67 thoughts on “News/Politics 1-5-17

  1. Looks like Mexico is upset with Trump again, but they seem to be getting the message.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/L/LT_MEXICO_FORD?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-01-04-14-45-38

    “Ford Motor Co.’s cancellation of plans to build a $1.6 billion auto manufacturing plant in San Luis Potosi has sounded alarms across Mexico.

    Even as the country is being rocked by rowdy nationwide protests against a Jan. 1 gasoline price hike, the Ford news led the front pages of Mexico’s most influential newspapers Wednesday, and they tied the development directly to President-elect Donald Trump.

    “Trump leaves Mexico without 3,600 jobs,” read the headline on El Universal. “Ford’s braking jolts the peso,” said Reforma, referring to the Mexican currency’s nearly 1 percent slump following the news.

    “The jobs created in Mexico have contributed to maintaining manufacturing jobs in the United States which otherwise would have disappeared in the face of Asian competition,” the Mexico Economy Department said.

    The Mexican peso slid again Wednesday, with the Bank of Mexico’s 48-hour interbank exchange rate for the currency weakening from 21.05 to the U.S. dollar to 21.52 at the close.

    Mexicans have been nervous about Trump’s tough rhetoric toward their country, including disparaging remarks about immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally and vows to wall off the border and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, upsetting ties with what is by far Mexico’s largest trading partner.

    Two weeks before inauguration, the scuttling of the planned Ford factory and Trump’s pressure on General Motors should be a “much-needed wake-up call,” said Mexico analyst Alejandro Hope.

    It shows “how much actual leverage Trump has within specific companies, which is far greater than what Mexican elites thought until recently,” Hope said. “They claimed that at the end of the day economic interests would prevail over political messaging. That’s clearly not the case.””
    ————————-

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  2. Now about those fraudulent numbers Democrats always tout, claiming Obama has deported more people than any president……

    http://www.mrctv.org/blog/ice-deported-less-1-percent-all-illegal-aliens-fy2016

    “If anyone out there still believes Obama to be the “deporter-in-chief,” now would be a good time to stop.”

    “And it doesn’t take much digging to find out. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently released its Fiscal Year 2016 report which stated that as a whole, the Department of Homeland Security – which houses both U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement – removed or returned a total of 450,954 illegal aliens last year alone, each counted as a “deportation” by the term’s weakest definition.

    However, a closer look at the data reveals that the vast majority of these “deportations” claimed by the Obama administration took place at or near the border – meaning they weren’t actual “deportations” at all. These were folks, primarily single adults, who got caught crossing the border from Mexico and were either turned around or, in the case of non-Mexicans, processed and sent back to their home country.

    In fact, of the roughly 451,000 aliens who were removed from the country last year, only 65,332 of them – about 14 percent – were apprehended in the interior of the United States, according to DHS’s own report. The vast majority of these, by the administration’s own admission, were criminal aliens who’d been convicted of a violent felony or were a threat to national security.

    Only five percent of all removals (less than 23,000) were Priority 2 cases, which includes people who unlawfully crossed into the U.S. since 2014. An even smaller one percent (less than 5,000) were aliens who’d been given a final order of removal in the last 2-3 years.

    Overall, 94 percent of removals and returns were classified within a Priority 1 category, five percent were classified within a Priority 2 category (i.e., serious and repeat misdemeanants, individuals who unlawfully entered the United States on or after January 1, 2014, and significant abusers of the visa system or visa waiver program), and one percent were classified within a Priority 3 category (individuals issued a final order of removal on or after January 1, 2014).

    But not only are the administration’s overall “deportation” numbers highly misleading, they also mask the fact that interior arrests are dropping. According to ICE data analyzed by the Center for Immigration Studies last summer, there are about 925,000 illegal aliens who’ve received a final order of removal from an immigration judge still living in the United States, including about 179,000 convicted criminals. But despite these alarming numbers, the administration’s recent report states that ICE made nearly 11,000 fewer interior arrests in FY2016 than the year before, down from 125,211 in FY2015 to 114,434 last year.”

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  3. And it’s not like their aren’t a large number needing deportation. We could just start with these.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/report-820000-criminal-illegals-84-with-felonies-serious-misdemeanors/article/2609915

    “Illegal immigrants with criminal records, the deportation priority of President-elect Trump, total at least 820,000, with most having felony and serious misdemeanor convictions, according to a new report.

