask for a recount, especially when exit polls reveal large discrepancies in the vote.

UNCOUNTED: Undervotes: The Scary Canary


When the voter is blamed for 80% undervotes, you know something is terribly wrong with the vote tallies and how the votes are being counted.

Examples of so-called “undervotes”:

Definition of undervote:

A ballot that has been cast but that shows no selection in a particular race or referendum

November 2004 Presidential Election:

  • 70% to 80% undervote in some Pennsylvania precincts. That means 7 or 8 out of 10 people who came to the polls to vote, did not bother to cast a vote for a particular race – like the Presidential race!
  • 25% undervotes in some New Mexico precincts. Many concentrated in Native American and Hispanic areas of the state. Historically these voters tend to vote Democratic. That translated as 21,084 voters supposedly not recording a vote for the presidential election.
  • George Bush’s victory margin in New Mexico was only 5,988 votes.

UNCOUNTED – The Powerful and Obnoxious Odor of Provisional Ballots

Provisional Ballot: If a person shows up to vote and is not listed on a precinct voting roll, that person can only vote by casting a “provisional” ballot. There is no guarantee that ballot will later be counted in the election.

In the 2004 Election 1,901,591 provisional ballots were cast. According to the United States Election Assistance Commission more than 1/3 of those votes were rejected and never counted. That means that at least 633,863 people did not have their ballots counted.

Why? Because it sheds a spotlight on the various tactics used to steal your vote. In order to protect our vote, we need to be wise. We need to be aware. We need to take action to let those who wish to steal elections know that we will stop them.

We must insure that our elections are free, fair, transparent and accurate. We must hold our public officials accountable to protect our civil right to vote and have our vote properly counted.

Uncounted – Your Vote Might Not Be Counted–Because of the Electronic Voting Machines

Ways to Protect the Vote:

  1. Make sure you, your friends and family are properly registered to vote and that you have all the necessary paperwork if your state requires ridiculous voter i.d.
  2. Make sure you are on the current voter rolls in your state and that your information is accurate
  3. Know the location of your polling place for any upcoming election. It may change in each election. Make sure you know where you are registered to vote so you can cast a real ballot instead of a provisional one.
  4. Support Exit polling. Exit polls when done properly are a good way to check if something might be wrong with the tallied vote. Many states use electronic voting equipment that scans ballots. The computers can be hacked and the vote totals changed. Many computer experts have verified this weakness in the electronic voting machines and central tabulation systems.
  5. Become a poll monitor and also witness the counting of the vote in your local community.
  6. In your state, support legislation to get abolish suppressive voter i.d. Laws
  7. In your State, support legislation to allow extra days for early voting, especially the week-end before the election so working people can have more time to cast their vote.
  8. Stop unnecessary voter roll purges that purposely target minorities, youth and the elderly and that may use faulty databases similar to Florida in trying to kick people off the rolls claiming they have to prove they are American citizens.
  9. Tell your state officials “voter fraud” is a non-issue and it no longer can be used as an excuse to suppress the vote with legislation that makes it harder for citizens to register to vote or to cast their vote.
  10. Support legislation to demand random hand-counted precincts that no one knows will be counted in advance. Monitor the hand-counting of these precinct ballots.
  11. Support legislation to abolish paperless electronic voting machines and replace all voting machines with paper ballots filled out by hand by voters that are also hand-counted.

Update on Florida’s Voter Purge – For Now Governor Scott has Halted the Voter Purge

Here is a Democracy Now report about how flawed the Florida voter purge lists are due to using out of date databases. This sounds like a repeat of the 2000 election’s massive voter purges.

We must stop the restrictive Voting Laws across the U.S.:

Wave of Restrictive Voting Laws Prompts Federal Probes, Activism Ahead of 2012 Elections

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Wisconsin Exit Polls 7 points Different from Machine-Counted Vote…Why?

Election Integrity cat is concerned about discrepancies between Wisconsin Recall Exit Polls and the Machine-Counted Vote. Uncounted the movie highlights the need to protect the vote when there is a difference between exit polls and machine-counted votes. Photo Credit: Silly Scylia 1 by portmanteaus on flickr cc

Election Integrity cat is concerned about discrepancies between Wisconsin Recall Exit Polls and the Machine-Counted Vote. Uncounted the movie highlights the need to protect the vote when there is a difference between exit polls and machine-counted votes. Photo Credit: Silly Scylia 1 by portmanteaus on flickr cc

Are Election Dirty Tricks at Play in Wisconsin?

Would Hand-Counting the Vote in Wisconsin Show a Different Result?

Why is there a major difference of 7 points between Exit Polls and the machine-scanned ballots in Wisconsin’s June 5, 2012 Recall Election? Was there foul play that caused this difference?

There are some experts that claim when there is a discrepancy between exit polls of an election and the machine-counted ballots, it’s time to hand-count the ballots to insure the integrity of the vote. Electronic Voting Machines and their tabulation systems can be hacked to change the vote as computer experts claim occurred in the 2004 Ohio presidential election.

What Does it Mean when Exit Polls of an Election Differ from the Machine-Counted Ballots?

Example of Discrepancy in Exit Polls vs. Machine Counted Votes in 2004

Uncounted – The Exit Poll Discrepancies of 2004

What do Exit Poll Discrepancies mean for 2012?

Dr. Steven F. Freeman said of the discrepancy in the 2004 election between the exit polls and vote count, primarily done by paperless electronic machines or by machine-scanning ballots:

“As much as we can say in social science that something is impossible, it is impossible that the discrepancies between predicted and actual vote counts in the three critical battleground states [Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania] of the 2004 election could have been due to change or random error.”

Freeman claims there is a “250,000,000 to one” (250 million to one) chance that the exit polls vs vote tabulation anomalies occur by chance. Upon closer scrutiny the discrepancy occurred most likely due to inaccuracies in the vote counting.

Security Experts at Argonne National Lab Demonstrate How Easy it is to Hack the Vote

Here is a video showing how easy it is to manipulate the machine counted ballot results:

US Lab Says Electronic Voting Machines Easy to Hack

In the above-referenced video link, Jon Warner of Argonne National Laboratory tests the security strength of electronic voting machines.

Computer Expert Jon Warner, says of the ease of changing the vote on electronic machines:

“These machines are modularly designed. So you have a touchscreen, that’s a module. And when I press the touchscreen, that’s going to send a signal to the CPU (central processing unit). Well the CPU is going to respond back with something, and all I did was intercept that communication flow. If I like the vote — fine — let it go through. If I don’t, I change it.”

Warner manipulated the vote by using a “small custom-made remote control device” to deliberately change the vote.

Roger Johnson, Head of the Vulnerability Assessment Team of Argonne National Laboratory says:

“We believe that a very resourceful 12 to 13 year old would be able to essentially produce these alien electronics that can highjack the machine. Our view of the voting machines that we’ve looked at is that there really isn’t much security thought put into these devices.”

“Often the warehouses where these machines are stored have fairly weak security. But almost universally the machines are transported by third-party low-bid trucking companies where there is no background checks on these individuals.

Often the machines arrive at a polling place and there is no-one to sign for them or take responsibility for their oversight. So there is often quite a period of time when these machines could be tampered with.”

Princeton University Exposes Diebold Flaws

Should Wisconsin Democrats call for hand-counting the vote?

Reports according to Bradblog.com show that many students had difficulty casting a vote in the Wisconsin recall election.

Also, there were reports that dirty tricks robocalls told many Democratic households if they had signed the recall petition they didn’t have to vote. Who paid for these robocalls?

Will you Take Action to Protect the Vote?

Demand random hand-counted samples of the vote in every state in every election. Machines can be hacked.

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Dept. of Justice Demands Florida Governor End Flawed Purge of 182,000 Voters

Does Florida Governor Rick Scott want to cage, box and purge this cat's vote too like he's trying to do to 91 year old WWII veteran Bill Internicola! Political cat says the DOJ needs to stop Gov. Scott from suppressing the 2012 vote in Florida!

