Pennsylvania Judge Denies Injunction Of State ID Law

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson issued an important ruling on Wednesday that rejected a motion for a preliminary injunction of the Pennsylvania Voter ID law. Since these motions are based on a determination of the likelihood of prevailing on the merits, the decision has a significant impact not only for the case but cases around the country. Even if one disagrees with Simpson’s decision, the 70-page opinion below is well-reasoned and will be, in my view, difficult to reverse in the appeal to the state supreme court (which is divided evenly between Republican and Democratic jurists). With one Republican justice, Joan Orie Melvin, fighting criminal corruption charges, the Court is divided three to three along party lines. However, there is no reason to assume that these jurists will all vote in line with their political affiliations as opposed to their view of the law. A tie on the Supreme Court would result in a decision upholding the decision. I will be discussing the case this morning on CNN.

The law requires the showing of an ID for voting, which can include a driver’s license, military ID cards, U.S. passports, identification cards from accredited Pennsylvania colleges or universities, Pennsylvania senior care facility IDs, or other photo identification cards issued by the federal, Pennsylvania, county or municipal governments.

Simpson not only rejected the legal basis for the challenge but added factual findings that could pose a problem on appeal — minimizing the impact of the voters affected by the law.

Challengers to the law (which is similar to laws in nine other states) insist that it is designed to disenfranchise voters who are minority, poor, or elderly. Those are critical groups in the democratic base and the law is viewed as a Republican effort to suppress turnout. Even Pennsylvania admitted that voter fraud is exceedingly rare in the state and national studies have found similarly low numbers in other states. That reinforces the view that this was a politically motivated law by state GOP members concerned about the expected close presidential election in November.

Simpson acknowledged the possible political machinations and chastised comments by the Republican House leader, Mike Turzai, as “disturbing” and “boastful.” Turzai seemed eager to undermine any claim of a neutral rationale for the law in proclaiming at a dinner that the new law “is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

However, Simpson did not view such admittedly revealing (and rather moronic) public statements to be determinative in the legal analysis. He found that the Commonwealth’s asserted interest in protecting public confidence in elections is a relevant and legitimate state interest sufficiently weighty to justify the burden.” More importantly, he ruled that requiring a voter to show one government ID is a “reasonable, non-discriminatory, non-severe burden when viewed in the broader context of the widespread use of photo ID in daily life.”

Simpson’s decision is buttressed by the 2008 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008) upholding an Indiana law requiring photo IDs. That decision was written by liberal icon Justice John Paul Stevens who found that such laws are “amply justified by the valid interest in protecting the integrity and reliability of the electoral process.” Stevens wrote in the 6-3 decision (which Simpson cites extensively):

“The relevant burdens here are those imposed on eligible voters who lack photo identification cards that comply with SEA 483.[2] Because Indiana’s cards are free, the inconvenience of going to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, gathering required documents, and posing for a photograph does not qualify as a substantial burden on most voters’ right to vote, or represent a significant increase over the usual burdens of voting. The severity of the somewhat heavier burden that may be placed on a limited number of persons—e.g., elderly persons born out-of-state, who may have difficulty obtaining a birth certificate—is mitigated by the fact that eligible voters without photo identification may cast provisional ballots that will be counted if they execute the required affidavit at the circuit court clerk’s office. Even assuming that the burden may not be justified as to a few voters, that conclusion is by no means sufficient to establish petitioners’ right to the relief they seek.”

Simpson is likely to be challenged on not requiring more of a showing from the state on critical points. He gave “substantial deference to the judgment of the Legislature” on these questions. He specifically opted not to apply a strict scrutiny standard as requested by the challengers who argued that the standard applied due to the denial of a fundamental right. Simpson acknowledged in the opinion that “[i]f strict scrutiny is to be employed, I might reach a different determination.”

However, Simpson iron-plated his decision with extensive legal and factual findings. This is no ideological diatribe. You can disagree with him, but the opinion is well-constructed and well-presented.

The situation in other states can vary. Some of those states (like Texas, South Carolina and Florida) fall under added restrictions under the federal voting law and new voting laws must be approved by the Justice Department. The Obama Administration is opposed to the laws and Attorney General Eric Holder recently spoke to black ministers on fighting the efforts in these states. Moreover, while nine states — Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin — passed new ID laws, only Kansas, Pennsylvania and Tennessee appear set to apply the laws to the November elections.

Notably, Simpson created a factual record that found a much lower number of people affected by the law — a factual finding that is generally given deference on appeal as opposed to legal findings. Simpson rejected the estimate that 9 percent of the state’s 8.2 million registered voters lack a viable ID.

As I mentioned, I would bet on the decision being upheld or effectively upheld with a tie on the state supreme court. It is also doubtful the United States Supreme Court would intervene in the case before the November elections, particularly if it is upheld by the lower court. That will not be welcomed news in a key state for the President but the Obama campaign may be wise to focus on preparing voters rather than betting on a reversal.

Here is the opinion: Simpson Opinion

309 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Judge Denies Injunction Of State ID Law

  1. Perhaps a mitigation would be to allow the voter registration authority of the state, and nothing else, to have a program for people who are not able to travel or have some other suffrage handicap. These officials will travel to the home of the person and provide an avenue to attain, if eligible, a voter ID card which they can then receive in the mail.

    Realistically however the ID requirement, having a bona fide way to obtain the ID makes this legal issue rather moot.

  2. Rachel Maddow spent the first ten minutes of her show tonight 8/15/12 on this. She did a great job presenting this situation.
    Professor Turley, I can only disagree with you based on my personal sense of what is right. It is obvious to me this is pure political machination.
    An ingenious and effective way to remove more democrats from the voting roles. You say the legal merits may hold up.
    I say, even if they do, this timing is reprehensible. I believe Maddow stated there is a 30 day waiting period to obtain one type of approved ID.
    The places to obtain the accepted IDs ..some have very limited hours.
    Those voters currently without ID most likely have larger physical or life difficulties than the average “Joe”.
    I believe the most basic and logical argument against this voter annulment is the time element. Okay…pass the law, but don’t allow it to take effect till the mid terms in 2014.
    The law can stand and the people can have two years to prepare for it.
    Right now as it stands my “common sense” tells me this is a despicable power grab by the Republican party in PA. How can it be legal if those being denied their right to vote do not have sufficient time or access to respond to this new law. Again politics amazes me….and disgusts me.

  3. Darren Smith, Right. Voting is a right, the state has the obligation to meet any requirement thereto with as much assistance as needed to make meeting the requirements easy and attainable.

  4. Professor, your new posting guidelines severely impair my ability to comment on this article in a personally honest and satisfying manner but I will do my best in spite of them. :-)

    Quote from decision by Justice John Paul Stevens:

    “…amply justified by the valid interest in protecting the integrity and reliability of the electoral process…”

    “…does not qualify as a substantial burden on most voters’ right to vote…”

    I believed Stevens to be wrong at the time (yea, I actually followed that case) and the Court’s lack of wisdom and foresight is now bearing fruit.

    It was always my understanding that rights were for all, not ‘most’ or ‘some’ or ‘nearly all’ and that infringements required a compelling interest, an interest so great that the desired aim must virtually overwhelm any denial of the right. “Valid” has never been good enough in my opinion, not when it came to literacy tests and not now. I’m probably wrong about my understanding of legal tests, I know that. But if I am and stripping citizens of tights they have had is so easily done under a lesser test then “If the law supposes that, the law is an ass”, a barely applicable quote that encapsulates my outrage if not legal knowledge.

    I do not see how Judge Simpson can equate the potential loss of the right to vote by some to correct a virtually nonexistent problem without giving more weight to the spirit and intent of the law, which he acknowledged but found was overshadowed by:

    “The Commonwealth’s asserted interest in protecting public confidence in elections is a relevant and legitimate state interest sufficiently weighty to justify the burden.”

    That’s absurd when applied to even an activity recognized as a privilege such as driving. If the state proposed denying the privilege to anyone under 27 because they have the highest rate of auto accidents (and attendant cost to the state) would Simpson feel so free to use the same justification substituting “public safety” for “public confidence”?

    Of course not, the attendant interests of commerce (arguably a privilege) would be weighed, and prevail without a doubt. So here we have confidence, an outcome of process, being allowed to trump the tight itself. The process then becomes more important than the right. Bad logic? maybe, maybe not anywhere near on point but I have heard this before metaphorically: ‘Burn the village, it’s the only way to save it!’

    Simpson also said: (from *Daily Kos”)

    “… “enjoining the law now would work significant disruption to the Department of State’s (and others’) efforts to educate voters about the new law and assist them in helping them obtain valid IDs. Greater harm would result, he determined, by immediately blocking those efforts to implement the law, given how difficult it would be to implement those steps only after a Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling upholding the law.”

    Seriously, when all the state has to do is NOT stop its education process? That in the face of citizens that simply will not be able to exercise their right to vote- their RIGHT to vote. People, including my relatives have been asked to die to protect that right and have complied. People are doing so daily right now but somehow, in some twisted and perverted mental exercise the value of taking that right away is OK to avoid what in reality is a bogus assertion of disruption. ?

    I am appalled and I can’t even cuss. This just all ’round sucks.

  5. someone said earlier this would remove democrats from the voting list. The whole idea is to remove FRAUDULENT voters from the list. Dead people voting, people voting in multiple districts, family pets voting, etc. both political parties should support the idea ofcutting out fraudulent votes. But the democrats are unanimously against this.Gee, what does that tell you…

  6. One of the dogs in our dogpack is a seeing eye dog for a WWII veteran who does not have a drivers license because he is blind, he does not have a birth certificate because he was born at home, he has three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts, something called an Oak Cluster, and says he is showing up at the polls with the weapon that he brought home in 1945 after his discharge from the Army. PackinDog says that there is gonna be trouble if they dont let him vote.

  7. Hubert Cumberdale, A “Salad Fingers” fan perchance? I am, it’s a guilty, guilty pleasure. Surrealism and dark humor interests me.

    A very brief assessment of the Interwebs will quickly explain why Democrats are upset wit the new regulations and why anyone that worked for the Voting Rights Act or participated in the civil rights movement finds them abhorrent.

    The links here will get you started:

  8. Humbert, are you that stupid or do you just hope everyone else is? The reason Dems are upset is because the law was specifically designed to make it harder for groups that traditionally vote Dem to vote and not to stop voter fraud (note for instance every one of these laws ignores vote by mail/absentee votes which skew to the GOP). Add to this that the “problem” being addressed does not exist as stated not just by the bills supporters but by a multi-year DoJ investigation under the G.W. Bush administration.

    The GOP has not only lost its mind on fiscal, social and defense policy they have given up the pretense of a concern for democracy and instead have decided to use majorities in several state legislatures to undermine the foundation principle of fair elections.

  9. LK: Touche!!


    That was the question I heard yesterday,regarding the ID used in all other elections were okay,seemed to be no problem then.

  10. His analysis turned a lot on “facial challenges” to statutes as opposed to “as applied challenges”.

    Appellate court judges often bring up the as applied aspect even when the litigants are focusing on a facial challenge.

    The current U.S. Supreme Court majority disfavors facial challenges, opting to focus on as applied challenges as the better way to litigate challenges to the constitutionality of state or federal statutes.

    This judge indicated that an as applied would not prevail because it was not ripe for adjudication on the facts.

    I think he got the law wrong, but it was limited to adjudicating injunctive relief, noting that he indicated he did not think the petitioners would prevail on the merits of the case in chief.

  11. “However, Simpson iron-plated his decision with extensive legal and factual findings. ”


    Mark you this, Bassanio,
    The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
    An evil soul producing holy witness
    Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
    A goodly apple rotten at the heart:
    O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!

    ~Antonio in “The Merchant of Venice” (Act I, Sc. 3)

  12. lottakatz “Hubert Cumberdale, A “Salad Fingers” fan perchance? I am, it’s a guilty, guilty pleasure. Surrealism and dark humor interests me.”

    Yep, and that is a really strange set of videos. Thanks for the link. I still don’t see how a simple requirement of an ID would be a problem. The only ones who really have a problem with it are people who have already voted somewhere else, or they aren’t legitimate in the first place.

  13. lottakatz 1, August 16, 2012 at 3:00 am Well said. I agree completely.

    I read last night, actually posted at on the threads on the ACA Supreme Court decision, an article that says that Republicans who want substantial changes to law reverse engineer the law from what they want so they can get it. It helps to explain Roberts’ reversal re: ACA, the foundation of how they intend to strip all entitlements where the federal government gives money to the states to disperse.

  14. Frankly wrote “Humbert, are you that stupid or do you just hope everyone else is? The reason Dems are upset is because the law was specifically designed to make it harder for groups that traditionally vote Dem to vote and not to stop voter fraud…”

    Frankly, are you that naive (or stupid) to think that there isn’t any voter fraud going on? The question you would need to ask is, why are the fraudulent votes exclusively cast for the democrat? It’s like having a problem with thieves complaining because the shop owner put better locks on the doors.

  15. As far as I am concerned this is just another implicit pre-condition of the exercise of the ability to vote.

    A different form of poll tax all dressed up and ready to go to Sunday Meetin’.

    If the government wants to require a photo id to exercise the right to vote then the government must make obtaining such an id easily and readily available to every citizen and free.

    Poll taxes have taken many forms over the years from literacy tests to actual monetary tax amounts. All were a implicit pre-condition of the exercise of the ability to vote … just like this latest “prevent fraud” con-job.

    There certainly is fraud going on and the bench is certainly ruling in its favor just as many judges did only a few decades ago.

  16. HC:

    “It’s like having a problem with thieves complaining because the shop owner put better locks on the doors.”


    Nope, more like the shop owner complaining the cops put better locks on the doors and kept the keys.

  17. Blouise, If the only way a party can win is by denying citizens the right to vote, it doesn’t say much for them. We let up in 2010 and let them get control of the state houses. I have been on this bandwagon for two years as you know. I guess the Obama campaign is going to have to get absentee ballots out and hope they aren’t thrown out which they probably will. Maddow did an excellent piece on this last night. Good posts by lotta and others.

  18. Inalienable Rights and the Bureaucrats Who Control ‘Em
    By Charles P. Pierce
    August 15, 2012

    It’s a bad day for the franchise today, and I am not talking about the dysfunctional Boston Red Sox, who should be at each other with muskets and cutlasses any day now, fighting about why they can’t stay in Tahiti and eat breadfruit and jump the native ladies. No, I’m talking about being able to exercise your franchise to vote, particularly in Ohio and in Pennsylvania, which are fairly important states if the president would like to remain president. The voter-suppression schemes in both states are humming right along, and the one in Pennsylvania got a big old boost in court today.

