Posts filed under Democrats

Obama Insults Flyover Country

Filed in Politics, ReligionTags: Democrats, Economy, Elections

Obama's recent insults of America's heartland were so egregious, even the St. Louis Post-Dispatch made mention of his remarks [emphasis added]:

The Huffington Post Web site reported Friday that Obama, speaking of some Pennsylvanians' economic anxieties, told supporters at the San Francisco fundraiser: "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years. ... And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Needless to say, the Conservative side of the 'sphere has taken these statements and run with them:

Of course Hilary Clinton, ever the opportunist, jumped at the chance to take a shot at her opponent:

"It's being reported that my opponent said that the people of Pennsylvania who face hard times are bitter," Clinton said during a campaign event in Philadelphia. "Well that's not my experience. As I travel around Pennsylvania. I meet people who are resilient, optimist positive who are rolling up their sleeves."

"Pennsylvanians don't need a president who looks down on them," she said. "They need a president who stands up for them, who fights hard for your future, your jobs, your families."

The McCain campaign has also responded:

Asked to respond, McCain adviser Steve Schmidt called it a "remarkable statement and extremely revealing."

"It shows an elitism and condescension towards hardworking Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking," Schmidt said. "It is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans."

And now, caught red-handed in his arrogance and elitism, Obama is trying to make quick work of spinning his remarks. Unfortunately for him, he's not doing a very good job of it.

First, the Obama campaign spokesperson tries a diversionary tactic [emphasis added]:

"Senator Obama has said many times in this campaign that Americans are understandably upset with their leaders in Washington for saying anything to win elections while failing to stand up to the special interests and fight for an economic agenda that will bring jobs and opportunity back to struggling communities. And if John McCain wants a debate about who's out of touch with the American people, we can start by talking about the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans that he once said offended his conscience but now wants to make permanent,

Then in Terre Haute yesterday, Obama tried the "Nuh-unh" approach in response to the McCain campaign's assertions that Obama's statement indicated that he was "out of touch with average Americans" [emphasis added]:

In Terre Haute, Obama chided McCain for not responding promptly to the home mortgage crisis and criticized Clinton for voting for a bankruptcy bill supported by credit card companies.

"No, I'm IN touch," he said. "I know exactly what's going on. People are fed up, they are angry, they're frustrated and they're bitter. And they want to see a change in Washington."

And finally, in the same speech, he tried to re-phrase his message [emphasis added]:

"People don't vote on economic issues because they don't expect anybody is going to help them," Obama told a crowd at a Terre Haute, Ind., high school Friday evening. "So people end up voting on issues like guns and are they going to have the right to bear arms. They vote on issues like gay marriage. They take refuge in their faith and their community, and their family, and the things they can count on. But they don't believe they can count on Washington."

Man, the cheap-seat view of the Democratic primary is so fun to watch!

Poor Hillary

Filed in PoliticsTags: Democrats, Elections

Poor Hillary. Not only does she have to face two men in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, but she has to do so while also taking time to do her hair (emphasis added):

While listing her credentials to be president, Clinton also said people vote for different reasons, including how a person looks or their hairstyle.

"And that is another difference, you know how long it takes me to get ready than my two opponents — I mean really just think about it," she joked. "I think I should get points for working as hard as I do plus the time it takes to get ready."

Nevermind that, had one of her male opponents said something similar - "jokingly" or otherwise - he would have been castigated to no end for his bigotry; when Hillary says it, the statement gets only passing comment as a humorous anecdote.

Okay, Hillary: we all feel so sorry for you - even without your on-cue tears (which, I assume, will be turning up again, just any day now). You could always try shaving your head and going without the makeup. It would sort of be like campaigning on your true agenda, without trying to pretend your some kind of moderate. Both would have the same outcome: scaring the crap out of the electorate.

(H/T: RedState)

Barack Obama: Pregnancy a “Punishment”

Filed in Politics, Science, Social IssuesTags: Democrats, Elections, Fatherhood, Sanctity of Life

On the campaign trail over the weekend, Barack Obama tried to assuage the socially conservative democrats of Western Pennsylvania regarding his pro-abortion stance. He starts with the typical, liberal, stance when confronted by an admonition to stop abortions:

"This is a very difficult issue, and I understand sort of the passions on both sides of the issue," he said. "I have two precious daughters — they are miracles."