Does Florida Governor Rick Scott want to cage, box and purge this cat’s vote too like he’s trying to do to 91 year old WWII veteran Bill Internicola! Political cat says the DOJ needs to stop Gov. Scott from suppressing the 2012 vote in Florida! Photo Credit: Peaches Funny by jocelynsart on flickr cc


Time to Stop Florida’s 2012 Election Voter Purges Targeting Minorities and Democrats like the Florida 2000 Election Voter Purges

Did someone say Deja Vu? Let’s stop this Deja Vu of voter roll purges taken from Karl Rove’s playbook

It’s ridiculous that Governor Rick Scott is attempting to purge 182,000 registered voters based on clearly flawed methods that would deny American citizens the right to vote in the 2012 primary election and November 2012 election!

World War II veteran 91-year old U.S. citizen Bill Internicola was told by his Florida elections supervisor that he was not an American citizen and would be taken off the Florida voter rolls even though he has voted in U.S. elections for decades. How many other unsuspecting Florida voters are scheduled for being removed from the rolls?

This is similar to the massive voter roll purges that occurred in Florida’s 2000 election that deliberately targeted over 12,000 blacks and democrats as felons to suppress the vote.

Florida Purged over 58,000 Voters in 2000 lead by then Secretary of State Katherine Harris who was also head of the 2000 Bush Campaign in Florida.

Governor Rick Scott Must End  Voter Suppression Tactics in Florida

The Department of Justice must insure that the state of Florida stops trying to knock eligible voters off the rolls for political gain.

Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) is calling on Governor Rick Scott to “immediately suspend” the voter purges which target many Democrats, Hispanics and the elderly. Deutch said the massive voter purge lists contains over 182,000 names.

Justice Department Orders Florida To Stop Voter Purge Targeting latino, Democratic Voters. 1 of 2

Maureen Russo, a constituent of Congressman Deutch (FL) has voted for over 40 years and she received a letter claiming she was not a U.S. citizen. She then received a call from the Supervisor of Elections in Broward County saying this was incorrect and she apologized to Ms. Russo.

Maureen Russo believes she was targeted because she is a registered Democrat in Florida’s Broward County. Ms. Russo wants a letter in writing from the County or State to prove that she is a real U.S. citizen and properly registered voter.

Florida’s Witch Hunt to Stop Imaginary Voter Fraud of Non-Citizens

Florida’s 2012 witch hunt to scrub their voter rolls of Democratic voters, Latino voters, Independent voters, Black voters, Elderly voters is the biggest 2012 election scam. Republican Party Chairman of Florida, Mr. Lenny Curry, thinks it is OK to scrub thousands of people from the rolls to prevent non-existent voter fraud where he claims that purging the rolls prevents non-citizens from voting. Republican Party Chairman Curry thinks there is nothing wrong with requiring citizens to provide “a little paperwork” to prove they are citizens. Curry dismisses the fact that Florida citizens who have voted for decades are being targeted by being purged from their voter rolls. How many hoops do Florida voters have to go through in order to exercise their Constitutional right to vote?

Mr. Curry and GOP Governor Rick Scott’s tactics of voter purges targeting minorities and democrats are designed to block the vote for eligible voters in order to tilt the electoral field towards their Republican candidates. These anti-freedom, anti-democratic voter suppression tactics are the height of hypocrisy and must end.

Mr. Curry also takes a ride on the imaginary voter fraud train  defending the horrible Florida voter registration laws that require people to submit voter registration to their elections supervisors within 48-hours or face disproportionally high fines!

Why would a non-citizen try to vote? Why would non-citizen’s put themselves at risk of a felony? Where is Mr. Curry’s evidence that this is a major issue? He has no evidence. This is only a partisan political tactic to narrow the vote by suppressing thousands of eligible citizens from their right to vote.

This is part of the false “voter fraud” ploy to suppress the vote by massive voter purges, voter id laws, and limiting the number of early voting days for hard-working people. There needs to be a federal law that trumps these tactics and stops this undemocratic attempt to prevent Americans from voting.

Tell your Senators and Congresspeople that you want a federal law that stops the partisan tactics of suppressing the vote across the United States.

Justice Department Orders Florida To Stop Voter Purge Targeting latino, Democratic Voters. 2 of 2


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Mitt Romney just makes things up in his ads

Political Cat wonders why Mitt Romney makes things up about President Obama that are untrue Photo Credit: Goofy by Maggiejumps on flickr cc

Political Cat wonders why Mitt Romney makes things up about President Obama that are untrue. Photo Credit: Goofy by Maggiejumps on flickr cc

Did Mitt Romney Read from Karl Rove’s Election Playbook?

  1. Make anything up you want about your opponent because most people never realize that what you say is completely false.
  2. Attack your opponent to deflect from your own weaknesses. Confuse voters by blaming your opponent for things you actually do yourself.

Rachel Maddow reported that Mitt Romney continues to outright lie about many things. Where is the major media asking follow-up questions?

E. J. Dionne, Washington Post Columnist, says the media should “call out the lie. That is exactly what media are supposed to do.”

E. J. Dionne, Washington Post Reporter said,

“Our function has to be to try to create a level playing field where the conversation is based on fact. People can have all kinds of opinions, but candidates aren’t supposed to lie. And Romney I think is in really dangerous territory, because I think we have heard the word “lie” used about him more than I have heard used about a candidate in a very long time.”

Pinocchio Lies: Lessons for Mitt Romney

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Has Stealing the Vote Begun by Purging Voters from U.S. Voting Rolls?

Election Integrity Cat looking for purged voters from voter rolls in Tennessee and Florida. Where could they be? Will they be notified they won't be able to vote when they go to the polls for the Presidential 2012 election? Meow! Photo Credit:  Misko The Cat by SoraZG on flickr cc

Election Integrity Cat looks for purged voters from voter rolls in Tennessee and Florida. Where could they be? Will they be notified they won’t be able to vote when they go to the polls for the Presidential 2012 election? Meow! Photo Credit: Misko The Cat by SoraZG on flickr cc

While Karl Rove and others complain about non-existent “voter fraud” where someone supposedly uses another person’s name to vote or where non-U.S. citizens supposedly attempt to vote (which would be pretty stupid to do), the real election fraud happens through other means such as:

  • Purging certain voters off of voter rolls due to arcane laws or by deliberately erasing voting history that would then cause them to be purged
  • Rigging electronic voting machines
  • Manipulating electronic voting machine votes through possibly putting code on memory cards or through changing central tabulation systems
  • Altering the vote through third party intervention through Man-in-the-Middle attacks as thought happened in Ohio 2004
  • Making it harder for voters to register to vote by imposing ridiculous penalties on organizations like Women’s League of Voters who do not send in registration forms a certain way within a narrow window of time!
  • Passing Voter ID laws that require types of documentation that is difficult to get in order to get a state issued acceptable Voter ID

Thanks to Brad Friedman of Bradblog.com and Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org, the watchdog journalists are watching what the major media many times fail to cover about the real election integrity issues happening now around the country!

The Brennan Center for Justice has excellent election news, separating facts from fiction–especially regarding “voter fraud” issues.

Deja Vu Election Integrity Issues in Shelby County, Tennessee

According to Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org:

“Four hundred and eighty-eight voters, every one of them in Tennessee district of US Rep Steve Cohen (D-09), all but four lifelong Democrats, and nearly all Black, had their voting history erased by Shelby County election workers, setting them up for purge from the voter list.”

Beverly Harris explains that a Shelby County, TN voter unrelated to her by the name of Darrick “D” Harris informed Beverly that he discovered his voting history had “somehow evaporated.”

Darrick Harris said “he votes regularly, but as of Oct. 2011, the voter list reports that he has never voted — not once!”

This is important because many election supervisors and registrars have laws in their counties and states that allow them to purge a particular voter from the voter rolls if they have not voted in recent elections. In order for that person to vote they would have to re-register all over again!

Election Watch Cat wants to make sure every citizen is able to vote. Photo Credit: cat 2 by likerender on flickr cc

Election Watch Cat wants to make sure every citizen is able to vote. Photo Credit: cat 2 by likerender on flickr cc

Systematic Purging of Certain Voters in Key Elections

While the press has been covering issues related to “voter id laws” in various Republican-controlled states and civil rights issues related to those laws, there has been little coverage of the issues of voter purging from rolls.

Janell Ross of Huffington Post wrote a report about Florida’s recent purges potentially involving 180,000 people, many Latino voters.

Who will protect those voters purged from the rolls?

