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The party of "no" at work.

First, the background from John Hanna at The Associated Press:

Federal officials must help Kansas and Arizona enforce laws requiring new voters to document their U.S. citizenship, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, in a decision that could encourage other Republican-led states to consider similar policies.
The New York Times:
Republican lawmakers who work to impose higher bars to voting — either through proof-of-citizenship or voter ID laws — are well aware that many of those otherwise-eligible voters who struggle to come up with the required documents, which include a birth certificate, passport or driver’s license, are more likely to vote Democratic. Sometimes they even say it out loud, as Mike Turzai, the majority leader in the Pennsylvania statehouse, did in 2012 when he bragged that the state’s voter ID law was going to “allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

In recent months, it seemed that judges were beginning to see through the pretense of such laws, whose proponents insist they are necessary to protect “election integrity” despite the lack of any significant evidence that voter fraud of any kind exists. In reality, as Judge Richard Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit wrote last year about voter ID efforts, these laws are “now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than of fraud prevention.”

Nevertheless, Judge Melgren accepted at face value the claim by Kansas and Arizona that only “concrete proof of citizenship” can allow them to determine whether a voter is eligible.

Jay Bookman at The Atlanta Journal Constitution looks at the myth of voter fraud:
On its face, that's not an unreasonable requirement, particularly if an actual problem can be found to exist. But of course a problem does not exist. There is no evidence of voting fraud, particularly by noncitizens, on any scale even close to justifying either the imposition it places on people or the expensive bureaucracy needed to administer it.

For example, in an attempt to answer such concerns, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach claimed that he had found 221 cases of attempted voter fraud in his state. That's not very many, particularly when those 221 cases were accumulated over a period of 17 years.

And once the Kansas press began to look into those cases, almost all of them turned out to be mirages. One man who voted twice turned out to be suffering from early-stage dementia. In another case, Kobach claimed one man had died in 1996 yet somehow voted in 2010. The Wichita Eagle found the man very much alive.

More on the day's top stories below the fold.

Joe Conason at Salon:

In the segregationist South of Clinton’s youth, the enemies of the universal franchise were Democrats, but times have changed. Not just below the Mason-Dixon Line but across the country, it is Republicans who have sought to limit ballot access and discourage participation by minorities, the poor, the young and anyone else who might vote for a Democratic candidate.

No doubt this is why, at long last, the Democratic Party has launched a national organizing project, spearheaded by Clinton, to educate voters, demand reforms, and push back against restrictive laws. Returning to his role as the nation’s “explainer-in-chief,” Clinton may be able to draw public attention to the travesty of voter ID requirements and all the other tactics of suppression used by Republicans to shrink the electorate.

His first task is to debunk the claims of “voter fraud,” fabricated by Republican legislators and right-wing media outlets, as the rationale for restrictive laws. Lent a spurious credibility by the legendary abuses of old-time political machines, those claims make voter suppression seem respectable and even virtuous.

Next up, David Firestone looks at the latest Republican attempt to block jobless benefits:
There was never much doubt that Speaker John Boehner would try to block the deal to extend unemployment benefits that was reached in the Senate last week. The only real question was what ridiculous justification he would come up with, and the one he chose on Wednesday exceeded expectations.

It turns out that giving five months of additional aid to 2 million desperate unemployed people can’t possibly happen because, he said, it would be too complicated to administer. [...] Fraud and abuse… where we have we heard that one before? Only every time Republicans have to justify their opposition to a social program, or explain why they have to make it harder for certain people to vote.  [...]

The real reason for Mr. Boehner’s objection is that many in his caucus simply don’t believe in unemployment insurance, because they believe these benefits discourage people from working. If he put the Senate deal on the floor for a vote, it would pass easily with Democratic and some Republican support, but his hard-right members would be furious. The flimsiness of these excuses is a pretty good indication of the pressure he is under.

