Mayor Bloomberg Slams Board of Elections for Failure to Mail Military Ballots

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg slammed the state’s Board of Elections on Monday for failing to mail out absentee ballots to military and overseas voters from New York City and four additional counties.

“I don’t know whether or not the Board of Elections has failed to send out absentee ballots to the military or anybody else, but if they have failed it really is reprehensible,” Bloomberg told Fox News. “We send our young men and women overseas to fight and to die for us and we don’t care enough to make sure they get the right to exercise their franchise? That’s what they’re over there fighting for as much as anything else.”

FoxNews.com first reported Sunday that New York had not mailed out absentee ballots to all its 320,000 military servicemen and women and overseas voters, in clear violation of the MOVE Act.

As of Monday at noon, the ballots still had not been sent.

“It would not surprise me if the Board of Elections screwed up in this; they certainly did not do a good job the last time,” Bloomberg said. “I’ll do anything I can to help them, but they’ve been given more than adequate monies to make sure that everybody in this city and in this state can vote, can vote privately, can vote for whomever they want, can vote at times that are convenient and accessible to them in places around the state.”

New York City has no jurisdiction or control over the state’s Board of Elections, which is tasked with administering and enforcing elections throughout the state. But Bloomberg offered to help.

“They’ve not done a good enough job yet, but rather than criticize them, maybe it’s time to help them. The trouble is they don’t seem to be willing to take help from other people,” Bloomberg told Fox News. “There are a number of other things that we could do to help them. They don’t seem to want to help, so maybe you should address the next question to them.”

Read more here.

School system to get Muslim holiday

As a Muslim and a high school senior at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 17-year-old Dunia Kassay faces a tough choice every year on Islamic holy days: go to school or stay home to be with family and friends.

If she stays home, Kassay says, she will be forced to play catch-up and make up her school assignments. But if she goes to school, she will be neglecting what she feels is her religious obligation on holidays such as Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.

“It’s really conflicting,’’ Kassay said. “Instead of fasting for a month and enjoying this really big day, eating and going to family’s houses, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, hey, guys, I’ve got to go do my homework.’ ’’

But beginning next year, Cambridge public schools will attempt to make it easier for Muslim students to honor their highest holy days.

In a move that school officials believe is the first of its kind in the state, Cambridge will close schools for one Muslim holiday each year beginning in the 2011-2012 school year.

The school will either close for Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, depending on which holiday falls within the school year. If both fall within the school calendar, the district will close for only one of the days.

The school district’s decision, announced last month, was made as the national discussion about Islam continues, fueled by a Mosque proposal two blocks from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Florida preacher Terry Jones’s threat to burn a Koran. The discussion has also touched local schools, as Wellesley school officials drew criticism recently for a video that showed sixth-grade students kneeling during a prayer service at a Boston mosque during a field trip in May.

Read more here.

Shutting Up Business

If at first you don’t succeed, get some friends in high places to shut your opponents up. That’s the latest Washington power play, as Democrats and liberals attack the Chamber of Commerce and independent spending groups in an attempt to stop businesses from participating in politics.

Since the Supreme Court’s January decision in Citizens United v. FEC, Democrats in Congress have been trying to pass legislation to repeal the First Amendment for business, though not for unions. Having failed on that score, they’re now turning to legal and political threats. Funny how all of this outrage never surfaced when the likes of Peter Lewis of Progressive insurance and George Soros helped to make Democrats financially dominant in 2006 and 2008.

Chairman Max Baucus of the powerful Senate Finance Committee got the threats going last month when he asked Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman to investigate if certain tax exempt 501(c) groups had violated the law by engaging in too much political campaign activity. Lest there be any confusion about his targets, the Montana Democrat flagged articles focused on GOP-leaning groups, including Americans for Job Security and American Crossroads.

Mr. Baucus was seconded last week by the ostensibly nonpartisan campaign reform groups Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center, which asked the IRS to investigate whether Crossroads is spending too much money on campaigns. Those two outfits swallowed their referee whistle in the last two campaign cycles, but they’re all worked up now that Republicans might win more seats. Crossroads GPS, a 501(c)(4) affiliate of American Crossroads supported by Karl Rove, is a target because it has spent millions already in this election cycle.

