Today’s opining on the public discourse.
I have a Special Edition Palin-Bashing session in store, but the McCain/Palin ticket is only “news” the way that “beans make you fart” is, so let’s start with the meat before we dig into the pudding, shall we?
So how far will the slimy shits otherwise known as Republicon party officials go to ensure scary brown people, dirty hippies, and other assorted Dems don’t vote this year? Holy shit:
Minority voters in New Mexico report to TPMmuckraker that a private investigator working with Republican party lawyer Pat Rogers has appeared in person at the homes of their family members, intimidating and confusing them about their right to vote in the general election.
Earlier this week, we reported that Rogers — a lawyer and state committeeman for the GOP, who in previous elections worked closely with the party in pressuring New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias to pursue bogus voter fraud cases — is involved with a new effort to gin up concerns about the issue. Last week the state party falsely claimed that 28 people had voted fraudulently in a local Democratic primary race in June. Rogers, described in an Associated Press report on the allegations as “an attorney who advises the state GOP,” told the news wire that the party planned to turn the suspect forms over to law enforcement authorities.
The visits to minority voters by the P.I. appear to be connected to last week’s effort.
You really have to go read the muck TPM Muckraker’s discovered. These people are getting over-the-top insane. They know they can’t win on ideas, so they’re pulling out all the stops on threats, intimidation, and Mafiosi tactics.
They may have flagrantly crossed the line this time. Expect an ass-whupping of epic proportions if this goes forward:
Four separate experts on voting rights have confirmed to TPMmuckraker that the behavior of a private investigator apparently hired by a New Mexico Republican party lawyer, that we reported this morning, potentially violates federal voting laws.
Gerry Hebert, a former acting head of the voting rights section of the Department of Justice, told TPMmuckraker that the P.I.’s actions appear to violate the criminal section of the federal Voting Rights Act, which makes it a crime to willfully injure, intimidate, or interfere with a person attempting to vote. Hebert added that a separate statute makes it a crime to conspire to intimidate someone in exercising their right to vote — a provision that could apply to GOP lawyer Pat Rogers or others in the state party who may have been involved in the scheme.
“A matter like that ought to be reported to the DOJ immediately,” said Hebert, adding that he planned to do so.
Even Bush’s DOJ may not be able to ignore something this blatant.
And the outrageous Republicon behavior continues, with the far right-wing deciding that it’s totally within bounds to spin conspiracy theories around a visit to a dying grandmother:
Summary: Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, and Jerome Corsi suggested or asserted that the true purpose of Sen. Barack Obama’s current trip to Hawaii is not to visit his ailing grandmother, as Obama claims, but rather to address rumors — widely debunked — that Obama has failed to produce a valid U.S. birth certificate. However, in addition to FactCheck.org and a Hawaiian Health Department official, even Corsi’s employer, the right-wing website WorldNetDaily, has reportedly determined that the birth certificate provided by the Obama campaign is authentic.
Question: when are we going to kick these disgusting fucktards out of the national spotlight?
The settlement was reached after Allen hired a lawyer who sent the Congressman a “demand” letter, listing specific examples of Mahoney’s alleged “gross misconduct” and “stalking” including:
a) Calling Allen late in the evenings and demanding “phone sex;”
b) Demanding that Allen answer his calls or face termination;
c) Demanding that Allen attend fundraisers and “tease c-ck” to bring in more donations from the male members of the public;
d) Demanding that Allen engage in sexual conduct with another woman for his enjoyment.
Current and former staffers told ABC News the allegations contained in the “demand letter” sent to Mahoney were backed up by tape recordings of phone calls between the Congressman and Allen.
He sure as shit won’t survive this. It’s the only seat Republicons are certain to swipe from a Democrat. Good fucking riddance. He should have stayed with the Republicon party – Vitters, Craig et al didn’t seem to have any trouble surviving sordid sex scandals.
Right, then. On to the McCain/Palin bashing portion of our program.
There’s no challenge left. McCain & Co. are so spectacularly ridiculous that the political fuckery just writes itself.
Every statement they make falls into the category of “self-parody.” If they say “up,” you can be sure the truth is “down.” Take, for instance their loudly-trumpeted image as “maverick reformers.” In order to be a “maverick reformer,” it would seem a prerequisite that you a) don’t vote with Bush 90% of the time, b) don’t parrot every far-right talking point, and c) aren’t crooked as a crippled dog’s hind leg:
In her Republican convention speech, Sarah Palin boasted that she “took on the old politics as usual” in Alaska, “stood up to…the good old boys,” and “put the government of our state back on the side of the people.”
LA Times’ Charles Piller took a closer look at Palin’s approach to government, though, and found the kind of cronyism that would even make Bush blush.