Meanwhile, on the topic of growth and austerity, Paul Krugman, as usual, is spot on:
Yeats had it right: the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

About the worst: If you’ve been following economic debates these past few years, you know that both America and Europe have powerful pain caucuses — influential groups fiercely opposed to any policy that might put the unemployed back to work. There are some important differences between the U.S. and European pain caucuses, but both now have truly impressive track records of being always wrong, never in doubt.

Thus, in America, we have a faction both on Wall Street and in Congress that has spent five years and more issuing lurid warnings about runaway inflation and soaring interest rates. You might think that the failure of any of these dire predictions to come true would inspire some second thoughts, but, after all these years, the same people are still being invited to testify, and are still saying the same things.

Finally, Catherine Rampell at The Washington Post makes a good point:

Yes, anti-inequality rhetoric has grown in recent years. But it’s not the growing wealth of the wealthy that Americans are angry about, at least not in isolation. It’s the growing wealth of the wealthy set against the stagnation or deterioration of living standards for everyone else. Polls show that Americans pretty much always want income to be distributed more equitably than it currently is, but they’re more willing to tolerate inequality if they are still plugging ahead. That is, they care less about Lloyd Blankfein's gigantic bonus if they got even a tiny raise this year. [...]

Calculations based on a recent Pew Research Center survey likewise found that people who believed their family’s income was falling behind the cost of living were more likely to say the government should do “a lot” to “reduce the gap between the rich and everyone else.”

[...] One implication of these polling trends is that if the 0.1 percent want to be left alone — or at least not pursued by pitchforks and guillotines — they should probably support policies that promote the upward mobility of other Americans. That would include things such as early childhood education, more generous Pell grants and a higher minimum wage, for example. While some of these policies might require higher taxes, it’s not clear that marginally improving mobility or raising the living standards of the most destitute would do much to hinder the very richest Americans’ ability to continue getting even richer. So far, little else has.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You know, I've been thinking... (21+ / 0-)

    Since the Democratic Party is too craven to offer a platform that would be a bold and beautiful vision for the USian people -- I just had a substitute brainstorm!

    Why don't Democrats spend all their efforts securing for the USian people the legal papers they need to vote in this hog-tied, compromised democracy?

    I think that could really pay off for Democrats far into the future and is a much better use of their time, money, and activism.

    •  Oh and thanks, Georgia Logothetis (8+ / 0-)

      …for a particularly pithy selection of early morning firestarters. I liked the Catherine Rampell inclusion, especially.

    •  Until papers are no longer demanded, (19+ / 0-)

      and state governors owned by ALEC are eliminated, people needing help getting their voting papers in order should be helped. Your idea for Dems to concentrate on that (and voter registration) is a good one. I think voting by mail should be universal. Avoid the lines, the reduced hours, the glitchy touchscreens, etc.

      "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
      Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
      Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

      by OleHippieChick on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:04:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why are there lines? (7+ / 0-)

        The thing I cannot figure out is why are there lines to vote longer than 15-30 minutes?  Anywhere.

        I have never had to wait a long time to vote, even when I lived in the inner city of Chicago.

        Shouldn't there be some kind of law that requires x number of polling places per x thousands of registered voters?

        •  Yes, there should be a law of proportion. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rl en france, skohayes

          I never have a wait at my polling place, it's sleepy. Waited for an hour at early voting in '08 because so many turned out. But since working for OFA in 2012, I am voting by mail from now on.

          "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
          Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
          Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

          by OleHippieChick on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:24:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Arguably (0+ / 0-)

          Different areas have different percentages of their registered voters actually show up so there is some justification for differences.
          Theoretically, they base machines on estimated turnout based on previous elections, which leaves plenty of room for both errors and manipulation. There's also the issue of cost: poor areas are going to have more trouble fitting "extra" machines/staff/etc in their budget.

          The Empire never ended.

          by thejeff on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:09:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In 2004, it was blatant (0+ / 0-)

            In Franklin County (Columbus), inner city precincts were allocated the same number or fewer machines for the general, presidential election than for the primary, using that turnout excuse. I'm sorry, but you NEVER NEVER NEVER have fewer voters for a presidential election than for a primary. Just does not happen.

            Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

            by anastasia p on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:31:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, there are requirements (0+ / 0-)

          here in Ohio for x number of machines per voters. But they can be ignored as well. Who will stop them? Our 6-1 Republican state supreme court, bought and paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other big money interests?

          We had up to two hour early vote waits in 2012. Now that our GOP state legislature and our secretary of state have imposed new rules and slashed the most popular and accessible early vote times, expect that to double at least, plus create longer lines at polling place, plus do what happened in 2004 when some lines were up to 12 hours — cause people not to vote. We will never know how many people walked away in 2004, and if it was enough for John Kerry to have carried Ohio and hence become president in 2014. Ohio was very close and if Ohio had gone the other way, Bush would not have been reelected.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

          by anastasia p on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:29:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree.. make it simple to get the ID (6+ / 0-)

      and be done with it.

      •  There is another problem, one seen right here down (7+ / 0-)

        below, in a "there aren't any good candidates" whine. And another factor is noted in the diary:

        Yeats had it right: the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

        Today's TP/GOP is made up of a bitter rump of true believers. Yes, the individual elements are often "betrayed" but it is the only lifeboat available for the neo Tory or neo KKK or "god tells me to legislate how you live your life" crowd. They are fighting a war against science, "liberals," those of non Western European ethnicity and just modern life.

        Meanwhile we have a big tent in which people wander in and out, crowding in during celebrity elections for the glamorous Chief Executive that flies in Air Force One (often not even voting down ticket then) and wandering like lost lambs during the local, state and off elections where all the working grunts to support that Chief get chosen.

        Idiocy. Pure idiocy when faced with the questions of today's domestic politics. In "better times" (and in 70+ years I'm not sure I've known them for more than a very few) where there are less stark issues one had the luxury of "voting for the person" over party in many more elections. Playing that game isn't a real choice now.

        I've said it before and I'll say it again. Play that whining game, don't vote at least against the tide of regression the TP/GOP represents today, and by the time those famous "demographics" catch up "our demographic"

        may find themselves as voiceless as the black college professor in 1950 Alabama or Mississippi who failed the literacy test. Then it is a long and hard uphill clime while the nation spirals to ruin in the hands of a regressive gang in the clutch of the 1% and religious nutters and racists.
        As far as I'm concerned anyone sitting out 2014 is a deserter in a battle deserving the "respect" due such a slacker.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:11:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, though it does smack of "Your papers please" (4+ / 0-)

      in particular in the context of omnipresent showing ID to enter almost anything, I've long urged that local Democratic Committees apply the ride to the polls to this problem. Second, mobilize some of the lawyers and legal aid teams that help at the polls to help those with paper problems navigate the thicket of getting proof.

      My mother, deceased some time ago, never had a birth certificate. At the time of her pre World War I birth they were just not issued in the organized way in the small counties of her state. It took some doing to get the alternate means of obtaining a passport. She could prove her ancestry ran back before there was a United States to people sailing across from the British Isles in the 1600s in several cases, yet had no neat little paper showing she'd been born. Today? With all the post 9/11 idiocy and TP/GOP crap on immigrants she might have had an even more difficult time in getting that passport for a few dream trips in her 70s.

      If she'd been something other than a middle class, advance degree holding English/Scots woman with files of family history and even her first grade report cards carefully saves as well as lots of friends—if she'd been of color or "Latino" or very poor . . .

      So, along with voter registration I do think in the current situation voter assistance to get the ID is a smart move. Personally I'd also like to see some challenges to some of the local TP/GOP voters' "citizenship" and ID. If a judge in Texas, a democrat, can be challenged I'm sure there are lots of Jim and Jane "Bobs" over in the other side that can be harassed and culled.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:22:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've been working for a year with an organization (6+ / 0-)

        helping people acquire the requisite ID to be able to vote here in Texas.  This spring we will be organizing to get registered voters to the polls and requesting absentee ballots.  We're finding that, although ID's are a problem, a larger problem may be looming as it is in other states already, that polling locations and number of voting machines may be reduced in locations more likely to vote for Democrats causing longer lines and longer waits, dissuading people from casting ballots.  

