June 13, 2013

Hamilton County cases show why absentee voting should be sharply restricted

Filed under: Ohio Politics,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:59 pm

Election Day plus two weeks of early voting presents more than enough opportunity for almost everyone.

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This column went up with minor editing at Watchdog.org a short time ago.

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Should citizens who have voted by absentee ballot be allowed to cast a provisional ballot on Election Day without any potential fear of prosecution for attempting to vote twice?

The two Democratic Party members on the Board of Elections in Hamilton County, whose county seat is Cincinnati, have for all practical purposes answered with an emphatic “yes.” The two Republicans on the board believed that unresolved situations should be referred to county prosecutor Joe Deters for further investigation into possible voter fraud.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted broke the 2-2 Hamilton County deadlockIn a May 30 letter to BOE Director Amy Searcy and Deputy Director Sally Krisel, Husted came down on the side of prosecutorial referral, with the following justification:

The Board for its part has admitted that it is not a professional investigative body with the resources the County Prosecutor has at his disposal. Further, the majority of the cases in question would be accompanied by the Board’s findings and recommendations that no further action be taken. … [I]t is prudent to defer to the County Prosecutor to determine whether the Board’s findings necessitate further action.

Democrats and leftists are reacting to Husted’s decision as if the end of the world is near, claiming it could “scare the hell” out of voters.

Hardly. The only people the Secretary of State’s move could possibly scare are those who seem determined to cast illegal votes.

A review of the relevant board minutes indicates that only a few of the 39 cases has any probability whatsoever of prosecution, but that several are quite deserving of Deters’ investigative attention:
(more…)

Don’t Call Them Conservatives: Marc Thiessen, Paul Mirengoff and Other Establishment Republican NSA Apologists

Filed under: National Security,Privacy/ID Theft,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:12 am

Marc Thiessen writes in a column at the American Enterprise Institute that the bad guy in the Ron Wyden-James Clapper exchange over the existence of an NSA information dragnet is … Wyden:

What is outrageous is not that Clapper tried to protect classified information in an open session, but that Senator Ron Wyden asked him the question in open session the first place.

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline agrees, calling Wyden’s asking of an uncomfortable question a “reprehensible stunt.”

I must have missed something. When did specific information about every phone call we make, every detail of our Internet activities, and all of our credit-card (and probably other) transactions become “classified”?

With “friends” like this, who needs enemies?

Thanks to Edward Snowden and Ron Wyden, we now know three things:

  1. That Wyden asked Clapper about whether NSA activities have expanded far beyond what most Americans believe is permitted (and what is actually permitted) under the PATRIOT Act.
  2. That Clapper was unwilling to admit that NSA’s activities have expanded, because he knows that what NSA is doing goes far beyond what most Americans believe is permitted (and what is actually permitted) under the PATRIOT Act. So he lied.
  3. That NSA’s activities really have expanded far beyond what most Americans believe is permitted (and what is actually permitted) under the PATRIOT Act.

Make that four things we’ve learned.

The fourth is that people like Marc Thiessen, Paul Mirengoff, and other conservatives in name only are willing to live in a surveillance society, even one controlled by hardened leftists with an extraordinarily high propensity to abuse it when given the least opportunity (see: IRS, EPA, White House email address collection, etc.) — as long as nobody knows about it.

They’re not conservatives. They’re apologists for tyranny (“arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority”), pure and simple.

Initial Unemployment Claims (061313): 334K SA; NSA Claims Down 12% From Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:28 am

Predictions: Business Insider has 350,000 seasonally adjusted claims.

Seasonal Adjustment Factors:
- Week ended June 9, 2012 — 98.7
- Week ended June 8, 2013 — 99.0

Raw Claims:
- Week ended June 1, 2013 — 293,021
- Week ended June 9, 2012 — 376,610

I would hope that there’s a pleasant surprise this week, as the predicted 350K would mean that there were about 346,000 raw claims, That would be a lot higher than we saw during full business weeks in May, and would be quite disappointing — even after considering that June layoffs pick up because of the end of the school year.

The report will be here at 8:30 a.m.

HERE IT IS (permanent link):

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending June 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 334,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 346,000. The 4-week moving average was 345,250, a

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 330,933 in the week ending June 8, an increase of 37,141 from the previous week. There were 376,610 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.

Last week’s unrevised 346K is about the fifth time that’s happened in the past two years.

The result is about what I would have expected, and what the analysts should have expected.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061313)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:10 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Pope targets longing for past, ‘adolescent progressivism’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Jun 12, 2013 / 10:02 am

The progress of the Church can be hindered by the dual temptations of wanting to remain in the past and “adolescent progressivism,” Pope Francis said.

The danger of a progressive approach to the Holy Spirit is that believers becomes “like teenagers who in their enthusiasm want to have everything, and in the end? You slip up…” he said at the June 12 morning Mass.

“It’s like when the road is covered in ice and the car slips and go off track … This is the other temptation at the moment! We, at this moment in the history of the Church, we cannot go backwards or go off the track!” the Pope stressed.

The track the Church must follow, he said during his homily, “is that of freedom in the Holy Spirit that makes us free, in continuous discernment of God’s will to move forward on this path… .”

Pope Francis’ homily was inspired by today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 5:17, where Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.”

Christ brought the new law of the Spirit, the Pope noted, calling it the “road to maturity” for the Church. …

Go here for the rest of the story.