But politicians must trust women to make the right decisions for themselves, he said.

"This is an example where good people can disagree," the Illinois senator said. "The question then is, are there areas that we can agree to that everybody can get behind? We can all agree that we want to reduce teen pregnancies. We can all agree that we want to make sure that adoption is a viable option."

This response is, of course, the typical liberal approach of ignoring the biological reality that an abortion impacts not just the woman carrying the unborn child, but also the separate, unique life that is that unborn child. Note also the canard about adoption (the viability of which is a non-issue, but ostensibly sounds good when making such deflection).

Unfortunately for Obama, he continued on with his comments in an attempt to persuade the audience regarding sex education - and in so doing revealed his true beliefs.

Somehow, I don't think his comments will have their intended affect (emphasis added):

"Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old," he said. "I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby. I don't want them punished with an STD at age 16, so it doesn't make sense to not give them information."

There you have it: babies are a "punishment" resulting from a mistake - the moral equivalent of contracting an STD.

Of course, what else would one expect, from such a radical proponent of abortion such as Barack Hussein Obama?

(H/T: RedState)

Representative Julia Carson (D-IN) Dies

Filed in PoliticsTags: Democrats, Indiana, Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Star is reporting that Democrat Julia Carson, US Representative for the Indianapolis area, has died, mere weeks after announcing that she would not seek re-election due to her failing health, including apparently terminal lung cancer. Rep. Carson was 69.

While I believe that the people of Indianapolis would be better-served by a representative less staunchly liberal, I would never have wished ill will or ill health on Rep. Carson. May she rest in peace, and may God be with her family in this time of loss.

Gas Prices Drop Below $2.00

Filed in PoliticsTags: Democrats, Economy, Elections, Missouri, Republicans, Saint Louis

Democrats' worst post-Labor-Day nightmare, Part I:

Gas Prices 002

Gas Prices in the St. Louis area fall below $2.00. Here is the gas station nearest my house.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Great timing, Claire [emphasis added]:

“Considering that Jim Talent thinks giving tax breaks to oil companies raking in record profits is the best way to lower gas prices, it’s difficult to see how keeping him in the Senate will result in cheaper prices at the pump,” DSCC spokesman Phil Singer said. “Claire McCaskill thinks it makes more sense to eliminate those tax breaks so that we can invest in alternative energy sources like ethanol. That’s the kind of change that’s needed to deal with the record gas prices.”

Polls: As Worthless as the PDFs They’re Written On

Filed in PoliticsTags: Democrats, Media Bias, Republicans

So, I keep hearing this Bush 37% approval rating number thrown around.

Yeah, about that: it comes from an AP-IPSOS poll (.pdf file) taken 6-8 March. The poll has some interesting internals (I'm particularly fond of the cluelessness revealed by the 77% who believe it "likely" that civil war will break out in Iraq), but the telling number is this demographic (found on page 10 of 13):

Total Republican: 39
Total Democrat: 51

Now, I can't find the actual numbers from, say, the 2004 elections with respect to votes cast by party affiliation, but if I remember correctly, registered voters were evenly split (and Republicans may have even had a slight advantage). Still wonder why that approval rating number looks so low?

Via RealClearPolitics.

Catholic Congressional Democrats Release Statment of…Something

Filed in Politics, Religion, Science, Social IssuesTags: Christianity, Democrats, Sanctity of Life

A group of 55 "Catholic" Congressional democrats have released a "Statement of Principles Prevarication" in which they take the untenable position of "work[ing] every day to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being" while (without explicitly so stating) being against making abortion illegal.

Seems like as good a topic as any for a Saturday-afternoon fisking, eh?

As Catholic Democrats in Congress, we are proud to be part of the living Catholic tradition -- a tradition that promotes the common good, expresses a consistent moral framework for life and highlights the need to provide a collective safety net to those individuals in society who are most in need. As legislators, in the U.S. House of Representatives, we work every day to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being. We believe that government has moral purpose.

The "living Catholic tradition"? I'm not a Catholic, so maybe this phraseology is accepted in the Catholic church. Of course, my protestant/evangelistic upbringing has instilled in me the unchanging and inerrant quality of the Word of God, which would contradict a "living tradition" with respect to doctrine in much the same way that words of the U.S. Constitution, as ratified, contradict the concept of a "living constitution" with respect to legal issues.

