Tag Archives: republican
For amusement purposes only!
With presidential hopeful Barack Obama picking up endorsement after endorsement John McCain is looking to secure any meaningful endorsement he can. After being rejected by the AARP for being ancient instead of old, McCain crashed the convention of the Gay & Lesbian Task Force in full gay attire. He gouged out the eyes of emcee Mary Ann Lesbos and grabbed the microphone according to cub reporter C4BH.
He went on to say “Listen up my gay & lesbian friends, I’m Big Johnny McCain and I want to be your first gay president. Barack Obama will take away your right to be gay and redistribute your gayness to all of the gay hating evangelical republicans. Furthermore my fa* er gay friends, I promise to marry each and every one of you as Commander of Fairies.”
At this point recently released convicts turned security guards Ace and Bubba Love tackled McCain and began to escort him from the building. Bubba Love was heard to say “We are going to use you like a woman!” To which McCain replied “Bring it on, I can take it like a man!”
Saturday 18 October 2008
by: Michael Winship, t r u t h o u t | Perspective
ACORN and election fraud. Hang on. As soon as I can get the alligator that crawled out of my toilet back into the New York City sewers where it belongs, I can turn my attention to this very important topic.
You see, the ACORN “election fraud” story is one of those urban legends, like fake moon landings and alligators in the sewers, and it appears three or four weeks before every recent national election with the regularity of the swallows returning to Capistrano. First, the basics: ACORN, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is an activist group working with low- and moderate-income families to, among many other things, register voters. To do this, they hire people to go around signing up the unregistered, killing two birds with one stone – giving employment to people who need it (some with criminal records) and providing the opportunity to vote to members of minority communities whose voices all too often go unheard.
What happens is that some of those hired to do the registering, who are paid by the name, make people up. As a result, you’ll discover that among the registrants are such obvious fakes as Mickey Mouse and the starting line-up of the Dallas Cowboys, among others.
This is where the Republican meme kicks in. As they have in past elections (although now louder and more angrily than ever), the G.O.P. has made ACORN the red flag du jour as the party tries to mobilize its conservative base and, allegedly, attempts to suppress the vote and distract attention from accusations of election tampering made against them, too.
The charge is that these fake registrations will create havoc at the polls. On Tuesday morning, former Republican Sens. John Danforth and Warren Rudman, chairs of Senator McCain’s Honest and Open Elections Committee, held a press conference and described the results of the bad seeds in ACORN’s registration program as “a potential nightmare.” Danforth said he was concerned “that this election night and the days that follow will be a rerun of 2000, and even worse than 2000.”
John McCain raised it at Wednesday night’s final debate and went further, adding, “We need to know the full extent of Senator Obama’s relationship with ACORN, who [sic] is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy É”
Obama replied, “ACORN is a community organization. Apparently, what they have done is they were paying people to go out and register folks. And apparently, some of the people who were out there didn’t really register people; they just filled out a bunch of names. Had nothing to do with us. We were not involved.”
Which is not to say Obama has not been associated with ACORN in the recent past. He has. As he said in the debate, as a lawyer, he joined with the group in partnership with the US Justice Department to implement a motor voter registration law in Illinois – allowing folks to register to vote at their local DMV. His work as a community organizer bought him into contact with ACORN, the organization received money from the Woods Fund while he was a board member there, and his presidential campaign gave ACORN more than $800,000 to help with get-out-the-vote campaigns during the primary season – but not, apparently, for registration drives.
All of this distracts from several important points. ACORN has registered 1.3 million voters and maintains that in virtually every instance it is ACORN that has reported the incidents of fraud.
As the organization asserted in a response to Senator McCain, “ACORN hired 13,000 field workers to register people to vote. In any endeavor of this size, some people will engage in inappropriate conduct. ACORN has a zero tolerance policy and terminated any field workers caught engaging in questionable activity. At the end of the day, as ACORN is paying these people to register voters, it is ACORN that is defrauded.”
Arrests have been made, as well they should be.
Add to this the simple fact that registration fraud is not election fraud. Seventy-five made-up people who are registered as, say, “Brad Pitt,” are not likely going to show up at some polling place on November 4 to vote in the election. Because they don’t exist. (Besides, Angelina would never give them time off from babysitting duties.)
Granted, there are ways to mail in an absentee ballot under a fake name and, too, from time to time some joker is going to come to the polls and try to bluff his or her way in. But despite the charge that thousands and thousands of fakes will flood the machines and throw off the count, it does not happen very often. And according to ACORN, “Even RNC [Republican National Committee] General Counsel Sean Cairncross has recently acknowledged he is not aware of a single improper vote cast as a result of bad cards submitted in the course of an organized voter registration effort.”
Not that this has stopped the G.O.P. from banging the same drum every national election. And amnesiac members of the media and some government agencies from buying into it every time. Last year, The New York Times reported that the federal Election Assistance Commission, created by the Help America Vote Act, legislation enacted after the Florida debacle, was told by a pair of experts – one Republican, the other described as having “liberal leanings” – that there was not that much fraud to be found. But their conclusions were downplayed.