    “Petitioners did not establish . . . that disenfranchisement was immediate or inevitable,” Simpson wrote, adding, “I was convinced that Act 18 will be implemented by Commonwealth agencies in a nonpartisan, evenhanded manner.” The detailed, 70-page opinion by Simpson, a veteran of the bench who is a Republican, makes it much more likely that Pennsylvania voters will now be required to show specific forms of photo ID. It is one of many new restrictive voting laws across the country – in almost all cases, sponsored by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.

    From this decision, we may conclude that Hizzoner is either completely in the bag here, or that he is too naive to be trusted to cut his own meat.

    Simpson was skeptical of the challengers’ estimates. He said he believed that more than 1 percent of the commonwealth’s more than 8 million voters lacked the required ID, but less than the 9 percent figure that opponents of the law submitted. He credited pledges by the secretary of state to streamline the process for requesting ID. With the availability of absentee voting and accepting votes on a provisional basis, Simpson said he was not convinced that any of the petitioners “will not have their votes counted in the general election.”

    First of all, “provisional ballots” suck, for a whole panoply of reasons, most notably that not even the people counting them treat them like actual ballots. Further, Hizzoner has decided that, despite his concerns about the “disturbing, tendentious statements” by state House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R), the Republican secretary of state can be relied upon to do the right thing by everyone even though, by her own admission, as late as August 1, Carol Aichele admitted she didn’t even know what the hell was going on with the law….

    Secretary of the Commonwealth Carole Aichele is the top state official in charge of implementing the voter ID. But when she took the stand she was cagey, even making jokes in some instances in her response to plaintiffs’ attorneys. At one point, when lawyers asked her about the details of the voter ID law, Aichele responded, “I don’t know what the law says.”

    What bothers the hell out of me is that the debate has now moved onto the ground of whether or not a state has to be fair about making sure people have the proper photo ID to vote — not that the people lined up behind these laws give a rat’s hindquarters about that problem, either — and away from the simple fact that you should not have to show your government-sanctioned papers in this country to vote. Period. Yes, it is a tactic to suppress Democratic voters, and, yes, the whole thing’s a sham because the problem it allegedly addresses doesn’t exist. But the real damage this does to the country is that it inculcates in the citizenry a sense that its franchise depends completely on the whims of government bureaucrats — and, come to think of it, aren’t Republicans really opposed to that as regards to imaginary bureaucrats in the new health-care system? These are real government bureaucrats mucking with the one inalienable right that protects all the others. These laws create in a free people the habits of subordinate behavior.

    Charles Payne, in his magisterial history of the Mississippi Freedom Summer, I’ve Got The Light Of Freedom, presents a list of excuses that African Americans gave to various field organizers as to why they wouldn’t register to vote. These included:

    Feel the politicians are going to do whatever they want, regardless of the votes cast.

    Fear of being embarrassed at the registrar’s office.

    Don’t like the way things are being carried out.

    While it is undoubtedly true that a lot of these new laws are aimed at directly disenfranchising inconvenient minority voters, they are also aimed at creating in the public mind a combination of frustration and futility that will encourage voters in general to disenfranchise themselves, one small decision at the end of a busy afternoon, or lost ID card, at a time. That’s the dark genius behind this campaign: In our minds, they’re telling us, we’re all Mississippi now.

    What does Hizzoner care about all that ancient history, though? Besides, the Supreme Court of the United States has assured Hizzoner that everyone will play fair, always.

    Simpson said there was no proof that other lawmakers shared Turzai’s “boastful” view. Even if there were partisan motivations, Simpson said, the Supreme Court’s decision in the Indiana case said that a nondiscriminatory law with should not be invalidated simply because some individual legislators had partisan motivations.

    And that, of course, settles that, because the Supreme Court’s credibility on the subject of how state’s run their elections has been above reproach for over a decade.

  19. So Humbuert – you are stupid is what I hear you saying. Nobody – NOBODY including Boy Georges DoJ found any evidence of voter fraud – NONE, zero, zip, not Dem, not GOP, no voter fraud. I don’t know any smaller words that I can break that bit of info down for you. You do know what zero (0) is right?

    So there is no fraudulent voters voting “Democrat” and no fraudulent voting Republic. There is where your argument falls down. Since that is true you have to ask what is the point of these laws? They are designed, even by the people who pushed them in their honest moments to help Republicans win – not by eliminating fraud (since there is no fraud based on both the statements of the Penn government and nation-wide investigations ), none, zip, nada – do any of these words mean anything in your language?) but by making voting more difficult for people who are more likely to vote Dem.

  20. Frankly,
    you beat me to it. Humbert or whoever you are, you have absolutely no evidence to back up what you are claiming. If these laws are so innocently designed as you claim, then why is Texas also closing down locations where people can get their ID’? Where is your evidence of any significant Voter fraud, let alone any voter fraud that is always in favor of Dems?

  21. Provisional ballots are a waste of time. I watched BoE folks toss them for bad reasons. People who were on the rolls, in the database, were forced by polling workers to fill them out but didn’t give complete directions. Even though all information needed to process the ballot was present, they were tossed b/c the obverse wasn’t filled out. The problem was with the poll workers, not the voter. I objected to the ballots being tossed. One honest worker found the names in the database but the Rep in charge said, “not good enough, want to take them to the judge?” to the Dem who said “no” Bipartisan disenfranchisement.

  22. I strongly disagree with this ruling and the overall constitutionality of the actual law that was passed in Pennsylvania. I understand that Judges in Pennsylvania are elected to the bench and not appointed and Simpson was just elected and began his term this January, so it’s hard to argue that he should have recused himself. However, it’s also hard to not be content with him making a ruling that could potentially benefit him in the long run. Voting is a right and not a privilege. All the comparisons being made in this issue have been to compare voting (a fundamental right, guaranteed by the Constitution) to other activities that are privileges. The right to vote cannot and should not be compared to anything else. It’s quite disturbing that we have a nation that is hell bent on honoring the 2nd amendment, but ignoring the 19th and 24th, at the same time.

  23. Partisan Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Wrongly Upheld by Court
    Ari Berman on August 15, 2012

    Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, a Republican, declined to issue an injunction against the state’s new voter ID law in a ruling today, despite the preponderance of evidence that the new law is unjust, unnecessary and discriminatory. (See my blog “Ten Takeaways From Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Trial” for background on the case.)

    Simpson sided with the state on a challenge brought by the ACLU and the Advancement Project. He acknowledged “‘petitioners’ counsel did an excellent job of ‘putting a face’ to those burdened by the voter ID requirement,” but concluded “petitioners did not establish, however, that disenfranchisement was immediate or inevitable.” On the contrary, Simpson asserted the law’s “provisions are neutral and nondiscriminatory and apply uniformly to all voters,” and that he “was convinced that [the law] will be implemented by commonwealth agencies in a non-partisan, even-handed manner.”

    Instead of forcing the state to prove that the voter ID law was necessary, Simpson put the burden of proof on the plaintiffs’ to show that the law violated the state constitution, which he said they failed to do. “Any party challenging a legislative enactment has a heavy burden, and legislation will not be invalidated unless it clearly, patently and plainly violated the constitution of this commonwealth,” he wrote. “Any doubts are to be resolved in favor of a finding of constitutionality.”

    This was a head-scratching ruling, and one at odds with state courts in Missouri and Wisconsin, which found that voter ID laws restricted the fundamental right to vote of citizens. Instead, Simpson relied on a controversial 2008 ruling by the Supreme Court in Crawford v. Marion County, which upheld Indiana’s voter ID law even though the state failed to provide any evidence of in-person voter fraud to justify the law. Pennsylvania, like Indiana, stipulated at the beginning of the voter ID trial that “there have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states.” But in the Crawford case the Supreme Court found that the mere threat of voter fraud was enough to justify a voter ID law, which set a chilling precedent for voting rights advocates. (That “threat” is virtually non-existent. A major investigation from 2002-2007 by the Bush Justice Department failed to prosecute a single case of in-person voter impersonation. There were 39 times as many deaths by lightning from 2000-2007 as there were instances of voter impersonation.)

    Despite the Crawford ruling, it’s hard to take seriously Simpson’s claim that the Pennsylvania voter ID law is non-partisan and non-discriminatory.

    Voter ID laws are partisan. Of the ten states that have passed strict voter ID laws since 2005, all are controlled by Republicans. These laws were first drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful ally of the GOP. Mike Turzai, majority leader of the Pennsylvania House, said the voter ID law “is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” The consulting firm in charge of educating voters about the law is run by Pennsylvania Republicans with close ties to GOP Governor Tom Corbett and the Romney campaign. All of the top officials in Pennsylvania in charge of implementing the law are Republicans. How much more proof of partisanship does one need?

    Voter ID laws are discriminatory. Those without IDs are disproportionately people of color who tend to vote Democratic. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 9.2 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania lack state-issued voter ID, but the number is 18 percent in Philadelphia, which is 44 percent African-American. Another study based on the state’s data found that voters in predominately black precincts in Philadelphia are 85 percent more likely than voters in predominately white precincts to lack state-issued ID. Voters in Hispanics and Asians neighborhoods are also twice as likely to lack IDs relative to white voters.

    Finally, on a practical level, Pennsylvania is unprepared to implement the law. “Petitioners did not establish that greater injury will occur from refusing to grant the injunction than granting it,” Simpson claimed. “This is because the process of implementation in general, and of public outreach and education in particular, is much harder to start, or restart, than it is to stop.” But at the trial, Pennsylvania officials admitted that they didn’t know how many voters lack the correct ID and have allocated funding for only 75,000 “free” voter ID cards, even though the department of transportation found that ten times as many voters may lack valid ID. Nor is the state equipped to handle all of the people who will need to get ID. “There were 71 PennDot offices, but 13 of them were only open one day a week,” Slate’s Dave Weigel noted. “Nine Pennsylvania counties have no PennDot office at all.” Added the Philadelphia Inquirer: “In recent visits to the Department of Transportation’s offices, the witnesses said, they found long lines, short hours, and misinformed clerks, which made obtaining voter identification cumbersome, and in some cases impossible, for those who don’t have supporting documentation.”

    According to the department of transportation, 758,000 registered voters do not have state-issued ID. Matt Barreto, professor of political science at University of Washington, found that more than a million registered Pennsylvania voters lacked sufficient ID and that 379,000 don’t have the underlying documents, such as a birth certificate, needed to obtain the right ID. Simpson dismissed these studies and claimed that voters without ID would be able to vote with an absentee ballot (providing that they can get a doctor’s note confirming their illness) or with a provisional ballot (which may or may not be counted). Simpson’s logic in this regard doesn’t make much sense. It would be a lot easier to block the voter ID law and run the 2012 election like every other election in Pennsylvania history than to implement a costly, confusing and hasty new law.

  24. You can’t open a bank account, check into a hotel, board an airplane, the list goes on of the transactions requiring an id. We spend winters in California and for those reasons[out of state id’s don’t help for some transactions] my wife and I got Ca. id’s. It was quite easy. Actually, it was interesting going to a DMV so close to the border. More than half of the employees were bilingual. And, the employees were much more friendly than Wisconsin.

    Now, I see how you folks feel about this. And, although I’m as honest a person you’ll ever meet, I have been called a Republican here when I state, and anyone who knows me will say I am, an independent free thinking libertarian. I voted w/ pride for Russ Feingold every election. I disagreed w/ many of his votes. However, he is a smart, honest, politician who is not owned by anyone, including his own party. He has integrity which is virtually extinct in today’s politics. It’s funny, Republicans accuse me of being a Democrat. Yes..I have democrat and Republican friends!! This all gets tiring after awhile. Requiring an id is common sense. However, I have come to see common sense goes out the window when it comes to partisan politics.

  25. Hubert, Pa stipulated no voter fraud, no prosecutions for voter fraud. This Pa rep says voter ID law will help Romney win. This is nothing but attempt at suppression by the repubs and they have no shame evidently because they freely admit it.
    Someone else already gave an example of why some ppl cant get the ID necessary to get the pgoito ID. some city halls no longer exist, documents gone. So these people cannot exercise their right to vote?
    Elderly, disabled, poor do not have the funds ofttimes, or the ability, to do the work necessary to get the ID.
    I lived in NYC for 14 years and did not drive. I had no photo ID and no clue if or where I could get one had I ever needed it. In PA Septa accepts a no photo card they gave me for the handicapped fare.
    This is an attempt at voter suppression, pure and simple. The repubs know they cannot win by honest means (look at Fla and the partisan court anointing Bush as a perfect example.) so they need to disenfranchise they believe will vote for the president.

  26. Even Pennsylvania admitted that voter fraud is exceedingly rare in the state and national studies have found similarly low numbers in other states.

    And this is where Judge Simpson erred. The plaintiffs are correct, infringing upon a fundamental right does require a strict scrutiny level of review. In other words, if the Republican led state legislature could show us that voter fraud is plaguing Pennsylvania, THEN I might
    agree with Republicans that this law is a permissible restriction on a
    fundamental right. But until they can demonstrate that the problem exists, there is literally no justification for imposing regulations on the right to vote that, by Judge Simpson’s own admission, will likely affect between 1 to 9% of the PA electorate.

    This is no ideological diatribe. You can disagree with him, but the opinion is well-constructed and well-presented.

    Mr. Turley, you are giving this judge WAY too much credit. This Judge — who by the way, is a Republican in Pennsylvania where Judges are elected — clearly pandered to the Republican-led state legislature on this one. To acknowledge Turzai’s statement and then act as if such a sentiment was not shared or even heard by the rest of the Republican legislature is to willfully ignore reality. Especially in our 24/7 news media society. If any PA legislators were not present to hear Turzai directly they were watching his statement on youtube the following morning.

  27. Hubert Cumberdale, Frankly shouldn’t have started out implying that you stupid or duplicitous, that was rude. But you don’t seem to know what’s going on and your assertions about fraud are not correct. Frankly is correct about no fraud. Voter fraud is a ruse, a lie. There is not a problem that needs fixing by taking away other peoples right to vote; don’t fall for that.

