Monday, August 30, 2004
"Knowing then what he knows today about the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Kerry still would have voted to authorize the war and "in all probability" would have launched a military attack to oust Hussein by now if he were president, Kerry national security adviser Jamie Rubin said in an interview Saturday. As recently as Friday, the Massachusetts senator had said he only "might" have still gone to war."
This really bothers me and I'm even contemplating staying home on election day. I don't want another four years of Bush but trading sh-one-t for manure is not my idea of a clear choice. If there is a blank line on the ballot for writing-in your own candidate, maybe I'll write in my own name, at least I know where I stand on many of the issues that I disagree with Bush on.
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Since the reintroduction of the death penalty in the United States 115 people have been exonerated from death row. 115 times the jury got it wrong and 115 people could now be dead.
Read this heart warming story here
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Judge: Late-term abortion law unconstitutional.
NEW YORK (AP) -- In a highly anticipated ruling, a federal judge found the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional Thursday because it does not include a health exception.
So, Bill Clinton was right after all to have vetoed this bill in the past.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans living in poverty increased by 1.3 million last year, while the ranks of the uninsured swelled by 1.4 million, the Census Bureau reported Thursday.
Imagine what another 4 years of a failed Bush policy will bring us! I can think of no better reason to vote for John Kerry.
Having duped us into war, the prime minister must be held to account
Thursday August 26, 2004
Must read article is here: The Guardian
"Truth is the foundation of democracy. Without truth, there can be no trust, and without trust, politics loses its very legitimacy".
Is or should George Bush be next?
Iraq is now more dangerous to the US than when they went to war .
There was no "imminent threat" to the United States from Iraq. Then there was no strategy for building a new Iraq."Hubris and ideology" ruled. Now, "Iraq is more dangerous to the US potentially than it was at the moment we went to war".
These are the reluctant judgments of one of the key US officials who participated in the highest levels of decision-making of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Both interviewed by me and in a forthcoming article in Foreign Affairs journal, Larry Diamond offers from the heart of the Green Zone an unvarnished first-hand account of the unfolding strategic catastrophe.
Thursday August 26, 2004
Full story here: The Guardian
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Read all about it here.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
President George W. Bush holds a decreasing and surprisingly narrow five-point lead over Democrat John Kerry in predominately Republican Maricopa County [...] What is more, since Maricopa County accounts for close to 60 percent of the vote in Arizona, the Bush lead appears to have narrowed to such a degree that the election could be determined in the outlying counties and, particularly in Pima County, which has traditionally favored Democratic candidates.
Among voters most likely to go to the polls in any election, Mr. Bush has a wider eleven-point lead, but with a strong voter turnout expected in this year's hotly-contested presidential election, the narrower lead is probably the more realistic projection to watch.
Bush 46 (48)
Kerry 41 (36)
I'll take it. Republicans outnumber Dems in the county 4-3.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Even though experts say "diverting any water from the Great Lakes region sets a bad precedent" Bush "said he wants to talk to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien about piping water to parched states in the west and southwest." He said, "A lot of people don't need [the water], but when you head South and West, we do need it."
- AP, 7/19/01; Bush statement, 7/18/01
"We've got to use our resources wisely, like water. It starts with keeping the Great Lakes water in the Great Lakes Basin. (Applause.) You might remember what my opponent said earlier this year about Great Lakes water diversion. He said it would be a delicate balancing act. It sounds just like him. My position is clear: We're never going to allow diversion of Great Lakes water."
- President Bush, 8/16/04
Monday, August 16, 2004
"This year, the American people have been instructed to elect one again. Almost every powerful progressive voice has told them not to vote for the progressive candidate, but to vote instead for The Man Who Isn't There.
Ralph Nader may stand for everything the Guardian, the Nation magazine, even Noam Chomsky, claim to support, but all these voices - indeed just about everyone on the left - have been urging the voters in swing states to choose John Kerry.
Their argument, of course, is that Kerry is the only candidate who can knock George Bush off his perch. He might be about as inspiring as a parking lot on a wet Sunday in Detroit, but his vacuity is better than the president's aggressive certainties.
The contest is so close that if even a few thousand people vote for Nader rather than Kerry in the swing states, it could win the election for Bush. This is why Republicans have been giving money to Nader.
So Americans should vote for the Democrats in 2004, and worry about the wider failings of the US political system when the current president is safely out of the way.
