Saturday, September 29, 2012
Reaganphone: show this to @gop #teaparty supporters when they get worked up over the Obama phone #p2 #tcot
NC @GOP Joins FL in Firing RNC's @mittRomney -Tied Voter Registration Firm Accused of Fraud #p2 #tcot
[See BREAKING UPDATE at bottom of story. NBC News now reports the RNC has also cut ties with Strategic Allied Consulting.]
The North Carolina Republican Party has fired the shady voter registration firm owned by Mitt Romney's paid political consultant and longtime GOP operative, Nathan Sproul. The firing came as Democrats in the state were on the brink of denouncing the Republicans' tie to the operative's firm.
The state GOP joins the Republican Party of Florida, which also fired Sproul's company (who accounted for the party's largest 2012 expenditure, some $1.3 million over the last two months) after more than 100 apparently fraudulent voter registration forms were turned over to the FL State Attorney in Palm Beach County on Monday for investigation. The BRAD BLOG first reported the emerging story in detail on Tuesday.
The firm, Strategic Allied Consulting, is the latest creation of Sproul, a longtime, high-level GOP operative whose companies --- including Sproul & Associates and Lincoln Strategy Group --- have been accused of destroying Democratic voter registration forms and changing information on them in election after election, in state after state, year after year. He was hired for similar operations by Bush/Cheney in '04, by McCain/Palin in '08 and by Mitt Romney's campaign late last year.
When the FL GOP fired Strategic Allied on Tuesday night, they noted that the firm had been hired "at the request of" the Republican National Committee. On Wednesday, during our exclusive interview with the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Election Susan Bucher, she described some of the "similarities in the signatures and certain characteristics in the applications that were very disturbing" on registration applications collected by Sproul's firm and turned in to her office. Among the "disturbing" defects on the forms, addresses of existing registered voters changed "to commercial buildings or addresses" and, "in some places, they were changing political parties."
*UPDATED x3 with CO Tie-in* BREAKING: Florida GOP Election Fraud scandal spreads to ten counties #p2 #tcot
The Los Angeles Times reports that numerous fraudulent GOP voter registrations have now been discovered in ten Florida counties.
WASHINGTON — Florida elections officials said Friday that at least 10 counties have identified suspicious and possibly fraudulent voter registration forms turned in by a firm working for the Republican Party of Florida, which has filed an election fraud complaint with the state Division of Elections against its one-time consultant.The firm of course is none other than Strategic Allied, which is basically a regurgitation of Nathan Sproul's infamous firm which destroyed Democratic registration forms in swing states during the 2004 election.
The controversy in Florida -- which began with possibly fraudulent forms that first cropped up in Palm Beach County -- has engulfed the Republican National Committee, which admitted Thursday that it urged state parties in seven swing states to hire the firm, Strategic Allied Consulting. The RNC paid the company at least $3.1 million -- routed through the state parties of Florida, Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia -- to register voters and run get-out-the-vote operations. Wisconsin and Ohio had not yet paid the firm for get-out-the-vote operations it was contracted to do.This is sort of like our ACORN story - except that ACORN actually reported fraudulent or suspicious registrations whereas Strategic Allied Consulting has been systematically trying to engage in voter registration fraud in order to add fictitious and/or redundant GOP voters to the rolls. Disgusting.
*As someone pointed out downthread, they may be engaging in this activity so as to register Democratic voters with wrong information so that when they show up to vote, they can't, because their information is inaccurate. Also, I would bet that Sproul is still engaging in the destruction of Democratic voter registrations.
I sincerely hope that the media picks up on this story and runs with it. The Republicans got into bed with this firm because of its checkered past not in spite of it! The Republican Party has become synonymous with corruption.
Here is a link to the article: http://www.latimes.com/...
UPDATE: Someone downthread posted part of an article originiating from Pensacola. Here is a link to that whole article, which points out that over 100 suspicious registration forms were found in Santa Rosa County as well: http://www.pnj.com/...