    I don’t know where you get your information but I suggest FOX is no more than mean spirited propaganda and Rush appears to have lingering, disabling brain damage- some drugs do take a toll. You owe it to yourself to get better information, and by better I mean true, real. Would a “Salad Fingers” fan lie to one of their own? Srsly.:-)

    May I suggest Rachal Maddow on MSNBC at 8PM central time, her work is done using classic investigative techniques. Check out on the Internet: Salon, Firedog Lake, BradBlog, this blawg of course and The Professional Left Podcasts available for listening at:

    They are two working people with serous political views and smarts. The Internet sites I can’t link to, you can only put two links in a posting without the posting being trashed automatically by the web software. Just plug the name into Google and you’ll get the link.

    This isn’t meant to be patronizing, I’m tired and not up to doing a primer on what is wrong with the voting laws being implemented. Those articles linked in my previous posting will actually do a good job of explaining the problems and the above links are entertaining info. You owe it to yourself.


  28. @lottakatz – your legal analysis on rights is spot on. (I’m an attorney)

    @Dredd – I think the Judge got the law wrong as well on the “as applied” challenge. Or at best, he conveniently characterized the challenge as an “as applied” challenge knowing full well that any “as applied” challenges to this PA law will have to be brought after election day. By that point, the 2012 election will be over, PA’s 20 electoral votes will have been cast, and none of this will matter anymore.

  29. Mespo, Excellent quote up thread and your simile was right on point. John Stewart said that the voter ID laws were like enacting leash laws for unicorns. That is Occam’s Razor with a vengeance.

  30. mahtso, Bingo! Great question. Operating a small biz you are sometimes overwhelmed w/ laws, regulations that are ridiculous. I don’t think this law is, but if one does how about a two front assault. Have attorneys work on overturning this law and volunteers getting off their asses and getting these folks registered. You can’t be successful in any endeavor if your default position is simply whining.

  31. AY:


    Wouldn’t you agree that a 70 Page opinion on this topic is excessive?


    The guilty talk the longest.

  32. “Simpson acknowledged the possible political machinations and chastised comments by the Republican House leader, Mike Turzai, as “disturbing” and “boastful.” Turzai seemed eager to undermine any claim of a neutral rationale for the law in proclaiming at a dinner that the new law “is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”



    Judge permits racial and economic discrimination based on rational basis! Disregards manifest intent of law’s creator to divine his own neutral intent. Calls it “disturbing” but not a deal breaker.


  33. Public Relations Firm Educating Pennsylvania Minorities On Voter ID Stacked With Republicans
    By Ryan J. Reilly
    July 20, 2012

    At least six people working on a contract won by a public relations firm to educate Pennsylvania voters on the state’s new voter ID law have previously worked for Republican officials.

    According to the biographies included with the Bravo Group’s proposal (obtained by TPM through a public information request), Chris Bravacos “helped rebuild the Republican Party in the early 1990s,” Topper Ray served as a press aide to President George H.W. Bush, Jennifer Riley “worked for the Bush/Cheney 2005 [sic] campaign,” Matt Crocco worked on former Gov. Tom Ridge’s campaign, Sean Connolly worked as a spokesman for two Republican attorneys general and Otto Banks served as a Bush White House appointee and consultant to the Republican state committee.

  34. rafflaw:

    Not sure he’s bought and paid for based on some of his prior more progressive voting rights decisions. More like deluded and tone deaf to Republican voter suppression efforts.

  35. Court votes yes on voter-ID law

    IN DECIDING not to grant an injunction to block implementation of Pennsylvania’s unfair voter-ID law, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. gave “substantial deference to the judgment of the Legislature” to regulate elections, even if some had partisan political motives in enacting the law.

    As to the heavy burden that the law places on individuals trying to exercise their fundamental right to vote? That doesn’t matter as much.

    It is an interpretation of the law that is reasonable but wrong. If not overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the law will drastically increase the time, effort and barriers to voting for Pennsylvanians, regardless of whether they have the proper identification or not.

    The judge described the law as a “minor change” to the state Election Code and didn’t buy the claim by lawyers for the citizens who sued to block the law that up to a million registered voters lack proper ID. He did accept that 1 percent or more of voters, which adds up to at least 90,000 people, would have to jump through some significant bureaucratic hoops to continue voting. And while it’s true that the overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians have proper identification, the ones who do not are likely to be poor, minority, older and female.

    In his decision, the judge revealed a touching faith in both the Department of State and in an alternative voter ID that is supposed to be introduced in the next few weeks, the third major revision in rules released since the law’s passage. He is convinced, he wrote, that the law “will be implemented by Commonwealth agencies in a non-partisan, even-handed manner” – spoken like someone who has not received widely conflicting information from government employees and doesn’t face the prospect of talking to machines on the phone and making multiple trips, likely by public transportation, to PennDOT offices.

    Voting is such a fundamental right that laws that make it harder to exercise should be subject to what’s called “strict scrutiny.” Under that highest standard, governments have to provide very strong evidence to justify making it harder to exercise a right – for example, to prevent wide-scale voter-impersonation fraud. But the commonwealth has already admitted that there is no such evidence.

    Simpson did not use the “strict scrutiny” standard to judge the voter-ID case. If he had, he wrote, he might have reached a different determination. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court can interpret the law another way – and it should.

  36. Many states’ voter-ID laws, including Pennsylvania’s, appear to have tie to same U.S. group
    August 15, 2012|By Ethan Magoc, For The Inquirer

    A growing number of conservative Republican state legislators worked fervently during the last two years to enact laws requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

    Lawmakers proposed 62 photo-ID bills in 37 states in the 2011 and 2012 sessions, with multiple bills introduced in some states, including two by Democrats in Rhode Island. Ten states have passed strict photo-ID laws since 2008, though several face legal challenges.

    A News21 analysis found that more than half of the 62 bills were sponsored by members or conference attendees of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Washington-based, tax-exempt organization.

  37. Bettykath, I was turned away from the polls in 2000 as were 2 people that lived in my neighborhood. All of us were regular voters, it was quite a scandal, so many names were purged in some counties that it was impossible for election judges to get in contact with the board of election commissioners. they were inundated with calls. Two of the three of us were not even told we had a right to a provisional ballot. Your experience with them does not give me much faith should I run into voting problems again.

    We just had a primary and I did not receive a notice of election card. I thought that it was going to be another ‘your name isn’t on the list’ situation. It was OK but I am never sure I’ll get to vote when I show up at the polls.

  38. nick No, it is the republicans they are being nitpicky. For instance under Texas law one cannot vote with a student id but they can with a gun permit.

  39. Mahtso, they can find information here:
    google getting help with voter id pa and you wilkl find other links,
    As to the public relations firm being stacked with repubs, Corbett is so partisan, he and his cronies don;t care if stacking the deck is unethical, and UnAmerican, he only cares, like Boehner, Tarzi (think thats name of rep who said law helps romne, about party and their extreme ideology becoming the law of the land – and a nice repub judge just helped (and will now waste more Pa $ to continue to fight this attempt to steal votes and disenfranchise, The GOP: Good obscene party.

  40. It is difficult to get Americans to the polls. Reasons well known. BUT, I will repeat for emphasis the reason cited above to oppose the law.

    It only provides a further disincentive to voting.

    That it is coupled to politically steered bureaucracy makes it even more difficult to surmount. As for voter registration to counter the effect. What happened with those who tried in Florida?

    Over 88 percent vote here. How is it in your state?

  41. idealist, Texas was at 48.8% in 2008 and much lower in 2010. We are now a majority minority state and the republicans are scared so they came up with their shady scheme to scare and disenfranchise minority voters and keep control.

  42. ElaineM, I have no problem and you should not care if I did. You simply strike me as the sort of student who when told to submit a 3 page report wrote a 12 pager. If you don’t like what I say or do you have total permission, although you don’t need it, to say whatever the hell you like to me. There are some real thin skins here, and a lot of faux civility. “Life’s tough..where a f@%ckn’ helmet[Dennis Leary].

    Ok Swarthmoremom, then organize fellow Dems and get people the id’s while Dem attorneys try and overturn the laws you think are wrong and stupid. That was my point, you’re deflecting. I’m sure you’re not lazy. When George McGovern got out of politics and tried to open a small business he had an epiphany. That was many of the laws and regulations he helped pass were confining, bureaucratic, and stupid. That is what every small biz person experiences. Well, you can whine and cry and go out of biz in a year or you can suck it up and do something about it.

  43. Who’s whining now, I say, who’s whining now….familiar tune.

    When deprived of voting RIGHTS, then what is left but whining. Oppose of course.

    But passing laws, having the plea discouraged, and with draconian results and time frames, what is the reality you face. Only a mass reaction by dem sofa lyers will help. Ever see that happen?

    The dems con the poor to vote for them; the reps con the wealthy and well-established to vote for them.
    They are, as one of the GBs said recently said, both con artists (my rendering of the spirit of the comment) who deliver basicly the same poison to democracy.

  44. Nick:

    I’d treat lightly with Elaine. She’s an accomplished and longstanding guest blogger and contributor with plenty to say and a direct way of saying it. Her contributions are always cogent and enlightening due to her incessant reading. Plus she’s damn nice and a welcome addition to the blog.

    By the way, she doesn’t need me to defend her status, but sometimes I like to stick my nose in anyway.

  45. Mespo,
    This Judge is too smart to have made a decision merely because he was deluded. He knew what he was doing and why he made the decision in that manner. To make sure any appeals would be difficult and time consuming. Should a judge write his decision purposely to slow down the ability of the plaintiffs to appeal it?
    Once again, the Dems are organizing ID efforts, but it is not a simple process and the state laws are designed to make it difficult. You are talking about transporting thousands of people to agencies that are many times miles away and with business hours only during the day when many of the individuals are working.
    Please tell me what laws and regulations on the National level prevent you from opening up a small business that are confining and unnecessary. I have a small business and the only issue I have from the Feds is taxes. Please explain.

  46. rafflaw:

    “He knew what he was doing and why he made the decision in that manner. ”


    Maybe, but it’s easy to think you’re independent when in reality you’re a function of your conservative conditioning. How anyone could dismiss the words of the legislation’s sponsor and prime mover about its intent is beyond me. How anyone could permit a discriminatory impact and ignore the political ramifications is just as stupefying. Impartiality is a thing of the past.

  47. Now if we could get Minnesota back in the hands of the Swedes and socialistic trends of the 30’s we might have sometning. Disenfranchise the rest. As Minnesota goes, so goes the nation—-literally.

    And thanks. The voice crying in the wilderness hears a voice.

    Is it an echo? Another hermit considering the evils of people. Or just a hungry person asking for the manna of truth?

    We live so close, and do not have effective means to counteract evil, although that was the reason for our founding.

  48. Nick,

    Some advice you did not ask for. You have experienced some unwarranted attacks, yes that is so. One in particular who is known to never end without the last word of abuse.

    IMHO, perhaps I did you a disservice warning you. You have, again IMHO, seemed to me to exhibit signs of feeling attacked. That does sensitize the perception and thinness of the skin.


    Some do expect, justified or not, to retain their leading positions of old. Let them have it.

    But you have since that attack expanded greatly your bandwidth (ie presence) here. OK. But don’t let fear take over your excellent judgement. Reality orientation is your forté in my mind.

    Advice from the eternal adviser.

  49. Mespo,
    you could be right about the judge’s conditioning, but it is sad in any case. I also want to echo your statements about Elaine. Her efforts on this blog are extraordinary and needed.
    I am still waiting to hear what Federal regulations prevent small businesses from opening up that are unreasonable. Also, please explain how McGovern had a change of heart about the laws he passed in this area.

  50. idealist707, Thanks. I liken this forum somewhat like Vermont. I had 2 uncles move from our home state of Ct. to Vermont back in the 60’s/70’s. They would use humor to describe the clannish cliques that looked upon them as a “outsiders.” They, like myself, grew up ethnic/blue collar and educated themselves as to books and people. I’ve done the same, adding street smarts to that repertoire .I don’t see how welcoming any and all criticism as playing a victim . However, I will take your counsel as I continue. I welcome your advice, you are a free thinker which puts you on the endangered species list. However, for some reason there are no restrictions on hunting free’s always open season.

  51. Nick,

    “ElaineM, Are you geting paid by the word?”
    “You simply strike me as the sort of student who when told to submit a 3 page report wrote a 12 pager.”

    It’s my experience that documenting facts takes much more word-space than frivolous commentary. It also takes more time to read and self-verify factual commentary, and I suspect that this is where you have a problem — you seem to prefer baseless argumentation as opposed to factual.

    Elaine is a superb source of information and her efforts on this blog have always been germane to the issue(s).

  52. mespo, Thank you also. I worked w/ lawyers my entire adult life. One of the good things I learned was you could battle it out in court..I mean REALLY battle it out, and then go have a beer, or 7. I like that. That’s the way politics were up until the 90’s. I assume I should not “treat lightly” because Elaine is female. Based on exchanges I’ve had w/ other august male[s] here, should I treat them equally “lightly.” You may look upon this as “snarky” but it is not. There are unwrtten rules here that I’m trying to understand. That does not mean I’ll abide them, I don’t know yet. But the first step is to understand them. I love Hemingway, that’s what the last exchange w/ Elaine was about. Simply a question of style. “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

  53. GBK.

    And you seem inclined to issue passe partout to oldtimers, but are eager as they to attack new vigorous voices for minor infractions. My first ones were excused. Why not his?

    That Elaine is a well-come source is very valuable to us all is known to us. And she let’s the facts speak for themselves. Well done.

    Nick is eager to enter the fray. And reacts without awaiting necessary judgemental facts to emerge re new to him faces. And a misjudgement is deplorable. But it ain’t damnable as you would pretend it is.

    Be glad there are fresh eyes and fresh voices to stir up this at times turgid yea-saying.

    Get off your high horse. It is a camel you are riding on.

  54. Nick,

    I don’t need to be treated with kid gloves. I’m a big girl. I can take care of myself. I don’t act the victim when people call into questions my intelligence or my position on issues. I use facts/information, my firsthand knowledge of subjects, common sense, and reason before deciding where I stand on particular issues.

    There is one rule we have here at the Turley blog–civility. That doesn’t mean we can’t have spirited discussions…or that we can’t disagree on issues being discussed.

  55. idealist707,

    Nick’s two comments as I quoted above were not related to the issue of this thread and were purposely insulting.

