Posts Tagged ‘this’
If anyone is going to the Libertarian National Committee meeting this weekend, and can broadcast it for our readers, please let us know in the comments and/or at email@example.com. We would also be interested in a video for later broadcast and/or liveblogging from the meeting.
LNC meetings are taped by LPHQ staff, but those tapes are not public. Other taping and broadcast is permitted during the public portion of the meetings, but only if individuals take the initiative of being there themselves and providing the equipment and operating it. I have done this myself at several past meetings and have always been able to find equipment to borrow; the biggest difficulty is in actually being there and committing to operate the equipment.
Whatever the outcome of Thursday’s projected House vote on Speaker Boehner’s debt plan, this process has already ended the political life of one prominent member of the Washington establishment: John Maynard Keynes.
True, Keynes died in 1946. But his ghost hovered over America’s economic debate until pretty much Monday night. In their ostensibly dueling speeches, both President Obama and House Speaker Boehner embraced the language of “austerity” and performed an unwitting exorcism.
In brief, Keynes is the man whose ideas led to 2009′s stimulus policy. Looking at the problems of the 1930s, he helped develop FDR’s “New Deal” concept that you spend your way out of a recession. [see: Pres. Obama Pushes "Serious Cuts" In His Weekly Address]
Anti-Keynesians have argued that these policies don’t create real growth, but only the illusion of growth, and lead to future bubbles. Some recent anti-Keynesians have argued that his policies were all well and good in the relatively non-litigious 1930s, but that modern society means virtually nothing is “shovel-ready.” Consequently, they argue, the cost of matching the impact of – say – FDR’s programs would now be ruinously expensive. That, they say, is why the when you see signs advertising the good works of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (the stimulus’ official name) it is not at the site of a new Hoover Dam, but on fairly trivial things like extra paintwork for Amtrak stations.
Whatever the validity of their arguments, for now the anti-Keynesians have prevailed. Part of the reason is optics: at a time when citizens are cutting back, it looks good to engage in a bit of sympathy rhetoric about Washington “tightening its belt.” On Monday night even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – for so long demonized by the right as the smiling face of big government – released a pro-austerity statement. That’s a clear sign which way the wind is blowing.Talking Points Memo on Facebook
If you look closely at Pelosi’s austerity-lauding you’ll see the types of pressures being brought to bear. Her full phrase was: “It is clear we must enter an age of austerity; to reduce the deficit through shared sacrifice.” The last two words are important: “shared sacrifice.” They were echoed in President Obama’s Monday night address when he suggested raising taxes on the rich, asking “millionaires and billionaires… to share in the sacrifice everyone else has to make.” In other words, embracing an austerity-laden tone did not mean they were also embracing the tax-cutting agenda that has lately been associated with it. They were trying to create a “we’re all in this together” attitude, that could pave the way for increased revenues from the “corporate jet owners” the President has consistently called out in recent speeches.
However, this tax-the-rich suggestion has gone nowhere in the subsequent debate. Indeed, of the bills lined up in the House and Senate right now, neither of them goes anywhere near a tax increase. The language of austerity has so far benefited the Republican position, which is all cuts and no taxes.
As the language has shifted right, so has the overall tenor of the situation. When President Obama used to meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron, for all their apparent bonhomie, a dark cloud hung over their relationship. It was the cloud of economic policy: Cameron had embraced the opposite approach from the US, and had heralded “austerity” in Britain. This has not so far had a significantly positive impact on the country’s GDP or employment ratings, but it has propped up its AAA credit ratings, which were under threat before the moves. As the debt debate has dragged on, President Obama has increasingly found himself facing a comparable circumstance with regards to the credit agencies, and seems set to make similar choices. A second stimulus package now seems as remote as funding for a mission to mars.
I have the pleasure of being able to attend the Illinois Green Party’s State Membership Meeting this weekend (July 15-16) in Rockford, Illinois.
At this meeting, elections will be held for Chair, Secretary, and Membership Steward of the Illinois Green Party, and for delegate seats on the Green National Committee.
Presentations from local anti-nuclear power activist [...]
Green Party Watch
Green Party Vs. Libertarian Party softball game this weekend in Los Angeles to raise awareness of our two party dictatorship!Friday, May 13th, 2011
Yes, you heard that right. The Greens will be playing in a softball game against supporters of the Libertarian Party. The event will be taking place, more specifically, in the San Fernando Valley.
