Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Emperor has no clothes
The Felonious Elephant whole-heartedly endorses Sen John F. Kerry for President of the United States and encourages readers to vote accordingly Tuesday. Incumbent George W. Bush's term of office has been an unmitigated disaster from the botched war on terror to the administration's overly-solicitous actions on behalf of the richest Americans.

A Kerry administration will have plenty of challenges facing it thanks to Bush's fecklessness, arrogance and incompetence. But perhaps one overarching problem which the new administration can come to grips with immediately is the culture of criminality which pervades everything the Bush White House does. Kerry would do well to call on his experience as a former prosecutor and district attorney to set a higher moral and ethical tone for his administration. It would be a terrible mistake to ignore or smooth over the Bush administration's flouting of the nation's laws in a misguided attempt at bi-partisanship.

The Elephant was founded in an attempt to show readers how the culture of criminality has invaded the Republican Party. The problem with bare-knuckle politics is that they eventually erase the line between hard political wrangling and outright criminality. Republicans have become far too accustomed to such high crimes and misdemeanors as converting public property to private purposes, subverting individuals' Constitutionally-guaranteed rights and using the power of government as a way to intimidate and punish individuals. John Kerry cannot expect a party steeped in such slime to cooperate in reforming the institutional culture inside the Beltway. If anything, Kerry can expect to come under attack from the very first by Republicans who no longer have any shame or sense of proportion.

The past four years should have served as an object lesson to the American people as to why it is important for them to participate in the electoral process. It should have served as a warning against fanaticism and the fanatic's willingness to discard principal at the drop of a hat. We believe Senator Kerry has the personal qualities to steer America in a far more positive and law-abiding direction. Whatever it takes, vote Tuesday.
GOP already at work on Pine Ridge rez
A South Dakota delegate to the Republican Party's National Convention has been ordered off the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation after a tribal judge ruled that he was harassing members of a non-partisan get-out-the-vote organization by videotaping them. The U.S. Attorney for South Dakota wasted no time whatsoever in declaring Judge Marina Fast Horse's temporary restraining order on Ryan Knutson null and void. "I have let it be known to law enforcement that they should not be enforcing any order on the reservation which purports to keep the Republican Party away from the polls," U.S. Attorney James McMahon thundered. The problem is that the videotaped harassment occurred on private property, not at a polling place. Meanwhile, Knutson says he's never set foot on the Pine Ridge reservation. Sort it out for yourself here.
Say "Hello" to Mr. Happy, kids!
Alan Fortney, a Republican candidate for the Arkansas legislature, has dropped his bid for elective office after his criminal record surfaced from the early 1980s. It seems Fortney likes to wag his weiner at children and has been arrested three times for indecent exposure. Read about it here.
Voter interference program set by GOP
If you're black or Hispanic, prepare to be assailed at the polls Tuesday by various representatives of the Republican Party. The Thuggies are going all out in their efforts to suppress voter turnout in minority precincts across the nation. Already, they've been busily at work in Ohio trying to disenfranchise black voters. It's merely a preview of what's to come. Harold Meyerson, in this week's American Prospect, draws a bead on the Rethug drive to shaft minority voters. Read about it here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

