5% versus 15%

In my research on how 3rd party candidates get shut out of the political process, I came across a startling result.

If a Presidential candidate (eg Michael Badnarik in 2004) has >5% of a major popular poll going into the debates then they are eligible, by law, to participate in the debate.

But the League of Women Voters, the group that organizes and orchestrates the Presidential debates, uses 15% as the minimum % needed in popular polls to extend invitations to debate.

5% by law, 15% by this organization, which is not a part of the federal government mind you.

This is disconcerting for the following reason :

Prior to the election of Jesse Ventura as governor of Minnesota, he had 8% support in the polls. He goes on to win the governorship, and is re-elected by a very wide margin. The people of Minnesota thought Ventura did a good job in his first term, and they voted across party lines to re-elect him, as he ran as an independent. But if he were running for Pres and not Gov, he would have been shut out of the political process, not legally, but by the League of Women Voters.

What a sham !

The 15% mark is completely artificial, and in place to deny a serious challenge by 3rd party contenders. Let them all debate I say. Let the people vote for the candidate they think will do the best, according to their system of beliefs. It is nonsense to have to vote for a jackass or a lunatic, but such is our usual choice with our failed duopoly.

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SCOTUS rules on Emissions

An interesting article on the recent ruling by the Supreme Court on the Bush Administration’s ruling on carbon dioxide emissions. Apparently John Paul Stephens, et. al., believes the EPA is not doing enough.

He said a refusal to regulate could be based only on science and “reasoned justification,” adding that while the statute left the central determination to the “judgment” of the agency’s administrator, “the use of the word ‘judgment’ is not a roving license to ignore the statutory text.”

In other words, ‘judgement” is not a roving license to use your own judgement, so the court’s judgement must intervene.

Regardless of your take on the issue itself, the interesting thing in this article is the resurgence of “Federalism” that this decision represents. John Paul Stephens, long an opponent of many of the states’ rights decisions over the Rehnquist years, uses this resurgence as a weapon:

This new twist on the court’s standing doctrine may have been an essential tactic in winning the vote of Kennedy, a leader in the court’s federalism revolution of recent years. Stevens, a dissenter from the court’s states’-rights rulings and a master of court strategy, in effect managed to use federalism as a sword rather than a shield.

This illustrates clearly how the most powerful man on the Supreme Court is now undoubtedly Anthony Kennedy. He used to share the “Moderate” and tie-breaker role with Sandra Day O’Connor. Now he is THE guy.

International Herald Tribune

WHY? I’ll tell you why…

Sincerest apologies for blind Bush admin haters (and they are legion). Feel free to come after me with guns blazing on this, but I just can’t help myself.

I truly believe this is simply GREAT. It’s a long time coming and I was wondering when it was going to happen.

Monica Goodling, counsel to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and liaison to the White House, cited the politically charged and “perilous environment” of the House and Senate judiciary committees in refusing Monday to testify about her part in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. In a letter to the Senate committee, her lawyer says the “potential for legal jeopardy” from “even her most truthful and accurate testimony” is “very real,” and cites the recent conviction of I. Lewis Libby for lying during a CIA-leak investigation.

To use a technical legal term, huh?

Before Goodling, 33, can assert the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, she must believe that her testimony could somehow lead to evidence that she committed a crime. So what’s the crime she’s worried about? The mention of Libby suggests that it’s perjury, but as Professor Orin Kerr, a criminal law expert at George Washington Law School, points out, you can’t take the Fifth to avoid being prosecuted for lies you plan to tell under oath.

Blame it on Ken Starr if you want to, but this “perjury trap” thing is REAL and kudos to Goodling for deciding to keep herself out of trouble by telling them to go straight to hell.

The author here misses the point. Goodling knows that she will be asked so many mundane and stupid questions that almost anything she can’t recall can be ruled as perjury down the road. She is protecting herself from an Arthur Miller style drowning, and she has that right. If they had something on her they would indict her. They don’t. Just like they didn’t have anything on Scooter Libby either. And he’s going to jail.

