Democracy Chronicles

Syndicate content
Democracy Chronicles is focused on the all important effort to establish and strengthen democracy across the globe. News on democracy, elections and voting!
Updated: 35 min 19 sec ago

California Leading the Way to Lower Voting Age to 17

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 23:26

link

In an effort to get more young people involved in the democratic process, many states are attempting lowering the voting age to 17 to get young people active. “A lot of young people last year wanted to make their voices heard but were unable to do so because the rules prevented them,” said Jonathan Brater of the Brennan Center for Democracy.

Since 1971, the legal voting age in the United States has been 18, lowered from 21. Today like then, the numerous states across the U.S are attempting to lower the voting age in the General Election to 17 tend to have strong Democratic majorities in their State senators and House legislatures. Among them, California, Minnesota, and Nevada are the most prominent states in this effort, with California leading the way.

If constitutional amendment 10 passes in California, 17-year old’s, would be allowed to vote in the general election during a Presidential election.

In California, the Democrats own a super majority in the House and the Senate and own the Governor’s House, while in Minnesota the Democrats own the Governor’s mansion and Republicans have control of the Senate and House. In Nevada, the Democrats own a majority in the State assembly and the state senate, but Republicans have control over the Governorship.

Democrats have been generally in favor of lowering the voting age, as it tends to help them. Republicans broadly oppose the change. A majority of polls have shown that high school age kids are in favor of Democratic policies.

States like California have seen a high level of youth activity in this last election cycle as numerous high schools in California have had walkouts in protest of President Donald Trump.

There are students who oppose the measure, like Tyler Christensen a California high school student. “Every poll I’ve seen says that young people lean toward voting for Democrats, so I believe it’s self-serving,” Christensen said regarding the issue.

In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton won the youth vote with 55 percent of the millennial vote while President Donald Trump got 37 percent of the youth vote. In 2012, the youth vote overwhelmingly went for President Barack Obama, with 60 percent going to President Obama and 37 percent going to Mitt Romney.

Despite all the negativity toward young people and their lack of involvement in the Democratic process, the youth vote (and the Millennial vote) has seen upward movement since the 2000 election. Since the 2000 election the 18-29-year-old age group has risen in participation by an average of 7 percent.

According to a pew research poll, Belgium, Turkey, Sweden, and South Korea lead developed countries for youth participations in elections. While Chile, Switzerland and Australia are at the bottom of the list for youth participation.

“It’s really about civics and the habits and patterns of democracy and making sure people are engaged in their government,” California state assemblyman Evan Low (who is the bills main sponsor) said.

Some of the highest voter turnouts in the United States have not been votes for representatives, but for ballot referendums like pot legalization which has been on ballots throughout the United States. The most famous, in Colorado, which was the first to legalize pot in 2012, saw a voter turnout for amendment 64, reaching 68.55 percent. The measure passed with 55.32 voting yes and 44.68 voting no.

Washington state, Nevada and Massachusetts also voted to legalize marijuana with a high voter turnout for their referendums than in recent elections. 1.8 million voters voted to approve marijuana legalization in Massachusetts in November 2016.

Assemblyman Low, said the he hopes that the measure would get youth voters involved early with their government. However, with all this public support in California, measures did fail to lower ages to 16 and 17 in San Francisco and Berkeley.

20 states in the United States allow teenagers who are 17 but will turn 18 on or before election day.

In my opinion, it is a good idea for the United States to get younger voters involved in civic engagement and their government but we should make sure that young people are serious about civic engagement. It is perhaps wise to be sure we educate them properly about the issues before granting them access to the most important form of participation for citizens.

