You know in the wake of the Chattanooga shooting I think we really see the difference between Americans and the rest of the world. Between all the billboards popping up in support of Marines and citizens patrolling outside of recruitment stations you see the difference: when faced with no real leadership from elected officials, Americans lead themselves.

Effectively proving the utter uselessness that are politicians and bureaucracy.
10 (Progressive) Things South Carolinians Can Be Proud Of Instead Of The Confederate Flag
There's a lot more to South Carolina than the Confederate flag.

1) Playing a crucial role in American Revolution.

2) Electing the first African American to the U.S. House of Representatives.

3) Hootie and the Blowfish/Darius Rucker (yes, seriously).

4) Giving birth to Reform Judaism, thanks to policies of religious tolerance.

5) Producing really funny — and really liberal — comedians.

6) Birthing a titan of organized labor.

7) Defending civil rights champion Sarah Mae Flemming.

8) Cultivating a robust eco-economy in the state.

9) Trying to institute marriage equality before it was technically legal.

10) Barbecue.

SC a lot to be proud of


Slightly hunched over and surrounded by a forest of “Jeb!” signs and shouting supporters, Jeb Bush was pressed by a reporter about the bigoted, race-baiting comments made by leading GOP candidate, hotel mogul and kitsch peddler Donald Trump.  Jeb, seeming like he did not particularly relish the chance to answer this question, remarked, “I don’t assume that he thinks that every Mexican crossing the border is a rapist.”

Bush was holding back and making excuses.  Surely the Trump stunt, Bush figured, was meant to “inflame and incite and draw attention, which seems to be the organizing principle of his campaign.”  The coiffed king of bad taste did not represent the Republican Party, said Bush.  But is that really true?  Republican Party renegades can always tack to the far right.  It pays to do so.

Trump is the latest Joseph McCarthy or George Wallace. The GOP must excise the poison. History says they won’t

Founder of Americans Elect used tax shelter scheme

The businessman behind an ambitious effort to field an alternative, nonpartisan presidential candidate has paid millions of dollars in delinquent taxes and penalties for his part in an alleged tax shelter scheme, records and interviews show.

Originally slapped with a $150 million tax bill by the IRS, investor Peter Ackerman resolved his tax disputes in June in an undisclosed settlement with the U.S. Justice Department. Ackerman is the founding chairman and president of Americans Elect, the fledgling political group he has seeded with at least $1.55 million.

Yesterday, Americans Elect began turning in 1.6 million signatures to become officially recognized as a political party on the California ballot in time for the 2012 presidential election. The organization plans to nominate a centrist, split-party ticket through an Internet vote in which any registered voter can participate.

The United States Tax Court ruled in 2005 that Ackerman was involved in a tax shelter, and the IRS determined that he owed $150 million. Another tax court ruling in 2009 found that he owed an additional $2.6 million and that his testimony in that case was not credible. Ackerman appealed both cases.

James Joseph, an attorney who handled Ackerman’s federal cases, said the disputes have “nothing to do with an unwillingness to pay his fair share.”

Read more.

Photo: LetsBreakThrough/YouTube

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Interesting debate brakes out on Hardball with Chris Mathews

Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer just announced his candidacy for the Americans Elect ticket in 2012, telling MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: “I need a stage to talk about what’s really wrong with America, what’s wrong is this - a big check.” He’s the first candidate to announce. Who’s next?
Christine Todd Whitman to Jon Huntsman: Run third party

The Americans Elect organization is interesting, even potentially exciting, but I know little about it. I certainly support Huntsman running as an independent, if for no other reason than I believe the Republican Party that Huntsman supports no longer exists. The Eisenhowers of the world died out a long time ago and were replaced by Evangelicals and businessmen who are a lot like Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood.

I am wary of “centrist” organizations, however, as they seem to allow Republicans and Democrats to define what is considered liberal and conservative. Then, the centrists just plop themselves in the middle of the spectrum and pretend they are smarter than everyone else.   

Check out #AmericansElect 


  • Americans Elect is holding an online convention next June to nominate a third ticket for president and vice-president. Any registered voter can participate as a Delegate to help decide the crucial issues, draft the candidates and ultimately choose the nominees.
  • Delegates don’t have to leave or join any political party to participate. They can still vote in the regular primaries or caucuses they normally do in the presidential election. There’s nothing to lose except an opportunity to have a greater voice and another choice.
  • Americans Elect is a non-partisan organization. It has no issues, ideology of candidates of it’s own. It is simply leveraging our new technology to create a better way to pick a president.
The Americans Elect third-party campaign, with a self-imposed Monday night deadline for online voting, does not have a candidate to take advantage of its $9 million in funding, as nobody fit the eligibility requirements.

