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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Alexis Garcia has this excellent piece at PJTV about the regulatory plight of a small business in Chicago.

After watching it, I believe the problem is much larger and more fundamental than silly rules about where a coffee shop owner puts chairs.

It is no surprise that a city like Chicago, taken over long ago by a variety of leftist camps — and embodying the progressive ideals of the left — might tell a coffee shop owner where to put his chairs.

Ideas have consequences.  The explosion of regulations is a consequence of the leftist and statist bent of American institutions, not just bad decisions by regulators.

The problem isn’t the regulations.  The problem is the leftist philosophy that spawned them.

But alas, in many places, the victims love the abuse.  The left has not only marched through the institutions, it has marched straight into the heads of the majority of people who live in places like Chicago, Montgomery County (Maryland), San Francisco, and hundreds of other places.  Citizens there like regulations. Perversely, many want more regulation, and more taxes.

These days, it seems if you want freedom to run your business, you need to plop down on a little-travelled county road in South Carolina or Virginia.

Over-regulation is also a political question.  The people being victimized could band together to oust the politicians over regulating them.  But in places like Chicago, that won’t happen.  The political outcomes that give rise to over-regulation reflect the statist philosophy that is pervasive throughout the institutions.  It isn’t just the code enforcement department.  It is the schools, those dependent on entitlements, the government and academia.

The advocates of big government rule the field, the air, the sea.  Only small pockets of resistance remain.

Why?

Over economic regulation is a symptom of a deeper malaise – a long leftward march through all institutions.  When the opponents of regulations seem quirky or quaint, you know the advocates of statist control rule the field.  The long march through the institutions has provided an environment where swarms of outlandish laws and regulations are commonplace.

The laws exist because the victors in the philosophical and political battles get to write them.  Unraveling these commonplace regulations may be a task so mighty as to now be beyond the reach of conservative countermeasures.

Sure, small victories can be won here and there.

But undoing excessive regulation won’t be achieved by ad hoc attacks on a few dozen examples when millions of others remain on the books.

The task is far bigger.  The task requires a shift in the prevailing philosophical winds.  The task requires repeated political victories by opponents of the leftists who have bestowed the regulatory state upon us.  Whether America still has enough fight is the question.

PJ Media has been covering the saga of Swatting and the convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin.  I am told that this morning, Kimberlin’s nemesis Arron Worthing was taken into custody by the bomber’s request during a hearing in Maryland.  Here is the order.

Governor Bob McDonnell’s signing of the Virginia voter ID bill yields a valuable lesson for Republicans working on voter integrity measures in the future: compromise cannot purchase peace from voter fraud deniers.

McDonnell signed an extraordinarily timid voter ID bill last week and then ordered the state board of elections to mail voter cards to every voter. The cards, which do NOT contain photo identification, can be used in the polls instead of a photo ID. In other words, anyone who obtains one of the cards can still vote in the name of a dead voter. Consider the actions of Lafayette Keaton in Oregon for an example of how this could work. Keaton is not the only person to have voted in the name of the dead. But mailing of the cards eliminates the argument that some voters will not have ID to use on election day, except it really doesn’t.

See, rational people presume mailing new cards to every voter solves the problem.

But voter fraud deniers aren’t rational people. They fear that irresponsible voters will lose their cards, that the disorganized and marginal will misplace their cards and be disenfranchised on election day. The voter fraud deniers use the lowest-common-denominator voter to argue that any given election integrity measure disenfranchises voters.

Most Republicans, rarely exposed to the deniers and activist groups like Project Vote, never encounter these extremist arguments. In other words, they underestimate the enemy.

Like day follows night, McDonnell is now being criticized for signing the voter ID bill.

Critics of the legislation expressed disappointment with McDonnell’s decision and took issue with the potential costs associated.

“This bill will cost significant resources in training and administration for election officials,” said Sen. A. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico. “In this economy, as we have too few dollars for education, public safety and transportation, we should not be wasting valued monies to suppress voting. This is now a costly boondoggle and an affront to Virginians and the Constitution.”

