Republicans have a hard-on for voter fraud. Or so it would seem. It is, they claim, their main motivation for Voter ID laws and stricter voter registration rules. Some might argue that they seek to limit access to the polls by minorities and the poor since those folks tend to not vote Republican, but, no-no, Republicans claim. This is to preserve one of the most sacred of American activities - the vote - from those who seek to exploit it.
Never mind that, statistically speaking, you're more likely to get struck by lightning than you are to come across an issue of legitimate voter fraud, Republicans' KNOW it's going on.
And how do they know it's going on? Because they're the ones doing it.
Meet Charlie White. He is the Indiana Secretary of State, and a Republican.
"[In Indiana, he's ] the man charged with upholding election integrity in Indiana -- was convicted of six felonies on Saturday, including three counts of voter fraud, two counts of perjury and one count of theft."
Also meet Paul Schurick. He was an aide for former Maryland Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich.
In December 2011, he was found guilty "of all four counts he faced, including conspiracy to influence or attempt to influence a voter's decision whether to go to the polls through the use of fraud and conspiracy to publish campaign material without an authority line."
So when it comes to voter fraud, lightning has just struck twice. And both times it hit Republicans who are committing it.
And given he party's willingness to embrace voter fraud, it seems more probably that new Voter ID laws in Red States are more likely about voter disenfranchisement and voter suppression than they are about protecting a noble American activity from those who seek to abuse it.
She's an 18-year-old Kansas City high school senior. Last week, while taking part in a Youth in Government program in Topeka where Kansas governor, Republican Sam Brownback greeted students with a speech.
Emma's not, understandably, much of a Brownback fan.
She particularly dislikes his veto of the Kansas Arts Commission's entire budget (Republicans hate the arts) while arguing that such programs can be privatized and state funds should only go to core government functions.
So, during the greeting, she jokingly tweeted to the 65 friends following her on Twitter:
Just made mean comments at gov. brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot
Brownback's office monitors social media for mentions of the governor's name (that would be one of those core government functions that is acceptable to fund, evidently), and he didn't like that Emma said he sucked. So his office contacted the Youth in Government program who in turn contacted her principal, Karl R. Krawitz.
Krawitz demanded that Sullivan write the governor a formal letter of apology and turn it in today.
But Emma's not having it.
She has rejected her principal's demand since she says such a letter would not be sincere. In fact, given the opportunity of a do-over for this whole situation, Emma has said she'd do it again.
Emma, who now has nearly 7,000 followers on Twitter as a result of this dust-up, has volunteered to talk with Brownback: "I think it would be interesting to have a dialogue with him. I don't know if he would do it or not though. And I don't know that he would listen to what I have to say."
However, Brownback's office sees it differently.
Sherriene Jones-Sontag, the governor's spokeswoman, told The Star previously that Sullivan's message wasn't respectful and that it takes mutual respect to "really have a constructive dialogue."
In other words, "Waaaaaahhhhhh."
It's almost like Brownback and his office is going to great lengths to prove Emma's rather astute point - that the Governor of Kansas does suck.
In fact, he even seems less mature than a high school senior at this point.
Late Tuesday night it seems Right Wing Extremist Terrorists attacked a Planned Parenthood Clinic in McKinney, Texas, firebombing the clinic with a molotov cocktail.
This clinic does not provide abortions so at this point we can only assume that these terrorists are opposted to women's healthcare, or they are too stupid to understand that abortion services are not provided at all Planned Parenthoods and are only a very small portion of what they actually do.
In 2010, there were 96 incidences of violence against abortion clinics in the US and Canada (including murder, death threats, vandalism, arson and bombing).
South Carolina has the 9th highest rate of firearm murders.
68% of the murders in the state are done with a gun.
So, being the smart southern folks they are, South Carolina wants to continue to loosen gun restrictions and call it an "anti-crime" measure.
“It puts criminals on the defense,” said state Rep. Thad Viers, R-Horry, a co-sponsor of the bill and the owner of about 25 firearms and a concealed weapons permit. “Criminals don’t know if you’re carrying or not.”
First some recent history of gunlaw in the sate: 2006 - passed legislation that says gun laws can't be voided during a state of emergency 2008 - passed legislation allowing people to keep guns in their vehicle when parked on State House grounds 2008 - passed legislation concealing from the public the list of the 1 in 50 South Carolinians with concealed weapons permits 2009 - passed legislation allowing folks to keep guns in their cars while droppoing off their kids at school
Now: state Rep. Thad Viers (Republican) has co-sponsored a bill that would let gun owners bring their weapons into restaurants, day-care centers and churches.
After all, if god didn't want us to have guns in churches, he wouldn't have created Thad Viers.
Republicans in the state legislature have been hard at work in New Hampshire.
The House voted last week to cut the state's cigarette tax.
Yesterday, The House’s powerful Finance Committee moved forward on legislation that would cause mass layoffs of physicians and nurses and result in more than 12,000 people, including 500 to 800 children, losing their health care coverage.
Wednesday, the House approved a bill freezing funding for schools.
Tuesday, lawmakers approved a bill that “removes compulsory school attendance for children.”
The Republican-controlled Senate approved pension-reform legislation that increases health care costs and raises the retirement age for public workers.
House members passed an amendment to the state Constitution “to bypass a Supreme Court decision ordering the state to pay for the cost of an adequate education for every public schoolchild.”
