Thursday, May 31, 2012

IL Tea Party Republican Goes Postal




Tea Party darling Republican State Rep. Mike Bost (Murphysboro) went postal Tuesday on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives. He threw a copy of a new pension reform proposal that would require local taxpayers to cover teacher pensions costs into the air. Then he shouted to his stoic colleagues that they “should be ashamed” of themselves. Then added hilariously 'Let my people go!'

Apparently Rep. Mike Bost's anger at the public paying for pensions only applies to union members like teachers but strangely doesn't apply to politicians. Illinois' state representatives receive the third highest base salary of all state legislators in the country as of 2012, according to the National Council on State Legislatures.Their base pay is $67,836/year plus very generous fringe benefits. Illinois state house is the 3'rd highest paid in the country after California and Michigan.

Sources:

2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table
Representative Mike Bost (R)
Bills sponsored by Mike Bost


Further reading on State Legislators

National Conference of State Legislatures


Fox and Friends un-Friend the Truth

 

Fox and Friends just put out a commercial for Willard 'Mitt' Romney, except according to them it wasn't a commercial, just part of their show. Once again proving right the old adage 'figures don't lie but liars figure'.  Media Matters has done an excellent job debunking every one of their ludicrous lies. I have used their report for source material, but if you would like to read their actual post I will put a link at the bottom.

Gas prices. During President Bush's last year in office, Fox went out their why to explain that the President doesn't control gas prices, yet the moment President Obama is in office 'it's all his fault'. The graph below shows that gas prices are set more by world markets and Wall Street speculators than anything the President does. Notice how Canadian gas prices parallel American gas prices, despite Canada being awash in oil. Last time I checked Canada has their own independent government. In fact if you checked Germany, Japan, China, India, Russia, or Brazil for the same time frame you would see nearly identical results.

48 month average retail price chart shows Fox News lies.
World oil supply chart shows Fox News lies.


This illustrates a favorite tactic among regressives [conservatives], cherry picking data to validate their distortions. Suppose you want to prove we are headed for an ice age. So you select data from 1 year, not a 100 or 1,000 years but 1 year.Then you make your starting point the end of June, [the hottest time of the year] and your end point December [the coldest time of year]. It would show a dramatic decline in temperature, but would the data be worth the paper it is printed on? Obviously not, but that is the same method the regressives [conservatives] have used over and over again.

The chart below shows the timeline for gas prices in the US. Fox and Friends neglect the record high prices at the end of the Bush term and instead start at a dramatic low price caused by the world wide economic collapse.

Federal reserve gas price chart shows Fox News lies.

Misleading graphic by Fox News.


Another claim is that the stimulus didn't work. This is really odd they would say this because 1/3 of it was tax cuts. In fact it was the largest middle class / small business tax cut in American history, yet the party that vows to never raise taxes is 100% dead against it. Couldn't possibly be that it was middle class / small business tax cuts and not Wall Street welfare. Nahh... that would just make the Republicans hypocritical liars. 

The below chart shows that the stimulus did correspond with a turn around in our economy. However much of it was counteracted because in 2010, Republican controlled state governments set about laying off over 600,000 public employees and also rejected things like grants for high speed rail and infrastructure improvements and instead funneled much of the money to pay for tax breaks to the already wealthy. That is why it didn't have more of a positive effect. In essence and in fact the Republican party has set upon a course over the last 3 years as Senator Mitch McConnell said 'to make Obama a one term president' by wrecking the economy.

Unemployment graph shows Fox News lies.

Food stamps. There is a popular meme among Republicans that President Obama is the 'food stamp' president. This is number one, a veiled racist attack because Obama is black and regressives [conservatives] love to paint a picture of African Americans being shiftless, lazy, and dishonest. The facts however don't hold water, surprise!  More people were actually were enrolled under the food assistance program [they stopped calling it food stamps years ago] under the George 'The Decider' Bush. According to FactCheck.org:
Under Obama, the increase so far has been 14.2 million. To be exact, the program has so far grown by 444,574 fewer recipients during Obama's time in office than during Bush's.
To be fair the Bush number was for 8 years, and the Obama figure was 3 years. However, the economy was sent into the worst recession since the 1930's just as President Obama took office, so naturally there would be a large number of people requesting assistance. Somehow in the regressive conservative bizarro world, their driving the economy into the ditch never happened.

