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Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 10:20 AM
Number of posts: 8,342

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Voter purges alter US political map


Interstate Crosscheck is a computerized system meant to identify fraudulent voters. While Crosscheck’s list of nearly 7 million names of “potential” double voters has yet to unearth, as of this writing, a single illegal vote this year, it did help Republican elections officials scrub voters from registries, enough, it appears, to have swung several important state and national elections in favor of the GOP.

There is good reason to believe that Crosscheck-related voter purges helped propel Republican candidates to slim victories in Senate races in Colorado and North Carolina, as well a tight gubernatorial race in Kansas.

Interstate Crosscheck is a computer system designed to capture the names of voters who have Illegally voted twice in the same election in two different states. The program is run by Kansas’ Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Kobach’s office compares the complete voting rolls of participating states to tag “potential” double voters, those who have illegally voted twice in the same election in two states.

These names are then sent back to the state governments to inform an investigation of duplicate names on the voter rolls. While Kobach advertises Crosscheck as matching numerous identifiers, including the Social Security numbers and dates of birth of voters, a six-month investigation by Al Jazeera America revealed that Crosscheck rosters caught nothing more than matching first and last names. And voters remain on the suspect list even when middle names, Social Security numbers and suffixes (Jr., Sr.) don’t match. Yet all these people—the list contains nearly seven million names--are subject to losing their vote.

The program’s method of identifying and purging voters especially threaten the registrations of minority voters who are vulnerable because African-American, Asian-American and Hispanics are 67 percent more likely than white voters to share America’s most common names: Jackson, Washington, Lee, Rodriguez and so on.

(end snip)

we have been had, all of us.

If Texas were participating, would it pick up that George Bush voted 3 times? I doubt that is the surname they are looking for.

There Are No Angels — What The New York Times Won’t Tell You


Michael Brown is dead, shot multiple times by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. On the day he is to be buried, The New York Times profiled the 18-year-old. Included in the 1300-word piece are references to Brown’s taste in music and his poor grades.

“He occasionally smoked marijuana and drank alcohol, according to friends.”

I attended Malden Catholic High School in Malden, MA. I graduated in 2006 and went on to attend Northeastern University on a generous scholarship. During my second year, I got into a bad car accident and dropped out, eventually finishing my degree at Rutgers in New Jersey. If I got shot by a cop, the aforementioned facts might matter to The New York Times, but not nearly as much as some others.

“He began producing rap songs with friends … He collaborated on songs that included lyrics such as, “My favorite part is when the bodies hit the ground.”

I’m black, but my closest friends in high school were all white. All but two of them drank. All but one listened to rap music, everything from the vulgar to the high-minded. Most of my friends smoked weed. A few of them sold it. At senior prom, two of my friends offered me ecstasy. Our freshman year, we had a day of mourning to reflect on the death of our hockey team’s goalie, who’d overdosed on prescription meds. But if any of my white high school friends got shot, none of this would matter to The New York Times.

“Brown was not the best student.”

During college, I dated a beautiful, intelligent, funny girl. She was a pastor’s daughter from northern New Hampshire. She was blond with light eyes, a winning smile, great grades and a good head on her shoulders. She played sports, volunteered in church, and brightened the lives of the people around her. We broke up because her parents and grandmother completely objected to her dating a black man. But then she moved down south and had a baby with a black man. She was no angel. She drank, listened to vulgar rap — I taught her most of the words to Too $hort’s “Freaky Tales”. She is the proud mother of one of the absolute most beautiful little girls I have ever laid eyes upon. If she were shot dead in her tracks today, The New York Times wouldn’t write about her taste in music, or her drinking. None of that would matter.

(end snip)

The New York Times needs to stop being the news and start reporting it. I am sure their public editor is getting a little tired of apologizing.


New York Times’ Public Editor Calls ‘No Angel’ Line a ‘Regrettable Mistake’


A Ferguson Story on ‘Conflicting Accounts’ Seems to Say ‘Trust Us’

IMH non-angel O

Lawrence O'Donnell is destroying the NYT reporting on Michael Brown today

'They took a leak from the Ferguson Police Department and printed it.'

me: Why does the MEdia still try to phone it in? They can't afford to send somebody to St. Louis???
video here:



O'Donnell wrote a book entitled "Deadly Force", about a 1975 case where two white cops gunned down a black man. Lawrence's father was the widow's attorney. It was made into a movie in 1986.


I did not know this about him.

The Perry scandal behind the indictment

I was curious this morning on UP with Steve with Steve kept cutting off his guest talking about the Perry indictment every time the guest mentioned a cancer fund scandal.

Rick Perry's Cancer Slush Fund Executive Indicted


There's been a scandal brewing for some time regarding the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). See a report at firedoglake a year ago after it became clear the agency, which was created to fund cancer research in Texas, was redirecting millions to GOP donors:


Cobbs’ indictment came six months after Perry used a line-item veto to take away state funding for the Public Integrity Unit because Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg wouldn’t resign. See more at http://watchdogblog.dallasnews.com/...

