A Major Clinton Endorsement Includes A Stark Warning About Trump

A Major Clinton Endorsement Includes A Stark Warning About Trump

Hillary R. Clinton


*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*

In a normal American election when a newspaper’s editorial board endorses a candidate they typically cite whatever flaws they deem valid targets and then spend the remaining space touting the candidate’s policy positions, achievements and qualifications for office. However, as one or two Americans have likely concluded by now, this is no more of a “normal” presidential election than Donald Trump is a normal American.

Because this is not a typical presidential election, when the Miami Herald endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, they included a very prescient reason for supporting the former Secretary of State; a reason that this author never imagined hearing from a newspaper’s editorial board. And no, it was not the Herald’s brutally harsh condemnation of Clinton’s opponent Donald Trump; although this Clinton endorsement certainly invested a fair number of words assailing the television celebrity as the epitome of incompetence, greed, hate, fascism and a clear threat to America, its Constitution, and “democracy itself.”

Typically, the Miami Herald’s endorsement hit all the regular talking points one expects in a presidential endorsement, and like the New York Times and Washington Post pieces, this one from the Miami Herald is well worth a three-minute read. It delineated Clinton’s service and achievements as First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State and private citizen as well as point out what it regarded as her flaws.

Like every other newspaper’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton, the Herald’s Ed-board began thus:

Let’s make clear what the 2016 presidential election isn’t about:

It is not about choosing between a bad candidate and a worse one. The narrative that Hillary Clinton is the lesser of two evils is patently wrong. Ms. Clinton is a pragmatic, tough-minded woman of accomplishment and political conviction with a demonstrated mastery of policy.

Clinton has used her insider status to work aggressively on behalf of the disenfranchised, here and around the world. She has not won every battle, but she fights the good fight, and she fights the right ones in the name of equality and democracy.

The editorial board’s endorsement of Ms. Clinton may have been the first to note what it believes is one of the most important things for Americans to understand; what this election is really about:

Our values, our national identity and even the enduring power of the Constitution are in question — and at stake. And Hillary Clinton is by far the best person in this race to lead us to a definition of which we can be proud. She will protect the best interests of this nation, its standing on the world stage and even democracy itself.

Now, it is beyond belief that an editorial board’s endorsement would ever claim that the Constitution and “even democracy itself” are in jeopardy unless they saw it as a clear and present danger. Many pundits and political commenters, including this author, have noted often that America’s greatest threat is not from outside forces or radical regimes, it is from uber-conservatives and libertarians who would abolish most of the Constitution if they had a chance. Donald Trump has actually intimated he will do exactly that if he is elected. It is a horrifying possibility that wasn’t lost on the Herald’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

The editors noted that Donald Trump does represent a threat to constitutional freedoms and that “In normal times, the Constitution is not at stake in a presidential election, but this year is a frightening aberration.” It was odd for an endorsement, but the Herald cited:

Mr. Trump…has barred some reporters from his campaign because he dislikes what they’ve written, has threatened to change libel laws to punish [his] critics. He vowed to put his opponent, Ms. Clinton, in prison. Only a candidate who’s a dictator at heart could see such a threat as a campaign talking point.

Religious freedoms are also under siege. He has repeatedly targeted Muslims; last month, he joked about excluding people who aren’t ‘conservative Christians’ from one of his rallies. But to anyone who reveres what this country truly stands for, it was no joke.”

The editorial board concluded saying something that should put to rest this idea that Clinton is hiding something from the media and the people and thus corrupt. It is an idea, frankly, that is getting old and informs an individual of extremely low-information and void of any independent thinking abilities whatsoever.

Ms. Clinton is often accused of being secretive, which is true up to a point. Yet most of her adult life has been lived in the glare of the public spotlight. She has the scars and headlines to prove it. She may be the most scrutinized individual in public life. Her flaws have been chewed over for years. And yet she’s still standing, an accomplishment in itself.”

The reason Hillary Clinton is still standing is because despite hyper-scrutiny over the past quarter century, even her harshest critics found nothing untoward and certainly nothing “corrupt.” In the sense, the editorial board wrote:

The priority of every voter who cares about standards of honesty and decency, not to mention the future and direction of this country, is to reject what Donald Trump represents. America does not need an arrogant, self-absorbed charlatan in the Oval Office. It needs a steady hand in perilous times, a voice of compassion in pursuing policies that help, not hurt, the disenfranchised; a leader capable of narrowing, if not healing, this nation’s divisions.”