Bottom Line

Fox and Friends is NOT a credible news source and has a history of distorting the facts [lying] and cherry picking data. Fox News is nothing more than an unofficial arm of the Republican Party, their propaganda wing if you will. A recent study shows in fact that people who watch Fox News are less informed than people who watch no news. While we at the DemocraticProgress Blog have many issues with President Obama, these lies are reprehensible. It is our view that President Obama is too conservative and willing to compromise with conservatives, rather than being some kind of example of a liberal failure of 'Progressive Ideas'.


Sources:



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Creationists and Climate Change Deniers are the Same People




NCSE Executive Director Genie Scott examines the parallels between evolution denial and climate change denial--how climate change denial is taught, how the science is distorted, and more.

Video: Assange Loses Legal Battle in UK Court


From RT:

Defense lawyer Dinah Rose stood up after the ruling to highlight the fact that the judgment was made based on legal precedents not argued in the appeal.

“It would appear that a majority of the members of this court have decided the point on the basis of the interpretation of the Vienna Convention. A point that was not argued in the appeal and which we have had no opportunity to address,” said Dinah Rose.
Under UK law an EAW can only be issued by a judge and therefore Assange’s lawyers had argued the extradition order against him was invalid as it was made by a Swedish prosecutor.
The judges ruled that under the Vienna Convention the prosecutor was a judicial authority.”
As a result the whistle blower may be sent to Sweden, where he has been accused of sexual assault and rape by two former WikiLeaks volunteers. Under Swedish law, a man can be charged with sexual assault and rape for not using a condom. The accusing women have also been linked to the CIA and have been said to be know operatives.

Sources:

Revealed: Assange ‘rape’ accuser linked to notorious CIA operative

Further reading:



Assange One Step Closer to Gitmo Waterboard

Wikileaks founder and thorn in the side of the American Military Industrial Complex has lost his appeal to deny extradition from the UK to Sweden over what many consider trumped up charges of sexual assault.



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

We are Number, err uhmm 3?

DemocraticProgress Blog, launched May 19, 2012 is now listed at the number 4 spot on Google and number 3 on Bing under the key word 'DemocraticProgress' after only 2 weeks.

We would like to thank all our loyal readers and fans. 

While this is certainly a great accomplishment, our aim is to be the number progress news source on web, and with your help we can do it. Please feel free to use this site as a reference resource for Twitter, Facebook, Google+, HuffingtonPost, or any other site.  All material and posting on DemocraticProgress.net may be re-used as you see fit with or without attribution. This site is however is advertiser supported so please visit our sponsor sites so we may continue to bring the best in Democratic Progressive news and resources.

Climate Deniers Distort Sea Ice Data for 2012


Graph showing press release claimed by climate deniers is misleading and false.


The latest arrow in the denier quiver is the story from Shell Oil about how 'Heavy ice could delay the start of Shell's Alaska's Arctic drilling'. The press release states that it is the heaviest polar ice in more than a decade, and could postpone the start of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean until the beginning of August. The deniers claim this as proof that Global Warming is a hoax. What is never mentioned however is that it is only a delay of up to two weeks.

Global warming, or climate change as the right likes to call it [sounds less menacing] is not about one heavy snow storm or even one hot day, it is about a long term trend and simple proven physics.  The US Air Force actually is who discovered the science of the Green House Effect back in the 1950's. They needed a heat seeking missile to shoot down enemy jets. While working on this it was discovered that C02 and water vapor can block heat emissions on certain wavelengths; thereby rendering the missiles useless.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center sees things a bit different than your typical denier. It is their job to measure the 'Cryosphere'. When scientists talk about the Cryosphere, they mean the places where water is in its solid form, frozen into ice or snow. NSIDC scientists participate in research projects that investigate the dynamics of polar sea ice and climate, snow, glaciers, frozen ground, river and lake ice, how changing climate is affecting indigenous people living in the Arctic, remote sensing, and more. 