And their argument has merit. Bush has already launched two unnecessary wars, threatened 40 or 50 nations with armed aggression, ripped up international treaties and domestic regulations, granted corporations a licence to cook the planet, waged a global war against civil liberties and sought to bury that old-fashioned notion that the state should tax the rich and help the poor. The world would certainly be a safer and a better place without him. "
Last Thursday, the Arizona Supreme Court sided with the people and against wealthy special interests, and threw the Clean Elections Repeal Initiative off the ballot. The Court ruling upheld a lower court decision from late last month, which found that the Big Money Special Interest Amendment, Prop 106, violated the state's constitution and the single-subject rule.
You can read the wire service story by clicking on the following link:
We are excited to have won this case and won this campaign. Common Cause salutes the hardworking staff and leadership of Keep It Clean and the Clean Elections Institute in Arizona as well as the efforts of members like you! Together we have worked tirelessly for months to build a campaign that employed coordinated and smart strategies to beat back this attack on Clean Elections. Big money never gives up power without a fight, and it is good to come out on the winning end!
The other side has vowed to come back in 2006, so we will continue to build upon the momentum that so many people helped to get going for this critical campaign in defense of a flagship law. The campaign will proceed with dozens of house parties already scheduled through August and a victory rally scheduled for tomorrow, August 17, at Grace Lutheran Church, 1124 N. 3rd Street in Phoenix, starting at 5:30. Please join us, and if you can't, lift a toast to the good guys today! Support Common Cause: http://www.commoncause.org/support
Join Vote for America: www.commoncause.org/VoteforAmerica
Register To Vote: http://www.commoncause.org/vote/
Sunday, August 15, 2004
People are asking me for information about the candidates in time tovote early by absentee ballot.Everyone is encouraged to reqest an absentee ballot. A form forrequesting anearly ballot is in the Clean Elections book that all registered votersreceived. Early ballot voting ensures that your vote will be counted, inview of the questionable trustability of voting machines. Last day torequest an early ballot is August 27.The Primary Election is Septemer 7.All voters received the Ciizens CLean Election Commission 2004 StatewideandLegislative Candidate Statements are in there.Your Voter Registration Card lists your voting districts and yourprecinct. In Green Valley your legislative district is 30 and thedistrict or federal candidates is Ditrict 8.As listed in the Clean Elections Book:The Candidates are running for:The AZ Senate -pg. 50 - District 30The AZ Legislature - pg. 125- District 30Listed on yourbsentee ballot are:The Corporation Commission (important)The US Senate -District 8The US House of Representatives - District 8 The US presidency andvice-presidency.There are other local candidates listed on your absentee ballot. If Idon't really know them I vote Demcratic.For AZ Senate in our District 30 there is only one candidate: Tim Bee.He is Republican. No Democrat is running aganst him. I think it is verypoor stratedgy to let some one run unopposed. People Should have achoice. So forget him. He is in the final election, not the Primary.And he doesn't need your vote.For AZ Legislature (House of Rep.) in District 30 there are threeRepulicans and one Democrate running. The Democrat is Esther Sharif. Getinfo about her on page 125 in your Clean Election Book, or go to her website at www.Electsharifdist.email@example.com. Watch the AZ Sun for info abouther.Please vote for her and not for any of the others running against her,even if you can vote for more than one. Voting for another candidate aswell, dilutes the strength of your vote for her as the top twovotegetters will win.In the Primary, District 8, for the Senate three Dems are vying to bethe one chosen to run against either Kolbe or Graf in the Nov. 2Election. They are:JeffChimene, Eva Bacal and Tim Sultan.Today's AZ Sun has an excellent write-up on them in today's paper, pageA 10. If you don't get the paper you can get the article on in theLibrary or on internet: www,AZStarnet.com/vote_2004Here is my personal opinion on the three Democratic Candidates forwhatever it is worth to you. It is really important for you to hear themyourself. Stop by the Democratic Headquarters at Continental Plaza,Continental Mall, just north of the hardwarestore and pick up theirpamphlets. Also see your friends there and socialize and have fun.Re: Jeff Chimene - He is my preference. He was a Kucinich Democrat.Lately he has been in Boston working to bring the Dean People and theKucinich People together in a Progressive Caucus that will continuepost-election. His issues are my issues: Social justice, human rights,labor rights, economic rights, health care for ALL , education andprotecting the environment. I like the fact that he is a new entrantinto politics, not