Friday, August 31, 2012

Reid Sees Hypocrisy in Romney Louisiana Trip

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In his speech to the Republican National Convention last night, Mitt said:

President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. MY promise...is to help you and your family.

This line got a big cheer from the anti-science crowd in Tampa, but the appalling irony is what all those nice dry overfed people weren't thinking about ~ the devastation of New Orleans in Hurricane Isaac going on simultaneously to the Republican Convention. We can assume they were just glad the storm went west and didn't flood their little get-together. Who cares about Louisiana, right?

But today in a strange turnaround, Mitt Romney visited Louisiana to commiserate with his little buddy, Governor Bobby Jindal. Nice photo-op for both of them - just ignore that rising water, ha ha ha.

Official Honey Badger of the Democratic Party, Harry Reid is calling them out on their hypocrisy.

Huffington Post Story
"It is the height of hypocrisy for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to make a pretense of showing sympathy for the victims of Hurricane Isaac when their policies would leave those affected by this disaster stranded and on their own," Reid said in a statement.

Romney visited Lafitte, La., Friday to meet with Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and first responders to the hurricane. "I'm here to learn and obviously to draw some attention to what's going here,” Romney told Jindal, according to a pool report. "So that people around the country know that people [down] here need help."

But Reid didn't see it that way. He used the visit as an opportunity to bring up Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget, which he said would "gut disaster funding, making it much harder to get aid to our fellow Americans in their time of need."

"This is yet another example of Mitt Romney's extreme right wing agenda, which asks middle class families to sacrifice in order to protect millionaires and billionaires from paying their fair share," Reid said.

Court in Ohio Restores Early Voting

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This is great news for the Obama Administration, who filed the lawsuit against Ohio and Secretary of State Jon Husted. Judge Peter Economus ruled that the state had no good reason for closing the polls that last weekend before the election. Yay!

Interesting side-note about Judge Economus:
Judge Economus and his father, who immigrated to America in 1916, were featured in a segment of "Gasoline Alley," a nationally syndicated comic strip. The theme of the comic emphasized the spirit of America and the naturalization process that we all hold dear. Judge Economus and his wife, Marie, have three daughters and three granddaughters.

How nice that he is playing a role in making the vote more accessible, too!

Reuters Story
Ohio, a prized swing state in the November6 presidential election between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, allows voting in person to begin on October 2. But the state cut off early balloting on the Friday before Election Day, except for members of the military, saying that would prevent fraud and give election boards time to prepare for voting.

In granting a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge Peter Economus wrote that lawyers for Ohio's Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted failed to "articulate a precise compelling interest" in establishing a Friday deadline for non-military voters.

"On balance, the right of Ohio voters to vote in person during the last three days prior to Election Day -- a right previously conferred to all voters by the state -- outweighs the state's interest in setting a 6 p.m. deadline," Economus wrote.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a statement that he would appeal the ruling.

My previous posts about Ohio's voter suppression:

Ohio's Secretary Husted Fires Democratic Officials
True the Vote Poll Watchers are Dangerous Vigilantes
State Senator Nina Turner D-Ohio On Fire Over Voter Suppression
Ohio's Racist Voting Agenda on Display

Mitt Romney ~ Upstaged by a Chair

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First there was all this anticipation of a "mystery guest" arriving at the Republican National Convention, then there was lots of interest when it was found to be Clint Eastwood. What would he say? Did he bring a cool film with him, as he did at the Super Bowl? Would he say something memorable?

*snort* OMG - did he ever! Dirty Harry came out on stage in Tampa and proceeded to discuss politics with an empty chair where he imagined an invisible President Obama.

No, I am not making this up. The tumultuous skit with the chair even created a furor on both Twitter and Tumblr, and I assume Facebook as well, as people who had been almost asleep after 100 boring speeches woke up and started making chair art.

And two new hashtags were invented: #eastwooding and #invisibleobama

What all this means is that no one was really paying much attention to Rubio's or Romney's speeches which followed Eastwood, even though they were supposed to be the highlights of the evening. It almost . . . almost . . . makes me feel sorry for Mitt. He has the stupidest team in politics and I think that's undisputed now.


Even people who love Clint Eastwood, movies, imaginary friends, and actors in general found the whole thing downright bizarre. Famous film critic Roger Ebert Tweeted:



TV sitcom legend Bob Newhart joked that Eastwood was stealing his bit of talking to imaginary people on the phone:



Rachel Maddow was rendered almost speechless with shock in a classic Live TN moment:


 
 
And Barack Obama responded with a Tweet of his own that is destined to be remembered forever as an epic one-liner:

And look at the other beauties from Tumblr and Twitter ~ this will go on for days and days because the variations are endless. Expect a plethora of chair jokes next week in Charlotte. Poor Mitt.


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G**DAMN IT #EASTWOOD! YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO COOK TONIGHT! #Eastwooding #RNC #DNC #political #politics #Republican #Democrat #Putos.
 teardropfromnyc on Instagram

 
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The Republican Convention Condensed

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pic via eatbloganddie

My collections of Twitter and Videos from each night on Snark Amendment:

RNC Night Three: Mitt's Big Moment
RNC Night Three: Introducing Mitt
Clint Eastwood Talks to Empty Chair in Tampa
RNC Night Two: Paul Ryan Center Stage
RNC Opening Night: One Hand Clapping for Lame Speeches


And in case you just can't stomach all that (who can blame you?):

Talking Points Memo ~ The Republican Convention in 100 Seconds (per day)






And finally this great Recap by ABC News from Night Three:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paul Ryan Gave Us a Pack of Lies

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Journalists and pundits across political lines agree that Paul Ryan was lying to the American People last night.

