On Fear: The Islam Edition, Or, Do You Know My Friend Wa’el?

We last got together about ten days ago, when I put up a story that hoped to explain to the Islamic world that, Qur’an burning aside, we don’t really hate either them, or our own Constitution.

I pointed out that, just like everywhere else, about 20% of our population are idiots, that this means about 60,000,000 of us might, at any time, be inclined to burst into fits of random stupidity, such as the desire to burn Qur’ans to make some sort of statement, and that the same First Amendment that protects the freedom of stupid speech also protects the rights of Islamic folks to freely build mosques…and finally, that this apparent “paradox of freedom” is exactly why the US is the kind of country that many Islamic folks the world over wish they lived in as well.

I then went off to enjoy my Godson’s wedding, and I ignored the posting until the next Monday.

On the two dozen sites where it could be found, this was apparently considered to be a fairly innocuous message…with one giant exception, which is what we’ll be talking about today.

Long story short, some portion of this country’s population has some bizarre ideas about Islamic folks…but maybe if they knew my friend Wa’el, they might see things a bit differently.

What, no election 'fraud'?

WITI-TV reports:

The Voter Fraud Hotline in Milwaukee County was staffed with police and prosecutors on Tuesday. They were ready to pounce on any voting irregularities.

But even as the phones rang throughout the day, the questions and issues being posed were considered easy to assess and handle.

Election officials say the day went extremely smoothly. The hotline was relatively quiet which indicated a smooth election.

Good thing we had that highly-touted Election Integrity Task Force or whatever Atty. Gen. JB Van Hollen keeps bragging on, with all sorts of cops and DAs across the state mobilized.

About 850,000 people voted. Did anyone get caught trying to vote twice, or in someone else's name, or while on probation? Even one? If so, we have not heard a word about it.

There is no widespread "voter fraud," as the right wing likes to claim, and what is used as the excuse for the kind of voter caging and suppression tactics exposed this week. It's always in the name of preventing "voter fraud" that they try to take away people's votes.

Remember that when the next wave of hysteria hits in late October.

Voter suppression plot very much alive

The State GOP, Tea Party and Americans for Prosperity have not yet learned the lesson that the more lies you tell, the worse it gets, at least if you keep getting caught.

Yesterday we were kind and called them "contradictions" as the various players in the plan to coordinate a massive voter suppression plan took turns changing their stories after finding out they didn't match.

Tim Dake, the Tea Party spokesman, has assured everyone there is no current plan or activity, and this was just a discussion last June that didn't go anywhere.

That sounded plausible until One Wisconsin Now (OWN), which uncovered the plot in the dfirst place, release an email sent by Dake to participants in that June meeting last Thursday

The documents included in Dake's email, which is available  here,

     --A non-disclosure agreement for voter suppression participants from the state GOP.

     -- An affidavit and instruction process for voter suppression activit

U. S. Senator Russ Feingold to Speak at Netroots Wisconsin

Netroots Wisconsin Logo
For Immediate Release
Contact Steve Hanson - [email protected], 715-598-9206

Senator Russ Feingold will speak during the Meet The Candidates section of Netroots Wisconsin 2010. U.S. Senator Feingold will join with other progressive candidates Tom Barrett, John Heckenlively, Scott Hassett, and Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz in speaking to Netroots Wisconsin.

Netroots Wisconsin is the Wisconsin regional conference of Netroots Nation.  Netroots Wisconsin 2010 is the first Wisconsin Netroots Nation conference, and the second regional conference in the U.S.  The conference is a gathering of bloggers, progressive activists, and others interested in furthering progressive causes using the Internet and New Media.

Netroots Wisconsin will take place Sept. 25, 2010 in the Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St., Madison, WI. More information about the conference is available on the conference web site, http://netrootswisconsin.org.

RoJo: A midterm GOP wet dream

Abe Sauer at The Awl, a NYC blog, on Ron Johnson:

From a GOP perspective, he is a midterm wet dream. Giving all the appearance of the throw-the-bums-out attitude of the zeitgeist, Johnson has nonetheless endorsed all the old bums' ideas about how to fix things. For health care Johnson says "Mitch Daniels has the solution," referring to the incumbent Indiana GOP Governor. On taxes, Johnson points to old-school GOP insider Ronald Reagan. Johnson has said that during Reagan's era, the top income rate of 28 percent meant "we were 72 percent free," which suggests Johnson may endorse a complete elimination of the income tax.

Hat tip: Illusory Tenant.

Ron Johnson was on the Board of Chamco: A Gov-Financed Group That Helps Businesses Get Gov Assistance

Ron Johnson has served on the Board of Direcgtors of the Oshkosh Industrial Development Corporation (Chamco), which according to their website is a "public/private partnership" that is :

...funded in part by the business community, the City of Oshkosh and Winnebago County...

According to their website, Chamco helps businesses get government grants:

The professional staff of Chamco Inc. has successfully helped area business apply for and secure over a million dollars in Customized Labor Training (CLT) grants. The CLT grant is a state program designed to assist companies that are investing in new technologies or manufacturing processes by providing a grant of up to 50% of the cost of training employees on the new technologies.  In addition to helping area businesses secure grants for employee training, Chamco will aid area business in securing Transportation Economic Assistance grants.

'Caging' stories full of contradictions

Some great contradictions in the Journal Sentinel's underwritten story on plans by the Republican Party, Tea Party, and Americans for Prosperity to coordinate voter suppression activities:

In the recording, Dake said the state Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus and Americans for Prosperity and its state head, Mark Block, were involved in talks about how to go after voter fraud.

Block, whose conservative group has helped organize tea party rallies, said initially Monday that he was "absolutely unequivocally" not involved in the planning of what Ross and One Wisconsin alleged. But Dake said he knew that Block had attended more than one meeting to talk about targeting voter fraud.

After that, Block acknowledged that he had had discussions with Dake and others about targeting voter fraud. He said Americans for Prosperity had obtained voter names and sent 500 letters to voters asking them to join the organization. Block said he believed the voter names were purchased from the City of Milwaukee and said the purpose of the letters was to see whether they could be delivered or not.

What we don't have here is a failure to coordinate

So, are the Republican Party, Tea Party and Americans for Prosperity in cahoots to hold down voter turnout in November. Who you gonna believe, Mark Block or your own lying ears?

“There have never been any discussions on any type of coordination,” said Mark Block with Americans for Prosperity, adding that OWN’s allegations are based on “non-factual information.”-- Wis. Radio Network

Mark Block is the guy with a history of legal and ethical problems for illegal campaign communication, which involved sending some official-looking postcards to voters. That experience would come in very handy in a vote caging operation.

Here's Tim Dake at the June meeting of Tea Party types:

So, what we're hoping is that the various groups in the coalition plus Americans for Prosperity and Mark Block, who has been in on this, and the Republican Party, and this is coming all the way from the top: Reince Priebus has said, "We're in." And there's a reason why these guys are volunteering to work with us. They have access to what they call Voter Vault, you know the records of voting.-- Tim Dake, GrandSons Of Liberty.

A lot more information, and an audio recording of the meeting, are available here.

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