So, just to summarize, in New Hampshire, Republicans are cutting taxes on cigarettes, cutting health coverage for 12,000 people (including women and children), freezing funding for schools, making school attendance voluntary, increasing health care costs for public employees, raising retirement age for public employees and bypassing a Supreme Court ruling saying that each state must pay for the education of each child in that state.
In New Hampshire Republicans want you to be stupid and to die sooner than later.
Meet Rep. Paul Broun. He's a Republican from Georgia.
This past week, at a town hall event, one of his constituents asked: "Who is going to shoot Obama?"
Now, it's important to remember in these sorts of situations, you can't blame the politician for the question. After all, there are all kinds of crackpots and crazies out there. The only thing we can hold the politician accountable for is the way he handles such a question.
Outrage, for example, might be an appropriate response. Perhaps a stern rebuke, reminding the citizen that political assassination has no role in democratic American politics.
So, how did Rep. Broun handle this question?
This is his response: "The thing is, I know there's a lot of frustration with this president. We're going to have an election next year. Hopefully, we'll elect somebody that's going to be a conservative, limited-government president that will take a smaller, who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare."
Ah. Sympathy with the audience member's frustration.
But then, Broun is the same politician who has been telling constiuents that Obama is a socialist.
That Obama and BP had some sort of conspiracy going with the BP Gulf oil spill.
And during healthcare debates, he told a man with a major depressive disorder to just take it to the emergency room.
That's some great representation ya'll have for yourselves there, Georgia.
In Arizona today, Jared Lee Laughner opened fire at a political rally hosted by politically moderate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. He killed a number of people, wounded even more, and shot the Congresswoman in the head.
Here are some conservative sites' take on today's political assassinations: "shooter appears to be a lunatic" (Weekly Standard)
"Bipartisan support pours in for victims" (Fox News)
You'll also see a lot of conservative news outlets (largely Fox News and their amplifiers) stressing that the target of today's shooting, the Democratic Congresswoman, was a "Blue Dog" Democrat.
Conservatives are quickly and aggressively already trying to frame a future discussion while the rest of us are still trying to get details about what happened and why.
When we hear "bipartisan outpouring", what we're supposed to believe is that the very same folks who have been saying "Don't retreat, reload", the same politicians who put their political opponents in gun sights, the same cranks who hold gun rallies, well, they are just as outraged and disturbed by today's shootings as the rest of sane America.
When we hear conservative commentators trying to dismiss Laughner's actions as merely those of a lunatic, they are trying to remove and distance themselves from any culpability.
And when we hear the echoing that the shot Congresswoman is a Blue Dog Democrat, conservatives want you to believe that it was really one of them who was attacked. Most likely by a liberal crackpot since he may or may not have once read the Communist Manifesto (along with Mein Kampf and numerous other books).
Giffords was a moderate Democrat. In Arizona. So to contextualize that, she'd be a liberal Democrat in most other states. And as for conservatives being just as upset about this as everyone else, well, condolences from the likes of Sarah Palin ("My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.") and outrage from John McCain ("Whoever did this; whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country and the human race, and they deserve and will receive the contempt of all decent people and the strongest punishment of the law.") just feels more like cynical political posturing than honest emotion.
And as for the shooter being crazy, well, yeah. Just like people at healthcare townhalls who started shouting down people. Just like tea baggers at political rallies who stomp on womens' heads. Just like right to lifers who assassinate abortion doctors. Just like tea baggers.
But don't take my interpretation for the type of crazy Laughner is, here are his own words from a Youtube video he made. Sounds pretty fucking Ron Paul run-of-the-mill Tea Party nuts to me:
The majority of citizens in the United States of America have never read the United States of America's Constitution.
You don't have to accept the federalist laws.
Nonetheless, read the United States of America's Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws.
You're literate, listener?
The property owners and government officials are no longer in ownership of their land and laws from a revolution then the revolutionary's from the revolution are in control of the land and the laws.
The property owners and government officials are no longer in ownership of their land and laws from a revolution.
Thus, the revolutionary's from the revolution are in control of the land and laws.
In conclusion, reading the second United States Constitution, I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.
No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver!
No! I won't trust in God!
What's government if words don't have meaning?
Pending any sort of shocker/surprise/twist. the way this will play out is that we have a politically motivated mass killing. The sort of thing many of us feared would be coming for a long time.
And, for the record, we had been warned by a Homeland Security study several years ago about this very sort of violence. And at the time, the same conservative voices that are trying to make us believe that they are just as outraged by the actions of this insane shooter who was, really, in a way, kind of sort of attacking them, well they were bemoaning that report as unfairly picking on them.
Anti-immigration: “Rightwing extremist groups’ frustration over a perceived lack of government action on illegal immigration has the potential to incite individuals or small groups toward violence. If such violence were to occur, it likely would be isolated, small-scale, and directed at specific immigration-related targets.”
Recruiting returning vets: “Rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.”
Gun-related violence: “Heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms...may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements.”
Did anyone not see this coming? I mean, aside from Greaves?
Phillip R. Greaves, the author of the extremely controvsial book The Pedophile's Guide To Love And Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct, which became famous when it was removed from Amazon's online store due to hysterical outcry, has been arrested in Colorado for sending a signed copy of his book to an undercover police officer in Florida.
Greaves faces third-degree felony charges for "distribution of obscene material depicting minors engaged in conduct harmful to minors," according to the Orlando Sentinel.