Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


Found on the Internets: Peter Jukes on the British elections

Peter Jukes shared this story about the British election. The mainstream media, which he is a frequent critic of, is livid about their loss of relevance.

Will the Internet Swing this election? Or has the Press just lost it?

In the air war of the British General election, social media was like a hand-held stinger missile against the massed squadrons of the press. […]

Twitter, Facebook, blogs and chat forums are just peer to peer publishing platforms. But compared to the mainstream press, they can perform an immediate crowd-sourced rebuttal unit. Online there are thousands of potential voluntary fact checkers, photographers, spin-meisters, satirists, pundits and witnesses. […]

The main function of social media, therefore, has been in reaction to media coverage. It’s given a voice, that has perhaps long been there, to the vast majority who don’t read the press, or feel television coverage is problematic.

His post reads like a novel. More excerpts below.

DR Congo’s Road to 2016

All photos in this post are by Prince Balume and Achilles Balume, and are posted here with permission.

 photo soulevement11kin_zps48fc951e.jpg

In 2006, DR Congo passed a new constitution, which is similar to our (US) constitution in many ways. The right to vote, to assemble, and to free speech are guaranteed. Beyond our constitution, it guarantees strong parity between men and women. The issue today, though, is that it imposes tenure limits on the President.  

By law, President Joseph Kabila must step down and allow an open election in 2016. He began as a military dictator who led the country through a transitional government, and was then democratically elected President. His re-election met with some criticism, and he’s since been maneuvering to extend his tenure — recently by trying to amend the tenure law outright, and then by introducing requirements that would delay the election.

People in DR Congo are still learning about the law and starting to believe in their rights. If Kabila stays in power, it will set back the progress the people have made toward a Democratic DR Congo. John Kerry and the US State Department have been trying to get him to step down at the end of his term.

Last month, Kabila’s supporters in Parliament passed a census requirement for the next election. That law would delay the 2016 election indefinitely. The people of DR Congo organized a coordinated demonstration to protest the census requirement. The government cracked down on the protesters. Some were killed and others are not yet accounted for.

The great success was that Parliament eventually relented and removed the census requirement. It was a real step toward implementing democracy. It dearly cost people who demonstrated, though — some who paid with their lives.  

Howard Dean: “A Battle for the Future of the Democratic Party” CA17


When patent-lawyer and ex-Deputy Assistant Secretary at Obama’s Commerce Department, Ro Khanna, announced his intentions to run against incumbent Democrat Mike Honda, the national media was a buzz – a liberal with a high-tech sparkle running to represent Silicon Valley.  And with him, he brought some of Obama’s OFA team whose high-tech approach to GOTV was credited in Obama’s victory. The shiny new tech-savvy candidate who promised, “change”, dazzled many of the local progressives. The message and OFA-esque graphics were exactly what you would expect from Khanna’s campaign consultant, OFA hero Jeremy Bird.

Khanna got a quick fundraising boost from many high-tech corporate elites, no doubt they liked his pro high-tech talk and Commerce Dept. credentials. Of the approximately 1200 people running for congress in America, he is number 2 with big money donors.

Yes, Voting Matters. Register, Persuade, & GOTV


I vote. I take my kids to vote.

Voting is the currency of our democracy.  It’s how we choose our political leaders who represent us.  Voting is what we have.  

We have midterm elections for 435 House seats.  33 Senate seats.  Almost every state house, some of the state senates, some statewide offices, county offices, and many schoolboard offices.  Perhaps some municipal offices too.  In other words, maybe there’s not a president at the top of the ticket, but there is plenty to vote for.  

I believe every vote counts.  I live in Utah, I don’t have the luxury of not voting.  I have voted in elections decided by fewer than 200 votes.  I have watched elections be decided by single digits.  

Salt Lake County had a primary this June, for Auditor on the Democratic side, Assessor on the Republican side, and many school board positions.  Turnout was 9%.  

We have pilot programs for same-day registration in Salt Lake County, and All Vote by Mail in the county to the north, Davis.  

Everything depends on turnout.  Even in Utah.  To hold our State house seats, keep our senate seats, pick up a few more seats, and help the county elections.  

From Maine to Hawaii, and Alaska to Florida, every vote counts.

The highest duties we can do as citizens include helping other people vote.  

We have a couple weeks left for voter registration in most places.  Some places seem to have complicated requirements.  

Then we GOTV and persuade the middles until Nov 4.  

We sleep on Nov 5.  

Today was the National Voter Registration Day.  nvrd_profile_pic

We can keep going on this registration through the deadlines, which is Oct 6 here in Salt Lake County.  

Every vote counts.  

$10,000 in matching donations for Wendy Davis!

This will be a short one, but —  my amazing, wonderful, fantastic state senator Kirk Watson is matching the next $10,000 in donations to Wendy Davis. Kirk is an old friend, a great feminist, who was part of the resistance to the anti-choice shenanigans last summer. And here he is, really stepping up to turn Texas blue next year.

here’s the donation page: https://secure.wendydavistexas…

The Socially Conservative State of…California?

By: inoljt,

California is generally thought of as a very liberal place. The Democratic Party is certainly doing well; Republicans are at an all-time low almost everywhere in the state.

This applies to social positions as well. The stereotype is that Californians are very socially liberal. California is, after all, home to San Francisco and Berkeley – the natural environment of the godless hippie and homosexual. Hollywood is also located in California, and Hollywood’s not exactly a bastion of social conservatism.

It may surprise some, then, to note that in the past four years Californians have voted against gay marriage, marijuana, and the abolition of the death penalty.

More below.

How 2012 Helps Prospects for Reforming the Electoral College

By: inoljt,

The electoral college is one of the lingering undemocratic parts of American politics. Unlike almost every other country in the world, America elects its presidents not via the popular vote but rather via a strange system of “electoral votes” distributed by states. The good news is that this system generally reflects the popular will. The bad news is that it occasionally fails, as last happened in 2000.

Since then there has been a push to reform the electoral college so that all states cast their electoral votes for the winners of the popular vote. Currently half the states needed to implement the reform have signed on.

More below.

The Advantages of Absentee Ballots

This is part of a two-part series evaluating absentee ballots, which are being used more and more often. The first part will focus on their advantages. The second part will focus on their disadvantages.


Absentee ballots are increasingly being used throughout the United States. They are especially popular in the West Coast; elections are entirely absentee-ballot in Oregon and Washington, for instance.

More below.

NY GOP Accuses NY Democrats of Waging ‘War on Women’

This comes in an attempt to raise money for the state Republican Party by using two high profile candidates in this year’s New York City elections.  One of the candidates, Anthony Weiner, is pretty much dead in the water.  He’s lagging well behind in the polls and will not make the Democratic runoff that will follow the primary.  The other is former governor Eliot Spitzer, who is running for comptroller and currently leading in his race.

The mailing’s basic premise is that because these two men did icky things, and because the Democratic Party is considerably stronger than the Republican Party in New York, all Democrats are icky and you, the recipient, should send money to help Republicans.