That little phrase aside, I am struck by this collection of words expressing nothing more than that the signitories to this Statement are adherents of liberal ideology. In so doing, it exposes the contradiction of that ideology on its face.

Expressing a "consistent moral framework for life" and working "to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being" would imply that adherents to such philosophies would 1) define life in a consistent and moral manner, and 2) work to advance respect for the life and dignity of every human life so defined. However, the signitories to this Statement will spend the duration of its text rationalizing away their disregard for both of these points.

The only scientifically, morally consistent definition for life concludes that life begins at conception. Scientifically, conception is the point at which a genetically unique entity comes into existence. Morally, respect for and sanctity of life presumes that benefit of the doubt must be given to the entity created by conception.

Therefore, advocacy of abortion becomes a moot issue with respect to consistent scientific and moral argument. Thus, unable to avoid this point, proponents of abortion resort to re-defining "life". So much for expressing a "consistent moral framework for life."

As for working "to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being" - several (if not perhaps, all) of the signitories of this Statement would oppose partial-birth abortion (so-called "late-term" abortion, a term used to disguise the fact that such abortions occur with all but the head of the baby having been birthed). To the contrary, advocating abortion serves to advance convenience versus responsibility and panders to the extreme ideologues who back the candidacy of such politicians.

I'll come back to the matter of government serving a moral purpose.

We are committed to making real the basic principles that are at the heart of Catholic social teaching: helping the poor and disadvantaged, protecting the most vulnerable among us, and ensuring that all Americans of every faith are given meaningful opportunities to share in the blessings of this great country. That commitment is fulfilled in different ways by legislators but includes: reducing the rising rates of poverty; increasing access to education for all; pressing for increased access to health care; and taking seriously the decision to go to war. Each of these issues challenges our obligations as Catholics to community and helping those in need.

Without question, the "most vulnerable among us" are unborn children. Abortion deprives these human lives of "meaningful opportunities to share in the blessings of this great country." Access to education by unborn children is greatly increased when we protect them from being aborted. The rest of the text here only serves as a distraction from the primary issue: so-called "Catholics" rationalizing their disagreement with the Catholic church in support of abortion.

We envision a world in which every child belongs to a loving family and agree with the Catholic Church about the value of human life and the undesirability of abortion—we do not celebrate its practice. Each of us is committed to reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and creating an environment with policies that encourage pregnancies to be carried to term. We believe this includes promoting alternatives to abortion, such as adoption, and improving access to children=s healthcare and child care, as well as policies that encourage paternal and maternal responsibility.

I envision a world in which every human life has protected its God-given right to life. The Bible teaches that humans are created in the image of God, and that man does not have the right to take the life of another man in murder. The Bible teaches that even our lives are not our own, since we were bought by the life of Christ on the Cross. We no more have the right to murder unborn humans than we have the moral right to take our own lives.

To my knowledge, the Catholic church does not preach merely the "undesirability of abortion", but rather its utter moral reprehension. Advocacy of post-birth social policies does not constitute sufficient nor appropriate substitution for absolute support for the unalienable, God-given right of every human - born or unborn - to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In all these issues, we seek the Church=s guidance and assistance but believe also in the primacy of conscience. In recognizing the Church's role in providing moral leadership, we acknowledge and accept the tension that comes with being in disagreement with the Church in some areas. Yet we believe we can speak to the fundamental issues that unite us as Catholics and lend our voices to changing the political debate -- a debate that often fails to reflect and encompass the depth and complexity of these issues.

Read that first sentence one more time:

In all these issues, we seek the Church=s guidance and assistance but believe also in the primacy of conscience.

When did the Catholic church start teaching modernism, secular humanism and moral relativism? One cannot claim to adhere to Christianity, yet proclaim that the conscience is primary to the Word.

These issues are only complex because advocates of abortion must introduce non-existent and specious complications in order to justify their morally unjust position. Human life begins at conception, and every human life is sacred. Any act intended to deprive a human of his right to life thus cannot be defended morally.

As legislators, we are charged with preserving the Constitution, which guarantees religious freedom for all Americans. In doing so, we guarantee our right to live our own lives as Catholics, but also foster an America with a rich diversity of faiths. We believe the separation of church and state allows for our faith to inform our public duties.

