Wednesday Mashup (6/6/12)

  • Yep, if there’s someone who knows about despotic leaders generating something akin to a cult following (in this case, a certain deceased head of al Qaeda killed at the order of Number 44), it’s Dana Rohrabacher.

    And by the way, I’m hardly a fan of the Chinese. And sure, go ahead and try to kill the clean energy sector of our economy, something else that actually generates revenue besides, you know, junk food, Walmart and Fox “News” (anybody besides me see a thread there?).

  • Next, as I live and breathe, it looks like Bucks County, PAs senior law enforcement official poked his head out of his proverbial hole and, not unlike a celebrated rodent in our beloved commonwealth, cast a blind eye towards at least six more weeks of malfeasance (theater of the mind here, people).

    For, as noted here

    A two-year investigation of voter fraud during Bucks County’s last congressional contest is unlikely to result in criminal charges, District Attorney Dave Heckler said Tuesday.

    Only a handful of interviews remain in the case, which centers around absentee ballots submitted during the November 2010 general election.

    County board of elections employees rejected almost 900 ballot applications during the match between then-incumbent Congressman Patrick Murphy and the successful challenger Mike Fitzpatrick.

    County investigators have determined that indeed “there were ballots with fraudulent signatures on them,” said Heckler. But there’s little evidence of a conspiracy by a political campaign, he added.

    Republicans had called into question a get-out-the-vote effort organized by state Democrats on Murphy’s behalf. They claimed Bucks residents were pressured into applying for absentee ballots they did not want or signing applications for family members.

    Democrats, including Murphy, denied any wrongdoing.

    Don’t you love it? A bunch of baseless aspersions cast at Democrats for alleged fraud, even though nothing was ever proved.

    And get a load of this in particular…

    “Certainly, there was some criminality at a low level of people, and that was mostly what the board of elections had suspected,” said Heckler. “The part that is still an open question in my mind is whether there was some instruction and design here, or whether these were just some people out there roaming the countryside…”


    I give you Night of the Living Democrats, according to Heckler (I’ll grant that the whole “PA Voter Assistance Office” bit from the Murphy campaign was a bit of a ham-handed attempt to coordinate votes, but the goal was to make sure every voted was counted, and no illegality took place).

    Also in response, as noted here (from a prior post by yours truly just before the 2010 election – second bullet)…

    In a news release, Murphy’s campaign said the board of elections remedied errors on Republican ballot applications but not those of Democrats.

    As evidence, the Democrats provided a copy of an absentee ballot application submitted by a Republican woman from Bensalem who used her married name, although she is registered under her maiden name, and failed to include her date of birth. Board of elections workers added the woman’s maiden name and approved the application.

    In contrast, the Democrats provided copies of applications submitted by Democrats from Levittown and Fairless Hills who put incorrect dates in the field for date of birth.

    The Democrats “didn’t get the same special treatment,” as the Republican voter, the news release says.

    (Board of Elections Director Deena Dean) said the campaign staff’s allegations are absolutely false.

    “No one has been tampering with any ballots and I’m offended by that,” Dean said.

    Dean explained that a ballot application with a woman’s maiden name is permissible. A voter who has married and changed his or her name but has not updated his or her voter registration may sign an affidavit at the poll. Dean did not explain why the application was approved without a date of birth.

    Of course she didn’t, because she didn’t want to admit that then-head of the Bucks County Commissioners Jim Cawley and Charley (“I Have A Semi-Open Mind”) Martin told her to do that (no, I don’t have proof of that charge, but if something wasn’t afoot, why did Bucks County Republican Committee Vice Chairwoman Pat Poprik drop her challenge to the absentee ballot applications?).