    I don’t mind Nick’s opinions, nor anyone’s, here. Let him enter the fray, but he should consider the manner of his efforts.

    As for me being on a high horse this is my opinion of you. So I’m glad we agree.

  56. Hubert says:

    “Frankly, are you that naive (or stupid) to think that there isn’t any voter fraud going on? The question you would need to ask is, why are the fraudulent votes exclusively cast for the democrat? It’s like having a problem with thieves complaining because the shop owner put better locks on the doors.”

    That is rude, unresponsive and false on its face. There is, indeed “vote” fraud and to claim it is “exclusively” by democrats is absurd. Having worked the polls I can tell you how and where it takes place, but these voter ID laws do not address it. There is no “voter ID” fraud. Since you obviously have the brain power to write a cogent sentence and to understand the difference between voter fraud and vote fraud, I must conclude that you are feigning obtuseness to obscure the real issue. Voter suppression is and has been a real and documented challenge to our democracy throughout history and no amount of partisan pettifogging about voter ID fraud is going to correct it.

  57. idealist707,

    “Don’t forget I supported you 2 days ago. Good with the bad. That is how it goes.”

    Like I care or require your support.

  58. Free thinking does not equal good thinking. Schizophrenics are free thinkers too. Very free in fact. Logic and argumentation have structure and rules. Ignore them all you like. That doesn’t make you a free thinker. It makes you a poor undisciplined thinker.
    You keep using that word. Thinking. I do not think it means what you think it means.
    You’re free to believe what you like, nick. You’re free to express it. You should be able to defend your statements when challenged by some other means than ad hominem smartassery such as the traditional means of argument by countering with facts and logic. So far you’ve demonstrated you have one move (insult) and you’re not even very good at that one. This is a marketplace of ideas. If your ideas are weak, they are going to be challenged and shredded. Your hissy fits not withstanding. It is also your right to act like a dick, call it “street smarts” if you wish, as it is our right to treat you like you’re acting like a dick. So why don’t you think about that next time someone challenges what you’ve said before you respond with an attack against them instead of against their idea. Agreement is not required. Cogent rational evidence based counter argument is required.
    This is an above average intelligent crowd. If you want to be taken seriously, you are seriously going about it the wrong way. Unless of course your intention is to prove you’re a tedious boor who answers criticism with implications of Communism (the fallacy of false equivalence and guilt by association) or “brevity is the source of wit” (the fallacy of attacking the style of the message/form over substance) or assuming the advice in re Elaine has anything to do with her gender (she’s simply a better thinker and better at argument than you are, but thanks for showing your sexism card) or other such weak (propagandist) tactics.
    Your self image as a cool collected rational actor is betrayed by your every action to this point. You come across as a hotheaded bitter little man who isn’t nearly as intelligent as he thinks he is so he covers his intellectual inadequacies with bluster because that’s what works with the guys down at the local bar. We’re a much tougher room than your drinking buddies.
    You need to step up your game or be ready for a rough ride.
    Since you’re in the advice taking mood.

  59. Gene H:

    “Free thinking does not equal good thinking. Schizophrenics are free thinkers too. Very free in fact.”


    Just perfect.

  60. rafflaw, I just gave a kudo about attorneys. I will now give a beef. You are impatient. Many attorneys want an answer or report “yesterday” but are slow to respond themselves..particularly w/ paying bills. However, I’m sure this impatience of yours is just episodic.

    If I may, I’ll answer your last question first. Yes, there is an incredible amount of groupthink and little tolerance for deviation here. I feel like I’m back in a teacher’s lounge.

    McGovern has been on record since he retired about the government local, state, and Federal stifling business. He last wrote on this topic in the [WSJ 5/7/09]. That was about card check legislation, which he opposed. Regarding Federal Laws regulations, he originally was aghast about tax requirements, filing deadlines, etc. You’re a small biz, I’m sure you’re used to it now [we get used to horses^&t]. McGoverrn complained that it was almost required to hire an accountant, which as we know, is part of the reason for the bureaucratic regulations. There are specific Federal laws/regulations to his biz[hotel] including, but not limited to ADA, that have made him to make frustrated. Of late, McGovern has talked about the need for tort reform, having been sued frivously a couple times. I’ve seen him interviewed on C-Span and Charlie Rose speaking eloquently and passionately on these topics. Let me guess, he’ll now be labeled a traitor and old coot for speaking the truth. This stuff has been well known and out there for over 20 years. I don’t think it was in The Nation, however.

  61. mespo,

    Thank you, kind sir. As a former poster used to say, one lives to be of service. False equivalences just jump out at me. As my favorite (and, if I recall, your second favorite) Roman Emperor – Marcus Aurelius – once noted, “Ask of each and every thing what it is in itself.” Valuable advice then, valuable advice now.

  62. I knew I was opening the door with that horse remark. Smile. But at least I am honest.

    You were shooting a fish in a barrel you thought. Admit it. Gang up, the favorite technique of bully gangs.

    My support was not offered. It has to be earned. So your misunderstanding goes together with your other fallacies re Nick. People talk about sharp discussions but don’t in
    fact tolerate them.

    Why the rush to defend ElaineM? She is an adult, let her speak for herself. She has, and well too.

    Piling on the rabbit is a childish game. And a cowardly one.

    But the last we abandon is our self-esteeem. And so don’t expect you to change.

    You have to be 75 to do that, and be willing to listen both to your fears and your friends/foes.

  63. But mespo,

    Do schizo’s get to use the HOV lanes…..


    Be warned….. Elaine subscribes to the Theodore Roosevelt school of diplomacy……..

  64. Oooo. Topic shifting. Taxation to tort reform to treason.
    How utterly tactically unoriginal.
    Let me guess what’s next: taxation as a form of theft?
    Could be.

  65. GeneH, Much of this goes back to the School Voucher post. When asked about the Tenn. plan I answered. When asked about teacher credentials I answered. When asked about criteria for private schools, I answered. When asked about creationism I answered. Some of these I answered more than once. A pet peeve of mind is having to direct people to answers I’ve already given. Apparently you’re a barrister, the court has a simple rule, “Asked and answered, your honor,” But, I directed folks who weren’t “stepping up their game” to the prior answer. Now, if I had done that to anyone I would apologize. All I got were more shoot from the hip questions. In that thread a trend was occurring about Federal $ going to religous institutions. I pointed out that has been happening via VA, Pell Grants, etc. for decades w/ no one EVER complaing. That pretty much ended that track of “thought.” I just answered a couple questions from rafflaw.

    Regarding my comrade comment. Let’s do a 1-10. I’ll make Karl Marx “10” and Milton Friedman ” 1″ . That numbering is an homage to you. You don’t have to answer, but I’m guessing you’re just a little closer to Karl than Milton.
    I’ve upset your fiefdom. And trust me, I’ve been cross examined by attorneys much smarter and tougher than you. I’ve kicked ass and I’ve had my ass kicked. We all need our asses kicked once in awhile. But, some can just dish it out, and not take it.

  66. Nick’s assumption that mespo meant he should treat Elaine lightly ’cause she’s a girl is more of insult to mespo than Elaine.

    Unwritten rule … always tread lightly with everybody ’cause you never know who’s a girl wearing guy’s clothing. :mrgreen:

  67. Sorry idealist, too late. I let him have the last word on the aforementioned School Voucher thread. Saved him some $ on Viagra.

  68. No, nick, you didn’t answer a damn thing regarding raff’s question other than you seem to think filing deadlines are a burden.

    You tried to change the subject to how tough you are though.

    That’s really funny.

  69. Logic, your eternal argument. Not to be disaparaged, and I do not do so.

    My beef is the heritage of your debate years (guessing). It is in any case highly reminiscent of most politacal same stage debates.

    Point one. Never acknowledge ANY point made by your opponent. It was never made. The sooner you ignore it, the sooner its effect will disappear.

    Point two. Have always a new line of attack ready. Whatever your opponent says can be attacked. That is why debates are so carefully scripted, although they seem ad lib. That minimizes openings for attack.

    Point three. Debates are not meant to decide, they are meant to be won. Use what you will, but win. You get no points for fairness.

    (Why we admire the Jesuits escapes me. Did they not lead the Inquisition? Or catholics for that matter, did they not say “Kill them all. Let God decide who the guilty are.” But only a small tangent, smile.)

    Point four: Use inferred ad hominems, harder to refute or deflect by your opponent. Witness allegations of “softness” if you are shown weeping. (As Joe almost did at times in his Taps speech.)

    This is a useless task. GeneH is GeneH. Value the good, and forget the rest.

    Now to other things.

    No response necessary, as I learned to say today.
    But GeneH is compelled to have the last word. Want to make bets on that?

  70. Blouise, I was not “asssuming” mespo was saying that. I actually didn’t think he meant that and my words, “I assume I should NOT, are pretty clear. I’m still earning the ropes. On a lighter note, just watched J Edgar the other night on HBO and the clothing issue was vice versa. Interesting but not one of Clint’s better flicks. A little pretentious for him, actually. Leo was good.

  71. Gene H:

    I am just curious as to why it took over 100 years to pass the personal income tax? And didnt it take a couple of supreme court cases in the late 1800’s to pave the way for the personal income tax? And werent the majority of people exempted and wasnt the tax on income which was taxable very small?

    Taxation is legalized theft when it gets put into some one elses pocket. Corporations, private individuals. To build a road or provide for defense is beneficial to all, to give a corn grower a few million dollars to not grow corn doesnt benefit society.

  72. Blouise,
    A curiosity appeal. ALL things interests me.
    What does the black(?) smiley mean.

    BTW all. Swedes and 9 other nations are working towards

    an immunotherapy vaccine and prevention of Alzheimers disease. See report in Lancet Neurological journal this Wednesday. Swedish newspapers are puffing out our chests.

  73. idealist707,

    “You were shooting a fish in a barrel you thought. Admit it. Gang up, the favorite technique of bully gangs.”

    I align myself with no one here. As to bully gangs and, “piling on the rabbit,” this seems to be something you do on a frequent basis, as shown here:

    “Sweet nightmares Bron. See GBK chasing you with his Sovjet style tanks?”

    from this thread:

    There are many more examples of you doing what you accuse me of.

    There are some things Nick has said that I agree with, and some I don’t. I must admit though that Nick seems to have an inclination to misrepresent what other’s have said to suit his argument and a quick trigger for expressing his ability to “kick ass,” as shown here on this thread:

    “Regarding my comrade comment. Let’s do a 1-10. I’ll make Karl Marx “10″ and Milton Friedman ” 1″ . That numbering is an homage to you. You don’t have to answer, but I’m guessing you’re just a little closer to Karl than Milton. I’ve upset your fiefdom. And trust me, I’ve been cross examined by attorneys much smarter and tougher than you. I’ve kicked ass and I’ve had my ass kicked. We all need our asses kicked once in awhile. But, some can just dish it out, and not take it.”

    If you were able to write in a more cognizant manner we might have had more interaction, but as it is I don’t understand much of what you write despite my efforts. I’m sure this is my failing as understanding riddled metaphors has always been a shortcoming of mine, and allegories only offer a pretension of understanding.

  74. Nick,

    You answered some questions on the school voucher thread and ignored others. That’s your option–just as it is for the rest of us. Sometimes I miss a comment or two or three in a thread. It’s an easy thing to do when going from one post to another and going about my daily business.

    Did you include the following among my “shoot from the hip” questions on the voucher thread?

    – Do you think that taking public money away from public schools to pay students’ tuition to religious/private schools that aren’t required to meet the same educational standards as the public schools is a way to solve the problem of failing schools in Louisiana?

    – Don’t you think we should address the societal problems that are the causes of failing schools?

    – Do you think that public school teachers are the main problem?

    – How is one to determine merit pay? By student test scores?

    – Is the discussion becoming tedious for you because you can’t convince many of us that public money should not pay student tuition to private/religious schools that aren’t required to meet the same educational standards as public schools?

    – Do you believe that every public school in this country is failing its students and needs to be reformed?

    – You haven’t provided me with information or a good enough argument for me to change my mind. Show me how the school voucher program is going to improve the education of children in Louisiana. (I know this wasn’t posed as a question. It was just a request.)

    – How is competition among schools going to solve the societal problems that I wrote about in earlier comments?

    – Can you show me how the school voucher program is going to improve the education of children in Louisiana?

    – You taught “some” in a public school and “some” in a Catholic school. What does that mean? Did you teach for a couple of days…couple of weeks…couple of months…couple of years?

  75. id707,

    Point one: a valid point must be made to be acknowledged.

    Point two: “Have always a new line of attack ready.” Yeah, that’s called good strategy and tactics. As to debates being scripted? Honest ones aren’t. If it is scripted (defined as to prepare a script for or from or to provide carefully considered details for (as a plan of action)), it is not necessarily a debate (defined as a contention by words or arguments such as the formal discussion of a motion before a deliberative body according to the rules of parliamentary procedure or a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides). Consider a pre-scripted “debate” such as those put on by political candidates are rarely if ever true debates but rather advertising for talking points neither side wants open for discussion. Debate as adversarial process for finding truth is not the same thing as debate as an advertising format.

    Point three: Your point three is nearly gibberish. By winning, you decide. The point of debate is discovery, evaluation of evidence and decision.

    Point four: I’ll take tactical advice from you about the time Hell freezes solid.

    As to last word? Ask me if I give a rat’s ass what you think of me or my tactics, Id707. I’ll be glad to tell you again why I don’t care what you think but you full well know why. Your support and/or approval of what I do is not required.

  76. Elaine, There are laws in my state regarding beating dead horse. I assume the same in your Commonwealth.

  77. Bron,

    Save the Rothbard drivel for another time. Further trying to change the subject is simply not productive. That it took some time before a national income tax came about is irrelevant to it being Constitutional. See Art I, Sec 2, Art I., Sec. 8 and the 16th Amendment.

  78. rafflaw,

    “Yes, there is an incredible amount of groupthink and little tolerance for deviation here. I feel like I’m back in a teacher’s lounge.”

    I guess it’s considered groupthink when we don’t agree with Nick. Nick appears to be someone who is not tolerant of those who have opinions different from his. I’d say his comment about the teacher’s lounge is revealing.

  79. eniobob,

    Re: your link. They really did try to pull a fast one down in the southern part of the state.


