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June 01, 2012

Comments

This is neither musical nor made from wood, but it is an interesting read about the WSJ's recent criticisms of Eric Holder's recent statements about voter suppression. (This country annoys the crap out of me sometimes.)

I'd like to second hsh's sentiment, but ammend it to (Republicans annoy the crap out of me always). Since the great migration of racists to the Republican party in the wake of the civil rights laws of the sixties, this kind of behavior has been pretty much exclusive to them. The terrible thing is that it works. Forget about the hanging chads, if Katherine Harris had not successfully purged tens of thousands of eligible black voters right before the 2000 election, there never would have been a President George W.

Remarkable that this alien, confederate, John Birch infestation, anti-American and traitorous to its core, now operating within the purged husk of what was once the Republican Party and nourished by unlimited, fascist corporate funding, can foster concealed carry weaponry and the stockpiling of unlimited amounts of high-powered armaments and ammo among the entire electorate and simultaneously deny portions of the same electorate their voting franchise.

In a civilized country, these actions would be considered a death wish.


tens of thousands?

That's much larger than the largest number I've ever seen, so: please show me.

But the number probably wouldn't have had to be very big for it to have moved the result in Bush's direction. Still, I like to check out things that seem counterfactual to me.

A true number is difficult if not impossible to determine. I still feel comfortable in saying tens of thousands. Florida purged 57,700 voters, supposedly because they were convicted felons, including 3% of all black voters in Florida. 88% of the voters removed were black. Each county received a list of voters registered in that county to purge. Only one county in Florida actually checked everyname on the list they received, that was Leon County. They found that of the 694 voters ordered to be purged, exactly 34 actually had felony convictions. These numbers are from Wikipedia. Estimates based on white/black populations and conviction rates shows that blacks were on the list at roughly triple they should have been.

On a more personal note, my circle of friends doesn't include a lot of blacks but I personally knew two who had never been convicted of anything and only found out about this when they went to vote and were told their registration had been revoked.

As of 2002, 94,000 individuals in Florida were still on the purge list

http://www.salon.com/2002/11/01/lists_2/

Bush topped Gore by 537 votes in Florida 2000.

I'll look around for other numbers and post them but it's clear that mostly black and hispanic populations were targeted.

I mean, I don't think anti-American types like the 9/11 Saudi hijackers or Florida resident Rush Limbaugh were targeted for disenfranchisement.

Maybe none of them were registered, having other fish to fry.

Says here 12,000 eligible voters were purged in Florida 2000.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/florida-gop-takes-voter-supression-to-a-brazen-new-extreme-20120530

I give up.

You'd think that with our magnificent internet access to every database, opinion page, study, and pdf known to man over multiple cloud based devices large and small that you could find the numbers, specifically the number of felons denied voter registration by Florida in 2000, the number of non U.S.-citizens denied registration and the number of eligible non-felon U.S. citizens denied their franchise as well the specific number of folks registered as Republican, Democratic, Independent, etc in each category.

In this one respect -- record-keeping -- I'm shocked to learn that Republican Party government resembles Stalinist rather than Nazi regimes, in that Stalin never kept count of the disappeared, off they vanished without so much as a note card in remembrance, whereas the Nazis were rather anal about filing the numbers and lists, with every jot and tittle recorded for posterity.


There is this, regarding current events in Florida:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/national/hispanics-democrats-biggest-groups-on-floridas-list-of-potential/1229860

Have a good weekend.

Will Europe still exist on Monday? I hope archdukes everywhere stay home.

(Republicans annoy the crap out of me always)

There's Republicans and there's Republicans.

Every last Republican in national elective office is a lying sack of [expletive deleted], but it's not their fault, poor dears. They lie because they can't get elected by declaring, forthrightly, that "The problem in this country is that the rich don't have enough money, and the poor have too much", which has been the fundamental tenet of Republicanism since Herbert Hoover, if not William McKinley. They can't get elected by declaring, straight out, that women need the right to have guns more than they need the right to have abortions. They can't get elected by declaring, as they long to do, that if God made some people black, He must have had a good reason.

So they pretend that cutting taxes for the rich is how you make poor people richer; that life is more valuable in the womb than on the hoof; and that God created racial inequality, not just racial variety.

And who buys this horsepuckey? The REALLY annoying Republicans. The ordinary yokels, bless their hearts, who VOTE FOR these clowns and charlatans.

Were Hilzoy (of blessed memory) still around, she would chide me -- and not gently, perhaps -- for voicing the sentiment that the really annoying Republicans are not the Republican politicians but the Republican VOTERS who elect those politicians. My defense would be simply this: I have no less right to be annoyed by what annoys me than anybody else does.

If you, dear reader, find this comment annoying, watch out: you might be a Republican.

--TP

As a Wisconsinite, I don't want to talk about how hopelessly crazed the GOP has become. Maybe I'll be settled down by Wednesday.

I wonder if that is the largest instrument that Bach has ever been played on.

That's really amazing and cool. I'd like to have one up in the National Forest here. Wonderful.

In connection with the lack of transparency alluded to in my 8:02 pm above, yesterday's Wall Street Journal featured a page one article entitled, "Investor Hazard: "Zombie Funds", which reports on the $100 billion of moribund private equity funds which sit in public pension funds and within other pools of money which are so illiquid that they can't be sold, but fees are collected anyway, natch.

Good luck finding a person to talk to on the other end of the dead phone line, too.

This paragraph jumped out at me: "Zombie funds are among a growing class of financial assets that are hard to price and whose value is difficult to ascertain, part of the lack of transparency endemic in today's financial markets that increasingly challenges investors."