This is not the first time that Shelby County in Tennessee has been in the news about funny business with their election system. Here are some links to other posts about Shelby County election shenanigans.

Beverly Harris claims that: “Shelby County performed unauthorized alterations in its (Now Uncertified) Voting System.”

Lawsuit Filed by former Tennessee Congressman Lincoln Davis against the Tennessee Secretary of State for Improper Voter Roll Purging

Former Tennessee Congressman Lincoln Davis went to the polls to vote in his state’s primary and found he was not on the rolls. Someone had taken him off the voting rolls from the place where he normally votes. However, no one bothered to inform him by mail that he had been scrubbed from the rolls in his hometown county. He discovered possibly 70,000 other registered Tennessee voters were also purged from the state’s rolls. He filed a class action suit against the Secretary of State to make sure Tennessee voters are notified about the fact that they could be purged from the rolls. He wants to protect other Americans from discovering this on election day.

The big question is why Tennessee’s Secretary of State didn’t bother to send Mr. Davis a warning that he could be purged from the rolls or that he had been purged from the voter rolls so he would then be able to re-register or clear up the matter? Is Tennessee targeting certain voters to “purge”? This blogger hopes The U.S. Attorney General pays close attention to those states that fail to notify voters that they are about to be “purged” or that they have been purged.

All the Ways to Steal an Election

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Is Romney’s Education Plan all Smoke and Mirrors?

Education cat is looking for Mitt Romney's Education plan in the mirror and doesn't see it anywhere!  mirror Photography-Cat by zeevveez on flickr cc

Education cat is looking for Mitt Romney’s Education plan in the mirror and doesn’t see anything of consequence anywhere! Photo Credit: mirror Photography-Cat by zeevveez on flickr cc

Mitt Romney claims he has an education plan, and he wants you to believe he really really cares a lot about low income folks and especially Latino voters. He talks a lot about how terrible it is that education seems lacking in the U.S., yet his ideas to concretely improve it are basically non-existent.

Romney unveiled his education plan to the  Latino Coalition’s Annual Economic Summit in Washington. He said “America’s minority children suffer the most. This is the civil rights issue of our era.”

Romney wants to give parents a choice through vouchers of where they can send their children to school – either a private or public school. Yet Romney has no real nuts and bolts plan to give public schools more funds to improve infrastructure or to include important programs like art and music to have well-rounded students. His big idea to save education for minorities is to redirect basic necessary funds to local public school districts into voucher programs. It’s like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Black Country Living Museum - The S.S. Titanic by ell brown on flickr cc

Photo Credit: Black Country Living Museum – The S.S. Titanic by ell brown on flickr cc

Romney's education plan to divert funds to vouchers from local school districts is like rearranging chairs on the Titanic. Photo Credit: Halifax Novia Scotia Titanic deck chair by Thomas "Duffbert" Duff on flickr cc

Romney’s education plan to divert funds to vouchers from local school districts is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Photo Credit: Halifax Novia Scotia Titanic deck chair by Thomas “Duffbert” Duff on flickr cc

Romney wants Latino voters to believe he understands how important it is for their children to get a good education, yet when folks talk about the need to have smaller class sizes, he minimizes the issue and says its about having good teachers, not class sizes.

Romney says he believes in education, yet he hasn’t backed up his words with a plan for how he will do anything to concretely improve it. He is just shuffling existing funds around to bypass state governments and school districts.

When the smoke clears the mirrors show that Mitt Romney’s education plan is like a vampire, it has no reflection whatsoever.

Smoke and mirrors of Romney's so-called Education plan. Photo Credit: mirror by Paul Keller on flickr cc

Smoke and mirrors of Romney’s so-called Education plan. Photo Credit: mirror by Paul Keller on flickr cc

School age kitty wants to know where Romney's education plan is. She doesn't see it in the mirror! She only see's her own reflection, but no Romney plan that changes education for real.Mirror Cat #2 by crsan - christianholmer.com on flickr cc

School age kitty wants to know where Romney’s education plan is. She doesn’t see it in the mirror! She only see’s her own reflection, but no Romney plan that changes education for real. Photo Credit: Mirror Cat #2 by crsan – christianholmer.com on flickr cc

Romney seems to have taken the idea of education being a civil rights issue from the Obama Administration’s Secretary of Education, Arnie Duncan.

According to the Huffington Post, Arnie Duncan said in 2011:

“We need to educate our way to a better economy,” Duncan said several times a day, during speeches from Pittsburgh to Chicago. “Education is the civil rights issue of our time.”

Good education for everyone regardless of party, race or religion or socioeconomic background is a human and civil right. Acknowledging this is one thing, having a real honest to goodness workable plan that really does something about it is another issue.

Here are some concrete suggestions from the National Education Association on how we can really improve education.


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The Future of America and Dancing Chihuahas

This Big Cat is happy about the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C.s decision to have disclosure of donors in non-profits like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS. Big Roar!!! Photo Credit by: Happy Tiger! by MrGuilt on flickr CC

This Big Cat is happy about the Washington DC’s U.S. Court of Appeals decision to have disclosure of donors in non-profits like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS. Big Roar!!! Photo Credit by: Happy Tiger! by MrGuilt on flickr CC

This is so cute:

A salsa dancing chihuaha.

Now that you are relaxed and had a good laugh or at least cracked a smile, hopefully, we can discuss another topic:

How to Bring this Country Together

The people must stand up to let politicians know that it’s time for real bipartisan problem-solving and legislation that truly respects each person’s idea of “freedom and liberty”.

We have freedom of speech yet do some people and organizations have more free speech than others – especially speech funded by millions of dollars from PACs and organizations like Crossroads GPS thanks to the lopsided Citizen’s United case?

Issues Confronting Americans Today:

1) What are the best ways to create jobs?

2) What can we do to bring affordable health care to all people in America?

3) How do we create a healthy economy?

4) How do we protect the environment for present & future generations?

5) How do we provide excellent public and private education K-12 and College level for our young people in America?

While the mantra from the GOP frequently entails the use of “freedom and liberty” sprinkled in every single politicians speeches at least 5 to 15 times, what precisely do these words mean to the speaker and the listener?

Do some in the GOP really think freedom means:

  • People want the “freedom” to not have health care?
  • People want the “freedom” to tell other people what they can do with their reproductive organs?
  • People want the “freedom” to stop other people from having an organized way to fight for their rights, like in a union?

As the above list illustrates, the word “freedom” is being twisted into a knot by some folks so one group’s idea of “freedom” is actually the opposite of real freedom.

There are many meanings of freedom. Here are a few:

  1. The right to speak or act without restriction, interference or fear
  2. openness and friendliness in speech or behavior
  3. the ability to exercise free will and make choices independently of any external determining force

Trampling on other people’s freedom is not real freedom it is false freedom where some people seem to be saying and then legislating:

“My freedom is more important than your freedom.” Or, “Freedom means seeing it my way.”

Freedom of Speech, Justice Roberts and Citizen’s United

When the Citizen’s United case allowed anonymous donors to give millions of dollars to organizations like Crossroads GPS, the Supreme Court was basically saying that those with the most money have more freedom to have their voice heard.

There is light in the darkness of the ill-conceived Supreme Court Decision on Citizen’s United lead by Justice Roberts.

As Brad Friedman of Bradblog.com noted, this week a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Court made an important decision about when donors spending more than $1000 have to disclose their identity.

In spite of the fact that organizations like Karl Rove’s Crossroad’s GPS argued that disclosing the names of their big donors might put those folks at risk, two of the judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Court ruled there was not enough evidence to support that claim.

Wow. This is progress. However, the case may end up in the Supreme Court. Will Justice Roberts wake up to the fact that it is unfair for wealthy donors to have more free speech than those with less money? We will see.

The Democracy 21 press release about the Appeals Court decision on donor disclosure related to “electioneering” by non-profit organizations stated:

“In the 2010 congressional races, groups making “electioneering communications” disclosed the sources of less than 10 percent of their $79.9 million in “electioneering communications” expenditures,” Wertheimer said.

“Every organization making “electioneering communications” in the 2012 presidential and congressional elections is now required to disclose the donors whose funds are being used to pay for their “electioneering communications,” according to Wertheimer. “All groups making “electioneering communications” are now on notice and we expect them to fully comply with the contribution disclosure provisions in the future,” Wertheimer stated.