One would reiterate that besides helping Americans by pursuing policies that work for all the people, Hillary Clinton will preserve “our values, our national identity, the enduring power of the Constitution and democracy itself.” It is something that should never have to be mentioned in an endorsement during an American presidential election, and it is too bad because it is a distraction from the real reason the Herald endorsed Ms. Clinton; she is the most qualified person in the nation to be president.

The Day American Democracy Died (January 21, 2010)



The government of the people, by the people, and for the people, has perished. Democracy was terminally ill for a long time and just lingering on life support. Freedom of individuals to choose their leadership has been trumped by the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision known as Citizens United which gave corporations equal rights with the people. As then-candidate Mitt Romney famously quipped, “Corporations are people.” Importantly, that SCOTUS decision was not a fluke or accidental, it was part of a strategic long-game designed and engineered to shift the balance of power even further into the hands of plutocrats. It was a culmination of carefully packing the courts at all levels of government with judges favorable to big business at the expense of middle class.

With the legalization of political action committees (PACs), the amount of money that can be spent on elections is virtually limitless. Even worse, PACs often are allowed to conceal their donors and thus it is impossible to determine who is supporting the ads. Masquerading under innocuous sounding, and often misleading names, they sway unsuspecting voters, usually with emotional discourse devoid of accurate facts. More disconcerting are the ads and social media campaigns using overtly false information, and doing so with impunity.

The notion that people have a real choice is an illusion. What is left of elections are referendums about what appear to be the lessor of bad or even evil options. Like many others, rarely have I voted for any candidate. Rather, we have voted againstthe candidates we thought posed the most harm to the country. In the current presidential election cycle, the leading candidates of both parties hold the unenviable record of being the most disliked in history. Yet, inevitably the media keeps referring to the choices as “the will of the people.” In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. At present the voters mostly are stuck with the simply awful candidates that represent the plutocracy in which we live.

The will of the people no longer counts, even when actions are supported by an overwhelming majority, such as in the case of gun control legislation. Other examples include most of votes going to Democratic candidates in the 2014 elections, yet Republicans taking majority positions in both the House of Representatives and Senate. In fact, 20 million more votes were cast for the Democrats, but because of gerrymandering, their votes were concentrated in previously conceded “Blue” districts, but generally spread out in predominantly “Red” districts.

It was Tip O’Neil who once famously stated, “All politics is local.” That is an anachronism. Evidenced in the 2014 elections, vast amounts of external funding flooded states and districts that were considered to be “in play,” while only minimum amounts were spent in “safe” districts. A prior example was during the 2012 election to recall Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. In that election, outside groups provided over $33M to successfully influence the outcome.

While the campaign with most money does not always win, (think Jeb Bush), the ability to inundate the public with a storyline is usually a successful strategy.Campaigns built on lies too frequently are successful. It should be noted that many of these falsehoods are intentionally placed including an emotional hook. It is anticipated that the public, especially with social media, blindly will retransmit the counterfactual message. Readers should remember the nonexistent “death panels”that were supposed to be part and parcel of the Affordable Care Act. Using the tobacco industry model, climate change is under continual assault; raising doubt is enough. Some of my friends are certain that at any time now Federal agents are going to knock on their door to collect their guns. The critical question, in all cases, should be cui bono (who profits)? Unfortunately, the answer is with dark money, provenance often is impossible to trace.

A quote often, but incorrectly, attributed to Thomas Jefferson states, “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” The sentiment is correct, but has clearly been abandoned in our current political climate. Conveyed by a variety of media the public is now inundated with misleading and overtly false information. Agencies that attempt to evaluate the validity specific statements and claims, themselves become suspect. What is most disconcerting are the educated people, who when confronted with demonstrable falsehoods, vociferously state, “I don’t care!”

In reality this is symptomatic of a larger problem, the loss of trust and confidence in our most fundamental systems and organizations. Specifically, I refer to the federal government, the established news media, big business, and even our educational institutions. The U.S. Congress approval rating hovers around record lows at only 14.5%. More important is the disapproval level near all-time highs at above 77%. That is little wonder as the recent sessions have accomplished less than any prior terms. The overt refusal to approve a nominee for the vacant Supreme Court seat is a classic example of the partisan politics that has stagnated The Hill.

