Keyword: Elections

How to End Campaign Finance Worries with Internet Voting Email Print

Like the horseless carriage 100 years ago, Internet voting is coming to the USA. Not only is it convenient and green, but security has been proven manageable by e-commerce.

An Internet voting system, rightly organized, can even neutralize the power of Big Money in all US elections. Democracy in the US can be enhanced immensely.  But how would that work?

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Democratic Future, Black Holes, and Obama Polls Email Print

We still have the senate and the presidency, so let's focus on the future.

Back in the 1960s British Cosmologist Fred Hoyle, who coined the term 'Big Bang', wrote a series of papers theorizing that life on Earth (and perhaps elsewhere) began out in the seeming void of deep space. His peers thought he was delusional.

Until along came Lew Snyder, then of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. He asserted that Hoyle had the right idea and that prebiotic molecules (molecules believed to be involved in the processes leading to the origin of life) could not only evolve in deep space, but could also be distributed throughout the universe enduring the unimaginable torment of interstellar travel.

Furthermore, he could prove it.

Seems that many compounds have a unique and identifiable radio-wave signature - something that can be detected with the use of radio telescopes.

With this method, they theorized, you could point radio telescopes at the cosmos and by measuring the radio-wave signatures you could determine the molecular compounds that exist in the targeted region. This would tell us if complex, organic and prebiotic compounds are created and endure in deep space.

Sure enough, in 1969 they discovered interstellar formaldehyde - a complex, prebioitc compound. Since then, astronomers have discovered more than 150 molecules in deep space. Most interesting of these found is acetonitrile, a molecule structurally similar to glycine - one of the building blocks of biological proteins.

All this is profoundly important as it sets the stage for validating a once-absurd theory - that life on Earth (and perhaps throughout the universe) may have been seeded from deep-space chemical reactions.

This cold-sounding theory of our origins clearly runs counter to cherished beliefs that we are God's children or that we have a special place in this universe. Such a possibility could prove profoundly unsettling to many to say the least.

But there is no worry here. Not because the possibility doesn't exist. It does. The reason not to worry is that people en masse tend to see only what is in front of them and only that which is most emotionally comfortable.

For most people, such things are far too arcane and intangible to seriously consider. What they see before them and what they've been taught growing up is all that they know and all that they care to know.

And that is the way it is with most things - with evolution, with global warming -- and so it is with ideology and politics.

Whatever is before us is all that there is. The economy is a disaster.  There's a war in Iraq. The jobless situation is devastating. The housing market is in shambles. Obama is the president. And the Democrats are in charge.

That leads to an obvious conclusion for most - that Obama and the Democrats have brought this upon us - that they are the ones who must pay the price for our pain.

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Top 9 Reasons the GOP Will Fail to Take Either the House or the Senate Email Print

Not quite the narrative du jour. Nevertheless, it is the most likely scenario to evolve. True, Republicans will make gains - major gains, but they will fail to overtake the Democrats in either house of congress.

That Republicans will make gains is no surprise. The party out of power - and in this case way out of power --  nearly always benefits in the midterm elections. And, as we wade through the muck of destruction left in George W. Bush's wake, we must also expect that those currently in charge will take a hit for the current state of the nation, regardless of whom was responsible for it.

Also no surprise is that the minority party will be the party with greater 'passion' and thus the most 'likely' voters. The frustration of powerlessness is a great motivator.

Thus the media narrative of which we are all familiar.

There are, however, some elements to this year's election cycle that might be surprising, some things that run counter to the narrative that Republicans will take the day. These are things that will deny the GOP their fantasy of a congressional majority.

And here they are, conveniently bullet-pointed for your perusal:

Top 9 Reasons the GOP Will Fail to Take Either the House or the Senate

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Democrats Are Our Only Hope on Global Warmiing Email Print

We... ... as in humans. And no, not all humans, but many millions of humans - particularly those with the fewest resources who live in the world's most vulnerable conditions - are at risk of absolute destruction.

All because of the long-term effects of global warming.

A little overdramatic? Maybe for you, but not for them.

We've known about the greenhouse effect and human-induced global warming for decades, yet we've done nearly nothing to stifle its progress.

The global warming 'skeptics' - aka: the greedy, the misinformed, and the willfully ignorant among us who find some reward in questioning scientific consensus or fantasizing about environmental conspiracies - are a large part of the problem. But so are the rest of us. We are the adults who rightfully talk down to these people. We know and accept the reality of the situation and the daunting prognosis that shadows it. We know the threat posed and even the steps necessary to mitigate and eventually halt the warming process.