According to the Democracy 21 press release, two judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals:

Judges Rogers and Griffith issued an opinion in support of their decision to deny the stay stating that the intervenors “have failed to make a strong showing that they are likely to succeed on the merits” or “demonstrate that they will be irreparably injured absent a stay.”

Judges Rogers and Griffith said that “Congress was clear that all contributors of $1,000 or more are covered” by the disclosure requirement.  “[I]n BCRA Congress evinced a clear intent not to limit section 434(f)(2)’s reach, and instead to cover allcontributors of $1,000 or more.”

Super PAC Mad Libs or

How Citizen’s United Brings you “free speech” by Big Money

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The Whistleblower “Improvement” Act H.R. 2483 Bad for Whistleblowers!

Whistleblower Cat thinks the Whistleblower "Improvement Act is a big joke that's bad for whistleblowers, cats and Americans. Photo Credit: Sofia by kaibara87 on flickr cc

Whistleblower Cat thinks the Whistleblower "Improvement Act is a big joke that's bad for whistleblowers, cats and Americans. Photo Credit: Sofia by kaibara87 on flickr cc

The Deceptive Use of Language Again

The so-called Whistleblower “Improvement” Act, H.R. 2483 does nothing to help Whistleblowers. Instead this bill would force a Whistleblower to first talk to their employer before contacting a Federal Agency for assistance. That’s like saying a battered person must first tell the batterer that they are calling them out. Not always the best thing to do considering the track record of those who abuse.

Let’s take a look at who sponsored this horrible piece of legislation which by the way has already left the gate because the Sub-Committee from which it was spawned has now passed it on to the Full Committee for both the House Financial Services Committee and the House Agriculture Committee.

The main sponsor of this bill is Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R-NY). Here is a segment of the summary from Thomas.loc.gov:

SUMMARY AS OF:
7/11/2011–Introduced.

“Whistleblower Improvement Act of 2011 – Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Commodity Exchange Act to require a whistleblower employee, as a prerequisite to eligibility for a whistleblower award, to: (1) first report information relating to misconduct to his or her employer before reporting it to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and (2) report such information to the SEC within 180 days after reporting it to the employer.

Prohibits a whistleblower award to any whistleblower who fails to report the relevant information to his or her employer first, unless: (1) the employer lacks either a policy prohibiting retaliation for reporting potential misconduct or an internal reporting system allowing for anonymous reporting, or (2) the SEC determines that internal reporting was not a viable option.”

Perhaps Rep. Michael Grimm and his 5 other co-sponsors of this horrible bill which has no business being labeled “Whistleblower Improvement Act” do not understand the meaning of whistleblower because this bill makes it near impossible for a real whistleblower to have any incentive to come forward to report wrongdoing.

Someone needs to give Rep. Michael Grimm (NY), Rep. John Campbell (CA), Rep. Bill Flores (TX), Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ), Rep. Donald Manzullo (IL) and Rep. Steve Stivers (OH) a dictionary. Here is the definition of whistleblower:

“Whistleblower: One who reveals wrongdoing within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority.”

Let’s use a hypothetical example: What would have happened if a Whistleblower at Citigroup had informed Citigroup that it was possibly purposely selling junk mortgage-backed securities to its customers? Do you think Citigroup would handle that information well?

Funny thing, it just so happens that Citigroup Inc. is being sued by Loreley Financing “over nearly $1 billion worth of collateralized debt obligations purchased in 2006 and 2007. Citigroup is accused of defrauding Loreley into purchasing “fraudulent investments that are now worthless,” Loreley said in a complaint filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.” See Reuters article on Huffington Post.

The sponsors of the so-called Whistleblower Improvement Act H.R. 2483  have crafted a bill that basically undermines the Whistleblower and protects the potential Wrongdoer. Now does that sound like a bill that should be passed? No. If this bill gets out of the main committees, one must ask who benefits by passage of this Orwellian sounding bill possibly named by Frank Luntz because people like the word “improvement”. The only thing this bill “improves” are the chances that those that a whistleblower might want to blow the whistle on get away with whatever they are doing.

Posted in language, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Selective Vote Counting by GOP in Maine and Iowa Caucuses

Election cat looked for missing ballots from the GOP Maine & Iowa Caucuses. Photo Credit: TV for cats by someToast on flickr cc

Election cat looked for missing ballots from the GOP Maine & Iowa Caucuses. Photo Credit: TV for cats by someToast on flickr cc

Odd GOP Vote Counting in Iowa and Maine Caucuses

It seems that in Iowa and Maine, the State Republican Party initially decided to leave out 8 precincts in Iowa and now in Maine 3 counties. Why?

This is from the party that yells voter fraud every two minutes in order to justify passage of voter I.D. laws that make it harder for the elderly, youth and minorities to vote.

The Brennan Center for Justice reports:

“Photo ID supporters routinely cry “fraud” as the reason for supporting new restrictions on access to the ballot. But the real fraud is in the repeated use of inaccurate, or just plain manufactured, claims about voter fraud that just aren’t happening. The reality? Voter fraud is as likely to happen as getting struck by lightning. But if you listen to photo ID supporters, you’d think every rain drop represents a stolen vote.”

The Catch 22 of Voter I.D. Laws

Elderly who previously legally voted for decades now due to voter I.D. laws have to prove they are American citizens. Some senior citizens like Thelma Mitchell, a 93-year old Tennessee woman, do not have birth certificates because they were born in places where there were no birth certificates. Ms. Mitchell was born in Alabama in 1918 and delivered by a midwife. She never had a birth certificate.

Students also have to go through hoops in some states in order to vote. It’s expensive to get access to documents that certain states approve as “official” in order to get a Voter I.D.

Ironically, the GOP seem to only count certain ballots in recent primaries and caucuses and not others. What? Let’s hope this pattern ends now before November 2012.

Count all the votes please.

The GOP leadership want it both ways. They want to make everyone have a restrictive Voter I.D. but they won’t count all legal votes in their own caucuses and primaries to select a GOP Presidential Candidate. That behavior triggers an hypocrisy alert of the highest order.

Maine kitty was displeased with the way the GOP Caucuses were held. She said "Count all the Counties Please." Photo Credit: ruth6 by Dan Hershman on flickr cc

Maine kitty was displeased with the way the GOP Caucuses were held. She said "Count all the Counties Please." Photo Credit: ruth6 by Dan Hershman on flickr cc

Maine Waldo County Fiasco: GOP Makes up their own Bizarro Rules for Elections

 

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Do Economies Go Boom and Bust Because of Credit Rating Agencies?

Standard & Poor's credit rating cat gave an arrogant look to France. Photo Credit: This is the face of arrogance by phunkstarr on flickr cc

Standard & Poor's credit rating cat gave an arrogant look to France. Photo Credit: This is the face of arrogance by phunkstarr on flickr cc

Do Credit Rating Agencies Cause Market Volatility and Profit from It?

After hearing that one of the big three credit rating agencies downgraded countries in Europe, I wondered what would happen to the stock market on Monday, 2/13/2012. Sure enough, it went down.

Downgrades of countries, organizations and companies by the Moody’s Investor Service, Standard & Poors and Fitch Rating Service seem to affect the market like lemmings or someone yelling fire in the theatre. “Run for your lives, the credit rating agency just downgraded that company or country or organization!”

Why do we believe these credit rating agencies, especially when they have gotten it wrong many times like in the subprime crisis? Unfortunately, no real definitive multi-trillion dollar amount has been pegged to the huge black hole on Wall Street and the world economy cased by the subprime crisis. However, a U.S. Congressional Report blamed the recent massive financial crisis on the manipulation of credit ratings by the big three credit rating companies.

According to this article in the Huffington Post, the staff for Senators Carl Levin and Tom Coburn of the U.S. Senate committee that investigated the causes of the financial crisis wrote in the report:

“Perhaps more than any other single event, the sudden mass downgrades of (residential mortgage-backed securities) and (collateralized debt obligations) ratings were the immediate trigger for the financial crisis.”