Links to sources:

  1. Mercury News: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/07/california-proposal-would-lower-voting-age-to-17/
  2. Pew Research: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/08/02/u-s-voter-turnout-trails-most-developed-countries/
  3. AP Story: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/6be9d9ee28ba49339c35e76e29bd5164/lawmakers-across-us-move-include-young-people-voting

 

Big Money Donations Spike Ahead of Key NJ Elections

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 18:43

link

New Jersey Democrats and Republicans hauling in the cash for this big election year

TRENTON — New Jersey’s big six fundraising committees are filling their pockets ahead of this year’s full card of gubernatorial and legislative races. An Election Law Enforcement Commission analysis found the four legislative committees and two state party committees raised more than $1 million in the first three months of 2017 and have amassed nearly $2.2…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

Photo Gallery From the March For Science in NYC

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 20:44

Yesterday, over 600 cities including New York City marched worldwide and many of these of these satellite marches are signing on to become a permanent part of the March for Science network. NYC had rainy weather for the March which began at Central Park West on Saturday morning. The route encompassed Central Park West from 71st St, proceeded to Broadway via Columbus Circle, and finished at 52nd St & Broadway. Organizers worked closely with NYPD to choose a route length that allowed everyone to have enough space, based on how many registered marchers turned out.

The march ended at 42nd street with the rain coming down in a constant stream. From the Facebook event page:

March for Science NYC is a New York based nonprofit that is focused on building bridges between New York’s Scientific and nonscientific communities. We are marching to show support for publicly funded science and scientists. Here, we believe that when you love something as much as we love science, you celebrate it! We are honored to be hosting this march event for our entire community.

In true celebratory fashion, we want our march to feel more like a parade in which you – the amazing and diverse residents of our community – will be showcased as marching science advocates! We invite groups – anyone from official organizations, and school clubs to scout troops, dance squads, book clubs, and sports teams – to register as Marching Science Advocates and march proudly with your own banner telling the world that YOU LOVE & SUPPORT SCIENCE!

\

Speakers:

The rally featured a diverse group of speakers, including Diane Nathaniel, a stage three cancer survivor, and Debbie Lee Cohen, Executive Director of Cafeteria Culture, who led a multi-state effort to reduce plastic waste in landfills and the sea by ridding schools of Styrofoam products. Through their panel choices, the march aims to example how ordinary New Yorkers can achieve or benefit extraordinarily through science!

Les Jamieson

Les Jamieson held a banner that read, “FAKE NEWS ALERT, Amateur box cutters pulled off 9/11!? Two planes and office fires caused freefall collapse of three steel framed towers!?!?!? Make America Great Again! Say NO to Fake news and Fake Science! Peace depends on it and that’s No Theory! www.911tap.org” told me why he was marching at the March for Science rally yesterday:

“Science denial also applies to 9/11. There’s been peer reviewed scientific research done on the collapse of the towers on 9/11 which should be recognized by the academic community, by the scientific community, all sources of journalism and media. When you consider the facts in terms of scientific investigation on what happened on 9/11 and apply that, what this brings us to is the Official account of how the towers were brought down is false. Because scientific lab based research shows that there was explosive residue found in the dust and this was never even investigated by the “official” investigation, NIST commission, National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The scientific community though, has all these resources now that’s made available because of the research of physicists, engineers, architects and so forth. So, it’s time to fully investigate the science of 9/11 and come to the conclusion that the ‘official’ narrative can’t be true. The implications are the crime has never been thoroughly prosecuted. A lot of evidence was destroyed”.”

Jamieson also told me that if the scientific community is concerned about the defunding of climate change and scientific research, “THE ROOTS OF POWER are the SAME ROOTS OF POWER THAT ORCHESTRATED THE EVENTS ON 9/11. THIS IS THE ROOT CAUSE HERE.”

There can be No Vaccine for Stupid. Truth is the vaccine

We urge our leaders to use the powers of their offices to protect and uplift the role of science in serving society.

https://satellites.marchforscience.com/

Russia’s Shadow-War In A Wary Europe

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 16:15

link

The combative populist Marine Le Pen of the right-wing National Front flew to Moscow to meet with Putin.