    Some estimates have suggested up to two million criminal illegals, but the numbers cited by the Center for Immigration Studies still show an enormous group larger than the populations of four states, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont or Wyoming.

    The immigration think tank cited numbers from the Urban Institute. That group downplayed the crimes and also questioned deporting any of those who are parents of children who might get left behind.

    “Some estimates say that there are only 820,000 undocumented immigrants with criminal records in the country, including 690,000 with a felony or serious misdemeanor conviction,” said that report.”

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  4. While the media provided cover for the sellers of baby body parts to the general public, it didn’t work with R’s in Congress. And despite PP’s denials, the evidence says they did do what the videos accused them of. Note the referrals for prosecution…..

    http://hotair.com/archives/2017/01/04/gop-house-investigative-panel-releases-report-calling-for-defunding-of-planned-parenthood/

    “A House investigative panel led by the GOP has released a 400-page report which calls for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. The report ends with a series of recommendations including a section titled “Recommendations for Stewardship of Taxpayer Funds.” The report reads in part:

    Planned Parenthood affiliates and clinics have repeatedly neglected their fiduciary duty requiring good stewardship of federal taxpayer dollars through the following: careless management and failed compliance with Medicaid billing procedures; violating federal laws and regulations pertaining to patient consent and the privacy rights of their patients; changing the method of abortion to increase procurement of fetal tissue for which they received a per tissue payment; and a general disinterest in clinical integrity. The Panel recommends that Planned Parenthood lose all federal funding, including reimbursements for Medicaid services.”
    ————

    “In addition to the recommendations, the report also includes 15 criminal and regulatory referrals to federal and state authorities for further investigation. Here’s a sample (from page 33 of the report):

    1) The Panel discovered that the University of New Mexico may have been violating its state’s Anatomical Gift Act by receiving tissue from a late-term abortion clinic (Southwestern Women’s Options). Referred to the Attorney General of New Mexico.

    2 & 3) The Panel conducted a forensic accounting analysis of StemExpress’ limited production and determined that it may have been profiting from the sale of baby body parts. Referral sent to El Dorado, California, District Attorney, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

    4) The Panel learned that StemExpress and certain abortion clinics may have violated the HIPAA privacy rights of vulnerable women for the sole purpose of increasing the harvesting of fetal tissue to make money. Referred to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”
    ————–

    The report is here.

    https://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/files/documents/Select_Investigative_Panel_Final_Report.pdf

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  5. If this continues the Republican Party under Trump will become like a house where meth was made. The odor will make it uninhabitable. Conservatives will have to leave and create a new party.

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  6. Whoa, on PP news. And why isn’t such information on the front page of my local newspaper? (Gee, it’s so early, I wonder if it’s here yet . . . ) Almost nothing about PP story made it to our paper, that’s why. 😦

    There’s the answer to what I frequently pray: that the truth will be revealed.

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  7. Looks like Tucker Carlson will get Megyn’s prime 9 p.m. slot. I like him, always wondered why he didn’t rise more quickly some years ago.

    Kind of refreshing that it’s not yet another blonde in a too-tight, too-short skirt, to be honest.

    __________________________

    TUCKER NEW CABLE KING
    GETS 9 PM FOXNEWS

    **EXCLUSIVE**
    Thu Jan 05 2017 09:30 ET

    2017 starts off with a BANG! as FOX NEWS executives will announce Tucker Carlson replaces the vacating Megyn Kelly at 9 PM ET, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

    The dramatic move caps Carlson’s rapid rise at the nation’s top-rated cable channel. …
    ___________________________

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  8. Ricky, what is it that most disturbs you about Trump? Is it the bombast or the political appointments? Most conservatives don’t seem to have a big problem with the appointments. …

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  9. Regarding Jeff Sessions. In the 1980’s I know I was homophobic and I was probably racist if I am honest. I attended one of the “segregation academies” and had never really been around a black person. People change. He prosecuted the KKK in Alabama. Other than that I don’t know anything particularly good or bad about him.

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  10. Deportations — Does this mean the border patrol has become better at their jobs under Obama? Or is this the result of increased illegal immigration, i.e. more people to catch, which of course only happens under a good economy? Either way Obama looks good. As for interior deportations, these numbers depend on local complaints — which only happens if the locality has no need for their cheap labour anymore. As I’m sure Ricky would agree, find enough Americans willing to do the work and the interior deportations would suddenly increase.

