What's Going On In Japan? "Really Japan is quite a remarkable case, since neither fiscal nor monetary policy seems to be working to achieve the anticipated results. This year Japan will have a fiscal deficit of around 10% of GDP and gross government debt will hit 235% of GDP, yet the country is still struggling to find growth. Instead of reiterating old dogmas (whether they come from Keynes or from Hayek) more people should be asking themselves what is happening here. This is not a simple repetition of something which was first time tragedy and is now second time tragedy, it is something new, and could well be a harbinger for more that is to come, elsewhere. Oh, why oh why are economists not more curious?" [more inside]
Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report (pdf) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis with a pdf of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside]
It's Election Day in America, and as is so often the case in this fickle land, the results of the 2010 midterm elections are up in the air. Although President Obama's party is expected to suffer significant losses, record numbers of districts remain competitive, and even minute errors in polling could mean the difference between a historic Republican landslide and an unexpectedly robust Democratic defense. At stake are control of not just the Senate and House, but myriad state and local offices, many of which will play key roles in the dynamics of the 2012 presidential race -- and, more subtly but no less crucially, the once-in-a-decade congressional redistricting process. Much uncertainty surrounds the behavior of the electorate -- how many will turn out, and how informed will they be? To help move those statistics in the right direction, look inside for voter guides, national and state fact checkers, and an assortment of other resources to keep tabs on as the results roll in. [more inside]
This year's elections in Malaysia are historic due to the major wins by the Opposition/People's Front and the National Front's loss of 5 states and the 2/3 majority in parliament (one they've held since 1969) (comparisons). Two of the newly elected Members of Parliament are bloggers Tony Pua and Jeff Ooi; another blogger, Elizabeth Wong, has won a seat in the state assembly of the now-Opposition-run Selangor. This is significant, as Malaysian bloggers had been under attack by the government. (last link YouTube video in Malay with subtitles).
"I do not recall" --meet Lurita Doan, Administrator of the GSA (Our mission is to help other agencies better serve the public by meeting – at best value – their needs for products and services, and to simplify citizen access to government information and services.), and hear about the powerpoint presentation from Rove's office all about electing Republicans in 08 and how her agency should help. Her office supplied it to Congress--but it was just a (GOP) "team-building exercise" and "brown-bag lunch". (YouTube) Read up on the Hatch Act too.
...his boyfriend Josh. --beautiful story, made all the more poignant at a time of more and more state constitutional amendments ensuring second-class citizenship, and a Democratic party urging us to just shut up already, but still give.
HAVA has forced us to purchase systems that in my opinion are not appropriate for citizens to be voting on
E-voting systems hacker sees ‘particularly bad’ security issues ...On Tuesday, Dec. 13, we conducted a hack of the Diebold AccuVote optical scan device. I wrote a five-line script in Visual Basic that would allow you to go into the central tabulator and change any vote total you wanted, leaving no logs.... More from the Washington Post here, where ... Four times over the past year Sancho told computer specialists to break in to his voting system. And on all four occasions they did, changing results with what the specialists described as relatively unsophisticated hacking techniques. ..."Can the votes of this Diebold system be hacked using the memory card?" Two people marked yes on their ballots, and six no. The optical scan machine read the ballots, and the data were transmitted to a final tabulator. The result? Seven yes, one no. ... Verified Voting and Black Box Voting have much much more on all of this.
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail: 2004 - by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
This madness has to stop, and the fastest way of doing that is to elect John Kerry, not because he will be different but because in most key areas - Iraq, the "war on drugs", Israel/Palestine, free trade, corporate taxes - he will be just as bad. An opinion piece by Naomi Klein in today's Guardian.
PoliSciFilter! Say you really wanted to know how the recent elections in the Seychelles went, or you needed to know the URL for the Turkish Communist Party. Check out Election World, rounding out the trio of recently posted political reference websites with a semi-comprehensive non-partisan database of every national election in every country on earth, including some countries where the results don't mean all that much, and some ominous blank spots where there are no election results worth reporting, plus a massive list of political parties (with weblinks) from virtually all over. Of course, if you want to find out whether these trappings of democracy are actually making a difference in people's lives, it's worth reading the Country Reports in the annual Freedom in the World survey, or just checking out what color country you're in on the PDF Map of Freedom.
"if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture" a word from bill moyers via drudge on the party now in control of the US government - and a word from garrison kiellor on one of its newest members complete text here. anyone else uneasy with the direction the county seems to be headed?
Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate. OK, I know Matt Drudge isn't exactly a venerated news outlet, but he is in South Florida. And he's reporting that a West Palm Beach voter called in to a South Florida radio talk show to report that when he voted for McBride this morning the machine counted his vote for Bush. After he'd tried three times, the voter said, an observing poll worker finally acknowledged that the machine would have to be reprogrammed, since earlier voters had experienced the same problem. There is no official confirmation of this problem, but calls to the same radio show two years ago evidently foreshadowed the 2000 election debacle. I'll be keeping an eye on sites like Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo as the day wears on. In the end, what should the electorate do (in addition to initiating lawsuits) if outcome-determining irregularities surface in yet another Florida election?
Doesn't this site violate Canada election laws? They claim they will be posting election results as the polls close. Under Canadian law, time zones that are still voting aren't allowed to know who is winning further east. First up: Newfoundland.