        This all reminds me of cornered rats doing everything they can to escape the situation they find themselves in.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:09:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly. Even when we tackle one problem these (0+ / 0-)

          social warriors have created another anti democratic hurdle.

          The fact that Democrats advanced in 2006 and won in 2008 with a coalition that too often got lazy and deserted the contest against a determined enemy, yes enemy of much of what this nation stood for that is trying to take us back to something resembling the old Tory and KKK pasts, still makes me furious.

          Yes, I realize civics hasn't been taught and many, even here are just clueless about how things work, but the negligence of citizenship is just demoralizing and infuriating. I had to live with Cuccinelli and the crook in Richmond for four years because Blue Virginia did not do its job in 2009. It almost failed again last year. Our demographic failed its duty enough to make it a nail biting ordeal.

          And we laugh at why so many of the foot soldiers of the other side vote against their interests. Maybe better than just being AWOL from one's best interest!

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:20:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. Here in Ohio too (0+ / 0-)

          there is a battle going on in Hamilton County (Cincinnati) where the Republicans and Democrats on their board of elections split on moving the board offices — along with the county's sole early voting location — from downtown to a suburban location 10 miles away that is fairly inaccessible on public transportation, requiring multiple buses and trips of up to two hours each way from some locations (Democratic Secretary of State candidate Nina Turner is having an event down there today, taking a bus to the location, to demonstrate its inaccessibility to poorer, public transportation-dependent voters.

          The current secretary of state broke the tie and voted that they could move, but the decision on whether to also move the early voting location as well is pending. Democrats are fighting to keep it downtown.

          I also heard from a candidate here in Cuyahoga (Cleveland) yesterday that the new Republican initiative blocking boards from mailing absentee ballot applications has resulted in such requests being down over 90% for the upcoming May primary.

          This is why we are working to get a Voters Bill of Rights constitutional amendment on the ballot that would block these moves by the legislature. I think we can get it on the ballot but unfortunately, these are the types of initiatives that have people like the Koch Brothers swamping  them with money and lies, and so they usually lose. The local dailies tend to hand-wring and nit-pick them to death too, just as they did with an excellent redistricting anti-gerrymandering measure that was on the 2012 ballot that would have had positive national repercussions. They found a bunch of tiny little flaws in it (the current systems has massive chasms of flaws) and then we got the secret billionaire money lying about it. So it lost.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

          by anastasia p on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:26:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Nope. Let the Republicans do that. (0+ / 0-)

      They want to be sure that every welfare recipient is a citizen.
      They want to be sure that every voter is properly identified and registered.

      Any Democrat advocating a national ID would be charged with advocating Big Brother Gay Death Panels.  In Benghazi.

      "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

      by jestbill on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:40:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thinking outside the box, here (12+ / 0-)

    mandatory voting.

    If you don't vote, you get fined.

  •  We also need a law to prevent mermaids from (32+ / 0-)

    voting if they live far offshore. Just because there are no records of mermaids voting does not mean that along our coasts lobstermen and life guards are not sneaking mermaids into voting booths early in the morning wrapped in floor length "Matrix" type coats supporting their fin issues by having them rest on walkers and pretend they have broken a leg or whatever. I am going to get this idea to Ted Cruz as his state has an awful lot of seashore and of course to Bobby Jindal.

  •  The anti-democracy party (18+ / 0-)

    Honest to god, the republicans are doing everything they can to undermine democracy and to create a Koch fueled, Dickinsonian plutocracy.