Transcript of Paul Ryan's Speech

Even Fox News Admitted:
. . . to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. On this measure, while it was Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold.

For all their smarmy kissing-up to the Romney/Ryan camp that CNN has done this week, such as the icky-sweet interview Wolf Blitzer had with the five strapping Romney sons - ack - last night even the CNN team had to admit Ryan was Lyin' - although they explained it as "motivation."

Via Talking Points Memo
Blitzer: So there he is, the republican vice presidential nominee and his beautiful family there. His mom is up there. This is exactly what this crowd of republicans here certainly republicans all across the country were hoping for. He delivered a powerful speech. Erin, a powerful speech. Although I marked at least seven or eight points I’m sure the fact checkers will have some opportunities to dispute if they want to go forward, I’m sure they will. As far as mitt romney’s campaign is concerned, paul ryan on this night delivered.

Burnett: That’s right. Certainly so. We were jotting down points. There will be issues with some of the facts. But it motivated people. He’s a man who says I care deeply about every single word. I want to do a good job. And he delivered on that. Precise, clear, and passionate.


Yes, Erin, sometimes liars are "passionate" about their lying so they can "motivate" people. Think Richard Nixon or Bernie Madoff or Ted Bundy or Dick Cheney or Jerry Sandusky.

The bottom line is, we shouldn't elect a liar and possible sociopath to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency. We need people who will tell us the truth, and not a pack of lies so they can fool us into submission with all their plans.

The Six Worst Lies in Paul Ryan's Speech
~ Think Progress

Pants on Fire: The The False Truths Paul Ryan Told During The RNC (LIST)
~ Global Grind

The Lies People Are Willing to Accept From VP Nominee Paul Ryan
~ Hyper Vocal

Paul Ryan's speech: a round-up of his most audacious untruths
~ Guardian UK



As for Ryan, it’s scary that he could lie so brazenly to the millions of people around the country who tuned in to watch the Republican National Convention. But what’s scarier? That quite a few of those millions will have hung on to and believed every word he said.
~ Tracy Bloom on Truth Dig

The sanctimonious V.P. nominee seems to have forgotten the Fourth Commandment: “Thou shalt not lie.” Ryan believes he can say anything and get away with it.
~ Joan Walsh on Salon

But really, the proper response to a speech like [Paul Ryan’s] isn’t to carefully analyze the logic, or to find instances of hypocrisy; it’s to call the speaker out for telling flat-out lies to the American people. Paul Ryan has had what I’ve long thought was an undeserved good reputation among many in the press and in Washington. It shouldn’t survive tonight’s speech.
~ Jonathan Bernstein in Washington Post

Ryan talked about moral creed, but his budget slashes programs aimed at protecting those that he said we have an obligation to protect. If that is the Romney/Ryan American dream, then voters -- young, old, middle class, African-American, Latinos and women -- would do well to say thanks, but we'll keep our hope and change even if it takes four more years to get there.
~ CNN

Ryan actually pushed the envelope, peddling new fantasies, like the spin that says: “Obamacare comes to more than 2,000 pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country."
This will come to news as news to Britain, Canada, Germany and other American allies that somehow keep the light of liberty shining even as they guarantee all citizens access to quality healthcare.
~ John Nichols on The Nation

So the Democrats have to raise their game. They’ve never had to encounter this kind of buttery demagoguery before. Their campaign is going to have to be almost as much against Ryan as against Romney. (Does anyone think Romney’s speech is going to be more effective to the intended audience? I’d be awfully surprised if it is.) They have to rebut his lies, and they have to do it without sounding bitter or afraid or superior or haughty. That’s not easy to do. But it’s the challenge of this campaign. If they can’t win the Ryan war, they’re done.
~ Michael Tomasky on Daily Beast

But here's the thing: Most of the millions of people who watched the speech on television tonight do not read fact-checks or obsessively consume news 15 hours a day, and will never know how much Ryan's case against Obama relied on lies and deception. Ryan's pants are on fire, but all America saw was a barn-burner.
~ Dan Amira on New York Magazine


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mitt Boards Cayman Yacht for Fundraiser


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Cayman Islands Civil Ensign Flag

You just can't make this up. While New Orleans is being inundated by water from Hurricane Isaac on the anniversary of Katrina's devastation, Mitt Romney and company over in Tampa at the RNC decided it would be wise to have a fundraiser on a yacht. Yes, a yacht - the symbol of fabulous wealth. Oh, but not just any yacht will do. This one is a "Super Yacht" that is registered in . . . wait for it . . . the Cayman Islands.

From ABC News, Who Broke the Story
The floating party, hosted by a Florida developer on his yacht "Cracker Bay," was one of a dozen exclusive events meant to nurture those who have raised more than $1 million for Romney's bid.

"I think it's ironic they do this aboard a yacht that doesn't even pay its taxes," said a woman who lives aboard a much smaller boat moored at the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina.