W. Va. Rethug candidate does her shoplifting in Kentucky
West Virginia voters may be glad that when Dr. Diane Shafer, a Republican candidate for the state's legislature, decides to exercise her anti-social impulses, she does it in Kentucky. Shafer was arrested in a Wal-Mart in South Williamson last Friday. Shafer was equally solicitous in 1993 when she was convicted of bribery in Kentucky. Her conviction was overturned on appeal, but Shafer lost her license to practice medicine in the Bluegrass State. The West Virginia Board of Medicine revoked her license as well, but the state's supreme court overturned their action. Read more about this sterling Republican here.
And on a personal note
I have been suffering with a minor, but painful, health problem in recent weeks, which means I haven't felt like posting as much as usual. I'm feeling a little better, so I should have more material coming out. Thanks to all the correspondents who have loaded me up with stories during the past few days! I'll be using them in the days to come.
Sproul me once, shame on me...
Nathan Sproul, former head of the Arizona Republican Party and the Arizona Christian Coalition, may be spending a lot of time in courtrooms around the nation next year. That's because his firm, Sproul & Associates, keeps getting caught pulling the same voter registration scam in states from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Sproul's flim-flam, first uncovered in Las Vegas a week or two ago, is to hold voter registration drives, then trash any Democratic registrations, turning in only Republican ones to local boards of election. His company is now under criminal investigation in Nevada Oregon and Pennsylvania and former Sproul employees have filed similar allegations of misconduct in Minnesota and West Virginia. Sproul hasn't undertaken this voter fraud out of the evilness of his heart. The Republican National Committee has paid him well over $500,000 for these "drives." Read about it here. Another top-notch catch from Stentor!
Colorado Rethug knocks himself out stealing signs
You know it's going to be a good day when you get stuff like this from Stentor: Randal Wagoner of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, was wanted for questioning by local police after homeowners complained that a man had stolen Kerry/Edwards signs from their yards. Wheat Ridge's finest didn't have to look far to find their huckleberry. They discovered Wagoner out cold, lying across a sign he had stolen. He had just unbolted the sign from a local business, when he decided to run back to his pick-up truck, tripped over a low chain and landed on his noggin. Randal faces charges of theft, trespassing, disorderly conduct and criminal tampering. Dumbass. Read about it here.
J'accuse 2004
The most devastating indictment of George W. Bush's failed Presidency comes courtesy of this week's New Yorker. The magazine -- to which I heartily recommend that you subscribe -- broke nearly eight decades of tradition to make its first endorsement of a Presidential candidate, Senator John F. Kerry. But it's the scathing assessment of the Bush Administration's four years of ineptitude, fanaticism and criminality that make this endorsement the one to read if you don't read any other. You can find it here. The Elephant will publish its own endorsement this weekend (I wanna let the suspense build).

Monday, October 18, 2004

He's on a mission from God
If you don't read anything else about the 2004 campaign, please read Ron Suskind's profile of Prances on Aircraft Carriers published in this week's New York Times Magazine. You'll be shocked by how absolutely bull-goose looney George W. Bush actually is. You really want four more years of this guy? Read about it here.
More mud in O'Lieilly case
The Smoking Gun has posted large excerpts of the sexual harrassment suit against Fox News jerk-off Bill O' Reilly. Lots of interesting details salted away in these pages. O'Reilly is apparently, among other things, a patron of Thai sex bars (which often have underage children on tap for Westerners trying to avoid child molestation charges back home).