Confidence in the once-venerated U.S. Supreme Court has fallen to a new low with approval at only 30%. Given the blatantly political decisions that have been handed down in recent years, it is little wonder that trust in them has diminished. More problematic is that only 23% of the people indicated they had a lot of confidence in the criminal justice system. Yet incongruently, voters tend to support tough criminal laws and lengthy prison sentences. That sentiment has caused the U.S. to have the highest incarceration rates in the developed world and at considerable expense. Despite lack of trust in the system, people still support capital punishment for which retribution is a disturbing component. Heinousness of the crimes aside, executions cost more than imprisonment for life. More important, repeatedly the death penalty has been proven to be adjudicated on innocent suspects. Of course, it is applied disproportionately, mostly to people of color and/or from lower socioeconomic status.

A byproduct of the clamoring for tougher criminal laws is the number of innocent people caught up by the furor to punish somebody. Across the nation, prosecutors, as elected officials, run for office based on their conviction rate. Of course, the public assumes that integrity is paramount and no ethical attorney would bring false charges and against an innocent suspect. This is simply wrong as cases of prosecutorial misconduct repeatedly come to light. A huge problem is that the offending prosecutors almost never are held accountable for their misdeeds. Note that 2015 saw the highest number of exonerations in history. If ever there was an argument against capital punishment, it is the number of those convicted of murder that were on that list. Because of the inherent weakness in the public defender arena, some innocent people take plea bargains just to avoid the risk of a harsher sentence.

The media does not fare much better in public trust and is in steady decline with only about 20% of the people having confidence in their accuracy. Appropriately, news originating on the Internet is even lower. Truly independent news sources is an archaic concept. Several factors play into that situation but the foremost is money. Print media has been especially hard hit, with many newspapers going out of business. Television news is driven by ratings and generally tied to the entertainment value of the station. Like many other industries consolidation by mega-corporations has limited diverse views, and nearly eliminated controversial reporting that would shed a bad light on sponsors or owners. As an example, here in Las Vegas the largest paper in Nevada was surreptitiously bought by Sheldon Adelson, a GOP mega-donor. When the leading columnist, John L. Smith, was told he could not write about the nationally influential owner, he resigned.

Polls indicate that citizens don’t have much confidence in big businesses either. They show a marked difference from small businesses but large companies only have about a 20% trust level. That is not a record low (16%) but close enough to it to be of concern. It is clear that most people believe that corporations place their financial interests well ahead of those of the public, or even the nation. Quarterly earnings reports are seen to be far more important than doing what is right or focusing on long-term goals. Product recalls and accusations of voluntary environmental damage certainly hurt their image. Then, of course, the exposure of dramatic price gouging by large pharmaceutical companies is yet another factor in trust degradation.

Many higher-level educational institutions are viewed as being too liberal in thinking, and thus suspect by conservatives. Right-wing talk radio hosts often lament that the younger generation is being corrupted and subversively indoctrinated in “progressive thinking.” A well-educated friend (Ph.D.), and GOP supporter, recently told me it was “impossible to be a Republican (professor) in a university.” Obviously he is not familiar with the philosophical position of Pepperdine University, where I received a master’s degree. While the notion that all colleges are liberal-leaning is held by many conservatives, that statement it is simply false. Consider the staff and faculty of such institutions as George Mason, Hillsdale, Brigham Young, or Texas A&M, which is the fourth largest university in the country. All are recognized as conservative institutions.

Integrally interwoven are universities and the financial system. Led by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders some politicians have been quite vocal about the staggering inequality that exists in our financial system. In recent decades there has been a dramatic shift in wealth concentrated in a minuscule segment of the population. Stories abound about CEOs being compensated in millions of dollars, yet actively fighting the concept of raising the minimum wage for their employees. A recent poll found that many of the young millennials no longer trust capitalism. A logical explanation could be the predominance of the “winner take all” philosophy that has dominated financial institutions and large businesses. Yet, the conservative-aligned talk radio hosts choose to blame the “liberal-leaning” education they received.

A fundamental factor in American lives today is fear. Fear permeates everything we do from politics to sales. Big Pharma bombards us with sales messages for diseases and syndromes that didn’t even exist a short time ago. Appealing to emotion versus logic, the Internet carries concerns about perverts in bathrooms, vast voting fraud, and that refugees are only coming here to kill us. In reality, none of those areas are significant problems. Legal issue proponents call for a ban of sharia law, even though it doesn’t exist in the U.S. Crimes are committed by citizens and illegal immigrants alike. Yet when the same crimes are done by an immigrant, the acts are viewed as especially heinous. The unfortunate bottom line is that fear strikes an emotional chord and it sells. It sells both products and political issues.