. . . The Cracker Bay is owned by Gary Morse, developer of the Villages retirement community. Companies controlled by Morse gave nearly $1 million to the pro-Romney Restore Our Future superPAC. Registered in the Caymans, and flying a version of the Caymans' "civil ensign" or merchant flag, the Cracker Bay has an impressive art collection and can seat 30 for dinner.

And who was there? ABC News was turned away at the door, but someone took video inside of John Cornyn of Texas thanking the corporate sponsors of the even: Blue Cross/Blue Shield, AFLAC, and AT&T. Roy Blunt of Missouri fled in a private vehicle as a reporter tried to ask him about schmoozing with lobbyists. But dare we get too judgmental here, reporter Brian Ross points out that "it's all completely legal with our country's non-existent laws for political donations."

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Strange First Night at the RNC

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I watched as many of the speeches as I could stomach from the Republican National Convention and to me there were several problems. The worst was Mitt Romney's unhappy expression the whole night. He stumbled onto the stage after being introduced by his wife, and he looked like a sad clown that has been sprayed with seltzer water too many times. He was NOT having a good time!

There was no cohesion between speeches. Mrs. Romney gave a rather shrill and squeaky speech about how much she loved Mitt and how much he loves everyone - love, love, love. Then Chris Christie from new New Jersey gave a more rabble-rousing speech about how love was just okay, but respect was so much better! Then he forced everyone to get to their feet and clap for him, and since most of the evening had been so boring, people complied. It just seems strange that the two speeches that were meant to introduce Mitt Romney to the country instead cancelled each other out and left people scratching their heads. I found them equally repulsive.

The camera panned onto Condileeza Rice a few times and she seemed to be crying, but I don't think it was for happiness. Her Party is going down the crapper.





John Boehner gave a really stupid speech about drunks in a bar, which suited his big red nose. I'm not sure how all the bar jokes went over with the Evangelical dry-county teetotal Tea Partiers from the heartland. Doh! Maybe he should have thought of that in between cocktails.


And then there were the really nasty hate-filled speeches ~ Reince Priebus and Janine Turner from Northern Exposure, especially. Ugh. Next time, just wear your sheets and hoods, folks. I found them both creepy to the max. This is totally Godwin, but either one could have started clicking their boots and shrieking "Sieg Heil!" and it would have seemed perfectly in keeping with their tone.




Rick Santorum's speech was another embarrassing homage to his grandfather's "big meaty hands" - people on twitter were counting and said he mentioned hands 24 times, and even said "hand America jobs," which sounds faintly obscene. I honestly don't know what he is thinking anymore, but then I never did.


The strangest thing of all was that each speaker from Nikki Haley to Chris Christie talked about their immigrant ancestors and family success stories. But wait . . . this is the party which wants to cut out all immigration, build a wall, put barbed wire on it, shoot people at the border, and force Grandma to deport herself. WTF? Why would any of them glowingly gush about their own successful families who came here with nothing and captured the American Dream if all they want to do is deny that dream to everyone else in the world? I'm stumped on that one. I think every time they said "my great-grandfather immigrated here" the audience squirmed, both in the hall and at home.

Just a few hours earlier they had given ugly Jan Brewer of Arizona, the queen of anti-immigration and Hispanic/Latino hate, a thunderous ovation just for announcing that Arizona was nominating Mitt. Total mixed message.

Finally, the piece de resistance was an incident that happened off-camera, but happened to a camera woman for CNN. You can't make this stuff up. I wonder what will happen tonight?




Talking Points Memo
The CNN official declined to confirm specific details of the incident to TPM but generally confirmed an account posted on Twitter by former MSNBC and Current anchor David Shuster: “GOP attendee ejected for throwing nuts at African American CNN camera woman + saying ‘This is how we feed animals.’”
It is not clear whether the alleged culprit was a delegate or attending the convention in some other capacity.
In a written statement, CNN addressed the matter but divulged few details: “CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.”

From Politico
The RNC referred POLITICO to GOP Convention spokesperson Kyle Downey for comment. . . .
UPDATE: GOP convention spokesman Kyle Downey tells POLITICO, "Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated."

Levees Overtopped in Louisiana ~ "Worse than Katrina"

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Last night Hurricane Isaac came ashore in New Orleans, then enigmatically bumped right back out to sea where it went stationary for many hours. That means that it has rained, and rained, and rained all night over one area with band after band of rain and wind. So the levees are being overtopped, and some places that didn't flood in Katrina are underwater now. This could be a total disaster, and my heart just breaks for the people of New Orleans!!! This is only a Category One storm, but the rain amounts are astronomical - 20 inches or more.






















Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ohio's Secretary Husted Fires Democratic Officials

Ohio-Voter

Earlier today, I wrote about Jon Husted and his connections to Tea Party group "True the Vote":
True the Vote Poll Watchers are Dangerous Vigilantes

And now comes the news that Husted has decided to fire the two Democratic officials from Montgomery County who stood up to him and extended early voting on the weekends.

But Husted has lots of other irons in the fire to contend with, and we can only hope some legal action eventually will stop this one-man-band who is misusing his power as Secretary of State.

From the Toledo Blade
— A new federal court ruling preventing the state from enforcing a law that disqualifies provisional ballots, the ballots of last resort, when a voter shows up at the right multi-precinct polling place but casts his vote at the wrong precinct table due to poll worker error. Mr. Husted is expected to appeal the decision.