Yet we do nothing as a society. We still drive our SUVs, buy cheap crap from China, leave lights on all over the house, and drink water out of plastic throw-aways.

Glaciers recede, the Arctic melts, deserts grow, oceans acidify, weather patters go haywire and storms intensify.

Political will for action is cowed by constant campaigns and elections and by electorates more concerned about the heft of their pocket right now than the likely condition of the world in which their grandchildren will be raised.

But why?

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Downfall into Political Chaos? Email Print

by Cody Lyon
Here it is, the second week of September and despite a Congressional Budget Office report saying the United States deficit is projected to rise to $407 billion, along with a continued rash of failing financial institutions, the nightmare of misled war in Iraq, a mere treading of water in the land of the Taliban, Afghanistan, despite the fact that 50 million un-insured, a disappearing middle class, the headlines are filled with talk of pitbulls, swine and lipstick, as if some sort of Animal Farm like fever had stolen the meat from the potato's of reality that politics is meant to address.

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In April Thomas Sowell, a respected conservative scholar, wrote an insidious column undercutting Barack Obama and attacking preemptively the presumptive stupidity and gullibility of an American electorate that would elect him President simply to make a little history. ( umnists/ThomasSowell/2008/0 4/29/an_old_newness )  

This would not be particularly noteworthy were Sowell not an African American, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a "conservative think tank" located on the campus of Stanford University, one of the nation's leading research universities.  Over the years, Hoover salved the wounds and offered succor to some deeply troubled (and in trouble too) conservatives, among them former House Speaker Newt Gingrich,  and the architect of the U.S. disaster in Iraq, who Germany has indicted for war crimes, the former   Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Like them, Sowell seems to be exceedingly bright: Howard-to-Harvard, A.B.; MA from Columbia, Ph.D. from Chicago, a full three degrees above the G.E.D. he earned in the Marine Corps after quitting high school and fleeing North Carolina at age 17.  Although a self-described "libertarian," like the zealous conservatives who surround him Sowell unhesitatingly massages information to suit his purposes.  His transparently partisan "think pieces" are routinely fraught with half-truths and re-heated reporting. Critics might say that some essays cast him as a bit of an "Uncle Tom," never mind the term itself is often recklessly misapplied and as last week as, Sowell would say, "affirmative action" is.

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Inside Kansas Email Print

Living in a deep-red state like Kansas means that elections are usually pretty boring. This year, however, the tides are really turning against the GOP, even here. Because of this, I feel it's important that I let some of our blue-state readers get a glimpse inside the process. And if any of you have any red-state elections stories, feel free to let everyone know in the comments.

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Tempting Faith: Bush Admin Admits Discriminating Against Non-Christians Email Print

This is Part VI. Read:

Part I, "Tempting Faith: Bush's 'Faith Based' Initiative a Scam"

PART II, "Tempting Faith: Bush Betrays Christian Conservatives"

PART III, "Tempting Faith: Bush Admin: Christian Cons are "Nuts", "Ridiculous""

In Part IV, Kuo reveals the administration's deliberate and conscious discrimination of non-Christian and otherwise non-Bush-supportive groups.

Clearly this is the most egregious trespass (among many) to American values laid out in Kuo's book -- a clear desecration of the first amendment.

Kuo charges that "the White House's own rationale for pushing the faith-based initiative -- an effort to make it easier for churches and other sectarian organizations to receive federal social-service funding -- was bogus."

(More over the flip...)

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Tempting Faith: Bush Admin: Christian Cons are "Nuts", "Ridiculous" Email Print

This is Part III. Read:

Part I, "Tempting Faith: Bush's 'Faith Based' Initiative a Scam"

and PART II, "Tempting Faith: Bush Betrays Christian Conservatives"

In Part III, Kuo reveals the Administration's disdain for and mockery of Bush's conservative Christian base.

...the book includes charges that high-ranking White House officials referred to prominent conservative Christian leaders as "nuts" behind their backs,


"National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as 'ridiculous,' 'out of control,' and just plain 'goofy,'" Kuo wrote. He added that top political officials in White House aide Karl Rove's office referred to the leaders as "the nuts."

Read Also:

Part IV, "Tempting Faith: Bush Admin Admits Discriminating Against Non-Christians"

Discuss (1 comment)

Tempting Faith: Bush Betrays Christian Conservatives Email Print

This is Part II. Read: Part I, "Tempting Faith: Bush's 'Faith Based' Initiative a Scam"

In Part II, Kuo reveals the knife that the administration brazenly inserted into the back of their alleged allies.

