Recently, I wrote about the third of what were originally ten sponsors pulling out of the CPD presidential debates which have invited only Obama and Romney. If the CPD removed the non-objective polling criterion for debate inclusion, leaving in place the criterion of being on enough state ballots to have a mathematical possibility of winning the election, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein would be the only additional candidates to be included. Many people have asked how to contact the remaining sponsors, and here’s a reply I found that has all that and then some:
Terrance Williams has spent the last 26 years on Pennsylvania’s death row for the June 1984 beating death of Amos Norwood. Philadelphia Daily News reports, “Williams’ defense team argued in an emergency evidentiary hearing that Norwood molested Williams from the age of 13 until he murdered him at age 18.” During the 1986 trial, former Assistant District Attorney Andrea Foulkes kept that evidence from the trial defense attorney and jury and instead presented Norwood as a kindly, sympathetic figure who merely offered Williams a ride home.
On September 28, Pennsylvania Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina indefinitely stayed the execution, noting “two boxes of evidence just turned over this week from homicide detectives that, she said, corroborated the defense claims against Norwood and Herbert Hamilton. Williams, at 17, had a sex-for-money, abusive relationship with Hamilton and murdered him five months before killing Norwood.”
Williams’ first-degree murder conviction is unchanged by the ruling, meaning that the jury at his new penalty hearing will determine if he should be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole. However, the defense team for Terrance Williams is hopeful that the state Board of Pardons will now vote to recommend that Gov. Corbett commute Williams’ sentence to life in prison without parole.
This case, much like the case of Troy Davis (who was wrongly executed on September 21, 2011), has brought the subject of death penalty once again to the public forum. Information compiled by the Death Penalty Information Center shows 1307 people have been executed since 1977, an additional 141 people have been exonerated and freed from death row since 1973, 18 by DNA evidence. Damon Thibodeaux is the most recent person to be exonerated because of DNA evidence; the 300th exoneration achieved through DNA testing in the United States, according to the Innocence Project. Barry Scheck, a founder of the Innocence Project, said, “The 300th exoneration is an extraordinary event, and it couldn’t be more fitting that it’s an innocent man on death row who gave a false confession. People have a very hard time with the concept that an innocent person could confess to a crime that they didn’t commit. But it happens a lot. It’s the ultimate risk that an innocent man could be executed.”
I previously supported the death penalty; however knowing that countless innocent men and women have been executed, I no longer support this method of punishment. If, and this is a big “if”, if there was a way to ensure that no innocent person was ever executed, I would support the death penalty if that is the punishment desired by the family of the victim.
The Presidential election is just over a month away. Which means the scripted shows known as Presidential Debates will soon be televised. Of course, these so-called debates will only present two of the two dozen Presidential Candidates, despite the fact that four candidates will be on enough ballots to theoretically win the election. Ballot Access News reports, “On September 21, Gary Johnson, his running mate James Gray, and the Johnson-Gray Campaign filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the central district of California against the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), the Democratic National Committee, and the Republican National Committee. The lawsuit alleges that the Commission on Presidential Debates and the two major parties are restraining competition. To answer the complaint that anti-trust law only relates to business, the complaint points out that the salary of the president is $400,000, and that Johnson is seeking to obtain the job of President, so economics is involved… The lawsuit says that any presidential candidate on the ballot in enough states to theoretically win the presidency must be included in the debates. The venue is proper because James Gray lives in the central district of California… The lawsuit was filed a few hours after the Commission on Presidential Debates formally said only President Obama and Mitt Romney may participate in the first two debates.”
Richard Winger writes, “There have been lawsuits filed by excluded presidential candidates against the CPD ever since 1988. Lenora Fulani filed the most lawsuits, in federal courts in both Washington, D.C., and New York. Ralph Nader, Pat Buchanan, John Hagelin, and others have also sued the Commission on Presidential Debates. I don’t believe any of these past lawsuits raised Antitrust.”
When alternative candidates are excluded from the debates, alternative ideas and a wider array of topics are excluded, as well. Ross Perot pushed discussion of the federal deficit, the hazardous influence of special interests, and the loss of manufacturing jobs due to trade agreements onto center stage. Just six years later, Reform Party Gubernatorial candidate Jesse Ventura was allowed to debate his major party opponents and went from 10% in the pre-debate polls to winning the election with 37% of the vote. If the Minnesota League of Women Voters and Minnesota Public Radio used the CPD criteria, Ventura would have been excluded. If Ventura would have been excluded, he surely would not have won and Minnesota voters would not have been exposed to alternative views. Exclusionary debate criteria harm the minor party candidates that are excluded, and voters are harmed by not being exposed to alternative views on topics.