    “As Ohio’s chief elections officer, I have sought to create an environment where the election can be about candidates and their ideas, not the process for electing them. I will continue to do my part to ensure a smooth election in Ohio in which all voters can have confidence.”

    However, as good as this may sound Husted cast the tie-breaking votes that enable Republicans on county election boards in Democratic-leaning counties to eliminate extended hours for early voting. In counties more likely to vote for Mitt Romney, Republicans left the extended hours in place.

    His new policy came about a day after The New York Times published an editorial claiming that “the sleazy politics behind the disparity is obvious,”

    In short, caught with his pants down.

  80. Elaine, You’re projecting about intolerance and my reponse conveyed what I thought about your incessant questions.

    All I EVER heard in teacher lounges were griping about parents, administration and union talk. I got fed up and would go have lunch w/ the shop teachers..normal converstions about a variety of topics.

  81. idealist,

    “Piling on the rabbit is a childish game.”

    Who is piling on whom? If Nick can’t stand the heat, he should stay out of the kitchen. If his goose is getting cooked, it’s his own fault. Maybe he needs to step us his game a bit. Maybe he shouldn’t expect to change people’s minds with poor arguments and personal insults.

  82. eniobob,

    Husted helped the Catholic bishops water down State legislation to help victims of pedophilia.

    He really is a creepy guy.

  83. Blouise

    This is not a poll tax. The election is in November and if you have no ID, then you have plenty of time to get one. Identification is essential to protecting the candidates from unlawful voting. Along the southern border I have seen evidence in newspaper articles where people have voted who were actually dead. Also, people have been allowed to vote even though they are not citizens of our country. If I have to provide an ID to drive, pay for a credit card purchase, buy property, then having one to vote is not unreasonable. College ID’S do not work because of the # of international citizens.

  84. Elaine M.

    I am a PUBLIC educator for over 20 years and have no problem with vouchers. I too pay taxes and if I choose to send MY kids to a Private school, then I should have the right to have my school tax go to that school. Also, I can tell you that money is not the problem with failing schools but rather a lack of discipline and high expectations.

  85. Jim,

    Private schools are not required to accept all students who apply for entrance. Public schools must admit all children who reside in their districts.

    Are you blaming parents or the schools/teachers for lack of discipline and high expectations?

    P.S. I was a PUBLIC school educator for more than thirty years.

  86. Hopefully Jim has been a commenter here previously otherwise the Oliver Stone/black helicopter contingent will think conspiracy. I don’t know Jim. Well, we all know people named, Jim. But, unless Jim says he knows me since my entire name is out there, I don’t know him. Anyway Jim, welcome to the Jungle.

  87. Elaine M

    ” Don’t you think we should address the societal problems that are the causes of failing schools?”

    Absolutely! Have parents, students, teachers, and administrators sign a mutual contract. If a student is tardy to class 5 times, the parent gets fined. If a student becomes a discipline problem (and there is evidence) the parent is fined. If a student fails, there is No summer school and they must complete the class over again. No more Free lunch, breakfast, or snack. No more bus rides to school so that parents can be responsible. These are a few ideas that will work.

  88. Must have touched a nerve with GeneH and Blouise. Delighted. The venom behind their utterances irritated but were quickly neutralized. Consider the source and presumed intent.

    Yes, GBK, I do have that failing of giving a kick from myself to someone kicked by another person, but only when I feel it is deserved. And never as a groupie like others.
    I do not do it as part of the gang. I abhor gangkickings. I stand for my own kicks.

    But am not proud of them, as they are given to others suffering. And that is bad in some way, my morals say.
    I am first to admit my faults when they are pointed out, notwithstanding the rancor they are delivered with.

    Blouise, I had expected better things from you. Too bad.
    Et tu, Blouise. So falls Caesar to rise again like a phoenix, only more like an annoying fly. And you did not even answer my polite question. Is it a club special?

    Does that confuse you GBK? If you don’t like it try loosening up your psyche a bit. Let it associate. Don’t discipline it so hard. Lots of new thoughts floating around. Take a course in remedial reading. Might help.

    BTW GeneH. Your rebuttal remains unread. It would be wasted time to look for anything of genuine value there, all is driven by your dislike of me.

    Such a waste of time. I came to discuss ID laws, not to kick. Like arguments in general, how do they begin?
    Of course being an official target helps.

  89. Also, I don’t dislike you. I’m indifferent to you. However, if you want to talk to me or about me I’m going to address your foolishness. You should heed your own advice and simply steer clear of me.

  90. ElaineM,

    Even you are overheated now.
    How you can get all that you respond with, out of my saying that piling on the rabbit is a childish game, is beyond me.
    Or are you also trying to show your loyalty to the gang by attacking me? If so, welcome. Your loyalties have always been apparent to me.

    And my praise of your services still stands. Take it or leave, det quittar.

  91. Elaine, Even teachers and administration who didn’t like me will say I had virtually no discipline problems in my classroom. I never griped about parents and I had often the highest turnout for parent/teacher conferences. I was direct to kids and parents as I am here. I had discipline and work expectations that were high.

    One of the things that put me in bad favor w/ the strident union teachers was my writing assignments. It was a shock to me when I started teaching @ middle age just how poorly kids wrote. So, I had them writing daily. The kids hated it, but did it. The parents loved it. What shocked me even more was the pressure I got from “fellow” colleagues to not “Show them up!” That was not my intent, I didn’t give a rat’s ass what they did. But, parents saying, “Mr. Spinelli gives a lot of writing assigments, why don’t you?” didn’t sit well. I’m sure most of you can figure it out, but writing assignments were not only work for the kids but a lot of work for me. So what! That’s what they needed. This mentality Elaine of 30 years, was instrumental in my giving up my quixotic quest in actually teaching, not assigning work sheets. I know your reaction before you even say it.

  92. Elaine M

    Just google illegal immigrants voting or dead people voting, or people caught voting more than once. Many articles will come up. I personally have witnessed illegal immigrants voting and seen people caught voting twice after the election was over. The only reason the Democrats do not like voter Id because it hurts their electorate. Well that is too bad. There is nothing wrong with having to prove who you are and there is a lot of time to do it. Unfortunately people will wait until the last second and complain they didn’t have time or have no money. Well I do not feel sorry for those people because they probably shouldn’t be voting anyone.

  93. idealist,

    I have no idea what gang you are talking about. There is no “groupthink” here. Some of us do share the same opinions on certain issues. That isn’t groupthink. I have had disagreements with some of the regulars here–as well as some of the guest bloggers–on occasion. You insult me by implying that I am party to a “gang mentality.”

  94. idealist707,

    “Does that confuse you GBK? ”

    Does what confuse me, idealist707?

    “If you don’t like it try loosening up your psyche a bit. Let it associate. Don’t discipline it so hard.”

    What is “it,” idealist707?

    “Lots of new thoughts floating around.”

    Precious little from you, though.

    “Take a course in remedial reading. Might help.”

    Do they offer ESL courses in Sweden? If they do you might want to check some out.

  95. Jim,

    Requiring a photo id is an implicit pre-condition of the exercise of the ability to vote. If the government does not meet this pre-condition by making the obtaining of such an id easy and convenient to every citizen and free of charge, then it is a poll tax.

    This is especially true for those citizens who do not have a photo id. The moment one has dismissed their right to vote, one has stepped outside the Constitution.

    This haunted house defense: “Just because you’ve never seen it doesn’t mean it’s not there.” is a veneer. Pennsylvania officials have conceded they’ve never seen one case.

    If a state wants to institute a voter, photo id law, fine. But they must give the individual board of Elections enough time to contact every registered voter by mail (as they do when precinct locations change due to redistricting) informing them of the new law, the date the new law will become effective and the many places each voter may go to obtain the photo id at no cost to them. Four years from signing to implementation should be enough time. In fact, perhaps every voter should have an official voter id card with photo. Hmmm

  96. Elaine,

    My apologies. You are right. Your words were not EXPLICITLY directed at me, but could have had Nick as the target instead. You ring the bell and I start salivating.
    But having been hounded for 70 years it is difficult to abandon old reflexes. Pun intended.

    An article in Scientific American addresses this issue of moderating or erasing old traumatic experiences which cause PTSD and other disturbances to normal living.

    Not reproving you, but rueing that you did not have a bridge between my words you cited and the accusations aimed at Nick. Or is my conclusion correct or not.
    You know like: “Let us take Nick for example…..”

  97. Blouise,

    Wouldn’t a voter ID card have to include one’s address? Wouldn’t a voter be required to get a new ID card every time he/she changed address?

  98. idealist, EMDR[Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing] worked wonders for me regarding a shooting that caused PTSD. It has recently been approved by the VA for veterans returning from war. It doesn’t work for all, just like all therapies.

  99. Blouise, I don’t think a voter id card is a good idea. It is just another hurdle, and the US has a very low participation rate already. The Wisconsin voter ID law was so restrictive that it was been blocked twice. Since voter fraud is almost non-existent, what is the point?

  100. ALL,
    Do the Swedish solution. Register all who are allowed to reside in Sweden with intent on staying here. With that all else is solved. If you move your permanent residence,
    then you advise the bureau encharged with registering such matters.

    Your nominal voting place is near your registered residence. ID cards can be gotten at your nearest bank office, and goverment agencies in all cities.

    It is your open sesame to everything here.

  101. “Since voter fraud is almost non-existent, what is the point?”

    Voter suppression. Or as the guy writing at The Nation in the link provided above “a solution looking for a problem”. When even The Nation is calling the voter fraud issue irrational Conservative propaganda and circular reasoning, you know it’s a true ideological propagandist non-issue. Since it takes time, effort and money to project the message, since it is factually a non-issue, the question becomes “why is it an agenda item”? And we are back to the only rational answer: voter suppression to benefit the ultraconservatives and neoconservatives on various GOP tickets. And if we play “follow the money”? Take a wild guess at what special interests are supporting these candidates?

  102. Elaine & SwM,

    Yes as it regards the change of address but a change of address also requires re-registering to vote … at least here in Ohio. The League is always working to expand the number of places and ease of re-registering after a move.

    I agree that a voter id card is unnecessary but if those who feel strongly about instituting a photo id … let them bear the inconvenience too. How much you want to bet the whole thing goes away when they’re required to practice what they preach? No grandfather clauses. 😉

  103. idealist707,

    “But you lack most painfully receptivity to ideas.”

    Assuming my translation of your sentence is correct, how do you claim I am not receptive to ideas? I’m looking for many ideas of how to extract what is left of this nation, though admittedly, options are few.

    You know little about me, and to pigeonhole me based on my infrequent comments on this blog because it serves your purpose in this particular thread is your shortsighted prerogative.

  104. Elaine,

    As you well know, there is more than one path to a correct answer.

    I think he’s foolish not to have given you proper credit.:mrgreen:

    As for my omission, mea maxima culpa.

  105. Blouise,

    Silly, perhaps. But hurt I was. A hand once given is hard to release. I thought your comment to GeneH about now seeing a pattern. was in confirmation of the loose flying assertations of free thinking being prevalent among schizos And I was the schizo.

    What I am to conclude from your words now is a deep mystery to me. At least you acknowledged me, and that is some comfort.

    One new news to all, I have decided yesterday that my self-esteem does not depend on confirmation or denial here.
    Old stuff for you, but new for me. It was up to whatever wind was blowing up to then.

    I am clear as to who did me in in the beginning as a child. But seeing the smiles or the indifference here and ignoring the suspected knives you hide is another. Especially when your warts are so clearly displayed, and proudly too. Does that come from????

    Been here six months(?). Lots more to learn.

  106. Editorial
    The Myth of Voter Fraud
    October 9, 2011

    It has been a record year for new legislation designed to make it harder for Democrats to vote — 19 laws and two executive actions in 14 states dominated by Republicans, according to a new study by the Brennan Center for Justice. As a result, more than five million eligible voters will have a harder time participating in the 2012 election.

    Of course the Republicans passing these laws never acknowledge their real purpose, which is to turn away from the polls people who are more likely to vote Democratic, particularly the young, the poor, the elderly and minorities. They insist that laws requiring government identification cards to vote are only to protect the sanctity of the ballot from unscrupulous voters. Cutting back on early voting, which has been popular among working people who often cannot afford to take off from their jobs on Election Day, will save money, they claim.

    None of these explanations are true. There is almost no voting fraud in America. And none of the lawmakers who claim there is have ever been able to document any but the most isolated cases. The only reason Republicans are passing these laws is to give themselves a political edge by suppressing Democratic votes.

  107. It can’t be done overnight, getting a socialist paradise.

    But here re-registratións are not needed for anything. Your voting card is sent to your registered address, your name is on the voting list at your nearest polling place.

  108. idealist707,

    “I thought your comment to GeneH about now seeing a pattern. was in confirmation of the loose flying assertations of free thinking being prevalent among schizos And I was the schizo.”

    Yeah, it’s all about you, didn’t you know?

    Once you come around to “our” way of thinking I’ll be the first to send you a decoder ring so you can join the bully rabbit piling gang.

  109. id,

    My comment to Gene had nothing to do with you. I’ve never gone after you and I never will … take it to the bank.

    I have even let your insults to the friendship I share with Gene to go unremarked.

  110. idealist,

    I only know the codes for the smiley face and winking face. They are–respectively:

    – colon (:) followed by ending parenthesis [)]
    – semicolon (;) followed by ending parenthesis [)]

    Nothing is reserved to “members only.” All of us who comment on this blog are considered to be “members.”

  111. ElaineM,

    I think it was a bunny as follows, from my remembrance of childhood.

    “Let’s all pile onto the rabbit.”, they said together.

    And they did on top of you know who. Does that help?

    You asked so you should reply if you are civil, IMHO.

  112. Note to all,

    We are civil aren’t we. Even if it took two sessions to go through it. And JT had to take a grip on our ears from the swimming pool race contest where his kids were entered to get us in line.

    So civility is a very thin veneer, I regret to say. Not just here at JTs. But you can judge America better than I.

    Fortunately it is VERY deeply engraved in all Swedes.

  113. Comments read and registered. Even questioning and derisive ones. Even derision has value.

    Promise to kiss me each morning and I will abandon my paranoia.

    Fortunately it is going better IRL.

    After all of these utterances I will start again here.
    Banking on it.

    Scream ouch please when I snart, don’t forebear. That forebearance escapes one who never got social training due to ostracism. Blouise, please kick next time.

    The flagellant retires peacefully to his cell. Satisfied for the nonce.