So, this is it, huh? After all of the financial debacles of the past dozen years or so, particularly the most recent world-ending cataclysm, the lack of transparency in our financial lives shows no signs of being stemmed. It never decreases. The only thing that decreases is the size of the nano small print.

Regulation by someone, government or private, even when permitted (not) by the cheat vermin who run the financial show, is ignored, unexercised, all evidence allowed to slip into an acid bath like any number of low-level vinnys who might rat out the dons.

But the fees continue to flow from f*ckee to f*cker, ostensibly at an anonymous mail drop, while of course we are instructed to look over there for a glimpse of Elizabeth Warren's great-great grandmother playing find-the-peace-pipe with 1/32nd of a Native American, the better to keep her as far away from Jamie Diamond's wampum disappearing act.

(and, I might add, the Wall Street Journal editorial page wants no part of financial transparency, because without the sales pitch and its sins of commission and omission, capitalism will grind to a halt. Their Murdochian sister publications, of course, can tell you the whereabouts, day and night, of Hugh Grant's dick and divert your attention by calling THAT provenance of information the First Amendment.)

(Don't get me started on the Investor's Business Daily editorial page, which seems to me justification for Obama/Marx to order satellite-laser-nuke drone strikes to the cups, handles, and moving averages of the punks who write that over-ripe swill. I especially love the Ann Coulter dispatches. In fact, in the interests of full gender equality I'd be happy to kick her in the nuts and break her jaw with my fist, or is that too politically incorrect for the delicate fee-fees of the tough guys in the Republican Party?)

In regard to transparency, since so many seem to be able to see into the minute workings and intentions of the Founding Fathers, let me take a shot at it, too.

The First Amendment, first and foremost, I now believe, protected the "sales pitch", whatever the product, the sales pitch being, of course, a glossy whattaytalkwhattayatalk of lies of omission and commission accompanied by whatever three-card monte distractions the low-wage bit of crumpet hired to fondle and lick whatever the product happens to be and ask you to look to the left and cough can come up with in answer to the question: "Now, explain to me again what's inside this mortgage bundle resting quietly like a unexploded grenade on the Spanish bank's balance sheet and is MY mortgage inside it?"

The First Amendment protects, more than anyone, the liar standing next to the hole in the ground who calls himself a gold miner as he shakes a little cigar ash on your shoes and lies with his eyes while his mouth is busy telling you it's for him to know and you to find out. Dat's what American freedom is -- essentially ... if you don't count the freedom to choose between a Big Mac and Whopper and wash it down with a 64 oz sody pop, which is important, but not the main show.

Now the Second Amendment, in the far-seeing mind's' eyes of the Founding Who'sYourDaddies, was intended as a check on the sales pitch, or rather the liars and cheats whom the First Amendment was intended to protect, henceforth to be referred as the seller.

In other words, the buyer, finding out how unaware he is in the midst of the buyer beware grift, is given the power to find (good luck with that) the seller and shoot them in the head.

I have in mind a shorter (kind of a Bambi meets Godzilla short, but Godzilla loses this time) version of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross in which Jack Lemmon's character, Shelly, shoots the Alec Baldwin sales manager from downtown character through the heart just as the latter gets to the part of the presentation between the steak knives and you're as* is fired and then he takes a cab downtown and does the same to Baldwin's boss, Donald Trump of Bain/Romney Capital.

YMMV, but whatever it is, I'm sure it's absolute.

Jamie Dimon, not that other Diamond guy.

Further on the Florida purge. From Sullivan, but his eclecticism serves as a shortcut to pointless Google searches:

http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/06/shadiness-in-the-sunshine-state.html

It occurs to me that if I were Obama/Holder, in order to keep the far right in full civil war fever (it's entertaining and, frankly, about time for another one), I would order Federal troops into Florida to supervise the November election and accompany the non-felon U.S. citizens, even the registered Republicans, struck from the rolls to the ballot boxes.

Then Governor Scott can stand in the doorway like George Wallace and Dick Gregory can explain to him that he'd rather be served the fried chicken anyway, if it's all the same to Scott.

What the Republican Party needs is more felons.

I hope Obama works on that during his second term, should there be a fair election.

This Fallows post seems related. The last graph is the most interesting to me.

Count, I would love to be able to argue that the second amendment allows me to legally kill all confidence men and fraudsters and get a bonus for any con man who made more than a million bucks last year.

Speaking of con men, isn't Governor Scott a felon? Didn't he rip off this country for about a billion bucks?

In other news, I went to a wonderful Catholic wedding that had a priest who didn't seem to like his bishop and the entire event was infused with Bach. Life can be good.

"Each county received a list of voters registered in that county to purge."

I see this over and over concerning Florida back in 2000, and the same refrain is being sounded again, And it pisses me off, because it's total BS.

They were, and are being, give a list of names to check. Not to purge, to CHECK. Local elections officials are being given an explicitly over-inclusive list of names, and they are supposed to undertake the task of checking each one of those names to see if they really are qualified voters. This is part of the work they're paid to do.

Sometimes they blow this job off, and just purge everybody on the list. Sometimes they blow this job off, and purge nobody at all. And sometimes, they do their freaking jobs, and put in the labor of actually checking on the people named.

But, no matter what they happen to do, they were NOT told to purge everybody on the list. They were told to check on everybody on the list.

I think the most annoying Republicans are the ones who pretend away Repubican malfeasance because they want to benefit from the malfeasance while pretending to themselves to be respectable responsible people.

This is from the Palm Beach Post:

"TALLAHASSEE — Florida elections supervisors said Friday they will discontinue a state-directed effort to remove names from county voter rolls because they believe the state data is flawed and because the U.S. Department of Justice has said the process violates federal voting laws.