    PP — I didn’t follow the PP controversy much — other than my left wing sites saw a completely different video than my right wing friends or so it seemed. However, I’m not surprised a Republican cmttee issued a 400 page report condemning PP, that was a forgone conclusion but I wonder if this will translate into any action by authorities as the burden of proof will be higher.

    Trump will prove to be one of the more corrupt regimes in a modern presidency if his early actions are an indicator. His refusal to be open about his own finances and then his refusal to put his business interests in a blind trust are the first indication. Moreover his wealth is in real estate and even if it was in a blind trust, he could still act in the interests of his real estate.

    Trump’s appointments are a steady stream of old white men many with business interest that will probably conflict with the regulatory jobs — the head of the SEC for example. I realize most administrations like to surround themselves with like minded people but I wonder if the strain of office will kill them if not the greed. Unlike Trump, his appointees will probably actually work and given their age……

    As for Sessions, I’m sure he’s different than he was 30 years ago. I certainly am, I actually liked Reagan for one. People change and their views change. However, his position on the drug war, civil forfeiture, prison reform, etc should worry libertarians and small government types.

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  11. Michelle, thanks for the gas lighting article. I never understood the term but its all the rage in left wing circles to describe right wing behaviour. Now I see the right is appropiating the term to describe left wing behaviour. Similar to how the terms “low information voters” and “fake news” were appropriated. Half the political battles fought today are over the use of language and who can dominate a new term.

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  12. H– I just know from what reading I do that people are irrational over politics any more and you cannot have a conversation with this unless you first agree with them that the other side is Pure Evil.

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  13. People tend to get irrational over anything that requires belief and that includes political ideologies etc., After all, the belief is probably irrational and thus requires irrational behaviour.

    Yet sanity can prevail. And people can have sane discussions. I usually tend to have sane discussions here with most of you.

    Part of the problem may be the English speaking world’s “first past the post” political system. Rarely does this system produce coalitions, instead it produces “”overwhelming” majority gov’ts even when the vote indicates otherwise (this year’s presidential elections is a good example or better Canada’s federal elections). Thus for political expediency, the English speaking world tends to have two or three stable parties. In countries with “rep by pop” this is not the case, coalitions tend to be the rule not the exception and the coalitions tend to be fluid. And the system tends to allow for more parties to have a seat in the legislature. With more parties, these legislatures have far more diverse political views represented yet they are forced to form coalitions. Ironically then, you tend to have diverse political opinions quite far apart on the spectrum that can and must talk to each other while in the English speaking world we tend to have less political diversity in the legislature yet they can’t talk to each other, mainly because they don’t have to.

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  14. A “friend” on Facebook posted a blogpost from a very liberal pastor. I liked this paragraph;

    “Donald Trump couldn’t even pass the basic screening to volunteer in your church’s children’s ministry, but he still receives your full Christian support as the president of the United States? He couldn’t qualify for the simple role of Elder in your church for lack of character and self-control alone, and yet you continue to display t-shirts, hats, and signs bowing to his name as the leader of your “one nation under God?” I would suspect that many parents, if they were honest, wouldn’t even feel good about him coaching the local girls “Upward” Basketball team, or even the boys, and yet he still receives your allegiance and is the object of your national hope?”

    I coach middle school girls volleyball. Would you rather have me or Trump coach your daughter’s team? If the answer is me (and I hope it is me) why then did anyone vote for him?

    Here’s the blogpost; I suspect it won’t pass the theological mustard but ….. http://chriskratzer.com/to-those-christians-who-still-support-trump-help-me-understand/

    His thoughts mirrored mine the day after Trump was elected. Here’s my Facebook post;

    “I teach health to middle school and am currently discussing harassment, consent, etc. And now I’m left with the thought — how do you teach children that bullying, inappropriate touching, etc are wrong when 50% of America would have no problem making you president. Middle school hallways are bad enough without adults role modelling and approving the same behaviours.”

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  15. Kim, I generally share the views of the conservative writers from National Review, The Weekly Standard and The Wall Street Journal about Trump. Our objections fall into two broad categories:

    A. He is not a conservative. In that regard I have been very pleased with his appointments. I have not been pleased with his desire to spend $1 billion on infrastructure, the tariff threats, and the absence of any concept of the Constitutional limits on presidential power.

