Tag Archives: Bush

Changing, Not Usurping, The Right to Vote

Here’s some interesting facts about voting.

One: Vote fraud is nearly non-existent.

Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections, according to court records and interviews.

Although Republican activists have repeatedly said fraud is so widespread that it has corrupted the political process and, possibly, cost the party election victories, about 120 people have been charged and 86 convicted as of last year.

Most of those charged have been Democrats, voting records show. Many of those charged by the Justice Department appear to have mistakenly filled out registration forms or misunderstood eligibility rules, a review of court records and interviews with prosecutors and defense lawyers show.

In Miami, an assistant United States attorney said many cases there involved what were apparently mistakes by immigrants, not fraud.

In Wisconsin, where prosecutors have lost almost twice as many cases as they won, charges were brought against voters who filled out more than one registration form and felons seemingly unaware that they were barred from voting.

Two: When voting irregularities are present, it’s normally due to human error, not fraud:

When The Wichita Eagle looked into the local cases on the list, the newspaper found that almost all were honest mistakes: a parent trying to vote for a student away at college, or signatures on mail-in ballots that didn’t precisely match those on file. In one case of supposed “fraud,” a confused non-citizen was asked at the motor vehicles bureau whether she wanted to fill out a voter registration form, and did so not realizing she was ineligible to vote.

Three: Voting laws are specifically designed to disenfranchise the (supposedly liberal) youth:

College campuses across the nation are teeming with students ready to exercise their right to vote, one of the few perks that comes with turning 18. Yet, instead of encouraging students to take part in this rite of passage, some states are imposing voter ID requirements that make it much harder for them to vote.

The fact that some Republicans see these new voter restrictions as a good thing shows their complete disregard for the democratic process. Moreover, it is demonstrative of their reasonable fear of losing the upcoming presidential election.

At first glance, the laws do no seem that restrictive. The new laws are requiring voters to present government-issued IDs, such as a passport or drivers license. However, when considering that a significant portion of students only carry a form of student ID, it becomes an issue. Additionally, other laws being endorsed by Republican lawmakers regarding voter ID can be interpreted as prohibiting out-of-state drivers’ licenses; thus, excluding more students from being able to vote.

Four: Voting laws are also targeting the elderly, poor and black:

The report calls the laws “coordinated efforts to suppress the growing voting strength of communities of color, the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and the young. It says the laws are part of a historical cycle of expanding rights for minorities, especially blacks, followed by attempts to restrict those rights. As an example, it cites the days of poll taxes and literacy tests that followed the passage of the 15th amendment, which gave former slaves the right to vote.

Five: There are, however, problems with voting laws…and they are not due to students, elderly, or black:

The United States’ voter registration system is in chaos — about 24 million registrations are no longer valid and nearly 2 million dead people are still on voter rolls, according to a new report Tuesday.

Along with the one of every eight voter registrations that is not valid or has significant inaccuracies, there are 2.75 million people currently registered to vote in more than one state, the Pew Center on the States study found. And the millions of problematic registrations aren’t the only issue — researchers estimate at least 51 million eligible U.S. citizens aren’t registered to vote. That’s nearly one in four, or 24 percent of the eligible population.

Additionally, about 12 million records have incorrect addresses, meaning it’s unlikely any mailings can reach these voters, the research in the report shows.

Yet, there is an answer:

The slow and ineffective paper-based systems are also expensive, Pew found. It costs the U.S. 12 times more to maintain a voter list than it does for Canada, which spends just 35 cents to keep up its list in an election year. And in Canada — which has innovative technology and data-matching methods in place — 93 percent of the eligible population is registered, the survey points out.

Part of the problem in the U.S., researchers say, stems from many states still using paper-based systems. Millions of paper applications have to be printed and election offices must do the data-entry by hand — which means most states face an expensive, inefficient process of updating voter rolls each election year.

The fix is online voter registration, according to Pew. “It is in fact more secure than the traditional paper methods of voter registration,” Becker said.

“Voter registration is the gateway to participating in our democracy, but these antiquated, paper-based systems are plagued with errors and inefficiencies,” Becker added in a statement. “These problems waste taxpayer dollars, undermine voter confidence, and fuel partisan disputes over the integrity of our elections.”

Becker pointed to Maricopa County in Arizona as a prime example of a place that has successfully transitioned to an innovative system — with online voter registration, the county has saved more than $1 million over five years.

The solution? We need a concerted effort, through contact with our representatives in Congress, to ensure a speedy conversion to a legitimate, fair, non-discrimatory – and above all, uniform – reform of our voting laws. It’s time to bring our voting laws into the 21st Century.

Obama Speaks to the Children

My recent vacation took preference over the hoopla over President Obama’s speech to the children of America (today), but here’s my five cents.


What has happened to certain parents of our society – yes, I’m talking to you right wing, fear-mongering, paranoid, hating Republicans – who fear a simple speech from our President to our children? A speech that stresses the fine old American qualities of working hard, learning, and responsibility – those good ol’ bastions of the Conservative Way?

Here’s the speech in it’s entirety: http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/

As even the most paranoid of you can see…The speech is inspiring and well-written. And far from controversial or…I’m trying to think of all the words describing by the right wing out there…let’s just say it’s not brainwashing the children of America into a life of liberal socialist Nazi propoganda-loving servitude.

