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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Democratic Primary’

New York Can’t Run an Election. Why Can’t Governments Do Their Most Basic Tasks? | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on July 2, 2021

We’re told that governments must be in charge of elections; that governments will “keep us safe” by catching criminals and preventing crime; that governments must be in charge of the justice system; that governments must be in charge of the schools.

Yet in all these cases, the competence and success with which government agencies carry out these “core duties” is questionable at best.

https://mises.org/power-market/new-york-cant-run-election-why-cant-governments-do-their-most-basic-tasks

Ryan McMaken

New York City held its Democratic primary for mayor last week, and the initial results favored Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams by a sizable margin.

But now officials say those results aren’t reliable at all and the Board of Elections botched the vote-counting process.

As the Washington Post now reports:

It turns out that the results the city released also included a number of dummy ballots, used to test the system—ballots that should not have been included in the initial count….

It will still be a few weeks before we know who won the primary, given those absentee ballots (which are likely to aid Garcia) need to be counted. 

This is a primary election in a single city, yet based on the level of competence brought to the operation, one would think this were an incredibly complex affair, unknown in the annals of government operations.

(It’s also reminiscent of the botched primary election in Iowa in February 2020, when the Democratic Party had more trouble counting a small number of votes in one of the smallest states in America.)

In the wake of the New York fiasco, not surprisingly, some Americans began to point out that if New York miscounted its votes in a mayoral election, why should we trust that 2020’s presidential election in New York was “secure”?

Perhaps aware of the fact that last week’s election doesn’t look good for the idea of election integrity, the corporate media sprang into action with a plan: blame everything on New York’s board of elections (BOE). This is a New York problem only, we’re told. Elections everywhere else in America are in tip-top shape and run by only the highest-quality, most competent people.

To keep up this narrative, the Washington Post today ran an article with the title “New York’s mayoral election is a mess. This doesn’t somehow prove Donald Trump right.”

Now, I don’t know if Donald Trump lost due to election fraud, but the idea that elections and election officials are not exactly paragons of efficiency and virtue is plausible, to say the least. Nonetheless, the Post article makes it clear that the BOE is to be thrown under the bus in order to insist that election systems everywhere else are in great shape:

No observer of New York City politics was surprised to learn that the Board of Elections had messed things up. It’s common knowledge the board is at best inept, as a report from the city’s local paper documented in late October. The city’s politics broadly are byzantine and dishonest, often relying on a system of patronage that those in power—generally the system’s beneficiaries—are loath to challenge. It’s an embarrassing situation, but usually one that does its embarrassing thing out of the spotlight of national attention.

Similarly, CNN featured a story today declaring the New York BOE to be “corrupt and incompetent,” with CNN on-screen personality John Avlon insisting in no uncertain terms that the BOE is worthless.

Needless to say, one rarely hears such thundering condemnation of Democrat-controlled institutions at the WaPo or CNN, yet it’s no holds barred at major news outlets today. But it’s all necessary to assure the public that New York is the only place in America where election systems are “corrupt and incompetent.” 

Governments Continue to Botch Their Core Functions

But even if we leave Donald Trump and the 2020 election out of this, the New York affair should be regarded as just the latest reminder that government institutions increasingly can’t seem to be able to carry out what we’re told are their most basic functions.

We’re told that governments must be in charge of elections; that governments will “keep us safe” by catching criminals and preventing crime; that governments must be in charge of the justice system; that governments must be in charge of the schools.

Yet in all these cases, the competence and success with which government agencies carry out these “core duties” is questionable at best.

The court system is slow, overloaded, and involves long wait times. The multiyear wait times needed to get a hearing for suspected illegal immigrants is just the latest example. The right to a “speedy trial” is apparently not much of a right at all.

