Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Wednesday Mashup (2/9/11)

  • I swear, former Laura Bush employee Andrew Malcolm just makes it too easy sometimes (here, in the matter of the announcement that Keith Olbermann has signed with Current TV as its “chief news officer,” which will probably entail some kind of show he will host after he is allowed to appear on the air again – something approximating an actual news story on it is here, not that you’d get anything like that from Malcolm I realize)…

    That way all 23,000 Olbermann viewers will know they're getting the straight KO schtick.
    This tells us that Keith averaged about a million viewers a night.

    In response, I wonder how many people actually read Malcolm’s blog posts each day?

  • Next, the Bucks County Courier Times informs us of the following (here)…

    A new election season heats up in Bucks County this month, but a loose end from the last one - a voter fraud investigation centering on 1,600 absentee ballot applications - still has not been tied up.

    (Republican) Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said this week that county detectives were still investigating. In fact, he said, they conducted some interviews just last weekend.

    "They get regularly interrupted (by other cases) but they're working on it," Heckler said. "They're digging in and we'll see what they come up with."

    The Bucks County Republican Committee challenged more than 1,600 absentee ballot applications it deemed suspicious in the weeks leading up to the November election. Board of elections employees rejected almost 900 ballot applications that were incomplete or questionable, an unprecedented number that made elections officials suspicious.
    I didn’t know the number of absentee ballots in question had reached 900 – of the 600 noted here, though, 82 percent of those rejected were Democratic voters.

    Oh, and did I note that there was no mention in the story at all of the Ciervo/Fitzpatrick voter fraud letter, about which the PA Democratic Party had filed a protest as noted here?

    Best of all is this nonsense from Pat Poprik at the end of the Courier Times story (she being the vice chairwoman of the Bucks County Republican Committee)…

    "We want to make sure people know that voting is protected in the county," she said. "We want people to have a heightened awareness that if someone comes to their door and says it's OK to sign the name of someone else, it's not. It's critical for the nation that votes are legally cast. It's a sacred trust."
    Words like that coming from Poprik are absolutely hilarious; as noted here…

    - In 2008, the (Republican) Bucks County Board of Election relocated a minority serving polling location, a move that led to a lawsuit from concerned voters. [Philadelphia Inquirer, September 28, 2008]

    - Across the state, Pennsylvania Republicans have engaged in widespread efforts to intimidate and disenfranchise voters. In 2004, Republicans tried to relocate 63 Philadelphia polling places, mostly in Democratic and minority serving areas. [Philadelphia Daily News, October 18, 2004]

    - In 2004, Republicans tried to challenge tens of thousands of voters in Philadelphia, a desperate move that was condemned by a legal counsel to the Republican City Committee who said Republicans were being "chicken littles." [Philadelphia Inquirer, October 25, 2004]

    - In 2008, Republicans attempted to institute a "dress code" for voters. Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason worried that voters could wear "musical hats" to the polls. This move was clearly targeted at intimidating voters. [AP, October 5, 2008]
    Both the Ciervo letter and the PA Voter Assistance Office stuff need to be investigated by a U.S. attorney. At this point, I wouldn’t expect satisfaction from Corbett, particularly since he’s going to have his lieutenant governor Jim Cawley giving him pointers on how to make this look as incriminating for the Democrats as possible, actual evidence (or the lack thereof) be damned.

  • Finally, it looks like the Senate minority leader has donned his “born again fiscal conservative” mantle, as noted here…

    This debate (on congressional spending) has completely changed,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, in a floor speech on Tuesday. “Two years ago, the president and Democrats running Congress weren’t debating whether to cut spending. They were debating how much to spend…. Today, the only debate is how much to cut.”
    In response, I give you the following from a conservative Republican on Medicare Part D (here, written two years ago)…

    The human capacity for self-delusion never ceases to amaze me, so it shouldn't surprise me that so many Republicans seem to genuinely believe that they are the party of fiscal responsibility. Perhaps at one time they were, but those days are long gone.

