Archive for October 2011

Video Overnight Thread- Snack Time!!

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Via Daily What.

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Man pleads guilty to using undocumented to get $4.4 million in unemployment benefits

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This is the real immigration scandal. Prosecute the vile opportunists that take advantage of the immigrants limbo status and fear (and the government's lax follow thru) not the decent people who come over here just to get better lives. This is just one group, imagine the money being ripped off across the country. If there was a legal path to citizenship and/or an easier way to get temporary worker status, they wouldn't be able to play off the fear the immigrants have.

A man charged with using undocumented immigrants to fraudulently obtain more than $4.4 million in unemployment benefits pleaded guilty Monday, Nevada’s U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden announced.

Francisco Garcia, 41, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, money laundering and false representation of a Social Security number, officials said.

(snip)

According to the plea agreement, Garcia and three codefendants fraudulently submitted at least 591 unemployment claims to the state. As a result, the state paid unemployment insurance benefits, emergency unemployment compensation benefits, federal additional compensation benefits and state extended benefits, which exceeded $4.4 million, authorities said.

The defendants committed the fraud by recruiting people illegally in the United States to apply for unemployment benefits and obtained their personal identifying information and work history, officials said.

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Rick Perry the "train wreck"

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Today's Quickie:

After watching this Bizarro World video, and, well, after observing the utter idiocy of the Perry campaign, the following quote is glaringly obvious:

"Rick Perry is going to go down in history for the all-time train wreck beginning. Because private polling in Iowa 40 days ago had him leading."

-- GOP strategist Mike Murphy, on Meet the Press, commenting on the latest Iowa Poll that has Perry in 6th place

Texas size fail.

That was today's Quickie. Was it good for you?

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News Corp.'s James Murdoch gets a pay raise

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Is there anyone, I mean besides the Koch brothers, who is less deserving of a pay raise than a member of the Murdoch family? James Murdoch is smack dab in the middle of a huge phone/computer hacking scandal, is a proud member of the 1%, but, as Think Progress is reporting, he's still getting a £1,300 pay increase from British broadcaster BSkyB:

The announcement, the Telegraph reports, made no mention of the scandals that have enveloped News Corp. since early this summer:

The increase, which brings Mr Murdoch’s pay for the non-executive role to £88,000, was revealed in an annual report from BSkyB that made no mention of the News of the World phone hacking scandal that has rocked News Corp and BSkyB, and ultimately derailed the deal.

It must be nice to be rewarded for being an unethical, lying little Son of a.. Rupert Murdoch.

Occupy News Corp.

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Virginia GOP Halloween e-mail shows President Obama with bullet hole through his head

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(Loudon County GOP)

I don't recall a Democratic email depicting George Bush with a bullet hole in his head. There was an array of chimps (which, contrary to our RWNJ trolls, were not racist since Bush is, you know, white), and some Alfred E. Newmans, even tasteless Hitler mustaches, but I don't remember violent references or images making the rounds.

But when it comes to President Obama, there has been report after report, Facebook page after Facebook page, email after email that display appallingly offensive graphics, and even a poll about killing the president.

Here's the latest, via WaPo:

The Republican Party of Virginia is strongly condemning an e-mail sent by Loudoun County’s GOP committee that shows President Obama as a zombie with part of his skull missing and a bullet through his head. [...]

The e-mail invites supporters to a Halloween parade. “LCRC members and Republican candidates: We are going to vanquish the zombies with clear thinking conservative principles and a truckload of Republican candy...It’s fun and a great way to represent our candidates to a ton of voters (and their kids) just before the election.”

Boy howdy folks, bullets into the skulls of presidents are now fun for the whole family!

Please refer to this post the next time some conservative denies that their party uses violent imagery.

The party is issuing condemnations, and an apology is being demanded, but it happened, and sadly isn't all that unusual. The email was disgusting, and the responsible (rather, irresponsible) party should not only apologize (not one of those "if anyone was offended" non-apologies), they should be fired.

Family values my ass.

H/t: @Barkway

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Why even President Obama's highest poll numbers ultimately may not matter

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I write about voter suppression a lot. It is one of the most important issues we face, and has been for years, because, as you will see by the following article in the L.A. Times, no matter how popular President Obama might be, without actual voters, he loses the election:

It will be different next year, a result of changes in the voting laws adopted by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Early voting was reduced from two weeks to one week. Voting on the Sunday before election day was eliminated. College students face new hurdles if they want to vote away from home. And those who register new voters face the threat of fines for procedural errors, prompting the nonpartisan League of Women Voters to suspend voter registration drives and accuse the Legislature of "reverting to Jim Crow-like tactics."

What is happening in Florida is part of a national trend, as election law has become a fierce partisan battleground. In states where Republicans have taken majority control, they have tightened rules for registering new voters, reduced the time for casting ballots and required voters to show photo identification at the polls. The new restrictions were usually adopted on party-line votes and signed by Republican governors. [...]

Ohio, another swing state, reduced its early voting by more than half, eliminated early voting on weekends and ended its same-day registration for voters... Seven states — Alabama, Kansas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin — voted to require registered voters to show photo identification at the polling place.

Republican-run state legislators have gone out of their way to disenfranchise voters. That's because the poor, students, the elderly, minorities, rural voters, anyone who can’t afford to pay a fee, get a ride, own a car, or otherwise have access to a Department of Motor Vehicles or some other source of legal identification tend to vote Democratic.

States that require a picture I.D. present their own special problems.

And even if absentee ballots are available, registering for them is still a major issue that will jeopardize mostly Democratic votes. And then there's election (as opposed to voter) fraud in that tampering with absentee ballots is a consideration, too.

In short, Republicans are aiding and abetting voter suppression by legislating it.

This Times article is a must-read. One remedy, or partial remedy, is to organize efforts to register voters, provide rides, and inform voters of the problem. Get them transportation to the correct polling places on election day, too, since a common dirty trick is to tell Democratic voters that their polling place has moved, or even go as far as telling them that the election date has been changed.

The GOP would like nothing more than to achieve single party rule. We need to be pro-active and stay a step ahead of them while keeping our eye on the bigger picture: getting Progressives elected from the bottom up.

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President Obama's secrets

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This is one of those posts that I hate writing, because I keep wanting to fall back in love with President Obama without reservation. That won't happen, and this L.A. Times editorial describes one of the main reasons.

By the way, as I said here, I will still vote for him because the alternative is unthinkable, but I have been very concerned about proposals and/or policies like these:

One of the most disappointing attributes of the Obama administration has been its proclivity for secrecy. The president who committed himself to "an unprecedented level of openness in government" has followed the example of his predecessor by invoking the "state secrets" privilege to derail litigation about government misdeeds in the war on terror. He has refused to release the administration's secret interpretation of the Patriot Act, which two senators have described as alarming. He has blocked the dissemination of photographs documenting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. service members. And now his Justice Department has proposed to allow government agencies to lie about the existence of documents being sought under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA.

At present, if the government doesn't want to admit the existence of a document it believes to be exempt from FOIA, it may advise the person making the request that it can neither confirm nor deny the document's existence. Under the proposed regulation, an agency that withholds a document "will respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist."

This policy is outrageous. It provides a license for the government to lie to its own people and makes a mockery of FOIA.

As unpleasant as this is to read, it must be acknowledged, and as the president suggested himself, we must hold him accountable when we feel he's on the wrong track.

However, compared to the disturbingly inept, unprofessional bunch of right wing nut job misfits who are running against him, well, 'nuff said.

You can read the whole piece here.

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