Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People
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Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People
American elections feature an epic struggle between actual people trying to express their views in the face of fictional "people" (i.e., Corporations) trying to buy influence. I want to highlight topics such as corrupt money in politics, campaign lies and dishonesty, voter suppression.
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Pennsylvania's voter-ID scheme looks even worse

Pennsylvania's voter-ID scheme looks even worse | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Pennsylvania's controversial, legally-dubious voter-ID law is an even bigger disaster than previously reported.  More than 1.6 MILLION residents, or 20% of Pennsylvania voters lack the valid ID necessary to vote in November.  In Philadelphia alone, 43% of the residents may not possess the valid ID.  The state GOP should do the right thing and just withdraw or repeal the law NOW.  When by the State's own admission, there is NO evidence of voter fraud, it is anti-democratic and  unAmerican to proceed with a law that is assured of disenfranchising such a substantial percentage of the population.

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Senate Votes to Allow Bush Tax Increases for Wealthiest 2%, Blocking Increases For 98%

Senate Votes to Allow Bush Tax Increases for Wealthiest 2%, Blocking Increases For 98% | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

U.S. Senate Votes to Limit Bush Tax Cuts to $250,000 of Income

 

by Siobhan Hughes, Wall St. Journal

 

U.S. Senate Democrats, responding to President Barack Obama's populist message, Wednesday voted to allow the Bush tax cuts to lapse for household income above $250,000, saying the rich should pay more to help control the deficit.

 

The vote established a partisan tone likely to dominate Congress through the November elections and beyond. Democrats and Republicans are fighting intensely because the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire in a little more than five months and both sides have constituencies that would be affected.

 

By 51-48, the Senate passed a Democratic plan to extend the Bush tax cuts for couples making less than $250,000. Vice President Joe Biden arrived on the Senate floor shortly before the vote, preparing to cast a vote for the legislation in the event of a tie.


Not one Republican voted for the one-year, $250 billion measure. Sens. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.), Jon Tester (D., Mont.) and Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) voted with their party, in spite of pressure to break with Mr. Obama ahead of competitive re-election races.


Facing renewed economic weakness, Mr. Obama has turned the conversation toward taxes. Two weeks ago, Mr. Obama announced he wouldn't yield in his position that households with more than $250,000 a year should face higher taxes. It marked a new stage of the fight and put some Democrats in a tough spot. Democrats from states like New York and California with high-cost areas have constituents who earn more than $250,000 and would feel the pinch from higher federal taxes.

 

"The president thinks he has struck political gold with this argument," said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah). "He will be able to run for re-election on a platform of raising taxes on the mantle of deficit reduction. This might be politically advantageous, but I doubt it."

 

Republicans said Mr. Obama and his Democratic allies threatened to add to the U.S. economy's problems by raising taxes. A $404 billion Senate Republican plan, which would have extended current individual tax rates for all Americans and avoided subjecting millions of Americans to a widely criticized alternative-minimum tax, failed by 54-45. Republicans want to extend all the Bush tax cuts at once, causing Democrats to conclude they have the upper hand.

 

"There's this overwhelming concern about what the Republicans call decoupling," Mr. Biden told reporters Tuesday. "They know that if there's a separate vote and the middle-class tax cut is in they don't have the popular support for extending the tax cuts beyond that. Republicans have fixated on extending all the cuts, and what they're doing is very simple, and you can understand it from their perspective, they're holding the middle-class tax cut hostage." [VIDEO: Interview with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)]


Via Eric Byler
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Mitt Romney 2012: It's not a lie if you never admit the dishonesty - What Would Jack Do

Mitt Romney 2012: It's not a lie if you never admit the dishonesty - What Would Jack Do | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
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What happens if GOP’s voter suppression works?

What happens if GOP’s voter suppression works? | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Columnist argues that if Romney ekes out a victory by a margin smaller than the number of young and minority voters who couldn't cast ballots due to the GOP favored voter suppression laws, then  Romney presidency would be illegitimate and would undermine his ability to govern.

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Speaking Freely: Voter ID Trial Day 1: ID to Vote is a Burden

Report on Day 1 of the challenge to Pennsylvania's Voter ID law

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Charlie Crist Criticizes Rick Scott For 'Shameless' Voter Suppression - Huffington Post

Charlie Crist Criticizes Rick Scott For 'Shameless' Voter Suppression - Huffington Post | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Charlie Crist Criticizes Rick Scott For 'Shameless' Voter SuppressionHuffington PostFormer Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) on Wednesday criticized his successor, Gov. Scott.

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Could Voter Suppression Laws Suppress Republican Votes?

Could Voter Suppression Laws Suppress Republican Votes? | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

The targets of these Republican voter ID laws are two large demographics which have been voting overwhelmingly Democratic: minorities and young people.  But could the barriers to voting imposed on the elderly turn out to hurt the GOP in the end?

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Charlie Crist: Voter ID 'Just Plain Wrong' (VIDEO)

Charlie Crist: Voter ID 'Just Plain Wrong' (VIDEO) | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican-turned-independent, told MSNBC on Wednesday that he believes Attorney General Eric Holder was "on the right track" when he referred to voter ID laws as "poll taxes."

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O'Connor Faults Supreme Court Critics with a 'Lack of Understanding' - The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times

O'Connor Faults Supreme Court Critics with a 'Lack of Understanding' - The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor called the heated criticism of the Court over the recent decisions involving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act "unfortunate," telling a Senate committee today that it shows a need for more civics education.  She also speculated that the Bush v. Gore decision was a tipping point in leading to a decline in the public's approval of the courts.

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Our “Anglo Saxon heritage”? Really?

Our “Anglo Saxon heritage”? Really? | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
A Romney advisor's gaffe in Britain isn't just offensive to minorities -- it leaves out most white Americans too...
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Neo Poll Tax

Neo Poll Tax | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
Some helpful context from TPM Reader ZH … I’m glad you’re hitting on this again — I thought there was some important context missing from the debate over Holder’s “controversial” poll-tax remarks….
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Hot new conservative lie: The private sector invented the Internet

Hot new conservative lie: The private sector invented the Internet | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
A Wall Street Journal writer claims the government doesn't deserve credit for building the Internet...
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GOP Jobs Package Doesn't Actually Create Jobs, Say Economists

GOP Jobs Package Doesn't Actually Create Jobs, Say Economists | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

WASHINGTON -- House Republicans routinely beat the drum about the hard work they have done in passing "more than 30 jobs bills" that are now before the Democrat-controlled Senate, going nowhere, as the economy gasps for air.  But economists agree that the bills would have no impact on short term job growth and some say they would have no measurable impact even on long term job growth.

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Coffee Party Nation | Citizen Journalist Account of Historic US Senate Hearing on Overturning Citizens United

Coffee Party Nation | Citizen Journalist Account of Historic US Senate Hearing on Overturning Citizens United | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
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Republicans Have Made It Harder to Vote, Easier to Buy Guns

Republicans Have Made It Harder to Vote, Easier to Buy Guns | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

In a Republican world, it's mandatory for government to regulate voting even though the Constitution repeatedly deregulates voting, while it's a trespass against patriotism to regulate firearms, even though the Constitution explicitly calls for firearms to be "well regulated."

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Super PACs Eliminate Big Obama Advantage

Super PACs Eliminate Big Obama Advantage | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- Super PACs and conservative non-profit groups have helped Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney blunt the massive television advertising spending by President Barack Obama's reelection campaign in the late spring and early...
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Romney Cries Fraud On Virginia Voter Registration Campaign ...

Romney Cries Fraud On Virginia Voter Registration Campaign ... | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
No, Virginia, Democrats aren't trying to register your dog to vote.
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Greer unloads on Florida GOP, alleges voter suppression plot

In a wide-ranging deposition that spanned two days in late May, former Florida Republican Chair Jim Greer testified under oath that political consultants and Republican staff were plotting to suppress the votes of black Floridians.

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Lewis Black Takes Apart Dishonest Campaign Ads in Epic Rant ...

Lewis Black Takes Apart Dishonest Campaign Ads in Epic Rant ... | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Click here to view this media The Obama campaign wasn't spared either, but most of Lewis Black's epic rant on The Daily Show this Tuesday evening was directed towards the lying Romney campaign and their ridiculous you didn't build that attack.

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Poverty an intrinsic voter suppression issue

Poverty an intrinsic voter suppression issue | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law released a study last week that concluded that voter identification laws would have a more profound impact on supposed voter suppression in states with poor, sparsely populated and rural populations.

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Michael Tomasky: Obama Is Winning Because of the Shrinking GOP

Michael Tomasky: Obama Is Winning Because of the Shrinking GOP | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
The economy is weak and Americans are unhappy. But Obama’s ahead because the GOP is an aristocratic party that favors the super rich. And Mitt Romney is its perfect poster boy.

 

<<The GOP has no moderate faction anymore. It’s a rump amalgamation of plutocrats and the people who service their air conditioning.>>

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AP FACT CHECK: Romney met Bain partners after [purported] exit

AP FACT CHECK: Romney met Bain partners after [purported] exit | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

More twists and turns re: Romney's story about Bain: although he claims he had "no active role" in the company after 1999, the evidence shows that he stayed in regular contact with Bain partners, attended several meetings in Boston, remained the or at least a "controlling person," "made suggestions but not decisions" and approved a succession of ownership documents stemming from Bain's investment deals.

 

Even assuming that he was on a leave of absence from day-to-day oversight of Bain, it can't be denied -- except by Romney -- that he was in a position of authority and control over the company from 1999 to 2002.  The fact that he nevertheless refuses to take responsibility for Bain during this time augurs poorly for whether he would take responsibiity for the decisions that are made by others in his administration should he make it to the White House.  

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The U.S. Economic Policy Debate Is a Sham

The U.S. Economic Policy Debate Is a Sham | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

by Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, Bloomberg

 

Watching Democrats and Republicans hash out their differences in the public arena, it’s easy to get the impression that there’s a deep disagreement among reasonable people about how to manage the U.S. economy.


Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

In reality, there’s remarkable consensus among mainstream economists, including those from the left and right, on most major macroeconomic issues. The debate in Washington about economic policy is phony. It’s manufactured. And it’s entirely political.


Let’s start with Obama’s stimulus. The standard Republican talking point is that it failed, meaning it didn’t reduce unemployment. Yet in a survey of leading economists conducted by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, 92 percent agreed that the stimulus succeeded in reducing the jobless rate. On the harder question of whether the benefit exceeded the cost, more than half thought it did, one in three was uncertain, and fewer than one in six disagreed.


Or consider the widely despised bank bailouts. Populist politicians on both sides have taken to pounding the table against them (in many cases, only after voting for them). But while the public may not like them, there’s a striking consensus that they helped: The same survey found no economists willing to dispute the idea that the bailouts lowered unemployment.


No Support

 

Do you remember the Republican concern that Obama had somehow caused gas prices to rise, a development that Newt Gingrich promised to reverse? There’s simply no support among economists for this view. They unanimously agreed that “market factors,” rather than energy policy, have driven changes in gas prices.


How about the oft-cited Republican claim that tax cuts will boost the economy so much that they will pay for themselves? It’s an idea born as a sketch on a restaurant napkin by conservative economist Art Laffer. Perhaps when the top tax rate was 91 percent, the idea was plausible. Today, it’s a fantasy. The Booth poll couldn’t find a single economist who believed that cutting taxes today will lead to higher government revenue -- even if we lower only the top tax rate.

 

 

 

The consensus isn’t the result of a faux poll of left-wing ideologues. Rather, the findings come from the Economic Experts Panel run by Booth’s Initiative on Global Markets. It’s a recurring survey of about 40 economists from around the U.S. It includes Democrats, Republicans and independent academics from the top economics departments in the country. The only things that unite them are their first-rate credentials and their interest in public policy.


Let’s be clear about what the economists’ remarkable consensus means. They aren’t purporting to know all the right answers. Rather, they agree on the best reading of murky evidence. The folks running the survey understand this uncertainty, and have asked the economists to rate their confidence in their answers on a scale of 1 to 10. Strikingly, the consensus looks even stronger when the responses are weighted according to confidence.


The debate in Washington has become completely unmoored from this consensus, and in a particular direction: Angry Republicans have pushed their representatives to adopt positions that are at odds with the best of modern economic thinking. That may be good politics, but it’s terrible policy.


The disjunction between the state of economic knowledge and our current political debate has important consequences. Right now, millions of people are suffering due to high unemployment. Our textbooks are filled with possible solutions. Instead of debating them seriously, congressional Republicans are blocking even those policy proposals that strike most economists as uncontroversial. [MORE]


Via Jessica English, Eric Byler
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The GOP's "War Against Facts"

The GOP's "War Against Facts" | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Romney doesn't want to release his tax returns because they contain facts that can be used against him.  The GOP Senators are blocking the DISCLOSE Act because it would reveal facts about their donors that would be politically inconvenient for them.

 

Why are the Repubs so afraid of facts that they fight to shield the truth from the American voters?  it appears that Stephen Colbert was right: "Reality has a well known liberal bias."

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Romney's "You Didn't Build That" Fails

Romney's "You Didn't Build That" Fails | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Romney keeps turning up examples of businesses who claim they built their businesses by themselves.    <<The problem is that the real-world examples Romney keeps seizing on include people who got help from the government. ... the star of a recent Romney ad hitting Obama over "you didn't build that" had received millions in government loans and contracts. Romney stopped in Costa Mesa, California Monday to meet with a "roundtable" of small business leaders, held in front of a sign that says "We did build it!"

Naturally, it turned out that at least two of the companies represented—Endural LLC and Philatron Wire and Cable—had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in government contracts. When Romney visited the Boston's historic black neighborhood of Roxbury last week, Romney touted an auto repair shop, declaring that "This is not the result of government...This is the result of people who take risks, who have dreams, who build for themselves and for their families." Except it turned out that the auto repair shop guy started out without any funds and was only able to build his business because of a bond issed by the local government.>>

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