…to raise awareness of…. OUR TWO PARTY DICTATORSHIP! We don’t need politicians this day, we need ball players! If you can run catch, [...]
Green Party Watch
First lady Michelle Obama and her daughters Malia and Sasha are skiing Vail Mountain today, according to several sources and local reports. President Barack Obama reportedly did not accompany his family to Vail for the Presidents Day Weekend.
Vail has a long history of hosting powerful political figures on skiing vacation, dating back to the 1970s when the late President Gerald R. Ford made Vail his western White House. He later became a Vail Valley fixture when he purchased a home in the nearby resort of Beaver Creek.
In the 1990s, Vail saw a series of high-profile leaders either on its slope during the winter months or for summer vacations. The late Princess Diana skied Vail in the early 1990s, setting off a skiing paparazzi frenzy, and President Bill Clinton also visited Vail during that same time period – but to play golf.
Vice President Dan Quayle learned to snowboard at Vail during the first Bush administration, and Clinton Vice President Al Gore made several trips to the Vail Valley, including to ski. Gore was in Aspen Friday evening, discussing the connection between global climate change and the mountain pine bark beetle epidemic that has killed millions of acres of pines trees in Colorado.
George W. Bush Vice President Dick Cheney frequently visited Beaver Creek during the summer for the conservative think tank the AEI World Forum, started by Ford. Cheney several years ago was accosted there by a Denver man angered by the Iraq war. Obama Vice President Joe Biden visited Vail for a skiing vacation last ski season.
According to the Vail Daily, Michelle Obama took her daughters to Ski Liberty in Pennsylvania last season. That was Malia and Sasha’s first ski trip. President Obama reportedly is not a skier.
Update Wednesday Jan. 26, 2010 @ 11:58pm
As expected, the Texas Senate approved the controversial voter ID bill late Wednesday by a party line vote of 19 to 11. Democrats proposed about three-dozen changes to the bill that would have made it easier or cheaper to obtain identification or that would have allowed non-photo identification for use in voting, but most failed. The one change that did pass will allow Texans to present a concealed-handgun license photo ID to vote. Next, the measure will move to the Republican-dominated House, where it is also expected to pass easily later in this session.
Update Tuesday Jan. 25, 2010 @ 11:45pm
Keying off Gov. Rick Perry’s declaration of the issue as a legislative emergency, the Senate put voter identification legislation on a fast track Monday and turned itself into a committee of the whole Monday so it could consider and vote on the bill (SB14) as soon as public comment and debate ends. An initial vote on the measure — now being cited by supporters and opponents as the toughest voter ID law in the country — followed party lines late Tuesday: 20 Republicans in favor, 12 Democrats against. SB14 is considered to be tougher than voter photo ID laws on the books in eight other states, including Georgia and Indiana. A second and final approval vote is expected late Wednesday after a 24-hour delay required by Senate rules. Twenty-six amendments have been filed and will be considered after the second vote on the bill.
Over on the House side of the capital building Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, chairman of the Texas Conservative Coalition, offered an amendment to House rules on Tuesday that would allow the House to also consider the voter photo ID bill directly on the floor as a committee of the whole without taking public testimony.
Rep. Burt Solomon, R-Carrollton, who drafted the House rules resolution, told his colleagues that the House has met as a “committee of the whole” only to deal with impeachment proceedings in the 1970s and 1920s, and even those matters first passed through standing House committees. Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, then questioned the lack of public testimony if the House takes up voter identification without public hearings.
Christian’s proposal to amend House rules to immediately send voter photo ID legislation to the House floor was voted down 130-13. Eighty-eight Republicans and 42 Democrats voted against Christian, while all those voting with him were Republicans.
However, there is little doubt that House Republicans will continue to push the bill through the regular legislative process before the end of this session.
Original Post Sunday Jan. 23, 2010 @ 8:50am
Last Thursday, Texas Governor Rick Perry added Voter Government Issued Photo Identification legislation to his list of controversial items he has declared as emergencies for the 82nd Texas Legislature to consider.
The idea behind this legislation is that to combat in person voting voter impersonation fraud voters must present Government Issued Photo Identification to election clerks.