An Outline for Redemption

Restoration of confidence will not come easily in the U.S., but it is possible. There are a number of obvious steps that can, and should, be taken. We currently endure an antiquated two-party system as if we live in a binary world. While there are other political groups, such as the Libertarian Party or Green Party, when it comes to the outcome of elections they are insignificant. Like other third party attempts at the national level, while it may be emotionally satisfying at a personal level, at best they can act as a spoiler by diverting votes from one of the two major political parties.

The election primary enterprises conducted this year clearly have illuminated the serious fractures in the current system. Under the existing two-party system most voters are faced with the unenviable choice of selecting the person they disagree with the least. Both the Republican and Democrat parties suffer internal distress. This is not a new problem; but one exacerbated by limitless funds. In reality, politically connected plutocrats determine who will be the candidates most to their liking. Those options are then foisted upon the general public and the winner falsely anointed as “the will of the people.”

A viable option is to break the existing structure and subdivide into several major parties which would be more representative of our multipolar society. That would force the leading candidate from the national election to form a government based on coalitions. Hardly a new idea, this form of governance is practiced by half of the countries who freely elect their leadership. The overriding factor would be to insure that some of the subdivisions were strong enough to survive an onslaught from the residual system. Breaking the stranglehold of the current parties would create a situation in which many more political positions would have to be accommodated; yes, giving the people more control of their destiny. By design, it would force coalitions and cooperative exchanges in order to govern more effectively.




Welcome to our new plutocracy: Citizens United has effectively destroyed the First Amendment

Welcome to our new plutocracy: Citizens United has effectively destroyed the First Amendment
(Credit: CNN)


In today’s so-called “democratic” election process, Big Money doesn’t talk, it roars — usually drowning out the people’s voice.

Bizarrely, the Supreme Court decreed in its 2010 Citizens United ruling that money is a form of “free speech.” Thus, declared the learned justices, people and corporations are henceforth allowed to spend unlimited sums of their money to “speak” in election campaigns. But wait — if political speech is measured by money then by definition speech is not free. It can be bought, thereby giving the most speech to the few with the most money. That’s plutocracy, not democracy.

Sure enough, in the first six months of this presidential election cycle, more than half of the record-setting $300 million given to the various candidates came from only 358 mega-rich families and the corporations they control. The top 158 of them totaled $176 million in political spending, meaning that, on average, each one of them bought more than a million dollars’ worth of “free” speech.

Nearly all of their money is backing Republican presidential hopefuls who promise: (1) to cut taxes on the rich; (2) cut regulations that protect us from corporate pollution and other abuses of the common good; and (3) to cut Social Security, food stamps and other safety-net programs that we un-rich people need. The great majority of Americans adamantly oppose all of those cuts — but none of us has a million bucks to buy an equivalent amount of political “free” speech.

It’s not just cuts to taxes, regulations and some good public programs that are endangered by the Court’s ridiculous ruling, but democracy itself. That’s why a new poll by Bloomberg Politics found that 78 percent of the American people — including 80 percent of Republicans — want to overturn Citizens United. But those 358 families, corporations and Big Money politicos will have none of it. In fact, America’s inane, Big Money politics have become so prevalent in this election cycle that — believe it or not — candidates have found a need for yet another campaign consultant.

Already, candidates are walled off from people, reality and any honesty about themselves by a battalion of highly specialized consultants controlling everything from stances to hairstyle. But now comes a whole new category of staff to add to the menagerie: “donor maintenance manager.”

The Supreme Court’s malevolent Citizens United decision has produced an insidious platinum class of mega-donors and corporate super PACs, each pumping $500,000, $5 million, $50 million — or even more — into campaigns. These elites are not silent donors, but boisterous, very special interests who are playing in the new, Court-created political money game for their own gain. Having paid to play, they feel entitled to tell candidates what to say and do, what to support and oppose. A Jeb Bush insider confirms that mega-donors have this attitude: “Donors consider a contribution like, ‘Well, wait, I just invested in you. Now I need to have my say; you need to answer to me.’”