    Besides, Heckler (to no one’s surprise) utterly failed to note anything whatsoever about the so-called “Ciervo/Fitzpatrick Letter,” in which then-Repug State House candidate Rob Ciervo and now-U.S. House Rep. Mikey The Beloved told Bucks County voters (on Ciervo’s letterhead)…

    …“Mike Fitzpatrick and I need your help” and instructing voters as follows concerning their absentee ballot applications: “If the application is for a student who will be away in November, be sure to use their college address to ensure they receive the ballot in a timely manner.” This, then, introduces the possibility that the college address, as opposed to the actual voting residence address, could be entered onto the ballot application.

    So the application is filled out with the college address, sent to the Bucks County Board of Elections…and then it is tossed because it doesn’t match the address to which the absentee ballot application was originally sent.

    Welcome To Voter Caging 101, ladies and gentlemen. Your instructors are Dr. Ciervo, Mr. Fitzpatrick, Mr. Cawley and Mr. Martin.

    I suppose this is about what you would expect from Heckler, someone whose career in criminal justice has trended decidedly backward (though his career as a craven Republican Party hack is in full flower).

  • Finally, please allow me to delve into the world of sports for a moment.

    The Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils are scheduled to play Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight, with Los Angeles leading three games to none (this would have been a history making final anyway since this is the lowest that the final teams had both been seeded; the Devils were a Number 6 seed in their conference and the Kings were the Number 8 seed in theirs – I seem to recall Pittsburgh beat Minnesota about 20 years ago when the former North Stars were a low seed, but Pittsburgh and Mario Lemieux were seeded near the top).

    Basically, though I respect the Devils, I’m tired of seeing them win championships (and that’s not just sour grapes because they beat the Flyers). I think it’s great that the Kings are so close, and I sincerely hope they get it done.

    And for no small reason, I hope that happens because of this guy.

    When the Flyers traded Jeff Carter last year to basically clear salary to weight themselves down with stones to for eight years sign goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, I was a bit upset, since Carter is a great “finisher.” Still, I think they did well to get forward Jakub Voracek, and center Sean Couturier, who they ended up drafting with the pick they got for Carter, looks like a “keeper.”

    However, I think trading Mike Richards was utterly a mistake, even though I think Brayden Schenn has a big “upside” also, and as far as I’m concerned, you can make the case that, if Claude Giroux doesn’t end up as team captain, I’d give the “C” to Wayne Simmonds, the other player acquired in the Richards trade.

    But let’s just point out one example where the team missed Richards this year – do you honestly think that, with Richards in the lineup, they would have lost every single game they played against the New York Rangers? Don’t you think that, in at least one of those games, he would have managed to score a shorthanded goal or make a play that would have made the difference?

    The Flyers gambled that defenseman Chris Pronger would remain healthy for the whole year and give them the grit and leadership they would need without Richards. And that’s a gamble they lost, and who knows whether Pronger will ever be back.

    Oh, but if you listen to the sports radio loudmouths in this town, their attitude for the most part is “well, Richards didn’t have a good year last year, and he was surly, and they ended up not missing his goal scoring – the Flyers main problem last year was defense.”

    The last point is a valid one (and seriously, people, do they really need Jaromir Jagr for another year?). But as far as I’m concerned, the rest of it is just sour grapes from our local sports media because Mike Richards wouldn’t kiss their ass.

    Oh, but Richards partied too much off the ice with Carter. Here is my response – did that affect Richards’ play on the ice (Carter can fend for himself)?

    I suppose I’m in the minority a bit when it comes to defending Richards, but as far as I’m concerned, all of the partying stuff is something that a guy his age will eventually grow out of (maybe he already has). I just know that Richards played with busted shoulders and various other broken body parts, usually shadowing some of the best players on the other team such as Boston’s Zdeno Chara. And that’s what I remember, and that’s why I hope he ends up drinking from Lord Stanley’s bowl.

    Besides, if the Flyers had signed a quality goalie like Antti Niemi two years ago (who was then a free agent after being cut loose by the Chicago Blackhawks, a team for which he helped win a Cup against the Flyers), they wouldn’t have had to move both Richards and Carter to sign the “Russian Tragedy” anyway.

    (Oh well, looks like the Kings will play for another day.)

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