In January 2011 the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission final report stated:

“The three credit rating agencies were key enablers of the financial meltdown. The mortgage-related securities at the heart of the crisis could not have been marketed and sold without their seal of approval. Investors relied on them, often blindly. In some cases, they were obligated to use them, or regulatory capital standards were hinged on them. This crisis could not have happened without the rating agencies. Their ratings helped the market soar and their downgrades through 2007 and 2008 wreaked havoc across markets and firms.”

It’s too cosy cosy on Wall Street. It’s like a horse race. When the big credit rating agencies set the ratings, the hedge funds, the day traders, and Wall Street seem to jump. Perhaps it is time to tame the credit rating agencies effect on the world economy. Perhaps they enjoy too much undeserved power. Their ratings make it more difficult for struggling countries to get out of debt. This in turn causes a cascade of problems for the citizens of those countries.

Queen Cat of Moody's said off with their heads to Europe. Photo Credit: Queen Cat by Ben Garney on flickr cc

Queen Cat of Moody's said off with their heads to Europe. Photo Credit: Queen Cat by Ben Garney on flickr cc

What would happen if Wall Street was unmoved? It’s like the boy who cried Wolf. The problem is that the wolf-cryer has real potential negative affects on people and entire countries and the world economy. Too too much power.

Rate the Rating Agencies!

It’s time to take that power back. What needs to change are the dynamics of the market as soon as the credit rating agencies make a change – either up or down – for their ratings. These companies are unelected by the people of the world, yet they have so much power over people. Why? Isn’t it time this changed once and for all?

S&P Inside Job? ‘Somebody made big bucks on US downgrade’

Posted in Banks, Economy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bill Moyers is Back and That’s Good for America

Detective Daisy wants to know how the economy got the way it is today. She's going to watch Bill Moyers new program. Photo Credit: Detective Daisy by Bertd on flickr cc

Detective Daisy wants to know how the economy got the way it is today. She's going to watch Bill Moyers new program. Photo Credit: Detective Daisy by Bertd on flickr cc

Bill Moyers & Company Premiere Program:“How America’s Gross Inequality is no accident, but was in fact “politically engineered””

Moyer’s talks with authors of the book, “Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – And Turned its Back on the Middle Class,” Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson (Simon & Schuster, 2011).

In this election year Bill Moyers is back and his first interview deals with one of the most important issues of our time: “How Washington and Big Business colluded to make the super-rich richer and turn their backs on the rest of us.”

Moyer’s wants to find the answers to certain questions:

  1. What caused America’s economy to “simply stop working” for most people while  still working for the super rich?
  2. “Who is the culprit?”

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors of the book, “Winner-Take-All Politics” acted as forensic journalists. They did exhaustive research on the “who-done-it-to-America’s economy and middle class” in the spirit of what Bill Moyers said was “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.” They discovered the trail went back over 30 years to the present.

Hacker said:

“American politics did it. What government has done and not done, and the politics that produced it, is really at the heart of the rise of an economy that has showered huge riches on the very, very, very well off.”

What are your thoughts about this issue?

The cats have a discussion about Jacob Hacker & Paul Pierson's book Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer - And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. Photo Credit: Who is the more curious cat by gerriet on flickr cc

The cats have a discussion about Jacob Hacker & Paul Pierson's book Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer - And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. Photo Credit: Who is the more curious cat by gerriet on flickr cc

Posted in Economy, Politics, Senate and Congress | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does Mitt Romney just make things up?

Political kitty got tired of listening to Mitt Romney's New Hampshire acceptance speech filled with talking points. Photo Credit: Cat Posing by David Masters on flickr cc

Political kitty got sleepy listening to Mitt Romney's New Hampshire acceptance speech filled with typical partisan talking points. Photo Credit: Cat Posing by David Masters on flickr cc

Mitt Romney’s speech in New Hampshire

Mitt Romney seems to belong to the “create your own reality” crowd that hung around with G. W. Bush and Karl Rove a few years ago. At least that’s what it sounded like when Romney sprinkled every phrase with words that seemed to be directly from a “talking points memo” written by Frank Luntz.

Does Romney think everyone will just believe what he says no matter what he says? Guess so, because he made up a lot of stuff about President Obama that was laughable and totally bizarre. Romney makes up things like accusing President Obama of being envious of who, the 1%? That must be some kind of talking point that scored well in focus groups. Romney kept using words like “envious” and “resentment” peppered in his speech in New Hampshire.

Hopefully most people will realize that Romney is playing word games.

Romney on Defense

Romney must think the U.S. spends very little on weapons because he kept saying how he wanted to make sure we had overwhelming military power. He should probably check out the SIPRI Yearbook 2011 on worldwide military expenditures which states the U.S. in 2010 spent $698 billion dollars which was 43% of the entire world’s expenditure on the military. The only country that was a far second place in military spending was China which spent $119 billion dollars in 2010. This is roughtly six times less than what the U.S. spent on its military.

I guess Mitt Romney heard that claiming the U.S. needs to spend more on defense would rile up his base. Never mind that we are already spending a ridiculous unnecessary amount on defense compared with the rest of the world. After China, the country placing third on military expenditures in 2010 was our ally, the United Kingdom, with a mere $59.6 billion spent on defense.

President Obama maintained high levels of U.S. defense spending from 2009 to the present, yet to listen to Romney you would think we suddenly stopped spending anything on defense.

The word games and talking point duels have begun for the hearts and minds of the American people. Let’s hope the people’s minds can withstand the onslaught from now until the 2012 election.

Posted in Elections, national security | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

President Obama: Let’s Create a 21st Century Works Progress Administration

New Deal Art - Insight - highlighted on the Living New Deal: Still Working for America project at Univ. of CA Berkeley

New Deal Art - Insight - highlighted on the Living New Deal: Still Working for America project at Univ. of CA Berkeley

Curious ada asks, "President Obama when will you create a 21st Century Works Progress Admin. to put millions of people to work?" Photo credit: Curious ada by Eirik Newth on flickr cc

Curious Ada asks, "President Obama when will you create a 21st Century Works Progress Admin. to put millions of people to work?" Photo credit: Curious ada by Eirik Newth on flickr cc

The Case for a 21st Century Works Progress Administration in America Now

Dear President Obama:

The Depression caused by speculation in the stock market caused millions of people to lose their jobs. However, during the first 100 days of his administration in 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt tasked Harry Hopkins with putting Americans back to work through the Civil Works Administration which became the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1935. Harry Hopkins put 4 million people to work within two months of the establishment of the CWA. As Thomas Frank said in his article “Easy Chair: More Government Please!”,

“Harry Hopkins …government-loving..Harry Hopkins — the all-time greatest job creator in American history.”

The Works Progress Administration which Hopkins ran from 1935-1938 created about 3 million jobs per year. All New Deal programs put 8 million people in America to work building roads, planting trees, building libraries, schools, post offices, painting murals, performing plays, performing music, writing guidebooks for parks, building dams, constructing bridges, and creating national trails. The United States would not be the same today without the amazing works of art and infrastructure built during the New Deal.

Many people put to work by the WPA and programs of FDR’s New Deal believed they were building the civilization of America.

Here is a list of many  New Deal era achievements of the Civil Works Administration, Works Progress Administration, and the Civilian Conservation Corps:

          • 650,000 miles of road
          • 78,000 bridges
          • 125,000 civilian and military buildings
          • 800 airports
          • 700 miles of airport runways
          • 1500 nursery schools
          • 900,000,000 (900 million) hot school lunches
          • 5,000 concerts to audiences totaling 150,000,000 (150 million people)
          • Theatre performances for audiences of 30,000,000 (30 million people)
          • 475,000 works of art created
          • 276 full-length books were written

Ronald Reagan’s Father worked for the New Deal era Works Progress Administration

President Ronald Reagan’s father, Jack Reagan, was an official in the Civil Works Administration which was the predecessor to the  Works Progress Administration. Thomas Frank points out that:

Ronald Reagan in his memoir, An American Life, referred to the Works Progress Administration massive jobs program as:

“one of  the most productive elements” of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Thomas Frank said in his article “More Government Please!”, while Reagan was Governor of California, in 1971 he proposed a “WPA-style public works program replace the state’s welfare apparatus.”

Now is the Time to Put America Back to Work for the 21st Century Progress

President Obama, millions of Americans are still out of work, in spite of tax breaks extended to many so-called “job creators.” The “job creators” need some help from the U.S. government which proved to be the best job creator to get the economy going in the 1930s and 1940s. The result of putting people to work building America is that we have a lasting concrete legacy that Americans are enjoying and benefiting from today.