Late Thursday, the Department of Justice sent Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner a letter telling him that an effort launched by Republican Gov. Rick Scott's administration last year to remove the names of people believed to be non-citizens from voter rolls appears to violate at least two federal voting laws. The federal agency gave Detzner until Wednesday to respond.

The Justice Department letter and mistakes that the 67 county elections supervisors have found in the state list make the scrub undoable, said Martin County Elections Supervisor Vicki Davis, president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections
"

county elections supervisors were refusing to act on the Goevernor's orders beforfe the Dept of Justive stepped in.

I'll post the link in a minute.

www.palmbeachpost.com/news/state/florida-voter-purge-gets-pushback-from-elections-supervisors

I guess that's not a link, but it is a reference for any one who wants to read the whole thing.

From an article critical of the purge:

"http://www.postonpolitics.com/2012/06/elections-supervisors-to-quit-processing-voter-purge-list/>Detzner in April sent a list of more than 2,600 flagged voters identified as potential non-citizens by matching the state’s voter registration database with driver’s license records. But the error-riddled list included the names of U.S.-born citizens – like one Brooklyn-born war hero – and others who are naturalized citizens."

From another report:

"http://www.theledger.com/article/20120525/POLITICS/120529540>Several thousand more potential non-U.S. citizen voters across Florida will be identified and sent to local election supervisors, said Chris Cate, communications director for Florida's Department of State."

I think we're all familiar with the meaning of the word, "potential", right?

"I think we're all familiar with the meaning of the word, "potential", right?"

Yes.

All of my grade teachers would write 'Little Countme is not living up to his "potential"' in the comment section of my report cards.

My mother would agree with them in her return remarks.

Somehow, I was placed in the position of delivering these missives between them, so I wasn't able to kill the messenger. ;)

In Florida "potential" non-citizen voters are probably very much like that ninety-year old vet who was disenfarnchised by the purge.

This is a classic Republican operation: incite fear of the Other (noncitizens! illegal aliens! Black men! Bums on welfare! Teh gays!), create a mythical problem (illegal voters! Abortions of female babies!the religious freedom of Catholic bishops is underattack by women who get their birth control through their insurance!), and use the mythical problem and the fearmongering for a very cynical purpose related to elections, in this case election fraud.


It's not like Republican party leaders don't pull this kind of crap all the time. It isn't just a pattern; it's a policy.

You can attack the motives behind this all you like, I happen to agree they're not entirely savory. It doesn't change in the slightest that the state has not ordered the people on these lists purged.

To some extent this is just sloppy reporting. But to some extent it's deliberate misrepresentation by people who know better. Errors just sound worse if you pretend they're in a final list, rather than just a list of people who are supposed to be looked into. And you want the purge to look bad, if you're trying to stop it.

Brett Bellmore correct? Could it be?

I thought so for a moment - then I tracked down his sources. These are only "potential" non-citizen voters, says his second source (Cate), and indeed in the quoted paragraph that's what he says.

Elsewhere in the same article, however, we find: "State officials decided earlier this month to send the names of 2,600 people it said were illegal voters to local elections offices."

And: "Cate said the 2,600 people already identified by the state as illegal voters will be included in the searches."

So: the verdict is already in. At least in Alice in Wonderland, although the sentence precedes the verdict, at least the trial does as well.

THere is also this second hand quote from here

Pasco County: Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley (R) told the Tribune that the state had told supervisors that this purge list was “the low-hanging fruit” with “rock-solid data that they were not citizens.” He expressed frustration that the state has put them in a catch-22, complaining “If we truly comply and remove those that don’t respond, then folks say we’re suppressing voter rights. If we don’t, we have people saying we’re allowing non-citizens to vote.”

Hey, maybe Brett can tell them "This is part of the work you're paid to do." That will solve everything.

What you're seeing here is the virtually absolute determination of the media to use paraphrases instead of exact quotes. One of my major beefs with the abomination the US news media have become.

Brett agrees the motives are not entirely savory. So there's that.

First, apologies for not being around to respond on the thread. It was a bad chemo week and I wasn't doing anything.

Now that I'm somewhat functional again I'd like to respond to Brett saying the list was simply a suggestion to investigate. I don't know about this year but in 2000 that wasn't true. I live in Gadsden county, which is next door to Leon county, and work in Tallahassee, which is in Leon county. In 2000 the daily Tallahassee paper had a lot of coverage of Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho's refusal to purge everyone on the list and the Bush (Jep) Administration's attempts to force him to comply. Unfortunately, the Tallahassee Democrat's archives aren't available without subscription and I haven't been yet any articles about that online.

I'd also like to make a note about the procedure in the 2012 purge. Dr. ngo is right, the sentence preceeds the trial. Which is to strike the voter from the roll, then sent a letter telling them they if they believe an error has been made they have 30 days to request a hearing. If they request a hearing, they are notified of a time and place to appear and present their papers. This is designed to make it difficult for people who do not have job flexibility or who may not be able to simply get in their car and go.

Just out of curiosity, what (if anything) do we know about all these county registrars who are supposed to be checking on these "potential" (or "already identified by the state") illegal voters. Are they really (as opposed to nominally) non-partisan technicians? Or are they politically-appointed partisans? Or something else?

If they are, in fact, non-partisan technicians, then there may be something to Brett's thesis that they are simply not doing the jobs that they are paid to do. If, on the other hand, they are politically-appointed, then the suspicion that this is a deliberate attack on those who might vote for the other party (rather than simply an effort to purge illegal voters) looks less like paranoia and more like a high probability.

But we need a little more data on who we are talking about.

The Wikipedia article on this says about 1200, BTW.

The felon dealio is FL state statute, so it's not as if SecState has much of a choice.