Thus, campaigns are assigning donor maintenance managers to be personal concierges to meet every need and whim of these special ones. This subservience institutionalizes the plutocratic corruption of our democratic elections, allowing a handful of super-rich interests to buy positions of overbearing influence directly inside campaigns.

Donors at the million-dollar-and-up level are expecting much more than a tote bag for their “generous gifts” of “free speech.” Of course, candidates piously proclaim, “I’m not for sale.” But politicians are just the delivery service. The actual products being bought through the Supreme Court’s Money-O-Rama political bazaar are our government’s policies, tax breaks and other goodies — as well as the integrity of America’s democratic process. To help fight the injustice of the Supreme Court’s Citizen United ruling and get Big Money out of our political system, go towww.FreeSpeechForPeople.org.

H/t: DB

President Carter: ‘We’ve become, now, an oligarchy instead of a democracy.’

attribution: None Specified


“There’s no way now for you to get a Democratic or Republican nomination without being able to raise $200 or $300 million, or more. I would not be inclined to do that, and I would not be capable of doing it.” – President Jimmy Carter

Former President Jimmy Carter expressed his dismay and frustration over the current political election system in an Oprah Winfrey “SuperSoul Sunday” interview trailer. The complete interview will air Sunday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. ET on the OWN network.

Oprah Winfrey asked the 91-year old peacemaker, humanitarian, and advocate for fair elections, if he thought he could win a presidential election today. He said:

“Absolutely not.””We’ve become, now, an oligarchy instead of a democracy. I think that’s been the worst damage to the basic moral and ethical standards to the American political system that I’ve ever seen in my life.”

President Carter also spoke on this subject with Thom Hartmann in July 2015. Here is an transcript excerpt, followed by a YouTube audio clip:

“It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congress members. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over.”

It’s no surprise, President Carter is, once again, spot on. Since the United States Supreme Court rulings on Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC, special interests can, now, essentially buy candidates, buy elections, and ultimately buy new laws that favor big banks, corporations, and the ultra rich (those able to pay). This was not the case back in the 1970s when President Carter ran for office. Back then, political campaigns were publicly funded by the government, rather than by private individuals and organizations.

Via The Carter Center, President Carter has monitored 100 elections in 38 countries since 1989. What a discouragement and embarrassment the current American election system must be to him. Still, his tireless advocacy for fairness and justice continues even with his recent health problems. He truly is a remarkable human being.

Many thanks to President Carter for his unabashed allegiance to truth.

A new Facebook page has been created to pay tribute to President Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, called Honoring Jimmy Carter. The page, and it has grown to over 65,000 LIKES in one month.

Special thanks to Lisa Capretto/Huffington Post and John Scwarz/The Intercept.

Leslie Salzillo

Newt Gingrich Owes African Americans an Apology

This article says it all and says it well…

Candid Observations

Newt Gingrich owes African-Americans an apology.

He absolutely knows what he is doing.

His constant calling President Obama “the food stamp president” is nothing more than racial politics, no less reprehensible or excusable than when Lee Atwater and the GOP used the image of Willie Horton to take down Michael Dukakis in 1988.

Gingrich has settled into the language that “liberals” or “elite liberals” are the only ones who “despise making money.” That is incorrect, but it isn’t a morally and ethically reprehensible statement or behavior.

But going to South Carolina and using language that feeds into the racial fears and misconceptions that come up in conversations with far too many white people, is a moral and ethical outrage.

Can you not get the votes, Mr. Gingrich, without putting black people down and feeding into the misconceptions of way too many white people?

Statistics released by the United States  Department of Agriculture show that 35 percent of all food stamp recipients are white, compared to 22 percent black, and 10 percent Hispanic. If  you, Mr. Gingrich, would saythat, or something to that effect, the insult you have heaped upon the descendants of African slaves who built this country would be non-existent.

I wonder if Gingrich, or any candidate, has the chutzpah to tell people part of the reason that the unemployment rate amongst black men, especially young black men, is that too many white employers still refuse to hire them? I wonder if Gingrich, a historian, has the courage to talk about the fact that black people have lived through an era where at one time, there were blatant signs put up, “Black (or Colored) people need not apply,” as African-Americans sought to find work?

The signs are gone, but the emotions, feelings and beliefs that made people feel justified in putting such signs up are far from being gone.