Many people in America need to understand how wonderful a new Works Progress Administration would be. Put Americans to work repairing our infrastructure, building new buildings, roads, bridges and more for the 21st century. The best entity that can truly invest in America’s present and future at this crucial moment is the U.S. government. We need more Harry Hopkins and Frances Perkins in 2012. I’m certain there are young men and women ready to take on the challenge of building America now with you leading the way. Let’s begin right away by enacting the appropriate legislation and executive orders!

Everyone wins if we create a new Works Progress Administration to rival the New Deal Era one. Today without delay is a good day to begin for the sake of present and future generations.

Sincerely,

Kitty Reporter

Pick Yourself Up and Dust Yourself Off by Frank Sinatra

Words of Wisdom from Frank Sinatra to Pick Ourselves Up

This is what we can do in America…”pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again” with a Works Progress Administration

“…work like a soul inspired until the battle of the day is won.

Will you remember the famous men who had to fall to rise again so take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.”

Posted in common ground, congress, dialogue, diplomacy, New Deal Era, President Barack Obama, Works Progress Administration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meanwhile Back in the Jungle

In the jungle, the might jungle by Cats in trees on flickr cc

Jungle Cat was glad to get out of the Iowa Caucuses and move on to better things. Photo Credit: In the jungle, the might jungle by Cats in trees on flickr cc

This song by The Cadets called “Stranded in the Jungle” is a great example of early rock ‘n roll that has a cinematic quality to it when they cut back and forth between:

“Meanwhile back in the States….”

to

“Meanwhile back in the Jungle…”

I hope you enjoy it too. Here is the video of The Cadets singing this song.

it's not a jungle by chrissy polcino on flickr cc

Jungle Kitty said, "Great Kookamooga, get me outta here!" when she saw the political games being played in D.C. and on K Street. Photo Credit: it's not a jungle by chrissy polcino on flickr cc

Great Kookamooga!

As the guy stranded in the jungle jumps out of the cooking pot–with him being the one who was cooked–he says,

“Great Kookamooga, get me outta here!”

Now that that the Iowa Caucuses are finally over we can all finally jump out of the cooking pot of politicians vying for the top stop. We can move on to other things.

Here’s a list of things that need positive attention in 2012:

  1. Protecting the vote for everyone.
  2. Saving the Post office in all communities
  3. Developing clean non-polluting energy
  4. Nuclear Disarmament
  5. Protecting the Environment
  6. Creating a 21st Century Works Progress Administration as suggested by Thomas Franks in his piece “More Government Please” in Harper’s Magazine
Posted in Humor, Media, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Holidays Everyone and Good Cheer & Harmony to All

Lillian the Christmas Cat wishes everyone a Happy Holiday and a very Happy New Year! Photo Credit: Lillian by carterse on flickr cc

Lillian the Christmas Cat wishes everyone a Happy Holiday and a very Happy New Year! Photo Credit: Lillian by carterse on flickr cc

 

Today is Christmas. It is both a religious holiday and a cultural holiday. We celebrate together with our friends and family, showing appreciation and giving to one another regardless of our religious beliefs.

Today I listened to NPR’s radio stories about Christmas. Very touching. I laughed and cried and enjoyed hearing stories from the archives and also listening to David Sedaris’ long and short versions of his Elf Adventures from his “Santaland Diaries”.

Photo Credit: Quillan under the tree by Lil Shepherd on flickr cc

Any catnip for me? Photo Credit: Quillan under the tree by Lil Shepherd on flickr cc

Photo Credit: Quillan by Lil shepherd on flickr cc

Do you have any treats for me? Photo Credit: Quillan by Lil shepherd on flickr cc

All I know is that I love listening to radio stories and the NPR Tinsel Tales: NPR Christmas Stories were particularly special like ‘A Silent Night’ that Brought Healing.

Cat in a Tree says Happy Holidays! Photo Credit: Cat in a Christmas Tree 2 by orangeaurochs on flickr cc

Cat in a Tree says Happy Holidays! Photo Credit: Cat in a Christmas Tree 2 by orangeaurochs on flickr cc

Listen to this version of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens where all the voices except one (done by Mimi Kennedy) are performed by the versatile Jonathan Winters. What an amazing range he has!

Here are Tinsel Tales: NPR from 2010 that have some gems as well. Baily White’s ‘Low Glamour Christmas Party’ and ‘Ode to Christmas’ by Chuck Kramer are highly recommended.

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanza and a very Happy Holidays however you celebrate it!

Elf Kitty says, Thanks for the pretty lights! Photo Credit: DSC_2691 by AceLain on flickr cc

Elf Kitty says, Thanks for the pretty lights! Photo Credit: DSC_2691 by AceLain on flickr cc

Cheers!

Posted in Humor, inspiration, Media, Music | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

AG Eric Holder Alerts Texans the DOJ will Uphold Voting Rights Act

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State Voter ID Laws and Redistricting for Voting Rights Act Violations:

Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a message focused on upholding the Voting Rights Act at the President Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum at the University of Texas on December 13, 2011. Attorney General Holder recalled the civil rights achievements of President Johnson including the historic Voting Rights Act passed in 1965 that protects the rights of voters to have access to voting free of any forms of discrimination.

Holder said:

“In 1965, when President Johnson signed the landmark Voting Rights Act into law, he proclaimed that, “the right to vote is the basic right, without which all others are meaningless.”

The Attorney General said:

“Today, as Attorney General, I have the privilege – and the solemn duty – of enforcing this law, and the other civil rights reforms that President Johnson championed…The right to vote is not only the cornerstone of our system of government – it is the lifeblood of our democracy. And no force has proved more powerful – or more integral to the success of the great American experiment – than efforts to expand the franchise.”

Holder heard from many people across the United States who were deeply concerned about the the need to protect the voting rights of all citizens. He relayed excerpts of a recent speech by Congressman John Lewis,  man who has worked his whole life and who continues to work for voting rights:

Congressman Lewis said on the House floor this past summer that the voting rights of U.S. citizens are “under attack…[by] a deliberate and systematic attempt to prevent millions of elderly voters, young voters, students, [and] minority and low-income voters from exercising their constitutional right to engage in the democratic process.”

Holder said the Department of Justice is currently reviewing new laws passed in various states based on the DOJ’s obligation under the Voting Rights Act. Holder said, “Texas and South Carolina, for example, have enacted laws establishing new photo identification requirements that we’re reviewing. We’re also examining a number of changes that Florida has made to its electoral process, including changes to the procedures governing third-party voter registration organizations, as well as changes to early voting procedures, including the number of days in the early period.”

According to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department reviews laws passed in various states to prevent violation of the Voting Rights Act. Holder said this important Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act helps combat discrimination and was put into the law due to “well-documented history of voter discrimination in all or parts of the 16 states to which it applies.”

Attorney General Holder said that “in jurisdictions across this country – both overt and subtle forms of discrimination remain all to common.” He said that in October 2011:

“the Justice Department objected to a redistricting plan in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, where the map-drawer began the process by meeting exclusively with white officeholders – and never consulted black officeholders. The result was a map that diminished the electoral opportunity of African Americans. After the Justice Department objected, the Parish enacted a new, non-discriminatory map.”

Holder also said that in Texas the Department of Justice “argued that in court filings that proposed redistricting plans for both the State House and the Texas Congressional delegation are impermissible, because the state has failed to show the absence of discrimination. The most recent Census data indicated that Texas has gained more than 4 million new residents – the vast majority of whom are Hispanic – and that this growth allows for four new Congressional seats. However, this State has proposed adding zero additional seats in which Hispanics would have the electoral opportunity envisioned by the Voting Rights Act. Federal courts are still considering this matter, and we intend to argue vigorously at trial that this is precisely the kind of discrimination that Section 5 was intended to block.”

This cat is watching out for any efforts to suppress the vote of young people, elderly or minorities. Photo credit: cat by jwright4701 on flickr cc

This cat is watching out for any efforts to suppress the vote of young people, elderly or minorities. Photo credit: cat by jwright4701 on flickr cc

Holder asked “what kind of nation – and what kind of people – do we want to be?”…

Attorney General Holder said, “For me – and for our nation’s Department of Justice – the answers are clear. We need election systems that are free from fraud, discrimination, and partisan influence – and that are more, not less, accessible to the citizens of this country.”

