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by Tenth Amendment

January 12, 2007

A little-noticed change in federal law packs an important change in who is in charge the next time a state is devastated by a disaster such as Katrina.

It didn't matter that ALL 50 governors objected to this concentration of power in the hands of the executive - the Congress simply moved forward by changing the balance of powers through legislation (once again). So what did Congress do to avoid this requirement? With the stroke of a pen, they just changed the requirement of the insurrection act to include "natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident" How does a "natural disaster" now qualify as an insurrection?? Who, then, determines what qualifies as a natural disaster? Will a snowstorm qualify for the president to control the guard, and send troops into our cities? Will a heavy rain? And, when will Congress use another "stroke of the pen" to add even more reasons to have federal military control policing our cities?


by Ryan Singel

December 6, 2006

Eat your heart out, Orson Welles.

The first public meeting of a Bush administration "civil liberties protection panel" had a surreal quality to it, as the five-member board refused to answer any questions from the press, and stonewalled privacy advocates and academics on key questions about domestic spying. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which met Tuesday, was created by Congress in 2004 on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, but is part of the White House, which handpicked all the members. Though mandated by law in late 2004, the board was not sworn in until March 2006, due to inaction on the part of the White House and Congress. The three-hour meeting, held at Georgetown University, quickly established that the panel would be something less than a fierce watchdog of civil liberties. Instead, members all but said they view their job as helping Americans learn to relax and love warrantless surveillance.

News With Views

by Bill Sizemore

November 30, 2006

Picture one of our nation's founding fathers with hammer in hand, busily nailing in place the walls for a new bedroom for his colonial home.

Today, not only can you not add a bedroom onto your house without the government's permission, you can't even build a deck to lie out in the sun or install a utility sink in the laundry room. Some communities even require a homeowner to obtain a building permit to construct a tree house for the kids...

Courant (CT)

by Katie Melone

November 8, 2006

It was a low-tech error - the wrong names listed on two voting machines - that made news Tuesday in an election where high-tech electronic voting equipment made its debut in select municipalities.

The ballot should have listed Democrat Andrew Fleischmann and Republican Judy Aron. Bye and Carpenter were running in the nearby 19th House District. All other candidates on the two machines were correct.

Time Magazine

by Michael Duffy

November 6, 2006

Voters will face new hurdles when it comes to getting ballots, casting them -- and getting all the results by midnight

Even before it starts tomorrow morning, the 2006 election is already shaping up as one massive lab experiment in how we cast and count 80 million votes or more. When you figure that most of us will have the chance to make anywhere from 20 to 25 choices at polling stations...

The Kalamazoo Gazette

by Cricks

November 6, 2006

No matter how heavily voters turn out at the polls Tuesday, Kalamazoo County Clerk Tim Snow isn't worried about running short on ballots.

Snow had a ballot printed for each of the county's more than 177,000 registered voters, which Snow said state law requires for the general election. He projects about 50 percent of voters will go to the polls.

Mother Jones

by Clara Jeffery

November 3, 2006

"I'm a Christian, a writer, a military parent and a registered Republican. On all those counts, I was disgusted by an e-mail I just received that's being circulated by campaign supporters of Republican George Allen, who's trying to retain his Senate seat

My wife and I have reached the tipping point. We plan to go to town hall to dump our Republican voter registration and reregister as independents. I don't care anymore what party someone is in. These days, what I care about is what they're made of.

International Herald Tribune

November 3, 2006

A Republican-sponsored effort to clamp down on Internet gambling may turn out to be a bad bet for the Republican Party just days away from congressional elections.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which President George W. Bush signed into law Oct. 13, has infuriated many voters who enjoy betting on sports or playing poker online, analysts said.

Political Cortex

by Frederick Clarkson

November 3, 2006

The Washington Post has a story headlined "The Religious Right: An Alliance Torn Assunder." We may see some interesting reallignments and perhaps some shaking out in the GOP coalition in the post-election period.

Former GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), is trying to pin the pending GOP election losses on the theocratic views of the far religious right. But frankly, while Armey's outburst is initially intriguing, it sounds mostly like a lot of hot air, and business pretty much as usual to me.

The State (SC)

by Lisa Michals

November 2, 2006

Local teacher Tim Moultrie doesn't plan to send his daughters, who are home schooled, to public school unless the state school system undergoes drastic improvements.

The Lexington County resident wants to lead the metamorphosis. Moultrie, the South Carolina Libertarian Party chairman, is on the ballot Tuesday for state superintendent. When he's not campaigning, he's at his day job: teaching social studies at Dreher High School.

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