Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 4, 2012

Voter ID and the Bigotry of Low Expectations
by Christopher Paslay
October 4, 2012

With the presidential election right around the corner, the liberal propaganda machine is churning on all cylinders.

A particularly disturbing article was recently published in the Philadelphia Inquirer by columnist Annette John-Hall titled "A retired CEO can't top voter ID hurdles."  It is a deceptive and misleading piece that rails against Pennsylvania's new voter ID law.  Below is an analysis of John-Hall's piece, as well as several arguments as to why voter ID laws are needed.   

Voter ID and the Integrity of Our Electoral System

In September of 2005, the Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by former president Jimmy Carter, issued a report titled "Building Confidence in U.S. Elections."  In order to prevent voter fraud and rebuild American confidence in our electoral system, the commission made five recommendations, one of which was to require voters to show ID to vote:
To make sure that a person arriving at a polling site is the same one who is named on the list, we propose a uniform system of voter identification based on the "REAL ID card" or an equivalent for people without a drivers license. To prevent the ID from being a barrier to voting, we recommend that states use the registration and ID process to enfranchise more voters than ever.
The Supreme Court of the United States agreed.  In 2008, the court upheld Indiana's photo ID requirement, ruling that it was a non-discriminatory means of protecting the integrity of elections.
Despite the opinions of Jimmy Carter and the U.S. Supreme Court, Annette John-Hall insists that calling for voter ID "is really just a political dirty trick [by Republicans] to enact one of the harshest laws in the nation, intended to suppress votes under the guise of combating fraud that doesn't exist."
According to a story in USA Today by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, however, voter fraud does exist:

In Texas, evidence of voter fraud abounds. In recent years, my office has secured more than 50 voter fraud convictions. Those include a woman who voted in place of her dead mother, a political operative who cast ballots for two people, and a city council member who registered foreign nationals to vote in an election decided by 19 votes. Voter fraud is hard to detect, so cases like these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Still, supporters of voter ID laws insist that one case of voter fraud is all it takes to spoil the integrity of our electoral system and justify voter ID laws.

The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

"Some say it is unfair to hold disadvantaged children to rigorous standards. I say it is discrimination to require anything less -- the soft bigotry of low expectations."

These were the words of George W. Bush in a 1999 speech on improving education.  The same can be said of voter ID laws and the need to educate Americans on the importance of voting and acquiring the proper ID to do so.  Helping the poor and disenfranchised get an ID is much broader than simply voting; it is giving them the documentation necessary to both navigate and participate in 21st-century society.

Currently, a valid ID is needed to cash a check, apply for working papers, apply for a marriage license, apply for a mortgage, fly on a plane, get a credit card, buy a car, rent a car, rent an apartment, rent a post office box, buy alcohol, cigarettes, a gun, take out student loans, take out home equity loans, leave the country, get back into the country, get car insurance, get life insurance, get home-owner's insurance, etc.  One would think those interested in empowering the poor and disenfranchised -- those interested in helping struggling people better their lives -- would do everything they could to help those in need secure a valid ID.

Yet, interestingly, people like Annette John-Hall rail against voter ID and all its transformative benefits.  Instead of pouring their energy into getting the needy up to speed, they spend their time trumpeting why the poor (and the young, and the old, and students, and minorities) can't comply.  It's just too hard. 

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The Bottom of Benghazi
by the Editors
October 4, 2012

Between reverences to the majesty of abortion, the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte regularly collapsed into displays of facile jingoism that would have sent liberals for their fainting couches had the streamers in the hall been red instead of blue, or had they occurred in, oh, say, 2004. Opaque and vaguely sinister phrases like “economic patriotism” were bandied about freely, and the laudable extirpation of Osama bin Laden was milked for all it was worth. The frenzy reached its climax with Vice President Biden’s sloganeered boast that “bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive!”

Less than a week later, four Americans were dead in Libya and al-Qaeda flags flew over our diplomatic missions in Benghazi and Cairo on the anniversary of 9/11. The juxtaposition of the campaign brag with the video of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens’s body being dragged through the streets was politically unfortunate for the president — especially given his earlier boast that anti-Americanism would wane under his administration. This perhaps explains, though can never justify, what is now clear about the administration’s persistent denial that the attack was preplanned. Namely, that the White House either was deliberately less than truthful, was cataclysmically incompetent, or both.