I would like to see debates including every Presidential candidate on at least one ballot. However, I’m pleased that Free & Equal will be hosting a Presidential debate in which all candidates who could theoretically win the election have been invited to participate. Not surprisingly, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have yet to accept the invitation.
Great news for Libertarians, people are so disillusioned with Obama and the weak Romney effort that Gary Johnson is making a surprisingly strong showing in the Buckeye state:
Conducted September 21-22, a Gravis Marketing/Capitol Correspondent poll first asked the usual Obama or Romney question, which revealed a tight race. (The full results are here.)
- Obama/Biden: 45.2%
- Other/Unsure: 10.4%
- Romney/Ryan: 44.3%
Then, Gary Johnson was added.
- Johnson: 10.6%
- Obama/Biden: 44.5%
- Other/Unsure: 7.1%
- Romney/Ryan: 37.8%
Not so tight, anymore. And Johnson’s numbers are up from September 7-8, when he pulled 4.5% in Ohio.
Johnson had optimistically pegged his chances during an AMA with reddit earlier this month, “We really don’t want to peak too early, so we have them right where we want them.”
If the current trend continues, Johnson could be more than the mere “spoiler candidate” this year in many states. Now if only the media would take note of the electorates’ thirst for a truly sane foreign policy.
Forwarded via facebook:
This is getting serious.
It was only a week ago that the Commission on Presidential Debates had ten sponsors for the 2012 debates.
Today, they're down to seven. Phillips Electronics has, as of this morning, pulled their sponsorship.
What does this mean for us?
We're that much closer to seeing and hearing Governor Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray on the debate stage this autumn!
I know what you're thinking. "It's entirely too late for the Commission on Presidential Debates to invite Governor Johnson to debate." Fortunately, it takes very little effort to add a podium to a stage. It takes a whole lot of effort, however, to convince a multi-billion dollar corporation that you wield the power to hit them where it hurts worst — their pocketbooks.
Power. That's the key word in this previous sentence. YOU HAVE ALL THE POWER NOW.
BBH New York
That's three down, seven to go.
Get to writing those letters, guys! This election cycle, you will CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY. Change it for the better.
Power to the people!!
Georgia for Gary Johnson 2012
Note from Paulie: Under the Commission’s guidelines for debate inclusion, other than the non-objective polling criterion, two additional candidates would qualify: Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green), the only candidates not invited to the CPD debates who are on enough ballots to win the Presidency and are Constitutionally qualified for the office.
Some unverified contact info for debate sponsors in the comments here.
Buried on the second page of a New York Times article on California Health Benefit Exchange’s gung-ho efforts to deliver a yet unnamed portal in preparation for the full effects of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) are the costs:
The exchange itself has so far been financed by three grants, worth $237 million, from the federal government. Most of the money is committed to consultants, including Accenture, which has a $327 million contract to build and support the initial operation of the enrollment portal.
But who’s footing the bill? Only all of California’s nearly 38 million residents:
“It’s all good for consumers,” she said. “But somebody’s got to pay for it, and that’s going to go into the premium.”
Despite the full-throttle approach here, another uncertainty is the outcome of the presidential race. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, has vowed to repeal the health care law and restructure Medicaid, not only scrapping the planned expansion but making the program much leaner. Even without a repeal, Republicans could undo the federal subsidies and other financing for the law if they won the presidency and even a narrow majority in the Senate.
“If the federal funding stopped,” Mr. Lee said, “we would be at a ‘press reset’ button.”
Move over $18M recovery.gov 2.0, California is set to dethrone the federal government when it comes ridiculously expensive website boondoggles.
And by the way, Accenture is indeed the same outfit that was previously called Andersen Consulting (Arthur Andersen). The same firm infamously tied to the Enron document shredding scandal is now in charge of delivering the world’s most expensive website to gullible Californians.
During the week of September 11, 2012, American Embassies in northern Africa and the Middle East were attacked and invaded after protesters watched clips of a video titled “Innocence of Muslims.” The film was allegedly made by a small group of Coptic Christians with the intent to “anger Muslims.”
An Egyptian business associate, Ahmed El Fiky, wrote the following, “I feel it is my duty to apologize and to tell you what happened exactly.”
He continued by saying: there are extremists in every faith, some Muslim extremists support Al-Qeada, however the Qur’an states there is no excuse for killing innocent civilians, “thus killing the innocent ambassador in Libya cannot be justified by Islam.”