Last Tuesday, the liberal blog ThinkProgress, run by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, reported that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had collected some $300,000 in annual dues from foreign companies. Since the money went into the Chamber’s general fund, the allegation is that it could have been used to pay for political ads, which would violate a ban on foreign companies participating in American elections. The Chamber says it uses no foreign money for its political activities and goes to great lengths to raise separate funds for political purposes.

Read more here.

Chris Christie wins Richmond Tea Party presidential straw poll

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won the first-ever Richmond, Va., Tea Party presidential
straw poll on Saturday, garnering 14 percent of the 1,560 votes cast on Friday and Saturday. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin finished in a close second place with 13.5 percent of the vote and Texas Congressman Ron Paul in third with 12.5 percent.

Candidates straw poll voters could have chosen from also include Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Indiana Congressman Mike Pence. Also on the ballot were President Barack Obama
and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with fairness being the reason for their listing, event organizers told The Daily Caller.

Ex-CNN commentator Lou Dobbs keynoted the event, which, according to coordinators, had 2,800 registered attendees. Speaking at the end of the day Saturday, Dobbs addressed the crowd on the principles of the Tea Party movement and how grassroots organizers can’t give up now.

Dobbs stressed how unique he thought the Tea Party situation is – and how the movement must continue to grow and remain proactive to stay influential and make an impact on the upcoming midterm elections.

“That is a lesson both political parties will learn from you,” Dobbs said in his speech. “It is now time for you, the majority, to be heard in our nation’s capital.”

Read more here.

Couple: State took our baby

An Epsom couple says state social workers seized their newborn baby hours after her birth because of the father’s affiliation with an organization that opposes government tyranny. State officials, however, cited domestic violence and child abuse allegations against the baby’s father in taking her into state custody.

The issue turned the parents, Johnathan Irish and Stephanie Taylor, into instant celebrities in the online libertarian community. By mid afternoon, about 20 people who had never met the couple gathered at Concord Hospital to protest what they termed the state’s unconstitutional interference in a family matter. None claimed to know anything about government’s allegations that Irish had beaten his fiancee or her young children, but they said they were outraged that the affidavit supporting the taking of his newborn mentioned Irish’s association with a group called the Oath Keepers. The group’s website describes it as an affiliation of current and former military and law enforcement members who promise to resist totalitarian actions by the government.

Irish said that on Thursday, one day after Taylor gave birth to their daughter, a group of police officers and state social workers took her from them. He said he and Taylor did not know where their daughter had been taken.

“She’s either in the nursery there or in a foster home,” said Taylor, who was on hand with Irish to greet protesters and grant interviews.

Read more here.

The ‘Post-November’ Obama

Rush Limbaugh recently challenged the notion that President Obama is merely out of touch with the will of the American people:

“I’m sure that Obama realizes a certain percentage of this country is ready to rebel. That’s, I’m sure, part of why he feels happy. Mission accomplished. Success is mine. Obama’s only complaint is he wants more credit for what’s going on. He thinks he’s revolutionary himself. He thinks he is the one we’ve all been waiting for. He is convinced that we don’t know what’s good for us. All leftists are that way. They all have that arrogance and contempt, and the more we oppose and the more loudly we oppose, the more their resolve intensifies. I mean, did Obama moderate when Scott Brown won the Kennedy seat, the so-called Kennedy seat? I don’t think he did. How about all the other primaries that the GOP won, did they compromise? Chris Christie wins in New Jersey, did we see Obama say, “You know what, I’m outta touch here. The people are sending me a message. I better moderate.” Did we see that? We didn’t. We saw the resolve stiffen, if you will. We saw appointments of more anti-capitalist people to his administration in the guise of consumer protectionists.”

Limbaugh also cited an article from the Los Angeles Times which reported that Obama’s strategy after the midterm elections will be to use executive authority to continue implementing his agenda. Obama told us that he intended to fundamentally transform the United States. So far, he is well on his way. If he is determined to proceed with his plans, he will find anyway possible to achieve them. The second half of the president’s term may well endanger our country and our freedoms even more than the first half already has.