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Voter registration company paid by RNC
Building on yesterday's story from Stentor, it appears the voter registration company in Las Vegas that submitted Republican registrations but trashed Democratic registrations has apparently been caught doing the same scam in several states this election cycle. And the people writing the checks for this act of civic vandalism are none other than the evil weasels at the Republican National Committee. Joshua Micah Marshall has pretty much got this sucker nailed down, so visit his blog and browse this week's entries. Voters Outreach of America is also under criminal investigation for voter fraud in Oregon. Check that story out here. You can find even more here and here.
New York GOP pol busted for beating girlfriend
New York Republican Mark Hildreth, a mover and shaker in party circles, has been arrested on charges that he beat his girlfriend. He was charged Sept. 3 with third-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment. The arrest has already cost Hildreth his job as regional building manager for the state. Read more about it here.
Senator needs teleprompter during debate
Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning's Democratic opponent, Daniel Mongiardo, may not be the most observant person in the world. Otherwise, he would have raised a stink when Bunning's campaign staff reneged on the terms of their televised debate, demanding that it be taped rather than carried live and that the taping be done at Republican National Committee headquarters (Mongiardo would participate from a studio back in Kentucky). Mongiardo, incredibly enough, agreed to all this. But he now says he didn't agree to Bunning's use of a teleprompter to deliver his opening and closing remarks. Bunning's campaign has admitted that their man did depend on the teleprompter, but that it didn't violate the terms of the debate. Mongiardo says it did. Beyond all that, however, lies the question of why a veteran politician would need a teleprompter in such a situation. There have been rumors that Bunning's mental acuity has slipped in recent years, all of which his campaign has denied. Decide for yourself here.
O'Reilly faces sexual harassment suit
One of the biggest gasbags in the right-wing's Mighty Wurlitzer is facing a multi-million dollar civil suit for forcing one of his producers to have phone sex with him against her will. Bill O'Reilly, Fox "News"'s biggest talking head, will have to pay Andrea Mackris heap big wampum if this sucker goes to court and she wins. O'Reilly allegedly "subjected her to repeated instances of sexual harassment and spoke often, and explicitly, to her about phone sex, vibrators, threesomes, masturbation, the loss of his virginity, and sexual fantasies," according to the Smoking Gun. Read Mackris' original complaint here. Dogbreath, as you might expect, is denying the charges and claiming this is all a shakedown attempt by Mackris and her attorney.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Nevada voter registration fraud falls on deaf ears
A company conducting voter registration drives in the Las Vegas area has a skewed way of processing new sign-ups. Voters Outreach of America has been caught forwarding only Republican registration forms and trashing those filled out by Democratic voters. This is a good story for Felonious Elephant fans to bug their local newspaper and the networks about. Apparently, the corporate-dominated media in Nevada is trying to deep-six this sucker by ignoring it. Read about it here.
New secretary of state tries Hood-winking electorate
Once Jeb Bush's pump, Katherine Harris, managed to get herself elected to the U.S. Congress, you would think Jebbie would find someone, oh, I don't know...ethical(?) to take her place. No, instead he has summoned one Glenda Hood to take over as Florida Secretary of State and bring that fine institution into even greater disrepute. When the state's supreme court was recently pondering whether or not to allow Ralph Nader on the ballot, Hood ordered counties throughout Florida to go ahead and print ballots with the egomaniac's name on them. Read more about Glenda Hood in this excellent profile in the American Prospect.
Why are they saying these awful things about me?
You can always tell when Rethug internal polling data turns to shit, because their dirty tricks machine instantly goes into overdrive. That may be what we're seeing in West Virginia, which appears to be slowly moving into the Kerry column. How has the state GOP responded? Well, up in the Panhandle, local GOP staffers are calling Dem voters and telling them they're not registered to vote. This is not only moronic, but it's also illegal. Read about it here. Thanks once again, Stentor!
Bad goings on in the Badlands
Today is Stentorday, one of those occasional feast days when our most diligent correspondent provides dish on dirty Republicans everywhere. We start in South Dakota, where incumbent U.S. Senator Tom Daschle, a Democrat, is running against a goon named John Thune. Sorry, couldn't resist....anyhoo, Thune has a documented history of trying to whine his way back into office by alleging voter fraud when he's getting his ass kicked at the polls. Turns out Thune's nephew, Jeff, may have actually committed voter fraud himself. To make this an even better story for the many of us who are notaries public or know one, Jeff Thune doesn't have Der Seal! Enjoy it here and here. Heads in South Dakota's GOP are rolling over this!

Friday, October 01, 2004

GOP official threatens NC Governor
Former Union County, North Carolina, Union County Republican Party President John Barker was arrested this week for threatening the life of the state's Democratic (and profoundly paranoid) Governor Mike Easley. Barker allegedly threatened to harm Easley during a run-in with a state agency. He says it's all a misunderstanding. Read about it here and here.
Loud wives lose lives
The New York ACLU is engaged in a pissing contest with the New York Police Department after they caught an NYPD motor scooter officer with the following slogan -- "Loud wives lose lives" -- on a sticker affixed to his helmet. The NYACLU says the cop is promoting spousal abuse. The NYPD wants to know how the NYACLU doesn't know the guy is working undercover as a psycho biker. The NYACLU got a photo of the cop harassing protestors at the Republican National Convention. Read about it here.
Ethics panel slaps DeLay on the wrist
Having concluded that completely-evil House Majority Leader Tom DeLay offered a bribe to a fellow congressman to get his vote on last year's Medicare Dismantlement Bill, The House Ethics Committee has admonished DeLay. Admonished him. No word on whether he was sent to his caucus room without his supper. Read about it here.
State troopers try to squelch film
The North Platte, Nebraska, Bill of Rights Committee must have been collectively stunned when two men showed up at the committee's screening of "Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties" and tried to browbeat the visiting state director of the ACLU. One of the two men identified himself as an FBI agent. The duo told Tim Butz he "he shouldn't come out to these small towns and scare people and stir things up." In reality, the self-identified FBI agent is really Nebraska State Trooper Greg Vandenberg. The other man is Trooper Norb Liebig. Both men are patrol lieutenants. Their employer is denying that they were acting in an official capacity. ACLU Nebraska executive director Tim Butz has filed a complaint with the Nebraska State Patrol. It's a crime to falsely identify yourself as a federal agent, by the way. Read about it here.

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