beholden to big money or the Dem. establishment. Weneed new blood in the party and fresh ideas. He expresses himself welland listens well.While I probably would not be upset at whichever of the three getschosen to run Nov. 2 vs. Kolbe/Graf, here are reasons why I do not favorthe other two.Eva Bacal would be good. However, she is the wife of Martin Bacal, DemParty head in Tucson. I have nothing vs. Martin Bacal except that he ispart of the entrenched "Dem establishment" and so is she. I prefer tobring in new people.Tim Sultan is certainly an attractive canidate. Young, handsome, smart,verbal and energetic, his background of studies and work with NancyPelosi is impressive. However, he tends to talk more in generalities andemtional exhortations. While he is a new face, he has raised more moneythan the other two, and that to me implies establisment and money arebehind him. Who is providing all his money? I also do not appreciatethat Paul Eckerstrom, on Arizona Illustrated, cited him as the probablewinner because of all the money he raised, and totally left out the nameof Jeff Chimene as a candidate. Despite all of Paul's apologies,Freudian slips are meaningful and not to be ignored. To me this impliesthat Tim has the backing of money and the party powers, and that theassumption is being made that voters will vote for the candidate thathas the most money. I don't like haveing the voters be sounderestimated. It also appears that the party stalwarts do not wantJeff Chimene and really want him out of the picture. The rebel in megets really aroused over all this.Eva Bacal can be reached by the internet at www.Evabacalforcongress.com.Tim Sultan can be reachd at www.timsultanforcongress.com Jeff Chimene isat www.chimeneforcongress2004.org They will all have literature atDemocratic Headquarters. Do try to hear them yourself and make your ownjudgements. The Democratic Club and the Democraic Women in Action havemade every effort to bring them here. So attend their meetings at theLibrary.As for the November Election - be sure and vote on November 2. Talk toyour neighbors who are not Democrats. The Independents and the ModerateRepublicans are the crucial voters in this election. May the best menwin: John Kerry and John Edwards.Please save this for yourselves. In another message I will haveinfomation about the Corporation Commission, which has wide influenceover many aspects of your life, and needs more explanation.Thanks for your interest. June Wortman648-5877
"Tuesday August 10, 2004AZ: Protect Arizona Now's Trojan Horse
Protect Arizona Now (PAN), an initiative which will go before Arizona voters in the November election, is a Trojan Horse. The many arguments regarding border policy and protecting the democratic process are cover for deeper political motives among the Initiative's backers.
The purpose and intended side-effects of PAN's statutory changes are consistently obscured under misleading and inflammatory rhetoric, but PAN is really intended to preserve the GOP's electoral power in Arizona. It has other effects which are certainly positive in the view of its backers, such as scaring resident aliens and illegal aliens away from use of public services, but the real purpose of PAN is not protecting the electoral process or conserving tax-payer funds. The real purpose of PAN is its predicable side-effect on Democratic registration and voting rates across the board, not just those of minorities.
PAN has two main provisions. The first requires proof of citizenship for all new voter registrations and casting of ballots after PAN passes. The second requires all agencies providing public services in the state to verify a person's citizenship before providing service and to report any violations of immigration law to Federal authorities under penalty of state criminal charges. The first provision is misleading as to its purpose, and the second is morally monstrous. I will deal with the second portion of PAN in a later article. The "vote fraud" provisions of PAN are my focus today.
The changes to the electoral laws by PAN will apply to all new registrants after the Initiative's passage. The law essentially changes the evidentiary standard for voting eligibility. Currently, public policy favors voting by presumptively allowing people vote. Such a presumption encourages registration and places the burden on the State, or a party in opposition, to prove the individual is actually ineligible to vote, in which case the vote is discarded. Given that the United States has one of the lowest registration rates of any democracy and we do not automatically make every citizen eligible to vote at the age of majority as do many other democracies, this presumption in favor of the voter is appropriate, and arguably necessary, even if it allows a certain amount of systemic abuse. Any abuse is outweighed by the desirable effect it has on legitimate voter participation. By denying both registration and ballots to anyone lacking an ID deemed sufficient to prove citizenship, PAN places the burden of evidentiary production on the voter. This will certainly reduce the registration and voting rates of all those the law affects.