Second Update There was a nice juicy story on CBS radio that I just heard on my way back to the hotel. It was pretty substantive and made the GOP sound like the idiots they are. I am in the Bay Area for the weekend. :) It sure is beautiful here today, any Bay Area Kossacks here?
Third Update As someone downthread has correctly pointed out, the young lady from El Paso County, Colorado (Colorado Springs) who was only registering Republicans was indeed working for this Strategic Alllied group - that is, Nathan Sproul's group.
And FOX31 Denver has confirmed that the young woman seen registering voters outside a Colorado Springs grocery store in a YouTube video, in which she admits to trying to only register voters who support Mitt Romney, was indeed a contract employee of Sproul's company.Here is a link: http://kdvr.com/...
"I'm actually trying to register people for a particular party," the girl tells a woman in the video, which has been viewed more than 417,000 times. Because we're out here in support of Romney, actually."
ORIGINALLY POSTED TO FIGHTINGREGISTRAR ON FRI SEP 28, 2012 AT 01:00 PM PDT.
ALSO REPUBLISHED BY COMMUNITY MANIFESTO INITIATIVE.
Here in Florida, a volunteer for the Clay County Republican Party called a man in Polk County and got his answering machine. She did not hang up before moving on to make her next call, so the first man's answering machine picked up what she said to the next person she called. You can hear her side of the call, but not what is being said on the other end of the line. The audio has been published online by The St. Augustine Record, and is also embedded to the right. Here's a transcript:
Y'all sound like y'all are senior citizens, right? Yeah. We don't want — you don't want Obama. You really don't want Obama because he'll get rid of your Medicare. You might as well say goodbye to it. Yeah, and I don't know if you've done any research on Obama or not, but he is a Muslim. He is — got a socialistic view on the, you know, the economy, the government, the whole nine yards. Um, if he had his way, we would be a socialistic country. Okay, really, do. Pay attention to Fox News. If you can get out and watch that movie 2016 do so. That has a lot of good information. Just really the newspapers and theFox News will help you out; will help you. Okay, appreciate it sir. Thank you. Uh huh. Bye-bye.My husband and I live in Polk County, Florida. We listen to Rob Lorei on WMNF Radio all the time and somehow missed this story which appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show tonight. It was part of a larger segment. Since this is where I first learned about the recorded call, I've included the clip and transcript of what appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show below the fleur-de-orange. Rachel talks about the call coming from the Clay County Republican Party, but the article she references talks about the call being recorded here in Polk County.
The voicemail message was given to WMNF, a Tampa-area radio station that describes itself as "independent, progressive news and public affairs." The station did not identify the source of the audio but said the person identified the Clay GOP's number from caller ID.In another report from Jacksonville, it is pointed out that the party chair in Clay County did not condemn the comments made by the volunteer who went off script.
""I received the call from a Polk County listener who said the recording was left on his answering machine," said Rob Lorei, who aired the audio Wednesday on a show he hosts.
GOP volunteer calls Obama a Muslim, The St. Augustine Record, September 27, 2012
J.K. Rowling says that she didn't build that. And now – she's a billionaire. I truly believe the only ones who feel entitled are the wealthy citizens who complain that they have to pay a few % more in taxes even though their lives and the lives of their children are without any financial challenges whatsoever. A person who complains about that trade off is selfish, greedy and deserves for someone to smack them in the face like Cher in Moonstruck … "Snap out of it."
Soon, five large U.S. Internet providers will begin to warn and punish alleged copyright infringers as part of the "six strikes" anti-piracy scheme. While details are still scarce, TorrentFreak is informed that MarkMonitor will be responsible for tracking down alleged infringers, and that an independent expert review of the evidence gathering technology has been completed. ISPs have also been making progress and several are now ready to start sending out warnings, although none of them wants to go first.
The MPAA and RIAA, helped by five major Internet providers in the United States, will start to warn and punish copyright infringers later this year.
The parties launched the Center for Copyright Information(CCI) and agreed on a system through which copyright infringers are warned that their behavior is unacceptable. After five or six warnings ISPs may then take a variety of repressive measures.