* More than 100 appointments to state posts — nearly 1 in 4 — went to campaign contributors or their relatives, sometimes without apparent regard to qualifications…. Palin filled 16 state offices with appointees from families that donated $2,000 to $5,600 and were among her top political patrons.
* Several of Palin’s leading campaign donors received state-subsidized industrial development loans of up to $3.6 million for business ventures of questionable public value.
* Palin picked a donor to replace the public safety commissioner she fired. But the new top cop had to resign days later under an ethics cloud. And Palin drew a formal ethics complaint still pending against her and several aides for allegedly helping another donor and fundraiser land a state job.
Most new governors install friends and supporters in state jobs. But Alaska historians say some of Palin’s appointees were less qualified than those of her Republican and Democratic predecessors.
Terrence Cole, an Alaska political historian, said Palin showed “a disrespect for experience,” picking donors and friends for key government positions they had no business filling.
It seems to me they may be a little confused about the terms “maverick” and “reformer.” That’s not surprising, since they’re also confused about the term “domestic terrorist:”
In her interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said that Bill Ayers is “no question” a terrorist because he sought to destroy the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon. Palin, however, refused to apply the same label to abortion clinic bombers:
Q: Is an abortion clinic bomber a terrorist, under this definition, governor?
PALIN: (Sigh). There’s no question that Bill Ayers via his own admittance was one who sought to destroy our U.S. Capitol and our Pentagon. That is a domestic terrorist. There’s no question there. Now, others who would want to engage in harming innocent Americans or facilities that uh, it would be unacceptable. I don’t know if you’re going to use the word terrorist there.
Steve Benen helps them out:
I was curious about the dictionary definition of the word: “The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.” Sounds about right.
Given this, we have an organized group of activists who feel justified killing American physicians and bombing hundreds of doctors’ offices on U.S. soil because they don’t like a legal, medical procedure. “I don’t know if you’re gonna use the word ‘terrorist’ there.” Why, pray tell, not? And does John McCain, who sat silently during the exchange, agree with this?
Actually, he might. ThinkProgress noted a couple of weeks ago that McCain has “repeatedly voted against protecting Americans from domestic terrorists carrying out violence at abortion clinics.”
There’s a striking disconnect here. Obama has denounced Ayers’ crimes, and labeled Ayers’ acts “terrorism.” The Republican ticket, however, is reluctant to do the same when it comes to a different kind of domestic terrorism.
Of course. Republicons believe that terrorists either must be brown or leftist. Right-wing white people cannot possibly be terrorists. Neither would William Ayers, if he’d donated to the McCain campaign.
Everything is relative to circumstances in the Republicon mind. Take Sarah Palin. Whether or not she’s a feminist depends very much on the context, y’see:
Yesterday in her interview with NBC, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) told NBC’s Brian Williams that she rejected the “label” of being called a feminist:
WILLIAMS: Governor, are you a feminist?
PALIN: I’m not going to label myself anything, Brian. And I think that’s what annoys a lot of Americans, especially in a political campaign, is to start trying to label different parts of America, different backgrounds, different — I’m not going to put a label on myself.
But in the past, Palin has been more than willing to tout her feminist credentials. From a Sept. 30 interview with CBS’s Katie Couric:
COURIC: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
PALIN: I do. A feminist who believes in equal rights.
Republicon women are only feminists when they’re in the presence of other females. Far be it from them to continue to be feminists when the menfolk are present.
Republicons in general are only for programs that will benefit them. You’ll observe that special needs children were not so much as mentioned before Sarah Palin showed up on the scene with hers. Now, suddenly, they’re a hot political commodity, and it’s time to get rid of those nasty earmarks so we can fund those kids!
This morning, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) gave her first policy speech urging the federal government to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), “a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation.” In the speech, Palin cited the need to do more for children with disabilities such as autism:
For many parents of children with disabilities, the most valuable thing of all is information. Early identification of a cognitive or other disorder, especially autism, can make a life-changing difference.
Palin claimed that the amount that Congress spends on earmarks “is more than the shortfall to fully fund IDEA.” She then ridiculed some of the projects — such as “fruit fly research” — saying they have little or no value:
Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of
these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.
Remember what I said about self-parody? Heh. Yeah.
Palin did not specify what fruit fly research earmark she was referring to (presumably a grant for olive fruit fly research), but she is apparently unaware that scientific research with fruit flies has led to valuable discoveries that have boosted autism research, as a study at the University of North Carolina demonstrated last year…
Open mouth, shoot self in foot. I have to say, her aim is absolutely dead-on.
Let the above be the answer to the misguided friend who sent me an email earlier today asking me, in apparent seriousness, to join him in voting for McCain.
Not no, but fuck NO.
I have a brain, thank you so very much. I prefer to vote for someone who possesses one as well.