And what of your duties to preserve the religious freedom for unborn humans? Protection of abortion is not a matter of religious freedom (please point out the religion that preaches abortion?). Religious freedom does not supercede the unalienable, God-given rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Is the right of polygamy protected as a religious freedom? Pedophilia? Sacrifice of children? Beheading infidels?

Thus we find the moral purpose of the government: to safeguard the expression of religious belief of everyone, by defining the point at which the exercise of one's beliefs encroaches upon the rights of another. Therefore, the key issue remains: unborn children are living humans; as such, their right to life trumps the right of religious expression of their mother, father, or anyone else.

As Catholic Democrats who embrace the vocation and mission of the laity as expressed by Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Exhortation, Christifideles Laici, we believe that the Church is the "people of God," called to be a moral force in the broadest sense. We believe the Church as a community is called to be in the vanguard of creating a more just America and world. And as such, we have a claim on the Church's bearing as it does on ours.

The church is called to be the light of the world. By advocating the destruction of human life via abortion, you extinguish your own moral light, silence your own moral voice, and render impotent whatever moral force you wish to exert. In what way does advocating or allowing the murder of unborn humans created "a more just America and world"?

And there you have it.

Plenty of reaction from the Catholic community (whom, for the most part, I will leave to discuss the Statement with respect to Catholicism - being that I am not Catholic). ProLifeBlogs does a great job distilling the argument to its bare essentials, and then taking it to the logical conclusion:

Here's what I don't get. I used to be one of these "personally pro-life" people who thought abortion was undesirable. Why do these people think it's undesirable? There can only be one reason. Because they, like I, know it's the taking of a human life.

So, why then aren't we allowed to put a stop to that? Why, on this one isssue, are we told we have no "right" to stop others from "choosing" to end human life?

If the goverment has no business being in the bedroom (does anyone here know of any abortion that's ever taken place in the bedroom?) why outlaw rape? Rape happens in a bedroom often. Why isn't a rapist free to choose to rape?

Why are murderers not free to choose to murder? What business does the goverment have in telling any of these people what to do?

The truth is, ALL laws tell people what to do. ALL laws take away certain choices, choices that hurt others.

Other commentary: LifeNews, EWTN Global Catholic Network, Catholic News Service, The Catholic League, BeliefNet, Mirror of Justice, Catholic Online, LifeSite,

Via Pro-Life Blogs.

Clone The Truth: Stem-Cell Research Splits Republicans

Filed in Politics, Science, Social IssuesTags: Clone The Truth, Cloning, Democrats, Republicans, Sanctity of Life, Stem Cells

Today's obfuscation comes from roto-Reuters, in Stem Cell Research Splits Republicans.

Getting right into it:

The Republican rift pits religious conservatives and abortion foes who oppose the research on moral grounds against supporters who tout its potential benefits in fighting diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Embryonic Stem Cell (ESC) research has proven no potential for benefits in fighting or curing any diseases. Adult Stem Cells (ASRs), however, have already proven to be efficacious in treating Parkinson's Disease, and are beginning to demonstrate effectiveness in fighting Alzheimer's Disease. Proponents of ESC research never seem to note these accomplishments of ASRs, nor do the MSM outlets reporting on stem-cell related news and issues.

With polls showing large majorities of Americans backing stem-cell research, some Republican candidates find themselves stuck in the middle. Democrats, who largely support the research, are eager to take advantage of their quandary.

Large majorities of Americans back stem-cell research? No differentiation between ASC and ESC research? This 2001 ABC News poll says most Americans support stem cell research, yet buried in the article is this note:

In a poll it released last month, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops posed the issue by saying "live embryos would be destroyed" for undefined "experiments"; it found 70 percent opposed. By contrast, a pro-research poll didn't mention embryos, referring to "excess fertilized eggs" and listing seven "deadly diseases" the research could help treat. It found 77 percent in favor.

Words matter.

In Missouri, supporters are gathering signatures to put a referendum on the state ballot in November that would protect certain types of stem-cell research.

Not "certain types" - all types. The initiative redefines "cloning" as "not cloning":

Voting YES on the Initiative protects stem cell research and cures - and strictly prohibits human cloning.

Clearly, a state ban on any lifesaving stem cell research and cures that are allowed in our country would be unfair to Missouri patients and medical institutions. The Stem Cell Initiative will prevent such unfair bans by making it clear in our state constitution that any stem cell research and cures allowed under federal law will continue to be allowed in Missouri.

