Voter Fraud, El Paso County, Colorado-Style. Thanks to contributor James S. for the link:
... Tom Roeder of the Colorado Springs Gazette, "County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams, a Republican..., said the woman ... doesn't work for his office, which oversees local elections and voter registration. Instead, he said, she's probably one of the scores of volunteers who are hitting the streets for both political parties to push voter registration ahead of the Nov. 6 election." CW: Nonetheless, I've registered people to vote during several election cycles, as a volunteer for the Democratic party or a Democratic candidate, and I never received an instruction -- expressed or implied -- to register only Democrats. Rather, we were told to register everyone. Clearly, that's not how the Colorado GOP does it.
Jon Chait of New York: The Boca tape "shows the degree to which Romney has joined the imaginary world of persecution inhabited by rich conservatives and undergirded by made-up facts.... The paranoia is very weird, not least because the rich have actually prospered under Obama while vast swaths of the populace have struggled.... Most of these myths take the form of wildly misleading statistics about the tax system." Chait has the charts to prove it.
Paul Krugman: "... protracted weakness is normal after a big financial crisis, and if anything we're doing better than average, probably thanks to fiscal and monetary stimulus." Chart included, of course.
Tim Egan: "Just look at who wants to get the union referees back on the job today: Scott Walker, the union-busting governor of Wisconsin, and Paul Ryan, Romney's union-dissing running mate.... The most popular entertainment commodity in the land is willing to seriously tarnish its name, its reputation and the validity of its games for the price of a single half-minute ad." ...
People end up thinking you can get good work for cheap, you can always find a cheaper way and it's going to be just as good a result. I would hope that Scott Walker is just as outraged about decreased quality of teachers that we're going to get as he is with replacement refs in the NFL. -- Chris Larson (D), a Wisconsin state senator
Kirk Johnson of the New York Times: "The Boy Scouts of America, facing what could be an avalanche of unfavorable attention in coming weeks from the court-ordered release of internal files about inappropriate sexual behavior by youth leaders, issued a report on Tuesday by a professor who reviewed the files and found what she called 'a good faith effort' to protect boys from harm."
Julia Preston of the New York Times has an interesting piece on the difficulties President Obama's mini-Dream Act presents to employers of undocumented workers. Eligible young people are asking employers & former employers to provide evidence they have been living in the U.S., but Homeland Security won't guarantee it won't prosecute the employers.
Abdi Guled & Jason Straziuso of the AP: The heyday of Somali piracy seems to have passed. "Armed guards aboard cargo ships and an international naval armada that carries out onshore raids have put a huge dent in piracy and might even be ending the scourge."
Very Diplomatic. BuzzFeed: "As the State Department's story about what happened in Benghazi crumbles, [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton's personal spokesperson, Philippe Reines, loses his temper. 'Have a good day. And by good day I mean Fuck Off.'" BuzzFeed reprints the full exchange between Reines & reporter Michael Hastings. Excerpt -- Reines to Hastings:
I now understand why the official investigation by the Department of the Defense as reported by The Army Times The Washington Post concluded beyond a doubt that you're an unmitigated asshole. How's that for a non-bullshit response? Now that we've gotten that out of our systems, have a good day. And by good day, I mean Fuck Off. ...
... Dana Milbank provides background about Reines & Clinton.
Richard Oppel & Ashley Parker of the New York Times: "The Republican ticket will start campaigning together more often, which suggests that aides fear that Mitt Romney, on his own, is not generating enough attention and excitement." ...
... Maybe that's because Ryan has reportedly "gone rogue" to "wash the stench of Romney off him," & stinky Romney wants to re-tie the leash. Thanks to contributor MAG for the link.
Maureen Dowd: "On foreign and domestic policy, Republicans have outsourced their brains to right-wing think tanks.... The Romney campaign has turned conservative theory into ideology and gone off the cliff with it. If you want to inspire, lead and unite people, it won't fly to take ideologically driven findings and present them unvarnished to voters." ...
... Dowd complains about the President's appearance on "The View." You can watch the show here -- if you don't mind sitting through some ads. Michelle Obama also appears.
A realistic assessment of the state of the presidential election:
Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post finally notices that "there are fundamental flaws" in Romney's tax plan: "The first is the argument that cutting personal income tax rates would lead to economic growth robust enough to help pay for a big chunk of the cuts. The second, related, fallacy is the contention that raising rates on top earners would hurt growth. The third is that raising capital-gains rates would be even more harmful. There is scant reliable evidence for any of the above, yet Romney and fellow Republicans hitch their entire economic argument to them. And their rabid pursuit of lower taxes leads to two dangers: further ballooning the national debt and further increasing income inequality."
Steve Benen: "A surprising number of Republicans ... [are] arguing that all of the evidence pointing to Obama's advantage is wrong.... Every national poll released over the last several weeks -- literally, all of them -- show Obama leading Romney. Unsatisfied with these results, the right has decided to fiddle with the figures, and wouldn't you know it, the new-and-improved polls all show Romney leading Obama." ...