Meanwhile, the homicide rate continues to head up to the multidecade highest. Millions of Americans are buying guns because they don’t trust government officials to “keep us safe.” This is true both at the micro and macro levels. In many cities, police devote almost no resources to investigating homicides. And then, of course, there is the American intelligence “community” (i.e., the FBI and the CIA), which allowed 9/11 to happen right under its nose. And don’t forget the fact the US just lost two more wars.

Public schools are almost as unimpressive. The US ranks forty-eighth in math and science education. The US is only in the middle in terms of science and reading. Ninety percent of American schoolchildren attend public schools.

Yet while governments in America can’t seem to pull off these most ordinary tasks, they seem to have plenty of time and resources for investigating middle-aged women who “stormed” the US Capitol on January 6. Last Sunday, the US government bombed Syria and Iran—for reasons that obviously had nothing to do with defending the borders of the nation or the rights of American citizens. America’s governments have plenty of resources to pour into bailouts for wealthy bankers and other corporate friends.

But crime? Elections? Schools? Well, that’s all just much too complicated and governments insist we shouldn’t expect too much of them. After all, they assure us, we stingy taxpayers aren’t willing to cough up as much money as we should. The data says otherwise.

So when New York announces that it just hasn’t yet gotten the hang of this whole “elections thing,” just chalk it up to yet another example of how governments are awash in cash, yet never seem to be able to actually deliver the promised goods.

Be seeing you

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Tulsi: A Living Reminder of Iraq’s Liars and Apologists | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on August 5, 2019

Gore Vidal once christened his country the “United States of Amnesia,” explaining that Americans live in a perpetual state of a hangover: “Every morning we wake up having forgotten what happened the night before.”

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/tulsi-a-living-reminder-of-iraqs-liars-and-apologists/

By David Masciotra

Estimates of the number of civilians who died during the war in Iraq range from 151,000 to 655,000. An additional 4,491 American military personnel perished in the war. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, toxicologist at the University of Michigan, has organized several research expeditions to Iraq to measure the contamination and pollution still poisoning the air and water supply from the tons of munitions dropped during the war. It does not require any expertise to assume what the studies confirm: disease is still widespread and birth defects are gruesomely common. Back home, it is difficult to measure just how many struggle with critical injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The gains of war in Iraq remain elusive, especially considering that the justifications for invasion—weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein’s connection to al-Qaeda, the ambition to create a Western-style democracy at gunpoint—remain “murky at best.” That’s a quote from the 9/11 Commission’s conclusion on the so-called evidence linking Iraq to Osama bin Laden’s group, which actually did carry out the worst terrorist attack in American history.

As far as stupid and barbarous decisions are concerned, it is difficult to top the war in Iraq. It is also difficult to match its price tag, which, according to a recent Brown University study, amounts to $1.1 trillion.

Gore Vidal once christened his country the “United States of Amnesia,” explaining that Americans live in a perpetual state of a hangover: “Every morning we wake up having forgotten what happened the night before.”… Read the rest of this entry »

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The Tulsi Effect: Forcing War Onto the Democratic Agenda | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on July 3, 2019

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-tulsi-effect-forcing-war-onto-the-democratic-agenda/

By Danny Sjursen

Democrats, liberals, progressives—call them what you will—don’t really do foreign policy. Sure, if cornered, they’ll spout a few choice talking points, and probably find a way to make them all about bashing President Donald Trump—ignoring the uncomfortable fact that their very own Barack Obama led and expanded America’s countless wars for eight long years.

This was ever so apparent in the first two nights of Democratic primary debates this week. Foreign policy hardly registered for these candidates with one noteworthy exception: Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard—herself an (anti-war) combat veteran and army officer.

Now primary debates are more show than substance; this has long been the case. Still, to watch the first night’s Democratic primary debates, it was possible to forget that the United States remains mired in several air and ground wars from West Africa to Central Asia. In a two-hour long debate, with 10 would-be nominees plus the moderators, the word Afghanistan was uttered just nine times—you know, once for every two years American troops have been killing and dying there. Iraq was uttered just twice—both times by Gabbard. Syria, where Americans have died and still fight, was mentioned not once. Yemen, the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, courtesy of a U.S.-supported Saudi terror campaign didn’t get mentioned a single time, either.

