Daily Archives: December 31, 2014

The Secret Lists that Swiped the Senate

Greg Palast has the article The Secret Lists that Swiped the Senate on his web site.

No question, Republicans trounced Democrats in the Midterm elections.  But, if not for the boost of this voter-roll purge system used in 23 Republican-controlled states, the GOP could not have taken the US Senate.

Palast quotes some indicative numbers in his article:

  • In North Carolina, Republican Thom Tillis upset incumbent Senator Kay Hagan by just 48,511 votes.  North Carolina’s Crosscheck purge list targeted a stunning 589,393 voters.
  • In Colorado, Cory Gardner, the Republican, defeated Mark Udall by just 49,729 votes.  Colorado’s Crosscheck “potential double voter” list totals 300,842.

So while I chastise President Obama for his abysmal record of helping the bottom 90% of income earners, I should not forget the factor of how many of his likely voters were not allowed to vote.

I base this not on the presumption that the purge lists were faulty, but on the evidence Palast presents.  You have to look at  the chart he has in the article to see the justification for his statement:

If the Crosscheck lists truly identified fraudulent double voters, then we’d have to concede that the election results are legit.  But the ugly truth is, the lists are nothing more than racially-loaded lists of common names.

On first reading of the article, even I did not pay enough attention to the statement:

While state officials claimed that the criminal double voters were matched by social security number and other key identifiers, we discovered that, in fact, they only matched first and last name.  Nearly two million of the pairs of names lacked middle name matches.  Example:  James Elmer Barnes Jr. who voted in Georgia is supposed to be the same person as James Cross Barnes III of Virginia.

Where is the Department of Justice?  The Obama administration has two years to address these issues.  The Republicans are right about there being voter fraud, and they ought to know.  They are the ones committing the fraud.

As with the their vulture capitalist friends and their supporters who are executives at the top 5 financial institutions on Wall Street, the Republicans find that it is easy to win if you cheat and the authorities let you get away with it.  The national “authorities” in the Obama administration even hire the cheaters to take charge of managing the enforcement of the laws.  (That hiring record at the national level is Obama’s fault, so maybe the Democrats’ losses are just poetic justice, if not real justice.)

Did Obama Ruin The Economy?

Well, I have just made my calculation of the end of the year financial results.  Comparing this to year end 2008, our net worth is up 90%.  Obama’s term in office has been pretty good to us. (For nefarious people who might be reading this, let me add that very little of our net worth is at our home.   Most of it is safely tucked away in the “bank”.)

I am worried about the welfare of the other 90% of the income earners below us that have not made progress at all or who have even lost ground.

We can pat ourselves on the back for having elected President Obama, twice.  We can also be very concerned that the gains have been limited to the top 10% of income earners. Should we be surprised that the enthusiasm of 90% of the voters is not as great for President Obama as it once was.  Of course The Secret Lists that Swiped the Senate might have had something to do with the lower turn-out for Democrats in the last election.

The Wisdom of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The Other 98% has this Facebook post.

Wise comments by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The truly great police officers probably want the incompetent or corrupt ones out of the profession. They probably abhor bad police force management that allows this to go on.

These good police officers are not looked upon fondly by those who cannot or will not live up to these officers’ high standards.

A New Year’s resolution to conquer your student debt

Here is my public service announcement from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, A New Year’s resolution to conquer your student debt.

Each year, nearly 5 million college students leave school with student debt. For most of them who graduated this past spring, their six-month “grace period” just ended and those first bills have just have arrived.

For all of you faced with student loan payments and crafting New Year’s resolutions to conquer your debt, we’ve put together some tips to help you navigate through the noise.

Whether you’re just starting out or if you’re worried you’re in too deep, taking action today can help you save money, build your credit, and get you on the road to being debt-free.

CFPB graphic for the article

You can also find a link to the article on the CFPB Facebook post.

Should the Police Respect The Mayor’s Authority?

Thanks to Elizabeth St John for sharing this on her Facebook page.

Police respect poster

The disrespect that the police showed to Mayor de Blasio is a perfect demonstration of the issue that has brought on such criticism of police behavior. The police will brook no disrespect aimed at them. You might say people get shot and killed for showing any hint of disrespect. Yet, the police show tremendous disrespect for the people that they bully while expecting the victims to just accept it. In contrast the Mayor did tolerate the police disrespect aimed at him even though he could have had all those policemen fired for insubordination. The Mayor showed an ability to de-escalate rather than escalate tension. The police who protested showed how to escalate rather than de-escalate. Seems there could have been a teachable moment here that nobody recognized.

Greece, the Troika, and the New York Times

New Economic Perspectives has the article Greece, the Troika, and the New York Times by William K. Black. The article starts with the following paragraph:

As I have explained in prior articles, there is an excellent chance that the Troika’s infliction of austerity on the eurozone’s periphery could, as with the austerity inflicted under the Washington Consensus continue to produce such long-term rolling recessions that it creates a political dynamic that discredits such economic malpractice and brings to power leaders elected on the promise that they will adopt economically literate policies. The first case of this in the eurozone could be Greece.

It is disheartening how strongly people hold onto their justifications for “economic malpractice”, and how much they decry “economically literate policies”.   Is it too much to expect economic “experts” to be versed in the history of how the type of economic prescriptions that they are forcing on Greece have failed abysmally over and over again?

What really saddens me is that what the non-“experts” experience is enough to discredit the whole idea of expertise.  They must wonder what is the value of education if it leads one to hold firmly to expert opinion that flies in the face of reality.  This skepticism about the legitimacy of education extends far beyond the field of economics.  The anti-intellectualism that is widespread throughout the population of the USA is the source of many of our problems.  Examples extend from climate change deniers to believers in creationism. However, if the “intellectuals” are constantly prescribing nonsense that obviously fails to work, it is hard to blame the anti-intellectuals for skepticism.  What is unfortunate is that the experts who are prescribing the failed policies manage to convince the general public that it is the other experts who are wrong.