While the NSIDC does take daily measurements with sophisticated tools and satellites, they are more concerned with long term trends. A long term trend is not one bad snow storm or winter, it what is happening 10, 15 or even a hundred years out. What their research shows is while the arctic ice was heavier this year, it was only slightly so and within the expected normal range.It IS however less than the average for the period from 1979 - 2000. The deniers conveniently leave this vital tidbit out. 

The graph above shows Arctic sea ice extent as of May 1, 2012, along with daily ice extent data for the previous five years. 2012 is shown in blue, 2011 in orange, 2010 in pink, 2009 in navy, 2008 in purple, and 2007 in green. The gray area around the average line shows the two standard deviation range of the data. Note how average from 1979 - 2000 is much higher than the line for 2012; this shows an overall decline in arctic ice NOT an increase.

This is what is known as 'cherry-picking data'. Rather than include all the data, you only include the very limited parts that boast your view. It would be rather similar to me, a healthy 220 pound 45 year old male, going to an old folk's home and having a weight lifting contest. Upon winning I then declare myself the strongest man in the world. What I am not telling you is that down my street there is a 20 year guy who can bench press 3 times much as me. This is the effect that cherry picking data has; it gives you invalid results on purpose.

Sources:



Bush and Cheney War Criminals say Malaysian Tribunal





Former President George 'W' Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia and found guilty. The five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered guilty verdicts against former President George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their key legal advisers. All were convicted as war criminals for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

While this is interesting and somewhat humorous, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Foundation is essential powerless. Even if this group of do-gooders were able to get the International Criminal Court [ICC] to accept the case, it is highly unlikely to produce any tangible results. For one thing the US is not a signing party to the ICC. President Bush pulled out after President Clinton made a commitment to it several years prior. In fact there are only seven countries voted against the treaty, namely: Iraq, Israel, Libya, People's Republic of China, Qatar, Yemen, and the United States. The claim President Bush made at the time was that it could be used against US soldiers. An ulterior motive may have been he didn't want it used against his administration.

Sources:

MSNBC host Chris Hayes Suffers Blowback from Hero Comment



MSNBC host Chris Hayes made an unfortunate comment on his Sunday morning show 'Up w/Chris Hayes' where he stated that getting killed in battle doesn't automatically make you a hero.

I think it's interesting because I think it is very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the words "heroes." Why do I feel so [uncomfortable] about the word "hero"? I feel comfortable -- uncomfortable -- about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don't want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that's fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism: hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I'm wrong about that.

Right or wrong it was a poorly timed comment that was sure to boomerang in today's American political climate. The backlash against his remarks has been on an Epic scale. Veterans of Foreign Wars [VFW], in addition to a throng of conservative bloggers and groups, slammed Hayes for being so conflicted about the term. 

Hayes has since issued this apology. 

On Sunday, in discussing the uses of the word "hero" to describe those members of the armed forces who have given their lives, I don't think I lived up to the standards of rigor, respect and empathy for those affected by the issues we discuss that I've set for myself. I am deeply sorry for that.
As many have rightly pointed out, it's very easy for me, a TV host, to opine about the people who fight our wars, having never dodged a bullet or guarded a post or walked a mile in their boots. Of course, that is true of the overwhelming majority of our nation's citizens as a whole. One of the points made during Sunday's show was just how removed most Americans are from the wars we fight, how small a percentage of our population is asked to shoulder the entire burden and how easy it becomes to never read the names of those who are wounded and fight and die, to not ask questions about the direction of our strategy in Afghanistan, and to assuage our own collective guilt about this disconnect with a pro-forma ritual that we observe briefly before returning to our barbecues.
But in seeking to discuss the civilian-military divide and the social distance between those who fight and those who don't, I ended up reinforcing it, conforming to a stereotype of a removed pundit whose views are not anchored in the very real and very wrenching experience of this long decade of war. And for that I am truly sorry.

Bottom Line

Democratic Progress Blog supports Chris Hayes right to free speech, and agrees with his sentiment. We would however go further by adding that much of what our soldiers die for is not to protect the freedom of Americans, but rather to protect the profits of transnational corporations who could not care less about anybodies freedom other than their own. President Dwight Eisenhower warned of this on his last day in office, and it remains true to this day.