I wonder if Gingrich has the courage to stand up and say, since he is wanting to be president of ALL of the people of this nation, that the undercurrent racism of this country will be met with and dealt with in his administration if he is elected president, so that the course of this nation will be turned, finally, away from post-Civil War and Reconstruction white resentment of black people which has never died, to a 21st century,Christian endeavor to deal with our racism honestly, for the good of the nation.

Many, too many, white people say, and believe, that “this is a white man’s country.” In her book Rising Sun, author Sharon Davies gives an account of a young white girl who is appearing before a grand jury because she has converted to Catholicism, against the wishes of her parents. In the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan was not only against black people and Jewish people, but it also hated Catholics. This young girl’s parents were amongst the Catholic-haters, and, enraged that his daughter had married a Catholic boy in secret, her father had shot and killed the priest who married them.

In her testimony before the Grand Jury, the young girl was asked if her husband was a white man (he was from Puerto Rico and was allowed, by Alabama state law, to say he was “white.”) When the girl said he was a Spaniard, the Grand Jury members scoffed, and one juror said, just remember, “this is a white man’s country…always has been and always will be.”

A young Hugo Black, who would become a member of the United States Supreme Court, was one of the girl’s defense attorneys …and he was also a member of the Klan, as were many of the jurors.

That feeling has not gone away and Newt knows it, and he thus knows that saying President Obama is “the food stamp president” feeds right into that belief and the sentiment that there is a need to “take the country” back. The charge is that Mr. Obama is the most liberal president in history. Say that. True or not, it’s fair. It is fair political rhetoric.

Say that it is true that more people are on food stamps than at any other time in our history, but that  statistics say  that more white than black people are on those food stamps, and they needed to do it because the economic mess that Mr. Obama inherited from the GOP was so horrible that had he not made a way for more people to get food stamps, a lot of Americans, black, white and brown, would have not been able to eat!

Make the argument against President Obama openly about economics, and not sneakily about race.

Americans who have found themselves not only using but needing food stamps for the first time in their lives are ashamed for having to use them, but at the same time are grateful that this president did what he thought would best help them.

It is true that some people, black and white, who receive government assistance, are abusing the system. Say that, Mr. Gingrich, and nobody will be able to accuse you of playing the race card or indulging in racial politics. When you say that President Obama is “the food stamp president,” say that his policies have resulted in more  black and white and brown people getting food stamps than ever before. Then your statement will not be racially charged and racially polarizing.

I know that politics, or the game of politics, is not supposed to be fair, but it is high time that racial politics stop being the trump card for politicians reaching for the White House. African-Americans, and indeed all Americans, deserve better.

African-Americans have provided the labor upon which the economy of this nation was built. It is high time white politicians say that out loud, and stop the craziness and stop using words that only make the decay in our nation caused by racism worse.

You, Mr. Gingrich, owe African-Americans an apology. It is NOT all right to insult us, even if you are trying to kick Mitt Romney out of contention for the presidency. What you are saying and are now defending, is morally and ethically wrong. We deserve better.

A candid observation …

Democracy Is Un-American


The Supreme Court of the United States has given corporations unprecedented power to literally buy elections. The powerful have no use for the poor voting in any election.  Matthew Vadum is the only one actually saying that the poor should not be allowed to vote, but the rich and powerful (politicians included) have been implementing ways to prevent the poor from voting for decades…


Via Rick Hasen, right wing “VOTER FRAUD ACORN OMG” nut Matthew Vadum explains why “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American”:

Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?

Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians.  Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.

Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals.  It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.

So let me see if I have this right: Helping millions of poor people to vote for someone they hope might occasionally represent their interests is “antisocial and un-American,” but a tiny minority of ridiculously wealthy people and corporations spending gobs of money to put the government securely in their pocket is “free speech”?

Of course, we won’t mention that most of the poor are “nonproductive” because none of the politicians who slid into office on avalanches of corporate money give a damn about creating jobs.  Or that obscene wealth does not necessarily equate to productivity.  Or that “productivity” is not actually a requirement for voting eligibility in the first place.

Still, I’ll give Vadum credit for coming out and saying that he just doesn’t want poor people to vote.  Usually the right pretends that they’re terribly concerned about the imaginary threat of voter fraud, in much the same way that they’re terribly concerned about the sanctity of marriage, the lives of unborn babies, the threat of terrorism, and the morale of our troops.

The only thing un-American about poor people voting is that it doesn’t give them a voice, even when their candidates win.

Related articles

Egyptian Revolution – “I Will Die Today!”

