Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Voter ID is the New Poll Tax

By John Ballard
I'm too busy to teach history. Anybody reading here should already know the basics. Readers who don't know the history of poll taxes, go look it up.
I just shared an article on my Facebook page along with the following comments.
File under "You can't make this stuff up". 
I'm beginning to wonder if the GOP intent is more than simply defeating the president. Are they reaching for civil unrest to go along with it? If this were an isolated case it would be different, but it's not. The same kind of voter suppression has been reported in Florida, Pennsylvania and other places. And the target groups include other minorities or low-income groups who can be expected to vote for the president. Of course the right-wing radio set along with the Fox machine will be indignant about the "liberal mainstream media" which has the nerve to report cases like this.  
But this is a set-up for the kind of rage that erupted during the Sixties prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Bills. When riots broke out in California, Detroit, Jacksonville and other places the white Southerners I knew reacted with a mixture of puzzlement and indignation. They had no clue that black communities could be that angry. In fact, the reaction of many was to encourage the authorities to crack down hard and force it to stop, rather than yield to the demands that they be treated with the same rights that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 finally put into law. Even then there was so much discrimination at the polls -- just like today -- that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 had to be enacted by Congress to make that illegal as well. 
Here we are fifty years later and the same struggles are being fought by immigrants, the LBGT community and a swollen population of ordinary people whose net worth has been decimated over the last thirty years, mainly by tax policies having the effect of REDISTRIBUTING THE WEALTH (that phrase really pisses off a lot of so-called "Conservatives") UPWARD. Ever heard of the One Percent? 
Though there were many attempts on the part of opponents to provoke violence, Occupy Wall Street was a peaceful sequence of events that swept the whole country. And even now, on the surface, I'm hearing no reports of violent protests. But that controlled civility should not be taken as an indication that there is not rage and frustration alive and well, waiting to become unpleasantly real. 

Here is the link and the article from Tennessee.

Dorothy Cooper is 96 but she can remember only one election when she's been eligible to vote but hasn't.
The retired domestic worker was born in a small North Georgia town before women had the right to vote. She began casting ballots in her 20s after moving to Chattanooga for work. She missed voting for John F. Kennedy in 1960 because a move to Nashville prevented her from registering in time.
So when she learned last month at a community meeting that under a new state law she'd need a photo ID to vote next year, she talked with a volunteer about how to get to a state Driver Service Center to get her free ID. But when she got there Monday with an envelope full of documents, a clerk denied her request.
That morning, Cooper slipped a rent receipt, a copy of her lease, her voter registration card and her birth certificate into a Manila envelope. Typewritten on the birth certificate was her maiden name, Dorothy Alexander.
"But I didn't have my marriage certificate," Cooper said Tuesday afternoon, and that was the reason the clerk said she was denied a free voter ID at the Cherokee Boulevard Driver Service Center.
"I don't know what difference it makes," Cooper said.
Cooper visited the state driver service center with Charline Kilpatrick, who has been working with residents to get free photo IDs. After the clerk denied Cooper's request, Kilpatrick called a state worker, explained what happened and asked if Cooper needed to return with a copy of the marriage certificate.
"The lady laughed," Kilpatrick said. "She said she's never heard of all that."
Tennessee Department of Safety spokeswoman Dalya Qualls said in a Tuesday email that Cooper's situation, though unique, could have been handled differently.
"It is department policy that in order to get a photo ID, a citizen must provide documentation that links their name to the documentation that links their name to the document they are using as primary proof of identity," Qualls said. "In this case, since Ms. Cooper's birth certificate (her primary proof of identity) and voter registration card were two different names, the examiner was unable to provide the free ID."
Despite that, Qualls said, "the examiner should have taken extra steps to determine alternative forms of documentation for Ms. Cooper."
Kilpatrick has had to call the state at least twice after taking someone to get a photo ID or have a photo added to the driver's license. State law allows anyone 60 or older to have their picture removed from their license.
The state has been working diligently to make the process easy for residents, Qualls said.

There is more at the link, including this.

Cooper's younger sister, now 91, lives in a nursing home across town. Nursing home residents and assisted living residents are exempt from the new photo ID requirement.
But Cooper, who barely needs a walker, is not.

Though she's still able to walk around her apartment without assistance and "takes daily exercise" at a community center next door, Cooper never had any children -- although she has outlived two husbands -- and relies on others for transportation.
The law "is a problem if you don't have a way of getting around," she said. "I've been voting all these years."

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