    "One of the more serious temptations which stifles boldness and zeal is a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, sourpusses." ― Pope Francis

    by GoodGod on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:13:25 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for highlighting "voter fraud," Georgia! (10+ / 0-)

    Excellent roundup.  I've wondered for years why the Dems are so passive in the face of Rethug provocation. The Rethugs have little conferences in which they urge their adherents to run for town dogcatcher, then sheriff, then state legislator, then governor, and so on. Dems sit by gazing dreamily at the ceiling.

    If the explainer-in-chief who gobsmacked everyone at the 2012 Dem convention can travel the country explaining the fraudulent concept of voter fraud, it's going to be nothing but good for our side.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:20:23 AM PDT

    •  And the theme of (4+ / 0-)

      Clinton's project should be "liberty" - all the screamers claiming that their liberty is being trampled should be bent all out of shape with the voting restrictions. But they aren't - weird, right? Time to put that word back to it's rightful meaning.

    •  Dems started voter fraud worries post-2000. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rl en france

      Then again in 2004, Democrats again were concerned with voter fraud.

      This led to a bi-partisan commission led by President Jimmy Carter and Republican James Baker that ultimately recommended Voter ID laws.

      http://www1.american.edu/...

      The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

      by Common Cents on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:55:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •   Entirely different kind (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        salmo, PsychoSavannah, a2nite, skohayes

        Election fraud can be a problem. The 2000 issues included voter suppression (purging rolls, voter caging) as well as suspicions of actual ballot tampering.
        The 2004 issues were similar, I believe.

        Voter fraud in the sense of people voting in place of other registered voters was not a concern in either election.

        The Empire never ended.

        by thejeff on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:14:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know about other parts of the country (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spirit of Life

        but in Ohio no one was concerned about voter fraud in 2000 or 2004 because there was none. The League of Women Voters did a study and found over a six-year period that included these elections only single digits of cases of confirmed "voter fraud." Any such complaints were swamped by obvious cases of ELECTION "fraud," more properly referred to here as election gaming, particularly creating chaotic conditions that made it difficult to vote in poorer, blacker urban areas.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:11:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not only compulsory voting but also public service (6+ / 0-)

    every healthy and qualified 18 year old should perform at least one year of public service (military, civil, peace corps, etc) and in exchange for satisfactory service, the first two years of any public school is tuition-free.

    •  This is an awful idea. (0+ / 0-)

      Compulsion does not lead to competent loyal service. This is why we abandoned the draft in this country. Not to mention that drafts are always avoided by those with means and the burden falls on the poor.

      How is this different than Newt Gingrich's idea that poor kids should clean toilets at schools?

      The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

      by Common Cents on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:01:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most of our forces in WWII were drafted and they (6+ / 0-)

        came back proud of their service.  I come from a family of them.  It was Viet Nam that made the draft the unpopular thing it was, and as you pointed out, the Dick Cheney's of the nation always were too busy to do their duty.

        Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

        by judyms9 on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:10:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Totally different (0+ / 0-)

        While it is true that the wealthiest will weasel out, compulsory public service for all in exchange for public post-secondary education is nothing like Newt's suggestion that only the poor kids scrub toilets to pay their way through elementary school.

        As it stands, voluntary military service still draws mainly from the lower classes, because hey, it's a job.  It's better than a gang, or doing whatever miserable job exists in your rural backwater, or not working at all.  (Disclaimer: I grew up in a rural backwater.  The best jobs that didn't require college were dangerous factory gigs that paid a couple bucks over the minimum, going up to $10 if you were there for a while.)

        I would actually expand aaraujo's scheme to make it more likely that the wealthy would participate: public university paid for, or a portion of private university tuition equal to the cost of public university.  In my home state, that would be a subsidy of ~$22k (using the state's estimate of total cost for an in-state, on-campus undergrad), which is actually a bit more than the baseline tuition charge at my employer, one of America's more expensive private universities.  Even to the 1%, a 50% discount on the college bill isn't to be sneezed at.

        "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

        by northbronx on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:10:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP must be getting nervous that people (12+ / 0-)

    are catching on to their punishing policies.  Once there isn't a black man at the top of the ticket, voters might look to their own interests and get try to get rid of these rotten bastards.  With this in mind, the GOP is working furiously to limit voting.