It also sets responsible boundaries and guidelines to ensure that stem cell research is conducted ethically and safely. And, it resolves concerns that stem cell research could lead to human cloning by strictly banning any attempt to clone a human being.

And intentionally to confuse the issue with voters, and practically requires the state to fund research with public funds.

But he recently dropped support for a controversial ban on human cloning and offered a compromise on stem-cell research, angering conservatives who were among his base supporters.

The proposed cloning ban is "controversial" in the same way that Cheney's hunting accident was "news" - only because the MSM tried to make it so. Yet another 2001 ABC News poll found that 9 out of 10 Americans oppose human reproductive cloning, and Americans oppose human therapeutic cloning 2 to 1.

"Talent is in a political no man's land where he is in the line of fire from people on both sides of the issue," said Sam Lee, director of Campaign Life Missouri, an anti-abortion lobbying group. Lee said opponents of stem-cell research were angry enough to skip voting for Talent in November.

Right, Republicans are going to allow - actively or passively - the staunchly pro-ESC research Claire McCaskill to unseat Talent. Roto-Reuters is smoking the funny mushrooms again.

Stem-cell research is opposed by conservative groups who compare it to abortion because it destroys embryos. But supporters, including some Republicans who oppose abortion rights, say the research offers crucial hope for medical breakthroughs.

Again, ESC research has offered no hope whatsoever - much less, "crucial hope" - for any medical breakthrough, while ASC research has already yielded at least 65 treatments, and the numbers keep growing. (Caveat emptor: the "Stem Cell Research Foundation" is complicit in the redefinition of terminology, including this statement: "Therapeutic cloning is not the same as reproductive cloning, which is intended to genetically duplicate a person" knowing full-well that SCNT genetically duplicates the donor of the somatic cell. However, even their "what's new" section cannot hide the fact that ASCs produce benefit, cure, and therapy after benefit, cure, and therapy while ESCs are long on hype and woefully short on results.)

Via John Combest.

Filibustering to Facilitate Fraud

Filed in PoliticsTags: Democrats, Elections, Missouri, Republicans

Missouri Senate Democrats intend to filibuster a bill requiring government-issued photo IDs in order to vote. Their justification? Typical democrat non-sequitur:

Democrats say the Republican aim is to suppress turnout among the poor, elderly and disabled — many of whom lost their Medicaid coverage last year and would be more likely to vote Democratic this fall.

Someone make me smart; what does being poor, elderly, or disabled have to do with obtaining and presenting a government-issued photo ID when voting?

Now, the real constituency in danger with this bill is the deceased vote (the Democrats' strongest voting bloc in the Saint Louis area). Given the difficulty of providing photo IDs for dead people (and the additional provision in the bill, repealing the state law allowing people to appeal their removal from voter rolls - something intended to cull voter rolls of those who have already assumed room temperature), I can completely understand why state democrats would want to block passage of this bill.

The final nail in the coffin (so to speak) to the democrats' fraud-vote efforts is the bill's provision eliminating Missouri's early voting.


For reference: Senate Bill SB1014 Summary:

Under current law, election authorities shall arrange registration cards in binders or authorize the creation of computer lists to document voter registration. This act requires election authorities to use the Missouri voter registration system to prepare a precinct register of legally registered voters for each precinct.

The act bars persons from compensating others for registering voters. Those who agree to or offer to submit a voter registration application for another person shall not knowingly destroy, deface, or conceal such an application and shall submit the application to the election authority within seven days of accepting the application. Those in violation of these provisions are guilty of a class four election offense.

Persons paid for soliciting more than ten voter registration applications, other than those paid by the government, must register with the secretary of state as a voter registration solicitor. A solicitor must be eighteen years old, registered to vote in Missouri, and register for every election cycle. Penalties for the failure to register are provided in the act.

The act allows anyone who believes a violation of the Help America Vote Act has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur may file a complaint with the elections division of the secretary of state's office. Complaint requirements are established.

The act amends personal identification requirements to be shown to gain voter eligibility at polling places. The identification must be issued by the United States or the state of Missouri, include the individual’s name and photograph, and must have not expired before the date of the most recent general election. Voters with physical or mental disabilities, handicaps or sincerely held religious beliefs who do not have sufficient identification are exempt from the requirement if they execute an affidavit stating such a sufficient reason. These individuals may cast a provisional ballot.

