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Thursday, May 24, 2012


The Bain of our existence: Mitt Romney says that anyone who attacks Bain Capital is "attacking capitalism." By this logic, if you criticize the new Avengers flick, you're saying you don't like movies. If you don't like the newest sandwich at Subway, you're attacking the very concept of food.

Vote suppression: Slate has published an incredibly good piece on Republican vote suppression efforts. As you know (or should know), fraud perpetrated by voters intentionally misidentifying themselves is next to nonexistent. We're dealing with a mythical animal here; there's better evidence for the existence of the Maryland Goat-Man than for organized voter fraud. By contrast, vote-rigging via computerized counting machines is a very real threat. What irks me is that ill-informed citizens may not understand that the former has no relation to the latter.

This blog used to be devoted to the controversies surrounding electronic vote-counting devices. I stopped writing about that issue because Brad Friedman does the job much better, and because I couldn't figure out a way to talk about electronic vote manipulation without adding credibility to the myth of widespread voter misrepresentation. Hell, just figuring out the right way to word the previous sentence was tough!

As one might have predicted, GOP operatives are casting aside the pretense that their efforts have anything to do with ending voter misrepresentation. They are now claiming that voting is a privilege, not a right -- and you pretty much give up your privileges if you show signs of voting for the wrong party or candidates.
Whether it’s onerous (and expensive) voter ID rules that will render as many as 10 percent of Americans ineligible to vote, proof of citizenship measures, restricting registration drives, cancellation of Sunday voting, or claims that voting should be a privilege as opposed to a right, efforts to discount and discredit the vote have grown bolder in recent years, despite vanishingly rare claims of actual vote fraud. The sole objective appears to be ensuring that fewer Americans vote in 2012 than voted in 2008. But as strange as the reasons to purge certain votes have been around the nation, things have grown even stranger in recent weeks in Ohio, where GOP lawmakers have gone after not only voters but the federal courts, in an effort to wiggle out of statewide voting rules.
The GOP’s argument goes even further than pitching ballots tainted by worker error, though. In legislation proposed last year (and withdrawn after it was poised to be rejected by a voter referendum), another provision would bar poll workers from helping voters find the correct precinct if they showed up at the wrong place. That’s right. A proposed GOP reform would ensure that poll workers have no obligation to tell you anything at all if you ask them a question pertaining to precisely the thing they are meant to do—facilitate voting. The language Ohio Republicans tried to insert into the omnibus voting law would provide that “it is the duty of the individual casting the ballot to ensure that the individual is casting that ballot in the correct precinct.”

This presents a deeply troubling new strain in the effort to shrink the vote; a new argument that has nothing to do with stamping out fraud at all.
Hillary for Veep? Skydancing published a piece yesterday on the recurrent meme that Hillary Clinton will replace Joe Biden on the ticket. Also see Riverdaughter here and Michael Tomasky here. Yes, this scenario could happen. One day, I may tell you the circumstances under which Obama might replace Biden outright, although I feel strongly that a Hillary/Joe job switch is not in the cards. But I strongly doubt that Joe Biden is going anywhere.

First and foremost, Biden just hasn't been that bad. Veeps don't get un-veeped if their greatest sin is dorkiness. They've got to do something seriously wrong.

Second, Hillary's positive ratings would vanish overnight if she were on the ticket. Right now, the Fox Newsers are careful not to slam Hillary because they want to encourage the Hillary-loving Obama-haters to stay home on election day. (And who could blame them if they did?) But the moment she got on the ticket, the right-wing news cycle would turn into a 24/7 barrage of Clinton-hate. We would relive it all: Monica, Whitewater, Waco, Mena...all of your favorite hate-memes from the 1990s. And the hate would come in hyper-concentrated form. It would feel like getting a blast of pure sulfur or capsaicin in the face, every minute of every day for months.

Don't pretend that the attacks would not have an impact. The lesson of our time is that propaganda works.

Also, if Clinton climbed aboard the ticket, the Obama-loving Hillary-hating progs of 2008 would be discouraged from going to the polls. Many of those voters no longer have much love for Obama, but they sure as hell hate anyone named Clinton.

