Wed, 29 October 2014
In 1965, when the Voting Rights Act was first passed, the reasoning was very simple. Racial discrimination in voting should not be allowed.
The provision of the Voting Rights Act to which conservatives objected the most named specific states, and specific parts of other states, those with the most vicious history of voting suppression, for special supervision. Conservatives thought that was unfair.
The burden of proof before 1965 was on anyone who wanted equal rights. Local politicians lost records and insisted that coincidence accounted for those disparities that remained. Local judges were often hostile to minority rights. Foot dragging meant that years could pass before burdens of proof could be met.
Courts even ruled, in 1903, that southern registrars could not be forced to process valid voter registrations.
In 2013, the Supreme court ruled that states, not people, were inherently equal. History of voting suppression should not matter. And in 2014, a district court said it could not force the state of Georgia to process valid voter registrations.
Conservatives are beginning to talk about voting as a privilege, not as a right.
In 1965 we sprang ahead toward equal rights. Now we fall back to states rights.
Conservative Savings Time.
Mon, 27 October 2014
Republicans held a public meeting in California this week where they gathered absentee ballots to deliver to election offices.
A Republican held a private confrontation in Arizona with an Hispanic volunteer who was delivering a group of absentee ballots.
Guess which event has sparked conservatives around the country to a white hot fury.
The two events illustrate the expanded new conservative definition of voter fraud.
Wed, 22 October 2014
The Ebola panic in the United States has dramatically outgrown the Ebola virus itself. Were it not for the death of a man initially turned away from Presbyterian Health Hospital in Dallas, the panic would be a massive exercise in comedy. The hysteria would have been hysterical.
Still, there are legitimate concerns.
We need to re-examine our current system of private care. For-profit medical facilities can be expected, like any free enterprise institution, to be primarily motivated by profit. To weigh life and death risk against this year's bottom line may not be the best method for the next possible pandemic.
Now may not be the time. It is the campaign season, and Republicans do like to campaign on fear.
But there are signs the public is tiring of panic. The Texas Chainsaw Medi-scare may be approaching the closing credits.
Mon, 20 October 2014
I'm okay with negative ads. If they don't distort the facts, if they don't outright lie, if they are pertinent, if they don't grossly violate ethical boundaries, I'm okay with them.
I am a distinct minority. Voters are sick of negative ads. Poll after poll has demonstrated this to the point where it has become conventional wisdom.
Still, negative ads work. Most of the time. Not always.
They especially don't work when they are so over-the-top voters end up laughing at the sinister accusations.
Wed, 15 October 2014
Most general elections are zero-sum affairs. Winning does not depend on a candidate being liked. Winning depends on a candidate being liked more than the opponent. Sometimes that just means being disliked less.
Negative campaigns produce two negatives. Voters dislike the candidate running negative ads. Voters come pretty close to hating the opponent who is the target of negative ads. All things being equal, the candidate voters dislike wins over the candidate voters hate. A lot of voters hold their noses and vote for the nasty guy who ran the ad they didn't like to see.
That can be true of any campaign with two credible candidates. None of the above is not a real option. One of the candidate will win.
In South Dakota, a third choice might just kick over the chessboard.
Tue, 14 October 2014
As buildings smoldered and the dead were counted, policy makers knew who was behind it. The idea that a comic book villain in a cave on the other side of the world could have directed such destruction was hopelessly naive. Osama bin Laden could wait. They had to go after the one who sponsored him, who had to have sponsored him.
Saddam Hussein had to pay.
What they possessed in confidence, they lacked in evidence. They knew what they knew, but they couldn't prove it. America had to attack Iraq's dictatorship, but America had to be convinced. The convincing was done with manufactured evidence. They lied because they would not be able to convince us of what they knew was the truth.
It never crossed their minds that they were wrong.
Now a candidate for the United States Senate has revealed evidence that the deception was not a deception at all.
Joni Ernst (R-IA) has revealed new intelligence, unknown to ordinary citizens.
You have got to hear it.
Wed, 8 October 2014
My conservative friend was, as usual, blunt.
"Mr. Deming, do you find President Obama to be a man of his word who governs with integrity and without misdirection and outright lies?"
It seemed a shame to avoid such a direct question from such a good friend. So I invited him for a quiet stroll through the record.
Mon, 6 October 2014
News reports, analysts, and pundits flooded networks and print media with accounts of the Romney interview. It was big news.
The most significant item was mentioned in the interview, but was lost in the covereage.
It was overridden by the hot, hot question raised by the interview. Will Mitt run again?
News focuses on the unusual. In another era, the confession would have dominated. Today, it is scarcely worth mentioning.
Tue, 30 September 2014
The unraveling of the Secret Service protection of President Obama is a scary thing for those of us who remember the most painful moments of the 1960s, or the near murder of another President almost 20 years later. It now appears that two demented individuals came very close to repeating searing events, not while our President was on a sidewalk or in an automobile. They both came closer than we knew at the time, both violating the People's House. The White House is where the President and his family live, where the first couple sleep at night, where their children have played while growing up.
Gunshots have broken a window in the family living quarters. A man carry a knife came very near. Had the first family been delayed even a few minutes in leaving on a trip, and had the intruder turned left instead of right at a critical juncture, tragedy might have struck again.
In a literal sense, it hits close to home.