Olbermann: "Kuo cites one example after another of a White House that repeatedly uses Evangelical Christians for their votes while consistently giving them nothing in return."

Olbermann: So, how does the Bush White House keep the 'nuts' turning out at the polls? One way, regular conference calls with groups lead by Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Ted Haggard, and radio hosts like Michael Reagan. ... They did get some things from the Bush White House, like the National Day of Prayer. ... Or 'Little trinkets like cufflinks or pens or pads of paper were passed out like business cards. Christian leaders could give them to their congregations or donors or friends to show just how influential they were.'"

Olbermann: "When cufflinks were not enough, the White House played the Jesus card, reminding Christian leaders that 'He knew the president's faith' and begging for patience.

(More over the flip...)

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Tempting Faith: Bush's 'Faith Based' Initiative a Scam Email Print

Yet another ex-Bush White House official is coming clean on the flagrant dishonesty, shameless politicization, and arrogant self-absorption of the current administration.

This time it's David Kuo, the former number two person in the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Kuo, a self-described conservative evangelical, offers the inside scoop on the administration's pursuit of Christian conservative votes even as they mocked them behind their backs.

The full story, Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction (Still unreleased, his book is currently the #13 Best Seller at Amazon), will be released on October 16. But MSNBC's Keith Olberman was able to obtain a copy early and shared some of it's insights on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" on October 11th.

(More over the flip...)

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2,725 votes: Al 'Landslide' Wynn Is Officially On Notice Email Print

A couple days ago, ca democrat wrote up a diary that looked at the various inconsistencies and irregularities that went on during the MD-04 primary between incumbent Albert Wynn and his Democratic opponent, Donna Edwards. In that diary, ca democrat cites an interesting exchange between the Joe Barton Dave Harris is fighting against down in Texas and Rep. Al "Landslide" Wynn. Wynn's final response was that "A win is a win."

Yes, a win is indeed a win. However, the point spread between Wynn and Donna Edwards doesn't exactly give the Congressman a mandate.

Indeed the 2% point difference between the two is downright stunning when you realise that Edwards is a brand new candidate and Wynn's been around for quite a while:

The unofficial tally for the 4th District race gave Rep. Albert Wynn 39,482 votes, or 49 percent, and Donna Edwards 37,174 votes, or 47 percent. George McDermott was a distant third with 3,113 votes, or 4 percent.--link

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Stop Crying and Grab a Shovel! Email Print

There's a certain kind of blog posting that pisses me off to no end.  You know the type.

The Democrats are f**ked.  Rasmussen says Bush's approval rating is up 2 points.  And Karl Rove is holding Osama Bin Laden in a cage and will bring him to Fox News's studios on November 2.  And Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emanuel suck ass and don't know how to run a campaign. They're doing everything wrong.  And Nancy Pelosi is no good on TV.  And [bitch bitch bitch whine whine].

In honor of Atrios I am calling this the WATB diary.  It represents the one thing about Daily Kos and the progressive blogs that  makes me want to rip my laptop out of its socket and throw it through my 21st floor window  (If you're walking a by a tall office building in the West 50's in Manhattan today, please be careful!).  Again, in honor of Atrios, I'll call this the WATB dictum, which I describe thusly:

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Dishonest Polling Practices are Undermining our Democracy Email Print

On August 1, the California's eminent "non-partisan" polling organization, the Field Poll, released a new poll on voter preferences in six "down ballot" state constitutional office races; Lt Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Controller, and Insurance Commissioner.

Theis year there are six parties that have "ballot qualified" candidates running in each of these races, the American Independent Party, the Democratic Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, the Republican Party, and the Peace & Freedom Party.

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Super Keeler 2006 Email Print

Dear Future New York State Senator, Brian Keeler (NYBri),

I want to take this opportunity to broadly, and without any authority whatsoever, speak on behalf of the entire blogosphere by asking you to... relax. Take it easy.

Okay, so you're running for NY State Senate against a punk-ass Republican incumbent and that might cause a little stress.

Sure, as a long time net-denizen you and your campaign have become a cause célèbre with the progressive political blogosphere and that might put a little pressure on some.

And, yeah... The results of your pioneering run will, in many ways, reflect upon the current state of the 'gate-crashing' movement... the degree of influence... and the motivation and ability to get 'one of our own' elected to office.

So what! We really don't expect that much of you. How could we? You're just a mild mannered guy who believes what he says and acts as he believes.

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