Obama is better off sticking with boring old Joe. The worst thing the Foxers and the Bratbiters can say about Joe Biden is that he shoots from the lip.
Quite true, the Clintons were the old most divisive figures in politics. (Not because of innated divisiveness, but because of how their enemies demonized them.) Absence (from the political front lines) seems to have made the hearts grow fonder now, just as we saw during the 8 years-- when HRC was out of the spotlight of controversy for any span of some weeks or months, often she'd see her approval ratings rise.

But put her on the ticket, especially if that were seen as a political masterstroke potentially, and the opposition would return to what some of them probably think are the glory days-- unceasing gutter attacks, reprising all of the past and more.

The alleged silver bullet effect of HRC's becoming the VP nominee would be in doubt because of that certain fierce backlash.

My thoughts exactly, Joe. Jumping on the CDS bandwagon would the usual gang of suspects plus the crew at the NYT, WaPo, MSNBC and CNN. No way are those anchors and OpEd writers are ever going to admit they too fell for the Obama hype in 2008.
Who got the popular vote in the 2008 primary? Oh, yea Hillary R. Clinton, who's own party went out against her and who was the only person in the history of the Democratic Party denied a roll call vote for POTUS and for VP that she EARNED! In fact 300+ delegates filled out forms so that she could get her roll call votes!

Obama said Biden was his best decision so he can keep him and sink with him. I won't vote for Biden, that will be my message to the DNC RBC that I HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN about the rigging of the primary in 2008.

The prisoner vote was a surprise as I didn't even think it was true when I first heard it on the news. lol....guess people are still mad!
Although I try hard to ignore my local paper's Letters to the Editor section, seeing as it's mostly populated by cranks, I thought you might be interested in this letter published May 18 which pretty much lays it out on the table:

I disagree with the Democrats who object to voter ID laws and claim that voter fraud is not a problem.

Voter fraud certainly is a problem, and it is rampant. In the 2008 presidential election, no fewer than 50 million liberals were allowed to vote. This fraud occurred in every state across the country and is believed to be the number one reason Obama won the election.

The voter ID laws are a step in the right direction, though I would ideally like to see the Republicans enforce a minimum annual income of $200,000 to be eligible to vote.

Woman Voter, I do not think Hillary should have been given the Veep position. Neither do I think she should have accepted the SoS position. She could have done more good in the Senate.

I am not interested in gender solidarity, and I strive to be objective in my assessment of Hillary's work in her present position. What's to be proud of? In terms of foreign policy, this administration has given us war, LOTS of free trade treaties (that most people don't know about but which will one day bite us in the ass), brinksmanship with Iran, and kowtowing to both the Saudis and Israel.

Now, WV, I know what you will say: Blame Obama. Well, that's simplistic and biased. You can't simply blame Obama for all the bad stuff and credit Hillary for all the good stuff. Like it or not, when you sign your name to the painting, you gotta take some responsibility for the way it looks.

And I say that with sadness, because I was a great admirer of the Clintons.
OK, as an artist I get what you are saying. I do think the way the system within the Democratic Party was rigged in 2008 was simply wrong then and wrong today.

For the record, at the start of the campaign (bows head in shame...) I was in Edwards camp, then noted Elizabeth was doing all the talking and Edwards lots of giggling???? I know now why. So, I switched, after comparing records, I also looked up Obama's and found he hadn't passed any bill being pushed in the press in the nuclear industry, in fact he watered it down and the people in the community were not to happy about it. I looked at his record in health care in his home state and found the insurance industry gave him an award after he watered down a bill that would have given health care to all the people in his state and he took it out. There were interviews with people that never made it to the TV or print.

With Obama I had even hoped that once in office he would be different, but he stuck to his old record of watering down bill as in the past and took Single Payer, The Public Option HR676 and even the last bone thrown at us The Medicare Buy In for people over 45 (Who by the way are at greater risk of losing their health insurance, and of dying) the insurance got every thing we got the door.

Obama is out for Obama, that much is clear, right now he is making a lot of promises, but a lot of people aren't buying it any more.

Had he kept his word and allowed everything on the table on health care, I may believe him, but as of now the only reason I am considering him is the Supreme Court.

I don't think Hillary is perfect, none of us are, and I agree with you on the fact that she could have done more in the Senate, but she has given our country a positive, much needed after Bush and with Obush who is busy continuing Bush's policies and extending them.

After the Japan Earthquake Hillary R. Clinton announced she was only serving one term as SOS, I will let you find the clues, why...
Ok, but did you like the Avengers movie? Took your advise and got off Facebook. I've never been happier!
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