—A pending decision in a lawsuit filed by President Obama’s re-election campaign seeking to reopen the final days before the election to early in-person voting by all voters, not just military members and their families. That three-day window was closed under a law passed last year.

—A lawsuit filed last week by backers of a voter referendum on a GOP-enacted state elections law overhaul that Republicans have since repealed. The suit seeks to force the referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot and to kill Mr. Husted’s early voting directive in the meantime as an illegal reenactment of a portion of that now defunct law.

Unfortunately, conservatives think he isn't doing enough, and are demanding he purge the voter rolls so even more suppression can happen. I bet he goes along with this one - just a hunch.

— The promise of a new lawsuit by a group calling itself Judicial Watch to force Mr. Husted to purge voter registration rolls to reflect what it characterizes as discrepancies with U.S. Postal Service records. It has already filed similar suits in other states.

Sign the Petition asking Husted to Reinstate Early Voting Hours in Ohio

Isaac Reaches Hurricane Status Near New Orleans Coast


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Almost exactly 7 years to the day that deadly Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Louisiana, the storm known as Isaac reached Category 1 Hurricane status today in nearly the same location. Heavy surf is a problem all along the Gulf Coast from NOLA to the panhandle of Florida.

CNN: Isaac Poised for Landfall on Katrina Anniversary
Isaac is expected to be weaker than Katrina, which came ashore as a Category 3 hurricane with 125-mph winds. But New Orleans could start to feel tropical storm force winds by midnight Monday, and while Isaac may veer off its currently projected course, "It seems to be settling into a pathway and a speed that is becoming predictable," Landrieu said.

"It is quite ironic that we have a hurricane threatening us on the seventh anniversary of Katrina," he said. But he added that as of Monday afternoon, "There is nothing this storm will bring us that we are not capable of handling."

Most of Katrina's nearly 1,800 deaths occurred when the protective levees around New Orleans failed, flooding the city. But Landrieu said the levees have had $10 billion in improvements since 2005, and the city's pump stations have backup generators ready in case of electrical outages.

I have to laugh at Governor Bobby Jindal - even though Obama is declaring emergency funds available before the storm hits, he wants the Federal Government to pay more for their preparatiions. LOL ~ so much for hating "big gummint hand-outs" which Jindal has turned down, but only when the money is for the unemployed or for women's health care.

I kind of love it that all the Southern governors had to rush back to their states from the RNC in Tampa. I'm not going to echo Pat Roberson by saying God is doing this to them, but I do believe in the wheel of fortune, and what goes around comes around. Karma is a bitch. Tomorrow, everyone will be thinking of Katrina and the failure of George Bush as Mitt Romney makes his acceptance speech.

Isaac is a scary storm, but there is onee silver lining because the drought-cursed Midwest may get some much-needed rain in the coming days. I really hope that happens! And meanwhile, I hope folks in NOLA head for higher ground.

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"True the Vote" Poll Watchers are Dangerous Vigilantes

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cartoon by Garry Trudeau, Doonesbury


Most ordinary people think of election observers as people who come into third world countries to view elections to make sure the process is fair to all - like Jimmy Carter's UN group. In this country, the history of "Poll Watching" is much more dark, and was originally allowed by states that wanted to suppress the African American vote during the Jim Crow years after Reconstruction.

This year and true to form, the Republican Party wants to use Poll Watchers to intimidate voters in states like Ohio, where Secretary of State Husted is helping the cause by cutting out early voting on weeknights and weekends, prohibiting many minority voters from participating.

Rachel Maddow has done several great reports on "True the Vote," a group formed to allegedly combate "voter fraud" by placing watchers at polling places where they could signal officials if they saw something they thought was a "gotcha" moment.

To give you an idea of what True the Vote is all about, you have to see Their Official Website. It has nothing to do with wanting to make the process fair. It has everything to do with blocking voters from the polls.

Under "Latest News" here is just one article about Pennsylvania Voter ID filled with a sense of palpable disappointment that voters might actually get help in carrying out their right to vote:
The anti-ID crowd continues to have the wind taken out of its sails.
First, Pennsylvania plaintiff Viviette Applewhite gets a photo ID the day after the ACLU’s Voter ID challenge is shot down in court on grounds that the law disenfranchises no one. Now, PennDOT is rolling out its program to provide free voter identification cards to all Pennsylvania voters who can’t otherwise get a state photo ID

Yeah, that's a real bummer. It's too bad the State of Pennsylvania is helping more voters have a chance to vote. That spoils all the fun.

Here's the leader of True the Vote, Catherine Engelbrecht, speaking to her followers. She loves her some Voter ID Laws!!! Basically she is a vigilante bully who believes there is fraud where none actually exists, and she wants to make the process more difficult for everyone. She is an alarmist, and how dare she talk about "civil rights leaders" when some of them would roll in their graves at the thought of an all-white posse looking over an election. Her call for "Election Integrity" is a big dog whistle to the Tea Party because her goal is to favor the white vote over the minority vote.

True the Vote 2012 Summit - Catherine Engelbrecht from True the Vote on Vimeo.