Anna Scholl, executive director of ProgressVA, said Virginians’ constitutional rights “have been caught between Bob McDonnell’s allegiance to his right-wing allies and his vice presidential aspirations.”

Never mind that Donald McEachin led the charge to force Virginia into expensive special sessions just to redistribute committee chairmanships and is one of the biggest spenders in Richmond. He just doesn’t like spending money on election integrity. Wonder why?

Scholl goes full-kook, calling the law a “voter suppression” measure.

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53,000 Dead Voters Found in Florida

May 16th, 2012 - 5:03 pm

I have learned that Florida election officials are set to announce that the secretary of state has discovered and purged up to 53,000 dead voters from the voter rolls in Florida.

How could 53,000 dead voters have sat on the polls for so long?  Simple. Because Florida hadn’t been using the best available data revealing which voters have died.  Florida is now using the nationwide Social Security Death Index for determining which voters should be purged because they have died.

Here is the bad news.  Most states aren’t using the same database that Florida is.  In fact, I have heard reports that some election officials won’t even remove voters even when they are presented with a death certificate.  That means that voter rolls across the nation still are filled with dead voters, even if Florida is leading the way in detecting and removing them.

But surely people aren’t voting in the names of dead voters, the voter fraud deniers argue.  Wrong.

Keaton

Consider the case of Lafayette Keaton.  Keaton not only voted for a dead person in Oregon, he voted for his dead son.  Making Keaton’s fraud easier was Oregon’s vote by mail scheme, which has opened up gaping holes in the integrity of elections.  The incident in Oregon just scratches the surface of the problem.  Massachusetts and Mississippi are but two other examples of the dead rising on election day.

Florida should be applauded for taking the problem seriously, even if Eric Holder’s Justice Department and many state election officials don’t.

Related: League of Women Voters Aren’t Nonpartisan.

Also Related: From July 2010, Lawlessness at the DOJ: Voting Section Told Not To Enforce Purging the Dead or Ineligible from Voting Rolls

Updated: See The Vote Fraud Deniers by Thomas R. Spencer.

For decades, the League of Women Voters have presented themselves as an oracle of election related wisdom.  They have sponsored presidential debates.  They will be cited by the media over and over again this year.

The American public has been hoodwinked into thinking the League of Women Voters is a non-ideological good government group.  After all, the group purports to be nonpartisan.  The League has used the non-partisan brand to increase their credibility to government election officials and the American public.

2012 should mark the end of that charade.  Next time you see the League cited in a news story, be aware of their broad, pro-Democrat Party agenda.

When I recently appeared on Al Jazerea and said that the League of Women voters could hardly be called non-partisan, co-guest John Nichols, from The Nation, exploded as if I had committed blasphemy.  Nichols rushed to defend the honor of the poor women.

The League of Women Voters are merely focused on the smooth running of elections, right?

Wrong.  Let’s just take a glance at the webpage of the League of Women Voters in Virginia.  Here is a sampling of the stated real issues they are fighting over:

against: “pre-abortion ultrasound”

for: “Access to Women’s Health Care”

In case you didn’t understand it the first two times: “Abortion.”

“regionally balanced transportation systems”

“increase the use of public transportation”

“legal authority to control the use of land. Stronger state control”

“Wetlands”

“Endeavor to prevent mental illness”

“Adoption of the California Standards for low emission vehicles”

“A more progressive state income tax, with an increase in the number of income brackets and a raise in the rates in higher brackets”

“In divorce fault should not enter into the court’s division of marital property. ”

“the state has a role to play in child care . . . [and the government should provide some] form of financial assistance to increase the affordability and availability of child care.”

“smoking in public should be limited to designated areas”

You’ve come a long way, baby.

PJ Media‘s very own Hans von Spakovsky is teaming up with John Fund for  the forthcoming book Who’s Counting: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk.  (Available for Amazon pre-order here.)   The book releases in August.

