Sunday, October 14, 2018

Mysteries Remain from Griffin's 2004 Voter Caging Emails

Voter caging, when it disproportionately affects minority voters, is a federal crime. In 2004 Tim Griffin was an opposition researcher for Karl Rove. Emails from his account with the subject line "caging" and with attached lists consisting disproportionately of minority voters in Florida was mistakenly emailed to the wrong address and fell into the hands of journalist Greg Palast.

Palast published some articles on the incident, but among the many indisputable facts in his article were a couple of inaccurate statements. Rove and company were able to seize on the inaccuracies to poo-poo the whole report. And it seems like the establishment media in America, as much as it likes to stir up controversy and divide us on unprovable questions, is very very very reluctant to report on stories when major establishment players get caught red-handed committing crimes. KARK did some real digging. The American legacy media was mostly silent on the story.

Because defenders of team Rove/Griffin were able to use the inaccuracies in secondary details of Palast's original report to discredit the whole thing, I refer you to this report from KOS on the incident which points out what he got right and what he got wrong on the story- and it still looks terrible for Griffin. I mean, an email was sent with the title "caging" and it had lists of disproportionately minority Florida voters attached to it. Griffin resigned as Federal Prosecutor rather than face committee questions over the incident, after telling Senator Mark Pryor that he looked forward to answering those questions. Pryor felt he was lied to.

Voter caging is the practice of sending mail to registered voters with a "do not forward" tag in order to test if voters still live at the address on their voter registration card. Some of them that don't may be homeless. Some of them may be students off for the Summer who let their leases lapse but plan to return to the same district in the Fall. Some are U.S. military on 15 month deployments in some foreign mud hole and so they let their lease lapse for that reason. All of these examples could have their right to vote challenged by this tactic. And when the groups targeted for such ploys are disproportionately minorities, as as the case here, it's a federal crime, in addition to being a really rotten thing to do.

Now Tim Griffin indignantly claims that he didn't engage in voter caging. And of course he didn't follow through and do it because once Palast blew the cover of their operation they ix-nayed what they were up to. The right question should be "were they preparing to engage in voter caging?" and the obvious answer is "yes, just like it says in the subject line of the e-mail from Griffin's account."

Now Palast floated a "conspiracy theory" on Griffin's denial which explains a lot that has happened since he put it out there. He said that insiders know that Rove didn't have a White House computer because that way there would be nothing to subpoena in case of trouble. He wonders if Griffin was just a bag-holder or front man and that Karl Rove himself was using Griffin or Griffin's account to send emails and perhaps Griffin didn't have a solid grasp of what the emails were about. If so, Griffin is being a good soldier and saying he sent the emails and claming up on specifics. And the evidence suggests that he is being rewarded to do so.

Think about how much trouble the Republican machine has gone to in order to prop up Tim Griffin. If he sent those emails, with the subject line of "caging" and the lists full of minority voters to an investigative reporter then it was an incredibly bone-headed mistake. Why push so hard for a guy like that to get a Federal Prosecutor's job? Why continue to push him for Congress, urging others like David Meeks who wound up being a pretty good state legislator instead, to step aside? Why does he get such favorable coverage from our state's establishment media? I mean they rush to ask his opinion about stuff he has no more to do with than 100 other folks but rarely do they stick a microphone in his face and hector him with tough questions. I don't know that I've ever seen it. Why the kid-gloves and golden boy treatment when there is nothing in his visible record to justify such favoritism? It all makes perfect sense if it was Rove who made the bone-headed move exposing their efforts to commit a federal crime and Griffin is covering for his old boss. He is "taking one for the team" and the big boys on the team are rewarding him for his participation.

Do I know anything in that above paragraph is a fact? Nope. I just know it explains a whole lot that is otherwise really hard to explain. Now I predict the GOP apologists will try to waive this off as "old news" in a very Clintonesque fashion. That is, deny, dissemble, and discredit all you can without ever really facing up to the issue and questions in detail and then come back and say "that's old news, we've already talked about it." Nope. Mostly friendly media threw you a few slow pitches with no followup and no indignation with nostrils flaring as they would if they were interviewing someone that they wanted to pin down. That was Fake News coverage just so they could say it had been covered. It shouldn't count. Only when it has really been addressed is it not news anymore.