    B. He is an ignorant, childish, petulant, self-absorbed, amoral liar, con man and sexual predator who is unfit to be President. His new fondness for Julian Assange and his regular tweets taunting and attacking his “enemies” simply reconfirmed what we thought of him in this regard.

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  16. HRW–My guess is that for many Christians, we’re falling into the passage of Scripture that tells us to obey those in authority over us: Romans 13. It doesn’t mean we like the individual–I don’t know many Christians who support Trump wholeheartedly–we just recognize his authority.

    I didn’t care for President Obama’s policies, but I still obeyed them–that type of thing.

    One thing I “like” about Trump as president–the press will do their job and ask better questions than they have of President Obama. This man will not get away with much–which can be very good.

    Especially for an undisciplined man like Trump. 😦

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  17. About that “Backing Trump” thingy.I haven’t seen anyone point out who Trump was running against.

    “Daniel 5:25-28 25 “Now this is the inscription that was written out: ‘[aa]MENĒ, [ab]MENĒ, [ac]TEKĒL, [ad]UPHARSIN.’ 26 This is the interpretation of the [ae]message: ‘MENĒ’—God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. 27 ‘TEKĒL’—you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient. 28 ‘PERĒS’—your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and [af]Persians.”

    TEKEL especially applies to Hillary.

    I was not for Trump even though he got my vote, he looked bad but she looked far worse. Many men don’t like listening to her, her voice grates on our ears, she nags, she talks like a shrew and she lies easily and often.

    Is it really so hard to see why she lost? Why or why did so many Democrats vote for her in the primaries? What was her allure?

    I voted AGAINST Hillary. As for her popular vote win, I just take it that the margin there was just how many illegal votes she got. THAT needs to be fixed so Republicans don’t get cheated out of honest wins.

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  18. I am not a fan of Trump, I believe even here I have called him a misogynistic jackass. I simply respect the office of the President of the United States. I didn’t like Obama but I never called him anything worse than O’Bummer. I didn’t spew vile hatred toward him and when asked I explained that one of the reasons I didn’t like him is that he did not spend his formative years in the US or on a military base where he was taught to love the United States as his country. At this point I couldn’t care less where he was born and the Birthers made fools of themselves.

    I am disappointed in my fellow citizens over the crazy way they are acting over the soon to be President. I could NEVER suggest a president should be assassinated! No matter how strongly I disagreed with them I would pray for their safety. People are vile,

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  19. Or the people who didn’t vote. If you couldn’t bring yourself to vote for either of them you could have voted for a 3rd party so that it showed people against her. More votes would have watered down her “popular” vote argument. I voted for president but I sure didn’t vote FOR any of them that were running. I voted for 1 of the 4 on my ballot.

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  20. No worries, Ricky, I think I can teach Bible study better than Trump. Coaching basketball on the other hand I can’t do.

    The issue of Hilary’s voice came up frequently by the “talking heads” on TV. At first I was prone to agree but then I remembered the left made fun of Bachman’s voice. In fact, any time a female politician raised her voice she ran the risk of being labelled shrill or a nag. At this point, I have to agree with some female friends of mine who claim the media has double standards here. “Men are assertive, women are shrill and nagging”

    There’s no way 2.8 million illegals voted. In fact, I would think hardly any did. For one thing, they’re too busy working to stand in line for hours. Clinton easily won the popular vote. And Trump’s electoral college victory comes from narrow wins in the upper midwest. Its not much of a mandate and in fact Republican control of the House has more to do with gerrymandering than popular support.

    Clinton survived the primaries because it was made easy for her. The difficulty she had with Sanders should’ve been a warning for her to up her game in the charisma department but she didn’t listen. Sanders supporters pointed out her primary victory rested on her ability to dominate states in which she wouldn’t win in the general i.e. the South. In the important rust belts states she only appealed to her own demographic whereas Sanders had a wide ranging vote and therein lay her problem for the general and it was a problem she never addressed.

    I would think Trump also was weighed on the scales and found deficient. Clinton may not have been the idea candidate but she was competent, knowledgable, experienced, and actually wanted the job. With Trump, I think his business and personal interests come first. His greed and petulant arrested adolescence will be a danger to the US.