Night two was mostly worse! Afghanistan was uttered just three times, and there was no question specifically related to the war. Biden did say, in passing, that he doesn’t think there should be “combat troops” in Afghanistan—but notice the qualifier “combat.” That’s a cop-out that allows him to keep advisers and “support” troops in the country indefinitely. These are the games most Democrats play. And by the way, all those supposedly non-combat troops, well, they can and do get killed too.

Reminding the audience of the recent troop deaths in the country, Maddow asked Ryan, “Why isn’t [the Afghanistan war] over? Why can’t presidents of very different parties and very different temperaments get us out of there? And how could you?” Ryan had a ready, if wholly conventional and obtuse, answer: “The lesson” of these many years of wars is clear, he opined; the United States must stay “engaged,” “completely engaged,” in fact, even if “no one likes” it and it’s “tedious.” I heard this, vomited a bit into my mouth, and thought “spare me!”…

Gabbard pounced, and delivered the finest foreign policy screed of the night. And more power to her. Interrupting Ryan, she poignantly asked:

Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan? Well, we just have to be engaged? As a soldier, I will tell you that answer is unacceptable. We have to bring our troops home from Afghanistan…We have spent so much money. Money that’s coming out of every one of our pockets…We are no better off in Afghanistan today than we were when this war began. This is why it is so important to have a president — commander in chief who knows the cost of war and is ready to do the job on day one.

In a few tight sentences, Gabbard distilled decades’ worth of antiwar critique and summarized what I’ve been writing for years—only I’ve killed many trees composing more than 20,000 words on the topic. The brevity of her terse comment, coupled with her unique platform as a veteran, only added to its power. Bravo, Tulsi, bravo!

Ryan was visibly shaken and felt compelled to retort with a standard series of worn out tropes. And Gabbard was ready for each one, almost as though she’d heard them all before (and probably has). The U.S. military has to stay, Ryan pleaded, because: “if the United States isn’t engaged the Taliban will grow and they will have bigger, bolder terrorist acts.” Gabbard cut him right off. “The Taliban was there long before we came in. They’ll be there long [after] we leave,” she thundered…

Ryan couldn’t possibly open his mind to such complexity, nuance, and, ultimately, realism. He clearly worships at the temple of war inertia; his worldview hostage to the absurd notion that the U.S. military has little choice but to fight everywhere, anywhere, because, well, that’s what it’s always done. Which leads us to what should be an obvious conclusion: Ryan, and all who think like him, should be immediately disqualified by true progressives and libertarians alike. His time has past. Ryan and his ilk have left a scorched region and a shaken American republic for the rest of us…

Be seeing you

Tell Congress: No Endless War in Syria | CREDO Action

 

 

 

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Sanders: I’m Declining Dem Nomination and Running as an Independent

Posted by M. C. on August 15, 2018

Good for the Republicans…until Bernie is told decides to change his mind.

https://www.breitbart.com/video/2018/08/14/sanders-im-declining-dem-nomination-and-running-as-an-independent/

by Ian Hanchett

On Tuesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “All In,” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stated that, despite winning the Democratic primary, he will run for re-election in 2018 as an Independent…

Be seeing you

Bernie

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Elizabeth Warren: “Yes” The Democratic Primary Was Rigged For Clinton | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on November 4, 2017

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-02/elizabeth-warren-yes-democratic-primary-was-rigged-clinton

First it was Donna Brazile; now none other than the woman widely expected to be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2020 – Elizabeth Warren – has thrown Hillary Clinton under the bus.

During an interview on Thursday afternoon on CNN, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was asked if she believed the Democratic National Committee was rigged to favor the presidential nomination of Hillary Clinton. Read the rest of this entry »

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