  114. idealist707,

    You might want to consider viewing the participants on this blog as a diverse group of people that sometimes agree and sometimes not.

    I offer my comments only when: 1) I have the time, which is rare, 2) when I feel my perspective might contribute something, or 3) when something so egregious is stated that I can’t stop myself, and (1) and (2) above still hold true.

    This blog is not secret club with hidden knives or agendas. Some commentators arrive full of bravado yet little argument expecting that only their opinions will influence. That does not work here, and one will be called on this — not as an action of hostility, but as a request of offering proof of claim.

  115. idealist,

    You missed my point. I meant who was the bunny/person commenting on this thread that you felt the “perceived” gang/in crowd was piling on?

  116. idealist,

    To you, my civility may seem to be a “thin veneer.” In order to be truly civil, should I ignore insults to my intelligence and denigrating comments that have been aimed at me for no good reason? It seems that you think that only some of us should be “civil” at all times. I’m of the opinion that those who dish it out ought to be able to handle what they get in return. And not whine about it!

  117. GBK,

    We all claim noble intentions. No harm in that.
    So I accept on face value your declarations with reservations. Your previous actions question these declarations. But as it may…..

    And I end up in many conflicts. There is a group here. Call it what you will. Of them, Otteray Scribe has declared that all of the “regulars” have decided to ignore me. He did that to my face, as it were, when a newcomer complained of my snartiness. So I have been aware of this possibility since then.

    I have been effectively ignored by all until about a week ago when non regulars have begun to respond. So there is reason, not just paranoia behind my conclusions. No one has confirmed Otteray’s words, but the results have been like a brick wall, perceptibly so.

  118. nick,
    I apologize for being away so long. I actually have to do some work on occasion. So you are suggesting that Mcgovern’s beef was with taxes? According to the link I provided at the end of this response, the reference from McGovern originally was from 1992 as he reflected on his hotel business going bankrupt during a recession. I see no relevance to his problems and the current situation. Anytime a recession is in play, the big problem George had was with the business end of it. It should not surprise anyone that a hotel business might need an accountant to do the returns. To think a hotel business doesn’t need to be rightfully concerned with health regulations, for example, and ADA as you stated shows how naiive Mr. McGovern is on the business level.
    All I have to deal with is paying my taxes. I don’t have any employees at the moment, but when I had them in the past, I had to deal with withholdng and other issues, but that wasn’t a competitive problem for me because every business with employees has that issue to deal with. Now, to think that a 1992 statement has any relevance to 2012 is an error, in my opinion.

    Now, you have strayed off the issue of voter fraud. I also asked for your evidence that there is a problem with voter fraud. As you stated, we attorneys get impatient when we ask questions!

  119. ID,
    I was very civil to you until you insulted me on a past thread, so I do ignore you in order to remain civil. Why should anyone deal with you when you insult them without any reason? It looks like I broke my own rule.

  120. idealist,

    When did Otteray declare that the “regulars” had decided to ignore you? I consider myself to be on the the regulars–as I consider you to be–and I never decided to ignore you…or anyone else who comments on this blog.

  121. ElaineM,

    You teach me a new lesson which I have already wondered about. You teach me of my mistake in casting general aspersions, for instance that of the thin veneer of civility.

    Someone, if not all, will take that aspersion as a personal attack, instead of a mild reproof and reminder of our commoon human failings which we share. That was my intent. And your reply shows how miserably such general aspersions fail.

    As to which person it was, it was not me, but my chivalry is awakened not by chivalry, but old reflexes grounded in childhood. And I am the one who lives with it daily.
    You are apparently firmly grounded in yourself. As most seem here. Some also display exceptional perceptivity on many matters, not the least of personal interactivity.

    But blows such as Otteray Scribe dealt me, see above comment to GBK, do great harm to me. As intended I presume.

    And permit me to be presumptious and ask: How is the grandchild?

  122. Elaine,

    I wonder and hope there are more than you, of the regulars here, who were not informed or gave consent to the “ignore him” decision.

    Otteray did this some 2 or 3 weeks since. It was a response to ElsieDL, I think that is her “name”. She came declaring her experience from Afganistan, and I raised some questions to her, asking her for more details, and implying that in her position she was in fact in no position to say A or B about the situation there. I feel that if you don’t speak the language well, and don’t travel on your own, then you can not be a true witness, in spite of your good intentions.

    She started to reply in a civil manner, but tiring at the end, broke out into a tirade saying she had seen my ways before and refused to tolerate them. It was then Otteray Scribe reassured her, saying that the “regulars” had decided to ignore me, and that she should do so also.

    The regulars paraded one by one reassuring her with one breath that she was welcome, and with the next breath saying that her opinions would require more than her declarations to be given weight here. Good notice. She apparently took heed of it all.

    How to traumatize a paranoid inclined person. And Otteray calls himself a professional psychiatrist. What a laugh.

    OK, hope I have answered your question.

  123. Elaine,

    I share your joy. Just as Í do almost daily with young mothers of the 3 and under group. I praise with glances and words, and we glow the both of us. To see such brave young ones in our world is life essential to me.

  124. I’ve read the entire opinion and believe that Prof. Turley’s analysis is pretty much spot on. Forget the phony “voter fraud” issue. Of course the Republican push for voter ID laws is intended to disenfranchise lawful voters. They’ve admitted as much, but that is not the point. The courts have to tread carefully when it comes to second guessing legislative policy determinations, even if those determinations are stupid. Any notion that a law requiring a photo ID will be ruled unconstitutional per se is delusional thinking. The court in this case, regardless of his political leanings, still has to contend with a Supreme Court ruling that finds these sorts of statutes constitutional. The only flaw in the court’s rationale, in my view at least, is that the time frame for education and implementation is woefully short. I believe a temporary injunction might have been justified on the basis that it would be unconstitutional to permit the legislation to be effective for purposes of the November election, and I hope that issue is addressed on appeal. But those of us who are Democrats would be smart to focus efforts on doing what is necessary to make certain that eligible Democrats have the required identification.

  125. Rafflaw, I never asserted voter fraud was a problem, just support for common sense laws requiring photo id. I gave an abbreviated list of the transactions that require aphotor id and merely stated they were common sense as were id’s to vote. Certainly I could have given a lengthy list of transactions that require photo id but I don’t ascribe to the philosophy that “more is better” which seems to be the norm here. We all have busy lives, to varying degrees, and long comments can be tedious and self absorbed.

    As I’m sure you know, hiring employees[I had from 2-6 during my years] exponentially increases your regulations, laws and taxes. That causes many folks to be sole proprieters as yourself. I hope we can agree that should not be the case. There should be incentives to hire and expand, not disincentives. That is one of my beefs w/ Obamacare. I appreciate your apology but it was not needed. After busting your balls about impatience[I’m a ballbuster, “Guilty” not no contest or an Alford plea] this last round I figured you were billing some hours. I NEVER begrudge someone earning $. I have found people who don’t need to apologize often do, and those who should, never do. It’s akin to guilt. Those who don’t need it are often overcomed w/ guilt, and those who could use a healthy dose, don’t have a lick of it.

  126. Not all mothers get this praise. Some have an obvious loose attachment, regarding the child as an object to be handled, or a prize to show up. Those I ignore.
    It is much better than the 70’s and 80′ when young Swedish mothers were as cold as ice. Wonder why the change? Is it true, or just me.

    Just as people say the denizens of NYC are polite now. When did that change. They were the icons of inciviility once upon a time. Remember “Midnight Cowboy”.

    I babble. Thank you for now.

  127. idealist707,

    “We all claim noble intentions. No harm in that. So I accept on face value your declarations with reservations. Your previous actions question these declarations. But as it may…..”

    What previous actions? This is the first time we have substantially communicated, and this will probably be the last as I have no time to massage egos.

    “There is a group here. Call it what you will. Of them, Otteray Scribe has declared that all of the “regulars” have decided to ignore me. He did that to my face, as it were, when a newcomer complained of my snartiness. So I have been aware of this possibility since then.

    I have been effectively ignored by all until about a week ago when non regulars have begun to respond. So there is reason, not just paranoia behind my conclusions. No one has confirmed Otteray’s words, but the results have been like a brick wall, perceptibly so.”

    A lot of my comments are ignored, so what? I take this as a sign of either people missing them (which is easy to do on long threads), not agreeing and choosing to be polite, agreeing yet feeling that what I offered was inconsequential to the thread, or just not having the time. To view this as personal is something only you can address.

  128. NOTICE: I speak only for myself. If anyone ascribes different motives or attributions to me, they are mistaken. On a blog full of lawyers and scholars, I cannot and will not speak for anyone else until I am appointed Emperor of the Universe. Then I might consider it for no more than 0.2 seconds.

    Now if everyone will excuse me, I am out of here. I have to be in court at 9:00 in the morning and need a lot of prep time.

  129. Combining my initial assertion that those who don’t like photo id laws should take positive actions via pro bono legal work and/or volunteers to help folks get the id’s, and the tangential education issues inserted in this thread, I saw a news piece today. Like most school districts, Saginaw, Mi. has severe financial issues. Most here live in more affluent districts but Saginaw is like many blue collar and poor districts that have to make tough decisions. Like many of these poorer districts, Saginaw initiated a “pay to play” rule. If you want to play sports, you must pay a fee. Lamar Woodley, a professional football player didn’t whine, cast blame, rationalize. He wrote a check for 60k so that any kid in his hometown who wanted to play, could play.

  130. Rafflaw,

    Your reasoning is correct. But “banning” as OS said was done is beyond the pale, IMHO (if yóu permit the allusion to jewish history).

    Who would indeed want to have to deal with me? But seeing yourself as others see you is not easy, that I conclude, based on that being a posssible clarification on why I get so many “lessons” here.

    Do you want to know something else about me? Here it comes anyway.

    It has been a plague for me to go and judge all that meets my eyes all these years. It led to a bad attitude, and desire to correct things, to do whatever presumptious thing you can think of. Part of my latest renaissance is the discovery of this and telling it to go to hell when it pops up. It was a constant companion before.

    And it has led me to deal out many a snart here. Great fun (sarcasm!!!). Tolerance and forebearance have to be learned, even at my age. And I did this discovery on my own, no shrink help at all. He is in Cape Cod now.

    BTW, it is so nice and quiet now. I just note things and pass on, not judging, not engaging my guts in disapprobation. Recommended to those in need of it.

    Thanks for making an exception this time.

  131. Fallacy of special pleading.

    You don’t get to get away with being insulting to others and play the victim when they push back just because you’re a “paranoid inclined person”, id707.

    That’s specious logic and a double standard.

  132. LK,

    Counterpoint plus the eight references I provided to show that voter fraud is a statistically insignificant issue.

  133. Otteray Scribe,

    Your words, which I relate, are on record. That is all that is needed. I do not lie, nor have illusions as to the basis of my words and my recounting of what happened after ElsieDl complained.

    It is apparent that you do not stand for what you said.

    Then all that I experienced after that was an paranoic illusion, or it was reality.

    That you agreed with GeneH in his accusations of me as suffering from another mental illness, is also on record.

    That again is a violation of professional conduct.
    Psychiatrists do not do diagnosises via internet with someone to whom they have no relation or other contact to base the diagnosis on.

    But you are not alone in that.

    I simply find such behavior despicable. But then some psychiatrists are so. And you are not the first one.

    The first one tried to seduce my girlfriend who was a client, and then me. My girlfriend thought it amusing, but that was her reaction. I thought it abhorrent and broke off.

  134. Being a positive person, I’ve been trying to find something positive to say about Geneand I just found it; he is consistent. Gene is exhibiting the same empathy here as he did about the Chinese rape victim yesterday. He should have included a smiley face here to be totally consistent, but nobody’s perfect.

  135. Mike Appleton,

    Of course you are right and I appreciate the sound advice but sometimes I just want to throw a pie at the bench and stomp off in a fit of temper.

    There are many of us, here in Ohio, Democrats and Republicans, who are very busy helping those who need it to get their proper forms of identification and/or absentee ballots.

    I want to specifically mention Republicans for I am working with many of them who do not support their party’s shenanigans and firmly believe that all who wish to vote should be able to do so without hassle.

  136. Blouise, I understand completely. Don’t forget; I live in Florida. Our governor is a virtual poster child for voter suppression efforts.

  137. id707,

    Since you brought it up (which is extremely relevant by the way), I think you’re nuts based on your patterns of behavior – namely, you passively aggressively attack others, play victim when called on it or given the same in return, plead for sympathy because of “po’ ol’ rabbit you”, rinse and repeat. That’s not schizophrenia by the way. If I had thought you schizophrenic, I’d have said so. However, and again, since you’ve mentioned it, I think you’re nuts in a totally different way. It’s a form of stealth bullying: you never acknowledge that you insult others, you always have to portray yourself as the victim, you blame others and circumstances for your own shortcomings or failures, then you often express admiration of people you accuse of victimizing you. It is stealth bullying in that you use your faux victimization to cast others as aggressors when you are in fact an aggressor yourself. This kind of behavior falls into several cluster B diagnosable disorders including Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, and Anti-Social Personality Disorder as well as the many variations upon them. I can tell this as an amateur student of psychology, but I cannot make a more detailed diagnosis without direct access and formal accreditation nor would I make a conclusive diagnosis remotely in any case. That does not preclude me from noticing the pattern of your behavior and concluding that it is symptomatic of some sort of mental illness as a layman.

    I don’t give a damn whether you find that despicable or not, but it is why I don’t pay attention to most of your bullshit. Giving you attention only plays into your pathology no matter which specific pathology it happens to be.

    If any of this presents a problem for you?

    Too bad.

    You should really consider to learn when to STFU.

  138. nick,

    Straw man. What I said (the only thing I said) was in agreement with LK.

    To wit:

    “’So maybe her crime was actually political- she was shaking the foundation of a class based justice system.’

    You know what Leslie Nielson would say about that comment, LK. :mrgreen:”

    Referring to a video clip LK knows as Leslie Nielson saying “Bingo.”

    This was in no way unsympathetic to the rape victim. It was, however, sympathetic to the plight of her mother who, as LK noted, was in trouble for upsetting the class based justice system as she was for protesting for her daughter. As for the daughter herself, she of course has my full sympathy.

    As an aside, a straw man is an amateur night tactic.

    Did you learn that from one of those lawyers whose ass you kicked in court, genius?

