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Archive for the ‘government’ Category

Michigan Board of Canvassers rejects petition that it approved on grounds of font size/updated

Posted by Charles II on April 26, 2012

Michigan has destroyed self-governance at the local level.

Now it has turned the law into a mockery by rejecting a petition to vote on the Emergency Manager Law. Here’s the morning story. Now the petition has been rejected–because the Republican members decided that the font size was too small. The Republicans are not just run-of-the-mill Republicans, but active operatives.

According to Rachel Maddow (I forget exactly when), before the petition was circulated, it was approved by the Board of Canvassers.

The Declaration of Independence says,

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

The Michigan Republicans are certainly testing the limits of what Michiganders wills suffer. Font size?
Update, Laura Clawson, DK:

Stand Up for Democracy, which collected the signatures, had an affidavit from the printer affirming that the petition headers were printed in 14-point boldface font.

Clawson links to Eclectablog, which has done font size analysis and has more details on the printer’s affidavit and supporting evidence.

I do not understand why more people–especially Michiganders– are not in an uproar over this. What is going on in Michigan would seem to be outright tyranny, in which control of political institutions is used to reinforce control of political institutions, even when it means violating the law.

Posted in abuse of power, government, Republicans as cancer | 2 Comments »

The Solyndra “scandal”

Posted by Charles II on September 14, 2011

Dave Johnson of CfAP has the skinny:

Solyndra was a startup solar-power equipment manufacturer based in Fremont, California that went bankrupt at the end of August. The company’s solar collectors used a special tubular internal design that let it collect light from all directions, and were made with a copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) thin film that avoided using then-expensive silicon. It was one of several companies that received assistance from the government, in an attempt to push back on China’s strategic targeting of green-energy manufacturing.

The company, partly backed by the conservative Walton family had received a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. The loan, which was originally pushed by the Bush administration, was 1.3% of the DOE portfolio.

The economy tanked and cut demand, and at the same time Solyndra could not compete with subsidized companies located in China as they rapidly scaled up. So Solyndra ran out of money. Conservatives and oil interests are using the bankruptcy as a platform to attack green energy and the idea of green jobs in general, solar power in particular, President Obama as always, stimulus funding and the idea of developing a national strategic industrial policy to push back on China and others who have their own national policies to win this key industry of the future.

Conservative Attacks

Conservative are accusing the Obama administration of corruption in choosing Solyndra to receive a government loan guarantee.

Notice: it’s not the Waltons, who stood to profit from Solyndra, who conservatives claim are corrupt. It’s not Bush, whose administration originally funded Solyndra. It’s not the Chinese, who are subsidizing their industry. No, of course, it’s the guy whose almost a bystander to what happened, because he’s a Democrat.

It’s getting really hard to say “my fellow Americans” about people who simply do not care what is true and what is a lie as long as they get more power.

Posted in government, Obama Administration, solar | 2 Comments »

“A reasonable Republican would run the other direction. Try and find one.” –KO

Posted by Charles II on September 3, 2011

I found one. Mike Lofgren, writing on Truthout:

To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.

It was this cast of characters and the pernicious ideas they represent that impelled me to end a nearly 30-year career as a professional staff member on Capitol Hill.

A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

most Republican officeholders seem strangely uninterested in the effective repeal of Fourth Amendment protections by the Patriot Act, the weakening of habeas corpus and self-incrimination protections in the public hysteria following 9/11 or the unpalatable fact that the United States has the largest incarcerated population of any country on earth.

The reader may think that I am attributing Svengali-like powers to GOP operatives able to manipulate a zombie base to do their bidding. It is more complicated than that. Historical circumstances produced the raw material: the deindustrialization and financialization of America since about 1970 has spawned an increasingly downscale white middle class – without job security (or even without jobs), with pensions and health benefits evaporating and with their principal asset deflating in the collapse of the housing bubble. Their fears are not imaginary; their standard of living is shrinking.

What do the Democrats offer these people? Essentially nothing.

The article is a bit long, but it’s worth reading. It gives greater insight into why the Democrats are dysfunctional than most other political writing.

Posted in Democrats, Good Things, government, Republicans | 2 Comments »

News You Likely Won’t See On US Network TV (Or Hear On Most US Radio)

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 8, 2010

I just learned this today from Peterr at FDL:

Britain’s elections have center stage right now, and will probably continue to do so until a new government is formed, but there is a rumbling in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia that could have even greater consequences. With the precarious state of European finances and the German government’s role in it all, tomorrow’s parliamentary elections in NRW could shift the political momentum away from the bankers and business leaders of the political right and toward the trade unions and workers of Germany’s political left.

Yes, folks — even as the US corporate media slavers gleefully over the prospect of a Tory takeover in the UK, the government of the most powerful member of the European Union is equally likely to move to the left.

But don’t expect to see this on American network TV, unless as a hurried mention buried between other news.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, government | 1 Comment »

Sun Rises In East. AP Does Anti-Democratic Smear Job.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 29, 2009

As you all probably know by now, the Associated Press — whose Washington, DC bureau chief is none other than Ron Fournier, good friend of Bush’s brain Karl Rove and John McCain’s de facto (and very nearly official) press secretary — did a smear job on President Obama’s stimulus spending, claiming it produced far fewer jobs than the White House says it has.