Sources:




Monday, May 28, 2012

Romney Vows to Restart Cold War and Invade Iran




Speaking at a Memorial Day ceremony at the Veterans Museum & Memorial Center in San Diego on May 28, 2012, Willard 'Mitt' Romney spoke of the renewed danger from long time Cold War nemesis and now close ally Russia.  He also rattled off a litany of foolish sounding buzz words and familiar conservative memes. Lets break it down.

Romney called for making America's military the strongest in the world, as if to say it is currently NOT. This would indicate that either Mitt is terribly misinformed or a liar. America currently spends more than the entire rest of the world combined on defense. America has 11 aircraft carriers, the rest of the world combined also has 11, but not one of them is even in the same league as ours. For example Spain has two, one 17,000 ton and the other 27,000 ton. The average American aircraft carrier is 100,000 tons. Even Russia's one working carrier is only 40,000 tons. 

Romney spoke of Russian President Vladimir Putin this way:
"Russia is rebuilding their military and is now led by a man who believes that the Soviet Union was a great, as opposed to evil, empire."
Putin has indeed been critical of the United States, but not for the reasons Romney would have us believe.
[From an article on Reuters back in August 1, 2011] Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin criticized the U.S. Monday of living beyond its means. “They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar.” Putin said while visiting a pro-Kremlin youth camp. “If over there (in America) there is a systemic malfunction, this will affect everyone.” Putin noted that Russia holds a large number of U.S. bonds and treasuries, and was relieved that Congress seemed likely to pass a last-ditch debt compromise to avoid default. “Countries like Russia and China hold a significant part of their reserves in American securities,” he said. “There should be other reserve currencies.”
So Putin's problem with America lies more with Wall Street and the Federal Reserve than our military.  In fact all 4 BRIC [Brazil, Russia, China, and India] countries are fed up with America and our monetary policies.

Willard 'Mitt' Romney also mentioned how Iran is the source of world-wide terrorism. This seems quite odd since for the last decade our country has been focused on Al Qaeda as the source of the Terrorist plots on 9/11. Maybe Mitt thinks all Muslims are the same, or that there is no difference between a Sunni and Shiite Muslim, or a terror cell and a nation-state. He has conveniently overlooked the fact that Israel has over 300 nuclear warheads. Our own military experts say Iran is at least 3 years from even having one crude bomb. 

Bottom Line

If Mr. Romney really wants to honor our troops on Memorial Day, he will end his rhetorical plans on using them as mere cannon fodder to line the pockets of defense contractors. He would instead only use our soldiers as a last resort, and not simply as numbers in a ledger used to pad a bottom line. He would also need to fully fund their medical care, instead of cutting it so he can give transnational corporations tax cuts.  

Democratic Progressive Blog deplores Willard 'Mitt' Romney's glee for the barbaric system of warfare among nations with its enormous waste of resources even in time of peace, and the consequent impoverishment of the life of the toiling masses.

Sources:






Friday, May 25, 2012

Republicans Vote to Stop Justice Dept from Suing States for Voter Suppression

Republican led House of Representatives [that is an oxymoron if ever there was one] has voted to stop the US Justice Dept from going after the states for implement onerous voter ID laws meant to make it hard for minorities, students, and elderly from voting.  These groups normally vote Democratic, that is why the Republicans feel their best shot at staying in power is to prevent the 'wrong people' from voting.



 

H.AMDT.1075 (A042)
Amends: H.R.5326
Sponsor: Rep Schweikert, David [AZ-5] (offered 5/9/2012)

AMENDMENT PURPOSE:

An amendment to prohibit the use of funds to be used by the Department of Justice to bring any action against any State for implementation of a State law requiring voter identification.

STATUS:
5/9/2012 4:21pm:
Amendment (A042) offered by Mr. Schweikert. (consideration: CR H2504-2505H2519-2520; text: CR H2504)
5/9/2012 6:48pm:
On agreeing to the Schweikert amendment (A042) Agreed to by recorded vote: 232 - 190 (Roll no. 231).


FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 231
      H R 5326      RECORDED VOTE      9-May-2012      6:47 PM
      AUTHOR(S):  Schweikert of Arizona Amendment
      QUESTION:  On Agreeing to the Amendment



PRES
REPUBLICAN
231
7

3
DEMOCRATIC
1
183

6
INDEPENDENT




TOTALS
232
190

9



---- AYES    232 ---

Adams
Aderholt
Akin
Alexander
Altmire
Amodei
Austria
Barletta
Bartlett
Barton (TX)
Bass (NH)
Benishek
Berg
Bilbray
Bilirakis
Bishop (UT)
Black
Blackburn
Bonner
Bono Mack
Boustany
Brady (TX)
Brooks
Broun (GA)
Buchanan
Bucshon
Buerkle
Burgess
Burton (IN)
Calvert
Camp
Campbell
Canseco
Cantor
Capito
Carter
Cassidy
Chabot
Chaffetz
Coble
Coffman (CO)
Cole
Conaway
Cravaack
Crawford
Crenshaw
Culberson
Davis (KY)
Denham
Dent
DesJarlais
Diaz-Balart
Dold
Dreier
Duffy
Duncan (SC)
Duncan (TN)
Ellmers
Emerson
Farenthold
Fincher
Fitzpatrick
Flake
Fleischmann
Fleming
Flores
Fortenberry
Foxx
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gallegly
Gardner
Garrett
Gerlach
Gibbs
Gingrey (GA)
Gohmert
Goodlatte
Gosar
Gowdy
Granger
Graves (GA)
Graves (MO)
Griffin (AR)
Griffith (VA)
Grimm
Guinta
Guthrie
Hall
Hanna
Harper
Harris
Hartzler
Hastings (WA)
Heck
Hensarling
Herger
Herrera Beutler
Huelskamp
Huizenga (MI)
Hultgren
Hunter
Hurt
Issa
Jenkins
Johnson (IL)
Johnson (OH)
Johnson, Sam
Jones
Jordan
Kelly
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kingston
Kinzinger (IL)
Kline
Labrador
Lamborn
Lance
Landry
Lankford
Latham
LaTourette
Latta
Lewis (CA)
LoBiondo
Long
Lucas
Luetkemeyer
Lummis
Lungren, Daniel E.
Mack
Manzullo
Marchant
Marino
McCarthy (CA)
McCaul
McClintock
McCotter
McHenry
McKeon
McKinley
McMorris Rodgers
Mica
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Miller, Gary
Mulvaney
Murphy (PA)
Myrick
Neugebauer
Noem
Nugent
Nunes
Nunnelee
Olson
Palazzo
Paul
Paulsen
Pearce
Pence
Petri
Pitts
Platts
Poe (TX)
Pompeo
Posey
Price (GA)
Quayle
Reed
Rehberg
Reichert
Renacci
Ribble
Rivera
Roby
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Rohrabacher
Rokita
Rooney
Ros-Lehtinen
Roskam
Ross (FL)
Royce
Runyan
Ryan (WI)
Scalise
Schilling
Schock
Schweikert
Scott (SC)
Scott, Austin
Sensenbrenner
Sessions
Shimkus
Shuster
Simpson
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Southerland
Stearns
Stivers
Stutzman
Sullivan
Terry
Thompson (PA)
Thornberry
Tiberi
Tipton
Turner (NY)
Turner (OH)
Upton
Walberg
Walden
Walsh (IL)
Webster
West
Westmoreland
Whitfield
Wilson (SC)
Wittman
Wolf
Womack
Woodall
Yoder
Young (AK)
Young (FL)
Young (IN)