    This fact became blindingly obvious to me six years ago this month when a Republican president and a Republican Congress enacted the Medicare drug benefit, which former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker has called "the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s."
    That quote is debatable as far as I’m concerned, but you get the idea. Continuing…

    (Arizona Repug Congressman Trent) Franks (who voted for Medicare Part D) is not alone among Republicans for whom fiscal responsibility never consists of anything other than talk. The worst, undoubtedly, is DeLay, who actually went so far as to attack Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., last year for his principled vote against the drug benefit, one of only nine Republican senators to do so. (By my count, there are still 24 Republicans in the Senate who voted for the drug benefit, including such alleged conservatives as Jim Bunning and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, John Cornyn of Texas, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Jon Kyl of Arizona.)
    Also, as noted here, McConnell has flip-flopped on campaign financial disclosure, as well as funding the two wars, $1.3 billion in tax cuts as well as the Medicare expansion, all financed with deficit spending (and McConnell bitched at the Dems for cutting Medicare spending by $500 billion to pay for HCR, when, in ’95, Repugs proposed cutting Medicare by $270 billion over seven years and in ’97 McConnell and McCain proposed cutting it by $115 billion over five years).

    On top of that, I got a bit of a laugh out of this from someone named Tony Kondaks at Fix Noise who posits what supposedly are the four questions that liberals must be asked about the budget (I’ll cut to the proverbial chase and tell you that they are as follows: 1) What is total spending of the federal budget?; 2) What is the federal deficit?; 3) What is the national debt?; and 4) What was the most recent interest payment on the national debt?...don’t worry, he has the answers – sorry that I don’t have those figures tripping from my tongue, not being what appears to be a highly self-satisfied member of the “pain caucus”).

    For the fifty-thousandth-millionth time, we should be preoccupied with job creation instead of the debt. That’s the way to pay down what we owe, with actual for-real job holders paying taxes (you know, like that baaad liberal Bill Clinton did – remember him?).

    In response to Kondaks, here are at least four questions every conservative should be asked: 1) What is the current unemployment rate? (9.0, as noted here, though I don’t attribute that to job gains but people dropping out of the job search…and I’ll be keeping an eye on this number); 2) What was the rate when the Republicans were elected back to the House majority last November? (9.8, as noted here); 3) When looking at Republican vs. Democratic presidents over the last 60 years, which ones have lowered unemployment and which ones haven’t? (Democrats have lowered it and Republicans have raised it, as noted here); and 4) the presidents of which party have added more to the deficit, Republicans or Democrats? (Republicans, as noted here).

    I’ll even throw in a bonus deficit question; what is the percentage of federal spending comprised by the interest on the national debt between 1970 and today? 7.3 percent in 1970 and 6.5 percent today, that’s what (here – interesting to yours truly that the latter number is smaller).

    Of course, it’s disingenuous to criticize anyone for higher spending now to fix our nearly collapsed economy after our financial markets behaved like the biggest casino the world had ever seen throughout all of recorded history under the watch of a Republican president and a mostly Republican congress (and a Republican vice president who said that “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter”).

    And given the fact that about 98 percent of that deficit would still remain after the cuts proposed by the Repugs (here) – well, “this debate” really hasn’t changed at all, has it, Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao?

    Anonymous said...

    Shortly before the election Pat Poprik went on the radio, the local republican network in Levittown, to make an "urgent" comment.

    She said that no one can vote by absentee ballot unless they are OUTSIDE the district.

    The show hostess commiserated with her over the alleged fraud.

    I immediately called in to correct that and told the hostess that one did not have to be out of the district.
    People who are incapacitated certainly can vote and for a few other reasons people have the right to an absentee ballot. She thought about it and then she said she had forgotten that and yes, I was right.

    the next day good old Roger called in to say he thought people in nursing homes should not have a right to vote because many of them are not "with it". He fails to recognize that many in nursing homes are very with it mentally but are physically limited. And today,many in nursing homes are there for rehab purposes after surgery and not for permanent confinement.

    It never ceases to amaze me how the republicans like to change the rules to suit themselves and how they reserve rights to themselves that they would deny others.

    Anonymous said...


    Just to clarify, it was the show hostess who said I was right.

    The republican mouthpiece had left.

    doomsy said...

    I was wondering about that, actually - thanks for the clarification.