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  21. So how do they know for sure, if they never examined the evidence?

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/alimwatkins/the-fbi-never-asked-for-access-to-hacked-computer-servers?utm_term=.thDBD6B8r#.ntVPyqPVn

    ” The FBI did not examine the servers of the Democratic National Committee before issuing a report attributing the sweeping cyberintrusion to Russia-backed hackers, BuzzFeed News has learned.
    Six months after the FBI first said it was investigating the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s computer network, the bureau has still not requested access to the hacked servers, a DNC spokesman said. No US government entity has run an independent forensic analysis on the system, one US intelligence official told BuzzFeed News.
    “The DNC had several meetings with representatives of the FBI’s Cyber Division and its Washington (DC) Field Office, the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, and U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and it responded to a variety of requests for cooperation, but the FBI never requested access to the DNC’s computer servers,” Eric Walker, the DNC’s deputy communications director, told BuzzFeed News in an email.
    The FBI has instead relied on computer forensics from a third-party tech security company, CrowdStrike, which first determined in May of last year that the DNC’s servers had been infiltrated by Russia-linked hackers, the U.S. intelligence official told BuzzFeed News.
    “CrowdStrike is pretty good. There’s no reason to believe that anything that they have concluded is not accurate,” the intelligence official said, adding they were confident Russia was behind the widespread hacks.
    The FBI declined to comment.”

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  22. “BuzzFeed News spoke to three cybersecurity companies who have worked on major breaches in the last 15 months, who said that it was “par for the course” for the FBI to do their own forensic research into the hacks. None wanted to comment on the record on another cybersecurity company’s work, or the work being done by a national security agency.”

    And yet, they didn’t here.

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  23. “He couldn’t qualify for the simple role of Elder in your church for lack of character and self-control alone, and yet you continue to display t-shirts, hats, and signs bowing to his name as the leader of your “one nation under God?”

    “Elder” is not a “simple” role and it has a far different list of qualifications than president. I don’t believe Trump qualified as president, which is why I didn’t vote for him, but he could “qualify” as president without qualifying to be an elder. (He could not be a Christian, he could be divorced and remarried, etc.)

    Kim, it isn’t necessarily as simple as you have to vote for a third party if you don’t vote for one of them. Indiana laws makes third-party candidates tricky, for instance. You can’t write in just anyone; they have to be on the approved list of write-ins. The one I wanted to vote for wasn’t on the list. I ended up finding someone else to vote for, but I forgot that he qualified only as a write-in (not a button to push), and I didn’t take his name with me, and I ended up not voting for president at all. I would have rather voted and made it obvious I was voting “no” for the two lead candidates, but in the scheme of things, someone who requires a write-in vote is going to get so few votes it isn’t much of a statement, anyway. And choosing to leave the top of the ticket blank is a bit of a statement, and I did make that one.

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  24. AJ — are you saying the intelligence community in the US is making a mistake? You have doubts as to their ability and the validity of their information? Welcome to the dark side. I didn’t trust their conclusions in 2003. What took you so long?

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  25. hwesseli

    When Hillary left the office of Secretary of State the law required her to give the US Government all business emails. Did she? No.

    When required to give the US Government all relevant emails for others under FOIA laws, did she? No.

    Did she prevaricate about Benghazi and was she mendacious to Congressional committees? Yes.

    Did she use her government position to monetarily enhance her family “Charity”? Seemingly so.

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  26. hwesseli
    Which credible reports of voter fraud have you read where the Republicans were benefitting?
    I am still looking for them.

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  27. hwesseli
    I was not thinking mainly of illegals voting, I was thinking of votes not being legal. People turning in absentee ballots not from the absent voter. Ballot box stuffing. Dead people voting. Changing ballots.

    Did you know that over 18,000 ballots in southern Florida were double punched in the 2000 election and that those ballots were straight Republican, down ticket?

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  28. It’s almost like they didn’t want them to know who was responsible, because they already knew who they’d blame……

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/05/politics/fbi-russia-hacking-dnc-crowdstrike/index.html

    “The Democratic National Committee “rebuffed” a request from the FBI to examine its computer services after it was allegedly hacked by Russia during the 2016 election, a senior law enforcement official told CNN Thursday.

    “The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” a senior law enforcement official told CNN. “This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.”

