Shocking?

According to a recent report in the Palm Beach Post:

A new Florida law that contributed to long voter lines and caused some to abandon voting altogether was intentionally designed by Florida GOP staff and consultants to inhibit Democratic voters, former GOP officials and current GOP consultants have told The Palm Beach Post.

Republican leaders said in proposing the law that it was meant to save money and fight voter fraud. But a former GOP chairman and former Gov. Charlie Crist, both of whom have been ousted from the party, now say that fraud concerns were advanced only as subterfuge for the law’s main purpose: GOP victory.

Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer says he attended various meetings, beginning in 2009, at which party staffers and consultants pushed for reductions in early voting days and hours.

“The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates,” Greer told The Post. “It’s done for one reason and one reason only. … ‘We’ve got to cut down on early voting because early voting is not good for us,’ ” Greer said he was told by those staffers and consultants.

“They never came in to see me and tell me we had a (voter) fraud issue,” Greer said. “It’s all a marketing ploy.”

No, it is not at all shocking.

Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten,
Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.

Emigrate young men and women

Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism points out that a better personal future for some Americans can be found elsewhere. Her conclusion:

In other words, America’s continuing push to treat workers as disposable [commodities] puts US companies at a disadvantage relative to employers in economies where for legal and cultural reasons, employees are treated better than in US. Now admittedly, this trend is taking place only in certain job categories, but twenty years ago, you would have been laughed out of the room if you had suggested that laborers like electricians and plumbers would have a better financial future if they left the US. And with college costs skyrocketing, you can expect to see more American students get their degrees overseas and that will increase the odds that some of them will wind up working abroad. American exceptionalism allows America’s leaders to keep pretending we are number one and use that as an excuse for inaction, when the evidence on the ground calls that into question.

Well, there is another explanation for the lack of concern on this matter by the leaders of the free and prosperous world: They don’t care about the ‘lesser people’ (Alan Simpson).

Is this what American actually wants?

Do Americans want the normalization of slaughter; of war preparation, perpetration and socio-political penetration in the United States and around the world? America is quickly completing a transition to a Spartan culture. “This is the American era of endless war,” Craig Jaffe reports.

To grasp its sweep, it helps to visit Fort Campbell, Ky., where the Army will soon open a $31 million complex for wounded troops and those whose bodies are breaking down after a decade of deployments.

The Warrior Transition Battalion complex boasts the only four-story structure on the base, which at 105,000 acres is more than twice the size of Washington, D.C. The imposing brick-and-glass building towers over architecture from earlier wars.

“This unit will be around as long as the Army is around,” said Lt. Col. Bill Howard, the battalion commander.

As the new complex rises, bulldozers are taking down the last of Fort Campbell’s World War II-era buildings. The white clapboard structures were hastily thrown up in the early 1940s as the country girded to battle Nazi Germany and imperial Japan. Each was labeled with a large letter “T.” The buildings, like the war the country was entering, were supposed to be temporary.

The two sets of buildings tell the story of America’s embrace of endless war in the 10 years since Sept. 11, 2001. In previous decades, the military and the American public viewed war as an aberration and peace as the norm.

Today, radical religious ideologies, new technologies and cheap, powerful weapons have catapulted the world into “a period of persistent conflict,” according to the Pentagon’s last major assessment of global security. “No one should harbor the illusion that the developed world can win this conflict in the near future,” the document concludes.

By this logic, America’s wars are unending and any talk of peace is quixotic or naive. The new view of war and peace has brought about far-reaching changes in agencies such as the CIA, which is increasingly shifting its focus from gathering intelligence to targeting and killing terrorists. Within the military the shift has reshaped Army bases, spurred the creation of new commands and changed what it means to be a warrior.

On the home front, the new thinking has altered long-held views about the effectiveness of military power and the likelihood that peace will ever prevail.

Soon peace in America will be as rare as inexpensive food and water.

In 2013 the chickens will not come home to roost

We should expect the coop to be as bare as will the silo and the field. Global warming is the causal agent. We got trouble in the heartland, and more on the way. Michael Klare points out that:

The Great Drought of 2012 has yet to come to an end, but we already know that its consequences will be severe. With more than one-half of America’s counties designated as drought disaster areas, the 2012 harvest of corn, soybeans and other food staples is guaranteed to fall far short of predictions. This, in turn, will boost food prices domestically and abroad, causing increased misery for farmers and low-income Americans and far greater hardship for poor people in countries that rely on imported US grains.

This, however, is just the beginning of the likely consequences: if history is any guide, rising food prices of this sort will also lead to widespread social unrest and violent conflict.

Perhaps the shadow elite in the Federal Government considered a combustible situation like this when the Department of Homeland Security bought an enormous quantity of hollow point ammunition and, to be sure, bullet resistant booths. Desperately hungry people little to lose and no other way out but to riot when seeking their goal.

Obama’s hypocrisy

As noticed by Alexander Cockburn:

Has the drug war — as a war on the poor — slowed down [since Obama became president]? In 2010 some 850,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana related offenses of which the vast majority was for possession. That means since Obama took office it is likely well over 2.5 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana. This under the aegis of a President who cosily discloses his marijuana habit as a young man. One bust, Mr Obama, and you’d be still on the South Side. But then, your sense of self-righteousness is too distended to be deflated by any sense of hypocrisy.

Assholes rule the world

First comes the body cavity search. Then….

Local governments are discovering that they can partially make up for declining tax revenues through fines, fees, and other costs imposed on indigent defendants, often for crimes no more dastardly than driving with a suspended license. And if that seems like an inefficient way to make money, given the high cost of locking people up, a growing number of jurisdictions have taken to charging defendants for their court costs and even the price of occupying a jail cell.

The poster case for government persecution of the down-and-out would have to be Edwina Nowlin, a homeless Michigan woman who was jailed in 2009 for failing to pay $104 a month to cover the room-and-board charges for her 16-year-old son’s incarceration. When she received a back paycheck, she thought it would allow her to pay for her son’s jail stay. Instead, it was confiscated and applied to the cost of her own incarceration.

Once this was a day on which Germany and Italy committed an infamous crime

Once a day on which Germany committed an infamous crime