Holder Recommended Election Reforms to Improve Citizens Access to Voting

1.  Allow citizens to be able to register to vote at a “wider variety of government offices – beyond just the local department of motor vehicles.”

2.  The Voting Rights Act insures protections for language minorities. Important to insure all Americans have a choice to vote in their native language.

3.  Need for Neutrality in redistricting efforts. “Districts should be drawn to promote fair and effective representation for all – not merely to undercut electoral competition and protect incumbants.”

4.  Tougher laws for those engaging in fraudulent voting practices.

Election Fraud in Maryland

Holder relayed that last week “the campaign manager of a Maryland [GOP] gubernatorial candidate was convicted on election fraud charges for approving anonymous “robocalls” that went out on Election Day last year to more than 100,000 voters in the state’s two largest majority-black jurisdictions. These calls encouraged voters to stay home – telling them to “relax” because they preferred candidate had already wrapped up a victory.”

5.  Modernize registration. Holder said all citizens should be “automatically registered to vote” because “the ability to vote is a right – it is not a privilege.”

Holder also urged citizens to be vigilant and to keep their local officials and the Department of Justice apprised of violations of the Voting Rights Act.

Posted in election integrity, Elections | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

State Department Delays XL Pipeline, Public Wants it Stopped

This cat thinks the XL Pipeline which would transport tar sands oil is dirty and bad for cats and people. Photo credit: cat by ilkerender on flickr cc

This cat thinks the XL Pipeline which would transport tar sands oil is dirty and bad for cats and people. Photo credit: cat by ilkerender on flickr cc

Keystone XL Protesters Surround the White House

President Obama put off making a decision about the XL Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline by sending it back for review by the State Department. The final decision of whether to build the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline for transporting dirty tar sands oil is postponed until after the 2012 election.

On November 6th, more than twelve-thousand (12,000) demonstrators circled the White House to protest the development of the proposed XL Keystone Pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico through the heart of America. The demonstrators want the U.S. to develop clean energy, not dirty polluting tar sands oil that could harm the environment in the production and transportation through pipelines across ecologically sensitive areas of the country.

Keystone XL Pipeline Protests at White House

The Nov. 6th action capped weeks of protests in D.C. and around the country of protestors saying no to the dirty tar sands oil pipeline. Some scientists claim mining and processing the tar sands oil would unleash massive amounts of CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere which could cause a tipping point on global warming. Extracting the dirty oil from the tar sands would require thousands of gallons of water, a precious resource.

12-year-old speaks against Keystone XL pipeline

The initial route proposed for the XL Keystone pipeline could jeopardize important water resources like the Ogallala Aquifer. The oil would be exported to Asia and beyond, not even used within the U.S.

Keystone XL Pipeline protest, Lincoln, NE 8/5/11

Canada Should Kick its Dirty Tar Sands Oil Habit

Keystone Pipeline

To produce 1 barrel of oil from tar sands oil takes 4 to 5 barrels of water and then the water is unusable. This is a terrible waste of an important life-sustaining resource.

Stop the Keystone XL Dirty Tar Sands Pipeline

Canada wants to develop it’s large amount of dirty tar sands into oil and expects the U.S. to help. Canada and the tar sands are like a drug dealer trying to sell its crack to friends, the U.S.

Robert Redford: Join the Nov. 6 Keystone XL Protest

Could there be pipeline spills from tar sands oil pipelines that might harm people? Yes. In 2010 over 800,000-900,000 gallons of tar sands oil spilled in Kalamazoo, Michigan killing fish, wildlife, and causing horrible health problems and deaths for people living along the Kalamazoo River and creek that runs into that river.

Enbridge Tar Sands Oil Pipeline Spill Devastates Kalamazoo River, Michigan

Through the reporting of whistleblower, John Bolenbaugh, we can see directly how the real severity of the tar sands spill has not been adequately reported by some local media which made it seem as if the oil spill was almost cleaned up.

John Bolenbaugh, Very Sick Kid and His Mom and Kaz

John Bolenbaugh, Military Officer Says He Saw a Cover Up of Oil Spill

However, John Bolenbaugh’s videos document that Enbridge put down canvas over the oil and then put grass seed on top of the canvas in the marshy areas. While some local News Reports claimed Enbridge was trying to bring the oil up from the bottom of the river, Bolenbaugh physically shows foliage growing on top of canvas that hides large amounts of oil.

The oil has horrible health effects on the local citizens near the river. People near the oil spill have seizures, neurological problems, headaches, sore throats, and respiratory problems.

MSDS SHEET FOR TAR SAND OIL (BITUMEN), JOHN BOLENBAUGH

If the XL Keystone pipeline is built anywhere, the chances of spills similar to what happening in Michigan are very possible. The Enbridge Company spill is a warning to what could occur if the XL Pipeline is built through the heart of America.

Posted in climate change, Energy, Environment, Obama | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Under Florida Gov. Rick Scott Registering to Vote Harder to Do

This Florida cat wants Gov. Rick Scott to stop making it harder for Floridians to register to vote and cast a ballot. Photo credit: Florida Bobcat by minds-eye on flickr cc

This Florida cat wants Gov. Rick Scott to stop making it harder for Floridians to register to vote and cast a ballot. Photo credit: Florida Bobcat by minds-eye on flickr cc

Voting Laws Worked in Florida for Decades yet Rick Scott Changed them Despite Overwhelming Voter Disapproval

For seventy-two (72) years the non-partisan Florida League of Women Voters ran registration drives to help eligible voters register to vote in the state of Florida. The reason they could do this is that the state required completed registration forms by ten (10) days after a Florida registration form was completed.

In May 2011 Republican Governor Rick Scott and the Republican legislature in Florida changed all that when they passed overly stringent election law H.B. 1355 which creates unnecessary barriers to registering to vote and casting a ballot. The bill cuts early voting from fifteen (15) days to eight (8) days. And, even though election officials requested the state provide more early voting sites for voters, the Governor and Secretary of State rejected that request.

According to the Miami Herald, Governor Scott’s office received “14,000 calls and e-mails in opposition” of the voting restriction bill and only “1,300 in favor” of the bill.

 The Miami Herald news report stated:

A notation by Scott’s staff said,

“Majority oppose. Urging Governor to veto these bills because they change our voting laws, making it more difficult for some voters to cast their vote.”

This restrictive new election law requires organizations like the League of Women Voters return completed Florida registration forms to the proper authorities within a mere 48 hours or 2 days instead of the previous 10-day deadline.

If a person or organization responsible for registering a Florida voter fails to get the registration form into the proper office within 48-hours, they could face fines as high as $1,000 and possible civil prosecution. Is this something that will encourage people to register to vote or help others to do it? No, it discourages third party organizations because they could face stiff fines.

Governor Scott Passed Election Bill Despite Voter Disapproval of Law

Governor Scott and the Florida legislature completely dismissed the will of the Florida voters who protested passage of the election law. They are not interested in insuring that more people are able to register to vote or actually vote.

Florida is a key battleground state for the 2012 election and the GOP War on Voting is underway. Part of the multi-pronged approach includes altering election laws. However, when GOP leaders make jokes about voter suppression, they reveal their real intentions about how they hope to win an election, not on the merits, but through dirty tricks.

For example, recently former Republican Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee urged Ohio voters to deceive citizens who are against Gov. Kasich’s anti-union measures by telling them they could vote on a different day than November 8th. This is from a party that invokes the words “freedom,” “patriotic” and “common sense” in almost every other word.

The Ed Show: Issue 2 Supporter Mike Huckabee Urges Voter Suppression of Opponents

Posted in Elections | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Herman Cain: a Bad Liar or Selective Amnesiac?

This cat sees lots of women coming forward accusing Herman Cain of sexual harassment. They want Mr. Cain to tell the truth. Photo Credit: Angry birds vs angry cats by mseckington on flickr cc

This cat sees lots of women coming forward accusing Herman Cain of sexual harassment. They want Mr. Cain to tell the truth. Photo Credit: Angry birds vs angry cats by mseckington on flickr cc

Herman Cain attacks women who have come forward to say that he sexually harassed them. First he blamed Rick Perry for playing dirty tricks and getting the story into the media and then the Democrats. Then he said he never did anything the women claim he did. He’s even willing to take a lie detector test. OK. Let’s get it ready.