The act allows for issuing non-driver's licenses with photographic images to fulfill the identification requirement. The state of Missouri shall pay all the legally required fees for applicants for non-driver's licenses. Persons residing in convalescent, nursing, and boarding homes shall be issued a non-driver’s license through a mobile processing system operated by the department of revenue at no cost.

Procedures to be followed to establish a voter's eligibility to vote at a polling place are established. Provisional ballots are allowed in some circumstances. Prior to counting provisional ballots, the election authority must determine if the voter is registered and eligible to vote, and the vote was properly cast. Procedures for this determination are included in the act.

Under the act, state courts shall not have jurisdiction to extend polling hours.

Procedures for inspecting ballot cards are established.

The act makes the engaging in any act of violence, destruction of property having a value of five hundred dollars or more, or threatened act of violence with the intent of denying a person’s lawful right to participate in the election process, and knowingly providing false information about election procedures for the purpose of preventing someone from going to the polls, a class one election offense and a felony.

This act repeals provisions requiring election authorities to establish advance voting plans. This act also repeals current law allowing voters to appeal the removal of their name from voter registration records.

This act contains an emergency clause.

SB1014 Full Text

Regular reader Dwayne comments:

As far as why the requirement for a government issued ID (beyond, I assume a voter registration card) is discriminatory is because the population that you describe is much more likely than the general population not to have such a card already. You've most likely already got a driver's license. Odds are much greater that the poor, elderly, and disabled do not. So they would have to invest time and money for something of very limited value to their subsistence lives. Yes, they can get one. But if you're worrying about having enough food for the day, you're not going to "waste" any money and effort on getting a silly card.

As these arguments are fairly common for such legislation, I'll address them here, rather than in the comments.

I don't find the argument very persuasive that the poor, elderly, or disabled are especially disadvantaged or disinclined to have or get a government-issued photo ID in order to vote.

First, voting is both a privilege and a responsibility. Ensuring that voting is free of fraud and an accurate reflection of the will of the citizenry is of such paramount importance that some inconvenience toward that end on the part of the voters is acceptable.

Second, the requirement itself does not present an undue burden, since in order to vote, a person must have first made the effort to register and second made the effort to vote. Making an effort to obtain a government-issued photo ID falls in line with these activities. Presumably, if someone is able to do what is required to register to vote and to do what is required to cast a vote (namely, being able to travel to the required location), then that person is equally able to do what is required to obtain a government-issued photo ID (again, being able to travel to the required location).

Third, I believe that most/all states that have enacted similar photo-ID requirements have made provisions to allow for the impoverished to obtain an ID (in order not to violate the poll-tax laws). If the state were to charge $50 for an ID, I would agree with your argument. However, according to this Post-Dispatch article:

Gibbons, R-Kirkwood, replied that there's no intent to "suppress voter turnout." He said free photo IDs would be made available to those who need them, and he envisions teams of state workers sent out to help photograph voters who are home-bound or in nursing homes.

The bill also makes provisions for other potential forms of discrimination:

The bill also contains an exception for disabled voters, or those who object to a photo ID on religious grounds, if they sign an affidavit at the polls verifying their reason.

Two other key points from the article:

Hearne said he believes that a photo ID will "increase voter participation," because voters will face fewer questions at the polls since they could easily prove their identity.

He emphasized that Missouri will foot the bill for the free photo ID cards.

Note the unhinged rhetoric of the bill's opponents:

But Mary A. Ratliff, president of the Missouri NAACP, called the bill "just another attempt by Republicans to keep African-Americans and people of low and middle incomes off the rolls."

Photo IDs are racist? What?

A photo ID "erects another barrier to people with disabilities," said Michelle Bishop with the Missouri Disability Vote Project.

A barrier is only erected for dead people and non-people to get a photo ID.

"This bill seeks to solve a problem that doesn't exist," said state Democratic Party spokesman Jack Cardetti. "These are the same people who the Republicans threw off Medicaid. Now they're taking away their right to vote."

Ah, yes; those EEEEEEVIL Republicans! Took granny's food and medicine away, and now they're coming for her voting rights...