---- NOES    190 ---

Ackerman
Amash
Andrews
Baca
Baldwin
Barrow
Bass (CA)
Becerra
Berkley
Berman
Biggert
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Blumenauer
Bonamici
Boren
Boswell
Brady (PA)
Braley (IA)
Brown (FL)
Butterfield
Capps
Capuano
Cardoza
Carnahan
Carney
Carson (IN)
Castor (FL)
Chandler
Chu
Cicilline
Clarke (MI)
Clarke (NY)
Clay
Cleaver
Clyburn
Cohen
Connolly (VA)
Conyers
Cooper
Costa
Costello
Courtney
Critz
Crowley
Cuellar
Cummings
Davis (CA)
Davis (IL)
DeFazio
DeGette
DeLauro
Deutch
Dicks
Dingell
Doggett
Doyle
Edwards
Ellison
Engel
Eshoo
Farr
Fattah
Forbes
Frank (MA)
Fudge
Garamendi
Gibson
Gonzalez
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Grijalva
Gutierrez
Hahn
Hanabusa
Hastings (FL)
Hayworth
Heinrich
Higgins
Himes
Hinchey
Hinojosa
Hirono
Hochul
Holden
Holt
Honda
Hoyer
Israel
Jackson (IL)
Jackson Lee (TX)
Johnson (GA)
Johnson, E. B.
Kaptur
Keating
Kildee
Kind
Kissell
Langevin
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lee (CA)
Levin
Lewis (GA)
Lipinski
Loebsack
Lofgren, Zoe
Lowey
Luján
Lynch
Maloney
Markey
Matheson
Matsui
McCarthy (NY)
McCollum
McDermott
McGovern
McIntyre
McNerney
Meehan
Meeks
Michaud
Miller, George
Moore
Moran
Murphy (CT)
Nadler
Napolitano
Neal
Olver
Owens
Pallone
Pascrell
Pastor (AZ)
Pelosi
Perlmutter
Peters
Peterson
Pingree (ME)
Polis
Price (NC)
Quigley
Rahall
Rangel
Reyes
Richardson
Richmond
Rigell
Ross (AR)
Rothman (NJ)
Roybal-Allard
Ruppersberger
Rush
Ryan (OH)
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sanchez, Loretta
Sarbanes
Schakowsky
Schiff
Schrader
Schwartz
Scott (VA)
Scott, David
Serrano
Sewell
Sherman
Shuler
Sires
Smith (WA)
Speier
Stark
Sutton
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Tierney
Tonko
Towns
Tsongas
Van Hollen
Velázquez
Visclosky
Walz (MN)
Wasserman Schultz
Waters
Watt
Waxman
Wilson (FL)
Woolsey
Yarmuth


---- NOT VOTING    9 ---

Bachmann
Bachus
Donnelly (IN)
Filner
Kucinich
Miller (NC)
Schmidt
Slaughter
Welch

Sources:



Republicans Reject 220,000 Signatures to Repeal Emergency Manager Law, Claim Font is Wrong




Video is of a group of Michigan Citizens in discussion and briefing in regards to Michigan's Emergency Manager Act repeal petition controversy over the font size used on the petition. More than 220,000 signatures were collected to put the matter on the Nov. ballot. The state requirement to repeal the law is 161,305. 

The Republican controlled Michigan Board of Canvassers rejected the valid signatures based on claims the font size used on part of the petition was wrong. They state that "people may not have known what they were signing because the writing wasn't big enough". This despite independent experts have certified it is the correct 14 point bold face font as required by law.

Source:


Further reading:

Michiganders Protest Voter Suppression Legislation



In the Redistricting and Elections Committee on May 22, 2012, four Republican Representatives introduced what they called "technical" amendments to SB 751 and 752, but couldn't explain what those amendments actually did. This was the crowd reaction after the bills were passed out of committee. 

The goal of SB 751 is to purge voters from the roles and to make it harder to vote for low income and elderly people because there is no real cost savings or it is minimal from doing so. These groups typically vote Democratic. Here are the parts in question:

The secretary of state shall create an inactive voter file.  If a voter is sent a notice under section 509aa to confirm the voter's residence information or if a voter does not   vote for 6 consecutive years, the secretary of state shall place the registration record of that voter in the inactive voter file and the registration record of that voter shall remain in the inactive voter file until the voter votes at an election.  While the registration record of a voter is in the inactive voter file, the voter remains eligible to vote and his or her name shall appear on the precinct voter registration list. If the registration record of a voter is in the inactive voter file and that voter votes at an election by absent voter ballot that absent voter ballot shall be prepared as a challenged ballot as provided in section 727.