    This statement is in response to reports that the FBI never asked the DNC for access to the hacked systems.”

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  29. hwesseli, is there any evidence of Republicans “suppressing” the votes of those legally eligible to vote? in what way? (Requiring a drivers license or other ID doesn’t count, BTW–we need that to do just about anything, and voting shouldn’t be the one exception. In two of three states I’ve lived in within the last 20 years, ID is required . . . all but in Illinois, in Chicago, which is so known for voter fraud that even within Chicago it’s an ongoing joke.)

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  30. HRW, Yes, but the Democrats actually succeed in having more than 100% of their people vote. No state has yet adopted my algebra word problem literacy test. These voter ID requirements are doing a very weak job of suppressing the vote.

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  31. On the way home I listened to O’Reilly. Bill, Col. Ralph Peters and the other guest (a cyber security expert all agreed with all of the US intelligence agencies and the intelligence agencies of Western Europe that Russia hacked the Democrats and released items to Wikileaks. On the other side we still have Trump, Putin, Palin, Asante and Hannity. This is really going to be a funny four years.

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  32. This is voter suppression:

    At its birth, the United States was not a democratic nation—far from it. The very word “democracy” had pejorative overtones, summoning up images of disorder, government by the unfit, even mob rule. In practice, moreover, relatively few of the nation’s inhabitants were able to participate in elections: among the excluded were most African Americans, Native Americans, women, men who had not attained their majority, and white males who did not own land.

    John Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence and later president, wrote in 1776 that no good could come from enfranchising more Americans:

    Depend upon it, Sir, it is dangerous to open so fruitful a source of controversy and altercation as would be opened by attempting to alter the qualifications of voters; there will be no end to it. New claims will arise; women will demand the vote; lads from 12 to 21 will think their rights not enough attended to; and every man who has not a farthing, will demand an equal voice with any other, in all acts of state. It tends to confound and destroy all distinctions, and prostrate all ranks to one common level.

    In the old days, even liberal Yankees like John Adams supported voter suppression. Things started to go downhill when we gave the vote to men who owned no land.

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  33. Voter suppression need not be blatant. Any barrier to registration can be considered suppression. Personally I support ID laws if registration is made easy. When I fill out a tax return, I check off a box that registers me to vote in all elections — municipal, provincial and federal. Once an election is called, a postcard arrives in the mail with my name on it and I bring it to the poll with an ID (a health card is good enough and everyone has one in Ontario). Any opportunity to register people should be taken — tax returns, driver license renewal etc. Failure to do so is passive suppression.

    The value of a vote can lowered to a point that it can be considered suppressed. In Ohio, Republicans won 52% of the vote in the last election yet have 12 out of the 16 seats. In North Carolina, the Republicans won 50% of the vote yet managed 10 out 13 seats. The latter is so obviously gerrymandered the courts have ordered it changed.

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  34. HRW, Gerrymandering is something different. Please give me one actual example of effective voter suppression in the US today. I will then ask my State Rep. to have Texas adopt that technique.

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  35. One of my Facebook friends recently wrote that he watched Fox news during the Obama administration (he has many other news sources as well), & will now be watching MSNBC during the Trump administration. Greta Van Susteren’s move there helped his decision.

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  36. Another Facebook friend, the outspoken Christian conservative who doesn’t bother to fact check, shared an article that claims Obama awarded himself the Distinguished Public Service Medal. That medal is actually awarded by the Secretary of Defense, & has been awarded to a lot of people, including Presidents Bush & Clinton.

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  37. Ricky, are you secretly in favour of a landed nobility, an oligarchy in fact? John Adams was simply showing his English roots. Only property owners could vote in England until universal suffrage for men was introduced in 1918 (women got the vote in 1928 – that is all women, since women who were landowners voted before that).

    Cheryl, I’m not sure what HRW is thinking, but it wouldn’t be ID. ID is required in order to vote here – if a driver’s license or other ID card containing both photo and address isn’t available, two pieces of ID, one to confirm identity and one to confirm address, are required. Voting here is done the old fashioned way, with paper ballots and voter’s lists where each name is manually crossed off as they drop their ballot in the box.

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  38. No, Roscuro. I am openly in favor of a landed nobility, an oligarchy in fact. My views on this subject are roughly the same as General Lee. He was a Whig. I am a Whig.