Who’s Counting promises to pick up on some of the fine work von Spakovsky has done here at PJ Media, cataloging, for example, the radicals in the DOJ Civil Rights Division who will be enforcing federal election laws this fall in ways to help ensure President Obama’s reelection.  Ironically, two books from voter fraud deniers will be released almost simultaneously.  Not surprisingly, the pair of voter fraud denying books are being released on little-read academic presses.  This is a trend.  Academics and left leaning institutions work overtime to deny that voter fraud exists (which I discuss at length in my book  Injustice).

Americans don’t believe voter fraud is a myth, but a small gaggle of academics and their media enablers exponentially multiply this false claim.

Fund and von Spakovsky’s timely book will certainly have a large audience heading into the November election, and rightfully so.  In contrast, the professors writing at academic presses can always rely on captive students and the small cloister of Americans who don’t think voter fraud is a problem to sell a couple hundred copies.  Of course they can also rely on reporters from the Associated Press and various dead-trees outlets to buy a few dozen copies.  Stay tuned.

The United States Department of Justice has defended comments by an employee who called Mississippi “disgusting and shameful.”  This same employee reviews photo voter identification laws throughout the south for approval from her position in the DOJ Voting Section.

PJ Media first reported on comments made by Voting Section employee Stephanie Gyamfi toward the citizens of Mississippi:

On her Facebook page, Voting Section supervisory civil rights analyst Stephanie Celandine Gyamfi says about the people of Mississippi:

“Disgusting and shameful. Hey, that should replace the state motto: ‘Mississippi: Disgusting and Shameful’. . . forget the Magnolia State motto.”

On Tuesday, Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann held a press conference in response to the PJ Media story and demanded that Gyamfi be removed from all reviews of state election laws under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  Three Mississippi congressmen (Nunlee, Harper, and Palazzo), sent a letter to the DOJ demanding the same.

Voting Section Chief Christopher Herren on Tuesday said that the comments by Gyamfi were “personal” in nature.  Yet then the resources of the Department of Justice were deployed to defend the comments.

“The department maintains Gyamfi is a respected employee.”

Justice Department officials told WLBT-TV in Mississippi that the comments were “taken out of context” and were defensible because they related to an ugly incident at the University of Southern Mississippi.  During that incident, some students taunted an opposing Hispanic basketball player.

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(Legal Editor Note: Not long ago, the Left had a monopoly on rallies and protests. Republicans and conservatives, more enamored with scholars instead of brawlers, shunned displays of political muscle in the streets. That’s all changed. A few months ago, Attorney General Eric Holder went to the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, to announce an aggressive attack on state election integrity measures like Voter ID. This election-year strategy is designed to stoke the leftist base but risks alienating everyone else. To greet Holder that day were hundreds of citizens at a rally sponsored by True the Vote.

I will never forget the disoriented look on Holder’s face as he emerged from the black SUV to the large crowd of people who came out to confront him. “Signs? Bullhorns? Multitudes? And they aren’t here to support me?” — that was the look.

ACORN whistleblower Anita Moncrief delivered a powerful speech that day, and PJ Media has finally been able to obtain it and publish it.)

Thank you. It’s an honor to be here today and I’m glad to see that there’s so many of you with your video cameras, because after the mainstream media gets hold of this, it will be “an all-white crowd showed up to protest Eric Holder.”  So I’m glad we’ll have a little bit of somebody to combat that.

I speak from the heart and I speak plain, so if I offend some of you I’m sorry. But it’s an honor to be here today, especially to be at the LBJ Library, the father of the Great Society, the father of the social programs and the welfare state, and then the dissolution of the black family and our communities.

When LBJ signed in the Voting Rights Act in 1965, he said: “We’ll have those niggers voting Democrat for the next 40 years.” And that needs to be said. People need to understand that. That’s the legacy that Holder brings here with him tonight by holding his speech here. It’s not just about coming here to talk about voting rights. It’s to talk about how they’ve taken race and turned it in to something that is unrecognizable.

I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, in the heart of the civil rights movement. I could have walked to the 16th Street Baptist Church that was bombed during the civil rights era. And I have to tell you, the racism that I experienced, the evilness that came at me, it wasn’t from Birmingham, Alabama. It was from when I moved to the liberal north, and I got to see how things really were, and part of that was working with ACORN.