 Mario Piperni

“We will not be silenced, whether you’re a Christian, whether you’re a Muslim, whether you’re an atheist, you will demand your goddamn rights, and we will have our rights, one way or another! We will never be silenced!”

We live on a planet where almost 2 billion of its inhabitants live and die under the rule of dictators, a group of which there is no shortage.  Foreign Policy estimates there are at least 40 dictators in the world today.

…the cost of all that despotism has been stultifying. Millions of lives have been lost, economies have collapsed, and whole states have failed under brutal repression. And what has made it worse is that the world is in denial. The end of the Cold War was also supposed to be the “End of History” — when democracy swept the world and repression went the way of the dinosaurs. Instead, Freedom House reports that only 60 percent of the world’s countries are democratic — far more than the 28 percent in 1950, but still not much more than a majority. And many of those aren’t real democracies at all, ruled instead by despots in disguise while the world takes their freedom for granted. As for the rest, they’re just left to languish.

I’m one of those who has always taken his freedom for granted. I’ve never lived under an oppressive regime and I do not know what it feels like to march in protest to rid myself of a dictator who has ruthlessly suppressed my rights.

It is with that thought in mind that I watched the video below shot by a young Egyptian.  It’s gone viral but if you haven’t yet seen it, do so. 

You’ll find it difficult to not be moved by it.

Bolton: Democracy Is Not ‘Always The Answer’

Typical neocon rhetoric…

Think Progress

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that “[m]embers of Pakistan’s spy agency [ISI] are pressing Taliban field commanders to fight the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan.” Referring to the story Thursday night on Fox News, war hawk John Bolton — potential GOP presidential candidate in 2012 — made an astonishing claim regarding the type of government that should be in control of Pakistan: that the country was better off under military authoritarian rule, which (allegedly) would have been easier to “lean” on to prevent the ISI from helping the Taliban:

BOLTON: [D]emocracy and civilian governments in Pakistan have been so discredited because of incompetence and corruption. I thought the Musharraf government, military, authoritarian rule that it was, was the most likely kind of government to be able to make the changes we made. […] I would have kept Musharraf in power. I think the Bush administration made a mistake in pushing him out. In Pakistan they call the military the “steel skeleton” because it really is the only thing that holds the country together. That offends some people who think democracy is always the answer. Personally, I would put American interests above that. I wouldn’t have gotten rid of Musharraf.

Watch it:

So it seems that Bolton has officially taken himself out of the democracy promotion crowd. But his prescription for stability in Pakistan appears to be at odds with what he himself said in 2007, that the military regime that governed the country at the time was untrustworthy and “filled with fundamentalists“:

Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile may be technically secure, Bolton said but the issue isn’t whether the weapons are locked away. “It’s a political issue,” the former U.S. ambassador said. “If the military comes unstuck, if it divides, then the technical fixes won’t protect those weapons.”

Musharraf is in a difficult spot, Bolton said. “Even the military is filled with Islamic fundamentalists that he’s tried to keep in lower positions.”

“But they’re pervasive,” he said. “And he doesn’t have the flexibility of a real military dictator.”

Bolton has even reportedly said that he “did not think one democracy should tell another democracy not to act like a democracy.” Maybe now he feels that this is permissible or perhaps he is just looking back to his non-democratic roots. “I’m with the Bush-Cheney team, and I’m here to stop the count,” Bolton told election workers recounting ballots cast in Florida’s disputed presidential race between George Bush and Al Gore in December 2000.

Election Fraud, Republican-style

My first awareness of voter suppression and election fraud occurred in the 2000 election.  In 2004 it was even more blatant against minorities and low income voters.  So this is nothing new to me.  This is what they do.

Crooks & Liars – By karoli

Why, I wonder what’s the matter with Republicans? Aren’t they all confident and all, considering the current narrative that they’re on track to win back the Congress and shut down the government? I can’t imagine why Republican Steve May thinks he has to recruit homeless folks for the Green Party ticket in order to pull Democratic votes away, can you?

That’s not all. Last week there was the Houston, Texas voter suppression schemes. This week it turns out True the Vote is building their case with doctored photos.

If Republicans think they are the party with better ideas, why doctor photos to suppress voters? Let their ideas be tested fairly, or not at all. Yes, that was sarcasm. This is classic Republican behavior. Suppress the vote, put up fake candidates to siphon votes, whatever works. They will stop at nothing to subvert and corrupt democracy for their own ends.