GOP voter fraud hunt is really a lack of electoral confidence

Renewed attacks on voting rights in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and other states are as much about power as about policy and race. The hand wringing over elusive "fraud" is because America's majority ethnic group sees its traditional grip on power eroding with shifting demographics.

In North Carolina last week, Republican lawmakers again raised the alarm over the possibility that hundreds -- maybe thousands -- had criminally cast ballots in two states in the 2012 election. GOP leaders were quick to insist that the numbers justified the draconian voting law they passed in the last legislative session. The U.S. Department of Justice has challenged the law in court.

Chris Kromm of the Institute for Southern Studies just as quickly debunked the study by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach whose office, after checking 5 million voter records in 2013, "couldn't provide any evidence of a single instance in which the Interstate Crosscheck's data had led to an actual legal charge of voter fraud." Because the data, Kromm writes, "offers no proof such fraud is occurring." Requiring citizens to present identity cards to vote would have no effect on voting in multiple states.

GOP racial attitudes on display


Republicans who are betting on voter frustration with ACA are betting on the wrong horse

Thom Tillis has saddled up and is riding hard. In the months ahead, he'll spend millions painting Kay Hagan as a dirty socialist because she voted with Democrats to pass the Affordable Care Act. Next November, he'll regret that move when he loses his bid for US Senate.

Most people agree that the rollout was botched. Big deal. Websites fail all the time, and this one has had the added burden of constant attacks by Republican obstructionists. More important, there's no point in signing up now anyway because you'll be paying for coverage that doesn't start until next year. Just take a deep breath and come back in January. That's what I'm going to do. will still be there, and it'll be running like a well-oiled machine.


Ya think?

Consider the source.

We have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party. The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

There is a great risk that voters will forget who squandered nearly $25 billion dollars with this bullshit shutdown. Don't let them. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not a year from tomorrow. Because for all their intransigence in DC, Republicans are even worse here in North Carolina.


Harry Reid speaks the truth to Republicans and is called "insane" by the NRSCC.

It's about damn time somebody in a leadership position in the Democratic party had the cojones to say publicly what has been obvious to any and all observers regarding the thinly and not so thinly veiled bigoted racist remarks coming from the Tea Party, the far right wing of the GOP and some supposedly "respectable" Republican senators and representatives.

Wake County GOP Chair Calls for Squandering Taxpayer Dollars

The thoroughly political, thoroughly clueless Donna Williams, chair of the Wake County GOP, launches a thoroughly political claim that Wake County DA Colon Willoughby is politically motivated in urging that protesters be cited, rather than arrested.

Showing that she, too, can be part of the GOP Taliban, she insists that those protesters be arrested and face "justice".

Even if it does waste $100,000 of taxpayers' money. And we thought that Donna opposed wasting taxpayer money. Either she has changed her mind or she is a hypocrite.

The wing nuts complain that Moral Mondays are wasting taxpayer resources and then insist on an unnecessary process that wastes taxpayer resources.


Whatever happened to the "news"?

A particular finding by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism was both striking and at the same time not surprising to me: the accelerated transforming of the cable news channels into talk cable.
For a democracy, especially one which holds itself out to the world as the preeminent example for it’s openness and forward thinking. But the U.S. has been plagued by a toxic, highly partisan and deeply polarized political climate. And politics is the life blood on cable.


Obama's Watergate My Great Aunt's Fanny

This Liberal’s Beef right now has got to be the abject stupidity and short-term memory failure of anyone who thinks that Benghazi-gate, IRS-gate and AP-gate, even if stacked on top of one another and then super-sized, come close to the original “gate”; the Big Kahuna; the Mother Lode of “gates”; the “gate” of course being the obligatory suffix ever since the biggest “gate” of them all: Watergate.

No matter how much the media may blather on and on about them, none of these scandals has the mass, the cultural, political and social ponderosity of Watergate. These are all skirmishes in an age of “gotcha” polarization. All of these even added together is like comparing recent cruise ship snafus to the sinking of the Titanic.

Moral Monday #6: 84 arrested; 388 arrests so far

Hundreds of supporters crowded the third-story balcony above the 84 participants in civil disobedience plus media covering the prohibited peaceful gathering at the NCGA on June 10, 2013.

The start to yesterday's Moral Monday at the N.C. General Assembly in Raleigh was delayed a bit because of tornado warnings and a sudden spate of harsh weather, but pouring rain didn't dampen the spirits of the many hundreds of protesters who gathered at the Halifax Mall behind the General Assembly building to speak out against the raft of odious bills being pushed through the state legislature by the Republican supermajority.

The total number of arrests in six waves of what the NAACP-North Carolina has dubbed "Moral Monday" was brought to 388 by the 84 people (myself and a couple other Kossacks, including the fantastic joank, who was also celebrating her birthday through civil disobedience) who entered the General Assembly to sing songs of resistance, to pray in front of the doors of the second-story N.C. House chambers, and to hold up protest signs (which are prohibited in the building) and refusing to disperse. Click here for the News & Observer's photos of the arrests.

Kim Yaman is arrested for civil disobedience for peacefully assembling with others at the N.C. General Assembly on June 10, 2013. Photo by News&Observer.

This week, however, an 85th arrest was made: Charlotte Observer religion reporter Tim Funk was handcuffed and detained by G.A. and Raleigh police officers for "failure for disperse." Funk was visibly wearing media credentials and was interviewing Charlotte-area clergy attending the protest and arrests.

We saw Funk amongst us, along with other journalists, and he was clearly taking notes in a notebook, interviewing clergy, not singing or praying, carrying no signs, and holding up his media credentials and explaining his role to the G.A. police officers when they made the dispersal announcements. Those of us near him also explained to officers that Funk was not a green armband (designating civil-disobedience participants) and was not among our group. Nonetheless,

Funk, who was wearing Charlotte Observer identification, was handcuffed and taken along with the arrested protesters to the Wake County magistrate’s office to be arraigned on misdemeanor charges of trespassing and failure to disperse.

Jeff Weaver, police chief for the General Assembly Police in Raleigh who oversaw the arrests, told The Associated Press that Funk did not heed a warning from officers to disperse before the arrests began.

Funk was taken to the Wake County Detention Center with the 84 civil disobedience arrestees and processed for charges, then released around 11 p.m. with the fourth busload of arrestees.

Republicans Respond to bills related to voting (other than voter ID)

At a town hall meeting in Lillington Rep. David Lewis, Rep. Mike Stone, and Senator Ron Rabin responded to questions about bills related to early voting and the loss of the child tax credit for parents of college students that vote at school. Each said that they did not support reduced early voting days and locations. Senator Rabin said none of these bills would pass. When asked about the college voter penalty proposal Lewis said it was about preventing students from voting twice. When asked if the bill was worded to take away the tax credit from parents who's child voted twice or parents who's child voted in the town where they were attending college he said that what he was trying to say was that this bill would not pass.

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