But of course, there is still Ohio, with Tea Party sympathizer Jon Husted, the Secretary of State who is trying his best to do the one-man election body-block. Last week I posted this impassioned speech by State Senator Nina Turner on The Ed Show, expressing the outrage many feel towards Husted as he tries to rig the system against elderly and minority voters.

And Husted has also been busy threatening to fire two Democrats who stood up to him over the new voting schedule.

In a 15-page decision filed Aug. 27, Jonathan Allison concluded that Husted has the authority to remove Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie Sr. from their posts.
“Furthermore, I believe the facts warrant removal and recommend that the secretary take such action,” Allison wrote.“It’s not justice when you already know the outcome of being put on trial,” he said. “A hearing examiner appointed by SOS Husted has agreed with his boss. This is not news.”
Husted spokesman Matt McClellan said the state’s chief elections official will make a decision Aug. 28 on whether to remove the two board members.

Lieberman and Ritchie were called to Columbus a week ago for a hearing in Husted’s office after they backed a motion to open Montgomery County’s early polls on weekends in the weeks before the Nov. 6 election, just days after Husted issued a directive ordering boards to adopt uniform weekday in-person early voting hours, with no Saturdays or Sundays.

. . . “We do not want to return to the long lines, the hours upon hours of waiting that took place in 2004 when J. Kenneth Blackwell was in Secretary Husted’s job,” Lieberman said. “Secretary Husted needs to follow Jennifer Brunner’s model in 2008 that led to a historic voter turnout and abandon Blackwell’s 2004 model that was a disaster and made Ohio a poster child for voter suppression.”

It turns out we have proof that Husted is all in cahoots with True the Vote - he was listed as a "featured speaker" for their Ohio State Summit Meeting, but after Rachel Maddow announced that on her show, he withdrew, to be replaced by Ohio State Senator Bill Seitz.

As Maddow reported, when True the Vote started in Harris County, Texas, the mainly white watchers showed up in African American precincts and intimidated registered voters. The group understood that they were intimidating people - but they seem to think that's okay. Hello Jim Crow!

Talking Points Memo, 2010
Harris County, the biggest county in the state, is where a Tea Party group called the King Street Patriots launched an anti-voter fraud initiative called “True the Vote,” which recruited poll watchers and amped up fears over groups like the community organizing group ACORN.

Chad Dunn, a lawyer who is representing the Texas Democratic Party, told TPMMuckraker a number of witnesses have been interviewed by Civil Rights Division lawyers already. “We’ve gotten a number of reports — quite a few out of the Houston area — that poll watchers, King Street Patriot training poll watchers, are following a voter after they’ve checked them out and stand right behind them,” Dunn said. There’s at least a dozen reports that they could confirm with witnesses, he said. “Interestingly, it’s all in the polling places in Hispanic and African-American areas,” he added.

Terry O’Rourke, the first assistant in the Harris County Attorney’s office, told TPMMuckraker that there have been allegations of poll watchers talking to voters, which they are not allowed to do, as well as hovering over voters as they are waiting to vote. He said the complaints came from Kashmere Gardens, Moody Park, Sunnyside and other predominantly minority neighborhoods of the county.

The action group Colorlines posted an in-depth story on True the Vote:
Catherine Engelbrecht is the founder of both the King Street Patriots and True the Vote, in that order, and only months apart. Name and IRS status appear to be all that differentiates the two groups. The former, a 501c4, is a Tea Party group that lobbies for conservative issues, chiefly election reform; the latter is a 501c3 that takes a hands-on approach to making sure election reform is implemented—Dr. Jekyl and Dr. Jekyler.

The 2008 ACORN “scandal,” where ACORN was found with thousands of falsified voter registration forms, is partially what inspired Engelbrecht to form the King Street Patriots. Even though no fraudulent votes were cast, Engelbrecht’s King Street Patriots lionized the ACORN tale and used it as a mobilizing tool to recruit hundreds of volunteers for 2009 Election Day poll watching, mostly in black and Latino districts. . . .
. . . Only a handful of fraud cases were tried after the election, and none led to full convictions. Still, the King Street Patriots spun off as “True the Vote” and came out again for the 2010 elections—bulkier with more recruits, again at black and Latino polling places. A local Houston newscast noticed the bulge in poll observers and reported, “As the number of poll watchers have increased, so have the number of complaints.” A video True the Vote circulated at the time contained doctored photos of black people falsely pictured as advocating for voter fraud.

True the Vote’s lawyer Kelly Shackelford, of the Christian rightwing organization Liberty Institute, explained away the intimidation complaints this way: “Poll watchers show up for the first time and [the poll watchers are] a different color than them and they just don’t like that.”
 

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Romney's Interview with Politico

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source: keepingitsarcastic.tumblr

Politico: Mitt Romney outlines his governing plan

Here are some quotes:

“I am who I am.”
Romney quoted that Popeye line three times in a 30-minute interview with POLITICO about his leadership style and philosophy . . .

. . .

“I don’t think everybody likes me,” Romney said. “I don’t believe that, by any means. But I do believe that people of this country are looking for someone who can get the country growing again with more jobs and more take-home pay, and I think they realize this president had four years to do that. … He got every piece of legislation he wanted passed, and it didn’t work. I think they want someone who has a different record, and I do.”

. . .

Bill Bain, the founder of Bain Capital, and J.W. “Bill” Marriott, a fellow Mormon and the CEO of the hotel chain carrying his name, are the most effective leaders he has ever been around: “I learned leadership by watching people.”