This indictment could lend a boost to Wendy Davis' run for govenor against Greg Abbott, because of his involvement. And there may be more to come.

(end snip)

Everything You Need to Know* About Rick Perry’s Newest Scandal


He may not keep that low profile for that much longer, though. A little scandal from the doldrums of last summer is roaring back to life, and Perry faces the threat of criminal charges over accusations that he tried to force the Travis County district attorney to resign. There’s the added intrigue over the allegation that Perry’s aim was to kill an investigation into the scandal-plagued Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). It’s one little thread in the well-worn sweater of Gov. Perry’s long tenure in office, but it threatens to damage his presidential ambitions.

With stories like these, which build up and fade over long periods of time, it’s difficult to follow what’s really going on. Many people—including more than a few national reporters—seemed surprised to learn this week that the longest-serving governor in Texas history may be facing indictment. We hope this primer helps catch you up on the story so far.


What’s more, the Public Integrity Unit was in the process of conducting an investigation of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. CPRIT received a ton of money from the Legislature to award grants to high-level medical research projects. The problem: a lot of that money was going to people who shouldn’t have gotten it. And some of those folks had close ties to Perry. Just a few months ago, Lehmberg’s office indicted CPRIT’s former director over his allegedly improper disbursement of an $11 million grant. But when Lehmberg got pulled over with the potato juice in her car last spring, the investigation was just underway.

When Lehmberg’s DWI went public, Republicans saw a way to get rid of a pesky, entrenched foe. (Though they couched this in terms of their deep, abiding concern for the office’s integrity.) Meanwhile, Democrats who would have happily seen Lehmberg canned if the Travis County Commissioners Court could have appointed her replacement rallied around Lehmberg as if she was the last warrior for righteousness on Earth.

But what did Perry do, exactly?

He threatened, publicly, to use his line item-veto power to zero out the Public Integrity Unit’s budget. Since that part of the Travis DA’s office played a statewide role, it was funded by the state. This kind of threat isn’t unusual. Executives use veto threats all the time to get what they want. The difference this time was that Perry had the audacity to do it all publicly. It’s unusual for an elected official to bully another elected official into resigning. And when threats didn’t work, he followed through on it. At the end of last year’s legislative session, Perry eliminated the entirety of the Public Integrity Unit’s funding–some $8 million over two years. Money that was going to investigate, in small part, his own party’s mismanagement of state government agencies, including alleged corruption in CPRIT.

(end snip)

So, no, the charges aren't bogus. The focus should not be on the first offense of the Democrat on the Public Integrity Unit, but on Perry and his dipping into cancer funds.

(The links are older, but I and others thought the info was important. This indictment should not have been a surprise to those who were paying attention.)

This is a repost from a reply I made here:


Did You Know That Antonin Scalia's Son Is Sabotaging Wall Street Reform?


Ambrose Bierce once quipped that a lawyer is one skilled in the circumvention of the law. By that definition, Eugene Scalia is a lawyer of extraordinary skill. In less than five years, the 50-year-old son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has become a one-man scourge to the reformers who won a hard-fought battle to pass the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act to rein in the out-of-control financial sector. So far, he's prevailed in three of the six suits he's filed against the law, single-handedly slowing its rollout to a snail's pace. As of May, a little more than half of the nearly four-year-old law's rules had been finalized and another 25 percent hadn't even been drafted. Much of that breathing room for Wall Street is thanks to Scalia, who has deployed a hyperliteral, almost absurdist series of procedural challenges to unnerve the bureaucrats charged with giving the legislation teeth.


Scalia's legal challenges hinge on a simple, two-decade-old rule: Federal agencies monitoring financial markets must conduct a cost-benefit analysis whenever they write a new regulation. The idea is to weigh "efficiency, competition, and capital formation" so that businesses and investors can anticipate how their bottom line might be affected. Sounds reasonable. But by recognizing that the assumptions behind these hypothetical projections can be endlessly picked apart, Scalia has found a remarkably effective way to delay key parts of the law from going into effect.

Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) says Scalia and the big banks are attempting an end run around the law he coauthored: "These are ideologues who want to kill the rules. They can't say they're unconstitutional. They are doing this because it's the only possible way to knock them out." (Scalia declined to comment for this article.


In 2001, President George W. Bush tapped Scalia to work as the Department of Labor's solicitor. "It was the classic fox in the henhouse situation," says Lynn Rhinehart, general counsel at the AFL-CIO. When Senate Democrats blocked his confirmation, his father perceived a deeper slight. "Gene, I'm sure, didn't get his appointment as solicitor of labor in part because of his name," Antonin Scalia told his biographer, Joan Biskupic. In the end, Bush bypassed the Senate via a recess appointment and Scalia spent a year at Labor before returning to private practice.

(end snip)

Soooo, Scalia's son was a Bush recess appointment to Labor? Interesting. Ironic. I wonder if he was appointed during a break of 10 or more days.

emphasis mine

Town of Waukesha hires Kathy Nickolaus to three-year contract as clerk-treasurer

Holy Moly.