  139. She NOW has your full sympathy AFTER an “amateur attack by a straw man.” You’re too easy, Emporer Gene. The Men’s Warehouse has a sale on the clothes you so desperately need right now.

  140. She had my sympathy then, Mr. Straw Man. If you want to misconstrue my sympathy for her mother as not being sympathetic to her when my sympathy for her was not addressed at all on that thread? That’s your lie to sell.

    Good luck with that.

    P.S. Pamper’s has a sale on the clothes you so desperately need right now.

  141. Gene H:

    did you ever take into account that he is nearly 80, lost his wife to cancer and had cancer himself. All of this according to him in the last few years. Also did you think about the possibility he may not get out much and may have limited interaction with people due to his age. He is also not Swedish and so may have a limited circle of support in Sweden.

    He is probably a little bit testy due to his age and who wouldnt be, getting old sucks like nothing else.

    You dont need to respect his opinions but you should have a little more respect for him as a human being.

  142. Elaine,

    I’m the jerk who defended Nick back when we were talking about vouchers. Seems I was wrong.

    I apologize.

  143. Bron,

    Did you ever take into account that my choosing to ignore him 95% of the time is an expression of compassion I would not afford someone I didn’t think was mentally impaired?

    If you talked to and about me the way he did, I’d be all over your ass and you know it. You should know. You’ve experienced that before.

    However, today I’m about out of compassion for his nonsense no matter what his excuse might be. Special pleading is special pleading. If he wants to be treated nicely, he needs to learn to treat others as he expects to be treated. It’s that Golden Rule thing. Whether he learns it by carrot (as has been tried with him many times before) or with the stick or not at all is up to him.

  144. Bron, so am I on all those counts, except I did not lose my wife to cancer. It was a fall and several broken ribs. Other than that, I plead guilty to all counts. I do, however, live at home where my family settled over two hundred years ago. Never cared for the idea of living abroad, except for maybe Scotland. They do speak English there……sort of.

    I don’t recall slowing down much, except for stairs. Maybe other folks in my age group are a little more fragile. Y’reckon?

  145. Bron,

    And yet OS and I get along famously. We are friends on and off line. Ask yourself why that is by way of contrast and comparison again.

  146. Blouise, the Chief and I discussed purchasing the old family homestead when it was on the market for only £200,000. At the time, that came out to about $350,000 USD. We had the idea of building an Academy for gifted girls–the Chief’s real profession is educator and school administrator. Between the two of us we could have swung the deal with no trouble. All went well until he visited the place to inspect it. No one had actually lived there for about a century and it was more than just a little fixer upper. His estimate of what it would cost to make it liveable and into a boarding school ran about two million USD. That took it out of our price range. The property is beautiful and has 23 acres around it, but got a little run down since first built in 1313. It is in the Highlands, not too far from Aberdeen.

    So much for moving to Scotland.

  147. Blouise, My sister and brother and law are going to Scotland next week. His parents were born in Scotland. There is some musical event that they are going to.

  148. SwM,

    Your family’s going Gaelic next week!

    I, on the other hand, am vacating the premises so that the whole house can get its “Fall” cleaning … carpets, windows, walls etc. Leaving tomorrow and returning late Sunday. (sigh)

  149. Blouise, if I went to bed now, I would be up by three or four. I have not had a good night of sleep since last August.

  150. Swarthmore Mom & Blouise,

    In 1972, my husband and I had a grand time driving through England and Scotland. We attended the Military Tatoo at Edinburgh Castle. It was truly a memorable experience.

  151. Elaine, That is what my sister is going to. I am going on a driving trip through the western and southern coast of Ireland and visiting with cousins that i have located.

  152. Swarthmore mom,
    Just guessing, but I’ll bet they are going to see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It is impressive, held every year at the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. It runs through August 25 this year.

    Here is the opening from two years ago:

  153. I wish I knew the Gaelic phrase for, “take a deep breath, and possibly reconsider your position.”

    Alas, I don’t. But I can confirm that Scots only speak english (please note the small “e”) when they need to.

  154. gbk,

    You and I will just stay home and practice our bagpipes … we can give the drum to OS.

    Not to worry … I have my own plus an extra set you can use.

  155. ID,

    We’ve got analogies, metaphors, straw men, and rhetoricals, BUT

    Condoms of Steel

    will live in my memory forever!

    People here have a lot of very good stuff to say, but NOBODY made me laugh like that. Remember that the next time the Black Wrinkly Face of Doom shows up.

  156. Elaine,

    This post was supposed to be to OS and you …( I’m getting old.)

    1, August 16, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    That was grand! Did you notice the guy playing the cymbals at the very beginning?

  157. This feels a bit like the old days, doesn’t it?

    Well, I’m off to bed for not only am I vacating the premises tomorrow, I am also going to my daughter’s to help prepare for my youngest grandchild’s 4th birthday party this weekend. We are having a pony!!

  158. We are combining the birthday with a Bon Voyage party for another of the grandchildren who will be leaving to spend her next semester in Japan. She just received word that she will not have to live in the dorm but may live with a family. This is what she wanted as she wants to be immersed in the culture.

    Good night.

  159. Blouise,

    I’ve had many posts not appear in the last week (knowing full well the grammatical and link limitations of posts). I blame OS. Hopefully, this one arrives.

    I will gladly squeeze air through a pipe one can never quite tune correctly (double reed thing) with you while OS bangs the drum.

    I only have one question, well two really: can OS keep time in 7/8 or are we stuck at 4/4? Additionally, I much prefer mescal with worms as opposed to whiskey. Will the proper refreshments be provided?

  160. You have to have a photo ID to: 1. get into the Democratic convention 2: get a drivers license 3. make a credit card purchase 4: buy property
    Having one to vote is not to much to ask. People who do not have one have two months to get one and therefore have no excuse. States should begin providing one at the same time that people register to vote and by this time next year we will have no problems.

  161. Jim,

    “States should begin providing one at the same time that people register to vote and by this time next year we will have no problems.”

    What about this year?

  162. It’s not as if it is a Presidential election year or anything important, gbk!

    We can worry about fairness and voter suppression after the far right gets to further stack a Supreme Court with already fascist leanings.

    It’s critical to vote this time around even if your choice is a write in.

  163. Gene,

    “It’s not as if it is a Presidential election year or anything important, gbk!”

    Yeah, your right; I’m overreacting as usual.

  164. Gene H.

    Obama will lose and the court will finally lean more right without the need for Kennedy. The DEMS thought Medicare was going to be a winner but are finding out it is a winner but for Romney. Ryan was a brilliant move because the Democrats find themselves attacking a substantive plan but they have no plan of their own. Seniors have figured this out and that is why the polls have not gone down for Romney but up.

  165. Ryan is a loser because his budget plan is insane and as more people find out about it? Especially older voters who depend on SSI and Medicare/Medicaid and are likely to vote? They’ll be dropping Romney like a bad habit. I’m not a fan of Obama but I loathe Romney and the only decision on VP he could have made that would have made me happier than Ryan would have been Jindal. He’s the only potential choice who was a bigger disaster waiting to happen than Ryan. Your appeal to seniors is whistling in the dark, Jim. The devil is in the details and as the campaign moves on, excuses like “we’ll talk about taxes after the election” will become less and less tenable. They won’t be able to hide their intentions. Their platform is all the ammunition the DNC needs to cudgel them with.

  166. Jim,

    “You have to start sometime.”

    This can be debated, but if one accepts this premise then January 1, 2013 sounds fair to me. Not that I necessarily agree with the need of voter ID, but the timing is suspect.

    After the Florida shenanigans of 2000 by Katherine Harris which kept approximately 150,000 votes being considered in the tally I am again suspicious to the claims of voter fraud.

  167. Michael Ejercito,

    You must just read the first paragraph of “news” articles, or maybe just the headlines. Here’s a link to a simple description of the differences between the current administration’s approach to Medicare and Ryan’s.

    I suspect this is from a source that you disdain, yet if you would take the time to read beyond the obfuscation of our vaunted media you might become aware of simple facts.

  168. Ryan mocked in media for inability to defend his own budget plan
    By David Ferguson
    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Media figures spent Wednesday morning mocking vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s inability to defend his budget plan or provide any specific numbers in what should have been a softball interview with Fox News’s Brit Hume.

    Media Matters reports that Ryan, who is widely lauded as a “budget guru” and a man of ideas within the confines of Fox News, talk radio and the rest of the right wing media world, was forced to admit to Hume that “we haven’t run the numbers yet” on the very budget that he is proposing, a pronouncement that seemed to leave some commentators genuinely flabbergasted.

    On Wednesday morning’s edition of “Morning Joe,” the panel sat in stunned silence for a beat after they watched a clip of the uncomfortable encounter between Ryan and Hume. Hume asked Ryan, among other things, how much in savings his plan would produce. Ryan immediately got evasive, “The point is — we, we — I joined the Romney ticket,” he said, but that the savings to Medicare would come “for the next generation.”

    Hume then asked when Ryan’s plan would balance the budget, which made the congressman even more uncomfortable. After hemming and hawing about bringing the size of the government down to 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2016, and being asked again by Hume when the budget will be balanced, Ryan finally made a genuinely startling revelation. He doesn’t have any idea.

    “Well I don’t know exactly when it balances because — I don’t want to get wonky on you, but we haven’t run the numbers on that specific plan,” Ryan said.

  169. Elaine,

    Paraphrasing the capellmeister’s statement to Mozart in “Amadeus,” too many words!!

    Rock on, Elaine.

  170. gbk,

    ““Well I don’t know exactly when it balances because — I don’t want to get wonky on you, but we haven’t run the numbers on that specific plan,” Ryan said.”

    Right out of the mouth of the wonky number cruncher himself!

  171. Paul Ryan: Randian poseur
    Mitt Romney couldn’t have chosen a better example of the fakery at the heart of today’s GOP

    Paul Ryan was born into a well-to-do Janesville, Wisc. family, part of the so-called “Irish mafia” that’s run the city’s construction industry since the 19th century. When his lawyer father died young, sadly, the high-school aged Ryan received Social Security survivor benefits. But they didn’t go directly to supporting his family; by his own account, he banked them for college. He went to Miami University of Ohio, paying twice as much tuition as an Ohio resident would have; the in-state University of Wisconsin system (which I attended) apparently wasn’t good enough for Ryan. After his government-subsidized out-of-state education, the pride of Janesville left college and went to work for government, where he’s spent his entire career, first serving Republican legislators and then in his own Congressional seat, with occasional stints at his family-owned construction business when he needed a job (reportedly he also drove an Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile for a while).

    Ironically, Ryan came to national attention trying to dismantle the very program that helped him go to the college of his choice, pushing an even more radical version of President Bush’s Social Security privatization plan, which failed. He has since become the scourge of the welfare state, a man wholly supported by government who preaches against the evils of government support. He could be the poster boy for President Obama’s supposedly controversial oration about how we all owe our success to some combination of our own hard work, family backing and government support. Let’s say it together: You didn’t build that career by yourself, Congressman Ryan.

    Thus Paul Ryan represents the fakery at the heart of the Republican project today. It starts with the contradiction that Mr. Free Enterprise has spent his life in the bosom of government, enjoying the added protection of wingnut welfare benefactors like the Koch brothers. If Herman Cain is Charles and David Koch’s “brother from another mother,” as he famously joked, Ryan is the fourth Koch, swaddled in support from Americans for Prosperity and other Koch fronts. The man who wants to make the world safe for swashbuckling, risk-taking capitalists hasn’t spent a day at economic risk in his entire life.

    The other component of GOP fakery Ryan exemplifies is the notion that a pampered scion of a construction empire who has spent his life supported by government somehow represents the “white working class,” by virtue of the demographics of his gradually gerrymandered blue collar district. I write about this in my book: guys like Ryan (and his Irish Catholic GOP confrere Pat Buchanan) somehow become the political face of the white working class when they never spent a day in that class in their life. Their only tether to it is their remarkable ability to tap into the economic anxiety of working class whites and steer it toward paranoia that their troubles are the fault of “other” people – the slackers and the moochers, Ayn Rand’s famous “parasites.” Since the ’60s, those parasites are most frequently understood to be African American or Latino – but they’re always understood to be the “lesser-than” folks, morally, intellectually and genetically weaker than the rest of us.

    Today, though, the “parasites” Republicans rail against also happen to be white. Ryan’s intellectual soulmate Charles Murray, of course, has shown that the struggling white working class is now besieged by the same bad morals that dragged down African Americans – laziness, promiscuity and a preference for welfare over work. Ryan himself rails against the “takers” who are living off the “makers.” And while in the realm of dog whistle politics, many Republicans hope working class whites still see the takers as “other,” in fact, Ryan’s definition of “taker” includes much of the GOP base. It’s up to Democrats to make that plain to the electorate.

  172. Paul Ryan Is Not a Vice President. Paul Ryan Is a Fake.
    By Charles P. Pierce

    One day, some years from now, I’m going to figure out how Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from Wisconsin, managed to fool so many people for so long. He’s a garden-variety supply-side faker. His alleged economic “wonkery” consists of a B.A. in economics from Miami of Ohio — which he would not have been able to achieve without my generosity in helping him out with the Social Security survivor’s benefits that got him through high school after his father kicked. (You’re welcome, zombie-eyed granny-starver. Think nothing of it. Really.) Whereupon he went to work in Washington for a variety of conservative congresscritters and think-tanks, thinking unremarkable thoughts for fairly unremarkable people. Once in Congress, however, he has been transformed into an intellectual giant despite the fact that, every time he comes up with another “budget,” actual economists get a look at it and determine, yet again, that between “What We Should Do” and “Great Things That Will Happen When We Do” is a wilderness of dreamy nonsense, wishful thinking, and an asterisk the size of Lake Huron. At which point, Republicans who’d like to have careers in five years take to hiding behind the drapes when he comes down the hall. Then, a few months later, he’s at it again. And even some putatively liberal commentators shrug and tell themselves that, at least, Paul Ryan is a Serious Person. He gets credit for sincerely wanting to “reform” entitlements, when his entire career makes it quite plain that he doesn’t believe in the concept of entitlements, let alone the ones we actually have. He gets a pass on obvious mendacity that none of us would buy from, say, Herman Cain. (In a way, it’s not dissimilar to all those valentines to the mighty intellect of Newt Gingrich that we read back in the early 1990’s, until everybody figured out that Newt’s default position on almost everything was being a thoroughgoing creep.) Outside of the very real possibility that it’s all being done to give Paul Krugman a stroke, I don’t get it.