Rapert Refuses Debate

Senator Snowflake, or justifiable safety concerns? You decide....

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Lt. Governor's Debate Has Some Great Moments and a Clear Surprise Winner

Click on link to video here.

First of all, I have to acknowledge that Tim Griffin did the right thing by showing up for a debate he might have been tempted to duck. He didn't. Secondly, the Democrat Dr. Anthony Bland comes off as a very nice man who doesn't know a lot about the intricacies of public and fiscal policy. On likeability it was mostly a contest between Bland and Gilbert. On policy it was a contest between Griffin and Gilbert, even though they agreed on some issues for different reasons. I support Gilbert BTW.
My general take on the debate is that LTG Griffin won the opening statement and the first question which was basically tailor-made for someone with a career in politics and government. After that it was ALL. FRANK. GILBERT. Heck by the end (46:17) Dr. Bland is nodding again in agreement with Frank and Tim Griffin starts off around 47:08 agreeing that Frank Gilbert made a good point.
Some highlights:
10:00- Griffin starts off on what qualifies him for Governor is that he has worked closely with Asa Hutchinson.
13:30- Gilbert gives an example from his time as Mayor of Tull to show he is ready.
14:50- Griffin on ethics reform. Defines the problem without mentioning its his party and his area that went bad. Complains existing rules are too persnickity.
18:55- Strong answer. Points out that the Rep. establishment actually banded together to run off the two Senators who tried the hardest to fight the corruption. (Bryan King and Linda Collins-Smith). Voting again for the ones who did that is not a vote to fix it no matter what is said.
24:15- Frank Gilbert with frank talk about the Work Requirement for Obamacare. Griffin answers at 25:55
29:00 Gilbert with a great story on why we need voter ID. Griffin follows.
34:20- Gilbert talks about Griffin's past involvement with voter caging when he was an operative for Karl Rove.
35:30- Casino Gambling Amendment. Griffin leans against it but hedges and changes the subject. Gilbert plainly comes out against it and explains why.
45:10 General Revenues to Highways? Gilbert says no more money to this highway system and calls for an end to the Highway Commission and a return of the authority back to the people's representatives in the legislature. Griffin (47:08) agrees Gilbert makes a good point but favors doing so anyway.
50:45 - Strong close by Gilbert. Griffin follows at 52:51 again citing his ties to Asa Hutchinson as a plus.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Global Trade's Hidden Costs

I noticed an article today which had a bombshell about the Chinese government sneaking a stealth microchip into the servers and other hardware it was selling around the world. Organizations infiltrated include Amazon, Apple, and even the CIA. The chip would give them the power to remotely hack the operating system of a myriad of devices.

I do not call trade with China "Free" trade because it is not possible to have free trade with unfree people. China is the world's largest labor camp and most of its inmates are not free to leave and seek opportunity elsewhere (only those connected to the elite are). Thus it has a captive labor force. It also lacks a free media by which workers could learn about dangerous working conditions and make informed choices about where to work. So its global trade, not free trade. And global trade has hidden costs. The above link is an example of a huge one, but there are many others. The importation of dangerous pests for example.

Globalism is pushed by our media, which is itself owned by global corporate entities, and except for the anomaly of Donald Trump, both establishment political parties which are also owned by global corporate entities. But global trade has hidden costs, in particular when dealing with unfree societies. Barriers to trade with such nations are like a "firewall" in ones computer system. They may slow things down a bit but it is a form of insurance. We can't have enough redundancy in a global supply chain where each critical part is made by a single entity. Such a supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. China will suffer great turmoil someday, because its system is corrupt and unjust. If we are inextricably linked to them, we will suffer with them.

Global trade has hidden costs and those costs must be born by someone. The global corporations who have pushed to lower all protections and redundancies in favor of a global trade model have harvested the profits from their scheme. But when its time to pay the costs, you can be sure they will try to socialize those onto the general public.

The precepts of Localism provide the most sensible protections for our country, or any country, against the abuse of corporate power, including the abuse described here.