The problem is that the lists are known to be fullof inaccuracies. Not legitimate data. So people get to the polls and discover that they ahve been disenfranchised. All this when there is no evidence that votes from people who shouldn't vote is a real problem.

And yes I am glad that the unsavory nature of this is acknowledged by Brett.

Voter suppression efforts are underway in every state that has a Republican majority in the state legislature.

I don't mean to pile on here, but voting seems to me to be as fundamental a right as owning a gun is to you, so railing against 'the abomination the news media has become' seems to be a bit of misdirection. The news media is not taking anyone's right to vote away, ill (or perhaps well) conceived schemes that use simplistic matching promulgated by Republicans are what is at the root of this. It is a bit of a 5 cushion bank shot to say that if the news media would report correctly, people would realize the problem and then stop them from doing this, especially if you take the right to express your opinion thru a vote as fundamental. You may want to rethink this a bit.

Look, I was making a point concerning a specific factual point: The list distributed by the state to local elections supervisors was NOT, repeat, NOT, a list of names to purge. It was a list of names to check.

This puts the fact that the list has false positives, and was known to have them, in an entirely different light. And that is why this particular point is being routinely misreported: To put the purge in a worse light than the facts merit.

Do the Republicans engage in vote suppression? Yeah, for a sufficiently loose definition of "suppression", where it includes mildly inconveniencing people, or legitimate registration list cleaning which might accidentally take a few people wrongly off the list, requiring them to go to the trouble of using provisional ballots.

Similarly, Democrats routinely engage in voter fraud, if by that you mean they push registration so hard that they know they're registering some people who can't legally vote.

I don't think either side in this has clean hands, but I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that the arguments actually be honestly reported.

A question, was my post of earlier this afternoon removed by the kitty? If so, what policy did it violate?

I share Brett's disgust with the US Press. What I find disgusting is their willingness to report every issue as a "he said she said" thing. Without pointing out that one side, almost always the Republican side, is simply saying things that are not true. The Republicans have been playing the refs(press) so long and so well that the US press has forgotten that there are such things as facts.

"Similarly, Democrats routinely engage in voter fraud, if by that you mean they push registration so hard that they know they're registering some people who can't legally vote"

You don't get to vote just by filling in a registration form. I used to be a voter registrar and an election judge. I registered voters, poll watched and judged elections for years in three states. My mother was the county clerk in charge of elections.

Besides, there is absolutely no evidence that people who aren't legally allowed to vote are voting in countable numbers.

It's not an inconvenience to require photo ID's. It's unnecessary harassment meant to keep people who don't own cars from voting. For example three of my clients who are disabled don't have photos ID's because they don't own cars and can't drive. Nor do they have transportation to go to the Court House to get such an ID. (One is bedridden and the other tow are wheel chair bound).They have SS cards, birth certificates, Medicaid cards, decades of documented residence in Washington state but if we had a Repubican majority and a Photo ID law they would be disenfranchised. However we have a Democratic majority here and not only can they vote, but they can vote by mail.

I'm proud to be associated with a political party that wants people to vote.

BTW one of the most effective anti-democracy voter supression laws is Florida's voter registration law which is so punitive that even the League of Women Voters doesn't do registartion drives in Florida any more. The Republican party doesn't support democracy. The goal of the party leadership is a one party oligarchy.And they are very close to succeeding. We are just one Supreme Court appointee from becoming a democracy in name only.

baskaborr, I didn't remove it, if you could write me at libjpn at gmail and tell me about when you posted it and what it said, I can at least look under the hood and see if there is something to be done.

Brett, it seemed from your comment that you feel that the fault lies in the lower level people who are somehow refusing to do their job (which was mistakenly reported by the news media). I would suggest that putting them in an untenable position, (and any list that has more than a tiny number of mistakes does that) makes the argument 'but it's their job!' a bit threadbare.

Not directly related, but that approach reminds me of this WSJ article. The first graf is attention grabbing.

Firefighter Brian Endicott got an early taste of the pension battle brewing here when a man at the grocery store angrily pointed to the steaks in his cart.

"Who do you think you are, wasting taxpayers' money on a meal like this?" the man yelled at 46-year-old Mr. Endicott, who was shopping for dinner with three other firefighters from San Jose Fire Station No. 1.

Brett B: Look, I was making a point concerning a specific factual point: The list distributed by the state to local elections supervisors was NOT, repeat, NOT, a list of names to purge. It was a list of names to check.

If this is the case why were people being told that they were ineligible to vote before any checking was done?

According to data from the Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections obtained by ThinkProgress:

- 1638 people in Miami-Dade County were flagged by the state as “non-citizens” and sent letters informing them that they were ineligible to vote.

- Of that group, 359 people have subsquently provided the county with proof of citizenship.

- Another 26 people were identified as U.S. citizens directly by the county.

- The bulk of the remaining 1200 people have simply not responded yet to a letter sent to them by the Supervisor of Elections.

You can see a similar letter sent to alleged “non-citizens” by the Broward County Supervisor of Elections HERE. (“The Supervisor of Elections… has received information that you are not a citizen of the United States.”) If recipients of the letter do not respond within 30 days — a deadline that is mere days away — they will be summarily removed from the voting rolls.

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/05/27/491012/exclusive-florida-ineligible-to-vote/

If your only point is that one specific document did not in itself order the direct purging of voters, you may have a (paltry) point. If you are trying to use this, as you seem to be, as an argument that this was not part of a general "purge" run by the state itself, you're on feeble ground.

"The list" was clearly being used to disqualify would-be voters, with the affirmative responsibility on them to establish their eligibility/innocence. It was NOT functioning as a "check" list in any honest sense of that concept; otherwise the letters in evidence would not have been sent. This was not the "legitimate registration list cleaning" to which you allude. It was a purge.