  173. And a lot more like Mickey Mouse.
    Or is that Pinocchio?
    Perhaps Goofy.
    All those Disney characters bleed together after awhile.

  174. Ditto what gene said……


    When David Stockman came out and said it he Ryan plan was a fairy tale…. I had to take a pause and read what he was saying….. After reading it….. I think that Ryan is scarier than Palin could ever be imagined…… He has a sorta evil charisma that people want to believe….. If my take is correct we are headed to a totalitarian government with socialist implications…….

  175. More like corporatist fascism.
    Nothing is going to be done for the people except to oppress them.
    Socialism, like democracy, operates on the principle of public trusts and ownership in common. These clowns are for privatization and violating every public trust they come to.

  176. Swmom, have a great time and Blouise, enjoy!

    One person got her temporary card
    iof course what the others who cant get proof will do who knows?

  177. Pa. Drops Online Absentee Ballot Application, Voter Registration
    Ryan J. Reilly 10:06 AM EDT, Friday August 17, 2012

    Pennsylvania announced on the same day that a judge said he would not block a controversial voter ID law that the state will not be offering online voter registration or give voters the ability to apply for an absentee ballot online this year. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

    A spokesman for the Department of State said county elections officials told the agency that implementing the new online initiatives as well as voter ID requirements was too much to handle less than three months before the election.

    Absentee ballots would allow residents who lack a valid form of photo identification to cast a ballot under the voter ID law.

  178. Thanks Elaine, I tend to forget to make sure there is a space between my words and the link. (Just turned 60 so thats my excuse ((*_*)) )
    SwathmoreMom Corbett and his minions will do whatever they think it will take for Romney to win the state, everything but allow all citizens the right to vote.

  179. Thanks, Lee. It sure looks that way. Obama has a 6 point lead there but it might.take more than that to carry the state.

  180. Nick,

    You wrote:

    “Elaine, Even teachers and administration who didn’t like me will say I had virtually no discipline problems in my classroom. I never griped about parents and I had often the highest turnout for parent/teacher conferences. I was direct to kids and parents as I am here. I had discipline and work expectations that were high.

    “One of the things that put me in bad favor w/ the strident union teachers was my writing assignments. It was a shock to me when I started teaching @ middle age just how poorly kids wrote. So, I had them writing daily. The kids hated it, but did it. The parents loved it. What shocked me even more was the pressure I got from “fellow” colleagues to not “Show them up!” That was not my intent, I didn’t give a rat’s ass what they did. But, parents saying, “Mr. Spinelli gives a lot of writing assigments, why don’t you?” didn’t sit well. I’m sure most of you can figure it out, but writing assignments were not only work for the kids but a lot of work for me. So what! That’s what they needed. This mentality Elaine of 30 years, was instrumental in my giving up my quixotic quest in actually teaching, not assigning work sheets. I know your reaction before you even say it.”


    I don’t know where you taught. I’m sorry you had such a bad experience.

    It seems you’re full of bluster about what a tough guy you are. I’m surprised that the teachers’ union and your teaching colleagues forced a manly man like you to give up your “quixotic quest.”

    You judge all teachers, public schools, and teaching unions by your bad experience. I’m happy to say that I had a much better experience as a professional educator–not that I didn’t encounter a couple of difficult years during the course of my teaching career.

    Working on writing skills was a major focus in my school system. Many teachers had their students keep daily journals. My daughter–who attended school in the district where I taught–was assigned plenty of writing assignments–including creative projects, essays, term papers, etc. She got an excellent foundation in written expression and the fundamentals and mechanics of writing that prepared her well for college.

    I am well aware that there are some ineffective/lazy teachers. There are also many teachers who are competent, caring, dynamic, and effective. Teaching unions, I might add, also protect excellent teachers–not just the losers. Some outstanding educators–many of whom are outspoken–often run afoul of administrators who want all teachers to do as they are told and to not express opinions that may differ from those of the powers that be.

    Many teachers maintain good discipline, have high expectations for their students, and have a positive impact on them.

    I guess this was the reaction you expected from me.

  181. AY,
    you could be right, but the money that they will steal from the middle class to give to the rich will either send us into a full depression quickly, or will cause riots across the country when people realize that a plutocratic takeover has been finalized.

  182. And the bank bailouts supported by then-Senator Obama does not mean there has already been a plutocratic takeover?

  183. rafflaw

    “you could be right, but the money that they will steal from the middle class to give to the rich”

    There is no taking from the middle to give to the rich. I like your choice of words because what about all these years that government has stolen from the rich and given to the poor? Maybe that is why trillions of dollars are overseas instead of here.

  184. “There is no taking from the middle to give to the rich.”

    Except for the disproportionate tax burden placed on the middle class created by inequitable tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations.

  185. Elaine, My nephew just completed 5th grade. In conversation he indicated that he really didn’t do well in a couple of classes and was positively inclined for some summer tutoring. He mentioned social studies and math. Well, he can’t write either. His first “essay” was one or two sentences, all block letters, no cursive. He’s improved with the concentrated effort on how to plan an essay and then write it. We’ve got more work to do but he’s now got an aunt who’s going to be checking his school work next term and giving him an occasional extra assignment.

  186. Gene H.

    Hog Wash! Currently over 47% of Americans pay no income tax at all. Deductions are necessary. If I am self-employed and run a lawn cutting business, I need to be able to deduct my gasoline, equipment, etc. so I can show accurately what I earned. I have no sympathy for people who work for others and have no deductions. That was their choice in a free-market economy. Besides, I am right. For years government has taken from the rich and given it to the poor (welfare, pell-grants, medicaid, etc).

  187. Hey are you the same Jim thinks abortions are wrong? If so, then the women who are forced to carry thru a pregnancy who were raped, incest, alone, too young to get a decent job, or not educated enough to get a good job (or can;t in this economy) should also not be able to get help from the government to feed themselves/the baby, be able to go to school to better themselves to be able to do more for the baby, make sure she.the baby are healthy (and people like you who do not like medicaid had better hope that you dont need the ER for a semi emergency and have to wait hours while those without insurance are taken care of or that they do not have TB or other contagious disease but no access to medical care and instead go without help and spread the disease to you and others (heck we have a whooping cough epidemic now but the kids who have it who cant afford a doc, if they die now its okay, because they are already born.

    If youre not that Jim, typical repub, I got mine, I dont give a )*&^%$*&(_ about you

  188. Ohio Secretary Of State Removes Democratic Members Of Election Board For Supporting Weekend Voting
    By Judd Legum on Aug 18, 2012

    In a dramatic move, Ohio Secretary of State John Husted immediately suspended two Democrats on a county election board after they voted to allow weekend voting.

    Earlier, Husted issued a directive canceling weekend voting statewide. In 2008, Ohio offered early voting on the weekends and thousands of voters cast their ballot during that time.

    Husted issued an ultimatum to Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie Sr., members of the Montgomery County Eleciton Board, to withdraw their resolution to maintain weekend hours or face suspension. The Dayton Daily News has more:

    But in their afternoon meeting, Lieberman, an attorney and former county Democratic Party chair, refused to withdraw his motion, arguing both that his motion did not violate the directive, and that it was best for local voters. He acknowledged that the move could cost him his BOE job.

    “I believe that this is so critical to our freedom in America, and to individual rights to vote, that I am doing what I think is right, and I cannot vote to rescind this motion,” Lieberman said. “In 10 years, I’ve never received a threat that if I don’t do what they want me to do, I could be fired. I find this reprehensible.”

    The Obama campaign has filed a law suit in federal court to restore weekend voting.

  189. Gene H:

    “Except for the disproportionate tax burden placed on the middle class created by inequitable tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations.”

    Every person in America who has a job ought to have a small business on the side such as Amway. Use the tax laws to your benefit.

    If they get no other benefit than writing off their phone and internet that is worth around $500-1,000 per year depending on how many phones they have.

  190. All those Disney characters bleed together after awhile.

    I presume it was “blend together,” right Gene H?

    The ones who bleed together are the Grimm characters.:mrgreen:

  191. Jim,

    Valid deductions for business expenses are not the same thing as loopholes allowing avoidance of taxes on arbitrage and other non-productive transactions, but nice try at a false equivalence. And by nice I mean sadly transparent and pathetic.



    Every American should be taxed fairly and proportionately and not have to jump through hoops you deem necessary to exploit a maladaptive system to their advantage.



    lol . . . uh, sure.😀

  192. the laws were written to benefit people who had businesses. I did not make the hoops.

    But I do agree that our tax system is broken.

    Why are you using the word maladaptive? The tax code has evolved and adapted to all kinds of outside influence.

  193. Gene H.

    You do not know anything about loopholes. I bet your against farm subsidies. Just wait when food prices go way up in a few months due to drought and the selling of a lot of cattle (I am in the cattle business) Also, gas prices will be about $5 and then we will see how city folk handle it. America has no money and will not be able to do much for them. By the way do not fault people who take advantage of current law.

  194. Gene H
    Every American should be taxed fairly and proportionately.
    They are. The rich pay a lot more ( and their percentage is much higher) How come you say nothing about the 47% who pay no income tax at all? Where is fairness in that. They are the people who show up to the party with no gift or food item but want to take all of the leftovers home.

  195. Jim,

    What you don’t know about what I know could fill volumes as evidenced by your ridiculous assertion that Americans are taxed fairly and proportionately. Anyone who has ever taken a course in tax law and any honest tax attorney is laughing heartily at that bit of propaganda for the corporatist/fascists like the Koch and (their cheer leading Koch suckers) the rest of the venal 1%. When you get two diametrically opposed pols like Max Baucus and David Camp agreeing that the tax code is riddled with special interest breaks and loopholes, is not serving the economy well and badly needs an overhaul? It is pretty apparent that people with actual knowledge of the tax code instead of an agenda of personal and corporate green is going to find your assertion both absurd and hilarious.



    “the laws were written to benefit people who had businesses. I did not make the hoops.”

    There are deductions that exist that rationally qualify as valid business expenses that their deduction makes sense in light of the goal of stimulation of real productive economic growth and then there are the loopholes simply related to greed like tax credits for off shore outsourcing and avoidance of taxes on investment income so your statement is a false equivalence combined with the “I know it’s wrong but I’m going to exploit it anyway” defense.

  196. Gene H:

    A small businessman or woman is not going to take a tax credit for outsourcing.

    I wonder how many small business people take a deduction for outsourcing,

  197. I dont know, all of the information I have seen says the top 20% of income earners pay the majority of the taxes.

    We need a flat tax with no loop holes and a rate of between 15 and 20% of all income from work or investment or whatever. This is total tax a person pays in a year, SS, property, etc.

  198. Gene H.

    Again, no mention of the 47% who pay no income tax. Also, do not confuse work income from interest income or investment income, etc. When talking about working income, the tax code is simple: the more you earn the more you pay. There are deductions for everyone if they have the knowledge of them. I can’t help that people are ignorant. You want to put down people like the Koch brothers when people should be like them. Knowledge is power!! The more you have allows you to get ahead. The tax code if online for everyone to read. If you choose not to read it then do not complain about those who do.

  199. Bron,

    Do you know what the word “like” means in that context as a noun? It means “the kind or sort of”. If you want to point to inequitable tax loopholes for small business? Be my guest. If you want to say there is a disparity in loopholes afforded big business over small business? Be my guest. The tax code is broken in far more ways than one.

  200. Jim,

    Again, I won’t address irrelevant points that you dictate as fed to you by FoxNews. Those below a certain income threshold shouldn’t pay taxes as a matter of equity because 10% to them may mean the difference between eating or not whereas to a billionaire such a percentage doesn’t substantively and materially threaten their life.

    In addition and to be perfectly clear, I want to put down people like the Koch Brothers because they are fascist assh*les busy usurping the Constitution. They are enemies of the Constitution and enemies of the country. Screw them and their supporters. Just to be clear. That you like them says far more about where your loyalties lay and it isn’t to the legal foundational principles of this country. Also, the tax code being publicly published has nothing to do with it being inequitable and manipulated by people like you asshat heroes, the Kochs.

  201. Other than undermine the laws of this country and democracy for their personal benefit, champion that fascist abomination that is Citizens United and be the poster children of what is wrong with graft disguised as campaign finance and how it destroys democracy in favor of “special interest”?

    Really Bron, as often as they have been mentioned in this forum, to plead ignorance seems a bit more than disingenuous.

  202. TPM
    Voting Rights
    Ryan J. Reilly September 18, 2012, 2:41 PM 567

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court cast serious doubt on the state’s voter ID law on Tuesday, ordering a lower court to rethink its decision upholding the law earlier this year.

    In a 4-2 ruling, the justices ordered the lower court to toss the law unless Pennsylvania can prove it is currently providing “liberal access” to photo identification cards and that there “will be no voter disenfranchisement” on Election Day.

    The ruling said there was a “disconnect” between what the law prescribes and how it was actually being implemented. It said an “ambitious effort” to implement identification procedures in a short timeframe “has by no means been seamless in light of the serious operational constraints faced by the executive branch.”

    While the court had “no doubt” state officials were “proceeding in good faith,” the justices in the majority said they were not satisfied making “a mere predictive judgment based primarily on the assurances of government officials.”

    But beyond simply punting the decision, the Supreme Court specifically said the lower court would be “obliged to enter a preliminary injunction” if there was convincing proof that voters would be disenfranchised in the upcoming election because of the law.

    The lower court was told to consider “whether the procedures being used for deployment of the cards comport with the requirement of liberal access which the General Assembly attached to the issuance of PennDOT identification cards.”

    After the ruling, the plaintiffs said they were happy about the decision and optimistic the lower court would eventually stop the law in its tracks.

    “We’re glad to see that Pennsylvania Supreme Court is taking the actual impact on voters seriously,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis. “Requiring the state to prove the law will not disenfranchise voters is the right step to take. We’re confident that the evidence demonstrates that this law does disenfranchise of hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania voters and should be enjoined.”

    A spokesman for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.

  203. lee, Things must have been pretty bad when even Jim Cramer’s elderly father could not vote. Glad the court realized it.

  204. Helped that this court was more then 1 repub judge who had said if he had had to rule under stricter standards would have ruled against lawbut since he did not the law was fine. what kind of judicial nonsense was that?

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