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:21:33 AM PDT

  •  CIA critique by M.Udall>Feinstein>Reid... (5+ / 0-)

    Salon:

    In a blistering Wednesday letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid railed against the CIA, claiming that the spy agency had engaged in a “transparent attempt to intimidate” members of the Senate and their staff who investigated the George W. Bush-era torture program. Reid also sent a similar letter to CIA head John Brennan.
    This is starting to look like a bandwagon-cum-freight train.

    Meanwhile ME-Sen Republican committee member Susan Collins remains silent, while the drumbeat of local newspaper criticism on this issue continues, to the benefit of Collins' challenger Shenna Bellows.

  •  Krugman is right regarding a timidity trap, (9+ / 0-)

    but we must also recognize that the lunatics have taken over the asylum and the media is focused only on them.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:24:30 AM PDT

  •  Halperin = O'Reilly (8+ / 0-)

    Halperin and Mika pushing that President Obama going on Ellen and Ferns has resulted in the world not taking him seriously about the Russia situation, which is a BIG DEAL. Guess what, so is the ACA - in fact, it's a BFD. The criticism gets deeper & more far-fetched as enrollment numbers get higher - funny how that works.

  •  Do voter id opponents have to prove suppression? (0+ / 0-)

    And no, simply looking at people who do not have IDs is not proof of anyone being suppressed with the availability of IDs for anyone that wants one.

    Has there been one state where Voter ID has suppressed the vote? In Georgia, one of the first states in the South to pass Voter ID laws, turnout for minority groups has increased even in off-year midterm elections.

    http://online.wsj.com/...

    The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

    by Common Cents on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:53:13 AM PDT

    •  Increased turnout does not prove lack of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, Stude Dude, rl en france, a2nite

      suppression. It only proves that more of those who were not suppressed turned out.

    •  "availability of IDs for anyone that wants one" (6+ / 0-)

      That's a phrase I wish you'd explain further.

      "Availability," to me, would mean that some state system is generated to make sure everybody entitled to vote gets the ID they need. Photo, magnetic card, whatever.

      In NC, if you lack ID you have to appear in person at a DMV station and document your birth--both getting to the station and producing the document can be difficult in NC.  

      BTW, state and muni employee photo IDs don't count as voter IDs. (Many govt. employees in the Raleigh-Durham area do not drive and do not have driver's licenses--so many, that in Durham one of their employment benefits is a bus pass.)

      Oh, and in NC your student photo ID doesn't count as ID. And if a student's driver's license matches their parents' address instead of their dorm address--they have to go home to vote, or get a new driver's license. IMHO, not "availability."

      NC, a state with many military bases, even tried to declare military photo IDs invalid for voting--until the uproar caused the GOP lawmakers to reverse that.

      The motivation of the voter ID laws in NC becomes clear when you look at a rejected Dem amendment to the voter ID law: it was proposed that if you have voted in the same precinct for a certain number of years, and if your signature matches the one in the poll record book, you could vote without producing additional ID.

      So according to the new law, you can walk into your neighborhood polling place, where all the poll workers have known you personally for your whole life, and not be allowed to vote.

      Rejecting this "grandfather" clause shows that the motive is to restrict voting by making it troublesome, confusing, and costly.

    •  You obviously have not been following closely—or (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rl en france, singe, skohayes

      you drank the cool aide. The carefully tailored exclusions of ID perfectly acceptable for most purposes such as student photo IDs, even some that were so over the top that the sponsors backed off, tell the story.

      This is targeted ID, targeted at voters without cars (poor and urban whites that take public transportation) and other perceived core Democratic populations.