. . .

He rarely spends time thinking through past decisions or missteps made, which is one reason he has no regrets about the “birth certificate” joke: “I don’t look back. I don’t look back.”

. . .

“I was voted the president of my fraternity,” he said. “They don’t call them fraternities at Brigham Young University. They’re called Service Clubs. It was the Cougar Club. But you don’t get voted to be head of your group if you don’t get along with people, if you don’t connect with people.”

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. . .

Romney said that one of his challenges would be not knowing “all the personalities there as I might. I don’t know each of the senators, particularly on the other side of the aisle. I don’t know all the congressmen and women, and one of the advantages of having Paul Ryan as part of the team is he does know those people well.”

Chris Matthews Eviscerates Priebus to Applause

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Absolute Epic Takedown of pathetic Reince Priebus by Chris Matthews this morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe.  Of course, Mika and Joe were stunned and flabbergasted that anyone dare question the RNC or their minions, and Tom Brokaw came up with a lame false equivalency  ~ "Both sides do it" he vowed like an old man yelling at the sky. but Chris got the last laugh as the Morning Joe audience applauded all his best lines!  Keep going with this, Chris!!!

Just a taste of what it was like - more quotes further down the page:

"That cheap shot about 'I don't have a problem with my birth certificate' was awful.
It is an embarrassment to your party to play that card. This stuff about getting rid of the work requirement for welfare is dishonest.... and you are playing that little ethnic card there. You can play your games and giggle about it, but the fact is your side is playing that card."
. . . It's funny that the first joke he (Romney) ever told a joke in his life was about Obama's Birth Certificate.
~ MSNBC host Chris Matthews speaking to RNC President Reince Priebus on Morning Joe


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From Huffington Post:

Later when Priebus alleged that Obama was looking at European policies for guidance, Matthews lost it again.

"Where do you get this from?" Matthews shouted. "This is insane." He charged that Priebus was "playing that card again."

"Let's just work on tone," Brzezinski said. "Chris, let him answer the question," Scarborough said.

"I'm not going to get into a shouting match with Chris so you guys can move on," Priebus said. "Because you're losing, that's why," Matthews said. "Garbage, garbage," Priebus muttered.

"It's your garbage," Matthews fired back.

More Via Politico

“I think Obama’s policies have created a sense that, for whatever reason, he’s looking guidance as far as health care is concerned, as far as our spending is concerned, as far as these stimulus packages are concerned, that he’s looking to Europe for guidance,” said Priebus on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” at the start of what would become a heated back and forth.

“What? Where do you get this from? That’s insane,” responded Matthews. “You mean the fact that every president we’ve had has tried to offset the economic cycle with stimulus going the other direction is somehow European?”

“We’ve got to get the debt under control,” said Priebus.

“What does that have to do with Europe and this foreignization of the government. You’re doing it now. Saying that he’s influenced by foreign influences?” said Matthews.

Transcript Via Think Progress

PRIEBUS: But I think Obama’s policies have created a sense that for whatever reason, he’s looking to guidance [from Europe] as far as health care is concerned, as far as our spending is concerned …

MATTHEWS: What? Where do you get this from? This is insane! You mean the Keynesian fiscal policy — you mean the fact that every president we’ve had has tried to offset the economic cycle with stimulus going the other direction is somehow European? … What’s this got to do with Europe and this foreignization of the guy? You’re doing it now! Saying he’s influenced by foreign influences? You’re playing that card again. What’s this European thing of yours? What are you up to with this constant that he’s not really domestic?

PRIEBUS: You don’t think the take-over of our health care system called Obamacare is a problem for most Americans?

MATTHEWS: Let me tell you some history, sir. Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt pushed for that, Truman pushed for that, were they all under the influence of Europe? Where do you get this from?


PRIEBUS: I’m not going to get into a shouting match with Chris, so you guys can just move on.

MATTHEWS: Because you’re losing, that’s why.

PRIEBUS: No, I’m not losing.

California Earthquake Swarm

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There was a swarm of over 100 earthquakes in the past 24 hours in Southern California, some of them as high as magnitude 5.4, which is pretty strong. Tonight there was also a strong earthquake off the coast of El Salvador with a tsunami warning, but it's probably unrelated.

This is one of the largest swarms in the state since the 1970s. And overnight they are still rocking in the town of Brawley, California east of San Diego.

USGS Real Time Earthquake Map
USGS Recent Earthquake List for the World



Story from KTLA.com
The earthquakes began about 10 a.m. with a 3.8 magnitude temblor three miles northwest of Brawley, according to the USGS.

In the next 40 minutes, 11 additional quakes struck with a magnitude from 2.0 to 2.9.

The quakes picked up in intensity after noon, when a series of earthquakes were registered ranging from a magnitude of 2.0 to 5.4.

Residents in the desert communities near the California border to Mexico and Arizona reported feeling the quake, as well as residents as far as Monterey Park, Fullerton, Costa Mesa and San Diego.

A handful of buildings in downtown Brawley had minor damage after an earthquake swarm rattled the area Sunday, officials said. No injuries were reported.

Brawley is located about 16 miles from El Centro and 92 miles from Tijuana. In the last 10 days, there have been six earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby.