“Over the past two years, Americans Elect has focused on achieving three clear goals: Gaining nationwide ballot access for a third presidential ticket to compete in the 2012 race. Holding the first ever non-partisan secure national online primary at And fielding a credible, balanced, unaffiliated ticket for the 2012 presidential race. Through the efforts of thousands of staffers, volunteers, and leadership, Americans Elect has achieved every stated operational goal. Despite these efforts, as of today, no candidate has reached the national support threshold required to enter the ‘Americans Elect Online Convention’ this June.”

The one guy who got close, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, had 6,000 votes. But he needed 10,000 — 1,000 each in ten states. For a national campaign based on the internet, 10,000 should be incredibly easy to get for someone with national name recognition like Roemer. But maybe not. If we may be so forward — it this perhaps because the general population is unfamiliar with  Americans Elect? (Yes.)
Buddy Roemer to seek Americans Elect third-party nomination for president

WASHINGTON - Former Gov. Buddy Roemer announced Wednesday night that he plans to seek the third-party Americans Elect nomination for president. “Today I officially announce that I will seek the Americans Elect nomination as a proud Republican but as an even prouder American,” said Roemer in a statement released by his campaign.

While Republicans and Democrats prepare for a clash between President Obama and the GOP presidential nominee in November, a nonpartisan political reform group called Americans Elect is hoping to offer voters a third option.

The organization plans to let independents and disgruntled moderates from both parties pick their own candidate, and it’s busy gathering signatures to earn its standard bearer a spot on ballots in all 50 states.

Just who are these folks, and could they be the X factor in the 2012 election? 

When Americans Elect launched, a certain kind of person got very excited about it. A new, centrist political party that would let people vote on the Internet for a presidential candidate, who would then be on the ballot in all 50 states! David Brooks could finally have his President Bloomberg fantasy enacted! Well, they were super good at making money, but not so good at attracting, like, people - a problem that will not be surprising for anyone who’s ever been involved with a political group. After holding the online primary, no candidate met the vote threshold set by the group’s rules, and so they have, essentially, folded. 

That failure is less interesting to me than who was almost their candidate. At the time they closed, the leading declared candidate was Buddy Roemer, and the leading undeclared (“draft”) candidate was Ron Paul. If you’re familiar with comment boxes on political blogs, you will recognize those two candiates as ones who are Big on the Internet. But they’re not so big in real life. Paul was running at a steady 12% among Republicans, while Roemer looked more like a statistical error. Those results mirror what happens when you ask people to vote online on what the most important political issue is today. Guess what? It’s almost always legalizing pot. Some people have taken this to mean that the Internet has disruptively revealed this issue to be one criminally under-covered by the media and the political system. And sure, we could probably be talking about it more, though it’s talked about plenty in states where it’s an issue. But to say it’s the most important issue of our time is just fundamentally disconnected from the reality of human existence. So is the idea that Ron Paul would be a better candidate for president, especially since he’s losing by 8 points to Obama in a hypothetical head-to-head. The Internet tells us something, but it doesn’t tell us something about everything.

Like I said in that Twitter post, the Internet encourages the illusion that the existence of the web provides access to the universe of ideas and people, a comprehensive portal into the totality of information that exists. But as Twitter and Americans Elect show, you instead tend to get a portal into the kind of people who use the Internet a lot, and in particular ways. We know who those people are, and we know what those ways look like. And yet we keep proposing that the Internet is everything. The ultimate irony of the Americans Elect fiasco is that it promised universal access but got the level of turnout associated with a mid-year runoff. The far more arduous task of getting to a polling place is, due to everything about it that isn’t just where it’s located and how you get there, far more likely to produce robust results. The possibility of universal access is not the same as universal use. Building a new road won’t necessarily make people use it. You have to give them a reason to get there - and to do that, you have to make sure you don’t end up looking like a niche concern.

Americans Elect

Be wary of Americans Elect.

The Two Party primaries seem little more than a dog and pony show, but they have a trace of transparency.

Americans Elect is completely opaque, they showed up in the papers before OWS but we haven’t heard the last of them, they are slowly seeking ballot recognition in all 50 states.

Once they achieve this they could be the game changer of 2012 (only because a 2004 rehash incumbent vs. generic opposition would be boring).

I’ve heard murmurs out in the Net that in their contracts and procedures a committee has final say on who gets to be the candidate (could even do an old switcheroo after the election).

Both parties are so gridlocked because they are trying to function under these rigid ideological groupings. If smaller factions were in play they would have to find common ground and collaborate in order to govern.

Americans Elect doesn’t give a damn about democracy; like many, many others they worship the Almighty Dollar. Do not trust them. Just my gut feeling.