As the French prepare to vote Sunday in a presidential election marked by acrimonious debate about Russian influence in Europe, there’s little doubt about which candidate Moscow backs. Last month, the combative populist Marine Le Pen of the right-wing National Front flew to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin. It was a display of longtime…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

Finally, British Southern Cameroon’s Internet is Turned Back On

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 16:05

Paul Biya – link

Local and international pressure forced President Paul Biya of Cameroon to order the reinstatement of the internet after shutting it down for 93 days

Strikes by Anglophone[i] lawyers and teachers of the North West (NW) and South West (SW) Regions of Cameroon, regions coterminous with the territory of the British Southern Cameroons (BSC), in protest of the erosion of their education and legal systems inherited from British colonial rule. The protests are in favour of the Jacobin education and legal systems practiced in the other eight regions, all francophone regions coterminous with former French Cameroun (FC). But the Government of Paul Biya responded with fascist-worthy tactics through kidnapping leaders of the protesting Anglophone civil society organizations on grounds of terrorism and secession. The protests are asking for a return to the Federation as was desired by BSC citizens in 1961. Many Anglophones have been forced into self-exile and scores of innocent protesting Anglophone youths have been killed, culminating in the complete shutdown of the internet in the entire former BSC territory on 18 January 2017.

The people of BSC responded to the internet shutdown in a peaceful way and at no one point in time did they “go down on their knees” to beg for its reinstatement because they are aware it is their right to have access to the internet and not some privilege handed down to them by the clearly Machiavelli-oriented prince in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde.

Anglophone lawyers have since November 2016 boycotted courts in the NW and SW Regions and Anglophone parents in these regions have kept their children away from school since November 2016 in protest of the bad faith shown by Biya and his “Black Cabinet.”[ii] Also, since 09 January 2017, Anglophones in the NW and SW have respected regular Ghost Towns[iii] in protest of the oppression of the regime and have either looked for or used other means of communicating with their circles and for business communication.

Following incessant advocacy from the Anglophone diaspora, academics, freethinkers and from the Anglophone leaders in exile now under the banner of the Southern Cameroons Ambazonia Consortium United Front (SCACUF), negotiations have been going on in diplomatic circles to force Biya to reinstate the internet. The result of this advocacy has been the recent visit to Cameroon by François Lounceny Fall, Representative of the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) in Central Africa.

On 12 April 2017 Mr. Fall gave a Press Conference in Yaounde, Cameroon, in which he asked the Government of Biya to: free those kidnapped in the NW and SW Regions and whisked away for judgement in kangaroo military tribunals in Yaounde on trumped up charges; enter into frank dialogue with Anglophones and; take measures to progressively reinstate the internet.

Notwithstanding, in pursuance of madness, the regime of Biya hid behind the mask of a so called “Consortium of Parents whose Children are in the various Mission Academic Institutions” to fulfil its dream of dragging clergymen of the Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church (PCC) and the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) in the NW and SW Regions to their regime-controlled Courts of First Instance of Bamenda (NW) and of Buea (SW) on summons drafted on trumped-up charges for court hearings scheduled on 21 April and 24 April 2017 respectively.[iv]

It would seem that the mobilisation from the Christian population to storm the courts and alleged warnings from the Vatican have come to add to possible UN Sanctions to force Biya to order his Minister of Posts and Telecommunications (MINPOSTEL) to force the re-instatement of the internet today 20 April 2017, i.e. 93 days after it was shutdown. This has been the longest internet shutdown in African history.