As per the Times, “Though the original report said that among experts ‘there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud,’ the final version of the report released to the public concluded in its executive summary that ‘there is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud.'”
Which raises the ongoing investigation of the Justice Department’s firing of those eight US attorneys shortly after President Bush’s re-election. It shouldn’t be forgotten that despite official explanations, half of them were let go after refusing to prosecute vote fraud charges demanded by Republicans. The attorneys had determined there was little or no evidence of skullduggery; certainly not enough to prosecute.
(In an interview with Talking Points Memo on Thursday, one of those fired attorneys, David Iglesias, reacted to reports that the FBI has launched an investigation of ACORN: “I’m astounded that this issue is being trotted out again. Based on what I saw in 2004 and 2006, it’s a scare tactic.”)
What’s equally if not more scary are continued allegations of Republican attempts at “caging” minority voters – making challenge lists of African- and Hispanic-Americans registered in heavily Democratic districts. Just this week, a federal judge in Michigan ruled that voters could not be purged from the rolls in that state simply because their mailing address was invalid – this followed a failed attempt by a Michigan Republican county chairman to use a list of foreclosed homes as the basis of voter challenges.
This comes on the heels of a recent report from the Brennan Center at New York University documenting how state officials – often with the best of intentions – purge huge numbers of perfectly legal voters from the rolls.
As my colleague Bill Moyers reported, “Hundreds of thousands of legal voters may have been dumped in recent years, many without ever being notified.” The report describes a “process that is shrouded in secrecy, prone to error, and vulnerable to manipulation.”
Hardly reassuring words if you want democracy to work, and sadly, not an urban legend, but the simple truth.
Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008 8:45 AM By Bill Bishop -Slate
Here’s a chart compiled from vote tallies in Congress collected by political scientist Keith Poole (and others; here’s their site). You can see that a sizable portion of Congress fell into the ideological middle from the end of World War II until sometime in the mid- to late-1970s. Then those who fell into the category of “moderate” began disappearing.
Members of the House increasingly come from districts where one party or the other has an overwhelming advantage. Members of Congress don’t have to be moderate because their constituency is overwhelmingly Republican or Democratic.
(Most journalists are convinced that gerrymandering is the prime cause of growing House district partisanship. It isn’t. The evidence is pretty thick that districts are growing more lopsided because Americans are choosing to live among like-minded others, not because of legislative monkey business. Check out Alan Abramowitz’s paper here. Keiko Ono comes to the same conclusion here. So does Bruce Oppenheimer at Vanderbilt, but there’s no immediate link.)
Congressional districts have grown more partisan because of how Americans are moving and settling—because of the big sort. Many Americans now live in like-minded communities so isolated that they have little understanding (or sympathy) for those people and places with different opinions. The United States “resembles the population that attempted to build the Tower of Babel,” wrote congressional scholar Nelson Polsby. The trouble is, Polsby observed, “to undertake great public works it helps if everyone speaks the same language.”
Members don’t speak a common language because they represent communities that have been moving apart for the past three decades.
Reason No. 3: They Don’t Live Here Anymore
Members of Congress used to live in the District of Columbia. They’d bring their spouses, and their kids would go to local schools. There was life outside the Capitol. Members would get together on weekends. They would meet at school plays, have drinks after work, eat breakfast on the weekends. Republican leader Robert Michel and Democrat Dan Rostenkowski would share a car on the drive back and forth between D.C. and Illinois.
Members don’t live in Washington anymore. They fly in on Monday or Tuesday and are back in their districts as soon as the week’s business is done. Now “the interaction that occurred over many decades between members, after hours … and on weekends and with their spouses, simply does not occur anymore,” said former Republican House member Vin Weber.
Members don’t live in D.C. anymore because they are afraid to, and have been since at least 1990.
Rick Santorum, a young Pennsylvania conservative, ran against a seven-term incumbent that year. Santorum was losing to Doug Walgren until he started running a television commercial about the “strange” house the incumbent owned in Northern Virginia. It was “strange” because it wasn’t in his district back in Pittsburgh but in “the wealthiest area of Virginia.”
When Santorum unseated Walgren, the social life of Washington, D.C., changed. “Now you don’t move your family to Washington,” Weber told a conference at Princeton. “Now you live in sort of a dormitory with members of your own party.” (After midterm losses in 2006, the homes of former Republican House members went up for sale at 129, 131, 132, 135, and 137 D St. Southeast. Talk about sorting!) The social glue created over coffee while sharing a Sunday newspaper is missing.
Congress works best when members have mixed relationships. If a person is simply an ideological opponent, it’s easy to turn him into the enemy. But if your kids are in the same school play, that opponent is also a friend. Legislatures work most smoothly if they are slathered with some social grease.
Among some African peoples, it was against custom to marry within the tribe. Anthropologist Max Gluckman wrote about how these intertribe marriages created “cross-cutting” relationships among people. The marriage rules forced different tribes to interact, to know one another. Those mixed social ties reduced the chance of misunderstanding or war. The saying was, “They are our enemies; we marry them.”