Of course, the penultimate benefit of President Obama’s speech to our children is this:

It exposes to everyone the mass stupidity of the right wing, fear-mongering, paranoid, hating Republicans in a manner so simply obvious that any future protestations and lies coming from them are delegitimized!

Now that America has seen the level of stupidity displayed by the right wing, fear-mongering, paranoid, hating Republicans in the handling of this – can we honestly believe their protestations over health care reform? I think not.

I commend our President for reaching out to the youth of America and using the circumstances of his own youth as a motivator.

And…really…isn’t that a fresh and welcome change from our last President? Does anyone out there remember his last visit with children?



Remember this quote attributed to the former President?

“Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”

When a Joker Isn’t a Joke

In case there’s nobody out there that didn’t know, I’m not a big fan of the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney Eight Years of Destroying America. When I participated on The Unnamed Webboard, I was often very vocal in my disgust with the previous Administration and the lies that came out of it.

Lieslk_mtliesmore5 that led our country to a “war” in a country we shouldn’t have been in, lies that led to torture of prisoners, lies that led to the restriction of our personal liberties, lies that led to the destruction of our economy, and most of all: The lies that led to our fellow nations losing respect for The United States of America.

My voice has been silenced over there, only to be brought back louder here. Today, I can say freely what I feel and believe in without having to bow before anyone or censor my words in order to placate others.

What’s funny is that, even though I’m not able to read what’s over there, I know the routine. A few vocal supporters of the former Administration that nearly destroyed the country still defending their former leader.

I’m talking about LilMike, Sam Dicpetris (otherwise known as The Guardian and his alter-ego 1Private Dick), and Butchie. Each bowing before the Republican Way in their own smarmy manner. Although LilMike (at times) writes more eloquently than the rest – and without the spelling errors, each has spent the past eight months with one mission: harp on each and every move President Obama has made, with each and every word printed by NewsBusters, Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and other selected right-wing pundits quoted with loving passion, mistruths, and misstatements. I’ll just call these guys the Fantastic Three and a Half from now on.

Whether it be what kind of beer the President drank, whose ass he may or may not have looked at, or the color of Michelle Obama’s dress…the Fantastic Three and a Half have been known to jump to the front of the forum screaming their criticisms.

Today, I’m confident that the discussion revolves around the most recentObama Joker Poster Popping Up In Los Angeles news (if that’s what it’s called)…a poster of President Obama with his face photoshopped on that of the late Heath Ledger as the Joker that’s shown up in the Los Angeles area in the past few days.

Furthermore, the right pundits, and most assuredly the Fantastic Three and a Half, are reacting to the uproar over this poster with the obvious refrain:

“Where was the furor when the same thing was done to George Bush?”

Yup. While everyone in the country is trying to forget those miserable eight bushyears of Hell, these guys still want to remind us, all of us, how wonderfully maligned their former leader was.

Even to the point of pointing out that last year, Vanity Fair, posted an eerily similar take on Bush as The Joker, questioning him as a comic book villian.

My answer? I don’t know.

Since it’s obviously Democrats complaining about the Obama caricature, why didn’t you Republicans complain about the Bush caricature last year?

Perhaps you were as sick of the Bush/Cheney lies as the rest of America? Perhaps you knew and see the truth in the depiction of Bush as a deranged, comic hero, to be accurate?

Therein lies the difference between the supporters of President Obama and the supporters of Bush.

We act like adults in criticizing our President over what he’s done, not what he wants to do or what he’s percieved to be doing. We are, as a result of those eight years of Hell, willing to support our President in his quest to restore our economy, restore respect for the Geneva Conventions, restore our freedom, and restore our respect among our peers.

Iran Update…Waterboarding: Round Two

I didn’t know whether to pass this on to my friend Kelly over at The VSJ or discuss it myself. But the thought of the sham and the lies that were the Bush Administration forces me to point out a few facts here. I’m sure Kelly will discuss it in more detail on her blog later.

Waterboarding is illegal. I don’t care how many briefs filed by members of the Bush Justice Department or how many times Dick Cheney insisted it or how many times the neocons and so-called patriots interviewed on Faux News Network discuss the merits of it and the mass of information supposedly gained from it (after the 120th time, I suppose); the fact remains, pure and simple.

Waterboarding is illegal.

And, now that the upcoming Civil War in Iran continues, we have those same

idiots from the former Bush Administration (God, I love saying that!) comparing the suppression and murder of the Iranian people, the fraudulent election and other acts of tyranny Ahmadinejad has forced upon his people in his years of power to the Democratic Administration now in office.

I noted a long time ago that the Republican Party suffers from a severe case of what I like to call hypocritical transference. When something really bad is going on out there in the land of politics; say maybe spying on fellow citizens, stealing elections, or cheating on one’s wife, they all rush (hah!) to Faux News and point their fingers here and there making accusations.

Now that reports are coming out from Iran via Twitter informing us that Iranian citizens arrested in the recent crackdowns are being waterboarded to gain information, what will the defenders of Bush waterboarding say? Will they say it’s the right thing  to do?

What would be said if  Ahmadinejad or one of his deputies went on Iranian radio and announced:

“I was and remain a strong proponent of our enhanced interrogation program. The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful and the right thing to do.

The intelligence officers who questioned the terrorists can be proud of their work and proud of the results, because they prevented the violent death of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of innocent people.”

Worse yet, what if Ahmadinejad goes on Iranian TV or radio and justifies the waterboarding because “America did it”?