Any voter who does not have a photo ID, or who election clerks consider does not look like his or her ID photo will not be allowed to vote a regular ballot. Those voters will only be allowed to cast a provisional ballot. Those voters who do vote a provisional ballot must then present their Government Issued Photo Identification to the County Election office by the sixth day after the election or their provisional ballot will not be counted.
By Gov. Perry declaring voter photo identification an emergency the Senate is allowed to take up the legislative measure for immediate consideration. Usually, a bill will go before a committee, which then takes testimony on the issue, followed by debate and then a committee vote before it advances to the full Senate. An emergency measure can go straight to floor debate in the Senate. The voter photo ID measure is schedule to go to the Senate floor for debate and an up or down vote on Monday January 24th.
During Texas House Elections Committee debate on the voter photo ID requirement issue in the 2009 legislative session Republican proponents of the ID law admitted there is no evidence of voter impersonation “fraud” in Texas. “We can’t prove there is voter ID fraud. . . We may have a big voter impersonation problem we don’t know about. I think we do,” said Skipper Wallace, the Republican Party chairman of Lampasas County.
The senate bill as written, as of last Thursday, would require voters in elections after next January to present a driver’s license, valid military identification or a citizenship certificate with a photo. Voters who do not have such identification would only be allowed to cast provisional ballots and they must then present identification to the county elections office by the sixth day after the election.
Passage of a government issued photo voter ID requirement is the GOP’s legislative priority for the 2011 Texas Legislative session, according to state Rep. Todd Smith, R-Euless, the chairman of the House Elections Committee, which met last June to hear invited testimony on what, if any, evidence has been found that would warrant Texas to require voters to present a photo ID before casting a ballot.
There have been 267 requests referred to the Texas Attorney General’s office to investigate voter fraud in Texas since 2002, according Jay Dyer, special assistant to Attorney General Greg Abbott, in testimony before the committee last June. Of those 267 referrals, only 35 have were deemed to have merit to proceed to prosecution.
The Texas Attorney General’s office has not able to identify a case of in person voting ID impersonation fraud. Six years ago Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott tapped a .4 million federal crime-fighting grant to establish a special voter fraud investigation unit in his office as he pledged to root out what he called an epidemic of voter fraud in Texas. Mr. Abbott found and prosecuted only 26 cases of election fraud – all against Democrats, and almost all involving vote by mail (VBM) ballots, a review by The Dallas Morning News showed.
David Simcox, the former executive director of a conservative Washington-based think tank, Center for Immigration Studies, that favors less immigration, has said an estimated 1.8 million to 2.7 million non-citizen immigrants in the U.S. may be illegally registered to vote, thereby potentially influencing the outcome of the upcoming presidential and congressional elections.
Using population estimates from the Census Bureau and Texas county registration data, Mr. Simcox calculated in 2008 that Dallas, Harris, Starr and Presidio counties, as well as others, had higher numbers of registered voters than those who are eligible, which may indicate approximately 333,000 non-citizens are registered to vote and they likely vote for Democratic candidates.
Such claims are the reason Republicans have made Voter Photo Id for in person voting such a high legislative priority.
Elections administrators across Texas have said that there’s no proof that county officials are registering a significant number of non-citizens to vote.
“I don’t think we are, and I have no evidence that we have people over registered to vote,” said Dallas County Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet when interviewed for a 2008 Dallas Morning News story. Steve Raborn, elections administrator for Tarrant County, said in the same 2008 Dallas Morning News story that a two-year investigation by his office of questionable voter registrations in 2004 and 2005 found only three non-citizens on the county voter rolls, and they were later removed.
Voter impersonation fraud is difficult to carry out in Texas or any state because statewide centralized voter-registration certification and databases were mandated in the 2002 Help America Vote Act. The federal HAVA law requires all election districts in a state or U.S. territory to consolidate their lists into a single database electronically accessible to every election office in the state or territory.
In Texas, each voter registration applicant must enter a driver’s license number or Social Security number on his or her registration application before submitting it to the county Election Registrar’s office. Every voter registration application is sent to the Texas Secretary of State (SOS) office, which verifies citizenship and true identity of the applicant by validating the driver’s license number or Social Security number entered on the application.