Initially ISPs were expected to send out the first copyright alerts by the end of 2011 but this deadline silently passed, as did the revised July 2012 start date. As of today, AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon are yet to send out the first alerts.
One of the reasons for the delay is that not all providers were ready to process the alerts. Previously, a spokesperson for the CCI told TorrentFreak that each ISP would roll out the scheme at its own pace, but even that plan is causing some issues.
A source connected to CCI informs TorrentFreak that several ISPs are now ready to start warning subscribers, but that none of them wants to be the first to do so. For this reason, CCI's Executive Director Jill Lesser is now pushing for a joint launch at the end of the year.
Leading up to the official start the ISPs might do some small-scale tests in November, we were informed.
After more than a year of uncertainty we can also confirm that MarkMonitor has been hired to track down alleged infringers. MarkMonitor, which often operates under the name DtecNet, is the only tracking outfit working with the CCI.
In 2010 DtecNet was acquired by MarkMonitor, but it continues to operate under its own name. DtecNet already works closely with the RIAA and MPAA and is also responsible for collecting data on copyright infringers as part of the Irish three-strikes program.
Friday, September 28, 2012
The right seemed pretty worked up yesterday after Drudge pushed a video of a woman claiming she's voting for President Obama because he gave her a phone (thanks to James Carter for the tip). It wasn't long before Rush Limbaugh and others like him were excitedly asking over-the-top questions: is Obama getting votes through bribes?
And though I don't doubt that your Fox News-watching uncle will be emailing all-caps messages about this any minute now, the truth is far from scandalous.
The Federal Communications Commission has a program called Lifeline that provides low-cost or free phone service. The agency's website says this is because it and Congress "recognize that telephone service provides a vital link to emergency services, government services and surrounding communities." Who qualifies varies by state, but "in general," to qualify you must have an income that is no more than 135 percent of the federal poverty line, or be enrolled in assistance programs like Medicaid, public housing assistance, discounted school lunch, or yes, food stamps. [...]
Strictly speaking, it's not a government-funded program: the telephone companies make payments to a fund administered by a non-profit called the Universal Service Administrative Company, but anyone with a phone bill chips in through a surcharge on their service.
Though the origins of the universal service program date back at least to 1934, the Lifeline program in particular was instituted by a well-known redistributionist by the name of President Ronald Reagan in 1984. A related effort, expanding affordable access to cell phones for low-income Americans, was created by another radical liberal by the name of George W. Bush.
As for the larger context, Dave Weigel's point bears repeating: "Shockingly, despite the bipartisan origins of the service, the idea of an 'Obama Phone' for the undeserving has existed for a long time. You know what else has existed for a long time? The Drudge Report hyping up tabloid news that makes black people look like violent dopes who'll do anything for more goodies from Obama."
Thursday, September 27, 2012
.@GOP Senate Candidate Tommy Thompson: ‘Who Better Than Me… To Do Away With Medicaid and Medicare?’ #p2 #tcot
.@mittromney @gop Obama Draws 18,000 in Wisconsin While 650 Show Up for Romney in California #p2 #tcot
The man credited as Sam Bacile is expected to appear in federal court on Thursday for violating parole.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the filmmaker who sparked violence worldwide after releasing portions of his anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims online, has been arrested for violating terms of his parole, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Nakoula, who was credited as Sam Bacile in the production notes, is expected to appear in Los Angeles federal court on Thursday afternoon.
The news was confirmed by a court spokesman, Reuters reports, who said Nokoula would face a bail hearing with regards to an ongoing investigation into whether or not her violated the terms of his 2011 release from prison on a bank fraud conviction.
The parole terms barred Nakoula from "accessing the Internet or using aliases without the permission of a probation officer," according to Reuters.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Speed of ocean acidification concerns scientists – ‘Our current acidification rates are unparalleled in Earth history’
26 September 2012 (University of Bristol) – Speaking at the Third International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World this week in Monterey, California, Dr Daniela Schmidt, a geologist from the University of Bristol, warned that current rates of ocean acidification are unparalleled in Earth history.
