We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, April 17. 2012
O’Keefe Team Offered More Ballots
Obesity accounts for 21 percent of U.S. health care costs
What % is accounted for by old age?
Driscoll: ‘Why Your Highway Has Potholes’
Vietnam bloggers charged with spreading pro-democracy propaganda
Iranian nuclear scientists were present at failed North Korean missile launch, says source
Defeat at Sea: The U.S. Naval Implosion of 2050 - Imagining the results of our current shortsighted policy.
U.S. voters should recall a time when Mormons saved Jewish lives
Here’s how big the potential 2013 tax hikes would be
Tracked: Apr 17, 07:10
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A 20 minute search on Google should bring up the documentation to verify the relationship of America's unions with the Spain just coming out from under Franco. You may remember buses made in Spain and some kind of high speed train. The point being that from the beginning (sometime around 1975-1980) Spain's economic growth has been directly connected and closely integrated with America's unions.
Bird Dog: O’Keefe Team Offered More Ballots
The disincentive is that it is a felony to attest to be someone else for the purposes of voting.
Ben Jealous was a special ballot, and probably would have been invalidated. Whether Ben Jealous, Bill Maher or David Brock, a signature was required, meaning to steal one vote would require committing a felony.
O'Keefe doesn't provide any evidence that people actually commit felonies to steal single votes. Instead, he makes stuff up. That's why he's usually considered a pseudo-journalist.
I think you are missing the point Zach.
O'Keefe is proving that it is easy to to commit voter fraud. Those running the polls are supposed to ensure this does not happen. They aren't doing their jobs, whether it is by design or ineptitude.
That is the lesson here.
feeblemind: O'Keefe is proving that it is easy to to commit voter fraud.
Sure, if you consider the risk of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for casting a single fraudulent vote "easy". Is there any evidence of such a crime wave?
Ballot-stuffing, computer tampering, and deliberate miscounting seem to be much more profitable ways of illegally distorting election results. Gee, you can even advocate laws that make it more difficult for the poor and elderly to vote—and that's not even a crime under the law.
I knew when the issue of voter I.D. got hot we'd hear some strange arguments against it. I never would have predicted that the main argument would be "there's no proof of fraudulent voting." Yet I've been hearing this argument made relentlessly for at least three years now, though if you knew anyone who'd ever done election judging or poll-watching, you'd know how ridiculous that is.
It's bad policy to make any part of the voting procedures loosey-goosey. The argument that presenting an I.D. is unreasonably burdensome is so crazy that a vast majority of voters reject it -- so I hope leftists keep it up, as loudly as possible.
The security protocol proposed to patch the identified exploit "ballot voted by person other than registered" is to require the credential "government issued photo ID" in order to receive the ballot. This in most cases is not onerous, because the federal government and the states have long required that you must prove your identity in order to register to vote. So the impact would fall only on people who are registered and then have lost or lapsed ID. Courts have ruled that such a requirement would constitute an illegal poll tax, unless such ID and duplicates of the documentation needed to get it are provided by the state at no charge (free state issued photo id cards, free copies of birth certificates). It is hard to see this as anything other than expanding the vote in the long term, because it provides the means to register to vote to people who might not otherwise have afforded drivers-licenses or the needed documentation to get other official forms of ID before. It also broadens the economic participation of the same target groups, because it is tremendously difficult to get along in modern life without official government photo-ID.
"Ballot-stuffing, computer tampering, and deliberate miscounting seem to be much more profitable ways of illegally distorting election results. "
Well, the Dems have been doing ALL of those things for years with increasing bravado out of increasing desperation. However, that's not why I'm posting. All this talk about the unfairness of requiring an ID to vote from the Obama DOJ does not explain why Obama lets his home state of Hawaii get away with requiring a photo ID to vote. For most people, that means showing a state issued driver's license to receive a ballot. Hawaii has had this requirement for at least 3 decades now. So if it's the position of the Obama DOJ that an ID requirement violates the civil rights of people, why hasn't he sent his attack dog Holder after the state of Hawaii? I double-dare Obama to claim he isn't aware of the situation and I triple-dare him to do something about it. He obviously won't because Hawaii is solidly and reliably Democratic, so there's nothing for him to gain by sending the DOJ after Hawaii. Come November, he knows he won't have to lose any sleep over losing the vote in his home state.