... Jed Lewison of Daily Kos: "According to a growing number of conservatives, an accurate appraisal of polling data shows that President Obama isn't actually leading Mitt Romney by much -- if at all -- in the 2012 campaign.... One optimistic Republican even believes the polls show that Mitt Romney is leading President Obama.... When Obama wins, it won't be evidence that they were wrong: It'll be more evidence that they were right -- and that the pro-Obama polling conspiracy was successful." ...
Republicans won't believe this poll from the biased, radical leftist New York Times, the pinkos at CBS News & the eggheads at Quinnnipiac U.: "In Ohio — which no Republican has won the presidency without -- Mr. Obama is leading Mr. Romney 53 percent to 43 percent in the poll. In Florida, the president leads Mr. Romney 53 to 44 percent in the poll. The surveys ... also included a Pennsylvania poll, where Mr. Obama is leading Mr. Romney by 12 percentage points."
Boy Band! Via MoveOn.org. Thanks to contributor Forrest M. for the link:
CW: I can't emphasize enough the stupidity Romney's remark about emergency room care, a position which he clearly knows is stupid, but since he will say anything, do anything, to deride President Obama, stupid is A-Okay.
Boston Globe: "The principal chief of the Cherokee Nation today denounced Senator Scott Brown's campaign staffers for what he called 'offensive and racist behavior' against Native Americans, calling on Brown to apologize." Thanks to Akhilleus for the link.
Katharine Seelye of the New York Times: "With the high-stakes Senate race still very close, Senator Scott P. Brown is seeking to convert almost everything into a character attack on Elizabeth Warren." Warren has had a hard time responding to claims, partly because the issues are complex.
Yesterday, we had a discussion in the Comments to the Commentariat on whether or not Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass) had "attacked Elizabeth Warren's family," as she claims in the ad embedded in the Commentariat. I said no, he had attacked only her, & not for her heritage but for her supposed attempts to capitalize on that heritage. Then contributor Kate M. weighed in with this:
WCVB: "Staffers for Sen. Scott Brown chanted Indian 'war whoops' and made 'tomahawk chops' during a rally for the Republican senator this week in Boston. In a video posted on YouTube, Brown's staffers are seen holding campaign signs near the Erie Pub, chanting and making tomahawk chops, presumably in reference to Elizabeth Warren's claims of Cherokee heritage." According to Blue Mass Group, which also posted the video, among those participating were Brown's constituent service counsel & a GOP operative. Standing by but not participating were Brown's deputy chief of staff, his state director & a special assistant. ...
... Michael Levenson of the Boston Globe writes that the state Democrat party ID'd the participants. "On Tuesday, Brown said he had not seen the video but 'if you're saying that, certainly that’s not something I condone. It's certainly something that, if I'm aware of it, I will tell that [staff] member never to do that again.' Still, [Brown] struck a defiant tone when asked if he would apologize for his staffers' behavior. 'The apologies that need to be made and the offensiveness here is the fact that professor Warren took advantage of a claim, to be somebody -- a Native American -- and using that for an advantage, a tactical advantage,' Brown said.... The video points to the political peril Brown faces as he steps up his attacks of Warren's claims to Native American ancestry. War whoops and tomahawk chops -- once prevalent among fans of Indian-named sports teams -- have become a flashpoint in the sports world because many consider them offensive to Native Americans." No kidding.
Here's the video:
ABC News: "Federal agents and local police are investigating an explosion outside Democratic congressional candidate Brendan Mullen's northern Indiana home.... ATF agents say the blast Monday afternoon in a newspaper box outside Mullen's home in Granger, Ind., is among four this week in the area eight miles northeast of South Bend."
Washington Post: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, addressing the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday for what was likely to be the last time, denounced military threats against Tehran by 'uncivilized Zionists' and attacked Western leaders as handmaidens of the devil."
Al Jazeera: "Two explosions have struck the Damascus general headquarters of Syria's army..., the latest in a series of major bombings in the capital.... Rebel spokesmen for the Free Syrian Army released a statement claiming responsibility and saying that dozens had been killed, but Zoubi said the bombings caused 'only material damage'."
New York Times: "Widespread protests erupted across Greece on Wednesday as trade unions called a nationwide strike to contest billions of euros worth of new salary and pension cuts being discussed by the government and its international creditors."
Reuters: "Violent protests in Madrid and growing talk of secession in wealthy Catalonia are piling pressure on Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as he moves closer to asking Europe for rescue money."
Al Jazeera: "China has claimed that islands at the centre of a territorial row with Japan are 'sacred territory' in talks between the two countries foreign ministers on the subject, the state Chinese news agency reports. Koichiro Gemba, Japan's foreign minister, met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday."
AP: In New York, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talks about the "new world order" he envisions. Hint: no Israel, the U.S. is a pipsqueak.
AP: "The federal probation violation investigation targeting the man behind the anti-Muslim video inflaming the Middle East is proceeding slowly and privately, reflecting the explosiveness of the case."
Guardian: "Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson have been told at the Old Bailey that they are not due face a full trial until a year from now, in a hearing that saw the former News of the World editors appear in the dock of the central criminal court."