The simple need for mixed social relations is lost to Americans, who increasingly live in homogenous communities and attend like-minded churches.
Thanks to Democratic Underground’s EarlG.
At the end of last week’s Top 10 I said we’d be back to normal this week. I’m sorry to report that I lied. It turns out that the Republican National Convention generated such vast quantities of bullshit, I just didn’t know where to begin, so this week please enjoy the Top 10 Conservative Idiots National Republican Convention Recap. For those of you who are still stuck with dial-up, I’m truly, truly sorry. You might want to make yourself a cup of coffee while this page loads.
Back to normal next week, I promise! See you then…
Good luck with your run for governor you racist prick! Or better yet, Dumbazz!
Barack and Michelle Obama are ‘uppity,’ says Lynn Westmoreland
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, who was born and raised in the South, said Thursday that he’s never heard the word “uppity” used in a racially loaded fashion — and meant nothing more than “elitist” when he applied it to Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.
“If anyone read more into it, no undercurrent was intended,” Westmoreland spokesman Brian Robinson said this evening.
In a Washington D.C. conversation with reporters, the two-term Sharpsburg congressman was discussing the speech of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin when he was asked to compare her with Michelle Obama.
“Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they’re uppity,” Westmoreland said, according to The Hill, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill.
When asked to clarify, Westmoreland said, “Uppity, yeah.”
The Hill immediately posted the incident on-line, where it zipped around the Internet, causing Westmoreland’s office phones to ring off the hook.
The incident underlines the cultural minefields that come with a presidential campaign that features the first African-American to win the nomination of a major political party. Republicans say they’re merely trying to portray Obama as out of touch with working Americans, but some Democrats say the GOP is speaking in cultural code.
For decades in the segregated South, “uppity” was a word applied to African-Americans who attempted to rise above servile positions.
“It was only a matter of time before Republican officials shifted from oblique racially-charged language to brazen racially-charged language,” wrote Steve Benen, author of a blog for Washington Monthly magazine.
Though raised by a struggling, single mother, Obama studied at both Columbia University in New York and Harvard University. Michelle Obama was raised on Chicago’s rough south side, the daughter of a city pump operator — but she attended both Princeton and Harvard universities.
This spring, Obama apologized for his “poor word choices” at a California fund-raiser in which he described small-town Americans as “bitter” over the souring economy and clinging to religion and guns in response.
Citing that gaffe, Hillary Clinton sought to apply the “elitist” label to Obama in the Democratic primary. Republicans have tried to do so during their national convention in Minnesota.
“In small towns, we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening,” Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP nominee for vice president, said Wednesday in her debut speech.
A spokeswoman for the Obama campaign in Georgia declined comment.
In the article published by The Hill, the national Obama campaign did not note any racial context in the Georgia congressman’s remarks. “Sounds like Rep. Westmoreland should be careful throwing stones from his candidate’s eight glass houses,” said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor.
Robinson, Westmoreland’s spokesman, said the Obama response proved that no offense was intended. “They saw it as the way he meant it,” Robinson said.
Westmoreland, who is contemplating a 2010 run for governor, released the following statement:
“I’ve never heard that term used in a racially derogatory sense. It is important to note that the dictionary definition of ‘uppity’ is ‘affecting an air of inflated self-esteem — snobbish.’
“That’s what we meant by uppity when we used it in the mill village where I grew up,” Westmoreland said.
Considered one of the most conservative members of Congress, Westmoreland represents the 3rd District, which covers much of central and western Georgia, from Henry County to Muscogee County. He was first elected to Congress in 2004, after beating Republican primary rival Dylan Glenn, an African-American.
Glenn was supported by several high-ranking Republicans, including former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, who argued that the state GOP needed more diversity. That prompted DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones, a Democrat who is also African-American, to jump into the campaign on Westmoreland’s behalf.
Both Jones and Westmoreland were first elected to the state House in 1992. Westmoreland later became the House minority leader.
Doing my best to throw the GOP under the bus! MSNBC’s Political Director Chuck Todd with the WSJ’s Peggy Noonan and Republican political consultant Mike Murphy trash Governor Palin! Damn! I love a “hot mic.” The transcript is provided below thanks to the Huffington Post.
Chuck Todd: Mike Murphy, lots of free advice, we’ll see if Steve Schmidt and the boys were watching. We’ll find out on your blackberry. Tonight voters will get their chance to hear from Sarah Palin and she will get the chance to show voters she’s the right woman for the job Up next, one man who’s already convinced and he’ll tell us why Gov. Jon Huntsman. (cut away)
Peggy Noonan: Yeah.
Mike Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys — this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it’s not gonna work. And —
PN: It’s over.
MM: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.
CT: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.
PN: Saw Kay this morning.
CT: Yeah, she’s never looked comfortable about this —
MM: They’re all bummed out.
CT: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?
PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this — excuse me– political bullshit about narratives —
CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.
MM: I totally agree.
PN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that’s not where they live and it’s not what they’re good at, they blow it.
MM: You know what’s really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical.
CT: This is cynical, and as you called it, gimmicky.