Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 8:57 pm

Odds and ends for April 7


First, congratulations to Duke!

Sure, a ban on medical schools teaching abortion wouldn’t survive constitutional scrutiny. But suppose it did: Legislators would be sentencing a nontrivial number of women to death. How about we ban your fucking heart valves, you goddamned sociopaths? I’m sorry, but in what universe am I supposed to treat this as just another policy proposal to be dispassionately debated?

The DEA secretly recorded billions of Americans’ international calls years before 9/11. And not one damn person will go to jail behind it.

My online friend Chris Dashiell went on a bit of a rant Monday on Twitter about what the backlash against the Rolling Stone UVa/rape story says about our toxic media environment. I’ve Storified it so that you can enjoy it, too.

Here are five Texas firefighters who I think will really enjoy prison.

In Chicago, Mayor (and all-around jackass) Rahm Emanuel could be out on his ass. As Al Capone is reputed to have said after the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, I’ll send flowers.

Rand Paul formally declared for the presidency today. If his batshit insanity, leavened with enough isolated sane positions to attract some low-info voters, isn’t enough to turn you off, consider this: His campaign website is selling an “NSA spy-cam blocker.” Grifters gonna grift.

While I have argued that voter fraud — real voter fraud — is vanishingly rare, I’ve never argued that it doesn’t exist. Now, some N.C. cases have led to criminal charges. The cases involve two felons who hadn’t had their rights restored, a guy who voted in both North Carolina and Florida, and one person who wasn’t a citizen of the United States. It is unclear at best whether the state’s voter-ID law would have prevented the latter case, and clear that it wouldn’t have prevented the other three. (h/t: Fred)

And U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is running for re-election, presumably because we kids still haven’t gotten off his lawn.

Aluminum batteries could replace our lithium ones, extending battery life. But probably not anytime soon.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott initially said he couldn’t “in good conscience” reject Medicaid expansion. So much for conscience.

The New York Times takes a look at the redistricting dispute in Greensboro and other cases in North Carolina. Oddly, the article doesn’t present any larger context or perspective on the fact that this is a national, ALEC-driven effort.

Speaking of the Times, perhaps I should ask it for a million bucks just to see what would happen.

A day or two ago I mentioned a Long Island high-school student who had been accepted into all eight Ivy League schools. Well, turns out, North Carolina has one of them, too.

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3 Comments »

  1. DEA data sweep on International phome calls to 1i6 countries from the US ( 1992-2013 ) . Guess they got my szple call to Austrailian Gear in Queensland..

    Oh dear. Yawn

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, April 8, 2015 5:22 pm @ 5:22 pm | Reply

  2. Voter fraud rare ? You have got to be conveiently deaf and blind not to see or hear what is coming..

    Non-Citizens Registered To Vote Through Motor Voter Registration Forms

    Local state government officials are registering non-U.S. citizens as valid voters — even when the non-citizens say they are not Americans on their voter registration forms, a former Justice Department attorney tells The Daily Caller.

    J. Christian Adams, a former United States Department of Justice official in the Civil Rights Division will show the Supreme Court in a brief later this month that non-citizens are registering to vote through the government’s motor voter program. The motor voter act became law during the Clinton administration as an easier way to register voters through their local Department of Motor Vehicles offices, but Adams says the program is failing to weed out those who are not American citizens.

    “The bigger problem is that when they get those drivers licenses, there’s a government social services agency that is compelled under motor voter to offer voter registration,” Adams says. “For example, I’m representing a client — the American Civil Rights Union. We’re about to file a brief to the Supreme Court that shows actual voter registrations of people who on their voter registration forms that they’re not citizens, but they’re still getting registered to vote.”

    Adams says they are going to file documents showing the names and addresses of non-citizens who were registered to vote, despite marking on forms they were not Americans, in their brief. Adams notified the Justice Department’s voting section and public integrity offices of the issue in letters sent to both DOJ divisions, but he says they have not acted on the information. The DC sent an inquiry to the DOJ, but did not receive a response.

    “[These will be] the actual voter registrations forms through motor voter,” he said, noting, “The point is, because of motor voter in issuing these alien document cards, you’re going to have non-citizens moving on to the voter rolls. It’s inevitable,” said Adams noting, “The Justice Department protects the lawless, because there’s a political benefit to this administration to allow lawlessness to occur. Because if those people who lawlessly are on the voter rolls go to vote, there’s probably a 9 in 10 chance they’re voting for Democrats.”

    More

    Former Federal Elections Commission official Hans von Spakovsky told The DC the federal government is making it harder for the states to know who is a citizen of the U.S. and who isn’t.

    “The whole problem is most states are not issuing licenses that easily on their face show that the person holding it is not a U.S. citizen and that’s going to make it much more difficult to prevent people who are in the U.S. who are not citizens from illegally registering and voting in an election,” von Spakovsky said.

    Von Spakovsky adds the situation is made even worse by the fact that under the president’s immigration plan. The plan allows for social security numbers to be issued to non-citizens and blocks efforts of state officials wanting to clean up their voter rolls by asking for the last four digits of a person’s social security number on their voter registration forms.

    “If someone is here illegally and they don’t have a social security number, that’s one way to prevent them from illegally registering. It just makes it all the more difficult,” von Spakovsky says of Obama’s immigration policy.

    Secretaries of state from Kansas and Ohio, along with von Spakovsky, testified before Congress in February detailing the issues states are facing in terms of knowing who is eligible to vote.

    Ohio, Georgia, and Arizona passed state laws requiring one to provide proof of citizenship to register to vote, but von Spakovsky says, “They’ve been having trouble getting that enforced and they’re about to file an amicus brief with the Supreme Court.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, April 8, 2015 5:43 pm @ 5:43 pm | Reply

  3. DEA Sued for Unconstitutional Phone Surveillance

    By Richard Adhikari
    Apr 10, 2015 2:24 PM PT

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation this week filed a complaint against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for secretly collecting data on all telephone calls to as many as 116 countries, possibly going back to the 1990s.

    The suit was filed on behalf of Human Rights Watch.

    Many of the calls were made to countries certified under Section 706[1] of the U.S. Foreign Relations Authorization Act as being heavily involved in the drug trade. The president has to renew this certification annually.

    “I’m sure there’s a case that could be made that monitoring Americans’ international telephone calls might reduce drug trafficking,” said EFF staff attorney Mark Rumold.

    However, mass collection breaches the protections of the First and Fourth Amendments, he told the E-Commerce Times.

    The Gist of the Complaint

    The lawsuit, Human Rights Watch v. Drug Enforcement Administration, et al., was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

    The named defendants, in addition to the DEA, are the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and their heads, the United States of America, and up to 100 John Does.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Sunday, April 12, 2015 1:59 pm @ 1:59 pm | Reply


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