New Hampshire Governor Lynch
Shocking disregard for justice: sting video raises concern about voter fraud, New Hampshire Attorney General sues…….James O’Keefe!
(Posted by Bryana Joy on January 25th, 2012)
In July of 2011, New Hampshire governor John Lynch vetoed a bill that would have required New Hampshire voters to show photo ID before entering the polls. “Voter turnout in New Hampshire is among the highest in the nation, election after election. There is no voter fraud problem in New Hampshire,” said Governor Lynch in a statement last summer. “We already have strong election laws that are effective in regulating our elections.” Not surprisingly, the governor was outraged last week when a watchdog group, Project Veritas, organized an undercover sting operation to test the veracity of his reassurances. What they found was appalling, if not unexpected.
The incidents, which were recorded on hidden cameras, involved actors entering multiple polling places and obtaining ballots using the names of deceased voters. Some of these late voters had been dead for well over a year. When the actors explained that they had forgotten to bring any ID with them, they were told by poll workers that New Hampshire law didn’t require them to show ID. In each case, the actors, feigning shock, said they would feel more comfortable if they went out to their vehicles to get their ID. According to Project Veritas, none of the actors cast a vote with the ballots they had acquired during the sting.
Furthermore, in an official statement about the investigative videos, Project Veritas explained,
“not a single one of our citizen journalists broke any laws or misrepresented themselves in any way to election officials or anyone else while filming this report. They simply inquired to poll workers if a certain individual’s name was present on the voter list, and were then offered a ballot with no further questions…..
Shockingly, rather than owning that, in light of the expose, measures should be taken to make the system in New Hampshire more effective, Governor Lynch has condemned the sting operation altogether and is calling for Project Veritas to be prosecuted for obtaining ballots under false pretenses.
"I think it is outrageous that we have out-of-staters coming into New Hampshire, [said the governor] coming into our polling places and misrepresenting themselves to the election officials, and I hope that they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, if in fact they're found guilty of some criminal act."
Joining the governor in this blatant refusal to acknowledge the facts are Keith Olbermann, Ryan Reilly and MSNBC’s Al Sharpton. Sharpton’s coverage bears the heading, “James O’Keefe has another run-in with the law,” and over the course of the bitterly partisan six-minute session of commentary, Sharpton calls O’Keefe “the professional smear artist who was behind the fake ACORN scam,” and adds that O’Keefe “sent his cohorts out to fraudulently collect ballots in New Hampshire.”
“…James O’Keefe has struck again, exposing the non-existent problem of voter fraud in New Hampshire. The conservative filmmaker and others working on behalf of Project Veritas are now facing a criminal investigation by [New Hampshire’s] attorney general. There is every indication that O’Keefe and his colleagues committed voter fraud at primary polling locations Tuesday night.”
So, wait. Let me get this straight – citizen journalists conduct a sting operation for the purpose of raising concern about voter fraud and when they release the tapes they are the ones who get charged with voter fraud?
“ Has voter fraud ever been a problem in New Hampshire?” Olbermann asks of Ryan Reilly in an interview devoted almost solely to discrediting Project Veritas.
“ You know, it really – there’s no evidence that it has,” responds Reilly. “Specifically in-person voter – impersonation fraud hasn’t been an issue, nor has it been across the country.”
Project Veritas’ actors were given a similar story by Ryk Bullock, the New Hampshire Ward Moderator whom they consulted for the purpose of expressing their concerns about the possibility of voter fraud. When asked whether fraudulent impersonation could occur, Bullock explained,
“It could, it could…[But] I’ve been here 43 years and, to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never had it happen. In theory, it could happen…”
But it doesn’t happen, they assure us. It can, of course, as there aren’t sufficient safeguards to prevent it (as demonstrated by the recent sting). But it won’t.
Should we find this nonchalance reassuring, or should it cause us to become doubtful about the integrity of the officials and media moguls who continue to drill us in the unconstitutionality of photo ID laws? When we stop to consider, we will realize that every vote cast fraudulently cancels out the vote of some conscientious citizen who took care to register legally and provide the required information in order to be able to perform his or her civic duties. The argument that such votes will not be cast even though they can be is absurd. It’s like arguing that we shouldn’t have lifeguards at public pools where no one is ever known to have drowned, or suggesting that we abolish fire departments in areas that have never been ravaged by forest fires.
Voting legally is a fairly painless process. I recently registered to vote in Texas, and it could hardly have been easier. I signed up online to receive the simple registration form, which was mailed to me. After filling it out, I dropped it in my mailbox. I didn’t even have to pay for postage. Under pending photo ID laws, voters will be able to flash any form of government-issued photographic identification at the polls. This could be a drivers’ license, passport, gun permit card, or any ID card issued by your local DMV office. Registered voters who do not possess photo ID will be provided with the necessary ID by The Department of Safety and Homeland Security at no charge. As photo ID is already required for the purchase of tobacco or alcohol products, vehicle rentals and banking transactions, it is safe to assume that most citizens of legal voting age will already be in possession of such ID. The only residents who might have difficulty in obtaining photographic identification are – well, non-citizens. And they aren’t allowed to vote anyway.