I hate to go all Godwin here, but I've seen too many arguments WRT other societies in which "purges" - real ones, not virtual - occurred that attempted to deflect the charges on the grounds that a particular document did not call for removal or worse of people, or a particular official did not have the authority to make such a determination, etc. Such disingenuousness offends me.

"If this is the case why were people being told that they were ineligible to vote before any checking was done?"

I will agree that the local elections supervisors need a better way of determining whether somebody is a citizen, than sending them a letter telling them their registration will be canceled if they don't prove it. Perhaps they could do a better job of it http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/state/florida-elections-official-seeks-homeland-security-database-for-2385085.html>if they weren't being denied access to the necessary information?

Anyway, perhaps there wouldn't be the hysteria over this if Democrats hadn't been spending decades relentlessly "electing a new people" by refusing to secure the borders.

Yeah, for a sufficiently loose definition of "suppression", where it includes mildly inconveniencing people, or legitimate registration list cleaning which might accidentally take a few people wrongly off the list, requiring them to go to the trouble of using provisional ballots.

This from a man who believes that having to change his clip more frequently when plinking at cans with his pistol is worse than the Holocaust.

Personally, I'm with this guy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej3it7Ct76w

It was the invention of the bow and arrow that started mankind down the tubes and led directly to taxes, I say, taxes, starts with T and ends with S and let me tell you folks, you got TROUBLE (trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble) right jhere in River City.

Now, you folks tear each other's throats out while I go screw the pretty librarian, cut her pension and teach her to play the patriotic piccolo. Be right back.

lj, that Journal article was behind a firewall, but I dove into comments for a ways and well, bring on the asteroid, please! May the very point of it strike my forehead first.

NPR had a fair and balanced deal on the Walker recall this weekend and the pension subject was brought up by some Walker fans (here WE are out here working with no pensions, no health insurance, busted mortgages, and three jobs with low wages (I wonder how THAT happened!), and these teachers and other gummint types are living high on the hog offa us) and I see that the Koch/Rove billions have everyone, all of we poor sucker dumbsh*t assh*les, just about where they want us, at their neighbors throats scrabbling for crumbs and pennies and linking to and arguing over contradictory "facts" while Marie Antoinette does a hostile takeover of the Cato Institute because the last whiff of what some wags might call godforbidmoderation on the Right must be eradicated.

A fireman .... a fireman! .... buys a meal and its now called theft. Frankly, I think the water coming of the fire hydrant and through the fire hose that snuffs the flames in the complaining shopper's tree of liberty was stolen from me as well, but I wouldn't want to put too fine of a f*cking point on it.

That's just not entirely savory.

Bout three years ago, I was retrieving my bag at the airport luggage carousel, (I was working for the Census Bureau and had just returned from having Erick Erickson wave his wife's shotgun in my face; for some reason SHE wanted me to call her Mrs ... Mrs. Jo-o-ones) and not 15 feet from me there stood Karl Rove and a couple of suits grabbing their valises full of unmarked bills and making for the door.

I had the overwhelming sensation at that moment that there was something very important --- crucial to the survival and future of the country and basic human decency --- that I was supposed to do, but I couldn't for the life of me think what it was.

I felt like a Navy Seal might, who having been dispatched to put a bullet through the eye of Osama Bin Laden, is suddenly struck dumb and paralyzed and forgets the one thing, the one duty to honor and country, he was supposed to accomplish, as the enemy slips out the door and flees in a cab.

Just wait. Things are going to become entirely unsavory soon.

You'll (not YOU .. everyone) look around for savory and there won't be any.

You'll tell the server, "hey, the menu said savory and that's what I expect" and she'll summon the surly chef from the kitchen, who's carrying a meat cleaver, and he'll explain, "No savory for you .. but I'd be happy to poor salt on those wounds."


I'd correct the spelling of "poor salt", but I like the way it scans.

So, Yogi Berra, years ago, was on a radio sports talk show and the host says, here's what we're going to do, we're going to do sort of a free association with Yogi and I'm going to throw out a name or a word and Yogi's going to say the first thing that comes to mind.

Ready, Yog?

Yogi: Yeah.

Host: O.K. ..... Mickey Mantle.

Yogi: Yeah, what about him?

The primary governor on voting fraud (as opposed to voting registration fraud) is that it's generally a giant pain in the a$$ to vote in the United States.

If Election Day were on a Saturday (or, better yet, held over a 4 day period from Friday through Monday), and anyone who wanted one could get an absentee ballot (or, better yet, everyone was sent one without having to ask), then we might need to worry ineligible voters committing non-de minimis fraud.

As it stands, the purges and ID requirement are poll taxes in all but name.

It's casino megaeffanaires and Amway cometothemeetingIcan'ttellyouwhatit'sabout pyramid schemers versus the pensions and union bargaining rights of teachers, fireman, and those folks who change your parents diapers (gummint issue, no doubt, so look into private catheters, if I were you, sucker) in the nursing home:

"Through April, Walker’s top three donors combined gave more than challenger Barrett’s campaign had raised overall. Four of Walker’s top seven donors are out-of-state billionaires, including AmWay founder and former Michigan gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos, and casino magnate Adelson, who each gave $250,000."

From a link at Washington Monthly.