      Hell, I think people with RFD addresses are suspicious. Nope, got to have a street address to vote! That would wipe out some of those vast red washes out in rural land! No, no, just requiring a nice firm street address, nothing at all sinister there. (Heh, heh)

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:52:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lots of things are "available" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chas 981

      The problem is barriers to access.  There are physical barriers: no transportation to the ID office, the office isn't open when you're able to get there.  There are circumstantial barriers: you don't have a copy of your birth certificate or your SS card or a passport, you're not on the lease, the utilities aren't in your name, and you don't have the other documents you need to request those baseline items.  And there are financial barriers: it costs money to request copies of your vital records.  

      Really, in the absence of verified voter fraud, why are we raising barriers to participation?

      "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

      by northbronx on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:31:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Re Catherine Rampall's article: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo
    One implication of these polling trends is that if the 0.1 percent want to be left alone — or at least not pursued by pitchforks and guillotines — they should probably support policies that promote the upward mobility of other Americans.
    She's sort of missed the point ...

    The wealthy want to rip down those policies because upward mobility threatens their position at the top of the heap. Upward mobility is the one thing they want to avoid at any costs.

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:53:55 AM PDT

  •  They scream VOTER FRAUD (12+ / 0-)

    when it's really ELECTION FRAUD that we should be screaming back at them.

    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes
    Teh Twitterz, I'z awn dem.
    Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

    by OleHippieChick on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:07:47 AM PDT

  •  Interestingly ... (0+ / 0-)

    The number of people improperly registered to vote compared to the total number of people voted is higher than the number of accidental firearm deaths compared to the total number of firearms owned by civilians

    •  Total number of firearms v total number of people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anastasia p

      who voted is comparing apples to oranges, since many gun owners have several guns.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:59:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually I was comparing (0+ / 0-)

        the number of firearm accidents to the total number of guns owned by civilians.

        Problems with guns : number of guns
        Problems with voters : number of voters

        In each case, the percentages are so tiny that it's really not worth worrying about.

        My point, more specifically, is that we shouldn't worry about illegals registering to vote because it doesn't happen much. And we should also focus our attention on decreasing deaths that are most likely to happen. Further, you're more likely to die from terrorism than accidental gun discharge.

    •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      Wat is your definition of "improperly registered to vote"? If you mean bureaucratic issues, like people who moved and haven't had their voting address properly changed, that's an absurd point to be making. If you are referring to people who are deliberately mis-registered in order to commit voter fraud, please prove it. I think you are wrong. What figures are you using to claim people are "improperly registered" and what does that mean?

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:18:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is the total lack of quality candidates (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, emmasnacker

    Voter suppression, ID laws, Lack of voting times, fewer polling places certainly do impact things. Want to know the single biggest reason voters are kept away from voting? The Candidates. We are flooded every day with insane decisions by the Democrats who the next day are touted as the protectors of truth, justice and the American Way. SO while there are loud GOP idiots, the "Progressive President" has to take a long time thinking about whether the XL Pipeline is a good idea. His appointee to the CIA is a creep, the Senators and Congressmen on the "left" would make Reagan nervous with their austerity tag-along attitude. Harry Reid is farther Right than Barry Goldwater and even the female elected "lefties" are shills to the corporate donation machine. So - we once again get to vote for the worst group of sociopaths from one party or else the not quite so horrid group of sociopaths from the other one. THat kinda suppresses my interest in voting even with a car, gas money, Passport, Birth Certificate and Photo ID.

    •  Harry Reid is to the right of Goldwater? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anastasia p

      Sorry, but this is a reality based site. You might want to read a little history before spouting off like that again.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:06:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's bullshit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      Our ballots are packed with quality candidates. You know what the problem there is? People like you whose false cynicism causes them to tar all candidates with the same brush, thereby  discouraging  others and making them feel like educating themselves — as you have not done — and choosing the best candidates is a waste of time. When cynicism is sowed among those who want a better outcome for all, then those who want the worst outcome win.

      Sorry about your feelings, but you are wrong. And maybe you should start working with information and not your baseless bleak assessment of everything.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:20:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love Rampell's opening line: (5+ / 0-)
    People don’t hate you because you’re beautiful. People hate you because they are getting uglier.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:19:30 AM PDT

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