Anyone know how many U.S. Attorneys were summarily dismissed under Clinton’s administration. How many Senate hearings were there then?

This is a non-story, and despite the ENDLESS blogging on it, (sorry MEJ) there is nothing that can be said for political appointees being fired. They’re fricking political appointees.

Why Is a DOJ Lawyer Taking the Fifth? | TIME

Executive arrogance

A good heads up on executive arrogance and democratic hypocrisy. Gonzalez should resign…for firing 8 federal prosecutors? I guess prosecutors appointed during dem admins should be appointed for life, lest CNN and Hillary Clinton call for their resignation. Too many people in this country are eager to become victims.

Whiny victim Exhibit 1

The supposed scandal this week is that Mr. Bush had been informed last fall that some U.S. Attorneys had been less than vigorous in pursuing voter-fraud cases and that the President had made the point to Attorney General Albert Gonzales. Voter fraud strikes at the heart of democratic institutions, and it was entirely appropriate for Mr. Bush–or any President–to insist that his appointees act energetically against it.

Take sacked U.S. Attorney John McKay from Washington state. In 2004, the Governor’s race was decided in favor of Democrat Christine Gregoire by 129-votes on a third recount. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and other media outlets reported, some of the “voters” were deceased, others were registered in storage-rental facilities, and still others were convicted felons. More than 100 ballots were “discovered” in a Seattle warehouse. None of this constitutes proof that the election was stolen. But it should have been enough to prompt Mr. McKay, a Democrat, to investigate, something he declined to do, apparently on grounds that he had better things to do

But Gonzalez should resign for this?

Spineless and Planless

Post 9-11, Congress gave up its right to declare war, and deferred to the President.

After the fall elections gave the Democrats a majority, I have been waiting to see some plan emerge. Sadly, none has. Today there was news that the Democrats were removing the provision that would prevent the President from pursuing war with Iran without Congressional approval. The last few weeks, there has been discussions on what constitutes a “surge”.

I honestly do not know what’s worse, the wrong course of action or inaction.

The current admin has deceived its people about the Iraq War, has trampled on the Constitution, has broken laws concerning warrantless wiretapping, has increased the security threat to the US by fighting wars of pre-emption for falsely-stated reasons, has shown its uber-close ties with Corporate America, has shamelessly been implicated many times in criminal investigations, such as the Abramoff trail of corruption, to the inner cabinet breaking US laws concerning outing a CIA covert operative ( because her husband correctly challenged the legitimacy of the Niger yellocake claim). I have been critical of the Bush administration for all the reasons above, and for failing to follow through with Bush’s “Roadmap”, which would prove to the world that the US can be somewhat balanced in foreign policy issues. I have been critical of this admin being led by the nose by pro-Israel NEOCON ideologues who basically dictate many elements of foreign policy.

But it is March, and the Dems have had control of Congress for 3 months, and besides starting to campaign for the ’08 Presidential election, I cannot think of a single thing the Democrats have done, at least what they said they’d do if they won the fall elections. If the Dems cannot steer the US out of its Iraq quagmire, then at least uphold the Constitution and demand back the power to declare war from this admin, so it cannot alone launch another war on Iran.

Completely spineless and completely planless …

This post encapsulates why the US needs to seriously question the 2 party system. It ain’t working folks, and our country is going down the tubes while the politicians smile for the cameras, and point the fingers at each other.

My Man!

We’ll see if the best candidate wins this time around. He’s much better than Hillary or Obama or Guiliani …

He has the best ideas for getting the USA back on track, if the people simply give him a chance.

Sellout !

Quite the sellout.

Am I the only one outraged by US politicans puckering up to AIPAC???????????
Larry Franklin, Steve Rosen, Keith Weissman, all guilty of passing or accepting classified info from the Pentagon, and this group has every US politician (save a few with integrity) genuflect to it in the course of every election.

For once, I’d like to see a presidential hopeful stand up in front of a camera and say “this group has hijacked US foreign policy, intimidates our Congress, has put Israeli interests before US interests, and by God, if I am elected President, I will boot them out of the US forever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”