Balloon Juice on Romney's Dad and his fate at an earlier purge undertaken by those who infest the Republican Party:

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/06/04/romney-the-old-mans-shadow/

Especially this, from the same link (turns out it was prominent Republicans, not politically correct liberals, in 1964 who began referring to the murderous segregationist vermin thugs who took over the Republican Party ... as Nazis .. so THAT ground was covered long ago ... too bad "moderate" Republicans today are too politically correct and cowering to speak the truth like Eisenhower, Rockefeller, and others did back then about the current Nazi Redstate that purges unions, homosexuals, liberals, Bolsheviks, the schwartza, and Jews who question Israel's current fascist/crypto-religious direction from zie Reich):

"The feeling of right-wing ascendance was almost physical. Some young moderates compared the atmosphere to a Nazi rally. “The booing, the hissing—it was frightening,” says Walter De Vries, who was Romney’s chief political strategist. Dwight Eisenhower, who just four years earlier had been president and was still the moderates’ icon, would later tell reporters that his niece had been “molested” on the convention floor; the plutocratic New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, trying to give a speech condemning right-wing extremism, was booed and catcalled until no one could hear him. (Rockefeller, characteristically, gave as good as he got.) Romney’s camp had long regarded Michigan’s conservatives as provincial unmentionables, deeply angry men who showed up at state conventions armed with megaphones, trying to shout the governor down. But clearly they had figured something out. In his acceptance speech, Goldwater confirmed their power. “Extremism in the defense of liberty,” he said famously, “is no vice.”..."

Total unsavoriness has been the benchmark for a long time.

I suppose we could hope that Romney the younger's Presidential quest is a sort of stealth vengeance campaign on behalf of his sane father and he'll use his hoped-for position as President and leader of this Beast called the Republican Party to place the bomb in the briefcase a little closer to the Fuhrer's chair this time around, but his a*s-kissing recently with today's Goerings/Trump, Goebbels/Luntz, and Himmlers/Nugents, Krupp/Koch Axis extinquishes all hope of that.

Especially this, from the same link (turns out it was prominent Republicans, not politically correct liberals, in 1964 who began referring to the murderous segregationist vermin thugs who took over the Republican Party ... as Nazis .. so THAT ground was covered long ago ... too bad "moderate" Republicans today are too politically correct and cowering to speak the truth like Eisenhower, Rockefeller, and others did back then about the current Nazi Redstate that purges unions, homosexuals, liberals, Bolsheviks, the schwartza, and Jews who question Israel's current fascist/crypto-religious direction from zie Reich):

"The feeling of right-wing ascendance was almost physical. Some young moderates compared the atmosphere to a Nazi rally. “The booing, the hissing—it was frightening,” says Walter De Vries, who was Romney’s chief political strategist. Dwight Eisenhower, who just four years earlier had been president and was still the moderates’ icon, would later tell reporters that his niece had been “molested” on the convention floor; the plutocratic New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, trying to give a speech condemning right-wing extremism, was booed and catcalled until no one could hear him. (Rockefeller, characteristically, gave as good as he got.) Romney’s camp had long regarded Michigan’s conservatives as provincial unmentionables, deeply angry men who showed up at state conventions armed with megaphones, trying to shout the governor down. But clearly they had figured something out. In his acceptance speech, Goldwater confirmed their power. “Extremism in the defense of liberty,” he said famously, “is no vice.”..."

Total unsavoriness has been the benchmark for a long time.

I suppose we could hope that Romney the younger's Presidential quest is a sort of stealth vengeance campaign on behalf of his sane father and he'll use his hoped-for position as President and leader of this Beast called the Republican Party to place the bomb in the briefcase a little closer to the Fuhrer's chair this time around, but his a*s-kissing recently with today's Goerings/Trump, Goebbels/Luntz, and Himmlers/Nugents, Krupp/Koch Axis extinquishes all hope of that.

They've found their Eva Braun, too.

http://nation.foxnews.com/guns/2012/06/04/i-love-mass-destruction-meet-glamorous-gun-toting-college-student-arrested-explosives-firearms-and#ixzz1wq6yo0Ve

A minor correction, those letters don't tell voters they'll be removed if they don't provide proof. The letters tell the voter they have been removed from the voter list and if they wish to contest that removal, they need to request a hearing. They can't just go to the supervisor of elections office at their convenience to clear up the matter. They must request a hearing, then show up at a time and place convenient for the state.

A minor correction, those letters don't tell voters they'll be removed if they don't provide proof. The letters tell the voter they have been removed from the voter list and if they wish to contest that removal, they need to request a hearing.

I'd want a link to the letter text before regarding it as a correction. The only parts of the 2000 letters I could find were here:

In his testimony before the Governor’s Select Task Force on Election Procedures, Standards and Technology, Clay Roberts explained there was no clear statutory guideline on the manner in which the supervisors of elections were expected to verify the information supplied by DBT Online; as a result, each county supervisor established his or her own policy.[141] The lack of uniformity among the counties regarding felon list verification processes is evidenced in letters drafted by Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections David Leahy and Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho.[142] Mr. Leahy’s form letter to alleged felons states in pertinent part:

According to information received from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, you have a felony conviction and have not had your civil rights restored. Therefore, your name will be removed from the voter registration rolls thirty (30) days from the date of this letter unless information is received that you have not been convicted of a felony or have had your civil rights restored.[143]

The Miami-Dade letter further instructs the alleged felon to complete a form and provides three addresses to which he or she may forward the information.[144] If an alleged felon had, in fact, been convicted of a felony and did not have his or her civil rights restored, the letter instructs him or her to obtain a clemency application form from the Office of Executive Clemency and to contact the office of the supervisor of elections to obtain voter registration information once restoration has been granted.[145] While Mr. Leahy’s letter appears to place confidence in the veracity of the DBT Online felon list, the Leon County form letter to alleged felons demonstrates an understanding of the lists’ inclusion of “false positives.” Mr. Sancho’s form letter provides in pertinent part:

Your name has been submitted to our office by the Florida Division of Elections on a list of voters who have allegedly been convicted of a felony, but not had their right to vote restored. We do not know if this list is accurate. Our office is required to remove you from the voter rolls if you have been convicted of a felony and your right to vote has not been restored.