So, what is all of the fuss really about? That’s a good question. Perhaps Keith Olbermann answers it best himself,
“The right wing’s fixation with voter fraud is largely used as a justification for passing restrictive ballot access measure designed to suppress voter turnout among people who tend to vote for Democrats.” Exactly who are these “people who tend to vote for Democrats”? People who can’t obtain photo ID? Wait, that means they’re probably ----- yep, you got it. Illegal.
Will new photo ID laws cause some hassle for those legal citizens who don’t already possess the necessary identification and are forced to get a lift down to their local DMV office? Yes. But as Thomas Sowell reminds us, “There are no solutions….there are only tradeoffs.” Inconveniencing a miniscule percentage of the population in order to protect the votes of millions of legal Americans sounds like a pretty good tradeoff to me.
Occupy Protestor (Image courtesy of ABC News)
Is the conservative approach to the Occupy Movement healthy and constructive? Or are we shooting ourselves in the foot by demonizing the protestors?
(Posted by Bryana Joy on January 17th)
(Originally posted at The Washington Times Communities
)“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
Since the Greek philosopher Plato issued this warning over two millennia ago, humankind have had occasion to observe the truth of his statement over and over again throughout the course of history as bloody conflicts, economic hardships, social upheavals and natural disasters have led to the rise of brutal dictatorships.
America has been experiencing her share of domestic unrest over the past several months. As unemployment figures have gone up and government corruption continues to be exposed, tensions have mounted. In September of 2011, a protest crusade began which has had a significant impact on the world’s political scene: Occupy Wall Street. It’s big, it’s angry, and it hasn’t always behaved very well in public. But in order to better understand the significance of the movement, and the opportunities and dangers it presents, we need to back up just a few decades and take a look at the troubled history of another nation.
Upon the conclusion of War World I, Germany, as one of the major aggressor nations in the conflict, was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles, ceding 13 percent of its home territory and all of its overseas colonies and agreeing to make hefty reparations payments for the damage and destruction of property which were the results of the First World War. The treaty also included an infamous war guilt clause, by which the nation agreed to take full responsibility for the war. Germany’s first democratically elected Chancellor—Philipp Scheidemann--chose to resign rather than sign the treaty, which ended up devastating the German economy and subjecting its people to incredible humiliation.
Protective tariffs placed on German goods by foreign countries contributed in large part to the German Great Depression, and the collapse of the stock market in the U.S. on Black Tuesday also affected the German economy negatively. The nation was not able to make its reparations payments and the German government began to print money. A three-year episode of hyperinflation followed. By 1933, there were six million people unemployed in Germany.
Enter the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. The political leaders of this party understood that the key to power over the German people lay in a policy that offered sympathy with their sufferings. They centered their campaigns on slogans of German greatness which extended confidence to a beaten and defeated nation that desperately wanted to believe in itself again. They promised full employment to a populace with a 30% unemployment rate. They staged violent protests that offered young people a way to vent their pent-up frustrations. As Martin Gilbert explains in A History of the Twentieth Century, the party
“…continued to offer [the unemployed] a direction both for their emotional bitterness and their physical energies.”
The party also boasted a strong leader with bold plans and an eccentric personality. This man was Adolf Hitler, and the party is better known today as the Nazi party. You know the rest of the story.
Although on a much smaller scale and with some very obvious differences, we have a similar situation in America today. Like post-WWI Germany we have unemployment, unrest and violent protesting. And, like post-WWI Germany, we have a population that is becoming increasingly reckless and vulnerable to rhetoric. The anger of the citizenry exploded late last year, resulting in a movement that has gained traction and attention worldwide.
We’ve heard two stories about the Occupy Movement. While the Daily Mail showcases a gallery of photos that depict the Occupiers as orderly citizens cleaning up after themselves, abused by the police, and willingly enduring hardships in order to effectively protest corporate greed and government corruption, Breitbart shares video footage of Occupy activists who are apparently confused about the purpose of the movement, activists who are well-known anti-Semites, and activists who call themselves Marxist communists and socialists. Todd Kinsey shares photos of far greater embarrassments. This hysterical clip of a superlatively agitated Occupy protestor has been triumphantly broadcasted by conservative bloggers as an example of the general Occupy attitude -- although I imagine that even some liberals got a laugh out of it.
No one is exactly sure what the Occupy movement wants as a whole – different groups of protestors seem to have different aims. Some things, however, are clear: the movement is the result of unemployment frustration; it is an attack on crony capitalism and government corruption; it is a haven for Marxist and communist sympathizers, and it is encouraging class warfare.