Every student of the political process knows that even the slightest inconvenience will dissuade a percentage of potential voters from participating. For instance, the Motor Voter law increased registration rates in AZ by about 10%. The correlative conclusion is that simply requiring citizens to register at a separate state office effectively prevented many thousands of people from voting. PAN will have a similar, if not greater, impact on voting behavior among new residents of Arizona, the vast majority of whom will be legal citizens who are eligible to vote and could easily prove their citizenship. Despite their ability to meet the requirements of PAN, a percentage of these citizens will be dissuaded from political participation in Arizona by the requirements of PAN. A greater portion of these affected citizens will be Democrats than will be Republicans; or at least that is the plan of PAN's backers.
G. NOTWITHSTANDING SUBSECTION F OF THIS SECTION, ANY PERSON WHO IS REGISTERED IN THIS STATE ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS AMENDMENT TO THIS SECTION IS DEEMED TO HAVE PROVIDED SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF CITIZENSHIP AND SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO RESUBMIT EVIDENCE OF CITIZENSHIP UNLESS THE PERSON IS CHANGING VOTER REGISTRATION FROM ONE COUNTY TO ANOTHER.
This language grandfathers all current residents who are registered to vote, exempting them from the requirements of PAN. Potential Democratic voters are unregistered at a greater rate than likely GOP constituencies. Hispanic and Native American citizens are more likely to not be registered than any other demographic groups and are more likely to vote Democratic than Republican. The Hispanic community is the swiftest growing in Arizona and thus will suffer the greatest losses in political representation as a result of PAN, even though they are citizens. Recent immigrants from other states are more likely to register and vote Democrat than Republican, a trend which is swiftly transforming Arizona politics. Exempting current registered residents tends to freeze the political status quo by disproportionately reducing the participation of new arrivals to Arizona.
The real purpose of PAN is fully revealed in the language of the following clause:
H. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, PROOF OF VOTER REGISTRATION FROM ANOTHER STATE OR COUNTY IS NOT SATISFACTORY EVIDENCE OF CITIZENSHIP.
Those moving into Arizona from other states will have to prove citizenship, even if they were previously registered in another state. The real purpose of this is to inconvenience the people who are immigrating to Arizona from other states, not to plug a hole through which only a minor number of fraudulent registrations, if any, are likely to pass.
Notice that there are no conditionals and no administrative discretion provided for in this clause. Were the purpose of this clause actually prevention of fraud, registrars or the Secretary of State should be given discretion to determine if procedures in various states were sufficient to certify their voter registration as sufficient to prove citizenship. The result would greatly reduce the potential impact on voter participation. This law does allow such a procedure deliberately, because it is not inspired by a desire to protect the electoral process from fraud, but to inconvenience and harass all immigrants from other states in hopes that they will be dissuaded from registering or voting.
The terrible burden on legitimate citizens voting rights that PAN imposes is vastly outweighed by the very slight possibility of filtering out a few fraudulent registrations. This great burden on voting by citizens new to Arizona is not an unfortunate side-effect of PAN - it is PAN's main purpose. PAN is not intended primarily to prevent non-citizens from voting. PAN's registration and voting provisions are intended primarily to suppress the political participation of all new residents in Arizona. Everything else in PAN is but political bait to get a clear majority to vote for it against their own best interests.
With an influx of new residents moving into Arizona from predominantly liberal areas, Arizona's Democratic population is growing quicker than the GOP's. The GOP is aware of this trend and fears the loss of their electoral advantage in Arizona over next decade as a result of these demographic changes. If they can suppress the registration and voting rate of new citizens, they can hold onto their numerical superiority in Arizona longer, perhaps indefinitely.
The framers of PAN either intended to exacerbate the side effects of PAN on legitimate voters, or they are criminally inept legislative drafters. In either case, the side-effects of this law constitute sufficient cause to reject this draft of the law, even if you support its stated purposes.
PAN's purpose is to disenfranchise Democrats and prolonging GOP hegemony over Arizona politics. With support for PAN polling at around 75%, many Democrats are obviously supporting PAN. What these voters don't realize is they are not protecting the electoral process by supporting PAN, they severely damaging voting rights in Arizona. A vote for PAN is a vote to intentionally disenfranchise many of your fellow citizens. Concerns PAN's backers raise over illegal immigrants and non-citizens corrupting the electoral process are merely a red-herring to garner support for what amounts to a Democratic voter suppression act.by Michael Bryan "