If you have never been convicted of a felony, we want to help you clear this up.[146]

The letter instructs the alleged felon to fill out a form and return it to the supervisor of elections office within 30 days or be removed from the voter list.[147] The form requests the alleged felon to self-identify as one of the following: never convicted of a felony; convicted of a felony, but civil rights have been restored and eligible to vote; or convicted of a felony, but civil rights have not been restored.[148]

Mr. Sancho’s letter suggests a partnership between his office and the alleged felon to “clear up” any confusion regarding his or her voting status; whereas Mr. Leahy’s letter requires the alleged felon prove his or her eligibility status. The simplicity of Mr. Sancho’s letter may have even been preferred by DBT Online. When asked about the language used in Mr. Leahy’s letter, Mr. Bruder responded:

Are you asking me should he have drafted this letter to say “you possibly have a felon conviction and we’re trying to verify that”? I would have wrote it that way.[149]

Patricia M. Hollarn, the 1998 president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections and then supervisor of elections for Okaloosa County, drafted a letter to alleged felons that read in pertinent part:

We have received a list of convicted felons on which your name appears. This list was sent to us by the state and we have been informed it may contain errors. We are asking our voters whose names appear on the list to please assist us with verification so that we don’t incorrectly remove any names from our rolls.[150]

Ms. Hollarn’s letter then asks the recipient to identify him or herself in one of three categories. The first category is that the individual was convicted of a felony with his or her civil rights restored. The recipient is informed that his or her civil rights restoration status will be confirmed with the Office of Executive Clemency.[151] If the recipient self-identifies in the second category as a convicted felon without civil rights restoration, then Ms. Hollarn’s office promises to assist in the paperwork. The third category is that the individual has never been convicted of a felony. Ms. Hollarn offers an apology to this recipient. Ms. Hollarn’s letter enclosed a prepaid self-addressed envelope with each letter.[152]

There's lots more; plenty of good reading in that report.

"If Election Day were on a Saturday (or, better yet, held over a 4 day period from Friday through Monday), and anyone who wanted one could get an absentee ballot (or, better yet, everyone was sent one without having to ask), then we might need to worry ineligible voters committing non-de minimis fraud."

Just for info, you can early vote, at a local polling place, for seven days starting ten days before election day in Florida. Really is pretty easy to vote.

When do liberals get a piece of this action?

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/06/04/louisiana-gop-spirals-into-chaos-as-ron-paul-delegates-injured-arrested/

I do have a question for the Paul capo who was pushed by the RNC capos and fell down with the dislocated prosthetic hip --- is that one of them commie gummint hips I'm forced to pay for, or did Dr. Paul do a charity operation instead.

The guy was also whining about being handicapped.

What? Handicapped? What's happened to the manly men in the Republican Party anyway? Handicapped? Barry Goldwater would have kicked his pansy politically correct arse out the door!

At least he was rolled down a gummint-mandated nanny ramp on a stretcher for cripples to the ambulance.

Heck, at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, you acted up and the cops threw you down a flight of good old all-American stairs to make sure you KNEW you'd just been in a f*cking demonstration.

I wonder if they plan on reconsidering allowing concealed arms in the Republican Convention in Tampa?

Frankly, a medium-sized nuclear device dropped in the midst of that nest of snakes would save the country a lot of misery.

This chart over at Kevin Drum's joint:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/06/myth-harry-truman-and-do-nothing-congress

Growth of GDP for the four quarters of 1948 as Truman fought for his Presidency against the tax haters was more than 10%, with one quarter registering more than 15% growth.

The high marginal tax rate at the federal level: 82.13%, for those with incomes over $400,000 (it would go to 91% the next year which, as we know, led to Americans packing it up altogether and surrendering to Moscow) tax brackets for lower income levels were also much higher than today's 35% highest income tax bracket, which apparently causes Republicans and some Democrats to fall into a phlegmatic lethargy that saps the very bodily fluids.

Yes, yes, we were coming out of World War II with an industrial base while the rest of the world etc, etc.

But, still, the job creators must have been made of sterner stuff back then.

There was roughly the same number of civilian Federal employees back then as now, too.

Odd, that fact, given the lies about gummint employment bandied about since, well, forever.

I bring this stuff up every year or so and expect to keep doing so until I die with little effect, mainly because Paul Ryan wasted his youth with his kisser stuck in "Atlas Shrugged".

True, State-level payrolls have expanded since then, which would seem to point to an increase in power and influence at the State level, a victory for Federalism ... or not, depending on how Frank Luntz would like to frame it.

Slarti: Your info on the 2000 irregularities is interesting, but the case in point here is 2012 voter suppression. A copy of one of the actual letters (from Broward County) can be found at:

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/05/26/490971/florida-supervisor-of-elections-scott-voter-purge-remove-eligible-voters/

Here’s the letter Maureen Russo, a U.S. citizen and registered voter in Florida for the last 40 years, received two weeks ago:

http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/letter_black_CROP.jpg

I lack the technical skills to translate the photocopy that appears in these sites into text readable here, but the salient phrases are:

The office "has received information from the State of Florida that you are not a United States citizen. . . . If you believe that this information is false, you may request a hearing with the Supervisor of Elections, for the purpose of providing proof that you are a United States citizen. . . . Failure to return this [Voter Eligibility] form within thirty (30) days may [sic] result in the removal of your name from the voter registration rolls. "

IOW, Baskaborr had it right - he was looking at the relevant letter, you were chasing historical (though fascinating) ones.