In a communiqué on the Presidential order, the Minister of Communication (MINCOM) made more provocative statements in an attempt to help the Government to not lose face on this humiliation suffered by Paul Biya. MINCOM, Mr. Issa Tchiroma Bakary, known in many circles as the ‘Goebbels of Cameroon’, stated in this press release:

“Conditions that led to the temporary suspension of the internet in [the Anglophone regions of Cameroon] have evolved significantly and consequently the President [of the Republic] has asked MINPOSTEL to re-reinstate internet in the NW and SW Regions. The Government exhorts the populations of these regions to continue barring the way to extremists, secessionists and enemies of [La République (du Cameroun), LRC]. It remains understood that the Government reserves the right, when necessary, to take measures to prevent internet from being used to incite hatred and discord between Cameroonians or to disturb the peace.”

The people of the former BSC consider this statement a further provocation because the initial internet reaction after the re-instatement shows that they (BSC citizens) have not moved an inch on their resolve to see to it that they get justice and that their statehood is restored.

That the President asked MINPOSTEL to re-instate internet with a written order from MINPOSTEL emitted to mobile telephone companies to that effect only proves that Biya was the one who ordered the internet shutdown in the first place and has been caught in flagrant delicto of his dictatorial manoeuvres since there was no written order originally asking mobile telephone companies to shut-down internet.

Stating that the Government exhorts the people of the NW and SW to continue barring the way to extremists and secessionist and enemies of LRC is telling, in that Biya continues to call Anglophones derogatory names and continues to think that were there to be a split of former BSC territory from LRC today it would be a secession, and not a separation.

Some Background on British Southern Cameroon

It must be noted that LRC is the original name FC had at her independence on 01 January 1960 whereas the ill-negotiated federation required that an entirely new entity be formed between LRC and BSC to be called the Federal United Republic of Cameroon in which BSC would be in loose association with LRC.

The first President of LRC, Ahmadou Ahidjo tricked a naïve Premier of BSC, John Ngu Foncha, into accepting a Federal Union only on the terms of LRC with a constitution promulgated only by Ahidjo on 01 September 1961, one month before the independence of BSC on 01 October 1961 and backed by no Treaty of Union at the United Nations (UN) Secretariat.

Following the imposition of this Ahidjo-crafted Federal Constitution[v] on BSC territory Ahidjo could then easily abolish the Federation on 20 May 1972 through a wife-birthday-gift-referendum[vi] which was in contravention of article 47 of same Federal Constitution to form the United Republic of Cameroon (URC).

President Biya, who was appointed President by Ahidjo in 1982 through constitutional manipulation, decided, again, unilaterally, to revert to the name “La République du Cameroun” (LRC) by a decree of 04 February 1984. By this decree Biya consecrated the final annexation of BSC by LRC of 1960 and at the same time separated from BSC. This is the most powerful evidence that the presence of LRC administration in BSC territory is by force, a situation prevailing since October 1961.

It is against this backdrop[vii] that BSC nationals have suffered all the injustices and marginalisation that led to the strikes of 2016-2017 as the latest in several protests they have been organised over decades to draw attention to their plight. And it is also in pursuance of its repression and disregard for the right of Anglophones to the independence of their own State as granted by UN Resolution 1608 (XV) of 21 April 1961 that the LRC Biya-francophone-Beti-Boulou[viii] led Government of LRC exacted all the above mentioned crimes on Anglophones, including the internet shut down.

From Victory to Victory

Biya’s reinstatement of the internet is in no way linked to the untrue assessment made by MINCOM but rather is a result of the resolve of Anglophones in the NW and SW Regions, the strong advocacy of the Anglophone diaspora and the support of the international community. Now, Anglophones are resolved to see their Statehood restored.

The activism in this direction is therefore expected to continue and it is expected that more demands will come, among which are: withdrawal of the repugnant court action against the Anglophone clergymen; liberation of those kidnapped and taken to Yaounde; sentencing of the security forces who killed innocent civilians; implementation of the demands of the lawyers and teachers; suspension of all intentions to arrest activists who have gone on exile, and; negotiations for a two-State Federation as desired by the people of BSC when they, by their own freewill and good faith voted to join LRC in a plebiscite organised by the UN on 11 February 1961. Were the Biya regime to refuse to enter such negotiations with the up-coming interim Government of Southern Cameroons, the struggle by Anglophones and their new-found leadership might effectively enter an irreversible phase of effective separation from LRC.