If the department of state receives notice that a registered voter has moved out of state by receiving a   surrendered Michigan driver license of that registered voter, the secretary of state shall send by forwardable mail all of the following to the voter:  
(a) A notice that the secretary of state has received    information indicating that the voter has moved his or her residence to another state.  
(b) A postage prepaid and preaddressed return card on which the voter may verify or correct the address information.
(c) A notice providing that if the address information is  incorrect and the voter has not moved to another state and wishes   to remain registered to vote, the voter should complete and   return the card to the secretary of state with a postmark of 30 days or more before the date of the next election. If the card is not completed and returned with a postmark of 30 days or more before the date of the next election, the voter may be required to affirm his or her current address before being permitted to vote. Further, if the voter does not vote in an election within the period beginning on the date of the notice and ending on the first business day immediately following the second November   general election that is held after the date on the notice, the registration of the voter will be canceled and his or her name will be removed from the qualified voter file.

If an elector obtains his or her absent voter ballot in person from the clerk of the city, township, or village in which he or she is registered, the clerk of the city, township, or village shall not provide an absent voter ballot to that elector until the elector identifies himself or herself to the clerk by presenting an official state identification card issued to that  elector under 1972 PA 222, MCL 28.291 to 28.300, an operator's or chauffeur's license issued to that elector under the Michigan  vehicle code, 1949 PA 300, MCL 257.1 to 257.923, or other  generally recognized picture identification card. If an elector  does not have an official state identification card, operator's  or chauffeur's license, or other generally recognized picture  identification card, the elector may sign an affidavit to that  effect before the clerk of the city, township, or village and be allowed to obtain his or her absent voter ballot in person from  the clerk. However, if an elector obtains his or her absent voter  ballot in person from the clerk and votes by absent voter ballot without providing the identification required under this subsection, the absent voter ballot of that elector shall be  prepared as a challenged ballot as provided in section 727.  Sec. 764c. If a city, township, or village has access to the ballot tracker program provided by the state, the clerk of that city, township, or village shall utilize the ballot tracker.

Sources:




The 2012 Progress Michigan Summit


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Too Big to Fail or Too Big to Exist?



I think we are in a position, after the experience of the last 20 years, to state two things: in the first place, that a corporation may well be too large to be the most efficient instrument of production and distribution, and, in the second place, whether it has exceeded the point of greatest economic efficiency or not, it may be too large to be tolerated among the people who desire to be free.

~ Louis Brandeis, 1911 

Louis Dembitz Brandeis was an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1916 to 1939. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Jewish immigrant parents who raised him in a secular mode. 

Great Increase in the Socialistic Propaganda.

Progressive icon and American Hero, President Teddy Roosevelt.


The dull, purblind folly of the very rich men; their greed and arrogance...and the corruption in business and politics, have tended to produce a very unhealthy condition of excitement and irritation in the popular mind, which shows itself in the great increase in the socialistic propaganda.

   ~Theodore Roosevelt, 1906


Sound familiar?

Trickle Down Economics Circa 1896

Picture of American child laborer working in harsh conditions at a factory.


"There are those who believe that, if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests up on them."

 ~  William Jennings Bryan to the Democratic National Convention. 


Funny how we must re-learn the mistakes of the past so often.

Backlash against Indian Censorship

Pirate, symbol for anonymous and freedom seekers alike.


4600 Indian sites have been hacked by Pak Cyber Pyrates in response to India's high court ordering PasteBin and The Pirate Bay to be blocked.
 

Green Party urges Citizens to Protest Austerity Plans to gut Social Security



Green Party Press Release....

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
http://www.gp.org

Bill Clinton, House Speaker Boehner, and other participants push for Simpson-Bowles austerity measures at summit in DC.

 
WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party candidates and leaders said today that bipartisan politicians supporting President Obama's Simpson-Bowles Commission are targeting working Americans' job security, wages, benefits, Social Security, Medicare, education, student loans, and other necessities.

The Simpson-Bowles Commission (National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, nicknamed 'Catfood Commission' because of its recommendations for scaling back Social Security) was established by President Obama to plan his administration's economic policies.