Dr Schmidt of Bristol's School of Earth Sciences said: "Ocean acidification has happened before sometimes with large consequences for marine ecosystems. But within the last 300 million years, never has the rate of ocean acidification been comparable to the ongoing acidification.
She added that the most comparable event, most likely 10 times slower than the current acidification, was 55 million years ago.
"At that time, species responded to the warming, acidification, change in nutrient input and loss of oxygen – the same processes that we now see in our oceans. The geological record shows changes in species distribution, changes in species composition, changes in calcification and growth and in a few cases extinction," she said.
"Our current acidification rates are unparalleled in Earth history and lead most ecosystems into unknown territory."
46 Republicans Claim Wind Credits Are Too ‘Costly’ After Voting To Retain Billions In Big Oil Subsidies #p2 #tcot
The future of wind tax credits is still tied up in Congress as the clock runs down to extend the production tax credit for wind (PTC) expiring at the end of the year. This week, 47 House Republicans urged House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to let them expire.
Although GOP districts hold 81 percent of the nation's wind power capacity, Republicans are deeply split on investing in wind (Mitt Romney, for example, drew criticism from fellow Republicans for opposing the PTC). Boehner's home state supports up to 6,000 wind jobs.
The GOP remains less divided on issues favoring Big Oil.
Of the 47 Republicans asking Boehner to end the wind investments, 46 voted in March 2011 against closing tax loopholes that let Big Oil collect $4 billion in annual subsidies. The one outlier, GOP Rep. Richard Hanna, was a no-vote that day. According to OpenSecrets, these representatives have received a total $2.2 million from the oil and gas industry, in an election cycle where Republicans have collected 89 percent of the oil industry's contributions. Republicans have maintained these tax breaks are "essential" to an industry posting record-breaking profits.
Yet their letter claims wind is too expensive for investment. An excerpt reads:
Today, when the U.S. is more than $15 trillion in debt and borrowing $0.40 of every dollar it spends, we cannot afford to borrow money to subsidize the operations of a politically preferred technology. In the case of wind, doing so would not only be costly to taxpayers but ultimately would hurt consumers by distorting energy markets."
The letter's arguments echoes Americans for Prosperity's campaign to end PTC. The Koch-funded organization called wind tax credits "deplorable."
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal continues to trip over its Karl Rove conflict of interest, with the paper's newsroom routinely failing to mention that the man who helped found an anti-Obama super PAC is also aJournal employee. Time and again this election season the Journal has reported on Rove's campaign work with American Crossroads, and time and again the newsroom has neglected to acknowledge Rove works for theJournal as a political columnist.
The disclosure failure, and the obvious lack of transparency, is just part of the paper's ongoing ethical morass with regards to Rove. As Media Mattershas reported, scores of editorial page editors have criticized the paper for failing to disclose in its opinion pages where Rove's anti-Obama columns appear, that Rove is closely associated with an anti-Obama campaign group.
The very fact that the Journal hired Rove, a GOP fundraiser, to write columns about the races Rove is trying to win for the GOP represents a glaring ethical lapse. The Journal'srefusal to disclose those ties only compounds the problem; a problem that extends from the opinion pages to the newsroom.
Today's front-page Journal article examines whether conservative super PACs have been effective in denting the president's re-election chances. Rove's Crossroads group is featured as the pivotal conservative super PAC in the article. Yet nowhere in the piece is it reported that Rove also works for the newspaper.
That transparency failure has become commonplace. On September 6, the newspaper published an articleabout super PAC fundraising efforts by liberal and conservative groups and noted, "By contrast, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, two Republican groups founded with the help of Karl Rove, have spent $67 million combined."
There was no mention that Rove's a Journal employee.
On Sept. 5, the Journal focused on the surprisingly tight U.S. senate race in North Dakota, and the amount of outside money pouring into the campaign:
Crossroads GPS, a Republican campaign fund co-founded by Karl Rove in 2010, and Majority PAC, a group that aims to protect Democrats' Senate majority, have spent heavily and run negative ads in the state.
No mention that Rove's a Journal employee.