From a handful of investigative reports and a few intrepid whistleblowers who came forward to Representative Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee, we now know that before Benghazi — before Charlotte — the U.S. intelligence community was well aware that al-Qaeda was in an “expansion phase” in Libya. Indeed, anti-Western attacks, including RPG and IED attacks on the Benghazi consulate, had been ramping up since as early as April, and by June Libyan militants were openly discussing targeting Ambassador Stevens on social networks. We also know that despite all this, repeated requests for additional security from U.S. mission staff in Libya were denied.
Within 24 hours of the Benghazi attack that killed Stevens and three others, U.S. intelligence had “very good information” that the strike was preplanned and perpetrated by al-Qaeda-connected militants. And yet on September 13, Jay Carney was saying they were “not directly in reaction to . . . the government of the United States or the people of the United States.” And as late as September 16, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was flooding the Sunday chat shows with the same message: “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.”

It wasn’t until more than a week later that administration officials admitted Benghazi was a terrorist hit, and it wasn’t until nearly two weeks later that the president yielded as much. This long after the intelligence community — not to mention the Libyan government, Senator John McCain, House Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Mike Rogers, a number of reporters and pundits, and anyone with a handful of functioning neurons and an Internet connection — had reached the same conclusion. In the interim, the yawning gap between the administration’s official line and the dictates of common sense raised the critical question: Was the White House wishfully guessing because it actually didn’t know or care about the conditions on the ground in a state in which it had intervened with precision-guided munitions to create, or was it telling tales as part of a shortsighted political calculation to keep the first assassination of a U.S. ambassador in 30 years from becoming a campaign issue down the home stretch? If it’s the former, it suggests a startling and dangerous disconnect between the administration’s diplomatic, intelligence, and political chains of command in a region critical to the national security of the United States. If it’s the latter, it reveals something just as dangerous: an administration willing to suppress the truth about the murder of Americans to protect its short-term political interests.

Read more:

Representative Marsha Blackburn (R - Tenn.) on the Benghazi Cover-up

Two More Border Patrol Agents Gunned Down
by Bob Owens
October 3, 2012

Details released to the media have been minimal so far: a Border Patrol unit that was dispatched to check an alarm triggered by a ground sensor east of Bisbee, Arizona, came under fire shortly after 1:30 a.m. in what appears to have been a hasty ambush.

Three agents were part of the patrol. One agent, Nicholas Ivie, a married father of two, was killed at the scene:
Capas said the agents reported over the radio that they had come under fire as they were following a trail into the area. Earlier reports from authorities stated erroneously that they were on horseback.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Victor Brabble confirmed the name of the deceased agent is Nicholas Ivie. 
When deputies arrived, one of the agents had died and another suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries, she said. 
No suspects were in custody, and Capas she could provide any details on the shooters including how many there were, or what they were doing in the area.
A second agent was seriously wounded but did not have life-threatening injuries. He was transported out of the area via helicopter and was in stable condition at a local hospital. The agents who were attacked were assigned to Brian Terry Station — an outpost dedicated just weeks ago in honor of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, the first publicly known victim of Operation Fast and Furious.

We do not know if the Border Patrol agents were able to return fire, and if they did, if there was any evidence that the attackers were wounded. It does not yet appear that authorities have the identities of any suspects.

The area of the wilderness where the shooting took place, seven miles east of Bisbee and south of U.S. 80, is an area known as the Mule Mountains. It is just north of the Mexican border. The terrain in the Mule Mountains is typical of the Arizona border areas, where cartels use rugged terrain to mask their movements, and resembles the Peck Canyon area where Brian Terry was killed as his BORTAC team attempted to capture a cartel rip crew. Documentary filmmaker Fleming “Tex” Fuller has been working on a documentary about the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious gunwalking plot, and recently released a trailer that shows the brutal terrain where Agent Terry gave up his life.

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