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  39. But wasn’t the American Revolution founded on the principle that all men are created equal? Or is it all George Orwell, said, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”?

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  40. If Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe had known what Lincoln would do to their Virginia 85 years later, none of them would have participated in the Revolution.

    After men who were not property owners were allowed to vote around the time of Andrew Jackson, the nation began to become more and more polarized and the quality of the presidents declined. Lee saw what was happening. Eventually, this led to the War. If the nation had still been governed entirely by wealthy land owners, it is possible that war could have been avoided.

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  41. Crowding all the Democrats in 3 out 13 seats even though they represent 49% of the vote is voter suppression. The lack of a central register and registration method is also suppression. The ID requirement is not a suppression technique in Canada as almost everyone has a health card but I can see how the issue poses problems in the US.

    However, I’ve voted without ID — the poll was a block from my house and I forgot my ID. The clerk believed me and I voted. At the time, I lived in a small town which was more relaxed than the city. The last election they actually asked for ID — strange since I live in a district that votes over 60% NDP. My local representative doesn’t even campaign.

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  42. Ricky, Some on the left are comparing Trump to Jackson. The vulgar class comes to the White House — are you in agreement with the liberal elites? Except of course you want a landed elite?

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  43. HRW, In 1980, the Democrats crowded the Republicans in Texas into 3 out of 24 seats even though Reagan won 60% of the vote. That is Gerrymandering. Now it is required by the Voting Rights Act. That law has been construed to require the election of minorities when possible, so minorities are grouped so they form a majority in a few districts. Once you do that, all the other districts are marginally Republican.

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  44. Jackson was a war hero in several different wars, wounded and imprisoned as a youngster during the Revolution. Trump is a draft dodger, complete with phantom heel spur. Jackson fought several duels. It is a shame dueling is no longer allowed. Some wronged husband, brother or father might have rid us of Trump many years ago. Jackson was tough, but he was wise, not petulant or childish.

    However, there are some similarities in their supporters, most of whom I would have disenfranchised if given the chance.

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  45. Although I don’t agree entirely, I can’t help but like your statement — I’m sure Trump wouldn’t have made it past his first duel with an irate husband or father.

    Alabama’s 7th district is a good example of majority-minority required districting. It was done originally to prevent a complete gerrymandering of the black vote. Perhaps it served a purpose but it becomes a little silly with North Carolina’s 12th district.

    In 1980, split ticket voting was more common. I’m sure many of the Texan Democrats voted for Reagan and many of the Representatives were “southern” Democrats.

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  46. It sound like you guys have been busy creating an alt-alt-right in your eagerness to escape Trump. The cure can be worse than the disease you know. Are you sure you really want to do that? :–)

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  47. Right you are about those conservative Democrats, HRW. There was Phil Gramm from College Station, Ralph Hall from Rockwall, Sam Hall from Longview, Poague from Waco, Tiger Teague from Temple and O. C. Fisher from San Angelo. Of course my favorite was Kent Hance from Lubbock who had defeated the more liberal (and Yankee) Republican George W. Bush in 1978.

    Every one of those men I mentioned had a much more conservative voting record than the average Northern Republican. Within 10 years they had switched parties or retired.

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  48. I’m sure you have heard of California voter suppression as well, that they have it set up so that Democrats carry far more than their share of the votes?

    I mentioned voter IDs as potential “voter suppression” because Democrats in America fuss at any new laws requiring ID, calling it voter suppression. It isn’t. In Chicago I could walk into my precinct, tell by looking at the log who had not yet voted in my neighborhood (the name was not yet crossed out) and claim to be that person. I could see by looking at the square for my address that several of my former housemates were still listed as residing there, and anyone else could have claimed one of them, too. I only had to be able to read upside down, but probably pointing to an address and mumbling would have worked if I couldn’t read upside down, because I imagine the judge would have said, “Are you Mary Fisher?” “Yes, that’s me.” If there were no female names at that address, I could claim I was pointing at the next house. A bus full of people could have gone precinct by precinct, each person on the bus quickly scanning the list for unclaimed names and addresses, and voted as many times as they could manage in stops. Who could stop them if you aren’t allowed to ask for ID, even if you suspect this person is not who they claim to be? What happens if someone in line actually really is Mary Fisher–are they going to arrest us both? If the bus was full of black people, they could even claim racism if someone had reason to be suspicious of voter fraud.

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