He continued, “around 2000 or 3000 [demonstrators] went to the embassy to protest [o]n the anniversary of 9/11 which will make [Americans] think that they are celebrating 9/11. Some of them… [support]… Al Qaeda and they chanted supporting OBL, which shows how ignorant they are… Most of us are condemning what is happening at the embassy and condemning as well the murder of the innocent ambassador in Libya. Most of us are against Al Qaeda and we believe they are a bad image for Islam… I don’t have any hatred in my heart to Americans and I hope they don’t hate me… I apologize to you… Let’s love, let’s fight hatred everywhere. This was the message of my prophet whom these idiots at the embassy are claiming to follow.”
I commend Ahmed for posting this information along with his insights into the Muslim faith, and would like to send a friendly message to Ahmed and all Muslims.
I do not support the foreign policy of the government of the United States of America.
I do not condone the actions of the men and women in the American military, when those men and women kill and maim men, women and children in your country.
I do not consent to their actions and feel for the families of the millions of men, women and children killed over the years by the American military.
There are over 300 million Americans, less than 1% are in the military and an even smaller percentage are involved in making foreign policy. Clearly the actions of the American government, and by extension the American military, do not represent the views of all Americans.
I look forward to the day when a country supposedly acting on my behalf no longer has a presence in your country and no longer kills your family, friends and neighbors. Please do not confuse the actions of a small group of people as being representative of my views.
What’s the best way to get people to stop bitching about ever-higher gas prices and their fallout in the ethanol market? The EPA seems to think it’s to just jack up the minimum amount people are allowed to buy — to four gallons:
With prices at the pump worrying Americans, Republicans have railed against the Environmental Protection Agency’s new gas mandate that requires consumers to buy at least four gallons when purchasing from stations with hoses containing 10 percent and 15 percent ethanol-blended fuel.
On Monday, Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Chief Administrator Lisa Jackson criticizing the agency’s approval of the sale of gasoline containing 15 volume percent ethanol.
Specifically, the EPA will require that consumers purchase a minimum of four gallons when buying from a gas station that sells gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol and 15 percent ethanol — also known as “E15″ — out of the same gas pump.
A black market will undoubtedly emerge for people who just need less than four gallons. I look forward to seeing the skeezy onesies pushers, stinking of petroleum as they rush to your car with liters of gold liquid sloshing around in their large jackets.
Ultimately, the EPA will have only themselves to blame when customers find themselves caught between two unfree markets (the gas station tasked with enforcing silly federal laws and the bootleggers ignoring them) and it starts to slowly dawn on them who the lesser of two evils really are in that hilarious instance.
From a campaign release today:
It is tragic when Americans serving their country are murdered, and we both mourn their loss and honor their service.
Part of honoring that service is to ask the obvious question: What U.S. interest is being served by putting our people – and our money – in places where U.S. personnel can be killed by extremists over a video? We launched millions of dollars worth of missiles to bring down Gaddafi, and this is what we get. We hail and encourage the outbreak of an Arab Spring in Egypt, send them billions of dollars we can’t afford, — and our embassy is breached and our flag desecrated.
In Afghanistan, we continue to put our troops in harm’s way 10 years after our post-9/11 mission was complete. Why?
The airwaves are filled today with political chest-pounding and calls for decisive action. The most decisive and prudent action we can take today is to stop trying to manage governments and peoples on the other side of the globe who don’t want to be managed, get our people out of impossible situations that have no direct U.S. interest, and immediately stop sending money to regimes who clearly cannot or will not control their own countries.
Protecting America with a strong national defense and a rational foreign policy is our leaders’ most basic responsibility. But let us not confuse national security with senseless intervention where our interests are clearly not being served.
Or you know, just let tweedle dee or tweedle dum keep putting people in harm’s way, while also stoking the fires of hatred on both sides.
When “just another day,” isn’t:
Demonstrators attacked a U.S. consulate in Libya, killing one American, and breached the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, amid angry protests over a film by a U.S. producer that mocks and insults the Prophet Muhammad.
Egyptian protesters climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and replaced the flag with a black standard bearing an Islamic inscription, in protest of a film deemed offensive to the Prophet Muhammad. Matt Bradley has details on The News Hub.
The movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” was directed and produced by an Israeli-American real-estate developer who characterized it as a political effort to call attention to the hypocrisies of Islam. It has been promoted by Terry Jones, the Florida pastor whose burning of Qurans previously sparked deadly riots around the world. see more…