A bipartisan summit to promote the Simpson-Bowles recommendations was held in Washington, DC last week, sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, named for the co-founder of the private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/05/16/bloomberg_articlesM42GOS07SXKX01-M44OI.DTL). Participating in the summit, which has received little media coverage, were former President Bill Clinton (D), Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R), and House Speaker John Boehner (R).

"President Obama's 'Catfood Commission' wants to impose the kind of austerity on middle-income and low-income families in the US that citizens in Iceland and Greece angrily rejected," said Colin Beavan, PhD, Green Party candidate for the US House in Central Brooklyn, New York's 8th Congressional District (http://www.votecolin.org). "The focus of the commission is on solving the deficit by cutting services and job protections, rather than on creating jobs, which would stimulate the US economy and assist millions of Americans facing hardship. They also intend to reform the tax code, which means tax cuts for top corporations and the one percent, starving the economy even more."

The Green Party has urged Congress to reject the commission's recommenations and has promoted alternative plans to boost the economy and create millions of new jobs, with Green candidates endorsing the 'Green New Deal', first introduced in 2010 (http://www.greenpartywatch.org/2010/08/11/62-green-candidates-endorse-green-new-deal/).

Greens, including presidential candidates Roseanne Barr, Kent Mesplay, and Jill Stein, have participated in the Occupy Movement's protests against Wall Street power, privilege, and virtual impunity for criminal fraud. Greens said that the Obama Administration's alarming enlistment of the Homeland Security Department and military apparatus in civil police suppression of Occupy protests (http://www.nationofchange.org/white-house-dems-back-banks-over-protests-newly-discovered-homeland-security-files-show-feds-central) hints that the federal government anticipates more widespread unrest in reaction to austerity measures, if enacted.

"The participation of Bill Clinton in the summit signals that the Obama Administration has adopted much of the GOP economic agenda. The Clinton White House discarded the Democrats' traditional platform and signed on to NAFTA, Welfare Reform, and concentrated media ownership in the 1996 Telecommunications Act. When Clinton signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act and repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, he helped enable the Wall Street abuses that caused the severe 2008 recession," said Barry Hermanson, Green candidate for Congress in San Francisco (http://www.barryhermanson.org).

"Obama is following in the footsteps of his Democratic predecessor. Social Security and Medicare are on the chopping block -- because of President Obama, a Democrat," said Mr. Hermanson.

Greens said that too many Americans are giving President Obama and other Democrats a pass during the 2012 election year for their capitulations and abandonment of working Americans. Anger continues against Republican Governor Scott Walker's attacks on public sector jobs, benefits, and organizing rights in Wisconsin, while Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's similar attacks on New York's public employees have been mostly ignored (http://www.howiehawkins.com/2010/media-releases/476-green-party-says-cuomo-fiscal-plan-recycles-failed-policies.html).

"Bill Clinton Advises Obama to Talk More About Deficit Reduction"
ABC News, May 15, 2012
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/bill-clinton-advises-obama-to-talk-more-about-deficit-reduction/

"Bill Clinton, Boehner and Some Other Rich White Guys Had a 'Summit' and Agreed: It's Your Fault"
By Richard (RJ) Eskow, The Huffington Post, May 16, 2012
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/bill-clinton-boehner-and_b_1520025.html

"Simpson-Bowles Zombie Returns"
By Dave Johnson, The Huffington Post, April 18, 2012
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-johnson/simpson-bowles-zombie-ret_b_1435989.html

"Green Party urges rejection of proposal by Obama's Fiscal Responsibility Commission to scale back Social Security and Medicare"
Green Party press release, November 30, 2012
http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=370


Contacts:
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org
 


MORE INFORMATION

Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
202-319-7191

2012 Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention, July 12-15 in Baltimore, Md. 
http://www.gpconvention2012.com

Green candidate database and campaign information:
http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml

News Center http://www.gp.org/newscenter.shtml
Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers
Ballot Access Page http://www.gp.org/ballotstatus
Video Page http://www.gp.org/video/index.php
Green Papers http://www.greenpapers.net
Google+ http://www.gp.org/google
Twitter http://twitter.com/gpus
Livestream Channel http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus
GP-TV Twitter page http://www.gp.org/twitter
Facebook page http://www.gp.org/facebook

Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States
http://gp.org/greenpages-blog

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