What the AP won’t tell us is that the reports they attacked didn’t come from the Feds, but from governors, mayors, county executives, private businesses and community organizations across the country. The reports that have been posted to date are not complete, but being posted as they are reviewed by an independent oversight body, a process that takes three weeks.

Here’s the scoop on the biggest ‘error’ the AP found:

“A Colorado company said it created 4,231 jobs with the help of President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan. The real number: fewer than 1,000.”

FACT: The very first example AP cites was already corrected more than a week ago as part of the twenty-day review process and the change is in the final data posting being prepared for Friday. This item represents over 3,000 – or 60 percent – of the “nearly 5,000 jobs” AP uses to try to make its argument.

FACT: The company in question actually did hire more than 4,000 workers – but because the work was not full time, full year work, the rigorous standards at don’t count it as 4,000 workers. AP is wrong in saying that 4,000 workers is not a “real” number: 4,000 people got paychecks and got work thanks to the Recovery Act. The posting was erroneous because our higher standards only count the equivalent of full-time, full-year jobs as jobs “created or saved.”

FACT: All recipients were given through October 30th to clarify and confirm their data – including those linked to federal contracts. Any conclusions drawn about the quality of that small portion of data as it was posted two weeks ago are simply premature.

Similar boo-boos can be found all through the AP’s attempted takedown. Go check it out.

Posted in economy, GOP/Media Complex, government, President Obama, The smear industry, when government is a good thing | Comments Off on Sun Rises In East. AP Does Anti-Democratic Smear Job.

Calling All Bloggers

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 7, 2009

Or anyone looking for public-domain photos:

There are two new Flickr photostreams put out by the Federal government. So far they good pretty good:

Viscount Burnham (LOC)

The L of C one should be especially useful.

Posted in blogs and blogging, copyright, Good Things, government | 2 Comments »

Very cool!

Posted by Charles II on April 30, 2009

A film showing the Mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, Hazel McCallion.

She’s 88 and still plays hockey. No body checks, though.

Posted in Good Things, government, Just for fun | Comments Off on Very cool!

The flip charts are back!

Posted by Charles II on June 18, 2008

Ross Perot may have been a flaming lunatic, but he had one thing right: political campaigns should educate the American voter, so that they are making decisions based on facts, rather than the misinformation that passes for journalism nowadays.

Sadly, no Democrat (and certainly no Republican) has followed his lead. And so, bless his pointy little ears, Perot has brought back the flip charts here (via USAToday, via a commenter at Roubini)

PLEASE NOTE: There are a series of charts, which one can advance through by links at the upper left.
1. Government spending (higher under Bushies, slowing under Dems)
2. Tax receipts (collapsed under Bush, recovering but not because of Dems)
3. Deficits (exploded under Bush)
(and so on)

Posted in economy, Good Causes, Good Things, government, Republicans acting badly, taxes | Comments Off on The flip charts are back!


Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 1, 2008

In this USA Today article on Federal, local and state governments undergoing a strongish hiring phase, most of the people interviewed think it’s grand, especially as the new hires will help offset the job losses in the private sector. (Yeah, it’s probably deficit spending, but this form of “priming the pump” deficit spending makes more stimulus sense than, say, engaging in a horrifically expensive five-plus-year war and occupation with no intention of ending it.)

But there was one person who didn’t think so:

“More hiring has nothing to do with good government or economic policy,” says economist Kenneth Brown, research director at the Rio Grande Foundation in Albuquerque. “It has everything to do with government being slow to react to economic change.”

Um, did that quoted paragraph make sense to you? Or does it sound like somebody’s assuming facts not in evidence? Yeah, I thought so, too.

So what the heck is the “Rio Grande Foundation”? Well, judging from the all-gummint-bad tone of Mr. Brown’s remarks, I guessed it was probably some hard-right “glibertarian” sheltered workshop like the Mises Institute, and I was right. Just check out their funders — and even better, the interlocking (some might say incestuous) web of relationships and line-blurrings between grant-givers and grant-takers, here, here and here.

How nutty are these people? They think Heather Wilson is a tax-and-spend liberal. Seriously:

Steven Moore, one of the founders of the Club for Growth, is president of the conservative publication National Review. It’s interesting that a hit piece on Rep. Wilson written by Paul J. Gessing and entitled, “Heather Wilson, Tax-and-Spend Republican: Meet One of the Last People Who Should Replace Retiring Sen. Pete Domenici,” was published on the National Review website yesterday. Paul J. Gessing is president of the Rio Grande Foundation, a New Mexico right-wing think tank. The infamous John Dendahl, who ran a disastrous campaign against Gov. Bill Richardson last time out, is the foundation’s former president.

How disastrous was the 2006 gubernatorial campaign of John Dendahl, the former head of the New Mexico Republican Party from 1994 to 2003? Jim Scarantino, who writes for local Albuquerque weekly, once called him a “suicide bomber” — and he likes Dendahl. It was such an asswhupping that Dendahl, after an invective-filled farewell to the voters of New Mexico, packed up and left for Colorado, where he’s been fairly quiet since.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, economy, government, infrastructure, Republicans, Republicans acting badly | Comments Off on Econohacks

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