These folks sure are strangely calm - I would have been out the door and down the road after the first one! *eep*



From the San Jose Mercury News
The city of Brawley activated an Emergency Operations Center and many of its 25,000 residents were on edge into early evening, City Councilman Sam Couchman said.

"Residents were a little jumpy all day,"Couchman said."It's over 100 degrees, but many left their residences and stayed outside seeking any shade they could."

. . . Sunday's series of more than 200 earthquakes, which scientists refer to as a swarm, all emanated from a small stretch of fault line about three to four kilometers long near Brawley, about 16 miles north of El Centro, according to Lucy Jones a United States Geological Survey seismologist.

"It's characteristic of the seismology of the Imperial Valley," she said.



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ron Paul Won't Endorse Romney

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Before Ron Paul rides into the sunset, he has to get in a few more barbs at the Republican Party, a free-spirit to the last:

CBS News: Paul Can't Speak, Therefore, No Endorsement
In an interview with the (NY) Times, Paul said that he was offered an opportunity to speak at the convention this week on two conditions: that he let the Romney campaign vet his speech, and that he give Romney his full support. He declined the offer.

"It wouldn't be my speech," Paul said. "That would undo everything I've done in the last 30 years. I don't fully endorse him for president."

Today Paul's supporters had a big rally for him today without any mention of Mitt Romney.

Via Politico
While top GOP officials cancelled the first day of events in Tampa because of Tropical Storm Isaac, Paul supporters were undaunted, gathering in droves to hear the Texas lawmaker, his son — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — and prominent Paul activists from the caucus states where Paul did best.

. . . Paul started his speech with a joke about being invited at the last minute to speak at the Republican National Convention on Monday night — which was canceled because of the weather. But Paul is well aware that he was denied a speaking slot during prime-time, though he son had been slotted for Monday night but has been moved to Wednesday.

Paul doesn’t control the five state delegations he needs to be formally nominated at the convention. After months of d├ętente, . . . he was obviously peeved about an unexpected push by the Romney campaign during the Republican National Convention rules committee meeting Friday to bind delegates to whichever candidates win a state in 2016.

“They’ve learned how to bend rules, break rules, and now they want to rewrite the rules,” Paul said. “They’ve overstepped the bounds.”

Obama Birth Certificate Button

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I just got an ad for this in my email, LOL. It's the perfect pushback against Romney's sudden attack of Birther Mania.

Get Your Own Obama Birther Button for $5
There's really no way to make the conspiracy about President Obama's birth certificate completely go away, so we might as well laugh at it -- and make sure as many people as possible are in on the joke. Get your Obama birth certificate Made in the USA button today.



Eddy Munster Ryan and The Romney Bunch

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Via Political Carnival



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Isaac Postpones Republican Convention

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via gifsfln.tumblr.com


Tropical Storm Isaac has caused the Republicans to postpone the opening night of their Convention in Tampa Florida. I would make a Pat Robertson joke here, but it's too obvious. It is a pity that the Republicans are suddenly dependent on information from NOAA and the Hurricane Hunters, which are funded by our tax money and use science to do their jobs - *horrors*. I'm sure they'd rather cut out all funding - at least Mitt has a clear conscience, since hasn't paid any taxes towards it. I'm sure Gov. Scott will be calling FEMA as soon as the storm passes over like all Red State Governors.

Jokes abound - I'll be posting more on Snark Amendment this weekend, so check there tomorrow. Here is my previous post on Isaac:
Hurricane Isaac May Blow-Out Tampa







Complete Statement from Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Convention, Here

From the Miami Herald
‘‘Our first priority is ensuring the safety of delegates, alternates, guests, members of the media attending the Republican National Convention, and citizens of the Tampa Bay area,’’ party chairman Reince Priebus said in an emailed announcement that followed private conversations involving presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign, security officials and others.

Priebus added that forecasters have predicted that convention-goers ‘‘may encounter severe transportation difficulties due to sustained wind and rain’’ on Monday, the day the convention had been scheduled to open.

The announcement said that while the convention would officially be gaveled into session on Monday as scheduled, the day’s events would be cancelled until Tuesday.

That meant Romney’s formal nomination would be postponed by a day, from Monday to Tuesday, but the balance of the four days of political pageantry and speechmaking would go on as scheduled.

From AFP
Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, declared a state of emergency and said he was cancelling his own appearance at the convention in order to focus on the safety of all 19 million people in the state.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, a Democrat, had sought to calm jitters about the weather, saying the storm might bring heavy rain to Tampa on the first of the four-day convention but that this would be followed by sunny skies.

"There may be wet shoes, but every day after Monday ought to be fine," Buckhorn told Fox News before the Republicans announced the one-day delay to the start of the convention proper.

Vice President Joe Biden has canceled a trip to Tampa and other Florida cities because of the approaching storm, Obama's Democratic campaign said.

Isaac is not the only storm out in the Atlantic, but it's the only one threatening Florida at the present time. The remnants of Tropical Storm Joyce are off to the east (yellow circle) with only 10% chance of reforming into something dangerous. The next storm just coming off the coast of Africa looks bigger, with a 50% chance.