Herman Cain on the talk show circuit and press conferences:

“I have never acted inappropriately with anyone. Period.”

Jon Stewart VS Herman Cain (Sexual Harassment)

The Evidence to the Contrary of Herman Cain’s Protests

4th Cain Accuser Comes Forward

The above video from Associated Press features Herman Cain’s fourth accuser, Sharon Bialek, former employee of the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation who says Herman Cain made inappropriate sexual advances towards her. She was embarrassed to discuss the details with others.

Let’s take a closer look. Why would five (5) separate women come forward who did not know each other and talk about incidents with Herman Cain that occurred where each one independently claims he sexually harassed them?

The Female Victims of Herman Cain have more to lose than Herman Cain

The (currently five) women who have come forward to reveal moments with Mr. Cain where he took advantage of them, risk uncomfortable scrutiny about whether their claims are really true. Why would any woman in her right mind risk being attacked by the media for wrongfully accusing Herman Cain of sexual harassment? Common sense says that most women would not come forward, unless they believed it was their duty to reveal the truth about a man who continues to deny he did anything wrong, and who is running for President of the United States.

Herman Cain Sexual Harasser and Denier

As Cain Denies Allegations, Supporters Malign Female Accusers, Sexual Harassment Victims

If Herman Cain did sexually harass the five women who have come forward so far to say that he did, then how can anyone take him seriously as a possible Presidential candidate? If he lies about this and minimizes the truth about what really happened between him and these women, what else will he lie about? Can he be trusted? Is he delusional?

Posted in Elections, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Spends $60 Billion/Year on Nuclear Arsenal

Peace Cat wants to know why the U.S. spends $60 billion/year on its nuclear arsenals when nuclear weapons are bad for cats and people. Photo Credit: Untitled (cat) by ruben i on flickr cc

Peace Cat wants to know why the U.S. spends $60 billion/year on its nuclear arsenals when nuclear weapons are bad for cats and people. Photo Credit: Untitled (cat) by ruben i on flickr cc

According to a recent article by David Krieger of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation entitled, “The High Costs of Nuclear Arsenals,” U.S. expenditures on nuclear weapons from 1970 to 2005 cost $7.5 trillion. Kreiger said, “Today the figure is approaching $8 trillion, and that amount is for the U.S. alone.”

Krieger reveals the shocking fact that the U.S. and 9 nuclear nations together spend $105 billion yearly on nuclear arsenals and delivery systems. Of that $105 billion spent on nuclear weapons, the U.S. spends 60% of the amount or approximately $60-63 Billion dollars. Annually, the U.S. spends more on nuclear weapons than 8 other nuclear countries combined!

The most important part of the nuclear related budget is the money spent on safely dismantling nuclear weapons and preventing proliferation of nuclear grade materials. However, over the past few years, that necessary expenditure has decreased. Krieger states in his article:

“The one place the US is saving money on its nuclear weapons is where it should be spending the most, and that is on the dismantlement of the retired weapons.  The amount that the US spends on dismantlement of its nuclear weapons has dropped significantly under the Obama administration from $186 million in 2009 to $96 million in 2010 to $58 million in 2011.  In the 1990s the US dismantled more than 1,000 nuclear weapons annually.  We dismantled 648 weapons in 2008 and only 260 in 2010.”

Human Security vs. Nuclear Nightmare

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – UN – M8

The above song about Millennium Goals was performed by students and staff at the John Muir Middle School in California.

The eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals for ending poverty can be achieved by 2015 if we spend $40 to $60 billion annually according to the World Bank:

Goal 1:  Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Goal 2:  Achieve universal primary education

Goal 3:  Promote gender quality and empower women

Goal 4:  Reduce child mortality

Goal 5:  Improve maternal health

Goal 6:  Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Goal 7:  Ensure environment sustainability

Goal 8:  Develop a global partnership for development

Let’s Get Our Priorities Straight

Human security is more important than building nuclear weapons. What would it take for the U.S. and the world community to refocus its spending efforts on achieving the UN Goals for alleviating poverty instead of amassing nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction?

Isn’t it ridiculous that we have the tools to achieve the eradication of poverty and to increase the quality of life for all humanity yet wealthy nations continue to spend massive amounts of funds on weapons that could destroy all life on this beautiful planet?

The song sung by the young students of John Muir Middle School are encouraging all of us to recognize that we can make a difference and achieve the eradication of poverty. It’s a matter of where we focus our priorities, energy and money.

Millenium Development Goals for 2015

Time to abolish nuclear weapons

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Zoe Keating Cellist Extraordinaire and Techno-Artist

This cat loves to listen to Zoe Keating's original cello pieces. Photo Credit: He sings, too by Magic Madzik on flickr cc

This cat loves to listen to Zoe Keating's original cello pieces. Photo Credit: He sings, too by Magic Madzik on flickr cc

I came across Zoe Keating’s music by chance. I’m glad I did. Her music is inspirational and beautiful. See for yourself. I’m including various videos of her playing her own pieces. Enjoy and tell me what you think.

Zoe Keating playing Optimist at TEDxSF

Optimist (Live) by Zoe Keating

Zoe Keating, Wired interview

Zoe Keating- Choreography by Sarah Brinson

Zoe Keating-Avant Cellist

Zoe Keating:

“I’m creating a world… It is a world of feeling and emotion and color and light.”

“Music is this thing that happens in a moment in time. And that moment of time only happens once.”

Zoe Keating, Tetrishead, Macworld 2011

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How to Counter The Age of Greed

This smart cat thinks Congress should read Madrick's "The Age of Greed", especially Paul Ryan to understand why cutting deficits now is absolutely wrong for the economy. Photo Credit: Braveheart II by Bob MacInnes on flickr cc

This smart cat thinks Congress should read Madrick's "The Age of Greed", especially Paul Ryan to understand why cutting deficits now is absolutely wrong for the economy. Photo Credit: Braveheart II by Bob MacInnes on flickr cc

In “The Age of Greed,” Jeff Madrick, former economic columnist for the New York Times and current Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School, recounts the history of the people, organizations and policies that lead to our present economic woesThis book outlines the effects of de-regulation of the financial sector and how that contributed to unbridled greed by banks and other financial institutions and the undermining of a fair and equitable economic system for all.

09-19-11 1b – Do The Math, with Jeff Madrick – Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Madrick thinks President Obama’s new jobs plan is bold and focuses on needed investment in infrastructure and development of jobs.

The Real News: How Dangerous is this Moment?

In this interview with The Real News, Madrick talks about the problems that de-regulation has created in today’s American economy:

“We’ve allowed finance to dominate the American economy and the world economy as a consequence.

When finance dominates an economy, it begins, I think it’s become quite clear, to play games among themselves to make money…It becomes paper shuffling.”

History Shows: Myopic Focus on Cutting the Deficit will Worsen Economy and Prolong the Recession

In a C-Span Book TV program from 8/30/2011, Madrick talked about how the Tea Party and other Americans have been mislead by the media and politicians into thinking less government and less regulation will improve the economy. Madrick points out the fact that few to no leaders stood up in 2010 to clearly explain that in a time of recession, focusing on cutting  the deficit makes the economy worse and increases the suffering of working people.

Solutions to Getting Out of the Recession and Improving the Economy

Jeff Madrick said President Obama should clearly explain to the American public that history proves that the way to get out of a recession is to:

  • Require spending on Jobs programs

  • Have serious energy investment

  • Invest in modern infrastructure

  • Revitalize social programs to benefit others

  • Give more support for research and development

According to Madrick we have had a “war economy” for a long time and it failed to help us. He said that government has accomplished few “big things” since the 1980s. He said this is primarily due to the financial sector gaining increasing control of the political process through their financial contributions to Congress on both sides of the aisle.

As a result, the claims of some politicians who erroneously focus on the myth that we have to cut deficits and can’t spend on social programs is increasing the gap between rich and poor and keeping our nation’s working people’s wages static while the corporate class increase their own profits and personal wealth.


Posted in Banks, congress, Economy, Elections, Uncategorized, Wall Street | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment