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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Most of the time, an echo chamber is something you want to avoid.

Take the last holy-moly heehaw that ricocheted around the country last weekend. Privileged, white-male Mitt Romney picked privileged, white-male Paul Ryan to be his vice president. Immediately, gaggles of white-male pundits declared this a bold game-changer of a choice.

What a hoot.

Still, once in a while, you find yourself hoping a groundswell of opinion turns into an echo chamber for change. This is currently true for those of us who care about democracy and live in the battleground state of Ohio, where Republicans have taken a rare break from their relentless quest to lasso women back to the ’50s so they can limit the future voting rights of people who aren’t like them.

People who aren’t Republicans, I mean.

If you’re wondering why you should care about voting rights in the Buckeye State, let me echo an oft-cited fact of presidential politics: No Republican has won the White House without winning Ohio.

Our electoral star power annoys those of you living just about everywhere else, I know. Take heart. A lot of us here in Ohio envy your television airwaves right now. I haven’t seen a commercial with that cute Old Spice guy since last September.

The New Republic‘s Timothy Noah lays out a broad range of obstacles concocted by Republicans to thwart Democratic voters.

He quotes Mike Turzai, Republican majority leader of the Pennsylvania House, who said this: “Voter ID, which is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

And there is this: “Former Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer (currently under indictment for stealing party funds) stated in a deposition … that a 2009 party meeting included discussion of ‘voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting.'”

And this: “In December, Paul Schurick, a top aide to former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich, was convicted of election fraud for using automated phone calls to suppress the African American vote during Ehrlich’s unsuccessful 2010 bid. ‘The first and most desired outcome is voter suppression,’ stated one consultant’s memo entered into evidence. It described a ‘Schurick Doctrine’ to ‘promote confusion, emotionalism and frustration among African American Democrats.'”

Noah goes on to describe Republican efforts in Ohio to shorten the hours for early voting.

I’ll take it from here.

  • dtgraham

    I understand that tremendous pressure got through to Husted and he changed that discrepancy in early voting between GOP and Dem counties. Now, no one votes early. There are still 2 problems with that. For good reasons, early voters are disproportionately African American, historically, and guess who they vote for. Also, this still doesn’t prevent Ohio Republican officials from restricting the number of voting machines in Democratic counties like 2004. Early voting was allowed in 2008 so that strategy wasn’t that effective. It will be this year.

    The mechanism of running the local election has got to be taken out of the hands of whatever party controls the state. An independent autonomous federal agency should be created to run elections everywhere. Call it Elections America or something…whatever. It’s especially important in this day and age when one of the parties is so corrupt.

  • Can anyone imagine the firestorm that would come from the Right if Illinois had officials publicly stating they were suppressing the vote to favor President Obama??? Think about it!

    • onedonewong

      They are they are supressing the military vote

      • PatrickInBeijing

        That is actually not true. They are trying to go back to the old system which allowed BOTH military and civilian voters to vote early. If you have to lie to win, then you will never be a winner.

        • onedonewong

          The military has a difficult time with voting due to their constant deployments and the State offered them an accommodation. But like typical libs since the military were able to make a case for early voting its a me to syndrome.
          Why do those not on the military need added to time to vote?? Its a canard and just more of the same voter suppression

  • CAThinker

    There concerted efforts to suppress voting are a national disgrace. Those statements made by officials need to be aired often to expose the manipulation. It’s funny, for a long while, the US was in the business of monitoring elections in foreign countries for voter fraud and to determine who was the legitimate head of that particular state – now isn’t this the height of hypocrisy? How can the “Exceptionalists” accept this behavior and continue to believe the way the way they do?

    • onedonewong

      True then the DEM’s learned all the dirty tricks in those countries and imported them here

  • rockin_the_bay_in_Tampa

    I am suprised that people are just going to roll over and pretend it doesn’t exist or will simply go away.

  • The author of this post is obviously biased, mentioning “White male” several times. The Republicans had Herman Cain (Black & very popular until the Left falsely ruined him), They had Michelle Bachman, (Woman), had a Black woman under Bush as Sec. of State, Clarence Thomas (Black) on the Supreme Court, Collin Powell (Black) as Sec. of Defense, Marco Rubio,(Hispanic) as finalist for VP, many, many “other than White” governors and politicians. Seems like the Left is highly critical of any Black or Minority Republicans.

    • jojo

      The left is racist but love to attach that name to the right! Allen West is another, showing in a commercial beating up a white elderly woman. Even Juan Williams on Fox is called names for just being on Fox.

  • 1standlastword

    These are the desperate machinations of a political party that has a very soiled brand and is fast falling out of favor with most Americans.

    They’re going to lose in November and they’re going to lose what they’ve gained because people know what they stand for and we know that Republicans feel the only way they can win is to cheat

    Real Americans hate cheaters

  • Ed

    It is not only in Ohio! Repubs are pressing this in every state they can!

    • onedonewong

      Ohh yea , why in VA a ACORN derivative from DC is sending out voter registration cards to children the dead pets and felons. That’s the only way barak can win VA again

  • The GOP is turning the USA into a banana republic. It is truly amazing to see a major political party engage in tactics to suppress voting instead of trying to find ways to improve our political and social ambivalence, and dismal voting record. The GOP is well aware of the fact that a large nuber of minorities do not drive, do not have a drivers license, and do not have a photo ID. They also know that persons in those circumstances have limited mobility. That is why they are suddenly insisting on photo IDs and curtailing the number of early voting days, just a couple of months before a presidential election. Democrats should start organizing in churches, community halls, schools and everywhere we gather to help fellow Democrats get the photo IDs they need and offer them a ride to their polling place. Let’s turn this election into a landslide victory for President Obama!

    • onedonewong

      Yea we have Obama’s various political appointees visiting Black churches and telling them to put barak back in office a violation of their tax exempt status…but to date not a peep from the IRS or Judiciary.
      We have black churches in many states that have early voting preaching why Obama need to be reelected and then they load them on the buses or take them to the basement to vote, one again a violation of their tax exempt status… but no one wants to address that because they would be labeled racist

      • Churches are not busing anyone, parishioners give rides to fellow parishioners who do not own a car. I realize that’s a threat to the GOP plans to suppress the vote, but that’s the way it goes. Sometimes you have no choice but to fight fire with fire.

        • onedonewong

          The fact that the Dem’s have been able to get voting booths in Black Churches as well as absentee ballots shows are crooked the Dem’s and blacks have become

          • Your allegation about church buses has the validity of Reagan’s assertion of a black woman driving a Cadillac to collect welfare under 27 different names. Hyperbole and metaphors may work well among the intellectually deprived members of the Tea Party, it does not much for people with a functioning brain There are no laws that prohibit parishioners, or anyone else, from offering a ride to a person who does not own a car and does not have the financial means to pay a taxi. Our elected officials and candidates should be encouraging people to vote and should be doing everything they can to make it easier to vote, the GOP is doing the opposite and their actions put them at par with those employed in Third World countries where plebiscites and other machinations are often used to deny people the democratic rights we take for granted.

          • onedonewong

            You obviously live under a rock. Every balck church I have even been near or visited has a at least1 large bus and in most cases multiple ones. And yes Reagan was correct about welfare queens and the data backed him up.
            Sorry Donny I’ve read your post and the vast majority are word for work from the obama or Dem’s website. they are childish and show a mind that is so stale that it has lost its ability to be curious or even attempt to think o its own.
            Your right there are no laws that prohibit the practice but there are laws that say that when their pastor preaches who to vote for or what party they loose their tax exempt status. Did we forget Jesse Jackson gong to black churches and collecting campaign funds and thus breaking the law?? Once again the State Run Media refused to cover the story or make an issue of it because he was black.
            I agree that this country mimics the 3rd world when Dem’s pockets are full of walking around $$$ and are paying people to “vote the right way”. No different that Sadam Huessain or Ida Amman

        • onedonewong

          dommy they use their church buses to ferry their members to the polling booths or down to the voting booths that the dem voting precincts have provided them

      • tranz2deep

        Stop. Lying.

        • onedonewong

          Obviously you don’t read a paper or you would know what’s going on in the US

  • ObozoMustGo

    Here is an issue that I know almost ALL of us can agree on. The NDAA that Obozo signed last December allows the President to have the power to detain any American anywhere with charge, trial, or representation. For all of you guys on the left that were screaming about the Patriot Act and George Bush’s overreach, I find it odd that I hear nothing but crickets from you on this one. The law is being challenged in court right now and neither The Memo or any other media outlet in the US is talking about it. Gotta go to the UK to find this…

    Hat tip, Tangerine Bolen at TheGuardian UK:

    What makes our NDAA lawsuit a struggle to save the US constitutionTime after time, Obama’s lawyers defending the NDAA’s section 1021 affirm our worst fears about its threat to our liberty

    I am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the president the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial.

    In a May hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest issued an injunction against it; this week, in a final hearing in New York City, US government lawyers asserted even more extreme powers – the right to disregard entirely the judge and the law. On Monday 6 August, Obama’s lawyers filed an appeal to the injunction – a profoundly important development that, as of this writing, has been scarcely reported.

    In the earlier March hearing, US government lawyers had confirmed that, yes, the NDAA does give the president the power to lock up people like journalist Chris Hedges and peaceful activists like myself and other plaintiffs. Government attorneys stated on record that even war correspondents could be locked up indefinitely under the NDAA.

    Judge Forrest had ruled for a temporary injunction against an unconstitutional provision in this law, after government attorneys refused to provide assurances to the court that plaintiffs and others would not be indefinitely detained for engaging in first amendment activities. At that time, twice the government has refused to define what it means to be an “associated force”, and it claimed the right to refrain from offering any clear definition of this term, or clear boundaries of power under this law.

    This past week’s hearing was even more terrifying. Government attorneys again, in this hearing, presented no evidence to support their position and brought forth no witnesses. Most incredibly, Obama’s attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA’s section 1021 – the provision that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial – has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world after Judge Forrest’s injunction. In other words, they were telling a US federal judge that they could not, or would not, state whether Obama’s government had complied with the legal injunction that she had laid down before them.

    To this, Judge Forrest responded that if the provision had indeed been applied, the United States government would be in contempt of court.

    I have mixed feelings about suing my government, and in particular, my president, over the National Defense Authorization Act. I voted for Obama.

    But the US public often ignores how, when it comes to the “war on terror”, the US government as a whole has been deceitful, reckless, even murderous. We lost nearly 3,000 people on 9/11. Then we allowed the Bush administration to lie and force us into war with a country that had nothing to do with that terrible day. Presidents Bush and Obama, and the US Congress, appear more interested in enacting misguided “war on terror” policies that distract citizens from investigating the truth about what we’ve done, and what we’ve become, since 9/11.

    I, like many in this fight, am now afraid of my government. We have good reason to be. Due to the NDAA, Chris Hedges, Kai Wargalla, the other plaintiffs and I are squarely in the crosshairs of a “war on terror” that has been an excuse to undermine liberties, trample the US constitution, destroy mechanisms of accountability and transparency, and cause irreparable harm to millions. Several of my co-plaintiffs know well the harassment and harm they have incurred from having dared openly to defy the US government: court testimony has included government subpoenas of private bank records of Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir; Wargalla’s account of having been listed as a “terrorist group”; and Hedges’ concern that he would be included as a “belligerent” in the NDAA’s definition of the term – because he interviews members of outlawed groups as a reporter – a concern that the US attorneys refused on the record to allay.

    Other advocates have had email accounts repeatedly hacked, and often find their electronic communications corrupted in transmission (some emails vanish altogether). This is an increasing form of pressure that supporters of state surveillance and intervention in the internet often fail to consider.

    I’ve been surprised to find that most people, when I mention that I am suing my president, Leon Panetta, and six members of Congress (four Democrats and four Republicans), thank me – even before I explain what I’m suing them over! And when I do explain the fact that I and my seven co-plaintiffs are suing over a law that suspends due process, threatens first amendment rights and takes away the basic right of every citizen on this planet not to be indefinitely detained without charge or trial, their exuberance shifts, and a deeper gratitude shines through newly somber demeanors. But this fight has taken a personal toll on many of us, including myself.

    My government, meanwhile, seems to have lost the ability to discern the truth about the US constitution any more; I and many others have not. We are fighting for due process and for the first amendment – for a country we still believe in and for a government still legally bound by its constitution.

    If that makes us their “enemies”, then so be it. As long as they cannot call us “belligerents”, lock us up and throw away the key – a power that, incredibly, this past week US government lawyers still asserted is their right. Against such abuses, we will keep fighting.

    • This article was commissioned by the Daily Cloudt and appears here by permission of the editors

    • Editor’s note: the article originally stated that the administration lawyers filed an appeal against the injunction on 9 August; this was amended to 6 August on 10 August, at 1pm ET

    • grammyjill

      Enough. He isn’t using it. That dangerous crazy bitch michelle bauchman is still loose.

      • ObozoMustGo

        Grammy… “He isn’t using it”………. hmmmm…. did you read the article? Did you notice that Obozo’s lawyers refused to answer the judge when asked if they were “using it”? Whether or not they are “using it” is NOT the issue. The fact is that ANY president can “use it” and because the detained person has NO rights, you would never know.THAT’S THE FRIGGIN PROBLEM WITH THE LAW!!!!!!

        HELLLLLOOOOOOO!!!! MCFLY!!!!!! IS THERE ANYONE IN THERE??????

        I would bet my house that you bitched and moaned and cursed Bush for the Patriot Act calling him all kinds of names. And now Obozo puts the Patriot Act on steroids and you just think “he won’t use it”.

        Don’t you leftists get it? Don’t you understand that politicians come and go, but the laws they pass live on forever? So while you may like Obozo, and you may say the law is fine because “he won’t use it”, what happens when the other party takes over and now they have the power to “use it”? Are you going to trust them? HELL NO!!!! Of course you won’t. Therefore, you should not trust Obozo, either. Don’t trust ANY politician with your freedoms or liberties. It’s the politicians job to protect your freedoms and liberties, not threaten them.

        For goodness sakes, Grammy, learn to think.

        Have a nice day!

        “No man’s life, liberty, or property is in so much danger as when the legislature is in session.” – Mark Twain

        • grammyjill

          Obozo, I agree with you. Just wamted to get you fired up. No one should have that power, ever!

          • ObozoMustGo

            Hi Grammy! There are some things we can agree on, aren’t there?

            Have a nice day!

            “The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.” – Ronald Reagan

    • english_teacher

      No, you’re wrong. Some of us liberals are just as concerned as you are about the over-reaching of this provision of the NDAA. The Patriot Act was the first step towards a police state. The NDAA provision is another one on that road. I know that my opinion of Obama changed radically when I learned that he had signed the NDAA.

      Unfortunately, I think the sadder fact is that most people don’t even know about this and another segment aren’t capable of separating the wheat from the chaff. The half-truths, lies, and misinformation come from both sides of the aisle. Much of the populace accepts everything at face value because it “feels” right. God forbid that we try to find a reasonable compromise on some of the other issues. I’m tired of the “America right or wrong/my way or the highway/if you don’t agree with me you’re un-American” mentality.

      The ship is going down and most of the steerage passengers are still re-arranging the deckchairs and the people in the cabins are already in the life boats.

      • ObozoMustGo

        teacher… you may be right about that. I’m not sure how any American could support this NDAA, right or left. After all, we can disagree politically over many things, but I think most of us who are reasonable at least agree that our freedoms and protections offered by the Bill of Rights ARE NOT negotiable! And this NDAA is a direct assault on those freedoms. I was very disappointed in many Republicans that voted for this, as well.

        For the record, those 13 Senators that have enough sense to have voted NO on this bill are:

        Cardin (D-MD)
        Coburn (R-OK)
        Crapo (R-ID)
        DeMint (R-SC)
        Durbin (D-IL)
        Franken (D-MN)
        Harkin (D-IA)
        Lee (R-UT)
        Merkley (D-OR)
        Paul (R-KY)
        Risch (R-ID)
        Sanders (I-VT)
        Wyden (D-OR)

        As well, I am concerned that you are correct about the “ship going down”. Most people really have no clue what impact of our nation’s deplorable finances will have on their lives. Combine that with the growing march toward destruction of our Constitution, little bit by little bit, and the future picture of America does not really look so pretty. I know some that say we already are in a post-Constitutional era, and I tend to agree.

        Thank you for your thought, teacher.

        Have a nice weekend!

        “No man’s life, liberty, or property is in so much danger as when the legislature is in session.” – Mark Twain

  • onedonewong

    Gee no mention of the WH and their fellow Dem’s in Ohio attempting to suppress the military vote, guess its OK they give their lives but don’t you dare vote. Just another group that the Dem’s want to chain up.
    No mention of the 10’s of millions of illegal voters registered by ACORN who’s voter rolls haven’t been cleaned up. Th author is right the Dem’s want everyone to vote even the dead, illegals, children and their pets…its the Dem way

    • grammyjill

      Wrong on so many levels. The republicans are trying to feed you more bullshit. Stop being a mushroom. Obam’s people are NOT trying to supress the military vote. They are in court to try to expand voting time because the new rules make it extreemly dificult for the military people to vote. And acorn doesn’t exist anymore.
      Before you make some dumbass coment obozo, my son is military in ohio. He is paying close attention to this as well as everyone else on his base. He unfortunitally use to vote republican, but no more.

      • onedonewong

        maybe you need to do a little research, the Dem’s are in fact dong everything in their power to suppress the military vote because 80% won’t vote for barak,just like they in Florida in 2000
        As for your son its utter BS. The Dem’s don’t want them to vote and they are doing this in every state they can

        • grammyjill

          Stop listening to fox news! owned and operated by the republicans. There is no way they would tell you the truth about anything. As for my son: he is a crew chief on a blackhawk asshole!

          • onedonewong

            As opposed to the state Run Media which has been shilling for the Dems since 1965??

          • grammyjill

            I know all of you tea party lovers hate msnbc, but I watch that and get the viewpoint of both sides. Also I get channels to watch the house and the senate live. So I form my opinions from more than just one sourse. I was watching the house in early june when the president  begged them to pass the jobs act that was written by the repubs. They refused! I believe that the tea party is working toward something close to a dictatorship. Even the non-tea party republicans are being intimadated. Either they do what the tea party wants or get forced out. I know you have probably not seen anything about that, but I have. One repub. congressman just quit. He said he could no longer take the pressure from the tea party to just go along and not use his best judgement. And I have seen bad changes in our own reps. here. Now doing things that are totally against their core beliefs. I do not want to live in a country that is run by the koch brothers and sheldon adleson! So I advise you to put your prejudice aside and really do some research before you hit the voting booth. Just make sure you want to let the ultra rich run your life.

          • onedonewong

            You get both sides from MSNBC??? Are you daft ??? If you add up the total IQ of all the anchors it would be less than 100. Heck Bill O’reilly draws more viewers in a single day than MSNBC draws all day. Its a station for those who are unable to read.
            If you watched the House in early June and Barak was speaking to them you were on some DRUGS other than the SOU he hasn’t been there all year.
            There is no Jobs plan written by the republicans the only bill that was considered was the Senate plan one to strengthen union workers their membership and pass all the costs on to the taxpayers.
            I don’t live in a country ruled by socialists and mooslim’s. that have ignored the constitution and rewrite it as they see fit to suit their political agenda.
            I suggest you turn off the State Run Media and listen to some balanced news for a change or start reading a newspaper

          • grammyjill

            I have watched six republicans on msnbc today alone. There is a republican anchor on the cycle. You’ld like her! I read the newspaper everyday. Sometimes even write stuff for it. And yes, the president went before congress the first week of june to ask them to pass their jobs bill quickly. The republicans said they would not even look at it until after the election because they would do nothing that might make the president look good. Now does that sound like they are working to help the people of this country?

          • onedonewong

            No Barak had a WH press conference, which is nothing but a dog and pony show. Of course he offered up no specifics like always and his plea was “just give me another bag of $$$” to spend where I want.
            Th HOuse if focused on passing the annual appropriations budget has has already passed 8 of the measures. Th Senate hasn’t passed a budget plan since Harry reid took over. Barak had an opportunity to include the “jobs bill” when he submitted his budget bill to congress in Feb. Instead he submitted utter Nonsense and the Senate vote 99 to 0 to turn it down

          • grammyjill

            Yes he did have a WH press conference, AFTER he was in front of the house. He also went around the country and made speeches to let everyone know that he had asked the house to pass the jobs act that THEY wrote. Try watching some REAL news once in a while. And as far as the appropiations bills go, they are so behind on them that they almost had their lights turned off. They can’t even agree to pay the electric bill! And to pass the budget, it has to get through the house first. So, don’t blame Harry for something he hasn’t even seen. Listen to the debates with your mind open and eyes shut!

          • onedonewong

            Your right I google it and he appeared in front of congress in June in Bizzaro World. The house has passed 7 appropriations bills the Senate None in 4 years

          • onedonewong

            a crew chief doesn’t fly he’s a maintainer. None the less good for him . This is 1 occasion where the apple fell far far from the tree

          • grammyjill

            My son’s blackhawk Does Not go up unless he says so and it NEVER goes up without him. Check your info. Wrong again!! And as for your apple/tree remark: this son is much like his mom. Although you wouldn’t get me in that damn blackhawk unless they promised it wouldn’t move. And he has a very high IQ. You should work on yours instead of just making insults.

          • onedonewong

            AAAAnd??? I said he mantains them he doesn’t fly them. Sorry I’ve seldon seen anyone in the military that is an active socialist like his mother and Obama.
            PS there are NO army or Marine bases in OHIO

          • grammyjill

            I didn’t say his base was in ohio. Many military live in ohio but go to bases in kentucky. He is not a socialist by your way of thinking. He’s just smart, has a wife and a daughter, and does not like anyone who threatens their wellbeing. Pay attention to the debates with your mind open and your eyes shut.

          • onedonewong

            I responded to your post. I’m not a mind reader though I’m 100% when it comes to reading people.

  • PatrickInBeijing

    Disgusting. Can the Democrats sue or do anything? Jon Husted is a traitor to democracy. If the Republicans can only carry Ohio by cheating, then their Presidency is illegitimate before the election even happens. What do Romney and Ryan say about this? Nothing I am sure. What a sad situation for America. It can happen there.

  • TWO PARTY SYSTEM? BULLSHIT.