Maps from NOAA's National Hurricane Center

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RIP Neil Armstrong


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The astronauts in NASA's space program meant so much to our country, and inspired the boomer generation to create everything from MTV to Cellular Phones to the Internet to the Mars Curiousity. We need more heroes like this, who literally could "boldly go where no one had gone before," especially in these times when things seem to be crumbling here on earth and we can't agree on anything.

President Obama paid homage today:

From USA Today
As he stepped off the lunar module and set foot on the moon's surface, he said "that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,'' underscoring a centuries-old fantasy among human kind and a high point in the Cold War era space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. An estimated 600 million TV viewers watched the event, engrossed by the surreal, grainy black-and-white footage.

Saturday, President Barack Obama hailed Armstrong as one of "the greatest American heroes — not just of his time, but of all time.''

"When he and his fellow crew members lifted off aboard Apollo 11 in 1969, they carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation,'' the president said in a statement. "They set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable — that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible. And when Neil stepped foot on the surface of the moon for the first time, he delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten."

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Romney Blows Dog Whistle for Rush and Trump


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Here's Mitt Romney today doing his best dog whistle. Now that Romney has gone crazy-ass Birther, will the Republicans still rant about how "discourteous" Obama is to them?


Huffington Post
Speaking about his Michigan roots, he said, "No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."

The joke was received with hearty applause by the audience. . . .


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. . . The Obama campaign quickly responded, with spokesman Ben LaBolt saying that Romney was embracing the most extreme elements in the conservative movement.

"Throughout this campaign, Governor Romney has embraced the most strident voices in his party instead of standing up to them," he said. "It's one thing to give the stage in Tampa to Donald Trump, Sheriff Arpaio, and Kris Kobach. But Governor Romney's decision to directly enlist himself in the birther movement should give pause to any rational voter across America."

Romney adviser Kevin Madden played down the joke, saying Romney was "only referencing that Michigan, where he is campaigning today, is the state where he himself was born and raised."

Rush Limbaugh was so happy he took a break from blaming Obama for Hurricane Isaac:

Media Matters
LIMBAUGH: Mitt Romney and Ryan, drawing a huge crowd in Michigan. And get this.

ROMNEY [audio clip]: I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born. No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.

LIMBAUGH: Right on, right on, right on.

"Elect Obama Now" Song Catchy and Old-Timey!

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This is a cute, catchy and pleasantly old-fashioned election song for Obama! And a nice inspirational video to get you jazzed for the election. :)


State Sen. Nina Turner D-Ohio on Fire Over Voter Suppression

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State Senator Nina Turner, D-Ohio, was on fire on MSNBC's The Ed Show tonight: my transcript

"This is nothing more than uniform voter suppression, make no mistake about it. Ohio and four other states, Ed, have extremely cut early voting hours. And get this - in Ohio and Florida, they cut Sundays. We know exactly who their targets are. And again, in Cuyahoga County, African Americans make up 26% of the registered voters. But during 2008, early in-person voting, they made up 56% of the vote."

"How dare we forget how we got over in this country. How African Americans had to dodge the barks and bites of dogs, how they had to leap over grandfather clauses, and literacy tests, and poll taxes. And here we are in the 21st century with the elections officer who is supposed to adhere morally and legally to expanding the vote, but here he is suppressing the vote."

"And I'm going to tell you something, Ed, if you are poor, working class, middle class, elderly, African American, Hispanic, or a woman, you are SOL (sh** out of luck) when it comes to Republicans. They are making it very clear that they don't care - they are here to oppress, suppress, and they don't care how they steal the vote."

. . . [Governor Kasich] is MIA (missing-in-action) when it comes to this voting issue, and it's a shame.

. . . "If you extrapolate out the date from 2008, with the hours that have been eliminated unilaterally by the Sec. of State, about 200,000 Ohioans will be impacted by that. And if we remember, Governor Kasich beat Governor Strickland by about a 2% margin. Every vote counts and no one should suppress the vote.

And as far as I'm concerned, I don't care if people carry the title of Secretary of State or not - if you are a policy maker in the State of Ohio, if you are someone who cares about fairness and justice, it is all of our responsibility to stand up and tell the truth. And the truth of the matter is, it is Republicans who are suppressing the vote. And oh, by the way, over 180 bills were introduced in states across this country by GOP-led Legislatures. And I wonder why.

Could it be because President Barack Obama is an African American? I wonder.


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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Romney Tries to Hide from Akin

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Mitt can run but he can't really hid from todd Akin.

Some people on Twitter call the Repub ticket Romney-Akin-Ryan, and they have a point. Akin and Ryan are pretty much identical in their ideology, and they are in tune with the abortion plank of the official Party Platform. Avoiding questions from the media is not going

TPM: Romney Forbids Questions About Akin
Denver TV reporter Shaun Boyd wanted to ask Mitt Romney about Todd Akin and the abortion controversy roiling the GOP Thursday. But the Romney campaign refused.
In a broadcast on Thursday, Boyd revealed the Romney campaign’s demand that she not ask about Akin. The Obama campaign quickly posted the video online and sent it to reporters.
. . . “I wanted to get the interview with him because I have other issues I want to talk to him about,” she said. “So the fact that he doesn’t want to talk about this says something in and of itself. In some ways this speaks for itself even without asking the question.”

The Romney campaign told TPM that asking for stipulations for interviews is not standard practice.
“This is not how we operate,” a campaign official said. “The matter is being addressed.”




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