The Rev. Gil Ford, regional director for the NAACP, said he was amazed that Missouri legislators were seeking to make it tougher for residents to cast ballots "at the same time that they're trying to make it easier for our soldiers to vote in Iraq."

"In preacher terms," Ford said, "we call that hypocrisy."

Hypocrisy? To make it easier for US soldiers fighting abroad to defend your right to live, vote, and make asinine statements like this one? No, sir; what is hypocritical (and unconscionable) was for Al Gore to go to court to disenfranchise those same soldiers due to absentee ballot technicalities. What is hypocritical is for you to attempt to lend moral authority to your statement by appealing to "preacher terms" while speaking as nothing more than a spokesman and political hack for a racist and ideologically discriminatory organization.

Vote fraud in Missouri is well-known and rampant. See this excerpt from a floor statement made by Senator Kit Bond in 2002:

Now our friends on the other side made fun of the fact that we had dogs registered to vote in Missouri and in Maryland. Well, that sounds kind of crazy, but the system is so sloppy, the motor voter law has made it possible for people to register dogs. I will guarantee there are a lot more fraudulent votes than just the dogs.

Some have objected and said we have not shown widespread fraud in St. Louis. Oh, yes, we have. Wherever we have looked, we have found fraud. Wherever we have looked, we have found ineligible people voting, dead people voting, felons voting--in Virginia, Wisconsin, California, Colorado, North Carolina, Indiana, Florida, and Texas.

What we found that in Missouri they had judges ordering people to be registered to vote. They went before a judge, and he said: Why are you not registered? One said: I am a Democrat. Another one said: I want to vote for Gore. Another one said: I have been a felon and forgot to re-register. Thirteen hundred people were registered by judge order. The secretary of state went back and did an exhaustive search on those 1,300 and found 97 percent of them were not lawful votes.

In the mayoral primary in 2001, 3,000 postcard registrations were dumped on the election board on the last day. At that point, my colleagues in the other party in St. Louis, who were a lot more concerned about stealing a mayor's race than they were about stealing a Governor's race or President's race or a Senate race, raised cane.

When those postcard registrations were looked at, they were all found to have had the same handwriting--many of them had the same handwriting. They were on one or two blocks. Those have all been turned over to the prosecuting authorities. We have not gotten any convictions yet.

We also know that right before the general election in November of 2000, 30,000 postcard registrations were dumped on the St. Louis city election board. Nobody has gone back and reviewed them, but the guess is that at least 15,000 of them were fraudulent. Is it not a little bit beyond credibility that St. Louis, which had 200,000 registered voters, would on the last 2 days of registration register 30,000 people, equal to 15 percent?

That is one of the reasons St. Louis has almost as many registered voters as it has adults. It would be truly remarkable if each one of those registrations equaled a registration of somebody who was an adult human being entitled to vote in Missouri. I do not believe it. We have not had the resources to go back and check.

Real Congressional Reform

Filed in PoliticsTags: Democrats, Republicans

I have absolutely no confidence that, as currently arranged gerrymandered, Congress will see no meaningful reform. Why? Incumbency. Virtually every incumbent seat in the House of Representatives is safe. We have almost no real congressional challenges. Once an incumbent, always an incumbent - until death do us part.

The primary reason that incumbency inhibits legitimate election challenges under the present system is that congressional districts are so absurdly gerrymandered that virtually all districts are sufficiently homogeneous with respect to party affiliation of registered voters that an opposing party's challenger has almost no chance to unseat an incumbent. Without facing a real election challenge in a politically diverse district, incumbents become much more likely to succomb to the "Beltway syndrome" with each successive term.

Some may say that instituting term limits would solve the incumbency problem. For me, the jury is still out on that idea. But I have a better, and more eloquent answer that would both solve the gerrymandering problem, and help resolve the incumbency problem: require that ZIP codes must reside wholly in a congressional district.

The solution is simple, objective, and still maintains the proportionality of congressional districts. More importantly, as the demographics of a given congressional district change, so will the political nature of that district. As populations move in and out of ZIP code areas, district sizes will change, but such changes would not inherently favor one political party or another. (Though, given the current "red-shift" of the population from "blue" states into "red" states, and given the county-by-county election results of 2000 and 2004, the democrats may cry foul.)

I don't know the intricacies of how the ZIP code system works, but on the surface, it seems to me the idea might be viable.