Sources

[i] The term “Anglophone” is used in this article interchangeably with British Southern Cameroons (BSC) citizen or BSC national.

[ii] The term “Black Cabinet” was coined by Maurice Kamto, opposition figure in Cameroon, to identify the group of henchmen around Biya who work hard to promote his dictatorship.

[iii] During Ghost Towns all Anglophones in North West (NW) and South West (SW) are required by the protesting Anglophone civil society organizations and activist groups to stay at home in protest of the regime’s brutal repression and to make sure that schools don’t resume. These Ghost Towns have been respected since 09 January 2017

[iv] See pdf.

[v] The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Cameroon was an amendment of the Constitution of La République du Cameroun of March 1961.

[vi] The Ahidjo unilaterally proposed referendum of 1972 was organized on the 20th of May of that year, the birthday of Ahidjo’s wife, Germaine Ahidjo. In so doing, Ahidjo gave BSC to his wife as a birthday gift. This is spite of the highest order. Today, the 20th of May is celebrated as the National Day. That shows how baseless the political entity that styles itself The Republic of Cameroon today is.

[vii] See more about this backdrop in the articles written by Silence Dogood on the unfolding of the Anglophone Crisis.

[viii] Beti-Boulou alongside the Fang and Ntoumou constitute the ethnic groups that are governing Cameroon today. Biya is a Boulou from the South Region of Cameroon

March Against Child Trafficking at One Police Plaza in NYC

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 14:06

Demonstrator at One Police Plaza holding up sign alerting passersby to look into #Pedogate on April 7th

Neil Wolfe, Organizer of OurChildrenMatter.net, came up to NYC from the DC, Virginia area just to put on this action outside One Police Plaza on April 7th.

Neil Wolfe became concerned upon hearing about the child sexual abuse going on and what has been coming out more of what Neil Wolfe feels is proving to show that titles like #Pizzagate are designed to discredit what is, in fact, a real international epidemic.

The action went from 1 to 4pm on a pretty cold Friday afternoon with Neil Wolfe and other speakers addressing the passersby and informing them of the reason for the action at One Police Plaza. One article AND radio interview that Neil Wolfe played on loud speaker outside One Police Plaza described the reason for the rally. Blackwater founder and former Navy SEAL Erik Prince told Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM that according to one of his “well-placed sources” in the New York Police Department, “The NYPD wanted to do a press conference announcing the warrants and the additional arrests they were making” in the Anthony Weiner investigation, but received “huge pushback” from the Justice Department. Prince began by saying he had no problem believing reports that the FBI was highly confident multiple foreign agencies hacked Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

A PLEA TO THE NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT:

The New York City police department raided former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D -NY) home on allegations that he exchanged lewd texts with an underage girl. Weiner’s now -estranged wife Huma Abedin was a longtime Clinton aide. Over 650,000 emails were found on Weiner’s computer, some of which we have been lead to believe concern a widespread child trafficking ring involving our political and wealthy elite.

However, it is our understanding that the NYPD were compelled to cancel their press conference concerning what they found after immense pressure from AG Lynch’s DOJ. Although “fake news” and claims about the Russians being involved are being used in the same way that “false memories” and “satanic panic” were used to close down these investigations in the 80’s and 90’s – these dedicated men and women KNOW the truth.

When you compare this with what we have learned from Wikileaks , which has a 100% accuracy record, we can all see that this is cause for concern and action regarding these claims. We are imploring these brave souls to come forward – stand with the people who stand ready to support them – and disclose the TRUTH in what they know . We need to stand cohesively together in order to bring an end to this deplorable and despicable attack on our children as the decent people we are.

Neil Wolfe addressing a group of teens who stopped to listen. The teens were familiar with #Pizzagate and also felt it was real and need to be looked into.