"Slarti: Your info on the 2000 irregularities is interesting, but the case in point here is 2012 voter suppression. A copy of one of the actual letters (from Broward County) can be found at:"

Actually, no. Reread; I was responding to a claim about the 2000 election. 2012 election claims would be somewhat difficult to verify until after the election.

BTW the letter that dr ngo linked to (I made an exception to my usual policy of avoiding thinkprogress) is signed by Brenda Calhoun Snipes. Who is an interesting person, if you care to Google her.

Thinkprogress is claiming that Russo has been "purged", while providing no evidence that that has in fact occurred. Not excusing any shortcomings exhibited by Rick Scott or the Florida Legislature, just noting the facts. I would tend to place the blame on the Legislature, while maintaining some disdain for Rick Scott, who seems loose-cannon-ish to understate things.

"Slarti: Your info on the 2000 irregularities is interesting, but the case in point here is 2012 voter suppression. A copy of one of the actual letters (from Broward County) can be found at:"

Actually, no. Reread; I was responding to a claim about the 2000 election. 2012 election claims would be somewhat difficult to verify until after the election.

It makes no real difference, but your post takes off from a quote from Baskaborr, who seems (to me) to be referencing the 2012 election. See his (hers?) of 11:57 on the 3d, last paragraph, and then at 3:57 on the 4th, which is the one you quote. Reread?

As for the impossibility of verifying attempts at voter suppression prior to the election, I'm not sure what the inherent problem is. Obviously we can't gauge the success of such efforts until afterwards, and of course as a historian I always tend to believe that if we wait we will probably get better evidence, but much voter suppression tends to occur prior to elections, i.e., where/when we are now.

What kicked off this entire exchange was the second comment in this thread, which explicitly referenced the 2000 election, as did the 2nd paragraph of the 11:57 comment. If Baskabort changed gears, I did not follow suit. But I'm not going to argue with you over what MY point is, for obvious reasons.

Fair enough. We can always make peace by uniting against a common enemy, in this case Baskaborr, who deliberately (no doubt) tried to sow discord between us by switching from one election to another. Some people!!

Sorry if my terseness came off as nasty in some way, doc; it's hard to be cordial when texting on an iphone. For me, anyway. Lacks the same feeling as your basic good old-fashioned Dell keyboard.

No problem, Slarti. I'm at my good old-fashioned Dell keyboard only because I haven't figured out a way to access the internet using a quill pen.

As for the impossibility of verifying attempts at voter suppression prior to the election, I'm not sure what the inherent problem is. Obviously we can't gauge the success of such efforts until afterwards, and of course as a historian I always tend to believe that if we wait we will probably get better evidence, but much voter suppression tends to occur prior to elections, i.e., where/when we are now.

That's the basic idea behind questionable purges. Even if they get invalidated 100% AFTER the election, the intended damage has been done because the courts will not decide that the election has to be repeated (unless maybe it's a local one affecting only local affairs).
Bush-vs-Gore is a case in point. The way I read the decision it is: OK, a huge mess, rules and protocols were massively violated but an election repeat is not an option (or the president would in essence be elected solely by the Florida electorate) and the harm of having no designated winner or worse a president of questionable legitimacy would be huge compared to the puny issue of a few disenfranchised minority voters (and possible felons) and crappy procedures. George de Buisson est president de la republique. BASTA!

Several current Republican legislatures also use that principle to force through bills in violation of unambiguous statutes, then draw out the litigation process and win with the argument that the court overturning the law (after such a long time!) would do more harm than the statute violations have done. Some time ago there was even enough time to replace an inconvenient judge before the final judgement on the case. It has been quite a long time since this was also Dem SOP, so do not tell me that everyone does it and thus it does not really matter.

"Several current Republican legislatures also use that principle to force through bills in violation of unambiguous statutes, then draw out the litigation process and win with the argument that the court overturning the law (after such a long time!) would do more harm than the statute violations have done. Some time ago there was even enough time to replace an inconvenient judge before the final judgement on the case. It has been quite a long time since this was also Dem SOP, so do not tell me that everyone does it and thus it does not really matter."

"several" - which ones?
"bills in violation of unambiguous statutes"- any example?
"Some time ago" - how long, so this isn't SOP?
"It has been quite a long time ago" - How long? When did they stop? Which legislatures?

Just curious.

Take Wisconsin for example. The anti-union bill was declared a financial emergency bill in order to not need a quorum. The Walker administration's own documents unambiguously stated that the legal requirements for 'emergency' were not met. After the return of the fled Democrats legislators from Illinois the bill went through without legally prescribed debate time in an ad hoc session. The speaker ignored the loud protests that included explicit references to the law (not senate rule, LAW).
Michigan: there is a law that prohibits bills to take immediate effect unless a supermajority is achieved. If this is not the case, laws can only take effect at the beginning of the next session (i.e. up to half a year later). This law is serially violated by the GOP majority and then litigated to death (often through the 'greater harm' argument). Most notorious is the 'emergency manager law' which is an abomination all in itself.
Several changes to election laws/regulations by GOP controlled states violate (in some cases multiple) federal statutesand are under litigation right now. There is open debate about going full hog and to try to get SCOTUS to overturn major parts of federal statutes concerning election law (including the Voting Rights Acts and especially the laws specifically imposed on the former Confederacy after the Civil War).
The efforts got really off the ground after the 2010 elections that gave the GOP full house (house, senate and governorship) in several states.
I think one has to go back to the time before Carter to get anything comparable in scope on the Dem side (to be nasty: to the time when the GOPsters still had a D before their name and the Republicans were the n-word lovers).

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