If the applicant’s citizenship status and true identity can not be validated by the SOS, then the application is rejected. If citizenship status and identity can be validated, then the applicant’s name and unique identifier is entered into a statewide TEAM electronic voter registration database maintained by the SOS.
Applicants are sent a voter registration card and officially added to his or her county of residence voter rolls only if the SOS’s office approves the application. When a registered voter dies or moves the voter’s registration status is automatically canceled or marked suspended in the county and SOS centralized databases.
Look in your purse or wallet – other than your Driver’s License, what current (unexpired) government-issued photo ID do you find? Do you find a U.S. passport? Maybe; a few people have passports. Some seniors may find a Veterans Identification or Armed Forces Identification Photo ID Card, but they do not have ‘issued’ and ‘expires’ dates. When the voter photo ID law was enacted in Indiana many older veterans, who had stopped driving and let their Driver’s License expire, tried to use their Veterans and Armed Forces Id Cards to vote in 2008. Those veterans who served our county were turned away because every government photo ID card they possessed were either expired or not dated.
If you don’t own a car, and therefore never bothered to get a Driver’s License, you likely do not have a current government-issued photo ID. And, if you can’t drive a car to a state bureau where you must submit your original birth certificate to prove citizenship, you can’t get a government-issued photo ID, and you will not be allowed to vote in any election under the new Texas Photo Voter Id law.
Look at your Driver’s License photo – does it really look like you? If your hair color has changed, you gained or lost weight, you grew or shaved off a mustache or otherwise changed your appearance since your Driver’s License photo was snapped, an election clerk might force you to vote a provisional ballot. And, if you find yourself being forced to cast a provisional ballot, you must make a special trip to the county elections office to offer additional proof of your identity, before your provisional ballot will be counted.
A Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law study (and many other studies) finds that as many as 11 percent of citizens, mostly the elderly, poor and minority American citizens, do not have a current, government-issued photo ID. (also read: Brennan Center for Justice – Voter ID a Misguided Effort) Another academic study of the 2004 presidential election conducted for the bipartisan Federal Election Assistance Commission found that states with Voter ID laws had an overall turnout reduction of 3%, a figure that reached 5.7% among African Americans and 10% among Hispanics.
“This is a racial issue, make no mistake about it,” said Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, in 2009. “This is about skimming enough minority votes so some people can’t get elected.” An estimated 25% of legal, registered voters in Texas are Hispanic and over the next 30 years 78% of Texas’ population growth is projected to be Hispanic.
The recently completed 2010 Census documented Texas’ population grew 20.6% over the last ten years, double the national growth rate, courtesy of the burgeoning Texas Hispanic and black populations. That 20% gain in population earned Texas four new seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The success of Texas Democratic voter registration drives among minority groups in 2008 threatens to tip the balance of power away from Republicans. As the tide of Democratic voters continues to grow across Texas, a government issue photo voter ID requirement for in-person voting would be an effective way for Republicans to hold back the tide.
Consequently, the use of baseless “voter id fraud” allegations to promote voter photo ID legislation is a more urgent 2011 legislative session priority for Republicans, than focusing the on the long list of real problems plaguing Texas families.
From the Daily Camera:
Bonnie Ballantyne, a retired marketing professional from Longmont, said she went online to look for a local Green Party chapter after feeling disgusted with mainstream politics during the last election.
“I just wasn’t seeing anyone who seemed to be concerned with the people and the planet,” said Ballantyne, who has identified as a Libertarian, a Green and a Democrat, though mostly a Democrat, at various stages of her life. “I was just seeing selfish, thoughtless behavior on all sides.”
To her great surprise, she couldn’t find anything — at least, not anything that had been active in the last four years…
She’s frustrated, but not giving up. Third parties have a hard time getting candidates elected, but she sees the purpose of a local Green Party chapter as extending beyond electoral politics. She wants an organized way to lobby for policy changes and raise issues.
“I think we can be a catalyst for change,” she said…
Ballantyne is working with Kevin Alumbaugh, owner of the Evergreen School of Music, who used to be active in the Jefferson and Adams Counties Green Party chapter, which meets in Arvada. He recently moved to an area of Gilpin County near the top of Coal Creek Canyon and joined with Ballantyne to try to start a Boulder/Gilpin chapter.
Marking the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s election by one of the closest margins in history, Mayor Thomas…