Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Kansas GOP Chair Sends Email Boasting of Voter Caging

Blue Tide Rising: Kobach admits to coordinated voter supressionKS GOP chair Kris Kobach admits using voter suppression 'caging' tactic to steal 08 election

Kris Kobach, a former counsel to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft who is currently the chairman of the Kansas GOP, sent out an email on Thur entitled “Kansas Republican Party Year in Review” in which he brags of voter caging. Blue Tide Rising has the goods:
… Kris Kobach, chairman of the Kansas GOP, sent out a self-congratulatory litany of accomplishments. Among them was one particularly eye-catching item:
"To date, the Kansas GOP has identified and caged more voters in the last 11 months than the previous two years!" […]
Slate.com has the best comprehensive write-up on how the Republican Party employs caging techniques to suppress the votes of the poor, the deployed, and college students. (You know, likely Democratic voters.)

Did we mention it’s illegal? And that Kris Kobach is proud to be doing it?

Since Kris Kobach can’t expand his own party or force his own Party’s members to support his candidates he’s shamelessly trying to keep Democrats from voting instead. This is the stratagem of a desperate and shrinking party.

Someone needs to ask Kris Kobach which voters he’s caging and how he’s doing it. Someone like a newspaper editor or perhaps a Grand Jury. … (more)
More on Kris Kobach here and here (He apparently suffers from an advanced case of Lou Dobb's disease). Depending on what methods are being used in Kobach’s admitted voter caging scheme, it may very well be illegal, but hardly surprising. Voter suppression through caging lists has become a standard part of the Republican playbook to steal elections for some time now. In Sept McClatchy detailed current Republican voter caging efforts underway in Florida and Ohio to “impede Democratic-leaning minorities from voting in 2008,” and back in July PBS NOW took a look at the Republican Party’s voter caging plan “designed to keep Democrats from voting, allegedly by targeting people based on their race and ethnicity.” Watch that video here.

Late Update: This post really took off. After I helped shine a light on it by posting it over at C&L, it got picked up by several other of the more notable blogs including HuffPo and DailyKos, was all over Air America for a day or two (especially Thom Hartmann), then was picked up by the KC Star political blog, the Lawrence Journal, then the AP. As Blue tide Rising says now: "Kris Kobach is famous"

Happy/Merry Christmas/ Festivus/ Hanukkah/ Holidays/ Kwanzaa/ Yule


Been a while since I posted, but I definitely wish all who dare to venture to my site peace and all the very best now and always. We went through a week without power/cable/phone/internet after an ice storm (by "we" I mean our entire city and much of the county. Some went two weeks or more) a little more than 2 weeks ago. That and I've been working a lot more than usual, so I kind of let my blog-less-traveled take a back seat for a while. Still, you can usually find me more often than not posting and putting videos together for C&L.

How Healthy is Your Medical Credit Score?

Your money or and your life!

Dallas Morning News: Mortgage lenders aren’t the only ones showing more interest in your credit score these days – the health industry is creating its own score to judge your ability to pay. […]

The score is already raising questions from consumer advocacy groups that fear it will be checked before patients are treated. People with low medical credit scores could receive lower-quality care than those with a healthy medFICO, they argue.
Your life usually isn’t at stake when a credit report turns up something negative, but in this case it very well might be. To some extent these types of decisions have already been being made by some hospitals, like when they just dump indigent patients on skid row, but this can only make it easier for other hospitals to make similar decisions for even more people. While a person’s overall credit score is largely based on voluntary purchases which one typically has some control over (assuming there isn’t an error), health care debt is largely involuntary. Even someone lucky enough to have health insurance can suddenly find themselves overwhelmed with debt they cannot afford through no fault of their own. A study two years ago found that “34% of U.S. adults ages 19 to 64 face problems with medical bills or have medical debt, although 62% of those individuals have health insurance.”

So, what do you think will happen once the hospital finds out your “medical credit score” doesn’t measure up?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Anatomy of a Failure: How America Lost the War on Drugs

Great new read by Ben Wallace-Wells in this month’s Rolling Stone that exposes how the $500 Billion spent on the Drug War over the last 35 years has been all but a complete waste of time and money, and an absolute failure by any standard of measure. How America Lost the War on Drugs

[A]fter U.S. drug agents began systematically busting up the Colombian cartels - doubt was replaced with hard data. Thanks to new research, U.S. policy-makers knew with increasing certainty what would work and what wouldn’t. The tragedy of the War on Drugs is that this knowledge hasn’t been heeded. We continue to treat marijuana as a major threat to public health, even though we know it isn’t. We continue to lock up generations of teenage drug dealers, even though we know imprisonment does little to reduce the amount of drugs sold on the street. And we continue to spend billions to fight drugs abroad, even though we know that military efforts are an ineffective way to cut the supply of narcotics in America or raise the price.

All told, the United States has spent an estimated $500 billion to fight drugs - with very little to show for it. […]

Even by conservative estimates, the War on Drugs now costs the United States $50 billion each year and has overcrowded prisons to the breaking point - all with little discernible impact on the drug trade. …(read on)

That is a truly one great article every policy maker should have to read. I can’t ever read a word on this topic without remembering how Col Oliver North was involved in smuggling cocaine into the U.S. under Reagan, circumventing Congress to pay for an illegal proxy war, which coincided with the birth of the crack epidemic at the very same time the President had declared a War on Drugs (Remember Nancy’s ‘Just Say No‘?) and the great expansion in the building of prisons and increasing sentences that has resulted in the disenfranchisement of generations of mostly black would-be voters to this very day. But of course all that was just another unintended consequence of Ronald Reagan’s.