Agent Cooper: All this talk about the unfairness of requiring an ID to vote from the Obama DOJ does not explain why Obama lets his home state of Hawaii get away with requiring a photo ID to vote.
In Hawaii, if someone shows up at the polls without identification, they will not be denied a ballot, but will be asked to recite their date of birth and residence address to verify the information provided in the poll book.
Well of course. On the scale of responses to attempted access without appropriate credentials, there is a whole spectrum of response between "ignore the problem" to "completely block access". "completely block access" is rarely the chosen protocol in systems that real people use everyday. This is like your bank-by-phone attendant asking the name of your pet.
re Defeat at Sea: The U.S. Naval Implosion of 2050
Not sure how the events will play out, but as entitlement spending expands, I fully expect the armed forces to be pared down to near UK levels.
If the choice is health care and pension benefits for retirees or carrier battle groups, which do you think the voters will want?
...which do you think the voters will want? Presuming Americans are still allowed to vote in 2050.
I don't disagree that obesity is unhealthy. I do doubt the data showing it is responsible for 21% of health care costs. Obese people have underlying health problems and for most people obesity is merely a symptom of the real health problem. I have no doubt that the compilers of these statistics know this and know they are putting out false and misleading data but do not care because it gets them something they want. Probably it would be more accurate to make the claim that diabetes is responsible for 21% of healthcare costs and most diabetes is diagnosed after the person gains a lot of weight. Follow the money! This isn't about helping people who are obese it is about getting more money and jobs for a favored research.
Re Subversive Teaching
I don't teach politics but political discourse ocurrs at random intervals and cannot be entirely avoided. I do my best to let my students think for themselves. The only ones I'll try to influence are those who are way off to the left or right. Nor do I "subvert" them; rather, I question the stupid shit they're saying. I know here at Maggies, ya'll have labeled yourselves as centrists but I assume you more wish that descriptor fit and don't actually believe that it does. I mean, one can't read the daily littany of right-wing headline links here and actually think that this place gains its genesis from the center. Please understand that I mean no insult. I really enjoy this place and I commonly refer to things I learn here. I appreciate that there are right leaning individuals who are as bright as the folks who run this site. Why the hell can't conservatives do better than O'Reilly, Hannity, Beck and the league of dim-witted media pundits that pervade conservative news shows....but I digress.
That said, I ask only that my young folks think......THINK about what they're saying and try to employ a touch of empathy for others. I sincerely hope that such a notion does not constitute subversive indoctrination on my part.
"Obesity accounts for 21 percent of U.S. health care costs" Bah. Codswallop.
Even the study's author[s] are quoted as saying 10 or so pounds overweight is no biggie, but 100 or more is. That is, the morbidly obese.
And too, only 21% is LOW since we keep hearing more than 30% of us are not just overweight (that 10-pound thing again) but obese - are so many of the obese actually costing less?
re: Defeat at Sea...
... Strawmen at War. Today, a carrier battle group operating in littoral waters is at risk from a minor naval power like Iran, if Iran is willing to pay a high price in retaliation. Iran can scatter its 50 (or as many as 90) missile boats among the commercial traffic, islets, oil platforms, and, with shore batteries launch a coordinated attack calculated to saturate the escort anti-ship missile defenses. And all it takes is a couple of missiles to leak through to achieve a firepower kill on a carrier.
Here's the answer, which will be even more true in 2050. Don't risk CVBGs in narrow seaways. There will be ways of patrolling the Strait with drones or littoral combat ships that are designed for that duty, either our own or those of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The article was interesting, but just not persuasive.