The NYPD was scheduled to have a press conference about what they found on Anthony Weiner’s had drive regarding child trafficking and pedophilia but, were shut down by the Department of Justice under Attorney General Lynch and, according to Erik Prince in the Breitbart radio interview, and threatened that 2 officers from the NYPD would be charged on the chokehold death of Staten Island man Eric Garner from July 17, 2014.

Neil Wolfe stressed the point that the Erik Prince interview on Breitbart radio was from November 2016 and that now, 5 months later, no evidence has been released and he is here to urge them to do the right thing. “THE EVIDENCE IS STILL BEING SAT UPON AND MYSELF AND A LOT OF OTHER AMERICANS THINK THAT’S UNACCEPTABLE”, said Wolfe.

Another demonstrator who came out in support of children, Josephine Aronson, addressing the small crowd that had gathered

OURCHILDRENMATTER.NET

OBJECTIVE

In the fall of 2016 Wikileaks released the Podesta Emails that contained pedophile code talk- terms such as ‘pizza’ , ‘hot dogs’, ‘pasta’ , ‘map’ and others used out of context and absolutely nonsensical considering the true meaning of these words- as it turns out these are known terms used by child pedophile/ child traffickers.

Podesta’s code talk riddled emails led to many other individuals, particularly those inside the DC beltway including James Alefantis -owner of Comet Pizza in DC. After citizen investigators started to dig in and examine the ‘JimmyComet’ Instagram account many disturbing images as well as comments on those images were discovered.

THIS ONE A BIT DELAYED, TOUGH TO KEEP UP

In addition to that evidence a citizen journalist revealed just days ago that allegedly on or around December 5th, 2016 password protected pages on Comet Pizza’s website were found to contain child pornography- apparently this evidence was submitted to the DC Police who asked the researcher to remain silent about the information presumably so they could conduct an investigation- FOIA requests since reveal no such investigation has occurred.

Unfortunately this is not an issue exclusive to Washington DC or this particular scandal- it’s far more expansive and global in nature. Our mission is simple- to end child trafficking and crimes against children and make our world safe for children again forever. We will achieve our goal as decent human beings united in an unrelenting campaign where EVERY DAY MATTERS- children are suffering and dying daily.

Terms Of Surrender (TOS)

1- Release ALL children to closest hospital

2- Surrender to authorities

3- Confess to your crimes

4- Beg for forgiveness

Thank you all for your ongoing support- we call upon all decent human beings- the time has come for us to stand shoulder to shoulder- by the millions- around the globe- and put and end to these crimes against children. It’s time to come out from behind your web cams and key boards and take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations. The time has come for us all to talk to our friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers to spread awareness as most will feel compelled to act once they actually review the evidence at hand.

Please consider organizing an event in your area- we will be happy to assist you in this endeavor. Grateful and love you all!

Josephine Aronson addressing the crowd that had gathered at One Police Plaza on April the 7th bringing light to the very serious issue of child sex trafficking, abuse and pedophilia that has been coming out in documentaries such as the BANNED 1993 film by Yorkshire Television CONSPIRACY of SILENCE.

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO OF THE RALLY AT ONE POLICE PLAZA ON APRIL 7th:

What We Know about Americans’ Voting Behavior

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 17:05

Assumptions that ideology plays an important role in most people’s minds are mistaken

What We Know about Americans’ Voting Behavior by Stephen Earl Bennett Introduction I am fascinated by some of the observations made about how people vote. One, for example, illustrates a misunderstanding of voting behavior that crops up in comments about elections. It goes something like this: Assume that one of the major political parties has drifted…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

Is the Downfall of the ANC in South Africa Inevitable?