While some of these aims are admirable, and deserve our support, others are obviously disturbing and perilous to the security of our nation. Unfortunately, Conservatives as a whole have failed to embrace this conflict as an opportunity to distance themselves from unethical business and government practices and to reach out to the confused but rightfully angry protestors and activists with the truth about liberty and fiscal responsibility. It is disconcerting to realize that the reason the Nazi party was able to successfully exploit the German people’s struggles was because they worked the hardest to identify with them and sympathize with their bitterness. Did the Nazi party really give the people what they wanted? Hardly. Their rise to power precipitated the Second World War which plunged Germany into a bloodbath and depleted the country of its manpower and resources. Nevertheless, because they displayed the most concern for the sufferings of the German populace, they won their allegiance and trust. Likewise, due to the fact that Conservatives have failed to identify with even the righteous elements of the Occupy protests, the exasperation and energies of the occupiers – many of whom already lean towards socialism – are being exploited by Marxists and by advocates of big government and opponents of personal liberty.
"We are on their side," said President Obama, referring to the protestors. "The most important thing we can do right now is those of us in leadership letting people know that we understand their struggles." However, the President has received $3.9 million in donations from Wall Street just this year, and has raised over $12 million for the Democratic National Committee - a rather odd set of numbers, given his support for a movement which has its foundation in criticism of Wall Street's financial shenanigans and scandals.
So, let me ask you? Have we really nothing to protest? Is there really no evil at work in our political system that is not worth standing up against? How about the $16 trillion in secret bailouts that the Federal Reserve distributed to U.S. and foreign banks over the past three years? When you realize that our entire GDP is only $14.5 trillion and that neither Congress nor the American public knew anything about these bailouts, you just might feel like carrying a few signs in the streets. How about the new version of the National Defense Authorization Act that President Obama just signed into law this week? When you find out that the controversial clause in this bill leaves the door open for military detention of United States citizens without trial, for “association in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,” or “belligerent acts,” against the U.S., you just might feel like hosting a demonstration at Grand Central Station.
I would issue a challenge to my conservative friends: rather than demonizing the Occupy movement, a course which only serves to create more enemies of conservatism, why aren’t we joining them by staging protests of our own, taking the focus off of entitlement whining and putting it back on the real fiscal corruption? Instead of bashing them and making fun of them, why aren’t we devoting our energy to educating them and mobilizing them to fight the current government system which seeks to take advantage of their passion and snooker them of their votes?
The former governor has three Achilles' heels in the 2012 Presidential Race - what are they?
(Posted by Bryana Joy on January 9th, 2011)
With the New Hampshire Republican primary just a day away, polls are showing former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney leading substantially in New Hampshire with Congressman Ron Paul coming in as a decisive second. While no modern presidential candidate has ever won both Iowa and New Hampshire in the primary elections and failed to capture the nomination, there has to be a first time for everything – and 2012 just might be it. Political analysts are pointing out three major reasons for Romney to leave off behaving as though his nomination by the Republican Party is a foregone conclusion, and get back to work.
Historic Iowa Caucus
The January 3rd Iowa caucus, in which Romney just barely garnered the numbers necessary to put him in first place, was unlike any other in the state’s history, separating the winning candidates by just eight votes. Recent accounts of a reporting error have cast even more doubt on the former governor’s already precarious win. It is also significant that he paid dearly for his miniscule margin over Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, laying out $1.47 million for his Iowa campaign while Santorum only spent $22,000 of his personal funds. Seen in this light, Romney’s eight point advantage doesn’t seem like any kind of triumph for Romney. The battle in Iowa hardly made his road to the Republican nomination seem any more likely.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s campaign has evolved into a massive threat for Romney’s aspirations. Dr. Paul’s recent rise in New Hampshire polls indicates that Tuesday’s race may be closer than many think. His base of supporters is dedicated, passionate and making up for scanty media coverage of their hero by enthusiastic utilization of social media networks. Moreover, they are attracted to him because of his staunch opposition to runaway spending and government overreach, and his adherence to Constitutional law. Even in the event that the Congressman should begin to lose momentum, the vast majority of his supporters will never embrace Romney, whose weakly conservative platform and approach is alien to everything they love about Dr. Paul.
Conservative Values Voters
There is a large portion of the GOP base that remains aloof and unexcited about Romney: voters whose concern for traditional conservative values trumps their concern for beating Obama at any cost. This group, a massive and influential segment of Republican voters, is politically passionate and decisively anti-Romney. They call attention to Romney’s troubling record as a self-described “moderate with progressive views,” his past support for the pro-choice cause, his wife’s donation to Planned Parenthood, his support for the gay rights movement, and his controversial health care plan. Many of them are likely to vote against Romney even if he captures the Republican nomination.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s decision to suspend her campaign after a poor showing in Iowa will also work against Romney, as will Rick Perry’s probable withdrawal in the near future, because these candidates’ fan bases will not shift their support to the Romney campaign. On the contrary, their admirers are more likely to transfer their political energies to the Santorum campaign, finding it more in line with the traditional values they cherish.
Mitt Romney, due to his suave debate performances and well-calculated official statements, may continue to appeal to moderates and Republican voters whose fear of Obama trumps their attention to conservative positions – but his relatively steady polling percentage of %25 shows that a good 75% of Republican voters just aren't excited about a Romney presidency. He has a tough road ahead of him and those predicting a landslide Romney win should hedge their bets.