And that’s why I’m here today, to let you know what you guys are up against. This is not just something that has come out recently. This is something that started in the ’90s when Bill Clinton was in office. Not many people realize this, but ACORN helped get Bill Clinton elected, and the National Voter Registration Act was Clinton’s gift to ACORN.

And so for 10 years, ACORN and its sister organization Project Vote were going around the country and forcing Section 7 of the NVRA, which is the part about registering voters in public assistance agencies.  They coordinated openly with the Clinton Justice Department during the ’90s, and during that time they had voter registrations coming out of these public assistance offices in the millions. This was their demographic.

Imagine a government, a federal mandate targeting a certain demographic. What if we were to say that by federal law you have to register people in churches and gun stores across the country? You don’t think liberals would lose their mind?

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Deneen Borelli is a dangerous woman. Her new book, Blacklash, How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation, provides an unapologetic portrait of how government dependency has destroyed initiative, and the family unit, in much of black America.

Borelli is dangerous in the same way Sarah Palin is dangerous, or any of the other counter-symbols to left-wing orthodoxy.  As a black conservative, with a sharp wit and courage to speak out, she is a beacon to others who might otherwise be too timid to break out of the confines of racial expectations.

Blacklash tells the story of how one woman who happened to be black also happened to be conservative.  With race playing such a central role in our national discourse, Borelli presents a dangerous symbol to a president who will need extraordinary racial cohesion to win re-election.  Beyond the symbolism, her message is even more lethal to the left: being a racial minority does not mean you have to think a certain way.

I had the opportunity to interview Borelli about Blacklash for PJ Media.

Adams:  You’re a fan of the New York Rangers and follow the Stanley Cup playoffs.  After Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals scored the series winning goal against the defending champs this week, he was subjected to vile online racial taunts.  “Gorilla” was one of the more mild slurs Boston Bruins fans used.  What does this say about the racial expectations you write about in Blacklash, both in the sense of “keeping people” in familiar places because of their skin color and, perhaps more importantly, that real racism is not confined to red states and the deep south?

Borelli: Yes, I love hockey and for many years my husband and I were season ticket holders for the New York Rangers. There is nothing more exciting than a Stanley Cup playoff game in Madison Square Garden. We have many fantastic memories of exciting games including Wayne Gretzsky’s last game and retirement ceremony. That was an amazing experience!

The comments made about Ward are clearly uncalled for and extremely inappropriate. Unfortunately, social media, especially Twitter, has become a venue for venting outrageous personal attacks about individuals. Like Ward, I’ve also been a target of personal attacks and name calling.

However, name calling is not going to stop me from promoting my views about liberty and I’m sure it’s not going to stop Ward from playing hockey and scoring goals.

Finally, I do not believe that those comments are representative of the vast majority of Boston Bruin fans or hockey fans in general. It’s a shame that a vocal few can tarnish the image of hockey fans and a city.

Adams: In the cases I brought under the Voting Rights Act, you would often see white voter cohesion at about sixty percent in racially polarized elections (meaning 60 percent of whites voted the same way), but black voter cohesion would be around ninety percent, or higher, and the cases were brought to reward blacks with a minority majority seat in a legislative body.  Could you describe the cultural, economic and political influences you write about in Blacklash that produce these astounding levels (90 percent) of racial block voting?

Borelli: Clearly, the overwhelmingly black support for Democrat politicians has not served the black community well. The condition of blacks in Detroit, Los Angeles and Harlem speak for themselves.  Far too many blacks see the government as an ally and become dependent on social services and liberal black politicians, like drug dealers, are more than happy to keep this population addicted to government services and dependent.  This system keeps the politician in power and too many blacks dependent on one party. Monopolies are bad for consumers and voters.

Contributing to the voting monopoly is the lack of diversity in media reaching blacks – it’s an echo chamber of liberal themes and messages including inaccurate claims about conservative and Tea Party goals. Tragically, there is no counter communications effort and I’m hoping Blacklash could be the start to break the monopoly of thought in the black community.

The Republican Party should also be held accountable for conceding this voting bloc, because they don’t try to reach blacks even though most blacks have conservative values.

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