The town of Waukesha board hired Kathy Nickolaus to a three-year contract as its clerk-treasurer at its board meeting Thursday night.

The board made the unanimous decision after it met for just under an hour in closed session.

Nickolaus has been serving in this role for the last month after being hired by the board at a special board meeting March 18.

Nickolaus, the former Waukesha County clerk, had previously said she didn't want the position past May 1 while the town was in transition with its clerk-treasurer position.

But her contract now keeps her with the town through May 1, 2017.

Nickolaus is the town's third clerk-treasurer over the last few months.


(end snip)

Bad pennies keep turning up.

Just in time for the elections, n'est-ce pas?

For those who don't remember:


U.S. senator gets so angry at Cheney’s torture defense that he offers to waterboard him



Sen. Angus King, who is on the intelligence committee, (I-ME) reacted to Cheney’s comments during a Sunday appearance on MSNBC.

“I was stunned to hear that quote from Vice President Cheney,” King explained. “If he doesn’t think that was torture, I would invite him anywhere in the United States to sit in a waterboard and go through what those people went through, one of them a hundred and plus-odd times.”

“That’s ridiculous to make that claim! This was torture by anybody’s definition,” he continued. “John McCain says it’s torture, and I think he’s in a better position to know this than Vice President Cheney. I was shocked to hear that statement that he just made.”

“And to say that it was carefully managed, and everybody knew what was going on, that’s absolutely nonsense.”

(end snip)


‘Beanie Babies’ creator will pay $53.5 million penalty for tax evasion

The creator of the wildly popular Beanie Babies toy line agreed to plead guilty to felony tax evasion charges and will pay a $53.5 million penalty as part of a settlement agreement, the Chicago Tribune reported on Wednesday.

Officials at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago told the Tribune that Ty Warner was under investigation for failing to disclose an off-shore account he personally opened in Switzerland in 1996 with the Swiss bank UBS. Warner was accused of having more than $93 million in the account in 2002, when he transferred the funds to another bank, Zürcher Kantonalbank.

Prosecutors accused Warner of failing to notify his accountants about both the bank account and the $3.1 million in foreign income it generated. He subsequently did not disclose that income in his 2002 tax return, enabling him to avoid paying $885,300 in taxes for that year. UBS revealed Warner’s account as part of a 2009 agreement with the IRS after admitting that it helped U.S. clients hide their accounts.

“This is an unfortunate situation that Mr. Warner has been trying to resolve for several years now, including through an attempt to enroll in the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program in 2009,” Warner’s lawyer, Gregory Scandaglia, said to the Tribune. “Mr. Warner accepts full responsibility for his actions with this plea agreement.”

(end snip)


He was the epitome of sending jobs to China. Now we find he evaded paying taxes. How far the mighty fall. Somehow, I have a sense of schadenfreude.

ACLU: FBI Exercising Vast Secret Immigration Powers


A previously unknown Bush administration program continued under President Barack Obama grants the FBI and other national security agencies broad authority to delay or squash the immigration applications of people from Muslim countries, according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Under the program, immigrants can be designated "national security concerns" based on the flimsiest of rationales, such as coming from a "suspicious" country. Other criteria that can earn an immigrant this label include wiring money to relatives abroad, attending mosques the FBI has previously surveilled, or simply appearing in FBI case files.

"This policy is creating a secret exclusion to bar many people who are eligible for because…of their national origin or religion or associations," says Jennie Pasquarella, the ACLU lawyer who authored a new report on the program, which is called the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (CARRP). "It's doing this without the knowledge of the public, without the knowledge of applicants, and without, we believe, the knowledge of Congress."

The criteria laid out under CARRP, which took effect in April 2008, are used to process nearly every immigration application. But once the FBI or another government agency flags an immigrant as a potential national security threat, that person's application for citizenship or permanent residency is shunted off into a separate system, where it lingers and is almost invariably rejected. The immigrants who have been labeled "national security concerns" have no way to know about or contest the decision.

(end snip)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."

We'll keep 'em that way.

'I lift my skirt beside the business golden bubble'

Justice Ginsburg: I’m Not Surprised By Voter ID Laws Now That VRA Is Gutted


WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she’s not surprised that Southern states have pushed ahead with tough voter identification laws and other measures since the Supreme Court freed them from strict federal oversight of their elections.

Ginsburg said in an interview with The Associated Press that Texas’ decision to implement its voter ID law hours after the court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act last month was powerful evidence of an ongoing need to keep states with a history of voting discrimination from making changes in the way they hold elections without getting advance approval from Washington.

The Justice Department said Thursday it would try to bring Texas and other places back under the advance approval requirement through a part of the law that was not challenged.

“The notion that because the Voting Rights Act had been so tremendously effective we had to stop it didn’t make any sense to me,” Ginsburg said in a wide-ranging interview late Wednesday in her office at the court. “And one really could have predicted what was going to happen.”


Just a month removed from the decision, she said, “I didn’t want to be right, but sadly I am.”

(end snip)
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