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 17:01

link

The African National Congress of today is a political organisation as well as the leading force in government. The organisation, the government and the state as a whole are in the midst of multiple crises covering broad areas of economic, social and political life. Gone are the days when the ANC represented hope for a better…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

VIDEO: Zach Galifianakis Gets Deadly Serious About Dark Money

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 19:00

Source: Comedian Zach Galifianakis Gets Deadly Serious About Dark Money

In a preview for an upcoming documentary series, comedian Zach Galifianakis spoke extensively with Federal Election Commission Democratic Commissioner Ann Ravel about “dark money” in politics, noting how a lack of disclosure requirements in existing campaign finance law seems “anti-common sense.”

Galifianakis, whose popular segment “Between Two Ferns” occasionally tackles political subjects, was interviewing Ravel for “America Divided,” an upcoming EPIX series produced by Common, Norman Lear, and Shonda Rhimes and featuring celebrity correspondents Galifianakis, Rosario Dawson and Amy Poehler, among others.

“We live in a system where the policies are obviously geared towards the people that give the most money,” Galifianakis began.

“It’s one percent of one percent that contribute the most,” Ravel explained. “And the mass of American public, even groups that are representing the mass of American public, have almost no policy influence whatsoever. With the rise of all the dark money, it is almost impossible to know whether that money is coming from illegal sources.”

Ravel told Galifianakis dark money is “money that’s not disclosed in the campaign finance system” so “certain groups of people” can avoid disclosing their identities.

“There is no question about it,” Ravel said about groups using dark money to fund political ambitions. “Some owner of an oil company or person who’s pushing cigarettes, or whatever it is.”

“What are the disclosure requirements?” Galifianakis asked.

“There aren’t any,” Ravel said.

“There’s none?” a shocked Galifianakis replied. “It seems anti-common sense.”

“If people do not know the facts, if there isn’t transparency about what’s going on, people become more disassociated from the political system and from government,” Ravel replied. “People really need to understand that if they turn off that they’re allowing those policies and those things that they don’t like.”

Galifianakis asked Ravel what citizens can do to fight against dark money that’s pouring into our nation’s election system. Ravel explains that an informed citizenry makes all the difference.

“So basically, wake up?” Galifianakis asked.

“Wake up, absolutely,” Ravel replied.

You can watch the preview below, via America Divided:

Photos From the Tax March to Trump Towers in New York City

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 18:38

#TaxMarchNYC

Thousands rallied and marched in New York City and around the country on Tax Day, April 15th 2017, to demand President Donald Trump show his tax returns. The protest of thousands rallied first at Bryant Park and marched to Trump Towers on 5th Avenue.

All photos and video posted here were captured by Mark Apollo and Hashtag Occupy Media. From Tax March NYC:

During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump said he’d release his tax returns and come clean on his business dealings, as candidates have done for decades. Despite public pressure, President Trump hasn’t kept his promises to the American people. By refusing to release his tax returns, he can hide his business dealings, financial ties, and conflicts of interest.

And Trump promised he’d crack down on tax dodging by Wall Street and the super-rich. But now he’s planning new tax cuts that benefit him and his billionaire buddies. We need an economy that works for all of us with more good jobs and thriving communities. The wealthy and big corporations should pay more in taxes than they pay now, not less.

Supreme Court Confirmations and Declining Democratic Institutions

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 18:09

Neil Gorsuch and Donald Trump – link

This isn’t about partisan politics. This is about what we are doing to our own democratic institutions.

Our democracy has been attacked from outside, by Russia, and Americans are rightly concerned, demanding investigations and answers to a growing number of questions. But what are we doing to democracy ourselves? The Senate recently confirmed Neil Gorsuch to become an associate justice on the Supreme Court and fill the vacancy left by the late Justice…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

Lobbyists Funnel Cash To Democrats Amid Push To Pass Trump Bills

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 16:31

link

Corporate lobbyists are taking on a larger role in the Democratic Party’s fundraising efforts

Corporate lobbyists are taking on a larger role in the Democratic Party’s fundraising efforts as it seeks to regain control of Congress, according to documents reviewed by MapLight and International Business Times. The cash infusion comes as House Democrats face pressure to break from their party and support Trump administration initiatives that could benefit the lobbyists’…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

Committee Approves Bill to Change Texas Voter ID Law

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 16:24

link

The bill would make court-ordered changes to the state’s controversial voter identification law

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas state House Elections Committee Monday approved a bill that would make court-ordered changes to the state’s voter identification law, moving the proposal to the House floor under the threat of federal action. The bill, written by Republican Rep. Joan Huffman, would give more leeway to people who show up to vote…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

Explosion of Dissent on Turkish Social Networks Following Referendum

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 16:14

link

Turks vote by a slim margin to expand their president’s powers, and dissent erupts on social media

Sunday’s vote in Turkey may have handed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a victory, but the leader’s drive for expanded powers is far from settled on Turkish social media. The narrow margin endorsing a referendum to change the country’s constitution sparked rancorous debate on Twitter and Facebook, as the country’s main opposition party called on Monday for…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

Is There a Need For a Pakistani Electronic Voting Machine System?

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 16:07

link

Pakistan should be patient, realistic and cautious with the use of technology in elections

ELECTRONIC voting machines (EVMs) seem to have gained greater currency, and popularity as well, in our electoral discourse over the past few years. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) may also have raised the expectations of political parties and the general public when it presented a few prototypes of the EVM to representatives of political parties,…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

America’s Red Blue Divide is Extremely Local Phenomenon

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 16:01

Gastner map red blue by population by county – link

Within a stretch of a couple miles, the political views often are nearly polar opposites in America

A frustrated, seething liberal author, Kevin Baker, recently wrote an essay for The New Republic in which he engaged in an elaborate political fantasy in which Blue States in the Trump era would withdraw from the federal system as much as possible to create their own separate American states. Baker called it a “virtual secession,” or…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

Kenya Party Elections Halted Amid Allegations of Rigging

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 15:56

link

Some results were canceled because of allegations of rigging and some constituency elections were postponed

Kenya’s top opposition coalition is wrapping up primary voting this week ahead of August general elections as the ruling Jubilee coalition gears up to start its primaries on Friday. The voting is seen as a key test of cohesion for both coalitions. Confusion and accusations abound in Nakuru County after the names of some opposition Orange…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

Paraguayan President Drops Campaign For Re-Election After Protests

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 15:52

link

Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes backs off new term push following unprecedented riots

Montevideo (dpa) – Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes dropped his campaign for re-election on Monday following riots sparked by attempts to change the constitution to allow him to serve another term. Cartes wrote to the Catholic bishop of Asuncion, Edmundo Valenzuela, saying his decision was prompted by Pope Francis’ April 2 call for Paraguayans to find a…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

SNL’s Joe Piscopo Considering Independent Run For NJ Governor

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 15:48

link

Actor and comedian Joe Piscopo is still seriously considering a run for New Jersey governor

Actor and comedian Joe Piscopo is still seriously considering a run for New Jersey governor, just not as a Republican, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Chris Christie has been in the office for two terms,” THR quoted Mr. Piscopo as saying. “It’s going to be impossible to win [as a Republican] because of that.” The “Saturday…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

Ousted South Korean President Charged with Bribery

Tue, 04/18/2017 - 15:42

link

SEOUL – South Korean prosecutors on Monday indicted ex-president Park Geun-hye on high-profile corruption charges that could potentially send her to jail for life. It is the latest in a series of humiliations for Park, who was driven from office by massive and peaceful popular protests. Park was impeached late last year, officially stripped of power…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}

Seoul – Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye was officially charged with bribery, extortion, abuse of power and other high-profile corruption charges that could potentially send her to jail for life. Park was impeached in December, officially stripped of power in March and has been in a detention facility near Seoul since being arrested last month…

.repubhubembed{display:none;}